Dos and Don'ts

great fritillary

eastern tiger swallowtail
Tiffany hybrid tearose


I don't like getting up early in the morning.
I don't put milk and sugar in my tea.
I don't wear black . . .it's too harsh.
I don't like to fly.
I don't drink alcohol . . . it tastes bad.
I don't have a cell phone . . . don't need one; don't want one.
I don't believe in distinctions between people, races, creatures.
I don't understand greed.
I don't know how to do a cartwheel.
I don't like cilantro or amusement parks or loud noises.
I don't have a desire to travel.
I don't fear death.


I do like to sit quietly and watch birds and butterflies.
I do like chocolate.
I do believe that plants are sentient beings.
I do love sending and receiving letters.
I do like cats.
I do sing more than listen to music.
I do prefer fiction over non-fiction.
I do enjoy mascara and lipstick and a good haircut.
I do appreciate fine old things:  typewriters, vinyl records, postcards . . .
I do have the heart of a hermit.
I do believe that selfishness leaves no room for peace.
I do hope, always, for happy endings.


Small Things That Have No Words

The other day we found a nest of bunnies in our little strawberry patch. I had done some work in the garden the day before and the nest wasn't there, so these babies are just born. It is a good spot for a nest--there is a fence around our tiny kitchen garden so the dogs can't get in, and of course, there is food aplenty. : )  I go out every day and uncover the nest to check the bunnies' progress. It makes Seth and Zach crazy. "Mom, the mother rabbit is going to abandon the nest if you keep disturbing it." No, I say, this rabbit knows me. We see each other all the time in the yard. One evening, she made friends with a mallard duck who stopped by on his fly over to the pond to munch some clover.


Dear Father, hear and bless thy beasts and singing birds, and guard with tenderness small things that have no words. ~Margaret Wise Brown



Yesterday was a gorgeous day:  seventy-five degrees and sunny, with a cool breeze. I never left the house. I am still recovering from Amy's hospitalization (six days at Mass. General) and a sinus/ear infection that I must have picked up there. I stayed inside and read all morning.

After so many days in the hospital, I feel enormously thankful for my home, for a soft place of comfort and belonging. I've been wandering from room to room and outside through my little gardens. Hello chickens! Hello trees! Hello rose and sparrow! In this place I am someone and everyone else is, too.

In the afternoon I baked a loaf of banana bread and an apple pie with some of the fruit from an enormous fruit basket a friend from church sent us. I am a good baker and decent cook--I've had twenty-seven years of daily practice.

The other day I finished an interesting  historical novel (The Visionist, by Rachel Urquhart ) about an 1830s Massachusetts Shaker community. Now, I am reading a contemporary Sue Miller novel (The Arsonist). It's a bit depressing, but then most fiction is, isn't it? The human heart identifies more readily with struggle and sorrow than ease and happiness, I think.

I finished another pair of socks. These were knit with A Hundred Ravens "Iachos" sock yarn. A Hundred Ravens is an independent hand-dyed yarn company in Wayland, Massachusetts. The color reminds me of rain and rose petals and a faraway friend to whom they will soon be sent.

Emmeline and I ripped out the old spinach and broccoli from the raised beds and planted red and purple bell peppers, banana peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and beans. Paul planted four nice tomato plants in five gallon buckets on the deck for me. Today it is raining (and cold!) but I think the seeds and new plants will do well with the rain. I dead-headed all the flowers in the rose border last evening, too. The roses are in their first flush of bloom, but are struggling this year (especially the peach and the white), so I am giving them extra care.

Amy is still very fragile and weak. It's going to take time for her to recover. But each day gets a little better, I think. Even in the rain we have hummingbirds. And fresh strawberries and peas from the garden. And sweet pets to cheer us. And love--lots of love. ♥