Elihu sits beside me on the couch. We’re both engrossed in our own activities, but stop now and then to say “Love you” to one another, just because we can. We’re content to be snug at home after another full week of activities. Tomorrow he leaves to be with his dad for winter break, so me, I’m a bit sentimental today. But Elihu’s just plain happy. He’s looking forward now to seeing his father again. As good as our relationship is, I still think it’s important for him to have some time and space apart from me. And I’ll make good use of the time too; his time away will give me the chance to file the massive piles in my office, do my taxes, prepare lesson plans and tend to the Studio. Lots to do, few pauses in the ongoing agenda. Don’t get me wrong, I might be busy, but I’m grateful for it all. Still not sure how the coming years will pan out; from where I sit tonight, my future is one big unknown. But whatever happens, I’m so happy to be sharing it with my dearest Elihu, my one true valentine.
Pulled into the grocery store parking lot and saw this outside my door. Sweet.
It’s not hearts I see each morning when I start the car in sub-zero temps, instead it’s lovely geometric designs in the frost on my windshield.
We visited mom’s place so Elihu could fly helicopters with Uncle Andrew (he lives down the driveway). Mom’s working on the New York Times crossword puzzle and watching the opera. Classic weekend stuff.
The two of them talked endlessly about accelerometers, flybars and swashplates. It’s “Geek” to me. !
Here’s the old craft that’s back in the air again thanks to some new replacement rotors (a thank you to friend Gene for assisting with that!).
Elihu and Andrew enjoy the vertical space of the great room.
Look what mom sees routinely outside her kitchen window. Turkeys and deer side by side.
Mom tells me the snow is even deeper today, one week later; she says it’s up to the deer’s bellies.
The Studio can be seen off to the left outside of the same window.
Drama erupted as I accidentally knocked a glass of water onto Andrew’s bag. He flew into a frightening rage, violently knocked over a chair and left for a few minutes. He came back and behaved as if nothing had happened. I guess that he had a restorative nip of booze to help him keep his cool. In his tirade he had screamed that I did everything I could ‘to fuck him up’… His situation is so sad, and we’re all powerless to help. Mental illness – and the self-medicating that goes with it – is a tricky thing. Laws that are meant to protect individual’s rights end up preventing others from helping those who can’t help themselves. Elihu’s heart is broken to see his uncle like this. He loves him anyway. Good kid.
And so our visit ends and we take our leave while mom sets about fixing the busted stool. Sigh.
Back at home we make a go at sledding the big hill. A no-go. It was way too deep. Shoulda started grooming our run before all this snow fell.
After some major effort, even lil man threw in the towel.
Then he tried his hand at something that he’s always been good at – catching birds. Here’s our dear Austin, the goofy guinea fowl. Both boys are red-cheeked!
While Elihu’s at school, I pay a visit to my friend Ken. Here’s the view from his current digs. Classic Saratoga.
Another fine Saratoga home.
One more view. Saratoga Springs often reminds me of a little HO train set village.
Ken shows me his current project.
I guess snowy weather is good for staying inside – and painting. But of course, you have to know what you’re doing to produce something like this. Seriously, how talented is this guy? Amazing.
After school we check out the logger’s progress.
Look at the size of the tires on this skidder! And the chains are just massive.
Every year we host these folks when they perform at the Flurry – a dance festival in town that is now in its 28th year. Musicians and dancers come from all over the East coast. It’s one intense and immense event.
Sherry baked this gorgeous bread for us!
They also brought us some homemade maple syrup. !!!
Packed up and ready for anything.
Here are John and Matthew – aka the Swing Peepers – doing their thing for the kids. It’s entertaining for all (see a short video clip at the end of the post).
Elihu sat in on his djembe with an Irish jam. Some purists might not have dug it too much, but no matter, he played just fine.
Playing his drum was fun, but he was really jonesin to fly. Dylan stops to check it out.
Dylan introduced us to his dad, Amadu, who’s from Senegal. He made this enormous kalimba himself.
Dylan and Elihu check out a concertina.
Here’s Paul Rosenberg, one of the Flurry festival’s founders. He calls and leads community trad dances throughout the greater Albany area. I guess you might say he’s a local treasure.
This is why Elihu’s here; an African drumming workshop led by Ubaka Hill. She made it a fun experience and it left Elihu in a fantastic mood which lasted all afternoon.
The Swing Peepers sing for the kids and their parents.
Elihu plays his djembe with the Irish jam session.
Ubaka Hill leads a room full of percussionists in the final number (check out the dynamic changes near the end).
After all of that we were starting to get hungry… a special day requires a special meal. To the Indian buffet!
Finally, we’re back at home on a snowy winter’s night. Me and my little Valentine.