I know… more than three months without a post — what’s up with that?!? Sorry, I continue to “experience” much of our lives with the thought, “that would make an interesting blog post” but somehow a significant gap has developed between that thought and the act of putting fingers to keyboard.
No one much has complained, so maybe interest has waned on even reading about our little adventures here, but on the other hand, maybe everyone else is just as busy as we’ve been and they just haven’t noticed the rather alarming lack of posting. (And thanks to Kathy Bell for giving me a little kick in the butt to actually DO IT.)
Quite simply, since the last time I wrote, winter has come, and winter has gone. Or, at least, we’re all thinking that it’s MOSTLY gone now that we can see our yards again for the first time in almost 4 months. I’m still thinking we’ll get another little snow or two, but probably no more “big ones” and that’s just fine.
According to long-time residents, along with the “official” report, this has been one of the coldest and snowiest winters in recent memory. We’ve joked with Chris and Louise that it’s actually good to have such a “hard” winter for our first full winter here when it’s all still somewhat of a novelty. Truly, none of us have minded it, although it’s equally true that we’re excited by the impending arrival of spring. (That is, after all, the beauty of 4 seasons, right?)
I’m not going to try to really report on the past months — I’m already prone to long posts, that would jump us right up into genuine epic-length material — so let’s hit the high points.
Christmas was delightful. Avila enjoyed it even more than I would have expected at her age, so we just had a blast. After our Costa Rica years of almost completely ignoring the whole gift-giving “thing” we were in a good position to appreciate having the luxury of doing some fun shopping while also staying pretty conservative with expenditures and the simple quantity of gifts. So we hit a really nice balance between Maine’s excesses and Costa Rica’s austerity and it was lovely.
The winter has flown by. We’ve all done our share of snow-shoveling and we had more than one experience of our warm “local community” — one time, after a particularly deep snowfall, we’d been plugging away on the shoveling but still had a good bit to do when a truck pulled up and out jumped a pile of elves. Okay, not elves, but the bishop and his family, and they popped out with a snow blower and shovels and a bunch of folks and finished us off in short order. A day or so later another neighbor knocked at the door to say that he’d be up with his snow blower the next day to clear out the required area in front of our mailbox. And you wonder why we love it here!
But, while the snow was fine, we’re delighted to see bare ground again, and start gardening. We’re pruning fruit trees, roses, clearing beds, and getting ready to plant cool-weather crops. We’ve discovered a somewhat bizarre but potentially really interesting process for “bagging” our apples (literally putting each little dime-sized apple in a bag to protect from the all-pervasive coddling moth) so we’ll keep you posted on that in the months to come. (I’ll bet you can hardly wait! But I’m ridiculously excited, seriously.)
Although the arrival of spring is welcome, it has brought some unwelcome health challenges. First Chris took a seemingly simple slip on their back steps and in an admittedly fluke-y outcome, burst a subcutaneous cyst in his back and ended up in the hospital a week later with a raging infection. There’s ongoing work treating both the original wound and now resulting blood clots, but all looks pretty promising and the medical care he’s gotten at our local hospital has been great.
David, too, has found spring to bring some medical “stuff” which seems likely to result in open-heart surgery sometime in the fairly near future. He’d had rheumatic fever when he was a child and we knew there was valve damage that would catch up with him someday. The cardiologist in Costa Rica had been pretty blithe that it might be many more years before the damage “mattered” but seems like that might have been a bit optimistic. A valve replacement seems assured, so now we’re just looking into the details, how to make him the strongest he can be for the surgery, when is the best time to do it, etc. etc.
Our expectation is that the end result will be well worth it, but since he’s the world’s worst “surgical candidate” (based on our past experiences which are in the “world-class-horrible” category) we’ve got some work to do between now and then to make this a manageable process for everyone! We’re finding out some VERY interesting things about magnesium oil (and magnesium deficiency) and other general “immune system boosters” that we’ll plan to put into effect before surgery, just to tilt the scales in our favor!
But aside from these momentary challenges, we continue to love it here. The little miss is approaching her 2nd birthday in April and has suddenly exploded with her talking. Seriously, after an initially “early” set of words, she sort-of settled into some months of no-particular-growth in the language department. She ended that this past month with a non-stop talking streak where she has words for everything, including sentences and words for things you wouldn’t have even thought she’s ever been exposed to. It’s been fun! (Although sure as hell makes you watch out for your cussing!)
Before this truly does become an epic, I’ll close now and hope that anyone who’s reading this is enjoying their own “spring” — whether that’s literally in the weather, or perhaps just in the springing forth of new energies, new growth, and new light. Our love to you all.