New York was good for my soul. How often do you hear that said? I should Google it to see if perhaps I am the first person in the last decade to say such a thing.
What a vibrant, fun city. I’m so glad I don’t live there, I feel I can enjoy it more. I really accomplished what I set out to do, spent some wonderful time with Maria-Elena and Brett (and only had to be scraped off the floor twice Saturday night when we went to a bar). I wandered around the city on Friday and hit the Guggenheim, The Met, and perhaps the ultimate coup, I discovered the Cooper-Hewitt Museum, which is currently in use as the National Design Museum. It’s a beautiful old mansion on 5th Ave, and at one point while I wandered through the hallways, I rounded a corner and was hit smack in the face with an illustration by Amanda Woodward. I was so excited to see the work of people I know in that vast, unfathomable city that I think I fell in love with New York permanently right at the second. What a nice surprise.
Homecoming was even nicer – at one point I texted Josh saying that I couldn’t wait to get back to him and our sweet mountain life, and it’s true. Spring has given us a sneak preview this week, the weather has been clear and golden warm and the seedlings for our garden that I started before I left were flourishing when I returned. Walking back into the house after an absence of nearly five days made me see it with new eyes, and instead of that overwhelmed “I have so much left to do!” feeling, I was struck by how beautiful and comfortable we’ve made it already. We are busy, with work and the house, but I love the rhythm of our days – french press coffee on the sunlit deck, bistro-style meals we cook together, working together to improve Utopian.net. Sometimes I wander around the living room while he’s working and serenade him with my red guitar. I only know two songs, but he’s very patient.
So that was homecoming, and every day keeps getting better. Yesterday I baked a tragic loaf of English Muffin Bread, and made Josh-style chicken soup. He wasn’t feeling well, so I was trying to be nice, but he ended up standing behind me in the kitchen directing me as I cooked, which I find absolutely infuriating but also pretty hilarious, because he really can’t help himself. I usually let him know he’s doing it by cocking a single eyebrow and pausing while I wait for him to finish his sentence. “Sorry Anna, I know you can do this. But don’t forget to brown the chicken and then add a little beer or wine…sorry! Sorry. I’m trying, really.” It’s impossible for him to not direct, when it’s his signature dish.
I taught him how to set gopher traps this week, and caught the first one of the season. Division of labor means that he kills spiders, I remove rodent traps, and I’m the designee if something needs to be fetched from the cellar, especially at night. But it’s easy for me, I’ve lived here before, and the animal sounds in the woods at night don’t bother me like they used to.
This morning I baked a huge fluffy Dutch baby for breakfast, with yogurt and honey, and made us a fat pot of coffee. We stood on the deck together and a false monarch butterfly fluttered down and hovered in front of us, then flitted away in the sunshine. Butterflies, already? These, and all these other portents of Spring.