I come home from trips and fall back into my soft routine.
It goes like this: Up in the morning at 6:30 or 7:00. Let dogs and cat out. Make bed, quick shower, get dressed. Jerry has started tea for me and coffee for him. Make breakfast. Jerry has toast, and/ or eggs and bacon or sausage. Sometimes I eat a little of some of that. Then I go into the garden and look at flowers and my tomatoes.
Jerry starts building. Just now he is making us a new bathroom. Next I get on the computer for a while. I write, email and read and comment on blogs I like. During the morning I alternate garden and computer. I Put out birdseed.
Lunch is at noon. Jerry has fruit and a sandwich; I have two small tacos, usually with cheese. This lunch for me is recent. In a month or so I will get tired of tacos and move on to something else. Nap is next and dogs are allowed on the bed at nap time, but they have to stay on my side. We doze. At 1:30 or 2:00 we get up and do afternoon chores. Jerry builds, I do housework or write or garden or draw.
At about 4:30 we get out the wine and turn on the news. While we sip and listen I begin to make supper. If the weather is nice we sit out on the patio I built last year and look at the blue sky and the big doug fir and all my flowers.
Jerry notices airplanes that fly over and I notice humming birds. We point these things out to each other. We discuss the news or what we have read in Science or The Economist or the New York Times. Sometimes we talk about people – my kids, his son, his brother, friends, former friends. Then we have dinner. Lately I have tried to cook only as much as we both want to eat with no left-overs. After dinner I wash dishes, feed dogs.
At about 7:30 we take our evening walk. Sometimes, if the weather is fine, walking is a great pleasure.
The views are lovely, the llamas are funny, there are deer and rabbits and we sometimes see friends either on foot or in cars for a brief chat. Dogs bark; we check property for sale on our street. I notice that the blackberries are about ready to pick. Sometimes the walk is not pleasant if it rains or is cold and windy. Then I am glad when it’s over, but we do it faithfully every evening for the exercise. There’s one steep hill in our walk, and I watch our reactions as we climb the hill. One or the other of us often gets a bit short of breath.
Now, after the walk, I am starting a new post, dawdling until bedtime (about 9:30). At bedtime the dogs go into their crate for the night and I call the cat inside. Usually she is waiting for me at the patio gate. I read to Jerry in bed until about 10:00, then lights out and sleep. At present our book is Coming into the Country by John McPhee. It is about Alaska. We often wake up at around 2 or 3 in the morning and talk for an hour or so. This routine goes on for days and I begin to think it will just keep on keeping on until the end. Then something happens.
Tonight w e got a phone call from Manley.
Last spring when we were staying in our house in Manley Hot Springs, Alaska I wrote some posts about the people and country of that part of Alaska. One post in particular caused trouble. I hurt the feelings of a person I like; I was sad, and sorry I had written it. I made the mistake of thinking nobody in Manley would read my blog. While I was in England I received some new and vicious blog comments and I realized that, because of the blog, my future social life in Manley would be limited.
The call we got last night was a friendly one from a neighbor who keeps an eye on our house. He said there was a rumor that our house was advertised for sale on Craig’s List for a low price, and he asked Jerry whether that was true. Jerry said, emphatically, not true. Our friend also reported that a man in a pickup truck had driven up the driveway to our house. The man said he was “just looking around.”
Jerry’s response and mine to this phone call was the same. We want to go to Manley this fall to look after our house, and we were cheered to know that we still have a friend there. I love the trip up there, even though it tires me. There is always wonderful scenery and we always see wildlife on the way. Sometimes we meet new people. When we get to Manley I can spend my time quietly in my little studio painting, and I can write. I love our little house. We will walk up the hill behind the house every evening. Perhaps I’ll pick cranberries. Perhaps I’ll make rose-hip jelly. I’ll knit. We will see the first snow. There’s lots to do. The most important thing is that it makes Jerry happy to be in Alaska. I want him to have that pleasure as long as we are able to travel.