Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Officially Home

While was in New Hampshire, I left my house in the care of my cats. They are such good kitties. They didn’t have any friends over or throw a party, which I thought they might. I had left a small opening for them to come in and out, sort of a cat window, and I had wondered if Sandy would invite her best buddy, another yellow furred feline in to play. But all was intact. Timid Tillman stayed with the vet, and I picked him up this morning. I suppose he was happy to see me, but then he is almost blind and is treated well by the staff there, so it was hard to tell. The main thing is, except for a few tufts of black fur from Nora, everything was in tiptop shape, and we are all under one roof again.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Storm

Irene was downgraded to a tropical storm today but not before inconveniencing the people here in the Seacoast region of New Hampshire. There were high winds and rain, power outages, and these fallen trees that blocked the winding road to Cathy's house.Yesterday a serene Hampton Beach was scattered with beachcombers and colorful umbrellas. Call us crazy, but we decided to go have a look to see what it was like today. There were others there, too, not kids and surfers, but mostly adults in SUVs with cameras. The wind was still whipping around mixing sand in with the rain. The ocean was wild and frothy with huge angry waves, and if not for the seawall, I believe it could have swallowed us. We drove up to North Hampton where the mansions are and back down. There were quite a few police and blue lights around to keep the curious from doing anything too dangerous. Here is one picture I took from the window.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

We had some time to kill earlier today so decided to check out downtown Exeter and the river that runs behind it, a piece of which is photographed here. We rode by Phillips Exeter Academy, which looks like a college campus, and went in a few cute stores. After I said, "Hi" to one shop owner, he asked, "Do I detect an accent?" Southern girls must be a rarity around here.It was a nice day with a soft blue sky and we drove to Hampton Beach, only about fifteen minutes away. When I saw the sign for Lobster Rolls in a local restaurant, I knew that would be lunch. It turned out to be quite delicious, almost as good as the perfectly prepared fish and chips Raymond ordered.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Today was a long and bumpy road in the skies. The first flight took us around our elbow to get to the thumb called Newark. The second leg was late leaving and we ended up at the brother's house four hours later than expected. But arrive we did. Thankfully. On the few occasions when I fly, I first of all like to work on a difficult crossword puzzle to help my brain zoom in and focus. Then I like to have a good book to read. One I brought today was by PJ O'Rourke, a new-to-me author and quite hilarious. He writes with a cynicism and critical eye - things I have tried to squelch in myself - but I realize it can be bitingly funny. Now I am going to settle in to the inviting bed for a good night's sleep.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Good Book

Yesterday for the big book sale, I was assigned to work in the hardback novels across the mall from the religion section where I had helped to set up on Thursday. Since I was curious to see how the many “religious” books had done, I slipped over there a time or two to find out. I arrived at noon, four and a half hours into the event, and I saw that about two thirds of all the books that had been stacked on the tables and boxed under them in that section had been sold. It had been a popular area! But I was especially curious about what had happened on the half of one table that was covered with Christian Bibles. On Thursday, there had been about ten big “family” Bibles, King James, Student, Moms and Women's Bibles. There were small Gideon New Testaments, the ones that are handed out at graduations and other milestone events, leather bound and paperbacks Bibles, Jerusalem Bibles, New English Bibles, Scofield and Living, Korean and Spanish, Good News Bibles and so on. Some looked as if they had never been read or opened; some were worn, marked in, and inscripted with names. On the dedication page of one was a note written in an obvious trembling hand to a grandson, encouraging him to read Psalm 23 daily. Another held certificates of accomplishment that belonged to a 1985 graduate of a local high school. I wondered about the journeys the Bibles took to land on the table. I wondered if any volunteer had ever found money stuck between the pages of one. Sometimes the living and active Word of God is mistaken for a book.

Saturday, August 20, 2011


Some mornings when I am home, I like to walk around my yard and see what I can find to photograph. I listen and watch for movement in the leaves and grass, but today it was still. No bugs for me. However I did spot these tiny water drops suspended in a diaphanous spider web. Small pretty scenes from nature remind me of Blake's words: "To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower, Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour."

Thursday, August 18, 2011


It's that time of year for the big book sale that you may remember I helped with last year. What fun it is! This afternoon, I checked in at the volunteer desk and was given my name sticker and the assignment of neatening the books already on the tables in the religion section. They seemed just fine to me, so what was there to do but to peruse through the stacks in my area and the rest of the aisles of the old mall. A perk of volunteering is that we can buy books early, before the huge crowd comes on Saturday, and I found my heart quickening over some of the nice hard back volumes I could get for a measly one dollar. When it was near closing time, I got the stack I had squirreled away and took it to the guy at the desk. "Very good," he commented on some as he restacked them in my box. I was glad I had been able to control my spending and that I had been to the gym this week as I had to carry the heavy box quite a distance to my car. I will be volunteering Saturday, too, and no doubt will find a few more books that I believe either I or someone else would love.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Time for All Things

Mid-August means summer will soon be coming to an end, especially for the kids who will soon be loading up the backpacks and catching school buses. When my boys were little I dreaded the day when they had to be back in school. It felt that we (as I was a young mother) were losing our freedom and all our fun. But I suppose the upside, the benefit, was that the needed, forced discipline probably helped build our characters. During the free time of this summer, I had hoped that all my grandchildren could come visit, and they did. Even seventeen year old Jacob was here for a few days. How thankful I am for them all. But now the routines and expectations of school will be the big things in their lives, and I will also return to my post summer life. Time moves along quickly it seems. One year you are the child visiting your grandmother and bemoaning the return to school, or the mom seeing to it that her sons get their summer visits in, and the next year it seems you are the grandmother. It's all good.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

A Grand Summer

This week I am enjoying my other 6 year old brother and 8 year old sister duo of grandchildren. While Mama and Daddy were hiking in the Smokies, we hiked, literally, around downtown and stopped for this waterfall.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


I had seen the bud and the rounded, closed bloom in the morning, but this evening I spied the opened white flower. Once - years ago - I waited late and watched as one unfurled. It was pretty cool.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One Hot Grandmommy

With the temperature hovering around 100 all week, I haven't been inclined to take my grandchildren to many places where I feel I could have a heat stroke. The Cars 2 movie we will see tomorrow, but today it was the cool quiet library and browsing and shopping at WalMart, a pet store, and a clothing store. Here is Ashley trying on a hat. There are some at home activities as well, painting, watching the Disney Channel, cooking and dancing. Ashley has taught me a new dance or two, one of which is the Hoedown Throwdown. After several performances accompanied by the youtube music, I thought hmmm...this seems familiar. "First you put your two knees close up tight..." It was Ballin'the Jack updated!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

When the kids are visiting

Having grandchildren around is one way to get to do some fun things. Before it got too hot yesterday, we all rode to the country to Happy Cow Creamery, a wonderful organic dairy farm I have wanted to visit for some time. Its small shop was filled with all kinds of good things, and my two full bags included butter, chocolate milk, sour cream, tomato basil cheese, Ice cream, country sausage, and even shrimp. We also got to check out a field of pregnant cows. Later we went to swim at the Y, visit friends, walk the mall, and now a new day is waiting. I am just about ready to take it on.