Tag Archives: garden

It May be Ugly, But We’re a Part of This ‘eah Swamp



The Bantry Bay

Last night I went for a pitjit massage to get all the kinks out of my neck. Ibu Cis, the wonderful masseuse opined that they weren’t stress kinks this time, I probably should just ditch my pillow. “No,” I said, “Stress levels are way down.” I even knocked wood after I said that. We agreed that when you reach a certain age, you accept that there are elements of our lives beyond our control, and realize that stress has no any effect on the outcome. I woke up feeling spry and full of energy and at 7:30 am., I was there like a bear, watering my lovely patio plants and roses.


Ibu Cis

The heat has been oppressive the past few days, for the Netherlands. In Bucks County, we’d call this kind of weather “perfect for a summer marathon”, but here in the Netherlands, where airco is virtually unknown, it’s been a sweltering few days. I could feel the thunderstorm coming, but you never know here, sometimes thunderstorms just blow right over, your plants go from just thirsty to parched and then you’ve got a patio full of nasty brown plant skeletons, so I watered the plants this morning.

I needn’t have done so. By 3 pm., the sky turned an evil shade of puce and it started to pour. I was in the kitchen and I thought maybe I ought to check the door by the tiki bar. This door, which we never use, should open into our living room. What I found was a complete water ballet. The garden had flooded and the flood was coming via the unused doorjamb into the living room, soaking the edge of extremely heavy shag carpet and making a beeline for the Italian lamps. The hardwood floor was the least of my worries. The plants in the garden and on the patio, however were loving all the rain. I decided to drop back six yards and punt the afternoon rather than waste energy getting upset.




Charlie Brown helped me move the furniture, the lamps and the (not too badly soaked) carpet to higher ground then we started throwing down beach towels and hoping it’d be over soon.

I drove him to the study center because the thunderstorm wasn’t showing any signs of letting up. Hengelo was flooded. A number of main arteries of the town were impassable and we wound up taking the very scenic route to the study center and creating quite a wake with the Mini as we drove through the rain. Charlie Brown was goofy and doing a CNN style commentary about “floods of biblical proportions”, “the lightening being like a nukyewler holocaust” and checking what the situation was in the situation room with Wolf Blitzer. Then he asked me if something bad might happen to the Mini if we drove through deeper water.


What do you do?

I lied. I told him that I heard Jeremy Clarkson say on “Top Gear” the Mini is considered a semi-amphibious craft. Clarkson is an automotive god, so he believed me. What Clarkson actually said, and this was a few years ago, is that the Mini is so cool that it is “sub-zero”. So I figured if it was “sub” zero, we could translate that into “semi-amphibious”. I was on a roll so I told my son that I bet we could hook up one of those funky retro-fans we have at home (no airco) to the back of the Mini and we’d have our very own Dutch airboat.


Then I asked him what he wanted for dinner.

Mom,” he said, “if this were the bayou and we really had one of those airboats, I’d shoot a ‘gator for dinner. Like dad wants to do whe you retire to Terrebonne Parish.”


My husband brings up this idea with alarming frequency. Every time he does, I wish him and his second wife all the happiness in the world. Vince is a Good ‘Ol Boy masquerading as a European sophisticate and I indulge him in this when we are in Florida on holidays, but as a lifestyle? I think not.


Yep,” Charlie Brown continued, “it may be ugly, but we’re a part of this ‘eah swamp.”


That’s it. No more “Swamp People” for Charlie Brown.





When all the talk is done,

when everything that can be allowed

is said,

only poetry


Metaphor to express

caress, a breezy kiss of

water skeeters skimming

the surface of

a deeper

sentimental pond.

Adjectives, light butterflies

flitting shadows over

the page,

dusting the words with


making them bloom

opulent colors,

scented with the dreams

of my heart.

Cicada rhythm,

apian melody,

orchestral strings hidden


cherry blossom,



the honesuckle,



the wisteria

of my thoughts.

You have the key

to this garden.

Hang it on the hook

by the gate

when you leave.

Come back soon,

as often as you like.

Maybe I will discover

your dewy footprint

on the path

one day.

* Image from Google

Only Poetry Remains