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Friday, December 11, 2009


Waiting, hoping, anticipation. Emotions clearly shown on the face of a child I saw at Walmart. 
I don't usually go to Walmart.  In fact, I had just bragged to some friends that I had almost never been in 2009. I must have sounded a bit too self-righteous, because the very next day I just had to go to the giant, crowded retail store, needing to buy some item that I really couldn't get anywhere else any more.  Because of the large department store chains many of the small, helpful, locally-owned stores could no longer compete. Very few remain open though I prefer to shop in them. I like to  keep my money going to someone who lives in my community, buys their cars, clothes & other stuff nearby, and remembers me when I walk in.  Someone who has time to talk about their children or mine.  It is less stressful to me. 
I went to Walmart 3 times last week.  It was there that I watched the child as her mother and father pulled her and her younger brother through the aisles of Christmas ornaments, lights and gift tags.  The child kept talking to herself or perhaps to an friend that only she could see.  I couldn't hear the words, but I could heard the excitement as she spoke.  She kept getting distracted by the great assortment of items on the racks, stopping to touch many.  Her parents did not approve of her dawdling.  They rightfully wanted their child close by so they could keep an eye on her nad keep her safe.  In a small store, she probably could have wandered around at will without anyone worrying.  I used to lie down under the dresses when my mom shopped or sit in front of the mirror, the three-sided ones where you could see yourself to infinity if you stood at just the right spot.
I like to stay home during December when the streets are full of stressed-out drivers. Drivers who forgot where they were going and at the last minute have to turn left from the wrong lane, or are so anxious to get someplace, that they cut across mall lanes to quickly grab a parking space. It is not very peaceful in town during December.

Last summer, Jeff decided to harness a spring.  A spot in the small field across from the house stayed wet thorughout the year. He hated to see that water merely seeping out of the ground so he dug it out, clearing mud away from the source and built a contraption around it to collect the water.  I think it is called a spring-box, (pretty apt name).  Out of this concrete box came a plastic pipe, sealed to the box and leading out several feet.  All of this was covered with a concrete lid and plenty of gravel. Slightly down hill he dug a flat terrace into the clay, layered more gravel and topped it off with half a whisky barrell.  The pipe from the spring-box led into the barrell allowing water to flow from the spring into the barrell. Around the barrell he placed large stones to serve as seats.  Overflow water exited the lower barrell through a small copper pipe, dripping into a shallow basin below, making a relaxful splashing sound.  At the end of a hectic summer we enjoyed going down there in the evening to sit, listen to the water and hear the sounds of the woods. Jeff planted a couple weeping birches nearby along with a banana tree.  We have named the spot the Pool of Tranquility.  Anxiety and stress flow out with the water . . . slowly . . .drip . . .by . . .drip.
We are not the only ones enjoying the new pool.  It has made a fine spot for the birds, deer and other wild life to drink.  The deer may visit the pool afer their supper of corn on the cob.  Each evening, just at dusk, I throw out 5-6 ears of dried corn for the five regular deer visitors.  There is a mother with her doe among others of various relationships.  The larger doe is the assertive one of the group.  She protects her feeding spot by lifting a foot and giving any interloper a rough downward pawing until it moves away to find its own corn.  I've learned to spread the corn out along a path so that the deer may eat in peace, without the stress of being pawed. Last night the three smaller ones came in first and shared a single corn cob, finishing it before the doe and her grown fawn appeared. This group of five have taken to sleeping between our house and the barn on the spot where our garden grows during the summer.  Now much of it is covered in last year's leaves, evidently making a good bed.  They've chosen a safe place to awaken at dawn, just out of range of the hunter's eye.
As I patiently waitd for the upload of what I thought would be the last photo of this morning's blog, I walked to the door to peer out the glass at the new day being born on the eastern horizon.  Anticipation. . .Waiting for the light . What will the day bring this 13th day of Advent, during this winter season on Hope?

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