As for my greatest extravagances?

We’re on a tight budget, but even so …

  1. Bombay Sapphire gin. Or a few other brands in that price range, when they’re on sale.
  2. An hour-long professional massage once in a blue moon.
  3. Two two-pound lobsters from a roadside stand. A purely impulse buy.
  4. Upfront seats for the whole family at Christmas Revels.
  5. Yearly Meeting boarding in a dorm rather than a tent.
  6. Time squandered online.
  7. Dining out. Not that we do it often.
  8. Drafting and revising rather than attending to household chores.
  9. Serving the rabbits too many greens each evening in season. Won’t they get fat?
  10. Feeding the wild birds. Those bags of blended seeds get expensive.


Anyone have generosity on your own list?


Let’s get back to addressing some really big social problems

Had enough with boogie men spooking us? The last four years have only let the really big issues fester. Here are some top items that need our full attention now. All of us.

  1. Ending systemic racism in society and its underlying assumption of white superiority.
  2. Climate change. It’s real and worsening.
  3. The environment and energy. We were making progress, weren’t we? Clean air and water should belong to all, not the corporate polluters.
  4. Curbing the undue influence of political lobbyists and PAC funds. Yes, Citizens United, too.
  5. The gross imbalance of wealth in America and the demise of the middle class. Progressive tax rates could provide for many services such as health care and education – now borne privately, largely by the lower brackets – to instead be provided across the board.
  6. Also, reviving Social Security. Taxing excessive incomes at the full rate would be a start.
  7. Redress the changing realities of labor, compensation, community, and commonwealth. In short, who benefits when computerization takes over? It’s a much bigger issue than simply raising the minimum wage.
  8. Abolish the Electoral College and voter repression. Under the current system, a shade over 25 percent of the total votes – meaning a bare majority in just 12 states – could elect the president. The majority of the nation’s voters lost their voice in three recent presidential elections, with Republicans given the office. It’s still an attack on democracy and the people.
  9. Health system reforms. Obamacare was a start, but much more needs to be done, including mental health systems and, as we’ve seen with Covid-19, pandemic planning.
  10. Education systems have also gone largely unchecked. Student loan debt is a serious burden on their lives and our economy, just for starters.

Yes, we really can get the upper hand here, if we join together. But the damage has been deep and need time to repair.


What would you add to the list?

Ten favorite places

This round, I’m sticking close to home – places I return to.

  1. My studio and loft.
  2. Our Smoking Garden and adjacent fern beds, in season.
  3. Our 1768 Quaker meetinghouse.
  4. Dover’s indoor swimming pool downtown and its Olympic-size sister outdoors in Guppey Park, Portland Avenue. Gee, does that mean there’s actually a locker room or two as part of my favorites list? Let’s not slight the long, hot showers.
  5. Annunciation Greek-Orthodox church. Visually stunning interior, for starters, and some fine folks.
  6. Sander’s Theater at Harvard. Think of Shakespeare’s Globe and start adding on things like a ceiling.
  7. The Maine coast, from the Isles of Shoals on up. Could lead to its own Tendrils entry.
  8. The Community Trail running through town and out along the river.
  9. The waterfalls downtown. Always changing.
  10. Lickee’s and Chewy’s Candies & Creamery in the Cocheco Millworks.


Tell us something about one of your own favorites.

What I’m looking forward to in the new year

  1. A new administration! A new Senate!
  2. A coronavirus vaccine.
  3. Worshiping together again. Even face-to-face committees.
  4. Resuming daily lap swimming. As well as seeing the regulars and lifeguards.
  5. Singing together again.
  6. A Greek festival or two. Oh, yes, let’s not overlook dancing!
  7. Riding the Downeaster north or south.
  8. Visiting museums.
  9. The abolition of ICE.
  10. Dining out, indoors.


What do you have on your list?