Here we are today, Good Friday, caught up in a quandary of seasonal choices, that have the capacity to unite us in thought capable of restoring us to a sense of some real meaning, as we rush ahead accomplishing what seems to be one unrelated job after another. Possibly the best way to approach it would be on the mid level, specifically with lunch at Al Fresco for Bunny, Annette, Hedy and me. We had to catch up on lives much out of touch since December, with Christmas and New Years and Hanukkah separated us as we escaped winter weather, each in her own particular way from Puerto Vallarta on the West Coast of Mexico, to Tampa on the Gulf of Mexico, to a toasty room well shielded from the worst of snow and ice. A few people have died in that interim, but some have been born as well, a boy has been successful in his first year of college, the energy situation remains poor and without a policy, and there is a retrospective exhibit of Gauguin that everyone should see. We have all doubled our intake of fruits and vegetables, and have agreed that we all are persevering remarkably well. Bunny has attended her two Passover Seders, Annette will be going to Mass, and Hedy and I hold ourselves apart from any sort of religious expression, or do we?
And what a Spring Cleaning we have had here. Betsy Jim and Fiona have combined in a team to empty Fiona’s room and closet to make room for Betsy’s roll top desk and files, which have been moved out of her bedroom. Fiona’s old furniture, old toys, old clothes have been sent to their various recycling centers; the guest room has been repainted in red and yellow stripes to make a new room for Fiona and the play room will double as a TV room and guest room All this in one week. It is very hard to offer any specifics. My own part was confined to scraping the years of stickers from Fiona’s door and I cleaned my own closet so all the hangars hang in the right direction. The bookshelves have been built and Betsy’s desk taken apart and put back together in order to get it through her new study door. I am not sure what constitutes the theme of this year’s cleaning. Clearly, Fiona’s room was the scene of a possible environmental disaster and clear also, is the fact of the newly resurrected roll top desk. That desk has lived in historic times, bought for the new Oneonta Normal School in around 1900, surviving until my husband took it over in 1960, acting as Harry’s anchor in a period of great change despite certain administration attempts to get it away from him when moving the English department into the new Administration building, and remaining with him in the new building until his retirement in 1985. Several brave friends decided to take action at that time and arranged for removing the desk from Harry’s office to Harry’s home in something approaching the dead of night. How this was accomplished I do not know nor was I told. A date to prosecute a crime is long past and the desk remains under a daughter’s care for her own professional use, sitting in her new study all golden and proud. She stopped by for just a minute to tell me she was taking Teddy for a walk. She said she was putting the books away, when she sneezed.
The third part of the triangle involves planting and growing new life. Much of this happens without our asking for it, but we like to help the process. We need to be ready is this imperative that calls me now. Not only do we like to eat food we grow, we like to look at scenes we can create with our gardens. At this moment I am looking up at my hill, feeling the call to come out. After all, there will be rain tomorrow and during the week. Easter is waiting for me to clean up, and cook up and celebrate the spring. I had better get moving and plant the Japanese lilac before it rains. We need to be ready for all the summertime miracles we can expect April showers to bring to us.