Monday, July 30, 2012

small rituals

Sometimes I feel a restless longing to transcend the ordinary everydayness of life but that is because I have stopped living in the moment.
There really is something so satisfying about the small rituals of daily life.
Bread and butter, steaming tea.
The clatter of dishes, the hum of the lawnmower.
Silvery morning light and apricot evenings.
Plants growing leaf by tendril.
The sweetness of creating, the time to dream, the chance to change.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I just had two seams left to sew.
The end was in sight.
And so, I hurried.
But I hadn't pinned enough.
Pieces slipped.
Well, live and learn, I would un-sew and realign.
And then I must finish the last seam, I must.
I over pinned.
I squinted and aligned and re-aligned.
But when I shook out the quilt,
I discovered that the last strip, so carefully sewn,
upside down.
But it was a perfect seam.

delighting me

Bloggers know that stat counters are a constant source of entertainment. Who is visiting, at what time and why, and will they be back?
I have always wondered how readers in far flung corners of the globe happen upon my blog, my tiny little speck of writing in the great swirling sea of the internet.
Thank you for stopping by so spontaneously.
And for delighting me with your return.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

by all means

If you hear a voice within you saying, 'You are not a painter,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.
Vincent Van Gogh

way leads on

'Way leads on to way'

blue 1

My sisters are receiving lap quilts from me this summer. This is the first one to fly the coop.

Friday, July 27, 2012

coffee seeking

Due to some unspeakable oversight, coffee filters were not included in the rental condo's kitchen cashe.
This forced my friend to abandon a leisurely repose in her nightwear emblazoned with Do I Look Like A Morning Person?
It propelled her out of the door like a coffee seeking missile.
A sense of danger pervaded.

foreign language

A sound outside drew me to the kitchen window and then out the door onto the deck.
A bird call.
My ears squinted.
"hoo, hoo, HOO, hoo, hoo, HOO."
An owl?
I peered into the shadowy depth of tangled branches.
There it was again.
My husband joined me at the railing.
The top of a fir tree seemed to explode and two slim birds shot out, flying in tandem.
Ahhhh, so it was really "coo, coo, COO," and not "hoo, hoo, HOO," we were hearing.
Bird accents can be tricky.
I've never been good at foreign language.

Friday, July 20, 2012

advanced search

People who collect know that without parameters their house would fill up to the rafters.
These self imposed  criteria are a form of Advanced Search. They narrow the foragers focus.
I tend to only collect dolls with no hair. Well.... no rooted hair. Molded locks are my preference.
Hair doesn't tend to survive the wear and tear of childhood affection/neglect.
Molded hair on the other hand, takes on a lovely buff and burnish.
A gift of time.

i am a girl

I am a girl. I know this is true because my little granddaughter told me and children are very wise.
Girls often love dolls and I am no exception.
In fact, the very first doll I have a clear memory of belonged to my mother.

My great grandmother Minerva was an artistic and resourceful woman, a mother of ten children.
She crafted dolls for my mother and her two little sisters out of wood, and wool, cotton and leather.
These wooden dolls didn't grow up and leave home like the little girls they were made for.
They stayed at home to keep my grandmother company.
Time passed and a new generation of little girls climbed the wide cedar stairs to my grandmother's log house and sat on her braided rug surrounded by handcrafted toys.
My mother's wooden doll was dressed in red velveteen with tights made from an old pair of stockings. Her little lace up shoes were fashioned from leather. Hand tatted lace adorned her neckline and sleeve. These details were lost on me, but I do remember her golden hair, burnished cedar, and her welcoming wooden hands, her steady, reassuring smile.
These were a ruse as it turned out.
Clasping her about the middle and lifting her always resulted in a solid meeting of foreheads.
The thunk would be followed by indignant tears.
"She's not very friendly is she," my grandmother would soothe.
I grew wary and wise, or perhaps childhood affection won the doll over at last.
That old doll and I had many happy afternoons together before I was caught in the fast moving stream of time and swept away into teenage years and beyond.
Decades marched swiftly by and my mother lives with me now, she and her dollie. My own daughters are children of yesterday, and at last, my own grandchildren climb my stair........

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

and slept

Do hide-a-beds really contain a hidden bed?
I've never been convinced of that. Maybe a hidden plank or a hidden hammock or perhaps a hidden set of speed bumps.
I slept this past weekend on a hidden set of speed bumps. It wasn't so bad.
I found that I could curl up diagonally between the rows of bumps and slumber on. Of course, I did wish that I could throw wide the glass door and let in the cooling breath of night air, but I wasn't sure a second floor balcony was a mugger-free zone. What's a little heat when your life hangs in the balance.
By the second night, a reckless courage won. Which posed the greater threat, I pondered? Heat or the open balcony door?
I flung wide the door and slept.

with tears

Isn't live music wonderful. It has a presence, something almost tangible.
Perhaps it is the personality of the singer themselves that is communicated. They say that communication is more about body language and tone than it is about the words themselves and that is surely true of music and song.
And like a Pied Piper piping, the rhythm itself draws people. A crowd will gather, toes will tap, bodies sway, eyes close.
I found myself sitting on the ground, surrounded by strangers and yet it was as though I alone were listening.
The melody disarmed me.
The lyrics spoke as though they were my own thoughts.
My face was wet with tears.

steady stream

Balconies are such a great vantage point. They provide a birds eye view, an unobtrusive spot to watch the drama of life unfold. Unfold or fall apart as the case may be.
A weekend at Harrison, and the glorious Saturday of sunshine had been transformed overnight into a sodden Sunday morning. Gray clouds were hunched along the gray mountains. A mist had picked up steam and the tents along the beach were beginning to flap and shudder.
The first hearty vendors of the annual Festival of the Arts began to arrive in overstuffed vans.
I noticed a woman beginning her 'assault on Everest.' What a daunting task; shuffling folding tables and myriad boxes from the yawning maw of her van over to the rock wall along the beach, and then up and over and away to the tent.
I noticed with relief and interest that she had a helper this time. A daughter, blithe and bonny.
The girl was dressed optimistically in a bathing suit covered with a billowing white dress. A pink shrug was a bright spot in the gray morning drizzle.
It wasn't long before the shrug had been pulled up over her head as she scuttled back and forth between the van and the rock wall.
Her gauzy dress began to lose its billow.
And then...... where was she.......oh, yes, there in the van, hunkered down in the front seat while her mother continued to grimly unpack and set up.
When she emerged moments later to help with set up, her dress and hair were plastered to her tiny form. Her shrug seemed inconsequential.
And then, like watching a movie on rewind, the mother and daughter un-setup, repacked their van and departed. Only a space in the row of tents remained, like a missing tooth.
It wasn't long before other vendors with moisture sensitive wares and moisture sensitive souls, departed in a steady stream towards home, and we took a number and got in line.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

that's it

We had been discussing life;
the daily ordinariness of it
and our purpose and place in the grand scheme.
"That's it," my friend stated emphatically.
"We need to live ordinary lives in an extraordinary way."

Tuesday, July 3, 2012


"That was pretty scary," my tiny granddaughter confided as I lifted her down after a ride on the stair lift.
And yet it was she who had scrambled unassisted onto that chair perched perilously above the open stairwell.
Ahhhhh, the joys of being second born. Compelled to keep up. Determined not to miss out. I'm sure she will be braver and have more staying power in life as a result of her birth order.

amazing gift

I love the old movie, The Long Trailer, with Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Lugging home rocks from every stop along their honeymoon journey seems so hilariously familiar. Wouldn't everyone wish to do the same?
Maybe not boulders like they did, but there's something so satisfyingly solid about a rock as a souvenir.

Holidaying in Canmore one summer, I wandered along a rocky shore, my head bent, my eyes on scan and seek.
The Bed and Breakfast we were staying in had a growing collection of heart shaped rocks spilling down their front steps and I was determined to add to it. I did kneel and place my offering more than once but it was a different sort of rock entirely that has become the perfect souvenir of that time.
I remember the crisp clean wind, keenly fresh and the high blue sky ringed by snow capped mountains.
The river, darkly green rushed onwards as we picked our way along the rocky shoreline.
A triangular rock caught my eye and I bent to retrieve it. Along one side, as though etched in white ink, was the silhouette of waves. I slipped it into my pocket with the other keepers.
It was only days later, as I spread my cashe out to sort and admire, that I discovered an amazing gift. The gills of some long ago sea creature were preserved as though pressed into the underside of that rock like mushroom gills perfectly fanned.

When I look at this rock now as it rests on my kitchen window sill, I remember not the holiday in Canmore so much, as I do the feeling of surprise and even wonder associated with that time.
I had been apprehensive about travelling so far when my daughters due date advanced ever closer.
Our first grandchild was born ahead of schedule, shortly after we returned home.
The memory of his birth has been sweetened by the wonder of childhood. By the wonder of discovering who he is and will become.
And right now, he is a little boy with a fascination for fossils and other ancient wonders.
Wonders abound.

Sunday, July 1, 2012


I am feeling so grateful. That should have been in capitals. And I am realizing that not feeling that way all the time is a huge waste of my life