Thursday, August 31, 2017


Sometimes I am melancholy. It's a part of who I am and why I have always felt so deeply for those who hurt. When I was a little girl my favorite books and movies were the ones that made me cry, and that included Little House on the Prairie and all the books that went with it. I sobbed when Jack the brindle bulldog died. It was like I had lost my very own dog. Of course, I had once lost my own dog, ... on my 8th birthday. He got hit by a car before school one morning, which was really sad by itself, but the memory of watching my brother carry him home and dig a hole in the backyard to bury him is what is clearest. It was as though I actually felt my brother's pain as well as my own.

Not sure where I'm going with all of that... but I'm working hard on not shouldering the load that isn't mine. Yes, it is true that we are called to "bear one another's burdens" but I don't think God ever intended us to carry the weight of the world. He's the only one up to that challenge. It's a good thing to understand the pain of others and to help them wherever we can. It's good to hurt along with those who hurt, but to be incapacitated by grief that isn't mine would only leave me incapable of actually being helpful. It's that Lesson of the Oxygen Mask all over again.

And a bit of goldenrod to brighten up you day and tell you autumn is near (as well as ragweed... Achoo!)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Line of Sycamore Trees

Once the outlet for the cries of my heart... now I scarcely know what to write. It would be foolish to write everything on my heart and mind in such a public setting as a blog. Much of what we carry stays within a silent box, and that is how it should be. Quiet, wrapped with rubber bands, sealed with tape, and tied up with string.

Work keeps me busy and useful. Every day I love little people and I love doing it. I usually carry my camera back and forth, just in case anything wonderful happens to appear in my travels. (That was a bit of advice from Tom. "Always take your camera," he said. And so I do.

On Monday I stopped at a favorite childhood park and marveled once again at the sycamore trees lining the road. I wonder how old they are and if they were growing there when my mother and her siblings crashed Sunday school picnics as children, or if they kept watch when my dad and his brother drove their little Model A Ford through the park and over the little bridge.

 The gnarled and scaly tree trunks are full of peering faces. This one scowled at me as I took pictures and I thought of the little man in the Bible who couldn't see Jesus over the crowd. 'm curious if the sycamore tree Zacchaeus climbed looked anything like these? Was there just one lone tree? Or was the road lined with them? I've always pictured a single tree until now... and I kind of like the thought of there being a bunch. Shade for not only the multitudes, but Jesus as well. And a place for him to meet Zacchaeus.

My ever nostalgic mind still treasures memories of church picnics in Ellison Park where church and family blended into one and little girls were safe amongst the crowd of friends and strangers. I remember savoring Mom's macaroni salad as I sat at a picnic table surrounded by my family and deciding it was my favorite. And of course, there was the playground with its towering giraffe climber, slides that reached into the clouds, and swings we twisted up until they could go no higher and the dizzying ride as the chains unwound.

Yes. Memories are wonderful and I am thankful for each and every one tucked away. I am incredibly blessed to have them

Monday, August 28, 2017

So, Yeah....

I'm not always sure about going to CoDA... and then something happens that takes me back again. Yesterday morning on my way out of church I spotted a familiar face. My mind started spinning and, what do you know? I found not one, but two CoDA friends. "CoDA is not about being selfish," one reminded me, "It's about self care." And it was good to hear, because sometimes I forget. Not because I am trying to be selfish, but because I desperately don't want to be.

This evenings conversation/sharing had me reflecting on some of the ways CoDA has been helpful to me. I've learned to step away and not let the actions and opinions of others effect me in quite the manner they once did and I can answer an accusation without getting as flustered. I'm realizing people sometimes think they know a situation when in actuality, they don't and it's okay to tell them that without any other explanation.

I'm learning
 to listen without needing to interrupt. We had a (mediated) family meeting a little over a week ago. I listened to various family members share thoughts, feelings, and pains without feeling like I needed to explain or offer up a defense. They can have feelings and viewpoints different than mine and it's okay.

It's also okay for me not to be drawn into the dramas and dilemmas of those around me. We all have issues, we're all adults, and we all need to learn how to face life head on. If I can do it, so can they. If they need my help, they are welcome to ask, just like I can ask for help when I need it. And it's just as okay for them to say no as it is for me to decline if I am not able, even if the reason doesn't appear to make sense.

Photos taken at a nearby farm market. I think I want a flower garden like this! Or maybe I just want to wander through it and take pictures.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Barn Collective

The high road and the low road...

I typically take the route I'm most familiar with, not because I'm afraid of getting lost, but because I usually want to get there on time. The familiar road is often the low road. "Farm on the Hill" is what I called it. It looks nice from the low road, but I was curious what else was on the higher road, so the other day I took that one instead.

 And there you go. Same "Farm on a Hill" but from a different perspective. Not quite as pretty from this angle.. (I could have worked on that, but I was just driving by and didn't want to look like a stalker with my big, long camera lens...)

High and low.
Sometimes the lower perspective give you a better view. Here is the "Farm at the Bottom" dressed in fog on early morning.

And then, "Farm at the Bottom" from the top of the hill. Any way I look at them barns are beautiful.

 More barns over at Tom's Place. (Here)

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bits and Pieces

* Had a chance to see my Minnesota son and daughter in law for a minute the other day. We went to dinner at The Pelican's nest out by the end of the Genesee River near the "Port of Rochester".

* We sneaked a peak at the Charlotte-Genesee Lighthouse.

* The caterpillar I took into the daycare center a week or so ago, came out of it's chrysalis yesterday when the kids were gone on a field trip to the park. The school age class released it just as I leaving to go home. Being in the parking lot enabled me to grab my camera and catch a few pictures.

* I sit with babies and kids all day at work, but that doesn't stop me from being happy to see my own grandchildren. (This job is SO much better than my last one!) This little guy is one of the cutest kids you'll find, but I'm not partial or anything. I am getting impatient for a photo of all ten grandchildren together...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Pete's Cranberry Gray?

We were getting ready for lunch when she looked up at me with crystal blue eyes and very seriously asked, "Are you old?" ha ha! I told her, "It depends on who you ask," and silently comforted myself with the thought that even people in their 20's are "old" to three year old children... Today one of our 15 month old babies walked up to me while I was sitting on the floor, bent over, and kissed me on the cheek. How sweet is that? ♥ And to think I once thought she would never love me.

I did not watch yesterday's solar eclipse. I was inside with babies while the sun shone (shined?) outside (or tried to). The atmosphere turned a peculiar color, but it got darker today when the rain storm let loose than it did yesterday. It was about the same time of the afternoon. I've enjoyed seeing photos taken by friends. My son in law got some great shots of its reflection.

In other news, I believe I have finally collected all my hand built projects from the pottery studio. The final piece was supposed to be Pete's Cranberry Red, but true to reputation, glazes often have a mind of their own. Perhaps it wasn't stirred well, or maybe it's been contaminated, either way it wasn't quite what I'd been hoping for. However, I am satisfied with the result. At least some of it turned out the right color, and the shape is nice. Maybe I'll even try this again some day. (Right after my wheel thrown class... ha!)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

The Barn Collective

A different perspective, one not typically seen, because this is the back side of an old carriage house.

I got to the church service late but on time. The message was already being shared when I got out of my car and headed across the grass to the pavilion. lawn chair tucked under my arm. I knew the pastor, a guest speaker, saw me and I hoped it didn't throw off his concentration. The old me might have chickened out and decided not to brave going in late, but I am desperately trying to be different, so I stayed. Afterward I wandered the churchyard with the seven year old I'd come to see...

In our traipse about the yard we brushed up against neighboring properties; the woods, the creek, and another yard, one belonging to the Pultneyville Historical Society. This old structure belongs to them. (I didn't know that until I looked on Google Maps just now... ) At the time I assumed the building and property was someone's home. Intrigued by the aura of storybook mystery which appeared to surround it, I snapped a single photograph. Perhaps I need to talk with a friend who can tell me a little more about this place and share a bit of history. Maybe I'll even get to take another picture or two.

The Barn Collective is here.

Friday, August 18, 2017

Morning Fog

I had just enough time this morning to pull over on my way to work and capture a little of morning's glory. The sun only caught the airborne water droplets from one direction. Driving east, into the sun, the fog was golden, but once I had driven through and looked into the rear view mirror, the spectacle was gone.

I thought of those paintings I've seen where a loved one is entering Heaven and the way in is all lit up and glorious, the light shrouding our view of what lies beyond . I found myself curious if those on the other side can see behind them as clearly as I could once I'd passed through the cloud of shimmering fog. It was nothing but a thin mist glowing in the sun. On the other side of the mist the sun still shone, but the cloud appeared to vanish leaving the path behind me clearly visible.

I like morning. Well, I like it once I'm awake anyway.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Pottery and Such

I stopped into the pottery studio to pick up a few finished items. I'd been told my box was on the shelf waiting for me and sure enough, there it was! Pretty cool. I like it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Happy National Cranky Baby Day!

The babies were tired and cranky but didn't want to sleep. Isn't that just the way?
My neck is clawed up. Some babies need to trim their nails. As they climb onto my lap, they reach for me and dig their little talons into my skin.

I am tired too and there are many reasons for this, one of them being I don't get enough sleep. ha ha! Another is the weed population. Since the golden rod is starting to bloom, I imagine that ragweed is hanging out in the fields too. Ragweed makes me sleepy. And still I take pictures of weeds. Because I love them in spite of themselves. (Kind of like those babies.)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Bits and Pieces

* My pottery class is officially over. Now all I need to do is pick up all the pretties which I will probably do Thursday evening. Otherwise I will need to find someone with a key to let me in the building.

* On Sunday morning I had the privilege of listening to a guest speaker at a local church. I was inadvertently given the wrong time and showed up a little late for the meeting, but I did get there. At the end of the service Sophia told me that Petra had been talking about me all week and that they missed me. I was blessed by two wonderful hugs. It was my only chance to see them and I'm so glad I did otherwise we'd have all been disappointed.

* My friend Petra found herself a new pet. I think it was a grasshopper nymph... She carried him all around the churchyard and I was reminded of times past when she adopted other small creatures. She was terribly disappointed when she set him down, turned her back for a minute, and found he had disappeared. Next thing I knew she'd found a new pet, a tiny earthworm. :0)

* Sunday evening found me down at the lake taking pictures. I went from Webster Park to the pier down by the Irondequoit Bay outlet. The bridge is out for the summer and I didn't want to drive all the way around, so I stayed on the Webster side. I was relieved to see there are still a few strips of sandy beaches left even if they are on private property.

* I walked out to the end of the sidewalk to sit on the rocks and watch boats come in and out of the bay and took a picture of this seagull sitting up on the light post. I was just about to step under him when he let loose and decorated the sidewalk. If I were keeping a gratitude journal I'd be thankful for his bad aim.

* The babies at work are coughing and boogery. Some are teething on top of fighting colds and they're all feeling generally miserable. Poor things. Somebody, I don't know who, left a nice booger on my shirt this afternoon. It's a good thing I love them. (The babies, I mean. Not the boogers.)

* Speaking of babies... Our baby buggy lost a wheel a week ago. It fell off in the parking lot and we went without walks for the remainder of the week. Rodney is our new hero. He fixed the broken wheel and we went for a wonderful walk not long afterward. It works better now than it has the entire time I've been walking babies.

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Jagged Coast

I took my camera down to the lake last night. The shoreline, battered and bruised from a season of high water and wicked waves, is no longer tranquil. Perhaps we are all gawkers come to stare at the wreckage. I didn't look specifically for scenic beauty this time, instead I took pictures of people.

In time the jagged shore will recover and perhaps our tranquil, pebble beaches will return...

Friday, August 11, 2017

And I Thought of Betsy

Life presents lots of little opportunities to make your neighbor's day just a little brighter. This week has presented several.

My son locked himself out of his car Sunday evening. I went to "help" him. He'd hoped to jimmy the lock himself and so I hesitated in calling the locksmith who had rescued me a month or so ago. I shouldn't have hesitated. I ended up calling in the end, but not before my boy, in a moment of frustration, gave the tire a good swift kick and injured his foot in the process. (He said he forgot he wasn't wearing his steel toed boots.)

Yesterday I stopped in Wegman's for a salad on my way to the pottery studio. I followed an elderly couple out of the store. He pushed a small cart with a few bags and held her hand as she toddled/shuffled along beside him. Out the door, through the entry, and into the parking lot he held her hand. He never let go. They stopped beside a little blue car parked in the handicapped area where he opened the door and attempted to lead her into the car. She resisted, not wanting to leave her cart of groceries.

My two years spent in the memory care unit have left me a little braver. I stepped toward the gray haired couple and said to the man, "I'll stand with her." I took her hand. He smiled and said, "She wants me to put these in first." He loaded four small bags into the hatch of his car while I held the hand of his sweetheart. She smiled at me me, put her head on my shoulder, and kissed my cheek. "I think you must be a honey," I told her. She smiled again and hugged me, and he said, "She is." And then he thanked me, took her hand and gently put her into the car.

I left a little speechless and headed for the pottery studio.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Filling Up the Tank

I love the babies at work and I've come to realize just how much I've missed with my own grandchildren. It's hard to admit my inner reserves were so low for so long that I literally didn't have anything left to give. It's also kind of ironic that it's been children who have filled me up again. Some folks are skeptical, but I really do love this job.

PS. I may be on KP come September. Something new around every corner.

Sunday, August 06, 2017


This goes along with last night's post...

After skipping along the shore at B Foreman Park and getting soaked by a monster wave, we headed east toward Sodus Point to see what was happening down at the pier. We found more wildness. Same lake, same crazy waves, with an added twist. Sand.

I saw it before I got out of the van, but didn't fully comprehend what I was seeing. The air looked cloudy, almost like it was full of smoke or fog. But it was neither of those, it was instead little grains of beach. I stepped out of the vehicle and into a giant sandblaster.

You wouldn't have thought it painful to be standing out there, at least not by the number of people dotting the beach and shoreline, but the wind whipped sand was nearly impossible to escape unless you took shelter behind a car. Yet there they were sitting out in the open, many sporting cameras, enjoying the pure exhilaration of a Great Lakes sand storm.

James, who carried no camera, retreated to the safety of our vehicle, leaving me to brave the tempest. I couldn't resist. It was all so wonderful!  Now I was not only wet from God's sprinkler system, I was being exfoliated as well! Like a free trip to an exotic spa. ha ha! By the time I made my way back home there was grit stuck around my eyes and settled into my ears. My hair was full of sand and a pre-bedtime shower was inevitable.

I have to say it was worth every second. I came away with a few decent pictures and I'm sure I wasn't the only one.


The Cabinet maker and I took a ride down to the park in Pultneyville . I had my camera and wanted to see what the wild winds and high water levels had done to the place I spent so many summer evenings with my oldest four when they were little people.

The park is quiet these days, not near as many people, but there were a few. A pair of children enjoyed the spray of the waves as their parents watched and a few straggling couples walked the grounds.

The waves were unpredictable, pounding the shore, tossing spray into the air, and receding only to return with a vengeance. I squatted down to take picture when God saw fit to send a bigger than average swell that rose up, slammed the rocks in front of me, and shower me with lake water. All I could do was hold my camera as far from the water as possible and duck. Ha ha! As cold as it was there was something exhilarating about it too. For once this week I forgot about being sleepy.

Our lake rock beach is gone for the time being, but something tells me it's attempting a comeback. The lake has churned up those round stones for centuries and if you listen closely, what sounds like the wind is actually lake rocks tumbling in the water.

Years ago, on a day similar to this, I let my children play in the churning surf. It was a different beach back then without the boulders brought in to protect the shoreline. They went home soaked to the skin and smiling. Sometimes letting children do what comes natural is the best decision. It's a memory that lives on today and it's been almost 30 years.