I love a happy ending!

Often the signs just get faded or are taken down, leaving the passer by wondering how the tale ended.

Not in this case, and I for one appreciate knowing the happy outcome.


On the way there

Farm to Market Road


I pass this view regularly on my way to or from visits to family in NY. I like how the name Farm to Market Road tells you a bit of the history. Both of the barns shown in this image are at, shall we say, reduced use. Just over the hill a crop of cookie cutter McMansions have taken root on roads with signs that alternate between paying homage to what the land was once used for and up market names. Our local mall is called pheasant Lane, and I remember when there were only a few scattered, old cape style houses there. Kessler Farms apartments, condos and detached dwellings was built on the old site of the Kessler Farm. I expect many of the residents don’t even know that just a scant 25 years ago the road they pull out onto was just 2 lanes, and had been dirt not too long before that. But to be fair, I never knew the old Slover Store that stood on the corner by my childhood home. It existed only in an old photo that made me feel like I had uncovered a mystery when I saw it as a 7 year old. It tilted my world to realize that there had been other stories on the land I knew as my yard. Farm to Market Road. So clear in what it is and the reason for it, I like that there is a consistency there to remind of us how food came from the farms we passed. I am glad that it wasn’t renamed Bryn Mar Road, or some other pretentious name. There is a nice solidity, almost a comfort to be drawn from the name as it is.

Imagine if

no memorials

For Su Bing Xian

At home in Bejing 1/17/2001

Eleventh anniversary offering for 6/4

Forbidden to grieve

Forbidden to recollect

Forbidden for the mother who lost her son

to visit the wife who lost her husband

Forbidden for the young paraplegic

sitting in the wheelchair to receive

an arm of support for him to walk

Forbidden for the widow

to receive a bouquet of flowers

Forbidden for the orphan

to be given a new book-bag

Forbidden for the warm hands to help

the wronged ghost with no home to return to

with just a handful of dirt to plant a green patch

strictly forbidden for the new forlorn eyes left

to seek the executioners in the ir lawful hiding places

Forbidden forbidden forbidden forbidden…

11 years ago it was forbidden for a drop of rain

to fall on this cracked tortoise-shell earth

11 years later it is forbidden for the snowman the child piled

up to love out its brief life.

Liu Xiaobo

June 4th Elegies

How sad would it be if we were forbidden from acknowledging anyone the government chose on Memorial Day?

If it were even forbidden to give a look of commiseration to someone who needed to know they were not forgotten and nor was their loved one.  Imagine what that does the grief of loss to have it publicly erased, to not be able to speak of the event(s) or the injustices or any of the victims while knowing otherwise. This poem is one of many translated into English from the June 4th Elegies, and I like best of all of them. Giving that things are generally lost in translation I can’t imagine how powerful a piece it is in original form. As we celebrate Memorial Day here in the US it is good to remind ourselves that we are fortunate to be able to do so, for as June 4th rolls around next week there will no public day of remembrance for  June 4th, 1989.

The path to summer

9-11-2011_079It looks like we are due for another wet Memorial Day weekend here in the New England area. But I am hoping that the weather reporters are being pessimistic, that the rain will end today and not continue over the weekend. It might, it might not. I hope it does for all those planning cookouts, graduation parties, tournaments and camping trips. As we basically lost spring this year it is a shame to lose the start of the summer stretch. But there you have it, weather does what it will.   I look forward to summer, that idealized version we hold in our minds of long days to meander through, that sense of timelessness that summer seems to bring. Not unlike when being snowbound brings in the winter. Childhood days are like that, unbound by time. Or at least they used to be, maybe now that sense of a boundless amount of summer is gone. I hope not, as it is a wonderful sensation to feel that each day is overflowing with potential adventure and that your time is your own. As adults we are so bound up by timetables, both our own and those imposed on us, that we are rarely able to have days of aimless wandering in which to recharge. This weekend, rain or shine, try to carve out a niche of time for something that makes you feel footloose and fancy free.


Vent and be done


Yesterday was a day that devolved into petty annoyances for each member of my family. A complaint about the end result of a project from someone who had no intention of doing the job to begin with. A notice that because the orientation (which is June 5th or 12th) had not been attended yet the spot in the class, which begins June 3rd, had been given away. The return of a project requesting “it be fixed” with no indication of what needed fixing. And a boss to busy dithering and fearful about making a decision that nothing gets done.

Bothersome? Yes. Irksome? Yes. Irritating? Yes.

And yet…we are not:

in a refugee camp, bedridden with an illness, hungry (really hungry), homeless, or alone. Which really puts the gnat-like irritations in perspective. The project- every other person has been happy with. The class notice- the professor has been contacted to see if he will squeeze in one more student that really wants to be there. The 2nd project- well it is the last of the year and if there is no direction from the teacher to clarify not much can be done. The boss- some are just ineffective, and work arounds are put in place to accomplish what needs to get done for the bosses further up.

And so, even though the situations are like nails on a chalkboard, they are manageable, and this too shall pass.

Things will work themselves out without my making them into bigger problems.

(I know what happened here)

(This is a ; & a ) post, enjoy!)






I drive by this house daily and nothing seemed out of place, until last week when obviously a disruption in the ordinary daily events had occurred.

But first, let me give you the background story so you understand how I reached my conclusion.

Last year or so, as my daughters and I drove by we saw a small boy, about 5 years old or so, on the porch. He was poking at a garden gnome that was perched on the railing of the porch, forcing it closer and closer to the edge until it toppled off and fell to the ground. Now, had I not seen the site in this state I would have just chuckled about the antics of small children and thought no more about it.

But I could not.

Because those antics resulted in the current state of affairs, and because I had read

garden gnome book

shortly before seeing the altercation between the boy and gnome.

And I knew the dangerous course of events the child had unknowing put into motion.

Given the suddenness of the change from ordinary house to the scene shown above, I believe that there is little doubt the gnomes took their revenge for the attack on their fellow gnome. I mean, what else could it be that could cause such damage? It isn’t like people tend to leave houses a total wreck when they move out, right?  It is obvious that the occupants fled from the scene in  great haste (…if they got away at all), leaving belongings scattered everywhere. The rooms still have toys in them, there is a tv on the porch, furniture here and there and other assorted household debris.  I think it is clear, don’t mess with garden gnomes.

They are watching,

they are organized,

and they are here.