Wednesday, February 19, 2014

bits and pieces of nostalgia

Ed comes in after an evening of project work at the sheep shed. I'm nearly asleep. He recites: there's freezing rain, a handful of deer are grazing in your flower bed, and we caught another mouse.
Our routine is the same: he places a rubber band around the trap and leaves it in the mud room for release the next day.

Ah, good old days when I could wake up and count on the mouse being there the next morning, waiting for our release! This little guy was apparently a mighty mouse because when I do my morning rounds, I find that he's pushed the panel open and he's gone gone gone. Let's hope outside. I set up the trap afresh, with more nut butter to tempt him back again the next night.

I have an appointment at the other side of town this morning. I'm finally following advice and checking on my shattered (that's my take on it) tail bone. But by the time of the appointment, I know that I've turned the corner. It's like one of those cartoons where you tear a piece of paper to tiny bits and then you reverse the clip and watch it come back together into an entire sheet again. My tail bone is getting close to being an entire sheet.

So yes, after breakfast...

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(Oh, you notice the orchids? Yes! Still going strong!)

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...I do keep my appointment because I do not want the reputation of being a person who cancels at the last minute (Ed: they'd love you for it; me: they'd hate me for it!), but I know I am fine and I tell the doc as much. We then have a lovely conversation about various other parts of the anatomy. As you get older, you can usually find some pesky issue to discuss with your primary physician at any day of the year.

But I am done early and so I drive to La Baguette -- our lovely French bakery which is far too distant to frequent on a regular basis (and that's a good thing!), but which is just super for a treat on a trip to that side of town.

I admire the mille feuille (Napoleon) and think nostalgically to days when Ed would go to pastry shops in France with me and always, always come home with a mille feuille. Sigh...

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Then, so long as I'm dwelling on the past, I notice that I am just across the street from one of our few remaining bookstores (Barnes & Noble) in town. I pull up and go inside.

And I am flooded with nostalgia! I haven't shopped for a book in a physical store in years! I mean, many years! How wonderful it was to spend hours in these stores once, with their tables of temptation, their rows and rows of good titles!

I miss those times.

(To the wonderful commenter who asked what I like to read these days -- wow, that question stopped me short. I'm such a fan of essays and so my New Yorker sits on top of any book pile.  I love autobiography or biography and I'm a sucker for a good mystery. And contemporary fiction, of course, but it has to be really good, because otherwise it'll be pushed out by the rest.)

So I walk the book isles and you'd think I'd be tempted to pick something, but instead I do the unpardonable thing of just taking notes, so that I could consider additions to my Kindle or put a hold through the public library. I am the one who has put bookstores out of business! I am so guilty in this! I used to buy books as readily as some people buy their favorite carbonated beverage and now, here I am, finally in a bookstore, taking notes!

With some degree of guilt I go to the kids book section and I spend at least an hour there, catching up on children's stuff, because it's been so long! I almost buy books for the children of my friends in Poland (I'll be visiting them soon), but then I think-- that's so presumptuous. I am assuming that of course, they should be learning English from birth. I put the books back. Reluctantly. They were such funny, empathetic, beautifully illustrated books! It's as if we want to show kids that anything really is possible, before they find out in their adolescence that it really is not and life sucks for some and not so much for others.

Did I tell you that it was a repeat of a beautiful day today? I mean stellar! Blue skies, temps around forty! Just stellar!

And we went skiing and it was lovely, really outrageously lovely...

farmette winter-18.jpg that I just wanted to revel in all that glorious sunshine.
Oh, to lie down and turn my face to the sun!

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Well, I did it, but it was a wet event. (Ed prefers to eat snow. Like a snow cone only without the sugar!)

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In the county park where we ski, we come across two park workers cutting down trees.
Are you making room for another gold course?? I ask, with some degree of panic.
No no, they're ashes.
Well now... My mind immediately flips to my favorite childhood song (The Ash Grove -- a Welsh folk ditty that is beyond delightful).
Haven't you heard? They're all dying. They have The Bug. Not these, but we're taking them down preemptively. Planting something else in their stead.

How sad is that! No more ash groves in our county parks? We are a doomed planet!

But, the sun continues to sparkle on all things around us and Ed and I survey the trees at the farmette and though we did lose some mighty elms (to the elm disease), the rest of our crop is hardy. So far.  If we can keep the deer at bay.

And we're all hardy too, no? We're still spinning in our usual orbit and the sun rises and it sets and cloud or no cloud, I'm pretty sure it will be up tomorrow.

How good is that!

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