Vacation Dispatches (#2)

Two days ago I was still grumbling about the terrible job the plow guy did on the driveway after the recent storms, and today it’s all moot.  The snow is gone, thanks to a couple of unseasonably warm days, true “halcyon days” in their most Greek form.  As welcome as they were, the warmth heaved my internal weather clock all the way into April and now I feel all out of sorts.  Is there such a thing as seasonal jet-lag?

Ever mindful that the cold would soon return, on Saturday we meandered over to the nearest Mass Audubon preserve for a little walk.  It was the solstice, after all, and being outside is the best way to acknowledge the formal changing of the seasons.  The chickadees were out in full force, along with nut hatches and juncos, and even a couple of pairs of cardinals.  The least-blurry bird picture from the afternoon:

chickadee 13

We also saw this enormous hornet (wasp?) nest up in one of the trees:

hornets nest

There was a family of ducks taking advantage of a little yet-unfrozen inlet.  This guy seemed to ponder awhile before jumping back in:


And the gray winter light played on the water:



In other news, I finished The Luminaries.  Halfway through the book really picked up steam, in part because it’s at that point where the author stops “flashbacking” the plot and starts writing in “real time” (well, more or less).  It still landed with a big thud, though.  I’m still confused as to what actually happened — which is kind of a feat considering the ending is essentially written twice.  The problem is, I just don’t care.  The writing is absolutely lush and beautiful and the setting is fascinating, but in the end, I find myself agreeing with many of the one, two and three star reviewers on Amazon – the book is a beast to read, the structure feels contrived, and I ultimately didn’t care as much as I should about the characters.  There are also some pretty ridiculous plot devices, in particular the manner in which a missing bullet turns up.  It’s a weird book, a masterpiece in many ways, and yet….eh.

That said, it was nice to get my reading groove back.  I was really concerned that all my internet surfing/email checking/Facebook browsing had ruined my ability to concentrate on anything for more than 10 minutes.  When I finally did manage to lose myself in The Luminaries, I was able to read for a couple of hours at a time – and I had not done that in ages.


Upcoming Week 2 of vacation plans:  one more trip to that special hell known as the grocery store; then baking, eating, Christmas, and more eating.  I’m interested to see how my sister’s dog does with the whole Christmas thing – thus far he has peed on the Christmas tree, picked several fights with a 3 foot tall elf figure, and tried to eat one of my niece’s presents from a friend.  It ought to be interesting…


About Lori Allen Writes

Lori is plotting to take over the world one essay, one quilt, and one hand knit sock at a time.
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