Tuesday, May 14, 2013

on the porch

Out on the porch, in the late afternoon, the air is still. Warm, very warm. A tonic after the cold pre-spring. A gift, really.  No big winds today. It's like the world outside is taking a summer siesta.

If yesterday Ed and I strained to get work done out in the fields, today is different. After a delightful breakfast on the porch...

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...I take rosie to campus to tidy up paper details and bring exams home. I'm giving myself three weeks and not a day more to finish grading a very hefty stack. The way to accomplish this is to plunge right in and do a big load the very first day. And so that's what I'm doing. Out on the porch. My first day of grading...

...while the daffodils keep their dance going and the buds of their neighbors are getting confident enough to keep shooting up.

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I have my laptop near me and as I sit and read exams, my Skype phone rings and it is my sister and she, too, is out in the country. She's in the village house in Poland that was once my grandparents' home. It's where she and I learned to love the outdoors. Trees, flowers, growing things. I have to shake my head in wonderment at the passage of time, because when we were kids, there was no running water, no electricity, not any of it and now she tells me that in this same village she has a choice of internet providers (even though the place is remote enough that it still has no paved road running through it).

My sister and I are in cahoots to put in order my citizenship papers without the aid of the soulless bureaucrat sitting in the Polish Consulate office in Chicago. When she describes to me how, when presenting my case in Warsaw, she was aided and assisted by truly helpful office workers, I think how different and pleasant life would be if we could always turn our backs on the obstructionists and grumpy naysayers out there!

By evening, I take a grading break and I water the poor flowers that are just not sure what to expect, weatherwise. From frost, to 91 degrees, all in the space of a day. What next, they want to know. What next?

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I have no answers.  We soldier on no matter what and do the best we can, no?

A supper of Thai take out. And an eye toward the rest of the week -- we're in for days of sunny skies and mild temperatures. A gift. A real gift.

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