Wednesday, February 1:
The electric company man came a week ago to hook up the barn to the power pole in the pasture; from the house S-4, confined to quarters with a case of the ‘flu, watched the bandit back his truck up to the fence, take out a large pair of cutters, and sever all five strands of our banjo-tight barbed wire fence. This, when there was a gate only twenty-five feet away. Steeper, less direct, but a gated way, and the criminal cuts our fence like a cattle rustler. S-4, watching from the window, vaccillated between wondering if he was experiencing a fever-induced delirium, and fetching a shotgun. Fever finally won; he went back to bed, and the power company man never knew how close he came to featuring as the party of the second part in a case of justifiable homicide. Thus we got power in the big barn.
The last two days have been unseasonably warm for this unseasonably warm winter. School books lay abandoned on the playroom floor, and the house was unusually quiet. The Father and such sons as could avoid academic work escaped to the outdoors, got the fence charger wired into the big barn, and repaired the breaker to the root cellar. S-6, who is four, mildly requested that someone turn the basement light on for him; a long silence ensued, and investigation finally discovered him down at the culvert on North creek with his fishing pole, wetting a line. The girls tied baling twine to Bridget’s bridle and rode her up and down the lane and the hill until dark; Mom went down the garden to plant the Jerusalem artichokes that should have gone in the ground in October, stayed to turn the compost bins, and only returned to the house at five o’clock to cook a belated and abbreviated dinner. It was a day out of April, and no one was willing to let it go uncelebrated.