Thursday, May 27, 2010

I've "moved!"

To all you faithful blog readers, please go from now on to me new [& improved] site, at
Everything here, including years worth of archives, now lives there . . . so please feel free to add the new address to your blogroll, favorites, bookmarks, followings, etc. Thanks :-)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a "special" announcement

This is, according to state law, a very "special" flower. My friend pointed it out to me as we were doing trash pick-up in the local state park: I knew about Ladyslippers, but did not know about the protection of them until after this, when I did a bit of research. It turns out that this one--a Pink Ladyslipper, is considered to be of "special concern" while a few other varieties are actually protected. Either way, I find it ravishing, in a mysteriously delicate sort of way.
And so I am making use of this particular shot to illustrate my current announcement:
In honor of a pending change [ ;-)] I am in the process of various forms of organization and preparation. One of those involves finally revamping my blog. For some time I have been wishing to fix it up, and do it in a way that suits my creativity better. It took a while to figure out the transferring logistics, but now I am well on the way to leaving this particular domain. All my blog's current content will transfer, so I invite all who read here to stay tuned for a website redirection: it will be a good one, I assure you!
Thanks, folks!

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Knowing to expect the unexpected is one thing. Having that same unexpected happen is quite another . . . which is, I think, one of the main reasons I love telling "true" stories so much: I am one of those who delights in the re-living as much as [and often more than] in the moment itself. So telling about those moments is no trivial matter—telling the tales of the absurdities in a day in a life almost makes the day, the life, worth living.
But enough of that: I have a bad writing habit of overly prefacing . . . on to the story:
A portion of this particular day was spent at two area assisted living facilities. One of which I had been to already, many times, to visit my grandmother. But the other was a new one to me. When I arrived I took some time navigating the maze-like, under construction hallways, searching for members of my group. Eventually I found what looked to be the gathering room and entered, looking for a place to stash my camera and gather song sheets and itineraries. As I did so, a woman came towards me, looking directly at me as she did, with an expectantly cheerful look on her face. She looked rather young, and very aware, so I assumed her to be a member of the staff. But instead of an expected approach, and then [personal space bubble allowed] stop, she continued her walk until her face was an inch away from my own. Rather stunned, I just waited, wide-eyed. And for several minutes she stood there, smiling, as she hummed “Mimimimimimimimimi . . .” in a high-pitched monotone. Then, her song complete, she inched slightly closer yet, and then [still looking straight into my eyes] walked away. I surmised my error in her identity pretty quickly and carried on in preparations.
A bit later, as we began a prayer, she came towards me again, with the same “Mimimimimimimi” song. This time, anticipating her actions, I quickly ran through a few courses of potential action for myself: Should I keep my eyes open and look at her? Should I just pray as usual? Should I smile? I opted to look at her, smile quickly, and then close my eyes and continue joining in on the prayer. When I closed my eyes I felt her face and realized that now, instead of just peering into my own, she was giving me “Butterfly kisses,” brushing her nose side to side against my own.
This time I just couldn’t help but giggle. Seriousness aside, how can any reasonable 30-year-old woman stay straight-faced when being given Butterfly kisses by a bright-eyed slightly-older women? I decided not to try.
And the day continued—as a day does—with other moments of ups and downs, of the unexpected and the expected . . .

Saturday, May 22, 2010

when it all boils down

To say that Mom's garden is impressive is decidedly understating the reality: it is, in fact, an amazing array of vegetables and herbs that far exceeds the norm for regional growth. And so it is in no way the fault of the harvest that our dinner greens this evening were a meager affair; rather, my own lack of expertise in gardening is the problem. What I thought was a large bundle of carefully-chosen Swiss Chard stalks boiled down to the equivalent of approximately 1 Tablespoon per person, for of the three of us dining tonight. Ah well--I know better for next time. And thankfully, 20-some-odd brimming bundles remain in the rows from which I gleaned tonight's portion :-)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

still-living stalks

As I headed out the door to grab my camera, I grinned with a smug sort of satisfaction at the sound of Mom's laughter . . . I find it to be oddly gratifying when I manage to amuse my own family members. I had announced to her my intent to photograph the lavender I had just planted, playing up the haste with which I had to do so: "I know that, since I planted them [and you did not], they won't last long--I have to document their existence while they are still living . . ." And off I rushed. So here they are: beautifully still-blooming sprigs, duly documented :-)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

another of my own

Emboldened [too much so?] by the kind response to last week's Poetry Wednesday post . . . and perhaps also by the fact that I am trying to flame the fires of my song-writing creativity, I have decided to go ahead and put another of my own writings out there. This one is decided less serious than last week's--quite goofy, in fact. But as much of my children's writing is just as goofy, there is no good reason for me to hide that fact :-) This one was inspired by a conversation I had with a little one, years ago, in the church bathroom after the service . . .

Stuck in the Loo
Oh dear, I fear it's true:
I'm stuck here in the loo.

I've wiggled, and jiggled, and pried:
And now I'm fit to be tied.

I really had to pee.
So Mommy came in with me.

I told her she could go--
I'm big now and, well, you know.

But now I wish I hadn't.
Cause she'd a known how to unfast'n it.

She knows how to do
Just anything--I promise, it's true!

Well I guess I'll settle in a bit--
The loo's not a bad place to sit.

I can make it real nice and comfy,
Even have my friends over for tea.

Suzy, and Jane, and Jackie.
And maybe Jane's puppy, Jalopy.

We can all sit right there on the floor,
In that space--it's just perfect for four!

After tea, then time for . . .
What's that? Did I hear the door?

Oh--Mommy, you found me!
I was just . . . well, I'll tell you later.

Yes, I'm fine. Tell you now?
Well ok. This is how . . .

Sunday, May 09, 2010

you know you're from Africa when . . .

After dinner this evening I picked up an MK Newsletter that had arrived this weekend and started flipping through. Once I had read only a few of the items in one rather lengthy article, I started chuckling. Then, since Lou had looked up from his own readings, and seemed curious enough—and since we were all still lingering there around the table—I began to read out loud. But suddenly, unexpectedly, my laughter had turned to tears. Here are a few of the truisms that stuck out to me: some because of how true they are to my own experience, some simply because they made me laugh, and some because they are as beautiful as the land about which they are written:
“You know you are from Africa when . . .”
• No running water for a day is just another ordinary thing.
• It doesn’t seem right to pay the asking price on anything without bargaining first.
• Someone asks you how much your sister costs.
• You miss rain on a corrugated iron roof where it’s so loud you have to shout to be heard.
• You visit your grandparents and take your passport—just in case you have to evacuate.
• American corn isn’t hard enough for you.
• You expect people to tell you they’re fine before you ask them.
• As a girl, you’ve been proposed to while walking down the street.
• You can lead a 20-minute conversation starting with “Walleponaua!” and keep it going by replying “ehh” in numerous different tone levels for the next half an hour! (and have the other person understand exactly what you’re saying!)
• Something that would normally take half and hour in the Western world takes a few days or weeks.
• Your journey is interrupted by herds of cows and goats on the road.
• You can smell the rain before it comes.
• The only thing you throw away are avocado stones, and even then you wonder if you should save them and plant a tree.
• You know that an umbrella is useless during the rainy season and simply accept the fact that you’ll be wet for 3 months . . . and really don’t mind.
• Your bed doesn’t seem right without a mosquito net.
• Tears well up in your eyes as you read this list, wishing you were back in Africa.

[adapted from “I’d rather be in Africa” ]