Thursday, July 12, 2018

Pretty in pink

Summer has put the kettle on … high. 
Stay hydrated, my friends.
That won’t be hard if you follow a rule my husband and I instituted early on in our marriage.

Thou shalt stop at lemonade stands.

OK, maybe it’s not a commandment, but it is a guiding principle. I’d say we have a pretty good track record.
I’m not sure when we first started stopping. (Now, that’s a phrase my brain enjoyed … “started stopping.”) Back in the early ’90s, we pulled over somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin, en route to a family wedding in Fargo, N.D. Two little kids manned the stand — on a very unbusy side road — and they happily poured cups for my husband, me and our own two little kids. Score one for Midwest-East Coast relations.
In every type of business, there are lambs, and there are sharks. 
The lambs splash out a 16-ounce cup and shyly ask for a quarter. (I’ve done the math. Clearly these kids need a union.) 
But that’s where another rule kicks in: Leave a good tip.
Sadly, even in the lemonade business, the buyer must beware.
A few weeks ago I spotted the sure signs of a lemonade stand — lawn chairs and a small table at the end of a driveway.  Two kids were heading back to their posts as I pulled over.
I crossed the street, taking out a dollar bill. Seeing no sign, I asked how much for a cup.
The boy paused, glancing down at the bill in my hand. He looked up and said:
“A dollar.”
Hmm, I thought, as I handed it over. Sharks start young.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Pen and ink? Nope: Water, wind and sand.

 One more for the “it pays to look down” files.
On a lovely May day, I was lucky enough to walk along the beach in Ocean City, NJ.
The sea foamed and flowed, the sandpipers sped along, tiny legs a blur, and I strolled. No place I had to be; no to-do I had to do. A gift of a day.
I watched the water hard at work, pushing and pulling sand along the shore. The wind joined in, and what they left behind literally stopped me in my tracks.
Art was at my feet. Art that would be swept away with the next high tide — and replaced by new creations.
Mother Nature’s got talent.
Another sand painting.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Still life with sidewalk

I’ve been nursing a sore heel lately, and many of my walks have become drives.
Beautiful weather and the lack of a car gave me extra incentive to head out on foot today, and I realized what I’ve been missing.
The feel of the sun, the smell of fresh-mown grass, the beauty of blossoms casually left behind by spring breezes, the gift of taking my time.
And, my heel didn’t complain … much.
One step at a time.

Monday, March 19, 2018

For Tolkien fans, a gathering of Ents.
Despite the snowy forecast, today is the final day of winter.
Spring arrives tomorrow at 12:15 p.m. I hope it packed a parka.
The approach of a new season reminds me to pay attention: The world around me is about to change, and it’s a good idea to take time to appreciate the way it is, here and now.
Trees are a fine place to start. 
I’ve been looking to the treetops lately, appreciating their leafless silhouettes.
And though I will welcome the return of the leaves, I’ll also miss the beauty of those bare branches, reaching out and up toward the sun.
See you next winter.

Whoa. Willows are complicated.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Who knew?
I may have a superpower.
This morning, while rain poured down, I considered what turtleneck to wear. The navy blue, with tiny silver snowflakes on the collar, spoke to me.
My thoughts competed.
 “No, it’s almost spring,” said one.
“Go ahead,” said another. “It’s still winter. You won’t be able to wear it much longer.”
(I have my fashion rules. Some people won’t wear white after Labor Day. I won’t wear snowflakes after the spring equinox.)
So, tiny snowflake shirt won out.
A few minutes later I looked out the kitchen window and saw not tiny, but giant snowflakes. Swirls of them, sometimes spinning off sideways across the yard. I drove through swaths of them, and spotted a flock of shocked robins gathered at nearby baseball fields.
The snow and wind barreled through the day, and may be with us through the night.
Ah, the power of wardrobe choices.
Sorry about that.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

It helps when you can make yourself laugh.
I’ve never been one to play online games. It gives me pause when an app says it wants to access my address book, or friends list. Seems a bit nosey to me.

I do occasionally play a computer version of Scrabble, although I much prefer the real life version. I love the smooth wooden tiles — reminiscent of those smooth wooden card catalogs at libraries of old — and the quiet click of letters against the rack.

Recently I considered playing Words with Friends. (Oh yes, I keep up with the latest trends!) 
Ever cautious, I Googled the game, to find out how it works  — and what I’d have to relinquish in online privacy in order to play.

As I typed in the search bar, my thumb inadvertently hit an “s” before the “w.”

Hmm. “Swords with friends.”

Now that’s a different game entirely.