Category Archives: Car-less in suburbia

Kwik Sew 3614 shorts … and September!



Way back in July I noticed a dearth of shorts in my wardrobe. I’m not a big fan of shorts … specifically, I’m not a big fan of how shorts look on me. Mostly because I don’t tan at all and my white legs scare people, but also because I don’t like wearing anything higher than just above my knee. Since I have a spiffy new sewing machine, I decided to make some shorts that met my requirements and I feel comfortable wearing on the hotter days of summer.

Enter Kwik Sew 3614, a pattern I first read about on Sewn. Elizabeth had mentioned how members of Pattern Review raved about the fly construction instruction on these shorts, and after making a couple pairs, I have to agree — fly fronts can be tricky, but it’s smooth sailing with this pattern.

My first pair was constructed out of lavender-colored cotton twill I purchased a few years ago from Fabric Place. I traced and cut a size L and followed the directions for view A (the longest version) exactly, making no modifications. The shorts came out well and I’ve worn them a lot this summer. My only dislikes were having hook and eye closures on the closure tab. I decided with my next pair I’d use a button and buttonhole.

My second pair are the ones I’m wearing in the photos above. I can’t remember where I got the fabric, a navy blue cotton twill … either Joann’s or Sewfisticated Fabrics in Framingham. The button/buttonhole closure works much better. For future shorts I plan to use a contrasting facing on the waistband, as well as softer pocket fabric. I used matching twill to make pockets for both pairs of shorts. They’re fine, but maybe a little bulkier than I’d like.

This is a great pattern and I will definitely get my money’s worth from it as I have plans for olive, white, and red shorts for next summer.

Since I took a bit of a blog break for the last six weeks, here’s what else is going on. My mother and I took a week-long trip to central Maine in August and had a wonderful time. I didn’t take any pictures (bah!) except for a shot of my yarn haul from Halcyon Yarn in Bath.  I’ll do a run down of what I purchased in a separate post.

I’ve been a bit down because my father and stepmother are going through a painful divorce. It’s not a bitter one, just very sad because of the circumstances. I’m hoping that once the smoke clears, things will get better.

Then my husband’s car died. We were down to one car for the last few years, so it has been necessary to do some car shopping. It looks like I’ll be getting a new VW Jetta by the end of the week. It’s funny because VW was not on my “car-buying radar” until I rented one a couple weeks ago and fell in love. Even better, my son loves it and my husband, while not a fan of practical four-door sedans, admits that it’s a smooth, responsive ride.

And oh, that cat you see above? That’s Winston. I’l write more about him in another post, but we decided after a year of having no cats it was time to welcome a new cat into our home … and hearts. We adore Winston … he is a sweet, lovable, friendly guy. And even better,  he doesn’t chase my yarn.

What have you been up to this summer? Are you glad it’s September?

Holiday knitting

steam and brass kerchief

When I was in Mystic, Connecticut, a couple weeks ago, I saw a sample of The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief knitted up in sock-weight yarn (the pattern specifies a DK-weight yarn). The ruby-red sock yarn I purchased that day was so soft and pretty that I decided it would make an equally lovely kerchief. My mother really loved the color of the yarn (by Other Kingdom, a dyer I cannot find on the Web!) so this is a Christmas present for her. She looks terrific in this shade of red.

My mother doesn’t read my blog, so no worries about her finding out. 🙂

It’s a very enjoyable knit with lots of stockinette broken up with rows of eyelet, an easy pattern to remember, and something I can work on in front of the television or while waiting for an appointment. I figure I’ll have this “wrapped up” by the weekend so I can move on to my next gift knit.

So far in my gift knitting, I’ve finished two cowls, two earflap hats (stranded colorwork), one and a half socks, and a hot water bottle cozy. Just a couple more things and then I can move on to some selfish knitting. 😉

This week has been a trying one, professionally and personally. Professionally it has been a week of rejection after rejection, then having people (mostly PR) play bait-and-switch with me. Frustrating!

And maybe because of the cold and darkness, my temper is running a lot hotter than normal, esp. with my family. Last week I “bragged” about my son. Well this week he came home with some pretty bad lab/test grades in science, math, and social studies. I was really angry about the social studies grade because he had brought home a two-sided study sheet but insisted and argued with me that the test would only be on the first side. I kept telling him, “Let’s just learn the facts on the second side,” but he wouldn’t have any of it. You can guess what happened … the test included all the facts he didn’t study on the second side. When I asked him what kind of grade he’s expecting, he tried to put a positive spin on it by saying, “I’m sure I didn’t get an F.” I told him I wasn’t going to be very happy with a D or a C, either.

Then yesterday O had a half day. The town was giving out free flu shots after school, so I told O I would walk up to school to pick him up and we’d walk over to the town hall. The walk to school isn’t bad at all; it’s just a mile down the bike trail and a cut through the woods. However it was bitterly cold and windy, and the trail was covered in ice, which made it hard for me to walk. I get up to the school and O comes bounding up to me with his backpack … and no coat.

“I left it at home,” he said.

I was pretty ripped because there was no way he would be able to walk home in that cold in just a t-shirt and flimsy sweatshirt. Sure enough, on the short walk over to the town hall, O complained about the wind, that his ears were hurting, that his throat …

Oy! Enough already!

We ended up popping over to a new pizza place in town to kill some time. Since my husband and I had an appointment at school later on that evening, the plan was we’d hang out in town until DH could pick us up. However, I was sitting there in the warm restaurant, I started wondering if I’d turned the iron off in my sewing room. I’d sewed a holiday table runner that morning (seen above in photo) and I couldn’t remember switching the iron off. So I told O he’d have to wait at the library until his father could pick him up. There was no way I could sit around for two hours wondering if my house was in flames. Cue more whining.

The walk home was even colder (and longer because I was walking home from town). All that worry for naught: the iron was off. Then I started getting texts from O complaining about being bored so I told him to read a book and leave me alone, and my husband was being difficult … argh. I know the common belief is that women are difficult to live with, but in this house, it’s the male species! I ended up blockading myself in the bedroom with my hot water bottle and a novel to avoid the two of them.

OK, moving on. We ended the evening with an appointment with O’s math teacher, who was generally positive about O but agreed he could use an extra push at home. The good news is that his teacher said he’ll recommend O to move into the highest level math class next year because of his grades and MCAS scores. The bad news is that we’ve got to play some hardball with O because it’s clear he hasn’t been working as hard as he should be. We are very generous with him because he’s a good kid, but we have an understanding his #1 job is schoolwork and when he doesn’t perform to his abilities, he gets things taken away from him … like his iPad.

I was hoping the week would end on a good note, but I have a feeling it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

 

Recumbent trike update

My new trike!

Earlier this fall I decided to extend the Carless in Suburbia experiment for another year until October 1, 2014. The experiment ended up offering many unexpected benefits beyond saving money and reducing fuel consumption. I found that using my bicycle to get around during the week reduced my stress levels considerably–slowing down has helped me enjoy the process of getting from “here” to “there.” Because my in-person shopping options are limited to what I can find downtown, my impulse purchasing has gone way down; shopping is no longer something I do to kill time. Most of all, I feel happier inside. It’s kind of crazy, I know. I think it’s because I did something I didn’t think I could do (give up my car for a year), and not only did I do it, but I signed up for another year of “car freedom.”

Right after I made this new commitment, though, I landed in the hospital for three days with a herniated disc, and then a week later, developed a case of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Biking as I knew it was out. Enter the recumbent trike, thanks to my husband’s insistence this was the bike for me. (I didn’t really buy into it until I tried it out.)

I’ve had the bike for a month, and I. Love. It. More than my Trek 700 commuter cycle. When I ride my regular cycle up a hill, it’s exhausting. Not so with my recumbent–I seem to fly up hills with only my legs feeling the stress. But when I returned home after biking on the commuter bike, I didn’t feel like I got much exercise. That’s definitely NOT the case with my recumbent. I usually feel wiped (in a good way) and I can tell that even after a few weeks of triking, my thighs and butt have lost some inches. I also can trike in colder temperatures; it used to be that I wouldn’t bike if it was under 40 degrees F, but I went triking when it was 35 degrees F and it wasn’t bad at all. I guess I’m burning more calories i.e. generating more heat!

It has been snowing here in Boston for a couple days so I’m not sure when I’ll be out on my trike again. I sure do miss it though! This weekend I was at REI, and I came close to buying a new pair of snowshoes. (My old ones slide off my boots annoyingly.) I find the key to staying happy and sane during the winter is to a. get outdoors as much as possible and b. to find outdoor activities that are enjoyable. For me, that’s triking when there’s no snow, and snowshoeing when there is.

Oh, and here’s something else that’s interesting about the switch from biking to triking: people are a LOT nicer to me, especially people in cars. I honestly didn’t have much of a problem with cars when I was biking, probably because I have the philosophy of “I might have the right-of-way here, but I’m going to be the loser in a battle with a 2,500-lb. piece of metal so best to stay out of the way.” The most irritating thing is when I walk my bike across crosswalks and drivers don’t stop–they don’t seem to understand that once I’m off my bike, I’m a pedestrian, not a cyclist.

However, when I’m on my trike at a crosswalk? People hit the brakes and very nicely wave me across before I can stand up! They also give me tons more room on the road, even though my trike is only 10 cm wider than a regular bike. It finally hit me one day: drivers think I’m disabled. I asked a couple people I know in town what they thought of my theory, and they agreed. My buddy Gerry down at the hardware store said it’s the bright orange flag I have on the back of my trike. Just what I thought!

Rainy days and Monday

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You have to be of a certain age to get that title.

This weekend I rented a car and drove down to Connecticut to spend some time with my mother, who has been very sick. My mother is the type of woman who can’t step out of the house without her hair and makeup just so (and it can take hours to reach perfection!), but she promised me this time she wouldn’t fuss if we went out because all she would be doing is sitting in the car while I did her bidding with errands. It worked out well! By the time I left Sunday afternoon, she was feeling much better. 🙂

I was able to collect my birthday present as well, and I broke my yarn diet by visiting Mystic River Yarns downtown. In under ten minutes I’d chosen a skein of Other Kingdoms sock yarn in a rich ruby red and two skeins of Jamieson’s of Shetland wool (cream and a soft blue) for my Shetland wool stash. I’m turning the sock wool into an Age of Brass and Steam kerchief, which I’ll be giving as a Christmas gift.

While I was in Mystic, I had a chance on Saturday to visit Stonington Borough, a classic New England seaside village not far from my mother’s home in Mystic. I stopped in my tracks when I stepped out of the car to get a breath of fresh air at the southernmost tip of the village, where you can see three states: obviously Connecticut underfoot, Rhode Island to the east, and New York’s Fishers Island. The smell of salt air and the sound of the mournful foghorn transported me back to my childhood, where I spent summers with my maternal grandparents on the Connecticut shoreline. Memories came flooding back all day: climbing over slippery rocks with my brother, gathering mussels, periwinkles, and hermit crabs from the tide pools; afternoons scooping crabs into nets; the foghorns calling me to sleep at night. I think of myself as a Vermont girl, but I guess Atlantic has its pull on me, too.

Sunday night back home in the Boston ‘burbs, O and I watched the mid-season finale of The Walking Dead. I don’t think O has ever cried as hard over a tv show. I finally got him laughing by telling him the actors that got axed probably asked for too much money during contract negotiation time or that Martin Scorsese offered them roles they couldn’t refuse.

I finished a cardigan last week but it has been so dark and dreary I haven’t bothered with pictures. Soon, I promise. It’s a practical bit of knitwear, nothing fancy, but I love it because the wool came from Drumlin Farm Animal Sanctuary over in Lincoln. When it gets damp, it smells like sheep. When I told my mother that, she wrinkled her nose. She’s definitely not a Vermont girl!

Happy birthday to me!

My new trike!

A birthday gift from my boys!

After this last stint with my back, I figured my days on a regular upright bike were numbered. My husband thought so, too, so he went to work figuring out a solution. And here it is — a recumbent trike!

I wasn’t sold on the idea at first, but one test ride converted me. That night, the bike was delivered to our driveway, and within an hour I was sailing down the trail. It’s not as fast as my upright, but I don’t bike for the speed thrill. Even better, by the time I got home, my legs were like jelly. I have a feeling by the spring I’ll have a nice set of pins to show off. 😉

Not a bad way to begin my last year in my 40s.

It’s quiet here today. O is in upstate New Hampshire on a school trip through tomorrow afternoon. His teacher called me this morning to tell me O was really missing home. I was touched that she called me to tell me, and I was glad she was urging him to wait to call home until tonight. O was stressed out by my being in the hospital, and I’m sure he’s thinking it’s my birthday today and missing me. I certainly miss him. I told DH last night the house is utterly empty feeling without him, and now I understand why empty nesters have such a hard time of it. It’s tough letting your little ones fly the coop!

 

What a week

Fiat 500

City Fish Market, Wethersfield

Remnants of fall in spring puddle

O and Carolina

O and Carolina

O and I spent his spring break down in Connecticut with my parents … a couple days at my father’s house on the lake, then a day at my mother’s house in Mystic.

We were lucky and got a Fiat 500 from the rental car company. I was so excited to get it. And yes, it lived up to my expectations. Not only adorable, but peppy and surprisingly comfortable. Usually after an hour of driving, I have to get out and stretch my spine … not so with this car. I was sad to bring it back to the rental company at the week’s end. 🙁 Fingers crossed I can buy one when my car-less in suburbia experiment ends in October.

On Monday the 15th I left O with my parents and drove up to Northampton, home to my alma mater, Smith College, but more importantly, home to the yarn Mecca called WEBS, which was having its anniversary sale. I spent several hours there, bummed that the wool I’d picked out for two projects was backordered, but I did find enough for other projects in the queue. Thanks to my parents for the generous Christmas gift that financed this expedition! 🙂

On the way back to Connecticut, I stopped at another favorite place, City Fish Market in Wethersfield to pick up some salmon for dinner. I love this place. My mom used to buy fish here when we were kids, so it’s always a nice nostalgic visit.

When I got back to my father’s house, I recall asking him who won the Boston Marathon. My father is a former marathoner who has actually run this marathon, but he didn’t know. I went to work preparing dinner, then went to check my e-mail when I saw a couple “Are you okay?” e-mails. Panic rising, I checked the news and saw what had happened. I quickly called my husband, who works in Cambridge, and he assured me he was fine. The rest of the night we stayed glued to the television.

We cut our visit to Connecticut a little short so we could return to Boston. It’s weird, but I just wanted to be home even though it felt like everything was crazy up there. We did sneak in a visit to Storrs to the UCONN Dairy Bar, got in a nice walk at Center Church Camp, and my mother treated me to the first whole belly clams of the season down at Sea Swirl in Mystic. (Sorry, North Shore folks but Sea Swirl clams are superior, nyah-nyah.)

My husband usually works late on Thursday nights, but he came home a bit early because we’d returned. I was beat from all the drama of the week so I went to bed super-early and when I woke at 7, my husband had already left for work. He works at 500 Technology Square, which is part of MIT bordering the east campus. The first thing I do when I wake is check my e-mail … and oh no, a bunch more e-mails asking if we’re okay, or specifically if my husband is okay because of what happened at MIT!!! Frantically I checked the news, then called my husband. He happened to get into work so early that he was able to get into his building before they locked down Cambridge, but the fatal shooting and carjacking the night before had happened within a block of his building. I was so grateful that he’d come home early the night before because he would have been in the thick of it otherwise!

I had some worry that he wouldn’t be able to get home that night, but with the action firmly over in Watertown, he was able to leave work around noon and return home.

And that was that.

I can’t bear to watch the news anymore. It disgusts me that such a fun, iconic event like the Boston Marathon was attacked like this. But the pundits and comedians all have it right: Boston is a tough city. I mean come on … we stuck by the Red Sox for how long? The people who live here are resilient. My heart goes out to the families who lost loved ones who were too young to pass. The people who were hurt and maimed will be loved and supported by not just their families, but the whole community.

 

 

 

How to dress for the cold

Yesterday I had errands in town, so I decided to leave the house shortly before noon and after things warmed up:

Weds_Jan23_weatherI took this screen shot around 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday — it was actually 12 degrees Fahrenheit or -11 Celsius when I left the house. Brrrr!

With temps like these, biking is out of the question. A 4-mile walk is also a little insane, but the bike trail was clear of snow, the sun was shining, and I like to think I know how to dress for the elements  after living in New England for nearly a half century.

Before I got dressed, I put some body oil all over my legs and arms and some heavy-duty cream on my face and hands to prevent the flakes. Besides my standard-issue undergarments, I wore:

  • a pair of long silk underwear underneath heavy denim jeans
  • a cotton turtleneck
  • a lightweight fleece pullover
  • a toasty-warm zip-up alpaca cardigan I bought in Northampton, MA, home to WEBS. (The irony’s not lost on me either.)
  • a mohair and wool full-length coat
  • a bulky wool cowl (handknit) around my neck and tucked into my coat
  • a fleece balaclava layered with an additional wool slouch hat (handknit)
  • one pair wool socks (handknit)
  • my running shoes
  • and a pair of felted wool mittens (handknit and hand felted)

I’m sure I looked a sight.

It was brutally cold but I felt impervious to it. At one point the backs of my calves got a little chilled and the tips of my toes weren’t as warm as the rest of my feet, but I was never uncomfortable.  By the time I arrived at the bank I was actually hot — too warm, in fact, to walk next door to Starbucks for the small cup of hot chocolate I’d promised myself for undertaking the long, arduous walk. 🙂

I’ve knit a half-dozen pair of mittens over the last year for myself. I will not go outside on a cold day without my hands covered because once my fingers and toes are cold, it takes all day to warm them up again. My felted mittens are by far the warmest mittens I’ve ever worn, even warmer than the $60 ski gloves I bought many years ago and the thrummed mittens I knit this fall.* They’re completely windproof, and they can contain my body heat without making my hands feel all clammy and sweaty. Yay natural fibers! They’re not the most attractive knitted items I own, but I’ve had people around town stop me and ask, “Did you make those? I’ll bet they’re warm.”

DSC_0239

I’m still chugging away on my aran sweater, but I’m antsy for a quick project on the side. Maybe another pair of felted mittens?

* I suspect the thrummed mitts I made suffer from insufficient and/or inconsistent thrumming of fleece.

Car-less in Suburbia update

So … I’ve passed the three-month mark of my car-less in suburbia experiment. By now, I figured I’d be missing my Subaru, but it hasn’t happened, even with the holiday snow and bitterly cold weather that kept me off my bike. Even when I have use of my husband’s car on the weekends, I tend to stay put (if it’s bad weather) or use my bike or walk (weather permitting).

DH bought me some nice Christmas gifts for my biking — a high-powered rechargeable headlamp that I can attach to my front handlebar, handy for when I’m biking down the trail after sunset, and LED clip lights I can attach to the spokes of my wheels, so that people can see me better from the side.

The only thing I really dislike about biking is being in traffic, a necessary evil for some trips. Bedford’s a bike-friendly place, but inevitably I run into what I call “road hogs” — ignorant drivers who think they own the road and that bicyclists should be up on the sidewalks. I wish states would require drivers to review the rules of the road when it’s time for license renewal as so many drivers don’t understand that bicyclists follow the same rules and are afforded the same rights. When I’m biking on a road with a left turning lane and I need to make that left turn, I have to get my bike over to that lane, making sure I’m not cutting off anyone in the right lane. (I’m equally peeved by bikers who do stupid things like dodge out into traffic.) Now and then I’ll get someone behind me who starts honking as I wait to cross the oncoming traffic to make my turn. Very frustrating, not to mention startling. God forbid the extra ten seconds I need to cross keeps them from their morning stop at Dunkin Donuts.

OK, I’m whining. I’ll stop. Really, it’s all good. I love biking and I love love love the money I’m saving by not having a car. My insurance premium has dropped to $22 a month, I went from two or three fuel fill-ups a week to none at all, and there’s no upkeep/maintenance bills to be paid. This weekend, DH and I discussed selling the Subaru and I’m about 90 percent there. He wanted me to think about buying a car for the summer — we’ve got an 11-year-old with an active social life — but I  want to stay car free until October 1. Not sure if I’ll be able to get through another winter without a car, but by then I’ll feel better/less guilty about buying a “new” car.

Speaking of which, here’s what I’ve been drooling over …

fiat_500

A Fiat 500. Yeah, yeah, yeah I know … Fiat stands for “Fix It Again, Tony,” but it’s so sexy. And cute. I’ve always been a sucker for Italian design, what can I say?

 

Carless in suburbia update

I survived October without a car!

So far, I haven’t really missed not having one during the week. We had a fairly mild October, except for the last week with Hurricane Sandy. When the temperature drops below 45 degrees F, my exposed skin gets very cold. I was going to knit a balaclava since I couldn’t bring myself to spend $50 to $75 (!!) on the ones I saw at our local bike shop, but then this weekend I spotted one for $15 in Ace Hardware of all places, so DH bought it for me as a birthday present. Awww. The last two “skin-saving” items on my list are gloves (can I knit them? Maybe lobster claw-style ones?) and goggles, which I’ll have to buy.

A couple weeks ago I decided to visit my  mother on the Connecticut shore. A perfect opportunity to test run a car rental! I rented a Toyota Yaris through Hotwire. We picked it up on a Saturday morning at the Enterprise rental location, and returned it on Sunday around 9 p.m. The total cost came to something like $45 plus $26 in gas costs, which my husband says we shouldn’t count because I would have spent that much (probably more) driving down with the Subaru or his car. Not bad — and this included insurance. The Yaris was one car I wanted to test drive during my carless experiment. The best thing about it was the gas mileage, and it had good zip. Unfortunately, the seat wasn’t very comfortable (I’m spoiled with my Subie’s plush leather *heated* seats) and there was a lot of road noise especially on the highway. When we dropped the car off Sunday night, I noticed that someone had returned a Fiat. I love the look of the new Fiats, so I hope I can test one out at some point.

The difficulty I’m having with my carless experiment right now is that I have to get out early on my bike because it starts getting dark so early. My goal this month is to get a little more organized about my errands so that I don’t have to kick myself around 4 p.m. for not getting down to the store to pick up milk. The new bike bag has made grocery shopping a lot easier so I’m feeling better about spending the $80.

I also resolved another challenge last week. My cats’ vet is a half-hour away and their weekend hours are spotty. I can’t ask my husband to take a day off from work so I can take the cats to the vet, so I found a new one down the street that has Saturday hours and is close enough so that if I had to walk (with a pissed-off cat in a cat carrier in hand, ugh!), I could. I felt bad leaving my old vet since we’ve been going to her for years, but they understood our situation and were kind enough to fax our cats’ records to the new vet for a Saturday appointment.

O has a student council meeting every other Thursday at 8 a.m. We were lucky that my brother had left his truck at our house when the last meeting occurred, but now he’s down in Staten Island doing hurricane relief work. We may actually have to walk to O’s school this Thursday, but my husband said he may be able to go in late. Fingers crossed!

And speaking of my brother … thank you today to the veterans who’ve put their lives on the line to defend our country. In my family, that’s my brothers Matt and Kevin (U.S. Marine Corps) and my father and stepfather (U.S. Navy).

 

The sweet things he does

My husband and I, like many couples, don’t see eye-to-eye on a lot of things. We’re both on the same page when it comes to politics, raising our son, the pursuit of education, and world travel. But on a great many other things, forget it. Mr. Left Brain, meet Ms. Right Brain. He thinks rationally and rarely shows emotion; I am ruled by emotion and feeling, which makes for interesting “discussions.” I pinch pennies (stingy!); he’s quick to open his wallet (generous). He likes happy films with happy endings; I like my movies dark, filled with characters of ambiguous morality. Where I discover hilarity, he finds nothing funny. We are totally food incompatible. He is Mr. Meat and Potatoes, while my diet has ranged from strict vegan to semi-vegetarian in the 15 years we’ve been together. The mere whiff of garlic, onions, and coffee makes him ill; I can think of nothing more perfect for breakfast than a garlicky tofu scramble served up with a steaming mug of java. He doesn’t understand why I like to knit and sew when I could simply run out to the store and buy a sweater or a skirt to wear. I don’t understand how he can work as hard as he does and not have a hobby to relieve stress.

I often wonder what keeps us together.

Every day, I’ve been checking the bike trail to see if the trees that fell down have been cut up and moved away. I can bike most of the trail, but there’s one part that’s totally blocked so I have to take a secondary trail and walk my bike across a couple fields to get back onto the main trail. It adds about 10 or 15 minutes to my ride, and truth be told it’s tiring when my bike is loaded with groceries and packages from town.

Every day I’ve been keeping my husband posted. One small tree was cut up and removed, but the rest remain.

Yesterday I came home and found an e-mail in my inbox. My husband had made phone calls to people all over town until he found the person who could tell him what the plan was for the fallen trees. It didn’t look good; the town has other priorities, which is understandable. So my husband called around to pull together a group of townspeople who can get together and help him cut the tree apart (our chainsaw is electric; we need gas-powered to reach the damage). It’s going to take a few more calls, but maybe by this weekend the tree will be dismantled (ETA – only one big tree remains!)

He has been so busy at work, under a lot of pressure to get a project done, that I was touched he spent that much time making sure his wife can bike without too much disruption.

And I’m reminded why we’re still together.