Greetings from Heaven

Well . . . maybe not paradise exactly, but certainly something closer to it than Albany as we transition from old, dirty snow season to mud season.

I am typing from Asheville, North Carolina, at my sister’s house. Katelin and I shot down for a quick visit while she’s home from school. It’s close to 80 degrees today, the pear trees out back are in spectacular spring bloom, crocuses are popping up all over, and there’s nary a speck of ice or snow to be seen anywhere close by. I’m sitting barefoot, in shorts and t-shirt, in front of an open window, with all the doors open, bees flying around the yard, birds chirping, etc. It’s very, very nice. Something like late May where we live.

Asheville is a magnificent city, and my sister’s home is in an astonishing neighborhood, less than 100 yards from the famed Grove Park Inn, the roofs of which I can see out the window in front of me as I type. Housing lots here often have more vertical gain than horizontal width across their street fronts, and it’s interesting to see the architecture that such construction challenges present.

My sister and her husband are at work today, and their children are still in school, so Katelin and I are preparing dinner for the family tonight: I’m making ropa vieja with black beans and rice, Katelin is making a trifle (which she pronounces “triffle” with a short “i,” no matter how often one corrects her).

My mom is up from South Carolina visiting, too, but she’s down for the count right now: she accidentally took at Tylenol PM this morning at about 9 AM instead of her proper medication. Oopsy. She would have me let you know, though, that it was an honest mistake, because I was talking to her while she was taking her pills and distracted her, and it’s not a sign of dementia or other age-related issues. (Which is actually true).

The warmth has anesthetized the household animals as well: my mother’s cinder-block shaped dog snoozes with her, while my sister’s herding dog and rat-shaped doglette doze in the living room. The cats are laying in the dirt under the bushes out back, and Katelin just stuck her head in to say that the triffle was done, and she was going to go lay down on the patio and read.

Come to think of it . . . a nap’s probably not such a bad idea, is it?

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