Tag Archives: home

Retreat, ice cream cone & one heck of a storm

Calm ambiance of Isle Royale

Calm ambiance of Isle Royale

Barry returned from his annual fishing trip to Isle Royale a couple of hours ago.

I’ve spent five days alone here in the North Woods.  You know, in retreat mode. Meditating, weeding the garden, sitting, washing dishes, communing with nature, witnessing thoughts, just Being.

Except for working my two part-time jobs.  Except for a haircut and dentist appointment in town.  Except for volunteering at our annual Aura Jamboree selling tickets and later talking with good friends.  Except for that almost-tornado (high winds of 65-70 mph) on Thursday evening.

From my perspective, it all started with an impulsive desire for an ice cream cone.  You know, how you’re sitting at home in retreat-mode when suddenly you think you’ll die if you don’t eat an ice cream, now.

Not tomorrow.  Not Friday.  NOW.

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A 5K, wedding, almost-birthday & river fun

Birthday celebration

Birthday celebration

My oh my, we’ve had quite a week with both kids visiting us here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  I hardly know where to begin.

Let’s begin with the 5K my daughter and I walked faster than lightning last Thursday during the 4th of July celebration in Baraga.  I thought we’d be lazily meandering through the route, but no.  She egged me on.  She’d eye the people walking in front of us and say, “Mom, we can pass them.”

So we’d walk fast, really fast, until our shoes smoked hot, passing by the people in front of us.  Then she’d point to the next victims walkers and say, “Mom, we can pass them, too!”

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Home

Home

Home

I just enjoyed a lovely week in downstate Michigan with my parents.

Dad steadies the ladder to hang the new hummingbird feeder

Dad steadies the ladder to hang the new hummingbird feeder

This is the childhood home where my two brothers and I grew up in Yale, Michigan.  Yale lies about twenty-one miles from blue Lake Huron with its freighters blowing lonely fog horns in dark nights.

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Up all night birthing a goat

At morning’s first light–before a busy day–slowly scrolling down the Facebook home page.

Marvelling at the differences in friends, family and acquaintances.  Marvelling that I’m not feeling irritated at the differences this morning–that the mind is not judging, sorting, categorizing as it loves to do.

Instead, look at the sparks of God!

This one ponders if she’ll be up all night birthing a goat.

 A week-old baby goat. OK, I didn't help birth it.

A week-old baby goat. OK, I didn’t help birth it.

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An Elf, a Pig, and Reindeer Tracks in the Snow

Twinkling

Twinkling

Christmas lights twinkle all around.

I am sending you all holiday love.  Can you feel it?

Did you have a wonderful time during these holy-days?

Can you feel the Sun returning to the earth, lightening our days with hope and joy?

(If you can’t, that’s OK.  I can’t either.  But the calendar does say that the light returneth to the Northern Hemisphere.  Often in January I measure the return.  It equals ten minutes of light each week.  If you don’t believe me, check it out yourself.)

We’ve been celebrating Christmas a day late.

December 26th = December 25th in our books.

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Tomfoolery of our Santas and Snowmen

Dear readers, it’s just about time to go a’diggin’ down in the basement closet and find our multi-colored Christmas lights and Grandma’s ceramic tree and the reindeer ornament that hangs on the wall by the door.  Don’t forget some garland, and the box for Christmas cards, and that red-and-white Santa pillow, and who knows what else?

Oh, yes, some of you know what else, don’t you sly long-time readers?  Yes, the Santas and Snowmen must come upstairs and find a special place to sit on their tic-tac-toe board.

I really want to introduce you newcomers to the Santas and Snowmen.  (Some of you spotted them in a recent post and admired the way they marched around outside in the snow.) However, I really didn’t want to type the story again.  So I am copying and pasting a blog post which originally ran in Lake Superior Spirit on December 25th, 2010.

(I wrote it just four days after my gall bladder surgery, so it proves that the doctor didn’t remove any sense of humor along with that organ.)

Tomfoolery of our Santas and Snowmen

Tomfoolery of our Santas and Snowmen

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Blue plums, almond stove, needle in eyelid, Charley Brown tree

Tomfoolery of our Santas and Snowmen

Tomfoolery of our Santas and Snowmen

Pale weak limpid sun rises lower and lower in December’s horizon.  It rarely shines through gray clouds, although today stratus clouds allow its orb to deck the skies with sunny cheer.

We’re buying a new almond stove, our first stove in thirty years.  They’re discontinuing the color “almond”.  It’s a gas stove, it has to be, due to our regular power outages when trees blow down over electrical wires.  We bought locally this time.

I wonder what makes some of us want to share our lives, while others prefer anonymity, silence.  What makes some of us want to share words about pale suns and almond ovens, while others don’t?

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Finding your way home again

Here is a little story inspired by blog reader Colleen who was fascinated by a recent comment about some of our inky black nights in the woods.  You can’t see your familiar hands, your feet, your journey to the mailbox. 

(Now that the moon stretches into her fat belly every night it’s like soft lamplight amplified by the gleaming of stars.  Except when it’s snowing, and the firmaments hide themselves behind clouds pregnant with heavy white maternity robes.)

When the pregnant moon births our way through the darkness

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What’s next

Yesterday the dentist cemented my permanent crown, covering that oh-so-wayward broken tooth.

Later this afternoon our daughter and boyfriend  board silver jet and wing to New York City leaving us with sweet memories.

Yesterday they wheelbarrowed firewood into our wood room in sweltering evening heat.

Last night we all unloaded the 49 Studebaker truck, stacking logs in wood pile.

This morning dozens of birds squawk, scream, sing, chirp, and titter.  So many forest sounds! Birds love mid-summer. They chatter excitedly before heat rises.

Daisy

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There’s a WHAT living in our basement?

Breathe deeply, dear reader. I am only going to show you Peaceful Pictures.

On Saturday morning I was meditating in the basement, cuddled delightfully beneath a heavy winter blanket, listening to the fire crackling merrily in the woodstove, the outside temperature hovering near freezing.

It was one of those “ideal” meditations in which the monkey-mind-full-of-thoughts decided to cease its internal yakking.  Blessed silence ensued.  Oh, you meditators, you know the delight of this silence, don’t you? You sigh in the deepest relaxation, muscles releasing at the deepest level, and you know that Heaven on Earth exists.

Pollen on pond

My heart lilted joyfully and…are you ready for this?…I opened my blissful eyes to see…staring at me from across the room, its neck raised and poised, its body slithering in a typical s-curve…yes.  You’re right.  It was a blessed garter snake. In our basement.

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