Celebrating Everyday

In the past weeks, I’ve knocked out quite a number of un-blog-worthy tasks, and am feeling good / relieved.  One of the (important) six-months at home projects I haven’t written about was to address my health.  It’s been a long, sometimes discouraging struggle, but I am just now starting to feel good physically, as well.  And, interspersed with flooding rains, we’ve even had a couple of sunny, springlike days.  Those, I’ve dedicated to the gardens, clearing out, making way for growth.

tfiber

A  fraction of winter-retted tritoma, reserved for the beater.  It’s tough, abundant fiber, the last to die off, not till midwinter.  If it makes good paper, I have a farm started from a single pack of seeds.

There are deadlines coming up, of course, but pleasant ones; and, quickly, my summer journeys. Right now I’m acutely aware that I’m in the final few weeks of this lovely home hiatus, and am thinking about the simple, quiet rituals I will miss.

One is the daily walk with Lupe dog, something I happily take charge of when I’m here.  She’s a sweet beastie who has never forgotten her training; as a city dog, she must be leashed (which is sad) and on the streets, she trots easily and gently at heel, politely sits whenever I stop.  But she owns the alleys; there, thanks to a  long retractable leash that gives her at least some freedom, she leads the way.

 alley1

Chicago has 1900 miles of alleys. Most round here are, well: boring, unremarkable extensions of gridded, rigidly fenced-in midwestern city life.

alley2

We prefer these types.

alleyfence

And any evidence of individualism, like bamboo to hide the ubiquitous chain link,

alleywheel

or little inventions (this wheel makes someone’s back gate glide),

alley3

and places where the vegetation wins

alley5

or adapts.

Some days, we walk as the Pack: Paul, Lupe, me. Whenever I’m enjoying some lovely mountain, coast or prairie path, I always wish they were sharing it with me, and Lupe running free.