just another long day
When I’m awoken this morning,
the sky above is full of brilliant stars,
as if I had been asleep in a planetarium.
The night sky here is incredible.
And I sleep directly under a window.
And Marmalade wakes me up every morning,
like an alarm clock sometime between six and seven.
There is no light pollution whatsoever,
once Yves, the French bamboo farmer neighbor,
goes to bed, which is around 8 or 9 pm (20:00-21:00).
Before bedtime, Orion is huge above our front door,
and the Dipper is filling the Northern sky.
In the early morning,
my eyes are too bleary
to make out any constellations,
and by the time I’ve had my cup of coffee,
the sun is arriving from the East and a whole new sky delights:
pastel shades reflecting off a misty and frozen wonderland.
Today we have had a long day…
After Marmalade was dropped off at school
(during which time I was home trimming more overgrowth),
and the wood chips were collected and scattered,
(and planted a bamboo that was torn by a tractor and left roadside)
we had to go find the veterinarian in town,
recommended by the cafe owner in our village,
as one of Nutella’s cancerous tumors has grown,
and appears to be oozing and causing her discomfort.
I’m always nervous at the vets,
knowing there isn’t any really good news,
with a ten year old that has cancer and numerous tumors.
(I first found one small tumor on Nut when picking her up from friends,
after a few weeks away visiting family in Bahrain in the Spring of 2013.
During surgery to remove it in the summer of 2015,
the vet noticed this pea-sized one.
But it was too hot and too soon to operate again.)
So our midmorning began there.
Fortunate the vet and her assistant were lovely people,
compassionate and helpful, cleaning her tumor,
giving her antibiotics and pain killers,
and medicine for the few days until our next visit.
And while in town, we did a load of laundry,
as they have laundry machines in the parking lot outside the grocery store
(at 4€ per load, including eco-detergent, saving me 4 hours of hand washing).
And since it’s a Water day, and we were running dangerously low,
we went to the Spring and filled up our bottles with water.
The Spring is in a nice meadow, a little South of town,
with a catch basin pond and lots of wildflowers.
(We probably won’t be going there much longer,
as once we find a suitable pump and filter we will be using our well instead.
But for now, we enjoy going there, often having chance meetings with some other locals.)
Then we ran home to drop off water and hang the laundry to dry in the sun,
added some more bamboo posts to continue the fence,
before heading out again for more roadside mulch collecting,
and then picking up Marmalade from her kindergarten.
By the time I had dinner made and eaten (French toast & strawzzies)
and firewood cut and inside, the sky turned pastel.
The stars were coming out again,
ready for their nighttime display.