Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Just Another Day at The Fahm

Yesterday began as a very pleasant day, with our morning spent introducing The Fahm to our visitors, my brother Joe and my nephew Benjamin. Raj gave Benjamin a very thorough tutorial in Lawn Tractoring, after which Benjamin rode off to spend several hours towing huge piles of brush to and fro, and mowing the back meadow and the backyard into submission. At nearly sixteen, Benjamin is quite tall, with wide shoulders and a rangy build; he looks perfectly at home with his straw Fahm hat on, rumbling around doing the work of a real live Fahm Hand.

Meanwhile, Joe and I headed out to pick blackberries.  The Sledding Meadow has wild blackberries growing all along the north side of the field, and I have been determined to harvest at least some of them.  Blackberry bushes are very pokey things, and these particular bushes are very, very wild and have never been near fertilizer or soil enhancement in their entire berry lives. The berries therefore tend to be very small and quite tart, and truly a pain in the a** to pick.

But pick we did, dropping the tiny but lovely berries plink, plonk, plink, plonk into our Tupperware containers. Joe was actually going more like "plink, plonk, popinthemouth, plink, plonk, popinthemouth" which went on for about an hour and a half. We ended up with a small but tidy and tasty harvest of just enough blackberries for two small pots of jam. As I've said, tiny berries, pokey plants, and pains in the a** really cut into our harvestational new word motivation.

Later in the afternoon Raj and Joe and Benjamin and Zoya went for a trek down to The Reservoir; I took advantage of their absence to make salsa then went upstairs to put my feet up and read my new library book for a few minutes. Vini went downstairs to start the rice for dinner and a little while later, tapped on my bedroom door. "Sara, the water coming out of the kitchen faucet is brown...What shall we do about it?"

"Perfect!" I thought to myself, "Now the WATER coming from our WELL is BROWN."

Out loud, I said, "Well, that's a problem, huh?" and we both laughed.  I checked the water in the upstairs bathroom, and it was brown. Then I showed Vini a funny video that I had just watched on the Intertubes, and we laughed at that, and then I went downstairs to see the brown water in the kitchen.

"I was just washing the rice, and I kept rinsing and rinsing, thinking, 'this is very dirty rice!' but after the 10th time of rinsing it and having the water stay brown, I said, 'hey, wait a minute!"

I told her I thought having some random thing go wrong while Joe and Benjamin are visiting is the perfect taste of Life in The Vortex that The Fahm represents, and therefore something to welcome, and we laughed at that. I was just trying to decide who to call: Raj? The Well Man up the road? David Oles? when Benjamin returned to The Vortex followed in short order by Raj, Zoya, and Joe. "Don't drink the water!" I commanded the sweaty disheveled quartet, "The water is brown. Something fell in the well."

"SHIT!" was Raj's heartfelt response, although happily he wasn't referring to what might have fallen in our well. He stated with great conviction that the brown color was just dirt, that something had indeed fallen from the interior surface of the well shaft and had just muddied the waters. It was somewhere around this point that Benjamin turned to me and said jokingly, "Relax!" Joe shook his head sharply saying with the wisdom of his own hard experience, "Oh Benjamin, never tell Auntie Sara to relax!" I gave Benjamin a very stern Death Stare but nevertheless said with great patience, "Benjamin, when someone, particularly someone of the MALE persuasion, tells me to RELAX, it really just makes me more UPTIGHT. Like UPTIGHT in a 'Rip Your Head From Your Body' sort of way, you know what I'm sayin'?"

As we explained the "Relax" rules to Benjamin, Raj went to the sink, to do some fiddling and twisting. After a few moments, "Uh...I need a screwdriver - now the tap's stuck open!" He went over to the tool bag and rootled through it muttering to himself, "Phillips or flathead? Phillips or flathead?" Joe, watching the chaos unfold from the relative safety of the kitchen doorway, revealed his perfect grasp of the situation, saying, "Hey! This is a real Fahm moment!"

We ran the water and ran the water and ran the water and eventually the water ran clear again, and so we are back to enjoying the crystalline frosty waters of The Fahm's Very Own Well.  All in all, just another day here in The Vortex...