If That’s My Prayer Book…

Lord, let us pray. That’s a great line and I know when Paul Simon  was doing that number with the Zydeco Kings he was talking about a woman but once in a while it comes to mind when I see something so stunningly beautiful I can barely think. This morning, about 30 feet off the end of the dock, were the mute swans. This is the same pair from the last three years and last I saw them they still had a wedge of adolescents trailing behind them into the autumn marsh grass. This morning it was the two of them in an amazing composition of white on white on white. They’re very large  and they were sitting right up next to each other with their long necks wrapped backwards, heads tucked in under the other’s wing. The lake ice was gray white except where they had left a small runway of silver when landing. They were pristine white except for their necks, which are ivory. And then the black above the bills. The sky was flat gray.  So, this description is woefully lacking and, of course, no camera at hand. Sorry. But that’s what I thought: If that’s my prayer book…

Rich and I went out to Wit’s End last night (it was supposed to be afternoon but we always struggle to get out of here with "too much to do.") So it was dark when we got there and all I could really make out was one lone shack still on the ice; this is the time of year the Bubbas invariably sink several small motorized vehicles and a shack or two. But it’s SO peaceful there in the winter. Before Rich I didn’t even have cable or computer but he likes to be able to work out there sometimes so we have it. In the winter I push us to go to fill the feeders and water the plants; the plants own the cottage all winter. The whole front is windows so it’s east-south-west exposure all day and the plants thrive between the daytime light and warmth and the nighttime drop to 50 which is where we leave the heat set. Mostly succulents, this time of year they are blooming and enormous. One of the aloe plants is a couple feet tall and sending up an equally tall flower spike right now. Now is also when the birds all come back and the Sandhill cranes whoop it up something fierce. In a week or two there will be a pair of loons out there, passing through.

Another nice thing about the cottage is the standard double bed. It’s a wonderful four poster vintage Ethan Allen painted cream color. Between the cramped quarters and the chill at night we spoon out of necessity and I like that; in our king size bed we tend to sprawl quite a bit more and McCloud usually has a good sized chunk of the bed as well.

In answer to your comment my dear Rich, about no post last night, I was splitting my attention between you, Wake Forest’s demise, a good book (The Shop Girl by Steve Martin – a wonderfully quirky short read). When I was on the laptop I was re-reading old dreck that I wrote a few years ago and thinking, oh my, this is SO bad, who would read this crap, argghhh, what are you doing writing a blog for total strangers to read. It was grim. But thank you for looking out for me.

Marci wrote to ask if I’d seen any humans this week, I think because the blog has been populated with animal photos. I take more pictures of non-human creatures; they are generally better looking and often more interesting to me. Also, yes, I DID see humans ALL this week- the office was heavily populated because I’m making a weeklong escape beginning Tuesday. But I can’t write about that, except very peripherally because it’s all, ahem, confidential. Even though the longer I practice the more I realize most of us are all up against variations on the same themes. Here’s the thing about writing people stuff: if I write about the people I know (and mostly love) it’s sort of an invasion of their privacy. Then if I take poetic license, color things up, get snarky – well, then I could be in the soup. Abby comes to mind here. I have lived altogether too vicariously through her adventures as the alien in this family and she has put considerable effort into sorting herself out from that. It’s hard not to do the vicarious thing because she has NO FEAR. She DOES NOT CONFORM. She cannot be contained. She doesn’t seem to mind being in the soup, the thicker the better. A challenging child to raise but oh, how fascinating to watch. I guess it’s time to throw caution to the wind and start in on them all. Abby will be first. I’ll tell her I’m doing it but she doesn’t listen to me anyway so she probably won’t notice at all.

The final thing is, after a week, it’s clear this blog is not exactly focused or organized. Which fits my thinking but probably detracts from the reading. Maybe in a couple weeks I’ll get Roy to help me re-configure the page and in the meantime here’s a little key to content categories:

BCMA: Book Club My Ass. A haphazard group of the highest quality women friends a person could have. We knit, we e-mail, we eat, we have bonfires, we commiserate, we travel, we tell stories, sometimes we read a book. We subgroup into pilates, lunches, church search, fiber arts. Wit’s End is the summer clubhouse.

Cast of Characters: The main people in my life. Rich, children Dan and Abby, Melissa and Anna. Dan’s friend Jill and Abby’s friend Nick, who I used to call The Putz but he’s growing on me as he is taking form. Melissa and Anna are relatively new to me. Melissa lives near and I have grown to love her very much even though she sometimes annoys me a lot with air-headed life choices- much like my Abby. I annoy her, too, because I have more of her Dad now and also I act like a nattery mother. Anna lives far and our time together has been limited but I really LIKE Anna; we’re not really in love yet because of the time/distance thing. Sophie, McCloud, Millie who is a dumb-as-a-post ancient guinea pig (truly one of God’s finest achievements- she is the most simple, grateful, friendly, endearing, simple, did I say stupid yet?, cute, blind, deaf, simple animals I have known and she’s living on nothing but love, air and an occasional carrot) and the aviary. My mother and stepdad, the Bud and Jan show, in the tip of the U.P. My brother Bruce, sisters Betsy and Laurel. Betsy is so serious I can’t ever write about her which is too bad because she’s pretty entertaining, smart and interesting. But we snark. Big time. And some more extended family but not a lot and not often.

Egg Tooth: That’s anything that falls under the heading of trying something out- an explanation, a plan, a project, a post, a false start. Most of my life.

Wonderful Florida Bungalow for Rent: This is getting most frequently googled by strangers and I have nothing to show for it. That will all change in the next 7 days. You just stay tuned. It’s gonna be great.

The other categories are what they are.

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