Of Slugs and Sunflowers

I’ve had no time to do any creative writing lately, but I found this in one of my old journals last night and thought it would do for this week’s homestead post. This is a memory of going out in the night to fill a bucket at the hand pump so I can flush our unsophisticated indoor toilet…

Saturday, August 9th, 2003
When I went out to pump a flush bucket at 11 o’clock, I placed my feet carefully in the center of each stepping stone – wary of slugs. I plunked my bucket down, long practice placing it accurately under the spout without a second glance. The pump handle was so hard and cold when I grasped it that I still feel it’s steel, moist imprint on my hand as I write. I almost always count my pumps to save from having to watch the bucket – 20-25 pumps for an “easy” bucket, 30 if you want it well filled. 1,2,3,4… I gazed up at the sky, and realized with sleepy interest that it was not black at all, but a silent gray. A few stars were peering through the messy clouds, and the moon was rising, brightly in the east; through the tree line I saw glimmers of him. No, the sky was not black, but I noticed what was – the trees, the roof of the cabin – black, black, and the sunflowers – Oh, my! Black and tall like dark, silent strangers – giants, stalking me along with the slugs. The plants must be 10 ft. tall now, and are overpowering the yard. They look somewhat menacing – even in the daylight, so I quickly grabbed my 20-pump bucket “full” and hurried back into the house. Back to light, back to warmer, drier air, and the comforting buzz of the inverter, glad to have survived the slugs and the sunflowers.

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