February 11: First I heard the birds, offering high-pitched trills. In my imagination, I watched as they swooped down to the cattails, which waved cheerfully in bright alto notes. Next, I felt the brook, wrapped in velvet with sparkling sequins. The brook carried me to a deep shaded pool, where an old catfish had eluded fishers for years. I could just see him, rumbling in bass exhales. And then the birds returned and swept us all up to the clouds. . . .
A glorious organ recital last night inaugurated the new Saint George’s church organ. As the Scarlatti Sonata in D Major, K. 33 ended, the audience joined me in an audible smile. Perhaps they too had dallied on the banks of an imaginary creek with organ voices all around them.
February 12: Said one character to another in a book I was reading, “A window over a kitchen sink is one of life’s great luxuries.” I emphatically agree. Today, as I washed dishes, I saw two mothers and two girls walking down the street. The girls wore green sashes and carried large boxes. Ahhh. Girl Scout cookies have arrived.
And then a few minutes later, Kevin glanced out the window to watch a gas grill being pushed up the street by one man as another walked along side. We decided that one family was borrowing another’s grill for a Super Bowl barbecue the following day. We won’t have to guess, however, what they’ll have for dessert.
February 13: Super Bowl Sunday. The game, the food, and oh yes, the commercials. I confess I was distracted for much of the evening and glanced at the TV only now and then. Then my eyes locked onto the screen. I watched a car cross a bridge. I knew that bridge. I knew that spit of land off to the right, poking into the Atlantic Ocean. And I definitely knew that restaurant along the water: Bahr’s Landing, where decades ago my father had taken our family a dozen times for seafood after a day at the beach. Chevy was selling the electric Silverado truck. I bought the memories.
February 14: I have discovered the Olympic sport of curling, and I’m completely obsessed. Happily, it’s prime-time viewing and I watch transfixed as the shooter glides across the ice in a yoga pose to release the “rock” and then the sweepers frantically curl its path to the “house” or elsewhere. From the commentators, I learned about “hammers,” “ends” and “the button” — but had to look up the scoring rules because even after watching two games I couldn’t figure it out.
Kevin can’t figure out my obsession. “It’s like watching ice melt in a facilitated way,” he quipped. He’s not wrong. And yet I’m counting the minutes until tonight’s match between the U.S. and Switzerland. When I slip into Pigeon Pose in yoga tomorrow, I’ll close my eyes and fly.
February 15: Although I was quite aware of the situation 38 miles ago, I drove my car so rarely over the past week that I had forgotten. Besides, I was nervous: would my little Prius achieve her 100,000 miles in the blur of a highway where I might not even notice? Happily, today, I saw that I was just six miles away from my Prius’ milestone, and I had nothing but local driving ahead.
Would 100,000 roll into view as I rolled down my town’s main road? Somehow, that seemed fitting. My Prius took us all to Toronto in 2011, to Charleston, South Carolina in 2012, and to dozens of beaches, basketball games and outings over the years. She even took Nate and a friend from Virginia to New Orleans to San Diego to Seattle to Boulder to Chicago and home again the year he graduated from college.
My Prius has a few bumper stickers, more than a few dings, and lots of stories to tell.
February 16: Yesterday was not The Day. Today, my Prius blinked 99,998 when I started her up. But the library was my destination, and I knew we’d reach 100,000 en route. How to prepare?
They probably don’t make 100,000-mile balloons to tie to the antenna. So I did what I love best in my little red car: open the sunroof, roll down the windows, and crank up Led Zeppelin.
A block away from the library, the odometer busted out the 1-0-0-0-0-0, just as Robert Plant wailed, “Got a whole lotta love.” Perfect.
February 17: Last week, the Washington Post carried an article about the new organ at Saint George’s. Somehow I’d missed it. Because I never manage to find articles online, I accepted the pinch of disappointment and moved on.
Today, as I walked along our creek, a piece of trash caught my eye. A good gust of wind would plunk it in the water. So I bent to retrieve the trash. It was — truly, these things happen to me — the article about Saint George’s organ, turned to the exact page, folded at the crease.
Maybe these were the last bars of Scarlatti’s sonata.
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