In a Different Light

4 10 2017

I used to think that the changing seasons meant different clothes to suit the different temperatures, different driving habits (snow tires, back in the rear-wheel-drive days), different sports on television and different foods at the grocery store.

But more than just the temperature changes with the seasons – like the light – I think the most  remarkable thing is the light.

Winter’s light is clear and piercing, showing us our world in black and white with little concern for nuance.

The light of spring is thin and pale, spindly like the legs of a newborn foal – hopeful, but tentative.

Summer’s light is so ferocious that we must squint some of it from our eyes to prevent it hurting, so, even though it is bright, we cannot really see clearly.

Then, there’s autumn. Autumn’s light is the most special, the most fleeting, and the most beautiful. It has an almost mystical golden quality that is hard to describe, but, once you’ve seen it,  impossible to forget.

Too soon, it will be winter, but not just yet, so I hope you’ll join me in appreciating the breathtaking beauty of the autumn landscape, thanks to its magnificent, unequalled, too-brief amazing light.

Even inside my dirty kitchen window, autumn light called.

Anemone ‘Honorine Joubert’ in mid-afternoon glow.

Nothing like backlit backs of perennial begonias – glowing.


Fade to Black

27 09 2017

Some days are so beautiful that they hurt our eyes. Today is one of those. The sunshine, while mid-summer warm, still has taken on the special golden quality of autumn light.

So beautiful it hurts my eyes because it is so magnificent and so fleeting.

When I sat down to write today, this was all I could think about, soI harvested a petite bouquet and Rebel and I contemplated our good fortune to be able to enjoy all of this beauty, brief as it may be.




Not on My Watch

20 09 2017

On Saturday, I was headed to the grocery store, six reusable bags in one hand, list and purse in the other, when, just  as I was about to open my car door, I saw, from the very edge of my peripheral vision, an enormous silhouette gliding over my shoulder. I dropped everything, ran into the house, grabbed my  camera . . .

just in time to see a great blue heron reverse and retreat from what would surely have been a feast of my pond fish. I didn’t get time to even get the viewfinder to my eye.

I took a look around, hoping  (photographer in me) and hoping not (fish pond owner) to see the enormous bird, but by the time I got to the back yard, there was not a feather in sight. What I did see was one very determined, very proud, and very territorial house cat. Captain Morgan, the neighbor’s orange and white king of the neighborhood, was standing, one paw raised in a leonine power pose, apparently certain he weighed, not eight, but eight hundred pounds. No bird, no matter how big, was going to come fishing in his territory!

So, I did not get the chance to snap a photo of the wading wonder, but my fish, who do not interest Captain, are still swimming happily. It’s the better outcome.

Sometimes, we are tempted by something new, maybe even a little bit exotic, and we can’t or won’t see the danger. It is the bravest of friends who will step into the breach and roar a warning to us and at whatever threatens us.  It might take us a little time to understand that the danger was even there. We even may be frustrated by the interruption, but we must never forget is that those who interfere in our lives, who butt into situations, who holler, “Stop!” when we are heading for an unseen cliff are the ones to whom we matter.

So thank you to the dear friends and family who risk their safety by stepping between us and the shiny objects that would lure us into traps. We’ll be mad at you for a moment, but we love you.

On Pause

13 09 2017

Of all the technological advances that fill our house, one of my favorites is the DVR.  I love being able to zip through commercials, replay home runs in slow motion, and I especially love the pause button.  I can get a drink, answer the phone, the door, or the call of nature without missing a single Jeopardy clue! 

There are times when stuff is going so fast in life that I wish for an actual pause button. 

It’s fine to temporarily stop the action while we get our bearings, catch our breath, find our courage; it is not, however, fine to hold that button until our screens freeze.  It is reasonable and necessary to take a break from whatever it is that feels overwhelming, as long as we don’t go from taking a break to feeling broken.

Seems like we go through phases – little or large challenges to our ideas about our lives – where we feel like quitting. Sometimes, quitting is the right thing, but giving up is not. I have felt that challenge for the last few weeks, but I know the answer is not simply quitting something. The answer is changing something. It’s okay to pause for a moment to figure out what to change, but the key is not the pause, it’s the change.

Yes, I love that DVR and Comcast is a god in my life – and as good as that pause button is, the channel selector is even better!  If we don’t like the show, we can change the channel.

I’ll be flipping through the options for a little longer, but I know I’ll find something interesting soon.

With a Grain of Salt (and a Cup of Butter)

6 09 2017

When the world seems especially out of control – like when the news is all about two major hurricanes, raging wildfires, and potential nuclear war – some folks drink, some folks pray, some folks cry:

I cook.


Whenever I feel helpless to make things better on a grand scale, I fall back to just making things . . . homey, comforting, fattening things.  That’s just what I did today. I fed my mother and my husband Sunday supper on a Wednesday evening. It did not move Hurricane Irma’s course, but it made us feel better for a while. 

I wish us all

The comfort of the aroma of simmering pot roast, 

The warmth of straight-from-the-stove mashed potatoes,

The tender sweetness of home-made pie,

And the most delicious gift of sharing it with people we love.

Au Revoir, August

30 08 2017

August – an adjective meaning respected and impressive.

Well, August, I am not impressed. You have disrespected your reputation as the hot chick of months, boo-hooing rain from chilly gray skies a few too many days to go unnoticed.  Seems like even you are in a funk this year.

I guess I can’t blame you. There’s plenty of awful stuff in the ether (and in Virginia and Texas and North Korea and D.C.) to spoil any sunny disposition, but COME ON,  you only have one more day this year!  Shake off this gloom – that’s November’s gig.

August and I know that we’ve been less than our best this week and I think we’ve both had quite enough of our pitiful selves. She’s making an impression, today though, with lovely sunshine and a comfortable breeze.  August, I owe you – and myself – more respect than to sit and mope over things that will not change whether or not I cry over them.

August is here for one more day this year. That means one more day of my favorite ice cream as the flavor of the month,  one more day to write that curvaceous number eight in my checkbook, one more day of summer’s not even close to over yet. 

August, I’m sorry I hollered at you.  It’s not your fault that you happened to be a reflection of my crankiness.  I’m shaking it off by cranking up the lawn mower, strolling around my little property and remembering how lucky I am to have such a lovely and peaceful place to call home.

I’ll miss you when you go, tomorrow, but I’ll see you again next year – and that’s pretty impressive.

Bye, August.


Still in Business

23 08 2017

 “The going concern principle is the assumption that an entity will remain in business for the foreseeable future. Conversely, this means the entity will not be forced to halt operations and liquidate its assets in the near term.”

Oh, Accounting 101, I remember you (not) well.

This concept from that long-ago class popped into my brain for two important reasons this week: my mother and my friend. 

My mother, who’s 87, will tell you that she does not want to get old; she wants to live a very long time. Mom’s got plans on her calendar for the next several years and she continues to add to it with abandon. She shakes her head at those folks, many who are many years younger than she, who’ve resigned from living long before they’re gone from life.  

My friend, who is fighting a disease that has no idea that the odds are NOT in its favor, recently remarked that the well-intended but really stupid advice to “Live each day as if it were your last,” is exhausting.  She has brilliantly decided to live each day like it’s each day, with the next one following, just as it always has. I told you her foe is outmatched and outclassed, didn’t I?

These women embody the going concern principle.  

Okay, we know that Fate is going to slap us around. We can’t prevent it. That’s life. We can, however, prevent tripping over our own feet because we fail to look forward.  Sure, seize the day, but don’t strangle it!  Part of enjoying the moment is anticipating more of them.  Optimism feels good and it’s free.

Cheers to this fine day and here’s to a fine tomorrow. Keep those doors unlocked. We’re open for business.

OPEN for BUSINESS Bloomed. Blooming. Blooms-to-Be.