Good evening from New York.
About this time yesterday, I returned home from the shop relieved that I had commenced my week of vacation. Seven sequential days off. Last spring I was also able to have that sort of break and thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was such a pleasure to go to sleep knowing that I would not have to hear the alarm clock's beep on Sunday morning.
Surprises were in store. Around 1:30 am, the sirens of four arriving fire trucks woke me. I do live in a big city, and we are very glad to have various siren-equipped vehicles available on call, each vehicle carrying well-trained professionals. This is our urban village. In the middle of the night it is wonderful to know that a response to an alarm will be quick.
And so, wide awake as I realized that more than one fire truck had stopped somewhere near my apartment building, I wandered over to the window to see what was the matter. (Do you all hear a bit of Twas the Night Before Christmas?) I did indeed see at least three fire trucks and at least five firemen getting out of some of those trucks and entering my building. Smoke? I did not smell it. I sort of took my place at the window, parting the shades, and tried to gauge the engagement of the various firemen. It really seemed that this was not a major emergency, and yet, I did wait to see that encouraging moment when the firemen climbed back onto their trucks and slammed those doors shut, and relaxed to see all the trucks depart.
I went back to sleep.
Not long before 5 am, I was again roused from my usual very deep sleep by the ringing of my telephone. Again, I got up and answered the phone to hear the welcome, even at that hour, voice of a dear London friend. We have known each other for years, yet she still has trouble really, really focusing on the difference in our time zones. All the same, it was great to have this call, and to get caught up with each other. She berates me for working too hard, and for not having been to London in far too many years. We laughed a lot, and eventually I did hang up that phone, and ... got back to sleep.
If I had needed to be up early and ready for work today, those night time surprises would have been trouble. How wonderful to realize, when my eyes next opened, that I did not have to go to work.
Even horrid weather was not a downer. I got laundry and grocery shopping done well before today's series of thunder storms arrived. My building doorman filled me in on the fire brigade visit. Apparently, some tenant on the eleventh floor had sent something that was still alight down the chute of the trash compactor. The lit whatever had extinguished itself prior to the arrival of the valiant firemen, and only smoke remained as evidence. All the same, how good to know that the situation was checked out.
Once all that was sorted out, and the Sunday paper read, and lunch eaten...I took out my pencils, paints, brushes and paper, and...
I did a few pencil doodles, and then, painted this little water color that I will cut out tomorrow and mail out as a birthday card for someone who was once an August baby.
It was so much fun just to play about with the paints, and dot and blot and dot again.
It has been an age since I actually got round to even this level of painting. I am hoping that the next six days will lead me further along the path. Even a giant thunderstorm can be a welcome catalyst.
Best wishes to all for dream-filled sleep.