The only downside about being on tour for so long is that home sweet home turns into a spookhouse. We hit the road in early October and just stopped home for a short Thanksgiving break. But the place looks neglected. The leaves are all down. Oak branches have fallen across the driveway. The grass never got its final cut. Small trees have sprouted from the soil in our gutters.
Our Ankylosaurus keeps an eye on things. He’s looking seedy, too. The sculpt was originally made for an animatronic puppet that appeared in a Dinotopia CD Rom adventure game published by Turner Interactive in the mid ’90s. Remember when publishers had CD Rom divisions?
Hiram is our caretaker. He’s supposed to get the chores done while we’re gone, but he’s been spending all day sitting around eating styrofoam peanuts. Here he is complaining about his arthritis. Hiram is actually a full-size puppet I made from an old cardboard box. He’s a nice guy but he tends to scare little kids.
We realized we were out of firewood with winter coming on. So I got to work with the chainsaw cutting up downed wood. Franklin got the leaf blower working.
Neither of us heard Jeanette shout when she saw a seven-foot rat snake sleeping on the top of the bush where she was raking. We let the snake sleep, poor guy. Rat snakes are pretty companionable critters, and aren’t too frisky this time of year. But in summertime when they’re feeling more chipper they’ve been known to climb up the side of the house alongside the chimney looking for robin hatchlings.