our children

Dennisport, Massachusetts
1880 Capt. Martin E. Thompson House ~ Dennisport, Massachusetts ~ photo by Larisa Rodgers

Once we meet our children, even for moments, in a place of “I don’t know,” of relinquished authority, we return to the realms of mystery and magic, where real connection becomes alive again.
~ Arjuna Ardagh
(The Translucent Revolution)

Well, it’s official, February was the coldest month on record in Connecticut. And it was the third snowiest, but I suspect it may have set a record for the amount of snow that didn’t melt between storms. I have not seen my garden since January 27. And March came in like a lion, with six inches of snow Sunday overnight into Monday. Incredibly we have more snow due this afternoon and another batch due Thursday… So much talk about the weather these days…

Deep Sea Blue


We seem to keep our cars forever, driving them into the ground before we finally give up and buy a new one. In thirty-eight years of marriage we have only bought five new cars, a 1977 Datsun B210, a 1988 Dodge Grand Caravan (great for transporting 3 kids and all their friends!), a 1997 Toyota Tercel, a 2000 Toyota Echo (so we could let Larisa use it the Tercel for college – she almost drove it into the ground before giving it back to us!), and the new 2014 Subaru Impreza pictured above. Somehow between all the snowstorms we manged to get this one out for a test drive, purchased and finally brought home. I LOVE that the manufacturer describes her color as “deep sea blue.”

As age increases, older drivers generally become more conservative on the road. Many mature drivers modify their driving habits (for instance to avoid busy highways or night-time driving) to match their declining capabilities. However, statistics show that older drivers are more likely than younger ones to be involved in multi-vehicle crashes, particularly at intersections.
~ SmartMotorist.com

image credit: Kelsey Pike
image credit: Kelsey Pike

Tim keeps saying this is our last car! As we are getting older, with slower reaction times, and seem more easily confused and distracted – Tim actually took a LEFT on a red light a few weeks ago – the safety features seemed most important. I’ve already been avoiding interstates and night-time driving. My depth perception is gone forever, I fear.

When my grandparents were in their sixties they were involved in a car crash at an intersection. They had been visiting us and were on their way home. They drove half a mile down our road and stopped at a stop sign before taking a left onto the highway. But a car they didn’t see was coming up the hill on the highway from the left and crashed into the front of their car, a VW Bus. Someone in a nearby house called the police, but before the sirens started blaring, my mother’s intuition told her something was wrong and led her out to her car and down to the intersection. She got there just before the police and ambulance did, and then followed the ambulance to the hospital.

Fortunately my grandparents were all right. They had multiple lacerations on their faces and broke the same knees – I forget if it was both left or both right knees. 🙂 The nurses at the hospital thought they were such an adorable couple that they bent the rules and put them in the same room. Because they were at a local hospital we got to visit them. I remember how protective of them my mother was, and how she somehow knew the moment they were in danger.

Memories…  Let’s hope Tim & I get through our sixties without incident! I am really enjoying the heated seats!! And there are roof racks for the occasional trip to IKEA or trips down south to visit the kids. Georgia & North Carolina, here we come!!!

an unspoken law

"Backwoods" by Ivan Shishkin (1832-1898) Russian Landscape Painter
“Backwoods” by Ivan Shishkin

A lady, with whom I was riding in the forest, said to me, that the woods always seemed to her to wait, as if the genii who inhabit them suspended their deeds until the wayfarer has passed onward: a thought which poetry has celebrated in the dance of the fairies, which breaks off on the approach of human feet.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

I have learned through walking with my dogs here that there is an unspoken law. Always send a warning. Never surprise the animal life in the forest. So walking along without the noise of the jeep, it is wise to whistle a little tune and give the creatures some kind of an idea that you are approaching their area. This gives them a chance to adjust and find a place to hide, so they can watch you from their position out of your view. It is wise to follow the rule of the forest.
~ Neil Young
(Waging Heavy Peace)

Blizzard Charlotte ~ 2.8.13

Connecticut averaged about 30 inches of snow, down here by the coast in southeastern Connecticut we got 21 inches. Below is the first peek out the door the morning after!
Blizzard Charlotte ~ 2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut
2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Our governor has banned all use of roads today – we won’t be going anywhere any time soon. Our neighbor’s son has been digging out his mom’s car and thankfully he will be doing ours, too! It’s heavy wet snow. The workers with the snow-blowers to clean off the sidewalks have not even arrived yet.
2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Relieved of shoveling responsibilities we decided to take a short walk. The wind is still blowing and biting. That’s me in the next picture, bundled up and ready to proceed.
2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

We heard many limbs snapping off trees during the peak of the storm. These evergreens (below) behind our unit normally stand tall and straight. They are terribly bent over now by the weight of the snow…
2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut
2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

After we finished checking out the back we decided to take a walk up the road, which is normally very busy with traffic. It would seem everyone is in compliance with the travel ban.
2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Returning home through the other end of the parking lot we found another evergreen between three other buildings weighed down by the snow.
2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Sadly, there was a terrible incident at our condo complex this morning. I heard a woman screaming and quickly went to look out the window. A small group of people had gathered around the woman but I couldn’t see what was happening because of the snow drifts. Soon a policeman arrived and our neighbor later informed us that someone’s dog had attacked and killed someone else’s dog. I was stunned. Tim later saw the policeman taking away a little body in a black plastic bag. Rest in peace, little dog…
2.9.13 ~ Groton, Connecticut

There’s our neighbor (above) still working away at his massive shoveling job! We went back inside and had some hot cocoa, feeling a little guilty that we had not done any shoveling to earn such a delicious reward!

Windwood Faeriegrounds

10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
Windwood Faeriegrounds created by Jennifer L. Johnson & Edward Johnson ~ 10.12.12 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

Everyone needs a playground … don’t they? Even the wee faeries of Old Lyme need a whirl or two on the Faerie Wheel to keep their spirits spry. Three good faerie friends decided to get together and create an amusement park for their pixie peers. Chinook, Squall and Leveche are wind faeries and have built fun contraptions to share their love of breezes. Pixiechutes, TumbleTwirls, and the Swing-n-Wings keep the pixie dust flying.
~ Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making

Well, this post was supposed to be added on Sunday, but an early morning phone call changed the course of the day. Auntie fell at 3 o’clock in the morning and had to go to the hospital to get stitches in the back of her head. The doctors admitted her. She has stopped eating again and seems only strong enough to move her arms. Our spending the day at the hospital with her did not seem to be helping much and I came home with a terrific headache.

We had just visited her and my dad on Saturday. Auntie was a wisp of her former self, lying in a dark bedroom, complaining about the dark and the household noises, but refusing to allow her curtains to be drawn open. She grabbed my hand and wouldn’t let go for the longest time. I read to her for about an hour and then left her bedside to visit Dad in the living room. We had a little apple tasting party – McCouns are still his favorites – and then showed him our latest photos on the TV screen. Block Island, the giant seagull, and the fairy village. He seemed to be enjoying the visit.

And now something seems to be the matter with my blog. Instead of a place for comments at the end there is a message saying, “This content cannot be displayed in a frame.” Huh? So I do apologize – I have no idea what is going on!!!

Anyhow, I love the Faerie Wheel above – it may be my favorite thing from the whole exhibit!

a full weekend

4.30.11 ~ Erica
4.30.11 ~ Erica

Saturday: Autocross is a hobby Dan and Erica (above, the birthday girl with her sun-screening parasol) share on weekends and for this event they took Tim along with them. Tim got a sunburn in spite of applying sunblock and wearing a hat, but he had a great time riding shotgun with his brother and his niece, who were taking turns driving in their shared little blue Miata.

Meanwhile Fran and I went to see African Cats in the morning, had a lovely long lunch, and then went to see Water for Elephants in the afternoon. Both movies were very good. I read Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen a couple of years ago and thought the movie followed the storyline pretty well, but I wish they had included a little more about the elephant’s mischief with the circus lemonade stand. African Cats was especially wonderful, the cinematography was spectacular and the stories were unforgettable. Fran and I found ourselves crying and laughing and cheering for Sita the cheetah and Layla the lioness. The true story was touching without being sentimental – what sacrifices mothers will make for their little ones! If you see how Layla plans for her daughter Mara’s future you will know beyond any doubt that animals do love and understand loss. I’ll be buying this one when it comes out!

5.1.11 ~ Washington, District of Columbia
Acqua al 2 placemat ~ 5.1.11 ~ Washington, District of Columbia

Sunday: Five of us went into Washington D.C. to visit the Eastern Market. First had lunch at a fine Italian restaurant, Acqua al 2 (Water for 2, place-mat above). There are three of them, the original one in Florence, Italy, one in San Diego, California, and this one in D.C.  Tim & I were teased a little – they said we looked like the couple pictured on the place-mat! We had a nice window seat where we could people-watch at the market. (Below, our view) The food was delightful and very satisfying.

5.1.11 ~ Washington, District of Columbia
Eastern Market ~ 5.1.11 ~ Washington, District of Columbia

After shopping, Dan & Fran bought some Italian food at the market to cook for our dinner. I gained 5 pounds on this trip! Back to moderation for me!

5.1.11 ~ Washington, District of Columbia
5.1.11 ~ Washington, District of Columbia

We were parked on North Carolina Avenue and admired the charming townhouses (above) and gardens (below) along the street.

5.1.11 ~ Washington, District of Columbia
5.1.11 ~ Washington, District of Columbia

Monday: Train ride home was pleasant and uneventful. We were wondering if security would be tighter or changed in some way after learning about Osama bin Laden’s death late Sunday night. While Tim was off getting coffee and I was sitting with our bags at Union Station in D.C. a bomb-sniffing dog and its handler checked out our bags and then moved on to the next person’s bags with no comment.

It was a wonderful weekend and I feel so refreshed after reconnecting with Fran and having some good conversations. Today I’m puttering around unpacking and doing laundry, etc. Had a can of sardines for calcium and Vitamin D. Went out on the balcony at noon for my fifteen minutes of sunshine, and gave myself a little Reiki while I was at it. The birds were sweetly singing, too! Maybe I’ll put some flowers out there this year…

gardens and yards

Tim & I bought our little condo in 1993. We loved the wooden blue-grey board siding, the landscaping, the light, and most of all, the two birch trees in front of and on the side of our unit. Our little garden in front was just the right size for me to keep up and I loved taking care of it, and basked in the frequent compliments I received from the neighbors. But it was not to last. Sadly around the year 2003 the condo association decided the complex needed improvements. It was a very drastic renovation and we are far from pleased with the result.

First, they removed most of the trees, bushes and flowers in the gardens to make room for scaffolding. I can’t begin to describe the anguish I felt when the two lovely birch trees disappeared… After we got new roofs and new windows they covered the exterior with some ugly peachy tan stuff that looks like stucco or adobe. Here it is, seven or so years later and I still haven’t fully recovered from the trauma. Not that I haven’t tried. I’ve planted all kinds of things in the garden and made valiant attempts to keep weeds at bay. Occasionally it looks presentable, but most of the time by August (when my allergies kick in) I’ve had it and have given up.

My sister lived in New Mexico for many years and told me the siding looks like it would be appropriate there. But I am a New Englander and I’m still at a loss trying to figure out what would make me feel at home with the outside of my dwelling.

Tim was home sick with bronchitis most of this past week. So yesterday we went out for a drive to see the trees starting to get some green on them. We wound up in Mystic for a brunch at a little restaurant we love, and then decided to head up to the nursery in Ledyard following the back roads. We took pictures of a rusty tow truck that looked in worse shape than the last truck it ever towed! We wondered how many “Yankee points” this farm would score. (Not sure where I learned about Yankee points – many New Englanders, who can’t seem to throw anything away, keep all kinds of potentially useful stuff in their yards. The more stuff, the more points. You know the old saying, “use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.”)

4.24.10 ~ Ledyard, Connecticut

When we got to the nursery I was immediately going off on a tangent wanting every other bush I saw. Tim helped me to recover my focus and stick with my new plan. A cranberry cotoneaster. I loved the one I had before it was taken away and this one promises to be 5 feet in diameter. It will eventually choke out some of the weeds. Maybe this will be the year I regain my footing out there. Maybe this fall or next spring I will dare to buy a birch tree. One step at a time… I dug a hole this morning and planted the source of my renewed hopes. It’s supposed to be drizzling for the next three days so it won’t need too much watering. We still love the light here… Will try yet again to make the best of it.