Wow, “suddenly” January has nearly fled. The sun now sets an hour and a half later than it was the week before Christmas. Spring is creeping slowly in our general direction. My foot’s feeling substantially better now and I went for my first serious walk in yesterday’s sunshine (my toe remains occasionally sore, like after that walk…but yes, we’ve been enjoying what our forecasters like to call “abundant sunshine”. It’s very nice.), I start the new job on Monday and generally, life is pretty good.
For those of you eager for the 411, a few details. I’ll be working in the billing department of a local medical office. I’ve met many of my co-workers (I was invited to join them at their belated holiday staff party last weekend, which was great fun…) and they are lovely. All indications are that I’ll be working in a productive and fun environment and I am looking forward to this new adventure.
The new position has a schedule which allows me to pursue other interests I had to forego previously and I’ve been enjoying getting into a rehearsal routine with the Chatham Chorale (my official audition is later this week, but I believe it’s more about placement within the group for range and to ensure I’m not totally lip synching…). And last week, that was only a little bit of the culture I was soaking up, as I participated in five of the seven nights of the Opera Hell Week hosted by my lovely friend Opera Betty at Trout Towers (the actual Trout Towers, not the blog of the same name).
Opera Hell Week involved a week’s free trial of the streaming video Met Player, and seven operas projected in delightful detail (and most of the time, subtitles) on the living room wall at Trout Towers over seven nights. I was briefly embarrassed to admit that – a few arias and episodes of Bugs Bunny to the side – opera was a big blank spot in my entertainment education, but I was eager to learn.
And what better time than the doldrums of January to try something exciting and new?! By Friday’s production of The Barber of Seville, I was wearing tails and a black bowtie (among other things) and totally in love with Juan Diego Florez and his amazing voice. I can’t wait til the next Opera Night…I’m in some kind of withdrawal this week.
While I’ve been able to address my own cabin fever, I’m afraid it’s been a little tougher for my Little Gray Buddy. Here he is looking through the door onto the deck, wishing it was warmer out there (that’s the door I stained last week, actually, tho not much of a shot to show it off, really). No doubt this would be one small issue on which he and the bluebirds are likely to find common ground.
I’m glad I planted a flowering kale in the driveway garden last autumn and here’s why. When our temperatures rose last week and the piles of snow magically vanished in a gale of warm rain, it was nice to find something pretty and fresh looking revealed amongst the bedraggled and frost-worn mess found beneath the fence. Nearby, there was also evidence that the blue primrose had bloomed under the snow cover, only the seedheads remaining. Silly primrose.
My pal and I did make another attempt at a walk outside last week. It was a bit warmer (still only mid-40s, tho) and almost all the snow had fled. It seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to get out for a few minutes ramble around the yard, even if the spectre of the season was clearly visible in little drifts of white here and there and snow shovels at the ready. Sadly, some sleety-rain cut short our walk, but at least we were able to get a bit of fresh air.
I have appreciated the luxury of a little free time this month, even if I can freely admit at this end of the month I’ve not been particularly productive with my time.
There’s no major progress to report on writing projects, nor a collection of drawings for photos ready for a gallery show. I haven’t even potted up any of the sweet pea or morning glory seeds which have been waiting for my attention since December. But I’ve been giving the apartment and my head a good sorting through, which is always helpful. These last three weeks, it’s important to note, mark the longest I’ve gone without seeing Owen in almost a dozen years. That means this month brings a real and welcome conclusion to a chapter I’ve been trying to write an ending for this last year and a half.
On the indoor gardening front, that silly Christmas cactus is blooming still and – finally – my amaryllis bulb from last year has finally stopped teasing me and sent up a few new leaf tips. It’s not at all the schedule I imagined for this plant, but I suppose that just helps me with that perpetual lesson of not trying to manage more than is reasonable and letting things happen as they will.
Often I end my posts with a sunset (and I did see a pretty delightful and remarkable one recently, which many of my Facebook pals may already have seen there. I’ll post it here shortly, but not right now), but this time around, it feels more appropriate to conclude with another sunrise. This morning’s, actually.
I always think beginnings are a good place to end, don’t you?