Hello Hello

Thursday, August 28, 2014


The oldest kept inadvertently closing his eyes while eating his panini at Lowes Foods today. I reached toward the other half to sneak a bite, but he must have heard the paper rustle or something, because his eyes snapped open. I quickly pretended to be busily staring at the napkin dispenser, and after a few seconds he returned to his eyes closed slow chew.

I tell you what -- I'm just going to assume the Italian combo panini is tasty.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Children's Room, Central Library

I was searching fruitlessly for something else entirely, but now I want to bring every person I love here, sit them down on the wee chairs, and read the above shown book aloud to them, regardless of age.

My favorite page:

I disagree, however. I am always in the mood for Indian food. (Also Mexican.)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Moravians for the win

George's school had to be evacuated today due to a midday power outage downtown, something he cheerfully noted wouldn't affect our planned afterschool errand of picking up his pottery at Old Salem, because, "Moravians are strong, Mom. They know how to use candles."


Monday, August 25, 2014


This is what eight dollars buys you at Goodwill: enough plates in a plethora of colors to, when smashed, fill a contractor bucket. These pieces will soon be prettily arrayed in a mural, built by the thirty or so middle and high schoolers with whom I am beachbound this coming weekend.

I couldn't be more excited. Yes. Yes, I did split a few verbs.

Friday, August 22, 2014

In search of silver linings

view from Fourth Street pedestrian bridge, 2:19 PM

Yesterday I made the cardinal error of entering the Target on University on what I ultimately realized was move-in day for Wake Forest students. I meandered a bit until I found an abandoned cart, then made my way to the madding crowd surrounding school supplies, where I think I bought everything the oldest needs, but really I can't be sure.

It's a good thing the sky here is so pretty, because I suspect that today as we organize and label everything I'm going to want to go outside, look up and sigh a lot.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Kerplooey, kerplop

walkway to Knollwood Baptist Church office, yesterday, 10:57 AM

The smashed one? Stuck in the crack? That's the dogwood fruit to which I most relate, at least until school starts and we get into a rhythm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mama, is that you?

Yesterday, 11:02 AM

On my birthday five weeks after my mother's death, I spent the entire day looking for a sign, any sign, that she was somehow still with me. A moth. A few snowflakes. A sunbeam. Something.

In life, my mother marked my birthday with an early morning call filled with praises for being the cutest newborn ever. I just knew my vivacious, capable mother would find a way to note her presence on this day, because the alternative, that she was really gone, was unthinkable.

I was so highly suggestive that anything really would have worked to reassure me. As the day wore on a growing desperation crept in. In the morning I was hoping for a cardinal, but by the end of the day I would have taken a common crow.

And yet inexplicably that day of all days I saw no birds, no snowflakes, no breeze I could have taken for a caress, nothing.

When my husband came home at six o'clock I went to bed, heartbroken and finally convinced of the finality of her death.

I was thinking about that day yesterday at Goodwill, as I shopped for supplies for a youth group activity. I giggled and thought what a shame that I am no longer in that incredibly suggestive frame of mind, because then I could take the decorative plates as Messages From The Great Beyond.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


If this one were ever to go missing, we'd have to leave lots of room on his poster for his aliases.

Steamboat Willie AKA Willie AKA Will.I.Am AKA William Jefferson Clinton AKA William Shakespeare AKA Willie Nelson  AKA Williams Sonoma AKA HRH Prince William Windsor AKA William Faulkner AKA William G White YMCA

There are many, many more.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Rock Star

Trade Street, Saturday, 9:37 PM

Even if we never got to see him on stage playing to a crowd of swaying, clapping people, Michael "B" Bennett would be considered rock star in our house for the simple and pure kindness he has shown the oldest over the last five and a half years. While their weekly encounters are formally called "guitar lessons", the oldest is also being schooled in far more important things like character and honor, and I cannot thank B enough.

The B String

Friday, August 15, 2014


Sherwood Plaza parking lot, yesterday

If my little cove in Maine were a layer cake, the top layer would be the ocean itself, the gray-blue north Atlantic.

The next layer would be the massive rocks that protruded into the water, smooth edged by the waves. They were submerged during high tide but as the water receded, they were left with mussels clinging to their sides and tidepools all over their tops. This layer was my favorite playground.

The next layer would be the course grains of sand, pebbles and shells, little yellow ones and slightly larger brown ones that were common but beautiful to my eye nonetheless. If you dug down in this layer, you could find clams. Beach glass and beach china proliferated this layer, a treasure trove of I Spy.

The final layer would be the gradually sloping seawall, which curved gently around my cove, protecting the road above from the ocean below, though as a child I assumed it was the other way round. Rivulets of tar from the road seeped along the edge of the seawall. When it was Maine-hot, I never felt it because it was certainly not hot by DC standards, but I'd know it by the aroma of tar and then I'd poke at these puffy rivulets and feel them squish slightly, confirming the weather.

And so the smell of tar is forever linked in my mind to my little cove, which is why I do not mind it in the slightest and in fact inhale deeply and smile.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Little red flag signals DANGER

I've no idea what these evil looking contraptions are, but I did encourage my husband not to stay behind the truck carrying them, lest somehow a freak accident befall me.

Are they for mining? Really deep hole digging? Pulverizing of concrete?

I haven't the foggiest, but I do know the most exciting thing in this photo is beautiful blue sky, something I've not seen in nearly a week.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


noun    \ˈsü-və-ˌnir, ˌsü-və-ˈ\    something that is kept as a reminder of a place you have visited, an event you have been to, etc.  Origin: French, literally, act of remembering

Thirty-five years ago I brought home the brush I use to this day, a bubblegum pink plastic one I bought at the little camp store tucked under the pavilion.

It is so dear to me that I prickle with impending panic if I cannot find it momentarily, which happens regularly as nearly every morning I brush my hair while walking to grab something else I've only just remembered I've forgotten, then lay the brush down in place of the item I've retrieved.

The following morning brings the inevitable hunt, and when after a little bit I finally spot that cheerful pink, I reflexively smile, because not only is my brush an exceptionally pleasant brush to use, it is also the last souvenir I have left from those summers at camp.

Monday, August 11, 2014



I know gobs of other exciting changes have happened, too, but this one almost makes up for having to learn a whole new set of staggeringly different item locations.



My husband and I went on the "Behind the Seeds" tour of the Epcot greenhouses this trip. It was incredibly well done, and at the end we found ourselves in a state of excitement about the future of food plant cultivation and the ramifications for global outreach, an emotional place one doesn't necessarily expect to reach during a Disney trip.

I've long craved a greenhouse of my own, due in no small part to the one at Reynolda Gardens, but now I am completely rethinking what I would put inside it.

Friday, August 08, 2014

So sorry, Donald

Now that we are back from a week at Walt Disney World, it is time for me to begin pounding the pavement in earnest in search of a job. Sadly the very cool character drawing class I attended at Hollywood Studios has made it patently obvious that I can cross satellite Disney artist off the list of career options.

In my defense, you are not allowed an eraser, and the steely gaze of a nearby Cast Member kept me from MacGyvering one. Also the complete absence of MacGyverish materials. And MacGyver style knowledge.

Anyway, we're home!