Looking forward

I opened the box with Summer magic-markered on the lid. I found my Summer things.

At Jenness Beach, the sun was warm, the air was cool, the ocean was ice cold, but the sand at the top of the beach was almost hot.

Sleeveless work in the garden all afternoon. Among other things, my Brandywine tomato seedlings, planted and tended indoors since mid-March, are now planted in a sunny spot backed by a wall, to help keep them warm. It’s early, so fingers crossed.

Then John came home and lured me out to the bar at Petey’s. Shipyard Ale and seafood chowder for me, steamer clams and Shoals Pale Ale for him. We ended up at the North Beach Bar & Grill in Hampton, found some friends, and got home kinda late for old folks.


Home sweet birdhouse. I love how they perch on the TV antennae.

It’s not the classiest martin house I’ve ever seen, but John got it cheap from a catalog years ago and the tree swallows have loved it ever since. Apparently, unlike martins, they take turns, with one pair nesting at a time. This is half of pair #1.

It’s a beautiful day, with a haze of green in the treetops, and I feel a fit of gardening coming on. After a seaside walk.

I began my day with coffee and a visit to the royal wedding, mostly via The Telegraph. It was nice. Visually splendid but not ridiculously so. Quite correct, but not stiff. I wish the couple well. They seem suited for one another and the job/ life.

My eldest daughter called and requested I send a link to the part she wants to see first: Kate arriving at Westminster, her dress revealed, and her walk down the aisle. Her boyfriend has borrowed her computer, and she doesn’t have a TV, so she had to wait till she got to work to check in on the fairytale. She is an otherwise sensible person, except when it comes to princesses and weddings. She promises to be high maintenance herself, wedding-wise, someday. I blame Disney.

My own wedding carriage was an old blue Jeep with a V8 engine, top down on Cape Cod on a beautiful day in July of 1987. I was 25 and worked in a bookstore. He was 29 and had just gotten out of the Marine Corps. We said our vows alone in front of the Justice of the Peace on the lawn in front of the courthouse. Then we rented a Cessna 185 from Chatham Airport, John gave me my first flying lesson, and we snapped a few aerial photos with our new camera.

Afterwards, we drove around to tell our friends and family, then watched the sun set over Cape Cod Bay at Cooks Brook Beach in Eastham, sitting on top of the rollbar, waving away the no-see-ums and drinking cheap champagne from a plastic cup. I wouldn’t change a royal thing.

This is charming: The royal wedding as seen by small children

Simple pleasures

Joy of flight. Martin house with tree swallows, Easter morning.

A few links today…

This is amusing and silly: YouTube: Talking beaver on the highway.

More beautiful NH tidepool pics from Ron, here and here. And as a set on flickr.

A simple, delicious spring recipe that was part of our Easter feast: Asparagus with Lemon and Butter.

A YouTube vid that reminds me of our cat: Crazy Bengal kitten swings by teeth. My favorite part is the hysterical laughter of the humans. I imagine neighbors invited over for a beer, some chips, and to watch the antics of the resident feline.

Ah, simple pleasures.

And now a few words from the Nostradamus of democracy

Alexis de Tocqueville, 1805-1859

“Nothing is more wonderful than the art of being free, but nothing is harder to learn how to use than freedom.”

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship.”

“‘The will of the nation’ is one of those expressions which have been most profusely abused by the wily and the despotic of every age.”

“When the taste for physical gratifications among them has grown more rapidly than their education . . . the time will come when men are carried away and lose all self-restraint . . . . It is not necessary to do violence to such a people in order to strip them of the rights they enjoy; they themselves willingly loosen their hold. . . . they neglect their chief business which is to remain their own masters.”

“The New Englander is attached to his township because it is strong and independent; he has an interest in it because he shares in its management; he loves it because he has no reason to complain of his lot; he invests his ambition and his future in it; in the restricted sphere within his scope, he learns to rule society; he gets to know those formalities without which freedom can advance only through revolutions, and becoming imbued with their spirit, develops a taste for order, understands the harmony of powers, and in the end accumulates clear, practical ideas about the nature of his duties and the extent of his rights.”

“… one also finds in the human heart a depraved taste for equality, which impels the weak to want to bring the strong down to their level, and which reduces men to preferring equality in servitude to inequality in freedom.”

“Democracy extends the sphere of individual freedom socialism restricts it. Democracy attaches all possible value to each man; socialism makes each man a mere agent a mere number. Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word: equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.”

“All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.”

“Trade is the natural enemy of all violent passions. Trade loves moderation, delights in compromise, and is most careful to avoid anger. It is patient, supple, and insinuating, only resorting to extreme measures in cases of absolute necessity. Trade makes men independent of one another and gives them a high idea of their personal importance: it leads them to want to manage their own affairs and teaches them to succeed therein. Hence it makes them inclined to liberty but disinclined to revolution.”

“What good does it do me, after all, if an ever-watchful authority keeps an eye out to ensure that my pleasures will be tranquil and races ahead of me to ward off all danger, sparing me the need even to think about such things, if that authority, even as it removes the smallest thorns from my path, is also absolute master of my liberty and my life; if it monopolizes vitality and existence to such a degree that when it languishes, everything around it must also languish; when it sleeps, everything must also sleep; and when it dies, everything must also perish?”

“Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details.”

“After having thus successively taken each member of the community in its powerful grasp and fashioned him at will, the government then extends its arm over the whole community. It covers the surface of society with a network of small, complicated rules, minute and uniform, through which the most original minds and the most energetic characters cannot penetrate, to rise above the crowd. The will of man is not shattered, but softened, bent, and guided; men are seldom forced by it to act, but they are constantly restrained from acting. Such a power does not destroy, but it prevents existence: it does not tyrannize, but it compresses, enervates, extinguishes, and stupefies a people, till each nation is reduced to nothing better than a flock of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd.”

“I should have loved freedom, I believe, at all times, but in the time in which we live I am ready to worship it.”

writ in blossoms

Daffodil outside the mudroom door, this morning. After cold rain, a surprisingly beautiful day.

the joyous Book of Spring
Lies open, writ in blossoms
     – William Allingham, Daffodil