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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Change in the Weather

The top image today is one from last week, our first week home. Sarah and I were out in the orchards, and everything looked great. To her, I’m sure, it all smelled great. The wild leeks were up in the woods, and at home in the garden, my rhubarb was pushing its way into the sunshine, looking like some misbegotten monster from the Black Lagoon.

How fortunate that we returned home on Sunday, April 12, rather than a week later! Sunday, April 19, the day I had hoped to finish yard and garden raking, turned cold and rainy and would have made a dismal homecoming, in contrast to the beautiful sunshine that led us home a week earlier. Now the forecast for the next couple of days is for more rain, “possibly mixed with snow”! (No accumulation is expected.) There is a positive side to this superficially unpleasant turn of events: the season for morels is upon us, and the morels needed rain. Also, though I had no choice in the matter and would have much preferred to be outdoors, raking, this last Sunday’s rain kept me inside, and a full day at home, indoors, inspired me to clean out kitchen drawers, dust floors, and catch up with laundry. Sooner or later, these tasks demand to be performed.

Monday, another day I do not require myself to be at the bookstore (until Memorial Day arrives, and the 7-day-a-week schedule begins), was a second day of cold rain, and David suggested a trip to Traverse City. It was a perfect museum day, and the exhibit of sculpture by John Cavanaugh at the Dennos Museum more than repaid the trek to town. The poses of his single figures are extraordinary, his groupings compelling. I had at least half a dozen “favorite pieces” and hope to have another opportunity to spend time at this exhibit.

Then, home on a cold, rainy afternoon, what better way to warm up the house than by baking cookies? What would the cupboard provide in the way of cookie ingredients? The resulting mix was a chocolate chip dough with rolled oats instead of chocolate chips…confectioner sugar substituted for granulated (this turned out so well I’ll do it this way again)…my mother’s usual half-butter, half-Crisco recipe for the half-cup of shortening. Delicious! And how clever of me to bake only one sheet of cookies and put the rest of the dough in the refrigerator against tomorrow’s certain chill?

Today was a back-at-home landmark for me, too. After a winter of voracious reading in Florida, I had not started a new book since leaving the Sunshine State. Now I have shaken off that dismal inertia (and clawed my way out from under a mountain of homecoming housework) to begin Jack Kerouac, King of the Beats: A Portrait, by Barry Miles. Strange reading choice for the bookseller who has yet to read On the Road, but maybe that’s in my future for 2009, too.

Ah, the future! What does it hold? My fortune cookie at lunch predicted, “You are next in line for a promotion in your firm.” I’ll have to talk to the boss about that. Or maybe I’ll put my money on the morels.


Anonymous said...

Those John Cavanaugh sculptures are beautiful!

P. J. Grath said...

Wish you could be here to stroll slowly through the whole show and see every piece up close and personal. It is really stunning work.

P. J. Grath said...

Fore more on artist John William Cavanaugh, see

dmarks said...

Thank you for the "boring" recommendation. Any Morels there yet?

P. J. Grath said...

A word of explanation to the rest of you: dmarks has an extensive postcard collection and often posts images and text from old cards on his Throwaway Blog (listed in my Good Connections). I was suggesting he might be amused and/or interested in a Phaidon publication, BORING POSTCARDS. It shows a lot of expressway interchanges, motel rooms, etc. It has nice color. You'd have to be into postcards to appreciate it.

dmarks, as to the morels: I haven't looked yet in last year's productive spot. My thinking is that we'll need some warm sunshine to follow this cold, wet weather. You think?