Saturday, December 24, 2016

And, lo!
Giant penguins followed the star from the South, and got to the manger early.
Merry Christmas Eve!

Two birds a-waiting.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

There can be beauty in the gray.
(A view of the Atlantic, from faraway Maine)

Ah, serendipity. 
My morning ritual includes launching NPR One on my phone, to catch up with the latest news. This morning the phone was dying, so I rounded up the charger and plugged it in.
As easily happens (at least to me), I accidentally hit another link on the screen, “Songs We Love.” The newscaster’s voice faded and a beautiful song filled my kitchen: 

“Elegy,” by Leif Vollebekk

I love to dance, and the flowy, syncopated rhythm of “Elegy” got me moving. His lyrics alternate between wistful, hopeful and heartbreaking, and the rain and the gray sky outside my window offered a perfect backdrop.

Thanks, NPR, for loving this song.

And thanks, Leif Vollebekk, for writing it.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Pilgrim ducky and friend.

There are so few Thanksgiving decorations that strike my fancy.
I found the little guy above at our local party store. In cuteness alone, he's worth a lot more than $1.69!

He'll sit on our kitchen windowsill for awhile, until the folks from the Nativity move in.
Happy Thanksgiving! 
May we all get to hang out with some of our favorite people.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

This one's more of a momentary "Oy."
Seen (and felt) at approximately 10:04 tonight: 
Snow, mixed with freezing rain.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I've often said, it helps when you can make yourself laugh ...

Last week was a long one, capped by the longer day -- and night -- of Nov. 8. (Election Day, remember that?)
On Wednesday, I felt shell-shocked and bleary-eyed. 
That night I was sitting on the sofa in our TV room, when the phone rang. I picked up the phone-shaped object beside me, and stared at it, a bit confused.
The ringing continued.
For a second I thought, "Where is the talk button?"
Then it hit me: There is no talk button on a remote control.
That's when I laughed.

I went back to work at the library on Thursday, and my fog hadn't quite lifted.
I was trying to track down a copy of "Mission Hindenburg," part of "The 39 Clues" series for kids.
I first typed:
"Mission Hindeburg"
2nd attempt:
"Mission Hinedburg"
3rd attempt:
"Mission Hindenenburg"

And that's when I laughed.
(And no one said, "Shhh.")

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

It's mourning in America. 
To those who rejoice ... the saying "Be careful what you wish for" comes to mind. 
I pray to be proven wrong.

And I hang on to a quote I've used here before, from Amma, an Indian spiritual leader known as "the hugging saint":

"Don't be discouraged by your incapacity to dispel darkness from the world. Light your candle and step forward."

Step forward, speak out, and hold on. It could be a bumpy ride.
Let there be light.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Monday, October 31, 2016

Deck the rails with jowls of horror ...

Every fall, at least one spider helps us decorate our porch for Halloween.
  Come October, intricate webs appear almost daily, most often between the ceiling and the porch posts, or along the railing. This year I spotted one stretching from the porch floor to the electrical outlet above the foundation. 
  Those webs are beautiful, although darkly beautiful when you notice the tiny wrapped dinner packages stowed along the strands.
  One recent morning, as I headed out the front door to fetch the paper, a thin, sticky wisp brushed my cheek. I yelped and swiped it away, then noticed the broken web-in-progress: It would have covered the space between our door and the mailbox, a span of about 2 feet.
  That did give me pause. Just what — or who — was on that spider’s menu?
  Happy Halloween!
   I did a bit of research on Pennsylvania spiders, and I believe our porchmates are Cross Orbweaver spiders, or Araneus diadematus.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Sonic joy ...
Walking today, I come upon a flock of mourning doves. They take off and it hits me: Their wings sound just like the flying cars in "The Jetsons"!
Simple pleasures.

Monday, October 10, 2016

I'm with her.

In case you’ve been living off-planet, Nov. 8 is Election Day in the United States.
If you live in Pennsylvania, tomorrow, Oct. 11, is an even more important date: the final day to register to vote in time for the election. 
For everything you need to know about registering — and voting — go to the votesPA website: You can register in person, at places like government and campaign offices; by mail; and online.
I’m a proud Democrat, but I care even more about democracy, and the right to vote. (Don’t get me started on recent laws passed that make voting more difficult, many of which, thankfully, have been struck down by the courts.)
This afternoon, I stopped at the Democratic field office in Elkins Park.
“I have an hour and 15 minutes. What can I do?” I asked.
They sent me to a shopping center in Willow Grove, in search of that most elusive and highly prized person in these electoral times: the unregistered voter.
I took off my Hillary pin as I got situated and reviewed the form. (I try my best to be non-partisan when I register voters.)
I’m happy to report that most of the people I spoke with were already registered. One mom took a form home for her son. Then two men signed up — one, a 26-year-old, had never voted before; the other just needed to update his address.
Score two (and maybe three) for sidewalk democracy.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Our daughter gave me a lovely calendar for Christmas. It’s called “Simplicity,” and features photographs by Deborah DeWit, who also collected wonderful quotes for each day.
Yesterday’s entry struck a chord:

“There is enchantment right in front of you, waiting for you to notice.” 
                                                                    — Janet Luhrs

Enchantment can so easily be missed.
On many a winter’s night I reluctantly throw a coat on to take our dog out for that final yard visit before bed. It’s cold, I’m tired, and I’m not thinking “enchantment.”
Tonight, however, I looked up.
Oh, the simple beauty of a starlit sky, just waiting to be noticed.
Enchantment, found, with the help of a four-legged friend.