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img_1138We drove up to Ashland, WI, during the weekend, a short trip to go to a memorial service.  I’ve not been that far north and although the weather was wet, damp, then rainy and rather cold, there were trees to drive through and lake beaches to walk on. I fell into writing about where Julia is this summer which I’ll post separately.

I loved getting out of Madison!  Apart from a very few quick trips to the Chicago burbs, its been months since we’ve left. I love Madison but I crave travel. Driving up north was unexpectedly satisfying. Quiet, gray, rolling hills, lots of evergreen trees and water.  The lake looking so vast that a casual observer might mistake it for a sea. And the lupines! I have not driven through a landscape of wild lupines.  Like in Barbara Cooney’s story of Alice Rumphius, a kid’s book I haven’t thought about in years. The lupines were beautiful. Someone at the memorial said they were invasive. It may be wrong but I wish to be invaded by lupines.  I stopped by the side of the road more than once trying unsuccessfully to capture what I saw.

The lupines were worth the drive.

We listened to about half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.  Almost 10 hours got us a bit less than half way through. We are both enjoying the detail.

Update on the unexpected life:

—Yesterday, I finally seeded the terrace garden beds in front of the house.  After transplanting all the perennials I could last fall, I dug up hundreds of bulbs after bloomed this spring. In the last few weeks, my handyman, Ed, turned the soil over, cleared large roots, pulled weeds and started leveling. Neighbors took soil until I was left with a moderate pile that Ed removed early yesterday.  Julia and I did the last loosening of soil, pulling of small weeds and roots, and leveling.  And then the seed went down.  I watered last night and early this morning.  It is raining lightly now which should take care of today.  And now, I await transformation.  Not a transformation that I wanted or asked for but change nonetheless that must be shepherded.

—Reading and writing are rare occurrences this summer.  Most evenings, I climb into bed after Julia gets to bed and sleep. Last night, I thought I’d watch some Netflix but fell asleep before I got through the sign-on screens.  It is not a bad thing to be tired from the day and to sleep until morning.  We bike and garden, do school work, run errands, and I do a little some correspondence, but I do miss spilling out my soul on this screen, uploading to this blog and filling the spirit with some book.  It takes too long to prepare Julia’s next day lessons and writing ideas drift through my brain and I swear they are dumped at the end of a day. I think balance is the stuff that fairy dreams are made of.

—My wrist and I have been released from medical care pending one more test for carpal tunnel that I’ll do after school starts.  Julia has a complicated schedule this summer and squeezing in a medical test for me is too hard. In the meantime, I keep using my hand. I am stiff and a bit sore in the mornings and my range of motion has been reduced. The lower arm has lost strength and flexibility, but I garden, bike and cook.  Thanks goodness typing is back to normal although writing by hand feels strange.  Not painful but I don’t have the control over the pen that I am used to.  I suspect that more practice will improve everything. It’s still hard to hook my bra in the back but I have few limitations.

We have 22 days—I counted for the first time today—until we leave for our Alaskan cruise.  After traveling to Ashland without sufficient clothing, I proclaim my willingness to pack heavier than I tend to and to pack lots of layering clothes.  If northern Wisconsin needed jackets and sweaters, certainly the glaciers will require just a mite bit more.