Tuesday, October 10, 2017

I swear this is true.

Five years ago tomorrow, as I sat at my computer around 7 am reading e-mail, my phone rang with the news I had expected.  My mother had just died.

Why do we think this day will never come?  That's absurd -- parents die before their children, that's the natural order.

Then, as is a well known part of my story, seven weeks later my father died.  Zero to orphan. Not as common, to be sure, though I know people whose parents left even closer.

The upcoming anniversaries put me in a nostalgic mood for the past few days.  What did these people, my parents, mean to me?  How did they shape me?  Where are they now?

And so on Sunday evening when I found myself gazing at a starry sky while waiting for the dogs to do their business before bed, I spoke out loud.  "Mom and Dad, I know you were tired.  I know you just wanted to be together."

I wasn't expecting any response, just wanted to say it.  But a magical thing happened.  Just as I spoke, I saw a shooting star cross the sky.

I swear this is true.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Pool Time

It's been forever and a day since I posted here. Hoping you'll enjoy this video -- there's a little surprise!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017


Somewhere along the way I fell out of love with the night.

When I first moved to Busy Solitude Farm in the summer twelve years ago, every evening was spent outdoors.  I ate supper at the picnic table with a book by my plate.  Then I observed my Briards as they experienced the smells on the breezes.  The sun would set.  Bats flew overhead; owls called.  The crinkle of critters marked their creeping through the overgrown property next door.

I loved experiencing a good country night.

Friends called "dinner's at 8!" and I happily sped down dark roads to join them.  Heading home at eleven, or midnight?  No problem -- the better to view the night sky.

In the past few years my joy in the full moon, or a new one, fell away.  "Dinner doesn't start until 8?  Gee, that's kind of past my bedtime."  "It's buggy out."  I really don't know why.  It's true that my aging eyes don't react to light as quickly.  It's true I work on central time, and live on eastern, creating a constant tension between rising and retiring.

But I had cause to drive at night a month or so ago, and I realized that the moon across farm fields in a clear, dark sky is a thing of wonder.  Still.  And tonight I took a glass of wine outside and sat on the dark side of the house, listening to the crisped grass crackle under the paws of some silent creature, and watching as the stars emerged, and I thought how amazing this night is, that reappears in infinite forms providing sensory delight for any who choose to just sit.  That is all that is required.  Just sit.

And I fell in love with the night.  Again.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

In memorium - Barnard

Barnard was diagnosed with a slew of ailments in December. Her bloodwork startled the vet -- Feline Leukemia, Feline Infectious Anemia, Kidney Failure.  Country cats who spent time outdoors are very vulnerable -- you never know who is coming to visit.

Anyway, I made the decision not to treat her, but instead to allow her slow decline to continue and when it became clear that her quality of life was compromised, to euthanize her.

Yesterday was the day. I looked at her in the morning and said to myself "it's not going to get better.  This is the best that she has.  Is that ok?" No, I could not honestly say that it was.

So today I find myself without a cat for the first time in 18 years.  (You'd have to go back another 18 years before that to find the previous time.)

Barnard showed up in the barn in August, 2011.  That was a rough summer -- Oskar died in May, and Abe in August. It took her until the freeze of January to actually venture up to the house.  It took a while before she moved in. The vet said she was about five years old and had had kittens at least once.  I thought she was a kitten herself! I am happy that the second half of her life was spent at Busy Solitude Farm where she could bask in the sun without fear.

I believe a cat makes a house a home.  In time I will find a couple of cats to bring home.  They'll need to be ok with dogs -- Phoebe is rather enthusiastic about other animals in the house. And I'd like a couple who know and love each other.

But until that time, Phoebe and I are alone, with only our memories of Barnard.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

In memorium: U La La Ulani

Ulani went to meet Oskar at the Rainbow Bridge yesterday.