Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to my brilliant mom!  And to my mother in law, my sister and sisters-in-law, and to all the moms out there!  (I know we are well past British Mothering Sunday, but this weekend is the American holiday.  Feel free, all you Brits, to have an extra celebration on us!)

Two glamorous girls– my mom and me– on a beach in South Carolina,  where so many of my fist travels took place.  Circa 1969.

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Happy Father’s Day

For all of the daddies who have made us feel loved, beautiful, smart, and safe, and who have challenged us to be the people we are capable of being– Happy Father’s Day!   We love you to the moon and back! (And then back again.)

Had We But World Enough, And Time

Our power must have gone off yesterday.  The two electric clocks we have in the house were inexplicably set to zero in the afternoon.  And that got me to thinking about time.  Well, that and the shock that June is almost upon us (where did April and May go?).  And the real live cuckoo bird who is nesting somewhere in the neighborhood and sounding for all of the world like my clock, but “going off” at random times.  And the son who appears to grow by inches on any given night.  And the beloved dog and best friend who passed away last week.

Time engulfs us and confounds us. We decorate our towers and homes with it, wear it on our wrists, celebrate its high holy days, and mourn its passing.  Time heals all wounds, but steals all souls.  And if we respect it and appreciate all the fine gifts the years bring us, we still fear it.  We don’t understand it at all.

So, today, I offer a few photos and let time speak for itself.

Giant Cuckoo Clock on the Rhine River in Germany--looking out on new shops and very old castles.
Giant Cuckoo Clock on the Rhine River in Germany–looking out on new shops and very old castles.

 

Victoria Clock Tower, which stood by our house in Ripon, England
Victoria Clock Tower, which stood by our house in Ripon, England. On a personal level, a very special reminder of 4 great years in our lives.

 

 

The fabulous Corpus Clock in Cambridge, England--revealing less of itself in the gleaming sun and more of a reflection of King's College.
The fabulous Corpus Clock in Cambridge, England–revealing less of itself in the gleaming sun and more of a reflection of King’s College…because, after all, time is a canvas for the things of life.

 

 

Sienna, Italy
Siena, Italy–Town Hall and Clock Tower standing tall over the historic piazza.

 

South Gate Clock, Chester, England
South Gate Clock, Chester, England– is it a coincidence that clocks so often mark thresholds like this?

 

An 1820 Longcase clock from Leyburn, England stands sentry at our door.
An 1820 Longcase clock from Leyburn, England stands sentry at our door.
The Best Friend we loved and lost
The Best Friend we loved and lost. At 15 years old, she had lived a long dog life . . . but not nearly long enough for those who loved her.

 

The past came alive at a history fair at Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire
The past came alive at a history fair at Fountains Abbey, Yorkshire. And why is it that little boys always want to grow up to be soldiers?

 

Having fun with the past at Tweetsie Railroad in NC many years ago.
Having fun with the past at Tweetsie Railroad in NC many years ago.

 

And so, time marches on. . .

They are young one day, and all grown up the next.
They are young one day, and all grown up the next.

*”Had we but world enough, and time” is the first line of Andrew Marvel’s poem “To His Coy Mistress”

Unboxing My Life

I know exactly how Pandora felt.   Horrified.  Overwhelmed.  Ashamed.  But mostly just panicked.

On second thought, she shouldn’t have opened the box.  REALLY shouldn’t have opened the box.  But now it’s too late.  What to do next?  Run and hide?  Try to fix the mess somehow?

And me?  I’m sitting in a house full of boxes.  Millions and gajillions of boxes.   DSC_0259 - Copy I shouldn’t have acquired so many worldly goods…but now I’ve grown attached to them.  They are my life’s travels and my family memories  played out in textiles, art, and furniture, and I’ve dragged them halfway across the world with me.  Is that wierd/shallow/materialistic?  I have no idea.  Most days, I’d say it’s essential to being human, this appreciation of things that speak to your soul.  But today I can tell you that it makes for a hell of a job unpacking when the movers dump the accumulation on your doorstep.

It’s overwhelming, the thought of having to unpack and organize it all.  But it has to be done before the contents rise up on their own and riotously burst the seams of the boxes.  One set of boxes, all full of books, crashed over in the middle of the night–sending the dvds and magazine I’d left at the top of the stack slidding across the floor.  The message was clear:  Step away from the dvds and get on task!  Open the boxes!  Free the contents to their rightful place in your house!!!  If I don’t step up my efforts at unboxing quickly and efficiently, all the contents are sure to go into a full mutiny on me.

So there it is.  I like my stuff, but it terrifies me at the moment.

As Pandora said, many weeks later, “you’ll just have to take the good with the bad.”  That’s life.

If you haven’t heard from me in a week, send someone knocking on my door.  It’s just possible that  I’m  lost under an avalanche of worldly goods.  You can never tell what will pop out of these boxes once opened.