|:Call and Answer to the Bridge Between:|

Rain taking the nights, taking the days
~ Grey and grey and grey ~

Rain misting soft
~ billow light ~

Rain driving down
~ staccato rap rap rap sharp beat ~

Rain washing over the eaves
~ waterfall roar ~

Water settling in the low lie of the fields
~ corn stubble, sharp cut ragged, edge shallow pools ~

Ditches, creeks, rivers spilling
~ corpulent greasy flows thick with silt, tumbling bobbing bits of whatever blow in – fallen, from crumbling edges and banks ~

Awash
~ away. away. wait for the.  break.  between.  breathe. ~

 

BETWEEN

Awash
~ Awash ~ Awash ~ Awash ~

And the March Rain Breaks

I can hear

Rain

Rapid to slow

Staccato

Tap

Tap

Tap

I can hear

Water

Waves under ice

Pushing

Pushing

 

Ice

whispering

creaking

muttering

 

Pushing

Rain

Tap

Ta           P.

P.

..

Fill all of

All of everything

I can hear Ice

Water

Breathe

.

.

.

Breath

Socks and Puddles

I have water in my basement. I don’t mean a sink with a tap (though I have that down there as well). I mean I have water leaking into my basement which led to someone asking me why there was a sock in my toilet. At first glance the “toilet sock” and a leaky basement wouldn’t seem connected but there are. Normally I can attribute things out of place to Lola. Out of my 2 cats she’s the one who likes to carry things around. Once I saw her walk by with a ring box clenched in her mouth. I’m not sure where she was going with it but I made sure she didn’t get there. She is fond of the toilet in a butt in the air head below the rim sort of way but to my knowledge she hasn’t been storing stuff in there.

I most likely dropped the sock in the toilet while I was sorting laundry in the bathroom. My washer is in the basement so I’ve been sorting laundry upstairs because of the puddles downstairs. Thank goodness someone saw the sock before using the toilet. I’m pretty sure it would have created a clog if flushed down. I would prefer to have zero puddles inside so the prospect of an overflowing toilet on top of the already wet basement was very unattractive.

My house was built in 1910 so it wouldn’t have been constructed with a full basement. Here’s a picture of my house (probably taken 1940 to 1950-ish).

Our house back in the day

Back in the day, with no electricity or plumbing, a basement wasn’t important because you didn’t need to make sure you had a warm space to protect your infrastructure from the elements. My basement shows clear signs that it was a work in progress for a number of years with a hodgepodge of older and newer bits formed from different materials. There’s a room in my basement that’s not completely dug out and we do our best to pretend it doesn’t exist because it’s kind of creepy.

So where is the water coming from? Well something called hydrostatic pressure is pushing ground water from the spring thaw up through any little crack it can find in the foundation. We have a sump pump pit but it can only do so much. It wasn’t a problem when we first moved in but when the municipality updated the drains along the road, the change in the elevation of the shoulder resulted in increased snow and rain run off onto our property. I’m sure it didn’t help that we went awhile without cleaning out our eaves. Last summer we had the roof re-shingled and the roofers took care of that for us. It was quite timely as there was a sapling growing up there that needed to come out before it got much larger.

Daily vacuuming helps to keep the water under control but it gets a bit disheartening to have to jump puddles in your basement. To add insult to injury my dryer broke down last week. The basement is too wet to have a repair tech come and fix the dryer right now. I do have a clothes line outside but it’s April and April means spring showers which makes hanging clothes out to dry an iffy proposition. Alas my laundry is beset both inside and out by the forces of nature. Hopefully everything will dry out soon. Eventually I’ll have to take care of the basement puddle problem permanently as a leaky foundation can lead to a whole host of other serious problems. It’ll be expensive …what house repair isn’t? But it would be even more expensive just to leave it. In the mean time I’ll do my best to keep my feet dry and my socks out of the toilet.

Music for this post;

Al Jolson – April Showers
MC Tracky-Dactyl – Laundryman

Spring Garden Views

It’s been a relatively cool and damp year so far which has been lovely for the flower beds but not so nice for the vegetable garden (which went in very late this year). I live in an old house and I inherited a very large amount of what grows in my flower beds (though I have made some significant changes). We’re located in a Carolinian region and I’m happy to see native species stake their claim in among the heritage varieties and garden center additions. We have a small pond that we stock with shubunkins to keep down the mosquito population. Unfortunately the damp spring has created other opportunities for mosquito populations to thrive.  Our home is located a 5 minute drive from the Lake Erie shoreline which means lake flies often swarm the yard in late spring. This year’s lake flies and mosquitoes have really discouraged weeding so the garden has run a bit amok but it is beautiful in its untamed state. I do have to admit I’m a bit concerned about the weight of some of the untrimmed hedges in regards to the trellises that hold them up. Hopefully they will hang on until the conditions are a little more amendable to yard work. I’ve attached an album of garden photos (a small selections of shots taken over the past couple of months) . We’ve not had a lot of sunny days. I suppose I could shoot RAW format and edit them afterwards but it’s not my preference. It might just be me but I find that RAW images tend to have so much “noise” that it’s distracting. I did edit the levels in 2 of the pictures. One was the Lily of the Valley photo as it was just too dark every time I went out to take a picture of them. The other was the picture of our cat Charlie (same reason). I included him because, though it might not seem that way, he is involved in pretty much any picture I take outside. If he’s not rubbing up against my legs, he’s butting me in the bottom with his head or actually walking into my shots. I usually end up with at least 4 or 5 pictures of his tail or his head whenever I’m shooting out in the yard. I thought he deserved his own photo.

The song for this post is Gillian Welch’s Acony Bell  for the spring flowers that brave a new season.

That’s better

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it.  If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.  ~Author Unknown

Spring has sprung

*This post was originally hosted on another blogging platform (MSN Space to MSN Live and finally WordPress). When the content was transferred the media files were lost. I’ve chosen to add new photos rather than delete the post. I try to match any updated content to previously posted comments. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t so the comments can seem to be out of context but I don’t want to delete any of them as they are a part of my blogging history.

A Change in The Weather

The rain has come and washed away the pack of rabid dog days. The feverish hounds, all sweat and sweltering foam, tucked tail between their legs and ran panicked, harried by the lake wind and the heat lightning clouds. Hunkered down in the place the cur goes to hide they’ll bide their time till August calls her canis hours. Morning breaks with the cool kiss of an early June dawn and spring finds its step once again.

*This post was originally hosted on another blogging platform (MSN Space to MSN Live and finally WordPress). When the content was transferred the media files were lost. I’ve chosen to add new photos rather than delete the posts. I try to match any updated content to previously posted comments. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t so the comments can seem to be out of context but I don’t want to delete any of them as they are a part of my blogging history.

Custody Of The Eyes

Too often the weight that anchors our feet crushes the very things we need to lift us off the ground. If the custody of ones eyes lifted the soul to meditate on the miracle of creation there in the dirt, then we might fly.

 

*This post was originally hosted on another blogging platform (MSN Space to MSN Live and finally WordPress). When the content was transferred the media files were lost. I’ve chosen to add new photos rather than delete the posts. I try to match any updated content to previously posted comments. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t so the comments can seem to be out of context but I don’t want to delete any of them as they are a part of my blogging history.

Monday Morning Blues and Greens

The sky fell over night to seed the yard. The grey Monday morning is illuminated from below by sprays of blossoms painted in the blues of each day’s hours and the crisp green of river shallows pooled transparent round the emerald of moss covered rocks.  

*This post was originally hosted on another blogging platform (MSN Space to MSN Live and finally WordPress). When the content was transferred the media files were lost. I’ve chosen to add new photos rather than delete the posts. I try to match any updated content to previously posted comments. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t so the comments can seem to be out of context but I don’t want to delete any of them as they are a part of my blogging history.

The Alliteration of Melancholy, March and Memoirs

     I am wading through the end of a March tamed to the hand as gentle as a lamb. The sunny days and balmy weather have finally shown a tantalizing glimpse of spring green though it is still overshadowed by the morning frost. Early shoots show the ravages of an icy morning’s bite in the white that lays heavy on the lawn at dawn mimicking the snow of less than a week ago. The season of Lent, a time of sacrifice and penance, heralds the rebirth of faith and everlasting life. But until that resurrection the year is breached and the world is caught. We wade through the thick purgatory of a breath before the change. Like all anticipations, the minutes are drawn out in excruciating increments.

     I am reading to pass the time, averaging a book every day and a half depending on the author and the length. Though the hour hand pushes through January molasses I refuse to waste even a gingerbread bite on banal, trite and overly dramatic volumes. Two Gregory Maguire’s are devoured, quickly washed down by a beautiful light touch. For the next hour or so I will be immersed in Gabriel Marquez’s Memories of My Melancholy Whores. It is the perfect story for this time of year, this span of days coloured by the fasting that marks an end and an everlasting beginning. An old man finds love at the end of his life. A young girl steps into the beginning of who she will be. Winter embraces the spring and releases the months into summer or so the synopsis promises. I’ll have to wait and see.

     I am watching for my seeds to sprout. Any day now the small green tendrils will break the uneven covering of potting soil packed into the old raisin containers that I’ve saved over the winter dreaming my floral perfumed dreams. Planted indoors, weeks before the last frost they wait to find a place under the summer blue skies. It’s time to gather up the host of pine cones that litter the ground underneath the spruce and white pines. The wood pile, a carrion collection of limbs bark covered and white bone broken torn in the rage of winter, challenges the height of the shed.  That heap only awaits a windless night, a spirit warmed company and a match to lay it to rest.

    I almost waited too long to bring in my wreath from the front door. Last year we had two birds build and raise families in the shelter of our front porch. The babies were adorable but it was stressful for the mother when company came to ring the bell and the bird shit was hell on the stoop. I brought the wreath in yesterday with just the foundation of a nest built. I hate to destroy anyone’s hard work but it is for the best in the long run.

     The lilac bushes are budding and the snowdrops are giving way to crocuses. The out flung arms of daffodils and tulips stretch overhead to break the soil after a long winter’s rest. The winter wheat shows green and crisp against the furrowed acres of umber fields. The grass still sleeps in golden dreams showing no faith in the promise of an approaching sun. I sit, hip deep in books and a mild impatience. I am waiting for the smell of fresh grass and the feel of wet dirt crusting under my nails. I am waiting for the limning of the lines of my heart and life in stark contrast to the white of my palms. I am waiting for one life to end and another to begin here at the end of bittersweet March…marking the transition in words, memories and time.