I started this blog a year ago and sort of kept it up. I feel accomplished that I didn’t abandon it, especially on days I was languishing. After all, even Ross Gay didn’t list a delight every day in The Book of Delights.
I think the blog has helped me become more aware of the delights in my life and I won’t abandon looking for them and even writing about them sometimes — most likely on Clutch Cargo Lips.
Another delightful full night’s sleep left me feeling like tackling a bunch of chores including baking a loaf of sandwich bread and moving the bread machine to the pantry. Unfortunately the bread machine had baked its last loaf earlier in the week, because the paddles refused to move today and nothing I did (or read about doing on Professor Google) helped. Dean and I decided that we’d just get a new one. After all that bread machine was at least 15 years old. Delightfully I was able to salvage the loaf I’d put in the bread machine — sort of. It will make good croutons.
Andrew and Alex called on their way back from the airport to see if I wanted to have dinner with them tomorrow for my birthday. I said I wanted takeout from somewhere near them and we’d bring the dessert. Delightful!
I awoke refreshed today, despite my watch telling me my sleep was worse than yesterdays (although still “good”) so after coffee I took a walk around my neighborhood. Many years ago I determined that if I walk the perimeter of our neighborhood (except for a couple busy streets) I’ll have walked a mile. It doesn’t seem like much, but I am terribly out of shape.
I did the perimeter today and snapped some photos of delightful things along the way. (which is probably why my watch didn’t consider it exercise!).
I saw some fruit that I’d seen before but I didn’t know what it was. The crows were gobbling them up. Turns out it’s a non-native (Kousa) dogwood. A few houses later I discovered Brickhenge! On the next street was a sign in the grass which read “The Poo Fairy doesn’t live here. Please scoop your dog’s poop! Thank you.” Then, on the same lawn was a tree made from a metal pipe, wire and fairy lights. I need to visit it at night sometime. A few doors down I saw some Japanese Maple leaves and whirligigs (seeds) in the sun. The photo does not do it justice until you really zoom in. While not new to me, I saw that the chimney without a house now has some scaffolding. As I walked on another street I noticed something orange in a tree branch. At first I thought it might be a group of early autumn-colored leaves, then I was disappointed that it was a balloon, but finally noticed it was a ball. Finally, across and down the street from my house was a huge mushroom whose cap was the size of a dinner plate.
Normally it takes me up to a week to unpack after a trip, but I was determined to get it done in much less time than that. I unpacked my clothes and did laundry on Friday, then finished with my electronics and toiletries on Saturday. (Yes, I pack too much of everything when I travel, especially by car). I was delighted when everything was where it belonged, including suitcases.
I’d not kept up with this blog while I was gone, so I made it a priority to do so. After all, it is almost to the end of the project. Seeing my table of days and dates become yellow (see photo above) is delightful.
We decided to eat all the food from the freezer before purchasing more food — except essentials and groceries to compliment whatever food was in the freezer, so we began doing that, although when it was his days to cook Dean didn’t seem to understand the concept since nothing he used for his meals was in the freezer. We’ve determined that I will cook for the foreseeable future. Seeing the contents of the freezer become fewer is delightful.
It’s good to be home. No — it’s delightful to be home.
We left the lodge around noon and drove to Madison where we were paying Alexandria and Peter a brief visit to check out their new home. It was utterly delightful. I stopped and bought some Minocqua Brewing Company‘s beer and Alexandria and Peter gave us more. (Minocqua Brewing Company used to have a restaurant/Brewery in Minocqua but after they displayed a Biden/Harris sign outside their restaurant they were no longer welcome there and the restaurant is now a pizza place. They still brew beer in Madison though.)
After the visit with Alexandria and Peter we headed back to Bethesda, stopping at a hotel in Indiana for the night.
Dean’s family always rent a vacation home near where my brother now lives (my family’s lake house) and we often would visit the lake house the same week as the in-laws visited their rental property. This year the “first week of the month” turned out to be the “second week of the month” so, while Andrew and Alex were planning on going, they were not able to because Alex had to be back in her classroom that week.
So it was just Dean and me and thankfully we chose to only stay a few days. Don’t get me wrong, the lake is delightfully lovely and the place the in-laws rent is delightfully rustic. It’s an old resort with a main lodge (in part of which the owners live) and several rentable cabins. According to their website the lodge is over 100 years old and was built to house loggers. It has nine bedrooms and sleeps up to 18. Dean and I slept in a bedroom called Ducks something. (Ahoy maybe?) It was comfortable enough. Luckily there were two beds because one was only a full.
They always rent a pontoon boat and there are canoes, kayaks and a paddleboat the renters can use. I went out on the pontoon boat the day we arrived and had a delightful chat with Leanne, Dean’s brother’s daughter. (she was my flower girl and we have a special relationship. Leanne is in a relationship with Paul, a delightful fellow (and the one I wanted her to marry many years ago when they were roommates).
Nights around the fire were also delightful, for the most part. Chatting with my sister-in-law’s niece and her wife was delightful. Sharing Aperol Spritzes with Leanne, Carol and Sue was also delightful.
One night we ate out — not a supper club, but I did divulge in a delightful old-fashioned.
It could have been the fact that I’d had enough of the Midwest or was missing being home, but the overall stay at the Lodge was not as delightful as it could have been. I felt as if I were intruding on someone else’s vacation. Also the fact that while the men relaxed, the women did all the work — cooking and washing up afterwards — was (and always has been) unfair. This time there was more grumbling than other times about this. I was delighted to hear it.
Sleep was difficult, at least sleeping-in. Dean arose at 5:00 am or earlier and noisily searched for his phone or computer. If I fell back asleep, I was always awakened again around 6:30 am when the TV (just below our room) was turned on, volume very high. Then my twin brothers-in-law would debate whatever was on the TV at the time, also on high volume.
Finally, there were the trumpets and science deniers and Fauci-haters. Granted this was only two people — a couple — it was uncomfortable for me to be around them. I tried to get to know them better, but I don’t know that they cared. One night when Dr. Fauci was on television this couple screamed profanities at the television. Then the morning we left there was a Covid scare. One sister-in-law had some classic Covid symptoms and several of us suggested she get a Covid test. Her daughter (one of the trumpets) became livid, shouting profanities at those of us who suggested that her mother be tested.