Monday, April 18, 2005


Is it something about the time of year? Are we all outrageously busy making the mental/physical/psychological shift of season? Where have all the bloggers gone? Maybe it is just the unrepresentative, unscientifically sampled group of blogs that I read, but we all seem to have fallen off the blog-wagon. I include myself.

In my case, it is partly the disruption of changing seasons, but mostly ongoing computer issues. I continue to be optimistic that I am near the end of my techno-trials, but who knows? I am renowned for unrealistic optimism, which I consciously choose in contrast to blind cynicism, hurtful not only to originator but to surrounding, innocent parties.

I wrote several blogs in my head yesterday. One on the joy of (almost) completing the bathroom wallpaper, along with memories of wallpaper projects and holiday projects of the past. When you are a single person who enjoys home improvement, the large blocks of time tend to be holidays, so when asked what you did for Easter, you are likely to respond “Wallpapered the bathroom! It is awesome!” Long Thanksgiving weekends will likely bring an outing to friends for dinner but may also include several hours taping diagonal squares on the kitchen floor for an experiment in special effects with wood stain. It turned out beautifully, thank you, but I failed to cover it with a good finish coat to protect it, enamored with shellac as I was in those days. But we live and learn, and we entertain ourselves making ourselves at home.

Another blog only in my brain was about the hike the boys and I took up Smugglers’ Notch. We drove as far as possible on the Smuggs side to where the road is closed, then hiked up the road to the notch. Not a tough climb by any means, the walk was made easier by being on highway most of the way. We met one woman and her two-year-old Golden Retriever as we were going up and they were coming down; we met a lone photographer as we descended. Otherwise, it was a glorious but solitary outing.

Max and Toby were in heaven with so much room to gallop and romp, and I loved the crisp air, the sunshine, the trickle of melting snow, the views—my heavens! the views!—everything except the slidy parts. The last third of the trip was on snowpack, still over two feet thick in some sections, and while my knees and my untutored Southern lack of balance on snow and ice can tolerate going uphill, the downhill return was something else altogether. I looked for crunchy spots, zigzagged back and forth avoiding melty areas and even water flowing across blacktop where black ice can lie hidden. Tiny, tiny steps. All the while thinking about whether it really was very smart to go hiking only with two elderly dogs. If I took a header off the side of the mountain, Toby would never leave me, but would Max know to go looking for help? Would anyone understand his doggy variant of “Timmy’s in the well?” But the slippy, fearful episode lasted only a few minutes out of what was otherwise a glorious morning, and we made it home safely. We would go again of course, but I might be more careful about climbing ice unaccompanied. It looks so different coming back down!

So it was back to the bathroom wallpaper and the realization that one is almost as much at risk on a ladder at home in the bathroom--particularly slipping around on wallpaper paste--as slipping around on ice. At least outdoors on a sunny Sunday morning, there is the possibility that other people will happen by, a possibility that is considerably smaller in my bathroom.

The world is a scary place if we allow it to be. It is also a glorious place to explore. Again, if we allow it to be.


Ralph said...

the cat in the household I share - not for much longer, alas, could never keep a good woman - has it in his head he's a dog. Well, maybe. I do know that he acts somewhat like one when i arrive home on the bus and walk the hill, a hundred metres, he can be 200 metres up the road but comes bounding down to meet me. We could take a walk to the shop - via the path through the woods, about half a kilometre - and he'll come too, enjoying the outing except when meeting with dogs when he'll disappear into the brush. On our way back from the shop, we call ... he reappears. I'll miss him.

Robert said...

Oh yeah, going down can be tough.

Maybe when the rain clears away your boys can meet my boy on a bit of a hike. I know a good spot near Nebraska Notch that is paved, but only bicycles and walkers are allowed. Pretty flat, too, but great views. Drop me a note sometime.

Linda said...

Where are you? How is your spring going? My dogwoods are blooming and I am watching the ferns uncurl. Take care.

Karen said...

Daffodils are peaking, bleeding heart bursting forth, dandelions just beginning to spread their golden blush across the fields. Yesterday was the kind of day you would lie to your grandmother, much more so your boss, to be outdoors as much as possible, and tonight frost is forecast.