“The perfect tranquility of life,
which is nowhere to be found but in retreat, a faithful friend, and a good library” ~ Aphra Behn
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Two energetic puppies recovering from elbow surgery. You're mission for (at least) six weeks? Keep them calm. No afternoon daycare to burn off some energy. Instead .. all eyes are on you
You'd been doing pretty well. The calming medicine you begged from vet had been working its magic. Between a few short walks around the block and a pile of bones from the meat locker .. the days had been humming along
That is .. until this particular afternoon
The weather had been absolutely beautiful last week. So we'd been enjoying longer walks at the park .. afternoon car rides with the windows rolled down (they're becoming local celebrities) .. farmer's market mornings .. and afternoons splashing in the backyard kiddy pool.
Somewhere between cutting strawberries and asking them to “please .. slow .. down” I'd completely missed that this week was the week that something was to be finished .. to be sent off .. to be signed, sealed, delivered, Amen. Between their spit-out-the-medicine trick (them) .. and a longer than usual night (me) ..
the scales had been tipped
— — —
So I hopped on my bike and went for a ride through campus
A place so full of life just the week before was nearly deserted. The students scattered for the summer. Before long .. I found myself chaining my bike outside a familiar retreat
My love affair with the library began twenty-five(!) years ago when I was a young mom .. as well as a student. A season when there was little money for a sitter .. so my study sessions were timed to coincide with my son's nap. Every afternoon I loaded the stroller with a baby .. action figures .. snacks .. a diaper bag .. and Calculus books. By the time we made it to campus .. he was sound to sleep
How many hours did we spend together in the second-floor cubby .. in the southwest corner overlooking Atanasoff Hall?
Today .. when the walls at home feel like they're closing in. When I'm in need of quiet. When I'm craving the comfort of a structure. When I want to feel like I'm part of something bigger than myself. When I'm missing my son. I'll wander the floors .. in search of a quiet corner to hide out in.
Today though was a little different .. instead, it was the inspiration that I craved. After a couple of hours lost in the shelves of cookbooks ..
I emerged a brand new woman.
Wobbling home on my bike .. a backpack and arms loaded with a bigger-than-I-should-have stack of cookbooks. The combination of freshly mowed grass .. flowering trees .. and sunshine made the ride felt extra special
Not that I need any more cookbooks stacked on the kitchen counter. It's just that I couldn't help myself. These fun cookbooks feel like works of art .. and everyone needs a little kitchen inspiration every now and again
What have you been cooking from this Spring?