Category Archives: Celebrate

A Christmas Surprise

In Maine, December is a dark, cold month. The days are at their shortest—dusk comes at around 4:15—and how lovely it is when the sun sets. A star twinkles in the evening sky. Everywhere, trees with bare branches stand in silhouette, framing the glowing moon as it rises.

December is a perfect month for sparkling lights and surprises, for getting parcels that you don’t expect. One such package came yesterday, from my blogging friend Judy of New England Garden and Thread. Judy’s creativity—her sewing and quilting—is a constant source of inspiration to me. How I enjoy seeing the posts of the various project she makes throughout the year.

And how pleased and surprised I was to receive this lovely gift from Judy.

It has pride of place in the living room, resting against books on a shelf by the couch.

Many, many thanks, Judy! What a wonderful addition to my Christmas decorations.

 

A New Way to Look at the Fourth

It was another scorcher of a Fourth with temps in the 90s in the shade, and the humidity was high, too. Fortunately, the week before the Fourth was cool, which meant preparing for our annual  get-together was not as arduous as it has been in past years. (On Facebook last year, I wrote that July 3 was so hot that I felt like one of Dali’s melting clocks, which by the way I have seen at MOMA. The picture was much smaller than I had expected. Life is often like that, isn’t it?)

The heat did have one good effect—it kept the mosquitoes down so that we were able to gather on our patio rather than in our dining room. Here is a picture of the table filled with good food made by my friends and me.  A tip of the hat from Diane.

And because of the heat, we had plenty to drink, kept cold in ice.

On the Fourth, it is customary to honor the past and the hard work of those who came before us. At our gathering this year, we did something different. Instead, we praised the younger generation for their grit, courage, and levelheadedness. We have left a terrible mess for them to deal with, and it makes my heart ache to think about it. While every generation has its slackers—ours certainly did, too—so far I am encouraged by the upcoming generations that are rejecting cars, McMansions, and food chains such as Applebee’s. (Let’s face it. The food is terrible and overpriced at Applebee’s.)

Therefore, let the bells ring for the younger folks, the promise of a better future. And know that in this corner of Maine, in the woods, Clif and I will be living as lightly as we can to “be the change we wish to see.”

We will also vote, of course. That almost goes without saying. And in September of this year, Clif and I will join the youth in their Global Climate Strike.

Onward, ho, and creaky knees be damned!

 

 

 

 

The Joys of Spring

Readers, it has finally happened—the event I have been looking forward to since the spring equinox, and it ranks right up there with forsythia and the song of the peepers. Drum roll, please: yesterday marked the first time this year that I was able to hang laundry outside on the line. Happy, happy day! From now until October, laundry will be hung on the line rather than inside on racks.

As if that weren’t enough joy for one week…the maple tree is in bloom. These tiny bursts of red are one of my favorite flowers. They complement every bird, no matter the color, that comes into the backyard—the   goldfinches, the cardinals, the chickadees, the nuthatches.

And what a joy to have birds around me as I worked in the garden. I heard the sharp rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker, the twitter of the goldfinches, the caw of a crow, and the haunting call of a loon.

With such music, it seemed as though the big bed in the backyard was cleaned in no time.

Even more joy: The ferns are starting to come up.

And last but not least, Clif sifted compost for me, and this will soon go in the back garden.

Such a lot of joy for one week. Who could ask for anything more?

 

 

Happy Earth Day, Happy Birthday!

Today is a special day for us. Not only is it Earth Day, but it is also our daughter Shannon’s birthday. Happy birthday to a very special person!

My blogging friend Judy noted that Earth Day is forty-nine years old, almost old enough to be a member of AARP.  Too funny! Judy also wrote that even though she gets stung more than she would like, she still leaves all manner of flowering weeds in her lawn to attract bees and other pollinators. Yay, Judy!

My blogging friend Eliza wrote that “every day should be Earth Day where we do our best to take care of our planet.” Hear, hear! And she posted an oh-so-lovely blue bouquet in “a small, cobalt-blue tincture bottle.” What a fitting way to honor our beautiful blue planet.

From the often curmudgeonly but nonetheless excellent website Tree Hugger, here are ten tips to make every day Earth Day.

Today is a gray but mild day in our neighborhood. To honor Earth Day, we are not going anywhere at all. It will be a no-car day—we do our best to have several of these each week. If the weather allows, we will sweep the patio and haul out the small patio table from our cellar. Heck, if the rain hold off we will even have our first patio drink of the season, where we will toast Earth Day and our birthday daughter.

Finally, here is a picture of a small fallen tree on the edge of our yard by the woods. A wonderful example of how nothing is wasted in nature.

Happy Earth Day to all!