Bright spot

Short story:

It snowed Thursday, and its been icy cold since then, but I was determined to get a few photos of snow despite the drab gray day and being a wimp who detests the cold. I drove over to Mystic on River Road. I parked, planning to jump out, get a photo, and scoot back into my toasty car. As I took the photo of the Mystic River with the red chairs (above), a woman walked by all bundled up.

“You must be an artist,” she said, with a heavy German accent. “Anyone who sees beauty here today must be an artist.”

“This is my favorite place to walk, and I take photos all the time,” said, “I’m not an artist, but I do see beauty here.”

She smiled. “Then, yes, you are an artist.”

She introduced herself, and then said that she and her husband lived down the road and around the corner. As she continued on her way, she invited me to stop by for tea the next time I walked. And that was it. Just a few words, but she had turned a dreary day into a bright spot to be remembered.

Next thing I knew, I was locking up the car and heading down the road to Main Street, where I stopped in for a coffee and a few decadent macaroons at Sift, and then took photos while strolling up and down the street as I munched on a peanut-butter-and-jelly macaroon under my mask. The streets twinkled with holiday lights.

As I sit here, back in my warm condo, my legs are still chilly from the long walk, but her kind words glow. Thank you, Rita.

Weekly photo challenge: Shine (through leaves and trees)


The “shiny” negative space in this photo imitates the  leaves. That’s why I love this one.

This photo wasn’t from this fall. We had a dry summer and it seemed that the leaves were dull and boring compared to other years. I did enjoy one beautiful weekend in Connecticut with a group of friends from my hometown. We stayed at my daughter’s home for a long weekend, and the weather was perfect. We visited wineries and Newport and the beach and the casino and an apple festival. The leaves in CT were at their peak and surprised us all along Rte. 2 south of Hartford. We had a wonderful time, but it was over before I knew it. And I don’t think I thanked them enough for coming.

Wherever the road leads



The longer she kept walking forward, the less often she looked back.
The less often she wanted to turn around.
The less often she waited to see if anyone was coming up behind her.
She liked the sound her sneakers made on the gravel roadway.
She could hear a creek running far below.
She could see the morning steam rising off the hillside.
She knew wherever the road led would be fine.
Because she’d never been there before.

Apple picking


So many are already rotting on the ground.
Flies buzz. The sun beats down.
The too-sweet smell rises.

But branches still bear their abundance.
And we gather the sweet fruit with abandon.
One more, just one more.

Even amid this ruin we fill our pails.
It is the way of we live our days. Picking, choosing.
Deciding when enough is enough.


Out for a morning walk

This is actually the woods behind the Frost Farm in Derry, NH. This was not the inspiration for this poem. :)

This is actually the woods behind the Frost Farm in Derry, NH. This was not the inspiration for this poem. 🙂

Out for a Morning Walk

My footfalls grate

on packed stone,

a long-gone bed

for train loads

too demanding for

these worn-out hills.

Here, a sky full of

bird talk – an owl,

a blue jay, a crow or two.

So many warnings,

a tension of tongues.

A river complains

on its way to dark places.

Earlier, I stirred names

of New England settlers

in a sinking cemetery.

Husbands next to wives:

Desire and Jebediah,

Hope and Abraham,

Julia and William.

Stones leaned back

and bowed forward.

No repose, no end

to the bickering.

Sometimes, even

a morning walk

can’t silence the din.


While in a hotel in Connecticut

An HBO movie with John Cusack is on the flat-screen TV.

The hotel is in a corporate office park. Snow, sleet, company car. No idea where I am.

I hole up with a big bag of kettle corn bought at the front desk for five bucks.

Tomorrow, a meeting with folks in the business. Plans to make, questions to ask, handouts, polite banter, business cards.

Tonight, I crawl into the pillow-top, king-sized bed. 

Slumber party for  one