Saturday, April 25, 2009

Traffic delay

Had to stop on the bike path today...

Thursday, April 23, 2009


This building is a little hidden mystery. You cannot easily see it from the road, yet thousands of people drive by it every day. It sits on the edge of a stream, on a barricaded and long since forgotten road in a busy city. This property was once part of a public park, but has been unused for years. It was closed to make way for a highway. The 200 acre remainder of the park has ball fields, climbing structures and slides for children, a large duck and goose population, picnic tables, and a zoo.

I went for a bike ride during lunch today, and took this detour to get to the park. I've ridden by here many times, and I just cannot guess what this building was for. It sits as I pass, never letting me know what it's purpose was when it was built. It keeps a secret well.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I get it, really. I understand why people run on a cold day in the middle of a New England winter, or why some folks go to the gym every day. There is true satisfaction achieved when your body is working harder and giving you all that you ask from it. A few years ago I had a well-rounded exercise routine. I would work out at the gym 2 or 3 times per week, bike at least twice a week, walk or jog at the school track, push a lawn mower and rake leaves. It felt good to have a strong body.
These past four years, however, I have been in a slump. I am glued to a computer at work so I’ve developed what they used to call “secretarial spread”. I am mentally exhausted when I leave work and have a serious lack of energy. Besides that, my meals have been shameful.
So lately I’ve started eating lighter and cutting back on fats. I stay away from processed foods, preferring to prepare a quick stir-fry for dinner. No junk food is allowed in the house, so I have to really want something before going out to get it.
But the best part came yesterday. There’s a bike path about 20 miles from me, paved, with some small hills. To greet the first 70+ degree day of spring, I brought my bike to the path and took a 15 mile trip. How good it felt to push myself again.

My day job may pay the bills but this nourishes the soul. When I stopped to listen to a babbling stream, I saw a small woodpecker on a tree trunk barely 15 feet from me. He flew over my head before I could take his picture. There were cardinals, robins, sparrows, squirrels, and some frogs who were making a serious amount of noise. The wild greens and flowers were opening, adding sparks of color to the undergrowth.

It was a beautiful day.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

In the last few years I have grown closer to my mother. As she ages and grows more dependent on me, I am learning from her how to be a gracious maturing person. I see deeper into her character and appreciate the kind woman she is. She is wise and has a clear mind, and speaks gently of others. She follows the news and reads novels, but will gladly reminisce of her youth and answer questions about life back then.
This small, frail woman has lived a long and wonderful life although many times were hard. She grew up in the Great Depression and money was tight for most of her life. But she is grateful for all that she has done and seen. This lovely woman who stayed home to raise her children until they were all teenagers, and then only worked as a housekeeper a few days a week, would now be a role model for Feminism. In between our weekly grocery trips on Fridays nights, she would walk to town to pick up things we needed. She was a master at stretching money and saving whatever she could. She was self-taught at the sewing machine and made my angel outfit for the school Christmas production, along with some drindle skirts made from odd pieces of fabric she came across.
She has been independent since my father passed away 25 years ago, taking flights to visit us when we lived several states away. She stayed active at the local Senior Center as long as she could.
Her children are all older and have their own busy lives. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren are scattered so family gatherings are infrequent. When they visit she still enjoys cooking for them, or at least making their favorite dessert.
Today I spent a quiet Easter with her. After breakfast we enjoyed a sunny but chilly drive, followed by a walk through the cemetery to check on the daffodils I planted last fall. The bright yellow flowers were reassuring on this unusually cold spring morning. She said this was the last time she would walk up the hill to her brother’s grave. Each time gets a little harder for her. So I joked that her relatives had their nerve dying and being buried on the hill. Why couldn’t they have waited until the graves in the new, flat section were used? At least I can still make her laugh.
We all need to slow down and enjoy the flowers, and hold onto moments that are gone too soon.

Have a Happy Easter, Passover, or beautiful Sunday. Whatever this day means to you, I wish you well.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sunday Family Outing

While running some errands today, I saw this family of wild turkeys enjoying the warmth of the noontime sun. There appear to be two males and six females.
This photo was taken from the shoulder of a fairly busy road, about one-half mile from a Walmart, Dunkin' Donuts, Wendy's , a gas station, and a cluster of homes.
I was the only person who stopped to enjoy this scene. Cars kept rushing past, which made me wonder if our lives are too busy being busy to stop and enjoy the beauty of Nature.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Over the past decade I have been lucky enough to have realized several small goals. I’ve been continuously employed. I’ve kept a roof over my head and food on the table. And I’ve enjoyed good health. These have all formed my little comfort zone. Now it’s time to step outside this zone. To have a more fulfilling life, I want to be able to move forward and go for a bigger goal.

My dream life would be living in a home with a parcel of land small enough to manage by myself, but large enough to grow most of my own food. Two acres of land would support a large enough garden space so that I could store a winter’s worth of canned and frozen goods. I have many years experience in gardening and canning, and miss the feel of the soil and the smells of the garden. A fruit tree or two, a few berry bushes, and some rhubarb could go a long way.

Also, I would like to become less dependent on outside employment and develop a secondary income. Some years back I shelved a desire to work in fabric and design, a dream which has been tapping on my shoulder lately. Maybe it’s not too late to finish that dream, or some variation of it. I refuse to spend my waning years wistfully counting my “should haves”.