well, then

 

So, I think this is the first Saturday in a billion years that I haven’t been supremely busy. How wonderful!

I woke up. There wasn’t quite enough cream for the coffee, but we made do. 

I started looking at knitting patterns. I think the weather, or really, the light, has changed, and it now feels like fall. In any case, I am starting to feel ready to knit again, which is a sure indicator that fall is nearly here.

I haven’t really recovered from being away earlier this week, plus helping M pack up over the weekend, plus our last-minute excursions.

I packed up 4 boxes and took them to the post office, using the handy machine to get them all mailed. One to N, one to M, a tea towel from the Palace of the Legion of Honor’s Impressionist exhibit for my mother, and another package to a friend. There’s a protest at our lovely downtown post office because the USPS wants to sell the building. It seems very wrong, somehow, to sell a lovely old building with its WPA murals and wooden pews, conveniently situated in the middle of downtown. They say they’d rent another downtown site, but I can’t see where.  I can’t help feeling that its another sign of the demise of our civil society that we’re getting rid of the post office and public education and trains. This is why I’m going to have to move to Denmark.

 

But I really wasn’t worrying about that today. On my way home I returned a book to the library. I bought cream for tomorrow.  I checked out an armchair at the furniture store. I’m thinking about new furniture. (I am always thinking about new furniture, and I never do anything about it. Although I’d better, because we’re having an event here in October and our furniture is very very bad.)

N sent me a picture of her friend P lying on the beach. N is leaving Maine in 2 weeks or so, and I think she’s going to miss it. 

I sent M a text, asking if she’d received some things I’d ordered for her. (She has not. They are possibly at the bookstore.)

Now I am lounging about. I should do so many things, and perhaps I will, tomorrow. Though A has invited us for dinner, and I could make brownies. Maybe I will —

 

–in a minute.

The last one

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I’m on the plane. There are impressive puffy clouds out the window. I’m just returning from dropping M of for her last year of college.

I realized last night, as I left her mostly unpacked in her new apartment, that helping her move in felt like tucking her in before bed when she was little. We arrived on campus yesterday morning with two suitcases to find all of her stored boxes safely piled in her room in the new apartment. We managed to get everything out of the boxes and put away, and new shampoo and a dish drainer purchased before I left, late last night, to return to the hotel. I left her the box of posters and Christmas lights to put up today, when she can think about where she wants to put them.

The thing M misses the most, she says, is the ocean. But she also says that as compensation, Ohio has consistently wonderful skies.

It was fun to have her home for two weeks, and it was also fun to fly to Ohio with her.

I miss her. We’re pretty companionable. We both like time alone, but we also like to do things. On Sunday we drove down to Pacifica to see a show, 50 x 50, at the Sanchez Art Center. We’d gone to see one artist, but ended up completely captivated by some tiny owl paintings by David Molesky. The drama of the backgrounds reminded me of Caspar David Friedrich, whom I had never heard of until Nora and I saw a show of his in Stockholm purely by accident. (Oh, really. Click the Molesky link. They are so wonderful. A bit smaller in person.) They were particularly interesting because they are sort of like what M has been thinking about doing for her thesis, which, if I understand it, is a kind of blending of real and unreal in a naturalistic setting. So it was good to see that someone else — a professional — has also thought of this.

And then I got up very really and drove to the airport, arriving quite late but making my plan easily. That’s the reason to live near a small airport. And I finished Mother Night, which M had passed on to me from N. (She finished it on the way out. N finished it on the flight to Italy.) And I noodled around a bit on the computer. And then I read Alison Bechdel’s are you my mother?, which is fabulous.

And now I am home, and hungry.

Good night!

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Saturday

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Phew.

Back to normal, sort of. Anyway, I’m not tired, and I made it to the weekend, and I even managed to get some serious stuff done, finally, at work between 4 and 7 last evening.

I’m taking a shower, and then I’ll get some bread, and then I think I’ll put the suitcases away – you know, the usual.

M is home for another week. I want to have some fun with her.

How great, though, to feel sort of normal.

I got a haircut, too, which is contributing mightily to my feelings of general competence.

All righty, then!

Decompressing

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Now commences the usual trip recovery program.

The house is full of cat hair. There is little to eat, and it’s hard to be motivated to cook when you struggle to work and back in a fog of tiredness.

The suitcases spill out their guts of cords and art supplies and clean and dirty clothing all over the living room, since there really isn’t room for them upstairs. It gets worse until one day you empty them and stack them by the back door. We’re nearly there — I’ve been doing laundry.

We’re just holding it together until the weekend when we can vacuum and clean up, although god knows we will not feel like doing it then, either.

The kitchen is clean. That helps. And there is plenty of coffee.

There is also something wrong with my leg, but I decided to just take motrin and ignore it, and tomorrow I’m going to the gym. That should fix it. In fact, it feels better already.

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Lucy

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Boy, did Lucy miss us.

You can see her above, supervising the packing of the suitcase.

Now she’s happy we’re back.

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We didn’t tell her about the Italian cats we met.

Some things she is better off not knowing.

Italy — the recap

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So, we are back, and because it’s pretty far away, and also because of the somewhat less than direct trip back, I’m still a little out of it, but it was wonderful.

And more immediately, M is home with us, and that is wonderful, too.

(Did you know that the guy who wrote Pinocchio was from Florence, by the way?)

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So, we (K and I, N, my mother, and my brother D) started out in the country, where we stayed at an agriturismo and visited nearby towns. This is from the garden of the Etruscan Museum in Volterra. (My mother is oddly fascinated with the Etruscans. I believe she feels they have been Overlooked by History.)

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We had many fine adventures, saw many things, ate many things, before returning to Florence. Sadly, my photographic record is somewhat incomplete — my mother has a great picture of M in front of her paintings — but we met up with M there, went to her show, and met a few of her friends. She looked happy and we were happy to see her, and her paintings are lovely.

Then we hung around Florence for 3 or 4 days, going off in different configurations to do different things. There were so many things to do that it’s impossible, which is kind of a relief. No need to kill yourself trying, and also a great excuse to come back. Would it be nice to come back and spend a month or so, luxuriously discovering all kinds of things? I think maybe so. Some people climbed the dome. We all went to the Uffizi. Some of us saw Michelangelo’s David, which came with a surprisingly interesting exhibit of old manuscripts about the history of Florence which I really loved.

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It was also an exploration of museum science — from the dusty old Etruscan Museum with rooms full of cinerary urns (which would be really interesting to someone who knew a lot about the subject) to the Galileo Museum, which let you plot planetary orbits by yourself.

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The girls hung out together, which always makes me happy.

We visited bookstores. M is considering a career in cover illustration.

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Lots of things, like the store where they mix paint for you, were closed — another reason to go back.

And we ate. A lot. All delicious.

This is N, reading M the Communist Manifesto aloud to M. (She is on a serious course of self-study.)

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It always feels, living where we do, that we’re pretty far from everything. All you have to do, though, is get on a plane, and you realize that it’s just a matter of time. We’re not really so far —

We’ll be back.

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In Italy

Hello, I am in Italy.

Why did no one tell me how wonderful it is here? I think it must be a secret.

M looks wonderful, and her paintings are lovely, and it is great to see her and her sister, N.

We are having a fabulous time– imalmost wanting not to do things so I can be sure to come back.

Ciao.