A Journal of the Plague Year 2020–chapter 42

There are no trials inside the Gates of Eden.

Sunday, April 19

This is a day largely focused on yard duties. 

I remove the burlap coverings that I put on about a dozen boxwoods as winter protection. Some of this covering can be saved and reused next year, but most goes into a trash bag that will then make it to the dump. I sweep up spilled seed and refill the bird feeder. A big plastic tarp that’s been covering the firewood pile has to be spread out and swept free of rainwater and various debris. The firewood is mostly rotten at this point and some day should be tossed into the woods to rot. The deer have used our yard as a latrine and lots of their leavings can be swept away as well.

We’ve had an Adirondack-style twig fence round our front yard for many years. Now it is seriously rotten and needs to be replaced—but just who can do such work? Maybe we’ll have to settle for some other type of wood fence…split-rail, maybe?

The afternoon is taken up with reading William Faulkner’s Knight’s Gambit, a collection of mystery tales—or at least mystifying tales. Several are hard to figure. All feature a Harvard- and Heidelberg-educated lawyer, Gavin Stevens, as Faulkner’s sleuth. This Sherlock ostentatiously sports a Phi Beta Kappa key on his watch chain, and in his youth has written letters to would-be sweethearts in both German and English. I’ve been to northern Mississippi many times, and it’s hard to see how such a person could be content living there.

Dinner: Progresso tortilla soup, baked potatoes, leftover corn pudding, and lettuce and cucumber salad.

Entertainment: The Coen brothers’ very odd movie The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and one episode of Babylon Berlin.