Category Archives: Home

Wanting out of Winter’s grip

Annapolis Winter--5

My studio door – daffodils are wishful thinking, the reflection of wild wind blowing the cyprus trees is the reality!

By going home alone in the winter I voluntarily turn our world upside down for a time –  leaving the boat, leaving Paris, leaving Bill.  But it gets put mostly right by hearing the laughter of family and friends.  And the time disappears too quickly. This may be the last February to do this though – it is too COLD!! Even the old swan in the garden has had it . . .

Annapolis Winter--4

Still, the boys go fishing after school though, and this one caught a big one as I watched from the bridge on my walk across the creek.

Annapolis Winter--6

Boys fishing

Quiet Water's reflection

Quiet Water’s reflection

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Dawn from the City Dock

Annapolis Winter-3

The darkest hour . . . just before dawn

Rising early every day, sitting in the treehouse facing the window to my world is a gift.  The bell tower steeple of the Presbyterian church is so American. Seen through the bare branches of Greta Sustrern’s side yard tree, it is painted bright white to meet the gray slate roof, just an Isosceles triangle pointing up to whatever lies beyond, in mind or reality, topped by its simple Christian cross finial. 

A minute ago the white bell tower up to the roof was in flat, sharp contrast to the dark morning sky.  Now the sky is a colorless, brighter shade of white and the steeple dimensions and details of corners, clapboard, shutters and shingles emerge with the dawn. Maybe we will have snow.

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Steeple over the rooftops

Another few minutes pass without looking up and then I do.  Color returns to the sky in the softest shades, delicate suggestions of the palest lavender and a wishful pink. I think of how distressed our boat neighbor, Beatrice, was upon our arrival in the Arsenal in September.  Our boat seemed to loom so high above hers.  “You are taking away my sky” she said so plaintively.  Seeing my sky again through my treehouse window I know how she felt.  I have missed my sky, the outlook across the swath of old orchard, the smoke from a cozy hearth rising above the roof lines, the changing colors of the day .

Tea on a cold morning, made white with almond milk and sprinkled with the Indian chai spice I brought back from Kerala 2 years ago is good.  The flavor is strong and pulls the sweet memories of color and chaos and warmth out of my head. And now “maybe we will have snow” … is such an understatement!

Photo by the mayor of Annapolis

Photo by the mayor of Annapolis

The Bay is frozen.  What appear to be breaking waves are frozen ripples on the frozen solid surface of the water as far as the end of the pier.

Red fox crossing the creek

Red fox crossing the creek

“Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.”

Gustave Flaubert

Isabel's Snowman!

Isabel’s Snowman!

But there was fun with the snow, too. Granddaughter’s Snow man climbed a tree in Tennessee!

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Painting on silk in the snow produced better results on the snow than on the silk!

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“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” Victor Hugo



A Short Visit Home . . .

IMG_0023Daily walks, catch-up talks, family and friends nurturing again the empty spaces left dormant during their absence – during my absence.  Changes observed, worried over, laughed and wondered at.  Plans shared, hopes and wishes and dreams revealed.  A few surprises, familiar comforts, pleasure taken in all the simple acts, day by day with gratitude.

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And then back to the City of Light where the sky shines just as bright and blue as it did in Annapolis and the same moon rises over the nearby church.  The obvious similarities end there … French graffiti tells a tale in every quarter of the city, a poet who sets up on the street beside the Pompidou will write a poem just for you, the architecture, the details of beautiful Paris, music everywhere . . .

And, of course, the best reason of all for leaving the home I love:

Best reason to return . . .

Best reason to return . . .