This is a continuation of the post Meeting Julienne. It will make more sense if you read that first, but I’m not your supervisor. Unless I am and you’re reading this, in which case I really hope you aren’t reading this during work. I’m going to write this as if you read the other one, so any confusion is all your own fault.
Some cliffhanger, huh?
I hope it was as unsatisfying and frustrating an end as it felt to both me and Julienne at the time. Now imagine me waiting a year to post the second part of the story.
My birthday was a few weeks ago, and I got some cool shit. I got to TOUCH AN OTTER’S PAW AND NOSE. I got a fire hook/marshmallow roaster that looks LIKE A FREAKING RAPIER. I got a mandolin that’s over a hundred years old because MY WIFE KNOWS I LIKE TO PRETEND TO BE A BARD. It was a good birthday, I’m sayin’.
But the greatest gift of them all was a song. It was a song my wife wrote for me, and she recorded it, and played it for me, and I cried like a baby. Derenemyn is the name we gave our home. It means Hill of Oaks in Elvish. We’re nerds. It is a song about us and our time together. I wanted to share it with the world, so here it is. The lyrics are below. (She also wanted me to apologize on her behalf for the shitty midi instruments. I will not. I love it.)
The Song of Derenemyn
Once before and long ago
A brave young man was made to know
A year of joy and bitter woe
In his loving of a maiden
He met her at an olden fair
With whipping wit and golden hair
Like magic, she did him ensnare,
This maid of Derenemyn
A year went by, and still he yearned
And when the fair at last returned
He told her how his heart had burned
For the maid of Derenemyn
In summer sweet, they planned to wed
They laid in groves as marriage beds
As fairies light around them tread
Midsummer’s joy proclaimin’
And yet one day, the maid grew ill
He held her, but it worsened still
He eased her and he tried to will
The balm of Derenemyn
But fear and tears and furrowed brows
Could not keep them from their sacred vows
So Summer’s beauty once more roused
And they wed on Derenemyn
Though Summer is not made to last
And yellow took the green of grass
So Autumn made the leaves of brass
And set the hills aflamin’
And as it did, they tried to find
A cure to ease her troubled mind
And leave this sickness soon behind
And return to Derenemyn
Though the crisp of air filled her heart with song
She knew the journey would be long
But with him, she knew where she belonged
To him, on Derenemyn
The bitter chill whipped in the air
The leaves turned brown and the oaks were bare
So he built a fire beside her chair
As the dark of winter came in
She struggled all the day and night
Her body weary from the fight
And all joy vanished from her sight
All joy but Derenemyn
So the hailing oak threw his arms up high
And touched his hand to the silver sky
And the snow came falling by and by
On the side of Derenemyn
As all things come and all things go
Like summer and like melting snow
So spring with creeping green did grow
The forest’s soul reclaimin’
And so her weary body healed
And spring in her was soon revealed
Her eyes glowed like the greenest field
In her home of Derenemyn
And they danced and laughed and they sang once more
Twice happy as they were before
And loved each other ever more
In the woods of Derenemyn
Once before and long ago
All things did come, and then did go
But lucky few will come to know
The joy of Derenemyn.
This is the short story I wrote for my wife for Valentine’s Day. As I’ve said previously, it’s the first story I wrote after 4 years or so, and it was the first thing I needed to write in a very long time. She inspires me every day, and I wanted to share with her a little glimpse of how she is in my imagination. This is a small part of her, and since people asked to see it and she said it was okay, I’m sharing it here.
Also, the drawing is a sketch I made of Spaniel Day Lewis for the Valentine’s Day before this one, and since he also graces this story, I thought I’d share it, too. I’d illustrate the whole thing if I could, but I sadly lack that talent.
Once there was a girl who lived in a house that was down a hill and up a hill away from the woods. The girl loved the woods very much, and was often found there, exploring the hidden places and listening to the music of the trees. She was very bright and imaginative and kind and clever, and a million other wonderful things besides, but most of all she was brave. She felt no fear under the boughs and amidst the brush, even when the shadows lengthened, because she loved the forest near her home. There were always adventures to be had there, and she would run or skip or stalk or sit quietly, however the mood struck her, as a branch became a wizard’s staff or a wind-borne blossom sprouted fairy wings or all the birds gathered to sing her a lullaby.
It was a good weekend, but one that didn’t last quite long enough (not that they ever do). I hadn’t mentioned it here before (I don’t think, anyway – continuity is hard), but Lady Aravan and I have put our house up for sale. That means that every weekend and some weeknights, we have to scrub the house down, gather our beloved pack of pooches, and get out of sight so people can look at the house. We got an offer that we’ve been countering and going back and forth over the last few days, so we’re hopeful that it sells soon. We are looking for a rural farmette in PA, or failing that, just a private location with some acreage. Yes, I hate people that much, and yes, it will be key during a zombie invasion.
I am not a foodie in the food snob sense, but I do love food, no question. I’ll try anything at least once – and this after a childhood so picky that my name might as well have been “No Potatoes and No Beans”, my response whenever I was asked what I wanted for dinner – and I’ve experimented a lot more in last 6 months, making hummus and homemade mayo and stuff like that. This past week, though, I did some pretty cool stuff that I ended up really happy with. Read the rest of this entry
This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm. I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it. Today’s entry chronicles the journey itself.
Dawn broke on the big day as we woke up to head to the dairy. Actually, dawn didn’t break until well after we’d woken up, bu that just made it feel all the more farmier. A quick breakfast (cereal and a protein shake for me; leftover homemade pizza and cottage cheese for the Lady. Seriously.) followed soon after, and then we got bundled up. We knew it’d be in the 30s and we’d be tramping in snow, thanks to an email from Jonathan White, the cheesemaker and half the head of Bobolink Dairy Farm, the other half being Nina, his wife, who bears the lovely description of Dancemaker on the website since she is a ballet dancer as well, and who teaches breadmaking classes. Read the rest of this entry
This series of posts describes my recent trip to Bobolink Dairy Farm. I decided to break it into chunks because I apparently have a lot to say about it. Today’s entry is sort of an introduction and background.
For Valentine’s Day this year, Lady Aravan got me the coolest present ever: a trip to a farm to take a cheesemaking class.
Now, to a lot of people, that might sound like hell on earth, or at least dull and pointless. I mean, Wal-Mart has all the cheese you’ll ever need, right? Perfectly yellow, helpfully shrink-wrapped, every single one of each variety tasting exactly the same as all the others. Such perfect uniformity is yummy! Read the rest of this entry