Recharge that Battery

We’ve just turned another page in the calendar and suddenly it’s August! In most places a solid stretch of hot and sunny highlights but printed right at the top of the next page we can spy Labor Day, staring us down, directing us to hence forth pack away the beach gear and white pants and halt the impromptu deck parties. Wait, you say? Haven’t even really got your summer on yet? It’s time people. Seriously, winter is coming… in every way. Best advice? Fill up your every available second with fun-shine and play-dates and recharge that battery! First stop? Head to your local farmer’s market and get a pile of organic local fruit and spend a dreamy morning eating clean and light. Nothing says summer like a ripe peach, right? Find one today to share, or not. And the rest of the day will be heavenly.

organic california fruit

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“you might as well imagine something worth while”

“…One can’t stay sad very long in such an interesting world, can one?” ― L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables. The words of the headstrong and spunky orphan Anne have rung out to her countless readers since Canadian author Montgomery first published her international success of a novel in 1908. Not only did Anne’s delight over all things take over my imagination, but began my love affair with Prince Edward Island, both the setting of the Anne novels and the home of Lucy Maud Montgomery herself.  Spending a week exploring PEI only reminded me of the renewing power of the natural world and its calming effects on one’s psyche.

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Beacons

There are moments in one’s past that stand the test of time. They shine while all the rest muddies. They remain as beacons which illuminate all your future achievements. Sometimes you know in advance, other times it is only in reflection, but those moments grow roots throughout your life and cannot be disentangled from who you are, ever. Receiving my MA from Middlebury’s Bread Loaf School of English is such a moment for me. One for which I read and wrote and thought and worked harder than anything to reach. Of course there are many people who steered me to that pinnacle, but there was one woman who did so through her own extraordinary passion to enliven and enrich the learning of every student, whether we were in her classroom or for those in classrooms we would return to in the fall, she supported me to be my own teacher-researcher, to gather my own anecdotes, all in the service of being a better teacher. This notion seemed novel at first, the idea that a teacher could guide herself and use her own students’ feedback in such an endeavor, but Dixie Goswami’s commitment empowered me more than any educational program I had been in before, or since, and continues to direct my practice even now, two decades later.

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shut the tweet up

Last week I checked off my last have-to on my to-do list. Last, for now. During the other 11 months there is almost always a frantic side to me. A rushing. An inability to breathe deeply. Racing from bed to shower to work to workout to errands and chores and stuff to more work to finally bed for months on end. Doesn’t most everyone live such a manic pace? But this week, this July first Monday morning came and drifted into afternoon then into dusky evening, and besides lacing my sneakers for a hilly hot mid-day run, deliciously meandering, I did nothing that felt like a job. Just flitted from one spot to another following sunbeams like a roadside daisy. By evening my lungs were tired from use. Oh July, you are a glorious celebratory month of lazy hazy daydreams.

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every side

As June melts into July, and we settle into yet another new home, there is plenty to fracture and divide our time from our desire. There is unpacking and all those decisions of where to hang this mother’s portrait or that Bowie painting. There are boxes of cleaning supplies that look too much like work, so I vote to banish them to the cellar while she might actually want to use them. There’s me wandering on the front lawn in my bathrobe to catch the early light and getting sidetracked by raindrops on broad leaves instead of finding the lid to the pot still stuck in a box somewhere. Me wandering. Finally, I’d add. Stop the lists of to-do’s for a single moment and feel dewy grass.

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Family Matters

The reblogging continues with this summer highlight from a few years ago! How wonderful to revisit this memory, like opening a treasure chest locked away in a cave, only to see the jewels catch the sunlight all over again. Enjoy, and as always, do let me know, xxoo

Nine Cent Girl

In today’s ever expanding world being a fifth generation anything feels remarkable. Knowing that your name, and your ancestors’ name, and theirs before them, all belong to a well-respected family institution, causes one to swell with pride. In my case this pride is compounded with the recent Christening of my namesake tug boat, and thus having an even more direct connection to this mighty fleet that has endured all the trials of the last 150 years. Being a 5th generation McAllister never felt so wonderful as when I broke a bottle across the stern of the Moira McAllister!

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