Saturday was when it started. A beautiful day, just tough to stay outside. The wind was ferocious, up to 40 or 50 mph in the gusts, and there was plenty of dust.
At one point I looked toward the kitchen and saw my big aluminum ladder leaning over at a crazy angle just outside the window. Oh no, I hadn’t taken it down after cleaning the chimney the day before! I ran outside into the gale and found it wobbling against a drain spout, ready to slip and smash the glass. Somehow I was just in time and laid it down safely. Talk about avoiding a disaster! I could see myself nailing a tarp over the window frame as the temperture dropped into the teens, my wife waiting for me in the nearest motel.
To reward myself for saving the day, I decided to get rid of the wood stove ashes. Not the stuff fresh from the stove, but the ashes in a metal garbage can outside, where I leave them to cool down and get safe. Usually that’s a messy procedure involving a garbage bag, but on a day with wind like this, it’s something of a treat. All you have to do is scoop them up, throw them in the air, and they disappear into the treetops in the distance. Just a little more New Mexico dust, so in a way I’m building up the place.