Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas Bells

"I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till, ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
"There is no peace on earth," I said;
"For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men!"

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Friday, December 16, 2011

Things to do on a December Day When There is No Water

  • Check all the faucets in the house.

  • Bang a bit on the pipes.

  • Go out the front door and check up and down the street to see if you are the only one without water.

  • Speculate with the neighbors about how long it might be until the water is back on again.

  • Collect all the bottled water from all around the house.

  • Make certain there is water in the expensive bottled water dispenser — and an extra 5 gallon bottle — just in case...

  • Count the small bottles of water.

  • Send husband and daughter into town to get things to eat that don’t require water to cook, prepare or eat them.

  • Think about a nice whirlpool bath.

  • Spend a lot of time searching for a place that accepts dogs, cats and refugees from a broken water main.

  • Itch my head and search the internet for dry shampoo.

  • Look for a net-flix video to watch that doesn’t have ocean, lake or stream scenes.

  • Find our large bottle of hand sanitizer.

  • Collect paper towel and set them out in strategic places.

  • Search all the closets, drawers, shelves, picnic basket and boxes for "Wet Ones" hand wipes - set them out also.

  • Dream of bubbles, fragrant oil and warm water surging up around my shoulders from a whirlpool.

  • Discover that the lettuce wasn’t pre-washed.

  • Make sandwiches without lettuce.

  • Decide that I abhor the scent of hand sanitizer.

  • Discover that hand sanitizer comes off when I hold a sandwich and its taste is even worse than its smell.

  • Listen to the sound of the back hoe digging a trench - searching for a broken pipe.

  • Collect buckets, empty water bottles and pans so they can be filled with water from a working faucet down the road.

  • Watch the long rows of dirt build along the trench next to the back hoe.

  • Welcome with relief the coming of bedtime.

  • Dream of a whirlpool of warm water splashing all around me.....

Monday, November 21, 2011

More Geese

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hunter's Morning

This is a hunter’s morning. From the early calling of owls and the Northern Harrier flying low over the fields to the small gray cat stalking through the corn (I only notice her because her four white paws catch the light every time she moves). And then there are the hunters tramping through the woods blasting away at anything moving. I can see exactly where they are; the flocks of geese have diverted from their usual route and make a wide swing to either side of the wooded knoll where the hunters wait.

The sunrise is worth dragging myself and all my gear out the door. Clouds are all tipped with gold and vermillion - guess that is only to the east, there are few clouds to the west over the Catskills, although they are building in very slow waves. The clouds are spitting on me - just a few drops of water; not enough to get me wet but enough that I need to cover my camera.

I need more words! The entire eastern sky is aflame with color red, scarlet, crimson, vermillion, orange, yellow - layer upon layer of intense glowing color.
Absolutely breathtaking!

If the colors were not already causing me to loose my breath — this wind would. It is on a real tear. I could believe it had small shards of ice to carry as it is jetting through the air even through my heavy down coat and especially through my fur lined leather gloves — I am Cold!!! Heading in to a warm house, a comfortable recliner, a cup of steaming tea and a good book....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
November 19, 1863
On June 1, 1865, Senator Charles Sumner commented on what is now considered the most famous speech by President Abraham Lincoln. In his eulogy on the slain president, he called it a "monumental act." He said Lincoln was mistaken that "the world will little note, nor long remember what we say here." Rather, the Bostonian remarked, "The world noted at once what he said, and will never cease to remember it. The battle itself was less important than the speech."

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate -- we can not consecrate -- we can not hallow -- this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Winter Trees

Have you ever noticed a tree standing naked against the sky,
How beautiful it is?
All its branches are outlined, and in its nakedness
There is a poem, there is a song.
Every leaf is gone and it is waiting for the spring.
When the spring comes, it again fills the tree with
The music of many leaves,
Which in due season fall and are blown away.
And this is the way of life.
- Krishnamurti

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Winter Lace