Wednesday, June 17, 2009

BACK AT THE RANCH

I've been away from The Farm for a week at the annual Reading of the AP Spanish Exam, held this year in Cincinnati. I return home after a week of intense work. Sitting with headsets for 8 hours a day while listening to hundreds of high school students respond to the same prompt has left me looking like Mom Conehead.

All in all, I think there were about 1,100 of us gathered in downtown Cincinnati. The Havana Nights Bar, appropriately located just a block away from our meeting area, enjoyed a tremendous surge in cash flow with the onslaught of latinos from all over the globe. The city hosted a salsa dancing night in the downtown plaza last Thursday, and the place was crawling with giddy, tipsy hispanohablantes (and others) who couldn't sit down for ten minutes as long the music played. Then on Monday, a huge group of us ordered a roasted suckling pig at an eccentric sort of place called Bootsy's and savored the really well-prepared little Ohio porcine in fine Cuban style.

Despite the work, it was really a fine week. All of us who've been a part of this reading for so long love the chance to be together once a year, especially on the ETS budget. The friendship and love run deep.... My roomate this year, Filippa Viola, was a really wonderful person and an inspiration for me in many ways...I couldn't have been luckier!

OHHHH, how could I forget? Tto top off the week, Richard Danford, my colleague at Marietta College, and I went to a Reds game last night (where we sat through one heck of a rainstorm, knowing all the while that the game would go on), and while he was gone for beer and peanuts, I caught a foul ball....How cool is that! I can't remember who hit it, but I know he was the second batter of the inning and he was latino....I'll post a photo of my "catch" in a later post...

Well, when I got home this afternoon, I immediately took to the tractor and began chopping away at the week's worth of overgrowth around here. I was zooming around the yard when I noticed we had a visitor....a smelly, ugly visitor....and I might add a grumpy visitor who didn't take kindly to the canine or feline welcoming committees. Yep, it's been perfect weather for one of our resident snapping turtles to venture up from the field to savor the moisture, mud, and puddles at the edge of the yard. I haven't seen a snapper up around the house in many a year, and I had forgotten just how ugly and prehistoric looking they are...I'll confess to annoying him a bit with a long stick. As if I had forgotten, it's true...they do snap, and they do hold on....

Here's a look at the smelly (but fascinating) guy. He was larger than he looks in these photos.




1 comment:

i am very mary said...

I, for one, am very glad you're back to farm life. I've missed you.