Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weekend: Quiet, Busy, and Homey

Today has been one of those days that seem all too rare any more: a long, quiet day with time to "piddle," as my father would call it. Piddling has some fine attributes: introspection, tidying, finding, finishing, and relaxing among them.

Last night, come to think of it, was the same way. I returned early in the evening from the Tellabration storytelling event in Beckley. It was a fun trip--two good friends traveled with me to the Tamarack Arts Center where the concert was held. I enjoyed hearing two new-to-me storytellers and an old friend before taking the stage myself. Getting home just at dark, I changed immediately into my flannel gown. There is nothing as cozy as a long flannel gown, is there? The fireplace was still smoldering from the fire of the previous evening, so I added a little wood and sat down to read, drink hot chocolate and enjoy the rarity of an evening alone.

Where was Larry? Why he was in Wheeling along with two of our sons, a daughter-in-law and a nephew to cheer on our youngest son Tommy in a bodybuilding competition. I had already committed to the Beckley storytelling before we knew the date of his competition, so I could not go. He had a good cheering section, though, and we're all as pleased as can be that he won all of his open classes and was runner-up for Mr. West Virginia! He also qualified to compete at the national level, and that's no small thing. Tommy has been preparing and training for this show since August, and he looks absolutely amazing. I will share pictures as soon as he posts them. I am proud of his commitment to this demanding sport--it's one many of us know little about, but I know now what the level of work is to be a natural bodybuilder (no steroids, etc) and it's intense.

Since Larry got in so late, he slept in a little, and that gave me time to be up and having tea and reading before breakfast. How nice to not have to hustle out the door! I picked up another of my book sale finds, this one called 1000 Beautiful Things, compiled by Marjorie Barrows and published in 1947. Again the difference in vocabulary was striking. Language seems to have been more flowery certainly, but also more...scholarly? Considering this book was published for "The People's Book Club" it would seem that its audience was the ordinary man-on-the-street, and not just for the well-educated. Interesting. One poem in particular caught my attention.

 I Have Always Said I Would Go
by Glenn Ward Dresbach


I have always said I would go sometime in the autumn
Away from the bare boughs and the fallen leaves,
Away from the lonely sounds and the faded colors,
And all the ancient sorrow, and change that grieves.

I have always said I would go--and now it's autumn--
To an island where the wild hisbiscus grows
And parakeets flock to the groves at twilight
And fragrance drifts from bays where moonlight glows.

But there would be the vasty sound of breakers
Come in to toss their pearls upon the sand.
All through the night--a longing of great waters
Trying to make the vastness understand.

I have always said I would go sometime in the autumn
Away from the lonely sounds and change that grieves--
But here in my heart is the sound of a distant ocean
And here in my heart us the sound of these falling leaves.

How often we think such thoughts of leaving, and yet the pull of the familiar keeps us in place. But "the sound of a distant ocean" brings a restlessness to go and see and hear it, at least for me. It's been many years since I've been, and yet, the sound of the falling leaves...good poem.


The rest of today got a little busier. We picked up and cleaned up in the yard, put away more things on the porch, and Larry worked on straightening one of his buildings while I pulled the geraniums and hung them in the cellar and planted tulip bulbs. I haven't had but just a few tulips for several years so I am looking forward to some new beauty in the flower gardens in the spring.

Some of our sons are coming for dinner so I'm cooking corn chowder, corn bread, and applesauce cake, and making a salad. I've also been cleaning up more in my study, and I have only two piles of paper to deal with before I can say it's done.


I found, while out in the gardens, that the annual hollyhocks are still blooming. 

I picked a couple, along with some of the colorful leaves of the burning bush and some of the fall-colored rose leaves for some late bouquets.




Even this late, the gardens provide beauty, don't they? I also found these bright red berries:



Can you identify them? I like these to re-seed--they're a favorite of ours.

Well, back to the kitchen to finish up dinner. I am hoping to get up on the hill to take pictures of tonight's beautiful full moon before it gets fully dark. It was gorgeous last night and should be even better tonight.

I hope your weekend was a good one too.

4 comments:

Country Whispers said...

Sounds like a lovely night.
Peace and quiet,a good book,comfy PJ's and a hot drink.
What more could you ask for!

Nance said...

a lovely day and night for you . . . and i don't know what those beautiful red berries are, being from Iowa. Will wait to hear .............

Rowan said...

I think one of the nicest things about late autumn and winter is that you get these days when you can just potter about doing bits and pieces of catching up or just sit with some knitting or a good book. The spring and summer are always full of things to do and places to go but now life is quieter and slower. No visible full moon here unfortunately as it's too cloudy.

Brighid said...

I'm so glad you got a little down time to relax. We all need that. The highlight of my weekend was taking one of my granddaughters to her basketball game. What a hoot to watch the little girls play.

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