Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun House

Another hot humid day was upon us Monday. The weather kept me working until late in the afternoon. It was already very near evening, when I jumped on the motorcycle to try to capture a refreshing breeze. I passed my cousin Nuno on the way, and turned around to stop in for a chat.



It's almost becoming a running joke between us: His house is right on my usual escape route, and I'll regularly pass by and see him working away on some bit of landscaping. Sometimes, scooting by on the motorcycle, I'll give a quick beep and wave, he'll wave back from behind the mower; Or sometimes Kelly, the kid, and I would blow by on some weekend morning, honking, and all of us waiving blissfully from the Jeep, possibly on the way to some far off adventure. The wind in our hair, the top down, the radio on. The dog will give some final parting barks, and as we disappear into the sun, and I'd see Nuno in the mirror, waving back from behind the Scotts Turf-builder fertilizer dispenser, or some similar lawn care tool, and wiping his brow. I often feel a pang of guilt when this happens. Shouldn't I be diligently working in my yard myself? Am I wasting my time traipsing around, on these hikes and bike rides? Or is he wasting his time, focusing on his lawn and landscaping, when such a gorgeous day is upon us?

Then I'll catch a wiff of lilacs or pines, as I come around a bend, and the sun beams brightly into my eyes; I'll take a turn onto some obscure road, and pass through hidden farmland, and sharp winding turns through rolling hills, on the way to some destination that I haven't yet completely worked out in my mind...

Nah, no reason to feel guilty. I do, and have done, plenty of work in my time, as has Nuno. But the additional work he does for himself at home, the diligent efforts around his yard, is his hobby, his escape. It is as good and noble a hobby as any, and he's become a master of it. His landscaping is darn-near flawless. Every blade of grass stands healthy and even with the next, and not a wisp of weed is to be seen. The lawn is lush, like expensive carpeting. the flowers and bushes bloom in manicured islands, all about the property. All by his hand. Good for him, he should be proud. Someday, I'm sure I'll get into the whole gardening thing, I can see it coming. But for now, I'm content balancing my work-life with healthy doses of exploring the great outdoors, and the beauties of our valley...

So it was that I passed by on the motorcycle again today, and sure enough he was hunched over under a dogwood tree, carefully smoothing out some mulch around some flowers. We had a good chat, and caught up on everything up to the moment. And then I was off again; he went back to his escape, me back to mine.

On With The Show

It was a beautiful evening for a ride. Still warm and humid, still t-shirt weather well into the later hours. I went up to some stores in Hadley for some stuff I needed; (namely those small, flourescent light bulbs that will soon put incandescents out of business). I then scooted over to Northampton, for a quick walk around.

The store Faces always has great, ever-changing displays out in front. But this one is something beyond anything I've yet seen:



I continued my walk-about on the warm streets. I was in a picture-taking mood, and looked for some targets...I must have still had light bulbs on the brain, as those cool 'official' looking round lights by the town hall, (they kind of reminded me of the ones you'd see outside, say, the 47th precinct on some old detective movie), caught my attention....





I thought the ubiquitous, hardworking newspaper boxes that are found in this town deserved a pic...



Some businesses were open late into the night...





Speaking of late into the night, it was time to get going...



I finished my walk, got back on the bike, and cruised slowly back home; relishing every minute of the ride, on this warm summer evening...

4 comments:

Tommy said...

Cool pics.

Tony said...

Thanks Tommy.

Mary E.Carey said...

Yes, such cool pics. I saw that Faces display but it didn't look half as good in reality as it does in your photo with the lit interior. And I love that Herrell's ice cream shot. Your writing is also so good; it put me in mind of a TV series I would like, like "Wonder Years."

Tony said...

Thanks Mary.