Thursday, March 19, 2009

Another River View

Here we are perched seven stories over another river, watching the wildlife and the water traffic. This river is quite different from my river. For one thing, it is over a mile wide and I am on the mouth that feeds into the Gulf of Mexico. We also see a lot of water traffic, kayaks, dories, skiffs, motor boats, fishing boats, mini-yachts, cigar boats, yachts, sailboats, windsurfers, schooners and mega-yachts. It is fascinating to wonder where everyone is going and for how long.

As for wildlife, we are watching a large variety of sea birds, terns, gulls, sea eagles, plovers and several nests of osprey. The osprey nest nearest us has two adults and two chicks that are as large as their parents. They now look identical to them and spend a great deal of time on the edge of the towering bundle of sticks, flapping and stretching. It seems that any moment they will be taking off into the air.

No matter where you go, you see all the differences of a place: different foliage, trees and flowers; different birds, animals and insects (not to mention alligators); different light.

There is one thing that doesn't seem to change. The ebbing and flowing, growing and waning of life.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

January: Time to Clean House

It is January in The United States of America. This the time we salute our democracy by either reconfirming an incumbent President or saluting a new President. Today we have watched the leaving of a familiar face and are learning to know a new face.

While all of have been watching on television or maybe attending in person, the regular staff at the White House has been cleaning house...Literally. As one Presidential family departs for home, a new family settles in...and the staff makes the final transition in a matter of a few well orchestrated hours.

It sounds so easy.

All the rest of us in the country have been busy doing something else.. removing and packing away Christmas (holiday), vacuuming up the pine needles and generally trying to simplify after all the stuff we haul out year after year for 4 to 5 weeks.

This is when I go into my 'bare twig' mode. I put all holiday things away, don't get out the things that I put away in order to have room for my creche, tree, Christmas wreath, etc. I clean out cupboards, closets, sort through cabinets, try to simplify.

Then I go out into the back by my river garden and cut twigs of forsythia and buy some pussy willow. I put these in a simple tall vase with white stones and water. Now it feels like winter. Clean and simple.

A New Year .....but I wish I had the White House Staff to Assist Me.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

December has always been a defining month in my life. My two sisters shared back to back birthdays. My parents had their wedding anniversary. It was Christmas with all the anticipation and joy.
When I was a little kid, my dad was an elementary school principal. One of the perks of being the principal was that when school let out for the Christmas break, we got the choice of the best Christmas tree in the school, as our own family tree. (All of these trees had probably been cut in September in Oregon, sat in tree lot in Kansas in 75 degree weather and then put into 21 classrooms during the first week of December.) After being decorated with items made by each class and filled in with tinsel strands, they were abandoned about the 21st of December. My Dad would cull through these trees before they were hauled off to the lake to become fish habitat and bring home the very best one!! Then he would strap the tree onto the carrier on top of our station wagon and tinsel flying, we would drive the 12 hours to our grandparents in Fort Worth, TX. Our very tired but game tree then would be erected at Mamaw's and Papaw's house in time for our family Christmas Eve. Heaven.