Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Hanging Tree

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where they strung up a man they say murdered three.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where the dead man called out for his love to flee.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Where I told you to run, so we’d both be free.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Are you, are you
Coming to the tree
Wear a necklace of rope, side by side with me.
Strange things did happen here
No stranger would it be
If we met up at midnight in the hanging tree.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Writer's Chair Views

Left


Center

Right


Out of Body

One of the greatest blessings in our new home is a sanctuary where I can read and write and think and talk and work and pray. It's tucked in over the garage and chopped into two rooms. The coziest room, where I imagine talking with friends over tea and indulging my appreciation for squishy furniture when I'm working, is toward the front of the house. I love being there with or without guests, but I'm all set up with tea and cookies should someone special drop by.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Singing Again


I am an ardent Hunger Games fan. The movie surprised me when I accompanied a child who wanted to see it. Powerful emotional experiences of that kind must either be rejected, thoroughly, permanently, or they must be worn out. I decided to wear Hunger Games out, reading the books, collecting fan magazines and seeing the new movie right away. I think it was the tribute to Appalachian culture that made it stick. One time when I asked my grandmother what I should say when asked about my roots, she said that I should say, "West Virginian." She was right, even though I grew up in Maryland.
Music was the most prized art form when I was growing up. We sang all day most days, and I loved it. Whether we were opening school, class, or church, whether we were messing around on the playground, bus, or park, whether we were in rehearsal learning how all those things we did naturally, worked and were written down, whether we were performing for church, nursing homes, or competitions, we sang. I took it for granted.
The part of Katniss' story that has surprised me the most is from the last book when she is recovering from it all. She begins to sing and sing and sing her way back to a shaky sanity. What a clever, Appalachian twist. Life carried me away from Appalachia kicking and screaming. This thing then that thing then the other thing separated me from singing, until I was only skipping through the little songs I sing my children, and whatever was on the board for Sunday.
I have started to sing. I haven't experienced an apocalyptic horror, but I have feared it. I've carried broken things too long, and it's time to sing. I've joined the church choir, and I'm trying to make time to practice more at home. It isn't as spectacular as Katniss, but I think I'm getting closer to home.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Real Work

Sometimes you need to practice in order to be ready for the happiness that is coming, especially when you know it will be from a sad gift. My children are growing up and leaving me--slowly, kindly, but steadily.  I feel like Wilbur crying at the fence, but not today. Today I sit at my desk in my new library, and even though I have real work to do I am just sitting and imagining the time when this work will be primary and the children will take care of themselves. I am practicing being happy about it. I'm staring out the window at the next chapter of my life. It tastes like an orange Sour Patch Kid.
And I am happy.

To quote my son

Today is a blog and nothing happened.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I always knew the treadmill was evil.

But I had no proof until today. Today I climbed on for the routine torture,and the electrics turned on, but the belt wasn't moving. I briefly considered racking up the world's easiest workout as I stood there watching the calories roll by, but those results aren't taken into consideration by my scale. I tried various fixes, but it wasn't moving. I resorted to pushing all the buttons. The total mileage stopped me in my tracks. The darned thing had stopped at 666 miles. I kid you not.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Remembering the Neighborhood


On my top ten list of items I will never own but can't help coveting, is the set of models Mr. Rogers would occasionally use to segue into a visit to The Neighborhood of Make-believe. I had a paper version briefly, but, it's a long story.
We are leaving Spring Lake and St. Mary's. In the eighth grade Mea had a to do a school project about the most beautiful place in Spring Lake. She chose St. Mary's, and I have to agree. One of the most impressive features is a copy of the Pieta made from molds taken from the original marble. It sits right outside of church, a beautiful gift to the entire community.
I had a gift certificate to spend and I carried it around for a month or two trying to decide what to with it. I'm ready for my life to be more visually Catholic. I was shopping for a good-sized crucifix when I saw the Pieta, model-sized. After that there could be no other purpose for the gift certificate, and I was so excited to receive the statuette. It is so good to have something to inspire good memories.