Wednesday, July 28, 2010


It had been a disappointing summer (1982) for May S... weather wise. "But yesterday was one of 2 or 3 perfect summer days we have had..." I can't complain! We have had a good collection of summer days.
Emily Dickenson wrote of the red squirrel: "But never met this fellow Attended or alone, Without a tighter breathing And zero at the bone." What would she say if she'd encountered a bear? Of the blue heron Mary O wrote: "The preacher made his difficult landing, his skirts up around his knees." When another heron arrived MO continued, "They greeted each other, rumpling their gowns for an instant, and then smoothing them." Oh, can you just see them?
Cedar and i went to get Marcellus and we spent time in both Deer river's play parks. It was fun for them to have someone young enough to play with and fun for me to sit and watch.
Wallis called and asked me to go to her place and sit with her as she was expecting an unpleasant visit. He did not show up but I'm concerned that he might prefer to surprise her when she is alone. It's one of those unpleasant domestic situations. The police have been supportive and ready to assist if needed.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Awakened to a gray and overcast morning. Looks like rain. Our naming ceremony will be indoors.
Verlyn Klinkenborg had spent part of a summer in Yellowstone where he'd seen a young elk grazing, "the velvet still plush and unrubbed... and on his back sat a cowbird." Now I see the scene, too. So well painted on my imagination by the brush stroke words of VK.
Mary O wrote of crows: "they don't envy anyone or anything... why should they? the wind is their friend, the least tree is home." Then she turned her thoughts to herself. "Should I have led a more simple life? Have my ambitions been worthy?"
We had a very nice naming ceremony. Justice cooked rice with berries and prepared herbal liver cleanse tea sweetened with maple syrup and honey. I put an altar on the floor as it was raining. Keanu received his second name. It is an exceptional one for such a young child, age 4. A small giveaway followed the ceremony. After we ate the four travelers got ready to head east and Cedar came home with me. After supper at the Community Cafe with Wallis and Marcellus, Cedar and i came home and watched Kurt Browning skate on youtube.

Monday, July 26, 2010


Wallis called and we arranged a trip to grocer. Then to Bargain Bin for a new puzzle. I gave Marcellus $1 to spend. Then we waited as he shopped for the perfect treat. He selected a Reese's peanut butter cup. I said Elvis would have wanted one, too. He loved peanut butter.
I've been away from May Sarton's journal but cannot abandon her as she was part of the inspiration behind my Seventh Decade journal. So on the 24th she was seeking refuge from hungry mosquitoes. "It is no fun walking in the woods these days. So this morning we will go down to the ocean." From Mary O: "I have been in love more times than one, thank the Lord." Sometimes she was in love with a man or a woman... and sometimes she was in love with a tree.
There were six of us in the woman's circle under a bright moon with a clear sky. Fireflies visited us and wondered at our songs. It was beautiful.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Up too early again! But tackled the e-mails and did the really stinking laundry. Phew! I made an really terrific omelet with egg, onion, and French pate'.
I am enduring a serious attack of island withdrawal. I've isolated myself in the flat. I cannot face the tarred street, the fumes of traffic, the aimless chatter of many voices! I cannot! I will not!
But Tammie had just arrived from Illinois and called, "We're here! Meet us at Shelly's!" It was good to hear her voice after so many months of internet only. It was a delightful reunion.
Ober had no Mary O on his shelves so I was hungry for a few of her words. Let these swim in your thoughts until they form an image upon which to rest your inner eyes. "...and the little fish in their rainbow shirts are gliding peacefully by."
Somehow I am also remembering a song by Edith Piaf... "No Regrets".

Saturday, July 24, 2010


July 18. Sharon H and Sharon S arrived early and away we flew like three wild geese. The miles sped by as we hurried north. At International Falls we made a quick stop for food. SH also purchased her first bottle of Deco-Art Red Sparkling toe nail polish. She had been allowing the nails to grow quite long and had also purchased new sandals for this historic event. There was soon to follow the unveiling of the glamor toes. SS painted her toes, too. So the 20 red nails were photographed together and will certainly be included in some outstanding collection of erotic art.
When we got to Bald Rock dock there was no pontoon taxi! But soon there arrived Sir Tim of Koochiching who carried we three damsels over the lake on his waterborne steed. He paused en-route to point out two eagle nests. "Now", I heard him promise, "our safe passage is assured for the feathered guardians are at their posts." When we reached our distant destination we were quickly deposited and soon Sir Tim was away in pursuit of new adventures.
It was the song of the white-throated sparrow spilling from the cedar tree that brought me down from the fluffy white clouds. I planted my two sad feet with ten unpainted nails on the firm but unsteady planks of the Mallard boat landing and slipped into the present reality of another golden hour.
Sharon S, Priscilla and I made ourselves at home in Cedar Bark House, the floating bordello. After a wonderful supper prepared for us by Mary and M-air-y I was ready for sleep. Sharon S played a twilight tune entitled "Love's Old Sweet Song" on Rosa (Ober's mother) Davenport's old upright piano. This caused the local loons to mourn wistfully upon the quiet Rainy Lake. And so we slept beneath a great star shining in the west.

July 19. I was up with the sun! Unable to go back to sleep I went to the Wannigan, a floating kitchen that used to follow the log booms. Little Anne (I'm Big Anne) was already there! We made coffee and one by one other women joined us. There were ten guests and two able (M&M) camp counselors on the Mallard this week. I went quickly to the Book House or library (formerly a 1920s boat house) to read and write. The two Sharons soon found me and stories were exchanged with much laughter and applause.
After a wonderful dinner it was time to work on a Mallard poem. It was slow to find its voice but at last it was ready to speak. At 7 PM we gathered at Ober's Big House to drum and tell stories. After that we went to Japanese House on the point to watch the sunset. It began to rain and we saw a pale rainbow climb high in the south. After a visit to the Clivus Multrum composter toilet I went home to Cedar Bark. Once more the great white star watched over our sleep.

July 20. No one in the kitchen so I made one cup of coffee. Suddenly they were arriving non-stop! There I sat with a single cup. I promised myself to make a full pot tomorrow.
Sharon S, Faye and I paddled over to Crow to hike the trail that Beth and I had marked in 2008. It is now groomed. We also took a small pail for picking blueberries. We had filled about 1/3 of the pail when Sharon's sore toe became too painful to continue. We were returning to the canoe when we met Stephanie who had swam over. Faye took the pail and went back up the trail with Stephanie. Sharon soaked her foot in the cold water and I visited the sacred site. It wanted a cleansing and a blessing. I was not prepared for ceremony but I sat and prayed then walked around the fire pit, altar and circle. I put a prayer into every step. I looked for the piece of moccasin that I'd seen there in 2008 but it has been removed. We got back to the canoe and paddled to Gull. We visited the caboose and Frigate Friday that used to belong to writer Ted Hall of Ranier.
Later that day we all went on the pontoon for a wine and chip/dip party on the Frigate Friday.
After supper we all sat on the pontoon to drum and sing. I led a water blessing ceremony and read "A Chain of Promises", the new poem I'd written for the Mallard. It was a beautiful evening until the mosquitoes found us.

July 21. I read "The 12 Pound Look", one of Barrie's other plays, last night. It pulled my tired face into a weary smile. He also wrote "Peter Pan". Sharon S, Priscilla and I took the green canoe out and around Half Mile Island then returned to land near the caboose on Crow. I put the nose of the canoe in a good place, unhinged my joints and crept carefully forward. Once on land I slowly pulled the canoe up as far as I could and Priscilla came ashore. Together we pulled Sharon in but the boat had drifted over a rock and suddenly it tipped and dumped Sharon! When we were all ashore I took Sharon's cap and climbed the Crow's wing of stone. I walked the bird's long spine and filled the cap with blueberries. When I climbed down and passed the cap, Priscilla told a story about two rabbit hunters.
At the Mallard I returned to the library until dinner. What a fantastic Mexican menu had been prepared... and apple pie, too. Later Little Anne took three of us down to the winter kitchen under Ober's house. It has been restored and shaped into a small museum kitchen. It is a gem of a room and quite chilly even on this warm day.
Later we gathered on the Wannigan deck to sing and drum. Faye showed some of her fantastic art and we had a reader's theater. Sharon S had cut Chris Larson's "Ode to a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea" into several parts for each of us to read. It was extremelymoving and reminded me again that water is vital to the lives of all nations. Someone started telling ghost stories so I told about the spirit man who had visited the bordello in 2008. He was wearing a red shirt, had long thin braids and an extremely cheerful smile.
Afterward I went to the library and found myself reading until darkness peered in at me from the windows. I felt like the official Mallard librarian as I locked it up for the night. It's not a real lock but a circular key that fits into a hasp.

July 22. I watched another glorious sunrise over Rainy Lake. I had the early morning to myself in the Wannigan. When Sharon H found me we looked at Ober's Native American photos. Such beautiful children! Then I left and spent a wonderful hour alone on the screened deck at Ober's House overlooking the channel. Later in the library with a rare three volume collection of Robert Burns before me, the eager water lapping below, dappled sun spread on the Mallard's stone thumb and the sweet fragrance of the day wafting in through the open window... I was as satisfied as I've ever been.
After reading of how Burns had suffered unto death I took myself to the Cedar Bark deck to soak my feet. I thought it would restore a vision of Virgil and I sitting there in 2008 dangling our feet in the water and waxing eloquent. But the water was too low so I crossed to the boat dock and sat swinging my feet in the tea-colored water. I was dismayed by the way Burns had died and the Latin inscription on his grave stone. He had written his own epitaph in English and had said that Latin was "a book sealed" from him... and from me as well. Furthermore, his bones have been exhumed at least twice for "examination".
We had a wonderful circle of women for the cleansing of Grandmother Drum and a deep healing for some of us. The Thunder Beings came, the Water People were dancing on the roof and it was all just about perfect! What would have made it perfect? A visit from The Scottish Bard.

July 23. All night I enjoyed the joyful dance of water driven by a strong wind. It played along the stony shores of Crow Island and beneath the floor of our bordello. Just before dawn I was awakened by the sound of a small drum beat followed by a distant beat of a large drum. I got up to investigate and get a drink of water. I was still tired so I fell back into the bed but before I could get settled the wind pushed the swinging window open, flipped the basin and spilled the contents on the rug. I cleaned it up as quietly as I could, hung the rug out on the clothesline to dry and went to the Wannigan. It was 5:20 AM. We had been told a trickster spirit lived on the island. His name is Charlie Friday and I have no doubt he had paid me an early visit. At 5:34 Stephanie joined me. It began to make sense. My last thought of the night before had been that I'd had an opportunity to speak privately with all the women except her. But how did Charlie know that? I didn't say it... I only thought it.
Sharon S and I had not been chosen for the Hot Dishes... we were the Left Over Women. But Priscilla, our roomy, volunteered to join our effort to prepare a last supper of leftovers. They were in charge of the hot dishes and salad. I prepared a fruit salad dessert (dressed with honey from contented bees with memberships to the most exclusive bee societies) and cedar leaf tea from blushing trees at the west end of the island frequented by skinny-dippers. Afterward we cleaned up the kitchen and I returned to the library because my time with Burns was coming to an end.
We took the pontoon out to watch the sun set from the water. Then we went to the Wannigan to celebrate a blueberry pie birthday party for Frances Andrews, Ober's very good friend. We passed her portrait around the table and we all wished her well on the other side.
Before going to sleep in our bordello we celebrated the dead poets. I read from John Greenleaf Whittier and Sharon read some works by Paul Lawrence Dunbar. Earlier, Priscilla had quoted a bit of verse from "Annabelle Lee" by Edgar Allen Poe.

July 24. I awakened early to a gull screaming near my window. Soon after a loon raised her haunting voice and was closely followed by a chorus of white-throated sparrows. I went to the Wannigan to write and found Mary preparing blueberry chocolate chip muffins. Stephanie was talking about her waterproof mascara. I read the quote on Mary's personal mug: "It is good to live with old and large trees." By Frances Andrews. Concern for Ober's collected books led to Q's and Mary said the books are naturally freeze dried every year by winter.
All things come to an end and soon it would be our turn to leave the Mallard. I had volunteered to clean the library but first I got busy cleaning my space in Cedar Bark. I'd hung all the rugs and swept the house, porches and walk the night before. Priscilla said she would mop. After all was done I sat on the bordello deck to make my good bye to the magic island. Before our departure Mary gave me a pair of silver and pearl earrings. They will be a precious reminder of this visit to the magic island. Then M-air-y pontooned the first group to Bald Rock dock where we loaded the cars and left. S&S dropped me in Deer River and went on with their long journey to their destinations.
In late afternoon a large rabbit came out to dine on the grass beyond my window. I watched him for a long time. Then I went down to visit Pearl and pick up three parcels that had arrived during my absence. I gifted her a pkg of Starbuck's breakfast blend coffee and we had a long talk. Ann M called later. It was another full day.

Saturday, July 17, 2010


May S. had dropped her week (in 1982) "Into a limbo of fetid heat...", her new car didn't start and it hadn't rained for 3 weeks! Ray Bradbury promises, "... passion often saves the day."
Today I realized I have not mounted a bicycle this year! But it's traveling time again so the bicycle seat will have to wait. Yes, I'm on the road to the Mallard on Sunday. Today I'll go to Ball Club for the pow-wow. I know I will find many friends and family to enjoy spending time with and dance the circle a few times, too.
From an old journal: 5-3-97. I have said goodbye to the daffodils, the mallards, wood ducks and the spring pond. Then I hurried away with Brandon and John. It would be my first writing retreat. We arrived at Norcroft on the North Shore at 1:45 PM. A bit early. I apologized to the forgiving and gracious Paulette A. She showed me to the tree-top room. Last month Brandon and I had completed a three-level tree house at my home on "the road without a mailbox near the river without a name". Later Brandon carried up my bag and said, "WOW!"
This ends journal number six and I will open number seven tomorrow on the Mallard. There I will journal but not blog as there is no phone except for emergency and no internet either.

Friday, July 16, 2010


It has occurred to me that one of summers most pleasant diversions is following small and sudden signs that point to garage sales. If you don't have a dime there will still be a free box. Although it will be thoroughly rummaged, a hidden treasure will always be waiting. Yesterday a free box yielded a warped and musty hard cover copy of "The Man in the Iron Mask" and a small glow-in-the-dark space alien with great red eyes. I put a colorful ribbon through the alien and he has become a one-of-a-kind necklace for Cedar. The book will be good winter reading and then go to the Thrift Shop to be returned to circulation.
On losing a house Mary O wrote: "The bumble bee knows where their home is. They have memorized every stalk and leaf of the field... Where will we go with our table and chairs, our bed, our 9,000 books, our TV, PC, VCR, our cat who is 16 years old?"
Where? Homelessness is difficult and it is not easy to find housing that accepts pets. Also there will be an outrageous deposit.
Ray Bradbury offers writers his advice. "...while our art cannot... save us from wars, privation, envy, greed, old age or death, it can revitalize us amidst it all."
Wallis has one year of sobriety!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Today it was given to me to find these words of sisterhood by Sappho: "In the pure light that brings forth fruit and flowers, And that great sanity, the sun, the feminine power." May Sarton found these words late in life so have I. Yes, just in time... as always. And just in time , before I fall into hopeless despair I find the words of Gladys Taber, too. "I believe there is a place somewhere, where all the lost things go, and the people who live between the worlds must need them and magic them away." That explains so many things.
Then I found Mary O in the mailbox and opened to "What Do We Know" on page 23 and sang: "Sometimes I am victorious and even beautiful..." How does she know so much about me?
Cedar and I went out to pick raspberries for about 1.5 hours. She ate most of her so we are saving mine for smoothies. She thanked Creator for the berries, the rain, the sun and for her Gramma, too. It was very sweet. She declared that we were the true berry pickers because we didn't quit when we were tired, hot, sweating and thirsty. So I said I was thirsty, too. "We should go home and have a nice cold drink." She was quick to agree.
Later I delivered a couple spools of thread to Wallis so she could finish a grass dance outfit for the Ball Club pow-wow. Then we went to a small rummage sale being run by two nice friendly little boys and a lovely loving mother. Afterward we went to the Community Cafe for a free meal.
I am leaving Sunday for Mallard Island. I will journal but not blog. I'll catch up when I get back home. I'm so excited! The Mallard is an experience. The library is one of my favorite island spots. But I will certainly revisit the water, the sky and the stones.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


July 13. The cabin gathering expanded to eight plus little Heath. We went out on the pontoon but saw no beaver. Later I went out and picked raspberries at the landing strip. I sang a traveling song so the bear would know I wouldn't stay long.
We had a wonderful supper and then to Jean's for dessert. Dar had made blueberry pies. Jean had a fire going when we arrived so we snuggled in around the circle to talk... and listen. We discussed a name for our group. After much debate we decided to call ourselves The Crone Sisterhood of Crystal Lodge. Some of us wanted new names I am thinking that I would be The Tarnished Iris. It's not just because I am a faded flower but because the years have not been kind to my eyes and as I age my personal perspective changes (along with everything else) so I find I have new ways of seeing.
July 14. Awoke to a heavy rain, laughing dance of lightening and the low chuckle of a playful thunder. But suddenly lightening ripped the sky and the house trembled under a crash of thunder.
Birthday cake for breakfast. Ellie and Nancy celebrate another year. We have a group photo by Dar. Jean and I load the white book case into the car, Ann ties it down and soon I am on the road. Engine heat increased so I stopped at Walker Holiday and asked for water. A man poured it into the proper receptacle and I'm on my way again. Another stop at Chey and Gene's to drop off the electric griddle and bread maker. Away I go! At Bena I put on my Cass County volunteer cap and place about 30 information cards on invasive species. Finally I pull in at Annie's to ask for help to get the bookcase up to my flat. Cedar and Geezis are quick to offer their assistance. We get the job done and I take them to Shelly's for late lunch. My cousin Cindy is working so we have a little visit. We decide to have a winter quilting date. She has my ph# and will call. Summer is busy for both of us.

Friday, July 9, 2010


July 9. Tomorrow is Gene and Chey's wedding day so I have been working on the quilt in the community room. I also added to the James Dean puzzle. Pearl came in to visit me. We talked for a long time. She had been out to Bingo with daughter Karen.
July 10. Today I received a letter from Elsie M's daughter Connie! Elsie went to the other side about 6 years ago. I think Connie and I are going to be friends.
I roasted a turkey for the reception. Then cut it up and put it in small roaster. When I got to Norway Beach I was one of a few early arrivals. There were a lot of balloons being blown up so not much conversation. Soon colorful groups of family and friends were coming and filled the area with chatting and laughter. Chey's father Richard had made it in time! He looked so nice in black suit and shirt with turquoise tie. When he gave her away his face filled with emotion. I know Chey is extremely happy that he could be with her on this day of days. Gene is suited, too. The ceremony, the vows, the rings... and it is done. Soon they are wed, wrapped in the quilt Ann M and I made together. Of course I took many photos. Charles is spending time with Kalene... and Kalene is spending time with her sister Elyssa. It's all good.
July 11. Wallis, Lamaya and I go to Bena camp for Geezis birthday event. Annie and Tom have set up their campers. Avis and Big Esther have brought Colter and Saige. They are camping, too. I gave Geezis the Ruth Ann Garden quilt and she really likes it. Later she spread it on the ground and went to sleep for about an hour.
I went swimming with Maddie, Lamaya and Cedar. When a leech got too near they were driven from the water. I scooped it up and flung it as far as I could. Maddie says, "Gramma, you're my hero!" Later I flung another one away and knew that I had performed another heroic deed.
After I got home I saw the fireworks through the trees so walked to the hospital parking lot for a better look. It was a pretty good for a small town display.
July 12. Just before sunrise a loud storm shattered the morning. I listened to it for a long time thinking of Chey and Gene.
Later when I took the garbage out a gathering of horses and their people occupied the parking area behind the hospital. I'd forgotten there was to be a parade. At 2:20 I put the last of 1000 pieces into the James Dean puzzle and he smiled up at me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


July 3. Got to Cass Lake about 10 AM and then to Teal's for camp food. As I waited in car a man came along with a box of doughnuts and 2 bags of ice. We talked for a bit and then he offered me a d-nut which I accepted. As he left for the pow-wow he invited me to his camp where his wife would have a cup of coffee for me and he would give me more doughnuts.
At camp I visited with Darlene O and watched the little boys toss a football. Saige reminds me of Brandon because he is so kind to younger children. He smiles at their efforts to catch and throw and encourages them without sarcasm, ridicule or humiliation. Mel E found me and we had a nice chat. Then I saw Paula W walking through the camps so we talked for a long time. Gene found his cousin Ed F and wheeled him over. He joined us for dinner, too. Kalene had said she wanted to dance every dance but the heat drove her from the arena. Annie took all the young people swimming at Norway Beach. They filled the back of her dad's truck camper. My nephew Wayne R took second place in men's tradish! He got an eagle trophy and a Pendleton. I'm surprised he didn't take first as he is a terrific dancer and has outstanding regalia. Also he is handsome! What's wrong with those judges?
It cooled down at second Grand Entry and I danced the circle more often. My cousin Ken P found me and we went around together several times. I also danced with Donna F. Then I joined Tom and Missy for a few turns. In the midst of all this fun it started to rain... hard. The emcee ended the pow-wow and we all scrambled to leave. Back at Chey's I fell asleep to the song of the storm.
July 4. At P-W camp the next day my breakfast consisted of BBQ ribs by Rick H the rib king and a bottle of Pepsi. Not a great way to start the day. Molly E had set up a hair salon and had 6 customers waiting by the time we got there. Oh, the fur was flying! At Grand Entry I danced my mother's shawl, her beaded vest and cuffs and carried her old partridge feathers in a fan made for me by daughter Wallis. So it was all good!
I found Roweena W and we had a good visit. We have grown old together. I had attended Cass Lake High School with her sister Juanita R who is gone to the other side. After the Veteran's Dance I returned to camp. As I sat under the awning with friends and family members the smoke wafted around us like an ancient blessing. We discovered that the red squirrels had opened the food and helped themselves to hamburger buns and Doritos.
Then we had a wonderful camp party. It was a reunion with Kalene, a birthday for son Tom, and wedding announcement for Chey.
July 5. I slept fitfully with cramps in feet and legs and awoke with soreness halfway up my back! But we're going to do it again the weekend after next at Ball Club.
I left Chey's at about 9:30 but stopped to visit my sister Shirley L before leaving town. She was not at home so I drove on to find Cash L at home on Thunder Lake. I arrived as to a dream. Stepping from the car into the wild beauty she has allowed to prevail at the point of land upon which she has built her A-frame cabin, Woodja. I was greeted by the bark of Prince of Boots or Bootsie Tootsie. After a light lunch we went out in the boat to visit the lake, the eagle nest, and the Dickie's. We saw at least 8 adult loons, 2 juveniles, a heron, a female mallard with one duckling, and a merganser with a family of six. We went into the tiny but lovely Emerald Bay where we heard the banjo song of an unidentified tree frog. Boots was with us and soooo well-behaved in the boat. When we returned Cash prepared supper while I enjoyed the sunset. Then we watched the movie she had made of her 2008 trip to India. She had fallen in love with everyone including an elephant that had taken her for a ride. After a long and pleasant day I climbed into the loft and went to sleep.
June 6. I was up early and sat on the dock in my pj's to visit the small bay, the loon family and the beautiful sun-sparkled water. After a long time I went to the house and found Cash making coffee. We chatted leisurely until we realized that Beth and Don would soon be at the door. We dressed quickly! Our guests brought gifts! For Cash an A-frame nightlight and for me a piece of beautiful bird print fabric. We had coffee and bismarcks on the deck. It was lovely to spend time with such beautiful people.
After they left Cash made grilled cheese sandwiches and I made cedar leaf tea. I had a long nap with Bootsie at my feet on the sofa. Then we went out on the boat for an extended visit to the NW side of Thunder. We saw four more loons in that bay with two juveniles. We delivered a 3 foot stick of bubble gum to Beth's cabin. No one was home so we hope we left it at the right door.
We returned along the shore and revisited Emerald Bay. The water was gloriously enhanced by the setting sun. At home Cash made a fire and we roasted brats. I told a few stories by fire light and the loons added the punctuation.
July 7. Did NOT awaken with the birds. Cash and I had talked until 2 AM! In the morning we took our coffee out to the deck and looked at photo albums from 1969 when she purchased the point and began building her retreat. She'd had the help of many friends and she is supremely grateful for their contribution of sweat equity.
Bootisie seemed to sense that I was leaving and was extra attentive. He's such an affectionate fellow and really beautiful. As we were sipping coke on the deck the loons expressed their alarm cries and Cash hurried to the dock. I was less quick and saw the eagle flying low over the water, swoop around the point and soar over the cabin. We got out the binoculars to search for the loon family. After several minutes we saw all four swimming close to the shore across the bay.
July 8. I had stopped in Grand Rapids on my return from Thunder and purchased fabric to cover the back of the quilt. I'd selected 2 shades of violet as there was not enough left on either bolt to fill my need. I was tying quilt in community room when Pearl came home. I took a long break while we talked. She'd been out with her daughter playing Bingo. Then she discovered she'd lost her keys and after she'd searched her purse 3 times I went out to the curb to see if she'd lost them there. I found them on the floor in community room. I felt like Miss Marple, a real sleuth.

Friday, July 2, 2010


I've been sipping coffee and waiting for the sun. Now all my friendly trees are standing on tiptoe and the leaves are washed with rose-gold. A few late birds are still at song. I can't see them but their musical conversations create graceful images in the eyes of my mind. One birds offers a song of gold, another brings a deep rose and a third punctuates it all with a vibrant green. Sometimes the colors bend and blend as they flutter and float across my many inward eyes. The leaves recognize the old music and have begun their morning dance of praise.
Mary O makes friends with the beans in her garden. "They like being lean, as if for the narrow path." One day she found an arrowhead and put it in her pocket. On the way home she met a ghost who said, "I would rather drink the wind... I would rather eat mud and die than steal as you still steal, and lie as you still lie."
It wasn't because she carried the small gift but because she claimed it as her own. The old finders keepers mentality of MINE. I have a few arrowheads, too. Not a collection but a few. They are not on display but tucked away in a cunning wooden box my mother gave me long ago. They are not mine. I am the temporary caretaker. When I touch them... they touch me. When I speak to them they answer.
The pigeons arrive on time with their opal song. It is so small and simple but it pulls a long blue fringe. I feel it cross my face, light and cool... like a whisper. It reminds me of broken promises.
I was up so early I decided to go back to bed. Well, that's the best way to have a dream. I was inside a a small unfinished cabin lit by two dusty windows. I was putting things into a fairly large box. Then I picked up the box and went out. As the screen door banged shut behind me I turned to face 3 wolves. I dropped the box to the unpainted board porch. But it didn't fall with a bang. It lowered itself in a quiet manner and the wolves disappeared into the nearby forest. Then I heard music and followed it to a small tavern. It was dark and gloomy inside. But the music was nice. A big man stepped forward and asked me to dance. I was delighted! It's been a long time since I danced with a man. As we danced I saw that he was black. He was talking to me but as I tried to listen a phone rang. We both looked around to see where the phone was located. Suddenly my arms were empty. I crept from the bed to answer the phone. It was Chey! We made week-end plans I'll leave tomorrow, spend two days at the Pow-wow, sleep at her house and leave for Thunder Lake from there.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Gladys Taber wrote: " an old house like Stillmeadow, you always live in both the past and the present." And this is so true! I live in several old houses that I have tucked away in memories. I can live in them one by one or all at once. I suppose they are magical. I never clean them for they have acquired a perfect bit of dust and I do not disturb perfection.
May O had been tormented ("I grow sharp, I grow cold.") when a shopping center was built where a pond had been. "Where will the pond lilies go to continue their simple penniless lives. lifting their faces of gold?" She wanted to free the world of so much buying and selling. "Oh, I would live in an empty house, with vines for walls and a carpet of grass."
I spent this day at work on two projects spread out on the large tables in the community room below. I have been assembling the James Dean jig-saw puzzle and getting the log cabin quilt together. I also made the best black bean soup! Really yummy. Leftovers tomorrow.