Home   |   LCS Prints Store   |   About Me   |   FAQ   

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sandburg says it Best

I suppose we all read this one, at some time during our school years.  There is something to be said though, for rising at 6:30 a.m. and living it.

Carl Sandburg - 1878-1967

The fog comes
on little cat feet

 It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
until it moves on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One for the Ages

When I accepted my part-time job at the gourmet food/cheese shop, the hours conflicted with days I volunteered for our town’s Counsel on Elder Affairs.  Instead of serving lunch on Wednesdays, plus baking for, setting up and cleaning at a weekly senior breakfast, my schedule allowed for me to set up for the breakfast before rushing off to the paying job.  I lost out on the lunch totally.  Last week though, my days at the shop changed and for the first time in over a year, I wasn't there on a Wednesday.  I spend the morning on LCS Writes work, and when I looked up at 11:00, I realized there was plenty of time to see if they needed me at the center.

Volunteering with senior citizens offers profound reward.  The work is simple, the remuneration complex.  Seniors’ eyes glow when they see our “younger” faces. They openly express their gratitude for the simple tasks we perform, serving lunch, cleaning up, engaging in a little lighthearted banter.  

I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have my favorites and when I poked my head around the corner on Wednesday and S___’s eyes lit up, it was a reminder of the value of connecting with other humans, regardless of age.  M_____ held my hand as I teased her about the bandage on her head and we laughed when I reminded her that the last time I saw her she had a bruise there too.  Of course we weren’t making fun of her falls, only acknowledging that limitations occur and, as my father used to say; “Getting old ain’t for sissies.”  As the wrinkled faces of the friends I’ve come to know nodded and waved, there was also an awareness of open spaces.  Regular seats had new occupants, or worse, remained empty, which made me consider the warmth from the hug S____ gave me a while longer— kind of like the lollypop I snagged from the counter in the Elder Affairs office;  a sweetness savored long after the last dish was cleared.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Field Trip

Less than two hours away from us, a small Rhode Island town hosts stone-lined roads, squaring off blocks of rolling green fields dappled with bulky hay bales. Over the floss of corn stalks crowding Route 77, strips of sea lay under a cloudless horizon. For thirty years I’ve wanted to visit  Little Compton.   Yesterday, my husband and I did. 

I wondered how different it could be from my own New England fishing village and the answer to that is “very.”  Where we drive up and down twisted roads that run into and emerge from pine needle shadows, Little Compton’s lined drives point straight to the distance; their inclines, gradual.  In spite of twisted oaks guarding the road, the land lays unabashed like a fertile woman, welcoming all the light the sun can muster. 

Farm stands dot the main road, and after purchasing last-of-the-season peaches and passing on the temptation to pick apples, we finally stopped for butter pecan ice cream in Tiverton Four Corners. As we peered toward the windows of an art center, then stopped for tastes at an immaculate cheese shop, something became clear.   Our Sunday had began early in the morning with a service of remembrance.  It finished with a reminder of all that remains.

Oh, and Anne Gallagher, at Piedmont Writer, these pictures are for you.

Posted by Picasa

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Gerry's Legacy

Rachael Harrie has posted the first campaigner challenge. Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “The door swung open” These four words will be included in the word count.  If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), use the same beginning words and end with the words: "the door swung shut." (also included in the word count)

For those who want an even greater challenge, make your story 200 words EXACTLY!

Gerry's Legacy

The door swung open.  “Oh Lord,” she cried.  Water percolated at the base of the granite steps.  In the twenty years they’d lived in the Lodge House the river never swelled beyond its banks, but four days after this tropical storm began, the stream morphed into a running quagmire of trash and debris.  Tree branches swirled in the eddies, a license plate stuck to particle-board floated like a directionless raft. 
The memory of Gerard King, the “Paul Revere” of Exeter, exhorting citizens to approve a tax increase to retro-fit the dam, circled in her brain like the plastic milk jug floating by her front door.  With his pony-tailed hair down to his waist, torn shirt and leather moccasins, he’d stand up at the mike every year, hollering, “No, the river hasn’t overflowed in over 30 years, but it is only going to take once.  That berm was built before World War II.”  Each time, engineers in their navy rep ties pulled out analyses of weight-to-water ratios, convincing townsfolk the berm was safe.

As she looked across the raging torrent to the cemetery where Gerard was buried last week, a rumbling vibration shook the house.  Behind her the door swung closed.

If you like my post, click here to vote.  I am #329.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Truth of "Time"

This post is my contribution to Alex Cavanaugh’s “Insecure Writers Support Group.”    For More information and to find other bloggers who are participating, clickhere.  


That number represents the word count on my current project as of 9:00 yesterday morning.  Last week sometime, I forced myself to sit down and log 1000 words.  Other than that, it remained in an untouched folder on my flash drive for close to a month. During that time I wrote blog posts here, and for a regional magazine, and completed bi-monthly public relations articles for the local newspaper I’m being paid to write.  So I can’t cop to “writer’s block.”  But when it was time to sit down and move forward with the story I’ve been working on since this winter, I veered away from the computer.

This year spring arrived, then summer, delivering a basketful of emotional produce related to endings and beginnings associated with our eighteen year-old only child.  I felt the need to work my way through all that fruit, to juggle a few oranges and to chew on the ripe plums at the bottom of the pile before I could focus on my story again.   So I gave myself a "pass."  With the arrival of Labor Day, the summer milestones were all crossed off.   

Time to get back to the thing, right?  

Yet, here I am, writing this post on writing insecurities, instead of, well, writing.

So many times writers are asked:  “How do you make the time to write?”  I have a theory and it is pretty simple.  There is always time to write, we simply have to make a choice to find it.  Over the last few months, I’ve chosen not to.  Now I’m worried.  The distractions are over, and if I mean it, it’s time to call my own bluff.  

PS…There’s hope.  Word count as of 3:00 p.m. Tuesday: 30,057.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Failure: its Own Reward

If you are you familiar with Middle Passages, you may be aware that sometimes I get an image in my mind and obsess over capturing it digitally.   Notwithstanding I have no training and rudimentary equipment, the urge to document a vision my mind conjures can border on a fixation.  I’ll level with you though.  I never get what I want.  But in failing to record what I hope for, I often get something else.

A bit of background here.  If you go back one post, and scroll to the bottom, you will find a picture of a lovely Herrshoff 12.5, anchored at the mouth of our harbor.  In the distance Minot Lighthouse guards granite ledges that chomp like monster teeth a mile out.  When I took that picture the other day during a walk, it occurred to me the scene I was photographing pointed east.  Aha…she plots.  A sunrise photo.   I could just see it—a vast orange ball straight-arming itself over the edge of the navy horizon, spliced in two by the stone monolith that has protected our waters for 150 years.  The sun’s reflection would lay a path to that simple sailboat.

So, when I woke at 5:30 this morning, I threw on some clothes, splashed my face with water, and raced out to give it a try.  

By the time I made it to the bench overlooking the boat, morning was beginning to scrub the night sky  with peach and pink. The sun had yet to crack the horizon, but it was clear its appearance would occur south of the lighthouse, eliminating any hope of freezing the image I sought.   

But that was okay.  As I sat amid the rhythmic lap of water and heckling seagulls, two herons with their long legs tucked flush, glided overhead like streamlined paper airplanes.  The chest-deep cough of a lobster boat sounded; a camper emerged from one of the colorful tents on the barrier beach lining our harbor and took a sunrise stroll down the length of the jetty. 

I sat, focusing on the lightening sky, the purple water rippling toward me on a steady breeze, the briny tang of low tide, the clank of halyards hitting the aluminum masts on the sailboats moored in the harbor.  Then, as the sun cracked the horizon, I lifted the camera and took what I could get.

Posted by PicasaHappy Labor Day Weekend All.  What are your plans for the holiday weekend?  I am participating in KarenG's Labor Day Weekend BBQ Blogfest.  Click here to check it out.