Musings for April

Today, Saturday, March 27, looks like another beautiful, sunny day. It’s amazing how a few sunny days can make us feel better, help us forget the long, snowy winter, and put a new perspective on our life. Anything seems possible in the sunshine, and it usually is, if we just get out and do it. Kaja, my dog, chased a rabbit close to the church where I walk, but fortunately it got away by going into a hollow tree. Kaja was not willing to leave the tree and I had to coax her a lot, because she always thinks that somehow that rabbit is going to come out of the tree and jump in her mouth.

She just turned eight on St. Patrick’s’ Day and is actually developing arthritis and is not as active as she was in previous years. I sometimes wish I lived on a farm where she could run to her heart’s content. I try to walk her twice a day and she goes in to my back yard several times a day, but it’s not the same as being able to run like crazy, and be a dog. Jason, my son, tells me I spoil her and perhaps I do, but she does have allergies, and this is a very bad season. She is allergic to grasses and trees and many kinds of food. She is on prednisone, which will make her gain weight, and I think that is what he sees, but I can’t have her scratching herself to death, which she does if she doesn’t get her medicine.

Yesterday was a rewarding day for me. I went with a friend to hear a person speak about kinesiology, and it brought back memories of working with chakras and energy within the body. It encouraged me to begin to look back at alternative ways of being in and taking care of your body. I used to be very aware of and explored alternatives to being in this world. I fell into a funk after the tragedies I’ve experienced and am now beginning to resurface as to the potential around me and within this world.

At work, we had an Open House for the Childrens’ Services Area and had other staff members at the Center come over to see what we do and look at some of our resources. What I did was establish a library with donated books, so that we know where and what we do have. We get many wonderful donations, but some are suitable and others not. So, it has been my good fortune to sort through many of those donations and try to create a working library. We don’t have everything I’d like and I did not catalog them, but it is a great collection with many books that can be used by us with the children and that we can loan out or give to clients and their children. It is very rewarding to do this, because I learned many years ago when I was a librarian and taught Children’s Literature that the single most important thing we ,as teachers and parents, can do for our children is read, read and read. Read to them, encourage them to read. Let them see us read, and have books available to them.

I’m very anxious to get out and work in the yard, but as always when I’m ready, the weather isn’t and when the weather is I’m not. So I have to wait for my free hours and the sun to coincide, so I can get out to clean up the yard, rake, see what has transpired over the winter with the plantings, and begin to assemble the garden again. I do look at it as an assemblage of what has survived; new plantings and the fun of planning each new season again. I’ve been getting quite a few flower and vegetable catalogs, and I need to take some time to sit down and go over them. I also need to start some seeds inside which I am late getting started on, so I have a few weeks work ahead of me.

One of the things that I’m anxious to see work is the rain barrels I purchased last year. I bought two for my yard and one for Jason’s yard. He recently built a platform for his just before the last rain, and he said it filled up, has tremendous pressure, and worked great. He is now building two platforms for mine, and making them about two feet high to provide some pressure. This will allow us to use the rain water for watering our small gardens, the trees, shrubs and other plantings. I took out my front yard lawn two years ago, because I can’t see the work and waste of watering and cutting. I’m very happy with my new yard and may take out what little grass I have in the back yard this year. The rain barrels will help us both, and we won’t be wasting water, a great natural resource, for artificial looks.

I’ve read some this month – some escape or trashies as I call them and a few thoughtful, informational books. A friend from church, Linda gave me a book that was in our church cloakroom and just resurfaced this month. I think she probably brought it around Christmas, and our paths didn’t cross. Imagine my surprise when I opened it, and it was personally signed by the author to me. My friend travels a lot, and went to a book signing of his and had him write the dedication to me. What a sweet, caring friend! I was thrilled. It is a book of essays by David Sedaris entitled. When you are Engulfed in Flames. It’s funny while serious and deep while light-handed. I’ve just started it.

Others I’ve enjoyed were Twelve Sharp by Janet Evanovich, another of her crazy adventures about Stephanie Plum, her main character and bounty hunter. The Street Lawyer by John Grisham, Hour of Gold, Hour of Lead by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Two Lives and a Dream by Marguerite Yourcenar, which is three tales. Another by Nadine Gordimer, whose novels I hadn’t read for quite a while, about a South African woman, A Sport of Nature. John Le Carre’s Our Game and Susan Wiggs’ The FireBrand. I also read two books for youth. One by Linda Sue Park who wrote a Newberry Medal book called A Single Shard. This one was called When My Name was Keoko. I also read a Nancy Drew Mystery by Carolyn Keene. I’m sure many of you older folks remember reading Nancy Drew Stories or Hardy Boys Mysteries. One of the boxes donated to The Center contained several Nancy Drew stories and a couple Hardy Boys. For the girls Carolyn Keene provided a female heroine who was independent and operated on her own. A rare kind of book in those days.

Plant some flowers!

Joanne Fought



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