Muddied Waters

Our annual Spring paddle on Owasco Inlet took an unexpected turn as we returned to shore. Lori stepped out of her canoe into a few inches of water over thick mud, couldn’t move her feet and promptly fell over into the muddy water.

Lori expressed her dismay with a long string of loud obscenities. I was looking at the reaction of a group of young Mennonites on the shore and carelessly ended up in the same fate (and the same mud).  Unfortunately for me, I had a devil of a time getting up and balanced as my feet sank into a foot of mud; I toppled over a few times before finally floundering to shore. Lori was torn between laughter and concern.

When my canoe capsized during my struggles, it dumped my camera into the muddied water.  It took a little more sloshing about to find it and fish it out of the muck.

I’m always well-prepared for the possibilities like this–I have a waterproof padded case for the camera.  Only I neglected to latch the lid so the case and camera went their separate ways during the melee.

We were both muddy wet messes and so was all our gear.  We squished through the process of loading everything up on the car and prepared for the long wet drive home.

It took a couple hours to clean everything up when we got home, the car was a mess, and my camera is officially toast.

Other than that, it was a lovely Spring day on Owasco Inlet.

Twenty-One and Tuckered

Meeko, our beloved cat, celebrated her 21st birthday today.  She’s doing remarkably well for her age (aided by several expensive prescriptions). She’s not as spry as she once was: no more feats of leaping or deadly hunts. But she still runs up and down the stairs a couple dozen times a day and spends much of her waking hours howling recommendations on how we can improve our service to her. Her favorite present today was the cork from her celebratory bottle of Prosecco–she merrily batted the cork all over until it rocketed under a sofa.

We estimate she’s now on the 14th of her nine lives. Quite the little role model, that one. Happy Birthday Meeko.

Quarantini

Our Friday evening tradition of enjoying a martini continues unabated through these trying times. We’re studiously observing shelter-in-place, social distancing, and wearing face masks. A martini (or quarantini) interferes with none of that but can take the edge off the pandemic, if only briefly.

Meanwhile, Mother Nature keeps things interesting: this morning we woke to four inches of a fresh frosty coating of snow on everything. As our winter of discontent melts away, we are drawn back to the stress and despair visited on the world by the virus. We’re doing fine for now but are deeply concerned about the plight of so many others, now and for years to come.

Our quarantini toast was to you last evening: Buona salute!

Anniversary in Aurora

Lori and I had a wonderful overnight-er in Aurora NY at the Aurora Inn to celebrate our anniversary. It wasn’t quite as spectacular as last year’s anniversary in Venice but we thoroughly enjoyed our stay, a fabulous dinner, and then a wonderful walking tour of the town to learn about Aurora and its evolution, particularly its transformation under the singular vision of Pleasant Rowland.  We will be back.

I’m Hanging It Up

It’s official: I am now retired from my (brief) 2-year career as a court clerk. It’s been fun and interesting working in our town’s court and seeing the New York State justice machinery working on the front lines. I leave with a deep respect for the fine people working for our town–they’re uniformly devoted to doing the best for the community and are a pleasure to “rub elbows” with.

I’m sure I’ll be seeing them again when I stop in to pay taxes, tweak some court software, or appear for a speeding ticket.  Meanwhile, I’m having a blast continuing my education at the Corning Museum of Glass and readying for my next career as a “Glass Guide” (docent).

Assuredly Winter

There’s no disputing it at this point: Newfield has started deploying Winter. We hope it’s at least a proper job of it–useful for snowshoeing, skiing, etc.–and none of that wimpy cold dreary gray eternity we sometimes get.

Our neighbors down the hill put up their Christmas lights just in time for the first substantial snow of the season.

Along an Esker

Our friend Stella joined us for Thanksgiving and a post-Thanksgiving recovery hike at Sweedler Preserve in Ithaca. The weather was brisk if our pace was not.

There is a lovely esker running down the Lick Brook gorge in Sweedler Preserve that features dramatic side drop-offs.

Glass With Class

Lori, Marie (neighbor friend), and I took a one-day introductory class in glass blowing at Corning Museum of Glass recently.  It was a blast.  We each created several pieces designed to introduce us to the fundamentals.  I can confidently say that none will be classified as art or serve any useful functional purpose.  There were no severe burns and our instructor, Ross, was a patient and skilled (and entertaining) instructor. The best thing we developed in class was an increased appreciation for the gaffers (master glass blowers) who make it look so easy to create spectacular pieces.