Notes from Another Deck

Now I’m sitting on a deck located off the back of a log cabin outside of Cooperstown, New York, late Sunday morning. At 4 pm my baby cousin, baby no more, is getting married. It will be beautiful and festive. But right now I am very much enjoying the quiet and peace of this deck. Earlier I prowled the grounds, and I wouldn’t mind taking a real hike (there are trails), but after seeing a fox, and knowing there are bears around, I’m scared to go alone. My travel companions (husband and brother) are more interested in lounging around and watching the History Channel. (They have also refused to stop at any of the many yard sales we passed!)

It’s a gorgeous day. On my walk earlier, I just tried to soak it all in. Down by the pond, I crouched and waited until the fish became visible. Lots of fish, but we don’t have any fishing poles. I observed the mud, the bugs. My husband saw a snake and fire salamanders there yesterday. Listened. The breeze rustling the pine needles. All the different wildflowers. Purple daisies, black-eyed Susans, some kind of puffy thistle. Goldenrod is ubiquitous; we saw it the whole ride up here too.

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So this is really the last gasp of summer, the last vacation. I’m happy to be here without the kids, but I’m missing my parents, who have various ailments and couldn’t make it. I think they really would have enjoyed being here. I’m torn between heading into Cooperstown to explore, and just sitting here and meditating. There’s a Farmer’s Museum, and of course the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Anyhoo, it’s going to be a quick trip, we won’t have time to see much, unfortunately. But I would definitely come back. It’s pretty close in feeling to Vermont, my end-all be-all of country peace and quiet.

Last week was craaaazy busy. I got home from vacation and plunged right into craziness. My parents are both unable to drive at the moment and one is in a wheelchair with a broken foot. So I’ve been trying to help them as much as I can. We had to go back to Staples and get the last few supplies for school. I was able to reuse last year’s bookbags and one plastic supplies box from last year, and other stuff we just had around (glue sticks, one pair of scissors, dry erase marker). There were even folders from last year that were fine to reuse. My son also came home in June with a couple composition books that were either untouched or had just a few pages written in, so with those pages ripped out, they went right back as part of the new batch of books. Still, I ended up spending at least $120 on school supplies.

Last week I also had to squeeze in a trip to the doctor and the radiology center for my foot (not broken, thank God). So Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday were a blur. Thursday was the first day of school, and it was the longest first day evah! I was at school from 7:30 am to 11:30 am, then back at 12:30 pm to pick up my oldest. I won’t get into it all, but there were two different orientations to attend and PTA stuff and me giving a speech and not enough coffee in the world. Actually I was so busy, I never got around to getting any. Friday was nearly just as crazy. I won’t be talking about PTA specifically on here, but know that I am pretty always working on something for PTA from here on in.

***

Now It’s Tuesday night. Another busy day today, the first full day of school. I have let some things slip. I need to buy more Tupperware and plastic drink containers, so that I’m not using Ziploc bags and juice boxes so much. I have to start using my reusable bags again, because I have a million plastic bags stuffed in a cabinet and I think they mated. While I was on vacation down the Shore, I picked up a copy of Organic Life magazine. (This was a real treat to me — I bought three magazines, which I never do. I loved it! Sad.) Anyway, it was quite interesting and I’ll have to write more about it later. I did pack up my recyclables from Cooperstown and bring them back here to recycle. And I resisted buying baseball-related souvenirs for the kids, who aren’t even that into baseball. Aaand I was rocking a $9 Goodwill dress at the wedding.

I’m missing being in the garden. But it’s chugging along OK. Pumpkins continue to form, way out on the far ends of the vines. The cornstalks are drying up quite nicely and should be perfect for Halloween. Still hoping I can do a fall planting of carrots and lettuce, at least.

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“Emily” basil

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