Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Setlling into the craziness

The rush to be ready for next week at Goddard has kicked in. Trying to settle housing arrangements (aka: I don't need any), get childcare figured out, plan meals for the family for the week that Colin can throw on and be done with, and get the "little things" organized and ready. I figure that oughtta take me all week, and through the weekend!

And boy, am I nervous! A new school (at the old school??) with a bunch of people I don't know (average age in the psych program is 44 or something), and a whole new subject. And I will be doing FIVE undergrad courses between now and the middle of February! Holy cow! (School supplies? Oh... my!)

Sage was feverish all night, and her nose just snuffled and snuffled all night long. Aidan began snuffling around 10, and had a fever as well. Nadia fell right asleep at 8, but then woke up at 9, and fussed and fussed for hours, finally falling asleep around 11 (so much for my "mommy time"). She woke up again at 2:30 and never fell back asleep until 4:30. I had put Sage and Aidan in bed with me because they weren't feeling well, and to keep them from waking up Colin when they needed me. But Nadia was sleeping with him, and obviously, woke him up, and then he was up off and on while she fussed (I heard the tv go on a couple of times). So I can't imagine anyone feels good today. I know my throat is sore, and I am exhausted. And I have everybody at home in bed. But of course, they get a little restless, and begin to fuss about. Sage's fever seems to finally have lessened up about a half an hour ago, so hopefully we are past the yuckies!

Now... hopefully Nadia and I don't get sick next week. Hmmm.

Colin found childcare for Nadia where one of his co-worker's kid goes. I have called today, but didn't get to talk to the woman (busy with kids perhaps??) so I will call again this afternoon. I'm nervous about that too. The horror stories I can tell about childcare, day care, babysitting! And not from my side, but from moms who have had bad things happen to their kids. I am sure that everything is fine, but I am going to go and visit, because otherwise I will worry all the time.

Sage has discovered the "Jack and Annie" books we have (The Magic Treehouse Series), and although it is hard for her, she is actually reading them. SHe seems to have done a lot more reading lately. And suddenly seems to be enjoying it (THANK GOODNESS!!). These books are easy enough that I think she might be able to plough through them once she gets through one or two.

The cold has finally come to Montpelier. The laundry Colin hung out last night was covered with ice this morning, and the house was definitely chilly. But the sun came out, and is warming everything up quickly (no fog last night). We expect another hard frost tonight and then it is supposed to be warm for a while after that.

Everytime I think it couldn't possibly be any more beautiful here, the next wave of changes hits, and it is stunning. When we first visited and paid our deposit on the house, the apple trees, elder, and the honeysuckle were all in bloom. It smelled amazing. The pine and fir and spruce and hemlock were covered in pale green spring growth, and the maples had leaved out their deep red buds. The woods had small ferns unfurling and no other undergrowth but last fall's dark brown leaf litter.

Then summer came, and there were raspberries and cherries and elderberries and apples and blackberries. It looks as though there might even be a few strawberries. The maples and birches filled the air, and made the yard feel enclosed and cozy and protected. The garden spilled over its borders despite the late start, and sunflowers poured over the top of the chicken coop fence.

Now, leaves of all colors litter the yard, and the white pines have seemed to turn yellow underneath the green, dropping last year's needles to form a deep carpet of orange beneath each tree. The firs and spruces seem as green and blue as ever, and the apple trees are still going strong, despite the frost. Long ago, the cedar waxwings came and stole all the berries, leaving the cheery tree and elders picked clean. No one seems to want the Japanese honeysuckle.

As the leaves fall, the view opens up to the hills beyond, one view to the southwest, and one to the north west, along the spine of mountains that runs from Hardwick to Montpelier. I have watched as the fall colors swelled and faded, leaving now a brown-ish grey sheen where the deciduous trees rise, tucked in between their evergreen cousins. It seems much the same as life in Craftsbury, but for one thing: we are either too far south for the cold sinks where tamaracks thrive, or the soil is too sweet for their taste, and I will miss the pumpkin orange of the last blaze of Autumn, as the only coniferous tree to drop its needles displays its fall color.

It makes me wonder what winter will hold? I can already imagine the snow draped across the white pines and hemlocks outside our living room windows, and the dance of chicakdees and jays across the deck as they look for seeds. We've already heard the owls calling in the night, the Barred owls, and I expect to find them come late winter balancing on the branches of those huge trees outside, staring down at us, wondering why we don't fling mice and shrews at them. And the coyotes, crying in the woods, must know about the fir stand just across the property line, where deer must overwinter. We see them already, out in the pasture, and sometimes in the yard, and we expect to be able to follow their trails easily when the snow comes.

I hope to find some snowshoes for the kids this winter, since we have such vast woods behind us, so we can all go out traipsing through the woods, tracking, and playing in the snow. I wish I could've afforded an amauti when I was pregnant with Nadia (an Inuit winter parka with the "shelf hood" for the baby to sit on), so I could carry her close to me, and we could share our warmth. But we will figure something else out, I am sure. And off we'll go, to find those wolf-coy hybrids' footprints lurking in the snow, reminding us that this world is little of our own making, and too much of our own taking.

The children are sitting, glassy-eyed, at the table, making puppets on popsicle sticks, and Nadia is crying "Fee Fiee... See book!!!" at me (Followed closely by a "TanTooo!" ..."thank you"). SO I am going to go and oversee the process and read to Nadia. "Fee" means fish in Nadia-ese; her new favorite thing is fish. Sometimes it even sounds like "feee-sh"! She looks like a freshly washed ppodle staring at a fish tank at the moment, her hair all wet and curled (after 20 minutes of brushing out the horrid dredlocks) and close to her scalp (despite being longer than the middle of her back), and she is staring at a particularly colorful page of fish from the DK book series.

Off I go to play and heat up chicken soup and biscuits (last nights dinner for sick people).

1 comment:

Grandma G said...

Wish I could be there warming up the soup. Your writing is so evocative, Erica. I wish you could publish it. Hope everyone feels better by Monday. Mama's "back to school" day. I'll pack your lunch and sharpen your pencils....With love.