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Thursday, April 3, 2008


Having papers to grade, I couldn’t change yesterday’s plan completely and just goof off all day; on the other hand, the brilliant sunshine was too tempting to spend the whole day indoors. When David said he had to drive to Lake Leelanau, then, I offered to ride along to keep him company, bringing along my stack of student papers and, for more company and general cheer, our little Sarah dog, who brings us such joy.

The revised plan worked out fine. We went by way of Leland, stopping for coffee at Stone House Bread, where David read the car trader rag while I graded. Next we parked for a while at the Lake Leelanau Narrows (waiting for the lunch hour to be over at the insurance office), where I got more grading done and where we also walked out on the docks with Sarah to let her look at the water. (You can look, too. Okay, did you?) Finally we wound up for lunch at the 45th Parallel Café in Suttons Bay, where David was instantly drawn into conversation with an old friend, who joined us at our table, leaving me free to—you guessed it—grade a few more papers. Sarah was very well behaved in the car all day. She got up on one of the front seats to watch for us when we left her, but she destroyed nothing, and when we returned and told her, “Get in the back!” she did it right away. Cody at Van’s Garage in Leland, Lisa and Sarah from the insurance office in Lake Leelanau, and our neighbor Carol, whom we encountered in Suttons Bay, all came out to the car to meet the pup, and she gave them all the wiggle-wiggle-wag-wag greeting.

Leelanau County on Wednesday, April 2, was showing signs of spring. Most interesting and unusual (in my experience), was a big, fat old groundhog, sitting up like a prairie dog, basking in the sun. If he’d been out there seeing his shadow two months ago, it would have meant six more weeks of winter, according to the old wives’ tale. But surely this groundhog was saying to himself, “This is more LIKE it! SPRING is comin’ on, and it feels SO GOOD!”

It certainly felt good to us to be out in the sunshine. And when we got home, Sarah and I went for a long walk up through Bruce’s orchard and Claudia’s woods. Take walks while the sun shines! Read when darkness falls!

Today’s reading (besides student papers) will be BLINK, by Malcolm Gladwell. This book, like Dan Ariely’s PREDICTABLY IRRATIONAL, explores studies on how human beings actually make judgments, as opposed to the classical view of how they should. Gladwell looks at good and bad snap judgments and ways we can improve the ones we make. That’s a snap overview: the fascination is in the details.

Sunshine this morning? Will it last?

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