Saturday, June 02, 2007

Strolling of the Heifers

We spent much of today in Brattleboro hanging out at the Strolling of the Heifers, the town's version of the Running of the Bulls. The name made me laugh out loud, as well as watching the Dairy Fairy, aka the Dairy Godmother, and her daughter lead off the parade.

We got up there around 9:30--it's about 40 minutes from our new place--and met up with the family of one of Lily's future Bement classmates and a friend of hers who also goes to Bement. Unfortunately the friend's friend is moving to Minnesota in July, and she is not happy about it; neither is the new friend. Lily knows all about moving when you don't want to.

The parade started at 10 and went for over an hour, with dozens of local farm kids walking their gorgeous heifers, most of them bedecked in flower garlands. There were also lots of people dressed up in cow costumes, really famous baton twirling artists and bagpipers, as well as various high school and grown up marching bands (all the band players wore farm clothes instead of their sequins). I loved it. Our friends had arranged to watch from a realtor-friend's porch up on a hill so we were shaded and a bit cooler and not so crowded. Other friends of our new friends were there, too, lots of New York ex-pats. It was pleasant and our realtor host had provided quite a spread.

Afterwards we all walked over to the lawn outside the Brattleboro Retreat for the afterparty, including various booths, those airy bouncy rides, a pretend cow you could milk, some farm animals you could pet, lots of free samples of stuff like local ice cream, a few folks selling stuff, lots of music, and some food. We all got free containers of a quarter-cup of heavy cream, which we walked around shaking. After the cream had turned to butter we ate it with Saltines and Dave pasted us with stickers that said, "I made butter." All the stuff was pleasantly sufficient, and not overwhelming. Pleasantly low-key.

Photos to come.

t was really hot, though, and I've resolved to leave my bathing suit and a towel in the car; you never know when you might have the urge to jump into the Connecticut, or a friend's pool.

We came home by way of our new place and stopped in for an hour to look, and muse, and think about what we want the rooms to look like. The remaining stuff has been carted away and the mothball odor has subsided considerably. The light is mottled through the leaves and lovely. I suspect some trees around the edges will be coming down eventually. There's really quite a lot of space inside for the three of us. We are all staking out our territory--mine is the three-season porch, where I plan to meditate and do yoga. Just sitting in there a few minutes today made me slow down.

It's kind of amazing to reflect back on how extraordinarily smooth this has been, how perfect the timing, my job starting the day Dave's unemployment ran out, for instance, and the house being available just in time for us to do some work and move in after school ends. We are very blessed.

Yesterday I made Dave get into the empty soaking bath with me--yes, we both fit, no we didn't turn the water on. The sellers had left a short guide on Japanese soaking baths. The intent is both social, when it's a large enough or public bath, and to rid yourself of spiritual dirt. First you rinse in the adjacent shower, then you soak briefly and warm up, then you wash thoroughly in the shower, and then you soak for a long time. Afterwards you are to find a place to "sit calmly and think magnificent thoughts." I'm down with that.

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