|The hallmark of an effective teacher is the organized way in which she addresses all aspects of her profession...Hah!|
I spent most of the Saturday before the last week of school inside the house averaging and posting grades for report cards. Great fun. I'd had every intention of chipping away at this during the evenings last week so I wouldn't be stuck doing it on a beautiful day in May with the garden screaming at me to come outside and play. The garden, alas, had to play without me.
In the late afternoon, though, things began looking up. Mama arrived to spend the night and we went down to the orchard garden with a bottle of wine, an assortment of cats and dogs and the plant clippers. After watering, she deadheaded roses while I began work on the stone wall project that's been waiting in the wings since last summer (pictures of this to come). Meanwhile, Bruce loaded up in the trailer the mountain of dry weeds and brought them to the upper pad for burning.
Mama and I came inside as it grew dark, where she read and I once again worked on my report cards. About an hour later, the phone rang and it was Bruce calling from the upper pad to invite us to a hotdog/marshmallow roast at his bonfire. We bundled up (nights are still chilly) and set off for our dinner date on the hill.
Bruce had set up chairs around the fire and laid out on the back of the trailer everything needed to roast/eat a hotdog -- from condiments to whittled willow sticks. So we sat by a warm fire, cooked our dinner like people of old and told stories in the dark.
Mama, true to form, eventually gently asked, "Are you ready for the story about the apparition?" Me, nervous but eager to be scared, told her to carry on. And so she proceeded to tell us about a recent "cleansing" she'd been on at a friend's daughter's house. It seems a spirit had taken up residence there and was causing consternation. Mama doesn't take any guff from ghosts and was at the ready. No spirit actually appeared (perhaps it left when it heard she was coming), but I know for certain that this roll-up-the-sleeves-and-tell-that-wispy-thing-"Be gone!" trait wasn't passed down to me. I would never go into a house to kick out a ghost. Ever.
It was a marvelous evening. The just-past the full moon rose through the oaks as we got to the marshmallow course. Afterwards, Mama, I and Max the Cat pulled ourselves from the fire and wended our way back to the house, the road lit by moonlight. Bruce stayed up top to finish burning. I found out this morning that he wasn't finished until after 2:00. He's sleeping in this morning.
Now it's back to report cards for me and Mama is reading her book across the table. There is the faint smell of smoke in the house to remind us of last night. And so, to work.