Tuesday, April 30, 2013

This Boy's Heart

  Music has always been a big piece of who I am. I've always felt as if it's a part of me, like tasting or breathing. From the time I was young, when I would sit in my little chair listening to a song over and over again on my record player until I knew all its secrets, I've felt it's power. Music is my companion and confidant.
  It's my heart when I don't know how to expose my own.

 While driving to the store the other day, a song I've never heard before came on the radio. From the first notes of the guitar, it pulled me in. As I listened to the words my eyes filled with tears.
  She was singing about me; Singing the words I would have written if I could have found them.
  Words about how I felt growing up and still feel now.
  Words of sorrow for the pieces of himself my son must leave behind in order to be considered a man.
  Words, which, quite simply, tell the story of us all, before we're told who we're suppose to be.

 There was no need to listen to this song over and over again; Its secrets have always been kept in this boy's heart.

Me and "Mean Green"  1975

Dar Williams "When I Was A Boy"

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Little Rays of Sunshine

  Last Spring, I battled the underpaid kid at the neighborhood pet store to wrangle ten bright, orange fish out of a tank of thousands of mixed brown feeder fish. Twenty minutes and $1.90 later, I went home to add my hard-gotten pets to my newly installed pond. Now, before you get any grandiose ideas, my pond isn't some sweeping, landscaped body of water with a weeping willow tree gracefully reaching out to frolicking frogs and wildlife; By pond, I mean a 4 by 3 foot hole with a plastic liner and some water. "The Pond" was my Spring project last year.
  My small, swimming friends assimilated to life in "The Pond" quite well. Every morning and evening I feed them and they, in return, take my mind from all life's daily pressures, if only for a few minutes.
  I never, technically, named the fish. They have monikers such as: "The One With White on His Face", "Black Tailed One", "The Shy One" and "My, Isn't He Getting Big". Even nameless, they quickly became a much looked forward to part of my day.

 My little oasis was really put to the test of being a true part of New England this past year as Mother nature played her worst tricks on us. My little buddies survived the winds, falling trees and weeks long power outages of a hurricane in the Fall. Then, after all the clean up from the hurricane, Mother Nature decided we had spent enough time being cozy and warm and sent a blizzard to keep us trapped in our houses and ponds under three feet of snow. As the weeks went by and the inches of snow slowly melted, I waited anxiously to see if my finned friends had survived the onslaught. The first glimpse of the melted pond revealed a flash of orange and I knew all was well.

  Spring has come back around and the plants and wildlife are blooming. My fish and I have again begun our daily ritual of food and peace. I spent hours yesterday, under the warm Spring sunshine, cleaning the leaves and other trappings of  a hard winter from their home in preparation of  my quiet, summer evenings reading and stargazing by "The Pond".

Today, I was hurrying to finish my painting project so I could get outside and start work on my garden when my dog began to bark out the den window. My husband called to me to come see the Great Egret in our back yard. Being an avid bird watcher, I dropped my paint brush and ran to the window to see this spectacular sight. I didn't make it. The dog's barking and my husband's calling had scared the great bird away. Damn!
  I was just heading back to my paintbrush when I suddenly remembered what Great Egrets eat. I hurried to my pond and searched for my little flashes of orange; I moved the plants, searched with the net and took the filter out to see if anything was caught. I even fished around with my hand through the murky water.

  Farewell, my Little Rays of Sunshine. My evenings by "The Pond" will be considerably less gratifying without your colorful antics. Your tenacity was no match for that three foot tall, bill like a spear, version of Mother Nature.
I will miss you; Especially "My, Isn't He Getting Big".

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A night in the life


  So we're all on the front porch talking, taking a break from band practice, having a beer and a cigarette (because it's a well know fact you should always smoke right before you're going to sing) and we hear this horrible screaming coming from, what sounds like, my neighbor's yard across the street. I walk across the front lawn to see who's being murdered and realise the screams are coming from my backyard! 
  In a flash it dawns on me and I scream: "My chickens!" and pick up a rock and run like a maniac to the back yard, picking up a big stick on the way. Lou, Eric and Tom come running frantically behind me, trying not to spill their beer; Tom also had the foresight to arm himself with a piece of firewood, (I guess you can tell which two of us grew up in the heart of the urban decay that is Bridgeport CT).  Hurling my rock and flailing my stick, screaming "GET THE *#@! AWAY FROM MY CHICKENS" like a nut, I descend upon my chicken coop ready to pummel any and all intruders. 
  All this fuss for two raccoons battling for supremacy in a tree 60 feet in the air ABOVE my chicken coop. Chickens- Not in any danger whatsoever.
  Luckily, my son's new girlfriend showed up just about this time. 

  My daily public humiliation...complete.