Oddments

In search of story


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Connections: March 13.18

Someone else’s garden

is someone else’s history

I watch with stranger’s eyes

and savor its snow-covered mystery.

I might be the new owner

of the land on which it grows

but that doesn’t make it mine

as every gardener knows.

For a while I’m just its keeper

cautious in staking claim

hoping the new owners of mine

will lovingly do the same.

 

 

Connections

 

 

 


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Musings on wildlife, continued: February 3.18

They announced themselves in Stravinsky-esque blats over my roof. I rushed to the back door, ready to defend my personal homeland.

And there they were, four monuments to stupidity, clearly dumbfounded and trying not to look embarrassed. It’s frozen, you stupid birds! So much for landing with a splash.

They stood still for several minutes, looking around warily. Did anyone see how stupid we are? When they were assured no one was looking, they settled down in concerted effort to melt the ice with the sheer weight of their foie gras. But it didn’t work, so off they waddled to the riches on shore, aka our back yards, desirous of making breakfast of those riches and of leaving their own riches.

And so did they eventually break through the ice and paddle near me with all deliberateness, eyeing the smorgasbord they thought I had prepared for them.

I have begun to take their brassiness personally. The nerve. Trespassing on my quiet and on my grass. The sound of the amateur French horn is such a match for their manners. I am quite sure at this point that they have their cold beady little eyes trained on me and my house, assessing my defenses.

New home: new world — yes, dear reader?

 

 

 

 


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Musings on place: January 29.18

Life in a new place has an edge to it. Every day taunts you with your confusions. You never choose right the first time: that first drawer or cabinet door you open is inevitably the wrong one. Whatever you’re looking for is somewhere else.

You mutter at the builder, who put the pantry next to the refrigerator. It is his fault that you put the eggs in the pantry and the aluminum foil in the refrigerator.

You are grateful for the handy little storage closet, but you cannot seem to navigate it without a ricochet off that lower shelf.

Then one week that edge seems smoother, and you wonder if indeed that is so. Are you really opening the right drawer the first time? Are you no longer finding the paper towels in the freezer? Are you actually retrieving the hammer from the closet without dinging your head?

You allow yourself to take a deep breath and acknowledge that, yes, there is the slightest sense of routine seeping back into your life. Yes, there are still things in storage and much more to be done, but there does seem to be a smoothing of the edge. Ahhhh….

And then, incredulous, you see them: ants! In January! On your desk! Did they hitchhike in from the storage unit? Did they come from outside, enlivened by those warm days last week? Do you care? No! You just want a cannon to blast them out.

You hear them snickering, and you know the edge is still there.

 

p.s. The black and blue of this post has some ironic meaning, I’m sure, but I have no idea why the two colors happened. Probably the doings of the ants.


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Connections: January 5.18

About walls.

As you know, I’m new here. I have lived here not quite two months. Two insane months. My housewarming gift from Mother Nature has been a gorgeous, dangerous cold. She has shut me in.

Being shut in has put me in close communion with my new walls. Have you noticed, dear reader, how walls differ? It isn’t just the color; it’s size and height and the way they join hands or don’t.

My wall jewelry is — ahem — eclectic. My last house was 3400 square feet; this one is 2000. Even I can do that math. Placement must be judicious.

Since I have not had them painted yet, my walls offer particular possibilities. I am Columbus and these walls are the flat unexplored world. I can try this and try that; if it’s awful, I can take it down and the holes which tell the story of my bad ideas will be plugged and painted.

(Would that the history of all my bad ideas were so nicely disclaimed!)

Two days ago I hung three botanical prints I love. They look awful. They were perfect in the same arrangement in my old house. Here, awful. The space is so different. And space must be carefully sculpted. The walls might be flat, but the whole is multi-dimensional. A plain wall can be the best. Or tedious. A beautiful print can be just as tedious. Where do things go? Ah, the cry of the newly-moved.

In the Grand Scheme, my walls do not meet the lowest bars of significance. Perhaps that’s why I am so compelled by them: in some peevish way in an overwhelming world, I decide.

 

 

Connections


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Connections: November 10.17

In a stupor, I am here, dear reader. Having spent the last three weeks with my wonderful son and daughter-in-law, two grandkids, two dogs, and two cats, I have arrived in my new house. I have lived here for four whole days.

Aside from a mattress on the floor, a desk, and some miscellaneous chairs, my furniture at the moment is boxes, not a one of which is shin-friendly.

I’m downsizing, which is another way of saying I’m exploring the depths of wishy-washy. My decision-making is not crisp. Maybe there are just too many decisions. I contemplate something and what it will look like in some landfill years hence and still I can’t quite make up my mind about it.

Nonetheless, the pile of flattened boxes grows and gives me hope.

The feels-like temp this morning is 19. My winter clothes are in storage, keeping some boxes toasty warm. They are probably close to the box with my pots and pans, which got buried in the middle instead of the front of the storage unit. Golly gee, I have to get carry-out.

I was mercilessly berated by my family on the matter of my eight-year-old computer. So I got a new one. My poor addled brain is therefore trying to deal with the physical chaos of my surroundings and the virtual chaos of a new computer. Touch-screen? Wireless? All new, all befuddling, all out to get me. I have no idea yet how to manage photos.

Please bear with me. I am on a perilously steep learning curve, and don’t dare look down.