The birds are announcing the sun is up, in a crow way, insistent, loud, choral. Even the cheepers cheep with crow diction, repeating, loud, louder, you didn’t understand, then louder. I am outside. I get comfortable, pushing the water off the chair, slipping on a fleece, wrapping another around my legs, pulling my coffee up close to write. Then the rain starts, first on the pond, well probably not first on the pond, but noticeable on the pond. A momentary fantasy that it rains there but not three feet away concludes with a great plop of water in the eyes…


The night rains have turned to morning mist. The last of the cloud floats its way down the pond, barely visible against the grasses at the edge, the rock sentinels up a little rise, and the tree line at the edge of the lawn. When it blows the film, like foggy glasses, blurs the green, red-gold, and brown of the fall-flirting woods. Too far away to be seen, but vivid in yesterday’s memory, are the goldenrod and New York aster.

The sun has just flooded the cloud with pink orange red, a color burst to rival the cloudburst last night…


It happened just before supper when I was tossing the salad. The old salad bowl we got for our wedding has teamed up with the old salad fork and spoon we got from Merv’s Mom, when the house got packed up and put away in everyone’s memories. That salad bowl with its narrow base and tall sides developed a crack and left the house early. The salad fork and knife teleported me anyway, to Merv’s Mom’s kitchen, with her bottles of oil and vinegar next to the sink and close to the stove. Salad dressing started with an olive oil…


I write, sitting at the bedroom window of the cabin. The maple off the corner has spread her branches out and out. where the roof ends, the branches begin. The cozy protection of a comforter, a wood lined wall, and maple canopy are just right, as a bedroom should be. The grass outside is green, the water of the pond nicely contained in its banks. It begins to reflect the morning sky, a calm an trusty presence.

We were in bed, in our room in Bound Brook, when Floyd did its storm surge up the Raritan River in New Jersey…


I am sitting at the kitchen table in the cabin. It is round, with a system for pulling apart the two hemispheres and inserting leaves. The leaves, nicked, stained and discolored, are in the closet. The table has been here for a long time, as it got dislodged from its place of dignity and importance in the Tall House dining room. One damask tablecloth or another always covered it. Chairs that more or less matched it got covered in damask too. …


The rain drips its way off the tin roof of the back porch, and shines the old wood stair, where it has pooled. More rain slips off the leaves to drum the roof in the breeze that lifts the maple branches up and down, and moves the long cherry branches that dangle down back and forth. A bathing suit swings from its hook under the porch roof. If the next down-poor holds off we will be able to walk through the woods. It will be a wet one even still, as we first cross the grass, that even on a…


The sky holds stars and the moon, two/thirds of it, I think, and the moon brightness shows the cabin, the pond and the trees. I know they are trees but that is because I remember they are trees, and I remember that the smooth reflection of them and the moon at the water’s edge in the reeds is the moon and not some luminous globe. The field is a field, I know, and the looming masses are rocks, not buffalos, or monsters of the night. I know by the clock, that dawn is imminent.

Yesterday was Merv’s birthday. We had…


The moon is still up. It shines nearly whole, and white, over the trees at the edge of the pond. A breeze hints. The pond shimmers, its reflections the merest tremble. Leaves float on the surface, unmoving.

Judge lies at my feet. Eight years now that I can say that every day. The day I met him I held a paper that instructed me in the way to call him. Firm voice. Clear name. And come. Twice I said it, «Judge, COME!» Twice he did not hear it. The third time, he came and that of course was all the…


Annie meanders by me, startled in the beginning enough to poke her head around the chair. A chair with me in it is not so very remarkable. That I have put it under the sweeping low branches of the beech was not very exciting for her after all. She does not care that the trees behind provide a second enclosure. She is undistracted by the arc of puffballs on the eastern edge of the circle. She disdains to notice that the tree has a foot and a half wide trunk, and bark that invites a heart with a name and…


I drink my coffee, embarrassed that I aged the machine. I thought you were made in 1911, I say. Really you function very well for your age. I dated you too old by a decade, though. By the serial number I know now you will have your 100th birthday on October 31, 1922, along with 49,999 other Singers. Of course they might not be around any more. They might be holding ornamental lamps in a front window. They might be churning out 20 sets of shirts for boys in straw hats, over in Cattaraugus County. They might have their metal…

Nancy Adams

Journalist covering old news of the day

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