30 August 2011

Over the River and Through the Woods

The memories which peaceful country scenes call up, are not of this world, nor of its thoughts and hopes. Their gentle influence may teach us how to weave fresh garlands for the graves of those we loved: may purify our thoughts, and bear down before it old enmity and hatred; but beneath all this, there lingers, in the least reflective mind, a vague and half-formed consciousness of having held such feelings long before, in some remote and distant time, which calls up solemn thoughts of distant times to come, and bends down pride and worldliness beneath it. ~Charles Dickens

Is it any wonder this place is called Spring Garden?  That is the name of my childhood...of grandma's house. 

the yard
apple orchard
site of the old grape vines and a cherry tree
This tree reminds me of my favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Scout's reflective thoughts near the end of the story always tugs at me a bit... "We came to the street light on the corner, and I wondered how many times Dill had stood there hugging the fat pole, watching, waiting, hoping. I wondered how many times Jem and I had made this journey, but I entered the Radley front gate for the second time in my life. Boo and I walked up the steps to the porch. His fingers found the front doorknob. He gently released my hand, opened the door, went inside, and shut the door behind him. I never saw him again. Neighbors bring food with death and flowers with sickness and little things in between. Boo was our neighbor. He gave us two soap dolls, a broken watch and chain, a pair of good-luck pennies, and our lives. But neighbors give in return. We never put back into the tree what we took out of it: we had given him nothing, and it made me sad."
We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me. ~Phyllis Theroux 
the old Spring Garden Baptist Church, abandoned for a newer structure, still stands on grandma's property

This little one-room schoolhouse, still in use as a community building, is just a skip down the gravel road from grandma's house.  I can see it from her porch.  I took this photo on the Fourth of July and love it.  My mother attended first grade here.  As a first grade teacher myself, this place is rather sweet.

xo, S.

01 August 2011


Somewhere in the world today is a boy, I mean a man, who is celebrating a birthday.  He was from Paris and spent a month in my neighborhood as a foreign exchange student in the summer of 1986.  He attempted to teach his uncultured American friends how to blow smoke rings.  I wonder where he is today.  I wonder why I even wonder.

July was a lot of busy-ness for me.  I completed the inaugural session of my doctoral work and just last evening, registered for the next semester of courses.  Now if only gas prices would fall (ha), I'd enjoy the trek to class a bit more.  I am contemplating research in the area of literacy-deficit children and their experiences in the primary grades.  I have this persistent drive to narrow my focus and make a plan.  Time is money and I'd like to begin spending less of it (money, that is).  Besides, if I'm going to conduct research and then prepare a manuscript of, say, 500 to 1000 to God-knows-how-many pages, I'd rather begin sooner than later.

I'd also like the rain to begin sooner versus later.  Days on end with exorbitant temperatures and sweltering humidity makes for hefty doses of misery.  I need gills.  I am dreaming of fall, of this:

Flicker. Onironauta.

Summer here is summed up by one word:  sweat.  Personally, I think sweat is disgusting. 

So today while I clothe myself in air conditioning,  I am going to begin the prep work for creating an office.  First, I need to clear the area (a lofty goal).  Ultimately, I think I'd like a space like this:  

or this:

using fabric like this:

on a settee such as this:

inside of antiquated walls like these:

in a setting identical to this:

And now we're back to Autumn...soon, I hope.  *sigh*