Tuesday, June 30, 2020


There is a saying 
in old Celtic folklore 
that if you linger 
between two different worlds,
 such as 
 a before and an after
 you might be visited by fairies.

 You may never 
actually see them 
but they will always leave 
a token of their time there,
 a feeling 
that you can carry with you 
no matter how far
 you may go.

As a little girl, 
I sat beneath an old acasia tree
 in my grandmother's garden, 
reading over and over again,
 the delightful story of 
the Secret Garden.

When that ivy clad gate
 was first opened,
 I think that was where 
my imagination took wing and 
fairies became
 a part of my nature. 

 I know the story
 didn't tell of fairies,
 per say, 
but I may have seen 
Mary Lennox, Dickon and Colin 
as magical beings,
 transforming a plot of forgotten land 
into a beautiful garden.  
In my small mind, 
I couldn't fathom it
 being done
 any other way.

When we first took up residence,
 in 1989, at the Cottage,
 this was the space 
that designated itself 
to be my Secret Garden.

 The curtain had been pulled back and 
it seemed that 
I had just stepped out from under
 those low hanging limbs 
of that long ago acasia tree 
onto a stage 
that could portray my dream 
of a garden 
just like Mary had accomplished.

 Of course, by then, 
I knew there would be
 no actual fairies 
coming to my rescue,
 I wanted a special place
 for them to reside, 
if they would
 so choose.

This is the very first "before" garden. 

Notice the floor of the gazebo.
 It was a large round of cement
 that the Captain poured and 
I painted "bricks" onto.  
You can barely see 
the ivy starting to climb the fence. 
 It was a very 
simple and basic start
 to the dream.

Over the years,
 the garden has taken on 
many different looks and 
as I look back
 over each old photo,
 I feel myself
 being drawn back and wishing,
 just a little,
 that nothing had changed,
 that this photo had been
 the final one...

I think this 
might have been
the one to keep...

...I did love 
this one 
so much...

...but this one was
 the very best...

...this one was 
so romantic...

...but this one 
 more romantic...

... and 
the simplicity of fall 
was splendid.

 when the wild life 
started becoming part 
of the decor...

...I knew 
that it was time 
for the curtain to be lowered and
 the show 
to be cancelled.

All those wonderful times 
spent in the Secret Garden 
were not to be forgotten so...
we enclosed the porch 
with screening and
 the magic began again...
and, now,
when we take our seats and 
the curtain goes up...

...and we catch
 our first glimpse 
of the 
coming attraction...

...the garden is 
a jumble of green,
 with the occasional touch 
of a faux or real blossom for color.

The ivy parts and 
opens a small pathway 
that leads to all of
 the garden's secrets.

on the hot 
summer days and nights,
 when the garden gets the most use, 
the calming green, 
along with the slight summer breezes
 that move the wind chimes, 
I feel again
 what Mary must have felt 
when she first saw
 her garden...

...and as for the fairies...
I know they are content and 
even though 
I haven't actually seen them,
 I know they are there,
 somewhere between
 the befores and the afters...
because they 
told me so!

A hush has fallen over all.

The stage has been set and 
the lights have come up.

Cue the music.

The show must go on.

after looking back over these photos,
 don't be surprised 
if you happen to see 
another after
 and this, 
that you have just witnessed,
 will have turned into 
all of 
the befores. 

Of course,
 it depends on what
 the fairies want.


Have a great week, 
stay smart and well
 and wear your masks.


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Tuesday, June 23, 2020


When we celebrate
 a special occasion around here, 
we spare no expenses and 
this year the 
Captain's Father's Day celebration 
was no exception. 
 Since family gatherings
 are out of the question now,
 the telephone wires were buzzing 
with well wishes...
we did see Tim 
(Tami had to work) 
on Saturday when he delivered our groceries
 and their gift to Dad of 
a subscription to his
 favorite car magazine.

On Sunday morning
 a breakfast of 
bagels and cream cheese was served
 with a side of little flowers,
 freshly picked from the garden,
with love.

His wish
 was to go get a cup of coffee,
 take it to the fairgrounds, and 
sit by the lake and 
watch the duck families there. 
 We drove through town on the way, 
that is another favorite of his. 
 Doesn't take much 
to please my guy!

So we donned our masks and 
guess where the first stop was?  
The Captain is the only person I know
 that can drink 
numerous cups of coffee per day, 
regardless of what it tastes like,
 just as long as it is coffee. 
 His only requirement is
 that it be hot!

The day, itself, was beautiful.
  About 80 degrees
 with a breeze making it
 very comfortable. 
 I thought it was too warm 
for hot coffee, 
so talked him into an iced caramel latte.
 His first one ever and,
he really did like it. 
 So then
 we were on to 
the intended destination.

All the gates 
leading into the fairgrounds 
were closed and locked.
  Even the duck families 
must have been sheltering in place.
  All victims of the Corona virus. 

 Our county fair 
is always up and running in August, 
but this year 
it has been cancelled 
as well as the 
July 4th celebrations.
  I feel badly 
for the 4H kids, 
raising their animals to show, 
but I am not unhappy 
that this approach has been taken. 

 When the virus first started,
 we had around 32 diagnosed cases
 in our county and one death.
  Now the cases are 
up to 83 (7 more than Friday's count) 
but with no additional deaths
 that I am aware of.   
 Governor Newsom
 has declared that
 masks are to be worn
 at all times 
in public places,
 but the majority that I see 
don't know that or don't care. 
 It is a hard world for me 
to figure out
 right now.

Not ones to give up easily,
 we took a short ride 
through Nevada City and 
were quite taken with this 
little plot of garden. 
 We would like to do something similar 
in ours 
in place of some
 of the lawn.

Even though 
this has nothing to do 
with Father's Day, 
this is one of the
 new zinnias we planted.
 The plants are not as tall
 as last year and 
even though they were marked 
assorted colors, 
so far they are 
all orange.

So long story short,
 the Captain didn't have 
that great of a Father's Day 
in my opinion,
 but he says otherwise. 
 He is easy to please 
so I guess I have to 
agree with him. 
 We capped off the night
 with Queen + Adam Lambert on Netflix. 
 Since he got to sleep
 through some of it 
that was the perfect ending.
 if you get Netflix,
 that is a really great show.


Have a really great week.

Stay smart, well and wear your masks.

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