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When I called my mom this morning, she told me about her new flowerbed, the one that didn’t exist until yesterday evening. I’d had e-mail in the afternoon from Kim, my sister-in-law, about what was purchased – both for dinner (barbeque for sandwiches, chips and fruit, then the ice cream and cake that my sister Pam was bringing) – and the items needed to make a flowerbed. Details concerned how my brother Michael had loaded a shovel for the digging, how my niece Amy had parked near Third Street and carried the evergreen to repalce the dead one and left it on the north side of the house Sunday, knowing Mummy never goes out there so it would be “safe[ly]” hidden right there in her yard. Lots of planning goes into making Mummy’s birthday special, becasue she is.

So after supper, Michael and Jim, my sister’s husband, with the help of my nephew David, (the one who just graduated form college on Saturday), planted the replacement bush in the front yard, laid out the protective plastic and edged the bed that is the length of two windows of the shop at the back of the yard and is about three feet wide, and dug the holes. Then they planted two hostas and three flowercarpet rose bushes – red, pink and yellow – and applied the mulch. And Mummy has a new flowerbed for her 86th birthday. I heard the yellow roses were already almost fully open.

We also got her an audio book CD – “Mary Higgins Clark book (for her listening pleasure),” according to Kim. A good time was had by all.

EDIT: May 16

This morning my sister-in-law sent ten pictures of the digging and planting.  The files are large, and I am photo-post challenged, so they won’t appear on this blog.  Just wanted to let you know what you’re missing.  🙂

Inspired By Tetka


There in your underpants, bra,

belly like I wish mine were,

floating in what must be Dreamland.

All obstacles are without

harmful corners, so tumble by—


meeting bubble after floating bubble—

until—in the final entrapment—you’re

caught for eternity in a resplendent

half-split (unless I nudge you loose

with my trusty mouse, and you


continue on).  Who are you, Tetka?

George W. Bush floats amid the bubbles, too,

the bendy-bones in an alternate version.

Looks like his brains would fall out,

as he bumbles through spheres.


first published in Adagio Verse Quarterly

“Teach me to go to the country beyond words and beyond names. Teach me to pray on this side of the frontier, here where these woods are.

I need to be led by you. I need my heart to be moved by you. I need my soul to be made clean by your prayer. I need my will to be made strong by you. I need the world to be saved and changed by you. I need you for all those who suffer, who are in prison, in danger, in sorrow. I need you for all the crazy people. I need your healing hand to work always in my life. I need you to make me, as you made your Son, a healer, a comforter, a savior. I need you to name the dead. I need you to help the dying cross their particular rivers. I need you for myself whether I live or die. I need to be your monk and your son. It is necessary. Amen.”

Thomas Merton. A Search for Solitude. Journals, volume 4. Lawrence S. Cunningham, editor. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996: 46-47