Tuesday, November 04, 2014

good work

Waking up to a dreary and cold day is just fine if you have a clear and clean day before you: no work demands, no doctors' appointments, no pesty paperwork that needs your immediate attention. How wonderful is that!

Yes, it's a kitchen breakfast -- why move dishes to the southern front room or eastern sun room, when the clouds are equally dense no matter which way you look?

(wild hair)

It's a good day to return to my writing, to put in solid hours of reading, but I'm not ready for it just yet.  I walk out into the brisk air, thinking that it's time to switch out of my light fleece and into something more substantial.

At the other side of the barn, I hear the noise of birds and so I pause to watch. A cloud of them is hovering above, waiting to swoop down for a last feast on anything that the still soft ground may offer.

(birds against a gray sky)

How is it that they are able to fly in unison? As if startled, they swoop up and away.

At lunch time, I remind Ed of the mouse (no. 7!) that needs to be let loose in a more distant field.

(over lunch)

(looking out the kitchen window)

So long as I'm going out with the mouse, want to go vote?
Good plan!
So long as we're out voting, want to play tennis?
Well now, that's an interesting idea. It's rather cold. Forties maybe. But the sun is emerging! It's going to be a nicely bright afternoon. Why not?!

We play an energetic game! Reading a number of articles recently about older people (that would be Ed and me!) and their loss of mobility and balance reminds me that he and I haven't a huge number of tennis years left. Better improve my game now, or forever stay relegated to the low end of mediocrity!

At the secret, woodsy tennis court, I warm up almost instantly. And of course, the more you skip and hop about outdoors, the more you're motivated to skip and hop some more. And so, after returning home, I take on the winter garden.

(bird against a blue sky)

When you imagine a winter garden, you have to envision all the dry plants and flowers and decide which texture would look best under a blanket of snow. Of course, when the snow cover is deep, it hardly matters -- it all collapses under its weight. But initially, you can do a lot to create something original and splendid. And so I weave through the flower beds, pruning and clipping, doing what I can in the one afternoon I have allocated to this task. Hydrangea puffs stay. Monarda -- clip off. Lavender -- without question stays. Coreopsis -- ugly as anything when it's dry and spent. Off it goes. And so on.


The cheepers are with me now and Ed reminds me how mellow Oreo has become.
That's because I avoid him! I protest. Besides, you never know!
We'd read about another strategy for dealing with a rooster who aggresses against people:  chase the bugger to give him some of his own medicine! Flap your 'wings' and wave a stick! I am skeptical, but so long as the chicken mama is not coming by to get him, he is here and truth be told, he is acting a lot tamer than when I first came back from Europe.
But when people come....
I'll lock him up.
And when there is a toddler... But I don't end that sentence. That's miles away from now. Who knows what the cheeper story will be when we get to that era.



So I work outside, and the cheepers watch, and Ed comes out occasionally to help, and it is such a good way to spend a November afternoon! It truly is as grand as a spring day when your hands get dirty, and your clogs get muddy, but the smell of wet earth clears your head, and the stiffness in your shoulder recedes, and your cheeks are cool, and your soul is as warm as the air on the warmest of warm summer days.