Monday, January 30, 2012

Tuesday we pack up and leave the River of Stones behind. I wish I had written down the stones I saw every day like the song of House Finches I heard on a sunny day or the white fur on the back of squirrels' ears I saw up close today. I though I could just commit small stones to memory but that notion has me treading on thin ice. Oh, and what about that bright red fish house on the lake? Or the photo of little Dr. Erica on her second Christmas morning that surfaced in the desk piles where she's in red from head to toe? Red in winter, a motif, as well as white on the ground and a pale blue wrapped around my heart like a scarf because another season is half over. Melancholies see small stones everywhere, every day, but sometimes the stones are so incredibly lovely that they defy words. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Off my deck one morning I captured these tree tops standing in the cold. A small stone to keep in my pocket was their apparent happy greeting of the sun and persevering, waiting it out. I'm reminded of this same truth whenever I see  four legs, paws or feathers visiting our yard during the day.

Bean the cat seems perturbed as she watches me pack up the last of the Christmas decorations. No more sneaking around, chewing on the tree or sitting in the empty boxes. Life can be like that. Since she won't allow anyone to pick her up or hold her, there'll be no explaining the facts to this serious little feline.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

'you can't keep Minnesotans off the water'

Minnesotan ice fishermen are jumping for joy since we've finally been in the single digits this week, weather wise [I was meaning not I.Q.-wise, but then again, who in their right mind would sit on the ice waiting for a fish to come by?]. Now at least one or two ice houses can be spotted on the local lakes...usually many more like these on White Bear Lake. Driving by at night some lanterns can be seen shining on the ice, or is that a television screen?
More seasonal skies @ Skywatch Friday.

Monday, January 16, 2012

I've been to the mountain top. . .

Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.   
Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)
minister, civil rights activist

Thursday, January 12, 2012

note to self: look up from the computer once in awhile!

              One is apt to overestimate beauty when it is rare. Mark Twain
I was working on the computer early one morning this week when I was blinded by this gorgeous sunrise You catch a glimpse of the lake near us in the first picture, both taken from the frosty deck.
It occurred to me that even if I don't see beauty as it is happening, it is still happened.
Elementary, my dear.                     
Stop by Skywatch Friday for more breathtaking sky views.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

the quality goes in before the name goes on

If the title's promise rings a bell, you're of a certain age. Remember the ads for Zenith radios and televisions gave us or our parents that assurance? And so its been since 1923 when the Zenith corporation was incorporated in Chicago. The rest is our history.

The letter Z finishes up this round of ABC Wednesday sponsored by Z for Zenith. Happy listening.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

urban antics

On the day after Christmas we took a walk around Erica's neighborhood in Philly and had to stop as these girls meandered from the bushes in some one's yard and walked in front of us. Proof that chickens can live in the city [sans roosters, that is] and ever since Buddy hung around our apartment building I've been smitten by them. . .more about him here.
Feathered friends links to  Camera Critters.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

yellowing paper

RittenhouseTown is the site of
the first paper mill in British
North America, founded in
1690 by William Rittenhouse,
America’s first Mennonite
minister and founder of the
Rittenhouse family. It is also
historically significant as the
birthplace of David Rittenhouse,
an important 18th century
statesman and scientist and the
site of an early American
industrial village.

More from our visit to Erica in Philadelphia. For ABC Wednesday this yellow door fits the criterion for today's letter du jour: Y. It is the entrance the Rittenhouse stone house circa 1787 at the small Rittenhouse Town in Fairmont Park, Germantown.
See more Y's, both old and new,@ Mrs Nesbitt's ABC Wednesday.

Monday, January 2, 2012

cannoli man revisited

On the day after Christmas we wandered the streets of South Philadelphia in the 9th Street Italian market.  Loaded with boxes of cannoli and babas, fresh ravioli and olives--all the things that seem just a bit more authentic to this Italian than the very same things that can be found in the Twin Cities--it is always a magical visit. This district includes a large residential area around and through the market streets--like this store front which reflected the typical Pennsylvania red brick row homes built flush with the sidewalks as well as vintage and antique accordions.

I am grateful for the strong feeling of belonging and history that I feel when I visit this part of town. I'm not really a stranger there. I hear familiar accents in the voices, young and old and can always find warm brown eyes of my paisans. So, today I skip this 'heritage' stone across the river.

Cannoli Man

She took to the road early, turning her face East
Away from the small railroad town where her immigrant grandfather
Sold groceries to cowboys and laborers

But no one recognized her name.
Arriving in her youth, she tentatively placed her feet down as divining rods
On the narrow cobblestones Paul Revere rode.
No one there had shared steerage with her family.

Dinner tables piled high with Sunday's best were long since covered with asphalt
in the city with broad shoulders.
Only drowsy, wine-soaked eyes met hers along the Chesapeake.
Bowing her head, she passed the old flagship church in South Philly.
True north she found his store at the edge of the market,

Falling out from the rest of the buildings like a torn piece of lace.
Shiny cannoli tubes, stock pots, strainers and randomly hung
Yellowing photos of boxers past their prime, Mussolini and the Pope
Her hand closed around his cigar stained, sausage fingers, his sweater's
unraveling cuffs

Comparing origins, he had, in fact, heard her name before.
Turning to her Irish immigrant husband, the shopkeeper asked,
Did you get permission to marry one of our girls?

A familial smile parted her lips as
The small Calabrian dove in her breast
eased it's fluttering--
folded back its wings,
and calmly closed its eyes to rest.

Linking to River of Stones,2012.