Good morning all:

Weekly Wisdom, from deep within the depths of the city:

“A good wife always forgives her husband when she’s wrong” — our local everywoman, a fast-paced urbanista we’ll name Henrietta Rose

I am sitting here with my morning coffee while a perfect moon is casting shadows across the room. On one hand contemplating my fast approaching anniversary and on the other hand Marcia’s offer to drive me back up to the North Woods and drop me off with a sleeping bag and a couple of cans of beans. Ostensibly the driving north offer is due to my constant whining about the mid-90s temperatures we’ve been experiencing ever since we came home; nevertheless, I wonder. I really wonder.

Talent – It’s going to become ancient history real soon. And, with that comes the ‘forgetting’ phase. Let me elaborate before I forget. Our final evening at the cabin got Marcia, Marlene, Donn, and I to head for town for our “cabin closing” dinner at Tina’s on Main and then take in a show at Auld Kirk. [food was great, after show coffees and desert so-so, I think that the kitchen had already closed]

The show is what grabbed. Leading that evening’s Bluegrass band out of Sault Ste. Marie was 14-year old Tyler Marshall on the Banjo. His main sidekick was 15-year old Brandon Ladd on Mandolin. Marshall’s banjo picking was like that of a young Ricky Skaggs. Sometimes talent just oozes out and about. Well, in this case it came streaming from every pore! A standing ovation concluded the two-set evening. An encore followed, and yes, you can easily guess what number was played—Dueling Banjos. One slight difficulty being that the band had only a single banjo. For this gifted group it was a non issue. Tyler was the main dueler while a guitar and Ladd’s mandolin together provided the range to become the second party. Foot stomping grand stuff indeed.

Heat, infernal heat – Having lived a complete summer with moderate temperatures the return to the ‘Nati was akin to being locked in a hot movie theater where the Rocky Horror Picture Show is on a continuous loop. It’s been stifling and I was ready to scream. I discovered that my body was absolutely unable to deal with temperatures in the mid to high 90s.

On the other hand, Marcia (who doesn’t sweat) was in her glory. Hour after hour she’d be in the yard trimming and picking away the drought-killed plants. She was actually enjoying this misery.

Today we’re experiencing a wonderful glorious twenty degree dip into the mid 70s and instantly I’ll become a brand new person. It will finally feel like a livable fall weather day. Sorry dear, my turn.

Growing up – Being away for almost two months means that time does not stand still, especially watching the growth and maturation of kids. Marin has lost the ‘kindergarten’ look. He’s now a proper student. This year he’s attending his old school, but now in a brand new building (one block from our house). Tuesday, we went to an Open House at the new Montessori facility. What an amazing difference from the type of building I remember attending as a kid. A library making use of all sorts of natural light, a music room to die for, and in place of a classroom this place now has interconnected learning pods—three rooms and a common learning space. Seeing what he’s studying, what he’s already absorbed—I was impressed.

Dinah has also started pre-school at a teacher-learning facility at the University of Cincinnati. She is as proud as she can be and loves the place.

But, where the most change can be spotted is always with the youngest; in our case, Vaioleti. The new Vai proudly counts to ten. Put me on the speaker phone when I call and she’ll giggle and say “Opa”. Actually she says “Apple.”

What amazed me most was her grasp of language. For Tuesday’s Open House at Marin’s school everyone congregated at our place and we walked on over. Our little side street dips down and then has an uphill climb to the cross-street where the school is located. Vai, at 25 months, walks with the big kids. Climbing that little hill she glanced over at her mom and exclaimed “it heavy.” I just loved the instant word search of her limited vocabulary to quickly plop in the one word most closely expressing what she was experiencing. Don’t you just love it?

Animal Planet – I love my Field Guides to assist pin-pointing what exactly it is I am observing. At the cabin these books are in constant use. What is then quickly discovered are “gaps” in the collection.

While all this was still fresh in my mind I headed for the Friends of the Library for their weekly book sale. I got seven gap ‘fillers’. Subsequent visits will see if I can get more detailed guides on insects and one on wild mushrooms. Once I get these, and word spreads about the collection, people will come to visit just to view the collected works and not for the views, peace, nature, and fine company Marcia and I provide in the Northern Woods.

From one of the new guides I discovered the identity of a very tiny bird Marlene first spotted scurrying from branch-to-branch in a tiny white pine tree at the side of our cabin’s driveway. Marlene, what we spotted was a – or “Troglodytes troglodytes”. So there!

On our arrival back in the city we were greeted by the screeching of the pair of Red Tailed Hawks which have been nesting in our neighbor’s tree. I thought they’d flown off prior to our heading north. Yet, here they were, making noise and soaring back and forth to “their” tree. A nice welcoming sight.

Closing – Happy Anniversary Marcia. I know you’ll just go; “yeah, yeah.” But 39 (whoops) FORTY years is something to stop, step back, and make note of. So, Happy Anniversary and much love—just don’t stop too long, step back too far, or make too many notes.

Make it a great week everyone.



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