in the skin

July 31, 2009

As promised in my “career possibility” post, here is a shot of our newest reptilian addition to the family. I have been watching for him in vain for some time now, but tonight I guess he decided he wanted to show off for company . . . so as we headed out for our post-dinner stroll, we found him slithering along on his own evening jaunt.

While out kayaking today, we noticed a swan . . . and then realized that, in fact, there are no swans on this lake. It was actually a lily that rather strikingly resembled one: don’t you agree?

alight a lily

July 25, 2009

Sometimes it’s worth it to take a risk. Had I been listening to my inner voice of prudence this afternoon, for instance, I would certainly never have carted my camera into the kayak with me: what novice paddler in her right mind would take such a valuable creative tool into the middle in a lake? But I just could not shake the nagging itch to take a water photo shoot.
And had I not done so, I would have never paddled towards the brilliant burst of bluish-purple of a lily sitting pretty in its pad. I would then have missed the sight, upon nearing the flower, of a flurry of dragonflies, perfectly matching its hue as they lit upon the neighboring leaves.

that was then . . .

July 19, 2009

So remember that farm shot from June 20 ([“in the [farming] flesh)? Today I was there at that farm again, and was struck by how obvious the passage of time is, there in the gardens. I took this photo to illustrate that fact, as this similarly lovely female farmer is in the same position, location-wise, as was the friend in the June post. How does your garden grow? Quite remarkably, I dare say!

the world as we know it

July 16, 2009

This week my mother and I have been working as an “Ambassador Team” for our church. This is the week of Work Camp, during which about 400 high school students from all over the country are staying here at a local school and doing home repair work for houses in the area. Our job has involved going to our assigned sites to get to know the home residents, take photos of the work, and check up on the workers. When the pastor emailed us to give some further information, he asked us to update him as to our experiences. Here is what I wrote, as it occurred to me that it may make for an interesting blog post for you all out in blog-land:
Dear Pastor D,
As you requested feedback, I couldn’t help sharing one snippet from the rounds Mom and I made today.  I don’t know if you were familiar with the devotional they did today, but it was about opening our eyes to poverty, and to the different ways it manifests itself in our world.  At one site, we were listening in and, after the time of minute-long reflections on each of the 5 facts about poverty, the question was raised as to how we reacted personally to them.  Most were the expected sorts of replies concerning how strange it seems that life reality for many involves spending great deals of time and energy expended for things that we take for granted [drinking water, food, not risking malaria with each mosquito bite, etc].
But then one young man, in the most strikingly matter-of-fact manner, said that the AIDS statistics made him think of his mother.  After a brief moment, he continued, saying that she had died of the disease in 2002 . . .
How fittingly stark of a reminder, it seemed to me, that we need not search for long for “poverty” and “sickness,” as in its various forms it is as close to us as our next-door-neighbor.
Here is a photo to go with this event, as it is of 2 of the group members reflecting, right after the other had shared his perspective.

a diamond in the rough

July 10, 2009

Once we had finished introducing our small stuffed bull to the field’s resident milk cows, we headed out in a different way than we had entered. Our hope was that we could locate a better exit than the rickety barbed wire fence we had precariously maneuvered for lack of an obviously better entrance point . . . but that is another story :-)
This particular post is about the fact that, as we tramped through the mud, Mel pointed out a striking butterfly; it had, as she noted, chosen a rather odd spot in which to linger. I agreed, but also found it beautiful, in a strange and unexpected sort of way . . .

career possibility?

July 8, 2009

Lou and I enjoyed a mini-adventure the other night. During dinner, the neighbor called, a bit frantic after multiple calls to AWOL family members. This neighbor is actually quite a hardy sort: a no-nonsense New Englander who is accustomed to taking care of her family in a quite self-sufficient manner. But this time she was perplexed as to how to coax a 3-foot snake out of her bedroom. Not knowing what kind it was, she was not ready to get close enough fish it out of the corner where it had been persistently camped out for the day. She explained that she was only calling for help as she could not envision falling asleep with it there: daytime was one thing, but overnight was quite another.
So Lou leapt into action as Mom relayed the details of the call, and shortly thereafter we were heading across the street. Lou asked if I wanted to be Moses or Aaron, and I opted for Moses, as this meant I would get to bear the large “staff” . . . if it worked for Moses, Lou reasoned, it should work for us :-)
Sure enough, we emerged victorious a bit later that evening: Lou’s garden-gloved hands grasped firmly around the neck of a quite handsome, and good-sized, Garter. We decided we should go into business together, as we apparently made quite a team of snake handlers. And to round out the evening’s successes, we returned to Mom and announced that we had a 4th “child” for her to add to her brood of garden-dwelling Garters. Stay tuned for a visual aid . . .

no mermaids here

July 6, 2009

In case any of you out there in blog-land were tempted to lose hope, here is proof that today I at least got my feet wet :-)

. . . makes us mighty pleased to live on a lake on such a weekend as this one has been! I’m afraid I have to admit, however, that I have not braved the lake water –yet–but I am happily documenting those who do :-)

family style

July 2, 2009

Tonight I teased Lou for knowing how to treat his women right–my mother and I, that is. We were out for a fine evening, being wined and dined in style . . . true to our family’s style: it was a busy day for us all, you see. My work day ended slightly early, as I had to head out a bit before usual for a doctor’s appointment. Mom was accompanying me for the exciting outing, after her weekly dump run. Rendezvousing in the Hannaford’s parking lot, we consolidated cars and continued for the hour commute to the clinic. A few directional issues later, we were headed back to our planned meeting point.
Lou had gone from work to the nursing home to visit his mother and, afterwards, he joined us back in the parking lot. Thanks to cell phone correspondence, our evening was well synchronized: Lou hopped from the subaru into the jeep, I doled out the plastic utensils from the back seat, and we ate our pita chips and pasta salad in the grocery store lot, Lou in his srubs and mom with her hair still damp from the pool. First course in our “progressive dinner.
Our intended next stop was down the road to the donut shop, to use a gift card . . . but it had already closed for the evening, here in our bustling metropolis. So we settled for a convenience store, where we got hot chocolate from the vending machine. Lou and I ping ponged potential lyrics for our own version of “Hey Diddle Diddle” while Mom gave her order at the Quik Stop. We debated the effects of the new tax law instated as we lingered there in the parking lot. Then, polishing off the last of the date bar we passed around to split between us, we headed back to the grocery store, split into our respective vehicles, and wound along the country roads, home to the pets and people awaiting. Just another day . . .
Funny the sorts of things that make you muse on how sweet it is to be a part of a family :-)