Category Archives: my neighborhood

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.

Yodel Good Morning

Stodgy New Englanders who might on a normal day in a normal week nod hello, now yodel out their greetings. “Good morning!” “Good morning!”

“Washing your hands?” I ask one neighbor.

Instacart order left on side porch yesterday. I donned one of my masks and washable gloves and got to work. Two big pots, one filled with soapy water, the other with hot water. Four rags.

I washed everything. The bananas. The boxes of soup stock. The cans of pineapple chunks. The quart of milk.

K thinks I go overboard (a bit of contention there), but I have a friend who put her bags on newspaper, washed everything, and then burned the newspapers and paper bags!

How does this substitution make sense?

My order came in plastic bags and I stowed them in the garage, untouchable for now. Would’ve thrown them out, but our town recently banned plastic bags and well, we have a dog.

Here Finn is, near where I want K to build a raised bed. It would use up a lot of lumber that clutters the garage (who am I to say anything with, um, all the fabric?) It’s the only full sun spot in our yard. Secondary benefit: a raised bed would avoid the toxins the roots of a nearby black walnut put out.

The descriptions of dying with coronavirus prompted this digital collage. It’s like drowning, they say.

I finished this yesterday. Two cloth notes:

1) The madras window came from the last garment I bought for my sister. She was wearing the dress when the fire fighters came to transport her to the nursing home where she died a couple of weeks later. There’s a whole story there, in other words, and that little rectangle speaks to it.

2) The hanger is a cloth-mask-tie that I decided wasn’t long enough. So there’s that reference.

I really enjoyed working on this yesterday — even the binding finish. Says something about how I feel about making masks!

I couldn’t capture it

The light was beautiful for Finn’s and my second walk and it defied capture. We made the long loop at three instead of at nine because it was raining this morning. Also, it’s supposed to be in the teens tomorrow with 30-40 mph winds and we might not want to venture far.

The wires caught the sunlight, making them jewel-like. Two banks of clouds in the distance sandwiched intense light.

Now I’ve got one heating pad on my lower back and one on my hips. I’m glad that K is due to arrive at Logan soon so that he and Finn can galavant together this weekend. I’m pooped. It was China AND Korea this time and he closed another deal.

As for Collage Month, I can tell you that I am very attached to the spooky silhouettes, the gorgeous dancers, and the references to flight made by wings, skateboarders, and that girl running up the steps.

Less enthralled with references to sight and vision. Tore out the drawing. The stitched bookcase. All clunky and obvious.

In every case, I prefer the digital rendering to the actual collage. Except maybe for the two below.

It occurs to me that in order to better experiment as well as to bring some of the pages up to where I find them exciting, I may be disassembling the sketchbook. Thank you resourceful readers for tips on glue. Will be trying them all out soon!

This morning I paired a beautiful profile of Prince with some Chinese round art, positioned like haloes. I want to find a place for him.

Dog walk in pix

With a special eye to the trees (after reading Mo’s recent post).

A series of violent thunderstorms barreled through the region yesterday, It feels like we survived something. Now the air clogs with humidity such that I can almost see steam rising off the sidewalks. Gonna make do with fans for as long as I can stand.

Later: do you see Finn in the shade?