Thursday, June 03, 2010

Apropos of nothing

-- June was an incredibly hard month for all of us. Lots of stress, too many things to go to at night, projects due, assignments, emotions, life. Sixth grade spring is not fun, according to my teacher friends, and it stays stressful -- all those hormones do crazy things to your emotions -- until the beginning of eighth grade. Ugh.

-- So it's 88 in my house, at 8pm, and my cat is spread-eagled in front of me, begging to be stroked. It's too darn hot!

-- This was an assignment for my reference class this spring. My local library, the Fabulous Forbes, posted it for me. It's my subject guide on deaf and hard of hearing in the Pioneer Valley.

-- Lily might try playing with the Florence Community Band. She had a wonderful school band concert in early June, including a solo that just sounded so sweet! I was really proud (she plays the flute). Anyone can join this community band, it seems. Nice!

-- I am in the middle of a class on library management and as one of my first assignments. I took the Myers-Briggs. It turns out I'm an INFJ -- people can change, who knew? The last time I took this, 25 years ago, People Who Knew told me I was an extrovert. If I ever was an extrovert, I no longer am. Apparently the accepted wisdom is that you can't change, but that's just wrong. Or else I've learned who I am better than 25 years ago. Librarians tend to be IN's by the way.

Just for kicks, I looked up my astrology chart and the subsequent description sounded a great deal like the Myers-Briggs. Interesting.

-- Lily's blogs:

-- Lily's summer camps:
IMA girls rock camp - she did the exploratory camp. way cool, lots and lots of work.
NCMC chamber music camp - lovely. Their concert was Friday afternoon and they just sounded lovely.
Shakespeare camp -- this sounds good. I like the Hampshire Shakespeare productions, and the private school where they hold the camp has great facilities, I'm told. This is the middle two weeks in July.
DASAC -- check it out. Another summer camp on a well-endowed private school campus. This has a great rep and it's so popular they have to hold a lottery every winter. Lily's in and very excited.
Then we go to the Outer Banks for a week with Dave's family, followed by a week at Family Camp again. Nice!

-- And my kid is now a seventh grader! She was way sad at the end of school, in part because she said goodbye to her beloved science teacher, who is moving back to New York City because her husband got a tenure-track position at Columbia. Better you than me! I told her. I love New York but I sure don't want to live there.

More TK, as they say in the magazine biz.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


The reason I moved to the country.

Well, maybe not the only reason. But a big part of it. I wanted to hang my laundry on a line. I wanted that scratchy feeling of air-dried -- sun-dried -- bath towels. I wanted to hang up my clothes on a warm sunny breezy morning and have them dry before I was finished. I wanted to have that fabulous fresh air smell in my sheets.

When my realtor asked me why I was ambivalent about the house, I told him I didn't see a place to install a laundry line. He laughed, and at my request, gave us this line as a selling present (what a weird thing, a selling present, or whatever they call it).

It sat in the garage for the first year. We weren't sure where to put it, and the woods were so close to the house, and the pachysandra so thick, there wasn't really room for it in our yard. Back, only, the front has too many trees, not to mention pachysandra. But then Dave got the bright idea to take his mother's lawn mower -- she has a yard service now and doesn't use it -- and mow down all those nasty vines. The pachysandra is actually receding a bit, and he immediately put down grass seed. And now we are getting grass in our back yard! Wow!

In the meantime, our friend Peggy suggested, since we didn't know where to locate the thing, that we put it in a bucket of cement -- she had just the bucket for us -- and let it stay portable. The only problem is that the center pole is meant to be partly in the ground, and if we leave it in the bucket, the lines to hang the clothes are so high I can't reach them. There's two parts to the pole, though, and Dave took out one of them. Now it's so low, pants almost touch, but most stuff is okay.

Oh, and the other problem is, we never bothered to take it down last fall until a branch fell on it and smushed the bars. Dave put a split on them and made it almost as good as new. Good thing we made it portable, though, as I've decided I want it out the door off our kitchen instead of the garage. I bring the laundry up from the basement through the house and out onto the deck and down to the yard, but that's okay. I like being able to see it from my bedroom, or the kitchen; it's a good reminder to bring it in.

We had had a line just off the porch to a tree, but it was so tall, and it wasn't on a pulley, that I couldn't reach most of it. This works better. Dave is thinking about attaching the second pole and bringing the entire thing close to the edge of the deck. Then I could stand on the deck near the grill and hang laundry from there. I'm not so sure that's a good idea -- for one thing, I doubt I'd be able to rotate the thing to the other side of lines, never mind reach the middle ones -- but if it did work, I'd be really happy.

Still, this is fun. It'll need to get raised up a bit eventually, but for now Lily can reach it pretty well. She helped me hang some clothes on Monday -- don't hang my bras out there, Mama! -- and then helped me bring some of it in. This was a big, big load, full of lots of tiny stuff, like socks and underwear, so it took forever, and a million clothes pins (I used almost all of the three packs I had) to hang it up. Taking it down is easier, of course.

And then folding it is lovely. It smells good, it feels good, it's really dry, and and really warm. I can't wait to hang my sheets.