microclimate 300 feet away
Saturday, October 4 2008
Yet again, this morning I went yard saling with Penny and David in the greater Woodstock area. The weather was a little brisk, but there were sales. Unfortunately, though, there wasn't much in the way of good stuff available, and at one sale the prices were strangely high. There are always a few sales like this, but when it's a brisk autumn morning and there aren't as many sales to begin with, the unusual ones tend to stand out. We followed the usual pattern, stopping early in the saling at Bread Alone in Woodstock to get coffee and food (which for me is always — and for the others is often — the Bagel Works sandwich, which features salmon, red onions, and cream cheese). In the end, the only thing I felt compelled to buy was a narrow set of handmade plywood shelves for $12. One can never have too many shelving units.
Later Gretchen and I went next door to our downhill neighbors' house, where a party was being held in celebration of Mr. Downhill Neighbor's 80th birthday. It's always striking how much more pleasant the microclimate is there, only three hundred feet from our own house. Without a hill and evergreens blocking the sun, their yard is bathed in sunlight and, on this particular day, it was actually too hot to be wearing a sweater. There were several dozen people already there, a full bar, and a keg of Keegan Ale's Old Capital. Oddly, the spread of food came from fairly low branches of the evolutionary tree, featuring cheese, a huge smoked trout caught from the Ashokan Reservoir, and a heaping bowl of shrimp presumably from somewhere far away. Ominously, though, a barbecue was being fired up and surely higher evolutionary branches would soon be reached. The birthday boy had a long professional career as a butcher and, though as a matter of preference has restricted himself to something akin to an Atkins diet since long before there was even a name for it, he looks to weigh nearly three hundred pounds.
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