Day 24

The Twitter account “Shower Thoughts” has a good thought that is working for me.  It reads: “Go to bed, you’ll feel better in the morning” is the human version of “Did you turn it off and turn it back on again?”

Sleep is a marvelous reset, isn’t it?  I am thankful for my little bed.  In this day and age, having your own place is a luxury, no matter how small the slice of pie.  While checking out my groceries at Fred Meyer today I asked the check out person why they haven’t had large shopping carts for over two weeks now.  She said these words exactly, “the homeless took them!”  That’s about 30-40 carts!  I wonder if there are fewer beds for the Bellingham homeless during the lockdown. When the shutdown began the Lighthouse shelter closed and was moved to the High School.  The city refit the school into a homeless shelter.

Here is a poem by Wallace Stevens, published in 1923, the last two stanzas

Tea at the Palaz of Hoon

Out of my mind the golden ointment rained,
And my ears made the blowing hymn they heard.
I was myself the compass of that sea:

I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw
Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.

1) an observed joy- I saw these flowers today. SO perfect! I thought they were plastic.

2) a real concern- There are so many on a national scale.

3) a personal challenge- the challenges are the same, walk every day, keep to a regular work schedule, eat well.  It’s getting boring

4) one personal success (no matter how small)- I’m finding myself more truly, more strange.

5) a random thought (no matter how silly)- When I walk around my neighborhood I think it is funny how we give each other plenty of distance, crossing the street, moving to the middle of the road.

Here is my current mood illustrated in a meme.  Be well. -Shannon


As of this post, the USA leads the globe with 34,522 COVID-19 deaths.
Next is Italy 22,170, then Spain with 19,315.

Poem: Her Hands

pink tulips


Her Hands

The door squeaks Hello as I enter her sanctuary

The leather garden gloves still hold the hands.

I see them.

It is the first thing I see.


History molded into each finger strip

crooked right pointer finger

bump on the left where a ring sat

blacken ends that dipped in fresh soil

over and over


The pair rest near a dirt encrusted terracotta pot,

shears in their sleeve, handle still shiny.

Hedge trimmer hangs on a bent brown nail

frozen, half-open


But, the bulbs—

the bulbs below the counter

hidden in a beat up cardboard box

the to-be-planted promises

carry the weight of the room


She was ready for the early spring.


an old garden shed, in an old garden



Poetry: Him

When she thinks of him she smiles

When he stands in front of her 

She sees him as an old man

Still standing there
That look in his eyes
In front of her, smiling
“Could he stay there, with me, that long?
Could I know him ‘till he goes gray?”
Sometimes I wish I could tell him “I love you”
But it’s still too early, only SUMMER
Instead I say “I was thinking of you”
Everyone wants to be thought of
I want to sleep with you!
The bed warm
I want to wake with you!
The next morning
Like the couple I think we could be
Is it too early to feel this?
Yes, it’s only FALL
Time continues hearts come closer
As the snow hugs the earth
Conversation over a meal
Sitting quietly watching a movie
Lying next to you listening to you breathe
It’s only WINTER and this life imagined…
In a year I’ll try to say “I love you”
Like a woman tries on a blouse
Like a young bird trying its wings
Like a child stacking blocks
Building a house, needing a home
…and I’ll tell you in the SPRING


Neighborhood Watch

This morning I decided to fore go the trip to the gym’s treadmill and “tread” around my own neighborhood.  Last fall I measured a one mile loop through town, and walked it four times a week before I joined the gym.  Feeling nostalgic, without giving it anymore thought, I dressed for the walk. Slipping into my outdoor walking shoes for the first time in 3 months felt wonderfully familiar.  My toes quickly found their home and the frayed cuffs around the ankle reminded me of those winter walks in harsh weather.  Somehow it felt like putting on gloves more than shoes.

This September marks my first year in Bellingham.  It’s been interesting to see how the area changes in each season.  Bellingham is a beautiful town.  I’ve enjoyed many wonderful scenes, fine enough to be painted on a dinner plate.  The weather and seasons clothing the landscape in each pattern that defines them.

I saw the town bathed in fall leaves, branches and trees blown into the street from winter storms, sidewalks caked with rippled frozen slush, puddles of water rushing into the drains from springs thaw.  The crocus are the first flower of the year marking the end of winter; brings hope to me every time I notice their purple petals.  Then the tulips show up, two months later, marking the edges of flower beds.  They stand so fancy as if saying “We bring the spring”; too much power for a flower.  I prefer the statement of the humbled crocus.  They surprise you popping up where they do, breaking through the snow under a tree line, around the steps, or snug beneath a rhododendron, staying for only 2 weeks, then away they go back into the ground.

Slowly over the course of the three summer months, homeowners start to make their way into their yards.   I can hear the sounds of lawn mowers, shovels hitting the dirt, and lawn-edgers as they grind in that crack between the grass and walkway.

This morning in August, my final month to view, proved good hunting in the area of natural events.  A summer storm is forming in the northwest corner of the sky, the dark clouds growing slowly.  I wonder if I should of brought a jacket?  Warm temperatures have the maple trees raining sticky sap onto the roads and sidewalks.  So thick in some spots my shoes make sticking sounds as I cross over them.  The sap leaves a mark like a raindrop tattoo on the cement.  Oh and the spiders are out!  Those common garden orb-weaving spiders are all over the place, constructing their webs across the walk ways, on the bushes and windows, any place their silk will stick too.  August is proving to be a sticky month!

The bees are also in full swing.  Saw two honey bees at different corners, walking.  A bee taking a walk?  I wondered if it was doing that honey dance they do to communicate to the other bees the direction and distance to the nearest nectar.  There were no other bees to be seen near the dancing ones.  Perhaps these two were young bees practicing their dance moves.  Good thing to practice, you wouldn’t want to shake when you should have wiggled causing your friends to fly in the wrong direction- a place of no nectar.  No nectar…  an office building or perhaps a freeway full of violent windshield related bee deaths?  Practice little bee, practice.  I’ll walk around you and let you practice. Spiders, bees, summer flowers making their final showing- all wonderful sights.

Taking the last steps of my walk up to the back door, I feel a little bead of sweat on the side of my forehead.  That is proof positive of a successful walk.  I sit and think on what I’ve seen as I pour myself some coffee.  Looking out the dinning room window, I notice it starting to rain.  …perfect timing.