Tuesday, August 30, 2011


The faces of those we meet

Show us a bit of the place

Where we find ourselves

This day now

Replete with weather

Drawn down from

Gravity or born of

Days without sun, or happiness

Or maybe, sweet

Ripened apples and

Juicy gossip of yore,

Lay rotting on the floor

We come together

Much as before

But never more

Than when we were

At last without incident

Or consequence

Of mostly sheer


We share the road

You going that way

Me this

Passing on the left.

(You say,

"Stupid Americans,"

I say,

"Mean people everywhere.")

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


One of the things, which historically I’ve put off the longest upon a move, is self -maintenance. Finding a haircutter, colorist, pedicurist, waxer, shaper, polisher, buffer — these things all seem quite peripheral in terms of immediate needs.

Or they used to.

Until this morning when, in an attempt to address personal upkeep, I wacked off my right eye brow.

Or most of it. It now has a beginning and an end, but looks rather missing in the middle.

And I didn’t have much to start with. I was really only trying to get after those hairs, which seem more and more to be bopping up beyond the brow. I used my husband's trimmer. It looked fairly simple when he used it. Now all kinds of raunchy references to tools and husbands pop up in my mind ...

Once a friend, upon asking him how he was fairing after a long interval without seeing each other said, “I’m getting both balder and hairier.”

It’s like tending a lawn. You can let go for a while, but suddenly, seemingly overnight, you wake up to patches of unwanted weeds in some areas, where others have gone nearly dead.

Metaphorically, my lawn has gone to pot.

Certain things, upon getting older, just can’t be put off, indefinitely. They must be tended on a regular basis.

Today I am, without a doubt, both balder and hairier. I need to learn to move certain things to the top of the list…

Sunday, August 21, 2011


“I don’t like it. I don’t like any of it,” I said frowning; something I’ve been doing a lot of lately.

“I know. You never like change,” he replied.

He was talking about my new Mac operating system; something having to do with a lion, for which I hadn’t asked and didn’t think I needed. I didn’t like the way my e-mail program now automatically opened into multiple panels, divided vertically on the screen.

On which one do you focus? It felt like my attentions were split into three.

I’m a gal who needs to focus on one thing at a time. My brain already threatens of imploding from too many thoughts, both important and not.

“That’s probably true,” I agreed after a pause.

More loaded silence — not uncomfortable, just filled with thought.

We moved into our house, but it’s in a different area from where we lived when we were here last. I’m not totally in sync with the changes we’re experiencing returning to the UK, and we’re still waiting on our household to get here (It's been nearly three months — I miss my bed, among other things).

Sometimes learning to flex comes at great cost; loss of routines that give daily living order and purpose; loss of friends and community. When I was younger, this didn't seem to come at such a grand personal expense, as it does now.

Sometimes it’s the little things.

Take Pringles, for example. I’m not a big chip (crisps) fan, but when I crave something crunchy, salty, my sights are on Pringles; the red kind. I like them because they remind me of my Grandmother. I don’t remember her very well, because she died at a young age when I was very little, but what I do recall involves Pringles from the red can with pink lemonade on the side.

The commissary (base grocery) here seems to be out of Pringles, the red kind. I’d forgotten how limited we are with certain things. I have access to curried Pringles and shrimp flavored Pringles, but these things don’t serve me well.

The grocery is small and often runs out of basic things. When Halloween candy arrives, which it is now, people race there and grab up what they can carry for fear it won’t be there at the end of October, which it probably won’t.

For the most part it works. We live in a very rural area. Seasonal food is aplenty. Tomatoes, eggs and runner beans are set out at many curbs in bags with a good price. I love this part. I have simple tastes. Food fresh from the ground, or the sea, is what I favor (and sometimes Pringles, the original kind). I found a fish monger last week. My kids gobbled up trout; heads on. I thought that was pretty cool.

Yesterday we drove into Cambridge and ate at one of Jamie Oliver's restaurants. I think he has a mixed reputation here (I think maybe one friend called him a Prat?), but I appreciate his approach to food and what he's trying to do to overhaul eating habits, world over.

So we're out in the country, but not so far that we can't drive into the city without too much trouble.

I’m getting used to the layout. I have a pastoral view out my kitchen windows, with cows and a white horse. I stare a lot, and my dog Horace loves it, too.

Horace is relearning to run with me through heaths and public footpaths, which, along with wooded areas, surround us in all directions.

If only I could control him on his new lead, as pronged collars are against British standards for animals. I understand the viewpoint, but the reality is that for my coonhound, it’s a much safer, more effective way of keeping him steady.

He sees a jackrabbit and his eyes glaze over. Nothing will deter his desire to chase. As it is, he’s constantly tugging with a force of 10 men, and then choking, with his “gentle” lead, and my left shoulder is about to be permanently dislocated .

I’d let him run free, but chances are I’d never see him again. Some days, I know how he feels.

So we’re working on it. Things are both familiar and different. One step at a time….