Herald of the Spring

IMG_0227Every year, since I was in my late teens, I herald the spring’s coming with a rousing recitation of my favorite spring poem: Jabberwocky.

josh waiting 1The reason for this is lost in memory, but I am unfailingly tormented family and friends each March — going so far one year as to call my son, who was in the Navy, stationed in Washington State, to be sure spring arrived safely in the armed forces. He listened with sangfroid the military had helped him achieve, thanked me politely, and went back to his electronics work….I remain convince, that he didn’t manage to avoid at least an inner smile.

So here, in honor of the season, for all who are out of reach of my voice, is Lewis Carroll’s happy nonsense:

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.


“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
    The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
    The frumious Bandersnatch!”


He took his vorpal sword in hand:
    Long time the manxome foe he sought —
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
    And stood awhile in thought.


And, as in uffish thought he stood,
    The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
    And burbled as it came!


One, two! One, two! And through and through
    The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
    He went galumphing back.


“And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
    Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!’
     He chortled in his joy.


`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe.


Blessings to all this bright season
beautiful bird cropped


Distractions and Comforts

I’ve mentioned my recent “addiction” to Farmville and now Frontierville on Facebook.

While I’ve always been able to lose myself in solitaire-type computer games, the accumulating and building games never attracted me. I suppose it was only a matter of time.

I spend a lot of time of on the computer, working, playing, distracting myself from a variety of difficult issues, and providing comfort to myself in times of pain (physical and otherwise). So I was used to using the computer in those ways.

But there is a strange and mesmerizing state I attain playing these two simple games. I finally identified it as an old old friend. It’s like playing dolls, or playing house.

My sister and I played dolls, played house, store, bank, dolls, school, dolls, cowboys and indians, dolls, cops and robbers, dolls, and more dolls. We were creative and clever, and we escaped completely from the mundane world.

Sitting in front of the computer, arranging my fields, harvesting my apples and fields of flowers or colorful produce, fending off rather tame bears and foxes, I can recapture that much desired escape.

For those minutes or hours, I am a little girl again, playing away the blues or the mean reds, safe and sound, building my little farm or village. Still believing the future will be molded as easily and as much to my own tastes.

A powerful lure, indeed. If I can only get it all arranged ‘just so” everything will be all right.

Who knows, maybe I’m right.

See you around the farm, pardner.


After succumbing to the lure of Facebook–and reconnecting with old friends who live far off –I took it one step further and fell to the enticement of games.

I happily play Wordscraper with my stepmom in Florida. This makes sense — it’s fun, stimulating and allows us to share something even though our lives and daily duties means we’re playing at opposite ends of the day.

But then, for reasons unknown to the logical mind, I responded to a link from somebody I know (can’t recall who) and tried Farmville.

The simple and sad truth is — I’m hooked.  This silly little, pointless, frivolous, useless game! It’s just a lot of fun. I plant things. They grow and look pretty. I harvest them and get money. People send me gifts, I send them gifts. My points get higher…. etc. 

So if you’ re wondering where I am, why I haven’t posted, and what the heck happened… come over to Farmville and visit. Maybe you can buy a bunny.

Wearing the Plaid

My maternal grandmother’s birth name was Aiken. I looked at the Scottish Register of Tartans and found several for the Gordon clan (of which the Aiken family is a part).  Here is the 1790’s version:

A Gordon Clan Tartan

I wish I had something even remotely like it to wear — but my only plaids are w-a-y off! 

Still, Tomorrow is “Tartan Tuesday” so I’ll wear what I’ve got and keep my eyes open for something a little more authentic.  I’ve spent most of my life being aware of the Italian side of my background, it’s fun to be able to celebrate the Scottish heritage too.   

Next — some wooden shoes to celebrate the Dutch?

Obsessing again….

I spent the day obsessing over my blog and webpage. I looked around and it was evening. What happened?

I got so deep into concentrating on achieving perfection that I lost all perspective of the importance (or lack) of what I was working on. Since I’m the proud possessor of practically no web-building skills, every jiggle and shift and link and line took forever to accomplish.

Now I’m tired, out of sorts, and my shoulders are screaming for me to “step away from the computer!”

But you know, it was kinda fun.

“Fun day” at work

Last Friday afternoon we all met at the upstairs dance/meeting space at the French Broad Food Co-op in Asheville to work with an art therapist for a couple of hours as a stress reducing/fun initiating /creativity releasing /team building…. whatever. Even though many of us scoffed (me chief among them, though I usually love this kind of stuff, I was just in a pissy mood).

Well, it was wonderful. We laughed ourselves sick — we got silly and wacky and did this amazing scream exercise, as well as a bit of self-revelatory stuff. But mostly we just laughed and laughed. We sooo needed it.

My personal highlight was playing the musical chairs-like game where one person stood in the center and asked if anyone had ever…. (fill in the blank). The only rule was the “thing” had to be something you had actually experienced. Carolyn said, “did anyone ever have a pet chicken growing up?” Deafening silence. The trick was, those who had shared your experience had to jump up and trade placed with each other — you rushed into the fray to claim a spot too, and the one left standing started the inquiry all over again.

So, we have 22+ staffers and volunteers present, several of them my age group. When I get my chance in the middle I say, “has anyone ever taken LSD?”

The upshot is, both pet chickens and hallucinogenics are unfamiliar to many Western North Carolinians in the social services. Who knew? And is it any wonder Carolyn and I best friends?