I CAN’T EAT ANOTHER BITE. OH LOOK, PIE!

Ah, Thanksgiving. Like many of you, we’ll sit around the groaning board, swap lies, and whoop (intermittently) How ’bout those Giants!

 

Mostly though, we’ll feast on the stories ~ memories of Grandma’s chicken soup with rice, the cast-off toilet (lid up) in the yard, Ma’s frozen French fries cooked with a brick of lard in the cast iron skillet. Oh, and the mayonnaise controversy. So much history here.

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The house, built in the 1800’s and moved to its present location, is full of Remember-Whens. A new table looms large and stands where bunk beds barely contained three boys.  A granite undermount sink replaces the chipped porcelain basin in what used to be the old pantry.  We love this old house and the people in it. They care about the eaves and beams, the joists and rafters. The family nest is aging gracefully and for that we are thankful.

 

 

This year, Thanksgiving will be in a different house, a different town, hosted by a different generation with its own growing families and stories to share. Each generation before us contributed to this abundance of joy.  And so it continues. Lucky us.

I’ll look around the Thanksgiving table and be (yet again) flabbergasted that we are unexpectedly older.  I knew it was coming, just not this fast.

Life is not about seeing the glass half empty or half full. The point is that you have a glass.

I raise my glass to you, Beloved Family and Loyal Readers. Notice everything and live it all.

Hey, be sure to add this little funky jam to your T-day. No, it’s not about actual turkeys. It’s about jive turkeys. A little throwback for us oldies at the table.

 

Toni 11/21/17

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WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: GLOW

A glow catches my eye as I walk along Shearshop Road in the historic district of Milton.

It’s a marbled orb weaver spider.  One look at the ornate coloration and patterns on the abdomen of this spider leave no doubt about how this beauty got its name.  For a more intimate look, click here.

Araneus marmoreus, one of nature’s showiest orbweavers.

Toni 10/22/17

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: PEDESTRIAN

Scholars date the word ‘pedestrian‘ to the early 18th century, its origin from the French pédestre or Latin pedester (going on foot). But it was also used to mean ‘written in prose’.

The 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded a few days ago.  You might remember last year’s winner, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.  A controversial pick, his quirky long-delayed response annoyed academy members.  (It was rumored that he used SparkNotes to write his lecture. Really?)

 

Every year I hope the academy chooses perennial contender Haruki Murakami.  (Alas, this year, one of Murakami’s favorite writers, Kazuo Ishiguro, took home the prize.)  Murakami was born in the same month and year as I was but that’s where the similarities end, even though he thinks of himself as an ordinary guy.

 I see myself as a kind of ordinary guy. I don’t think of myself as an artist, mostly. I guess I’m just engineering something. I like to write. I like to choose the right word, I like to write the right sentence. It’s just like gardening or something. You put the seed into the soil at the right time, in the right place.

 

His prose is intricately fashioned, whether fiction, non-fiction, or a personal essay.   What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a collection of gems.  It’s by turns memoir and diary, a laceratingly beautiful (and educational) narrative. Murakami writes the stories we all need to get through life, confront the past, understand the present, and move on to the future.

 

Unresolved mysteries, tales-within-tales, maybe-dreams, everyday worlds, and supernatural realms ~ in Murakami’s hands, his stories fascinate and confound.  An accomplished writer and translator, he knows how to tell a tale circuitously.  He is the kind of professor I yearned for in college, learned and challenging in equal measure.

Haruki Murakami poses questions and tenders ideas you will think about, and then think again. Exactly what Alfred Nobel had in mind.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  And you may not even be sure, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.  That’s what this storm is all about.”

Stresa, Italy

Toni 10/8/17