I fly home tonight to Boulder for two weeks, followed by five blissful days at the Children's Literature Association Conference held this year in Richmond, Virginia, then back to Greencastle to deal with a few things, and then the long drive home to return to my Boulder world for the summer.
Boulder's summer pleasures are unsurpassed: hiking on the trails up the Rocky Mountains just blocks from my door, the Colorado Music Festival at Chautauqua, the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, writing days with my friend Jeannie, walks with our little dog, evenings at the park with Kataleya.
But Greencastle pleasures are sweet, too. Maybe all pleasures are sweetest when we are about to abandon them, at least temporarily.
Last night was a typical Greencastle evening:
Dinner with my friend Keith at Chief's, where the waitress knows that I always order a glass of Merlot and often my entire supper consists of one of their melt-in-your-mouth sweet potatoes, complete with butter and brown sugar. Sometimes they run out, but last night she greeted me with: "I just checked. We still have four!" My meal of Merlot, sweet potato, veg o' day (yellow squash and zucchini), and extremely delicious bread pudding for dessert totaled $11.
Then, wandering a block over to a new gallery space on the courthouse square for a pioneering First Friday exhibit of art by Putnam County artists including my children's book author-illustrator friend Troy Cummings. The gathering was thronged with DePauw friends. The scrumptious lemon scones were provided by a colleague who is planning to open Kate's Bakery and Cafe on the square soon, a much-needed replacement for my dearly departed Blue Door Cafe.
Walking toward home later, on a perfect late May evening, I spied my friends Jen and Jeane outside at a little table on the patio of the Fluttering Duck, sipping their Chardonnay. I stopped to say hello. Would I care to join them? Well, indeed, I would. We sat there till dark, and past dark, talking, talking, talking, about everything from childrearing challenges (mainly concerning differing views on the Tooth Fairy) to how to live a life that balances appropriate outrage at the world's injustices with deep contentment at its wonders and marvels.
So that was my evening, one like all my others here, and one unlike any other, as it was the last-for-now. This is the life I love and the life I'll be leaving behind now, for another life I love, too, with a sad-and-happy heart.