Monday, May 25, 2009

This is the first picture my grandparents ever made together, taken in 1937. On the back my grandma wrote "Just buddies!" - but I have seen her highschool text books where she practiced writing "Mrs. Harold Wright" and "Meryle Wright" over and over.

My grandfather was a wild youth in the back hills of Kentucky. Mommaw got her hands on him and straightened him out, a job she never gave up on for the rest of her life though he turned into the sweetest, most God-fearing man you could hope to find. They were such a pair, after 65 years of marriage I think they really felt they were a part of each other. The year and a half after Poppaw passed away, Mommaw seemed to have lost her will to live. I think all the difficult health problems she had dealt with for years had been tolerable when they were together, and then when she was caring for him, but without him there she gave in. We all knew that she was ready to go when she died peacefully in her sleep this past March.

I think I am lucky that the last few years my grandparents were alive I was old enough to know them for a little while as people, rather than as only my grandparents. Now I am able to look back and admire my grandmother's courage in living alone with her young daughter while her new husband was off in WWII. I am able to understand the hard work my grandfather put in to move his family from Kentucky farmlands to a comfortable suburban life in Cincinnati. When I remember them now, I remember my grandmother telling me of the latest historical novel she had been reading; I remember my grandfather staying up late at night to read his Bible; I remember my grandmother's beautifully elegant hands and my grandfather's hands skilled at carving and other wood crafts. As I grow older I understand the little bits of them that have passed down to me, and I am hopeful of continuing their tradition of strength in adversity, of hard work and perseverance and the basic - and to me admirable - realization of the American dream. My grandparents thought this country the best in the World, my grandfather fought for these ideals. I am much more cynical, but when I think of what they were able to accomplish, and the life they were able to build here, I am hopeful as well.

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Friday, May 22, 2009


Today was one of those days where not much gets done. I had high hopes, but a series of absentmindedness and wasted time searching for things never found soon got me down. However, once I decided to just go with it all and gave up trying to accomplish the to-do list, I did have some goofy fun making this diploma for graduates of the School of Hard Knocks!

A colorful acquaintance once told me of her many years in the school of hard knocks, and ever since I have had the idea of this diploma in my head. Ta-da! I have made a button on the right sidebar for you to download a (blank of names) copy to present to your own graduate pal.

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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Lilacs from Maggie

My friend Maggie is the proprietess of One of A Kind B'n'B here in Burlington - the place to stay for charm, elegance, magnificent lake views, and, at the moment, lilacs. Heavenly lilacs, with an aroma that wafts in the breeze... If, like Maggie's lucky guests, you sit in the metal chairs in her garden and gaze out over Lake Champlain at sunset, the smell of lilacs will surround you, adding that one extra layer of magic to the evening.

Maggie gave me some lilacs to bring home, she tucked them into my bike handles and told me to smash the ends with a hammer.

The view from my front porch is not quite to par with the garden lakeview, but now I do have the lilacs scent surrounding me and, with the candles lit and the gentle evening light, the magic is here as well...


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Entrance to Heaven?

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Friday, May 1, 2009

May Day!

I don't mean to gloat, but what a fantastic day!

I woke up late because the wild winds last night knocked the power out sometime in the wee hours of the morning leaving the alarm clock blinking 12:00, but it worked out fine because I had a full days work to do from home. Completed said project apparently to everyone's satisfaction - a whole festival's worth of ads designed and ready to go!

Cam took me for breakfast at our favorite diner and since it was a weekday there was no wait at all. Then I bought some bright yellow flowers to celebrate May!

While I worked, Cam cleaned the kitchen and then dug out our garden bed so all those little peat pots will have a new home in the near future, where they won't have to worry about the forgetful nature of the bright pink plastic water god (although how much more dependable the outdoor for real water god is it debatable, really).

Then I went to the gym, didn't run out of gas on the way even though I kept forgetting to stop at the gas station, and got an energetic workout with the perfect music.

Home again to dig in the dirt a bit - kept finding pieces of bone which is somewhat oddly disturbing - and Cam cooked our recent favorite dinner (polenta and mushrooms) which we then enjoyed while watching 30 Rock (hilarious).

Next a stroll down to the park in the beautiful spring dusk - the kind that reminds us why we live in the north and brave all that rotten-ness - with a happy dog. Crazy clouds left over from last nights storms and most likely harbingers of more crazy weather (but not tomorrow, please!) made a dramatic display over the Adirondacks and the lake. Forsythia and tulips are blooming all down the street and the leaves are at that wonderful stage after the newly opened early spring green but before the full blown summer intensity; things seem to glow!

Now I will finish a website I've been working on and then watch JFK.

I don't know if its the extra couple hours of sleep this morning, the sun and clear air, or what! But I'm just feeling good. I hope you are too!

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