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This Wonderful Life

November 5, 2009

This Wonderful Life: A view through bare branches

(Continued)





``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
  • This Wonderful Life: I can say No, but I prefer Yes If popular culture is any indication, it seems women suffer from an epidemic inability to refuse additional responsibilities. Magazines, self-help books and therapists nationwide offer heaps of advice on how to assert oneself, draw boundaries and generally say No when asked to sign on for those things for which we have little time and less interest.

    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

  • This Wonderful Life: To Posey on her fourth So here we are, on the other side of 3-years-old, and it seems we both survived it intact. It wasn’t easy, but perhaps it made us both stronger.

    October 30, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A Posey by any other name... A few weeks ago, Posey gave us all new names. Or, to be more accurate, Posey gave us all one new name. Rose.

    October 8, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: Are pork chops really that good? If it seems unlikely for a vegetarian (that would be me) to own a couple of table- bound pigs, it probably seems downright absurd that their names should be Tender and Delicious.

    October 2, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: I sssssseeeeeee you there The first thing you should know is that I used to suffer from a snake phobia. The operative word there is phobia. It wasn’t just a matter of disliking snakes. It wasn’t a fear of being bitten. It wasn’t a simple reluctance to touch their impossibly dry, nimble bodies.

    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

  • This Wonderful Life: Who are these little girls? There are two children in my house who bear a striking resemblance to my daughters. They are adorable, smart and energetic.

    September 10, 2009

  • This Wonderful Life: A harvest that’s good for the soul Signs of harvest are all around. The afternoon sun glows amber over the fields and the farm stands are filled to overflowing with vegetables and fruit. We’re lucky to live in a place where we can have such an immediate connection to the food we eat.

    September 3, 2009