- A big work thing. I'm sad it's over until the end of the summer, when it starts up again (assuming I get the contract again).
- I learned how to pronounce Tove Jansson and Maira Kalman.
- I'm halfway through Adriene's 30-day yoga challenge.
"Fessenden Park, 1938" (1938). Neighborhoods - Portland Press Herald Still Film Negatives
We went to the beach yesterday with plans to meet a dog friend (actually two dog friends and one human friend). It was a bright, brilliant, 38 degree day in January, and the tide was low, low, low. As we approached the normally (in winter) empty parking lot, the heavy traffic alerted us to the fact that we were not the only people who had decided to go to the beach. Reader, there were so many people there. Like, a 90-degree-summer-day amount of people. I actually don't think I've witnessed that many humans in one geographical area since March 2020. Luckily, the beach was enormous, due to the low, low, low tide I mentioned. We were spectacularly distanced from the other humans, and we had a lovely time walking and walking on the beach. Mark has a new (to him) Apple watch, and it informed us that between our morning Eastern Promenade promenade and our beach saunter, we walked 17,000 steps.
Clover hadn't met these dog friends before, and they got along great. They ran and dug and smiled. One of them found a stunningly large pile of discarded Doritos on the beach and later threw up on my shoe.
I accidentally left my phone at home on this morning's beach walk, always a good thing after the initial panic (long ago, before my first iPhone, I imagined a world where all of us would have smart phones that weren't accessories, but required devices, like a remote control that was necessary for us to function. Like when you lose the TV remote and can't remember how to make it do anything using just the buttons on it?).
Always a good thing, but not pictured:
The solstice started with a soft sky and ended overcast. We struggled to get a fire burning in our rusty fire pit, where I forced us all out into the snow, encouraged by hot chocolate, some with marshmallows, and a hot cup of ginger tea with honey for Edna, who doesn't do chocolate. Every fleece blanket we own was there too, though it wasn't really too cold. I didn't take a picture, there were no stars in the sky, and I hoped that the pitiful flame — not very bright, not very warm* — could symbolize the year we're leaving behind, and not the one that stretches in front of us.
Isaac and Edna, quarantined and tested twice, are here to make a little Christmas celebration with us. We are baking a little and cooking a little, and we have a little tree with a few presents under it.
The thing about the winter solstice is it's just the beginning of the hardest part, even though I'm a glass-half-full person and the light is growing and I love the snow etc.
*on our to-do list = firewood, kindling
I have zero cause for complaint. I'm extremely superstitious about mentioning this, but my loved ones are safe and healthy.
But here I go: this is the year in which a predicted snowstorm is likely to cancel Isaac and Edna's scheduled COVID-19 test tomorrow. They also have a test today, but they will have to wait longer for its results, and they're waiting in a generously donated—but very cold—space. This is the year that is keeping most of my beloveds, including my sweetest girl, far away.
Lucky: to have a kid who could drive here, to have a friend who would offer his empty house for isolating. To have enough money to feed ourselves and also buy out the frozen section of Trader Joe's for said kid's quarantine. To have a warm puppy and a warm catfriend and lights on a perfect little tree and batteries for window candles and a tube of almond paste for macaroons in the meantime. To have a car WITH HEATED SEATS and a beach ten minutes away, to walk in the cold wrapped in a warm coat.
Things I observed recently: