Sitting at my desk, looking upriver towards the Village of Appleton, I cannot but marvel at the imagery! We have endured heavy rainfall for the past two days, grey skies and what would normally be perceived overall as a mournful atmosphere. Yet thanks to the proximity of the Mississippi River my perception of the day is placated.
Since our return home from down south it was been one red letter day after another. Nor was this fortuity especially anticipated given that we fully knew what awaited us was considerable and predictably wearing application, getting things unpacked and settled into the new apartment. Plus all the customary – and some not so customary – medical and tax year-end attendances. There have as well been some growing pains with the new place because since the building completion November 1st last the apartment has never been inhabited by us or anyone else. The senior building site superintendent visited us today to address those admittedly minor but nonetheless important adjustments.
Meanwhile the sight of the ample river prompted by the spring freshet, the broad seemingly motionless surface of the water reflecting the crystal blue sky and fluffy white clouds above, and the burgeoning greenery of the distant trees and fields, makes for a captivating absorption from which it is near impossible to isolate oneself. Being this close to the River puts me in mind of the many details I have come to associate with the River and the environs since my arrival here in June of 1976, including historical information gathered over time. The River has been the commercial focus of the Town for generations; namely, the woollen industry and more recently the hydro power generation. Upriver its agricultural insinuation is equally clear. Our own location at the end of Spring Street is reminiscent of the expansive but accommodating residential real estate development of the late Albert T. Gale. And if I am to be perfectly blunt, I confess that I attach tidy rapture and merit to being on this side of the River (upon either sides of which I have bounced back and forth over the past 47 years). I derive odd satisfaction returning whence I began.
Of course one mustn’t spend one’s time merely looking upriver at the distant views and one’s unspecified future. It does however assist to have a happy regard of one’s immediacy to propel a similarly minded application. Over the past decade since my retirement I have more than once exclaimed that I will be content if I am able to do this or that one last thing! As disingenuous as it may have sounded, I have to admit that at this juncture of my existence there is very little left for which I have now an imperative. Indeed lately my narratives and discourses have regularly been punctuated with expressions of smugness and complacency like the cat that’s got the cream.