Sunday, November 30, 2008
I'll post a picture of the decorated tree when we finish festooning it for the season. For now the tree is standing unadorned, filling the room with its pungent fragrance. A symbol of the beauty of the season.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
My mother’s hands were slim and strong
for 40 years they
dressed November turkey.
and for weeks before
polishing wood, metal and glass
in preparation for the day of feast
and the family who would stuff our house.
Grandmother’s hands were small and soft
She would come and help ready…
the air was filled with the smell of beeswax and
the music of maternal voices,
reminiscing the years when Grandmother hosted the meal.
My hands capably carry the weight of tradition
heavier than the biggest bird.
I polish and clean and iron,
Greet visitors with a thankful heart
and cast a sideways glance…
My daughters hands are unseamed and nimble
I am awash with grace to dream of
she who will carry her heritage on an ironstone platter
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
One day I found this cute enamel cup in a junk store for .50 cents. I put it in the vitamin basket. Now my husband takes all the pills out, and puts them in the cup. Somehow along they way he learned to put the basket back in the cabinet. Cause he is smart. But he usually leaves the cup out even after he takes the medications. But you know what? It is O.K. with me that he leaves the cup there because it is cute as a button and I like to see it. I am no longer irritated by the mess of bottles and basket on the counter. Instead I feel happy that he is taking care of himself by taking vitamins. See? I told you I knew tricks!
Do you have a "yellow cup" in your relationship?
Monday, November 24, 2008
Thank you, Deb, for being my sister, friend, confidant and role model. You are very special and I am so lucky to have you in my life.
May your birthday unfold magically, and may the year ahead be full of fun "secrets" and laughter. I love you!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It's been two years since he died, and today I was finally ready to say a last goodbye to Loki. I took his ashes from my office, and sprinkled them out in the meadow behind the house. Loki adored to run there, and now his remains can become a part of blowing grasses and nodding wildflowers.
He was the finest dog I ever knew, and it was privilege to love him for 10 glorious years.
I miss him still.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
In the fall the barrens look like this... a deep rich red. In spring the barrens are a carpet of verdant green. In late summer when the harvest is ready to pick, the acres of barren have a blue cast, as if they are reflecting the endless sky. It is just one more gift that life in Maine offers. And I accept it with the deepest gratitude.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
When I was pregnant, I would walk each morning before work to one of several cemeteries near our house in Ipswich, MA. One grouping of headstones really haunted my ragingly hormonal self. It consisted of two medium sized stones with the names of a husband and wife. The woman's tomb stone said, "She did what she could." To the right of this were 7 tiny grave markers.
I am particularly fond of the stones with epitaphs. They seem to have gone out of fashion, but many of the older stones have poems, biblical quotes, or short, pithy comments. One I remember was short, to the point and poignant. "He was a good man." If my remains are decorated with a stone, I might like it to say, "She got a lot done." At the end of my best days I can reflect back and say, "Wow... I got a lot done!" That would be a good sentiment to end my life with, too, I think.
This magnificent burial spot is in a cemetery near my current home. It is tucked off to the side, facing the woods. I wish I knew more about who is spending eternity in this spot. A little epitaph would sure be nice!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Thanksgiving season and "Aunt" Pearl go hand in hand in my mind. Pearl was as regular a part of the Thanksgiving holidays of my youth as the cranberry and dressing. When I was in my pre-teen years Pearl was lumped into a group of other aunties in my mind. I can see them, grouped together, sipping sherry and nibbling daintily on appetizers before the annual feast. My parents almost always hosted the Thanksgiving in those years. Aunt's Ann, Nell, Edith and Pearl always attended, along with lots of other family. The aunties, they seemed so... OLD when I was 10. I just figured it out, Pearl would have been in her early 50's then! She was in her late 80's in this photo, the one and only time I was lucky enough to host her for Thanksgiving in our new Maine home.
Pearl disliked having her photo taken. She was never pleased with the image of her the photograph reflected. I love this picture of her, though. She looks perky and bright, her mouth pursed as if she is about to say something funny. Pearl was wonderful to talk with, she was always up on current events, fascinated by the workings of the world around her. She had an astonishing memory, a generous spirit, and an air of genteelness that I have never known in another human. The ring you see on her right hand in this picture is now nestled in my jewelry box. Pearl left it to me when she died last year. That is not all she left... she left a large, dark void where the spark of her in my life once was.
This is the time of year when I like to spend more time than usual counting my blessings and being thankful. I am so thankful for the blessing of Pearl.
Monday, November 10, 2008
I have put parenting first since the joyous moment I found out that I carried this creature inside my body. I gave up Diet Coke for the nine LONG months of gestation! I ate SPINACH almost every day! And yes, once she hatched I played with her. Endlessly. And I sang to her and carried her everywhere, worked my entire life around what was best for her. I read her favorite books out loud so many times that I still remember the words of them 19 years later. I was, even in retrospect, a very good mom.
Now Rachel is a college student with a part time job on the Alzeimers wing of a retirement home. Last week she called me and told me the following story: "At work we have some residents we need to wake up really early so they can have medications. I sit on their beds and sing to them and pat them till they wake up...."
She does remember, after all! Maybe not consciously, but all the tenderness I poured into her little life is there, rattling around in the back of her heart and brain. The times I woke her up by patting her and kissing her and singing. All the love I lavished on her. It is there, and it shines through in her sweet spirit.
I treasure the thought of her, perched on the edge of the bed of a person institutionalised in the twilight of their life.
Singing and patting. Waking them sweetly so that perhaps their day will be touched with some love. I revel in the thought of these men and women, whose memories are lost to them, waking to the smile of my kind and gentle daughter.
The remembrance of the hours she and I shared in her infancy and childhood... she cannot recall them. But the love I lavished on her? It's still there. And it multiplies as she shares it. What goes around comes around. My love was not wasted, it was magnified.
Chris and I took this picture "up in the county" last year. This cow moose stood very close to our car, seemingly interested in us. Her half grown bull calf was nearby, but she would not let him get too close. We saw 4 or 5 moose on that outing, but his one was by far the most photogenic.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I love to look at the patterns of nature. The stark branches of leafless trees against an autumn sky, the expanses of ever changing clouds, the ripples on sand that the ocean leaves when it retreats. All so unique and beautiful. The above is a photo of the feathers on my humble chickens. These friendly birds that feed my family with flawless, flavorful eggs, are covered in this exquisite patterning of feathers. It's enough to take my breath away.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Dazzle and I spent the weekend at the New England Pet Grooming Professional's fall trade show.
Dazzle (a shy girl by nature) was an extremely good sport. She let total strangers kiss her and love her and groom her fuzzy parts.
I (a formerly shy girl) worked happily at the German Red Clipper booth and gave a one hour seminar entitled 101 Tips for Real World Groomers. We had a blast!