Archives for posts with tag: Home

The sun is out and it is spectacular. We’ve had a particularly dreary wet October and now, on its last day, it’s showing off. Most of the leaves have already fallen but every puff of wind is rewarded with a renewed leaf release. The air is full of them. It makes for an interesting position when contemplating ‘home.’

We’ve been wondering if it is time to leave. We should know, by the end of the week. Regardless of warmth and beauty of our chosen home, we wonder if we can stay if the current strains of fascism increase. After all, just how much fascism and racism is too much? Even a little is a lot.

I have a back door advantage. Though born into an American family, I was born in Canada. We could move to Canada. I have friends in Canada and I’m a member of a Facebook group from my home town. I am dismayed that many of the issues that bother me here are just as virulent there. It seems right wing extremism doesn’t have a nationality. The Canadians are a tad more polite, and less armed, though. But names like Stephen Harper and Doug Ford are enough to let you know that Canadians are not immune to the appeal of corporate, right-wingism.

This fuels the argument that you cannot run, you have to stay, and fight. I have been politically active, mostly on environmental issues, for most of my adult life, a tree-hugger since, as a kid, the Cuyahoga River caught fire. I’ve stood on street corners with signs, walked precincts, and protested for decades. And I have to wonder if it’s done any good. Sure, we forced issues into the public consciousness–and had limited legislative success. But mainstream conduct hasn’t changed. It seems they need a crisis to even see a problem–and even then, the attention span is short.

Well, now we have no shortage of crises. Will climate change even get its due, when shoved up against the wall with a pandemic and fascist violence? With a government determined to hand our environment over to corporate interest, is there any hope? That may be all the reason to stand fast and roll up our sleeves and get to work. I don’t know. Just as the biggest issues of our era come into focus, I wonder if I’m too old to contribute.

I bought this property in 1990. I had many criteria for what I wanted. (I should’ve looked closer for better soil, sigh, but what’s done is done.) My parameters were formed in large part by what I saw, then, as looming climate change. In 1990. At the time, I hoped that people would wake up and turn this juggernaut around. If so, I’d get to retire to a beautiful piece of land. If not, I’d have a survivable retreat. At the time I didn’t give a second thought to rightwing extremism. Because…it couldn’t happen here, could it?

One wonders what the good people of Germany did and thought, in the mid-nineteen-thirties, when the handwriting was on the wall. Here in Michigan, we’ve already fielded a  plot to kidnap our governor. Granted, the perpetrators were two-bit idiots–the Laurel & Hardy version of terrorists. And perhaps that’s our salvation, that the extremists are drawn from the ‘arrested-development’ crowd. Not unlike their cult leader, our president. We may be safe, if the Rule of Law prevails. What will the rest of this week bring?

In the meantime, the sun is out. There are chores to be done. I’ve got to harvest the last of the carrots and beets, and put the garden beds to sleep for the winter. For now, this is what home is about.


I lived in California for nearly thirty-five years. Californians revel in their relentlessly good weather. It is beautiful, nearly bug-free, and… a bit dull. I’m glad to be home. There’s a huge reward in it. It’s wildly green in a luscious, juicy kind of way. It’s a landscape that supports all kinds of life. Bugs are part of the bottom tier of the food chain.

Yes, it’s been brutally hot these past few weeks, and dry. But nothing we have here compares to the dry of a California summer–with no rain from April to October. Here, we usually get a good rain two or three times a week. But not the past few weeks. I suppose that the dry spell might’ve made the heat more endurable–you know…a dry heat.

Though the heat wave is supposed to continue until the end of the month, we got a break the past two nights–with thunderstorms and ample rain. It dropped the temperatures some, but brought the humidity up a lot. And rain always seems like an invitation for the bugs to make meals of us. I fend off the bugs with brimmed hats, long pants and long sleeves, regardless of the temperatures. My Michigan roots are northern. I watch the summer people slap and scratch, and chuckle. We’re part of the food chain, too.

Last year brought an unusually cool and wet season. We’re always left wondering, “Will this be the new normal?” And now, with the mercury in the high 80s and 90s, we’re asking that again. All bets are off.

We built our home without air-conditioning. In the summer, it’s in the shade for most of the day, by plan. If we close up during the day, and open for the cooler nights, we can keep the interior in the mid-seventies. In serious heat, we use a box fan to move more night air, and that works. We’ve been in the house for going on three years, and so far, nothing that climate throws at us has been a problem. We hope that continues, but who knows? This summer, the arctic has had hotter weather than here. It’s funny when the hot weather is coming from the north. Like I said, all bets are off.


It’s been a long time since we had kittens. One forgets. They’re into everything. I thought I kept a moderately tidy home, but they show up wearing dust bunnies, from God only knows where. I guess the bright spot is that they’re dusting areas that I’ve clearly missed.

They follow me around making trouble with whatever it is I am trying to accomplish. Today was laundry. First, they kept running off with the socks. Then, finally they settled in for a nap. I guess I can do without the laundry basket for a while.

Thankfully, there are two. For the most part they keep each other busy, which is good because I don’t have that kind of energy to entertain a kitten.

We’ve set firm rules. For the most part, they’ve been pretty good. We decided at the outset, no kittens on the bed–and that’s been the hardest thing to enforce. They want to be where we are. I should take it as a compliment, but at 2:00 am, I’m not easily flattered.



Without a doubt, he is. The hearth-cat is in charge.

Creatures of Habit–

A.V. Walters


I’ve been away from the internet for some time. There are major changes in our lives which have required adjustments.

Once, at a bee meeting, one of our members was bemoaning how stupid bees could be. You see, while bees can navigate a vast range of flowers and local geography, if you shift their hives just a couple of feet, they may well be lost. They will fly to the spot where their entry was…and hover, lost. I am one to defend the bees. We are all creatures of habit. So I posed the question to our members, “Was that really evidence of stupidity? Did you ever reorganize and change the location of your cutlery drawer?”

My comment was met with silence, and nervous laughter.

We have moved into our new house. It’s not finished, but in the eyes of the permitting authorities, it is “habitable.” It’s mostly finished, except for the upstairs bath, interior doors and trim. The move was lucky–we were in by the full moon–and just before it began to snow in earnest. Within days, the landscape completely changed and our days were preoccupied with snow removal and creating routines for stocking firewood. Our view has changed, from the taupes and browns of November to winter’s white, punctuated with evergreens. After years of this being a work site, it’s both a surprise and a relief to settle in.

We’re in that awkward stage in which you try to envision a new life and put things where you think you’ll need them–and wondering why you ever bought some of this crap in the first place. I’ve redone the pantry cupboards twice, still without any real comfort zone. It wasn’t a big move, just across the road from our little basement rental. Our walls are still lined with boxes whose contents await placement. I try to address a box or two everyday, but I’m remembering that even the bees can be discombobulated by a minor relocation.


We also are enjoying the settling in and discovery process. It is a very quiet home– heated with wood there are very few “house noises.” Except for the occasional hum of the refrigerator, mostly we are learning the noises of the neighborhood from a new perspective. We can hear the snowplow from the main road, but very few of the other sounds from across the street interrupt our lives here. No dogs. We have a neighbor up the road with a bad muffler, and we can still hear his truck. With the shift in season, we can hear the (now more distant) whine of snowmobiles.

With the snow, we can see who our regular visitors are. Bunny prints cover the paths Rick has cleared. They like the convenience, too, but, Oh, My! How many of them are there? If the tracks are any indication, we live in Bunnyopolis. Alarmed, Rick has cleared all around the fenced garden area. The snow had reached the point where the bunnies would be able to hop right over the bunny-proof part of the fencing. We see the deer tracks, too. And we’ll spend the rest of the winter learning to recognize the footprints of rest of the visitors. Or maybe…it’s their home…and we are the visitors.