January 26, 2014

Sunday Quote

He saw clearly how plain and simple - how narrow, even - it all was; but clearly, too, how much it all meant to him, and the special value of some such anchorage in one's existence.

- Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows

January 22, 2014

Snow and shadows and sweet gum balls

We had a sweet gum tree in the back yard growing up.   It fell to me to rake up the spiky sweet gum balls when they fell, sometimes an old sheet spread out in the yard, full of them.  The tree was huge. 
My father, who loved a nightly fire in the fireplace dearly, got the idea that they would be the perfect kindling one early winter and built up tiers of twigs and sweet gum balls, balled up newspaper, and a seasoned log.  He struck a match and at first the blaze was fantastic.  Then what must have been thousands of tiny insects came swarming out of the sweet gum balls where they'd been apparently lodging.  I remember clouds of insects, my mother leaping up horrified, my dad rushing around opening doors and windows and sheets of newspaper and waving the bugs outside. I was at that turning age - just young enough to appreciate the drama and excitement of it all and yet old enough to experience the humor of the situation.  Over the years, whenever I come across these spiky wonders on the ground, I wonder how many other people have tried the same experiment with the same results? 

January 19, 2014

Sunday Quote

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you.

- Ezekiel 36:26

January 12, 2014

Sunday Quote

The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.  The fears are paper tigers.  You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward.

- Amelia Earhart

January 5, 2014

Sunday Quote

The Angels were all singing out of tune,
And hoarse with having little else to do,
Excepting to wind up the sun and moon
Or curb a runaway young star or two.

~Lord Byron

January 3, 2014

Mary Poppins

The umbrella, the author's own, as well as her own doll.  Bits and string snips from the New York Public Library's fine exhibit of children's literature.  I had an ardent love for Mary Poppins growing up, a doll (plastic with long brown hair and her own carpet bag), the record which I memorized, a patient Mother who took me several times to see the movie.  Last year's wonder, meeting Julie Andrews at a local bookstore, the Voracious Reader,  - worth the wait in the cold.  She was elegant, warm, and gracious.