A Single Bloom




Viney’s gift

When the seasons changed around here and summer announced itself by its longer days and warm light and pungent earth smells, I ran to the nurseries like so many of my neighbors and bought some hanging flowers.

I was starved for color and the spring blooms popping up on porches and decks planted their seeds in my winter brain and sent me on my own summer migration.

I bought three beautiful hanging baskets of petunias and stopped at the hardware store in town and bought hooks which I screwed in to the wood of my porch and hung the three lush and lovely colorful plants.

I bought a cute little watering can and some Miracle Gro. I was ready to turn my black thumb green. These plants were going to live and thrive dammit.

Sadly, my determination was to no avail. My porch faces east and is shaded by tall beautiful oak trees. I actually love the shade for the temperature, my house usually stays cool and comfortable on all but the hottest days, but it doesn’t help with plants that  need a lot of sunlight.

Petunias happen to be in that category. All my care and regular watering did nothing. Those 3 plants died quickly; one day I looked at my porch and saw three dead plants swaying in the gentle breeze.

I thought briefly of Morticia from the Addams Family who cut off the roses and arranged the thorny stems artfully in a vase. That was what was going on here.

I took down the corpses and returned them to the earth from whence they came. RIP Petunias.

I was discouraged and angry; like I could force a plant to bloom because I wanted it to. Talk about hubris.

I came around and thought ok time for Round Two. This time I went to a little nursery I found right outside Arlington. I met Meg a young woman with an affable Boxer mix and we had a discussion about what plants grow well in the shade. She steered me to a beautiful begonia and a trailing vinelike plant whose name I don’t know but I loved because it looked graceful to me.

That was in mid June I and I am happy to report that these two are thriving. Viney (yes that’s her name) even presented me with a bloom yesterday. I thanked her profusely for the gift. It was a little redemption from the Great Plant Massacre that occurred not too long ago.

I was so encouraged by this that I had Ray the handyman come around and dig out the front for a flowerbed. I haven’t planted anything yet because I’m doing my due diligence as far as planning and research.

For instance, I noticed that when it rains, the water runs off the roof right onto the middle of my new flowerbed. Something to consider when I decide what goes in there.

But there is time. It is August and I’m thinking about bulbs that’ll bloom next spring.

Life happens at its own pace most of the time and I’ve learned that sometimes it’s a good idea to sit back and watch the grass grow.

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Binge Worthy

I’ve been binge watching Big Little Lies. A good cast, decent storylines,beautiful scenery. It’s set in Monterey, lots of shots of waves crashing on the rocky coastline. The thing about the show that I liked the best is the soundtrack. Amazing collection of songs that I would not have known about had I not watched this show. Like this for example:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment






Squirrel Siesta

I looked out my window this morning and was confronted with an unusual sight; a squirrel in repose, taking a bit of a break, a siesta if you will.

These guys are paragons of energy; running up and down trees and across lawns as fast as they can just makes me tired looking at them.

But I’ve never seen them rest. Until today. Hope he had a good power nap.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Waking up


Warm Feelings


  I was watching a documentary about horses on PBS and the narrator described a breed of horse that lives near the Arctic Circle in Russia that hibernates standing up. That is how I feel.

  I’ve been quiet lately. Haven’t written anything that I feel is suitable for my blog. More importantly, I haven’t felt the NEED. I remember the days when I couldn’t wait to write something.

  I’ve been waiting for inspiration to hit me upside the head, knowing the chances of that happening are highly unlikely.

  I have to find my own motivation. I’m still taking photos and enjoying that. I took my camera to work the last month or so, thinking a change of scenery might inspire me.

  I found a few good photos, mostly of people waiting in the lobby for their people to come out of the ER or outpatient same day surgery.

  We’ve all been there. Waiting to hear the news, good or bad.

  Reading a magazine, not seeing the words, looking up anxiously thinking you see the doctor or nurse headed in your direction with some vital information.

  I found the perfect photo during the  week.

  I belong to a Facebook photography group and every week there is a specific subject for us to take photos about and submit them. At the end of the week, the leaders of the group choose the best.

  My photos have never been chosen as the best, but this past week my photo was chosen as Judge’s Honorable Mention. The photo is at the top of this post and the subject was Warm Feelings.

  I felt great when I heard the news only the second time this has happened to me.

  I’m not looking for vindication or agreement or accolades. This was only for me, like a surprise party.

It made me see that the spark is still in me, feeble and gasping for air, but still there.

  That’s the best part.



Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments



Greenwich Sunset

A hint of early morning came into my bedroom Sunday and I rejoiced, knowing I had the day to what I wanted.

It was a wide open day, no plans except to hit the Cambridge Farmer’s Market for produce. I’m fairly addicted to the strawberries and my guy from Long Days Farm told me this might be the last so I got three pints.

  I’ve been eating them for breakfast in the morning with plain yoghurt. What a treat.

  I also got some leaf lettuce and beets from Happenchance Farms and planned on roasting the beets along with some carrots and sautéing the beet greens with olive oil, garlic and cider vinegar.

  All happy thoughts as I walked to the market.

  I crossed the street and heard my name being called and my heart sank and my cone of silence enveloped me and I responded to the social greetings of “Hi. How are you”? With a mumbled “fine, thanks “ as I walked quickly away.

  How do you behave in these situations? I’ve been studiously avoiding a meeting such as this because I cannot bring myself to smile and put on a face that would meet the bare minimum for a social situation.

  Mostly I feel…well I don’t know. There is a whole closed box of emotions tied to this and opening the lid to try and sift through them feels like a game of pickup sticks only instead of wood, I’m grabbing sharp metal slivers that work their way under my skin.

  Sadness of course. Regret of course. But mostly I feel anger. At myself. Instead of standing up and returning the greeting in a clear strong voice, I portrayed myself like a beaten dog.

  When I was a kid, we had an Italian Greyhound named Mr. Jones who never got house trained. It was a losing battle with this dog. He pissed all over, but took great joy in peeing on my mother’s Oriental rugs.

   She used to beat the crap out of him with a rolled magazine.

  He would do it knowing he was serving himself up for another beating. He had speed on his side though. He became especially adept at leaving Mom behind in the dust. He would tuck himself behind the bolster on my bed.

  He knew that Mom hated to climb stairs and my bedroom was on the second floor.   So more often than not he was safe, and he knew to steer clear of her the rest of the day.

  I was on Mr. Jones’s side all the way.

  He came into my mind today, after my unfortunate encounter and I wished I had had the chutzpah to look the person in the eye and speak clearly and present a stronger persona.

  So lesson learned. Over and over until I get it right. Every day is another chance for me to do better.

  I’m going to think of my little dog who knew what was at stake but went about his business anyway.

  Oh and the beet greens were amazingly good. I could just taste the green life in them, becoming part of me, sustaining me.



Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Search for Solitude



   “It’s time to put the hurt away.” I woke up  with this on my brain this morning, I might have even mumbled it in the half awake state I’m in before I’m fully conscious. I laid in my bed for a bit and let my waking brain show me the dreams I had. Sometimes I can get a clue. Not this time though. But it came from somewhere.

  There was no good reason I was late to work today. It wasn’t the traffic; there is no rush hour on the country road I use to get to my job, unless you count the school buses or the odd cow standing in the middle of the road.

  If you ever want to feel really dumb, try honking your horn at a cow standing in your way. They just look at you with those big docile eyes and amble on over to the shoulder and start grazing. In their own time.

  I started out with every good intention of being on time, but as I was traveling up and down the hills of southern Vermont, I had to stop.

  The wind was blowing and the grasses in the fields were waving, undulating, singing their Siren song, a movement so reminiscent of the ocean I stopped the car, pulled over and watched.

  Put away the hurt. There it was. The reason I stopped.  I felt it come as I watched. I stared at the field and I knew I had to be there.

  I felt something happen, a shiver starting from my gut and emanating outward. Like a power surge, an energy. I stared at they field and I saw the similarity. The waves made by the wind in the grasses. The waves in the ocean caused by the wind and the tides caused by the sun and the moon.

  I have been doing a lot of work on myself. There are parts of myself that are being examined minutely in my therapy and it is not easy. Some days I leave my therapist’s office and I feel ok. Like I’m learning and making progress.

   Not today. I felt beaten, steamrolled, exhausted.  We started exploring an ugly part of myself that had been hidden for a long time probably most of my life.

  As I stood there watching the waves of grass move in an organic perfect rhythm, I thought again about my session today. There was a good kind of hurt that I recognized.

  Pulling off a scab is one thing, but now I’m soothing the ugly open wound and healing it. It will leave a scar, which is to be expected and I can feel it and know I crossed that minefield.

The detour today was my soul speaking to me, sending me a message.

Solitude is so important to me and so difficult to achieve.  It is not about being alone or the absence of people.

It is so easy to drown in the reams of data that bombard us daily, streams of words and facts from the outside world.

But it is the elusive solitude that the peace of my spirit is reborn and the true understanding of myself begins. I try to loosen the bonds that tie me to the outside world and release the stress and worry and tension that anchors me.

I seek the solitude that is so precious to me and a peace that fills me and allows the clarity I need to understand the deepest parts of me.

I imagine solitude can be found anywhere, there is no protocol. For me the quiet of nature and the absence of people are two requirements. But a quiet room at twilight or my porch at dawn watching the world wake up also works.

I seek the beauty of my inner self free of anger, worry and regret and dishonesty. Once I find it I cherish it and I carry the memory of it until I can return to it.

I cannot escape the world, nor do I want to. I do not seek solitude to ignore the world.

I feel the search for solitude is a entry into my soul. A place where the cares of the world wash away and I can find the divine spark that for me is the reason to be.

Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

First Flower




She bloomed!

When I bought my house in Cambridge last July, I wasn’t paying attention to the gardens or landscaping.

I liked the trees. Big old oak trees that shaded my house and kept it cool in the summer. So already i was ahead of the game. I love trees.

But the garden was pretty much non existent. No bushes, no shrubbery. Nothing. This can be easily remedied and starting this week, Ray, my  go to fix it guy, is going to come by and dig out the front and put in a bed that I’ll get to plant.

However, yesterday I saw what I think is a peony bush on the side of the house and further inspection yielded a whole row of peony bushes just getting ready to bloom.

A message to me, a belated welcome perhaps or just a simple reminder to keep my eyes open  and see the beauty that’s all around me and right in my own backyard.

I sang a song of welcome right back to the peony and I think she liked it.



Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments




Orange flower (Name unknown)

  Bill is a solitary man. He has never sought or felt comfortable around his fellow humans.

  Bill’s preference is animals and plants. He walks for miles in the forest surrounding his home and knows the trees and bushes and turns in the trail intimately like a Manhattanite knows his or her way around that busy city.

  Bill’s intersections are natural formations of trees and boulders deposited in the earth by the moving glaciers so many thousands of years ago.

  He never gets lost in the woods, he has blazed his own trails with signs only he can read.

  Bill works as a horticulturist in a small nursery in his little village in upstate New York and his boss knows by now that Bill will get his work done in his own time and pace.

  There is no hurry in Bill’s pace; he is slow and measured and serene like the plants he loves so much.

  He has no interest in current events. He is apolitical, but do not mistake that for apathetic.

  Bill’s interest lies in the quality of his life. He makes enough money to live and any surplus he has is fed back into the land he loves so much.

  His belief is that it is worth the work he does to make his corner of the world a slightly better place.

  His philosophy is that society will grow great when an old man plants a tree the shade of which he knows he will never sit in.

  Good people doing good things for others.

Happiness is the thing. It doesn’t matter if it’s yours.


NOTE: This post was inspired by a show called the Afterlife, written by Ricky Gervais.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Memorial Day in a Small Town




The Parade

Yesterday, I was puttering around the house, moving things, finding things that I had put  down somewhere, losing things again and then coming upon them and putting them in a place that I KNOW I will be able to find them again…you get the general idea.

I spend alot of time looking for stuff and wondering why I walked into a certain room.

In my aimless wandering around the house I looked out the window and saw a bunch of  folks walking purposely towards Main Street and I remembered.

Memorial Day Parade! I quickly left my house and joined the throng and waited. I talked to my neighbor Kathy and the neighbors on the other side. I saw Alex and met her husband.

And I marveled that there was no shoving, no pushing. No fighting over prime vantage points.  That was my former experience with parades.

I just stood there in the bright sunshine and waited for the parade to pass on by.

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Stars on Earth





Stars on Earth

I forget myself as I look on the star filled night sky. I lose myself in wonder. I cast myself in the infinite realm of the universe and it becomes too big to think about, too much to wonder about, too unreal to contemplate.

I bring myself back to me, my spirit contained once more within the physical self and I walk on.

I think about relatable things, simple pleasures that are all around me. The love of a friend, a cool drink of water, my dog’s sweet face.

And I tell myself that there are stars right here beside me, I can touch them and see them and love them.

I walk further and thank whatever powers that act upon me and lift my spirit and open my eyes to the world that is tangibly real.




Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment