Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Blizzard musings

Blizzards are not for the faint of heart. Most people choose to witness the fury of a blizzard from the inside of their safe and cozy abode. Yesterday photographers and folks with pooches were the exception. A lovely greyhound with a red coat, a sweet older golden, my friend John's terrier, Teddy, our goldens and two small dogs too far to identify.
With a wind chill well below zero even the hardiest couldn't stay out long. The words of a talented nature photographer named Dan Tobyne rang in my ears." The worse the weather the better the photographs. " The wind whirled in vicious, biting gusts and the steely gray sky showed no promise of a warming sun. The prize for such bravery.....the exhilarating feeling of being alive in nature's fiercest elements.
There was a distinct feeling of excitement in the air as we walked through Concord Center.
People were feasting on hot soup, drinking tea and hunkering into the warmth and friendship of one of the few places open. The steaming cup of latte I shared with Paul at Main Street
cafe tasted especially sweet.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010


"Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Continue to learn.
Appreciate your friends.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is."
Mary Anne Radmacher

Chatham in December

Chatham in December is
and wild
in equal measure.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Best friends

" There is a friend in the life of each of us
who seems not a separate person, but an expansion, an interpretation
of one's self, the very meaning of one's soul. "
Edith Wharton

Friday, December 10, 2010

" Room in Heaven "

Last night I took care of Mary. She is 92, sharp as a tack and dear as the day is long. Once a week I go to her apartment and " Help her get ready for bed. " I make the coffee, wind the cuckoo clock, put in her eye drops and bring her nightie to her. She does the rest. She has her routine, a lovely place to live, four children and countless grandchildren, many who live nearby.
Before she went to bed she told me her dearest and oldest friend, who she was due to have lunch with, called to tell her she had been diagnosed with dementia. A wiz at math, she knew something was wrong when she began to struggle with balancing her checkbook. Soon simple subtraction and addition became impossible. As Mary told me this a deep sadness I had never seen came over her. She realized, though her friend was only one town over, this meant she was losing her. " I don't have many friends left you know. Most of the friends I have are younger, but it's not the same." I agreed. Old friends are like gold. She went on to say, " I miss my John most of all. I'll never get used to that. I wish there was room in heaven for me now."
This strong, positive woman looked down at her hands, twisted her wedding ring and wept. I wept inside for her. I held her hands before she went to bed and told her what an amazing woman she is and what a treasure she is to her family. But at that moment I wondered, if she wants to go why isn't there " Room in heaven " for her?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Laugh often and " Love the one your with"

I just read an article in the New York Times by Yoko Ono. Yesterday was the 30 year anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon. The piece, titled " The Tea Maker " is a memory of tea, of making tea, of their cats, and their Dakota kitchen. There is a photograph of the two of them. It is a photograph of love.
The piece is short; it is a story about the middle of the night. It is a story about laughter. I believe life is in the details. Stories breathe life into all the many nooks and crannies. At the end of the story she says, " My memory of us is we were a couple who laughed often." This reminded me how blessed I am to be " A couple who laughs often."

Monday, December 6, 2010


A few of my favorite things......
Right now it is savoring a bowl of hot McCanns oatmeal.
Now there is oatmeal and there is OATMEAL!
These are 100% whole grain Irish oats distributed by Sturm Foods in Manawa, WI
This oatmeal won the " International Exhibition Award in 1876 "
A 28 ounce can costs about $7-8 and has 20 servings.
Here's how you do it...
1) Buy a can of McCanns ( It may seem expensive but if you analyze it against the processed/ prepackaged Quakers I think it may be more economical and certainly healthier. Plus you end up with a wonderful can that you can put your pens, paint brushes or tools in. If you are feeling ambitious you can even decorate it with lovely paper using modge podge or glue.
2) Bring 1 quart of water to a boil, add 1 cup of oats, stir and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Stir a few times while it's cooking.
3 ) In your favorite bowl add whatever your heart desires. Personally, I add a dollop of
butter, some fruit, vermont maple syrup and milk.
4 ) Sit in a comfy spot and eat it slowly. Savor every bite; it is so different than the processed kind. It has a chewiness and a heartiness. It sticks to your ribs and is good for your heart. Think about Ireland and the traditions attached to this wonderful food.
On the back of the can is an Irish blessing
May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

On being astonished

Mary Oliver says " Work is mostly standing still and learning to be astonished. " This fall I have spent more time in the woods than ever. Every day I am , as she says , astonished by something. The tiniest bird camouflaged in a dark rotting tree. The thinnest layer of ice on the pond looked more like a topographical study than frozen water. A cluster of pine cones that Andy Goldsworthy might have arranged around a tree stump yet I know it was nature's random version of perfection. I am learning to love the bare branches of November. I can see more and the sun can easily find me now.