Books c18 Travel

The reading meadow

The reading meadow

Originally uploaded by Katharine B.

I’m in Oregon, where it’s cold. Today is a little warmer, perhaps 40, which will mean less ice fog and also less beauty. My plane landed with no trouble on Sunday, despite the weather — we didn’t even need to make a second approach. Every day since then, I’ve pulled out a warmer coat: first the down vest, then the puffy red down parka, then the long, dark-eggplant-colored, serious down coat I used to wear in Massachusetts winters.

Yesterday morning my father and I went for a walk in the park downtown. This is a picture of the meadow where T. and I sat and read in the summer, now iced and bright. (There are other pictures from that walk up at my Flickr page.)

The frost, accreted over the last few days, has only just melted from the backyard. The deer are sleeping just beyond the garden fence and the trees are full of chickadees and robins. There’s one dim hummingbird that hasn’t fled south — he comes to the feeder several times an hour. Yesterday Dad had to keep bringing the feeder in to warm it up and the hummingbird hovered, confused, by the window. When Dad returned with the feeder, the little thing landed to drink before he’d even hung it up.

I haven’t gotten much done since I arrived here. There are so many little things to occupy us: baking, putting lights on the tree (to be left outside for the first time this year, as we don’t have time to hassle with sweeping up dropped needles), making dinner. And there are bigger things, too. My father will, we hope, have a stem cell transplant in early spring, and he has another round of chemo coming up just after Christmas, which was just determined today. So it’s hard to focus on anything but spending time with my parents. I’ve been reading Jane Austen and eating cookies and playing with the cat, and trying to work a little on revising my first novel. More about that soon.

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