Monday, August 21, 2017

Wentzville 2017 (draft)

We head outside

called by the changing light
to seek a gauzy crescent funneling
through a pin-pierced hole

This is not the golden glow of dawn
nor the rosy tinge of sunset ...
not even the green fug betiding storm

Rather it is a silvery light
that throws grudging shadows
but gives no warmth 

The silence is total
street lights flickering to life

A lone birdcall cuts through
swallows darting in a twilit sky

Quickening darkness overtakes 
long minutes of wondering 

Shadows finger out of western clouds 
as eastern cumuli defiantly glow white

Cricketsong rises up to greet
a single star shining in the gloam

Something beyond twilight
falls undeniably 
stirring deeply plumbed tears 

Until seconds become fleet
and breath releases in a sigh
with the return of the light

as if 'twere a dream

Photo credit: Melissa Walker

Sunday, August 13, 2017


If it wasn't personal before, it's personal now.

My first trip to Virginia took place in the fall of my junior year in high school. Visiting two campuses as part of a college-shopping tour, I ultimately chose William and Mary in Williamsburg. But it was a close call and I could have just as easily ended up at UVA in Charlottesville.

The 35 years I spent in Williamsburg, getting my degree, meeting and then marrying Don, forging a library career and raising two daughters, included many trips to Charlottesville. I well remember listening to Bonnie Raitt singing in the UVA arena, visiting Monticello with 3 year old Meg and tiny infant Melissa, eating "grillswith" (griddled Krispy Kreme donuts topped with ice cream) at the corner cafe and bagels from Bodo's. When we drove Meg home with two broken arms after her car accident at Smith Mountain Lake, we stopped in Charlottesville to pick up sandwiches. Wanting to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary in style, we went to the Boar's Head Inn. We cheered from the sidelines as our local high school football team won the state championship in Charlottesville.

You get the idea.

So this past weekend hit home, or close to it. Raised a radical liberal New Yorker, I learned fast that many (not all) Virginians referred to the "War between the States" or "the recent unpleasantness" rather than the Civil War. The Commonwealth celebrated the birth of Jefferson Davis, but there was no observance of Lincoln's birthday. And when a professor waxed eloquent about the virtues of sorghum over maple syrup, I muttered under my breath "but we won the war," and then took a long drag on my cigarette and blew smoke. Tobacco. How ironic.

Virginia changed a lot 0ver the 35 years from 1974 to 2009, when we finally pulled up stakes and headed for Texas (I know, I know). It had moved from red to purple and was leaning blue. There was hope.

And the decision to remove the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville was yet another step in the correct direction (I won't say "right"). Though it ended in tragedy, I dare to hope it galvanizes other localities to see the insanity of memorializing hatred and slavery.

So today I stitched, taking words written by Marti in New Mexico, in response to the Peace Pin Project that began last February ...

"Hope is standing up not standing aside ...
to connect in a way that helps to make us all one ...

There will be other peace patches for a cloth I'm thinking will be named It's all connected. Eventually, I hope to have enough to make a two-sided peace shawl, stitched together Pojagi-style.

And there will be more posts after Don and I finish up our month-long joyride taking care of Parker (who enters daycare next week) and return from our birthday season visit to Jackson and Jace in St Louis ...

Getting ready to roll ...

Because life goes on and I have much more to say.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Happy birthday J!

From my daughter's Facebook post ...

J's birthday cake request was for Strawberry Shortcake from the book Cook-a-Doodle-Doo by Janet Stevens (a perennial read-aloud favorite when I was an elementary school librarian and now a go-to storybook with my grandkids) ...

in which the great grandson of the Little Red Hen bakes a cake with the help of his friends ...

and they all lived happily ever after ...

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


This is The Land as the Crow Flies as it stands right now (about 40" wide by 19" high) ...

Over the past few weeks it has morphed considerably from green grids of cloth weaving laid out linearly ...

to various trials at angles ...

along with a fair bit of design mending as I realized I wasn't happy with some of my fabric choices.

There was also consideration of how and where to eventually place the house ...

and how to represent the stone wall boundary lines (torn strips of linen rolled between the fingers and couched down with two strands of floss), as well as the topographic elevation contours (detached backstitch worked with two strands of variegated floss) ...

So far, so good.