Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Celebrating 75 Years of the Shelburne Fire Department

I was in the kitchen grinding meat when I heard the sound of drums drumming and fifes fifing.

Out the window, across a neighbor’s yard, I saw a marching band.

“Parade!” I said, and Iris said, “Is there really a parade?”

There really was.

So I put the meat in the fridge and washed my hands and dressed the children and we ran

outside, across another neighbor’s yard

just in time to see the beginning.

Of which I did not get any pictures, because I didn’t bring my camera.

But there were many many many fire trucks and rescue vehicles. Possibly 40.

Among them were seven vintage fire trucks and all of them whooping their sirens

whoop-whoop which made it quite difficult for anyone to notice when one of the two ambulances

stepped out of line whoop-whoop and another whoop-whoop HOOONK! and a HOOONK!

because there was some real emergency someplace, not just a parade.


Afterwards, we went home, got strollers and diaper changes, shoes hats and toys, and we went to the fire station

where they were showing of the newly-restored Engine No. 1

and giving out some thank-yous.


We took our own vintage 1960s fire engine for a photo-op amongst the big ones.
















Sunday, August 21st, 2016

On the far side of the river

Iris has been itching to run around the woods naked ever since last week,

when the idea first occurred to her.

So when the four of us went down the big hill across the river to the far side

where hardly anyone goes,

I couldn’t see much of a reason to say no.

IrisΒ thought Akiva would like to be naked too.

She thought that everyone would probably want to run around the woods naked.

So she asked, “Papa, would you like to run around the woods naked?”

And he said, “I would likeβ€””

And thenΒ she pestered him until idea and desire and actuality

were one and the same.






Friday, August 19th, 2016

Shelburne Craft School Community Night

At the Shelburne Craft School Community Night, they demonstrated theΒ new raku kiln.






Pottery fresh from the kiln is covered in sawdust.

The heat causes the wood to burn, making some fabulous flames.






Everyone walks around with long metal tongs.

Stars afire!






The pottery is cooledΒ in water until it can beΒ removed with bare hands.






To remove the soot most easily,Β is best to polish sooner rather than later.






All of the children attending were given a raku-glazed star necklace.







Β  * Β  * Β  *







Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

Standing around, watching the compost decompose

When Iris wants to do something, she seems to ponder the questionβ€”

“How can I do that safely?”






Whereas AkivaΒ thinksβ€”

“I could use my car forΒ that.”





Sunday, August 14th, 2016

Stacking Wood, 2016

Gramps was not here to stack wood this year.

Lacking any other reliable labour sources, we were forced to have Akiva do the majority of the work.

First he pulled out the blackberry bushes that, given four years, have failed to flourish.

Then he leveled the wood chips and placed some new pallets.






Then he stacked. And stacked, and stacked, and stacked.

For a boy of 14 Β½ months, he was surprisingly efficient.



Friday, August 5th, 2016

The Way Through the Woods, by Rudyard Kipling



They shut the road through the woods

Seventy years ago.




Weather and rain have undone it again,

And now you would never know




There was once a road through the woods

Before they planted the trees.




It is underneath the coppice and heath,

And the thin anemones.




Only the keeper sees

That, where the ring-dove broods,




And the badgers roll at ease,

There was once a road through the woods.




Yet, if you enter the woods

Of a summer evening late,




When the night-air cools on the trout-ringed pools

Where the otter whistles his mate.




(They fear not men in the woods, Because they see so few)

You will hear the beat of a horse’s feet,




And the swish of a skirt in the dew,

Steadily cantering through




The misty solitudes,

As though they perfectly knew




The old lost road through the woods…

But there is no road through the woods.




Portraits of my children at a lost place

to the tune of a favorite poem

for the occasion of theΒ 50th anniversary

of my parents’ wedding.