Monday, May 20, 2013

Green, green, green: un paradiso!

I am ever so happy to be home this year. Seriously! I've missed seeing my yard during April, May and June for the past two years while I was in Italy, and it's a daily delight to see what's blooming. It's also wonderfully therapeutic to work in the yard, to plant the orto (vegetable garden) and many flowers. I've planted many colorful annuals this year, including impatiens, begonias, petunias, morning glories, portulaca, zinnias, marigolds, and climbing moonflowers. In addition, I have many peonies, clematis, asiatic lilies and iris that are starting to bloom.

Peonies from the peony tree
I live in a neighborhood that is dense with large trees. There are numerous birds singing all day long, and many of them enjoy splashing in the birdbath in the backyard. I watch them from the window in my kitchen. A pair of bright red cardinals have visited daily this week. Nearby there's a new 4-mile bike path that I've been riding often: going back and forth on it for 40-60 minutes is a good workout. 

Riding the bike path where there were previously railroad tracks.
After my hectic and stressful stay in Italy last year at this time, being home feels tranquil and satisfying. I have some great friends who are also my neighbors, and we've been getting together for dinners more often lately. Next week my son and I are hosting a patio party for the group, to celebrate his new apartment and my birthday. Something to look forward to! With little work to do this month, I almost feel as if I'm on vacation. And in a few weeks, the outdoor pool opens and I'll be able to swim, my favorite summer past time. So I'm finding many things to enjoy about being home in Kansas.

MOOC update: I've finished two courses and am auditing two more with Coursera. I also took several brief courses at the University here, and went to a performance of Puccini's La Boheme. I'm currently  fascinated with a course on Greek and Roman mythology. It's odd, but several courses I've taken this spring have overlapping information, about Descartes, Darwin and Freud, in particular. (They were courses on philosophy, great thinkers, and psychology). I'm auditing the courses I'm taking now because I don't want to hassle with the written assignments, and don't really care about getting a certificate from them. But I still do the quizzes, which motivates me to watch the videos and learn what I can.

Home sweet home
I'll be working a lot in June, then July and August I'll have a lighter schedule again. I'm hoping to get back to Italy this fall, I'm just not sure where I'll go or how long I'll stay. No housesitting gigs have come up, so a long stay is not feasible.Until then, I have a lot to enjoy here at home!


Emotional Compost said...

Hi Marybeth! It's Blair, I was wondering where this new wonderful bike path is!? I love trails!

marybeth said...

Ciao Blair!
Glad to hear from you! It's the Burroughs Creek Trail that runs north and south, from 11th street all the way to 23rd street. Then you can continue further, along the Haskell Rail Trail, to 29th St. The bike trail is east of Learnard, almost to Haskell St.

Happy trails!