Mid-afternoon and the angle of the Sun is already obtuse. We, however, are not. After some fine teamwork in Jay’s shop and a late egg salad lunch, all of us amble down the lane to the road: three dogs leashed, one girl on a bicycle, two rambunctious boys, one intern, and a happy husband and wife. We are our own parade.
We stride along, slowing with our numbers the sporadic cars that approach us. A neighbor’s Jack Russell, fierce and sharp-toothed Betty, doesn’t know what to do with such a crowd, and so she attacks at all angles. The big dogs get annoyed with their leashes. They’d like to set this little one straight. I, however, know a thing or two about Jack Russells, and urge them onwards. She might be one-fifth their size, but she makes up for it in sheer tenacity.
As if the fighting spirit is catching, the rotting windfalls from the apple trees further on become ammunition for the boys, who get carried away, hurling their tree-gifted missiles at the innocents. They move from apples to acorns and back to apples until we all get annoyed with them and hurry out of their range.
But it doesn’t matter. The sunlight is caught in the upper branches of the oaks. The air is brisk and fine. The dogs trot loyally by our sides. It is a fine Friday afternoon.
It has been a full week: the woodstove was installed in my studio, my last writing class met on Wednesday, and Jay had a very productive week in the shop. The kids have been doing great, and on so many levels–piano, math, art, and reading–and they are happy, engaged, and creative.
The kitchen renovation, begun in May, is finally nearing its end. The fridge had been installed in the outdoor kitchen, and was finally moved back inside. We had talked about getting another fridge for inside, but the one we already have is a Sunfrost–a highly efficient appliance–and even if it isn’t as efficient as it used to be, or as new-looking, it still knocks the socks off of most refrigerators in terms of its energy appetite. This matters to me! So we decided we would just keep the one we have, inside. Come summertime we’ll cook outside again, but the fridge will stay inside. And by then it will be covered in cork tiles. (Since it’s not magnetic, it’s always been a little tricky to have an artful refrigerator. But I discovered some stick-on cork tiles this week on one of my rare Wal-mart excursions, and I will cover our dear old frugal fridge with cork, and then we will give it the fine artistic treatment it deserves. Just another simple thing to make life grand).
And this evening Jay installed the Fisher & Paykel cooktop we purchased off of craigslist. I made hot fudge to go over ice cream tonight, and in the morning I will make Chai for breakfast. I will sit in my nearly complete kitchen and watch the morning light grace the crowns of the oaks, lighting them golden. I will go and wake my children, kissing the tops of their bed-tumbled heads.