Gosh, here it is over a week after my last post! There is a lot happening. Last Friday, I met with a friend who is a consultant to people who are "downsizing," and I am into that big time right now. The basic plan at the moment is that next spring, Paul will come out and build a "tiny house" for us at Putney Commons. This still requires some research to make it a definite thing, but that is the plan we are proceeding on. So I've started clearing out. Monday I rented a 5'x5' storage unit at CubeSmart in Brattleboro, and have started to clear out what we have called "the sauna," which has served for 44 years as a big closet but when we built the house in 1973, it was insulated and wired to be a sauna. It just never was completed and used as one. (We had been living Wisconsin where saunas were very popular at that time). It has been filled to the gills with my"stuff." I'm organizing, sorting, consolidating, disposing of, storing, etc. Eventually I hope to get the entire ground floor of our house cleared out so I can refurbish it. It's quite a job!
Meanwhile, we spent more time at Marlboro this week, both at rehearsals and at the Wednesday night concert. We fell in love with Mahler's Lieder eines fahrende Gesellen, which we heard rehearsed several times. It is an over-the-top, romantic "sturm und drang" cycle full of passionate intensity. It is performed by a baritone and a small ensemble of strings, winds, piano and percussion. The orchestration absolutely melts your heart. This particular baritone, Theo, has a bit of an edge in his voice, but is capable of moments of great tenderness. That, and Stravinsky's Pulchinella Suite which is being performed by a small orchestra led by Leon Fleischer, were the highlights of the rehearsals, though a Brahms Piano Trio, Opus 87 was right up there too. Wednesday night was a treat too, with Beethoven, Dvorak, and a Brett Dean song cycle on the program (Dean is composer-in-residence at Marlboro this year).
Mahler songs being rehearsed
Marlboro orchestra rehearsing Stravinsky
And, we are dealing with a wasp nest on our deck, which we found when we got home from our trip and haven't had the heart to destroy. It is very active with yellow jacket wasps who are coming and going all during the day. They are pretty much ignoring us for the moment, but it doesn't make for a relaxing time on the deck!
Our deck visitors
We've also been planning an eclipse trip with Katie. We had hoped to include John and Cynthia, but John is dealing with the aftermath of Lyme disease and treatment, experiencing a lot of fatigue, and a long road trip just isn't right for him. So it looks like Ellen and I will pick Katie up in Brooklyn next Saturday and we'll drive out to Columbia, MO where she used to live, which is in the path of "totality," and where there is a tree dedicated to Betsey that I have not yet seen. That's where we will gather to watch the eclipse. Katie's friends have offered to host us Sunday night. We have no idea whether the weather will be clear, or whether the traffic will be totally impossible, so it will be an adventure.