This has been a gorgeous weekend, warm temperatures, summertime warm, rich blue cloud-free skies. The calendar still claims we are in summer for another couple of weeks and the thermometer certainly seems to be registering summertime numbers, but the sun is much lower in the sky at any given time of day that it is in June or July or August, there is more shade and shadow. Ride along the bike path past where the woodlands give way to marshland and you can see the sumac leaves already turned to flame. And look, over there, the leaves on the tip of that branch are yellowing, just a half a dozen leaves out of thousands on the tree, but it's the beginning... soon, a few more weeks, and the woods will be painted in autumn colors.
We've had a quiet weekend.
Saturday morning Jennifer stopped by for a visit after work. She had an 8:15 appointment at the blood bank so she joined us for breakfast while waiting until it was time to go and donate. She had been eating dinner with us a few days ago when I got a call from the blood bank. I was explaining to them that I still had three months or so to go before I was eligible to donate again (periodontal bone grafting means not being eligible to donate blond for one year) when my daughter asked for the phone and made an appointment to donate. (Yes, even though she is an independent twenty year old with an apartment in the big city of Providence, she still stops by two or three times a week... I think that frequency will diminish significantly, however, in another week or so when she transfers her job from Narraganset to Providence.)
Nancy and I had a nice bike ride around noon on Saturday... down the bike path to the train station and back, but we then left the bike path and rode up South Road a short distance to South Road Elementary School, cut through the school grounds to a short bike path that connects with the town park behind Curtis Road Middle School, looped around by the upper softball fields, down hill past the soccer fields, then out the back entrance into a residential neighborhood, out onto Kingstown Road, checked out yet another new development of a half dozen houses set in back of a small commercial strip (gas station, auto repair, dry cleaners, pizza shop), cut through the Public Safety Building parking lot (police and rescue headquarters), and onto Curtis Corners Road... changing our usual eight mile bike ride into a bit over ten and a half miles.
We ate a late lunch on our back deck -- chicken caesar salad. I had been plagued by a mild but annoying sinus headache since late Friday afternoon and after lunch I took a decongestant and antihistamine and a couple of aspirin in hopes of some relief. I even tried to take a nap, succeeded in sleeping for about ten minutes, but that didn't help.
Went to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding Saturday night -- a very warm and funny movie, probably won't win a dozen Oscars but we both enjoyed it. Since we'd had a late lunch (and I'd made those salads fairly large) we didn't eat dinner until we got home from the move after nine p.m. Nancy wanted to see the Williams sisters at the U.S. Open, so I fixed some soup which we ate in the living room while watching tennis.
This morning did my usual drink lots of coffee and read the Sunday paper thing... then went for a run just before noon. I had been thinking about a five mile run, but Nancy had mentioned wanting to ride our bikes to visit an open house at a local art center, so I thought I would just do a short run instead, maybe jog over to the middle school track and try doing a few laps at a steady pace. I wanted to work on an eight minute pace so I tried half a mile at around that pace (3:50 for two laps), did some stretches, but then instead of another half mile at that pace, decided to go for a really fast lap... and did a quarter mile in a minute thirty-two (1:31.68)... did a few more stretches, drank some water, and decided to really push it and did it two and a half seconds faster (1:29.01)... which really pleased me... also exhausted me... so I slowly jogged back home. [I checked my pulse right after running that lap... 148... which is ninety-one percent of max... you're supposed to train at up to eighty-five percent of max... Oh, max is defined as 220 minus your age.. but I figured that wasn't bad since it was kind of an extreme exertion... Normally my pulse rate after a normal run is seventy-five to eighty percent of max. (My resting pulse is usually in the 55 to 60 beats per minute range.)]
And my headache went away.
At mid-afternnon Nancy and I rode our bikes along the bike path to the train station. Amtrak calls that Kingston Station, even though it is in the hamlet of West Kingston (a couple of miles west of Kingston, home of U.R.I.) Our destination was also in West Kingston... the Courthouse Center for the Arts. (If you haven't guessed by now, there isn't much else in West Kingston... train station, arts center, post office, two gas stations, small Baptist church, a couple dozen houses.) The Courthouse Center for the Arts is so named because it is in the former South Kingstown Courthouse building, which was abandoned when a new judicial complex was built just outside of Wakefield and, eventually, a few small local arts groups combined forces and created a new arts group, bought the old building (badly in need of repair) for one dollar and spent a lot of money and volunteer effort at the task of refurbishing it. It now serves as an art gallery, hosts art courses, film and lecture and concert series, etc. (The old courtroom, which fills much of the second floor, has been turned into a marvelous small performance center that can seat 200 to 250 people for concerts, etc.)
When we returned home we found that Sean was finally getting around to mowing the lawn (a task that had been, uh, suggested to him a few times over the past few days). I made a quick trip into town to pick up a few groceries I'd forgotten yesterday. Sean finished mowing the lawn, played video games with friends, and then he and the whole group of three or four teenagers went to a friend's house for pizza. Nancy was been on her computer, doing some email and also working on her lesson plans for the coming week (and watching the men's final at the U.S. Open). Since it was just Nancy and me for dinner, I cooked Indian.
Now Sean's in his room on his computer, Nancy's in our room on her computer and, having finished cleaning up after dinner, I'm using my laptop in my den to type up this entry... I had planned on working for a while tonight, but I'm too tired, think I'll leave that until I get into the office in the morning.