Right Before the Camera Died...

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We looked up ahead, past the little cabin that awaits renovation, to the left of the ruined home place and saw a path we'd never noticed before.  With all the leaves down, the mountainside reveals more of itself every day.

So I just had to climb it.  It seemed such a short distance, once I started, to the top of the rise.  "Wait here," I called to Maggie and Mertis.


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"But what about Joe?" Mertis yelled after me.  "He said he'd be right back.  He'll need help pulling the pump."

"It's just a short hike up there," I told her.  Then when I could see the rise coming I called back.  "You guys should come up.  I know where we are.  Once you're up here, it's just  a short walk back down the main path to the cabin."


Oh, so not.

Instead we wound up on the top ridge of a part of the property we'd never been to before, overlooking a couple of white houses I'd never seen before on any of my hikes.  In fact, we had to climb yet another ridge and cut through a swath of dead vines and fallen tree limbs to even get back onto our property's trail.  It was twice the distance I'd originally thought it would be down the trail to the cabin...

Where Joe was already hard at work, hanging perilously over the lip of the well cap as he struggled to detach the old pump from the spring box.

"I bet he's mad," Mert whispered.

Secretly I thought, If I were him I'd be relieved not to have two women hovering over me like inept, talking

bumble bees.

Maggie, who'd never, in all of her short, Schnauzer life, been on an uphill, endless hike like the one she'd just completed, retired to the dog bed in front of the wood stove where she slept like the dead for the rest of the day.

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