Back to Sketchbooks and Reality

Going back and forth to the gym for tai chi it was great to see they were letting the field grow back up. It did not last long…now it is mowed to bale up.

Waiting by a restaurant the other evening this caught my eye.  A place to pray in Hayesville.

I made a couple of books to save labels in this past week.

The one on the left is for a young friend who has said I will be invited to her next all girls party. I will be picked up and delivered home. Thoughtful of those girls. It also has the instructions for peeling labels inside the front cover. The one on the right is my latest, number 15, of what my kids call “alcohol consumption books”. They started in 2000 and have continued since…peel the label, attach to page, write what I thought of the alcohol and the company I shared it with. No label should be repeated and to be honest, some of the company should not be repeated…at the discretion and experience of the book keeper.

Another page in Philosophical Considerations

And speaking of books, I finally paid attention to my six way opening book today and got back to painting in the wildflowers section. I am thinking the one opposite should be ferns and grasses and fungi. There are soooo many pages in each section!!

I am using one of those handy stones to hold the pages open to photograph. The first thing I learned was that I need to do this more often!

Trout Lily

Rattlesnake Plantain and Chestnut

Fire Pink

This past week I wrote another short story.  A bit of a grim tale, but once thought about, I couldn’t keep the two characters quiet about who and what they are.

I am now back to another one I started about a woman starting a new life in a new place. It is not autobiographical. I keep myself out of these character’s business and lives. They simply need to be watched, listened to, recorded, and left alone.

My poetry is more autobiographical. Here is the one I will read this coming week.


The Smell of Rosemary

S. Webster


When nothing is left but the smell of rosemary,

I can forget about a meal gone wrong

and the guests too willing to tell me why.


Just clear the table and my mind.

Wash the dishes that will be put away

on shelves to wait for my next dinner party.


Then shut the cupboard with the same

not-so-gentle nudge as the front door

was closed less than an hour ago.


Pouring a second glass of cabernet,

I sit with the smell of rosemary

and thoughts of dining alone.


Tomorrow the pergola will be constructed and put in place. I love the smells and sounds of building.

And Tuesday is a big day. The boys I have coffee with on the corner reminded me that I was in the last week of not being eighty. I thought I had another week to get used to being the official number for “old”. Not so. Now it is just a couple days. I hate being told that it is just a number. I also hate being told it is just all about attitude. No, it’s not! I am about to be fucking old! And I would have realized it if I had looked in the mirror to see more than whether my eyeliner was crooked! I think after Tuesday, I am just going to let it be crooked! I have the excuse of “oldness”.

But I have to be honest here, the women in my area, down here in Riverwalk, are also up there in years. Some well into their eighties. They are setting a good example for me. I don’t remember ever having too many setting a good example for me. I just always filled in my own blanks.

Someone recently told me, “But look at all the places you have been and the things you have done!”  That really made me feel like I was at the exit door!

I will close this soon and go have a single malt. But first I found the following while sorting out three new short stories and twenty new poems for my next book.


Australia Longing

S. Webster

“What is it that causes this sudden sadness, or longing, or need? This time it is a recipe on the back of the Tasmanian Basketmakers Newsletter. Anna Lizotte’s family recipe for Tomato Spice Cake. How can “tomato” and “cake” be in the same context? And then it happens.

I miss Australia right now. At this very minute I want to be there. How do I care for this longing? Why is it so fierce? I can smell the soil, feel the air on my skin. I can taste it. Will it be like this later when I am too old to return? My eyes fill with tears at the thought of not being there. Why does it matter so much? Two glasses of wine that weren’t even Australian. What triggers these emotions?

It is the longing thing – that longing that we have no control over. It just comes sneaking in and takes hold. No words can explain it. My husband glances over and then away – no words are best. I look ridiculous or nuts right now. And I feel bereft. “Bereft” – that is the perfect word, and I am slightly better now I’ve defined it. I think it happens when too many memories of times in Australia pour into my consciousness and push everything else away. Only Australia is there – the people, the land, the tastes, the smells – the longing.”


I had to read about “Longing” in my graduate work about stepping over the threshold of the familiar, knowing where you belong. Much as I love Australia, I belong here. Here where other old ladies are setting examples for me, where my things of the familiar reside, where my mirror is.

Next week I will have a picture of the pergola in place.

Oh yes, one more funny age-reminder thing happened. Yesterday a thick envelope came from a neighbor and friend I have had since our kids were little. She wanted me to autograph a copy of Scrabble she bought for a grandchild. Her son asked her to ask me to do it. His little boy likes animals and was intrigued with the foreign animals in the story. Her son remembers me always inviting his chubby little self into my kitchen to lick the beaters when making cakes or cookies. It is so tempting to shove in some batter-laden beaters for this little boy’s father to lick on, as he reads to his son.

Okay, gotta go…..

Til later……when I am eighty!