Yesterday, like so many other days, I received a little visit from my Nanny, who likes to give and receive "the latest news" as she sees fit- considering she is 71, most of her news is health updates and obituary-watching (she tells me that she always reads this section of the newspaper first). But yesterday she had some especially juicy stories, and she said she felt like Ann Landers with all this gossip, just like in the paper. Well, first off, The Standard Freeholder publishes Dear Abby, not Ann Landers. In fact, Ann Landers has been dead for more than 2 years now, but I don't have the heart to tell that to Nanny. I just let her give me all the updates, and I tried not to get distracted by the flour on her face. I know that if she knew it was there, she would be very embarrassed, so I kept that to myself also.
This is the time of year when Nanny bakes a billion pies to put in her freezer. Yesterday she must have made half a dozen apple pies, which makes me sad, because in the past she could use apples from her own apple trees for at least some of those pies...on particularly abundant years, I also received some of the apples for my own pies. But this summer she got it in her head that the apple trees had to go, so they did. They called the stump removal guy, who never showed up, so Pa, a 73-year old man, was out there hacking away for days and days. Now the backyard is totally barren, and I remember when I was small there was a great big tree that we loved to play on because it had a swing. And then one summer it just disappeared. And this tree had been part of family lore for more than 30 years! My uncle Jim had been tied to it as a child and chased with a lawnmover (this never happened, but it's still one of his favourite stories...just like my mother and her toe jam, which leads one to believe that these kids were not read to enough as children, but that's another story).
So later yesterday night, I was lying on the hood of the car, star-gazing, and you know what I saw? I believe it was a constellation! Now, I know all about constellations in the abstract, and I have indeed looked up into the sky at night before, seeing stars and whatever else. But I've never really looked with deliberate intention, so this is the first real blending of theory and reality, and it was very exciting for me. They were tiny little stars in the shape of a little pot, which is what struck me most: it was tiny. But still obvious enough that I thought it couldn't be a coincidence. I'm pretty sure it was the big dipper, which is a misnomer if you ask me, but still beautiful. And it really makes you wonder at how these things come to be, because that shit's impressive! However, when it's -8 outside, it's not exactly the most opportune time to go outside and discover the sky. But I was already out there admiring the sky, so it just happened. I was in my pjs and wrapped in a comforter, so it was really only my feet that cold, because I have this mental block where I really don't like to wear shoes with pjs, so I just had on my Winnie the Pooh socks. But cold toes were worth it, because the sky was so pretty last night, it was glowing with gusts of light which I guess was the Northern Lights, which I have seen before, and frankly, never cease to amaze me.
So, all in all, a pretty great Tuesday. I seem to be healing pretty well after my fall off the Gazelle on Monday, my lungs are functioning again, so that's nice. You really miss them when you stun them into shutting down. It makes you wonder what could possibly be in store for Wednesday!