This Time of Year, We Go Hot and Cold

If, like mine, your heart gets pounding faster with a stark contrast, then you must have already noticed that we’re in a fire and ice time of year. First, the ice. Asserting itself in streams that persist in running, the trying-to-be-firm stuff is always valiant in seeking to overtake the water.         But anyone with a dog around here already knows that the coveted (by dogs, mostly) daily walks have gotten a bit challenging in the past … Read More

Feeling For the Trees

Whenever I get tired of tracking my daily ups and downs, which is often, I find it refreshing to pay closer attention to the ups and downs of trees instead. Looking around outside with more vigor takes me out of my own limelight. It works well in November, or any other month for that matter. And that surprising storm we had last month sure did a number on many of our tall, usually very sturdy neighbors. It’s disconcerting when you … Read More

In the Heart of Fall, Be True to Your Harvest

“Why I am still getting these cross-country team emails from last year’s list?!” My annoyance is immediate, since, harrumph, we don’t have time for messages that don’t concern us. But then it melts away: just because my own son is no longer running at this school, has my devotion to the cause evaporated? Is my attention span so short that I can’t continue to be a fan? Am I so very clear on how best to keep shifting my attention … Read More

The Good Samaritan, In My Driveway

Amidst terrifying darkness, glimmering points of light feel like miracles. Once again we are reeling from a mass shooting; once again we search for answers; once again we keep going about our business, even as we know that many families are enduring what was, until a few days ago, unimaginable loss. News of the horrific event, and the ongoing aftermath, is full of questions that may never be answered about the mass murderer. But we have survivors’ stories and we … Read More

Skipping Fairbanks, Tending– maybe it’s Trending? — Home

A friend of mine recently brought her husband to the bus station to embark on a faraway trip. Then a friend of hers asked, “How did you feel about not going?” She replied, “I don’t know. ALASKA!’ You guessed right: that friend was actually yours truly. So I don’t really need to ask anybody else about my feelings; in truth, though, they’re a little hard to parse out. Fortunately, this remains a blog about contrasting elements lying side by side. That’s … Read More

My Ancestors on Nantucket: Quakers and Whale-Hunters Both?

I’ve just had a brush with some of my ancestors, and the experience has left me quaking in my sneakers. OK, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. I wasn’t exactly frightened…more stirred up, the way somebody on a turbulent ride might get. The questions I had before the meet-up have been partly answered, but now I have many more, plus a few contradictions that aren’t easily put to rest, as the ancestors themselves lie silent. Hearing that I … Read More

Seeking Texture on the Page, Finding it Everywhere Outdoors

With the floods in Houston at Biblical proportions, it feels almost flagrantly disrespectful to go on enjoying the glorious weather we have had at this end of August in New England. But we are watching and listening and, as this evening’s news reports from Boston show, finding ways to help from a distance. May the patience of people waiting to be rescued be rewarded with their safe transitions to places providing comfort. And may Louisiana be spared a repeat of … Read More

All At The Same Time

I wasn’t feeling particularly older until my son shouted to me today, while he was starting to pack for our two-day journey out to his new campus, “Mom, what did you take to college?” Well, let’s see….a typewriter, definitely a bunch of records and a turntable, turtlenecks for the long winter, somebody’s old wooden skis, and a yellow Schwinn bicycle. Naaah, it wasn’t that long ago. But here we are: my third child is about to be on his own, … Read More

Different Beaches, Different Times, Different Lives

I’m knocking on the door of a significant birthday, so I’m going to gather my wits and make a modest proclamation. Just when you think you’ve got a few facts down, can recognize a thing or two with certainty, absolutely know how to define particular words…something will probably happen that will cause you to re-shuffle the deck. Not that I put myself in the camp of people playing with a full one or anything. But I venture to say that, … Read More

He’s Two Hundred and Not In A Hurry

Do you have a full plate of activities today, a long to-do list? Are you focused on accomplishments? Then this guy’s approach to life might seem a bit odd:   I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.   This proud wanderer just turned 200 a week ago; … Read More

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