sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

July 31, 2020


certified awesome, no longer abstract, and hello!
posted by soe 1:53 am

Late July Sunset

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. I told you back in the spring about a project that Rudi and a friend of his started where they match bikes that people weren’t using anymore with essential workers who needed them. This week they were honored with a microgrant from The Awesome Foundation.

2. Several abstracts my department submitted to an upcoming conference were accepted, so my younger colleagues and I will all be giving short, pre-recorded talks this fall. (The fact that they will be pre-recorded, rather than live and in person, is what makes this beautiful, rather than nauseating.

3. A friend’s birthday was today. Usually we sing to his voicemail, but tonight he picked up the line, so we got to catch up.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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July 24, 2020


flamboyant flyers, light show, and play ball
posted by soe 12:14 am

Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. When I went down to the garden Sunday evening, the field was full of dragonflies glittering and glinting in the late day sun.

2. We have had several spectacular thunderstorms in the region this week. Some have been far enough away that we were simply able to keep an eye on the light show from afar, while others flashed and boomed and poured rain down on our neighborhood.

3. We took our lawn chairs, store-brand Cracker Jack, and shelled peanuts up to the park to listen to as much of the game as the Nationals and Yankees were able to cram in before the rain on Opening Day. I forget in the off-season how much knitting one can get done while listening to games on the radio! (I have mixed feelings about the decision to hold professional sport events, but apparently not enough to boycott them, at least at this stage.)

What about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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July 17, 2020


icebox, falafel, and covered
posted by soe 12:39 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. Did I mention to you that after our air conditioning died our refrigerator also bit the dust? (The timing is not surprising; our fridge was old and refrigerators do not like being warm.) We were lucky because the freezer kept working, but we’ve been keeping our true perishables in our picnic cooler and also had a bag of ice in the fridge trying to keep from losing absolutely everything in it. Today, a new refrigerator arrived. We ordered (our landlord will pay for it) from a local company because they could get us the size we needed with only a week’s delay, rather than the month that absolutely everyone else quoted us. The delivery team showed up, wearing masks and gloves, within 15 minutes of the start of their delivery window, and had our old fridge out and the new one down the stairs and into our apartment in less than 20 minutes. I had a cold soda tonight to celebrate.

2. Rudi went out for supper last Friday with the political campaign he worked for this spring and I, after chatting with my folks and eking out any last light at the park on a clear evening, picked up a sandwich for supper from the local Greek restaurant. The owner and I chatted while I waited for my order and he said after a bad experience when the city first asked restaurants to do contact tracing, he’d been very pleased with everyone’s willingness to share their info. It was nice to chat with a longtime neighbor for a few minutes.

3. I got to buy period supplies and ibuprofen with my flex-spending card for the first time ever. One of the best things to come out of the COVID-19 situation is that feminine hygiene products and OTC pain meds are now allowable expenses for flexible spending accounts. I’m running out of time for that to be relevant to me, but I am so happy for younger people that Congress finally rectified this stupid, biased policy. Now if we can just get pads and tampons made tax-free nationwide and also provided free in prisons…

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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July 10, 2020


fairy lights, fetch, and finally cool again
posted by soe 12:45 am

Tomato Trichomes

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. The trichomes on one of my garden’s tomato stalks catch the low angle of the evening’s sunbeams and shine as if fairies had strung them up to the light the way to the butterfly ball. (Trichomes are the hairlike structures on plants’ stalks and leaves. They serve a variety of purposes, and botanists theorize on tomatoes they discourage predators. And An Invitation to the Butterfly Ball was a picture book I grew up with by the renowned Jane Yolen that combined counting and beautiful illustrations by Jane Breskin Zalben.)

2. A woman stops by the park with two dogs. One is an adorable 10-week-old puppy and the other an adult Australian shepherd. She throws a Frisbee across the field, and the older dog tears past, leaping in the air to catch the disc and racing with it back up the field to lay it at her feet. The dog’s athleticism wows everyone in the park, as we all look up from our meals, books, and conversations to marvel at its aerial feats. The puppy is content to trot a few steps after its friend, stand for a second, and then trot back with it to their person.

3. We have a new air conditioner. Our previous one behaved temperamentally for two weeks last month — working for a couple hours and then beeping incessantly until you unplugged it — and then, just before the heatwave commenced two weeks ago, it refused to do anything at all. Which, oddly enough, is exactly what Rudi and I felt like doing as the temperature in our basement apartment inched up toward the upper 80s. But now we have a lovely new machine that makes us want to work and cook and sleep again, and Corey has cardboard and styrofoam upon which to nap.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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July 3, 2020


mid-year, animated, and relief
posted by soe 1:14 am

Coneflowers

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. My semi-annual review was this week and my boss said really nice things about me.

2. One of the people in the neighborhood has a basset hound puppy. Watching its tail wagwagwag as it’s helped up onto the bench where its person is sitting so it can licklicklick his face is adorable.

3. We are a week into a heat wave, but it’s been a little less humid than usual, so there’s actual relief in the evenings. We’ve been trying to make sure we spend time at dusk in the park (along with many of our neighbors) and that we open the window after dark to let in some fresh air.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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June 26, 2020


thwack, speedy delivery, and pinks
posted by soe 1:27 am

Three beautiful things from my past week:

1. A group of people are playing petanque on the pathway at the park.

2. The post office delivers my box a day earlier than I expected, so my package was only a day late for Father’s Day, rather than two.

3. The sky has been awash with beautiful shades of rose, pink, and salmon at sunset lately.

How about you? What’s been beautiful in your world lately?

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