Bells Ring…

On my way out to walk woods, so no flowery words, just simple thoughts.

My best to you and hope you enjoy

Chapter 15 – Where the Bells Ring


The best summer…

When I was a little girl, I remember saying to my Mother, “That was the best summer of my life!” My memories of those seasons out of time, when I had no responsibilities nor school are faded, but in my mind, they are still filled with gold and dandelion fluff catching the light in wooded glades. They are buttercups and hollows in the woods filled with violets, tree houses and running through tall grass.

I am older now, but for the first time in so many years, I have had the ‘best summer of my life.’ I have visited the Berkshires and Woodstock NY. I have hiked amazing trails both alone and in the company of others. I have read books that made me think and drank wine that made me sing. I have rowed a Dragon boat and run from hornets. I have changed a relationship with a man who always made me smile, but who now makes me smile in a different way. And there are my friends. I have enjoyed so many hours with these wonderful women. They have become part of my circle, and I savor every conversation.

It hasn’t been all fun, there’s been some work as well, mending relationships or building new ones, but in the end, this summer will take its place among those I include when I speak of ‘the best.’

I wish you all your best summer, and I hope this finds you well.

My special thanks to Ms Buffy, my lovely editor, who just celebrated her birthday. Another year of becoming more wonderful, good friend!


Chapter 14 – A Wolf in the Woods


The Beauty of Many

Yesterday I participated in a Dragon Boat race. My company sponsors a boat every year for the annual Riverfest, and so me, and twenty-four of my co-workers, practice and practice, and then race.

A Dragon Boat is not like a canoe. It is something more, and something less. It’s thin and light, more like a racing scull than some high-sided, sharp-keeled North American boat. There are eleven rowers, on each side, those who row left-handed and those who row right. There’s a drummer on the bow, a coxswain of sorts, and someone in the back who handles the long rudder.

You don’t have to be in the best of shape to be successful at Dragon Boats. What you have to be is willing to give up your ego, your distraction and your desire to do best for you to the immediate now of your team. You see, Dragon Boating is all about team.

You need to be in perfect harmony, all twenty-two of you who row. The oars need to dip into the water at exactly the same time, and to the same depth. When you shorten stroke, it needs to be to the same length, and when you reach, each rower leans forward, leaning into the space of the person ahead, reaching into their water, as that person reaches into the space of the person ahead of them. All the time, you pace yourself to the sound of the drum and the breathing of your team. Forward, dip, pull, recover, one stroke after the other, each in perfect harmony, until you feel the boat lift and fly, making the work of moving the water lighter, the boat itself riding forward on the strength of your single, dedicated effort.

We speak more often these days of ‘being in the moment.’ Dragon Boating is an exercise that can only be successful when that lesson is learned.

My best to everyone and my special thanks to the incomparable Ms Buffy.

If you haven’t looked at Harlow Layne’s (Gyllene) Facebook, take a gander. She’s about to launch her own original romance writing.

Chapter 13 – Glass Slippers


Sweeping Through

Hope this finds you happy and well as the season draws close to turning yet again. The weather here is warm and moist, unusual for August in this part of the world. It hints of things to come: rains that are colder and winds that blow rather than rustling on their way. It’s not on the trees yes, but instead in the air, that hint that changes are coming.

It is one of the aspects of living in New England that I love most. There is no false comfort that every day will be as the last. Instead, you are faced with the reality of the great wheel that turns daily, ending some things and beginning others. Spring to Summer, Summer to Fall, Fall to Winter, like the great circles of our lives.

My best to all of you, and thank you, Ms Buffy for taking time to comment and rearrange. You have a sure sense of the flow of words and my work benefits from it.

Now, we’ll see if my new Facebook link works. You can ‘like’ my Natsgirl page to get alerts on that social engine. Appreciate it.

Chapter 12 – Sweeping Through

The Company of Women

I post from a trip to the Catskills. These are an offshoot of the Appalachians, tall enough, but without the ragged splendor of the Rockies. The path we took yesterday was an old carriage road that carried up and up from a small parking area past an abandoned shell of a hotel to a fire tower that made you want to cry out, “I’m King of the World!”

Along this journey I walked in the company of women. As some of you know, I am a solo hiker on most journeys, but I have come to a new appreciation for the joy that comes from spending time in nature with like-minded women. There is no pressure to be clever or pretty or nice. One sang, one complained, one joked, and buoyed by easy friendship and an encouraging word.

There is strength in being among your own. A strength that feeds you and gives you the strength to face those challenges life brings with new energy.

The Northman family will find that it is not enough to have themselves. They will need the strength that comes with being in the company of others for the challenges they face.

My best to you. Thank you, Ms Buffy for your editing. My thoughts are with you.

And a special call-out to Harlow Layne (Gyllene). Your Alex is coming to life!

Chapter 11 – Fool’s Folly

Lazy Hazy Days…

I’m off for a few days of adventuring. A friend and I are headed to the Berkshires, a lovely mountainous area in the western part of Massachusetts. This is one of my favorite places and where I plan to retire. How odd, to be thinking in those terms. It was only a moment ago I was making clover flower crowns in Illinois, and now, I am thinking of raising bees and welcoming grandchildren, but that is the way of things. We blink, and the world spins again, Maid to Woman to … well the traditional word is ‘Crone’ but I think ‘Wise Woman’ is more appropriate.

This summer has been busier, and I look forward to an August where I purposely guard my schedule. I will accept fewer invitations, slow down my pace and take time to enjoy my home and my time with me. That doesn’t mean I won’t still be busy. There’s that weekend I’ll be hiking in the Catskills and the Saturday I compete with my company’s dragon boat team. But, there will be fewer dinners with friends and impromptu vineyard visits. Time to return to sitting on my back deck listening to the calls of birds and taking the time to write.

Thank you, my readers, and thank you to my Ms Buffy, who pulls the scales from thorny word passages and makes all things smooth.

Chapter 10 – Sun’s Place


Laissez les Bon Temps…

An apt title for both the chapter and the activities lined up for today.

All my best to you and yours, Hope the season is treating you well, and hope you enjoy this next step in how the Northman family comes together.

Thank you, Ms Buffy. Like me, you are running hard and fast for a hot season! Congrats, Gyllene (Harlow). Looks like you had a great time at that book conference.

All my best –

Chapter 9 – Laissez les Bon Temps