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Skylark as Barn Swallow September 15, 2015

Posted by indigobunting in Uncategorized.
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If you spend time on the right water, eventually you’ll see mayflies. And you’ll see some of those mayflies disappear into hungry mouths.

It’s always exciting to watch barn (and other) swallows swoop down to the water’s surface for a snack. It’s equally exciting to watch fish swim up for a slurp.

It was exactly this tension—potential swallows from above and below—that inspired Tim to create a painting years ago: a mayfly, a brown trout approaching from beneath, a barn swallow swooping down.

He worked hard on this painting: water tumbling over stones, a small stand of birches, a kingfisher on a branch. But something wasn’t working.

Eventually, I suggested that it might be the barn swallow.

Reluctantly, he agreed, and the barn swallow flew away. Now it’s a beautiful painting that exists without record of its full inspiration.

I’ve been thinking about that painting a lot lately.

A friend of mine has been working on a musical review of his father’s work. He found a venue in London, and the show was going to open in October. He insisted I be there on opening night and the afterparty. Sounds great!

My high school best buddy was on the producer’s list, and she was going too. In April, she reserved rooms for us at the hotel where everyone—the cast, everyone!—was staying. In July, I bought my nonrefundable plane tickets and based my flights on her carrier and her (return) schedule—in part because I’ll be flying in and out near her, but also to travel with her on the way home.

Tim and I had been thinking about heading to England this year, earlier, because we got engaged there thirty years ago in April. We didn’t manage the spring, but the show was great justification to make it happen in the fall.

Then I realized that the Chunnel is convenient and affordable, and Tim has never been to Paris. And a friend in London, someone I haven’t seen in more than a quarter century, offered to put us up. So our trip took shape.

And then, about a month ago, the show was canceled.

I am so disappointed. The show will likely happen sometime, somewhere else, but not in London in October, when we moved work-and-money mountains to make it happen. I was really looking forward to it.

But we certainly weren’t going to cancel. We have a two-week trip planned. We will spend more time with John, whose generosity is astounding. We will not be traveling with Sue, who has no reason to make a trip to London that she didn’t really have time for anyway. I will likely not go to the opening of the musical if it happens in Europe.

So I’m sad that the inspiration for the trip, the catalyst that made us at last plan this, has evaporated.

But it was our barn swallow, and the result will still be beautiful.

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Fish or Not?: Part 4: The Market Closes September 14, 2015

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I know this won’t last forever. Nothing does. I am living in a brief moment when fresh fish is practically being delivered to my doorstep.

Me, on August 6

On August 27, we received the official announcement that our Friday night market was over. It had lasted 3½ years, apparently, which is a pretty good run for such a tiny community. Fewer and fewer people were showing up. There were likely multiple reasons for that (some political, alas), but our community was too small to ever be able to offer big profit to the small vendors. No doubt many were lucky to break even.

At the moment, the fish runner still comes once a week, and we all meet where the market used to be. But how long will that last?

Fish or Not? Part 3: Here’s What Happened September 1, 2015

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August 1st was Sioux’s annual champagne/art party, and on the 2nd we had dinner guests, and the 3rd, well, I did go to a wonderful yoga class that a friend’s houseguest was hosting but when I got home I think Tim had had a rough day, which translated into Martini Monday, but on the 4th I distracted myself by going to hear a friend sing at a concert on the green and on the 5th I went to hear a local writer/comedian I never seem to have opportunity to check out, and those events required driving and I was by myself so that took care of that and so I got two days under my belt, but on the 6th a photographer friend had a stock photo shoot session of women in their 50s and 60s and there was in fact a bottle of tequila floating around and on the 7th summer friends, whom I’d barely seen this year and the summer was nearly over, had happy hour on their porch, and the 8th was the Old Home Days parade and the annual potluck party of friends we seem to only see there, a favorite event, and I ran into a friend who moved away and I hadn’t seen in years and invited her and another friend over on the 9th for happy hour and noshes, which was truly wonder, so by the 10th and 11th I had to get serious, and somehow I managed, so that was four, and on the 12th Sioux had a girls night that was supposed to feature the appearance of Mary Ellen, who was the one person who didn’t show, and on the 13th we had dinner out with our friend Joe who was in town from Portland, and on the 14th Nick and Andrew had us over for a garden party with the summer friends because we hadn’t been there in years and I acted as bartender making them all a drink called Late Night at OOB (rum, other things, shame), and on the 15th we had fabulous fish from the fish runner, which had to be paired with a fine wine, and on the 15th our neighbors, who will be moving away soon, had us over for backgammon and pizza and good beer, and somehow, on the 17th, in spite of going to the river and being surrounded by alcohol, I turned it down, so that was five, and on the 18th Mary Ellen hosted a girls night to make up for the one she missed, and that night I had one drink and oddly didn’t even want more and maybe didn’t even want that one, and the next night friends had a going-away party for the summer people, and again, I had just one drink and didn’t want more, and I was dry on the 20th, so that was six, and on the 21st we had dinner guests, and on the 22nd I really needed a martini and it had been three weeks since Martini Monday, after all, and on the 23rd Tim had his music buddies over to play and have dinner and drinks, and Mary brought her homemade rhubarb wine, and it would have been rude not to try it, and on the 24th we went canoeing for the evening and thus ran from happy hour, so that was seven, and the 25th was our 29th legal anniversary and we had a lovely dinner and an amazing bottle (Joseph Faiveley Chassagne-Montrachet 1er Cru “Morgeot” 2006—I was worried we’d waited too long but it was incredible), and then I somehow got through the 26th and 27th, the latter being the day I mentioned yesterday that I could barely get through and no doubt I substituted a lot of sugar instead, what with the music people leaving two pies and a cake in their wake and in my fridge, but that got me to nine, and on the 28th there was an impromptu happy hour with some neighbors, during which I drank that beer and bourbon I’d been craving, and on the 29th I went to a friend’s 50th birthday party, and on the 30th, the day we harvested the hops, I made it through, so that was ten.

And on the 31st, well, most of the day I thought I would skip it, but I got lonely and went had a beer across the street with Martha and Thom.

See what I’m up against here in Parts West? But I made it.