Thursday, June 9, 2022


            I live in a place. This probably does not sound like Big News, but it is. Kim has pointed out to me on occasion that I live, mainly, “in my head.” She’ll notice my blank stare and ask, “Where are you?” The answer is usually that I’m thinking about stuff I need to do, or what I can come up with for my blog, or the war in Ukraine, or what’s next for our housing if our health declines. I think what Kim really wants from me is a bit of conversation, so she can be included in what’s in my head.


            But now I live in a place -not just in my head. I know this is true because every day I find pieces of my place under my fingernails. I am engaged with our bark house and our acre of woods (which is really Kim’s garden). I do stuff, instead of just floating though being taken care of.


            I see our home. Kim has been instructing me for years, with varying levels of frustration and disbelief: “Use your eyes!” I’m still not very good at it, as I don’t see some weeds or a spill on the floor (Kim says this is “a guy thing,” almost giving me a genetic pass.), but I have learned to notice what we have done with our landscaping.


Our Bark House

            Kim’s photography has taught me to see the trees, flowers and butterflies that grace our habitat, even though I struggle with their names.


            I have yet to know our place using my sense of taste, but that may be changing soon, as I have planted a few tomatoes, and our neighbors, Karen and Ted, have given us some of their strawberry plants – their fruit is “best ever” quality. I suppose I could love this place through my sense of smell, but that pretty much disappeared long before Covid, so smell doesn’t work for me.


            One of the other ways I connect with our place is through my muscles – back, hands and legs. I move rocks, dig holes, trim branches, yank weeds, shovel snow, chop leaves, clean gutters, etc. Indoors, I make the bed, vacuum occasionally, open jars and reach stuff on high shelves. Did I mention moving rocks?


            It will be hard to leave this place. Kim and I looked out over our yard following a day of welcome rain. “It’s not the same as having a landscaper do all the work,” she said. “We can see the love.” So, that’s what I have under my fingernails: love. 

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