I feel like there's lots to be optimistic about today, or maybe just plain happy. First of all, we got a free rotisserie chicken, compliments of the Sunrise Guide. Not only is it cool to get free chicken, especially when they seem to have at least tried to raise it without benefit of antibiotics, etc., but it reminds me of long ago late evening dinners at home, after school and practice, when Mom would come racing in from the grocery store with a Hannaford rotisserie chicken all ready to hit the table. My brother and I would breathe a sigh of relief that our hungry bellies wouldn't have to wait for her to create something from scratch.
Nowadays, when Mom serves chicken it's raised by my brother, across the street from the house in which she serves it. The same is true of the ham and bacon, not to mention the potatoes, greens, asparagus, carrots, beans, beets, eggplant, peppers, herbs, and apples. The meat is primarily my brother's domain, the produce a team effort with Mom, my stepfather, and the tiny efforts of those of us who live far away but make our vacations at the farm. Mom still makes sure there's food on the table, but life in and near her kitchen is a long way from where it was when I was a teenager.
We were planning to make yogurt today, a process I finally learned from Lily this past week. I'd been complaining for months about all the plastic we go through eating yogurt, when finally Lil said "it's really not that hard to make, you know." I spent an hour Monday in her kitchen watching her heat, cool, and stow the milk and culture, and today we bought the thermometer that'll help us try it ourselves. Of course, it's not quite the right thermometer, so it'll have to wait another few days, but I'm looking forward to it. Who knew?
On Friday I took the bus to work, in observance of Portland Green Streets, which my friend Sarah organizes. I hate taking any longer than necessary for most anything, so it's always a trick to talk myself into taking the bus when I could drive in about 1/5 of the time. OK, 1/3. Still. But on Friday, conveniently the last such day of the month, which is when Green Streets happens, I had fewer kids to see than usual, and thus a bit of extra time and no excuse to drive. The cool thing was that it was snowing - the kind of spring snow storm that leaves you no other choice than to laugh at it. It comes on strong in the cold early morning hours, wondering why it can't seem to stick to the pavement when everything else is turning white, then begins to struggle as the sun comes up, eventually being reduced to a sorry mess of slush and dripping trees. Spring snow. The perfect weather for an unusual commute.
The commute itself, incidentally, wasn't all that much fun, because I wore sneakers, perhaps a little too cocky, and it's a good five block walk to the bus stop, just far enough for even the most diligent of puddle-dodgers to fall victim to at least one shoe-soaking mishap. But it turned my routined world inside out a bit, starting with the woman who assured me kindly that I hadn't missed my bus yet when I arrived breathless a few minutes after it was scheduled to leave, and ending with the driver on the return trip who, as he watched me start digging for change with a precarious elbow hooked around the pole as he pulled into traffic, allowed as how it'd be fine if I paid my fare at the next stop.
And then last night we got to perform our spunky little dance piece on the sweet City Theater stage in Biddeford, for an energized crowd and among a whole slew of dedicated dancers. My fussy sacro-iliac joint decided to take the night off from wreaking muscular havoc on the rest of me, and we gave one of our best performances yet, in my opinion. In two weeks we take it on the road to the Rebound Dance Festival in New Haven, where we'll get to share the stage with a group of companies from even farther afield. The benefits of living and creating in a small pond...