Archive for August, 2010

Fighting Doom and Gloom

Memories of Strobl am Wolfgang See

Andy and Sofia three autumns ago

Art of Kovacs Margit - A Cserep Kalyha

One of Paul's family graves in the Kerepesi cemetery in Budapest

I can’t begin to say how awful it is that I have so much trouble getting my words where I want them with wordpress. I am sure it must just be that I don’t know how to do something crucial! But obviously, I don’t.

I think my strange choice of pictures and the huge difficulty of even getting them on the page relates to the sort of depression that settles on me around this time every year. It is the time that Paul went into the hospital for the last time, and continues until the anniversay of his death on September 23rd. I am trying to fight this by reliving beautiful old memories, and being in the beauty of the natural world, thinking about my family, about art that others have made and that I would like to make. This helps somewhat, but I need to do more.  I hope the end of summer will not always be quite like this. It may already be better than last year, but in other ways it is worse. Well, ” I need to take arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them.”

Many good things are happening. Many good things have happened during this season of harvest and mellowing of the earth. This time of new beginnings, too. I will try hard to focus on all of that, and I promise my next post will not seem like such a pity party!

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What a Guy!

Nathan waiting for the bus - on the first day of Kindergarten

It is that time of year. A time of year I love. School is beginning! Of course, I would really prefer it begin after Labor Day as it did in my childhood, but after some bad winters when my kids were little, the powers that be decided to begin a little early in case they needed extra snow days…….(But I hear from nieces and nephews in Michigan that they never begin school until after LD. Lucky ducks!)

I wasn’t at the bus stop this morning. Nathan’s parents were. But I’m going over later to hear all about it. Alice said he came home and told her that they had said he would come home with a smile on his face, and he did. He loved school! A good friend of his rides the bus with him, and I am very happy that all is well so far!

the happy family at the bus stop

waving good-bye

Mike went in to work later today so he could be with Nathan for this Historical Event! So did some other fathers where he works. I think it’s great that so many fathers are so involved and care so much.

You can see from the picture of Nathan waving good-bye that he is very happy to be on his way!

having fun!

He is also on the kindergarten soccer team which is being coached by the father of a friend of his from Bath Pre-School.  Nathan loves sports and I think he’s having a lot of fun with this.

It’s interesting that he is starting Kindergarten just now, when a discussion list I’m on is talking about our memories of our first day of Kindergarten. Some of the people in the group began as early as a fall in 1945 (my first day was in 1950) and some as late as 1986.  A lot of the earlier people were walking several blocks alone at the age of four!  This would be unheard of today, but I wonder what the real difference in the risk is. Far less than many people imagine, but I’m sure it is somewhat more dangerous. Still, I am sorry this generation doesn’t have the freedom we were able to enjoy. But Nathan is having a great life, I think, and beginning an entirely new part of it, with real enthusiasm.

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Taste of Earth 2010

the 100 year old barn at Crown Point

Saturday evening we had the yearly fund raising dinner, Taste of Earth, at Crown Point the CSA farm I belong to. I am using their photos here because I couldn’t find my camera until yesterday! One of the things we did to celebrate this anniversary was have a quilt block competition (won by my very good friend, Nancy Terjesen with a variant of the traditional Dove in the Window block). The winning block was painted on an eight by eight foot square of wood and installed on the side of the barn closest to you as you look at the photo here.

An interesting aspect of this was choosing the way to fix the square to the barn. We had all decided that en point (looking more like a diamond that a square) was the way to hang it until Chris Norman, the director, photo shopped the two versions for us to consider. Once we actually saw a picture of how it would look, the committee unanimously voted to hang it so that it looked like a square. And everyone is really happy with the results. I will get an actual picture of the result in a day or two.

the color scheme for the quilt barn block

There is a lot of symbolism in the choice of colors here.  Blue for the sky, yellow for the sun, green for hope and the green growing things on the farm. White for the dove part of the design, representing the spiritual and grace-filled aspect of this farm, founded by the Dominican Sisters.  A white dove is often the symbol for the Holy Spirit……..Red, I think, stands for the heart we are supposed to have……The orange, I believe, is symbolic of education and all the programs and summer camps we offer for young and old alike. Every year it seems better!

Crown Point is a wonderful place, a refuge open to anyone who wants to come and drink in the peace and hope of land which is being well-loved and used to provide the best fresh organic produce for the Akron-Canton Food Bank, and for the members who have farm shares. I’m one. My daughter and her family are also. But there are hundreds of members now. The farm models “green” ideas of stewardship and sustainability as well as a lively generosity. It’s a place with fields, chickens and flowers, birds and bees, laughter and picnics, ponds and paths, a labyrinth for prayers, pot luck dinners and sometimes concerts and all night family camp-outs.

Our fund raiser dinner took place during a pretty continuous rainfall, but we have been needing rain in this part of the world for some time, so I think we actually have to be happy about this. No one’s  spirits were really dampened by the downpour! Close to four hundred people ate delicious meals featuring local food and vegetables from the farm and both the silent and oral auctions were very successful!

I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of something so positive and helpful and healing in this world. We need more Crown Points and we need to support the ones we have!

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The format for this is something I read at the Frugal Trenches blog. It’s perhaps a meme, though a little different than the ones I am familiar with. And having pasted in her template and just changed the words to my own,  I’ve run into all manner of problems with getting WordPress to do what I want it to do.

WordPress won.



Outside my window:  the world is very warm……….The apple tree outside the deck is chock full of  ripening fruit. The plants ON the deck are all doing well except for the portulaca (moss roses) and the maroon-leaved sweet potato vine, both of which are being eaten, I think by the large clan of ground hogs which live in the burn pile in the northwest corner of the yard. Unless by the small group of ground hogs who live in a hole under a Rugosa Rose next to the playhouse. I have a have-a-heart trap, and last year caught ground hogs twice, but they were very small and I felt not old enough to leave their mothers, so I set them free. My son Andy says it’s my fault.


I am thinking…that fall will be here soon, and cooler weather.  That I have a basket full of books from the library.

I am thankful for the blessings of my life. My children and grandchildren and extended family all around, who all get along very well and regard one another with kindness and generosity….My home and the cottage at Lake Chautauqua. As much financial security that anyone can have in these days, and a chance to help others.


From the kitchen… Tomorrow I pick up my basket of veggies and mushrooms from the CSA farm I belong to. Today, I have leftover roast beef to make a great salad with, and fresh tomatoes, and blueberries for dessert. I’ll make some sun ice tea.


I am remembering…Paul and thirty-five wonderful years together in which we were blessed to have so many adventures and so much happiness! Andy flying overhead yesterday.


I am going…to lie down and rest with a new book from the library, Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey. I’ll probably fall asleep soon! But I did my hour of exercise in the water this morning.


I am reading:   Katherine Wentworth for the D.E. Stevenson discussion group, Evidence by Mary Oliver (I am so loving her poems) and the mystery mentioned above.

I am hoping…my South Beach Diet will help me lose weight, and my water exercise helps me become more fit. And hoping that I can throw out or give away at least half of what is in this house.

On my mind…choosing a pattern for a baby quilt for my daughter Alice’s baby due October 6th.

the basic block for Jacob's ladder which can be done in more than two colors


I am creating… a design for some D.E. Stevenson bookmarks.

Around the home…I need to get going with the vacuum cleaner, but am thrilled that the kitchen drain problems are finally well fixed.


One of my favourite things…a toss-up between the life outside in northeast Ohio, even in this over-heated summer, and the world of the written word, which is really the world of people and their thoughts and ideas.


At the moment I’m loving… the three gold finches bouncing around the middle of the back yard. They’re flying, but in a very bouncy way.


Scripture Quotation: Philippians 4:8      Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Jacob's Ladder - one version

a favorite early book..............

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Long Ago and Far Away

Piper Warrior like Sedensky Istvan's

Very long ago, though perhaps not that far away, when I was a little girl, I remember standing with my mother in the backyard of the house on North Sagamore Road and waving to a small plane flying overhead, a plane I knew my father was flying. It was quite a thrill, and it happened many times. He sold planes and owned and operated a flying school at Cleveland Hopkins Airport. I have documentation that his school was in business in 1931, though I am not sure of anything before that. During WWII he taught flying as a Lieutenant Commander with the Naval Air Force, at Glendale Base near Chicago.

He died when I was in kindergarten, in January of 1951, and it’s now 2010.

But this afternoon I was outside in our yard on Ranchwood Road waving wildly to a Piper Warrior flying overhead in the soft blue sky. (They couldn’t really see me, alas!) It was piloted by my son Andy’s good friend Sedensky Istvan, to say his name in the Hungarian way, or Steve Sedensky, otherwise. Andy was the only other person in the plane……..They circled around several times, and also flew to the eastern end of Bath and flew over my daughter Alice’s home several times and she and my grandson waved with enthusiasm. It was a happy moment, and I think we all enjoyed it. But I am left in one of those states in which one tries and fails to grasp the meaning of time.

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Sofia tries to hit a pinata at Clara's 1st Birthday Party

Nathan at the party

I haven’t posted in several weeks since everything has been so busy with travels back and forth to the lake. From the 23rd to the 31st of July I was at the cottage with, at first Nathan, Emily, Sofia and Clara while Alice and Mike had a weekend getaway in Toronto. The second day a tornado came through just a quarter of a mile from us. It began on the west side of the lake, doing a lot of damage to homes in Mayville, and taking down power lines in the park. It came right across the lake and took the roof off of some of the condos and the north side of the old Sword and Shield building.

Andy with his pinata hat!

photo taken from the Watermark restaurant by a neighbor's friend

Our neighbor Meridith was at work on the other side of the lake and a friend who was with her took this photo of the tornado.

Emily and I didn’t realize it was more than a bad storm until I drove out to find some extra candles after the excitement was over. There was a big detour around Mayville and when it rejoined the main road I could see all the police, fire, emergency response and National Grid trucks and the wire and poles on the grounds. With all that excitement, we had power back in a few hours.

Mike and Alice heard on the Toronto news that there had been four tornadoes in Chautauqua County that night.

They showed up on Monday and we had a small celebration for Mike’s birthday and they went home with Nathan until Friday when we had a very full house, eleven adults and ten children, for the weekend celebration of Clara’s first birthday. It was a good time for everyone, I think, and reminded me of the triple birthdays we used to celebrate in August when Paul was still with us. Doesn’t a year make an amazing difference! (I’m just full of cliches!) I cannot find my camera and these pictures are from my son in law, Ingmar. (And I don’t know why Clara has sand in her nose!)

just born Clara a year ago

Formidable Clara at One Year

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