Monday, July 28, 2008


(These pictures are unrelated to the following information. I just wanted to put them up.)

I think I found a way to begin changing the world. On July 19th I backed into someone while parallel parking. I scratched the bumper of the Saab behind me. I left a note, which someone told me not to...said it was setting myself up for a world of trouble (hey I'm paraphrasing okay?). I left the note. The guy called, I gave him the information. He was nice, I was nice. Actually I really like him and we got to talking for quite some time...what he does what I do, small business owners chit chat.

I got a call from the insurance company today. I explained what happened. The guy at the insurance company said I was a good person for leaving the note. He said if someone hit him at work no one would leave a note...

Then it happened I changed the world.

I said "Would you leave a note?"

He paused..."um..."

Maybe now he will think twice and leave the note. Maybe he will notice that the owner of the car he hit is a person. A living breathing entity, with thoughts, and FEELINGS. That we live in a world filled with people, not problems. Maybe he will get to talk to the person he hits, exchange life notes, make a connection. Similar to the connection I made with him.

I thought today I would write about community. About how important it is to me. I didn't think it would be about the car accident. In the course of rereading I realize I did write about community.

Interesting that.

Friday, July 25, 2008

What is Wrong with Today

I was on the phone with the phone company for over an hour this morning. As I was calling from my business phone, this did not please me. I know I missed book business calls. Due to an error I made combining two bills the company has overcharged me. I did not hang up, I did not harangue the people I was talking to (even though I was transferred 3 times and had to explain the situation every time!), I kept a smile in my voice for them. They have hard jobs.

The final outcome is that I got a fax...which upon reading I realized I had to send back in five days time with proof of payment...if not the whole issue would be dropped and I would be back to square one. No one on the phone told me this information, not that I would be receiving a fax or that I would have to send it back.

I feel fortunate in the fact that I am a reader, I own a small business and every penny counts I am not paying that extra money, but I think of people out in the world who don't necessarily have the same resources that I have...this is what burns my cookies. Recently a similar issue happened with my partner. He was supposed to get Workman's compensation for an injury at work. He was denied, but we were lucky in that my Mom is a Workman's compensation claim rep. so we had the inside track. We appealed and won the appeal, but if my Mother hadn't been there telling me what hoops to jump through we would be paying bills that we weren't responsible for.

I guess the point of this rant is that so often people get screwed because of red tape. They don't know how to handle the situation, don't have access to resources to help them, don't have the stamina or the time to stay on the phone for an hour and a half. Our society is not people do we change that? How do we stay focused on the positive, notice that those are PEOPLE on the other end of the phone line? Help each other solve our problems? Companies are wary because people are trying to get out of paying their bills all the time. What happened to honesty?

I think major things could be changed here, but where do I begin?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Disaster struck a dear friend of mine.

A mini tornado or micro-burst hit his house in Waterville Vermont last Friday. He lost about 250 trees 80 of which were in his not very long driveway. The trees looked like pixie sticks tossed down at the whim of the wind. He lost his garage which was picked up and hurled into the side of his house, a large tree fell on his house, another fell nearby and uprooted his deck. In the long run he was not injured, his house wasn't badly damaged and neither of the cars in the garage were injured. Be thankful for the blessing we have.

I spent the day with him on Sunday trying to be helpful. We cleaned up about five downed trees in the backyard. Including a huge old willow, it felt completely futile. I worked hard in the pouring rain all day, soaked through to the skin, we made giant burn piles out of the trees, when we were done the yard was cleared, completely futile in the face of what was there.

When I got home I could not shake the feeling of shock. It was difficult to leave him there alone, although my partner went back the next day. I have been having a difficult time finding the words to explain the feeling...being involved so emotionally and physically and then just coming back into work and being here with everyone who hasn't experienced such a thing. It is an odd displaced feeling.

He has power again and phones and eventually all will be well. Again I am thankful for the blessings.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Shaking it Loose

Today is a better day. I am once again present in my life and I've shaken loose the stuff that had me in it's grip yesterday.

Today is a stormy, thundery, heavy rain day. It is delightful. It makes me feel wild...probably the electricity in the air.

I had an experience a couple of weeks ago with a snake, a toad, and a man. We were working on cleaning up a tree that fell down in our yard, blocking it up for firewood and stacking it...I walked by the perennial garden with an armload of wood and movement caught my eye. There was a large garter snake under the irises. At first I could see only it's body, then I saw it's head, jaws stretched taut around the bod,y head! of a large toad. I quickly called worm boy (code for my life partner) over and we sat and watched that snake try to eat that giant toad for at least 20 minutes. It was Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom right in my own back yard. After the 20 minutes the tree and the wood called and we went back to work, with occasional stops to check progress. Shockingly the snake gave up...I paused to look and there was a fat toad and no snake. I called worm boy over and we checked out the toad who was fine, a bit slimy, but quite alive. We moved him into the woods out of the deadly perennial garden. I was glad he survived against all odds.

The best thing about this experience was it made me feel ten years old again. I was an explorer of forest and fields..often alone. This time I had a friend and companion who was as interested as I was, another human who was willing to sit for 20 minutes and quietly watch a snake try to eat a toad. Someone who was just as amazed by the survival of the toad. It was a good day.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


It is interesting how you can be in connection with people and have the same old scenarios play out again and again. I think we've all changed, grown, become better people...more compassionate toward each other, more empathetic, but then I get anxious. I worry that the same old thing is going to happen all over again and the cycle will repeat itself with all of the hurt and sadness.

It is good to note that these are just feelings that perhaps everyone has. It doesn't really stop my brain from spinning like a squirrel in a wheel, but hey nothing does.

Breathing and Tai Chi and time are probably the only solutions.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The community of Lyndonville has really united around the death of our dear Doctor. It has been interesting to be a part of and to watch how people deal with such a shocking blow. Everyone in town is talking about what happened, giving the details they know and seeking information. There is something about our human psyche that longs for intimate facts, we yearn to be a part of the story, to know the story, in order that we may ease our grief.

We seek to let the familiars and intimates of Dr. E know that we who knew him less well mourn him. We want to comfort them with our massive presence. This feeling of unity convinces me that humans have always been creatures of family, we are not meant to be solitary, although the forces that be in this world try to convince us that we should be separate.

Think of the power of a united humanity. Think of what we could do for each other if we lived without fear, with instead open hearts and minds. Oh what a world it would be.

For now I am thankful that I live in a community capable of reaching for each other in times of crisis.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


A doctor who lives and practices in our community died today. He was working in the woods and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was alone and left in the woods for 16 hours.

It is such an unexpected tragic blow to have this man. who touched so many lives, gone. It has effected our whole town/community, on this hot sunny July day there is a black cloud. Many people who did not even know him are grieving his loss. I am included in this number.

I am having two lines of thought: how rich this man's life was and how many people he touched. He was a doctor, a mentor, a writer, a father, a friend to so many. One can only hope that the ripples that one creates with one's death will reach this wide. What a spirit he had to reach out to so many in his community. He was raised in this small rural community, went away, became a doctor, and returned. He built a practice, raised a family, lived in this community.

Second thoughts are more personal...basically I feel terrified about the fact that it is true that at any moment our lives could be utterly devastated by an accident. The people who loved this doctor will never be the same, our community will never be the same. I want everyone I love to be safe, guarded, happy...

Blessings to all.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I have been thinking about human interaction and how we recover from hurt received by those closest to us. What I have determined is that we don't really recover. I think of those I know who have relationships that are undermined by discontent and lies. I don't think I could go on loving my partner in the same way if I knew he lied to me. I would continue to love him, but trust?? I have had my trust tested before and I haven't recovered. I continue to love the people who tested me, but it isn't the same. Perhaps I am naive in believing that people can be so close in relation to each other and not have lapses of dishonesty. I live in hope that I am not.

It seems to me that when we lie to one another it changes the course of our lives. We lose something that is so valuable, a bit of innocence, a bit of belief, a bit of magic. We can never be such good friends again, although we can continue to love each other and try to rediscover...perhaps over time recovery is possible, perhaps magic can be rediscovered.

My blogging has been infrequent due to intense busyness. I'll try to be more faithful. (Interesting word choice there!)

I am unsure of this line of thought and would appreciate any comments that others have about it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Bookselling has been quite busy these days, the summer rush I suppose. It is different this year, I'm not quite so new to people and I like that. It does challenge me to have to remember people who remember me.

I am focusing lately on breath. Just breathing, noticing my breath, breathing deeply and with intent. I think it is good, it is all I have time for really. My attention is out on others which is a good thing for me. When my attention is out I am much more present in the world than when I an turned internally, assessing. The assessment of myself is where I get in trouble, it is easier to just be.

The one thing which has stood out for me over the last few weeks is how much I continue to long for connection with people. I know I have written of this before, but I want the people I love to feel loved and I want to feel loved. It is so much work.

Strawberries...first harvest from my garden...first from my strawberries....Rejoice.

The Store

The Store
in all it's glory