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Leap February 29, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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This morning I will drive north with my beloved 1998 Subaru Forester—the one that has served me well for more than 10 years, the car that is part of life-as-I-know-it in Vermont, the vehicle that has clocked thousands of miles on Route 153—and trade it in for a 2008 Subaru Outback.

Why do I always feel guilty?

Without going so far as to name vehicles, I must in some way personify these relationships. I feel as if I’m trading in the loyal, mostly reliable friend, a little worn around the edges, for a much younger model. I am in fact using it to do so. My Forester could last another year or two or three—how could I be so heartless as to turn my back on it? This is how I repay years of service?

I felt this way when I traded in my 1988 VW Golf for the car I say goodbye to today. In fact, I’m still able to conjure up a feeling of guilt about that—yes, there it is. Has that Golf yet forgiven my betrayal?

Heated seats, whispers the new Outback. Baby, a warm ass can make you forget.

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Lunar Eclipse February 21, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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A great view from Route 153 last night. Binoculars made it even yummier.

Cabin Fever February 21, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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This month I’ve been noting a feeling of creeping depression. Not quite depression itself—something that feels like it’s leading up to depression. I think it comes from being all wintered up and no place to go—the snowfall hasn’t been ideal for a lot of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing, at least not without getting into a car to pursue it. This season I’ve gotten out for maybe three good skis on the rail trail that crosses Route 153 and for a couple of snowshoes up Porch Hill, across the stream behind my house.

No doubt this creeping feeling has something to do with my close relationship with screens (computer and TV, not windows and porches). I work in front of a computer screen. I get on my NordicTrack and watch movies or catch up on some addiction. I cuddle on the couch with my sweetie and veg out in front of the big tube. I read blogs. Occasionally I even post.

I like doing this stuff, but it hasn’t been balanced lately. I’m not away from screens enough. I want to be, but I don’t want to be. I’m an addict. And this Netflix thing, as I suspected, has got me on another addictive roll. At least for now.

It was starting to get bad last week, and then something miraculous happened. Tim and I had an weekend together that actually felt like a weekend. It was a long weekend at that, and for once Tim didn’t go into the office anyway (he often does on a holiday, as he can get real work accomplished when no one else is around). So we had Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

Saturday, after getting the chores done, we made our appearance at the annual Dance Flurry in Saratoga Springs. We no longer attend the entire event, but Saturday afternoon found us at the Parting Glass Pub to see two concerts: flamenco guitar and dancing, and Nightingale (an especial favorite of Tim’s). I found myself thinking, “I am not at home in front of a screen. I am drinking a lager with lime and watching flamenco dancing.” Tim, who’d gone to the bar in the adjoining room to get beer, came back and reported that the bartender had said, “Is this for [insert Irish name here]?” “Yes,” he said, surprised. She told him, “I haven’t had an order like that in years. Tell her I said hi.”

So, did she really remember me? Or someone else with my name? How long had it been since I’d been there? One year? Three? I remember ordering lager with lime there before, thinking that surely at an Irish pub they would know what that was (in this case Harp with a shot of Rose’s lime) and not get confused (most places give you a lime wedge, like you’re drinking Corona). And they did not get confused. But does no one else order this? I know, it’s a tad girly, and I didn’t know it existed til I discovered it somewhere in Yorkshire in the eighties, but sometimes it makes me really happy. It did on Saturday.

While listening to Nightingale, we decided we would in fact stay and spend the evening contradancing, as Nightingale was the first band up. And dance we did, in a crowded convention center, with a thousand people on the floor. A room full of great dancers. It was a night of men who could give weight and swing. I broke only one heart, and I left with the one who brung me.

Sunday we had plans with some new friends. Despite the fact that we are two child-free couples living only a few Route 153 miles apart, it had taken us six months to make this playdate happen. It was supposed to be dinner, and Tim and I were supposed to show up at 5:00, but the weather reports were a tad scary. So festivities were moved up to noon.

Our friends are caretakers of a large property. We saw the caretaker house, of course, which is a dream house in itself. The main house wasn’t visible, and we didn’t hike up to it, but the views were tremendous, and we ventured out with them when they fed the chickens and the yaks. (Yes. Yaks.) A huge bird soared overhead: a bald eagle, who was promptly dive-bombed by a red-tailed hawk. I see eagles a lot in the Adirondacks, but I don’t see them a lot here, and it always warms my heart to know that a few of these birds like Route 153 enough to keep it in view.

We spent eight hours there. We had a great meal, we sipped wine all afternoon, and we talked. It may sound strange, but given the craziness of our lives, it’s been ages since we’ve hung out with other people all day, just relaxing. No real activities. No tasks. No screens.

Those two days helped my cabin fever a good bit.

Monday I was tired, though, and we did fall back into a little screen watching. The weather was terrible, so we snuggled up against it and ate pot roast that had been simmering in the crock pot all day. It was grass-fed beef raised by folks who live on Route 153. I bought it down at the general store. Just down the street.

I can sense the cabin fever creeping back a bit, but I’m trying not to think about it too much. I mean, it’s only February. Stir craziness is supposed to be a March thing.

Brisk February 20, 2008

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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It’s a brisk (18°F) sunny morning on Route 153. I walked to the post office and dropped a Netflix envelope in the box. I walked further to the general store, which has begun stocking movies. They had a few on my list. If I work out on my NordicTrack for 45 minutes, I can get through a movie in about two sessions.

Will and I chatted about films. The one I picked out is one he says he fell asleep to—but it was late when he started watching it, he assures me.

I walked back home (more sun exposure! we Northerners need that), took off my coat and boots, opened the DVD case to check it—no DVD. Ah, the perils of chattiness. Back on with the coat and boots, the scarf and hat, back down to the store for the DVD. More sun and brisk air.

The driveway is still dangerously icy.

Time to get my sweat on.