I’ll Keep Trying

Spring is most definitely here.

The lawns are abloom with tiny spring flowers that are not always easy for the wee camera to photograph. But by gum, yesterday the light must have been just right for the camera to capture this dandelion,

some violets,

and even this tiny flower on a plant I was given and have no idea what it is.

No blooms yet in the back garden, but I did come across this feather.

Even though there are no flowers, everything is growing splendidly, and I love the green of spring.

Yesterday, we put out the hummingbird feeders.

Already, the little will-o’-the-wisps have begun coming to the feeder.

It is not easy for me to get a picture of them, but I’ll keep trying.

Everything Is Waiting…

Despite the coronavirus, here we are at last, in spring, that green, blooming time of year. To paraphrase David Whyte’s moving poem, everything is waiting for me.

The ferns that continue to unfurl,

the tiny white violets on the lawn,

the tender blush of the newly emerging leaves,

and back inside, for our supper, a salad made with Farmer Kev’s greens and radishes, our neighbor’s eggs, and other bits and bobs.

Here is the last stanza of David Whyte’s Everything Is Waiting for You

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into the
conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

Even now.



Which Way to the Great Library?

Awhile ago, my friend Beth texted me to ask if I would like a special garden ornament featuring signs to various places in the fantasy world I have created in my novels. She knew I was decluttering—an ongoing process—and  didn’t want to add anything that might seem like a burden.

My fingers couldn’t type “yes” fast enough. First of all, my clutter is inside, not outside in my gardens. Second, gardens fall into a special category, where less is not more, and more is better. Third, a sign with fantasy places from my novels? Yes, yes, yes, please!

Beth delivered the sign a few days ago. (Alas, because of the crappy coronavirus, we couldn’t invite her in for tea.) Yesterday, Clif put together the sign, which we placed in the back garden by the patio, where we can look at it when we sit at the table. As a bonus, I can admire the sign when I do dishes and glance out the kitchen window.

I smile every time I see the sign. Many, many thanks, Beth!

A Sweet, Sweet Day

Yesterday was Mother’s Day, and the kids know exactly what I like—sweets and flowers. (I like to joke that I don’t have a sweet tooth but instead a whole mouthful of them: Sweet teeth.) Truly, I received an abundance of good things from my family, and I am oh so grateful.

Here’s a sample of what the kids gave me. The chocolates come from a local business called Scrummy’s, which I’ve written about in previous posts. The gift card is from Longfellow’s Greenhouse in the next town over from us.

Plus there were actual flowers,

and gelato, tea, and Ghiradelli chocolate. These last three, along with the above flowers, were ordered via Instacart from a local grocery store. Instacart is an excellent service that I can highly recommend for folks in the U.S. who are of an age where it’s recommended that they don’t go to the grocery store.

A brief explanation about how I handle treats: One day a week, I have a treat day, where I can indulge in as much as I want. That day, usually Sunday, is a day for candy, for popcorn with butter, for whatever else strikes my fancy. I have a stash, and I am good at not raiding it until treat day. (The candy I got for Mother’s Day sure livens up my stash.) The other six days of the week I stick to the straight and narrow and eat food that is good for me—mostly plants and not too much. Might sound a little weird, but this regimen works for me, and I have even lost weight during this time of the coronavirus.

But the biggest treat of all came late Sunday morning, when Clif and I Zoomed with the kids—Dee, Mike, and Shannon—for over two hours. How lovely to see their faces and to discuss all the things we enjoy talking about—movies, books, politics. Conversations with the three of them is always a delight.

In the course of our conversation, Mike recommended Crooklyn, a 1994 semi-autobiographical movie by Spike Lee. Intrigued by Mike’s description of the film, Clif and I decided to watch Crooklyn last night.

Crooklyn, set in Brooklyn in the 1970s, has been described as messy, and it is, just like real life. However, Crooklyn is also warm and moving, cruel at times, and brave in its depiction of family life. A true indie film, its pacing is what might be called deliberate and requires patience. But by the middle of Crooklyn, I was hooked on this movie about the Carmichael family and their struggles. (Clif was less enthusiastic about it.)

Then there’s the fantastic soundtrack, chockablock full of music from the 1970s, when I was teenager. I knew every single song featured in the movie, and I could even sing along with most of them. Truly, a blast from the past, even though I grew up in rural Maine, and the move is set in New York City. (Spike Lee and I were born the same year.)

Anyway, all in all, a wonderful Mother’s Day. Many, many thanks to Dee, Mike, and Shannon.

And to Clif, who made pancakes for breakfast.

Room for Snow

“We think that the point is to pass the test or to overcome the problem, but the truth is that things don’t really get solved. They come together and they fall apart. Then they come together again and fall apart again. It’s just like that. The healing comes from letting there be room for all of this to happen: room for grief, for relief, for misery, for joy.”
—Pema Chödrön

Remembrance of a Mother’s Day Past

In the United States, Sunday, May 10 is Mother’s Day, but because of the pandemic, most of us will not be able to get together with our children, no matter how close they live. Many of us will make the best of it through Skype or Zoom, and that is exactly what Clif and I will be doing on Sunday morning. Despite having bad points, technology really is a blessing. Being able to see and talk to my children makes me feel ever so much better.

Recently, as I was scrolling through my vast library of pictures, I came across Mother’s Day photos taken seven years ago. I was younger and in better shape. My hair was still dark. Liam was alive, and my daughter Shannon and son-in-law Mike lived in South Portland, an easy drive from where we live. (Dee, in New York, was too far away to join us, but she would come later in the summer.)

Shannon with her dog Holly, and me with my buddy Liam

For a Mother’s Day treat, Shannon made her signature low-flour chocolate cupcakes with peppermint cream. Oh so good. I could have one right now.

The day was cool and green. We took the dogs for a walk and then had cupcakes and tea when we came back.

These pictures make me both wistful and grateful, aware of both loss and happy memories.

Life is like that, isn’t it?


A blog about nature, home, community, books, writing, the environment, food, and rural life.