Views from Annie's Cabin

miscellaneous musings on aging and living and loving

Dangerous February!

Merlin & Archimedes, waiting for spring...

Merlin & Archimedes, waiting for spring…


I woke this morning feeling all out of sorts. Nothing pleased me; nothing made me smile. I walked the dog, but she only wanted to zip out and back in quickly, so I went about my morning chores and then silpped back to Abbey my Book Barn, to my little yoga studio and did a full routine…a hybrid mix of Hatha, Kundalini and the Five Tibetan Rites. I could feel how much I needed the lengthening and stretching and deep steady breathing.

But I still didn’t feel right. Something was wrong with my inner soul, my woman-heart, my poet-mind. I was grumpy and didn’t like myself and found myself grumbling at husband, cats and dog and the world. Harumpfing and being snide. Not my usual Pollyanna self!

And then I had an Epiphany (I love Epiphanies! Thank GOD for Epiphanies!). I remembered my mother’s words to me, her warning words to me, which she issued every February: “Anne, remember, February is your dangerous month. It’s the month you always want to change your life—your hair, your job, your house, your husband, your world. So be mindful of February.”

And all of a sudden the burden lifted and I understood. ‘Tis not me at all—it’s the bleak and dispirited month of February to blame! YESSSS! I felt better, though not “better” in the all’s-right-with-the-world-immediately better; just better remembering that February’s always been my most dangerous month and that I’d better pay protective attention to my inner soul, my woman-heart, my poet-mind………

It’s like…whenever the Black Dog jumps upon me and weighs me down, I’ve learned that all I have to do is check my Biorhythms and voila! problem solved: my emotional wave is waaay down there lapping the bottom of the chart. Which, granted, doesn’t undo the problem, but it alleviates the worry from my mind. I’m reminded that it’s the Universe’s fault, not mine. I can blame it on the moon, yes, the moon, the inconstant moon—not me, this lone innocent woman who’s really trying to do her best: to meet her obligations, care for the ones she loves, and keep the creative flame a-burning all at once. (“Each being a full-time job every day unto itself,” she grumbles. “STOP IT, Anne!” her self retorts back.)

So, I’ve lived with the remembered knowledge of February’s curse now for almost a full day, thankful for the memory of my mother’s observed wisdom. And I decided that the best thing might be to sit here and write the gloom out of myself on this blog…to chase the moody ol’ Grinch of February away.

For I’ve been expectantly watching the daffodil noses push up through their winter bed of leaves…..and watching the sun glistening upon the glass of the Bottle Tree…and I’ve been watching Merlin steadying himself against the windchill of February, too. And so I say to myself, at least we’re all in this together…..and I know we’ll all survive, for we always do. For the daffodils do bloom, and the earth does quicken and my heart does warm up with every ray of sun that filters through the grey clouds of February. And the birds are singing in the mornings now despite the cold and little warm drifts of breeze nudge me on my morning walks. So I know spring is around the corner. I just pray that I can be a good girl till then…..Need your help, Mama! Stay close beside me till I’m safe…till the glow and bloom of spring warms my inner soul, my woman-heart and poet-mind once again.





Good, bad, and in between. Father’s Day. For my husband who’s still a father on this good earth.

IMG_0150River & Rocks

Up at the crack of dawn because I had my buddy coming up at 7:00 to help stabilize my new rock patio. He was on time and ready to go but general consensus around here was that we’d better hold off for a while and think it through more-better. It’s just a mess of rocks laid out over an uneven ground so it kind of rocks and rolls and I was going to have him fill in between all the rocks with river sand—primarily to discourage the snakes who might find living under a couple hundred cool damp rocks to their summer liking. And we went round and round about the pros and cons of this that and the other, so I finally asked my buddy to split some wood for winter kindling instead. Which needed to be done, too, but wasn’t nearly as satisfying a project…..Alas, he too, had his opinion on the rock patio and it aligned with both the other men’s!   So the day began with defeat. And I’m prone to sulking a bit when I meet with defeat…..

But then the day got wonderful. We drove down the mountain to church in Greenville, at my old home church where all my folks are resting, and where both my husband and I’ll rest beside them one day ourselves. Service in the chapel by the new retired, volunteer priest—-whom we went particularly to see and hear. Lifted and gladdened our hearts. Filled me up and smoothed out the rough edgy ripples of the morning.

Then onward to a noisy crowded lunch gathering for Father’s Day—parents, grandparents, children, and various other allied family members from all over the world it seemed. And a Bloody Mary bar—where they bring your choice of vodka to the table and then steer you up to the bar where you “build” whatever you want. Pretty amazing. Cold glasses with condensation all up and down them, slippery as an eel. And after I’d built a real blushing beauty, complete with olives stuffed with feta and blue cheese (!) one of the more enthusiastic of our party encircled me in a great big bear hug and all of a sudden CRASH! BANG! SHATTER! SPLASH!—- my glass flew out of my hand and hit the cement floor like a huge wet red atomic bomb. Lovely. But my partner-in-crime actually saved the moment by saying” well I guess this means—-Let the party begin!” I was horrified and chagrined but no one’s dress was ruined and the mess was cleaned up in a heartbeat and no one was hurt. But I couldn’t help thinking, maybe I should’ve stayed in bed this Sunday morning and slept in late to welcome the sun when he was fully up and not just a dark whisper of a promise, and then maybe I’d not have had such a fussy hissy-fit but rather a sweet calm laid-back day.

Then I remembered the heart-swelling service this morning. The readings, the Gospel, the hymns, the sermon, and I realized I would have missed the most heart- soothing part of the day—of Life really—the part that always smooths out the jagged edges of day-to-day living. And I said to myself (again), “Self, this is important for you to remember…..Now, Looky heah, chile, I been telling you to Control less and Pray more. And you see—I ain’t alone! Now will you just lissen up?!” And nodding meekly in agreement, I sighed a big breathy sigh and coasted smoothly up the mountain and through the rest of my Sunday….floating on the wings of prayer.




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