Doesn’t know February
Only sun warmed earth.
Doesn’t know February
Only sun warmed earth.
Sweet memories of summer
Here in real life time.
Yesterday evening, when I got home after a full day of meetings, errands and lunch with a friend in Concord, I saw a star of morning glory blossoms at the top of the teepee we made for the vines to climb. I thought of getting up this morning and taking a photograph of the flowers, and basing a blog post on rejoicing in whatever is still putting out blossoms this far into the diminishing light of fall. But I woke up to dark skies, rain, fog tucked in behind the trees on the horizon, and little reason to go any further out the door than the porch.
Last night I picked up Cutting for Stone and started a new chapter. It’s a big book with a big story, and this chapter picked up a new point of view, with more back story from this character. I put the book down and closed my eyes and thought for a few minutes. Do I really want to keep working on the novel I started? The attention I’ve given to novel structures as I’ve read over the past several months is giving me more confidence I could. The stacks and stacks of short story drafts I repacked when David and I unloaded the storage pod in the driveway, transferring boxes to the barn shelves, were a reminder, from 30 years ago, that I once wrote fiction prolifically.
Or do I want to work on The Island Journal? Whenever I open the file on my computer and look at it I get encouraged by its story and language. And I already know I have lots of work to do to get ready for The Truth About Death to be published in April. But maybe I just want to order hiking socks online today, then start organizing the room David was using as his studio to be our bedroom again.
Right now, the rain just picked up, there are shots echoing from some nearby pond where a hunter is hoping to get a duck, and I won’t be going out to take any morning glory photos any time soon.
There are ten people on the porch this morning. David is reviewing the hike up Mt. Isolation, and Anne is here to help convince him it’s doable, fun and scenic. At 13.3 miles, David isn’t convinced it’s a hike he wants to do with the limited hiking conditioning we’ve had this year, though hike convincing isn’t why Anne came over — she’d never met Marianna and is here to see her, as well as Emilio, the attraction for Alison and John to be here. Or a Sunday morning hanging on the porch is attractive in itself. David’s brother Doug is here. With a meeting in Boston later this week, a couple of days visiting in NH made sense, and I’m glad to have him here when it’s warm and there’s power. His last visit was during a major ice storm and resulting power outage, and we spent the night at the house feeding the old wood stove to keep the pipes from freezing. It was dark, dirty and cold, and we had to get water out of the half-frozen stream in a five gallon bucket to flush the toilet. Hanging on a porch full of friends and family drinking coffee is a much better way to experience this house.
What makes me particularly happy is that I’ve been home long enough to keep my flower pots out on the steps and they look fabulous. Flowers + family + friends = happy me.
Deer stripping my beans
Woodchuck deleting cole crops
David and I have been home for five days now, and have actually been having fun. My sister and brother-in-law came for dinner on Friday night, we climbed Mt. Garfield yesterday (which remained in a cloud for the entire time we were on the summit, but it didn’t matter, we were off in the forest with good friends, the first date we’ve been able to keep since June) and then we came back to a dinner party with close friends, eating a wonderful array of fresh vegetables from Alison’s garden. I’ve had time to take photos of the flowers around the house, and today we’re headed to an afternoon and overnight on Squam Lake, with a friend I recently reconnected with after years of not seeing each other.
David was reviewing a document from his parents’ lawyer this morning, outlining the duties of an estate executor, and he just declared, “I am done with estate duties and am declaring myself available for a vacito.” Vacito = mini-vacation. Good idea.
There are two beds of roses in the court yard of the Hospice House in Lancaster. The roses are an island of color and reliably circular form in the blazing heat and sunlight outside. Inside the Hospice House it’s cool and lovely with tasteful art on the walls, a fountain in the hallway off the lobby and heavy wooden doors on the rooms. “It’s like a resort spa in New Mexico,” David said, and when I emailed that to Marsie she said, “It’s too bad that we finally get to go to a resort when we are about to go to the biggest resort there is. Live life now!”
True that, Marsie. See the roses, appreciate the roses, smell the roses, even if it is too hot to be outside and get to the scent.
We’re back in Lancaster. David’s father is failing, so after two days at home, we loaded up the car and headed south again. Walking into the house last night, I noticed the rose bush by the back porch door.
When we first arrived in Lancaster two weeks ago, there was only one blossom and one bud on the bush. Over the next week and a half, through managing to get David’s mother in a care facility, visiting David’s father at the hospital, picking up groceries, cleaning the house and taking loads of papers and magazines to the recycling center, going out in the morning to run or bike, going for a walk, I watched the bush put out more buds which opened into blossoms of loose pink petals that seemed to fall away by the next time I passed.
Last night and today the little bush is full of pink roses.