Apparently the fireworks continue.

All week I've heard fireworks, even though the holiday was at midweek. On Tuesday and again on Wednesday, they rattled off for an hour. Yesterday and this afternoon, they appeared in my poet colleague's stories of (and new poem about) trying to get to a good vantage point down near the railroad south of the next town over, along with a throng of other watchers. Tonight, they sound off again and again, growing fewer and farther between, but nearer, louder, somehow more desperate.

I keep settling in.

When I moved to Ithaca, my parents came along with me, driving the Ryder truck containing all my stuff. They stayed for a few days to help me move in, and so they were the ones making trips to the local hardware store and to KMart, picking up all the little things one suddenly discovers one doesn't have when one sets up house in a new place. At the end of the trip, they gave me their sheaf of receipts so that I would know how much it costs to make oneself at home. This afternoon, I started passing the lesson on to my students, just before heading to various stores for things this apartment requires that my house did not: magnetic hooks (so elusive!) for potholders, because the drawers are in weird places; hanging shoe bags because the closets are different; hooks for bathrobes because I'm sick of throwing them on the floor. Hanging file folders. Kitchen garbage bags.

And zinnias, my first of the season. How many can I get for $10? I asked the man on the path. They're $3 a bunch, he replied. I took the three, and my dollar, and cherished them all home, all to the new home, to the kitchen space I feared would be too small, and they are over there and bright and I am over here and bright too.