05 April 2009

Appalachian Spring: Variations on a Shaker Hymn

Today dawned clear and warm, unlike so much of the country, where it dawned snowy. Even though it hit 82F today, it'll drop back down into the 60s by Tuesday.

I woke early, but evidently, I fell right back to sleep because the next time I looked at the clock, it was 8:45. And I promptly dragged myself out of bed because I'd promised R. I'd go for a walk with her this morning before she headed off for her mother/daughter week in Palm Springs. R. tends to dislike change, so I took her off down the channel trail where she'd never been before and all she could do was marvel that this was so close to home.

Once I got back, I did some weeding and fussing around the garden. Dressed in a long-sleeved black tee and sweatpants, it was a bit warm, but before I knew it, I found myself digging a hole to plant the new lilac I'd bought, and then suddenly, I was in the back 40, pulling more weeds and yanking out a particularly pernicious thing that is the size of a small tree, as well as pruning rose bushes and admiring my four avocados (which I sincerely believe will never ripen. I mean, the tree's blooming again, kids).

I have a terrible tendency to just throw myself into working in the garden. Fortunately, I was already wearing sunscreen because I was too lazy to go back into the house and get my hat (shade! I reasoned. I was working in the shade). And my really dirty gardening secret, the one that should be on PostSecret? Gloves. I have a half dozen pairs of gardening gloves--leather, rose-proof, waterproof--and frequently fail to wear even one. So I dig, gleefully, destroying my nails, embedding dirt in every available crevice in my hands, creating calluses that would please any farmer. And since we don't have just any old dirt, since we have utterly foul, cold, stinking clay, the tips of my fingers tend to be stained an unrelenting brown when I start rootling around, green where I've grabbed a really juicy weed.

So right now, my hands look reasonably disgusting, and are in severe need of the nail file. They've already been thoroughly subjected to the nail brush.

Did I mention the splinters and thorns? One of my rose bushes has thorns every millimeter, and a cane from it could easily be used for home defense. Something else back there is covered in tiny thorns. I found them all while I was trying to wash my hair, post-rootling. And after my shower, spent the better part of a half hour digging with needles and yanking with tweezers.


Welcome, spring.

Tomorrow, regular season baseball begins. Angels did well in spring training, didn't always look impressive in the exhibition games. Par for the course. Pundits are predicting they won't go to the playoffs, but I don't find myself terribly worried. They'll do what they do. Pitching rotation is something of a disaster, Vlad looks happy (new for 2009!), and there is the question of the new closer. I guess we wait and see.

Go listen to some beautiful music: "Appalachian Spring: VII. Doppio Movimento: Variations on a Shaker Hymn" by the Los Angeles Philharmonic & Zubin Mehta from the album Copland. I'd planned a jaunt to Camden Yards when I head east, but of course, of course! Orioles are away while I'm back there. And yeah, the Nationals are in town...but... It *is* a gift to be simple. I lack that gift.

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