Saturday, September 19, 2015


I have a reflection on reading and writing. Skip over this section if you want. It's in blue. My day begins immediately after.


A few years back, some three moves ago, I lived in a neighborhood that had a fun book club going. We would devote an evening each month to eating desserts, drinking wine and talking about the chosen novel. A funny thing happened during these discussions. Inevitably talk would turn to actions taken, paths avoided, moods, personalities, life's indiscretions of the characters in whatever piece of writing was under review. Why didn't she simply take the job offer?? Couldn't he see that she was up to no good? If I were her, I would certainly have looked the other way! 

This is the power of the written word. If you read about an issue facing a character in the story, you want to fix it.

Ocean, of course, isn't a piece of fiction and so the temptation to want to fix something presented herein is especially irresistible, all the more so if your mind spins to possible ways of approaching a perplexing situation. (There are so many beautiful places in this country to hike in, why can't they come up with one???)

I usually smile when comments pour in addressing what appears to the reader (rarely to me) to be a real hand wringing problem. Oftentimes, I try to respond to individual suggestions. But after a while, I step back and let it go. Because there is one great big response that I ought to cut and paste into the text each time: what you're proposing, unless it's something so esoteric that two adult minds would not have been able to stumble upon it, we (or I) will have considered it and for reasons that are too laboriously tedious to articulate (nor should a good writer connect all the character dots for you anyway)  -- we let it go, or at least put it on the back burner.

People are who they are. In a work of fiction, we'll never fully understand what guided an author in those novels we read in book club to fashion the story line in the way that she or he did, but we read on anyway. Ocean, too, is a story. Nonfiction, but a story nonetheless. A happy one at that. Feel free to insert your own stories into the comments, or to let me know what strikes a chord (Snowdrop! cheepers! anything at all) or makes you smile, but honestly, to the question of why I do X and not Y -- well, I can't really answer that. 

Worry not! You do not have to fix anything! In our own way, following our own proclivities and predilections, Ed and I are okay! You can wince at our missteps, or you can marvel at how we move forward, given our striking differences and peculiar conversations (much as you would marvel why a novel twisted in this way or that) but honestly -- we're okay anyway!


Well, the storms passed and the last of the big, menacing clouds moved east and north. The cheepers are very anxious to get out. It's a cool but promising morning.

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Very cool, in fact, but with touches of autumnal loveliness.

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And, finally, we get that beautiful sunshine. We eat breakfast in the sun room.

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It's Saturday and so it's Capitol Square farmers market day. My daughter and Snowdrop are ready to go. And yes, they are loyal to our university town!

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It's a longish walk from their home, but Snowdrop is full of chatter and excitement. So much to see, so much color to take in... In this photo, mommy's hand is reaching for peppers and Snowdrop's hand is reaching for, well, the whole table.

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The sun is overhead now and we can shed our sweatshirts...

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Oh, it really is a gorgeous day!

After the market, I don't stay long at Snowdrop's home. Just a few minutes...

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We all have full days ahead and mine includes creating that new vegetable bed back at the farmette.

Ed and I lay down cardboard and cart load after load of chips...

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... until we're satisfied that we've created enough room for some 90 tomato plants for next year.

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Are you sure it's large enough? -- he asks...
You want to make more room, don't you...
Don't you?

Sometimes we make decisions based on nothing more than a moment's mood or inclination.

Evening. It's really cool again. We're out on the porch for an hour, but as the sun sinks lower, we're back indoors. Ed watches a video about cranes (not the ones that fly), I come back to Ocean writing. Home-made pizza for dinner. You could not possibly imagine a more ordinary evening. The kind we both love so very much.