Monday, February 26, 2018

Only 22 Days Away

This is a re-run, but it reminds me of a season that’s coming – Spring. We’ve had a few hints of it this February and as of today it’s officially only 22 days away. Yay! I’m not getting too excited yet because we usually get one doozy snow storm in March, but, but, it’s on its way! So, in honor of the upcoming season here’s one of my favorite poems from “A Child’s Garden of Verses.”

The Swing
By Robert Louis Stevenson

How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
Rivers and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside –

Till I look down on the garden green,
Till I look down on the roof so brown –
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

All six of our grandchildren have gone up in the air so blue on the plastic swing hanging from our giant maple tree out back. When it was new it was shiny yellow and red with a t-shaped bar the snapped in place to keep them from flying out. They all loved to be pushed high enough to kick the leaves on one branch that dangles in front of them. And they would, when very little, sometimes fall asleep as they went back and forth, back and forth.

Ah, the pleasant sunny days of childhood. We think they’ll never end when we’re six or seven or eight. But soon enough we look back with longing and can only go there again in brief flashes. Like in Mr. Stevenson’s poem.

Hurry Spring. We need you

Photo: My miniature daffodils from last year

Monday, February 19, 2018

My Olympic Feet - Uh - Feat

Back when I was in my late 30’s, the same year sliced bread was invented, I was an adventuresome kind of gal. We had three kids, boys, full of all kinds of energy, good and bad, and athletic. So, when they asked about going to Haystack, a local skiing destination, I agreed that it would be a way cool family experience. There was only one problem.

I had nothing to wear.

“You can wear my old ski pants and jacket,” said husband. In his youth he’d been a speed skater. Even made it to one Olympic prelim. Medals all over the place. That’s how I met him. He asked me to skate. So I took up his suggestion and donned his vintage, before Gore Tex, ski ensemble. The pants were heavy brown wool and the coat, also wool, was bright blue. When I donned my gray fuzzy hat and black gloves I bore a startling resemblance to the Michelin Man off to his first clown rodeo. But once on the mountain, I was beyond toasty. I felt surrounded by happy children and inspiring winter scenery.

This mountain had an awesome bunny hill and a simple to use T bar. You know, grab the T, hang on and up the little hill you go. You glide up on your skies thus avoiding the possible disaster of plopping off the chairlift and doing a face plant in the snow. Really, looking like a big blue and brown marshmallow was bad enough.


Each of my guys took their turn with me. Once I let go of the T bar, one or the other would ski slowly down beside me to make sure I didn’t fall and become a human snowball. They all knew that Mom Was Not A Skier. Even hubby took a turn.

Under their tutelage I was doing pretty well. Had my “wedge” mastered – kind of. I was well padded, naturally and otherwise. On one of my runs I was feeling that I could go it alone now. This is how all those Olympic types must feel I thought as I breezed on down. I told my guys to go off to the big hill and I’d be okay on my own.

And I was for about two runs. On the third run I stopped at the top of the bunny slope and lined myself up to swoosh down towards the rope line and the T bar. I took a deep breath. I shoved off. I began to pick up a little speed as I went along. I became slightly alarmed but I had that wedge thing going. I could do this.

That’s when I spied her. A delicate little flower of a woman all dressed in perfect white ski garb standing primly in line with  a light wind touching the fur trim on her jacket hood. Just charming. A bunny on the bunny hill. I wanted to be her.

As she  moved slowly towards the T bar, I began to barrel clumsily towards her. I fought for control. Dang wedge! Faster now. I didn’t dare shout and imperil the bit of control I did have. “I’m going to take her out!” My terrified brain screamed. “Look out, Bunny Lady, look out!” I tried mightily to think of how a real Olympic champ would handle this. Nothing came to mind – because they are champs and I am not. A big fat zero would be coming up on that stupid electronic scoreboard for Michelin Girl Rodeo Clown.

As I was imagining profuse apologies and trying to think of what lawyer might take on my case something wonderful happened.

An arm swung out in front of me and stopped me cold just as I was within striking distance of Bunny Lady. My son Eric had seen my distress from afar and and zoomed heroically to my rescue. I heaved a huge sigh and instantly forgave him for all the crazy teen stuff he’d ever done (a lot!) hanging onto his proffered arm for dear life. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.

I do wonder, though, if there could ever be an Olympic event where a puffy circus clown and a bunny lady could do a ski ballet kind of thing. Probably not. Thankfully Bunny Lady doesn’t even know I exist.

Image: Free Digital Photos

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

My Downton Abbey Binge

You know what binging is, right? I was pretty sure I did, but I looked it up in my 8 pound  dictionary from-the-last-century anyway. To binge is slang for a drunken spree. OR , and I like this better, to soak. Well, that’s what I’ve been doing on these dark winter nights.  Soaking in Downton Abbey. It’s been three years since the series ended and I’ve purposely not gone back just so I could forget some stuff and really enjoy it again the second time (and believe me – I forget a lot of stuff these days!). In doing so some things have come to light.

Like many of the women who fell in love with DA, I, at first, identified with Lady Mary Crawley. Of course I did. Young, slim, perfect skin, gorgeous dresses and just crammed full of arrogance and her sense of place. Her view of life from way up there felt right somehow. The young, slim and snotty part began to go South, however, shortly into my binge.

So, I moved on to thinking I more identified with Lady Grantham, Mary’s mother. Twenty years longer in the tooth and still slim and elegant, but with some generosity in her soul. She’s lived a little and has an underlying kindness in her attitude towards her husband and children. Yeah, that’s more like me.

But then . . . I took a look at the Dowager Countess, also known as Cousin Violet, Lord Grantham’s mother. She’s a toxic, witty, stubborn, hidden soft side kind of woman. Not wanting life to change that much, but sort of fascinated by the present era. Maybe I’m more like that.

And then the snarky  creeps in.

If Lady Mary stood sideways and stuck out her tongue, she’d look like a zipper (old joke). If you put a whole stick of butter in her mouth, it would take three weeks for it to melt. I’m not a zipper and I love butter. Lady Mary and I have parted ways.

If Lady Grantham said, “Robert” with her head tilted ever so slightly while gazing at her husband one time she said it a thousand. Slightly annoying. And she’s a caver – gives in to everybody. What’s with that? Stand your ground, woman. Looks like I’m no LG, either.


That leaves the Countess. More and more I feel like she’s me. Two maxims come to mind when I think of her. Happy wife, happy life. And. If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. I think my husband and children would be on board here. Plus, when I look in the mirror nowadays I see what cousin Violet sees, I’m sure. Something resembling a noble prune – with pearls.

Well, there you have it. What have  you been binging on lately? And if it’s a dizzying amount of chocolate, wine, or the whole 1,656 episodes of Dallas, send me a private note. Have the butler bring it on a silver tray.

Image: Free Digital Photos