I made one of those scrapbooky type images of what my summer looked like. I’ve been back in Vermont for a solid week and it’s been great to be back. It was also great to be away. When I was a kid we’d always take a vacation of some sort of in the summer but it was often to visit family or friends (and later with my dad, to sit on a random beach someplace) and wasn’t for very long. After last year’s enforced broken-ankle-summer-vacation I decided I liked the idea of being in a geographically distinct place for the summer, so I did it again this year. Had some friends over. Visited diners. Had more friends over. Visited libraries. Cooked out on the grill. Went on woodsy hikes. Peered at birds, bunnies, frogs and the occasional turkey and cat. Got some exercise. Vistied Nebraska (by plane) and St. Paul MN (by car). Pruned some wisteria. Cleaned bathrooms and did some of the never-ending work of keeping a big house in decent shape. It was fun. I think I’ll do it again next year. It sounds like a lot of stuff but it’s as close to leisure as I can probably get. Here’s a recap of past Virgo Months of Leisure, the time of year when I try, and often fail, to relax.
Larger version of this photo.
Top Row: Nebraska, kayaking, Westport stone wall
Next row: Birthday weekend. CHILDNADO weekend
Next row: Me in Cooperstown, the dearly departed Boo Radley on Kate’s new couch, Kate in the aerie, Jim at the end of the boardwalk
Next row: birdfeeder at sunset, UMass Dartmouth’s Carney Library
Next row: flowers, Fourth of July parade
I just got back from Montreal where I was in an all day meeting that had no internet access where I tried to tell people who were hoping to sell people a web portal that people don’t really buy web portals anymore. I guess I am now a “social media consultant” so you can tell your friends.
I spent one night at the Omni and one night on my friends’ couch and as you can probably guess, preferred the couch. Not that there isn’t something nice about a fancy hotel room on the 20th floor with a view of the actual Mount Royal but the room was cold [and unwarmupable – usually my hotel strategy is to set the heat to “stun” which is good for sleeping] and the tub didn’t drain and the bidet was offputting and there were no cats.
I live vicariously through other people’s pets since the only thing I seem to be able to keep alive at home is a cactus and I think maybe it’s just dying too slowly for me to notice. It’s been so damp here that one of my birdfeeders had sprouted which was a glucky cleaning job for me when I got home. Also the trees outside are full of peeping baby cardinals and their parents giving them birdseed (and bugs!) so that’s been a nifty thing to get to spy on up in the trees here.
I’ll be gone the next two weekends, one in NH doing some hiking and friend visiting and one in the Northeast Kingdom having a little R&R with Jim over my birthday. Last year I did a big huge birthday weekend thing which was a lot of fun. This year a lot of people are going to be out of town so I’m doing something a little less planning-intensive and a little more relaxation oriented. As per usual, the Virgo Month of Leisure kicked off while I was busy doing other things and this MoL will be like all the other ones, gone in a flash. I fail every year; at least I’m consistent.
And ground cherries? They are like twinkies in a fruit, totally delicious.
I got back from Seattle Wednesday morning the first and Wednesday was a sort of predictable sleepy haze. My sister arrived on Friday (see drive-in pic below) and there was a meetup at my house last Saturday for about 13 people. My friend Joanne stayed over so she wouldn’t have to drive down the moose and bear highway late at night. Sunday Gordon stopped by briefly with his cheese head and I had a friend from libraryland swing by on a trip through the Northeast for the evening. Monday I hung out in Randolph with my friends’ three cats. Tuesday my friend Peter stopped by on his trip around the US and I got to pick him up at the train station right in Randolph which is something I don’t do very often. It’s nice to get to walk to the train station. Gordon showed up at about 1 am on his way back from a punk show in Pennsylvania and he slept here brielfy before catching a morning flight. I drove Peter to his Dad’s house — one of my all-time favorite houses but alas I don’t want to live there — and then it was back to catland until Tom (MetaFilter user Meatbomb who sent me a lovely satchel from Afghanistan as well as this excellent hat) showed up with his fiancee on their first stop on their cross-country adventure. I made them some waffles in the morning and sent them off to Niagara Falls. Then it was back to clean-up and laundry and closing down the catsit for my friends’ return. When my friend Finn showed up last night I wanted to take a photo of him holding a sign that said LAST BAG but forgot about it entirely and we went for a walk down by the river and ate some homemade foccacia and were savaged by mosquitos.
I went to bed in an empty house and woke up with a totally open day. Well, open until I have dinner with friends this evening and I’ll probably hop into the pool before then, and I guess I have some errands to run. My plan is to spend the next few weeks doing some local visiting. I have friends renting a lakehouse up in Vermont and a few other pals with new babies a little farther out that I’d like to see sometime before things get hectic again. The hectic, of course, coincides with the Virgo Month of Leisure, as usual.