The medicine way

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The lupine grand finale?

On June 10th the lupine theater played for a full house.  They perfumed, awed, and colored the landscape extraordinarily.  We onlookers gushed at their purple, pink and white symphony and deeply inhaled their essence.  Their lupine-ness shined superb; never were the nature theater-goers more charmed. We silently applauded their beauty.

By July 3rd the producer shuttered the doors and declared the lupine show ended for the year.  But did the lupine show really end?  Or was it just beginning?

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Posted in July, 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 60 Comments




Three hours and twenty minutes ago a poplar tree smashed against electrical wires on our road, ousting electricity for everyone.

The mothers, fathers and teenagers could no longer utilize their computers.  The kids lost access to iPads.  Toilets no longer flushed.  Water no longer ran freely and joyfully out the faucet.  The gas stove no longer lit without a match. Most of the telephones refused to ring, unless they remained hooked up to an old-fashioned rotary line.  The refrigerator ceased humming.  The dehumidifier?  Kaput.  The lights?  What lights? (Who needs ’em anyway, on this first day of summer, the longest day of the year?)

I sat cheerfully for the first hour or so, reading a book.  Then dusted and cleaned a shelf. Called my mom on the rotary phone to see what’s happenin’ down in Yale.  Lit the stove with a match and drank a cup of tea.  Went outside and watched the grass grow and the wind blow.

And then I felt that familiar nervousness…oh no…what the heck do I do NOW?

Oh my, oh my, that experience of becoming unplugged!  It showed me, once again, how dependent and sometimes addicted we can get to our modern technology.  We love our running water, our cold food, our flushing toilets, our blogs, our email, our Facebook, our telephones, our connection to the world, don’t we?

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Posted in June 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 71 Comments

Benediction of sunlight and lupines

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The magic of sunlight

Sunlight hummed its June song this morning, leaping up through branch after branch, attempting to climb higher and higher above the tallest poplar and maple and spruce trees.

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Sunshine illuminates old Studebaker in woods

Sunlight beckoned me, too, c’mon lazybones, sleepyhead, upsy daisy, how about a walk down the road to the lake?

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Posted in June 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

Barbecue sauce, cousins, and maybe a sideways grin

Adios, gringos.  Don't go forgetting us any time soon.

Checkered. Sideways. Random photo from Nicaragua.

OK, pals, this is one of those blogs that I sometimes write with nothing to say.  It’s kind of a stream-of-consciousness blog, so stay away if you want something congruent and logical. (Although, who knows, perhaps that may happen!  I cannot predict.)

Memorial Day weekend hath come and gone.  It’s been memorable.  My first cousin Tanzylee and her husband Marty came visitin’.  This is memorable simply by the fact that they built a cabin in our neck of the woods eleven years ago–and we’ve never visited with them yet!  (This had something to do with the fact that we had three cats for years and Marty is terribly allergic to cats.)

We decided It was Time and invited them over and spent almost four hours–four hours, mind you–talking and laughing and drinking and eating and sharing, and all the things one does when one knows someone since childhood.  Tanz was actually in my wedding, back in the 70’s, no kidding.

What’s odd is that we spent almost four hours talking.  As my friend, Ruth, can attest–I have trouble talking beyond the two hour range.  After that my thoughts go fuzzy and the eyes cross and it’s just challenging.  So how this happened–well, it can only be labeled in the miracle category.

Marty remembers EVERYTHING from childhood.  His folks were business owners in my hometown and we both talked about the challenges of growing up when you’re expected to behave or else.  It sounds like neither of us behaved admirably at times, but it looks like we survived to adulthood to laugh about it.

We’ve made a pact in blood–no, no, just in promises–to meet again at their cabin in the near future.  I’m holding them to it.  It was just too much fun.

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Posted in May 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 37 Comments

If I should die before I wake

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When I was a little girl, my mom sat on the edge of my bed and taught me this prayer:

Now I lay me down to sleep

I pray the Lord my soul to keep

If I should die before I wake

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

My mama leaned down, kissed my cheek, tucked in the covers real good up to my neck, and whispered, “Good night, Kathy, sleep tight,” and off she went back into the adult world, gently shutting the door behind her.

This particular prayer comes from the 18th century, so they say, and hundreds of thousands of children over the centuries have folded their sweet chubby hands and fervently added this addendum:  Oh dear Lord, Oh dear Lord, please do not let me die before I wake.

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Posted in May 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 72 Comments

Oh the flow…

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Oh that birch bark flow

I recently returned home to the Upper Peninsula after a week-long visit with my mom in the Thumb of Michigan.  It’s a 550 mile drive from the western U.P. through the sands of the eastern U.P. through breaking-into-spring greens in the upper Lower Peninsula to the hummingbirds and cardinals near Lake Huron.

I drove alone, all those clickety-clacking miles with the tires strumming their traveling song.  Although it’s always a different kind of pleasure to trek with Barry or the kids or a friend, it’s especially lovely to take the trip alone, steering the car left or right at whim, surrendering to the flow of life.

It usually takes two days on these solo adventures because, hey, who wants to travel 550 miles in one day?  Only someone who wants to get there fast, right?  But I’m of the opinion that the journey is equally important to the destination, so stops and side-trips sometimes abound.

You see, what traveling solo blooms for me is this–entering and realizing the flow.

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Posted in May 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 76 Comments

Sucker on Mother’s Day

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Mother’s Day morning on the mighty Sturgeon River

Each spring, when the rivers warm up, fish swim upstream to spawn, to lay glistening baby-fish eggs in their own childhood birth grounds.

Each spring the fishermen wait for spawning season to cast their crawlers and hook and line into the rushing river and anticipate the bite of sucker fish.

Sucker is, as so many Upper Peninsula fishermen know, the prime bait utilized during those sweet summer mornings when bobbing for lake trout in the depths of Lake Superior.

So guess, my dear reader, how your blogger spent Mother’s Day morning?

You got it.  It was a sucker-on-Mother’s-Day adventure.

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Posted in May 2016 | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 43 Comments