March: Blustery, Green, Wet





No longer does March come in like a lion and out like a lamb. It is just as likely to come in like a lamb and go out like a a lion. What is happening with our climate and climate changes? Back in 1997, my son was born on March 21st. He had to stay in the hospital for a little less than two weeks, but while he was there, during the first week in April, we had what amounted to a blizzard. In April?

Last week in upstate New York it was seventy degrees. Two days ago it was fourteen. Today it is thirty-five. The sun is shining, the sky is blue after two days of rain, freezing rain and snow. I wear my capri pants year round now.

But despite the wind, the rain, the leftover snow, and of course, mud season, we think of March as green. It really isn’t, but it still has that perception. I think St. Patrick’s Day has a hand in that. We’re also wearing our bright colors before we have to don our duller and sullen Good Friday wear. Even for non-Christians, the feelings are there: attempted brightness and joy until we look outside and see the mud, the carnage in the snow. Right now, my backyard looks like a Bil Keane cartoon.


Courtesy of The Comic Journal, 2011. (c)Bil Keane, Jeff Keane, 2018

But after a couple of weeks of forgetting that February is over, and with the wind dying down, we plan our gardens, we don our green apparel, we prepare our palms and our matzo, and at the end of our holidays and feasts and prayers, we remember that spring always follows winter, and in twenty more days, we will have spring and I will have a twenty-one year old.

The climate may change, and we need to change with it, but the seasons will set their own agenda, and they will arrive like clockwork.

Blustery to green in twenty-one days.

A Few of My Favorite Things – Pins


After reading Madeleine Albright’s book about her pin collection, and spending the rest of the day on Thursday photographing a few of my pins to post here in the next few weeks, I thought I would share a couple of my favorites. Favorites come and go, and they’re not all here, but these…these are special.

Some of my favorite things: Clockwise: Gold Butterfly with Rainbow Stones. This was my mother’s. I think I probably gave it to her, and then got her entire butterfly pin collection when she died. This one is just bright and beautiful like she was. Blue stone Celtic pin. This was a birthday present from my college roommate when I joined her in England for three weeks of traveling. I think she gave it to me when I first arrived. I believe we were on the shuttle train going from the airport to wherever she was taking me. I remember it came in a bright red envelope. Star Trek 50th Anniversary Pin. One of my Gishwhes friends procured this for me at a convention and sent it after I begged for it to commemorate not only Star Trek, but my 50th birthday as well. Hard Rock Cafe pin from Manilla Philippines. My husband got this when he was in the Philippines for a work trip. It has two butterflies, which I love, and it’s green – my favorite color. It is one of the most thoughtful gifts I’ve ever received. Safety pin in pink and purple with a Mom charm made for me for Mother’s Day by my daughter. I think this was in kindergarten. The initial “K” that I received from my class as a student teacher. (c)2017

These are my two most recent pins. On the left is a Christmas tree which I found at Cracker Barrel, and really thought it would look great on my jacket for Christmas. On the right is a family piece that belonged to my mother-in-law’s sister. My daughter was given some of her jewelry to look through and keep, and she thought that I would like this one because green is my favorite color. (c)2017

A St. Patrick’s Day Memory


I’ve always been drawn to the Irish, all Celts really. The Irish captured my heart throughout childhood and college until my spirit finally fled to Wales. Today is St. Patrick’s Day, though and because of that, I will tell you one or two of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day college stories:

I went to college in a college town. Small semi-rural community with two colleges, fifty-two bars and no curfew.

One year, as usual I was underage (they raised it on my birthday), so I became the designated driver. We went to Murphy’s on the other side of town. You actually needed a car to get there; the buses didn’t run that far. We sat, they drank, and as the designated driver, I got free Cokes. At some point I was asked for my driver’s license, which I gave to the cute bartender.

He looked at it three times and exclaimed rather loudly, “Why did you give me this?! I can’t serve you!”

“But I’m not drinking!”

I had to leave and the bartender was pretty upset that I took my four friends, who were paying for their drinks, with me.

Green beer was a big thing at my college, but not in the capital where four of us were student teaching. My friend Mike and I whined (and whined) about green beer until the other two piled us into the car and drove us the 72 miles to our college town for green beer, and then back in the wee hours of the morning, but still in time for us to student teach.

We were warmed over yuck but we were there as bright-eyed and bushy-tailed as we could manage. All of us that is except for Mike, who had the day off and presumably was still in bed.