WE AGE ALONG THE WAY

Being mindful of what’s right in front of us can always be a challenge. Here are 10 new items from my end.

~*~

  1. One definition of high summer for me: going to the beach for a swim at low tide and then stopping at the commercial fish distributor on the way home to pick out three lobsters followed by a stop at a farm a bit down the road for a dozen ears of corn picked just that morning. We’re soon feasting in the Smoking Garden, no problem making a mess. You know, the one-pot cooking thing for starters.
  2. Someone’s cell phone goes off during worship, insisting “Please say a command.” On the page of the open Bible next to me is an answer, “That your joy be complete” (Jesus, in the gospel of John). Who’s to argue? Not a bad command, is it?
  3. Falling walnuts hit the roof of our kitchen and sound like falling limbs or falling wooden boxes. Just where are our squirrels?
  4. The joys of a sharp black fountain pen, excising a draft to lace.
  5. There’s a restless in the core of our Seed. Usually, we try running from it. In silent worship, we stop to face it.
  6. As a writer, I’m an orphan. And yes, so is the Lone Ranger, once unmasked at the mirror.
  7. How deeply productivity is built into my psyche!
  8. Inspired by Richard Brown Lethem’s painting “Wink/Blue Table,” I like the idea of a poem or story being its own table rather than representing something else. Even as its own Table of Contents. (Where he’s a monkey, I’m a squirrel – rather than the hawk I’d envisioned.)
  9. “Closure victimizes thought” – Donald Revell on John Ashbery.
  10. Step on a nail in the garden. What a sore sole the next day! In contrast to sore soul.

~*~

They're everywhere.
They’re everywhere.

 

 

A MAIN STREET IN MAINE

Those trying to make the place trendy like to call it SoBe.
Those trying to make the place trendy like to call it SoBe.

South Berwick, just across the Salmon River from us, has a downtown block that retains an iconic appearance. The town is also home to Berwick Academy, a private prep school.

 

The writing on the wall touts Dover, in New Hampshire just to the west.
The writing on the wall touts Dover, in New Hampshire just to the west.

NIGHT WATCH

1 between sunset and sunrise the ocean returns to desolate obsidian of her dark depths in the character at best, stars above strand of shoreline, depending maybe the moon with her sea-legs or repeated slapping 2 breakers arrive as a single point of reflected white opening out evenly in a line on either side a […]

CELEBRATING ‘HIGH SUMMER’

I’ve long been fond of collage as an art form. These Tendrils continue the stream.

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  1. Tomatoes are in! Real tomatoes! Nothing like the ones in the supermarket all year, no way! Julienne is our workhorse variety, small but firm and reliable from the beginning to the end of the season. We dry and freeze many of them to use well through winter. Even while raising a dozen or more varieties, we find New England’s susceptibility to blight has erased most of our favorite big heritage varieties from our rounds. Hurrah, though, for some of the hybrids. For the big juicy reds we’re relying on Bobcat, Brandywine, and Cherokee Purple. Any other suggestions?
  2. “High summer” is what I celebrate once the oppressive heat and humidity of July break, rather than bemoan the few weeks remaining. …
  3. How tasty/zesty the wild blueberries on Mount Major!
  4. Dog Days, indeed. Swimming at what I call Fort Lobster. The water, choppy with a rip. A short swim can be exhausting. I can see how panic would set in. Meanwhile, she sleeps on the warm pebbles of this beach. Back home, we grill steak and corn on the cob.
  5. I really do have to learn to play bocce. Or bocci, as I usually see it spelled around here.
  6. At yearly meeting and other big Quaker gatherings where we rent a college campus for a week, we use golf carts to ferry folks from dorms to dining hall to the auditorium or classrooms. Has me thinking of amusement parks with their kiddie-car courses. Especially the faces of the volunteer drivers reliving a highlight of their childhoods.
  7. Still, I wonder about those who publish a short story and are then approached by an agent. Especially considering how difficult short-story collections prove in the marketplace. Short fiction, remember, is a whole different beast than a novel.
  8. Wandering through galleries of maritime paintings, she became fascinated by the way waves are depicted. Turns out to be a good way to traverse the collection.
  9. Before her, I had no real conception of house repairs! All these things that need to be done! Is it really endless?
  10. One-pot meals can be classic. To wit: I boil a pot of water, add corn on the cob. Remove the corn, replace it with lobster in the same (now seasoned) boiling water. Serve with butter and lemon and beverage of choice. All yummy!

~*~

Wild yarrow betwen staghorn sumac.
Wild tansy between staghorn sumac. Here I’d thought it was yarrow.

ONE SIGN OF AMERICA’S CHANGING TASTES

Out in the middle of seemingly nowhere in rural Vermont.
Out in the middle of seemingly nowhere in rural Vermont, I thought this was farm equipment.

Yes, you expect a range of ethnic foods in any big city, and many smaller ones, including the place I call home, now feature a range of international dining options. But when you’re driving mile after mile inhabited mostly by cows, you’re surprised to find anywhere to eat, apart from the occasional convenience store gas station. You know, hot dogs accompanied by potato chips and soda.

This, though, was enough to make me swing around for a second look. As it turned out, they weren’t serving breakfast.

But this is what it turned out to be -- a taco stand! My, how America's mainstream tastes have changed!
Yes, this is what it turned out to be — a taco stand! My, how America’s mainstream tastes have changed!