The Cooling of America

'Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house: Brrrrr!

Mud splats against wheel wells. The transmission howls. Linda Ronstadt, a half-ton Chevy pickup with a ton of yellow birch cordwood aboard, has sunk to her rusty frame in a mushy patch of logging road. Linda has four-wheel drive and a lot of heart, but this is a Sargasso of mud, the kind that bogs the wood lot every year after the leafless forest trees stop drinking water and the October rains come. Linda's friend and owner disembarks to consider the problem.

What follows is wet, dirty...

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