Category Archives: my neighborhood

Befriending process

Yesterday, between the frightening news about trump’s ongoing efforts to undermine our upcoming election and a new construction project in an abutting neighbor’s backyard, I sought solace in the basement. It was cool. It was quiet.

First came two hours of writing class, then frustrating attempts to attach pieces of the giant global warming quilt. I decided to surrender to the difficulties, in a way, by working fast with top-stitched machine zig-zag. The results were disappointing. Some sections had three layers, some two, some one. Uck! I don’t want to mess with this shit right now and maybe not ever.

It’ll be separate, smaller pieces, then. I just spent a fair amount of time making C’s blanket which involved less than satisfactory technique — the sashing, the lumpy quilting — or I might have more patience for such rogue improvisation.

With the world on fire, tried and true techniques feel like a kind of safe-haven. Self care, even. Things are hard enough.

I wrote this post last night. It looks like I’ll be spending today in the basement as well — unbelievable noise — near jack hammering (not the slightly muffled kind we’ve had a lot of the summer up on route 9) and incessant trucks beeping in reverse. A true noise hellscape. Moments ago: helicopters and sirens. The backyard neighbor’s construction crew hasn’t arrived yet.

* Handwritten quote above from Krista Tippet interview with Stephen Jenkins.

Dream of care

I dreamt I was handmaiden to trump and tending to him during his bathing ritual. After his shower, I asked if he had enough towels.

What’s THAT about?

Feelings of compassion for the most contemptible and dangerous man on the planet? Feelings nowhere in evidence in the conscious mind. In fact, I am of that group of people who is astonished by how deeply I loathe the man (along with Barr and McConnell).

While frying up tofu for breakfast, I shuddered at the image of him coming out of the shower. Can you imagine? Even just from the neck up would be a horror show.

Meanwhile school is starting in one way or another.

I was heartened by two things during our evening stroll through the school yard and the upper field. One — we saw bats! Lots and lots of bats! I can’t remember the last time I laid eyes on a bat!

And two, some kind and generous souls planted up the raised beds next to the playground. Instead of rectangles of dirt, the kids come back to a lively tangle of green vegetation: tomatoes, kale, cabbage and more.

Lastly, as I noted over on Instagram, K and I were struck by how decrepit the tool shed we had installed years back looked. Time has slipped past while we were looking elsewhere.

Puzzle, dunk, and beans

The crossword puzzle gets me out of bed on Sundays, eager and curious.

Another beautiful day. It might rain at six. Regarding our patio dinner postponed from last night, K quips, “We should hold it yesterday.” It ended up being beautiful at six last evening.

A dunk a day keeps the depression away! Not gonna happen, but how grateful I am when we go.

You know it’s time to chuck a suit when the elastic crackles as you put it on. Since I love polka dots so much, a piece of the Lycra/poly blend will go into the fabric stash. I’ve used other synthetic polka dots to good effect.

Here’s a hint about tonight’s bean salad.

Here’s a hint about how the chicken will be served.

Here’s a link to GimmeSomeOven for their chimichurri recipe. Yummmm! I hope there will be some leftover for leftovers!

Not just another day

It’s hot. “The news flattens one spirits,” is one way to put it. A neighbor uses chalk to #saytheirnames

She inspires me.

It is hot enough for the season’s first batch of gazpacho.

Elsewhere in the neighborhood, a random act of kindness.

And a kitty looking Finn over as we pass.

And in case you didn’t already know that consciousness loves contrast, after a brutal catch up of the news this morning, look what greeted me to the East.

Walk with me

I used to take the boys to our town cemetery all the time to wander its broad paths and to feed the ducks. It seemed incredible that K had never been.

The hour drive to a Gloucester beach really didn’t appeal to me, so this was our compromise.

SIMPLE seems more important than ever right now. Ten minute drive. Finn left at home (no dogs allowed). Can return weekly!

(I’ve been wanting to quilt Celtic designs for a long time).

The names evoke other times. Rudolph. Anna Kate. Florence. Roland M King. Emeline. Jessie Annie. Gertrude. Levina. Adeline and Augustus. Elnora Wright.

George and Levi were everywhere.

We saw a number of other people but it was in no way crowded. It felt safe.

The green lights showed up again.

We could make a study of the flora. Many trees are tagged.

I thought more spring bulbs would be in bloom, but it’s still too early.

Driving home, we could tell it was Saturday because lots of fathers were out with their young children. Leaving mothers to soak in a hot bath, perhaps?

Freshening one’s living quarters feels more important than ever. Clutter imposes a drag on the spirits. In New England, air needs circulating. Today we’ll tackle the ‘new room’ (which is now 20 years old). As K’s ‘office’ and my fabric cutting station, it needs renewing, big time.

What are your plans for the weekend? What IS a weekend? Do you find tidiness matters more during home containment? Are you, like Dana and me, baking? How much news are you allowing yourself? Where are you putting your rage?

PS Son #2’s friend — the one from Brooklyn? — recently tested negative for the virus. I put some worries to bed, therefore, and also felt a little better about my 24 year old’s decision making.

PPS A colleague of my brother’s in the Stony Brook ER saw 21 positive cases the day before yesterday. Twenty one out of something like 24.

Also, my brother speculated that LA is about ten days behind NYC. The lack of density will mitigate the outbreak some, in his view, but the huge homeless and prison populations will do the opposite.