About five days after Just Bob was here to shut down the boilers, I brought my window unit AC out of storage in the north corridor so that it could take up residence in the center window of my room. Such is the rapid transience of heating and cooling needs in Northcentral Wisconsin as spring coasts into summer. The air conditioner is faithfully churning away as I write, keeping the worst of the pollen-induced unpleasantness at bay.

Likewise effective in staving off my allergic reactions to the abundance of lovely green growing things this season was the makeshift mask that I donned on Wednesday before venturing out to the grocery store for the first time since March 15th. (Yes, if you were wondering – someone else has been buying groceries for me in all of this time!) My inaugural jaunt back into the world of shopping was a blessedly anticlimactic event: shoppers were respectful of one another’s space, and most of the items that I wanted were readily available. I went, I shopped, I came home. It sounds like such a simple thing, yet a thing that should not – as we have lately learned – be taken for granted.

Speaking of things that should not be taken for granted, the lawn mower comes to mind. Tracy reported earlier this week that the lawn mower failed in its duties upon having conveniently (or not so conveniently) reached a spot in approximately the middle of the lawn. We debated bringing goats in to finish the job, but were ultimately successful, with the aid of Just Bob’s uncanny ability to show up at exactly the right moment, to persuade the lawn mower to function again. The lawn is shaping up nicely, especially after Tracy’s brush-hauling efforts of the day.

Meanwhile, in the courtyard, most of the downed branches from last winter’s storms have been removed, and the flowers and grape vines therein are beginning to leaf out and bloom. The perpetual stillness of the courtyard, enhanced by the reduced amount of human activity in the house these days, is broken only by the soft cluck-cooing and gently rustling wings of the resident pigeons. They seem to have forgotten that they share their home with people: they express their annoyance more heartily than ever when a courtyard door is opened and a human inhabitant of the house slips in – no matter how softly – to enjoy the stillness of the courtyard, the encompassing quietude of this otherworldly place that is suspended somewhere between the divine and the so-ordinary-that-it-circles-’round-to-become-divine-again.

And so our days roll along in divinely ordinary ways.

The Christmas cacti in the north hallway are doing well. The magnolia tree out front is blooming beautifully in tribute to our dear Joanie. Cherries are in season, and so I enter into that annually recurring time of contemplation: is it, indeed, possible to live on a diet of cherries exclusively?

Storm clouds are rolling in as I write, ready to send rain upon the greening earth. And as the earth greens, so we begin waking up the house again, ready to welcome our friends late in June or early in July, after we’ve had time to make sure that all is safe and practical for guests again after this period of temporary hibernation.

With patience we wait.

Deo Gratias!