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Showing posts from September, 2012

Things I Love About Autumn in New England #2

#2 Farm Stands.

I have a favorite farm stand that sells corn almost exclusively, and for good reason. It's the best corn around these parts. This farmer knows his corn. But most impressive? He knows how to grow corn in rocky New Hampshire soil.

It's the perfect addition to quesadillas, a traditional New England food. Really. Didn't you know the pilgrims ate quesadillas when they left the Mayflower? No? Ok, I'm kidding, but it does go well with lobster rolls, or as we like to call them, "lobstah rolls." It's the perfect base for corn chowder (chowdah), or corn bread, or corn waffles.

Just down about a mile from him, is the apple orchard, where a bushel of seconds (good for making apple butter) is only $8. New England thriftiness goes hand in hand with farm stands. Thrifty or not, we eat well.

Things I Love About Autumn in New England #1

Some people send out a daily gratitude in November. I find that life is too harried then. But it's not now. It's autumn in New England, people, and it's glorious, so for the foreseeable future (or until I become buried in downed leaves) here are the things I love about autumn in New England.

#1. Yesterday morning, I heard church bells ringing at 8:00 am. Aren't church bells the most wonderful thing? They make me feel like I'm part of a community, being summoned to worship on a Sunday morning. Church bells make me think of best dresses and hat pins and pot roast and apple pie. I imagine some kid pulling the bell rope, flying up and down with the movement of the bell. Voices lifted in hymns. Prayers and praise and pews.

Though church bells aren't specifically autumn things, or even New England things, for some reason, autumn is the time when I most often hear these bells, and New England is the place I associate with church bells. Every town around here seems to …

Hearing Voices

On the way home from the cemetery, I heard your voice in my head, the Brooklyn-made-tangible voice, the one with lots of glottal stops and dropped endings. I tried to listen to that voice, but I couldn't make it say anything--all that I heard was sound and laughter. No meaning, just sound. Still, there you were. Your voice was in my head, and I played it over and over again, so you'd never be gone. Any time I wanted a visit, I'd just have to shuffle through the soundtracks in my mind until I found the Brooklyn-made-tangible one.

We walked through the grass to visit other graves, other voices I carry within me. I hit the play button on those soundtracks, and heard other voices, and saw other faces, but your voice is the strongest. Your laughter was always the loudest, your spirit the most present.

It'll be some time before we meet again. You knew that though. You'd always say, "See you sooner," then you'd point to the sky, "or later." That wa…


Once upon a time, you stood upon an empty stage. Space surrounded you: stage left, stage right, upstage, downstage. Just you and the space and the lights and possibility. You longed to fill the space: the air with music, the stage with dance. The dance was for you and you alone, regardless of who might be there watching. There were no rules, only technique, and the technique had been drilled into you so often that your muscles retained it in their memory. The dance was automatic.

Once upon a time, you stood in a wide open piazza, bordered by tall buildings, a fountain, a tower, cafes. People and pigeons traversed the bricks, unchoreographed, uncaring. You longed to join them, to become one with their movement and their language, indistinguishable in the mix. You looked like one of them. People would even ask you for directions. But the words tumbled in your mouth, strange and broken. They were unruly birds, these words, flapping their wings and flying away before anyone could know what…

Summer Vacation

Where I Went on My Summer Vacation Lost River GorgePolar CavesFuller Rose GardensHampton Beach Sand Sculpture CompetitionYork BeachOne Stop FunRumble TumbleGalway Lake, NYCharmingfare FarmFreedom Trail, BostonChrista McAuliffe PlanetariumWhale watchFort Foster, METhe Butterfly PlaceDarien Lake, NYEast Aurora, NYLetchworth State ParkGenesee Country MuseumJello MuseumSEE Science CenterHershey, PAButternut Farm Things I Did on My Summer Vacation: SpelunkingClimbed a rock wallHad my face painted in melted chocolateRode a Ferris wheelBought a brain jello moldJumped wavesSaw a sunspot AND a solar flare from a telescopeWas a human landing pad for butterfliesClimbed 294 steps to the top of the Bunker Hill MonumentFinished a manuscript<