Sunday, April 27, 2008

Notes from April

I was driving to Hadley this morning to see a friend, or maybe it was taking Lily to D&D in Amherst in the afternoon, when an ENORMOUS bird flew over me, about 20 above the car. I swear I saw a white head, but who knows. Could easily have been an eagle, but usually when I think I've seen an eagle it's a turkey vulture. Raptors, yes, but not worth as many points as an eagle. Any eagle.

Last week, once we got past closing the June issue and I figured I wouldn't be as leaving as late, I started riding my bike to work. It's about 60 in the morning and lovely. The light has been extraordinary, for some reason; maybe it's reflecting the soft green of the new leaves. Dave said this morning that our forest is disappearing -- it's being taken over by leaves. Soon the light on our house will leave, too. But for now it's lovely.

We are still discovering our yard -- we moved in late last June, so we are still learning the terrain -- and the magnolia out our bedroom window is a great red and white color. It's next to the forsythia, which is in bloom, and that's in front of our neighbor's pink azalea. Everything is color now. Our street is lined with yellow and white daffodils, and occasional tulips. All the yards except ours -- the previous owners here were even less gardeners than I am.

Dave's working away at the yard, though -- he's got 15 years of city living to make up for, and 30 years of neglect here! Today he and our neighbor took down a tree, I think it was a pear, that towered over our houses. It was growing too close to our house in particular. There was lots of humor and jokes -- I could see them outside Lily's bedroom window, so they asked me to catch it when they chopped it down, etc. Now we'll have lots of firewood to burn next year. It's a shame to lose a tree, except we do have a ton of them, and it was so close to the house I guess ants and squirrels and other wildlife could and did easily climb over.

I've been raking like crazy, raking the edges of the yard by the street. And Dave's been buying or getting plants as gifts, like from his mom, who was visiting, or freecyle, and planting them. His mom really knows her plants and the two of them toured the backyard and she identified all kinds of things, like, we have trillium, and trout lily. And who knows what else. Pretty!

We've also walked to the lake a couple of times. It's still a bit muddy but not too bad. Wednesday we walked left at about 5:45, after I got home from work, and ate roll-ups in the birdblind. The lake looks lovely. One morning Dave and I walked down and back, briskly, so I could get to work at a reasonable hour, and the lake was like glass it was so calm. Lovely.

So I've been riding my bike and last week I hired a personal trainer for a few sessions, and those guys give you a ton more weight and a thousand times more reps! I did weights twice during the week, and rode my bike several times and by Friday night I was exhausted. But we were all out Friday night, and neither Lily nor I got enough sleep, so yesterday the two of us were kind of in dazes, lazing around the house, snoozing and reading Harry Potter. I went to bed at nine and only today do I feel a bit rested. So I cleaned the upstairs bathroom and now I'm doing some laundry. The weekends are so short! I barely recuperate before it's time to go to work again.

We also spent much of the weekend helping Lily finish her Wrinkle in Time board game for school. She came up with a great concept, and was decorating it, and perfecting the rules, and we played it several times to iron out the kinks. I think it's going to join Eco-Fluxx as our new favorite family game. Some other neighbors came over to help test the Wrinkle game and said they'd be happy to play Eco-Fluxx. So, cool!

I made soup yesterday -- the corn bisque from Sundays at Moosewood is very nice, even if you don't make the corn cob broth -- and Dave made pad thai. He loves the Asian grocery store in Hadley just over the bridge because it has many different countries, not just strictly Japanese, or Chinese, or whatever, and even some Latin American. He says they have four kinds of satay sauce. What's not to like?

Speaking of food, the new food coop is opening up here on Wednesday. A couple of weekends ago we had an envelope-stuffing party that ended up running two days instead of the expected one. About 10 people, maybe more, came over and stuffed massive mailings into envelopes for the coop members. The first day I organized my CDs and raked, but the second day I cancelled everything and helped. What fun! What great people!

Lily met some awesome kids, four kids who spent the Sunday here. What a gas to play in the woods and jump over the stream and climb on rocks. One of the kids, 4 years old, burst into tears when it was time to go home. But that night Lily couldn't get to sleep because her head hurt, and I found a bump and just then Dave came home, very late from his poker game (and he won this time! First time in 18 months!) and found a tick. Thank god he found it because I was sound asleep and unable to be too effective. He took it off and there seems to be no problem, so that's a relief.

The weather went from quite warm, 80s, to 50s the last couple of days, and it's supposed to rain all day tomorrow. A jeans and sweater kind of day. Yesterday I made a fire and Lily and her friend Ruth made s'mores. Sometimes I feel like I'm living someone else's life. Do people really live this way? We are so lucky.

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