Merry Christmas!

Here’s to getting here and finding the light and appreciating it where we find it.

Northern Exposure End Scene: More Light from Markus Avrelius on Vimeo.

Survived a night with roaring winds and rain so I might be a little droopy later but there is good everywhere. Soak it in, revel in it! Strength friends, for what’s ahead!

Merry Christmas!

December 2020

I’ve been home for a little over nine months now. You would think something would have come of that time and stuff has, just maybe not the stuff you might imagine. I’ve painted. I’ve taken photos. I’ve written. I’ve read. I’ve learned to interact to others via a plethora of online platforms.

I had gone to a lecture at the Clark and felt like I had a headache. Didn’t much enjoy the presentation, drove home and went to bed. Was sick with mildly flu-like symptoms and was more than glad to stay in bed napping for quite a number of days, long enough that for the first time in my working history I had to go to a doctor for a note in order to return to work. By then it was clear that something was going on. I had no way of knowing if I’d had the flu (yes, I’d gotten the shot), bronchitis, or whatever this new virus was. But I went to the doctor and he had nothing to offer because now, two weeks later, I was well. I seized the moment to get a test for Lyme and other tick-borne diseases which came back negative.

I got the note and sent it in and then my workplace was shut down.

So began my time at home. I stayed home a little longer, just to be sure about whatever it was I had early in March. Then work evolved and food shopping turned to delivery and pick up and life went on. I officially started doing real work-from-home stuff in early June. In September I signed up officially to do that for six months. And then another round of scheduling fuzziness ended my research into different retirement scenarios and my last working day was October 28. After that I was on “vacation” for a little over a month and now I am officially retired.

Last night I erased the computer I’d been sent to work on and packaged it up. I cleared out a little drawer that held a stack of post it notes – tallies of each day’s work. Yes our work was trackable online – so many interactions over the course of the day and all, but for me, it was a pleasure to tick each chat and perhaps note what the question was. I think the largest number of ticks was 46 or 48. Some days, due to outages or events were much lower. Thirty plus was the norm. I laughed as I quickly flipped through the stack looking at all the slashes. Each a person, for a few minutes or longer.

Now, as I have since March, I can take a few minutes to look around each morning as I go out to offer my coffee grounds to the garden or get the mail. The things to see are many. I fill the bird feeders. I look at the sky. I don’t have a long daily commute to think about things or listen to audio books, although I’ve finished several long audio books since being home. My Prius was showing 112.2 “mpg” the other day because many of my travels are within the electric range of the car. I don’t stop in a store just to look around. I took a pass on the normal Thanksgiving because it seemed like the best thing to do.

Today is 42 days away from Inauguration Day and that is good, even though the fight goes on to turn our country towards what it was before 2016 and maybe towards what we would like it to be. The fight continues to keep people healthy. The stay at home thing continues. So I look around and see what the world has to offer each morning and go from there.

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
— Joseph Chilton Pearce

December 2020

Tonight’s Light Show

I was lucky to find myself out and about in just the right place and time. Click this photo for the flickr album!

12 Nov 2020 Sunset//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

Tonight’s Light Show

I went in search of clouds

I’m still in the “exhausted by the mental work of new work” phase of working from home. After work, I sat down at a different computer screen with some ice water and enjoyed Billy Collins’ “Broadcast” as he likes to call his 20-30 minute Facebook Live gig. I hope when some of the restrictions lift, someone will say – Billy, you should do this Broadcast on YouTube weekly say and post it on your own website where it can be archived easily and enjoyed by all your fans and used by teachers everywhere.

Well I can hope anyway.

Then I glanced outside and off I went to bring back memories of some fearsome clouds.

Clouds 11 June 2020//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

I went in search of clouds

May the Second

I sort of took yesterday off, but suffice it to say there was rain to go along with the day. Today though the sun was out and the clouds… well, I took a lot of cloud photos, a lot of photos. The clouds were complex and amazing. I’ll see if I can get them up to Flickr.

I did sit and paint in one spot and watched the clouds roll past.

May the Second

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Nine

The penultimate day of April and so the almost-last poem of NaPoWriMo. Hopefully it’s been a good month for you all too wherever you’ve been laying low and waiting for COVID-19 to pass over. I was out and around looking at things and painting and took some photos of what I saw and one of my helpful co-workers and myself, trying to work and of course, some clouds.

April is almost over. This morning
I went out with my first coffee, wondering
has there ever been a better time
for daffodils than this year?
We suddenly have time, and reason,
to look and look again. To see
the no-color brown-grey hillside
fill up with frothy green brush.
One day, the pond has a haughty goose.
A week later, several yellow goslings
hurrying to line up behind two strict
but apparently caring parents.
We had several rounds of snow this April,
but nothing stayed the hand of spring.
We were there when the maples bloomed,
watched as peonies leapt out of the ground,
four, six inches at a time from nothing.
When the peepers sang, we stopped to listen
and knew another checkbox had been ticked.
Every day the hand of April is seen
in places you’ve looked before, suddenly,
throwing a fistful of green, now pouring it
along roadways, sneaking out of hedgerows,
following the farmer turning the fields,
that telltale green waiting til he heads home,
jumping up out of the surprised earth
No one cares if it’s weed or timothy
Only that April came and now comes May.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Nine

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Seven

LOL. It snowed! It rained! The delivery guys came! I had online meetings with work! I had a tuna sandwich for lunch! It was, my friends, quite the Monday.

Pandemonium

According to my believable source*,
this word was coined by Milton
combining the pan- of everywhere with
the -demon-ium that can only mean trouble
Imagine hearing this new word whiz by
in a crowded market place one morning
your brain perking up to parse it as
‘everywhere demons’ while your eyes
were talking to your feet about
where the closest exit was and your
hands were scooping up some extra garlic,
as you started suddenly for home,
your mouth tasting the pure dryness of ‘oh’
Or maybe it was more a tang of ‘oh oh’.

First: my lunch today, inspired by some wonderful celery:

and even though it had snowed before I got up, it poured during my lunchtime park on Darrow Rd.

I was just admiring some twelve over twelve light windows in the Shaker settlement buildings along Darrow Rd when I saw this:

I always admire this little building along Rte 20 near the school.

The UPS Man came just as I was coming back, with two packages: Watercolor paper, a new wool sweater and a car organizer for the front seat.

NaPoWriMo – Day Twenty-Seven

Clouds and More Clouds

Clouds and More Clouds

Also seen in my travels

Nature’s first green is gold…

No – you take the Corona!

Funky tiny house that mirrors the old shed behind it. Looks very cool.

Also seen in my travels

Other things seen today

Daffodils seem extra exuberant and much appreciated this year!

and then the hills, with clouds:

Other things seen today