What have I been doing these thirteen days?
I'm glad I keep a day minder... shorthand for what has been going on. Without it, I simply don't remember.
The University Commencement happened on May 12th... then I had until May 16th to get the grades in.
As I previously noted, my cousin Barbie Higgins Guss died on May 10th, of Leukemia. The funeral was held on May 17. So I drove to West Chester on that Friday, and stayed there until Monday morning. I stayed with my childhood friend and her husband.
I love to stay with them for many reasons. One reason is that they are both intense introverts... even more than I am. When I am there, I feel free to be with them or not to be with them; they have their own projects, and do not feel that they have to entertain me. I love this. They are avid backyard birders, too: watching the activity at the birdfeeding stations is infinitely more entertaining than television.
During the weekend, the "introvert" intervals were broken when my friend and I went birding at the Waterloo Mill Wildlife Area --- part of the Brandywine Conservancy, of which she is a member. We spent a wonderful several hours on Saturday there... lots of Orioles, Catbirds, and some warblers, and even a Pileated Woodpecker.
On Sunday, we joined another friend and toured the Nemours Mansion and Gardens near Wilmington, Delaware. The mansion was opulent and breathtaking, but it was the gardens which really captivated me. Even in the heavy mist of the day, I could see that it was a place I have visited in dreams many times.
On Monday morning, I took a leisurely drive home through the Pennsylvania Dutch country... many Amish buggies out and about.
Since then, I have been battling the weeds in the garden, meeting at house meetings with my community to hammer out our annual common house plan, grocery shopping, doing laundary, and losing myself in one of the audiobooks I downloaded from the public library. This one was called
Ghostman, by Roger Hobbs. It is Hobbs' first novel, and it gripped me and wouldn't let go. I finished it this afternoon, which is why I have been freed to write here!
It's a crime novel, but wonderfully detailed. I really liked the narrative voice - very detached, detailed, and interesting. None of the self-regarding, self-justifying gluey tone that I despised in Gone Girl and Dare Me. More like Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch novels.
In the garden, the Peony is blooming. Just gorgeous and luscious.