Hello, dear friends! I’m still jet-lagged, but here I am at home again, and everything that implies. I’m eager to catch up with you, to hear all the latest. But until I’ve got both feet planted on this side of the continent again, I’m hoping you’ll accept this touch-and-go landing…
When I arrived in Connecticut a little more than a week ago, my in-laws were frail and unsettled. At times, and each in turn, they seemed ready to let go. Scary times, for all concerned–a lot like what’s depicted in this short video, in fact. But when we said our goodbyes on Saturday, they seemed much more relaxed. Rejuvenated, even. I think that comes of having their affairs in order, of settling into their new nests. For now, and for however long, they’re clinging to life and to each other. =:)
It was a challenging time for lots of reasons–the cold weather, among them. I’m not used to wrapping myself in thick layers of clothing, or navigating wintery conditions. Example: One moonless night, my car got wedged between shoulder-high snow berms on a lonely country road. No GPS…wearing gym shoes and makeshift winter gear, I truly thought I was going to suffer the same plight as the Little Match Girl. Until, that is, a burly guy in a pickup truck swooped in to save me. Whew, thank goodness for guardian angels!
A stranger in unfamiliar territory, I nevertheless found myself surrounded by the many kindnesses of old and new friends. For instance, I’m still beaming this morning as I think about the wonderful afternoon I spent with Jeannine Atkins. We’ve talked online for awhile now, but hadn’t visited in person. So I was beyond thrilled when she suggested an afternoon get together at the Chaiwalla tea house in Salisbury, Connecticut. Generous soul that she is, she braved the winter roads to meet me! Sunshine streamed through the picture window, surrounding us with warmth and light. It was a balmy 50 degrees that afternoon–a perfect complement to a cozy conversation among friends. And when she presented me with lavender-blueberry chocolate squares, plus an inscribed copy of BORROWED NAMES, I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. (She’s posted a far more eloquent description of our afternoon–with pictures–here.)
One more bit of news, and then I really must unpack: Phoebe’s newest hatchlings finally fledged! If you know me, you already know that I’ve watched this video time and again. My heart soars whenever I do! Phoebe’s had some tough luck of late–some of her eggs weren’t fertile, and a few hatchlings fell prey to hawks. But good mama that she is, Phoebe never gave up. She built one nest after the other, and nourished each brood as if it were her first. And it just so happened that Bea and Jay took to the skies, on Valentine’s Day, no less! Hope–that shimmery thing with feathers–lives on and on and on.