Today, it has been raining, the beginning of what is predicted to be a rainy week. I can't complain; we need the rain so much. But it is hard to see all the garden flowers bent down and some blossoms disappearing under the watery beneficence.
I have been delighting in all the colors: a bed of purple violets tucked under a yellow forsythia, pink and creamy white hyacinths keeping company with deeper pink azaleas, a patch of blue grape hyacinths flirting with white and orange daffodils. And that says nothing about all the camellias and azaleas heavy with flowers in all shades of pink and red.
The squirrels don't let the rain keep them from their feeder. They sit under its roof, eating and throwing the shells over the side. The mockingbirds are back; there is nothing more beautiful than their serenades to everybody in the neighborhood.
There are not so many birds at the front feeder, and not a hummingbird in sight. I saw a gorgeous green one away across the front lawn near the Chinese pistache, and quickly mixed a fresh batch of nectar, but he didn't show up, the ingrate!
When I went in to the Lodi News-Sentinel office this morning, I found I had several generous letters, written about a month ago. I apologize to the writers, who must think me awfully rude. But I didn't know I had any mail; I must remember that I have a mailbox slot down there in the office and try to get in more often. To help with this problem, I now have an official LNS email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, so those with computers can reach me more easily.
I had a lovely letter from Donna Shaw, who told me all about her birds and flowers and sent me two beautiful snapshots, one of flowers and a little stone squirrel, and one that reminded me of how my trees look against a white cloud-studded blue sky. It reminded me that we don't look up enough. The sky, at all times of the day and of the year, is a wonderful healer just because it is there, so much larger than any of us and our comings and goings and worries. I shall keep this letter and treasure it for many reasons.
There was also a great letter from Yuanne Bedsworth (I hope I got the spelling right), who also complimented me on the column and offered another "chair" man in response to my earlier query about someone who canes chairs. It's John's Chair Repair, 209-369-5690. He reweaves chair seats of cane, wicker, rush, splint and tape, as well as re-gluing and parts replacement, and Yuanne says he does excellent work.
I found out that Judy Perkins, who used to have Judy's Alterations in Downtown, is now working out of her home. She can be reached at 209-992-9922. Thanks to Jeanne Justeau for this information. What would I do without helpful and encouraging readers?!
And then there is Sue Bolewine (sp?), who also likes the column and who sent me a very special poem that she found in her mother's Bible. It was evidently printed in a publication, and the person who put it there said it had been found in "Farmland," a newspaper for farmers. Date and place??? The poem itself was written by that favorite author, "Anonymous."
Grammar in a Nutshell
Three little words you often see
Are Articles — A, An and The.
A Noun's the name of any thing,
As School, or Garden, Hoop and Swing.
Adjectives tell the kind of Noun,
As Great, Small, Pretty, White or Brown.
Instead of Nouns the Pronouns stand —
Her head, His face, Your arm, My hand.
Verbs tell of something being done —
To Read, Count, Laugh, Sing, Jump or Run.
How things are done the Adverbs tell,
As Slowly, Quickly, Ill or Well.
Conjunctions join the words together,
As men And women, wind Or weather.
The Preposition stands before
A Noun, as In or Through a door.
The Interjection shows surprise
As Oh, how pretty! Ah, how wise!
The Whole are called the Parts of Speech
Which reading, writing, speaking teach.