Where have I been? On planes, on planes. Flying from Berlin to Bloomington last Friday, March 6th, via Düsseldorf, Chicago, and Indianapolis, and Jenny's still-carrying-on old Volvo. Bopping around Bloomington, so thoughtfully suddenly sunny it wasn't quite fair or believable, so sunny in fact I got sunburned my first morning - Bloomington a fabulously compact place where a carless visitor can walk from one friend to the next in the sunshine, with a ride to the dentist when needed (thank you, Alex!) - Bloomington an amazingly friendly place where the friends you have left and abandoned for months welcome you back so warmly and take you in.
I've been in Bloomington, where Sarah and Kon are raising up Maksim, who is getting daily more acclimated to the world and is one of the most beautiful babies I have ever laid eyes on. I've been in Bloomington, where Jenny and Michael continue to maintain and operate the world's longest-running ongoing salon for ideas, books, visitors, gatherings small and large, food frozen, cooked, freshly picked, rapidly made into amazing things (I know; I cut up one orange slowly while Jenny made ten other things in the kitchen into other things) - I am not a very good food writer but I am hoping you are getting the sense of generosity and cleverness and plenty and goodness. Where there is conversation and warmth and doggies and curiosity.
I've been in Bloomington, where recovering Susan keeps pushing herself daily further to the amazement and awe of her many admiring friends, and is up for the same old wonderful wide-ranging conversations as ever. In Bloomington, where Boo and Alex are divided on whether to just shoot the damn deer or completely retool their ideas of gardening. In my old B'town, where Catherine has moved neighborhoods but keeps shepherding her family forwards, where Sarah M. and her husband and girls are enjoying their new kitchen filled with light and computers and dogs and cats, where Beth and Ellen and Alex took me walking, where I got to sit with my beloved book group and talk books.
Where Sarah K. made me fabulous shrimps and veggies and I only told her afterwards I really don't eat shrimp - except by then it wasn't true anymore - and all this while holding and juggling and snuggling her growing baby boy.
You know, Bloomington. And that was then, and then I flew on to California, and that is another post.