August 30, 2005

Hurricane Agnes, 1972

The flood crept up on our valley town.
My father was away when the water
began, leaving my mother with the hard
job of deciding what was worth saving.
She put my sister and me to work
and we ran through the house rolling carpets up.

Rain fell all night and began to ooze up
through floorboards. No one in town
slept – watching the water rise was work
we took seriously. Except this water
looked more like old gravy someone had saved
for too long – thick and brown and going hard.

They made us leave, made my mother’s jaw go hard
with the effort of what felt like giving up.
I was pretty sure I didn’t need saving.
I knew every hill and tree of my town;
my creek sneakers could handle some old water.
I begged to stay but it didn’t work.

My father snuck past the national guard and was working
his way home, driving fast and trying hard
not to imagine how high the water
was on our street. The TV played it up:
Watch at eleven as yet another town
is swamped; see people plucked from rooftops, safe!

We kids saw two mice we wanted to save.
My father found us and told us how much work
it had been, how he’d had to search the whole town.
We stayed in a shelter and it was hard
to live in a crowd; the noise never let up,
there was no hot food, no running water.

The rain stopped but there was still all this water,
barns on their sides with the hay they’d been saving
floating past the hood of someone’s new pick-up.
The mud, the fallen trees: it all looked like work.
We got to keep our house but Dad took it hard
when one old friend just packed up and left town.

In some ways the work helped cheer us up,
wearing us out when it was hard to remember feeling safe,
so that the town could sleep again – and dream of water.

August 24, 2005

Ahhhh! Two great huggers luxuriate...

Ahhhh! Two great huggers luxuriate...
Originally uploaded by butwait.

I only wish I could have gotten a simultaneous picture of Dad's face, which I'm sure showed a similarly elevated level of bliss. Mr. D sure is lucky to have this special time with his grandparents!

... while two great romantics rekindle.

... while two great romantics rekindle.
Originally uploaded by butwait.

We had forgotten how QUIET our little house can be. :-)

August 21, 2005

The latest

Of the posts I read about Camp Casey today, here's the one I liked best.

Although Truthout's recording of Steve Earle singing, "The Revolution Starts Now," is right up there.

How about you? At this point, any one person's impression of Cindy Sheehan and the activism bubbling up in Crawford is likely to be filtered through whatever lens you're looking through. The difference, for me in 2005, is that there are so many lenses to choose from, and that they're all available to me at no additional cost.

Googlezon and EPIC are looking less science-fictiony every day.

On a completely unrelated topic, I liked Hitch. Eva Mendes doesn't even really do it for me, either, but Will Smith and Kevin James are just fun to watch. Sure, it's predictable, but hello? It's a romantic comedy.

If you want unpredictable, keep your eye on Crawford, TX.

August 17, 2005

500+ Candles in Princeton

Princeton Post-Vigil Candles
Originally uploaded by butwait.

Along with over 1600+ communities, we held a vigil tonight in Princeton in support of Cindy Sheehan's efforts to hold President Bush accountable. It was wonderful to see so many people come out, great to share it with some of my friends and family, and humbling to think that we might all play some role in the turning of a tide. For a national overview of the vigils, check out MoveOn's site.

For the latest on Cindy Sheehan's work in Crawford, see, Meet with Cindy, or the Crawford Update.

August 10, 2005

Threat to National Security?

Cindy Sheehan
Originally uploaded by butwait.

Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a soldier killed in Iraq last year, is seeking a meeting with President Bush, who is vacationing in Crawford, to have some of her questions answered about the war. See the local paper or Daily Kos for the latest.

August 07, 2005

Meeting for Worship

Meeting for Worship
Originally uploaded by butwait.

Sometimes people who have never been to Quaker Meeting ask me what we DO in Quaker Meeting. I try to get people to come and see for themselves. But even then there's a good chance they'll need to come back... the answer changes all the time. We sit. We pray. We hold our loved ones and our enemies in the Light. We listen for the still small voice. When we feel truly Spirit-led, we speak out of the silence. We sing. We daydream. We woolgather. We rest. We renew. We wait.

Sometimes, if during Meeting we are working with the children, Meeting for Worship looks like this.

August 06, 2005

Seedless? Patooie!

Seedless? Patooie!
Originally uploaded by butwait.

I don't know who thought of seedless watermelon, but I'm willing to bet whoever it was isn't a parent. Seeds are practically the entire POINT of watermelon. Either because you're having a seed spitting contest, or because you're worrying about whether the seed you just accidentally swallowed is going to grow into a watermelon INSIDE YOUR TUMMY! This gorgeous seeded watermelon was lovingly and organically grown at the Watershed Farm (okay, they renamed it Honey Brook Organic Farm, but I like the old name better), and when I pointed the tip of my longest knife in to start cutting slices, it popped open with a kind of whoosh -- almost like those Pillsbury Crescent Roll containers. Most definitely ready for eating. Moist paper towels all around, and watch where you spit!

August 05, 2005

Miss Amy Rocks!

Miss Amy Rocks!
Originally uploaded by butwait.

I am a member of the "go out Friday night, get the most out of your weekend" club. Tonight, the treat was a picnic dinner at the gazebo in Hopewell, celebrating the fabulous Miss Amy's NEW CD. And the joint was most definitely jumping... look at these bouncing kids! The Wide Wide World CD has the Penguin Dance AND Turn the World Around AND the Austrian Yodeling song on it, what more could we ask?

If you don't have her first CD yet, I'll make you a deal: If you're a friend of mine, buy her first CD. (If you're local, Amy asks that you pick it up at Barnes & Noble in Marketfair.) If you DON'T love it, I will refund your money. (Trust me, this is a very low risk proposition.) Plus -- again If you're local -- you can find her event schedule and other goodies here.

Thank goodness for people who follow their dreams.

And a big "mwah" kiss to the fabulous folks at 22 Seminary Avenue in Hopewell, who graciously provided an emergency pit-stop for a certain young gentleman. We love happy endings.

August 04, 2005

Must. Not. Use. Credit Card

Loads of great vacation time = not much discretionary spending left. But here are the two sites that are testing my willpower today:

Spreadshirt and Zazzle.

For someone who spent her entire childhood sadly reconfirming that all of the personalized "Shelly" geegaws in the world were missing the crucial second "e," these are very tempting times indeed.

August 03, 2005

A little spineless fun

What could be more fun than a spineless Bush in perpetual free-fall? Probably lots of things. But today, this just seems to be hitting the spot. Hat tip to Pete at Crossroads Observer.

August 02, 2005