Today was my day to post a blog, and I blew it. No good excuse. I could say that the fourth Thursday came early this month, sneaked up on me, which it did. But the better explanation is, I was hardly aware that today was a Thursday.
Bit by bit during the year since my retirement from teaching, I have lost my intimate connection with both calendar and clock. For more years than I care to claim, I always had a Day Planner, or some electronic version of one, within reach. Now, there is no need to, and I don’t. Same with my watch. Before we left for our recent trip where there were multiple flights and various appointments that needed to be met on time, I had to go buy a new watch because I have no idea where the old one is; probably still in one of the unpacked boxes in the garage.
We do manage to maintain a sort of squidgy structure in our daily doings. Meals occur, early or late, big or small, according to the rhythm of a day. I write just about every day, and am very aware of the deadlines for two currents projects. For the rest, Tuesdays we go into town for breakfast and the week’s marketing. Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays we swim laps at the community pool. But Tuesday I had a doctor thing, and yesterday, Wednesday, a swim day, some construction equipment broke a water pipe and the pool was closed. If our usual routine went pffht, so what? We skipped the marketing and are making do with what we have in the freezer and the garden. Yesterday was a beautiful, clear day after three days of drizzle, so we drove up toward Truckee to see what we could see. This morning we had our swim – met the Thursday swimmers – then headed down the mountain to the next town to get our car serviced, a day later than planned. And while we were there….
The really great part of being unchained from the clock and calendar is the freedom to linger and explore. Case in point: We try to arrive at the dealership that services our cars at around lunch time because, among the services offered are either a complimentary sandwich at their little lunch counter while you wait or chauffered delivery to any local restaurant. Today, on the recommendation of our rep, we were driven up to the local airport for lunch at a place called Wings. We’re still new to the area and had no idea that this gem existed. The menu is standard diner fare, but the restaurant sits right next to the tarmac. People fly in and out for lunch, or come just to watch the planes, as we did. Great fun.
On the way up, we noticed a western art gallery. Paul loves western art and has a small collection of prints, paintings, and sculpture. So, our freshly serviced, newly washed car returned to us, we went back to see what was there. Turns out that this is the gallery, studio, and foundry of monumental artist Douglas Van Howd. We were given a wonderful tour of the work and the studio, and works-in-progress, by one of the artist’s assistants, and had a lovely, long talk with his wife, wildlife photographer Nancy Van Howd. Mr. Van Howd was the artist for the Reagan administration; remember that Reagan liked western artists. Van Howd not only designed and crafted the gifts that Reagan presented to heads of state during official visits, but he and Nancy also accompanied the President on those visits. Great stories, wonderful adventures. Monumental talent. Tucked into a meadow on a back road in a small Sierra foothills town. Quel suprise!
You never know what you’ll find when you have the time to stop and look around. I’m sorry I slipped off my blog posting schedule. But while I wasn’t paying attention I fell into one hell of a lovely day.
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