verge (vʉrj)
the edge, brink, or margin (of something): also used figuratively the verge of the forest, on the verge of hysteria

to tend or incline (to or toward)
to be in the process of change or transition into something else; pass gradually (into) dawn verging into daylight

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Photo Shoot

All I did was ask for them to get in the picture.
Isn't that right, Artemis?

Hey Baby

When I have dates with my DogBF Tucker, I get all smitten-y. But look at him--who wouldn't get all love sick and giddy around this boy? We did our usual top secret morning routine (see below) and then we decided to spend this Sunday like all Sunday diggin' dawgs do and throw the ball, take a hand 'n paw walk, make slobber faces and call each other Baby. 

During our mid-day walk today, we picked a bunch of flowers along the side of the road.  Day lilies, painted daisies, and Queen Anne's Lace were the offerings along the roadside buffet and we liked them all.

Hey Baby, those flowers you're picking are real pretty, he woofed.

Why thank you.  I love these the best,  I said back.

Wanna put them on the bench for our dinner tonight?  he asked me, all smilin'.

That would be really nice, I blushed.

After our walk and a little more practice catching pop flies, we had a rest and a couple of snoozes on the porch, and said goodbye.

I'll see you tonight for dinner, Tucker, Baby...

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Morning Secret

I have a secret.  When morning nudges me awake, I know it's there, waiting, and with single-minded swiftness, I am on my way to go find it. This morning I let Tucker come along to see it too.  We move about without talking, as if we are on a mission.  No one is there when we get there.  It's only us. It's just us....

We move along quietly--we are part of this secret, now that we're there.  Along the way, clues are revealed. A mother duck and her six fuzzy babies. The fog hovering over the water and young geese swimming stilly.   The swamp with the band of bullfrogs, invisible, playing their jazzy sounds, and vibrating the air.  Raspberries cheerfully dot the greens. No one is there but us, making this morning secret ours, alone.

We find the spot to sit and watch.  Tuck has a sip of the pond while I study a lone white lily pad.  The geese stir a bit as the sun breaks over the orchard and the red-winged black bird settles close by.  And then it appears. We both spy it. Don't move--be very still.  You'll scare it off, I remind us.  We are both still, breathing only shallow breaths, taking it in slowly and again and again.  Tuck and I look at each other and say nothing, but we smile as we leave. This is the sweetest of secrets.

On our way back, the early morning of morning is melting away.  The fog is lifting and the buzz begins.  Cyclists zip by.  The church bell chimes.  Koby and her friend are coming our way.  Tuck and Koby exchange nuzzles and he looks back at her as she heads down the path. Tomorrow's coming, I remind him.  We'll be back.

Until then Tucker, shhhhhhh....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

River Dance

A River Dance takes years to master.  First you have to have your routine down pat, and know your part.  He knows exactly what to do outside and it's like magic.  She knows just what to do inside and it's home.  As long as he does his part and not hers, and as long as she does her part and not his, the parts get stronger.

Then comes the Dance, when the two parts move as one single pair.

They both had matching caesars, but he had iced tea and she had lemonade.  They each got forks and napkins--for each other.  There was an abundance of straws too.  They each savored their food while also keeping a close eye on the other's progress.  Do you need a knife? he asked.  Yes, I think I do, she answered.

Where do you suppose we take our plates?  they asked each other when they finished.
Maybe over there?

Oh? But do we recycle the forks and knives? What about the cups? Do we just throw those out?
I'll ask.  Excuse me but are these cups recyclable?  And what about the forks and knives?
She says that she ordered the cups herself so she knows that they are recyclable.  But the knives and forks aren't...

What about the lemon slices? What should we do with those, do you think?
I'm going to throw mine out in the trash. I guess we have to.
But oh look, we can dump our ice in these stones right here.
Oh, good idea.
We're so clever...

Wanna walk down to the river?

These chairs are really quite comfortable.  Not all Adirondack chairs are comfortable but these are quite nice...

This river is really an estuary. So is the Thames, you know...

Look--there's the osprey family.  I can see some heads poking up.  Did you bring the binoculars?
They're in the car.
Not the ones in the car--they don't work.
Well they work well enough.  I'll go get them...

Can you see anything?
Yeah, I think it's the mother and a baby.  The father must be fishing,
Wanna look?
I can't see.  I can't find where they...wait, there they are. But how do I focus these?
Turn the knob, no, not that one, there you go...the one on the center.
Oh now I see!
Their main job is to teach the babies how to dive.
They'll be gone by September, you know...

I'd like this to be my yard.
Me too, he said...

This was quite nice, she said.
Perfect, said he...

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Farmer Joe

Lucky me today.  I mosied out to the farm to get my spinach, eggs, strawberries, and lobster (yes, I said lobster) and happened to catch Farmer Joe taking a break from herding the galloping snap peas, bok choy, and broccoli.  He was awfully hot but he was patiently accepting visitors.  And there were many today.

Lobster Bob wasn't in yet so I kindly thanked Joe for the veggies and strawberries and chatted awhile.  He mentioned that he's 13 years old now but with this thriving family farm, he's got too much to do to be laying around in front of the summer screen door all day long.  As we chatted, more and more people arrived looking for fresh-picked goodies for their Saturday night dinners.  Joe, clearly the farm's patriarch, seemed cool as a cucumber towards his herd of veggie-seekers.  Can I pat him? they'd ask of his family.  A-yup, Joe would say.

In the back field, Joe's other herd was lounging in the shade of the trees.  Chickens and lamas kept their backs to us, seemingly bored with us all.  It's just another day on the farm....

Joe asked about Maeve, the very pretty and wildly rambunctious Corgi from Connecticut.  He said blueberries would be in later this summer and he remembers how much she loves them.  Tell her to stop by and see me, he said.  But only if she wants.  Not because I want her to or anything like that, he blushed.  It's up to her. Either way, makes no difference to me, he shrugged.

We chatted a bit longer and then I stepped back to take in the rhythm of the farm.  It's very, very beautiful, this farm.  There's a breeze blowing there that seems to sweep up the joy that grows from the soil and is echoed in the eyes of its inhabitants.  It ripples through the clothes on the line, dancing as friends do together.  The sweet smell of the earth draws us all there.  You really must come...

Go home and enjoy your veggies, Joe said.  I certainly did.  And don't forget to tell Maeve about the berries.  Tell 'er Farmer Joe says he'll be waiting right here.

Farmer Joe's bounty

Dump Diva

"Because I like it right here..."

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bye Boo

So long, Boo.
I'll be thinking 'bout you...

Today I said goodbye to you for the summer, dear one.  And dammitall, Boo--of all days for you to be all  mushy and lovey with me.  Today, of all days, you greeted me at the door with those bright eyes and that bushy tail instead of playing the fake-sleeping game you find so amusing when I whistle my daily arrival and pretend I don't know where you are.  And then you just had to keep putting your paw in my lap, didn't you? Boo....

Ok, yes, I was walking slower than usual. But you were stalling too.  I could tell, clever one. You stopped walking and pretended you were trying to hear something so that I would think to take some pictures. I love this one of you.  It's paints your beautiful Boo-ness. And we kept sitting together--that's not our usual way of walking.  I liked sharing the shade and sitting quietly next to you.  You kept nuzzling me.  I heard what you were saying.

A couple things to remember over the summer...
  • Mind your manners with your dog treats.  Try not to snatch them--it startles people.  Remember what we practiced: Eeeeasy does it when they are offered to you.  Be gentle.  This encourages more offers (and we always like more, don't we!)
  • Don't eat those little critters.  Remember that one time?
  • Please, please don't chase the UPS guy.  It's never a good thing.  Never.  
  • That little Yorkie is all talk.  She won't hurt you but I think you better be careful.  She's making it pretty clear that she's just not that interested.  Sorry Boo, but keep lookin'! 
  • The Landscape Guys still aren't hiring.  I know, I'd be great and all, but they are trying to those fill holes, not dig them deeper.
  • Play with your sisters.  They have waited all year for school to be out so they could play games with you.  You look so handsome in a fairy crown.  Shows what a good sport you are!
  • Chase a chippy or two around the yard every day.  The exercise is great and it will keep them from making problems for your parents.
  • Make sure you have fun. Make sure of that, dear friend.
Hey, Boo.  Let's make a little deal.  At noon each day, look up towards the sky.  I'll be looking up there too.  We'll see each other there for a second or two.  August is coming, and a little too fast. Until then, I'll be thinking of you, Boo.  I'm really going to miss you, my dear friend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Buddy's System

Buddy was awake when we arrived today.  He jumped right up for us.  Bright eyes! Usually he's so sound asleep that I inadvertently startle him each time I arrive.  He was up and at 'em today, though.  He has no time to waste.

The note on the counter was unusually long.  I could see right away that there were too many words on the page.  Too many for comfort. Don't think I'll read this, I thought.  But I knew better, and I read it. And then I had to read it again. These are the wrong words. They must be.  Buddy is sick, the vet says.  And, he's 15 years old. It's running through his system, but he doesn't seem to be in pain. Oh....

But I am.

Not Buddy--certainly not today, anyway.  We walked in his brand new red harness and he loved it.  Much more comfortable than his old collar.  He didn't care about going to far, but he did want to inspect every plant and rock and tree stump along the way.  Quality over quantity, he said.

Buddy's an avid Red Sox fan.  He witnessed the Reverse of the Curse.  He likes what he sees of the new Nava and he predicts a very good season for the Nation.  Late October is high season for us. Buddy and I have our secret October rituals.  He and I--we'll be rooting them along. That's what buddies do.

Sit. Stay.

I am on Tuesday.  All day, it will be Tuesday.  From the time I got up, until the time I go to sleep tonight, it will all be nothing more than Tuesday.  A plain, simple Tuesday.  Just one day, a single day, the whole lifetime of this one Tuesday lived between sun up and sun down.

In spite of that, as I sit here waiting, I keep leaning myself over the rail into Wednesday as if I could be in both days at once. And no matter how far I lean trying to find Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, I keep seeing Tuesday and only Tuesday. Wednesday simply isn't here yet. So I keep sitting.  And staying. And tapping...

But as I sit here on the back deck and look at Tuesday's back yard which happens to be --of all things--in my own backyard, I can't imagine why I keep trying to hop into Wednesday.  After all, I know nothing about Wednesday.  But about Tuesday, this particular Tuesday, I know quite a bit.

The sky is a deep, deep blue.  Parts of it are.  Other parts have clouds here and there--the clean, white, puffy kind.  The wind is blowing through the trees.  Some of the trees.  Some are standing very still and silent while others are blowing with some seriousness about them.  The sparrows are busy.  Well, some are and some are not.  Some are in and out and in and out and in and out of their nest in the house on the post by the fence near the shed under the oaks carrying snacks and stems and bugs and parcels and ritual to their babies. And some are just sitting on the rail, silent, peeking at a secret.  Some dogs need walking today and some do not.  Buddy needs his walk.  Boo does not.

And like the randomness of Tuesday's ongoings, parts of me are unsettled and parts are not.  The unsettled parts can sit and stay here--they belong to this day. And as for the settled parts of me, they can sit and stay, too.  It's this one and only Tuesday, settled and unsettled, clear and unclear. It will be here for only a few more hours.  I don't miss it.

Wednesday is only my imagination.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Dear Class of 2010

Dear Class of 2010,

I find myself trying to catch my breath around you.  It seems as though you've taken it from me with your sudden arrival on the Launch Pad. How in the world did you get here so fast?  Weren't you just learning to ride your bikes a few days ago? Just the other week you were trying out cursive writing and waiting to see the orthodontist for the first time. And I could have sworn that it was only a few months ago that we were turning over the keys to the washer and dryer for you to take on spins of your own. It seems like we've been watching you grow up with the clicker on fast forward, the end of this chapter abruptly upon us while we puzzle over how we zipped through your childhood so fast.

You are the Instant Generation. You grew up with click-of-the-mouse spontaneity and convenience, the world literally at your fingertips.  Instant food and meals.  Instant internet from anywhere, anytime. You were born prewired for wi-fi. Instant big money.  Instant big loss. Instant "Breaking News" reports.  Instant shopping.  Instant downloads.  Instant banking. Instant reruns. Velcro! Instant lockdowns. Flash mobs. Flash floods. Flash drives. Instant photo developing. With GPS, instant directions to anywhere. Instant messaging. Instant proofreading.  Instant calculations. Instant fame. Instant sex. Instant election results.  And not only do you have all these things at your busy fingertips, but you have become multi-taskers in a way that no previous generation has ever fathomed or experienced. You text, chat, talk, poke, like, unlike, tweet and navigate data bases while listening to your mp3s, and you can do all at the same time. Even more remarkable is that you do these things while non-chalantly zig-zagging between countries and continents, the world made smaller and closer than ever before.  And yet this leg of your journey which began over 6570 days ago, seems to have suddenly culminated in a single point, in a single flash, in a single instant. So many days gone by so fast...

I have a message for you as you leave this nest you've known as home. I'm not a philosopher or an academic. I'm a mom--your mom. And I want you to hear me, so I figured I'd deliver it in the way I know you'll get the message.

Messages. OK.
New text message OK
Recent Contacts OK

We hvnt left the wrld n very gd cndition 4 u. But u, u brng a frsh pair of eyes. U no wht u cn do. U have the tech skllz 2 nt only repar the earth, but 2 restore it 4 all life. But it isnt gng 2 b technlgy skillz tht heal the wrld.  It will take cmpassn.  B cmpassnate. & cmpassn cn only come frm eye2eye, voice2voice, touch2touch contact.   Cmpssn cn only come frm ur <3, nt frm ur cell. Dont just txt xoxo & ilys 2 ur bffl; give xxoo 4 real, & say ILY OUTLOUD 2 each othr & the earth we share. tht dsnt come instnly. Luv takes time. Jst rmembr that, k? & plz tcoy.  & dnt 4get 2 call ur mom.  Or send txt whn u gt there.

xoxo ILY <3
; )

Thursday, June 3, 2010


We had a little mishap yesterday.  I wasn't going to mention it, but brushing it aside is failing me.  The memory keeps bouncing back to front and center, so I need to place it here so that it settles into some point on some line.

I was on my way to walk Boo.  On a busy road, I saw a woman pulled to the side going in the opposite direction.  As I passed by, I saw that she had Biscuit by the collar standing along the verge.  He was panicked.  His eyes were so fearful. He was breathing hard. His legs were stepping back and forth, but going nowhere.  I pulled right over and he jumped right into my car in relief.  I know you, Alice.  I don't know where I am, but I know who you are.  

I took him towards his home.  In the car, he seemed so upset by it all. It was as if he was shaking his head at himself.  I reached back to pat him and talk quietly to him.  But he was so shaken and scared that as I touched him, his bewilderment and fear touched me back.  I'm scared too, Bisc. We weren't far from his home, but we were too far for Biscuit. He hadn't meant to be on that road.  He hadn't meant for that to happen.

A bowl of cool water and the familiarity of his home and yard was relief to us both.  You're back, safe and sound, Old Man. Please stay right here....