I am way behind on this blog because I didn't have Internet access last week at our beach condo, so I think I will be lazy and just make one big entry all at once rather than trying to recapture bits from the different days. That way I will be more caught up and likely to keep posting.
It was wonderful last week having so much time and freedom at the beach condo with Bob. I've been going to the same Texas beaches several times a year since I was 19 and it seems like almost every time I spend any real time down there I see something new. This time it was unusually high tides, practically licking the dunes at sunset without storm conditions. The quickly shifting colors of the sunset illuminated the vast expanse of turbulent water - magnificent - one of those awe in nature interludes for me.
Birding was good too, not in a spectacular way, but just in the abundant presence of birds we know and often see. I only started learning anything about birds when I married Bob at forty, and I'm a slow study, so it is exciting for me to be able to quickly identify almost any bird correctly. I was able to write some last week too on an odd new novel idea with a touch of a mystery in it - not in any state to have people read yet, but fun to be working on. I had fun having time to cook good suppers for Bob and me, to have the treat of meeting him at the door after work days - just a great restful week.
Bob took election day off and we enjoyed birding and a beach walk at sunset while distracting ourselves from the pre-election tension. For once I felt more optimistic and excited while Bob just felt anxious. We were excited as the Democrats took the House and closed in on the Senate. I especially wondered what it felt like being Virginia voters when so much hung in the balance. Wednesday while Bob was at work and I watched CNN compulsively, calling back and forth with Ruth and Joanna as news broke, like the resignation of Rumsfield. I still don't know how hopeful to feel - maybe more fundamental changes are needed - but the optimist in me is relieved that there is change (and desire for change on the part of voters) in directions that I believe are for good.
Thursday the whole fourth grade went on a field trip to the Texas State Aquarium (first time for many of these kids from poor homes) They had a wonderful time, especially with a scavenger hunt Bob and another teacher designed. In every email I seem to need to write how delighted I am that he is so happy in his work right now. It just makes me grin.
We took the grandkids into the pine woods at Bastrop State Park yesterday, a real treat for all of us. The trail there is marked by aluminum plates on the trees and all three kids got a kick out of being able to find the plates and follow the trail. They also found the trees standing so tall beautiful and noticed details, like the way pine needles fall from tall trees and hang like decorations in the shorter deciduous trees. We felt the textures of moss and lichen, marveled at the changing light as dusk fell, and really enjoyed being outside together.
This will be an intense work week for me starting tomorrow since I am taking next week off (again, not great timing, but Bob has the whole Thanksgiving week off). We are running away together for the first half of the holiday week to go big time birding - hoping to catching the huge flocks of sand hill cranes at refuges in West Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. We will venture into the Gila wilderness, where I have been wanting to hike for years now. We will be back on Wednesday next to celebrate Thanksgiving with kids and Grandkids here. I sure have plenty for which to be thankful.