Memorial Day Weekend. I should be here: this is Cafe Heaven in Provincetown. It could be the best breakfast place in free world.
But I am not there: I am here. In my yard.
With some energetic silly weekend company
Looking into windows
and fretting about the explosion of chipmunks who live in this old stone wall and who dig tunnels in my yard (can it be that there is truly no humane way to make this work or make them leave?)
I am bragging about my flowers
& enjoying the fact that JB and I are not reluctant to have a flock of tacky flamingos in the front yard
I'm admiring my back yard
& thankful to share it
And following JB's example I'm ready to let my favorite season slow me down
As of now, because of my Mother's ups and downs I won't be in Provincetown as often as I planned. But you know what? It's about time I've learned how to stay steady when the winds blow. And means being where I am, not judging, and noticing. Really. I mean it.
It's quite a time. Changes and events are whirling and I am somehow feeling steady. So much is about love. I'm influenced to write more and that is such a good thing for me. Sometimes I want to sign up for the Colrain Poetry Manuscript again and see if my poems are still weak. What an experience: I wanted to run like hell, and yet I learned so much.
Act 1, Scene 1: Gram, Mommy, and Mr Ryan driving to Boston for dinner at Mr. Sushi. They are on the Massachusetts Turnpike looking at the Boston skyline.
Mommy: Look Ryan! That tall building is where Mommy went to college.
Mr. Ryan: What is college?
Mommy: College is where you go to school to learn about all kinds of subjects.
Mr. Ryan: Will I go to college?
Mommy: I think you will. But you have to be a good learner and a good listener in kindergarten first.
Gram: And in college there are special clubs you can join for fun too.
Mr. Ryan: What kind of clubs?
Mommy: There are science clubs and art clubs and boating clubs and baseball clubs.
Gram: And video game clubs and acting clubs and photo clubs and poetry clubs too.
Mr. Ryan (camera pans in for very earnest expression): Are there candy clubs?
(note from kj: there is a certain way of looking at the world that is not to be missed. Yesterday I learned from a five year old little boy to include candy clubs. I pass this information on for your precious use when needed)
I love where I live this time of year. There are five colleges nearby, and dozens of farms. The small towns up the road are called the hill towns, one after another. This Sunday, Mother's Day, in the middle of two emotional windstorms, JB and I drove the back roads through the hill towns. It was the best thing for me.
It's been a while since I've carried my camera with me, and I am so happy when I do. I hope these photos give you a sense of the rural small towns where the growing is active, myself included. And I hope you enjoy this ride with me through the hill towns of western Massachusetts.
Hello everyone. It's me, Emily Rabbit. I am very very very excited to show you the advertisement for my new frozen avocado business. This fantastic logo arrived a couple of days ago, created by kj's friend Kristin and could anything be more perfect for the launching of the beginning of something that is going to assure that I will have money for all the jellybeans I will ever want for all my life?
If you are new to the Green & Mean Avocado Company I will explain it to you very fast: If someone hurts your feelings, it's a good idea to aim one or more frozen peas at them. If they really hurt your feelings or make you so mad you have to stomp and then kick your feet high in the air, then you probably should throw one or more frozen grapes at them. And if the person is very mean in general, maybe even a frozen Brussels sprout.
But if they are very very very very mean and you not only stomp and kick your feet high in the air but you also cry BOOHOOHOOBOOBOOHOO very loudly, then you should consider throwing a frozen avocado.
I am supposed to tell you not to aim at anyone's head.
The green part of the Green & Mean Avocado Company is because you can RE-USE the pit for dire circumstances.
"You can't go too far on the straight and narrow in life if you have an affinity for Provincetown."
insightful quote by ms. kj
This post is about Provincetown.
But first of all: Lori, have a wonderful time in Africa. I know generosity is going to shower you. It will rain on you. :^) You are however obliged to share the most amazing photos. Can't wait ♥
These first three shots are the yard in Provincetown. JB and I take no credit: we live in a house divided into three condos. We are in the middle and Mark in the unit behind us is a gardener. All season there will be blooms and colors. Some may be overgrown, but that is a small price for all this beauty.
There are more cars and people in town.
The shops are opening.
Houses and windows have activity.
And it is Springtime.
This is the view right in front of me now as I type on the couch.
It looks fancier than it really is.
And this is how things are looking on a short walk in Provincetown.
Next weekend all the shops and restaurants will open.
I admit that sometimes when I hear someone talking about volunteering I tell myself I already do that. I don't mean to brag. I took a two thirds cut in pay to do the work I am privileged to do today. Someday I will write more stories about the people I know and get to witness. But today, on Facebook, posted by my twinkly twin Angela, came across a story that put everything, all of it, in perspective.
Let's face it: this beautiful life is short and this beautiful life is hard. The chance to do something important is often found in small moments and small acts. And when that chance presents itself, I tell you, I assure you, it can change everything for you.
Please read this story, because I know you will understand. I know you will feel and I know you will understand what you can do if you keep your eyes and heart open to make your own life everything you hope for.
I arrived at the address and honked the horn. After waiting a few minutes I honked again. Since this was going to be my last ride of my shift I thought about just driving away, but instead I put the car in park and walked up to the door and knocked.. 'Just a minute', answered a frail, elderly voice. I could hear something being dragged across the floor.
After a long pause, the door opened. A small woman in her 90's stood before me. She was wearing a print dress and a pillbox hat with a veil pinned on it, like somebody out of a 1940's movie.
By her side was a small nylon suitcase. The apartment looked as if no one had lived in it for years. All the furniture was covered with sheets.
There were no clocks on the walls, no knickknacks or utensils on the counters. In the corner was a cardboard box filled with photos and glassware.
'Would you carry my bag out to the car?' she said. I took the suitcase to the cab, then returned to assist the woman.
She took my arm and we walked slowly toward the curb.
She kept thanking me for my kindness. 'It's nothing', I told her.. 'I just try to treat my passengers the way I would want my mother to be treated.'
'Oh, you're such a good boy, she said. When we got in the cab, she gave me an address and then asked, 'Could you drive through downtown?'
'It's not the shortest way,' I answered quickly..
'Oh, I don't mind,' she said. 'I'm in no hurry. I'm on my way to a hospice.
I looked in the rear-view mirror. Her eyes were glistening. 'I don't have any family left,' she continued in a soft voice..'The doctor says I don't have very long.' I quietly reached over and shut off the meter.
'What route would you like me to take?' I asked.
For the next two hours, we drove through the city. She showed me the building where she had once worked as an elevator operator.
We drove through the neighborhood where she and her husband had lived when they were newlyweds She had me pull up in front of a furniture warehouse that had once been a ballroom where she had gone dancing as a girl.
Sometimes she'd ask me to slow in front of a particular building or corner and would sit staring into the darkness, saying nothing.
As the first hint of sun was creasing the horizon, she suddenly said, 'I'm tired.Let's go now'. We drove in silence to the address she had given me. It was a low building, like a small convalescent home, with a driveway that passed under a portico.
Two orderlies came out to the cab as soon as we pulled up. They were solicitous and intent, watching her every move. They must have been expecting her.
I opened the trunk and took the small suitcase to the door. The woman was already seated in a wheelchair.
'How much do I owe you?' She asked, reaching into her purse.
'Nothing,' I said
'You have to make a living,' she answered.
'There are other passengers,' I responded.
Almost without thinking, I bent and gave her a hug.She held onto me tightly.
'You gave an old woman a little moment of joy,' she said. 'Thank you.'
I squeezed her hand, and then walked into the dim morning light.. Behind me, a door shut.It was the sound of the closing of a life..
I didn't pick up any more passengers that shift. I drove aimlessly lost in thought. For the rest of that day,I could hardly talk.What if that woman had gotten an angry driver,or one who was impatient to end his shift? What if I had refused to take the run, or had honked once, then driven away?
On a quick review, I don't think that I have done anything more important in my life.
We're conditioned to think that our lives revolve around great moments.
But great moments often catch us unaware-beautifully wrapped in what others may consider a small one.
I am well aware I haven't been posting my own photos or poems lately and that is because I haven't been taking photos and I haven't been writing poems. That is about to change. I'm just about well again and it's springtime--good news for me. In the meantime, blogger has allowed me to upload some of my favorite faces, but only a certain number. No explanation is necessary other than these are faces I love. And I hope some or all make you smile.
A final word from kJ's New England Journal of Medicine: rubber noses having healing powers.