Monday, May 11, 2015

Saturday's Mother's Day

My grandbabies being silly

What is she thinking?

Pretty fountain on town square surrounded by lots of flowering trees and people enjoying a nice evening

My new hibiscus thanks to Shanna.

My sheltered bike as I waited for the downpour to let up such that I could see and better, be seen
The last two days have been busy. Storms one minute; then sun; then storms...on and on. I am trying to prepare for my  6 day bike ride in 2 months in which we cover 300 miles. So far, over 2 months, I've covered 280 miles so I best step up my game.

We celebrated Mother's Day early as it seemed unfair to make the younger moms cook and restaurants are so crowded on The Day Itself so Shanna and Josh's families and Steve and I went to downtown Plymouth for dinner. Naomi was working (yes working..a story in itself) so she was unavailable though she spent the afternoon with me. A fun, noisy dinner with 4 young kids. Rain was predicted for the evening (it did come later) but while we were there, it was beautiful. The restaurant is on the large town square; flowering trees were in bloom, prom dates all around; two wedding parties on the square having their photos taken during the golden hour replete with the flowers, fountain, historic houses. Everyone happy that although Mother's Day Weekend was supposed to be full of rain and storms, there were a few beautiful breaks.

With this move, I have felt bad about deserting Ann Arbor. Since I was a child, even when I was living in New York, Ann Arbor seemed like the Promised Land (we went there frequently as my grandparents were here). Growing up in the suburbs dealing with my dysfunctional family, I kept telling myself, all will be better once I get to Ann Arbor (where UM is for college). Once I got out of school, I still clung to Ann Arbor even though I worked in downtown Detroit. But downtown Plymouth definitely has its charms and so much easier to park in (and it's free). Well we still pay Ann Arbor School taxes...

I planted some annuals and made some planters. I am waiting to see what comes in before I do much more. The two day heat wave was hard on my blooms though new tulips are popping up and some triple petalled daffodils. Also I have lilacs and columbine. Soon I will have irises all over the place too. There was a small window Saturday afternoon in which the rain stopped. It was so funny; everyone got on their lawn mower tractors at once and went to noisy work. Lawn mowing is quite the ordeal. Instead of a half hour commitment, it is closer to 4 hours. Steve still doesn't have the hang of it. And of course the grass keeps growing at the old house (even more so since the lawn care people come automatically even though you didn't sign a contract and you have to tell them repeatedly to stop). We did go there Sunday afternoon. Steve did the lawn while I scrubbed 32 years of grime out of kitchen cabinets. The coffee maker used to be next to the microwave. Underneath the microwave, I found old pooled coffee. But I made lots of progress though it is crunch time, so much needs to be done. I want the house on the market before I leave in 10 days to go to CA. Steve was going to trim bushes too but rain put an end to that. He's there now with painters. I am hoping they will be done real soon.

I had a small window of what looked like it was going to be storm free bike riding Sunday morning. Alas, the weather gods said, screw you. About a third of the way, it started to drizzle. Fine, I can do drizzle. But half way, it poured so hard, I could barely see and even though I was wearing bright yellow (a color that doesn't flatter me but hopefully keeps me from being road kill), I doubted people could see me. Luckily no wind or lightning though I was cold. I went to one of the very few businesses on my route, a party store. It was closed but it had a big porch where I stayed to make sure my phone wasn't getting wet and until visibility returned. I have recently learned that Party Store is a Michigan term for a convenience store that sells liquor (and almost everyone does). Other headaches of riding in the rain, caliper brakes are useless but now I have disc brakes that do ( a must for going down long Northern Michigan hills in the rain). Also with so many puddles, I can't tell how deep the potholes are and I hit one very hard. The middle of the road is relatively pothole free so I tried to be there until traffic increased too much. All was sunny and almost dry by the time I finished. Steve met me in the laundry room with my robe. Grit had made its way to the back of my neck; I was quite the mess. I showered and was finished just in time for a visit with Josh and Allie.  Now beautiful sunshine. We stopped at the aptly named Picnic Basket to buy supplies for a picnic at the nearby park. Allie enjoyed herself with the extensive playgrounds. In the summer, there is a splash pad for young kids so she will enjoy that.

Then on to fun at the old house where I faced years of neglect. My excuse? I was busy. More rain put an end to that and back home. Sunny again. Later a friend came and another storm put an end to sitting outside to enjoy the birds though the porch was rain free. We watched the new Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin show. Pretty funny.

Avian life: a new bird: tree swallows though they being strict insect eaters don't stop at the feeders. Since I haven't been able to squirrel proof the cake feeder the grosbeaks love, they've moved on. The orioles still eat the grape jelly and oranges. Why are doves symbols of peace? You should see one of our doves, quite the bully. He will puff up his feathers and stare down the competition. If that doesn't work, he bites. Our robin's nest has one baby in it that I was able to show the grandkids. Swallow's nest still has babies .

I am waiting for the fog to lift and then I have a to-do list so long....

Oliver's Eschler-like Momthur Day card. Fish morphing into hearts

His portrait of Shanna



Elephant's Child said...

Wow. What a full post.
Glad that wet and uncomfortable was the extent of your riding in the rain disasters though.

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

Rain does make me nervous and there isn't much shelter on my route.


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