I felt pressure in the center of my chest. My body spoke intently what my mind was thinking. This hurts a little. We’d planted seeds a week or two before. I am filled with the excitement of a second grader when their little green heads start to poke up out of the darkness. But seeds clumped closely together meant too much competition for water and nutrients, and they’d begun to grow pale and leggy. For the parsley and peppers to thrive, letting go of many of them was necessary. My heart ached as I gently pulled their delicate white roots
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Between the fading fuchsia of the redbud trees and the arrival of the violet iris, I start my lookout. My annual lilac ritual required observation for the ideal day. I waited through spring snow flurries and bouts of impatience; now it was time. The night before I prepare. Double sided red plastic bucket. Garden gloves and clippers. Vases of assorted dimensions selected and filled with water as time would be of the essence. Alarm set for 5:45. For over a decade, I’ve known no other person to clip a branch this row of magnificence other than me. I arrive as
Oh April! The month of smiling daffodils and terrific tulips, of fuchsia redbuds and lavender lilacs. The month my neighborhood walks return so I see snowy white dogwood blossoms and showy pink magnolia blooms. Above all in April, I celebrate the wonderful women born in this first full month of spring. The list is too long to name them all. Five coworkers I adore. Multiple amazing friends like Mary, Mo, and Melodee, the latter my 40 year plus bestie. Most specially, I celebrate Mom. Though my mother’s life seemed destined to deliver her hardship and heartbreak, it’s an ongoing inspiration
We caught the number 3 bus to downtown. Perhaps my little sister was with us, but my memory’s eye sees only Mom and me. It was our annual trip for something special for Easter Sunday. I can’t recall any dress purchases. The buy was more likely to be a white brimmed bonnet with an elastic band fitting tight under my chin. Or perhaps one that formed an arch over my head with rows of stiff white lace and small spikes of plastic to keep it in place. With seven siblings, a day like this was surely special. Preparing for the
“It shouldn’t be like this,” he said. “I know,” I agreed. “We should be seeing little bits of green in the grass.” “I know,” I said. As giant clusters of March snow fell, the silence between us spoke our sorrow for the climate crisis with no need to mention the bitter cold that keeping us away from the St. Patrick’s Day parade. We knew. We knew how the weather had once been this time of year. Unpredictable perhaps, but not so extreme that lives were lost seemingly nonstop to floods and fires. The calendar said spring was five days away.
All public schools will be closed today. With this announcement followed the declaration of a remote workday. All are spared the stress of driving amidst Midwesterners who have yet to learn that their cars are too light or their feet too full of lead to be out in a February snowstorm. I look out my kitchen window. I see the snow-covered rooftops of my neighbors’ homes. An occasional truck lumbering by disrupts the hush. I hear the quiet. Growing up one of eight children in a two-bedroom home, silence was seldom. As life went on, my extroversion and enthusiasm meant
When I read Marie Kondo had “kind of given up on tidying”, I felt vindicated. The author of The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up made her fortune telling us to toss anything that didn’t spark joy, limit our library to 30 books, and fold our socks with precision. After the birth of her third child, she had a change of perspective (“changed her tune” was my more cynical thought). Now her teachings are said to focus on “what matters most”. Kondo’s book—one I promptly added to my collection of a couple hundred—shared wise principles order, beauty, and simplicity. My
I slowly folded back the turquoise tissue paper. Underneath lie a carefully folded red sweater. A lusciously soft cashmere, it was my exact size. Another Shelly gift. Shelly is a relative by marriage turned beloved friend whom I might only see once a year despite her living in a neighboring town. We share a love of vintage, thrifting, and one another. Every now and then she delights me with a selection from her closet or her most recent Salvation Army scouting. Shelly’s surprise answered the question I ask myself at the start of each year: What do I want more
They caught my eye this morning. Their stems standing tall. Their petite pink flowers matching the morning sky. My punchbowl begonia was beautiful. Perhaps the lens through which I saw them made my vision rosy. The day had begun beautifully, so it could be everything looked lovely. I meditated with our cat Moonbeam coming by for a visit. I did some sun salutations. I made the bed and Kevin made the tea, delivering it to me as I read the morning news. “It’s almost Christmas,” he said. “And just a week until my birthday,” I grinned. “You deserve a present,”
Growing up on an Oklahoma subsistence farm with her 12 siblings, she was taught to keep her personal business private. That changed in October of 1991 when Clarence Thomas sought his lifetime appointment to the United States Supreme Court. Anita Hill’s moral courage called. Hill testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Thomas confirmation hearings. She detailed his sexual harassment while she worked as a lawyer at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It included everything from pressuring her for dates to graphic talk about pornography. The 14 white men grilled her for hours and, as The New Yorker reported, did everything possible