Monday, September 30, 2013

Love after Love

The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror and each will smile at the other's welcome,

and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self. Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you

all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart. Take down the love letters from the bookshelf, the photographs, the desperate notes, peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.

Love after Love, Derek Walcott 
          (Me....  About the time I found this poem..... A few moons ago!)

I wrote about this poem six years ago.  Here..  But today I want to visit this poem again.  And today, even though some of these words are still elusive, I can't wait any longer for this recognition to happen...  I live as the daughter and "room mate" of a woman who has recognized herself in the mirror probably all her life.  My dear mother knows herself, knows who she is, is a realist about the qualities of life that matter to her.  Mom has always been generous, enthusiastic, kind, capable, and confident.  There is a strength in her that has given her the practical grace to live fully and vibrantly even though she has been confined to a walker for more than ten years...  

I don't have that.  My gifts, for what they are worth, are entirely separate.  But that's okay.  So are yours.  For Heaven's sake, the sun is warm, the trees begin to tint, and there has never, EVER, been a better time to sit, feast on our lives.  

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Have you walked on the ocean floor?

The blue-grey skies today curled around and opened up in that loveliest kind of Harvest rains...  The rains that make all the farmers shake their heads wondering just why it couldn't have done this all summer...  And so it goes.  The drought is broken, our first fields already shipped away to become something made of Soybeans...  (Isn't everything these days?).

I have been to town twice today on little errands, but mainly this was a stay at home Saturday,  and my "nest-chair-lair" (from the post previous) perfection lies in jeopardy of becoming cluttered with coffee cups and catalogs, little wrappers from this 'n that...  I hope to stand strong on this.

It's a perfect day to take breakfast with a dear friend, to read, to do some laundry, to have coffee with my sister/cousin...  And to enjoy a day with Mom at home in, out of the rain.  Have a perfectly sweet weekend, dear friends.

I found a beautiful portion of Job today.  That is not a book I usually choose for comfort...  I guess it is now, as then, up to God to control the majestic power of weather on the earth.

"Job, have you ever walked on the ocean floor? Have you seen the gate to the world of the dead? And how large is the earth? Tell me, if you know! Where is the home of light, and where does darkness live? Can you lead them home? I'm certain you must be able to, since you were already born when I created everything. Have you been to the places where I keep snow and hail, until I use them to punish and conquer nations? From where does lightning leap, or the east wind blow? Who carves out a path for thunderstorms? Who sends torrents of rain on empty deserts where no one lives? Rain that changes barren land to meadows green with grass. Who is the father of the dew and of the rain? Who gives birth to the sleet and the frost that fall in winter, when streams and lakes freeze solid as a rock." (Job 38:16-3)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Nest.....

The dreaded monster known as THE LAIR CHAIR...  do you have that one special place that has grown into a nest of clutter?  My corner in the living room subtly was that spot, overrun with anything a girl could want.  Books? Magazines? Art supplies?  Medications?  Beauty (ha!) products, stationery and stickers, you get the picture...  I knew with my tendency toward hibernation, the advent of winter meant only more stuff...  Take a look at all the junk handy items I dreamed I'd need in one sitting...  Command Central, for sure...  But really, just a lack of control was the overall ambience...if I dare even use such a pretty word...  Yuck!

Suddenly, I woke up and looked at this with fresh eyes.  What was I thinking?  I couldn't stand all this junk...,  so armed with my Mrs. Meyer cleaner, I cleaned the way I do best:  I pulled it all out.  Two trash bags later...  I pared all away except a tapestry Isabella's Journey Autumn bag...  My son jumped at the chance to have the doughbox side table...  I stashed everything where it actually lived.  For now, I don't even have a trash basket...(big concession to beauty.)  all that jewelry, prisms, razzmatazz hanging from the hopelessly outdated quaint pole lamp. Had to go!

Even Mom's dolls got a shakedown.  I let only winter and fall girls stay out.  With a rearrangement  of everything and a few touches of red, this corner sure looks better to me.

Monday, September 23, 2013


All sorts of light illuminates the heart when it's open to new ideas, new dreams, different ways to inhabit this world.  Isn't it strange how we humans tend to struggle so.... 

  We are all headed somewhere...  And we rustle our lives and invite the turmoil inside the very hearts ordained for praise and worship...  This sunset, although rightly the most breathtakingly beautiful horizon right at our doorstep....  It isn't enough... 

 We charge out of our homes instead of cradling our souls in familiarity and melodies of our ordinary round...    Until....  There is a new beginning, a change in the daily round..  We then feel caught, furtive, looking back as Lot's wife... 

 Pillars of salt and tears clinging to a past better left as a memory, or as a dear friend told me today, a lesson...  

We turn our hearts to now, to our current moments.  Invite a friend, write a letter, watch a movie, oh, and always the best choice is to stay positive and talk to God...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

She is Here!

Happy Autumn!

Welcome in, oh favorite of seasons!  Soul drenching-color and life-giving chill....  So welcome this year after the dry, thirst summer.  

Tonight my son is coming for supper, but today at 4:40, the Queen Autumnal Equinox arrives...  Nothing more appropriate to greet her than a little nod to the season on the front porch, a table setting of a favorite stoneware, and warm oatmeal-cinnamon-raisin cake, and a steaming cup of cappuccino...  

Mom is feeling a bit spry today...  She has been a little under the weather (literally and metaphorically...). I'm so happy she is on the mend.  

I wanted to have my cousin here to celebrate at exactly 4:44, the equinox itself, but she has the flu bug.... So I took her a little recuperation/Autumn snack...  The photo with the cream tablecloth, crow, and pumpkin is her pretty library table...  Home baked warm oatmeal cake (recipe follows) and a little GooGooCluster popcorn...  The popcorn is also a new recipe, but I think it needs tweaking before I share...   

We have a little tradition about candles...  So I tucked a battery votive in a little kitchen tussy-mussy I made with the baking powder can I finished today...  I'm suddenly in touch with my artsy side!  Look out, World.

My new Paula Deen Baker!

Here is the recipe.  

Quick & Easy Oatmeal Cake

1 cup quick or old-fashioned oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup butter or margarine, cut in small pieces
1 cup boiling water
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 to 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional

Confectioner’s sugar

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 8-inch pie plate or square baking pan; set aside.

Place oats in large bowl. Sprinkle brown sugar over top. Place butter pieces on top of sugar, and pour boiling water over all. Let stand for 10 minutes, or until room temperature.

Beat eggs and add to oats. Sift together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Using mixing spoon or electric mixer, add dry ingredients to oat mixture, beating just until blended. Add nuts if desired.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool slightly.  (I had to bake mine about 35 minutes today.)

Sprinkle top heavily with confectioner’s sugar. Serve warm or cold. Cold cake may be frosted with favorite frosting instead of sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar, if preferred. Cut in wedges to serve.

Friday, September 20, 2013

A Practical Feast...

Cleaning the fridge can be such a rewarding task.  I wonder, then, why I put it off at times.  Today I wasn't going to let any negative procrastination habits get in my way.  The first obstacle lay in the freezer compartment.  At some moment, a rough soul had jammed pushed the ice cube tray tower back into a full pint of parsley flakes...  Ugh!  That had exploded, the water in the ice trays had overflowed...  Stubborn sheets of icy parsley....   After that, I felt victorious and the rest was a snap!

I found these final two croissants frozen, ready to bake, straight from Paris, France...  So I grabbed a little sack of broccoli, some sharp cheese, chicken broth, and milk...  Voila!  Mom seemed pleased with the soup course...  I'm sure it is the delicious, cool weather...  I added a crunchy Italian salad to bump up the harvest feel...  

Did anything else get done today?  Well, laundry...  And tweaking the new iPad iOs that I downloaded yesterday and hated on the spot.  I'm not much on change.

Enjoy the beautiful weekend, my dear friends.  

Running away with the Fall

Running away with myself, I tug my quilt up over my shoulders..  Lightning flashes, and at last the storms come...  There is such a restlessness to accompany any storm.  It reminds me of hot, sultry evenings when my dad watched the skies.  Tonight the cold front followed immediately, bringing in the true advent of fall..

This morning I slipped outside around five a.m. to witness the western glory of the harvest full moon,  I must have sensed its majesty would be hidden tonight, or the pull was too great as I watched it through my bedroom window.

Welcome, Beautiful Autumn!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Enjoy the cooler Autumn days...

You'd  laugh, too, if you had seen...
What the moon saw on Halloween
(Pretty red work sampler from my sister/cousin Paula)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

First Glimpse

Every year...  It seems the summer heat dissipates just like magic...  Some benevolent voice calls, "Enough!"  And even if we have a little batch of heat, we know...  We know the cool, even crisp days of Autumn have slipped in to settle the dry, cracked fevers of August...

I live for the first glimpse of our local orchard stand...  Driving today with Mama, I spotted the orange beacons of harvest half a block away... My Taurus, dear little grey Fraulina --- she knew to veer to the left, signal, and turn in the drive...  Windows rolled down and camera out the door...  No pumpkin, no mums for us today...  Back home, much of summer still lingers.  But today's gift illuminates my spirits,  it's time to be happy.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Feel it in the air. . .

 Welcome, Cool Air!  Just in the nick of time!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Down Time

The flu bug, chills, kidney infection, and general illness made a visit to our corner of the world... A careless person let my son's beloved cat out while my son was on vacation, and little Jonesy disappeared...  A tragedy at a heartland school...  Such blasted hot days... The national news is terrible...

My thoughts are with you over September 11...  Much to think about with our personal and our nation's choices, path, and future.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The jewel of the year is in the wings...

It's in the very dawn..that fog, misty windows and hushed dew left on Summer's last flowers.  September arrives, and the land welcomes the promise of cool nights, ripening apples, the end of hot, dry days.

Still many times are left when we can meet outdoors in front of the chiminea, run outside in bare arms, flip on the air conditioner to temper the heat. Huge spider webs stretch their magnificent lace...  perfect timing for an unlucky, late August moth.

The dreamers and mystics begin their count toward the queen of festivals, All Hallow's Eve.  And indoors ---- amber and scarlet swirl, candlelight easing toward Fall's earlier sunsets, setting the stage for the darker season to come.

When school began without me, I chose my first day to begin the careful process of packing away the florals, the flags, the summer watermelon pottery, and the other touches of warm weather.  I brought out a few Autumn favorites, laid a pretty harvest table with Mom's dolls poised center stage  Then Mother Nature decided to pay a clever trick on the already parched, scorched, and dust-strangled Midwest.   A solid week of 100° days and sultry nights screamed the protest to the end of summer without a fight...

We wait for news of our crop, but everywhere heads are shaking, eyes look sad.  I remember those eyes from my father and grandfather, generations depending on the land and on the mercies of weather, rain, and sunlight.  I think I love Autumn most because its coming brings Harvest.  What's done is done.  More time at home.  More contentment and brighter moonlight, it seems.

And though the wheel of the year must turn twenty more days before the Autumnal Equinox, Mom's home awaits the glory of Fall, Our Heavenly Father's jewel of the year.