Saltmarsh Sparrows Aren’t Up in the Air: Message to Caddy Drivers and Others of Their Ilk: Another 420 Character, 9-Liner.

“I’m up in the air about global warming,”

says the guy gassing his caddy at the next pump;

and I think about the Saltmarsh Sparrow.

Half of the world’s population of them nest on Connecticut’s salt marshes

inches above the tide line.

When tides are higher than usual, and Spring floods are fiercer,

the nests wipe out.

The moms must re-nest in a fever, sometimes unsuccessfully.

Result: fewer of them are “up in the air.”

Patty 4/30/12

Saltmarsh sparrow nest



My parents fashioned an enduring love that grew strong through lean times.  Amidst the chaos of the Depression and war, they forged a sturdy bond.

Like trapeze artists, they trusted in each other, performing their routines day after day ~ letting go, holding tight, somersaulting into a life together. While my father excavated quarries and moved mountains, my mother stayed at the boarding house and learned to knit.  While he experimented with explosives and single-engine planes, the housekeeper instructed my mother in the domestic arts.  She painstakingly recorded every word ~ how to make War Cake with lard and raisins, how to can beets in cider vinegar and water, how to keep the fat at just the right temperature for frying Salvation Army Doughnuts.  In perfect Palmer script, the teacher fresh from Normal school penned the recipes in her spiral notebook and read them aloud in the evenings to the adventurous construction worker that stole her heart.

~ ~ ~


It’s quiet today at the church.  The sky is the color of grief.  A scent of wintergreen rides on a gust of sharp spring air.  Sorrow trudges down the narrow aisle and, in the pews, bodies shift and touch.  A wash of candle light stipples the two drab olive caskets.

Enskyed in Heaven’s vault, their simple vows ~ to have and to hold, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health ~  are ones they will honor for endless time.

Toni 4/28/12

Appearances Can Be Deceiving: Inconstancy with Humans and Birds. Another 420 Character, 9-liner.