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Some thoughts

18 May

From Lady Ludlow, by E. Gaskell:

” “When two persons have arrived at a certain point of expression on a subject, about which they differ as materially as I do from Mr. Gray, the wisest course, if they wish to remain friends, is to drop the conversation entirely and suddenly.  It is one of the few cases where abruptness is desirable.” ”

” “Miss Gallindo says she saw him going to hold a prayer-meeting in a cottage.  Now, that really makes me unhappy, it is so like what Mr. Wesley used to do in my younger days; since then we have had rebellion in the American colonies and the French revolution.  You may depend upon it, my dear, making religion and education common–vulgarizing them, as it were–is a bad thing for a nation.  A man who hears prayers read in the cottage where he has just supped on bread and bacon, forgets the respect due to a church: he begins to think that one place is as good as another, and, by and by, that one person is as good as another; and after that, I always find that people begin to talk of their rights, instead of thinking of their duties.  I wish Mr. Gray had been more tractable, and had left well alone.” ”

“People, in general, take a kindlier interest in any one, the workings of whose mind and heart they can watch and understand, than in a man who only lets you know what he has been thinking about and feeling, by what he does.”

“I have often wondered which one misses most when they are dead and gone,–the bright creatures full of life, who are hither and thither and everywhere, so that no one can reckon upon their coming and going, with whom stillness and the long quiet of the grave seems utterly irreconcilable, so full are they of vivid motion and passion,–or the slow, serious people, whose movements–nay, whose very words, seem to go by clock-work; who never appear much to affect the course of our life while they are with us, but whose methodical ways show themselves, when they are gone, to have been intertwined with our very roots of daily existence.  I think I will miss these last the most, although I may have loved the former best.”

Our 24th Anniversary

18 May

What a busy day! Jay got up (very) early to go turkey hunting.   After walking Hawthorne (those bobolink songs are so wonderful!) I listened to a phone message from my folks and found the mother squirrel dead on the side of the road.  Saw one of the youngsters eating leaves.  For moisture?  So put out small dishes of water on either side of the house for them, along with whole hickory nuts and sunflower seeds sans shells.

Then a neighbor called: we ran down and picked up a nearly dead rooster,  the victim of internecine fighting, and fed some fresh alfalfa and clover to poor Willie, the 12 year -old goat who is slowly fading away from life.

Jay returned with an exciting tale, but no turkey, alas.  I took some feathers from the rooster then he took the meat and buried the carcass.

Then while Jay took the girl to her grandmothers’ (I had gone over her to-do list for the day), I made reservations for two of us to go to a Big City for a last visit with friends who are moving East.

Upon his return, we drove a meandering route to Skaneateles , stopping to buy ice cream cones on the way. The high hills were not yet green.  Jay thought it might be an altitude effect.  The oaks are higher up.  And the hickories? The hickorys in the woods are just now starting to leaf out.

Once there we walked around, saw a few trout in the lake, two drakes and one mother duck with 11 day or two old ducklings, ate a pastry each, shared a fish fry from Doug’s, went in and out of shops, and had a good time being alone, just the two of us.  Stopping at a church thrift shop is one of our yearly stops.  A new section of sidewalk was being put in.  We saw the completed restoration (from the outside) of an enormous old home; lots of cast iron railings.  And two new beautiful monstrosities in the building stages–both homes, we think.  Another world.

Drove home.  What a beautiful green drive. Called my folks.  Ate salad and hot dogs for supper, watched the four baby squirrels run around.  One more shared ice cream cone, then we went to get the girl.

In the mailbox before supper I discovered a nice note from an aunt and a small box containing a very dry hellebore.  A Red Lady.  Put the poor thing to soak for a bit.  Part of an order that had not arrived with the others.  One more to come, still.

Wandered around my SIL’s lovely upper lawn. Admired the blue hillside.  It is blue because it is completely covered with forget-me-nots. At dusk it seems to glow. Then Isabelle discovered a large colony of small Gypsy moth caterpillars on a youngish maple.  We walked around all the young oak trees and picked them off and squished them.

Home again, home again, jiggity-jig.  Planted the hellebore.  Jay transplanted some plants (bupleurum and poppies) into a row so he can rototill, again.  Watered them in.

Hawthorne was out in the west field dogging around while we were doing that.  But he did not come when I called him and squeaked his toy.  No indeed.  He looked right at me as if to say “Huh, you left me in that pen all day, alone, and now you expect everything to be OK between us?  I am angry with you!” And turned and walked the opposite direction.  So I went after him, and he got faster.  Then he turned and crossed the road while I yelled for him to come and not to cross the road!  The wretch.  So I followed, calling and squeaking his toy.  Across a field and behind the neighbor’s home he disappeared into a piny woods.  I decided that was it.  I was not going to follow any more.

So I sank to my haunches and called him.  And Hawthorne came.  Eventually.  With his head hanging.  He knew.  I told him he was a good dog.  We walked home, me holding his collar.

We spoke to Isaac on the phone. Jay will return him home Wednesday.  Then I headed for bed and the new Dietrich Bonhoffer biography.  Which on the strength of the first 8 chapters I can heartily recommend.

Thank you, Lord, for our 24 years of marriage.  May we have another 24.

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