Random Selections from the Blog

Click here for another random selection

Goodnight, Irene

Posted August 29th, 2011
Goodnight, Irene

She came and she went. We spent several days with ear cocked to the weather reports, doing this and that to prepare for assault on our sovereign territory. I excavated white river stones where they had become embedded in dirt washed down from above, added a wide and deep edge of mulch and surfaced that…

Lietuva 6: Bugs and Baltic Sea

Posted May 23rd, 2012
Lietuva 6: Bugs and Baltic Sea

Whhappp! Pthbbth! Ssssppppttthhhhtttt! That last comes with a liberal spray of spit. I thought the bugs in spring-time New Hampshire were bad. That was nothing. It’s also obvious to me why so much amber is filled with insects. The mosquitos way down south in Balbieriškis were large and aggressive, but they are nothing compared to…

The Eternal City 4: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men”

Posted April 24th, 2014
The Eternal City 4: “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an' men”

The Scottish poet Robert Burns (1759-96) was commiserating with a tiny rodent whose world has been discombobulated by human activity in his poem To A Mouse, On Turning Her Up In Her Nest With The Plough (1785) and left posterity with this wonderful verse that has since become cliché. But, Mousie, thou art no thy…

Patience, My Dogwood

Posted April 14th, 2012
Patience, My Dogwood

Our dogwood has finally bloomed. She withstood the travails of flood, drought and blizzard, and constant cropping by deer, and this spring she blossomed, like some insecure girl crossing that seemingly impassable divide between challenged childhood and blessed womanhood. Her siblings, in a foster-child kind of way, were more precocious. I knew, however, that delayed…

Retrospection 1: My Madeleines

Posted February 19th, 2012
Retrospection 1: My Madeleines

Memories are not, I think, narratives we remember as much as impressions, images and sensations. In that I am in agreement with Proust. Such imprints seem, at least to me at this great distance from the events, a little arbitrary although not like events seen through a rose-tinted lens. Who knows, though, whether they are…

Procreation, Politics and Power or What I Learned in High School that I Need to Know in this Election Year

Posted March 25th, 2012
Procreation, Politics and Power or What I Learned in High School that I Need to Know in this Election Year

A few years back I found myself on camera with Regis Philbin on the quiz show “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.” A few days prior to that encounter, a factoid learned when I was sixteen drifted into my brain during a trivia-cramming-induced stupor. The information that floated back concerned the 19th century Englishman Thomas…

Lietuva 4: Stork-Spotting

Posted May 20th, 2012
Lietuva 4: Stork-Spotting

As we approached Lithuania’s border with Poland and Belarus in the south, the tall pines exuded a primeval air despite their relative youth, and twisting roads offered glimpses of lakes and streams. In this countryside, gravity secures huge nests, some seeming to approach the scale of hot tubs, atop roofs, water towers, electrical poles and…

Scary Ellen Blows Up at Hyundai Service

Posted September 17th, 2009

They forced out my Dark Side. Again. I did not get up this rainy September morning on the wrong side of the bed. I did not glance in the bathroom mirror and wave hello to Scary Ellen. Not at all. I rose quietly so as not to disturb the rest of my Dear One. I…

Hanging Together

Posted May 27th, 2011

Ma always said, “If I didn’t have a washer and dryer, I’d never see my children.” In most things she was prone to exaggeration; about this, not so much. Her kitchen, however excellent her cooking and well-stocked the refrigerator, could not compete with the laundry room and containers of detergent. If ever I needed evidence…

Who Wants to be a Millionaire?

Posted August 9th, 2009

It’s true enough that everyone wants be a millionaire, and hope, as they say, springs eternal, which is why the Lottery thrives in times of economic despair and why game shows seduce so many of the viewing audience. I myself have stuffed a few tickets in the Christmas stockings. In 2001 I spent enough time…