Wednesday, October 6, 2021
Monday, October 4, 2021
Cool mornings, eastern skies streaked with rose, peach, mauve and lavender. By afternoon the temperatures climbed to the low 80's F.
The routine home making tasks were broken by errands on several days. I needed a 50 lb bag of bakers' unbleached flour, reason enough to make a run to the South Fork community. Most of the businesses and shops there are owned by families of the Amish or Mennonite persuasion, the pace is slower, each customer valued, service courteous.
The one caveat is the narrow winding roads shared by laden semis, bicycles, farm tractors, horse-drawn buggies, in addition to the usual traffic of cars and pickup trucks.
I met two semis--one loaded with logs, the other with pallets of lumber; in both cases there was room to pull to the side of the road and give them room.
Back in the day if Jim wasn't along I would attempt to manage the 50 lb sack of flour by myself--heaving it into the shopping cart from a stacked shelf. Now the bulk flour, beans and rice are housed in a cooler, so a young Mennonite woman who was clerking called the owner from his office to pull out my chosen product: Seal of Minnesota Bakers' Flour. He assured me that he would be available to load it in my car, however he had retreated back to his office by that time. I had noticed an elderly Amish gentleman also shopping--short and stooped, thin brown arms below the rolled up sleeves of a faded shirt. It was he who followed me out to the car, the sack of flour clasped to his middle. When I thanked him he smiled through the gaps in his teeth and commented wryly, 'I'm not quite what I used to be!'
Since I was in the neighborhood, so to speak, I decided to visit The Quilters' Trunk so see if they had restocked batik fabrics. There are two roads that go there--both steep and winding; the route I chose was longer but slightly less daunting in terms of sheer drops from the edge of the road into a ravine.
As I began the first twisting climb I caught up with an Amish buggy driven by a young woman with a child on the seat beside her. Toiling behind was a sturdy older woman, walking to lighten the load for the horse. Rolling down the car window I asked if she would like a ride to the top of the hill. red-cheeked, smiling beneath her white head covering she declared, 'Thank you, but the exercise does me good.' I eased the car along until I could carefully pass the buggy; the horse was leaning into the climb, head down, feet clopping a plodding rhythm.
Monday, September 27, 2021
22 September, awake suddenly in the dark, the sound of rain pummeling on metal roof. An insistent wind swelled the curtains at my open west window, filling the room with the scent of wet grass.
After a moment I gathered my wits, heaved myself from my warm nest and trudged around the end of the bed, feeling the prickle of rain against my wrists as I lowered the window.
The cats immediately acknowledged that I was at least out of bed if not quite ready to meet the day, so no choice but to poke about for my slippers and make my way to the kitchen, kittens tumbling at my feet trying to catch the trailing ends of my bathrobe sash.
Jim drove off through the rain having rented a mammoth bulldozer to clear some lots, Dawn was at work; Matt and Gina rounded up neighbors and drove to the Casey County Produce Auction a favorite destination this time of year,
I sat at my desk loading photos in a desultory manner. The phone rang, Matt requesting my presence for lunch at the Bread of Life Cafe.
Rain streamed in torrents against the car's windshield, the wipers slashing madly at full tilt. The parking lot when I arrived was slick with puddled rain. Howard had also been summoned; when he arrived we were ushered to a large family-sized table. Soup of the day was beef stew which I ordered with my favorite marinated chicken breast, grilled and served on a soft roll. Others opted for the buffet of southern style favorites along with the salad bar.
A Line-storm Song
Robert Frost - 1874-1963
The line-storm clouds fly tattered and swift,
The road is forlorn all day,
Where a myriad snowy quartz stones lift,
And the hoof-prints vanish away.
The roadside flowers, too wet for the bee,
Expend their bloom in vain.
Come over the hills and far with me,
And be my love in the rain.
The birds have less to say for themselves
In the wood-world’s torn despair
Than now these numberless years the elves,
Although they are no less there:
All song of the woods is crushed like some
Wild, easily shattered rose.
Come, be my love in the wet woods; come,
Where the boughs rain when it blows.
There is the gale to urge behind
And bruit our singing down,
And the shallow waters aflutter with wind
From which to gather your gown.
What matter if we go clear to the west,
And come not through dry-shod?
For wilding brooch shall wet your breast
The rain-fresh goldenrod.
Oh, never this whelming east wind swells
But it seems like the sea’s return
To the ancient lands where it left the shells
Before the age of the fern;
And it seems like the time when after doubt
Our love came back amain.
Oh, come forth into the storm and rout
And be my love in the rain.