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The Fence Post and I

Awakening to the frenzied sounds of the Adirondack wildlife, I found myself mumbling in a state of irritable restlessness. My consciousness resisted the temptation but even blanketing my head under the comforter provided no useful benefit in stifling Spring’s orchestrated auditory assault. I was doomed to arise fully against my will.

As I tumbled out of bed, my body instantly craved the aroma and caffeine of that first hot, rich cup of morning coffee. Begrudgingly, I shuffled my way to the kitchen and flipped a pod into the Keurig. I pressed brew and turned my attention back to the bristling sounds outside my lair. I wasn’t entirely enthused how the bright sunshine bounced effortlessly off the silverware in the kitchen sink and directly into my ocular sockets. Still half groggy and wiping the sleep encrustations from my eyes, I grabbed my cellphone and stammered to the front door to identify who was actually creating this annoying raucous.

I immediately identified the birds who were indecently chirping and flying about from tree to tree like invading locust. If that wasn’t enough, chainsaws and barking dogs could be heard in the near distance. I looked down at my phone and saw the announcement splattered across my screen. Spring is here!

“Oh goodie”, I thought to myself. I obviously wasn’t as cheery to welcome in this new chapter of the year. Don’t get me wrong. I am not a fan of winter but I believe in a much slower transition when going from one season to the next. For some reason, Mother Nature decided to start this year’s Spring with an above average temperature and perfect conditions. I wasn’t prepared in the least. Had I been given a more subtle two or three-week transitional warning, I would have been apt to experience the first day of Spring to the fullest. Instead, I resented its presence only because it was thrust upon me. My body was not yet acclimated to the warmth of this hot glob of matter called the Sun. It felt numbing and freakishly abnormal after the sub-freezing temperatures we had braved just days earlier.

I heard the coffee brewer gargle to a stop. The ethereal aroma of Colombian heaven wafted through my nostrils. As I prepared my cup of morning joe, my eyes became accustomed to the overly bright sunlight invading my living space. I stepped back outside and hunkered down on the front porch swing. From under the canopy of the overhang, I could sit out and stare across the valley and cast my gaze at the luscious green forest below. From a sightseeing perspective, living on top of a mountain obviously had its distinct advantages. It was all for naught since the buzzing chainsaws from my neighbors invaded my serenity and peace. After a few sips, I resigned myself to the annoyance that Spring was now officially sprung and that I should probably partake in its arrival. Not wanting to be nearly as energetic as my noisy counterparts, I figured an update to my pathetic portfolio of selfies could be an excellent springtime activity.

After finishing off my coffee, I got dressed and fetched my camera. With the batteries changed out and the sim card installed, I was all set to begin capturing my self-indulging Kodak moments. The question in my mind was – where should I take them? My eyes scoured the yard for the most visually appealing backdrop. Within moments, I had found the perfect spot. The fence post!

With the camera safely atop the tripod, I configured it for continuous snapshots at 5-second intervals. At the end of the walkway leading to the large parking area at the top of the driveway, the corner fence post was the perfect spot. It showcased an interesting backdrop of trees with ample sunlight which, I surmised, would only enhance my sexy, smoky hazel eyes. Plus, if you must know, my “not-so-much-out-of-hibernation-mode” self, needed a stiff enough plateau on which to rest my ass upon. After all, I wasn’t about to use up too much energy for this selfless act of indulgence. Once I framed the picture in the viewfinder, I began the countdown timer on the camera. I raced back and straddled the post. I decided to fold my arms on top of the post so I could rest my head for a more relaxed pose. Within seconds, the camera began taking the first set of pictures.

(click… click… click)

Even through the raucous sounds of wild and man-made exuberance echoing through my peaceful surroundings, I noticed something out of the corner of my eye. Coming up my half mile long, graveled private driveway, was a Ford Bronco of unknown ownership and intent. “That’s strange.”, I thought to myself. “I was not expecting visitors.” As the curious thought rifled through my cerebral cortex, the truck began slowing to a crawl. I pursed my lips and nodded to myself with a perturbed amusement.

I sensed the drivers’ confidence waning and flustered in doubt. I suspected the large four by three foot “Private Driveway” sign written in large red lettering on a bright white background; that he passed not more than two hundred yards behind him, was now subliminally flashing in his head and embarrassingly starting to make sense.

(click… click… click)

Most likely disconcerted by his blunder, the driver did not traverse the rest of the way up the driveway. Had he done so, he could have easily turned around in the large parking area and thus, albeit shamelessly, headed back on his way. Instead, my new found friend concluded that a precisely engineered three-point turn would not only save face and personal humiliation, but it would allow for a quick retreat. With the confidence of a mighty warrior, he began his assault of navigating his large square peg through the small round hole of opportunity.

(click… click… click)

With the steering wheel pump squealing from the strain of his hard left turn, my friend fervently backed up his vehicle. With the innate insight of Johnny Carson’s “Carnac the Magnificent”, I pursed my lips and forecast the imminent failure of his decision. To be fair, there was no way I could have warned him of the dangers without having to rise and walk down the hill myself. Let’s be honest – my plan for the day was to drink coffee and shake myself out of this hibernation mode by taking pictures. Assisting my new friend at that moment by applying physical exertion seemed like too much work.

(click… click… click)

As his rear differential slid along the top of the large oak tree stump that I had cut the year before, his tires began begging for traction. My compadre gave more power to his mighty beast but it was all for what my Dad would say – “diddly-squat”. Recognizing his fate, my friend’s aggressiveness sheepishly came to an anti-climatic ending. With the wheels slowed and the hostility upon the stump grinding to a halt, my buddy exited his vehicle to survey the situation. I couldn’t hear him but I interpreted his mouth gestures as him muttering “shit!” several times.

I’m not a heartless fellow since I was initially concerned but those thoughts faded as my pal climbed back into his truck. I was thrilled by the thought he had a plan to relieve himself of this quagmire. Seconds later and to my dismay and slight amusement, his large knobby rear tires once again began revolving, but this time with a renewed vigor.

“Ahhhh, yes!”, I muttered. Obviously, a fan of engineering, my friend deduced that with enough wheel spin, centrifugal force would expand the circumference of his tires, like dragster tires, just enough to grasp upon the land, which could then catapult him forward off the ledge of the stump and set him free. With feigned admiration, I began cheering for his gusto and hopeful success.

(click… click… click)

Sadly, my newfound compatriot was only able to ensnare a few errant branches and scare off the wildlife in a three square mile radius as his beastly engine roared out of its idled state. At least the cackling birds were quiet now. I could sense his annoyance, as the truck rocked side to side in unison with his shadowed silhouette inside the cab. He hit the brakes and slammed the gear into park. Again, he exited the truck and with his hands on his hips, stared down at the unforgiving stump. I’m sure he was as perplexed as I was that the massive over-spin of his knobby wheels did not succeed in freeing him. He glanced up slowly at me from the bottom of the hill.

“Did you try the four wheel drive?”, I yelled down, as I raised my hand and signaled with four outstretched fingers.

He continued his blank stare with no outward expression. Our stares locked and continued for several awkward seconds. I feared he didn’t hear me.  Would I have to get off my fence post and get closer? That seemed like too much work. If he wanted my opinion, he would have to do the exertion. I was very happy being the observer in this situation.

(click… click… click)

He glanced back at his truck. Very slowly, he tilted his head back toward me, lifted his chin and gave me a large four toothed grin. I gave him a half smile in return. Ha! What a kidder my buddy was. He was only acknowledging what he himself had already known to be obvious. He was just testing me to see if I knew. I wondered if I would receive a prize.

Satisfied that I was now educated, he went back into his truck and ground the four wheel drive trans-axle shift into gear. With the roar of a thousand horsemen, his front wheels spun with power and gained ample traction that allowed his off-road mountain chariot to leap off the stump. His beastly truck was now making four wheel contact with the earthen ground and I sensed a renewed faith in my pal.

(click… click… click)

What the heck. I decided to go for double or nothing and suggest he navigate through the field. Using highly sophisticated hand gestures and mouthed indications of “Field! Go in there.. turn… around.”, my good buddy found himself safely back on the driveway and heading in the right direction.

Before fading from sight, he stuck his paw out his window and waved back at me. I was deeply saddened and gave him a princess wave in return. With a whisper, I uttered faintly, “Goodbye my good friend. It was nice seeing you.”

(click… click… click)

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