And so it goes in July…

Night #1 of Staycation 2017

Friday night, kick back with movies on the couch as the thunderstorms rage.

N.B. “In America” is a monumental film

Day 1 – Saturday

Run the usual errands then read in the sun, there may have been some napping happening too.

A stiff breeze, the wind chimes dancing and all the birds calling for rain.

Another thunderstorm is brewing…

If I’m lucky it will drown the inevitable fireworks.

Day 2 of Staycation – Sunday

What do you do on vacation? Read, write, nap, cook, eat and repeat. To change the venue up a bit, I moved the grill to the deck off the kitchen.

Alice LOVES staycations:

  • Extra bones and time together
  • Lots of together time in a familiar place
  • Freedom to roam from back to front decks and follow the sun
  • Did I mention time together?

Returned to Mountain Brook Reservoir for a brief kayak. Today I pretended to be a sailboat; tacking around the pond with the wind choosing my direction. I followed a herd? flock? of 18 Canada Geese for a while as they traversed the open water. I was part of the flock…

Day 3 of Staycation – Monday

Alice watched a frenzy of cleaning – toys and bones disappeared, the floors were slippery, wet and apparently “OFF LIMITS!!” She retreated to the quiet of the front deck. Just as suddenly, it all ceased. The cleanliness program came to an abrupt halt when I realized that if I was going to ride today it had to be right now.

A Scarlet Tanager caught my eye as Night and I walked peacefully down the trail. It was so spectacular, I had to look it up in my bird books when I got home. The Mountain Laurel is in full dress – pink, deep dusty rose, stark white and all hues in between.

I love this time of year when the Mare is sleek and buff. Spring brings the awkward, unattractive stage of shedding. Polar Fleece is the layer I have shed down to after a winter of layers. Polar Fleece + wintry horse hair = itch.

My mad dash to get to the barn (along with the cleaning frenzy) was brought on by two requests to show the house from 12:30 to 5pm. Alice and I would be nomads for hours. What happened to STAY as in enjoy your own home?

After my ride, the final push on cleaning commenced. Alice avoided me. I packed a picnic of homemade Gazpacho soup, fresh fruit salad and crackers. With a quick stop for water and the NY Times we were on our way.

We settled at a table in the shade next to MacDowell Dam; I with my lunch and newspaper, Alice with a fresh marrow bone I so thoughtfully  packed for her. There was a lovely breeze and thankfully very few other folks around. Those who did appear respected our privacy; they were distant enough to merit our attention only briefly.

We circled around town then headed north to Washington. With 2.5 hours to kill perhaps a visit to the Lake Cottage would fill our time. It’s been years since I have driven down that dirt road on the 4th of July weekend. Ghosts of past celebrations seeped into my mood and I couldn’t manage more than a quick stop to let Alice stretch her legs and have a drink. Some memories are best left alone.

Finally, driving on fumes as the gas gauge lit up, we arrived back in our neighborhood. We parked at the Wapak Trail where we walk every morning. Alice was pleased to get out and pee someplace familiar.

It was good to come home. I grilled swordfish and made a green salad for my dinner. Alice was equally pleased with her usual cup of kibble. A Flicker sat in the tree above the deck and boisterously called his mate. Alice reclaimed her bones and toys. I danced with abandon to a Trace Bundy guitar solo and felt lucky to be staycationing in such a wonderful place.

Staycation Day #4 – The Fourth of July

Never make plans that are too constricting. A quick jaunt to the barn became a lovely long walk with four other riders. Not our usual fare but Night and I saw a different side of going out into the woods. It was Tuesday, “fuel for the truck” day as I focus on not using more than a tank per week. What I really should be doing for the Truck is washing, waxing and cleaning the interior. Poor Truck. Alice and I are on vacation at the moment, it’s just not your turn…


And so it goes…

“I miss your bees!”

“I miss them too…”

So began my conversation with a neighbor. I told him about the bear, just a roly-poly yearling I found in the backyard this morning. He said his garden was doing really well this year despite the lack of neighborhood pollinators. He has the week off. Bought himself a power washer and the plan is to wash and stain his house. I told him about my almost-buyer and my mold.

Home ownership. There have been three showing in the last three days. Should have been four but one was a no-show. Two seem interested, at least they asked follow-up questions on utility rates and building permits. I worry when I don’t have lookers. I worry when the lookers might be buyers. This is nothing but worry.  Alice and I drive the back roads slowly, stopping to admire the streams and rock outcroppings. There is nothing good about being kicked out of your home for hours at a time while unknown people are perusing your life. Some complain about things like the kitchen. I love my funky, Mexican-inspired kitchen, but it is not for everyone. On the other hand, I have turned out amazing feasts in that stilted space. Many will attest to my culinary talents.

I was collecting flowers for the showings this morning, wandering around the house with scissors and blooms in hand. As I rounded the corner of the garage,  Boo-boo the bear was hefting his butt over the deck railing. Skeedles was dancing in a circle pointing and silently miming some sign for danger. There be bears and these woods…

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