Night on the Town

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When you slow down enough to look: there are Singer-Sargent clouds at sunset; a regal nature in rust; a delicate peel of paint. It’s all in the details.
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Field Trip Mania

Two little second graders were in my charge today – as their class and two others descended upon a living maritime museum.  They were cute, the scenery was beautiful, I am exhausted.

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The official documents for the Acushnett, the ship Herman Melville sailed on and whose voyage inspired Moby Dick, were housed in this actual box!

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Turns out the junk is not in the trunk. Who knew?

In the Dark of the Night, Born is the Light of the World

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front of church

creche

 

All photos by Jennifer Butler Basile

The Road to Christmas

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All photos by Jennifer Butler Basile

Swinging into Home

It’s true that you wake up one morning and suddenly realize you’re a different person.  In the midst of the transition, you’re usually at the bottom of some pit, miserable, whiny, and thinking the end will never be in sight.  But even when you’re able to say definitively that a change occurred, you still can’t pinpoint exactly when it did.  It just happened at some point and now things will forever be different.

view from the top

We put up a swing set in our backyard.  It was a grand neighborhood adventure.  We purchased it from a neighbor whose children had outgrown it, but who had kept it in fabulous condition.  He organized its transport to our yard, two houses over and one up.  I met a neighbor – and his much-appreciated motorcycle-turned-tree-house-trailer – that I never had before.  Two other neighbors brought their children to play and watch with mine while they helped the other men.  The seller and his son stayed on to help my husband finish assembling it while the kids called to them, saying hello and ‘can we go on it yet?’  Many hands make light work and I was so appreciative of their efforts and how happy they made my children.

After the excitement died down and just our three children swung and my husband and I surveyed the scene, I realized it.  I realized our life is forever altered.  We are different people here.

But in a totally positive, wide-open way.

We ask for and accept offers of help from our neighbors.  We relax on our porch and watch the trees blow in the breeze.  We have places to sit and read, whilst our children do some other activity nearby.  We have spots on the floor perfect for laying out vintage matchbox car tracks complete with loop-de-loops.  We have hooks for towels.  And room to swing around in the bathroom without smashing into some manner of porcelain.  There are dormers and transoms and skylights and fanlights.  There are angles and peaks, nooks and crannies.

Our entire perspective has changed.

The neighbor who sold us the swing set said it still feels like vacation even after living in his home for nearly two decades.  The light, airy feeling of vacation is nice, wonderful indeed.

But looking at that swing set to the profile of our home beside it, I realize this plot of land, this place and time we’ve landed in is a dream come true.  The realization of some nebulous idea I formed as a child.

Suddenly and unequivocally, this is home.  I can’t say exactly when it happened, but I can now say with certainty, we are home.

It never is a straight path ;-)

It never is a straight path 😉

Moving Day

On the year anniversary of our moving day, the family traveled to two of the fall festivals we missed last year because we were schlepping boxes.  Maybe because I’m a glutton for punishment and need to pack as much into a day as humanly possible (well, inhumanly, but I always did have unrealistic expectations) or maybe because I felt like I had to make up for time lost last year, we visited a farm open-house of sorts to celebrate their yearly press of apples for cider and then a local park arts-and-crafts-music-storytelling-farmers’ market-hayride-proceeds-benefitting-the-community-garden extravaganza.  It was the quintessential New England fall day.  The leaves and fields and skies just opened up in a beautiful way.  In a way that they can nearly anywhere, I suppose, but which seems to be happening more since we’ve moved.

Gourd neighbors

Gourd neighbors

I half expected Wayne Carini to come walking up

I half expected Wayne Carini to come walking up

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Beautiful buggers

Beautiful buggers

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Scenes from a Sun-kissed Morning

 

The days are warm enough, the nights cool enough that each morning my girls ask me if it’s rained. Caught in a ray of sunlight, the fog tricks you into thinking it’s misting, which it is, I suppose. The dew clings to every angular surface.

 

 

I feel like a studio photographer!

I feel like a studio photographer!

So delicate.  I love the texture of the buds and petals.

So delicate. I love the texture of the buds and petals.

 

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Scenes from a Secret Neighbor

Walking in a woodland wonderland . . .
I have woods! In my yard! And the woodland creatures that come with!

Quite a difference from our little suburban plot.

After a hurricane, a blizzard, the taking down of six trees, and the impending purchase of a wood stove, we’ve got lots of wood laying around. Lots to chop, split, stack, etc. In the meantime, the piles have become part of the landscape. So much so, that little friends have moved in. This little guy peeking out is going to be supremely pissed when we clear everything out!

Can you see me now?

Can you see me now?

Seaside Scenes from September 17

As I walked onto the beach, the sand and sea elicited the same feeling in me that it did years ago on a shore many miles away.  The calm, the awe, the inspiration.  I could dig out the essay I’d written that day, but I dare say it’d be the same today (though hopefully a bit more linguistically advanced!).

Sometimes it’s nice when place and sense take us down a familiar path.

Block Island, full speed ahead.

Block Island, full speed ahead.

A ribbon of sea and sand

A ribbon of sea and sand

pink house

Rose hips and tide rips

Rose hips

 

 

Tides of rip . . .

Tides of rip . . .

Gifts from the sea

 

 

Scenes from a Bumper Crop – September 16

As our closing date and the harvest approached last year, a sadness settled in.  I would be leaving my garden before it came to fruition.  We’d enlarged it the spring before we left, adding more and different plants.  Carrots, green onions, cucumbers.  At least my herbs would travel well in pots that could go from a home beside one backdoor to another.

But, I realized, the woman leaving this house probably packed a similar burden amidst her belongings.  She’d left a vegetable garden even larger than our new and improved one.  Hot peppers guarded the perimeter, mixed greens and a lone acorn squash hunkered down inside.  A boatload of parsley and a few tomatoes.  Though it was the tail-end of the season, we were able to reap the benefits of her labor the same way the man and woman who bought our house would ours.

I am not as adventurous a cultivator as the previous occupant.  Nor as zealous a waterer apparently.  And I don’t fertilize.  BUT we’re still eating fresh green beans and have cucumbers coming out of our ears.  I tried to capture the beautiful purple pattern of a lone green bean as I prepped dinner.  Then I broke out a few beans with the idea that I’d dry them as seed for next year.  That’s when things got crazy 🙂

Hey, why garden if it’s not fun!

Mmm, mmm, green (and purple)

Mmm, mmm, green (and purple)

Have a green day!

Have a green day!

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