Between and among adventures, we had time to catch up on Colony (and discuss the apparent Lost parallels, including Snyder = Ben and “Not everything is as it may seem”), finish a few books (Shylock Is My Name is well worth the effort), and plan a few more excursions — although not for over the holiday. By design, our three-day respite will not take us further from home than half the distance of our longest bike ride.
What have you planned for the long weekend?
Speaking of birds, and treasures… The female rose-breasted grosbeak was at the feeder this morning — as fine a celebration of my daughters’ return as any.
Much of the girls’ first two days home involved unpacking their belongings and eating, in their words, “good food.” My younger daughter also joined me in the yard work Friday and Monday. We’ve planted and / or hung a number of bird- and butterfly-attracting plants this year and set up a new wasp-resistant hummingbird feeder. The male ruby-throated hummingbird has already put in a brief appearance, and all the usual suspects — robins, cardinals, goldfinches, blue jays, mourning doves, house finches, nuthatches, chickadees, woodpeckers, and more — join us regularly. Once the orioles and indigo buntings stop by, it can most certainly be called May in the forever home.
(When my daughters and I sit in companionable silence and watch the birds, I am reminded of the many hours over many years we have spent observing backyard visitors. How is it possible that they are college seniors already? Time bends and folds.)
In other news… Over the weekend, we headed into Chicago for the Court Theatre’s production of Harvey. Timothy Edward Kane’s turn as Elwood Dowd is reason enough to see the play. Recommended.
In the week since my last post, I (re)read eight books:
■ Fatale (Jean-Paul Manchette; 1977 (2011, English). Fiction.)
■ Tenth of December (George Saunders; 2013. Fiction.)
■ The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Geocaching, (2012. Non-fiction.)
■ Briggs Land, Volume 1: State of Grace (Brian Wood; 2017. Graphic fiction.)
■ Those Who Wish Me Dead (Michael Koryta; 2014. Fiction.)
■ Henry IV, Part 1 (William Shakespeare; 1597. Drama.)
■ The Rape of Lucrece (William Shakespeare; 1594. Poetry.)
■ Henry IV, Part 2 (William Shakespeare; 1597. Drama.)
Graphic novel readers, add Briggs Land to your TBR stack. Short story lovers? Have you met Saunders? He reminds me of Vonnegut in all the best ways. Try “The Semplica-Girl Diaries.” It it works for you, put Tenth of December on your nightstand. (Lincoln in the Bardo should already be there.)
The spring semester of my music lessons concluded last week. As I have done for the past two summers, I will take one lesson during each of the summer months and resume weekly lessons after Labor Day. For my solo piece, I am moving from Sadko’s “Song of India” to Bach’s Arioso from Cantata BWV 156. My older daughter, who is taking organ lessons at the University, and I will also be working on Michael Conway’s “Elegy for Flute and Organ.”
In other news, a female Eastern Towhee spent the day in my yard late last week, so I had a new addition to my backyard list. I haven’t seen the grosbeaks, orioles, or hummingbirds yet, but it is getting to be that time of year again: I have begun assembling my garden containers, and my husband and I redefined a corner of our backyard, adding a border and new plants. I repainted all of the outdoor furniture and repositioned the bird feeders. As soon as the evening temperatures increase a bit more, I will finish planting and install a new, wasp-resistant hummingbird feeder. Welcome to my house, butterflies and birds!
■ The weather did not prevent us from finding our thirteenth and fourteenth geocaches, both of which are part of a fifteen-cache tour we’re on. (We are a third of the way through, with five logged.) After a one-month hiatus, it was a great deal of fun to continue with this pursuit.
■ Two notes on my last entry: I finished Reclaiming Conversation (Sherry Turkle) yesterday and am now eyeing Fatale (Jean-Patrick Manchette) and News of the World (Paulette Jiles). And on the topic of Moby Dick, the librarian featured in this ALA magazine article has a dream job, no?
■ The Handmaid’s Tale is superlative television. Drop everything. Watch it now.