Tuesday, December 28, 2021

The year ends quietly

As this year draws to a close,
I am feeling the need for quiet contemplation, and very few words.
Today's slice is told through photos,
the family hike we enjoyed today:


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

this little tree of ours


We spent no more than 10 minutes at the tree lot. The day was bitter cold, inviting us to shop quickly. We know what we like and we keep it simple - Fraser fir, about 7 feet high. This one looked perfect, laying at the top of a small stack of trees at our regular pop-up sales site in a nearby parking lot. We didn't even ask the vendor to untie the tree; as I said, it was dang cold, but honestly it is more because we are easily pleased - the two of us subscribe a bit to the "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" school of thought, in that we trust we can beautify whatever tree awaits. We will love it. 'Tis the season to be content, to be joyful. 

The vendor lifted the tree from the stack and lots of needles rained down. Here's where we really are a goofy twosome, Tony and I - we immediately assumed that those dropped needles had fallen from some other tree that had been stacked on top of ours, during its journey in the truck from who knows where (Canada?), and basically littering our tree. Our tree was just shaking these loose, now that it was able to stand up and apart, right? The vendor didn't dispel or challenge our thinking. They say humans can rationalize pretty much anything they want to believe; I suspect this is all the more true when questioning your beliefs means you must suffer out in the cold for longer.

As Tony paid the vendor, I pointed out the praying mantis egg sac on the tree, thinking this was a good luck sign; but my admiration wasn't understood by the dear vendor, who immediately grabbed the sac and hurled it out of the lot, apologizing. "Oh no! I thought it was good luck," I said, "Certainly, it's a sign that the tree was growing happily and healthily." The vendor looked at me with some confusion, and then helped us tie the tree onto the roof of our car.

Fast forward, 
this little tree of ours
is set up in our living room and it is seriously one of the most beautiful trees we have ever had! 
It is so full - truly, chubby, yes, a chubby tree,
taking up lots of space in this small room. 
There was the tiniest soft downy bird feather within its branches - 
another sign of how loved this tree was as it grew. 

Fast forward, 
this little tree of ours
is decorated with lights and all our sentimental ornaments, collected through the years. 
I just smile smile smile at this tree. 
It is lovely.

Fast forward,
this little tree of ours,
it sheds needles. 
Loads of needles.
Fistfuls of needles.
Full dustpans of needles
Every. Single. Day. 

The first couple of days, it drank so much water. Then, it just stopped drinking. These trees - are they not a lesson in death? My goodness.

As each day passes, I see the tree hollowing out, from within - though it remains bright happy green, at a glance. Let me share a photo of the "inside" - today:

Yes, it is hollowing.
We will just barely make it to Christmas, this Saturday. 

Four more days, little tree, just four more days!

Each morning as I sweep the needles, I feel nothing but tenderness and understanding for this tree. Honestly, I totally empathize. 
I ask, could there be a more perfect tree for 2021? 
I appreciate its attempt to reach out wide, fully, as if giving us a big jolly happy hug, 
mesmerizing us with its girth, 
I feel it commending us for living through yet another long, hard year, 
for doing our best in these challenging times, and 
I appreciate how, like a good friend might also do, it just cries cries cries alongside us.  

A tree of solace. 

Happy Solstice, everyone! 

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

The book is cooked


First came dog-eared pages, noting recipes I used over and over. Then came scribbles and annotations on varied pages, as I adjusted ingredients for our likes and dislikes. I crammed pages with recipe clippings from our newspaper, which offered competing ideas for deliciousness. I hand wrote favorites from family and friends inside the front and back covers and on the blank space of end pages.

Yes, this simple, paperback cookbook became quite beloved over time, 
received as a wedding gift some 34 years ago, and 
slowly morphing into my cooking bible, 
the one place I stored every recipe that mattered. 

I knew our relationship was ending when I went to put it away and a third of the back cover remained glued to the I-didn't-know-it-was-wet counter. 

I have to say goodbye to this cookbook, don't I? 

How can I do this, with all this history and family lore within?

One recent evening, its spine split in two. 
Even so, 
I and it 
trudged on, 
with me gently handling its two parts whenever I need a favorite recipe - 
not a pretty look, for a cookbook.

Do I have trouble letting things go?

I flip through these broken pages and I am time traveling - 

the tried and true recipes that I fed my family through the years,
oh my, remember the disaster vegetable loaf that I made in the early weeks of our marriage? oh how we laughed when it was a soup not a loaf, and then we melted cheese on chips and called it dinner that night; I never dared make that recipe again ... what did I do wrong?
oh yum, the turkey chili that has long been a go-to staple on a cold winter night...
oh and here's the lentil soup that I brought to so many staff lunches...
on and on and on

Do I have trouble letting things go?

Yes, I guess I do.

Thankfully, I shared this dilemma with my youngest son, who just so happens to work in a bookstore. I explained that I had not been able to find another copy, that it perhaps was out of print. 

After I indulged a wee bit of teasing about "high carbohydrate eating" being such a retro thing, no longer consider healthy, he did some investigating and 
lucky me, 
he found me a new copy!! Woohoo!

Yes, I immediately got my pen out and started copying all my annotations and recipes into the new book.

Score one for nostalgia!


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

A little light fun

Yesterday was unusually warm, plus we had very few things on our schedule, so the day was just perfect for hanging our outdoor holiday lights. I gathered these varied packages from the attic crawl space and carried them downstairs, thinking my next purchase needs to be a single large storage bin that holds all of these. We have purchased many more holiday lights in recent years, I think perhaps in response to the gloom and doom of the pandemic, and also because we have a little more time on our hands for decorating now that we are both retired. I placed all the bins right next to the front door, and went to fold a load of laundry, promising to join my husband with the outside decorations when this task was done.

A short while later, I stepped outside. Tony was working on the side porch, stringing lights along the banister, and there was a wild web of light strands on the front porch step. Hmm, I thought, where did that little pile of light chaos come from? I'll leave those for him and work with my new favorites, those easy "reel" lights. Last year we purchased some new lights that were packaged on a reel, making it very easy to wrap a shrub in holiday cheer by simply unwinding the container as you work, virtually eliminating tangles and knots in the wires. 

Except, now I couldn't find them. 

"Tony, where are the new lights we got last year? The ones on the reels?"

"They're right there, on the front steps."

"I don't see any reels here."

"Well I put those away after I took the lights off of them. The lights are right there at your feet - see?"

Wait, what?
Talk about flipping a switch.

"Wait -you TOOK THEM OFF THE REELS and MADE A RAT'S NEST FOR ME, so that I might have the THRILL of untangling them!?"

He looked at me patiently and calmly asked, "Did I do something wrong?"

"Well, goodness, I thought the whole point of those strands was their ease! You simply hold them and unwind them onto the tree as you go."

"Oops. Sorry. I didn't know."


Honestly, I am a little surprised how quickly my mood can change. 
I was having a lovely day - and then I really wasn't. 
I really dislike MAKE WORK. 
I took a few deep breaths and set to work detangling those all-too-familiar webs of lights, reminding myself 
what a little thing this is,
how good it is that we are working together out here, 
this is such a beautiful warm day, and
the grandkids will be so excited by the lights. 
Let. It. Go.
It took a few minutes, but soon I was back in the spirit, with just a few muttering musings crossing my mind -  how do we so quickly wind up at cross purposes with one another? 

Soon, all the lights were up, but several of our shrubs were still without any decorations. Wait, we decorated those shrubs with the new solar lights - because they are far removed from the outside outlet. We hadn't unpacked any solar lights yet...where were they?

"Tony, did we store the new solar lights someplace apart from all the others?"

"We might have. Let me check the garage."

"I'll recheck the attic."

There ensued about 30 minutes of searching, up and down the stairs, all around the house  - the garage, the bike shed, the attic, the basement closets. Nothing. Na da. Gone. 

This "fun decorating" was really turning into a very sour time. Where in the world were they hiding?

Time for another activity! I put on my gardening gloves, grabbed my shears, and started working in the garden. The remaining light of the afternoon would be spent with miscellaneous other outdoor chores. As the sun set, the few lights we did complete came on, making the house partially cheery (just like I felt). I put away all the gardening tools and went back inside. I turned on a lamp in the front room and saw two bins of solar lights sitting right there - at the front door - where I had set them before running my laundry. 

Oh my! We went all around the house and yard, but never looked right inside the front door. Ha!

Our holiday lights will be completed when the stars align. 
This was NOT the day!


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

What of this deer?


I've been unable to shake an image from a recent walk along my favorite path in the park: a large buck trapped in the cold creek water, on a bitter cold day just before Thanksgiving, caught up somehow in broken branches, rocks, and vines, struggling unsuccessfully to get himself out. My friend and I were walking along, lost in conversation, when a young man interrupted us with a shout, "Excuse me! Please! Can you help? Look, look at this deer! Trapped in the creek!" 

There the deer was. Dying before our eyes. How he looked at us, eyes searching, filled with pain! Those eyes, staring directly at me.

I felt so helpless. Useless. Inadequate. 

I got out my phone and called for the county's animal control, and the phone just rang and rang. I called fire and rescue, explaining it was not an emergency, and shared the situation. They assured me that they would notify the proper authorities. The deer continued his struggle. Not knowing what more we could do, we walked on, hearts heavy, trying to imagine how the deer had ended up stuck like that in the creek - perhaps he'd been struck by a car on the roadway? 

We have so many deer in this area, and honestly - they have frustrated me so! This past spring and summer, it seemed as if every new bloom in my garden was eaten and destroyed by hungry deer. Yes, I have been plenty impatient, cursing their existence. But seeing this large buck trapped in this way - oh my, this was something altogether new. My heart hurt.

By the time my friend and I circled back on our walk, some 30 minutes later, there was no sign of the trapped deer - and for one brief, spectacular moment, we thought he had broken free. However, with a more studied look, we saw that it lay nearby, its now dead body mostly submerged in the creek, its round midsection and antlers protruding above the water.

We stopped for a quiet moment, and stared, taking it all in. 

Nearby, along the road, was a park police cruiser; we walked over to talk to the officer, to be sure that they knew about the dead deer in the water. The officer shared that they had come to investigate, having received a couple different phone calls, and they had found the deer with its leg broken. They shot the deer to put it out of its misery.  The officer was waiting for animal control, to dispose of the remains. 

Shooting the deer, oh my - this was both necessary and horrible. So many deer, so many humans, all of us mixed up together, sharing the world. 

I've tried to capture my mixed emotions in this poem:

what of this deer

what of this deer 

laying writhing dying 

in the cold creek water

trapped amongst branches

leg broken mangled hurt

he cant get up, get out, get going

what of this deer

leads me to compassion 

calling out soothing words of encouragement and concern

calling out for help from passersby

calling out for county assistance, proper authorities, animal rescue?

what of this deer

in my own yard

eating all the blossoms of the garden

leaving them mashed mangled bits of brokenness 

upon the surface of the soil

severing their futures

what of this deer

leads me to anger and frustration and shouting 

what of this deer?


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

dear neighbor

stunning surprising surreal
a dear neighbor died 

tingles all over

she was much too young
the death far too sudden

such a dear soul

grief as a wave overwhelming
chilling crumpling confusing
all of us in tears

this cold awareness
something beautiful and precious 
gone forever 

a hole in the whole

it must be obvious to all everyone anyone
stranger or friend
walking through our neighborhood -
the absence of light


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

To bear fruit

Three year old granddaughter Frog was quietly engrossed with my doll collection, nestled on the hope chest in the hallway near our kitchen, happily ignoring the gathering crowd. There were too many new faces for her to feel comfortable, but she is social and curious enough to want to be on the periphery, listening in and watching. The hope chest and the doll collection were the perfect remedy.

My oldest brother and wife (her great uncle and aunt) were visiting from Maine - our first overnight guests since sometime before March 2020. How to describe the joy we felt to have overnight company? To have this sense of normalcy? I suggested a Saturday brunch for all my local family/relatives - my sons, my daughter-in-law, the granddaughters, a nephew, a niece, my younger brother and his wife. It was awesome! With all of us vaccinated (and many of the older folks with boosters, too), I had no issues with hosting an indoor brunch. 

I actually got a little watery-eyed when my nephew arrived, carrying a fruit salad - I hadn't seen him since before the pandemic began. What a gift to see him, to have him here with us! There was a chorus of hellos as he entered, and a sea of adults crowding in on him. As I reached to hug him, I managed to knock his carefully-balanced hold on the fruit - and BLAM! 
It splattered to the floor, 
the grocery store packaging split apart, and 
fruit and juice were flying skidding scattering all about.
Instant chaos ensued amongst all of us loving greeters - some squealing, at least one loud "oh no!," a sister-in-law dashing to find paper towels, me running to the sink for a dishtowel, my husband racing for the trash can, others jumping back to avoid the syrupy mess, still others - not entirely understanding that there was mess on the floor - moving closer to loudly welcome and embrace my nephew. 

One small unexpected hug led to one small unexpected mess to one quick and wild clean up involving a rather ridiculous number of adults - oh how I have missed these party moments!! Truly, even the spills are delightful after so many many months of no parties, no get-togethers, no others. I stood at the sink rinsing out the dishtowel and chuckling, everyone chattering, 
when all of a sudden 
I heard this low, scared, whimpering hum that grew into 
a loud, frightened, wail  - 

"Nana! Nana! Nana!"

We had forgotten about Frog. Entirely. She had watched this frenzied fruit salad melee from her odd vantage point on the side, probably seeing little more than rapid, impulsive movement of unknown thighs and bottoms alongside a variety of equally unknown loud voices - leaving her completely surprised and confused. She couldn't see her parents, she couldn't see her grandparents, what was going on? 

I rushed to her - she was now in child's pose on the hope chest, hands over her ears, trying to melt into the furniture and disappear, while big sobs wracked her body. I scooped her into my arms, and we moved to a quiet corner in the back of the house, away from the others, where I calmed her fears and explained the craziness. She was quickly soothed, and later charmed my nephew by calling him "the fruit salad cousin." So adorable! 

Frog delighted in the rest of the party, as did all of us. Imagine, three years into life, and unaccustomed to the high and unexpected energy of large get-togethers. All of us have a lot of catching up to do!

To good health and gathering together!! 

The view from a three year old's perspective

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

On Tuesdays, I run

On Tuesdays, before the sun, I run.

I repeated this little ditty as I crawled from my warm bed this morning, found my exercise clothes, pulled back my hair into a ponytail. 

On Tuesdays, before the sun, I run.

I run three times a week, and once a week it is in the dark of morning. 

On Tuesdays, before the sun, I run.

Lace up my shoes, get out the door...don't forget the reflective vest, the bright white sweatshirt. Running in the dark! It makes me feel, all at once, both adult and child - giddy and yet responsible, alert, aware. 

On Tuesdays, before the sun, I run.

Today it is cold, it is cold, it is cold...I am running before I even leave my driveway... only in the low 40s, my first cold running day in a long while... thin gloves and fleece headband much-needed...I try to convince myself: it's not bad, not bad, not bad. Maybe even invigorating? 

On Tuesdays, before the sun, I run.

I am grateful for my quiet neighborhood, though I would love to see a few more folks out. Where are all the dog-walkers? I suppose they are dog-backyarders at this hour?

On Tuesdays, before the sun, I run.

Where are the stars? My last early morning run, the sky was awash in stars, clear with constellations, bright and comforting. Today, ah, nothing but clouds, yet still comforting - the sky is a blanket of grey-white-blue-black.

On Tuesdays, before the sun, I run.

Today I am celebrating one year of running, one year of getting back into this very good habit for me, three days a week, 
Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays, 
Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays, 
Tuesdays, Fridays, Sundays, 
on and on, 
one after another.
One year! Woohoo! One year!

On Tuesdays, before the sun, I run.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Fall daze


I know spring gets tremendous respect for all its new growth, so many plants emerging from slumber, and the world opening up in so many gorgeous ways. But, I think there is as much, if not more, to discover outside in the fall. It is truly a time of harvest and possibility - reaping nature's rewards. It helps to have my young granddaughters (Frog, 3 years old, and Bird, 1 year old) making keen observations about the world around them, noticing everything 

from the breeze 
to drooping flowers 
to birds eating on the lawn
to the moon outside in the daytime.
These two are truly budding scientists, who love to be outdoors as much as possible. 

I enjoy bringing home nature's treasures on my walks, and sharing them with Frog and Bird. On a recent walk, a girlfriend and I found tons of buckeyes - which I promptly put in a basket for the granddaughters to discover on their next day at our house.

Yes, we have had some fabulous fall days, and lots to do and see. Today was blustery and clear, much cooler than it has been. We loved it! We were out and about, walking the yard and the neighborhood. Everything must be touched - or looked at closely. My neighbor's lamb's ear is a popular pitstop, and is still flourishing soft in October. Frog declared this a "much touch" a couple years back, and now her little sister wants in on the fun.

For the past two days, I've been watching this praying mantis in my lavender. I first noticed it on Sunday, as it devoured a bee. Oh, nature!

When Frog arrived this morning, we went looking in the lavender to see if this 'friend' was still visiting. Instead - we discovered its gift of an egg sac, that's pretty cool! Imagine, as I read on Gardening Know How, "The adult female lays eggs before she dies with the first frosts." Should this egg sac survive the winter, there will be hundreds of new mantises right at my front doorstep this spring - woohoo!

Frog will learn something about hope and time, as we watch this egg sac over the winter. 

We are already watching a chrysalis, in another plant. Yes, a few weeks back, we discovered a black swallowtail caterpillar on my parsley...soon thereafter, the caterpillar formed a chrysalis. What was news to me, this caterpillar "winters" in a chrysalis ... if all goes well this winter, we'll have a beautiful butterfly in the spring.

So much to learn in the outdoors!

I'll close with a pumpkin photo...I heard on the radio that today is National Pumpkin Day, so it was only appropriate to take this photo of granddaughter Frog enjoying ours!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Home Work

These past few months, we've been living in a rather sad version of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, with one simple home improvement idea (hey, honey, let's get our wood floors refinished!) leading to - unearthing, really - a host of other issues. Isn't this always true of houses? Of teaching? Of any work? One sweet idea and the next thing you know, you are immersed in something tangential, then something else, and else again, on and on.

I've been surprised at how sad I am about the discovery that we have major repairs to make to the existing structure of our home. Yes, truly sad. Quite unexpectedly. 

Here's how I know: when the contractor shared impressive, clear, careful details of the work we must do, I burst into tears as soon as he left our house.

A good friend suggested that I am perhaps feeling a sense of grief, a sense of loss. The more I think about it, I think she is right.

We have an older home (1938). I like to say - "old enough to have problems, not old enough to be anything extraordinary." But, we have loved this home. It's been my home throughout our marriage (my husband bought it before we married) - some 33 years now. It's full of our fixes, our repairs, our "make do's." As one little example, let me share a photo of the kitchen "backsplash" that I painted 25 years ago, because we couldn't afford tile: 

I have been so content with this painted backsplash through the years! Ha! It makes me smile.

Our remodeling will begin any day now (we are waiting on blueprints...). I feel like a young child on the verge of a tantrum when I say: I really don't want to think about the innumerable details of this new work! 

But it is work that must be done. 

These structural repairs mean that a lot of the little, personal touches we labored on through the years will vanish. (Yes, the backsplash, too. I know - the time is past due. I hear you.)  This is why I am feeling such a sense of grief - it feels as if we're tossing aside memories, erasing our life.

Breathe in, breathe out.

I am making peace with the reality that the timeline will be long, inconsistent, unpredictable - as is true with most remodeling projects, but especially during this time of pandemic when every contractor is in hot demand and working on several things at once.

Breathe in, breathe out.

I remind myself, it's a good life, right? We are so blessed. Change is always, change is constant, change is needed.  

Of all the unforeseen and unfortunate problems in the world, this is a good problem to have. Quit my bellyaching!

Breathe in, breathe out.

Realizing I am feeling grief, I decided to work my way out of my blues. Action is needed! We "popcorned" ideas about things that need to be done around the house that are NOT this structural issue, that do not require a professional, that we can do ourselves. We came up with quite a list, big and small things. (Think - painting projects, culling belongings/extras, donating furniture and other items we no longer need.) Now, we are chipping away at these - and it feels WONDERFUL. Seriously. It helps to be accomplishing something.

This past week, we repainted four radiators (before the onset of cold weather). Here's a 'before and after':


(Yes, there is a goof of paint on the tile above the right corner. 
Thank goodness for "Goof Off"!)

It also helps to write poetry - ha! Just yesterday, EthicalELA offered the inspiration to write an "Abecedarian" poem. I thought about our house and its overwhelming but necessary repairs, and an A-Z poem just flowed out of me. I love it when writing just tumbles forth, as if a release valve has been opened. Yes, it was truly a release. 

I guess the truth of it is, remodeling doesn't soothe my soul...I'd rather be writing.

Falling Apart Alphabetically

Absolutely excited to 

begin home improvements, the

contractor was summoned to

develop a plan of action.

Emotionally unprepared I was

for his first question,

Goodness, why is your ceiling sagging?

How is it that we never noticed?

I have asked this many times since.

Jarringly, it is all we see now.

Knowledge is sight, I suppose.

Lamentations aside, we have

mustered courage (though

nerves and tears still rule on many days) and we’re

opening ceilings

paying for blueprints

querying engineers contractors designers websites friends 

rapidly learning about beams and 

structures and foundations.

Things fall apart. Yes, indeed.

Unexpected challenges and loss, it is said, may also reap

very real opportunities, silver linings, transformation -

wisdom I should print on index cards or

xerox and post everywhere, reminding, as we

yearn for this work to be done, it simply

zigs and zags, ebbs and flows, starts and stalls.


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

On Gratitude and Learning

One recent day
I sang Five Green Speckled Frogs 
over and over again
while crouched in front of the toilet
where my young granddaughter was perched
she would pee

I sang Five Green Speckled Frogs 
with hand motions as well
many times in a row
at her insistence 
and perhaps a bit of mine
as I tried to lighten and normalize 
this new learning

while in a nearby room
I heard her young sister crawling about
knocking things over
chattering and cooing

and was immediately thankful 
for the other caregiver in the house
dear Poppa will tend to the littlest one 
I need not worry about her

just keep on singing

and thinking
isn't it extraordinary
a miracle 
such a luxury
to be proficient at
using the bathroom

somewhere along the way
I started taking it for granted

why not feel 
the magic and wonder 
each day 

the sheer amazing learning
the accomplishment
the good skill
of so many of us

despite so many obstacles

again and again we are reminded
this is such a divisive time
with passionate zealous strident adults 
believing so many different truths
often in direct opposition to one another

where is 
grace and delight
about what we have in common

we are toilet-trained


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!


P.S. Just in case you need the words to Five Little Speckled Frogs - hahaha

Five little speckled frogs
Sitting on a speckled log
Eating some most delicious bugs - yum! yum!
One jumps into the pool
Where it is nice and cool
Now there are four green speckled frogs...

[Repeat lyrics with descending number of frogs - four, three, two, one, until you have no green speckled frogs...]

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Tuesday flowers


Today's bouquet

A few weeks back, my granddaughter Frog, who turns three years old later this month, found a small bud vase at my house. My youngest son (Frog's uncle) made it years ago in a college ceramics class, and over time it had made its way to the 'land of forgotten,' way in the back of a kitchen cabinet. I suggested we find flowers to put in it by walking around the yard and seeing what was in bloom. She thought this sounded like fun - I mean, it did involve the outdoors, a breakable vase, and a pair of scissors, what's not to like as a youngster? 

I am once again reminded: there's nothing like a preschooler to transform something from a "once and done" into a regular routine. This simple activity has become our latest ritual on our babysitting days - we walk around the yard together, investigating and discovering, cutting a few blooms as we go, usually just a single blossom from each plant. Frog is learning the names of every plant, and notices the different colors and textures. It can take many minutes to fill this little vase, when the work is greeted with such concentration and respect. This time of year, flowers are going to seed, yet a few blossoms in a tiny vase and there is beauty. Frog helps me see the extraordinary in what is, truly, a very ordinary yard.

After she fills the vase with water, she sets it at the center of the breakfast bar, where it smiles and shines throughout our meals together. 

Such a time of simple delights! 


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!