Delights: April 29 to May 5

April 29: I suppose a kitchen sink offers many rewards: the hot frothy suds when I begin, the satisfaction of a sparkling (-ish) kitchen when I end and — today — the surprising glimpse of three crimson rose buds in the garden below. Although suds and sparkles should motivate me enough to return again and again to the sink, this week I’m eager to see what other buds join the party and what their dresses will be.

A few days later….

April 30: Another rainy day. And just the perfect day for the Earthworm Rescue League to squish into action. For well over half an hour in front of me, two young women in rain jackets and umbrellas crouched, rose and flung their arms (and earthworms) with spirited intensity. They had what they needed: sluicing curbside rainwater, a gigantic puddle, gentle sticks, a nearby lawn and apparently, plenty of imperiled earthworms. (Oh good! They’ve crossed the street now to my lawn! Welcome to your new home, little worms.)

My fair ladies.

More rain joy: Now come purple, teal, orange and red raincoats splashing hard in the very same puddles. I’m glad the worms are safe….

May 1: Kevin and I returned from our evening walk — and Audacious Aleworks — bearing 24 pounds of beer. (10% discount! Support local business! It’s the weekend!) In the parking lot of the church up the hill, we saw three girls, gowned in blue and rose, dancing to music from a boom box. Six feet apart, the girls waved their arms and shimmied their hips with all the joy that sunshine, friendship and resourcefulness provide. Their prom had found a home after all.

May 2: Quick! Yes — up there! I see them! Breathtaking! Jeremiah and I gaped as the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds, exploding with sound in perfect parallel formation, flew our house today. An apt and uplifting tribute to our many heroes.

My Mom repurposed a well-loved t-shirt into a well-loved pillow that sits in my office today.

p.s. When the boys were small, we saw the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds at local air shows. And we watched them almost daily in their favorite video. The boys would chant along with the narrator when he said: “And now, for the Birthday King crossover break.” (Whoever heard of anything breathtaking? A Birthday King, though, was something to celebrate!)

May 3: Looking down at the patio, it appeared that two rabbits had tussled over a last carrot. Looking in the mirror, however, one could see my gleaming haircut, courtesy of Nate’s steady hand, artistic eye and a full complement of right-sized razors. My Dad might have suggested knitting a scarf with all that fallen silky gray. I am happy to consign it to the wind — as I recognize myself again.

I love the shimmer of new sunlight on the still-wet limbs of our crepe myrtle.

May 4:  Our yoga teacher urged us into Tree pose. With my eyes fixed on the crepe myrtle, I glided my left sole up to press against my left shin and engaged my hands in steadying prayer. I must have been pretty convincing, because a squirrel scrambled up the hip-height brick ledge of the picture window and, looking straight at me, pondered his choices.

May 5: Seen from my window: a tiny boy toddling gleefully down the street chased by his smiling grandmother. Judging from the consistent distance maintained between them, they were, as Kevin said, perfectly matched.

For my dear New Jersey readers, enjoy this bit of panko-coated chicken that appeared before me.


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