A draft nipped at my ankles as I crossed the living room. A friend found the reason for the increased ventilation — a hole that went clear through from the inside to outside the house at ankle level. Chinks are a way of life in the cabin, and we compensate for drafts with great roaring fires in the grate. We cleaned out the ashes the other day and I thought of the people on Downton who have the responsibility to keep the hearth spit shined. Luckily ours can remain as ashy as we want. “Then we’ll sweep out the ashes in the morning” — Emmylou Harris.
Chinks mean critters. We knew the mice had returned when we found a big, slimy chipotle pepper pulled out of an open can and dragged halfway across the counter, where consultations were held and the vegetable was rejected. Rather than learning not to leave food there I put a plate of shortbread overnight near what seemed to be their entrance/egress. Next morning, crumbs abounded, thrown around as if during a party. Rodents of course make no distinction between our home and theirs — aside from believing that ours is preferable because here they are safe from hungry hawks.