Grateful for ice, I am grateful for all that ice implies. First, for this kind of ice at least, water, clean tap water, and all that that implies: a reliable water source of snow-capped mountains, a delivery infrastructure, a water treatment plant, more delivery infrastructure, staff to build and maintain all the physical means of delivery and storage, a cistern, the people who dug the trench a quarter mile from the road and buried the pipe, dug the hole and buried the cistern, the plumber who plumbed the house and the several plumbers since who’ve maintained the household water system — deep breath — a freezer in which to make the ice, what a luxury that is, what a luxury all this is, to have clean water delivered to my kitchen sink, to have a kitchen safe and warm, with a refrigerator and freezer.
I’m grateful to be able to reach into the ice bin when I touch the hot skillet and hold an ice cube as it melts until the burn subsides. I’m grateful for ice trays, and how they’ve morphed through the years from those old aluminum trays with the handle that squeaked when you had to pull it up to break the cubes free of the metal grid. Grateful for the twisty plastic kind, and now the fun silicone molds that let you make whatever shape ice you could possibly want, cubes and spheres and sticks of ice.
I’m also grateful for Ol’ Wilson, a new handyman in the neighborhood, who built a contraption to prevent my shower drain from icing shut this winter, and helps shovel snow, who cuts dead trees and stacks firewood, who built a shed for the generator after it’s spent 25 years under a tiny ‘temporary’ roof on a deteriorating rickety stand, and a lean-to in the food garden for hoses and tools. Wilson is cheerful and resourceful with an engineering mind, and grateful for the work, and grateful to live here; he arrives calling out “Another day in Paradise!” and he is absolutely right about that.