Friday, March 07, 2008


Another storm on the way tomorrow

It's been warmer this week and we had rain, so the snow has melted somewhat, but we've got yet another storm on tap for tomorrow into Sunday. Lots of snow and ice predicted. Uggghh. Here's our house and driveway after one of last month's big ones, to give an idea of what Maine's like in the winter, for those who've never had the pleasure:

That big snow pile by the tree trunk is taller than I am. At least our driveway isn't very long, so we can scoop it out pretty quickly. The road we live on used to be a main road, but a few decades ago it was bypassed, and now the main road is a half a mile away. So the house is kinda close to the road, but it doesn't matter because no one ever drives on the road. There are four big old maples in the front yard, and a winter view of the water off down the hill. The house used to have an ell and a barn, but those are long gone - someday we'd like to rebuild the ell, out into the backyard. For now it still seems like we have a crazy amount of space, after two decades of apartment living and somehow making things fit into spaces plain old too small for them.

The book room (I can't write something and not mention books - it's terrible) is upstairs above that little side porch/kitchen door - the book room window faces north, and it's the only window in that room, so it's a good place for a lot of books. Extra insulation, not much light to fade dust jacket spines, lots of wall space, quiet. I'm so thankful we found this house, I still can't believe it. The woman who lived here before us spent a few years fixing it up, so all we had to do was get storm windows on the windows that didn't have them, and settle in. It's like a dream.

I'm helping dissipate cabin fever by continuing to plan out the garden. Just ordered seeds - vegetables and some flowers and herbs. We want food we can immediately eat (greens, corn, all kinds of fresh veg), and also food we can store well into next winter (potatoes, carrots, parsnips, turnips, pumpkins, squash). It's getting bad, I'm browsing in gardening books today instead of WORKING. Dreaming of greenery. With more white on the way.


Very lovely! Looks like 'home' to me; or in tune with this Song from H.Longfellow:


Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.

Thanks, Steven - the poem is lovely. I do love my home, but oh, what I'd give to wander too...

I've been sneaking up on Longfellow's translation of Dante. The set's been sitting on my table for some time now. (Months.)
Then come west this summer to Colorado! Or Utah. A friend and I are tentatively planning a trip to the Canyonlands next month, before it gets too hot. Camping, hiking and fly fishing are the program highlights.

I don't yet have that in my collection. Doesn't it also have the Gustav Dore illustrations?

Oops - the "set" I have is the three-volume biography of Longfellow from 1886. "The Divine Comedy" I have is only one volume, 1895. Same green cloth covers, same pile of books on my desk, so I got confused. No illustrations in this Dante. I opened it up just now to Canto II in "Paradiso" and thought this is very nice, and appropriate somehow:

"O ye, who in some pretty little boat,
Eager to listen, have been following
Behind my ship, that singing sails along,

Turn back to look again upon your shores;
Do not put out to sea, lest peradventure,
In losing me, you might yourselves be lost."

S - I yearn to travel, but Maine's the place to be, in summer. Finest kind, as we say around here. But thanks -
"Well may you launch upon the deep salt-sea
Your vessel, keeping still my wake before you
Upon the water that grows smooth again."

Alright, alright! As soon as I finish Tim Mackintosh-Smith, Dante will come home with me. I'm convinced, it's time. Besides, spring is such a hopeful time to read about hell and damnation.

Then maybe that would be a good time for me to also read it for the first time. I have the Harvard Edition. Here are the Dore illustrations:

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