Greetings Dear Readers! 

Across the meadow this morning, beyond the orange day lilies, red bee balm, and purple phlox, I can see two deer and a family of wild turkeys. All is quiet, except for the neighbor’s confused rooster who crows enthusiastically and incessantly, no matter the time. And thanks to my totally awesome new app “Merlin,” I can also identify the conversation of a red-eyed vireo, a tufted titmouse, and a pileated woodpecker.

I’ve just arrived back at my sweet little house in New Hampshire after a wild & crazy June and July, full of people and travel and what felt like great adventures — though pre-pandemic they wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary. 

I’ve been to North Carolina twice, to the Outer Banks and to my beloved Wild Goose Festival near Winston-Salem. I’ve seen nearly every member of my family, including my sister whom I hadn’t seen in ten years and a cousin I hadn’t seen in even longer. I explored dinosaurs, evolution, mass extinction, and climate science at the Smithsonian Museum with my oldest friend, and served two days of jury duty with some men I do not want for new friends.

Smithsonian Wanderings

ANSWERED PRAYERS

Like many of us, I’ve been left drained and deadened by the pandemic. For several years, I’ve felt stuck, flat-lined, uninspired to do anything, let alone help save our democracy or our planet. 

But finally, God has answered my desperate plea for renewed passion and a new vision of what I am meant to be doing in these precarious times. I’m not yet ready to write about it, but I hope to share in the months to come. There are ducks to line up and God’s timing always has its way, but the Wild Goose Festival provided new connections, creative energy, and much-needed hope. I am spirit-charged and ready to go! 

Goose Gals!

Another answered prayer took the form of a phone call from my dermatologist announcing a “moderately atypical” mole that is not dangerous. Phew! Last year, her phone call announced “squamous cell cancer” which was not nearly so welcome. Not only did she send me off to New Hampshire worry-free, she gifted me with a new favorite phrase to describe myself and my life: moderately atypical. It fits. 

On My Atypical Way Again

Day before yesterday, I stood on the shoulder of I-90 in Massachusetts staring at my flat tire as tractor trailers plummeted down a steep hill towards me and a gritty wind whipped my face. Forty minutes later, my rescuers had dragged a spare tire from the hatch, mounted it, and then stayed to repack my belongings. The state trooper held two boxes of houseplants, a cheerful white orchid blossom bobbing about her face. The bemused and be-greased truck driver cradled a crumpled plastic four-pack of wilting parsley and decrepit thyme. When my backseat garden had been safely tucked in, the trooper got in her car and set the lights flashing.

“Moderately atypical,” I said to my cat Alice as I buckled up, eased into traffic, and headed north.

Just One of My Moderately Atypical Neighbors