So I am a graduate! Since I’m not going to the official UMA graduation next Saturday, I was so glad to have the chance to celebrate with my fellow grads at our ceremony at URock. Kudos to all! I confess, it’s all a blur at this point. I took pictures, but most of them are a blur, too (literally). So I will just say, I’m happy and I’m proud.
And I’m feeling pretty much adrift. I’m told this is normal.
As far as degree-related employment plans, I’ve got an iron in the fire. My superstitious self keeps me from mentioning any details, but fingers are crossed.
I’ve had a mental list of things I couldn’t wait to get to, ideas I’ve put on hold until after I was done with school, but instead of doing any of those worthy projects, I’ve been doing things like digging dandelions out of the cracks of my stone walkway and cleaning the closets and scrubbing the toilet. My house is full of tasks that need doing.
Oh, and I’ve been going to work with the mister. My husband is a plumber, and a large part of his springtime is taken up with de-winterizing summer homes. It usually means long days and long weeks while he does that and keeps up with other plumbing work. Vinalhaven has about 1200 year-round residents, and at least double that number of seasonal residents. Many, many people are looking forward to returning to their island homes, but they would certainly be less-than-happy to arrive and find that they couldn’t take a shower, couldn’t flush a toilet, and couldn’t make their coffee in the morning or put ice in their cocktails in the evening. Praise the plumber!
So here are some random things I’ve observed in the past few days:
-My husband does some crazy kind of plumber yoga. Vinalhaven’s nickname is “the rock,” since nearly the whole island is made of granite. Any island gardener will tell you that, as she tries to get a spade into the ground and hits ledge. And any island plumber will tell you the same. There are very few full cellars here, but plenty of ledge-y crawlspaces. I watched poor Jimmy contort himself into some pretty tight spaces in order to get the water turned on. He crawls, kneels, squats, and shimmies on his belly under some of the nicest houses on the island. I measured one space this morning: 14 3/4″ from the ledge to the joist overhead. No exaggeration.
-Mice love empty houses. Who knew? In the past 2 days I’ve seen plenty of dead mice, so desiccated they look like dryer lint with teeth. Luckily, that’s just in the crawlspaces. But up above in the living spaces? Don’t get me started on the mouse droppings. And the bat guano. Oh, and the dead cluster flies. I think people would just about croak to see their homes before the house cleaners get in there.
-Apparently, it’s not just dead animals that like to hang out in empty summer homes. We had a huge shock when my husband opened a closet door to access some pipes inside and found himself face to face with two raccoons. Folks, plumbing is an adventure!
-I know what pump pliers and nut drivers are. Tell me to get a pressure gauge or a water filter from the back of the truck, and I will. For a few hours each day, I’m completely at my husband’s beck and call. He tells me what to do, and I do it. I hope he enjoys this rarity while it lasts!