Sunday, August 02, 2020

Among the wildflowers

Gus died this week.

A woman jogged past my house yesterday, paused at one of our enormous overgrown beach rose bushes, pulled a single pink petal off, popped it in her mouth, and jogged off down the sidewalk.

Sweet little neighbor boys made us sympathy cards. "I'M SORRY CLOVER" said one of them.

It feels like he's still here somewhere. It feels like he's behind the forsythia bush, in front of the fireplace, under the porch. 

My new hobby is buying flowers and planting them in the many spots around the yard where he'd taken to spending most of his time over the last couple of months. That dog loved having a back yard he could defend with his loud barking and relax in all day, moving from one shady spot to another and even into the night if we'd let him. You could see him glowing slightly, settled in the middle of the garden behind the coreopsis or curled around a lily plant. 

Chamomile everywhere.

I'm not sure this spot is sunny enough for daisies, but it was sunny enough for Gus.

This was his usual spot, behind these yellow beauties. I think I need to get two more astilbes to fill in the dirt patch he created here, but this one really reminds me of him.

Wednesday, July 08, 2020


Inspired by Ross Gay's Book of Delights, which is delightful, here's a random sampling of mine today.

  • I woke feeling much improved from yesterday, when I was knocked flat on my back by the previous day's shingles vaccine.*
  • The blossoms in the vegetable garden, the way they seem deliberately intended to add color and cheer — comically huge, bright yellow zucchini blossoms and tiny paler tomato flowers and elegant white blooms on the snap peas.
  • Gus, asleep with his back against the raised bed, guarding the garden. Guardian of the garden.

*If you're as old as I am or older, get your shingles vaccine.

Wednesday, June 17, 2020


"One Day" by Robert Crowley

One day after another —
They all fit.

How is it mid-June? The days were always weirdly fast/slow, but the past three months have been like no other time in my life, how about yours? 

We've slowed our baking around here as things go all summery. Those days you can step outside barefoot with your morning coffee and the yard is full of birds and flowers — how lucky are we? We're focusing more on salads, lately with bushels of greens cut from Emily's huge garden. Isaac and I made a socially-distanced visit this weekend to deliver a custom mask and left with armfuls of daisies, perfect tiny eggs. It makes me cry, it's so sweet to see friends in real life. Our neighbor came to eat in our yard with us last week and brought rhubarb pie and little toasts with homemade ricotta, mushrooms, foraged ramps. She left us bags of fiddleheads that we roasted and tossed into another big salad. 

So the days are like that around the edges, plus the working and looking for more work and other things like the rug constantly needing to be vacuumed and sour-smelling towels and waiting for someone else to clean the bathroom, and that sort of thing. We may find a way to get Zoë here later in the summer! We are slowly making room for her, the house being somewhat full of four people's stuff. Goodwill is accepting donations and the dump is open, so I'm advocating for a little Marie Kondo, personally.

Okay, here we go, it's Wednesday they tell me.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

It is only a dream of the grass blowing

We were in the back yard the other day and heard a dog barking happily, clearly from a moving car — the sound was in motion. I said to Isaac, "I'm picturing a dog driving a car. Or, no — a dog in a motorcycle sidecar!" I kid you not, a half hour later I was weeding in the front yard and a motorcycle drove past with a dog in the sidecar.

I will tell you another fabulous thing that happened last week: I was at Whole Foods noticing all the "shoppers" with their carts full of upright paper bags and their phones held to their faces, when I spotted one who was wearing a kimono and full geisha makeup.

On a dog walk this week, I was walking by one of those fences that create a kind of zoetrope effect through the slats as you move past, where you can just peek at glimpses, and I saw two adults and a small child enthusiastically dancing by the light of a fire.

I feel so incredibly grateful to be with Isaac this spring, so lucky to be able to celebrate his 24th birthday with him, to bake him an apple pie and watch him open gifts and stay up too late watching him win at Settlers of Catan.