Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Spring has sprung.

Oh my goodness, the weather has been gorgeous. Our winter has been a very mild one, although we've had a couple bad storms. But NOW...oh heavens...the redwing blackbirds are back and calling cheerfully. We've got snowdrops and crocuses out, with new shoots pushing forward with promises of yet more flowers to come.

William was full of beans yesterday when he came over, and he wanted to be outside, outside, OUTSIDE. And so we were. We built a volcano. We planned a picnic supper with a volcanic eruption for entertainment. We walked to the library. He danced along with his cricket clicker  wondering aloud if the sound of it would wake the other crickets up from their winter sleep. He explained to me when it was safe to cross the street. He was interested in berries and drains and stones. He was excited to see a motorcycle cruise by. He selected his book and then we headed home again.

We had our picnic and we made the volcano erupt which was fascinating to him, and then he and his mama left. Grandpa and I had work to do at the new house.

We are working on the drains there that catch the run off from the roof. The water is not draining away from the basement as it should be, and so Tim has them dug up and we are redoing them. I noticed the neighbor standing at the corner of his garage with a very angry look on his face. I looked back and he shook his head and went away.

Tim went to mix up some mortar in the garage, and I applied a coat of water proofing to the foundation as a precaution. Laying flat on my stomach, I was surprised to hear the voice of my angry neighbor right at my side. "What seems to be the problem?" he demanded.

I sat up. "What problem?"

He demanded to know what the hole was all about. Cautiously, I said, "Well, we've got a drainage problem that we are fixing." He snarled, "...and you've got every drain in my house backing up!"

I said, "That's impossible..." and he snapped back, "I never had a problem until I saw you digging over here."

I looked at him patiently. "Your house is on the other side of that garage, right?" (and about 80 feet away, and catty cornered at that...) and he said, very aggressively, "That's right, and you've screwed up my drains."

I said, "Well, you'll have to get yourself a lawyer, because this is impossible."

He didn't know what to make of that, but it did not stop him. He blustered on.

I finally got a chance to explain it to him. I pointed. "The drainage we're addressing is the run-off from the roof. This has nothing to do with the drains inside the house at all." I didn't bother to explain that all three bathrooms and the kitchen in our house have been gutted. We have no running water inside the house and won't until we reinstall the new fixtures.

He knows we're not the problem, but he saw a chance to bluster and threaten. He's going to have to pay a plumber to come in a cut the tree roots away like everyone else in the area. He scowled at me. "That's all I needed to know!" and he stormed off just as angrily as he had approached. I watched him go.

Later he sat in his garage gunning his motorcycle engine. Guess he showed us.

Some people bring joy when they come. Others bring it when they leave.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What I could have written about.

Well, there's so many things that I could have written about:

The big full moon in a dark cloudy sky, and how it reminded me of The Highway Man from highschool..."The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas." and I smiled to myself on the way home from a job that satisfies my heart.

I could have written about William turning five...

Or the snowstorm that dropped a foot of snow on us over night. Grandpa and William and I enjoyed our snow day.

Or about walking across a pedestrian walk with Tim and waving in a friendly way to the car that had stopped to let us cross...just as she was t-boned by a car coming out of a parking lot.

I could have told you about a new grand nephew, and my youngest sister, a grandma four times over.

Dylan and Brittani are coming home in two weeks.

I could have told you about the secret joy of folding laundry in my own comfortable living room while watching 'Still Alice' while crying buckets. I could not have done such a thing if I hadn't been home by myself.

There's that little marmalade cat of mine who knows that Tim does not like her on the bed. So she waits until she hears him snoring (which is pretty quick ~ I've never understood how he can fall asleep so quickly) and then Paddy will come quietly to my side of the bed, and I move my feet to make room for her to curl up on the electric blanket and she arranges herself purring contently.

I built a robot with William. We are growing crystals too.

I got roses for Valentine's Day. I got a sweet card from William that thanked me for our 'mugwump adventures'.

I could tell you about watching a daughter heal.

I could tell you about working with Tim on a house again.

There's always some book that I could tell you about...

...or some interesting person that I've met here or there or where ever...

About hugs from strangers. About hugs from old friends.

Maybe I could write about why I suddenly feel the need to wear colors instead of my customary neutral earth tones, and to wrap myself up in scarves from Afghanistan or Australia...or why my hair is growing long and unkempt, and why I like that

About dreams of unfed birds drowning, so vivid that I came from bed to read about dreams and decide why it had affected me so much that I woke up with tears in my eyes.

I could tell you about a meeting where I felt a strong urge to speak and so I did...and when I did, I caught a startled look from someone across the table and knew that I had spoken his mind as well.

I could tell you all sorts of things, and I am not sure why I don't. Just know in the absence of posts, life continues on, and it is filled with all sorts of small and wonderful joys.

Friday, February 26, 2016


I love books. One of my favorite things is to go to a used bookstore and browse the titles, picking and choosing, looking, leafing, shelving again, or clutching them in a silent joy, glad for my discovery.

What moves me the most, sometimes, is the inscriptions

In a copy of "A Child's Garden of Verse," Rachel and Abby's grandmother wrote that she thought the book with all its beautiful pictures would be perfect for Mommy and Daddy to read to them, and that she knew that soon Rachel would be reading them to Abby. Mostly, though, Grandma just wanted to be there to read the book to them herself.

In another book of poetry about mothers and daughters, a mother wrote, "This book says everything. I love you, beautiful daughter."

How do those books, with their beautiful inscriptions, wind up in a thrift store? How do you discard tangible evidence that you are beloved? I wonder about Rachel and Abby and their grandmother. I wonder about the beautiful daughter and her mother as I continue to browse through the books.

I take my small pile of books to the counter, and I pay for them, and I walk out into a gray snowy day. I will take my 'new' books home where they will join the ones already on my shelf. The ones with no inscriptions.

Thursday, February 4, 2016


We've had a pretty mild winter here. Maybe 2 or 3 weeks w/ snow on the ground. On January 31st, it was in the sixties. I don't mind it.

Punxsutawney Phil is calling for an early spring (don't laugh people...Groundhog Day is a big deal in Pennsylvania).

Next week they're calling for snow every day, although accumulations should total less than six inches. Nothing to worry about.

There have been some big snows but they have missed us each and every time. I've gotten kind of jaded about weather forecasts. Tonight though, I heard the weather man say that as we lose a few degrees tonight, it will get colder.


You know, I have no real doubts about the accuracy of that forecast.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

She Was

I recognized the name in the death notice right away. Probably most people did. If they didn't, they'd have recognized the face.

She always looked like a bag lady, but she wasn't poor, not if you believed everything that you were told about her. Not if you knew where she lived.

Her home was architecturally interesting, but unfinished and cluttered. I looked across the iron fence at it often since we lived on the same street and I am a walker too. I like to daydream, and it was fun to daydream about what could be done with a place like that.

Her car was parked in front and filled with papers and junk. I never saw her driving. She either walked or caught a ride with others.

She would sit at McDonalds for hours with her coffee collecting free refills while reading the free newspapers. I imagine that she bought a sandwich or something from time to time, but truth be told, I never saw her do that. Just the coffee while she read those newspapers.

She'd button-hole lawyers for free legal device, and she would not back down. I'd watched it once. The lawyer was flustered, stammering a little, while this short little woman just kept at him.

Everywhere she went, she was arguing for discounts or cheaper prices, and she just would not back down.

Actually, she was one of those people that employees sort of dreaded to see coming. She could keep at you forEVER. She'd just claim not to understand you (she had a foreign accent- Polish? German?) and keep on arguing.

I saw that death announcement in the paper, and I was anxious to read the obituary which was to be printed when available.

So who was she? Where was she born? Was she really the widow of a prominent doctor? What kind of life makes a person like that?

Except that there has not yet been an obituary.

Did she have a family? Is there anyone to mourn her?

I find myself feeling badly for that elderly lady, the one that made employees groan a little when they saw her coming.