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Showing posts from June, 2011

End of an Era: Closing of Local Video Store

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ayaImage by MLHS via Flickr

Within the last few months, several local establishments have closed.  The first to go was just down the street.  The local video store that provided what Hollywood had to offer, along with a few specialty sections.  The latest, Pleasant Street Video in Northampton, MA, leaves a huge hole in the fabric of our community after 25 years of faithful service.
Pleasant Street Video wasn't your common variety video store.  The folks at Pleasant Street were the purveyors of hard to find documentaries, classic film noir, as well as films by the great directors such as Bergman, Fellini, Ozu, Wenders, Ford, Tarkovski, Buñuel, Scorsese, Varda and the mother of American avantegarde films, Maya Deren.  Also available at this little corner shop in downtown Northampton were films from around the world.  
The staff, especially Bill and Dana, both of whom Roger and I saw the most, were aficionados of film, who could recommend films that built on an interest or idea one was …

Poems for Father's Day

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Today, I will share Father's Day poetry. I wrote the following poems for a poetry contest.(I know it is the day after the observance, but I believe these special days should be celebrated every day.) 
First, it has been three years now, since my Dad left this plane of existence for the next.  While I know he is physically dead, I still feel him around me.  It is no wonder, then, that when I sat down to write the poems that potentially could be made into cards, that I began with one for my Dad.  
The second poem I wrote is from my brother.  Less than a year younger than I am, we were/are close.  His life has not always been easy, but he has continued to move forward.  Today, I am so proud of him.  I know my Dad is, too.
Finally, the last poem I wrote was for my sons-in-law.  They are wonderful fathers.  Each gives so much to their children.  I love to watch them play together, laughing and giggling.  I didn't have that as a child.  My dear Dad wasn't around much and when he wa…

How to Survive the Death of A Child

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Many subjects are taboo, even though commonsense tells us that talking about them should help us to cope. As a writer, educator and mother, I believe we must speak about the unspeakable for it is by sharing our pain and sorrow that we heal.  

Today, I have the honor of sharing the thoughts and advice of Madeline Sharples, a talented poet and memoirist who began writing as a means to find comfort and understanding after the diagnosis of her eldest son’s bipolar disorder. Later, in 1999 after his death, she turned once again writing as a means of healing and comfort.

Her book, Leaving the Light On is a touching memoir of Madeline’s journey with Paul. She candidly and honestly shares the strain of living with mental illness, as well as the grief and guilt experienced by survivors of suicide.
Leaving the Light On is a testament to healing after the death of a child as well as the strength it takes to move forward.



I remember seeing the back of my mother’s head in the window as we, the last…

The Blessings of Mother Earth

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"For Everything There Is a Season..."
As I walk each morning, I have come to appreciate the beauty the Creator surrounds us in.  Watching the changes of the seasons over the past few weeks, gives new understanding of how amazing Mother Earth is.  A short time, two months to be exact, life here looked dismal.  Today, it is vibrant with growth, and birdsong.  We have so much to be grateful for in this life!

The following photos show the progression of the seasons here in and around the Enchanted Cottage.


April - sudden glimpses of new life


Enchanted Cottage

One of our many gardens

Garden at the front of the house

Striped pansy!

Spring coming to the neighbors farm

Entrance to a Neighbor's Garden

Fields Waiting for the Plow
May - splashes of color everywhere


Tulips and Daffodils Brighten the Path

Path to the Fire Pit

New Flower Bed in Progress

Kitchen Garden

Garden at the Front of the House

The PGM Rhododendron in its Glory

View of Our Neighbor's Fields from the Mountain

Center of Calm

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Image via Wikipedia

 Vermont College Quad - Site of the Council of All Beings
This past week, I spent an amazing day with some of the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. The Grandmothers are a group of indigenous elders from around the world, who come together to teach peace, understanding among people and healing of ourselves and Mother Earth. The trip to see them was unexpected, as I had learned only a week before of their visit to Vermont.  I traveled up to Vermont with two dear friends, who also were eager to hear and see the Grandmothers.
~~~~  As we walked across the beautiful campus of Vermont College to the site of the Sacred Fire, the sun was shining.  People from around the world were gathering around the Sacred Fire. As the fire was being lit, the wind picked up.  Clouds billowed high and dark around us.  Only the sky overhead stayed blue.  
Earlier in the day, I wrote to the woman who was one of the organizers to ask if there was still space available for the day's program.  S…