April 9: I walked by two boys reaching high above their heads, to the crook of a tree limb. Perhaps they’d just discovered a well-hidden Easter egg? Two hours later, I drove past the same yard. The boys were gone. But where the boys had been I saw the season’s first hammock, extending from one limb to another. Better than an Easter egg.
April 10: Why did the premier of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony nearly burn down the concert hall? How do Vivaldi’s short poems enrich his most famous concerti? Can I actually hear the story told by a piece of music? And who was Florence Price? Tantalizing. Today I had a chance to immerse myself in Classical Breakdown, a podcast produced by our local classical music station, WETA. I’m not as musically literate as I’d like to be. The podcast, though, has opened my mind and my ears to extraordinary new things. And I cherish Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons all the more.
April 11: My cousin reached out to my sister, who reached out to me. A family in Monmouth County, New Jersey, is doing research on a local semi-pro baseball team from the 1930s called the Wolverines. Apparently, the men on the team resolved, after they went overseas to fight in World War II, to correspond in a sweet form of chain letter. One player would write a paragraph to start the letter and mail it the second player, who would add his paragraph and mail it to the third. And so forth, all the way around the horn (to use baseball lingo). Each letter would, over months, circle the globe and be touched by many hands, like a ball in play. Two of my uncles were on the Wolverines and were stationed in Europe. My Dad, also a Wolverine, served in the South Pacific. I eagerly await the results of the family’s research.
April 12: I was in the car, bound for bagels. But evidently I had other treats in mind. Along our main road, I saw tulips like snowy white cupcakes with tips of tufted cherry frosting. I saw tulips like candy canes swirled with buttery white. I saw red and yellow tulips with their petals bowed plumply outward that looked, just briefly, like a clutch of lollipops. And the purple-black tulips reminded me of fudge. White dogwoods reached over all of them like the paper lid of the confectioner’s box. I’ll take two please.
April 13: Heard on NPR this morning: “Let’s disambiguate this.”
April 14: In our house we now have bright sunshine where dimness had been. From his upstairs room, Jeremiah heard the banging and sawing of “sun tunnel” installation. But, he said, he wasn’t quite prepared for the sight of the workman himself. Half of him, anyway.
April 15: Ready to deposit some books, I stepped toward the Little Library in a neighborhood park. Before rounding the sidewalk, I paused to allow two women to jog past. I turned. Suddenly, on the sidewalk behind me a river of women surged forward. I jumped behind a parked car, which, like a boulder, directed the pounding flow to my right and my left. Eventually emerging from my refuge, I competed the errand — and watched the women reassemble beyond the playground for their next exercise.
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