Saturday, May 29, 2010

Memorial Day, Observed

When I was a child, Memorial Day was marked by the annual Memorial Day parade, a smaller, quieter parade, at least compared to our elaborate 4th of July display. Various community groups, scouts, and veterans groups would parade up the main street in town and end up at the VFW Post building. I confess I always thought it was kind of a boring day; no stores were open and there was no entertainment save for our little parade.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

As I Sit Itching

I don’t recall my first encounter with poison ivy, but I remember the first with poison oak.  Driving thousands of miles along I-80 was de rigueur among the college set those many years ago.  I commuted between Chicago and California and participated in all manner of things daft.  That included clambering down a cliff to the Pacific Ocean, clad in swimsuit and sandals, only to realize the way back was straight up.  It hadn’t seemed so steep going down, so why was it necessary to crawl through the bushes to reach the top?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

This Day, This May

“Besides this May
We know
There is Another—
How fair
Our Speculations of the Foreigner!

Some know Him whom We knew—
Sweet Wonder—
A Nature be
Where Saints, and our plain going Neighbor
Keep May!"

- Emily Dickinson, Besides This May

In the news today - May 20th, the 140th day of 2010:

…the Devastating Oil Spill seeps into the Louisiana Wetlands, as the Interior Secretary Acknowledges Lax Oil Regulation; North Korea Denies Sinking a South Korean Warship; Bangkok Burns as Anarchy Reigns; Europe’s Ongoing Economic Woes Unfold; Air Travel Delays Loom due to Intermittent Volcanic Eruptions in Iceland; Pakistan bans Facebook and YouTube; and, in Washington, two retired generals are warning that more than a Quarter of Young Americans are now Too Fat to Fight

Saturday, May 15, 2010

A Capitol Time

We only had 24 hours in Washington D.C. so we wanted to see much as possible. Getting to D.C. from most places on the east coast is easiest on Amtrak, in my opinion. We could relax and read while on the train instead of having to negotiate the traffic on the beltway. Trains arrive in the gorgeous Union Station, where you can catch a Metro subway, eat in any of a number of restaurants, or shop in a veritable mall of stores. Washington is a very walkable city, so we were able to stroll out of Union Station and over a couple of blocks to the Hotel George, a little boutique hotel on Capitol Hill where we had reservations.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Best Onion Rings You'll Ever Eat

“Myran’s has the best onion rings you’ll ever eat.”  Onion rings?  We were in the heart of crawfish country, headed for Myran’s Maison de Manger for lunch.  Among her many talents, our friend K. is a supremely good cook.  While we didn’t doubt her, we were surprised that, in this context, she’d give onion rings a starring culinary role.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Mother's Day on Mother Earth

Unlike our mothers on earth, Mother Earth is our life source from cradle to grave. Unlike our mothers, Mother Earth nurtures and supports us tentatively, ultimately striking back if we damage her. Sometimes she even hurts us with no provocation, with terrifying fury, or cold indifference. It’s easy to respect our mothers, to treat them well - it’s hard to do the same for that grand mother, given her unpredictable nature and our greedy impulses.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Safe from the Sun

It's May in the northern hemisphere, and that means longer days and more outside activities. It also means your dermatologist wants to check out your spots! May is Melanoma Awareness Month , when the American Academy of Dermatology reminds us to check out our skin and make an appointment for a skin cancer screening if it's been more than a year since our last exam.