Sunday, July 10, 2011

Settling into the country

As I write this, I’m enjoying a café latte sitting on the front porch of our country house on the last morning of a two week “vacation”.  It wasn’t a vacation in the truest sense of the word because I didn’t take any time off work.  It was a vacation in the sense that Husband (who lives and works in a different city at the moment) was home for two weeks and we got to spend almost every evening sitting on our back deck together enjoying the sights and sounds of the little property we bought just over a year ago. 

The weather was terrific so we had long evenings out there to get familiar with the birds that regularly visit the yard this time of year – bright yellow finches, darting hummingbirds, round red-breasted robins and downy woodpeckers. 

It was also lovely to spend time more carefully examining the new-to-us yard that surrounds our house. It contains an assortment of overgrown shrubs and flower beds gone wild and I was delighted to discover an assortment of my favourite perennials amongst all the weeds – wild roses, rhododendrons, day lilies, three varieties of irises, and hosta amongst others.  For this year, we’ve decided only to weed the beds we think might be salvageable, start planning what to do with the others next spring, and do a first pruning of the shrubs. We’ll harvest as many blackberries and cherries as we can too – though the birds may be quicker getting to them than we are.

Husband headed back to Upper Canada with our younger cat yesterday so our elder cat and I have this last long day to ourselves.  My plan is to go for a long leisurely run this morning, spend a little time doing chores, then pack myself off to the beach for a few hours with another book by one of my favourite authors (and former classmate), Anne Enright.  Last weekend, I finished her latest novel, “The Forgotten Waltz” and loved it, so I’m very much looking forward to reading the next of hers on my list, “The Wig My Father Wore”.

Anne is an extraordinary writer. Reading “The Forgotten Waltz”, I found myself pausing again and again to savour passages like this one:

…As I continued to leave, he continued to keep me, the kiss was a sweet argument and pursuit, so tranced and articulate, his left hand on my arm, the other holding his plastic door key, not yet slipped home. 

It was the luxury of the kiss that held me, the pure pointless, greedy delight…

Oh, to be able to write like that!  No wonder the woman wins prizes. (She won the Booker for her novel “The Gathering” a few years ago.)

Anyway, off I go to start enjoying this last long lovely day of “vacation”. Of course, I miss Husband and wish he were still here with me but, fortunately, there are beautiful running trails, my garden, the birds, the beach, and a pile of good books to keep me happy and occupied until he returns in just a few weeks and we can an enjoy a proper vacation together.

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