Sunday, November 21, 2010

This is the picture

A gallop through some of what we see around here. Back in mid-September we went apple-picking in Harvard -- near that experimental community begun by Louisa May Alcott's father Branson and a bunch of his transcendentalist cohorts.

They also had a couple peach trees.
Lots just waiting to succumb to the rains and the bees.
Honey in the making.
Three iterations of the barn Paul's been keeping track of:

And later, mid-October, we took a chilly Sunday morning walk down Main Street to see the piles of color heaped up in the sideyard of the closest farm to campus.

Hazel clambering in the Japanese maple just on the other side of our dorm.
Looking up.
Damn! I need to start doing my work. Much more fun to skate along through our recent weeks.

In front of the fire

Here we are! I'm about to come up for air, but not before writing a gazillion comments for end-of-term. Grades due soon-ish. The folks are with us -- the fire is going and we have a new stereo. Fruits of the paycheck. Cozy fireside this and that. Won't, as I say, fully enjoy until the work is done. But I miss posting and picturing!

Let's start with Halloween. Hazel from the get-go (not so very far back, just September) had wanted to be a Red Cat. So there you go. Thanks to Grammy for the essentials: perky vermillion ears and wonky, wavy, fury red tail. Which shed a ton.

And the finishing touches. For the record, I am wearing Grandaddy Gurney's World War I (that's One) Navy middie, circa 1918.
Wide grins and happy whiskers.
And the action clip, tail doin' its thang.

Everyone says this house on Old Deerfield's Main Street always has the most enormous gourds.
And one grin from very close.
And from across the street, the full effect of the house-wide jack-o-lantern grin.
And then much rambling from house to house, shouting for just three more SweetTarts to keep the train rolling along, succumbing to the super-chill of winter approaching, and ultimately face-planting at the last house -- right smack from the lamentably divitty side-lawn onto the cold stone front walk. Tears! Lamentations! And home to bed.

Now for the riotous color from someone else's garden -- we've been the happy recipients of some delicious peppers. Not since Hatch Valley bounty sent direct from friend Martha in New Mexico have I smelled the incomparable aroma of home-roasted peppers, an intoxicating mouth-wateringly yum of a smell.

Girlfriend's lovin the chill and the sun and the fall and her dada!
Here Hazel wears a gift from Cuzin Caz: a pair of Ukranian slippers, with a side of silly.
The sky's on fire. Paul and Hazel came down to one of our last Thirds Field Hockey practices. Paul brings his camera and here is the sun's reach, even after the set.
This barn (inexplicably, number 28) is somewhere around here, and Paul keeps taking beautiful photographs of it.
"There she goes!!!" Said in that cool voice of David Byrne's.
Whass that?

More to come. Time for bed. So nice to be unhooked from the round-and-round of school, to be listening to Alison Krauss and indulging in the so-lovely of processing my own thoughts and life instead of others'. Give thanks!

Just 'cause

I love this set of I'm-taking-of-you and you're-taking-of-me. On my birthday, October 28 (which inconveniently fell on a Thursday), Paul took us off to a little out-of-the-way coffee shop and music store, restaurant and book shop -- what had been an old mill is now a hopping little corner of cool. (The music shop's motto is "Stuff you don't need in a place you can't find"). So there was a lot of picture-taking and what not. I like the ones Hazel took of her mama!

Paul was ordering and asking what I wanted!
Now it's my turn.
Whose birthday did you say it was?
Giving us all the run-around. (Though the photos don't say much about it, we are in full throttle thrumming tantrumming threes. Super fun.)

Thursday, September 9, 2010


Continuing with my out-of-sequence-late-night posting, here are a couple shots from Hazel's first concert -- Crosby, Stills and Nash at Tanglewood. We popped sparking wine; Hazel capered about in the evening cool; we waited in vain for them to play Marrakech Express. CS&N is still political, still pushing back against the forces of complacency and excess. But it was an odd message given the crowd (middle-aged money) and the setting (gorgeous manicured green). Hazel dug the music. (See below!)

Weirdly, a dude pops out of our bottle. Huh?
The clinking part is a favorite of Hazel's. She drinks lemonade.
They start to play...
-- she starts to dance.
And then she slept.

The dancing, caught for all time. Paul calls her technique "German Interpretive."

A few late thoughts

It's hard to start new. But on we ride. Here are Paul and Hazel on an after-dinner swoop (a couple weeks ago) through the corn fields down yonder. Deerfield sits in the Pioneer Valley, on top of 28 feet of topsoil, surrounded by some of the richest farmland in the country. The cows are huge, and wary of bikes.Undulating, slightly burred lines -- corn and hills, plus uncertain movement of the one-handed rider (and the waning light of dusk).
Serene finish to the ride -- we rode out from the corn fields, between algae-clogged small bodies of water, beneath a luminous and swift-darkening sky. Lovely ride in the cooling air.

She likes the water, this girl!

We spent Saturday afternoon in Gloucester at a tiny beach -- hurricane's clouds far away to the north. Back on the east coast!

Monday, August 2, 2010

goodbye, California - hello, Ohio...

How is it that already we're gone from California? Paul arrived at the folks' with Marty by car last week. Muriel and Hazel and I got here the end of July. Then Marty and Muriel left a couple days ago. So -- the Bay area and friends, family, good coffee, pizza, Thai food, burritos and nachos, the park, the lake, the beach, the fair -- all of it a summer blur now, and over. The week here in Ohio with Aunt Muriel and Uncle Marty was great for Hazel (us too) -- a point of continuity in a rush of faces and places since June 17. (Do you know that Elizabeth Bishop poem called One Art? She writes, "The art of losing isn't hard to master.")

I'm down at the Hudson Public Library with the blog to launch me into some school prep. This shift from "Paul's working" to "Heather's working" is real. It precipitates turmoil in me. I wonder how Hazel sees it, feels it. She asks last night, as she's falling asleep, "Where's Leilani?... Where's Sara?" Her two mates from Marrakech. This state, the state of moving -- to a home we have yet to establish and feather -- makes me feel weepy, even as I know, know, she is a good strong girl, with all the developing arsenal of self-preserving instinct and impulse that are hers.

So, some photos that bring us only from Amsterdam to SFO! Evidence that it's a slow trip back.

The green, blue and windy trip down from northern Germany to Holland.
Beachball and buns at Zandfoort, Atlantic coast, Holland
Riding and napping in the wonder of designated bike lanes that is Holland:

Even with a fever and hive-y splotches all over, Hazel seems OK our last full day in Amsterdam, and so we head into the city to sight-see. Ambitious! Or fool-hardy.
Amsterdam is bedecked and bedazzling in World Cup splendor:
We meet a couple equally taken with the juxtaposition of "no bikes" and the rusted-out cob-webby bike, so we exchange cameras and feel no tourist shame in the photo-taking:
As much as is possible, Paul and I relax -- Hazel with her fever, all of us with the final leg home the next morning. Paul is better than I at relaxing:
Into the drink!
Here we've flown out of Amsterdam, gone through customs at London Heathrow, and we're plying Hazel with plush toys and little orange-tasting pills -- to keep her happy, to keep her fever down. And did I mention the night before we left? Hazel still covered in hives, still fighting a fever of 101 or higher. Most difficult night of the year -- our last night before heading back to the States. Hazel, as you can see, is happy as a clam. We, on the other hand, were dogging it.
Ice of Newfoundland
Welcoming embrace of Point Reyes and the California coast
Even though they confiscated our tulip bulbs and my laptop fell off our luggage cart, we're all happy to be home.