I Saw a Chipmunk Today

The critter was drinking water out of my fish pond. The pond was heated all winter by a small floating thing. I think we have fish in there, but you never know. Something ate our fish two years ago. I doubt a chipmunk was the culprit.

You know what this means?

This means it’s warm enough for animals to come out of hibernation!

Maybe spring is almost ready to be sprung.

wintersigh

wintersigh

 

1

winter is slowly peeling

her finest clothes off with a sigh

flowers will bend their tender heads

to warm breezes by and by

a winter anniversary–

i threw my heart off the high bridge

nearly three years ago

i laced it up in satin bows and when

the sun sank low

i took it from my pocket

i waved it at the town

i tossed that package overboard and

watched that baby drown

my heart is sailing smooth waters in heart heaven now

2

winter jumps to greet the spring

and breathes a gentle sigh

hyacinths will blossom soon

‘neath sunlight and blue sky

there’s nothing you can steal from me

ive no love left to take

theres no feeling left that you can harm

no heart left you can break

you send to me your letters

ones unopened in the hall

o youre a poet with no loss for words

still you say nothing at all

theres nothing you can steal from me

ive no love left to hide

3

the earth turns over in her sleep and moans a wintersigh

The Story: I wrote this in 1978 (and it was published in 1986) after dating a professor at the University of Minnesota. Nothing serious, he went on to teach at Berkeley and I never heard from him again. That is, until last fall, when I found him online and wrote to him. He wrote back and said he remembered me even though it’s been 30 years. The High Bridge is a real bridge over the Mississippi River, in St. Paul. The old High Bridge was like 75 years old and really scary. They have since replaced it. Every time I got depressed and thought I would kill myself, I’d walk on the bridge and think better.

I think I suffered from SAD even back then…

Land of One Thousand Golf Balls

By now, some of you know that I golf, albeit not very seriously. If you knew me, if you saw my somewhat tiny frame, my thin arms and skinny bow-legs, you would know that I’m as far away from being an athlete as the 800 pound man. However, there is more to golf than trying to achieve par or better. (In my case, I’m just trying to keep it below double-par.) I golf in order to commune with nature. There’s nothing so splendid as being on the golf course on a beautiful summer (or spring or fall) day, surrounded by nature. Sure, the occasional swear word from the party before us (or ours) can upset the grandeur, but all in all, it’s a venture worth playing hookie from work.

The added bonus is that the golfer can achieve some sort of exercise. My husband, Mr. Demonic, is a spoiled golfer. He likes the uber-nice courses with 90 degree rules and plenty of beverage girls, and so he enjoys motoring his own golf cart. A cart is generally needed on courses like these, because it can be a very long walk between holes. However, once on the fairway, I usually walk the distance to the flag, and let him drive the cart. The reason is two-fold: one, he likes driving, and two, my ball doesn’t go very far, so walking is usually the best bet. And there is where I get my exercise, that and whacking at the ball eight times in 425 yards.

There’s another benefit to walking. That is, to find a cache of stray balls. If it’s hot out, I tend to hit into the comfort of leafy trees. I don’t mind hitting balls out of the rough or the woods, in fact, I’ve pretty much perfected it to a fine art. When I first started golfing, I would sometimes never make it onto a fairway, and instead would spend the entire time in the rough. Eighteen holes of rough makes for a pretty vigorous workout. But when looking for your own ball under a canopy of oak trees, you tend to find a lot of balls belonging to someone else.

In many cases, the balls are in perfect condition, having only been hit once. Sometimes there are scuffs from tree-contact, and sometimes they’re buried, but for the most part, I only find flawless balls. I have a theory about this. I’m thinking since most of the balls are Titlelists or Calloway Reds or Blues, men are hitting them. Most men who go to expensive golf courses can afford to do so, probably more so than we can. Many men are foolishly vain and won’t go tracking into the woods or rough to retrieve their ball – they’ll just break out a new one.

In my case, I hate to buy golf balls. I tend to lose them in water anyway. (One time, I was so frustrated at not hitting my ball over a little creek on a par 3 to the green only 80 yards away that I hit nine balls into the water until the tenth one finally came up dry.) I save my brand new pretty pink Pinnacles for holes with no water hazards. For the rest of my game, I use found balls.

When my husband was a new golfer, he also spent a lot of time in the woods. If the pace of play was slow, he’d stay in the woods and look for balls with me. Same for my son. They’d come back with their bags so loaded with balls, you could barely lift them. Now that both have improved, it is only me who spends time in the rough looking for balls, either my own or others.

I happened to think about this as I backed my car into the garage yesterday. We have literally hundreds of golf balls now, stored in big tubs, old dresser drawers, and boxes in the garage. I can barely get my car in there. There’s no way I can lose that many in the creek, even if I golfed every day this summer and tried hard to lose them. The last time we had a garage sale, I cleaned up a few hundred and sold half of them for ten cents a piece. Mr. Demonic was mad when I told him, but we still have an arsenal of balls left over.

I think it’s time to pray hard for spring. If anyone needs any balls, just let me know.

Some Non-Descript Updates

1. It’s really cold. No, I mean, really cold. Think of your freezer. It’s colder than that outside.

2. I’ve decided to name our Kittycat “Max.” Now that we know she is a he, we are all looking at her/him differently. Max fits his general temperament. He’s nuts. He’s smart. He’s a little lion in a kitty tuxedo.

3.  I’ve decided that black and white movies from the 40s are the best. I’m sort of watching one now. I say, sort of, because I’m not paying attention to most of it, and only glancing up when something happens. It’s Gaslight, with Ingrid Bergman. Ingrid is just ready to be “gaslighted” any time now. I might have to break away for that.

4.  I’ve been on a sort of a diet and exercise program for a few weeks. It’s not really a diet, per se. I am eating cereal when I feel hungry. Or fruit. I’ve cut back red meat to one day a week. Of course, only one cup of coffee per day. Since the temperature (see #1) is so cold, I’m doing lots of green tea. I’ve found I haven’t really missed the bad food. I haven’t lost any weight (from the exercise, which has been just walking or elliptical machine) but I haven’t gained any, so that’s a plus.

5. Spring can come any day now. I have plans to expand a piece of my yard into an Asian garden. I’m thinking of all the rocks I’ll have to move and all the sod I’ll have to dig up. I’m thinking that it will take me about two months of heavy weekend work to complete. The sooner the better. My daughter graduates from high school in  May and that doesn’t leave me a lot of time once the snow melts.

6. I still suck at the violin. I’d better go and practice now.