Monday, October 18, 2010

Planning ahead

It's an orange kind of world out there. We're been snapping pictures here and there because the foliage is just beautiful. In my travels I managed to get a quick shot of the turkeys running from the woods on the right, across the road in front of my car, and into the woods on the left. The next logical picture was the cars on the right, belonging to the hunters in the woods. Now, it isn't turkey season, but the turkeys weren't taking any chances. It was kind of funny to see them hightailing it outta there. Never let it be said that turkeys aren't smart. Now hunters? That's another story. . . We spent the last weekend wallpapering, medicating and wallpaper. Not in that order. The up and down of the ladder action is what does me in. Crouching and bending and pasting and brushing, it's all outside of my comfort zone of forward recliner, reverse recliner. I am hurting. Jerry bounces back like nothing. He was my assistant and that required alot of here and there. I am not an easy taskmaster. Now that this room is done, my eyes are wandering around thinking. . . where else? I happen to be a big fan of wallpaper. Thankfully, I hear it is coming back into vogue-not that it ever went out in my world. My world is also showing lots of "holiday lights" going up on houses. This is, as you know, not acceptable to Allison. However, now that we've been here for a few winters, we are beginning to understand the rationale behind this early decorating trend. Cold. The desire to get the christmas lights up prior to the first snow is what necessitates putting the lights up by October 15th, because hereafter, it's a crapshoot. They called for light snow last Friday night. I don't know if that happened because Friday night for me was a wash. I retired on the early side. But Saturday morning was quite brisk and the frost was clear to the naked eye. When Daphne runs out on to the porch and turns around and runs back in, you know it is cold. She and I are more like soul mates than I care to admit. So, the big chore is done, and now we look forward to feathering the nest in the guest room. Hopefully, it will see alot of activity this winter. Skiing anyone?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Cold Tubby

It started out hot, but in my determination to at least vacuum today, because with three dogs, if you don't vacuum at least every other day (and that is slacking, believe me) I was doing this BEFORE the tubby so that I could do it right, which meant I was sweaty and dirty. Note to self: One cannot be a diva and a cleaning lady all at the same time. As a result, my tubby was tepid. I was determined not to waste the gallons of hot water that would be gone without use, as well as the lovely and fragrant bath salts I had liberally poured. The fact that we waste 80 gallons per minute, 24/7,out into the back nine was not factoring into the decision to climb into the tepid tubby. I was in there for a good 45 minutes, reading a wonderful book and soaking my tired and sore bones. Midway through the tub became cold. It was clearly cold, and my decision to stay was a result of the totality of the situation. I had a soda to sip and a book to read and I wasn't climbing out like some kind of wuss. It wasn't THAT cold (although it was cold enough-trust me) and I wasn't shivering, which I would have been had I climbed into the tub at the point I decided to stay. It was a gradual uncomfortable, which makes all the difference. I was (and am) reading the book Embracing Persephone, by Virginia Beane Rutter, which if you are familiar with your Greek myths, names the teenager who leaves her Mother Demeter and her Father Zeus, to marry Hades. Not a good scenario under any circumstance, but one I can certainly identify with. Having survived what we delicately call a "difficult teenager", (check out Webster's dictionary-delicate includes "No Picnic" in its definition - he must have had a teenager) I am happy and proud to say that we are now wonderfully and happily and thankfully, a close and healthy Mother and Daughter. We have survived each other's angst and anger and all that, and emerged as two individuals who enjoy each others company, champion each other every step of the way, and love each other unconditionally. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. It wasn't always that way, and our journey included a lot of family therapy and a lot of mistakes on both ends. Our journey was loud and colorful, as fireworks always are. And if truth be told, our journey would probably sound very different depending on the teller. That is why this book is so profound for me. I am reading both sides, and understanding more fully the adolescent perspective. Good stuff. Which brings me back to the cold tubby situation. If you are not a fan of a tubby, you have not given it enough attention. Some people say that a tubby is like soaking in dirty water. Not so, it is soaking in water that reaches every nook and cranny, and fragrantly soaks the living daylights out of it. A quick shower rinse is all that is needed, and the bath salts and oils will have conditioned your skin from head to toe. It is a glorious luxury that I violently defend. It is also part of the tubby ritual to make sure that the world you emerge INTO is also lovely and fragrant, hence the vacuum situation. I don't like to step from the tub into a home that has not been vacuumed, straightened up, and aromatherapied. I guess I like to feel a bit like Cleopatra, emerging from the baths while the servant holds the towel and delivers a hot cup of tea. I was missing the servant today (he had to go to work), but the hot cup of tea was delicious. A cruel reality that I had to prepare it myself, but whatever. . . And so my morning is complete. I shall finish the book and be better prepared for female adolescent #2. I have had a nice long tubby to read and think and prepare. And I think I've learned a thing or two in the years between, but my trump card is this: We live far from town in the woods, and I own the car.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Thanks Teach.

Yesterday was a wonderful day where after months of saying "why don't we?" and weeks of planning and coordinating I finally met up with my former Jr. High school English teacher and Dance Club faculty advisor. We met halfway from her house to mine, in Sharon Springs New York. Catching up on our families and our lives, it was a wonderful and enjoyable visit with a good friend. We have kept in touch intermittently over the years and through mutual friends and acquaintenances have never been far from each other's hearts. This is a teacher who was an inspiration and a motivator. The kind of teacher who really challenged her students and also rewarded them with her respect. She really like her kids (or seemed to!) and that made the difference. So many teachers seem to have chosen the wrong field, not because they don't know their subject, but because they don't seem to really like kids. Interesting. . . But, here we are, many years later, and enjoying each others company and our shared memories of another time. We've both ended up serendipitously in the central part of New York, just a few miles from a lovely lunch and shopping trip through some pretty darn fantastic little shops. We got to catch up on the details of our lives, those that we were so proud of, and some that we ruefully could laugh at. It is so interesting to me that we all meet up eventually as "adults" and the years between us(which seem so great when we're young) melt away when we reach this point. If only you could know when you're suffering through Middle School (or Jr. High as we called it then) that maybe someday you and this teacher of yours may meet for a cup of coffee somewhere between here and there, and become friends and contemporaries. How many would believe it? Sometimes life hands you such a teacher, and it is a gift that keeps on giving. This lifeline of mine, who was so pivotol in my education and my love of poetry, dance, theatre and the arts, is still participating in all those things and proving to me that life really is the exciting journey that she told us about then. She is living it still, with all the same enthusiasm and inspiration. Thank you Susan. It was, all in all, a totally wonderful and special day for me. It's not often we get to thank those who were pivotal in our development, and continue to be that person for us. If you have the chance, you should take it. It's worth the trip.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Kane Mountain

Unlike today, Sunday was a glorious and sunny, crisp fall day. We decided to hike to the top of Kane Mountain and view the firetower. It is an elevation of 2200 feet-not a terribly difficult hike in the Adirondacks - others are much higher. But for me, this was Mt. Everest. I have not taken on this kind of physical activity in a long time. I have been trying to challenge myself each day, and this opportunity presented itself because a group from church had decided to go, and so, we joined them. Going in a group takes care of all the planning. Essentially, you just have to show up. We did, and off we went. The climb was on a well worn path, with bits of rocks and sloppy sections still wet with leaves from last week's rain. Easy enough. As we progressed it got a little bit choppy for me because I'm just not used to this. Jerry was right with me all the way, and with the help of him and my climbing rod I was steady. At one point I thought I could hear indians in the distance, but that turned out to be my heart beating-which I guess is a good thing. I just don't usually hear it beating so vividly. After taking a brief rest on a rock, we moved on. All it all, I would say it took us 1/2 hour to 45 min. to reach the top of the mountain. Maybe an hour? Anyway, when Jerry produced a candy apple from the backpack he had prepared, I was told that I could sell it for upwards of $25. There were enough buyers. But he had packed it for me, and it was probably the most delicious candy apple I've ever had. After taking a breather for a few moments and getting familiar with the surroundings, we decided to forge on to the top of the fire tower. We climbed to the top, me first, Jerry behind me. Normally, I am not a big fan of heights, but this tower was there for me as a challenge, and having come this far I was not leaving with that undone. With each level we'd stop on the landing and look out. It had wire on all open areas, so I felt safe there. The view got more and more beautiful as we progressed to the top. This was an amazing day. Looking out at the top of the fire tower I was so inspired at the landscape before and below me. I was grateful that we had made the hike, and so proud of myself. We spent a good amount of time at the top, just taking pictures, wishing we could share the view at that moment, and taking it all in. We took pictures of each other, and of all the views in all directions. Jerry's picture has mysteriously disappeared from our album. Nice Jerry. We saw them barbequeing at the bottom of the tower and headed down. We explored the Ranger's quarters which is an old wooden house with just essentials, a bedroom, a private area and a living room. At one time they had Rangers who stayed at the top of these mountains and scanned for fires. Lonely and beautiful. We had our lunch (delicious barbequed hot dogs and chips) and after spending a beautiful afternoon exploring the top of Kane Mountain, we headed home. At the bottom, we all split up and went our separate ways, even getting some beautiful scenery right next to the car. What a wonderful day. We are incredibly lucky and blessed to be living in this natural playground, and I'm so glad we got to get out there and play. Today, I'm still a little stiff, but it was well worth it. This is my pal who doesn't like to have his picture taken. Thanks Jerry, you were great.