Sunday morning. I sit at my desk, looking out on the back yard.  The bird feeders are filled and soon birds will come to stuff themselves.  Not bright spring birds, dressed in orange, yellow, red and pink courting plumage, but little brown and black birds, preparing for the winter.  Sometimes screaming electric blue Steller Jays swoop down and scare them off for a few minutes.  But they need to eat.  They perch in the big spreading alder, less dense now because the lawn is strewn with fallen leaves. They wait for the marauding jays to have their fill, begin to fight amongst themselves and fly away in a rage.

My Backyard

My Backyard

In the garden I’m struggling against the biological imperative of the flowers to make seed.  I’m losing the battle.  Even if I dead-head every day they slip in a few seed pods.  They begin to take on their sleeping look: brown leaves, withered stalks. 

Life is in transition inside the house as well as out.  Soon the new bathroom will begin to look like a bathroom instead of a construction site.

New Bathroom under Construction

New Bathroom under Construction

When it does we will move our bed downstairs from the loft.  I told Jerry we should sleep upstairs sometimes, just because I like being up in the treetops.  But downstairs is a lot more convenient.

Daughter number 2, Clare, and her husband, Jason, are staying with us.  They are in our rental apartment that is the other half of our house. When I bought this place 10 years ago it was a little duplex in the woods, the only duplex on the island.  Since then we have modernized the back unit where we live and about doubled its size, but the other unit is as it always was.

Clare and Jason are with us while they wait for visas to go to China. There they will teach English to Chinese business people.  Both of them are in divinity school, but are taking a year off.  They have just returned from the Republic of Georgia where they have been working to help people displaced by the conflict with Russia.  Some of their experiences in Georgia can be found on the IRD blog (on my blogroll).

Clare and Jason

Clare and Jason

In 2 weeks we begin drydock.  That’s 3 weeks in September when the car ferry to the island goes to Seattle to be rejuvinated.  There’s a foot ferry, we keep a car on the mainland, and trundle necessities across. It’s best to lay in supplies and bring all the heavy stuff over before drydock begins.

About the time Clare and Jason go off to China daughter number 1 will arrive from England.  Then Jerry and I will set out for Alaska to look after our house. 

Manley House

Manley House

When we’ve done that we plan to travel to New Zealand.  And, by gosh, when that trip ends it’ll just about be Christmas!

Lazy summer days will soon be over.  The season will change.  The sun will move south.  The leaves will fall.
The north wind doth blow,
We shall have snow,
And what will the robin do then,
Poor thing?

This entry was posted in Day to day. Bookmark the permalink.

16 Responses to Transitions

  1. dale says:

    🙂 Thanks for the glimpse into your life, here. So much going on!

  2. I love all those trees in your backyard! Beautiful!

  3. Marja-Leena says:

    What a nice life you have! So busy with family, two homes and travel…

  4. wisewebwoman says:

    Great post, New Zealand, oh my!! One of the places that is on my travel list. have you been before?

  5. Annie says:

    The blue jays that come to my feeder seem far more civilized than your stellar’s jays! My blue jays seem to have a live and let live attitude. But they’re young, maybe next year they’ll be more raucous! I love the colour of stellar’s jays, so elegant.

    What a great traveller you are! How marvellous! Look forward to hearing about the NZ trip with your Duchess. And oh my, another foray into that hotbed of gossip, Alaska! Just kidding 😉

  6. Jan says:

    Oh, my – you certainly are traveling a lot this year!

    I want to go to New Zealand. Quite badly, as a matter of fact.

  7. Celeste Maia says:

    You have the next 4 months already filled with travel and interesting programs. I guess you have family in NZ, as you – or is it your mother – are from there, right? I always dreamed of going to the beautiful country of your childhood, may be one day. And your trip to Alaska, just the drive going and back is an adventure. And the trees in your backyard. You have an enviable and full life, Young Old Woman.

  8. Elizabeth says:

    Saw your comment on Weaver’s Blog.
    Yes, The Stone Diaries was a wonderful read.
    You are right that 19th century writers really gave you something to get your teeth into!

    Read your comments below about health care.
    I’m originally from England so am a true believer in socialized medicine. The system in the US is a disgrace.
    As a retired NY State teacher I have a good (expensive plan) paid for mostly by the school district.
    Anyway, I recently wanted a little rough red patch on my nose checked. A half hour of paper work.
    Doctor in room for less than a minute. Said it was nothing (phew!)
    however, checking the paperwork he charged the insurance $300!
    Since I only paid the deductible, $20, I did not make a fuss
    but what a racket!

  9. Elizabeth says:

    Hope the comment below worked.
    I have just changed to typepad and my comments keep getting lost!

  10. Darlene says:

    You are indeed living a very full life. I envy you being able to travel.

    Clare and Jason are remarkable; Chinese is such a difficult language and that they mastered it enough to be able to teach English to Chinese students is truly impressive.

    I know you are looking forward to the visit from your daughter in England. Enjoy.

  11. Hattie says:

    Thanks for the pix. We’re going to be travelling soon ourselves and I’m getting that old wanderlust. I wonder how your daughter and son in law will find China today. I used to teach ESL and heard many stories from fellow teachers who had taught English in China. The closest I have been to China is to Hong Kong, which we visited just before the changeover, in 1999.
    I long to see Alaska and New Zealand and maybe will get that chance some day.
    Oh, Stone Diaries. Yes, melancholy but true.

  12. My Pop used to sing that little song to us every fall, with this verse on the end:

    He’ll hide behind the barn
    To keep himself warm
    And tuck his head under his wing.
    Poor thing!

  13. Mage Bailey says:

    What a simply wonderful entry. Thank you.

    I know little of the modern virus, but I did know today that when G’s stuff was exhausted, the compputer needed to go to the experts. That’s where it is now. I’m using just about the oldest computer in the house and hope it doesn’t catch the virus/Trojan horse too.

  14. Dick says:

    Busy, busy! I hope you’re having a quiet Christmas, Anne.

  15. Friko says:

    What a very busy lady you are. I hope you will continue blogging while you are flitting hither and thither?
    Thank you for the glimpse of you life.

  16. Grannymar says:

    It is always interesting to peep inside the lives of fellow bloggers. Enjoy New Zealand and the family time.

Comments are closed.