Monday, April 2, 2012

The Long Road Home

I am back from being gone for more than a month. My forsythias and quince are in bloom although the latter has suffered a bit from the frost. All sorts of blooming trees: all were drab and gray when I left.

I came back to a locked door (and I really needed to pee!!!) and an empty house. The family was out celebrating Naomi's birthday. I was told about this while I was en route. If they just delayed things an hour or let me know ahead of time...They did stop by later. Maya looks so much older.

I did mean to leave earlier. I was going to wake up at the first sign of light (per usual). I awoke at 3 but I decided it was too early to drag my ginormous suitcase down 2 flights of narrow, tiny stairs without waking everyone up. I decided I should try to sleep more and ended up oversleeping.
The car was covered in frost for the first time in more than a month. Yet another delay. But I was out the door by 7. No traffic. It took 11 minutes to get to the spot that took more than an hour to the last time I left. The sun lighting up the frosty flowering trees was beautiful in Eastern Massachusetts. Further west before the Berkshires, I could see the damage from either a tornado or strong winds, many broken trees. Eventually the weather turned to drizzle and then an outright storm with sheets of rain and hail. It was difficult to see and the car was hydroplaning. I became drenched while getting gas even though I was under an overhang. The strong west wind drove the rain and hail horizontally. The west wind also messed up my mileage. But despite an hour of scary driving conditions and a mess-up I blame on that crappy Garmin, I got home in under 12 hours, a record. I got out of the car only twice on the way home. It was hard to move my legs after the last 6h stretch. The trip is mind numbing. This was the first time I was able to do it in total daylight.

So much to do here, I can't even begin.Although the tornado missed Ann Arbor, strong winds did a number on my stuff bending poles and knocking things over.

I went for a run this morning into 'cougar' territory. While I was gone, over the past 2 weeks there have been about 10 separate sightings of a cougar-like animal in my neck of the woods, the closest being a half mile from my house. I went running on my 'scenic beauty' road where at least there would be plenty of food for the alleged cougar (deer). The scenic beauty is somewhat less scenic no thanks to some clear cutting that has occurred in the last month. I thought there was to be no development in our so-called greenbelt. No cougar, quel surpris! I have run and biked in known cougar areas and have lived to tell about it (rural San Diego county). I remember 2 trips I made about a week apart. One to Yellowstone where the chief danger was grizzly bears. Advice: look meek and non-threatening. Next to San Diego: cougar country. Advice: look menacing and not like potential prey.

Plans: I've agreed to go on a 6 to 7 day bike trail ride in Northern Michigan with an old work buddy. We took a trip together about 10 years ago in the UP. Need to get in shape for that. My cardiovascular health is just fine but the specific muscles need some work.
We might be going to NY in 2 weeks unless Steve thinks he has traveled too much.
My poor yard is filled with unwanted growth..must clean up.Also I can not believe how much dust has accumulated in the past month. Steve is a very neat person and tries to keep things clean but he seems blind to dust.

I was happy to spend my month away. It is so precious sharing the first 10 days of Tessa's life.


Anonymous said...

Hello Sue,I am reading your blog for some time and i think i must tell you. (it is not very polite t read your blog whithout telling so)
I am a 50 year old woman from the netherlands. I am working as a teacher for children with special needs. I have two sons and two daughters in law. Natrure is starting to come. The tulips are very nice in the garden now. (Sorry for the mistakes i make writing english but i think my english is better as your dutch, haha)

Sue in Italia/In the Land Of Cancer said...

Dear Friend from the Netherlands

You are most welcome to read. From my Statcounter, readers from The Netherlands are my most often readers from non-English speaking countries.
Tulips must be early this year in the Netherlands too. I remember seeing them from the plane in mid-April. Western Michigan is full of Dutch-Americans having a town named Holland. Every May they have a tulip festival but the tulips have come a month early there. Too late to change the Festival.
I shared a lab once with a man Wouter who tried to teach me Dutch. I didn't learn much. Your English is fine.


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