Sunday, March 05, 2006

Writing Bits V

"Before I met Jim McCudgeon, I’d always equated mud season with purgatory. I’d never quite been satisfied with the comparison, though. Calling mud season purgatory makes late winter hell, which seems uncalled for. It also makes mid-spring heaven, which may be true for spring peepers in the bog but leaves little room for improvement when July and August roll around.

Jim, on the other hand, had nearly succeeded in making a profession out of his conviction that mud season is nature’s version of childbirth pain. I’ve never seen a man (or, for that matter, a woman) who could face mud season with such pained, gritty resolve, nor one who would collapse with such exhausted euphoria when it finally ended.

Jim ran a farm, of sorts. He lived on the same road as me, a humped and bumped dirt track, but he was a half-mile further along and that half-mile made a hell of a difference. Jim got no visitors during mud season. Once, when a photographer from Life came through town saying he was working on a book called Mud Season Driveways of Northern New England, someone pointed him towards Jim’s place. The photoshoot lasted two days—the film only lasted one, but his car didn’t get winched out till the second."


Anonymous hilllady said...

"Calling mud season purgatory makes late winter hell, which seems uncalled for."

Depends on whether you've had a real winter or not . . .

3/6/06, 2:08 PM  

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