A Box To Build A Dream On


A box arrived in the mail the other day — and this is the story of that box and all that it holds.

On Monday nights, I participate in a Twitter conversation called Garden Chat — a very large, hour-long cyber get-together with gardeners from all over. Usually someone hosts the chat, which means that person organizes a theme and related gardening questions. Those questions are tweeted and answered, and those answers are read and retweeted and favorited by all of the participants.

At the same time, there are smaller side conversations — sharing new flower and harvest photos, tweeting tips and words of encouragement, and, of course, laughing.

It’s not unusual for there to be a giveaway during these chats — simply leave a comment attached to the giveaway tweet and you’re entered.  At the end of the chat, a winner is randomly selected and announced.

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Spring Cleaning — Better Late Than Never



“My name is Allison MacKenzie.  Where I was born, time was told not by the clock or the calendar, but by the seasons.  Summer was carefree contentment.  Autumn was that bittersweet time of regret for moments that had ended and things that were yet undone.  And then winter fell, with a cold mantle of caution and chill, it nipped our noses and our arrogance and made us move closer to the warm stoves of memory and desire.  Spring was promise.  But there was a fifth season, of love.  And only the wise or the lucky ones new where to find it.”

This is the opening monologue from the film Peyton Place.  It’s here because a few weeks ago a reader, Camille, commented on an earlier post entitled Autumn In Peyton Place.  She had been searching for the verse and could I help her.  I popped in the DVD and took some dictation.

But after I read over the words, it occurred to me that if only seasons could be so easy and uncomplicated that their description could fit into a single — albeit melodramatic — paragraph.  If only . . .

Because lately, it seems, seasons are not so neat and tidy.  This spring, for example, has been one of the coolest — make that coldest — and dampest ones that I can remember.  Even this Memorial Day weekend, the unofficial start of summer, had snow falling in upstate New York.

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Margaret Roach: My New BFF (If Only In My Mind)


When I was in high school and sitting in math class, I noticed that someone who had class in the same room during another period — most likely a girl because of the large rounded, bubbly print — had written two letters on the desk: Hi.  So I wrote back — and soon, our shared desktop was covered with a conversation.  Then, one day, she wrote her name: Kim.

My friends, adolescent testosterone and nerd-ness surging through their bodies, were jealous and full of fantastical ideas.  “What do you mean you don’t know who Kim is?” one of them asked — and he then proceeded to fill me in on the deeds, the actions, the beauty, and the popularity of the notorious Kim.

At the end of the school year, as I was unpacking my locker, Kim passed by and I said, “Um, Kim?  Hi.  I’m Kevin, the guy from the desk in math class.”

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Sowing Seeds In Social Media

My yard backs up against undeveloped woodland – it’s actually the little used rear property of a home around the corner.  On my side of the fence, it’s a tame cultivated garden; on the other side, a tangle of trees and vines.  Very often, I feel like a frontiersman – forever keeping the savage world from encroaching on my kinder, gentler space. 

That’s sort of how I feel about social media.  Millions of people long and crave for the unknown delights found in the collection and connection of wires and signals.  But each time I look at the various platforms, I feel as if I’m looking over the fence along the back of my property, the one that does its best to distinguish my manicured ¼ acre from the knotted twists of vines that are slowly killing the native trees.  Yes, social media is kudzu.

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