Life has been a bit strange this week, with Michelle living in town. It’s not as if she’s traveling out of state, which we’ve experienced before. The weirdness comes from having her so close, yet separate.
The other day she had a couple of hours off, so she came out to the bay. Aly and I hiked out to meet her. We stood on the bay shore as the rising tide crept up the beach, watching a moose browse at the head of the bay, then trot for the treeline. Her huge body completely disappeared each time she stepped down into the grassy creek beds, then rematerialized on the other bank. Finally, she broke into a full gallop until she vanished into the forest. Michelle scooped up rotting seaweed into buckets and bags to mulch her employer’s garden. We chatted about things we’d seen and done lately, noting the strangeness that these were not shared experiences.
Michelle showed us video she took with her cell phone of the demolition of a middle school building. I shared stories of a family of otters I’d surprised on the beach while canoeing supplies around the peninsula. Mostly, we reported on our eating habits. We proudly told her that we continued to eat well, even with our own cooking. We confessed eating popcorn for dinner one night—not an unusual meal for our family, particularly if we had eaten a large or late lunch, which Aly and I had done that day. I felt popcorn represented a bit of a cop-out, but we’re doing well on the whole, and the dishes are getting cleaned up afterward, which I regard as a major accomplishment. Even better, we still have cookies left from the batch Aly made a couple days ago!
All too soon Michelle needed to return to town to continue her duties. We shared a few last hugs and kisses, then she drove away, and Aly and I launched the kayak to return home across the bay.
Aly’s activities in town took us in the next day, so we were able to visit a bit more. No word yet on what will happen this weekend; there’s a chance she may bring the kids to the homestead for an overnight. Otherwise, we’ll just have to wait till Monday to bring the family back together again.