Vermont thoughts.

And now we are at the lake in Vermont.  I’m almost, but not really, relaxed.  Right now I’m – well, obviously – at the computer.  The night is quiet and peaceful, we had a lovely family dinner, Charlotte is asleep and Anna is reading in the loft.  I’m sort of working on article writing, but the internet is slow and the hole in the screen on the porch has brought in a gnatfest. If I turn out the light next to me to get rid of them, they just come to the computer screen and hover.

It’s strange being here earlier in the season than usual.  I don’t remember so many gnats.  We also have these big flying beetles that hit the screen at night and buzzbuzzbuzz.  This morning, Aaron was weed wacking and encountered a very large milk or water snake up in the driveway.  Yes, a very big snake.

Yesterday, Anna spotted a pileated woodpecker, and we have a pair of either spotted sandpipers or dunlin birds down on the shore. You’d think we were in in the middle of nowhere, but we’re not remote, not at all.  Still,  there are some animal folks around that we’ve never seen before.  I think the critters are realizing it might be time to clear out and head to less populated regions.

Also, yesterday Beth and I saw a really large bird of prey swoop down, grab a fish, and fly right in front of the house to a neighboring tree.  It set the fish down on a branch, which was odd, you know?  A still live fish quivering on a tree branch twenty feet above me?

In case you were wondering, the picture at the top of the this blog is the view from the cabin window.  Despite the creatures and the extreme amount of work I have to do and the bickering the girls have been doing, you can’t beat the view.


Memories. Wow.

I’m here in Midland, Michigan with Mom and the girls.  We’re staying with a friend of hers in a house where I stayed for a week when I was around five.  Mom’s friend didn’t live here then; other friends of my parents did, and they watched my sister Beth and me while they went on a trip.

So…I haven’t been in this particular house in over 35 years, but I tell you, there is a smell  – a good one- it’s old, and welcoming, a little bit smoky, and it was here when I was five.  Things are coming back, and years are falling away and it’s freaking me out in the most magical and wonderful way.

Tomorrow we’re going to the house I grew up in, and to our church, and a few other places that have stuck to me for my whole life.  Sugnet School, 700 Columbia Road, Memorial Presbyterian Church – they are Gorilla-glued to my heart.  I forgot how much I love this town.  I would leave Athens to live here again, and that’s saying a lot. A LOT.

North to the mitten.

This is it, the last day in town.  What a lot there is to do!  I must remind myself that we’ll only be in Vermont for a month this time so we don’t need to take a lot.  Aaron is not coming so we don’t need to prepare for a housesitter or do a deep clean.  Nevertheless, the list is long and the day is busy.  We have mother-daughter book club, a music recital, then Anna has a marathon sleepover birthday party, there’s the International Street Fair which I always enjoy but we may not get to, hopefully a movie this afternoon, and packing the car and readying to leave.  Let’s not forget a batch of articles to write and online assignments to grade!  Then tomorrow morning, pick Anna up from her sleepover before 9, do church all morning, then get in the van and make our exit.

Tomorrow Mom, the girls and I are driving to Midland, Michigan, where my family lived the years I was 2 to 17, before we moved to Circleville.  I’m looking forward to so much about the visit, but the best part is that we’re going to visit our old house at 700 Columbia Road and I’m going to be able to see it and walk through my childhood home for the first time in 28 years.

Serious Kleenex alert.


The little birdfeeder we put up over the winter is clearly the place to be, like The Peach Pit on “Beverly Hills 90120.”  It’s pretty cool and I feel popular, birdwise.

I don’t know many birds beyond the staples: blue jay, robin, cardinal, turkey vulture, pigeon, etc.  but with all the activity we’ve had I am officially fascinated by these charming winged wonders and now must learn more.  Good grief, are they cute.

I’m looking some up right now:  chickadee, sparrow, Carolina wren AND Carolina chickadee, several pairs of housefinches, and a few more birds of mystery that I will try to identify later on.  Here’s my favorite:

Glass in my foot.

A few days ago, after we had returned from the Nelsonville Music Festival,  I sat down at the kitchen table with a glass of wine to check my email.  It was the last of the bottle and I was looking forward to some internet down time while the girls got ready for bed.  Ready to be rid of my festival wristband, I set my wine glass down, yanked at my left wrist to pull it off, my right hand slipped,  my left hand punched the glass full of wine and sent it soaring across the kitchen only to shatter, shatter, shatter everywhere.  I thought I got it all cleaned up, but a few days later a tiny crumb of glass lodged itself into the ball of my foot.  It hurt like a $%#@$%, but it also put one of my all-time favorite songs in my head, so in a funny little way, I was grateful.

Another stinkin’ Sunday.

It’s been too long since my last visit here.  This week has been tough.  I have been trying, trying, trying to keep all my balls in the air, but I’m doing something wrong.  When I get overwhelmed I freeze and stop doing everything, always when I can least afford it. I despise this about myself.  I remain paralyzed until something cracks inside, and then BAM, I’m back.  Last week and up until today was like this.  I sat down to work, did a little bit, got distracted, did a little more work, got distracted, repeat, repeat, repeat. Finally, today, some naughty poltergeist flicked his match under my procrastinating ass and I got busy.

This morning was all about church, then an unexpectedly long meeting afterwards, then a lovely walk home from First Pres. with Charlotte, then, well, I got my period and was slammed with some bad cramps.  Normally, fine, whatever, but it was just thirty minutes before I was going to take Anna to see Heidi in the “The Pajama Game” at Stuart’s Opera House. I could barely move.  I weighed everything in finally deciding not to go: the late return from church, the staggering length of my to-do list, and above all, the stupid relentless cramps that have dogged me for thirty years.  Once that regretful decision was made, I allowed myself time for the Advil to kick in, then got to work.

With cramps just barely at bay, I filled bags of stuff to give away, took the toddler bed out of the back room, replaced it with the wooden bedframe that’s been waiting for months to get upstairs, went out and bought a twin mattress set and sheets, plus some of those gigantic Ziploc storage bags, returned home, assembled and made the bed, and more and more and more. It was hard to stop, actually.

Tomorrow there must be more of the same type of progress.  I have online grading to do, five articles to write, and we are leaving town for a month next Sunday at noon.  Just gotta be the little engine that could, I guess.  Oh, and there’s more to go on about,  much more, but it will have to wait until tomorrow.