Shhhh, just breathe it in, my dears



Boardwalk in

Just sharing a quiet little post today.  In fact it’s so quiet—shhhh–that I’m turning the comments off.  The better for us all to hear the birdsong.  The quiet of the forest. The hush of nature’s footsteps all around.

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Posted in August, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Primitive, prehistoric, bygone, lost, irrevocable, lapsed, expired, run out, ended, finished

A heavy-hearted moment is upon me.

This moment has been coming for years and years and years.

It is time.

Time to throw away my cherished childhood friend.  She that accompanied me through crushes, pimples and teenage angst.  She that caused this heart to leap endless times up to the stars and back to that red typewriter in my white bedroom in our Yale house.

It is time to throw away my thesaurus.

Thesaurus?  some of you may ask.  What the living heck is that?

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Posted in August, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 56 Comments

Gifts of root and wing

Exposed roots

I’m sitting in this little house in the woods month after everlasting month growing fat sturdy roots into the earth.  Down, down, down, go my roots.  Past the fading couch, past the basement with its wood stove, past the clay and sand, past pebbles and rocks and boulders, down, down, down, go these roots.

Growing roots into this land we call home.  Growing roots that keep our secrets here.  Growing roots that whisper:  you are mine now, you earthling, you are finally mine.

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Posted in July, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 30 Comments

Friday morning psalm of your grandma’s gingerbread cake and sweet Joe-Pye Weed

We’ll start this Friday morning psalm with a fleeting memory of your grandma’s gingerbread cake, or that strawberry rhubarb pie, or those sugar cookies she served you with a cold glass of milk.

While you lick the crumbs of memory from your fingers, let’s tie our sneakers and walk outside and listen to summer cicadas and watch how sweet Joe-Pye Weed blows in the breeze.  Wonder how it petals up to the sun so beautifully while the dictionary calls it a weed.

Joe Pye Weed

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Posted in July, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 45 Comments

Birthday seashells and blessings (like friends, electricity and raspberry crumble)

Seashells on Deb and Chuck’s porch

Today is my birthday. Sixty three years old, or so the birth certificate says. My mom agrees–back in 1957 she gave birth to her first little baby some time just after 1 a.m. She doesn’t remember the exact time, and the birth certificate doesn’t say, so we’ll never know if Pluto was aligned in Cancer or other astrological fortunes.

I do not know how I feel yet this morning. A little happy, a little sad. Gray clouds weight the sky above our woods. Barry’s headed off to work at the newspaper and I’m alone for the day. I don’t mind being alone. Am not sure why some gray clouds are scudding about in my mood so early this morning, but surely they will dissipate to reveal blue birthday skies before too long.

My dear friend (and blog reader!) Susan posted the following picture on Facebook just after these 63 year old eyes popped open. It was taken two years ago when she stopped over for lunch. Barry was fishing at Isle Royale and Susan and I laughed and giggled like two teenagers. I may have even danced in the kitchen. Or so the following picture reveals.

(Please click Page 2 to continue reading–looks like WordPress has a new format. If you subscribe to the blog disregard this. You’ll probably get the whole post without extra clicking.)

Susan captures a “moment” of joy
Posted in July, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 61 Comments

When the brakes fail…and you buy a new car…

Through the rear-view mirror March 2012

Through the rear-view mirror

Last Wednesday we loaded up the 2015 maroon Chevy Malibu with 79,950 miles with boxes and bags of recycling and returnables. Off we drove toward Houghton for our weekly shopping excursion.

Less than eight miles from home a warning sign flashed on the screen.  The brakes pulsed and stuttered and briefly disappeared, pedal reaching the floor.  The car pulled to the right.  My body pumped with adrenaline as I maneuvered the vehicle off the road. What in the world was going wrong with our trusty car?

We’d just recently purchased new front brakes for our precious darling.  What now?

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Posted in July, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , | 42 Comments

What will count on your deathbed?

Reflections of life and death

Reflections of life and death

Here is an assignment–should you choose to accept it.

Pretend you’re on your deathbed.  It’s the end of this life.  Goodbye moon.  Goodbye songbirds.  Goodbye everything awful and beautiful.

What advice might your dying almost-gone self give to your current still-living self?

Yesterday I took up the challenge and wrote myself a letter.  Here is what my dying self said to the Kathy of today.  (Spoiler alert:  it’s full of poetic metaphor.  It’s kinda long. Yours will be unique–just for you.)

What might you write, dear reader?

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Posted in July, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments

Abduction, Siege, Stroke–and the magic of perspective

Lake rocks

It’s been the quietest of weeks in the woods.  No sightings of bear, moose or rabbits.  No splitting and stacking firewood. Just sweet birdsong, whirring fans, cool early morning breezes, stifling hot 90 degree afternoons.

You might hear the sprinkling of cold well water from our hose watering all those little peppers, zucchini, rattlesnake beans at 7 p.m.  You might see me in the garden at 8:30 a.m. on hands and knees thinning carrots.  Imagine the feeling of brisk walking down the road before the hot sun commandeers the sky.

I close up the house before 10 a.m., shuttering down all the open windows.  Turn on the dehumidifier in the basement.  For the next six or seven hours I cloister like a nun or monk within the cocoon of our little house.  Turn the fans on as the thermostat creeps up.

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Posted in July, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Mouse, grudges, virus, sirens and baby robins

Taking flight

I wrote a long blog post earlier this morning filled with too many words about my own opinions involving emotions and the human nervous system.

Now it feels like there’s no life or ooomph or immediacy in that post, so let’s Take Two.

What’s true in the now of our little house in the woods?

Birds chirping off the deck right now.  A couple of days ago a baby robin burst upwards in flight from the nest.  What a riotous cackling ensued!  Baby robin didn’t know what to do once he perched atop a branch.  Mama flew clucking around him and eventually fed him a worm to keep his energy up and cheer him on.  I might have stayed and watched yonder robin drama, but instead the dishes–or something equally important–called me inside.

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Posted in June, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

One year memories of Positano, Italy wedding


First view of Positano

Such a nostalgic day!  One year ago today–June 22, 2019–our daughter and her fiance married in Positano, Italy.

It was the trip of a lifetime.  Twenty of us traveled across the ocean from the United States to see the bride and groom exchange vows of love and commitment along the Amalfi Coast.

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Posted in June, 2020 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments