At some point, you just move forward

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The World as Seen from New York’s 9th Avenue

When I announced our move back to the Midwest, my New York friends and acquaintances had lots of comments, chief among them: [Read more →]

June 27, 2008   No Comments

How Many Book Clubs Does a Woman Need?

Well, it depends.

Just returned from a newly formed group of kindred spirits. Drove past the meadows and through the tunnels of trees with the warm night wind in my hair and the night sounds of crickets and frogs.

People sometimes talk about me now living “way out there in the middle of nowhere,” but I can’t agree. I have what I need and love right here, right now. It must be everyone else living in the wilderness. It’s all a matter of perspective, I suppose.

I actually have more [Read more →]

June 25, 2008   1 Comment

Back from the Mountain Top

Exhaustion. Exhilaration. Too many words, experiences, and perceptions to process from the Denver pilgrimage.

I’ve long trained myself to give up expectations and end results, but this conference and the “the other part” far exceeded anything I might imagine.

The conference was fabulous. Details to follow. I’m still reverberating from Christina Baldwin’s opening keynote speech: “Restorying the World: How Journal Writing Can Heal the Future.” Her book, StoryCatchers should arrive in my mailbox any day now. (I flummoxed myself by [Read more →]

June 24, 2008   2 Comments

High Brix Gardening

No rain, but dense fog this morning as I roll out at 6:00 am to pick up the newspaper and check my little kitchen garden.

Those luscious yellow-orange blossoms on the zucchini have all been chewed off the stems overnight. The blossoms lie on the ground, and I gather them up to sautee. This was not the plan, though.

It’s obvious [Read more →]

June 14, 2008   5 Comments

Meet Me in Denver for the Power of Writing Conference

Rain, rain, rain all this spring. The parsley and zucchini flourish, but the cucumber and collard plants look a bit pale. No big garden plowed. Three tomato plants get leggier and leggier before being transplanted, and the hostas wait to be planted in a triangular shade garden. The rain beats down the geraniums, petunias, and lobelia to tatters.

I may just call the neighbor who volunteered to plow my garden and say, “Shall we build an ark, then?” One learns to wait when nothing else is possible. Some day soon a garden will make itself a reality.

In the meantime, [Read more →]

June 11, 2008   No Comments

Talking to Those People

It was only since I returned that I understood my love for Palladian windows: the library, the courthouse, and the sheriff’s office. There’s nothing like reading in a recliner in a room full of books in front of the fireplace under tall, dignified windows.

It’s no longer the same, of course, but [Read more →]

June 4, 2008   No Comments

This Year: A Garden

Standing in the middle of a garden center early this spring, I was suddenly seized with a deep desire that seemed to come out of nowhere. I want a garden, a real garden, and I want it this year.

We have lovely little flower plantings, a raised herb bed, a little kitchen garden, and a wildflower garden that’s quickly becoming a weed patch, but no big garden.

Frank is puzzled. “Why do you need a big garden? Do you have time to take care of one? Where will you put it?” [Read more →]

June 3, 2008   1 Comment

Decoration Day

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need,” wrote Cicero. My family had both.

Part of what I want to accomplish with this blog is to revisit the Edens of my childhood and remember the strengths, gifts, and trainings I received from my wonderful extended family, all of whom were dedicated gardeners, readers, and reciters of poetry.

On this Memorial Day here in the US, I think of all those who have died for our freedoms. May we never take them for granted. On this day, too, my mind takes me back [Read more →]

May 26, 2008   3 Comments

A Place for Everything and…

We did what we could. We needed to hire help for almost everything, since neither one of us had enough energy to do much of anything. People to clean, people to unpack, people to cut the grass, people to rearrange furniture, people to help us discover what lay in all those “Computer Room” boxes.

I always aspire to my family motto of “A place for everything and everything in its place.” It’s a good way to live (which I’d discovered by trial and error).

You remember that nagging feeling of “I must have forgotten something, but I don’t know what?” My sister and I had walked through the house fairly quickly, and Frank hadn’t laid eyes on it until we arrived, although I had made a rough drawing of the floor plan for him.

It finally hit us. It’s a much bigger house, but there’s almost no storage space. The few closets are tiny, and here we are with all this stuff, and 4x stuff at that.

Just a tiny problem that should be solved by serious triage and winnowing. A box or two a day once we’d found our immediate needs. At that rate, we should have a place for everything and everything in its place in, oh, a few thousand years. 

May 25, 2008   No Comments

Settling In (After a Fashion)

All too soon, the moving van struggled up the gravel road. Exhausted as we were, we posted ourselves in chairs in front of the garage door to direct the flow of furniture and boxes. It was a very long day.

It soon became evident that since there was a computer in several rooms of our “old” house, most of boxes were marked “Computer Room.” Many of the others were marked “Misc.”

Once the furniture was more or less placed, the six or eight strong men brought box after box in what could only be described as an onslaught. We were exhausted to begin with, and I quickly descended into “what the hell” mode, pointing the automatons in vague directions. Wherever.

When they finally left, we staggered into the house to find that the boxes had been placed with the labels facing the walls.

Laugh or cry? We couldn’t decide.

I hadn’t remembered that x amount of stuff when packed becomes 4x of stuff. And we had an unbelievable amount of stuff.

So there we were, walking sideways again. All I could was to invoke my famous coping phrase: “This day is over.”

And so it was.

May 24, 2008   1 Comment