The Garden Girl

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Virginia, United States
Living - Life - Simply - I garden some, write a little, and enjoy sharing a view - feel free to leave a view of your own.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sunday's Poetry Offering

If if we saw any snowflakes in our area they came in the middle of the night
and were mixed with a fair amount of rain. But a Nor'Easter flew up the coast leaving anywhere between 3 - 24 " in different areas. It came as no surprise when I asked Steve for one of my poetry books that he handed me Frost,
which is one of his favorites...and he wanted one of his all time favorite poems posted...(it's one of mine too). Wish our friends and family a peaceful and safe early snow/fall.

Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
 by Robert Frost

Whose woods these are I think I know,
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.

My little horse must think I'm queer
To stop with a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest linking of the year.

He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask e if there is some mistake,
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and down flake.

The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go begore I sleep.

The Circle of Stuff!

It was a quick trip to S.C. (picking up a car load of stuff from our daughter to bring up to NJ for our son's wedding -  they're flying/we're driving.)  It's ok to look like we may be moving - but I think it's going to look more like we're living out of the back seat! It'll be a tight squeeze but I'm sure everything will fit, it has to! Guess I've grown accustomed to having my space. Space like I never had before.

Our modest shore style cape cod house back in NJ was similar in size to this house with the exception of a garage and outbuilding which serves triple duty as a barn, my garden room, and husband's mancave workshop..arg!!!  That does make a difference. But after moving here and settling in the biggest difference I noticed was this house was practically void of any kids stuff!

There were no longer bicycles lying on the ground in the middle of driveway, or toys and books stacked up on each of the three steps that led up to the
landing of our staircase... just waiting for a passerby to take interest and bring them up or down!  Gone were the skateboards, surfboards, various sized boogie boards, and a vast variety of sports gear with the exception of my softball bat bag, which is neatly tucked away in the hall closet.

Everything else has either been turned over to its rightful owner (one of our kids), discarded if broken, or stored away in the barn.. somewhere! The toys and bicycles are gone although we've been entrusted to keep a few boxes
filled with an assortment of trophies, awards, scrapbooks, and yearbooks. All the memorabilia of childhood and adolescence. I can state with all certainty that our daughter holds the family title for the most boxes of "stuff".  Seems the boys have little or no emotional attachment to such things with the exception of maybe that game saving ball or set of special drum "sticks?"

For a while now; unless we become lazy, the stairs are free of clutter and we coast up the driveway at night without giving it a second thought. From the
day we moved into this house I felt there was more room than I knew what
to do with. Ahh, but then we came back from S.C.!  That's when I began to  notice the shift. So subtle I didn't notice it 'til now.

It began with the crib in the downstairs den where several furry creatures have
taken up residence. Next to the crib are two small riding toys. The corner of our great room has a box filled with blocks and a hodgepodge of toys and the
bookcase is sprouting a collection of childrens books. It's become an adventure to get past the high chair in the pantry but it really hit me when I went back
out to the garage. Hanging on the far wall is a stroller, car seat and plastic wading pool. Just below them is a new radio flyer, waiting to take its maiden voyage!
The "Stuff" is returning!! Making its way slowly into this house! Today I hung a fingerpainting on the bulletin board. Haven't done that in a very long time!
Isn't it Beautiful?  The once quiet corners of this house have been transformed by a new circle of life! It's a wonderful feeling! Finally, this house feels like home, merely by the simplicity of a little kid clutter. I never realized how much of my life was in all that stuff!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sunday's Poetry Offering

Our back road day trip was fantastic! There were so many wonderful vistas
and beautiful farms draped in fall color. We had frost here this morning! Perhaps that's why I thought of Robert Frost... who knows? This is a poem
by him called:

A Late Walk

When I go up through the mowing field,
the headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words.

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth,
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry home to you.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Taking Stock

It's been a busy week of writing and rewriting. But with color is at its peak, I couldn't miss the opportunity to enjoy my favorite season and the beauty of Virginia's country roads. Most of us live on, drive by, or even commute past some of the prettiest places but more often than not, life just gets in the way of our view. Yesterday, we put aside that 'to do' list (it's still sitting right here on the counter - and it isn't going anywhere. In fact, we usually just add more to it til we run out of room. Then start a new list!) But just for the day we took to some of the back roads that are just past our back door -  and what a delight!

This is a ridge up near Big Island

A new friend named Shadow gave a "tails up!" to the day!
Luv this bank barn!

One of my favorite farms.

   And there's a pretty good Peaks view right from our side porch!
The falling foliage gives way to a good view of the entire ridge line.

Sometimes it's good to pause, taking stock in the beauty that surrounds the every day.
Allow a little time to be free from worriesome things.
Think of ways to simplify and deal with "the stuff".
 Who knows? It could become a lifestyle, rather than a luxury.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

PSV Western Conference & Sunday's Poetry Offering

Yesterday was the Poetry Society of Virginia's Western Conference which was held at the Riverviews Art Space in Lynchburg. It was a wonderful
gallery and though the meeting itself was slightly delayed due to a locked conference room - it was finally opened and surprisingly filled with a great
exhibit - vibrant paintings that made the room dance along a long conference table and plenty of comfy boardroom type chairs (me liked!!) The new VP
of the PSV western region Tom Morris set up a wonderful conference that included readings and a workshop with poet,novelist, and playwright Jim Peterson. He engaged the group with several tips on writing and performed a couple writing tasks with the group. It was one of the best workshops I've attended!  Jim is on the faculty of the University of Nebraska's Low residency MFA Program in Creative Writing and is Writer in Residence and Coordinator of Creative Writing at Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va.  His poetry book, The Owning Stone, was the winner of the Benjamin Saltman award. Here's a pic of some of his works but there are others. I've selected one of his poems for my Sunday Poetry Offering.

Poet/Author/Playwright Jim Peterson
"The Owning Stone"
"An Afternoon with K"
"The Bob and Weave"

Jim Peterson's:

"Letting the Dog Die"

The horses thunder
in the fields tonight.
A breeze stays high in the pines.
The dog squeezes out
from under the house
and stares at the ball
til he falls asleep
curled around my foot.
For the first time in months
the air is cool.
The front door drifts on its hinges
the old chair lounges on the lawn.
The horses rest,
lean over fences
pawing the ground.
inviting my hands to their faces,
to their withers and the sweet scratching spots.
The hammock sways
under loblolly pines
and Orion's belt.
But I'm stuck to the ground
by one foot
under the sleeping dog
who dreams of lightning and thunder,
of mud at the edge of the pond,
who dreams of the flight of old tennis balls
made better than food,
better than rolling in manure,
by the touch of these human hands.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

For Nancy and Beth

 I wasn't able to post a Sunday Poetry Offering...but I found this poem in the same book of poetry by R. Conrad and thought of two special women.

Friend after friend has gone, hence
They shall return no more;
Their allotments now, forever fixed
On the eternal, boundless shore.

But they, I trust, have safely landed
Within the bounds of Heavenly love
Welcomed by the Angel's hand
To their unending home above.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Gee, It's Good To Be -

"Back home again...sometimes coming home feels just like a long lost friend" John DenverI do love the mountains so, yet I was born and raised along the Ocean. Mom brought me to the beach for the first time at two weeks old! I guess there'll always be that love for the sea, it is a part of me, where I was raised and went on to raise my own family. Often when people think of NJ  typically it's of big cities, hwys, airports, and factories, and there are plenty of those! But, I think of the sand between my toes, the crisp water, and the beautiful colors as the sunrise comes up over the horizon. And most of all ofcourse - my family.  
A familiar site - NJ Turnpike to 195 - Shore Points
The pillars that separate Belmar and Spring Lake
have been there as long as I can remember. It was
typical for these beach communities, originally established
by different churches, to separate themselves,
 some putting in a manmade lake!
Locals love weekends like this after September.
Temps were in the mid 80's, low humidity and
the water is usually warmer than it is in May.
"Boardwalkin" is what alot of daytrippers do.
Stroll along the boards, stop in some of the shops
and eat pizza!
Ofcourse I couldn't miss taking a pic of one of
the oldest and famous dance clubs at the Jersey Shore.

Hard to believe that right past the picture of those pillars
is this lake, Lake Como. We lived at the end of the road
to the left and across the street from the lake.  

Parkway - The first street my grandfather had a house.
I think it was around 1946.
And our trip ended with a surprised bride!
She was a real sport, but has a great sense
of humor we had fun.
On 11/11/11 they'll say "I Do" and dance their
first dance as husband and wife.
Their story shall begin.

The long road home!

It was a relaxing trip and a great week visiting family, the grand finale being my future daughter-in-laws shower. It started a little off being our favorite places in Alexandria and Annapolis were both booked (on a Tuesday?) 'Til
we learned there was a big sailing regatta of some sorts so we went over the
Bay Bridge where we found lodging on Kent Island. The views were great
and it was very relaxing after seven hours on the road...and D.C. @ rush-hour
Kent Narrows

Kent Narrows

I call this my "Wish Garden"...
 I have a water garden...but not like this one just outside the windown
at the Fisherman's Inn and Crab Shack

Soybean fields along 301N

Here we Go!  

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Simply Poetry Meeting & Sunday's Poetry Offering

When I first began to write some poetry again after more than 20 years, give or take, I initially felt as if I were alone on a deserted island. But that wasn't the case, I just wasn't looking in the right place...or places!  What I found was amazing! From the tiniest towns and down a country mile or two come come these wonderfully talented poets and writers. One amazing poet lives just down the next road from me.  She is an educator, a mentor, and a woman who writes with such depth and clarity her poetry just blows me away. She adds a vibrant but warm ethnicity to her voice when she recites but admits it took a few public speaking classes and quite a few years of experience to find her own voice. With a collection of poetry that began as a child I believe when she feels she is ready to publish, people will want to hear her words.

Simply Poetry - I'm heading down to Rocky Mount this afternoon to attend a new poetry group. It's a bit of drive but I'm always excited to meet new
poets. I already know two of the poets from a poetry group that meets at the Blue Ridge Library. We've all emailed our poems which allows time to absorb the poem so there can be some honest critiques. I'm excited!

Sunday's Offering:  by Mary Etta Perry. Mary Etta Perry was born and raised in Okaloosa County, Fla. where she worked as a Registered Nurse from 1943 to 1993. She retired and moved to Brevard, N.C. where she began to write poetry.  This is from her collection of poetry called  "The Dance Goes On".

  Florida Autumn
Last night
autumn called on me
and left one golden
tallow tree,
one dozen
scarlet leaves
and three
for me.

She lingered
such a little while
I gave her only one brief smile
for the gracious gift
she brought to me
one gold and scarlet
tallow tree.

Mary Etta's poetry is inspiring. One admirer said "Spirit and emotion lives in
her poetry. She dares to let her soul show through, the lows as well as the highs."   Thank you, Mary Etta Perry...Dance On.