November 21

all of you
i'm sure
know what it can be like:
2 major deadlines on one's to-do list
a knock on the door: a grubby looking, pot-bellied man with a Town Water District logo on his shirt standing there says, "You have a leak in your water line that you have to fix"
plumbers and excavators and town and state officials (we live in town, on a state road) digging, pounding on earth and rock, knocking on the door, calling on the phone, making longer and deeper trenches while trying to keep train of thought at the computer.

"no leak"
"keep digging"
"still no leak"
"keep digging"

days go by
torential rains keep them from working
thoughts and visions of earth being washed away
creating huger holes and problems

finally the leak is found
and there are more issues:
all of the plumbing, sewer, gas lines
were put in decades ago (for this 225 year old house)
"not to code"
"what's all this concrete patch on the old terra cotta sewer pipe"

same pot-bellied individual declares that he doesn't know how long we will be without water and sewer.


like thunder and lightning that appears "out of nowhere" when most of the sky is blue
like a knock on the door that turns world upside down

blessings pour in:

Wonderful excavator guy hired to help suddenly appears, cell phone glued to ear, expediting everything so plumber gets help/tools/permits necessary.

Pot belly guy turns into reasonable man and gives thumbs up to
compromise solutions.

plumbing and sewer fixed.


faith in humanity (and prayer) renewed.

Now all that is left is to fill in trenches
rebuild stone wall
fix public sidewalk
find money to pay for all of this.

I am thankful for:
being guided to find and hire honest men who actually know what they are doing after being told very confusing, overwhelming things by first men referred to us by Town Officials.
plumbing and sewers that work
work that lets me use my talents
a sister to share a home and burdens with...who took over the micro managing of all those men ...who let me focus on deadlines...whose emotions at times like this mesh well with mine: that is, she is calm when i feel anxious and panicked and i'm able to be calm and confidant when she panics.

Dear Reader, my Thanksgiving wish for you:
May your plumbing never leak
May you be blessed to be part of a "good team" if it does.

And remember: When all else fails, go for a walk.

It clears the brain, helps one to see open windows
when doors are slammed shut
wonderous sites!

last week, when it seemed all the leaves had fallen
i went for a walk in the neighborhood
and was stunned to find young sweet gum trees
all a-blaze.

yes, all of these leaves came from one tree...
a tree that had suffered severe die-back
a couple of summers ago during a severe drought.
the "three-fingered mitten" ones are on the main part of the tree
the pointy ones came from suckers.
clearly this is a hybrid
Liquidambar styraciflua Rotundiloba
or selection
and the suckers are exhibiting leaves from
their ancestory

there are chocolate ones:


fiery ones large and small and tiny:



and finally those pointy ones: