Today I got the trim in the stairwell painted white...well, off white. "Crumb cookie" is the color. There's still lots of trim to be painted, around windows, doors, baseboards, you name it. But we've just got to tackle it little by little. More yard work today too. Winn got our chicken coop almost finished. We'll hopefully be getting our three laying hens this week. I hauled another truckload of brush to the burn pile and trimmed a tree that was hanging over the driveway. I also washed the sheets in the guest room and hung them out on the line to dry. They smelled so fresh and felt so crisp when I brought them inside. It's been so long since I've used a clothesline that I forgot how nice it is. While we were outside, Winn spotted a Baltimore Oriole, a brilliant orange one he said. I'll have to hang some citrus out on the tree so that she keeps coming around and maybe brings her friends too.
It was after supper by the time I remembered to get the mail. I thumbed through it under our big black walnut tree outside, and there was a fun surprise for me. A long letter and a colored-pencil drawing from my artist friend McKenzie. Mac's the best. Even though she emails me now, she's never said goodbye to the practice of letter-writing. Good ol' snail-mail. She always sends surprises when you least expect them. I've never received a dull piece of mail from her. Somewhere in the envelope there's always artwork or a charm or a photo or a coupon for a free tube of lip gloss at Victoria's Secret. In this note she told of plans for adding on to their little cottage in the woods, of teaching her daughter to ride a bicycle without the training wheels, of an upcoming art festival at which she's showing this weekend, of taking her parents to a gallery to see a display of hers, of the uptown gallery where Winn's sculpture of me is being shown as a part of her display, and how she drank a glass of pinot grigio in our honor at the opening. I'm so proud of you, Kenze. You've come a long way from when we were little elementary-school girls trying to sell our artwork for a quarter at a table in the church basement during potluck dinners. I've always admired you. You've never tried to be someone you weren't, just always yourself, your pure and undiluted and beautiful self.