Fancy-Star Quilter

Mother’s hands fidget in prayer

branching into an alternate dinner plan.

 

Why is addition easier than subtraction?

Multiplication, over division?

 

Human nature is to acquire.

Piles throughout the house.

 

We hate to lose. Even diet.

So even paying the bills can be painful.

 

He was described as a family man with a passion

for horse-pulling events and square dancing.

 

I’ve been to dances that have felt like both

not all that long ago –

 

there was no life apart from the children’s

wet towels dropped in the hallway.

Poem copyright 2017 by Jnana Hodson.
To read more, simply click here.

Deerfield, Massachusetts.

Memo to self: It’s time to go back

We visited Lowell, Massachusetts, last summer and toured the national park that preserved its historic mills and canals. It was a delightful day that also included some first-class cheap eats – the Viet Thai restaurant and Sowy’s Hispanic bakery, both on Merrimack Street near City Hall are delightful.

If you’ve been wondering about the location of the photos accompanying the Big Inca postings the past month and a half, they’re mostly from that outing. I could have shot much, much more if I weren’t trying to observe things through my own eyes first.

Our highlight was a boat tour that took us through a working canal lock, raising us to the level of the Merrimack River on the other side of the gate. That leisurely route took us out on the river above the dam and falls and then back to downtown – a 90-minute excursion in all. Think of it as an American industrial Venice.

This time we intend to hit a couple of museums that aren’t part of the park – including the National Textiles Museum, which houses many of the famed calicos made in our own city, and the streetcar museum (after all, the streetcar is also a legendary sandwich in my newest novel, What’s Left.)

Another draw, if you’re interested, is the huge folk festival every summer. And there’s always the Jack Kerouac trail for devoted readers.

Now, to view the trip though the canal lock, just click on the photos for the big view.

Turning the compost

My wife observes I have a low tolerance for the nitty-gritty details of life. I have trouble accepting that things break down or fall apart. I don’t like cleaning up afterward. I don’t like confrontations, much less having to call people to remind them of their obligations. Maybe it’s just a factor of getting older, or of feeling myself constantly pressed for time.

What I have found is that turning the compost has therapeutic value. I’ll retreat there when I’m at a loss for dealing with people. My little buddies, the red wigglers, extend their own comfort, simply by being. I don’t know how they survive winter. They simply disappear and come back.

Kodak 24 113

My daughters balk at carrying kitchen refuse to the enclosed compost bin. The task falls on me. I wish they wouldn’t feel grossed out, as they claim. What I realize is how much this practice reduces the amount of trash and garbage we place out on the street for weekly pickup. More than the several hundred dollars we save each year, in city-issued trash bags, the practice heightens my appreciation for what we can convert back into soil. I wish we would do more with newspapers, for instance. The ash from our wood stove is applied rather than bagged lime.

And I’ve seen the ground itself responding, becoming softer, more pliable, and more verdant.

There are many life lessons here, as I keep seeing, collecting, turning, and spreading this process.