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Normal is the Watchword

October 22, 2010

I love my clothesline. It has totally revolutionized my feelings about doing laundry. I love hauling the basket of damp clothes up to the bedroom, stepping out onto the upper deck, and pegging them out in the sun. It takes longer to dry them now than it did a couple of months ago. And I’ve learned to peg carefully so the autumn wind doesn’t turn AJ’s boxers into kites.

Mr. Spy uses the line too, although he tends to eschew the bag of wooden clothespins and instead puts his clothes on hangers hooked over the line, which is a long, smooth plastic cord that retracts back inside a holder on the wall when not in use. But on days like today, where the wind blows in great swirls, Mr. Spy’s running shirts slide up and down the line on their hangers like ghosts in a foot race. They are now huddled at one in as if cowering against some unseen predator. In a few minutes, they will dance past my window again, for so it has gone all morning.

I finally threw in the towel and went to the doctor yesterday. A couple of prescriptions later and I am feeling significantly better, with the sole exception of my stomach, which is never very fond of antibiotics. But that is but a minor inconvenience. When antibiotics are what you need, their powers are absolutely magical. I’ve been feeling run down for so long, I’d forgotten what normal was like. Normal is good, even with a lingering bone-shaking cough.

Buoyed by modern medicine, I managed to get out for a walk yesterday afternoon. There has been a lot of activity in the places I like to walk while I’ve been sick, and I wanted to see what was happening. The small nature preserve down the street has been under construction all summer, as they worked to abate some drainage problems and restore the area to the natural fen it once was. It was quite a project, involving cutting down a wide swath of trees in order to lay down some underground drains to catch the runoff from the road at the top of the hill. They removed the old well house, an antique, but not the kind worth saving. “Eyesore,” was about the nicest thing you could say about it, and for years, it had served as a secret hideout for teens (The Bad Boys up the street, mostly) , who sneaked in through a trap door on the roof and kitted it out with castoff furniture and a selection of bongs, a fact that was discovered in the demolition process.

After that was finished, they began work on the road, adding a drain and a curb to the place where the stream tends to jump the road during the spring floods. They closed the road for a while and tore out the bridge, a crumbling old structure of stone and cement built in the 1920s and replaced it with a much sturdier concrete one. They are in the process of facing it in stone. The rickety wooden footbridge where we take pictures on the last day of school every year was taken down and the new one, hand crafted by a single carpenter with a notable lack of power tools — he drives every nail by hand — i nearly done. And this week, a new trail was cut through the nature preserve. This one follows the ridge and has lovely views of the area. It winds around appealingly and will be a nice addition to my repertoire of routes. Today they are working on the road. The dug up the pavement yesterday and began jackhammering something at 7 am. Now there a lot of guys standing around in the street in front of our house trying to look busy. When everything is finished, I will take some pictures.

This morning, AJ came running into my room all excited about the fact that he FINALLY gets to wear his Halloween costume tonight. AJ is getting to that age where he does not readily show excitement very often, so I love it when he does. I’ve promised him a Halloween extravaganza after school. We’ll bake cookies for the Cub Scout party tonight and decorate the house. Aj is very particular about decorating. He is disdainful of those who decorate too early, but when he’s ready, he’s ready. Last night, we hung the small wooden bat on the nail on the front door and a couple of vampires on the kitchen table and parked a Snoopy dressed as a jack-o-lantern on his bookshelf. Tonight, we’ll pull out the rest.

This weekend also brings our first dinner guests in…well, I don’t even remember how long it’s been. We are recluses, normally. These are old friends of Mr. Spy’s whom I first met at their son’s first birthday party. Said son is now in high school and is well over six feet tall. Mr. Spy and J1 went to elementary school and high school together. He plays guitar, as does his son, and his wife sings. We’re hoping for a little music-making after dinner.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 22, 2010 12:33 pm

    Ahh, the second paragraph of this post is pure gold. Thank you!

  2. freshhell permalink
    October 22, 2010 2:06 pm

    We used to have a clothesline when we moved in but it was anchored to the deck railing (which was old and is now falling apart) and it had to be removed. We have so many trees in the back there’s no good place to put one that’s bird poop free. So, I haven’t figured out where to put a new one yet.

  3. eleanorio permalink
    October 22, 2010 3:09 pm

    I was just saying to our guest (the violinist who is giving tonight’s concert) that I know winter is on its way (there were snow flurries today) because I’m back to using the dryer and can’t hang laundry outside. *sigh*

  4. October 22, 2010 4:21 pm

    I grew up without a dryer; there were problems with where to vent it and I think we didn’t afford it, so we hung our clothes on six lines strung in the basement. As an adult, I’ve always had a place to hang clothes, but don’t hang them outside very often because I forget them and then it rains.

  5. Cranky permalink
    October 26, 2010 12:28 pm

    Hope you and the J’s had a great time. Over 6 feet?!

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