Quotedium Update 903.51.7.zii

I had to look up today’s word — apricity — and I like it a LOT. It’s a phenomenon I appreciate often when I’m out in the Big Empty on a winter day. And that, as we know, is one of my favorite things. It’s lovely to walk into a cold wind and then, turn around and feel instead the warmth of the winter sun on my back. Here in the Bark of Beyond everything is a little extreme and in winter, if you happen to be outside visiting with a neighbor, you want to stand in the sun. In summer? The opposite. Everyone runs for shade.

Yesterday the Maniac Alien from Hell (aka Teddy Bear T. Dog) and I went out for a cautious ramble. Cautious because of the numerous crane tourists. The cranes are also here in full force, and hanging out mainly in small ponds in the middle of the meadows some distance from the road. I doubt I will ever have the miracle of Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 when very few people came down here and the cranes, the dogs, and I had the place mostly to ourselves. That year the cranes stayed less apart. It was as if we were partners in a mysterious migration.

Teddy and I first headed toward the west, away from the wind, but when a couple of SUVs spotted a large group within lens distance, they pulled over, blocking the way. I know better than to take Teddy into a forest of new people, tripods, and expensive cameras. It’s all good. The cranes are a major part of the economy of my Valley, as I learned this year in an interview with one of the Festival coordinators who gave me the numbers.

As we were walking I noticed our friends approaching. I was happy to see them and curious about what Teddy would do. It’s the first time he’s met them since he and Bear dragged me down in a hurry to say “Hi!” to them. They and Teddy were great. The Halti made it possible for me to stop Teddy from pulling me or rushing toward them. Sharon grabbed his little feet when he jumped up on her (one step at a time) and told him what a good dog he was. We had a nice conversation and no one got hurt.

I was very grateful for their “help” in training that small but mighty force of nature.

“You probably won’t see us here this weekend,” Tom said. “We don’t like crowds.” I know what they meant. In a lot of places, the people who come to the Crane Festival don’t constitute a crowd. But out here?

“I’m going to be working in the Visitor Center a couple hours on Friday,” I said.

“You ARE?”

“Yeah.” I honestly don’t know why, but when the opportunity presented itself, I took it. It should be pretty painless, but who knows. “But, you know, I didn’t move here because I like people.”

They laughed. We’ve talked about China, Southern California and this remote and empty valley. “No, I guess not,” said Sharon.

“Covid really changed me,” I said. “Or revealed me. Not sure.”

Sharon nodded and chuckled in total comprehension. No one wants that to come back, but, at the same time, for some people — me, them (I first encountered them in 2021) it unexpectedly improved some aspects of life.

I like that so many people love the cranes so much that they will travel to my valley — to which there is little or no public transportation — from all over the world — and some come every year. It’s pretty wonderful even though I’ll be glad when it’s over.

17 thoughts on “Quotedium Update 903.51.7.zii

  1. I love apricity! But not as much as I love this post! There’s something about standing in the sun. I did that 30 minutes ago. My brain and body aren’t working well today. This update cheered me up. The photo of the Bark of the Great Beyond/Big Empty, thinking about how you and the cranes had so much alone time a couple of years ago, you volunteering this weekend, Teddy’s great behavior,…you 3 and your life, just all warmed my heart and soul. It felt like apricity reading it because I FEEL it! One day I’m going to see the cranes. It’s on my bucket list now. Finn and I send our love always to you 3. She said she’s proud how the Halti is working and wishes to bark in the Bark! 🐾🐾🏔️🏔️🏔️💕

  2. A new word for me, too. My south-facing house is perfect for it this time of year. When I step outside, bathed by the sun and blocked from the wind, I don’t know the actual temperature. And when I sit on the porch, with the inner door open so the sun can warm the house, apricity warms me first. It can be 70 (21 C) on my porch on a 45 degree (7 C) sunny day. Apricity makes the sap flow – maple trees like sunny and calm days and cold nights. I’ll be cooking another batch of syrup tomorrow.

    • I love real maple syrup. When my dad learned that manganese helped relieve some symptoms of MS, he started making buckwheat pancakes. It was a process, a show. And they were always served with real maple syrup. It’s miraculous in its own right, and an additional wonder through the nostalgia and family connections.

  3. What a great day! I’m so glad Teddy wasn’t in “maniac alien mode”! I guess the Halti is working! This reminds me of that John Denver song – “Sunshine on my shoulders” I guess it really does makes you happy!

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