Monday, November 23, 2015

November's storm with a little poetry!

Ah, so the weekend's storm came as a bit of a surprise. There were a few inches predicted, but as the day wore on, the forecast changed and the accumulation began. 

I was to have gone to Detroit to visit the Museum of Art, but something told me the weather would deteriorate, and I would be stranded somewhere in Michigan. I was right!

By early evening,events were canceled in town, the toll road closed, and it looked like a snow globe out my windows.

I had a call in the early evening from a young couple traveling west from Vermont to Idaho, but couldn't get through. Yes, I had a room for them, and yes, come on over. It was fun letting them in and sharing travel stories. I had a feeling that someone would need shelter on that night.

We had a record low of 11 degrees last night, and it was late in the evening when I realized I had not shut off the outside valve for the hose. Hopefully I saved myself some frozen pipes.

By dark last night I put on my winter cleats (how did I survive without them?) and crossed the street to my neighbor's house. We sat and chatted until the candles burned low eating a late night supper which is always my favorite.

Here are a few photos from the weekend. They were all taken from my front and back porches!

During the storm I entertained myself quite nicely. I finished a library book, practiced on my ukulele, made soup, and watched reruns of Downtown Abby! I also read poetry and worked on my on-line class from Yale...seriously.

I chose for you a poem from Hailstones and Halibut Bones by Mary O'Neill. It was originally published in 1961. Each color poem is a delight. I chose white for this day, of course!

What is White?

White is a dove
And lily of the valley
And a puddle of milk
Spilled in an alley--
A ship's sail
A kite's tail
A wedding veil
Hailstones and
Halibut bones
And some people's 
The hottest and most blinding light
Is white.
And breath is white
When you blow it out on a frost night.

White is the shining absence of all color
Then absence is white
Out of touch
Out of sight.
White is marshmallow
And vanilla ice cream
And the part you can't remember
In a dream.
White is the sound
Of a light foot walking.

White is a pair of
Whispers talking,
White is the beautiful
Broken lace
Of snowflakes falling
On your face.
You can smell white
In a country room
Toward the end of May
In the cherry bloom.

Mary O'Neill

Sunday, November 22, 2015

I’m longing for a return trip to Paris...

Here we are...the five women who spent ten days in Paris. I think this photo was before our luggage arrived! It was my second time to Paris as you will read in the column.
This is my weekly column. Just click on the above link and enjoy.
As always, thank you for reading!
So, have you been to Paris lately?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All 154 sonnets...

It was just a normal day biking to school. I love wearing my Ophelia dress with a crown of flowers in my hair! Today was our Sonnet-a-thon at Trine University. The event began at 8:00 this morning and was finished by 1:45.

Two out of my four classes read sonnets. We practiced ahead of time because the sonnets can be difficult. First of all, the students looked amazing with nice dresses for the girls and jackets and bow ties for the gentlemen. 

We read all 154 sonnets today. It is amazing to listen to them from beginning to end. 

This is Megan Miller and she was the only other person to dress in Elizabethan garb. She belongs to the local Renaissance group here in town. I don't remember where I found my dress, but the crown was from a festival in Texas. I love wearing it.

So here we are after the event in the gallery. My caption for this photo is Ophelia meets Queen Elizabeth.

It is a little early for Shakespeare (usually in the spring) but it is being taught this semester.

We plan to have a larger celebration in April as will everyone else! We are hoping to bring actor/storyteller Tim Mooney in for his show of Breakneck Hamlet. I have been having a conversation with him about it, but wouldn't you know, he is in London performing Shakespeare!

So, what is your favorite sonnet? 

Until tomorrow.

Monday, November 16, 2015

November's beauty...

Yesterday was one of those perfect days that we see in October, yet it is November. I spent the afternoon working in the yard getting ready for winter. We say that phrase a lot up north...getting ready for winter. Sometimes it feels as if I am out on a farm getting all the crops in including the hay.

The truth is I once upon a time did live on a farm so I know the real meaning of getting ready for winter. But for me it is simply the raking of the leaves, the draining of the rain barrel, and putting away the garden tools. I still have out a small table and chairs. I don't know what I am waiting for but I do sit out and night for the late night glass of wine. The fire ring and chairs remain as well for those late night campfires which I love.

While working in the yard yesterday I noticed how lovely the trees are without their leaves. I took this photo of one of my crab apple trees. The beauty was stark against the blue sky. And look...there is a lovely bird's nest sitting atop the tree. I wonder what bird lived there this summer and did that sweet lovely bird raise a family and watch me work in the garden day by day?

It reminded me a poem by Emily Dickinson:

A Bird, came down the Walk - 
He did not know I saw -
He bit an Angle Worm in halves
And ate the fellow, raw, 
And then, he drank a Dew
From a convenient Grass -
And then hopped sidewise to the Wall
To let a Beetle pass -
He glanced with rapid eyes,
That hurried all abroad -
They looked like frightened Beads, I thought,
He stirred his Velvet Head. - 
Like one in danger, Cautious,
I offered him a Crumb,
And he unrolled his feathers, 
And rowed him softer Home -
Than Oars divide the Ocean,
Too silver for a seam,
Or Butterflies, off Banks of Noon,
Leap, splashless as they swim. 

Until tomorrow.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

All I need...

Miss Columbia

I am like most of you...absolutely paralyzed when grief comes to our world. I know it comes daily, but when it is foremost in the news, I am unmovable. My friends know this about me, and try to coax me out of my anxiety.

It is good to grieve. We must do it. We must cry as that is how we remain human.

I was glued to the television set yesterday as were most of you until my sister called asking to meet me in Fort Wayne for a movie. "No," I replied, "it seems so wrong."

And it did seem wrong to me. How dare I see a about the family with grief so rampant in our world? But then I changed my mind. It would be good to sit side by side with my sister who understands me so well. It would be good to laugh with her and share popcorn. So I did.

I drove home slowly watching for deer as it is that time of year. When I pulled in to my town I knew I would have to go to Miss Columbia. I think she is often my Holy Ground. I pulled into a parking spot, got out of the car, and spent time thinking. The sky grew dark and full of color. Luckily I had my camera and snapped a shot. I got to thinking about her. She is our Eiffel Tower...our Rockefeller Center...our Mount Rushmore.

It isn't much really in the scheme of the world. We have a small town, a few shops, some nice schools, some old houses...

But it is what we have, and it is where I feel safe and secure. It is where I don't lock my house or my car. It is where friends are free to gather at my house any time of day when I am home or not. It is where I come at night to put on the kettle and live my simple life.

I am so grateful for this simple life...not much, but all I need.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

To Paris With Love...

I visited you a few years ago. There were four of us...all women. We stayed for ten days attending concerts, touring museums, and falling in love with you.

We traveled to Monet's gardens, rode the Ferris wheel, and drank your sweet wine.

Nights found us on small boats on the Seine River and up into the Eiffel Tower to see Paris at night. Never once were we afraid...never once.

I will come back to Paris, and I will not be afraid. 

We, who have seen your lights, will see them again.

In the meantime, we lift you up in prayers, in thoughts, and in our conversations with our friends. 

Lou Ann

Friday, November 13, 2015

Diwali Festival at Trine University!

Last night Jonah I attended the Diwali Festival at Trine University. 
We had so much fun listening to the stories, watching the dances, and
sampling the food. I hope this becomes a yearly event. Special
thanks to Mari McHenry for all her work with the
international students.

Happy Festival!!