Friday, May 25, 2007

Memorial Day notes

Lately the otherworldly odor of lily of the valley has been wafting through my windows. In Brooklyn we had honeysuckle every spring right outside our bedroom; now our entire house is surrounded by these white coral bells, upon a slender stalk.

Speaking of singing, now that I'm out of New York my singing range is coming back. I used to have three octaves but had lost at least one; My theory was that the pollution that made me cough and congested was killing my upper range. I couldn't hit even the moderately high notes I used to reach effortlessly. And every time we left the city for more than a day or two those high notes would start to re-emerge, and I'd lose them in within a couple of days of coming back. It's really great to be able to sing again.

The closing is Thursday afternoon. Lily is joining us on the walk-through the afternoon before. It'll be odd to see it empty, with just a few (nice) things they are leaving for us. We are in the process of making our paint and carpet selections this week and the painting will start on June 6. It's coming along! Very exciting. Our movers are coming on June 22 and I'll be sending out change of address info in the next couple of weeks. Look for yours.

One of the many things I'm looking forward to is biking to work. Even though we get parking permits finding a spot can be a drag, and plus it'll be good to get a little exercise. Someone at work lives near our new place and is going to show me a good way to go. Last Monday the state started widening route 9 in Hadley, just before the bridge, and traffic can be backed up a good half hour during the morning commute. I found a good short-cut but then they blocked that, as they are doing work on that part of the road, now, where it empties onto route 9. Soon we will live in Northampton. There's so much to look foward to, not the least of which is a new food co-op that is being built just down the street. And a friend from high school lives about a mile away and has a pool we are invited to use. Life is good.

It's been hot this week -- where you live, too? -- and on the way home Friday I saw people getting out of their cars in bathing suits and towels heading toward our swimming hole on the Fort River. It's where we spent part of that Amazing Amherst Afternoon last August, having a late lunch at Judie's (where she berated me for not tossing my salad per her instructions) and then swimming in this particular spot. It was icy cold and just deep enough and with a little current to get a fun dip. A beaver swam by at one point and we all stopped and watched her calmly paddle her way upstream. Then we left for two nights at Nick and Emily's, followed by five at Farm and Wilderness, and on the way home, as we drove past Amherst, I thought, if you lived here you'd be home by now. And the rest is history.

Let me alert you to Dave's new blog, listed on the right of this page, which is about aging and longevity. He's got some great stuff there. And David Fischer, our dear friend who introduced us all those years ago, has mentioned my Harry Potter blogs in his, so I have to tout his blog, too. It's a good way for me to stay in touch with the goings on in New York City. I've listed other friends' blogs there, too.

Blog life is weird, I think. My ethos is to stay positive and loving and talk just about my experience, but so many are hateful. I find it odd. I am sure the internet has as many opinions as there are people but I am still taken aback when I stumble across a site that complains about the unfairness of DUI's, for instance. Maybe I'm just startled that people are so angry.

We are spending the holiday weekend at my sister's in Connecticut, and had a great day yesterday. Lily and I plopped down on the hammock and read. I was barreling through Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires, The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise. It's been out a couple of years but I am just getting to it, and it’s hilarious. Just a laugh-out-loud funny, smart book. And what a great beach book, too. Then we went to the Madison Surf Club and ate Cate's delicious hummos and guacamole and Lily and I had bad beach food from the grill. We sat on the grassy lawn above the beach near all the barbequers and kids, the little ones swimming, the teenagers moving in packs across the sand. The water was quite calm and gray. The seagulls flew close and we yakked and noshed and got, happily, a bit chilled by the time we left, just as the sun went down. Lovely.

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