Monthly Archives: February 2008

Where is spring?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am very tired of being cold.  I am dreaming of a warm tropical island–a place to go barefoot.  To cheer myself up, this weekend I’m going to plant some seeds to prove that life can regenerate.  I’ll think about tomatoes, peppers, flowers, basil, and dill.

Last year I had a “favorite” plant.  It was the first to come up.  I watered it first, I gave it premium light, including putting it right under the grow light.  I talked to it and nurtured it.  I gave it a name.  After about 3 weeks of attention, I came to the horrible realization that I had been nurturing a sprout of clover–a seed that must have found its way into the potting soil.  I have nothing against clover per se, but I had to pluck it out to have space for the tomato plant that was supposed to grow there.  I’m sure there’s a church talk in that story somewhere, but who knows where?


I’d like to check you for ticks

Some country songs are so good! I was driving in the car this week and I had the radio on a country station. I sort of go through stages of music, and can really get into the narratival aspect of country. In fact, if I were to start my English Ph.D. all over again, I’d be a cultural critic with a focus on American country music because it is so revealing about American lifestyle.
Anyway, I was driving along and a Brad Paisley song came on. The basic gist of it was that he is in a bar and there’s a beautiful woman and he knows everybody else is going to hit on her, but he believes he can be more original. Here is the chorus:
‘Cause I’d like to see you out in the moonlight
I’d like to kiss you way back in the sticks
I’d like to walk you through a field of wildflowers
and I’d like to check you for ticks.
That is just a great chorus.
I just today discovered that nobody says “country western” music any more. It’s just “country.” I feel really stupid, because apparently Liz told me that about 3 dozen times and it didn’t sink in! But old dogs sometimes can learn new t(r)icks.

It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to


I’m planning a party, which is one of my favorite things to do. Mrs. Dalloway (by Virginia Woof) begins like this: Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.” I love that line. The entire book is about one day when Clarissa Dalloway is planning a party, and reflecting on her life and her decision to marry her husband. Of course it’s more complicated than that, so you’ll need to read it (it’s one of my favorite books). Just like Mrs. Dalloway, I’m going to buy the flowers myself. Unlike her, I’m going to make most of the food myself—no servants in my house. I loved making the list of the food and thinking about who would come (this is primarily something for the English Department after a talk). There’s something so satisfying about bringing people together and letting them have a good time in your house. It makes your house a better place—my house definitely likes to have parties.
When we first moved into the house (which is more than 140 years old) one of my friends who purports to be psychic told me that something really important had once happened in our dining room, but she couldn’t (or wouldn’t?) say what. I was going to be living there alone for about a month, and she asked me if I was going to be scared. I said, “No, it has an alarm system.” “Oh,” she said. “I wasn’t talking about the live people.”
Anyway, my house has a personality and it likes to have people there. If my house has spirits living in it (and I’m open to that possibility) they are very helpful spirits. The house helps me find things—now I know I am starting to sound like a kook. But I can’t help it, it does. Some houses apparently have spirits that hide things—well mine has something that helps me find them. My house clearly likes me. Here’s a spooky example. One day I needed to use Paul’s keys and I couldn’t find them anywhere. I looked all over the house. I kept getting the definite message “look down.” So I got on my hands and knees and went all over the house looking for the keys. I didn’t find them, and made some other arrangement. A couple of days later Paul was down in our dark, dungeon of a cellar and found his keys down there—they must have fallen out of his pocket. It gave me the chills, because I was so clearly told to “look down,” but I didn’t think about the cellar. Other times things that I’m looking for just appear in places where I’m positive nothing was there before. OK, so now I’m a bona fide weirdo. I just think there are lots of things we don’t understand. And my house and I are having fun planning our party.