Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Going with the flow

Yesterday I decided to go to a grocery store - with a stop at a book store - and so I ventured out onto the ice that is my back yard. I've made a path, marked by big shoe-sized holes in five-inch snow just outside the ice zone, to get to my garage without having to traverse the frozen water. Once inside the garage, I pressed the button to raise the door so I could back my car into the alley. The door went, grind, grind, oof, and settled back to remain closed.

I've been through this before. Snow melts all day, and water piles up against (and under) my garage door. Then, when the sun sinks, the water undergoes what scientists call a phase transition. What I call a piece of ... well, the door won't open. Ice has frozen it shut.

I have in my garage an interesting farm implement. It's a hoe, with an ax-like handle and a big iron blade. A friend I once knew who came from Peru gave it to me; perhaps it came from high in the Andes. Something had to dig to up those original potatoes.

Anyway, I used the implement to pry the garage door loose, pressed the button again, and the door rose ... to reveal a big old pooch (some kind of shepherd mix) apparently attracted by the sound of my door-freeing efforts. The doggie walked up to me, lowered his head, and waited to be scratched behind the ears. I obliged.

Then it walked past me, into my garage, sniffed a tire on my car, lifted a leg, and marked the tire for all dogs to smell. Then it walked out into my back yard and passed out of sight.

Hell, I was off to the store. I got into my newly marked vehicle, backed out of my garage, and headed off to the supermarket. But I left the big door open to let the pooch exit my otherwise fully fenced yard whenever he felt like it. It's called going with the flow.

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