Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The wipers squeak intermittently shoving the snow and freezing rain to the side. Visibility is not bad, but the roads are considering the calendar will soon promise May flowers. By afternoon, the sun hangs in the cloudless blue sky. It remains cold.

On the ride home I think of tea.  Afternoon tea with soy and somedays a touch of honey. Comfort.

An empty house gives time to write.  The door opens to a set of wagging tails and kitties coming in and going out.  Rap music blares. Undaunted, I sit in my bedroom.  The sun streams in.   The wind gusts. I type words-whatever comes to mind.    I am not sure I like it.  Discipline is a requirement of this practice-as is letting go of control.  Yet, I continue to do it, with the hope that it is doing something, anything.   Everyday promises to include something worthy of our attention.  Today it is the act of delicately stringing words while I sip my tea.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

it's all about timing

“It’s late,” my husband whispered, “We better get up.”
Forever and always, I have hated getting out of bed, especially in the dark.  This morning.  Dark.  Jerry crawls over me and out of bed.  Meanwhile, I pull up the comforter and settle in for at least fifteen more minutes of sleep, rest-I don’t know, I’ll take it.

Watching my husband pour our coffee, I have an odd sense.  The kids and felines of the house have internal clocks.  No kitty visits this morning and it is strangely quiet in the house.  “What time is it?” I ask as I put toothpaste on the brush.

“I screwed up,” my husband began, “it’s still early.” Knowing my possible reaction he continued, “It’s a good thing. Now we have all this time.”

I drag my now tired body out of the kitchen, feeling  lost in a battle between spring forward and fall back.  Burdened with the fact that I have just lost an hour sleep, I have all I can do not to slip back under the covers fully dressed with my shoes on.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Shift

Flood warnings for the entire state, the radio blared. I look around, the piles of snow linger only in the shelter of dense woods.  “No danger here,” I think to myself, “All safe.”

Later, in the evening while I sit quietly reflecting on my day, I’m embarrassed by my casual reaction to the warning. In reality, lives and property are at risk and considering the extended winter we endured, the snow melt could create some long lasting issues for Maine folks.  

When I was growing up, I never got used to houses regularly being swept out to sea.  Undaunted owners would rebuild in the same spot and certainly face recurring losses.  Many years ago geologist built a jetty that created problems that no one could imagine.  The little seaside village where my grandfather built a family home has been disappearing bit by bit.  No one seems to know how to fix it.

Place.  It is important.  Through the years houses change hands, landscape shifts or is altered due to weather or man.   Yet memories are framed by place.  The tiny strawberries I picked in the lot next door where a house now sits, I can still taste. Bringing my once stained fingers to my nose, I can smell the sweetness.  I hear the rattle of the windows in the first house that my husband and I shared in Otter Creek; we began our lives together there.  Place evokes memory.

Flood warnings for the entire state. I will always pray that our memories of place remain intact.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

top ten things I love today

10.  The fact that I still have wool socks in my top drawer for a quick change of "season."
9.   Watching how a charcoal sketch develops when I really don’t have a clue.
8.   Seeing a dear friend who kisses me on the head after a long, long hug.
7.   A hot cup of tea with soy, sometimes honey.
6.   Being surrounded by photos, paintings, sketches, carvings and pottery.
5.   Learning new things and recognizing the incredible capacity of my brain.
      (It still works!)
4.   Sunny, warm days, without black flies.
3.   Kitties, doggies and husbands who snuggle.
2.   Sunday morning waffles with a big crowd-my family.
1.   Rainy day naps.

Saturday, April 12, 2014


Tumbling like stones
In an angry sea,
Sharp edged
Becoming smooth,
Reflecting a truth:
One must be tested
To reveal

Friday, April 11, 2014

we all have stories to tell

"How do we know about those around us?...Sit close to someone you love and implore that person to tell and tell and tell their story. " -Thanhha Lai
We’d sit close on the sofa, but not before my grandmother smoothed  the scratchy coverlet, the one with white gray roses as big as cabbages that seemed to match the wallpaper in Papa’s room. She’d tell me stories.  I only remember a few.  As a young impressionable boy, my father aimed for piety.  He would pretend that he was a priest.  His religious collar-a Kotex pad. Each time Gram told me that story she would laugh holding her belly, but she told it in a way that expressed her love for my father and his resourceful ways.  He did not become a priest. I think that thought was short lived.
My grandmother threw up just once in her life.  The  cross country trip from Washington, DC to San Francisco was hot. She unloaded in a gas station rest room that did not meet my grandmother’s strict standards of cleanliness. Two stories. One  kotex and a whole life time of experiencing the wretchedness of “tossing your cookies” just once.  I remember that story because it seemed like I had become adept at holding a bowl under my chin. Oh how I long to remember something really really important.  Something really really meaningful.   Decades of stories lost on a girl who didn’t know better.
Do I know better now?  I am not sure.  At one point in my life, actually several points in my life I toyed with the idea of becoming a Social Worker.  Psychology fascinated me.  Mostly, I thought I was a good listener. Is it because life has become complex?  Everyone is moving about so fast.  Is it that I have a tendency to be anxious and  to jump to conclusions?  I stopped listening. I stopped listening well.
Listen.  Invite the stories to come.

Thursday, April 10, 2014


When my mother and father would have a fight, I would go from room to room making sure they were alright.  Sometimes, they would both be crying.  Is that why I am so empathetic?  Is that why I hate disharmony of any kind?  When troubles brewed in the neighborhood, the lady next door would yell out into the backyard from her door,  "Why can't you kids just get along?"   Good question.  Why can't we get along?  We all want different things.  We all have varying perspectives.   Then there are the moral issues that can cause strife, conflict and confusion-like sex and drugs.   

Most often, I pray by myself.  We gave up family sessions due to disruptive behaviors that occurred and really bad attitudes.  Perhaps I could have been more persistent.  Forcible compliance just seems counter productive to spiritual growth.  So instead Jerry and I try to model a spiritual life together, as best as we can with our human condition.  We are far from perfect.  We stumble a lot.  Alone and together.

Someone once gave me this sage advice in my role as a parent, “You must always have hope.  They must see the hope in your eyes. You need to give them hope.”  I am going to pray now.