Saturday, December 31, 2011
Friday, December 30, 2011
So were you wondering how to help Vermonters still struggling post Irene?
Buy this CD....
Thursday, December 29, 2011
a photo from this summer
p.s. i envision slaying the MonSter (MS) like this picture of the Knight slaying the dragon. a girl can dream.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
Blowing in the cold
out with any warmth,
cold front is coming.
Did not want to write about the cold,
normal years we would be hardened off by now,
used to the blowing sting,
the biting wind,
chewing at our faces,
We knew it was coming,
there would be the day,
when the cold front hit us
with a snap, a lashing,
Still the weather,
slow to come 'round,
in the end,
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
A cold sunny day in the north country after Christmas celebrations,
food and gifts.
Fred making split pea soup.
The cats exhausted too,
Me napping and awakening thinking it was tomorrow already.
Relief it was not.
The wrapping paper put away
and tree watered one more time.
Back to work tomorrow,
leftovers will sustain us
and I wish I had time to read everyones' journeys.
Where did the day go?
Sunday, December 25, 2011
Link to a beautiful concert.
had intentions of creating a post but chose instead to follow Judy's lead
to post this link and let this wonderful music keep you in the Christmas mood 5 minutes longer,
10 if you repeat .
Saturday, December 24, 2011
We wrapped gifts and cleaned the house and hurried past the chocolates
lest they call to me again.
Christmas eve is the time I always remembered since I can remember, the darkness,
the lights of the tree piercing the
Hunter & parents came for dinner & presents.
We gratefully received treasured gifts of merch Janet selected from Levon Helm's Midnight Ramble stuff like the poster she had framed. Then the story of the great staff at Levon's who made it happen in time.
Hunter enjoyed his new stretch of railroad track options and the mini 4020.
After they left,
Levon's CD at the Ryman went back in the stereo, we listened awhile
The Street team went to bed.
thanks janet, for an awesome job framing and picking the right one...
Friday, December 23, 2011
Thursday, December 22, 2011
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
it has been a weirdly mild winter so far in Vermont.
I wanted to post a photo of a crazy quilt I made but it simply cannot be captured (by me) on film.
Keeping up with friends blogs this week have had to take a back seat to candy making and
other Christmas planning or just relaxing from exhaustion without the sun to motivate me.
The shortest days only seem shorter because the sun goes down so early,
one yawns, one stirs some supper up and the cats curl up by the fire.
The dreams people are having seem more extreme, like my weird dreams about war and these weird tall spiked Prussian-like helmets. Google was no help on that one. I could not find a helmet quite as tall as the ones in my vivid dreams. The army on my front porch, taking Fred and I knew I was next. Sometimes I look at that front porch, oddly a pivotal point in many of my feelings about this place.
Hard to explain without you being there.
That is how dreams are.
Have a great shortest daylight day and enjoy the light as it slowly returns to re-energize.
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
i believe image by john spencer. when I went to hubble to look for the site to get credits,
i had a hard time finding the exact one. hubble is a great telescope and worth it to see photos like this one. mary
Monday, December 19, 2011
because some stories need to be repeated,
***and with the departure of C.H. who did not believe,
oh what a passing that must of been, did he cross over into nothingness?
or was he greeted by a benevolent spirit?
I liked this post and thought about it on this chilly VT morning.
made 200 crock pot chocolates yesterday...interesting!
By Mary E. Gerdt 2008
On the unfortunate opposition to red and white stripes on Charlotte Central School pillars
Allegedly a symbol of something someone found offensive.
There are atheists
And ACLU lawyers
And people who will try to destroy
There are those who say they hate you
Or what you believe in
And how is that so different
You can pray for people who don’t believe in what you do
They probably need it
At the end of the day when no one else would pray for them
People will say what you do represents religious or other beliefs
And it might make you sad or cry
Do they mean to hurt you?
I don’t know
When you do the nice thing
And someone says, “who cares” or “Why” or “You can’t”
Just tell them you are who you are
And they are who they are
And this is a free country so that really works both ways
In fact always.
Your youthful optimism and blind love only a fourth grader could muster
Is fragile and might be squished like a bug
Or you may hold on to it if you try very hard and believe twice as hard
That people might change or start to believe
Or at least feel comfortable enough to accept that you have a right believe enough to try to brighten someone’s day
Unsuspecting that behind the pillars stood one man who said Bah Humbug
Who tried to negate your good deed
That brought so many joy and a smile.
That is the miracle of the season no matter what you call it, no matter what your beliefs, there is no question that the days get shorter and shorter
until the light returns to shine on us all
Believers and non believers alike.
Don’t let that sinking feeling persist in the pit of your stomach
when you thought
You created trouble or
got in trouble for trying to brighten someone’s day.
You are the shining light we all seek
Believe it or not.
Sunday, December 18, 2011
The tree on the left is the one dad said was the best locust tree. It is the straightest, straight up. I dragged barb wire out of it when we got here and thought maybe the old tree appreciated it. On the right is Dad’s spruce tree he brought home from the northeast kingdom in his pocket. I have been around long enough to remember that.
The chimes upper right we moved several times and Nancy gave us those a bazillion years ago. The sun glass fob was a gift M.R. gave me the Xmas before she axed me. I have forgotten most of my anger about that. She did me a favor. I thought someday it would break, like the wind chime weight before it. This wind chime has been exposed to wind gusts, pummeling rain and snow, heat and cold.
M.R. is gone now, I was reminded of her again as I snapped a random
crock pot chocolate next of the to do list
Friday, December 16, 2011
Oh, Where are you?
The darkness came,
Where did you go?
How to coax you?
Where do you hide
When it all falls apart?
Are you there,
There in the darkness,
I cannot see?
Do you whisper,
words of urging,
to be the best
that I can be?
My own Night Angel,
There is no sound,
I cannot hear you?
What If my ears,
no longer work?
Will you touch
my shoulder softly?
Let me know,
you are alright.
Oh Night Angel,
Wednesday, December 14, 2011
Tuesday, December 13, 2011
Monday, December 12, 2011
Sparkling Snow**all rights reserved
by mary gerdt
It happened today,
when I thought some great thoughts,
that peace would come
all hunger would stop
and the sick would rejoice when their pain went away
and the lonely will find a friend and the sad will smile.
The snow sparkled like never before.
Is that a start?
p.s. sorry i posted first by cut and paste and ended up w/ too much stuff.blogger/internet can be irritating at times.mg
Sunday, December 11, 2011
Link to a great article about the 100th anniversary.
I keep looking at my visitor globe for dots on the 7th continent.
Will sit here in the armchair watching all those daring folks brave
one of the most challenging places on Earth.
remember, when the weather looks nice,
don't be fooled you are in for a bad one.
Saturday, December 10, 2011
Some have intersting insides, like geodes, with beautiful crystalline centers and dull outsides.
Today's Astronomy pic of the day is a cross section of cosmic debris,
falling piece of asteroid, and not native to Earth.
Could these be seeds of change and evolution?
Image Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech / Hap McSween (Univ. Tennessee), A. Beck and T. McCoy (Smithsonian Inst.)
Thursday, December 8, 2011
perfectly coating everything and heavy up in the mountains,
the cold air came crashing in, the sun came up and everything lit up in the snow's reflection, the bright blue sunny sky,
and the dual grips on the steering wheel, gripping ruts of ice with studded tires, and coming to grips with the fact that some photos should not be taken, better to enjoy the view at the stoplight
or behind the school bus.
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
A great article about gardening with recycled tires.
kepler-22 found to be the closest thing to earth so far,
see apod=astronomy pic of the day today.
nasa will begin monitoring for alien transmissions,
i want to see the switch that flips on that surveillance cam or microphone or whatever.
i want to listen to the sounds from k-22,
if i can hear them, can they hear me?
well, if they are bloggers,
they are welcome to comment today
or just read about our fascination
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
We were fortunate to see him at Levon's and as soon as I got home I looked him up.
One of the best of all times.
here is a link to his lesson:
What a man...
Monday, December 5, 2011
Sunday, December 4, 2011
The sun is coming,
must have faith,
it does this every day.
First so dark,
Then just a glimmer,
Then full on,
Oh Here it comes.
And I anger
at life's bumps
and where we are,
how did we get here,
why do we not have more.
And I look at what
I saw as nothing,
and I see
we really have it all.
Love and food,
And as people
shock or hate me
Or wonder who I
I have to keep here
on my pathway,
lit by sunshine
even in the rain.
Have faith that you are
Where you are supposed to be
and if it is a trial,
look for the pearl.
And if you wanted
more than you have now,
remember someone else
has only faith.
And if you lost
the faith of living
may you have another sun.
think it over,
may you see
the sun again.
this is part of the psalms challenge
my sunday school...thanks to robert's weekly Psalms Challenge http://tagein-tagaus-athen.blogspot.com/ and dina http://jerusalemhillsdailyphoto.blogspot.com/ for helping me try to
understand the words...keep the faith...mary
Saturday, December 3, 2011
Friday, December 2, 2011
check him out at imus.com
Thursday, December 1, 2011
(oops, I meant 27 years ago...edited today :) mg)
(for the record, today i finally corrected their ages after some thought
and reminders fr Janet-thanks : >)watching TV,
Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Data-mining battle costs Vt taxpayers $1.8M - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-#.TtaxEswmWV8.twitter
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
Monday, November 28, 2011
First my clinic appointment was today, on a Monday, not the usual Tues. or Wed.
Next, it is my last study appointment.
And I was wondering how I ever could control that and I cannot and never would be able to.
Next, my appointment is at noon, when everybody is going to lunch, but here they are, squeezing us all in
because we are all done w/ the study.
My MRI was not until 6 PM causing me to commute twice to the city.
(pardon, it may not be a city to you :>
Thankfully Fred took me to the MRI.
All morning me thinking they may have some breakthrough info re: the study.
After all the usual blood drawing, vital signs, physicals, tests, I said,
"Is that all there is?" I thought they would know more, help me decide
the concrete path, the format for success.
They would know a little more soon, the meds shouldn't cost me more than $35 a month with my insurance
(I think, give up what for that???) She said the meds are worth Thousands, (thousands??)
and I know she is right. My acceptance of all this shaky as is normal.
My Dr. offered to write letters to help me get the meds covered.
I want to call insurance today,
but i am waiting to see what the best regimen for me is.
I talked with one of my study nurses and describe how a good shot causes skin reactions.
I liked my meds fresh. She gave me that look...
Then I realized again the phenomenon I told some MS friends about.
I am on a different wavelength than these other people. (see * below)
She did say Dr. P (I miss him so) said the skin reaction was a good sign, the med was active.
Somehow, I knew his name was going to come up today. He was the doctor who recruited me for the study 4 years ago. Now he is gone and now the study is almost done. My last official visit today.
Still having a hard time accepting it all.
Then the elevator to the MRI place. I run into an ICU nurse I worked with.
"I am going to get magnetized", for lack of anything better to say.
In the hallway to MRI, giant murals of happy caring staff and short quotes of wisdom.
I stopped in front of Dr. P's. He is gone but here is his photo, his eyes true
his quote, deep. Fred tries to take a pic of it but it is too big of a picture to capture.
Just as well.
Just wanted to jot this down while fresh.
It was such a weird day and more questions remain.
How being off our game can mess with your whole being,
and how knowing and understanding can be different.
How an expectation, an anticipation, of something miraculous,
rarely ever bears fruit.
And I have made it through the study,
stay tuned for updates of the study results as they become available
to me, the mouse.
* explanation: Hey, I worked neuro for years too,
considering myself an expert nurse.
I can hear the wavelength transmission of the MonSter,
and it is ugly.
And those who do not know the MonSter,
cannot see it,
and therein lies a major problem.
our neighboring town.
This must have been funny for the corrected: this is the planning commission,
This guy comes in, tries to say he has a voice.
Don't that silly guy know,
Selectmen and correction Planning commission members are Kings....
**warning: the writer of this blog does not condone treating citizens like this,
that is the stuff revolutions are made of...........
corrected after posting: this is the planning commission...
Sunday, November 27, 2011
The end of autumn again a fuzzy line as warm southern air has been blowing in steadily since
our last Wednesday snow day.
Our broccoli is still producing but has been neatly trimmed by visiting deer.
I boned the turkey and we made 10 TV dinners (and froze them)
with turkey stuffing, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes, gravy, squash.
Our mashed potatoes were from our red, white and blue potatoes.
They came out kind of pink and very tasty.
We are grateful for our reprieve from winter another weekend
and look forward to lighter days in a few weeks.
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Next Friday catch this wonderful man:
Dr. Ralph Stanley...
at Levon's barn, tickets @
Friday, November 25, 2011
do you feel smaller?
last night the nova show trying to explain our universe
may not be the only one.
my blog felt smaller
as if I should say,
travelogue for the universe(s)
do they know how hard it is to change domain names?
tidy powerpoint presentations?
Do you think one
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I wish you all the best
Even those who are green
And those who are pests
Those that are blue,
Yes, and you too,
And may you see
All that will be
And all that has been
And that we are all me
That if you hurt
Or are hungry or sad,
So am I.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Interview with a Clone
Modern Mars Magazine
By Mary E. Gerdt
Alice Karma has let it all hang out with Modern Mars Magazine in her latest interview with Captain Gigi Fairweather, commander of the Mars shuttle for 10 years and now Senior Lifestyle correspondent for Modern Mars Magazine.
Captain: Hello Alice. Thank you for connecting with our interplanetary entertainment show, Modern Mars Magazine.
Alice: Hello Captain. Thank you for inviting me. It is an honor.
Captain: How is it stateside?
Alice: Freezing where I am at. Bermuda has had constant blizzards since the asteroid hit. I am surprised communications are so clear.
Captain: We have had some enhancements. Stuck on the island until the weather clears?
Alice: Perhaps I should ask you that Captain.
Captain: You got me there Alice. The shuttle’s been grounded until at least two years…
Alice: (Interrupting)…I heard 5 at the least, possibly 10...
The Captain switched the microphone to privacy, “Alice, What do you mean telling this audience we won’t be getting anymore food for 10 years!?”
Alice: Well, it is the truth.
Captain: This you must retract. No talk of gloomy subjects, especially about how we may be stranded here forever. The subject is you and being a clone.
Alice: That is news?
Captain: That is a distraction, that is what that is my lady and we need it badly. The obscure, the strange, different. Why we all came to Mars to begin with, and I bet why you came from Bermuda.
Alice: Well Captain, Is that dead air?
Captain switched back on the microphone: I am so sorry Mars and Earth listeners, we had a slight malfunction in our solar panels. Jake had to go adjust them again. This time we let him use the good wrench. Maybe it’ll last. We’ve had several Marsquakes today and it knocks out the antennae every time. Now Alice Karma, where were we?
Alice: We were musing about the strange and different.
I completely lost track.
Captain: Let’s talk about your…beginnings, shall we say.
Alice: That is usually where it begins.
Captain: Did you have one or two parents?
Alice: Well that is already a controversial question.
Alice: My essence began when my replicative parent contemplated cloning herself. She was blessed with health, physical beauty, extraordinary intelligence and demeanor. She could speak 10 major languages fluently and was working on writing the Mars Dialect which would become the universal Martian language we use now for the cross cultural bridge and universal translators. She flew rockets, airplanes, jets, helicopters and submarines. She was deathly terrified her works would not be complete without replicating another human for the preservation of the human race in case there was an extinction event. She had developed arthritis by then and was crippled by its pain, yet she persisted in her research for the final 10 years of her life. She moved to Bermuda where she established a state of the art facility with perpetual power supply, security and self sustaining food sources using cloned animals and plants.
Captain: So, you had a garden growing up?
Alice: I guess you might say that Captain. It was a square mile.
Alice: She was feeding the lab and all the workers.
Captain: Go on.
Alice: She began with plants and then small mammals. Then moved quickly to pigs. Very similar to humans. Soon she wondered about a child replica of herself. Would she capture the same intellect, perfection, and ultimately isolation in a tiny version of herself? After all is said and done the baby would be totally different but undeniably human. She wondered about how to begin this 5 year project without telling one other soul. There were times at conferences or dinner dates with colleagues when she was so tempted. But she kept to herself and let no one see what she did all day at the remote cabin in Bermuda.
Captain: Was she worried she would be arrested?
Alice: Yes, and worse, someone may have tortured her for the secret, or otherwise wanted to cash in. Mom was worried about the dark side: Growing babies for slavery.
Captain: Well that sounds extreme.
Alice: Mom was threatened in college when she worked on plant cloning and the enviro police threw Molotov cocktails at her house.
Captain: Guess she hit a nerve.
Alice: Can you imagine what my news would do?
Captain: Hmm…So what is your greatest concern about human cloning?
Alice: Pause…I guess that I am different in the eyes of other humans.
Captain: I don’t understand.
Alice: That’s what I mean. You don’t and never will understand what it is like to be a clone. I know what it is like to be human.
Captain: Do you?
Alice glared at the microphone and sighed loud enough to be heard on Earth and Martian feed.
Captain: I suppose it is time for a break. Let’s hear from our sponsors, ADM space foods international, where we grow and launch food for Earth and the colonies.
Break music begins to play. Captain turns down the volume.
Alice: Hello Captain.
Captain: Hello, I am sorry but I needed a little drama.
Alice: Did you know, for the record, I am as human as you?
Captain: I know. (She was tiring of the scientist’s vanity child spewing virtues of creating little clones. She only had her on because she needed a good diversion. Be nice, Gigi, the Captain said to herself.)
Captain: Commercial’s over. Places.
And here we are back at the titanium microphone at the Red Palace on Mars. We are speaking with Alice Karma, famous clone daughter of one parent, Dr. Susan Wolf.
Alice: Thank you Captain.
Captain: Now how were you treated at school, for instance?
Alice: No one knew. Mom had been in Switzerland for two years while I was being developed. She came back and was implanted and claimed she had had an affair with an unknown soldier in Swiss Army. She would joke to me when she gave me a swiss army knife, This is Dad’s, she said. I knew there was no Dad. Only Mom. She is all there ever can be.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Please support H.328.
The property taxes have become so burdensome for us. Please help reform what happens when you simply cannot pay. We suffered great penalties, shame and nearly lost our 4th generation farm after being 9 months late. The towns can be less lenient than banks and mortgage companies or not, at their discretion.
I have written everyone I can to explain what we went through. Please force some sensibility into local punishment of people who cannot pay. The motivation of locals not to change rests on tax collectors reaping large sums for short hours.
Beyond H.328: The VT property tax structure also punishes people like us who hold land more than 2 acres (56 ac) and pay taxes on that land (appraised at highest use even though it is open land) without income sensitivity. The town likewise has no income sensitivity.
Therefore we pay $1 for every $10 we earn to VT property taxes. That is with getting income sensitivity on our homestead portion.
To me that is not income sensitive.
Thank you for your time.
Saturday, November 19, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
was on a coffee mug,
my sister sent me,
full of candies,
and this mysterious woman's face:
on the mug facing me
I took a sip
of my favorite beverage,
I felt the message there
as I pondered stressful
why do humans do that?
She was a kind old woman,
as she appeared on my favorite coffee mug
I used every morning for years.
I forgot all about her until my 4 am wake up
the kind that nag my rem sleep
and kick start my day a little too early.
I used that mug for so many years,
Finding it a useful meditation device,
As the internet began, our info searches
I looked up
and found her to be a candy store icon,
to me a hero,
a grandmother I never had,
a chance to rethink the nighttime dreams
with a cup of hot coffee,
that I loved more after reading
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.
The mug long gone,
How do I remember it today,
as I am hunting for a topic to post,
on a Friday when I am running out of
When I lost the vision in my right eye temporarily
4 years ago,
those words went through my mind,
a good exercise for anyone,
Do not just look,
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
The occupy people moved out of city hall park in Burlington, VT. It was getting cold anyway so perhaps they were secretly happy. Meanwhile, in the country, we got the piece of paper saying we paid
our $5 grand (VT prop taxes) and change to the town so they won't sell our farm next fall.
The money we drained from an account we set up for my eventual theoretical disability. I was denied disability insurance 3 days after my diagnosis of MS even though I showed and show no outward symptoms. So it is a race between draining our account vs. will I be able to work long enough to live here, in our 4th generation farmstead. It is a race against time.
I knew this post would come out awkwardly and sound weird to some. I started with a poem but it seemed too silly.
5 grand is a ridiculous amount for any 2 people to have to pay for the crime of being linear descendants to a Vermont farm.
Feeling more like a serf today than a citizen.
Occupy your job, Mary, and go to work.
Monday, November 14, 2011
come in all sizes, shapes and colors
Some pretty average guys
just trying to do the right thing,
not just for
Property taxes are due in this town
and other VT towns.
I know, you are weary of my rant,
so turn the channel off,
Check out Bruce's website:
and get in the know
about the convoluted VT property tax system
and why it really does need a major reform.
Help support Bruce in his good fight.
Now off to work!
The town gets one dollar for every $10 I earn.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Friday, November 11, 2011
We inevitably, uncontrollably, are all products of war.
Found this rare and beautiful gem for today.
You tube link to Sean Costello et al.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Wednesday, November 9, 2011
“I hope you’re taking notes”, my mother exclaimed as we settled into a long overdue visit.
“Oh, I am”, I replied.
We have never had too much trouble communicating with each other. No time to beat around the bush, skirt the issue, wallow in subtleties.
I quickly discovered she was mad about “having” to be “placed” in an apartment with my father. But she always said it was OK if we had to place her in a nursing home and this is just an apartment. The light bulb went off in my head. “But this is the nicest senior housing I have ever been in.” I tried to recover from feeling like I had forgotten something. I guess I had. Does she remember when we talked…they had a choice…everyone thought it was for the best. Now I sat across from My Mom, a mad senior, one with nothing to lose, one with a mission to educate her health care professional daughter about the real world.
I remember when I was 5 and going to kindergarten. 3 doors down. So far away. My mother told me then about the real world. You will come here every day. They don’t have your name tag. You are in the wrong classroom. But I liked the other teacher. You will get used to it. You will have to take naps. I thought to myself, what’s a nap?
We often begin thinking things are one way and discover our perception is only that.
My viewpoint. My reality. Seen through My eyes and filtered through My experiences and My learning.
Some will never get to the point of seeing how their experiences shape their reality.
These are the my way or the highway types.
Some are willing to work through the experiences and consider their perceptions may be influenced by past events.
These are people like you and I who are trying to learn all we can in this life.
Then there is my Mom.
Deceptively quiet at times. Deep down a true warrior. Anti-war warrior, shaman princess, student of metaphysics, Esperanto, Rosicrucian, mother of seven assertive “Gerdt” children, Modern thinker, lover of ancient times, Atlantis aficionado, Lover of Omar Khayyam, opera and anything mystical, mindreader, painter, dreamer.
Now do you understand my dilemma?
She is always right (but staunchly left).
She is powerful but gentle.
She is outspoken but reserved.
The conversation turns as it always does (to my relief) to death and plans.
“I want to be cremated” my mother says plainly as she has done since I was a little one.
“I know, Mom.” How could I forget. After all these years hearing it over and over as if I would suddenly forget when the time comes and slip to the mortician. “Embalm her now, I would say. The purple fluid. “
I decide to change the subject.
“I have made a decision too, Mom. I want to be cremated and Fred knows where I want my ashes spread.” There, the conversation has been successfully diverted. Mom can’t say anything to that one. Now she knows how I feel. Or maybe she still doesn’t.
So we go on trying to make conversation about old days and pictures from the past and what they had for lunch or doctor’s appointments to come. Where is your pain today?
Or silence as the 24 hour news channel stirs up the elders. War, gas prices, political failures, government conspiracies, snafu’s. The golf channel with it eternal 18 hole game. The food channel.
Is it time to eat again?
We take a ride up the river road. One of my favorite places on the planet. The bluffs north of Alton remind me of a day this was all under water. When the planet was covered with water and we were all sea creatures.
We stop at the Wilton Hotel, an old family style restaurant/hotel with fresh fried chicken, homemade sausages and pickles. We get a pound of asparagus at a roadside stand. I envy the woman who sells it to us. She lives out here in the middle of nowhere and makes her living working the land. She has a peace on her face that farmers have. No money, maybe, but that extraordinary peacefulness. She may not even know I am looking at her like that. She may not think her life is so special. "Maybe I could take a vacation sometime", she thinks as we drive away. "Instead of picking this damn asparagus every day."
We get on the Brussels ferry, a 10 minute ride across the Illinois River. I get out to smell the river air. I close my eyes. Feel the motion of the ferry underfoot. Hang onto the railing. I envision the days when people rode the riverboats and played cards and traded and traveled these rivers. A short little trip but I try to prolong it. Hold on to the memory. Can’t I stay forever?
Before you know it we are on the other side.
Before you know it we are back on the plane to go home.
Short visit. So short.
I mindlessly chew the handful of peanuts they gave me and try not to cry on the plane. When I left home years ago, I was eager to find my own way, a new world, a place where no one knew me, or had preconceived ideas about me. It was a bittersweet memory like now. Leaving my parents, wondering if this was the last time, wondering why Vermont was where I landed. Why so different after all than Illinois.
But when the green mountains appeared on the horizon it was as if they said,
“Welcome back, we missed you”, just like the first time.
10 minutes to ground I pulled out my paper and started writing. I heard my mother’s voices say ”I hope you’re taking notes…”