I have not posted for too long a time. At first, I was busy. Then, simply cranky. However, as if a gentle challenge to my sullen mood, a moment ago I glanced over my left shoulder and not twenty feet from me, sat a bluebird. There are some mighty beautiful winged creatures in this part of the world: cardinals, baltimore orioles, hummingbirds. But among them, bluebirds hold a special place in my heart. The first time I ever saw one, I burst into tears. I would like to think that this little visitor represents the bluebird of happiness; always welcome back.
Last week began smoothly. I drove to Boston on Wednesday for a much needed appointment with an ENT doctor. For the last twenty five years, I have had a sinus infection every few months. Surgery on my lower sinuses six years ago helped but did not alleviate the problem. It would be great to avoid taking antibiotics with such frequency, so both further diagnostics and prophylactic measures were discussed.
On Thursday, Sadie and I had a night on the town in Boston. First, a delightful meal of French-Indian cuisine and then we caught a performance of Jiri Kylian’s Black and White Ballet at the Boston Opera House. I had been Sadie’s date for this same ballet last year, and it was a treat to be in the audience once again. We even spent the night in a kinda ritzy hotel, and enjoyed simply relaxing and catching up.
As this was Memorial Day Weekend, I was but one of many vehicles as I headed north on Friday. Our little town triples in population in the summer months. Good for the economy but bad for local tempers as we try to negotiate heavy traffic. There was also a giant craft (crap) fair in the center of the village, putting lots of pedestrians in the congestion mix. David is out of town again, so after I scooped up Pete at the bus stop, the two of us headed to Mary and Raleigh’s for an impromptu dinner. Mary placed a mint julep in my hands almost the moment I crossed their threshold, and both the dinner and the conversation were delicious.
First thing in the morning on Saturday, I hustled off to the grocery store in order to stock up so that we could stay home and avoid the crowds.
It had been quite windy and rained a bit the night before, and there were chalky puddles of pollen all over the driveway. Ick.
I’m not even allergic to pollen, but there was just so much of it and it was wafting everywhere, so it was necessary to close all the windows in the house. I hosed down the deck, but almost immediately everything became coated in yellow talc again. Am I sounding grumpy yet?
Sunday morning when I went to get the papers, there was a strong odor outside, rather like overheated electronics. Hmmm. An hour later the smell was even more pervasive and the air was so hazy I could no longer see the lake. I called the fire department and asked as to whether or not they were aware of anything burning nearby. Nope, but they’d drive up to our road and check anyway. I spent most of the day indoors, windows shut again. That evening I learned that what we were seeing and smelling was actually smoke from a large number of forest fires in Quebec.
By Monday morning an air quality alert had been posted, as levels of airborne particulates were high enough to cause health issues in sensitive individuals (my demographic) and, sigh, we spent the rest of our Memorial Day weekend inside, windows shut. I know I shouldn’t complain; our air is generally very clean and there are places in the world where polluted air is a given.
And today, well, despite my (hopefully) little harbinger of happiness, the windows are still shut and the lake and mountains are shrouded in smoke. It is raining gently, which so far seems to have had little effect, although it should help wash away some of the pollen. There is a chance of thunderstorms and high winds this afternoon, and that may blow this muck out of here. I hope so, as I am more than ready to step outside and inhale deeply.