Wednesday, August 31, 2016

still summer

Summer slips through the fingers of August don't you think?
I had almost forgotten that feeling.
Children make you remember.
School age children.

With August almost in the rear view mirror, my daughter and my grandchildren and I  hastened to the beach yesterday.
The great wide wondrous beach.
Windy too.
I had forgotten how cool that wind can feel, like an air-conditioner on high.

We built smallish castles and my grandson studied the power of erosion by water. Great calamitous overhead water while his little sister joyously sloshed pailfuls into her castle moat like a bucket brigade gone mad.
Her big sister drew and drew in the sand, happily adding sea weed hair to a giant face.

We got all of the usual scrapes, chafes and contusions that are a necessary part of The Day at the Beach.
And we come home with a random assortment of stories that are also a necessary part.
Stories about more Canada Geese than seagulls patrolling the beach. Was there a seagull convention out of town?
Stories about little yellow crab apples arriving on the incoming tide. Dropping from the branches of a mysterious far away tree, leaning and laden.
And a sad story about a dead harbor seal. It looked like a very young one.

A train chugged past, bedecked in especially fine graffiti.
There were sand dollars and jelly fish.
Shells like tiny pink butterfly wings.
Special pebbles.
Sand molded by the waves.
Sand and sea and sun and surf.
Still summer.  

hundreds and thousands

"I'm just going to read for a bit," I say to my husband.
"Emily Carr's book," I add.
He looks suspiciously at me.
"I'm feeling sad already," I say by way of explaining.

I love Emily Carr.
I thought I'd read all of her writing.
Then I discovered This and That: The Lost Stories of Emily.
I rushed home and commenced reading.

I discovered that the real title for this collection of stories was to have been Hundreds and Thousands. It was the title she chose, the title she wanted but she died before it was published. It is absolutely fitting that someone else decided upon an entirely different title. It is somehow reflective of a good deal of Emily Carr's life and I feel a little bitter about it on her behalf.
Emily Carr was an enigmatic, whimsical,, charming, woman. Her sisters, were not.
My heart broke into tiny little crumbs when I read this collection of short stories.

Tears trickled down my cheeks and I sniffed and coughed the first time I tried to finish it.
I didn't do much better the second.
Then I dipped in here and there, reading a happy snippet or two and a great gray melancholy settled like autumn rain.
She had so much to give.
So much sweetness.
Hundreds and Thousands.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Through the window I saw a squirrel balancing on the narrow rim of the oak rain barrel. Hanging by its toes, it leaned down, down, down for a drink.
I wonder what it thought when the goldfish zipped up for a closer look, eyeball to eyeball?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

release me

"Please release me, let me go, I don't love you anymore..."

I've been de-junking my closets. Isn't that the perfect theme song?


Our old truck has survivor guilt.
I didn't realize that until today.
Then I put two and two together.

Our car was stolen a couple months ago.
Sometime in the dimly lit hours of the morning, with only the moon and the old truck as witnesses.
The driveway looked strangely empty the next morning as I stood staring in disbelief.
"Where did you park the car?" I called up the stairs to my husband, my voice quavering.
I knew the answer.
I knew, but I just didn't want to believe.

Can you love a car?
Ours was a dear and faithful friend.

Yesterday as we hastened across a parking lot to the truck, I remembered The Love Bug and as a joke, called, "Herbieeeeeee, Herbieeeeee."
How startled we were to hear,
across the sea of cars,
a plaintive, "Beeeeeep?"

Monday, August 8, 2016


"It's a squirrel," the woman said with a smile, rolling her eyes at her dog who was standing statue stiff. We followed the dogs gaze and there at the base of a tree was a small red squirrel.
"She's moving her babies."
Sure enough, something was in the squirrels mouth.
And now out of her mouth on the ground.
She fumbled to pick it back up.
And dropped it again.
There it was again, hanging from her mouth like a little limp, rust colored mouse.
A baby squirrel.
The mother bounded over the tufted grass, her grip holding at last.
"I wonder why she's moving them," my husband said, thinking aloud.
And I found myself thinking about realtors and homes with a view.
Location, location, location.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016


I almost didn't stop.
Something had moved, but the woods are full of shadow and movement.
Full of sudden bird wing and squirrel tail.
I almost just kept walking.
But something made me stop.
Made me turn.
Let my vision clear, like binoculars sliding into focus.

Eyes locked with mine.
Bright, startled eyes.
My hand flew to my mouth.

About a foot from the ground, amongst fern and moss on a gnarled, ancient tree trunk, was a baby bird.
It opened its beak soundlessly.
As I continued to stare in amazement, it shifted uncomfortably.
Danger was near.
And it was me.

I forced myself to look away.
To keep walking.
To not draw any other eye.

Small nest and small nestling.
Genuine Geo Cache.