Rose of Sharon and friends

This past weekend,  I spent some time with dear friends.  We’ve known each other since our kids were little, and they also knew my husband.  We’ve known each other a long time-  30 plus years. We laughed, and enjoyed others’ company. Sometimes, we just listened to the sounds of the insects calling to each other. Delightful.

When  I came back home,  I noticed my Rose  of Sharon had blossomed, probably encouraged by all the rain we had.  I had planted the Rose of Sharon on Father’s Day, in my husband’s memory.  The purple blossoms are so beautiful.

Somehow the two events seem not to be separated.  Good friends and beauty.  A  good day.DSCN3123




I love the Adirondacks. I recently spent time there with some friends.  As I am driving toward the mountains, I am overwhelmed by their beauty and majesty.  The lush, tall pines beckon me and welcome me.  It is also sentimental, as we spent part of our honeymoon there.  The Adirondacks feel like home to me.

My friends and I took a hike on a beautiful trail.  When one hikes, it is a chance to get more intimate with the mountains, and to see the individual pine trees. I relish these times, taking in the scents,  and breathing in the beauty.  I am glad to be home again. DSCN3120

Star light

Several times this past week, I’ve had  occasion to look at the stars.  It is something I love to do, to just sit and look at the stars and ponder. I can pick out the Big Dipper,  some other constellations and sometimes a planet.  Planets have a different glow, a somewhat different color, (thanks  to what I learned in Astronomy).  I enjoy applying that little bit of knowledge.

I often think, what are other people doing who are looking at the stars? Do they share my wonder?  Perhaps. Perhaps not.  But I know when I can see them, I do wonder in their exquisite beauty.   The stars “put on a show for free”.  (thanks to Joni Mitchell).

A poem I wrote  once, encapsules my thoughts:

    Night descends

 its beauty envelopes

   my soul

The stars twinkle

     I listen.

I hope to keep on listening.DSCN1957 (2)

















This past weekend, I spent some time with my grandson. It was so much fun!  When I was raising my own kids, I always made sure I had time to play, but with my grandson, it’s well, different.

Now, it’s just watching and playing with  him with pure joy, and delighting in simple things.  Kerplunk goes the rock in the lake.  Up he goes on the slide, and down he goes with his Dad with him.  Watching his Mom give him a bath, while he plays and laughs, in delight is the best.   And, I have to add, my grandson has wonderful parents!  I’m lucky to be able to watch the delights unfold. 07151813101

Tussie Mussie

For the past several days, I’ve been surrounded by flowers.  What a wonderful thing!  On Sunday, I went on a Secret Garden Tour.  On Monday, I went to Wiawaka, and made a tussie mussie. In the words of Mary Dunn, a tussie mussie is a “tiny tightly made nosegay of fragrant flowers and leaves”.  “Back when sanitation was poor and a walk down the street was a far cry from ‘getting some fresh air’, both men and women held these tiny, fresh nosegays up to close to their noses to sniff the fragrant leaves and mask the odors of the streets”.

In Victorian times, the language of flowers was important as a means of communication.  Some of the flowers and their meanings are such things as calendula for joy, fennel for strength, marigold for grief, sweet cicely for gladness, mint for wisdom/virtue/warmth, rose for love(of course)!  (From charts assembled by Pat and Jon Bourdo, and Mary Dunn).

I made the tussie mussie from the beautiful flowers picked from the grounds of  Wiawaka, while enjoying the magnificent vista of Lake George.  I attachedDSCN3087 a tag that said “gladness”.  I was glad to be there,  and to enjoy the flowers and scenery.

In these times, we need more roses (love),  daisys for hope,  and rue for light where there is darkness.



Today was a lovely day at the beach. In fact, the last several days have been lovely.  A sweet friend invited me to spend several days at her house she rented in Cape May, in celebration of her birthday.  I met some wonderful people  that were staying at the house and really had fun swimming,  watching the dolphins and watching the beautiful sunsets.  Last night, everyone clapped as the sun set.  It was spectacular.

As we were leaving, I noticed how many people had gathered to watch the sunset. I was so intently watching and talking that I hadn’t noticed the crowd.  But, it was all good.  Good in the sense that young and old had gathered,  strangers asked each other to take pictures,  and willingly obliged.  It fact, we did the same thing. And, we got a good picture out of it.

It is delightful to take a breather now and then  to see a different place, and spend time with good people. It refreshes my soul.  And,  I was happy to be there, to delight in simple things, and to feel fortunate that I was in this time and place.  07011820252


” Rain, rain, rain beautiful rain…”  This is the  beginning  of a song by Ladysmith Black Mambazo,  a South African singing group that praises the rain when it comes.  It is a good concept, to be grateful for rain.  Rain in many parts of the world is often in short supply.  Indeed, in our  own country- in California and Oregon it is scarce in the summer.   It is a scary thing.

So, if it rains for a weekend here, I won’t be complaining. I think it is very pretty and comforting. I was sitting underneath a portico  watching the rain  this weekend with a friend, getting ready  to work at an event. “Look”, she said, “it looks like we’re sitting underneath a waterfall”.  It did.  We enjoyed the moment, glad that we were safe and dry.  “Rain, rain, rain beautiful rain”. DSCN3055


Today was a beautiful day.     It was full of sunshine, a magnificent azure blue sky, and picture perfect.

Today is also Father’s Day, a day of honoring Dads.  I’ve been lucky to have  had a wonderful Dad, and a husband who was a truly loving, fun, caring Dad to his children.  And my Dad who was my father-in-law.    I confess that the day is bittersweet.  I miss them.

But then again, I think about the incredible gifts I have; my three wonderful children, my beautiful grandson, and the “new” amazing daughter in-law and son-in-law I have.   And, the fact that I can sit and look at my lovely perennial garden,  and enjoy.

So, in perspective, I’m indeed lucky.

I confess too,  that the news has been troubling me almost to the point of tears. I think of the young children whose parents have crossed the border, and have been taken away from their Moms, their Dads.

It is a helpless feeling, but I am resolved to donate, to contact legislators, to do something.

I was contemplating all this when I noticed an iris had bloomed in my garden, it hadn’t bloomed in years.

Almost simultaneously, an email arrived from a dear friend. She spoke of my husband Glenn, and our dear Dads.  Always, when we need to support each we seem to be in touch.  The email also contained a link to a beautiful writing from Rabbi  Jonathan Sacks who  connected to living life, “and life being a never ending stream, living water”.

The iris blooming today reminded me to live in the moment, to see beauty, and to appreciate all that we hold dear.DSCN3051















Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

DSCN3030On Saturday a friend  and I visited the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.  Although  The Statue of Liberty is beautiful and historic, I found that Ellis Island was much more interesting and compelling. The exhibits showed the faces of the immigrants some hopeful, some joyous in the expectations that this great, strange new country would bring a new life, where there would be freedom whether it be from persecution, religious freedom or freedom from being hungry and impoverished.  Some faces were cautious, and some frightened.

The exhibits also showed the  posters of our sordid history. Posters and exhibits explained the removal of Native Americans from their sacred lands, warnings for colored people of Boston to be wary of watchmen and police officers who had been employed as kidnappers as slave catchers.  Another photo showed a woman on a porch pointedly indicating   to a sign that stated” Japs Keep Moving This is a white Man’s Neighborhood”.

I thought of my own ancestors, some who came from Ireland, others  from Germany.  How difficult it must have been for them to leave their homeland.  My husband’s grandmother came from Poland. Her family came to escape the pogroms in the attempts to be rid of Jews.

From Ellis Island,  one can see the glorious Statue  of Liberty.  The pedestal has the inscription of the sonnet written by Emma Lazarus. Part of which reads “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp! cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to be free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-toss to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door.”

I heard one young visitor to Ellis Island say to his Mom, “Either you were happy and excited when you came here, or nervous and scared”.   I believe this still holds true today.  I hope that more us can be happy and excited here; rather than nervous and scared.







DSCN2978In my neighborhood, grass is important (not the kind you smoke). Plush, green lawns surround me. For over twenty plus years I have steadfastly refused to put chemicals on my lawn- so it doesn’t look quite as plush and artificially green as the  neighbors.  For me, the birds  that are on and near my home not being exposed to chemicals and the quality of my drinking water are far more important.

As the farmer down the road once told me it’s none of anyone’s business if I choose to put chemicals on my lawn, or not.

I do love my flowers, and each year I take pride and  pleasure in tending to my annuals and perennials.  I also reseed my lawn in spots where the grass is bare, to make things look a bit better.  This year, I particularly wanted my lawn  and year to look nice for the company  that were visiting  from overseas. It did look pretty with  colorful pops of colors, and the lushness of the ferns blending in.

Some of the children that were visiting had a great deal of fun pulling on the grass, playing in the dirt,and hiding tiny figures in dirt castles.  I delighted in watching them, as they talked and giggled  with this simple activity.

In my book, I’ll take children playing and pulling on the grass any day over a plush green lawn.

During that simple moment, the birds sounded even sweeter.