Sunday, September 13, 2009


I’ll say this about Sunday: if you wake up and you remember that most every minute of the day ahead is accounted for, you feel cheated. As if you lost a week-end.

But every minute is not accounted for today! I have a handful of hours before the clock strikes the noon hour (at which time I will get ready, dress in black, walk to work). I hand over several precious minutes to reminiscing about how on recent, more flush September week-ends, I would be elsewhere, attending to grape harvests, or listening to the ocean waters pound the shores far far away.

To these musings I think Ed grunted. Or said nothing at all.

We should have house-cleaned, but I already cleaned this week-end and I felt I might well overdose on the stuff I spray on bathroom surfaces. Even though the container calls it eco this and green that.

Ed asks – do you want to go see an art show where the artists make things out of cigar boxes?
What things?
Don’t know. There are eleven artists displaying their cigar box works at a cigar shop.

It’s too perfect outside. I don’t want to breathe cigar smoke.

How about the Jefferson Sheep Fair? You like sheep.


Actually, I think sheep are pretty dumb. You look at them and they look away and they do it in unison. A bunch of sheep avoiding your gaze. It’s weird.

But I miss Scotland. Or, more accurately I miss the June days when I had nothing urgent on my plate except to hike from point A to point B, amidst fields of sheep.

We climb on Ed’s Honda and head east. Less than an hour out of Madison and we’re there.


We don't have much time, but I think we do take it all in: the market lamb contest…


The baby lambs…


The sheering of sheep (he charges about $4 per sheep; ...picked the skill up in New Zealand. It’s a lifestyle, he tells us. You don’t do it for the money but for the lifestyle. He sheers here and in Scotland and God knows where else. I think that I work for the love of teaching and for the money, sure, but I think that lifestyle – all indoors and very confined – is at odds with what I think of as healthy)…


Sheep. Everywhere sheep. And their attendants.


Sometimes back to back…


Or, really, just back to back sheep. Or the backsides of sheep (unlike the backsides of people, these are quite exposed).


I enjoy most watching the sheep herders participate in the herding event. I like how hell bent the dogs are – as if they could not run fast enough. Except when the master orders a stay. They crouch then, waiting to be released again.


There were other displays – of wool, spun by nimble hands…


Really, lots and lots of wool, for sale wool, for prizes wool, oily, beautiful, fragrant wool.


But in the end it was a joyful morning, full of those dumb, hairy sheep, uplifting to me, just because they made this Sunday morning less predictable than I thought it would be.