Sunday, January 24, 2021

Germination

At this time of year our mailbox fills up with seed catalogs and visions of warmer weather and garden bounty float through our fireside dreams. I spent some time yesterday afternoon circling seed descriptions and dog-earring their pages to organize my orders, but when I went online, company after company had a disclaimer about how delayed shipping would be on account of how high the demand for their products are this year. It seems that early seed starting is yet another pandemic-driven craze. I can hardly get upset about the appreciation our culture is recently showing for slowing down and doing things the old-fashioned way; I just hope my seeds get here in time!

Saturday, January 23, 2021

Winter Weekends

The sun was shining but the day was frigid, and so I built a fire a little past noon and it's been crackling cheerfully ever since. I couldn't allow myself to sit around all day, though, and so a little yoga here, a little dance workout there, some fireplace popcorn, and even a toasted marshmallow on chocolate drizzled pretzel thins punctuated those stretches of lounging by the fire. And now that darkness has fallen and Saturday is well on its way to Sunday, I'm feeling pretty content about the way I spent my day.

Friday, January 22, 2021

Dr. B.

I received an email invitation to join Jill Biden in a virtual celebration of teachers yesterday. Curiosity and residual Inauguration warm fuzziness spurred me to join, and so at 6PM I followed the link, prepared to hear our newly minted first lady and the presidents of the NEA and AFT deliver some rah rah remarks. But my cynicism, forged through years of listening to non-educators in such positions of influence and authority oscillate between patronizing and dismissive and hostile, faded slightly with the strong and authentic voices of these three women. And when Jill Biden issued her closing call to arms declaring, "Educators this is our moment! Because we know how to turn chaos into something beautiful. We do it every day in our classrooms." I knew I was listening to a real teacher.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Boom Boom Boom

As the Inauguration celebration on TV was nearing its end, I went upstairs to see if I could make out the two columns of light being projected from the National Mall. 

When I stepped out onto my balcony, what I saw instead was a blaze of sparks and the vibrant glare of rockets and bright streamers bursting in the sky! The broadcast must have been a few minutes delayed, because there were no such pyrotechnics behind Katy Perry when I left the couch. 

I opened the door to call down to Heidi just as she shouted up to me: "They have fireworks!" And so enthralled we watched them together as they lit up the sky, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Buh Bye

I confess that I stepped out on my balcony, stood on tiptoe, and craned to catch a glimpse of Marine One as it departed the White House this morning around 8:20. It would not have been impossible-- the tip of the Washington Monument is sometimes just within sight to the northeast, through the tall Virginia Pines and over the ridge-- but today as I stood under a pale blue sky in the thin January sunshine, I saw nothing but a few puffy clouds. 

He was gone, and I could barely contain my glee.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

HOPE

Call me a wimp, but I have found the coarse and confrontational tone of our national politics unpleasant for the last, oh, four years or so. Think less of me if you must, but I much prefer dignity and inclusive rhetoric and symbolism to crass displays and hateful words. Perhaps I am naive to believe that such things matter, much less signal substance and change, but please! 

Let me enjoy it for a day.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Smaklig Måltid!

In an expansion of my sourdough repertoire, yesterday I baked a dense rye bread, similar to the Scandinavian staple that is often the base of those open-faced sandwiches so common to that region. It was a heavy dough, fortified with stout and laced with almonds, pumpkin seeds, and flax meal, that I turned into my pullman pan to rise. The recipe called for baking it for over 2 hours, but the direction that the internal temperature should reach 208 was helpful guidance. Once out of the pan, the block of bread was to be wrapped in a clean towel for at least 24 hours. This morning, it was at last ready to slice, and I was ready to top it. We've had butter, avocado, and smoked salmon, tuna and egg, poached shrimp with lobster mayo and dill-- all hearty and filling in an unmistakably Nordic way.