Too far removed for a basic service our neighbors get weekly

One thing you never think of as a fundamental, perhaps integral, part of modern life is garbage removal. This is strictly psychological, but no less important because of it. As I think I mentioned last week, the company that used to do the garbage pickup here closed the other account and immediately decided they don’t service this area anymore. Despite having done so previously, and working throughout the little neighborhood.

So I finally found, last week, a new company that services the area. We opened an account with them. Great! First order of business, getting new cans delivered. That was supposed to happen on Thursday, Friday, or today. This, you see, is important because the pickup is supposed to begin tomorrow.

You want that to happen, the normalcy of it. The expected routine. Wheeling the cans down to the street, wheeling them back up the next day. Knowing there’s a can out there to put your carefully sorted things in. It’s just normal.

Using an old storage bin to put a bag into, and then carrying it to the transfer station is less normal. We’ve been doing that for a month. The good news, I guess, is that we are somehow pretty efficient. In a month we’ve only done that twice, accounting for three kitchen-sized garbage bags. (Plus the recycling.)

Just as I write that we learn that the new company has stopped servicing the area. Despite what their website, and their customer service reps, said. Two databases queried; two misses. Also, we’re surrounded by towns and cities, and yet, in no service area? (Despite, again, the previous and existing … service.)

Hopefully these companies are better at doing business with the customers with whom they do actual business. They’re proving themselves lousy at working with potential customers.

It is once again time for the site’s most popular weekly feature. Time to check in on the cats. Phoebe is working on her camouflage game.

She’s making progress.

She’s also still discovering new spaces. to sit. I suspect she’ll come to like that little ledge.

It commands the room, has corner windows and will give her evening sun.

Speaking of discovering new space, Poseidon was genuinely surprised that he wasn’t wanted up there. Which is odd, because if he wants to be there, he probably isn’t wanted there.

The more familiar places are better, though I’m not sure he’s buying what I’m selling.

In other words, the cats are doing just fine.

We went for a bike ride on Saturday, and there is video to prove it.

Also, on these really sunny days, the photos amuse me. It’s all constant motion, of course. And The Yankee is easing back into her tri-bike now, which means we’re about to go even faster. (Which means I’m going to have work harder to keep up. Which means I need to get faster, and better fitness, so I can keep taking cool photos like this.)

The alternative to keeping up is catching up. Some days that’s possible. On the days that it is impossible, I just slow down and enjoy the ride, and take other photos.

Also on Saturday we headed north for a 75th birthday party. It was a surprise party for my godfather in-law. (My lovely bride’s godparents. Just go with it.) There was his family, his lifelong friends (my in-laws) a handful of his work friends, Italian foods and a homemade cake. We sat with a man who was pushing 90, and loved to talk about his grandchildren, and old handyman projects. Nice fellow.

After the dinner we repaired to the godparents’ home, and watched the kids swim. I coached one into doing flip turns. No doubt owing to my masterful teaching techniques, she had the basics down on her third try.

We left just before the rain. Drove for a bit in the rain, but then we were rewarded with some beautiful views.

And the front behind this storm system (which was in some places, dangerously breezy) is what broke the heat wave. Also, those windshield views.

We were back in the 80s on Sunday, today, and all this week. And because it felt comparatively mild yesterday, we spent the afternoon sitting outside, reading.

I finish May Sarton’s “Journal of a Solitude.” It’s an actual journal the poet kept for a year.

On the last entry, she talks about the coming New Hampshire fall, writes obliquely about breaking up with her partner. (Sarton, from what I’ve gathered from other places, was apparently a challenging person to be around. She wrote more about that part of herself, and its impact on this relationship, more than the relationship itself.) She seems to be coming to the realization that this breakup was a long time coming, and that she was meant to live alone.

She also sent off her latest collection of poetry, “A Durable Fire,” her 10th collection of poetry and her 26th book, the day before this final entry.

She says “When I began writing those poems I had had the dream that I would celebrate my sixtieth birthday with a book of joys, a book speaking of fulfillment and happiness. But on the final re-reading I saw clearly that it is an elegiac book, and that the seeds of parting were in it from the beginning. This where poetry is so mysterious, the work more … ”

Mystery of poetry? If the poet says so. The biggest literary mystery I can concern myself with right now is what to read next. There are many, many options.

So many options.

Just not for garbage pickup.

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