Packing to come home after a few months in Italy. It's interesting to me to look at this now, now when I bring (and bring home) a minimum of things. But back then, well look. An espresso pot, some torrone, a few notebooks, some rosary beads, my copy of Let's Go Italy. There's even a bottle of dandruff shampoo in there. And then the bags, always the bags. Especially the ones with Italian words on them. (Once I brought home an entire potato pizza.) We're about to head back to Italy again soon. May moderation prevail.
August 31, 2015
After my mother died, I took my father on a trip to Ireland. It was where his own mother had come from decades before and a place he'd always wanted to see. He drove me crazy. He made noise 24 hours a day: whistling, singing, sneezing, snoring. My journal from that trip has several pages where all I've written, as large as the page would accommodate, was SHUT UP. SHUT UP. Still, I think he had a good time. And, well, that was the point. I guess.
August 30, 2015
August 29, 2015
I like finding things. Notes on the sidewalk. Things forgotten in books, even my own. Recently Dr. Blake showed me a 1971 ticket from the Atlantic City racetrack that he'd found in an old book of mine. It reminded me of a trip there with my late friend Robert, the only person I know who used to frequent "the track." When I was a high school teacher, I once found a student's notebook in the cafeteria. In it she had listed the names and sexes of her future children. And their zodiac signs! Here's an odd note I found stuck to the dust jacket of one of my library's copies of The Girl on the Train. As if that book couldn't get any creepier. That's quite a to-do list. Who do you think wanted to do those four things? How old do you think that ambitious person is? Practice flint and steel? Get plane?
August 28, 2015
Is it me, or are a lot more people growing sunflowers this year? Maybe because we need the brightness after the severe winter we struggled through. Here are some of the ones I planted on the side of my front porch, the sunniest spot in my yard. I love that they have grown higher than the windows, allowing me a nice vista when I'm inside on the porch. Since this photo was taken, I've had to provide support for the fast-growing teenagers, stakes for some, string restraints for others.
August 27, 2015
This is what the 4th Avenue underpass used to look like before it was spiffed up with new lighting, new streetcar access, new everything. Gone is the creepiness, the threat of danger that I found so appealing. You never knew who you would encounter down there. And I always loved the darkness with the bright light beckoning at the far end, like the white light we're told we'll be drawn to as our death approaches.
August 26, 2015
Because the tomato plants I tried in my raised beds stopped producing, I decided only flowers and herbs this year. Here's the result. I kind of like it. Even the crabgrass looks fine in spite of our summer's lack of rain. When I showed this photo to Dr. Blake recently, he asked, "Is that a peacock in there?" Uh, no.