by cheri sabraw
The propane delivery truck bellowed down our driveway last month, its brakes barking like a sea lion.
I peeked through the wooden shutters in my closet window. A familiar scene, one that I have watched every couple of months for 25 years, unfolded mechanically: The operator Sergio found the thick hose, pulled out yank by yank, and stretched it to our blue propane tank, across our lawn mottled by gophers and over a rock wall until finally, hose and tank coupled in a gaseous ecstasy.
The momentary high left inertly when Sergio wrapped the bill around our door knob, hoisted himself back inside the truck, which belched up the driveway.
In my closet, I finished dressing for the day and trundled downstairs to the coffee pot.
Oh yes, I thought. That propane bill. I must retrieve it before the wind blows it into the creek.
When I opened the bill, and saw what two months of propane cost, I had a brief moment of breathlessness myself.
Either a gallon of propane has gone up in price or I have used too much. Reluctantly, I accepted the latter and at that moment vowed to reduce hot water and heat usage.
To that end, I have been making my own fires in our wood-burning stove, whom I will call Vermont.
Today, when the weather changed again, I made another fire, an inferno in Vermont, who complained a bit by rattling when I threw more kindling in her belly.
I love the smell of oak burning in Vermont and the warmth that a fire provides. And I love the fact that I am not using propane.
The birds wait for foliage