This last week was mildly eventful and full of change. The final three days of winter brought a stiff east wind—which locally is sometimes quite warm in winter. For three days we enjoyed temperatures in the 70s, which would be a warm day for us in summer! It was a particular relief after the nighttime lows in the 20s the month before. And I took advantage, emptying two rooms so that I could paint floors (more on this later).
Then, naturally, the first day of spring saw an abrupt dip in temperature and a bit of rain. The change of season triggered a series of wild thoughts. We might use our passports to go someplace further than Canada—Ireland? Portugal? Italy? We have only visited the U.S. and two provinces of Canada. Is it even possible to travel anymore without a smart phone? I surveyed the stacks of books that have gathered since I last edited my bookcases—time to sort again. There are shelves of books kept specifically for teaching. Some reorganization is called for. Some hard choices about what books might leave the building. I still have books from childhood, but my house can have too many books once they start appearing in stacks on the floor.
I lay awake one night imagining tearing down our duplex. Though my grandfather rented these units by the night, we have always tried to find full time tenants. Homes all around us have become high-end by-the-night rentals and local people have trouble finding housing. Houses turn into business opportunities, cleaners arriving every few days, a half dozen cars across the street, vacationers replacing residents. Some local residents only venture forth very early while visitors sleep in. (Some rarely visit the beach at all.) We recognize that our local community will continue to change. Wealthier people will supplant those of modest means, while we have determined to rent to the latter and resist this “business opportunity.” It has been such a challenge at times—but then we have met some wonderful people too, and our remaining tenant needs his home. A neighbor came by with a suggestion for tenancy. He also rents only long term.
A good friend was visiting family and stopped by for a chat on Saturday. Everyone seems to be telling me about their children, a subject I confess to finding fascinating. How is it that for much of my life—all the pre-child years—I thought babies were all alike and raising children uninteresting? Now, even now as a grandmother, I find children marvelous.
The official spring Beach Clean-Up wasn’t finding much trash out front (we pick it up every day—a burst pipe just the day before), but while we sat in our dining room with our visitor, and a truck drove on the beach to load and haul away the cut-up tree we’d taken out of the garden. Gary was waiting for the tree to dry, for a day without wind, and we’d have had a small fire on the beach. He is, actually, quite relieved it is gone, but we didn’t understand why a cut-up five-inch trunk and some boughs needed to be hauled off. Hopefully it’s being turned into mulch, which is better than us burning it and less work for us.
I made sourdough crumpets.
We were very glad to reconnect with a local contractor we like and trust. He came by and we outlined a series of repairs and one upgrade. Several evenings with incredible sunsets, and the moon . . . oh! the moon was full and copper-bright!
The taxes did not get done last week before the start of spring. There is still a great deal of painting to do on our rental. A neighbor dug what we assume is to be the grave of their dog. We witnessed a dogfight on the beach—well, not a fight, a bullying attack by a local dog upon a somewhat smaller and entirely inoffensive visitor. No permanent damage, but low moments for the week. I did a bit of knitting. Slept badly. Began reading aloud from the ninth O’Brian Maturin/Aubrey novel. Gary seems to have been successful in getting the rats out from under the duplex. The doves are cooing louder and louder as their nesting season begins. There is a mango-sherbet sunset as I write this. Walked the beach each day. A mix.
We had seven good walks, drank a bottle of sparkling wine over a long evening, and changed our flannel sheets for percale. It’s that time of year.