Thursday, April 23, 2020

Toilet Paper!

I did my taxes on Wednesday, thanks to the rain and wanting to spend my day indoors. And then I took my completed form to the post office to mail it, and since I was in the village, I decided to stop to see if they had any Diet Coke. They didn’t. But they had toilet paper! I haven’t seen toilet paper on the shelves for months. I got the last package.
When I got home, it felt good to be dry and warm on a wet, wet day. I chose The Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides to read. It hooked me right away. It’s an intriguing tale, rather than an aesthetic accomplishment. I’m really enjoying it.
Late in the afternoon, the rain stopped, and the sky lightened, and so I took Sheba for a walk. And trust me: You haven’t lived until you’ve taken a Springtime walk through a forest, wet for the first time in weeks. The air was full of forest perfumes. I have a very good sense of smell; it gives me immense pleasure.
By seven, the sun came out, only to set soon afterwards. My sunset is rather earlier than most in these parts, because I’m in the forest and so the trees bring an early end to direct light.
Today began with a tidying of my home. 
That’s one thing about isolation: I’ve felt no need to put things away. The vacuum just sits in my living room, at hand for whenever I want to use it. And then, with so many things everywhere, I stopped cleaning because there were so many things to move. But this morning, order has been restored.
Today, the National Theatre’s Twelfth Night is up on YouTube for a week. I’ll be watching it tonight.
I’ve made a list of things I need to do in the yard. As I do them, I know more will emerge. There are endless duties at Pinecone Park in summertime, but I have plenty of time to do them and no major project monopolizing and consuming all my time. 
The hardest part will be finishing the wooden walkway in the backyard. I did seventy percent of it last year and it’s an awesome part of my backyard. It works perfectly; it shows you were to walk. My lawns, however, need help. The grass needs to be thicker, but when I put seeds down, the birds eat it all. I’ll get some netting to put over the areas I seed, and I’ll do little bits at a time… forever.
The gardens are doing okay. At first, I thought: Man, these gardens look kind of anemic. But then all the Hostas started coming up and I forget about them every year because they completely disappear in Winter. This year, I plan to stake them—there’s another thing for my list!
I only do chores on nice days, and since today is gloomy, I’ll be doing a lot of reading. In fact, the next week looks kind of damp and dark so I’ll be doing lots of reading. But I’m also getting several Sweet Peas germinated for planting. I love their smell.
I am desperately fond of the proudly plumbed Pileated Woodpecker who comes to visit every morning and evening. He’s scared away the Downy Woodpecker, but he has much more personality. He takes some suet, eats all the crumbs that fall on the roost, and then looks up, with his head held high, his beak pointing almost straight up. And he searches the sky; I can see his eye on my side of his head moving. 
Each visit involves pecking for two seconds, eating the crumbs for another couple of seconds and then watching the sky for about five seconds; he does that routine about ten times, and then flies away.

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