Wednesday, March 23, 2011


If you teach large classes (as I do), you can’t allow yourself to be easily embarrassed. A few weeks ago I spilled tea all over my white blouse just before class. Eh, big deal. Today, I noticed that my top was bunched oddly in places. I noticed this after speaking to a group of 70. So it goes.

But I did feel truly mortified when I came home from work to find my door strangely locked. I typically lock it a certain number of twists – it was locked differently; I knew, therefore, that someone had been inside.

There are only a few people who have a key to the place. My daughter – but she’s at work, so not her. Ed – he’s at the farmhouse. My real estate agent – she’s in Florida. The “concierge” downstairs... Ah.

I walk downstairs and ask if she’d been in.
Oh no. But a real estate agent came by.
Say what?
With the same guy who was looking at your place last week.
They thought you were in Ghana.

In fact, I have had a hell of a time keeping up with life since I’ve been back. The laundry, the darks, the lights, is sprinkled all over the bedroom. There are stacks of mail everywhere. The bathroom looks like ten people went through and forgot to put away their cleaning products. And so on.

It was one of those events when you do not buckle your seat belt and have a car accident. I NEVER leave the place messy. I hate messes and I insist on putting things away before leaving. (In other words, I drive Ed nuts.) But this one time I was too busy to care about anything but getting to work on time.

I felt certain that the sale was, therefore, off. Imagine if you purchased a place in pristine condition and you returned for an affirmation, a one last look before you signed your life away with a mortgage and found that it wasn’t pristine and fresh at all. That someone’s undergarments were drying on the bathroom door knob (it’s a great way to dry upper undergarments) and an electric toothbrush had (accidentally, Ed would say) spattered a week’s worth of paste on the mirror.

I call various agents and track down the offending one (I thought you were still in Ghana – she tells me). She apologizes and the guy (thank you, dear man whoever you are) still loves the place, but really, I was completely mortified.

In other news, the world is gray, wet and cold. I remember how in the old days when people didn’t pick up their dog’s poop in big cities, I hated the month of March, because it revealed every size and shape of dog crap on ugly bare patches of cold, wet earth. There is just nothing pretty about mid March in northern places.

So, let me retreat from my policy of never posting photos that are more than a day old and post one from exactly a week ago, when a small group of volunteers in Ghana plunged to find relief from the heat under the enormous Wli Falls.


I stayed on the shore and watched, enjoying their craziness and abandon. And I counted butterflies.

When do Wisconsin butterflies return from Mexico? I miss them.