If things must go awry, let that happen in a sudden rush. A true disaster is only appreciated when the toilet floods, house lighting fails, and there is a roof fire. Then you have a mess the neighbors will appreciate, and grandchildren can recall years after the homeowner is dead and buried.

So, the diesel in my sailboat seized, I had an accident with the work van, and then succeeded in shattering my ankle on a trail leading to historical hubris. (We can examine that subject a bit later.)

Leaving me to sit contemplating a bit of nasty surgery over the remnants of cheap vodka and a stack of books that should have been read last year. Back when my publisher demanded a full-over edit of bastardized stories intended to exhibit the end of liberal democracy. The books are now read—the edits accomplished. I could use more cheap vodka, but the truck is still under repair. Leaving me to wonder if the neighbor has booze to spare.

It is indeed a shadow in the sunlight. Imagine. May in northern Washington State. The sun emerges at 0500 and lingers until 2100. That would be 5am to 9pm for those of you who managed to escape serving time with Uncle Sam. I still set my truck clock on a 24 hour day. Same with my alarm clock. Just makes sense.

Particularly come winter up here. Then the sun appears at 0800 and is gone by 1700. That would be 8am to 5pm. Gets damn dark come mid-January. And lonely. Seems like half the town are “snowbirds.” Fly south to Tucson in October and come back to complain about the rain and cold in late April.

Reminds me of that old children’s poem: “As a rule man’s a fool. When its hot, he want’s it cool. When it’s cool, he wants it hot.” Don’t know, wear shorts year around and ignore the rain. That’s why you have a washer-dryer and propane stoves. Eventually everything dries off. And a long shower thaws out even the worst soaking.

Except when coming back from the boat. A cold day on the water here results in hot toddies and an extra down cover on the bed. Take wind blowing across the water at 15 knots, chill the surface to 45 degrees and then add a bit of salt spray every time you bury a rail. That’s my definition of shadow in the sunlight.

Wonder if my neighbors ever question why I sit in the van with the engine running when I come back from a day of February sailing. I never have explained the fact I can get the heat running at full blast and the tail end of my cigar cannot walk into the house. (My mother would have my head…even if she is in Tucson and won’t smell a damn thing after I clean the family abode for three days before they return—she’d still smell the smoke. Trust me.)

Meanwhile, I’m contemplating the diesel. Can’t get out of the harbor absent an engine. Mine went south in March. Tried a rebuild; know more than a little about engines. No joy. That’s when I discovered they rebuild old Yanmar two-lung diesels in northern Wisconsin. Four-to-six weeks. Want to bet on which side of the equation those guys work?

If you bet six, well, you’re the family optimist.

Then there was the van. Went to pull out of Safeway parking lot at 1020 on a Saturday morning. Stocking up on groceries after 90 minutes at the gym. Never saw the guy gunning folr the stoplight until I hit him at 5 mph. Four to six weeks to fix the truck here in never-never land.

(You didn’t bet on four again? Did you?)

Which leaves me with shattered ankle, no boat, and no transportation.

Want to bet on how long this takes to heal? The doctor says four to six weeks.

Shadow in the sunlight.

Good news, the cigars are still resident in my humidor, and my sense of humor has yet to flirt out the backdoor. I’ll get back to you on that front after the doctor polishes off his handiwork on Tuesday.