broadsideblog

Simple pleasures

In behavior, life, travel on July 2, 2012 at 1:45 am
English: The 1959 Williamsport Grays, an Ameri...

English: The 1959 Williamsport Grays, an American minor league baseball team. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sigh.

Vacation is over and we’re heading home to New York today. I’ve been gone from my home for an entire month, and alone for the past two weeks.

Some things I enjoyed most:

– Watching  a minor-league baseball game. My ticket was $8, for one of the best seats in the stadium.

– Attending the 9:30 a.m. service at the local Episcopal church. It was a tiny A-frame, whose screened windows faced the grass of the Champlain exhibition grounds. Seagulls squawked. A man played banjo for Amazing Grace. The peace — the part of the service when everyone greets one another — went on, charmingly, forever.

– Eating at the bar of a dive-y pub a very good cup of home-made corn chowder and a cold local ale. Watching the NBA draft and a baseball game on two TVs at the same time.

– Not turning on the television once in two weeks of house-sitting. Didn’t miss it a bit.

– Reading fiction, which I almost never do. Loved “The Art of Fielding”, a new first novel by Chad Harbach and “Cannery Row”, the 1945 classic by John Steinbeck. Harbach’s book has sold 250,000 copies and he was paid $650,000 for it, after a decade working on it in broke obscurity. I really liked his book, despite the hype.

– Canoeing.

– A phenomenal blood orange martini and salmon with chive risotto on a splurge night.

– Washing my car with a hose in the driveway, (forbidden at our co-op.)

– Watching two hot-air balloons soaring over my head at dusk, the roaring of the gas flames audible and mysterious. Even the little dog was impressed.

– Meeting someone at a party on a farm in Vermont whose grandparents came from the same small tiny Breton town, Concarneau, where my mentor is buried.

– Having a small, playful, cuddly dog to accompany me on road trips, to hog the bed at night and whose silky ears I will miss terribly. On the car trip home from Montpelier, in the dark, she laid her head on my shoulder.

– Lying in the sunshine reading.

– Naps.

– My first few Zumba classes. Ouch! Now I get why people so enjoy it. Planning to continue them at home.

– Playing endless games of Scrabble on the Ipad.

– Missing the hell out of my husband, with three weeks apart to remember all the things I love and none of the stuff that annoys me.

– Driving up to the ice-cream stand for a huge cup of very good ice cream, for $2.60.

– The Friday farmer’s market, with wood-oven-fired pizza, luscious tomatoes, crusty baguettes and live music.

– The astonishing mist and cloud over the green hills as I drove southeast through rain to an outdoor party.

– Meeting new people who were welcoming and kind and offered amazing barbecue ribs at that party.

– Scoring some great, cheap-o antique finds, like four silver-plate knives for $7 and a lovely transferware cup for $10.

– Snagging some CDs, including the new Patti Smith.

– Introducing myself to local indie book-sellers and asking if they’d stock my book.

– Seeing the Camel’s Hump, a 4,800-foot high mountain southeast of where I stayed, in all sorts of light and weather conditions.

– The river at the end of our street. When I went to its edge, I found a tarp/tent and a very deep large hole dug at the edge of a cornfield. Shriek. Fled…quickly.

– Taking lots of cellphone photos for future visual reference, mostly of anything with patina.

– Going dancing with Jose, shaking my tail feather for 90 minutes, with kids half our age coming up to say “You’re a terrific dancer!” That new left hip works just fine.

I love glam trips to Paris and London, but the past month, doing the rural/small town thing, has been a wonderful and relaxing change. I’ve really enjoyed it.

What are some of the simple pleasures you’ve been enjoying lately?

  1. Putting on a movie and drawing. And more drawing. Also i just wrote a 6 page letter to a 91 year old friend of my mom’s today, which felt good.

    • Ohh, drawing. Indeed. I would normally have done some sketching and painting. And a six-page letter. Good for you! I bet she will so appreciate that.

  2. It all sounds wonderful! What scrabble app do you use? Thx!

    • It just seems to be a Scrabble app…no special name. It is not the version (ugh) with the little “teacher” in it who makes a face if you play poorly.

  3. That all sounds absolutely lovely. Simple pleasures? Well it finally feels like summer up here…so today I sat on the patio of a Mexican restaurant, drinking a Mojito and watching the people walk by…

  4. That sounds great. I haven’t had a mojito in ages. My scary drink of choice is a caipirinha. Have you ever had one? They’re deliciously lethal.

  5. This will sound odd, but ‘just being.’ We have spent a lot of time together driving here and there. Some of it has been quiet and other time has been just chatting. It is nice to just be some days, months, or years.

  6. That new left hip… That’s funny.

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