I’m already in, despite shivering uncontrollably just seconds ago.  Now I’m at the goosebump stage nestled down into the center of the hot tub, down in the hole, transitioning into physical bliss.  The Bearded One sticks his toe in.  “Aiii–chee-waa-waa!”  He says this every time he gets in.

The house has no bathtub, nor any great place for one, so when we bought this cabin in 2006, we budgeted in a hot tub at the recommendation of other fifty-somethings we know, and now we hot tub every night.  It’s like seeing Mount Rainier on the rare clear day — I’m startled every single time.  Over the top.

It’s our major medical plan.  Maybe this is an old person thing, but I don’t think so.  Our nurse daughter hot tubs first thing when she gets here at 9am after three 12-hour night shifts.

The Bearded One is growling and stepping further into the 103F degree water.  Steam fills my nostrils and I relax.  I let my body float up to the surface and notice the bright reflection of the moon.


It’s just after 6pm now, and sundown still smudges the western sky pink.  Venus glows right next to the gibbous half-moon in the east and I sigh and move to the Ecsta-seat so the Bearded One can have the hole.  Once we’re both in, we are quiet for a while.  And for the very first time, I can feel spring coming.

Even though I sounded chipper when I delivered the Tupperwares of chicken soup and berry pie to a sick Momma Goose up the road just an hour ago –“We’re halfway through January!” — I didn’t feel springy then.  As I told the Bearded One when I got back, she’s been sick for weeks and on an antibiotic now for days.


Two of her young geese had waddled by honking and Momma Goose directed my attention to all of the goose poop near her back porch.  “They’re lost without Bob and Lucy,” Momma Goose told me from her doorway, her nose red, clutching the Tupperwared soup.  She went on to tell of how Bob the Goose was hit by the UPS truck just before Christmas, and how since then Lucy had just disappeared.  Gone.

“Geese mate for life,” Momma Goose said and shook her head at the consequences of that vulnerability.

“Is she dead?” I asked.

“Who knows?”  Momma Goose had no idea.  “She’s moved on.  Her 2-year-olds are left here.”

I hear them honking now, high-pitched honking yelps, as evening sets in and I float in the glow of the goddess Venus.  All my goosebumps have melted, soft and flat.  The Bearded One and I just listen.

The Bearded One has warmed up now, too, and tells of having heard a flock of geese earlier.  He saw them fly over the farmlet in a vivid “V”.


He was out hauling meat bird compost down from the coops in a wheelbarrow to the hoop house and gardens.  It’s so dusky now the soil where he worked looks almost black.  It is without any bad smell at all.  The poop has completely composted in the sphagnum peat moss flooring of their coop.  It’s so crumbly and fertile, I want to smell it.  This is a good sign.

Meat bird compost 001

I tell him about Bob the Goose’s death and the lost young geese, and how Momma Goose is still so sick.  I tell him about our friends in Tasmania, Australia, who have been hearing about all the flu in the Northern Hemisphere and fear the “lurgy” coming their way mid-June during winter.

The hens all start cackling to each other in the closed, lighted coop up the hill, and the Bearded One tells me that he is still running the hose down the new rat hole discovered late last week in the aviary.  He learned from last year that you have to just keep the water slowly running for a week.  “Rats won’t discourage easily,” he says.

Then the hot tub jets turn on.  They do this automatically after ten minutes, and that’s about when we are ready to head back inside.

I get out first, dry off and slip into my robe and flops.  The Bearded One follows and I stand by, staring up at the stunningly bright Venus.  I’m not even chilled.

“Brrr!” says the Bearded One as the wind blasts him butt-naked on the top step as he reaches for the towel.  “Gonna catch me some lurgy.”



7 responses to “Goosebumps

  1. This post is wonderfully lilting Christi. It is redolent with the bliss of that hottub soaking out the winter and stress and releasing it up to Venus. Your words are soothing my heat affected brain :). I am envious of your gorgeous compost from your meat birds. We, too, have sphagnum peat moss down in the teatree garden but I am still revelling in its gorgeousness and feeling rich for having it in the garden and don’t want to disturb it. Glad has it on her lower lawn underneath the humungous oak trees and could care less about it. She is an old fashioned english girl who wants flowers and lawn and when her daughter Wendy rakes up the spagnum we can take it for our compost heap :). I am starting to lust after winter. Serendipity Farm is turning sepia…everything is curling up at the corners and we still have a solid month of it. Steve is turning 48 on Sunday. He is a winter baby (in the U.K.) and Christmas and his birthday are still strange to him. He was used to crunching through snow and avoiding black ice but his birthday is hot here…hot, hot HOT! I, too am a winter baby and feel the need for a nice slow crispy morning rising up in me like my need to be able to smell the salty air from the deck. I am working on making myself lurgy free this year. I started early. This is my “Doing” year and I have ajusted remarkably well to buzzing about like a bumblebee. I said to Steve last night “I don’t know why I didn’t pick up on this “doing” thing years ago…it is SO me!”…I love to plan and progress and leave one stage and enter another and thats “Doing!”…sad that it took me half a century to learn it eh? 😉
    I feel for Mother Goose. I feel for those orphaned 2 year old geese. The bigger the bird, the longer the ties to their parents stretch and these teenagers are now going to have to make their way in the world alone. At least they have each other. We have no rats here on Serendipity Farm any more. Every summer they would “scritch…scritch…scratch…” in the roof and walls and we would twitch around in the middle of the night (rats ONLY eat cables and foundations in the middle of the night!) waiting for the wiring to disappear but then we got feral cat invasion number 1 and suddenly no rats…no mice…no rabbits…everything…EVERYTHING has it’s good and bad points. If you do happen to succumb to lurgy number 1, make sure to drink lots of fluids. That’s what ensures that your tissues will be able to work it through your system more easily. Go straight to juices and soothing soups and you could even try my children’s toxic mix of juiced “green things” (no idea what they use, apparently it is a trade secret…) thrown into a blender with chilli’s, ginger root, garlic and lots and lots of lemon juice. I think it eats through to the nerves and scares lurgies away. Maybe that is why my children are all a little “different” ;). I loved the vision of moonlight and venus and a blanket of serenity wrapped around your shoulders Christi. Your words carry weight and travel across the miles and sooth this early morning fevered brow…”Gonna catch me some hottub” (I WISH! 😉 )

    • Thank you, Fran, and as always, your comments are a delight for both of us (the B.O. and me:) I read the first lines of it out loud to him and he burst into song…”Lilting Matilda, Lilting Matilda, you’ll come a lilting Matilda with me!” lol This is what we know of Australian music. And yes, the glory of mature compost. What is more valuable than that?? I mean REALLY? Even gold can’t grow a vegetable. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO STEVE!! So he was born on Jan 27, 1965? An Aquarian, and a totally cool dude. Power to you in your Year of Doing, and may your coming winter be lurgy-free. We are drinking and sipping here and staying strong for spring. Love you!

      • Lol! We thought that Waltzing Matilda would end up being our National Anthem for a while there but apparently it didn’t hold up to the high standard of the rest of the worlds anthems and so we had to go with “Advance Australia Fair” that has about 5 stanza’s and NO-ONE knows more than the very first one! 😉 That’s Aussies for you…don’t do anything more than you have to because it eats into your down-time ;). Steve is a happy hippy Aquarian who is very artistic and very typically Aquarian. As a Leo, I am exactly halfway around the zodiac from him and his exact opposite. There are times when I think that Steve came from moondust because I can’t for the life of me work out what the heck he is on about! When they say that men are from mars and women are from venus they couldn’t have been talking about more polar opposites than Steve and I but it is undenyable that we were completely meant to be together and who am I to argue with the forces that be? 😉
        The strength of a body is in the cells…that’s where I am working on getting healthy at the moment! Lots of green smoothies, lots of legumes, pulses, vegetables from the organic garden, fresh fruits and healthy fats (tahini, nuts etc.). I am totally cleaning out my inner cupboards and doing a spring clean in my intestines and if the lurgy comes in winter I am going to be ready in my cupboard with a plethora of broomsticks to whack it away! ;). (you watch me get it worse than anyone now lol!). Love you too girl…you and good old B.O. (have you run that new nickname past him by the way? I think he might have something to say about it 😉 ).

  2. Christine Widman

    Here the weather is its startling extreme.
    19 degrees last week. 80 degrees this week. Now we have overcast skies and rain. We look like the NW.
    The rain is much needed and is “mistically” mystical.
    We hiked in Ramsey Canyon yesterday. Heavy overcast but no rain.
    A moody day with the towering white trunks of the sycamores and the rippling creek.
    Two does and a fawn were eating grasses beside the creek trail and let us stand and watch them and then walk slowly by them….literally two feet away… incredibly quiet quiet moment of connection between animal and human.
    I think hiking like this is my own kind of “transitioning into physical bliss” after several busy busy days at the B&B.
    So across many miles you and I sigh our contentments together.

    • That’s a 62 degree swing! You must live in the desert. 🙂 Your comment makes me want to go on a hike today! Maybe I’ll see if the Bearded One wants to go trek through the Banner Forest ten minutes north of here, and commune with wild critters. Sounds mighty good. Love you, Housekeeper of the Wind. 🙂

  3. I know of hot tubs. I yearn and lust for one. We went to Bonneville and I basically did ten stints a day in the one on our balcony. With all the damage my amateur athletic life did to my frame, hot tubs are a magical thing of relief and bliss. And this from one who rarely shivers, who walks joyous in -5 F weather and fears no cold, though (as you know) he has felt it reach for his life and barely mishandle.

    • A hot tub on a balcony seems lovely and yet a bit precarious — they weigh a lot. Still, relief and bliss is relief and bliss wherever the hot tub is located. 🙂

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