Thursday, November 17, 2005

On Tuesday, November 15, Ken and I moved into our new home in the southern section of the Central Adirondacks. The final move is scheduled for December 14 or thereabouts, so time is drawing near for me to lay "Musings from Redwing Marsh" to bed for that eternal nap. I believe one more entry may be called for here, but, until then, please visit me at my new blog "Adirondack High" for tales of our adventures in the North Country. I'm still going to need a cooking and wine blog, but it will no longer be called "La Cuisine Massachusetts." And where will I blog about books and the literary world? At this point, I have no idea, but I do know that "Adirondack High" will be where I'm hanging my blogging cap for a good time to come.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

As of November 15, Ken and I will be residents of the Adirondacks in upstate New York. In early October we found the home of our dreams--all 27 acres of it. We're out bordering wilderness, bordering state land that cannot be built on. I have been so overwhelmingly occupied preparing for this move that I've not had a spare second to do anything but focus on the transition. Actually, we move our total bag and baggage on December 14, but we will own the property as of November 15. At that time, we're traveling north with a truck or our new four-wheel drive pickup and a truck to begin moving the precious stuff that we don't want the movers to touch.

Although I'm so exhausted so much of the time that I feel numb, I'm actually extremely excited. We're so looking forward to this adventure and to the new world we're going to immerse ourselves in. Right now I can't wait to be there so that I can curl up on the couch in front of the floor to cathedral-ceiling windows in the living room and look out toward the mountains. We'll see the sun rise over our pastureland and woods out these windows. I'm eager to cross-country ski and snowshoe nearby, and do some downhill skiing at Gore Mountain in North Creek. (We're 11 miles from North Creek, the village we love.)

I'm anticipating the spring when I'll break ground for an organic vegetable garden, complete with an electric fence to keep out all the deer, coyotes, and other animals that frequent the place.

It's just that right now I feel we're never going to make it. Moving is so impossible. I had a huge yard sale Sunday (we got snowed out on Saturday) and after three days of work, I can say honestly that the returns are not worth all the work, although it was good to get rid of loads of stuff so we don't have to haul it north. I have handymen that promise and promise me they'll show up but don't. Ken has had to concentrate on doing his regular work, so I've been doing all the arrangements, and everything is so huge. The only thing that keeps me going is knowing that somehow or other we must be moving closer to our goal.

In any case, there will be a new blog coming called "Adirondack High." It will appear soon after December 14. If it's sooner, I'll leave a notice here. When I leave the marsh, "Musings at Redwing Marsh" will be no longer.

By the way, about books. Can you believe that I have not read a single book since our vacation in mid-September? Not a one. The literary world has whizzed by me in a blur, and I know nothing about it. I can't picture that I'll be in this state forever, however, so do not despair. Life and books will go on when the dust settles.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

We're spinning plans of a move to the North country. Every year we talk about it, but in the past the ideas have been whimsies or wish we coulds. This September, somehow or other, we may have turned a corner. Our discussions have become much more serious and we've moved into making hard-core plans of how two people should approach such a change. Research, research, I say. Ken takes note of the people we should talk with who've transplanted themselves from suburbs to country. We're also making plans of an exploratory journey to Vermont in the coming weeks, before hunting season anyway.

We both want to experience something other than what life has to offer in the suburbs of Boston. Why should we spend the next ten years in the most expensive spot in the country? Land is cheap in the North; the winters are long--fortunately, neither of us minds winter, and as everyone knows, Sophie adores it. My work is not bound to any location. Most of my professional (writing and editing) contacts are by e-mail. I've worked for companies for years, and they have never once met me in person. It wouldn't matter if I lived in the heart of New York City or the wilds of the Adirondacks.

Anyway, we have a long way to go before any move is imminent. But we both now have intentions, and as we drove through the Champlain Valley of New York yesterday, we're becoming clearer about what each of us wants in a country place. I need good soil for a large vegetable garden, Ken needs some woods because, well, he loves the woods. I need access to excellent cross-country skiing (something we have oodles of in Canton (Blue Hills wilderness), lakes and streams for paddling, internet access, access to a good hospital and a good grocery store and not too far from a good university hospital (Burlington, Vermont?). And all my life I have longed for a horse or pony. I'm not sure that would be in the cards; keeping a horse in feed and veterinary care is expensive, but it would be fun.

So we're off on a new adventure together. All the same, I'm positive I'll get home to Canton, and I'll walk through the house and our bedroom and our kitchen and I'll cry, "I don't want to move! Not ever!" But that's an understandable reaction, one I've had many times before, and it has never held me back from making a change that I wanted and felt I needed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

We've been vacationing by Minerva Lake since Saturday, and thus far we've stayed close to camp, enjoying the unbeatable weather. We've had plenty of time to read. In the evenings we've been listening to the new thriller/mystery Entombed by Linda Fairstein. We're three quarters of the way through now, and although the first third of the book moved beautifully, we've been slogged down since in a plot that doesn't seem to move forward or have much action. Pages of pages of historical information presented in dialogue--some of it interesting, but it really bogged the story down.

On my own I'm reading a mind-bending book, Wandering Home by Bill McKibben. It's an essay/memoir of his journey from his home in Ripton, Vermont, near Middlebury to his Adirondacks home in Johnsburg, New York (North Creek, where I'm posting this entry right now is in the town of Johnsburg). I'm so delighted to have discovered this book because I'm very familiar with both the Ripton area and Johnsburg. His thoughts about wilderness, sustainable agriculture, and dozens of other topics related to land preservation are exciting to me, mostly because I care so much for the land. I've been reading Wandering Home outside of our camp, while I'm sitting in Dragonfly Cove, where I soak in the peace of that place, which is, for now, uninhabited by people.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

The end of summer whirlwind is upon me and I'm involved in more than tying up summer's loose ends. Labor Day weekend marks the time Ken and I start to prepare for our annual journey to Minerva, New York, in the heart of the Adirondacks. The last few days have seen me de-cluttering my office and the bedroom as well as cleaning out my file cabinets and the closets in both rooms, all as part of the mission to have an orderly, organized home to return to after our vacation.

I visited my cousin Heidi in Connecticut this past week and have been so inspired by her unbelievably uncluttered home that I've been sorting, filing, and throwing stuff away ever since. In her home, I was amazed at how peaceful it is to spend time in a place that isn't crowded with an overload of STUFF. Maybe, I think to myself, I'll be better able to concentrate and focus in on work when I return if my office is cleared of all the distractions lying around.

So here I am, and I've said nothing about books or reading. I'm excited to report that T.C. Boyle has a new collection of stories to appear this month. (I just love "What's New," the blog on his website!) Tooth and Claw, published by Viking, is Boyle's seventh collection of stories, and I can't wait to get hold of a copy.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

10:55 am
I’m blogging from the Starbucks at the corner of Berkeley and Boylston St. in Boston’s Back Bay. It’s a gorgeous day—clear blue sky, low humidity, coolish. Where’s my camera? The ride in took an hour instead of the usual 15-20 minutes. “Switching problems,” we were told. We were stuck in the midst of a beautiful freshwater marsh, surrounded by cattails, for about twenty minutes.

This Starbucks has an outdoor café; I’m not sitting in it because the wind would wreak havoc with the papers I’m supposed to be studying, but I love looking out on all the people relaxing there, the Bassett Hound who looks like he’s going to fall over from boredom, guys on bicycles swooping in and out of traffic.

My original purpose today was to go to the Boston Public Library, the oldest public library in the country, to search through the U.S. Patent Office indexes for the patents of women’s inventions from the 19th and 20th centuries for a project I’ve been hired to do. But, because of the train delay, there is no point in digging in over there, because by the time I get into the swing of using the data, I’d just have to leave to meet Barbara. She moved to the South End this summer, and her new home is so beautiful—bigger than a townhouse, four floors of lovely, big rooms. Sensational views of the park—lots of trees. I’m so envious.

I often have my most profound thoughts while writing in a city Starbucks, no matter which city I’m in. That’s not happening today, but I am filled with a feeling of contentment and, well, joy. I’ve been so happy this month, which is definitely due to the fact that I’ve taken lots of time to enjoy creative activities—cooking and experimental escapades in the kitchen, fun outdoor food gathering (visiting local farms and berry picking all over), doing some art—pastels, developing a new blog (La Cuisine Massachusetts), walking, seeing friends, discovering and learning all about wine. Everyone tells me I need the break, but the problem is I don’t want it to end! I do hope that by the time we return from vacation, I’ll be ready to hone in on all my work projects.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

I'm already starting to stage a plan for gathering some terrific audiobooks for our vacation. Once again, we're returning to Minerva Lake in the Adirondacks for two weeks in September. There we'll retire to our chalet nestled high above the lake. The audiobooks are for the long evenings by the fire (it can be downright chilly there by September). Audiobooks I'm attempting to get from local libraries: The Kite Runner, Saturday by Ian McEwan, Entombed (Ken loves thrillers) by Linda Fairstein, and Lost in the Forest by Sue Miller. We need a couple more, so I'm still working on the list. During the day, in between paddling, eating, writing, and excursions, I'm hoping to read A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby, The Practice of Deceit by Elizabeth Benedict, and I'd love a cooking memoir, if I can manage to find such a thing. Know any good ones?