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Showing posts from 2012

Now for the sad part...

I clicked open the email with “Hello from the past!” in the subject line to find a note from from a former student, Josh. How I love hearing from former students. I remember Josh well: a little imp of a guy with a perpetual grin and a frizz of curls and an insatiable curiosity. He played the saxophone…or was that his brother Matt? I think both. I’ll let the email exchange speak for itself … 
Hello Mrs. Douillette -

Would you be, by chance, the same Mrs. Douillette who once taught at Cedar School (at least, I think it was Cedar School?) in Hanover 30 years-or-so ago? If so, I believe I was one of your fortunate students. I seem to remember spending countless hours--and reams of magical tracing paper--gleefully working on projects about dinosaurs and whales while under your tutelage. Happy days indeed.

Anyway, if this is really you, hello! I'm sure I can conjure some more memories of those heady days that will make us both feel much older!

Josh

Hi Josh!
You've reached the right per…

Mothers and butterflies...

When I visited my 92-year-old mother at her assisted living home, I thought of butterflies—the painted ladies I’d seen sipping the last sweet nectar from the buddleia in my back yard.
Painted ladies don’t live long, and my 92-year-old mother certainly has. So that’s not the comparison. And she certainly wasn’t sipping anything when I walked into her room; she was sleeping in front of a blaring TV. And neither was she painted. She’s never been much for make-up.
But nonetheless, painted lady butterflies that popped into my mind as I watched her sleeping.
“Mom?” I said softly.
She startled and I could see in an instant that she didn’t have a clue who I was.
So I told her. “It’s Ruthie,” I said.
That’s always been enough for her face to blossom into a smile of recognition.
“Ruthie!” she always exclaims with pleasure.
But this time her smile wasn’t convincing--she didn’t exclaim--and I could tell she didn’t know who I was. 
But she went with me anyway on a drive to the clinic to get…

Function over form~

I spent the last day of 2011 with a group of photographers, taking pictures in Saint Anthony of Padua Church in New Bedford.  The ornate interior, decorated for the Christmas season, was beautiful. Gleaming floors and polished wooden pews reflected color and light from stained glass windows and detailed carvings. 

 Despite the color and detail available to shoot, I found myself drawn to the light that played through the rails of the drab stairway leading to the second and third levels of the church.
The stairs were off to the side of the foyer, easily overlooked by anyone intent upon entering the splendid sanctuary.  Probably those who trudge up to the choir loft, which looks out over the gleaming center aisle in the nave,  don’t give the stairs a second thought, but they are as necessary as the marble columns that support the arched ceiling. 

 A friend who saw my photos called the stairs “grungy and worn and burnished with age.”
And I thought …  if we live long enough, we’ll all end u…