Oddments

In search of story


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November 1.19

Apple walnut cinnamon pie,

winter oven, my, oh, my.

Syrup’d slices, cinnamon dust

rise through nose to memory’s must:

oilclothed table, rolling pin,

floured apron, floor and chin,

pigtail peelings, glowing stove,

maybe nutmeg, maybe clove.

Coming in from bitter world,

boots well stomped and scarf unfurled,

amber warmth starts deep within

like radiator through my skin.

Kitchens of the long-ago,

swathed in early evening snow,

hug me still because I spy

apple walnut cinnamon pie.

 

Huzzahs and thanks to photographer S.W. Berg,

and kudos to dessert chefs at McCormick and Schmick’s, Virginia Beach, VA.

What memoried fragrance arises from this photo!

As this hectic season hurls us into next year,

I wish you, dear reader,

some sanity from a warm and spicy kitchen.

 

 

 


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September 23.19

Little woolly overcoat

inching up my wall,

do you think you’re coming in

to cozy up for fall?

Yes, I know that winter comes

with autumn equinox,

but I can’t accommodate

your hundred shoes and socks.

 

As if the trees and the stores weren’t reminder enough, come now the woollies to tell us that summer sets and autumn rises. I wish for all of us, dear reader, a season to catch our collective breath in the colors and new air that will come. May the din of the absurd be muffled, if only for a while.

 


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September 1.19

The porch, the porch!

What marvel, it!

Wordless greeting:

“Come and sit!”

In rocker, swing,

or wicker chair,

we bask inside

in outside air.

Gossip, cookie,

sip of tea,

a honk, a wave,

reverie —

we pretend to read,

shaded from sun,

but the book falls away

and we fool no one.

Unwalled parlor

mooring the ‘hood,

big bear hug

from painted wood,

any porch is

fine by me,

but melon-bedecked

especially!

 

Many thanks to photographer S.W. Berg.

 

What is it about this image, dear reader, that seems to be a most splendid greeting for Labor Day? Is it the hoorah of the watermelon red? The thick, disciplined hedge? The leafiness of late summer? The invitation to rest? The certainty that somewhere unseen is a sweating glass pitcher of iced tea with Wyler’s lemonade mix (and lots of sugar)?

I pass it along to all of you in hopes that you too can look at it and think of porches and late summers you have known. I wish you a relaxing Labor Day, dear reader, and a good harvest. May all be safe from Dorian.

 

 

 

 


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July 22.19

ELEGY IN A KITCHEN GARDEN

My poor beautiful tomato plant,

victim of its own vitality

lies helpless, hapless,

like my old Christmas tree.

Don’t tell me what I should do

or shouldn’t.

Doing isn’t feeling.

I tried but couldn’t,

and that is everything.

 

 

If you are a gardener, dear reader, you know that lessons grow in the garden, some of them dismal. Yesterday a rambunctious wind announced the coming of today’s blessed, cooling rain. I tried desperately to right my gorgeous Beefsteak, but my two hands and two feet were not enough. And the thunder growled.  It was with real sadness I had to abandon the rescue. If you are a gardener, you understand the feeling. It isn’t about what to DO.


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July 20.19

How long, dear reader, since you shopped for a major appliance? Say a refrigerator? For me, it’s been a long time and my memories were shaped by the days when one went to an appliance store where one could inspect the actual appliance. If purchased on the occasion of a firstborn’s christening, it would last until that firstborn left for college.

I was, therefore, ill-prepared for my recent search for a new refrigerator. I didn’t want frills. I just wanted to avoid ptomaine. Ice would be nice. Actually, anything frozen would be nice. (The freezer went defunct a while back.)

Today one goes to the Internet and to various “big box” stores, where one might find someone with answers to questions. The sales people — when found — are very nice and consult temperamental computers. (I can do that at home.)

Online, one opens a virtual appliance, and reads things called “reviews.” There is no want of opinions on the Internet. I was awash in them. It took about three zillion of them but I eventually discovered patterns: short-time owners ecstatic; long-time (three years) owners despondent. One adjusts one’s expectations.

The refrigerator gasping its last in my kitchen is a 20-year-old Amana. I make frequent runs to the grocery store to buy bags of ice to keep its insides cold, and it is giving its all to keep going until the new one arrives at the end of the month.

Now you know why we’re having this heat wave.


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Fourth of July, 2019

 

All the problems we face in the United States today can be traced to an unenlightened immigration policy on the part of the American Indian. 

—- Pat Paulson, presidential candidate, Smothers Brothers Party, neither right wing nor left wing but, as he said, middle of the bird, in the hallowed ’60s.

 

Happy Birthday, America!

We salute imperfect you!

Blessings on your Ship of State

from your ever motley crew!