On the road in the Highlands of Scotland

I have been quiet lately.   After returning from our trip to Scotland life took over.  Since late last year and the tears and the depression, I got back up and into the game.  I volunteered for an organization that I care deeply about and have been on their fundraising committee for their big event of the year.   It was hugely successful and thankfully now in my rearview mirror.  Did I also mention I’m running for local office?  That was another of my post-election decisions.  If you want to have an impact on your community, you have to step up and get in the arena.   I have been knocking on doors and meeting lots of people and listening to their concerns.  More on this later, but first I want to take moment to remember the beauty of Scotland. Continue reading

Ringing in the New Year: looking ahead in 2017

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We rang in the new year quietly with a mildly alcoholic drink and a movie.  No late night parties for us or big celebrations in a bar or hotel ballroom.  Maybe it’s because we’re not in our twenties anymore or just that we enjoy being at home with our canine friends.  Whatever the reason, we were satisfied with our quiet evening at home.  We are at the point where we didn’t even have to explain to each other why we spent our evening at home.  Our priorities had changed.   Continue reading

Thanksgiving hopes to share a slice of the American pie

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Another Thanksgiving has come and gone.   The leftovers have been doled out to company and casseroles washed and put away.    The dogs got their annual treats and we gorged on an extra helping of stuffing and a second slice of pie.   Our lives are marked by these cultural traditions.  In America Thanksgiving is our premier holiday for families.  It’s a time when children and in-laws get plane tickets and take time off from work to gather at the family home.   We shop carefully for special items and construct a dinner meant for double the number of guests.   Because you never know if an additional guest or two may need a seat at the table. Continue reading

Now on the American menu: hate as the new normal

A softball dugout In Wellsville, N.Y. spray painted with a swastika.   Photo from The Huffington Post’s US edition.

I have been struggling with this post for a week now.  It has been written and rewritten a dozen times.  I am torn between expressing the anger and disappointment I’m feeling and a contrary pull to wait and see.  In the end the need to speak out won in my internal battle.  Some of my readers will agree with me, while others will not.  This is not a political missive.  It’s a call for decency and tolerance.

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When you come in contact with something toxic

America the beautiful

America the beautiful

As you know by now I have a vegetable garden.  I also have a large backyard, something I have never had in the past.  This time of year it’s a lot of physical work.  Where to start?  What are my priorities?  How do I overcome obstacles?  To make a long story short, last week I came down with some bad poison ivy.  It started on my face with a swollen eye, and slowly broke out all over the rest of my body.  Each day was a new surprise:  my torso, the back of my legs, my back.  The doctor had a miracle cure called Prednisone.  I’d like to invoke another analogy in this post about our presidential race.  Sometimes when I read the news it feels like a poison is spreading all over our country.  We are told to hate, to fear, to fight back, and to mistrust.  This too is popping up just when you least expect it.  The cure is more complicated than a daily pill. Continue reading

All the Light We Cannot See

 

Used with permission from freedigitalphotos.net

Last month a larger and more enthusiastic book group met at my local library.  The two person book group had grown with the addition of most of the knit group and a few others into  a fourteen person group with standing room only.   We read “All the Light We Cannot See.”  For anyone who hasn’t yet read it, I highly recommend it.  Yes, it’s about Nazi Germany, but it’s also about the strength of the human spirit and relationships and the will to survive.  The book is redolent with metaphors, starting and ending with the title.  The hero is a blind French girl.  The story mostly takes place when the Germans are occupying France and imposing their brutal will on the population.  Not much light, eh?  Yet, the book is full of hope.  The young French girl, Marie-Laure shows everyone around her that she sees everything, even without eyesight. Continue reading