I arrived in sabbatical town on Wednesday evening, got myself settled in on Thursday (groceries, unpacking, visiting the beach and bay) and settled down to writing yesterday. After a day and a half of steady work, a long phone call to my mom this morning, and losing a couple games of words w/friends (TH and MP1 are my constant scrabble buddies), I am still the happiest camper in the world. And, I am still pinching myself that this opportunity came my way at a stage in my professional and family life that allowed me to take advantage of it. My sabbatical house is fabulous, the location is yet more fabulous, and the owners of this house are just beyond-words fabulous—generous, interesting, wine-loving and adventurous. Lucky me. Their house is cozy, full of beautiful ancestral furniture, chiming (antique) clocks, family photos, cookbooks, gorgeous quilts made by Ms. Homeowner (retired special ed teacher) and books (owned by Mr. Homeowner, a retired professor in my field). And did I say they have been married 51 years? Very sweet. And I am over the moon to be here in my favorite kind of place (beach, ocean, sand!!) in a house that embodies so much love, and with furnishings that I find both familiar and new. (I’ll try not to gush so much after today).
The drive was long—partly boring highway, partly beautiful forest and mountains—but the entire trip was a very welcome opportunity to decompress and think about my upcoming projects, including the small potatoes one that I am currently working on quite dutifully. I am looking forward to TH coming to visit next week, as it will be a good excuse to go back to the great little bohemian, but excellent, restaurant that Mr. and Ms. Homeowner (M/MH) introduced me to on Wednesday night. We ate and talked, and then came home and talked some more (till well after 1 pm) over a great (local) cab. They left the next day around 2, and I immediately headed for the beach. In between paragraphs and pages, I’ve been strolling down to the bay to watch the birds and boats and enjoy the ocean air. Wonderful, guilty pleasures. I could ramble on, but I am going to power up my air card, post a few pics from my Thursday afternoon (semi-foggy) beach walk, and then head outside. The sun is just brilliant today. And the temperature? 71 at high noon—I may never go home. I can barely understand how M/MH manage to rip themselves away from this particular home front, even for new adventures.
Semi-annual emergency sirens are being tested as I finish this post. Reminds me, if only momentarily, of the risks associated with living on the edge of the world. Right now, I’ll gladly suffer them.
[I'll upload more photos to FB later this weekend; these are a bit "out of order," but I'm not going to bother sorting them here].