Friday, January 31, 2014


Internet image

Several years ago---quite a few years, actually, for it happened in the house-before-this-one---I sat dreamily one afternoon in front of the sunny windows of the den.   I’d had a languid few hours, for it was almost Spring, with the windows open and the scents of earth and green coming in.   No one was home but me, and the time was spent with seed-and-flower catalogues and pretty garden magazines promising new life and colour.


A tiny movement---microscopic, almost---down on one of the spread-open magazines I’d dropped on the floor caught my eye, and I took a closer look.   Way down, almost fallen into the chasm of the splayed pages, was a little black ant---not the tee-ninecy little fly-speck caravants which haunt countertops and picnics in long-stretching convoys, but a good sized one, perhaps as long as my pinky-nail is wide.   She sort of lay there, inert and antennae stilled, not moving when I got down on my knees and carefully lifted the wide-spread magazine by the two far-apart edges.


I set the book up on the table in the sunshine, waiting for her to move or scramble away, but she just lay there on her side.   Somehow, my imagination conjured that I was seeing her slow breaths, in and out, like a sleeping baby’s, despite the knowledge of thorax and abdomen and chitin and all that natural armor to make that impossible.   Plus, would an ant conceivably stop and stretch out for a nap in the midst of her life-long scurry and hunt? 


But I just KNEW I could see her breathing.   And having swept up many a dessicated spider and bug from inside vases and glasses and from windowsills, I wondered if she might be dying of thirst in that huge unbroken wilderness-desert of carpet.


I reached for one of the sections of orange I’d been eating, broke it apart, and separated out one of the tiny elliptical sacs from inside---a full, fat one, ripe and brimming with juice.   I carefully laid it down, touching her mouth, and sat and watched.   In a moment it was as if you’d put down a slice of steak in front of a sleeping pup---she stirred a bit.  And if I could ever wish I’d had a film of a moment which didn’t concern family or children or our own important events---that would have been the time.


I could actually SEE the little bag of juice start to deflate like a squeezed bota, as her sides began to swell.  She drank and drank, with me debating whether to offer another helping.  And then, she got up, plump and refreshed, and I could SWEAR I saw her clean her little face before she started to walk off the page.


I picked the magazine up again and did one of those little keep-moving-the-book things, to be sure she stayed on there as I walked her to the back door and out onto the grass, where she disappeared down into that immense forest. 


  That was simply one of the oddest, most fulfilling moments of my life, and I hope she made it home. 


Sunday, January 26, 2014


Internet photos

One of my favorite bloggers lives by the sea in Scotland, and puts down  exquisitely-crafted lines, evoking time and place and music,  elegant dinners and memorable books and wonderful gatherings with friends.   In a note recently, he termed himself “an impatient writer,” and says that he  always feels he should go back and change a few things after he’s posted.

Oh, the Impatience.  And the hurry and the Must Get It Down Before I Forget.   Mine, I just dash down fast as my fingers will fly, and only my persnickety streak gives the thing any sort of spelling or grammar tending.   And lately, in the past few years, a cloud of words will take form in the air, just floating there like banners behind Beachey.    Then, a breeze scatters some of the letters, with gusts tossing whole sentences and lines around, until the whole thing looks like a skyful of contrails, drifting aimlessly as they evaporate and I gaze skyward, wondering “Who’s Dorothy?”

I graduated from WriteRight to Big Chief and Hopalong Cassidy, and thence to the Grand Marvel:   legal pads.  And all that wide-open free space stretching on for page after page caused me to  scribble, trying to keep my fingers’ pace with all the words flying out, and I’d put them down and flip a page, fast as I could stand to press the little pencil corners into that lump developing on my finger.   I couldn’t ever seem to hit a flat side, and the keen little painted edge would dig in and hit the same old tender spot a hundred times, as I’d quit for a moment, and give a big fling of all my fingers like my hand was asleep.

And I think I broke more pencil leads than an entire class of first-graders anywhere, so I learned to sharpen two #2 Ticonderogas.   I’d be just going along, and the point would give a little crack and break under my hand, either flying off onto the desk or leaving a little smooch-track across several lines.   And pencils were never wasted---they’d be sharpened down and down into little doll-pencils, so that I’d have to hold them between curled index-and-middle with the eraser just kissing my palm,  so as to get every smudge of lead onto the page before starting with a new one. 

And when there was a particular moment or scene or conversation I wanted to set down before it left me, I’d just fly and flip and write and flip, not even getting the pages smoothed under, til I’d sort of shake out of my trance and see that I had a great big ole paper pompadour all rolled at the top, like Elvis’ hair had been rolled on Minute Maid cans.  Only closing them all neatly and putting a heavy book or two on top for the night seemed to get them in place.

And these days with keyboards, I'm even worse.

Friday, January 24, 2014



I so love to look at the beautiful things created by other bloggers---I have not the slightest talent with needle or crafts.  I just didn't get any gift with handwork, though my mother and one grandmother turned out exquisite crocheted pieces and I still have beautiful sets of embroidered pillow-cases and dresser scarves. I loved the IDEA of sitting with needlework, and would thread up and sit with my hoop of Sunbonnet Sue, imagining myself an Austen character, feet together on the tiny footstool and my imagination supplying me with a dainty bit of cambric and a spill of silken skeins down my skirt.


Perching there in tatty shorts and shirt, trying to balance hoop and yarn and snarly floss, lost a lot in the translation from that genteel young woman in the long skirt and slipper chair, her perfect posture and immaculately white hands threading and stitching as she chatted by the fire.   That ingenious little goldish needle-threader and tiny swan scissors had a constant way of slipping through sweaty fingers and grubby knees into my chair or the floor, and:


“While you’re up, how about put on a pot of coffee?”


“Check on that roast real quick, would you?”


 “You want to get us a glass of tea while you’re in there?”  


  “You think those clothes on the line might be dry now?”

“You know, we haven’t had one of your pound cakes this week."

All perfectly understood and carried out, down to the folding and putting away, and the getting out of the big old Sunbeam and the sugar and flour.   But I was the Kitchen Person, all my days. It was just my PLACE---not in the realm of “I know my place,” but in the confidence and security of my way with a cake or a casserole, or the simple act of peeling fruit or strewing sugar on a crust.  It was comfortable in there, just me and all the shining copper, the measuring cups nested and the spoons cuddled in the drawer with their knack of making  things come out about the same every time. 

And in between cake and laundry and getting supper on, there were a few errands to run, as well.
Sure, I can run up to Mayo's for another skein of that floss---just let me take the wrapper to be sure.

I've ridden my bike up and over the railroad and down to the dry goods stores, with a tiny paper wrapper on three or five or all my fingers like little dressing-stalls as I rode, picking up yarn, bringing  back Pall Malls and a tiny silver can of Garrett, stopping to drop off a completed set of coasters or Coke-panties at Mrs. Carpenter's house for bridge that afternoon, the little folded tissue packet still giving off the crisp-ironed scent of Faultless in the sun.
But Mother and Mammaw J---they were hearty-raised Southern women, in fresh cotton housedresses, their hair neatly pinned, Mammaw’s stockings garter-rolled just below her knees, and a little wisp of Avon Cotillion in the air, barely noticed beneath the scent of a bubbling pot of peas or pintos from the kitchen.


Mammaw J crocheted every day that I knew her---she’d go up to Leon’s Drugstore now and then, get out a crochet magazine from the rack, and take a good look at the doilies and tablecloths pictured in black and white.  She never read the directions---she may not have known exactly what they meant, but she could take in every stitch in those pictures, from number to kind, and turn out perfect images of what she’d seen.   It was one of those magical things to me, like Rainman counting the toothpicks in a glance, but it was also the way I saw and captured words, or how I knew what time it was, so I just accepted her gift as a given.


And one of the things I remember most vividly from my Mother’s last days in the hospital was a golden/orange/tan aura around her bed, as her busy hands crocheted one of those big zig-zag afghans.  It grew day-by-day, slowly covering all her bed as the stitches flew, and I remember that later, at home, my clumsy hands managed to tie it off right-where-it-was when she last put it down. 



Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Lights  draped across a big hatpin through the curtain, with a sparkly snowflake suspended beneath.
The snow has been so persistent and lasting that school has been cancelled quite a bit lately.  Sweetpea comes to us for her “days out” and sometimes has to spend the night, as well.
They have to pay back any snow days over a certain number, by giving up holidays and part of Spring break.   So, on Monday, when they were supposed to be out for Martin Luther King Day, they went to school.   And on Tuesday, when she WAS out for snow, she put her own six-year-old's mix onto explaining the holiday.
Late on Tuesday afternoon, when the room was dimming and we had just finished watching a Tinkerbell movie, she started to tell me about all the fairies who have the task of coloring flowers and Autumn leaves.   She went over and picked up the little remote which controls the two long strings of leftover lights across the corner of ths room.   The strands have grown quite slipshod in the past weeks, as we’ve opened doors and retrieved items from cabinets and set other things down on ledges and shelves, but I have so enjoyed the play of color and the lift of the festive spirit they bring, I just say what-the-heck, and let them be.

“See me change the colors!” she said, waving her hand and clicking the little button to set the lights racing, and then another to begin a gentle crawl around the corner, melding and changing in a soft glow of color.
“This is the Rainbow Collision!”
“Do you know the definition of ‘collision’?” I asked.
“Yes.   It’s all the colors and people that come together and you don’t know who they are or where they come from, but it’s all beautiful.”
Yep.   That’s it.


Monday, January 20, 2014


In all this cold and snow, with the temperatures so very low and threatening, I’ve had the wanderers of the world on my mind.   I just pray that they’re all well and keeping warm, and that they know that someone is thinking of them.
From a post almost four years ago, when Lawn Tea was barely a year old:

I've had a lovely e-mail from a reader in Florida---she's newly found our site, and is reading it from the beginning---I REALLY appreciate that, for it's always good to have someone want to read it, and to read one post, scroll back up to the beginning of the next, then do the search back to the top all over again---that's awkward and unnatural for reading, and the persistence and continuation is very flattering and heartening.

And, except for the Family Forest ones, which refer to the others, and the Paxton People, which are numbered, but in no particular order of importance, I guess it's all the same to read the thing from front to back---the tales and remembrances are put down when they come to me, and there's no real continuity of thought to preserve.

She especially pointed out one favorite post of hers---the one about my childhood propensity for feeding the men riding the rails---they'd sneak aboard one of the boxcars, hide away behind cargo or in the straw of an empty, and go wherever the train took them. I always told myself they were off to great adventures in warm-lighted places, or going to new jobs, where they'd immediately have a nice house and could bring their families to the bright promises of a new start. The best scenario I created was that they'd been far away, fleeing family or seeking their fortunes, like the Prodigal Son, and, like he, were going home to be welcomed with joy.

And those moments, those days are so brilliantly inscribed into all that is me, I think of them occasionally, with more than nostalgia for a time that is past. I’ve been a Martha all my life, and it makes me happy to be able to set a plate, pour a cup, move a pillow---to help someone’s comfort.

The news MAKES the world too much with us, and it is still a miracle and mystery that the simple preparation of a warm cup or a cold drink can be a part of a blessing in many ways that other, greater things cannot. It's the Melanie Syndrome, too, I think---remember how Scarlett would chastise her for giving their food to the men straggling by on their long treks home, and Melanie said that she hoped that some woman, somewhere, might be sharing her own dinner with Ashley, to ease his way.

We left a restaurant a while ago, before the snows began, but on a rather cold evening—Chris, our Son #4 and I, and passed a man sitting on a narrow brick ledge outside an adjoining store, which was closed. The roll of blanket at his feet showed his meager circumstance, and we asked if we could go back in and buy him dinner; he pointed to the Arby's down the street.

We asked what would he like and he replied that he couldn't take food from us, but he would appreciate it if we would just go there and pay for some coffee and a sandwich. We offered him a ride with us; he declined, so we waited in the parking lot until he walked the couple of blocks and settled into a booth. The guys went in and sat with him until he had ordered  coffee and sandwiches, and a couple to go for tomorrow.

I watched from the car as they paid the check, and we left him there, warm and filled for a time, sharing the circle of light on such a dark, cold night---a small, wispy-haired soul blowing into a paper cup.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014




I’ve SO miss Caro’s presence for the past few months---she’s had a bit of a knee problem, and would rather not brave the stairs except for absolute occasions when everything really HAS to be down here in the bigger space---like Christmas Eve Dinner and our little tea party.


We both cook, and send some of our dishes up and down to share, for her schedule is so odd to ours that we seldom ever have a meal together.  It has customarily been our habit to have Sunday night supper together, down here, perhaps on trays, with a good TV show we all enjoy, and Monday nights are usually Sweetpea and her family here to eat with all of us.


So our several Sunday Brunches up in her sitting room have been a bright spot in our cold days---it’s bright and warm and comfortable, and we sit long at the table and chat for hours sometimes.

We were all snow-bound for three days, and it was just a relaxing, stay-at-home, wear-your-new-flannel-pants-all-day time, with lots of catching up on TIVO shows, reading whilst something simmered in a fragrant pot, and just BEING for a while after all the “throws” of Christmas. 


 Then on Sunday the 5th, the sun was bright on the snow, and we settled in for one more of our little gatherings up in Caro’s sitting room, before the marimba-key table is folded into its handy bag for Spring outings.

She’d brought home on-sale roses for the little square red glass  bowl, and I made the grits and gravy downstairs while she baked the biscuits and cooked the scrambled eggs.


A quick bake of can-popped GRANDS, and the wrapped pan in upper corner is another of those heavenly lemon Danish coffee-cakes.


Pot of old fashioned Grits.

I seared several pieces of a nice ham steak, just a quick 1-2-3 in a hot skillet to sizzle both sides, and then popped in two jumbo eggs for Chris, who likes the unctuous blend of broken yolks in his buttery grits.  A little oil into the skillet, all the bits of yummy sizzly ham remnants scraped up, then a bit of flour to brown and make hot-water gravy.

The ham-and-egg plate before he trimmed away the egg whites and we removed our ham slices.



My plate, with gravy on the biscuits and his egg whites.  Bowls of tangy-bitter pink grapefruit all around, and some time in there, Chris disappeared downstairs, to return with every jar of Smuckers in the fridge.

Lots of talk and tea and coffee refills, as the sun slanted through the blinds, and we watched the melt drip from the eaves and bushes.
Fulsome and refreshing and sustaining, these blessings.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


Y’all know how I am about good writing, and I do believe that well-done, clever poetry is even harder than prose.   When the thought and the scan and the rhyme are THIS good---all I can say is, I hope you’ll read this.   It’s witty  and supremely well done, and on a subject on which my Electronics-Illiterate brain is HOPELESS.

I don’t know this young lady---not even her name, but she wrote this several years ago, and posted it to an etiquette-based inquiry board.  I'd gladly ask permission, or give credit, but there's no way to trace her.
 I JUST LOVE THIS.   (says Rachel, whose new TV requires FOUR remotes to interact with cable and DVR.   This will be immediately remedied by Chris, knower of all things computerese).  


Divinia Vera Davidson had five advanced degrees
From a top-tier institution, known to most as "U of T."
She was quite well-versed in art and law, she'd travelled 'round the globe,
But her single fatal flaw? She was an awful technophobe.
She couldn't load her iPod, and she couldn't set a clock,
Or turn on the television, and she feared electric shock
From such modern-day devices as TV's and microwaves,
But from this dire dilemma, she did not want to be saved.

"Television makes you STYEWPID!!!"; she snorted in disgust,
But her daughter, Dora Vivian, said "Face your fears, you must!
For, it will not be forever that your offspring will remain

In the family home to help you with machines, and ease the pain
Of trekking through this modern world, a closet technophobe,
For soon will come OUR turn to leave the house, and tour the globe,
Go to school to fill our eager minds with wisdom and insight
That helped you bring us up thus far, and teach us wrong from right.
Darren Vernon, my dear brother, cannot come home each weekend
To load your precious iPod, so this madness, it must end!"

But despite her daughter's speech, Divinia didn't want to learn
The how-to's of electronics, for she feared that it would spurn
Teasing comments, hurtul insults, from her daughter and her son,
And her husband, Donald Vincent--law degrees, he had just one,
But he thought himself the smartest of the Davidson household,
And she didn't want to prove to him the words she had been told:

"Electronics are a boy thing, beyond females' feeble brains,
Just attempt to understand them, and you'll drive yourself insane
From the vast array of buttons, CD drives, and dials, and knobs!"
(Although he was quite a kind man, Donald was a techno-snob).
But then one fateful dinnertime, a package came by mail,
And when Divinia opened it, her face went deathly pale.
For in this cursed package was a hated enemy,
A round and shiny metal disc: a movie DVD.

The film itself was excellent, right up Divinia's street,
And the giver, her big sister, was just trying to
be sweet
And give Divinia's birthday the attention it deserved,
But at the thought of playing it, Divinia was unnerved.
Of this monumental challenge, Divinia had two minds,
For she loved her sister dearly, and the gesture had been kind,
She yearned to see that movie, she had read all the reviews,
And the critics deemed it five-star work, they said "C'est merveilleux!"
It was black and white, subtitled, frontal nudity as well,
It was quite the high-art movie, as far as she could tell,
But how would Divinia know for sure? The mystery remained
So, to find a cogent answer, poor Divinia wracked her brain.

Donald Vincent could not help her, for he was out of town
Playing golf with his two brothers, from sunup until sundown.
Dora Vivian was gone as well, performing in a show,
And the whereabouts of Darren Vernon? Well, she did not know.
Perhaps he was out partying, perhaps he had night class,
But wherever her young son was, a predicament had passed
In the living room that evening, so what could Divinia do?
So she had to fight her demons
by facing what was true.

She stared the beast of burden in its one unblinking eye,
And said "I don't like you, you don't like me, but I have to try
To unlock the cryptic secret that surrounds your operation!"
After all, she had once saved a struggling village from starvation!

"This couldn't be much harder," she reasoned in her mind,
"Technophobia's no handicap, like being deaf or blind.
So, if I want to conquer this, the power lies with me,
I can stay here in the darkness, or my movie, I can see!"

So, she grabbed the small black clicker, with its Power button red,
And aimed it at the T.V., with her stomach wracked with dread.
She feared a huge explosion would accompany an error,
But she pressed the button anyway, despite her untold terror.
Surprisingly, despite her fear, the house remained intact,
For Divinia had completed the first formidable act.
There were people moving, speaking, dancing, laughing on the screen
Such a joyous beacon of success, Divinia'd never seen.
Next, she found the number keypad, turned the set to channel three,
And then pressed the small grey button that read "VCR/TV"
(Or was that TV/VCR? The answer slipped my mind,
But the way out of her quagmire, Divinia could now find).

Having done these steps, Divinia then bent down upon her knees,
And found the power button on the player, DVD.
This button was denoted with a circle and a stick
That went through the circle's middle, like a rotund candle's wick.
So, Divinia pressed the button, and the light lit up in green,
Like the fields of poppies in her very favourite Monet scene.
Then on the DVD remote, she pressed the "Input" switch,
And the big black Clairtone picture came at once, without a hitch.

Also on the DVD remote, the button "Open/Close"
Stood out to her quite clearly, like autumn's final rose
Surrounded by its wilted siblings, crumbling, dry and brown,
But in the top left corner, this button could be found,
Decorated with its symbol, a triangle and a square,
And when the player opened, she knew she was almost there.

Barely hiding her excitement, she opened up the case
That contained her precious movie, and with little time to waste,
She placed it, picture facing up, in the player's waiting tray,
Closed the drive, waited a moment, and then pressed the button "Play,"
Whose forward-facing arrow accompanied its name,
And on every DVD device, that button is the same.
Within a few short moments, the movie sprang to life,
And when Donald Vincent came back home, his now-triumphant wife
Exclaimed to him in jubilation, happiness, and pride,
"I faced my technophobia, now come join me inside!
We can watch the artsy movie, and I'm no longer afraid!
Hey, you look pretty thirsty, I'll go make some lemonade.
But first, to freeze the movie while I head into the kitchen,
I have to press 'Play/Pause' again. Technology is B!tchin!"

So, from that evening onward, Divinia wasn't scared;
At movie operations, she was no longer impaired.
For, since she'd climbed that mountain, she would never forget how
To play a DVD again, and her older friends she wowed
With her awesome newfound prowess at that deadly metal box,
Whose improper operation did NOT cause electric shocks,
But her friends were unenlightened, and were firmly unaware
Of how to use machinery, so of course, Divinia shared
The secret she had learned. She spread the message far and wide,
(Part of this was out of kindness, but mostly it was pride).
But despite Divinia's motives, she birthed a revolution
Of self-reliant folks who did NOT fear electrocution
From a simple movie player, so all across the town,
With their favourite DVD's, the former technophobes sit down.

Now, Divinia's awesome victory did not come with a medal,
Or a framed degree or trophy, so Divinia had to settle
For the quiet, strident cheering from her husband and her son,
And daughter, Dora Vivian, but she knew what she had done.
She'd faced her fear, and conquered it, so she now felt like a god--
And to celebrate, she taught herself to load her own iPod.

Saturday, January 11, 2014


The muffled thooomp of the glass bottle of Sugar in the Raw syrup, as I pop out the cork to pour that caramelly stream into my cup---Pumpkin Pie Spice and a little allspice already sifted in, and awaiting the two tiny blue sealed cups of French Vanilla creamer.  The steam as the Keurig streams out the Eight O’Clock is as intoxicating as rum, and vies for colour with any casked booze.

Sinking into a deep old clawfoot tub, into the Shalimar-perfumed bubbles, with Spem in Alium on the Bose, or perhaps Tom Waits.    A good book for whiling the time, though this precious NOOK is gripped tighter, held drier, than the decades of John D. MacDonalds with their pulp pages and one-stage-from-lurid covers, which sometimes fell prey to damp fingers or errant drops of fragrant water, emerging from the steam with pages some thicker than before, words a bit wavery and dim. 

Thin, cold crisp slices of lengthwise cucumber,  salted glistening on a plate, for finger-munching whilst a sandwich is spread with homemade Paminna Cheese, and a frosty glass of Sweet Peach Tea is poured.

The still-unfamiliar sound of this new set of wind-chimes, hung and set a-swing by Chris several days before Christmas, and unheard until we had wind enough that I’d notice.   We lay reading late one night, and I heard such a tune coming through the open bedroom window that I laid my book down to listen.   The old silver set, way on the end of the house, was sending out its old familiar tinkles, and the other five sets, all across the back, were giving up all their melodies in ruffles and riffs, but there was a new sound in the mix, of deep tones and scales and runs as if the organist had just learned to use the foot-pedals, and was giving it all he had on the low notes, not missing a step.

They're a deep, matte ebony to match their sound:  I’ve never heard such mellow tonality from something hanging in the wind.  These things practically boom out Bach, seeming to be of metallic bamboo played with water and wind and muted mallets, in all the melodies there are, sometimes all at once.   At times, it's an Asian pentatonic, mixed with Close Encounters, and then again there goes a chorus of Sweet Adeline, as if the guys in center-parted hair and striped coats are tuning up for a show.    My very favorite, and heart-swelling, for times have been few, it’s the exact bongs of a grandfather clock I used to hear in the night in a safe, warm, welcoming house. 

Shelves of books and all the things and stuff and HAVES that I sometimes look on as clutter and too much, is plenty.  A gracious plenty, and I’m so grateful. 

There’s still a hush Out There, though everyone but me has been out and about and into the usual day-by-days of our lives.   They go to work, emerge to see if the cars are ice-covered or free, do what they have to do, and drive home on unruly streets and prayers. 

And I’ll forever carry memories of yesterday, when a little girl, dressed in a pink-and-black tap dress, sequins and net over a pink granny-gown, with black leggings and pink Barbie rain-boots, a thick red knit headband pulled crosswise beneath one arm and across her chest like a gaudy bandolier to hold her long green shoehorn sword, stood guard at the bottom of the stairs, and, restraining herself from shouting her usual happy “Ganner’s HOME!” stayed in character, shouting “Hark!!   Who goes there??”

Several ninja moves and thrusts and parries into the air before the answer was received, then she replied---I don’t know WHERE she gets this stuff----(flourish and brandish): “Your Magic is NO MATCH for my SWORD!”

And, since I’d been knighted earlier in the day, as I knelt and she tapped each shoulder with a long chef’s sharpening blade, “I DUMB thee Sir GANJILOT!”  I joined the fray, we disarmed the invader with a Group Hug, and sat down for a truce over cocoa.

Fulsome things for a cold day.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014



Looking out our front door.  Even the air looked blue most of the day.


Caro called down the stairs last night, “Mama!   You know it’s colder here than in Canada, than Nome, than in ANTARCTICA!!! They just said our wind chill makes it colder than ANY of those cold places!”  Now THAT will make you think.  

And it was: -14 with Wind Chill of -36, with all the treacheries of some of the most beautiful things.

The Baby Maples I planted some eight years ago, when they were an inch high and rescued as they peeked out from beneath the edge of the about-to-be-removed above-ground pool which came with the house.  I gently dug up the three with a teaspoon that Spring, planted them into the rich, loamy circle from which a stark dead tree had been excavated, and they’ve grown wonderfully tall, standing more than thirty feet, now, snow-laced and magnificent.   Isn't that whole Circle of Life thing simply magical?



The front porch, just beyond the swing of the door---the snow is more than a foot high, like big slanted pillows on a bed, and I'm standing on the bare wood with my toes within inches of the swell.   See the darkness in the right corner---that’s bare grass, for the eaves are very deep, and the stuff fell straight down in great damp clumps, like big ole cornflakes. 

This flowerpot is fourteen inches tall, and I watched it grow round and plump with the dome of snow like a thickly-frosted cupcake, before the pot disappeared completely into that white blanket.   For a time, it looked like one of those big molded-plastic ads outside Dairy Queen--garnished appropriately with a lingering sheaf of Queen Anne's lace.


THE TREE in the back yard---this one is more than a sixty-footer, and is flaunting more filigree than Faberge’s fondest dreams.    


Dear old Weather Bush and Luck Bush---they both finally bowed to the heavy loads as the snowfall went on and on through the night and day.
It seemed so SILENT here, for we've been totally shut down---by Royal Command and Sovereign Decree, as it were, for no wheels rolled save for the salt trucks.   They went about the countryside like medieval carts strewing tribute to the frost-spewing dragons, and the onslaught ceased. 


It was so odd to know such a muted landscape, and at twilight, I half-expected the ghost of Thomas Kincade to come strolling out of the fog, like Mr. Darcy.
May you all be warm safe and well.