It's the end of the month. The air is different, cooler, darker at the edges. I sat on the steps of the deck early Sunday morning in my bathrobe, sipping a cup of coffee and staring at the trees, hillside, listening to the birds and traffic, the morning gray with the square-ish puffs of clouds above me, holding back the blue cobbler of the sky. Sometimes it feels like I don't see enough sky.
The intense fall travel that I'd been both anticipating and dreading has begun. Two trips completed, three to go!
Felicia and I flew to Spokane the middle of this month to visit Grandma. She celebrated her 104th birthday on the 5th of this month. She's doing pretty well all things considering and it was good to spend time with her, as usual, but the trip turned out to be a little unsettled, in several ways.
It started out very well--we had a layover in Portland that should have been just time for a quick cup of coffee with Lloyd and Jacque. But our plane was delayed and though that meant less time with Grandma in Spokane, it was good to spend more time catching up with the Axtells of PDX.
After a quick swoop by Grandma's the evening we arrived in Spokane, we checked into the swanky Davenport Hotel
--a friend from work had given me a gift certificate she had won, what a treat! We dined at the Steam Plant
and took their self-guided tour, which was fun.
We had a nice view of the old steam plant from our hotel room.
Sunday morning dawned hot and we took a quick walk towards the Falls before spending the day with Grandma, chatting, looking at pictures, taking some pictures. That evening we took a self-guided tour of the hotel (I'm becoming quite fond of self-guided tours) then watched football at a pub and heard about a storm that was coming in as it delayed the game in Seattle. We were doubtful as we returned to the hotel under clear skies to watch the game once it resumed, but it finally hit, more dust than hail. It was still a bit scary how suddenly the visibility and temperature dropped as the wind rose and howled. We watched the trees quake and pedestrians scatter from the comfort of our corner room, though we still felt a little uneasy being so high up with the windows rattling.
The storm passed, leaving a much chillier Monday morning than the day before. We went to say our goodbyes to Grandma, who wasn't feeling well. She had been coughing throughout the night and wanted to see the doctor, but there wasn't anyone to take her, so I ended up staying an extra day. I put Felicia on the plane late that morning then spent the day with Grandma, working as she dozed and rested, then took her to her doctor's appointment late that afternoon--thank goodness Felicia had the presence of mind to set that up before she left, I was so preoccupied with changing my flight and booking a room. It turned out to be nothing too serious, just a touch of bronchitis.
It was actually a nice unplanned surprise spending my birthday morning with Grandma, who seemed much improved. I treated myself to good coffee and some treats at Atticus, before visiting with Grandma for another hour, then flew home. I was a bit tired, mostly mentally I think, but still enjoyed my birthday dinner at Dry Creek Kitchen with M that night.
The Spokane photoset
The other voyage this month was to Boston for work. I made the most of it and went out a bit early to spend time with Kamala in Lexington. This outbound flight was delayed too (is it me?) so I got in later than I had hoped, but we still had the whole of Sunday. After a late Sunday sleep-in, we had lunch with Eliza and Adam then walked across the street to the town hall to see Judy Collins in concert. She sounded pretty good, if a bit frail. We wandered a little around the downtown area, then repaired home to watch a little football and the Emmys.
Sam took me to Alewife station Monday morning, and work began. I did have enough time to take a quick Duck Tour
that afternoon, and visit Boston Common at lunch on Tuesday and then USS Constitution
at the end of the day. And then it was three long days in the hotel. The conference was not as successful as we'd hoped, unfortunately. And I didn't choose my restaurants well, so didn't get the comfort of good food, though the apple cider doughnuts from the Tuesday Farmers Market were delightful. Friday was extra long, as I didn't stay over as I usually did but flew home.
The Boston photoset on Flickr
It was great to be back and have the whole happily unstructured weekend to myself. M and I did a little binge-watching of The Walking Dead. I finished Babbitt
, a book that took me a while to get into, but I'm really glad I read it. I've been reading interesting books lately, some of them from the book group I joined at work. Before Babbitt was The Golem and the Jinni
, The Orchardist
(thanks Heather and Jacque!), The Brief, Wonderful Life of Oscar Wao
, and now I'm on to Blood, Bones and Butter
. Our next book group pick is The Shadow of the Wind
, a title which I'm embarrassed to say only conjures giggles from me even though I think it's an extremely serious book. My knitting is suffering.
One thing about being away: the time change is more noticeable. I took Rex for a walk when I got home from work today and dusk is swooping in much sooner in the evenings. So it goes, autumn, she has arrived.