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This Wonderful Life

November 5, 2009

This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches


``Don’t walk back to the house until after the bus leaves.’’

I promised.

The elm tree is one of her favorites because, according to Bee and her dad, fairies live there. Or maybe they’re faeries. However they self-identify, Bee is certain of their existence because, on very, very cold winter mornings when her Papa takes her down to the bus stop, the two of them help the fairies keep warm by blocking their knot-hole doorway with a stick. Later on in the day, when the fairy house warms up, the fairies push the stick out of the doorway to the ground, where Bee finds it the next morning.

You should know that our lawn is well-populated by fairies. In the summertime, Bee and Posey and I build them little garden shelters. We make beds of moss and set pine bark tables with buttercup tea sets. We always add some signal or flag so the fairies will know that we’ve created a safe place for them where they won’t be bothered by cats or chickens or dogs.

After we’ve built the fairy shelters, we check them over the next days and weeks for signs of habitation. Bee is particularly adept at spotting fairy magic — a sort of vapor trail they leave in their wake.

``They were here,’’ she will declare. ``I can see their magic.’’

This week, Bee and I have stood under the elm tree looking skyward, and we have noticed how very little there is standing between us and the view beyond. Not one leaf remains on the tree. It seems Winter does not ask permission from me, or from Bee or from the shivering fairies before unpacking its bags and settling in for a long, long stay. It’s kind of a bully and a boor, that Winter.

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This Wonderful Life
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    November 25, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I wish someone had told me Disclaimer: Because my son more or less demanded that I stop using him and his life as material for my column back when he was 12 or 13, I want to make it perfectly clear to all my readers (and any legal professionals who are now retained or may be retained at some future time by aforementioned son) that this column is not about him. It’s about me. The fact that he happened to turn 21 on Saturday is mere coincidence. So help me God.

    November 19, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches Every morning, Bee and I stand at the end of the driveway waiting for her bus and we look up into the branches of the elm tree that arches over the drive.

    November 5, 2009

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    October 30, 2009

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    October 8, 2009

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    October 2, 2009

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    September 24, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: What’s so funny? My kids, I hope In my experience as a three-time parent, there is something absolutely, spiritually magical about the first time your child cracks a joke.

    September 17, 2009

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    September 10, 2009

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    September 3, 2009