For my birthday, please consider donating to love

May, 2012.  A circle of birch bark along the shores of Lake Superior.

Yesterday was my birthday.  Wow, 62!  Who knew this age would ever arrive on the doorstep, bringing with it this very flavor of aches and pains, joys and laughter?  Who knew?

At age 11 or 35 or 54 we can perhaps imagine what it’s like to be eligible for social security.  But we really can never know a new age until we blow out the birthday cake candles.  Another candle for another year lived!  We are still alive, dear people, alive and kicking, alive and breathing, alive and sharing love with one another.

All day yesterday–amid the emails, messages, Facebook birthday wishes, phone calls and personal interaction hugs and exchanges–I felt the good fortune of the past year blooming into a brand new birth year.  So much learned in a single year!  So many gifts of hummingbirds at the feeder, partridge by the mailbox–although I am no longer speaking to the wild beastie since he/she tried to attack me last week, a daughter’s colorful wedding along the Amalfi Coast (no official photographs yet), an impromptu visit downstate to visit my mom, oh so many shining pieces of this mosaic of life.

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Posted in July 2019 | Tagged , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Once upon a partridge and other spring mailbox stories

Romance of spring light on lupine leaves

Romance of spring light on lupine leaves

Imagine walking to the mailbox, afternoon after afternoon.  Out the front door, down the three circular wooden steps onto cement and grass and gravel.  To your right lies a garden (in springtime newly planted) and to your left a tall oak tree spreads its arm-branches to the sky in reverence, seeking light through waving leaf hands.

Keep walking, oh you retriever of postal bills and junk mail and occasional treasures from the pens of friends and family.  Keep walking, steadfastly, with sneakers or sandals or clunky winter boots.  Do not go barefoot.  You’ll regret that urge.  Gravel will welt into your tender soles and you’ll be limping back to the house before you reach the garage.

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Posted in June, 2019 | Tagged , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Dad’s phantom 85th birthday and an upcoming Italian wedding

Solitary.  Before you were born...

Upside down angel

There is not one thought in this head.

Can a person write a blog with nothing in the world to say?  With no important theme to share?  Nothing strung together in connected paragraphs?

Let us try.

Today shines forth as a Sunday afternoon in the north woods.  Leaves wave in yellow-green glory, heralding June.  It’s a bit cold (mid-50’s) and breezy.  I wore a purple hooded sweatshirt with a “Florida” insignia while sitting on the deck chatting with my mom in lower Michigan.  She asked me if I remembered about tomorrow.  Tomorrow?  Many thoughts flitted in this head, but none resonated with her question.

“Tomorrow would have been Dad’s 85th birthday,” she patiently explained.

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Posted in June, 2019 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 33 Comments

Mystical green hat and red shoes

Green hat

Green hat

Years ago I wanted to tell you a story.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t blogging at that time.  Taking a break, as you’d have it.

So the story was swallowed away into memory.

Today I am going to share the story of the green hat from years ago.

I once knit a green-olive hat.  The locals here would call it a “chook”.  A winter hat to keep the ears warm when temperatures dived below the 20’s.  It was a beloved hat.  A hand knit, beloved hat.

One day Barry and I attended a hockey game at Michigan Tech University.  We cheered for the Huskies!  We probably took photos.  We left and drove home.

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Posted in May 2019 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 58 Comments

What burns me

Daughter sitting by Solstice fire, December, 2008

Fire

What burns you?

Ignorance?  Stupidity?  Negativity?

I consider myself a rather mild-mannered person.

You’ll find me whistling Dixie long after your neighbor has lost his patience.

You’ll find me cheerful much longer than the majority.

But some things really, really irritate me.

And I am here to blog about it right now–just because I’m annoyed.

What, you ask, burns me?

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Posted in May 2019 | Tagged , , , , , , | 55 Comments

Lake Superior Creature Fairy Tale

Lake Superior iceberg

In the old days, older than the oldest days, long before you drew your first ragged breath, long before your grandmother’s grandmother’s grandmother drew her first ragged and tentative breath–that’s when this story begins.

In the bottom of Lake Superior lived a creature, a dark and dismal creature, a creature born of the moon’s shadow and icy headwinds and lake trout fins.

This creature roamed the bottom of your world, oh reader, like a daemon or shadow or almost-forgotten energy sweeping between pine and spruce beaches.  It still lives in you now, but I am skipping ahead of its finned twisting and turning.

This creature, this underwater bottom feeder, this cold-water silver beauty, inched along sand and silt and rock feeding for its life among smelt and minnows and the blood of forgotten dreams.

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Posted in April, 2019 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Keeping an open heart

Share your own heart stories, my friends

The moon’s heart

One of the hardest challenges in life–I think–is cultivating and keeping our hearts open.

I don’t know about you, but I learned quickly in life that an open heart can be a big liability.  Often, when we speak and share what we really feel we’re open to the knives and guns and axes of other’s scorn, ridicule or contrary opinions.

Some people seem good at expressing themselves no matter what criticism comes their way.  They stand up for their personal free speech without locking off their heart with big metal locks.  Others of us struggle to express ourselves, and learn to wall away our personal challenges and enthusiastic engagement behind prison bars of our own making, just to keep ourselves safe.

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Posted in April, 2019 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments