Friday, March 17, 2017


On my drive home from Snowdrop's house, I heard an interview with the Nobel prize winning poet Derek Walcott. He died today, but of course, his poetry very much stays with us.

But what really grabbed me were his words about his homeland, Saint Lucia. He went back again and again and when asked if this was because he felt a special and enduring connection to his country, he answered simply -- no, it's because in writing about it, I never felt that I got it right.

I pulled the car over to the side of the road just so that I could think about what I'd just heard. Of course! I understand.

I think of this on the eve of my departure to Poland -- a place that I visit often and, in my more ambitious writing, spend a huge amount of thought on. And I always wonder -- did I get it right? Typically I sit down and rework the text to make use of new ideas or information that I may have come across. But I never really believe it's done. I revisit it again and again. Not for the editorial changes, but the rewording of the story I mean to tell.

Today was a drippy, perhaps even foggy day and all this made no difference to me or, I dare say to any in my circle of contacts.

Ed and I ate breakfast in the sun room, perhaps because there was no sun. He wanted to know why I had purchased a hand beater for Warsaw. I told him that my ancient one was forever sticking and so it was pointless to lug it overseas (we're talking the hand propelled model, not the electrical one). Predictably, he picked up the ancient one (that thing must be nearly 50 years old), spotted the problem and told me he could it fix it and I could thus send back the new one (which cost all of $9) and wasn't that just great!

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Oh, Ed. Sometimes it's nice just to purchase a new egg beater.

Speaking of eggs, all three girls are laying again! Here's the last holdout -- Java. You can see, too, how quickly the landscape is changing in its push toward spring.

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I pick up Snowdrop at the usual noon hour and because it is Friday, she and I do not come back to the farmhouse but instead I take her to her home.  (She sings songs most of the stroller ride.)

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Her mom is about to come back from work and the little girl will have a good solid afternoon of two doting ones attending to her wonderfulness.

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The sweet child is tired. This is not unusual on a Friday. A full week of school and, too, fighting off bugs and colds picked up from her peers -- it takes its toll. Still, she settles in to play in the best way possible. She is total Polish peasant stock!

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I say this as a bit of a tease because of course, I claim myself to be made of that tough material. Can't punch me down -- I come from Polish peasant stock!

In fact, Snowdrop is not even 50% Polish. She has a whole chunk of Estonian and Croatian and yes, Irish. And her mom just happened to have this cute little hat and Snowdrop just happened to love what we affectionately call the fish jig and so the afternoon was made pleasant by the confluence of all these things...

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Yes, happy Irish and Polish and all-ish to you!

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If we really insist on working the ancestry bits and pieces of our own past, we'd probably conclude that we all have a bit of Polish peasant stock in our genetic material. And that from Saint Lucia and Ireland and Syria and Samoa and Scotland and Senegal and all the farthest remote corners of this beautiful planet.

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