“Do you know," Peter asked, "why swallows build in the eaves of houses? It is to listen to the stories.” ~ J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan


Old Things & New Lives: Time Goes On

I am full of unspoken thoughts & feelings,
but if you tip me over like a teapot,
they will come pouring out.

I like that image, and I can even picture the teapot - it was one my grandmother owned when I was a child and I'm not sure you could really use it for tea; I suppose it really  was a music box, but it was china - white with hand painted dark pink roses & gold flourishes & dilly-dallies, and there was a little performance stage on one side, although actually it was in  one side.  A little concave cut-out surrounded by scalloped, gold-trimmed edges, and dancing on that stage was a little ballerina.  She stood on one toe, her arms in the air, and she wore a white frothy tutu with tiny, tiny red~pink velvet hearts scattered all over the skirt; I loved running my fingers over those little velvet hearts.  I can't remember the song it played, but when you wound it, the ballerina would spin & twirl & dance & dance.  I remember very distinctly being just eye-level with that lovely little thing - it sitting on a counter, me just tall enough to stand there & rewind it every time the ballerina stopped.

Where did it go? Where does anything go?

Today is Mary's wake/Bon Voyage celebration, at last.  Six weeks have gone by, and it is finally here.  Her daughter & son-in-law have been in town for the last week, across the street in her house, deciding what stays, what goes, giving all her books to charity, asking us to take what we want, and I have wanted so little.  I took the white abalone heart we'd given her one year for Valentine's Day, I took an old copy of Out of Africa,  and I took her old, manual typewriter. Her daughter keeps asking me to take for myself the other gifts I'd given her over the years, but I cannot.  They are not mine.  They will go to Goodwill or to the Salvation Army or to other friends, and like the books, hopefully they will end up with someone who loves them.  They will start new lives of their own; those lives will not be with me.

I am supposed to speak at the wake for a few minutes - just 2 or 3, in line with other speakers, and I am supposed to tell a neighborhood story.  I have nothing written, but I will tell the story of Bob the cat, I suppose, tell the tale of Mary enticing him away from me, how he  began a new life with her.  When I awoke this morning, I realized he has been gone almost a year.  His grave in Mary's backyard is marked by a hanging basket of blue flowers, but otherwise now undetectable.  Almost a year. Where did it  go?  Will I be here a year from now, typing about how this past year has flown, has Mary has been gone over a year? Probably.  Hopefully.  But today is a day of remembrance for us, a day of stories, a day of celebration, of food & drink, of fellowship, of closeness.

I will keep that thought.


  1. Do. Do keep that thought. That today, though you are all very sad, you have much to celebrate. You have much to be grateful for. You have an ocean of powerful memories. Yes, keep that thought as you celebrate love, friendship, neighbors.

    Thinking of you.

  2. my tears are also still close to the surface, they pour out together with the joyful memories of someone i loved.

    thank you*

  3. Oh how much I have missed you.

    And how grateful I am to be here on this day of farewell, to offer you love and hugs and hopeful new beginnings to things as the flowers begin to open once again.

    Feels so good to be here...


  4. Your kitchen counter, my kitchen counter and a little corner of the living room! That's the way I create and have for years! Spray painting things on the patio, a dishwasher full to the brim with art supplies, the whole bit! It doesn't matter how much room you have to create, it only matters THAT you CREATE!

    Sandra Evertson

  5. I do hope that it ended up being better than you ever imagined it could be!

  6. Spring always has a tinge of sadness for me. Long ago, when I was just a girl, I lost my caretaker, my great-grandmother, in April. Waking up to find her dead is indelible in my memory. And every April, certain smells and flowers evoke that time. That child's fear I had, wondering what would happen to me. Who would take care of me. It ended up being pretty much me from them on. I was 13 years and 2 months old. The memories are like little moths whipping their wings against me. That day, perhaps, formed who I am.

  7. I've been away for a while...I come here and smile...cry...and just wanted to say 'Hi'...and send to a great big hug from far, far away.



come. sit under the emma tree & let's talk. i have cookies . . .