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Showing posts from June, 2009

When you get lemons~

Make Lemonade

The month of June in Massachusetts has not been good to its beach goers or vacationers, or, I suppose, to any of us who have been looking forward to some warm summer sun. But being raised by a mother who often reminded me that complaining accomplished nothing, and most particularly where the weather is concerned, I'll not complain.
When it's raining lemons, I'll make the metaphorical lemonade.
I picked cherries in the rain. Not counting what we ate out of hand, our five-year-old Rainier cherry tree blessed us this year with a pie and two cobblers.
Who wants to bake in the hot summer? Not me. But in the unseasonably cool rainy days, I found it pure pleasure to mix and stir, and pop a pan into the oven, and then fold laundry while the delicious sweetness filled the house.
I thought often of my grandmother. I think it was the act of pitting the cherries--truly manual labor--and it brought to mind the long-ago summer days I'd sit with her while she shelled pea…

Retirement anniversary~ one year!

When I retired last June, my then 24-year-old daughter was on a business trip in Copenhagen, and couldn't attend the retirement party. She sent this note, which my son read aloud. It made me cry then, and I see now that it still chokes me up. Forgive my indulgence for posting it . . . but an "anniversary" warrants looking back. And I am.


For 36 years, you have corrected quizzes, monitored lunch rooms, chaperoned field trips, assigned homework, led discussions, read aloud, taught spelling words, and taken home class pets for summer vacations.

I’ve gotten used to finding containers of mealworms – the most recent class pet’s food of choice – firmly wedged into the refrigerator between the butter and the cream cheese.

You’ve made it clear to children that their, they’re, and there, are spelled differently – something a lot of adults I work with can’t get right, but your 11-year-olds wouldn’t be careless enough to mix them up for fear of disappointing you, and your red pen.


Happy Father's Day AND Happy Birthday! Call me!

I hear my husband downstairs in the living room.

"Dial home," he says. And again, "Dial home," a firm command with precise enunciation.

I think of ET, the loveable extraterrestrial asking to call home.

But Bruce is actually speaking to his new iPhone, trying to get it to recognize a voice command.

"Call Ruth: home," he commands.

The phone rings. That's for you, he yells up the stairs.

I'd figured as much.

"Hello there!" I say.

"It's me," he says.

So we talk for a bit about the marvel of this new device that does his bidding--no questions asked, no ifs, ands, or buts.

A couple of days ago, he'd asked, "Want to know what you can get me for Father's Day and my birthday?" The two are days apart.

Of course I wanted to know.

I hate shopping, and I'm a lousy gift picker-outer, to boot. I hate to disappoint, so I belabor choosing a present, looking at it from so many angles until I convince myself that it'…