Pillowcase in the breeze; light in the forest

Sheet drying in the breeze among geraniums

I wish you all many peaceful sun-dappled days in your future.  May you enjoy days of sweetness, in which the world appears peaceful and lazy, filled with just-enough.  Just enough to do.  Just enough to be. 

Just enough to lazily read a book, lazily vacuum the house, pick a few weeds from your garden.  Chop potatoes and boil eggs for potato salad.  Thaw a whitefish–delivered unexpectedly to your home by a Native American fish salesman a couple of weeks ago.  You ate half of the whitefish already; froze the remainder.  Now you’re making an experimental dijon-mustard-roasted-garlic sauce for the fish.  The house smells like garlic.

Pillowcase in the breeze

Sheets drying on the deck; pillowcase blowing in the slight breeze.  Birds chirping everywhere. 

The world is hushed.  War somewhere overseas?  People fighting?  Riots in Greece?  I feel so protected from this, almost as if it’s not happening, almost as if it’s a far-away dream.  I don’t know if this is good or bad.  But it’s far away from the peace in my heart, like shadows as the sun plays among the dark forest leaves.

The way light illuminates the woods in early evening

The sky is blue, blue, blue.

The daisies dance, the buttercup yearns toward the sun, the lupines exhale with perfumed breath. 

The Garden of Eden is here, now, although tomorrow we may cover it up with our daily cares and worries, forgetting that it is always present, just beneath our latest challenge or fear or despair.

Dappling of forest sunshine

Last night we tried Deb’s Grilled Corn-Avocado-Cilantro recipe (OK, if you have no idea what I’m talkin’ about, go searchin’ for the Cilantro blog I wrote last week.  Click on “comments”.  Scroll down to the cilantro recipe that Deb shared.  PJ Grath shared a good one, too, although we haven’t tried it yet.)  Except we experienced one small snafu.  The grocery store had no cilantro.  Can you imagine such a fiasco?  Here you are, ready to make a cilantro dish, and the IGA refuses to comply. 

“Out of cilantro?” I gasp, astounded, to the poor clerk stocking cans of chili beans.  “Can you go look in the back?”

“I don’t know what cilantro is,” she mumbled, but complied to the poor shopper’s fervent request.

“No,” she reported to the poor shopper’s husband.  “Every other kind of vegetable imaginable back there–but no cilantro.”

Toothy yellow orbs of corn kernels dreaming of olive oil and avocado and cilantro...


Lemon pepper marinated shrimp over brown rice with grilled corn, avocado and BASIL.

“Barry, what do you think about BASIL in the dish?” I ask.

“Hey, it should be good,” he replied.

“But it’s not CILANTRO,” I lament.

We decide to give it a try. 

Now we’re excited.  We’re trying something new, something different, something the recipe-writer never dreamed!  We’re substituting BASIL! 

And we do.  And it’s good.

(OK, maybe not as good as cilantro. But good, nonetheless.)

Life is almost perfect.

Almost, I say.

Except for the ant invasion.  When you live in the woods, species tend to invade the house at different times of year.  Now it’s giant ants.  Giant mouse, too.  OK, one giant mouse.

Guess Perfection includes Imperfection.

Now, back to today’s potato salad chilling in the sink, dreaming of salad dressing.  Back to roasted garlic dreaming of whitefish.  Back to garden brocoli producing at monumental speed, more brocoli than you can imagine eating in six settings.

And a bed which needs to be fitted with soft woods-smelling sheets.

**Peace be with you, readers.**


About Kathy

I live in the middle of the woods in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Next to Lake Superior's cold shores. I love to blog.
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25 Responses to Pillowcase in the breeze; light in the forest

  1. holessence says:

    I wish I was slipping into woods smelling sheets at bedtime. That sounds simply delightful.

  2. Robin says:

    This post brought peace and relaxation to me. I feel like I just spent a day or two at a spa. Thank you. It’s something I very much needed now. 🙂

  3. barb says:

    Oh, lovely, Kathy – I wish I was coming for dinner!

  4. Brenda Hardie says:

    oh Kathy.,..what a wonderful story…crawling into a bed dressed in sheets smelling of the woods sounds more than delightful and the picture of your meal looks more than delicious..the pictures of the woods illuminated by the sun looks so inviting…I wish I was there! But alas, I am here…soaking up more sun in the hopes that I won’t burn to a crisp when I go to Missouri later this week…am about to get supper going…we’ll be eating late since it’s a holiday and perhaps even eat our meal at the table outside..and while it is comfortable and peaceful..it still isn’t the northwoods and it certainly isn’t anywhere near my beautiful blue lake but I’m holding onto the hope that someday I will find a little corner where my heart yearns to be! Your stories about life in the northwoods still enchant me and I often find myself re-reading your stories about stepping outside…..♥ hugs to you on the beautiful, sunny 4th of July..my sweet friend of the north!

    • Kathy says:

      Brenda, I hope you were able to eat outside. The food seems to taste better when the breeze blesses it first. I am glad the Northwoods enchant you. Perhaps they will call you to them someday in the near future. (I hope it isn’t the mosquitoes who will call you, though. Let us hope the mosquitoes do not. Let us hope it is the oak and poplar and aspen who calls. And you shall join to meet them, and to dip your toes in Lake Superior’s water.)

      • Brenda Hardie says:

        Kathy, we were able to eat outside and you’re right, everything does taste better when it’s blessed by the breeze.
        lol about the mosquitoes…and don’t forget the little black biting flies..but what calls me most of all are the woods and that beautiful, breathtaking lake!! The bugs are there I know, and always will be, but the woods and lake speak to my heart and that overrides everything else. Someday….♥

  5. Sybil says:

    I feel so light after reading your post. I love your choice of words.

    I was at the garden centre the other day. I’m not much for herbs. Have chives, parsley and mint but I have an extra large pot. What to put in it ? And then I saw it. Cilantro ! “Why did you get that?” my daughter asked. “I can’t remember”, I honestly replied. “But I hear it’s not too awful after the third or fourth try”. She walked away shaking her head.

    So. Now somewhere in eastern Nova Scotia a pot of cilantro is growing.

    You’ll be hearing from me again I’m sure. 😉

    • Kathy says:

      Can’t wait to see if you like it…and I hope it doesn’t take six tries for you. You may be a cilantro addict by next fall, though. Please don’t blame me! *grin*

  6. debyemm says:


    I am grateful for your experimentation. Though not a fan of fresh herbs in general, Basil would “fly” with my husband, better than Cilantro. Thanks !!

    Happy 4th of July Potato Salad and Whitefish. We are having BBQ Chicken Tenders on a stick for our dinner tonight (Whole Foods “animal welfare rated”, of course – not as good as Native American locavore but the best I can do for tonight) along with our 2 boys, now almost 7 and the other 10 – providing a homegrown fireworks show – whatever their dad is brave enough to let them buy. That’s where they are at this very moment; and hopefully, they will bring home another Watermellon from the nearby fruit stand that is as good as the last one.

    Hugs &
    Cilantro Forever !!

    • Kathy says:

      Deb, you are so funny! “Cilantro forever!!” We need to have a club. Your dinner sounds good, too, and I hope you all had fun with the homegrown fireworks show. We probably should have driven back to town to watch the fireworks over the bay, but it’s so late. About 10:45 before it gets dark enough around here at this time of year. Hugs to you!

  7. Wonderful post and love the photos you included Kathy.

  8. Susan Derozier says:

    Kathy – What an angel you are to take us to all the peaceful places you do! I loved your early evening pictures of the woods as it reminded my of my daughter when she was young. She used to refer to that kind of scene as “FTD” (which meant…favorite time of day). When we had our cottage on a northern river, she loved to see the sun reflecting across the water on the trees beyond as day settled into evening. Your dishes look much tastier than the cheetos I had for supper (sigh). Also there is nothing better than the smell of sun on sheets after drying outdoors. Thank you for your blessing us with your wishes of peacefilled days and “just enough.” We all need to be reminded to appreciate!

    • Kathy says:

      Ohmygoodness, I haven’t had cheetos for dinner since PGB Days. (Pre-gall-bladder days). I used to love cheetos. I hope you stop by to see the woods pictures I took last night. I actually posted them thinking about you and your northern experiences. (OK, for one or two others, too). I wish all our days could be “just enough.” And perhaps, soon, we will all realize that they are.

  9. john says:

    I wish I could live more like you do. My daily life is the antithesis of yours. You and Barry are like a dove-tail joint between two boards lovingly carved by the hands of God and you have been placed in the perfect cabinet.

    • Kathy says:

      John, sometimes I think that, too. Other days–not so much. On the days when I can see God in everything, it seems so true. On the days in which I argue with reality, it’s not so much fun. I wish you could live up here, too. I know your heart would like it.

      • john says:

        I would love to be there full time, but I meant live the way you do, your outlook on life, how you approach life (not saying every day is perfect) Remember Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Against the Wind, that was probably the year after you graduated. – Well, “I’m older now, but still runnin’ against the wind”

        • Kathy says:

          Thank you, John. It’s been a spiritual journey since 1986 to learn how to live this way. Always hungering to surrender more deeply to the divine in life as it unfolds.

  10. The “peace of the sheltered forest”. I know that feeling. Likely that phrase will stick in my mind throughout the day…:-)

  11. debyemm says:

    It’s all your doing, Kathy. You stirred the creativity angel in me, with that Basil substitution. So, last night we had a “summer” salad – the corn, avocado – yes fresh Basil (so much easier to come by in the wilds than Cilantro, unless you grow your own) and the light Olive Oil/Lime Juice dressing per the recipe – and to it, I added quartered grape tomatoes and bits of fresh Mozarella Cheese. Then to make it a complete meal – our favorite jarred Salmon – from the Ugashik Wild Salmon Company (do read about them at http://www.briggsway.com).

    And it was good !! Thanks for inspiring me.

    • Kathy says:

      So glad the creativity angel keeps dancing between us! Your salad–oh, and with the addition of fresh mozarella cheese–oh my–sounds mouth-watering good! My parents buy wild salmon from Alaska, but I don’t think it’s in a jar. It sounds declicious. OK, I’m hungry for lunch, but have to go to the dentist first.

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