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Letter From Home “New Perch” 6/19/20

June 19, 2020

James and I could never have known a year ago how important it would be to finalize the purchasing of the rest of our home and then commence on the restoration, refurbishing, and updating that took place through the fall.  We were ecstatic that the pieces all fell into place last summer with the sale, and the electricians and folks with skills were available to make the needed changes.  The pandemic which struck this winter and has carried through into the heat of June means the additional space is of utmost importance.

I never had a treehouse as a child, and would not necessarily term the second-floor balcony as such.  However, being up among the nearby trees, green leaves, and strong branches does give me a sense of what many a child might have called a playhouse. The birds which dart about and land on the wooden sides of the balcony, while chirping incessantly does give a feeling of being in ‘their territory’. From time to time a hawk will arrive on one of the large branches of a terrace tree looking for lunch.  Sparrow type birds are always enjoying pecking around in the rain gutters, and orioles have nested somewhere near as they are always flitting about.

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A year ago the balcony was in dire need of repair and refurbishing. Following power washing and some replacements, we applied wood preservative. The two coats of white primer followed by two coats of New England Blue gave it that look and feel that was truly required.  In the previous summers we had sat on the lawn and participated with all those who pass by our corner lot, but with the virus about, and too few people adhering to the advice of medical professionals, we have moved our ‘outdoor space’ to the new balcony.  Still with a view of the lake and ample sun means that we have adapted to a new normal.

And there are new pleasures.

Today the catalpa tree is in full bloom on one end of the balcony. The humidity and closeness of the air allowed for the perfumed aroma of the blooms to hang and linger about.  I do not recall another season of these blooms to have been as fragrant, or as remarkable, as this one.  In part, that is due to being so much closer to the blooms and also having a truly humid day to hold the aroma around the house.  I noted even the neighbors were enjoying the scented blooms as they sat and talked.

Of those who live in my area, and that I chat with, not one has taken to eating restaurant food or getting caught up with the gleeful delusion that many of our fellow Madisonians seem too willing to be caught up in.  We know that the pandemic of 1918 was followed by 1919.  There were three serious blows at that time from the virus.  We are not even finished with the first round in the nation as I write this post.

Therefore it is incumbent upon those who decide to be safe to find places where life can continue.  And when that spot is found smiles will follow.

I write with the afternoon smile still on my face.

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