Wednesday, July 30, 2014

everything I needed to know I learned on the front porrch with my grandparents


The time has come, as it always does, to let go of some more of the lath and plaster of my past, and this time with it goes a childhood dream of retiring to a farm.  I thought I would feel very sad, when the day came that the old farnstead changed hands, and will never be my refuge again. but then it hit me like a shovel to the head that in my memory it will never change. That I will always carry it with me, in my heart, mind, soul and in the makeup of my very bones.  It will always be that place, that magical place many people search for all their lives.  That perfect place, well is anyplace ever really perfect, which was  my Grandpa and Grandma's farm, and it will stay like that  and perfect in time.
From that porch, i could see the whole World, and cars ands trucks travailing past on the highway, going to places like Chicago, and Atlanta and the feed store. There was always someone to answer my questions, whether they knew the answer or not.   Tell me stories of the old days, and explain to me about the loud roaring sounds that coal tipples make when they fill trucks with coal and baby goats, who thought that I was a new playmate.  There were wonderful  things around every corner, and I knew this is where I belonged.
It was where I learned  the rhythm of the passing seasons,  and that there wasn't always electricity or phones in houses. I learned a lot about chickens, and a little about goats, horses and cows.  I learned about foraging, though it wasn't called that then, and a little about coalmining. I learned the name of every tool.  That Tarzan wasn't only in the movies he was in books.  Learned the name and the songs of many birds.  The whippoorwills would call from across the lower pastures in the evening, I would answer them and they would answer me.  Planting seeds and shelling corn, looking things up in the encyclopedia.  And listening to the big old radio, that stood taller than me.   learning How to tell what kind of car it was just by the position of the lights, as they skimmed past in the darkness. now there is an impressive skill for a little girl.  Watching fireflies and , listening to stories of the storytlleers youth, some true and some well embellished, this was one of my favorite parts.
There was helping with chores during the day, and I use the word helping in the most casual way, exploring the barns and granary,  there was even a sawmill, all to ask way too many questions about. And get them all answered.
Here amid the bewildering collection o saved items I learned that if the need arose that people could make anything from curtains to wrenches, if they had the right tools and sometimes even if they had to make the tools.  All they had to do was watch and learn. I learned to believe in myself, cause if they could do it so could I. 
There were willow whistles to carve. and clouds to watch, not that I couldn't watch them at home, they were just better here, unobstructed by other peoples houses, and kites always flew higher, better and longer.  Flying kites on the edge of the overgrown pasture is one of the last things I did.  I saved a few nuts from the old trees, a few started a few twigs from the apple trees, my grandfather planted over 100 years ago, and a cutting from the rosebush that grew outside the door to the summer kitchen.  
I also learned that people change, grow older sometimes wiser, some tasks are better left to younger hands and backs.  Here is where I say, now I have new dreams, because above all I also learned  from them that everything changes, and how to change with the times. 

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

HUH???? but why

It has been brought to my attention that it is only 93 days until Halloween!!!!
Halloween, is a great American holiday!
And I would add probably my favorite holiday. Ok make that my favorite holiday, but having said that shortly afterward winter starts to set in.
So have a donut, no, not the one with the fly on it that's mine,  let me pour you a mug of pumpkin spice coffee, a marshmallow ghost floating on top perhaps??
And  then we can discuss more important things like, how Christmas in July is funny, but Halloween in July is just plain

Monday, July 28, 2014

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Foot prints

If that isn't enough to make you stop and think I don't know what is.

What kind of footsteps do you leave, one might ask, or then again what sort of footsteps are you following in 
another might ask.  And still another might ask how are the footsteps you leave influenced by the ones you 
follow.  Have you struck off on a path, leaving footprints in rarely trod on ground, or following the 
group on it's dusty path??  It is a proud man or woman who's child follows in their footsteps and goes into the
 family business.  Are you following the footsteps of someone famous, or just someone you  met and admired. A path of exploration, all your own.  Do you follow  because you feel compelled to do so, or just wandering.   Did someone tell you, or inspire you to follow in their footsteps. 
Are you on this path to learn something,  to earn something, to satisfy your curiosity or just to have fun.  Are you on this path because you are lost, and searching.    Maybe running from something or to something?  Do you know where you are going or do you in it for the gift of the journey itself.  Do you want people to follow you example.  
May-be learn form your mistakes.  Or could you just be in it because the trip itself is a large part of the reward.
None of this is what I had in mind when I save this picture, I had in mind collecting up small rocks and pebbles 
to make my own version of this,  So far I haven't had much success the rocks aren't co-operating, but the day is cool and sunny and it is fun 
to play in gravel.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

I think, at a child's birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift should be curiosity! - Eleanor Roosevelt

For a very long time this post has been sitting in the "drafts" waiting for me to write it.  There are so many things that one needs to learn before they go out into the world, most can be found in books, or learned from others.   All those little facts and skills that make life easier and those  rare and random  bits of knowledge that make life interesting, and those facts that can save your life and or the life of others.

But then there are those things  that enrich your life.  Curiosity, a sense of wonder, the willingness to try new thing and entertain new thoughts.  Yes, it can have it's dangers,
but is that really curiosity that is dangerous?  I don't know.

  Why does the snow fall? Why is it dark at night, Why do people talk different e.g. speak different languages.  Why this and why that, all the hows come's and why fors that expand out thoughts beyond the circle of our small patch of earth.    The wondering, the curiosity that allows your mind to roam to the edges of the universe, or 20,000 leagues under the sea.  Fuels for creativity, and imagination, and a sure cure for boredom.  

Yes, I really do think it is that simple.  

Thursday, July 10, 2014



Some years everything comes together, and some years you have to strap together with iron bands and blood sweat, and ingenuity.  And this has been one of those years that tested my skills and stamina.   
My garden  feeds my soul and my well being,  fires my imaginations, lifts my spirits, and lets me touch the infinite, and oh yeah, provides me with tomatoes, cukes, beans and pumpkins. potatoes and the awesomely tasty home grown Brussels Sprouts. 

I still get a rush when I seed tiny plants breaking through the soil, well not so much the weeds,  the wonder of a sprouting seed, can overwhelm me.  Some where I  learned a saying that went something like" anyone can count the seeds in an apple, but only Gaia can count the apples in a seed", and to that one humbly adds how far those seeds and apples can travel while I work.  Can they or will they travel as far as my thoughts do. The woods are full of apple trees, some mark the place where homesteads or logging camps once stood, but many were planted by birds and other animals.  Or perhaps by  Johnny Appleseed, who was based on a real person: named John Chapman (September 26, 1774 – March 11, 1845),  who planted orchards not random plantings of trees, true apples are not native to North America.      

 Watching the clouds sail by as I work, and the patterns of light and shadow, color and motion, it is almost like a ballet. Almost. The birds, ad grace notes with their song, and their comings and goings. Sometimes I respond to their calls, and they even answer me.  The wind, refreshes me,  with it soft whispers, and sometimes it mad rush through the trees, carrying sweet and not so sweet smells.  There are no days when the outside world and it's noises and distraction appear to have disappeared. Gives one the feeling that raising food is really only part of having a garden.



Tuesday, July 8, 2014


 each year, past ruined
 front steps, weeds and broken jars
the bounty still waits

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday
Tenzin Gyatso
14th Dalai Lama of Tibet



Happy Birthday  Your Holiness!!!
on this 79th anniversary of you birth

your wisdom, strength
and openness
have taught me that
holiness is also joyfulness
compassion comes from strength
and wisdom is being realistic 

Silent Sunday with animals