Welcome from Amy D. Unsworth

Language, Literature, Learning & Life.

Market Day

The summer's long, humid days stretch on. Children in the street putter about on their bicycles, even their shouts have lost vigor. Paper and pencils, bright colored folders and lunchboxes fill the aisles at the stores. Days without routine blend into weeks, punctuated only by rain.

Today, we visited the local farmer's market: several vegetable stalls covered with canopies, a table of honey, and one of goat milk fudge. We bring our bag to carry our produce home, turning away the ubiquitous plastic sacks. The young man at the eggplant stall comments that it gives him hope to see more and more people with "green bags." I wish for a market basket, with a comfortable handle. We purchase a dollar's worth of roma tomatoes, an eggplant to fit my cupped hands, local honey for toast with butter, and a basket of okra pods. One feels hopeful at a farmer's market, however small, for the earth's bounty, for those who plant and reap, and for the long market tradition continued for yet another season.

Our routines begin to fall into place: Wednesday afternoon to market and library. In colored ink, the words march across the calendar.

Life, Re-Ordered

The deck overlooks 13 acres of tangled woods, wildflowers, and a myriad of weeds. A path leads into the thicket, beckoning. The first morning, a doe and two fawns grazed just beyond the edge of the yard, in the midst of the purple flowers as yet unrecognized. A hawk krees overhead, perhaps leaving and returning to her young. Nuthatches, in their close knit group hop and bicker, feeding from the tree at the edge of the yard.

Slowly, from many boxes, books and pots, towels and candleholders emerge, shyly into this new place. We learn the names of the streets and avenues, locate parks and walking paths, answer other people's phone calls, reassure the dogs, find ways to make this, too, home.


Tomorrow the madness begins in earnest. The cardboard boxes filling up the rooms, piles of paper, strangers in the house. Everything in a parcel, unhelpful labels on packed boxes, no room to move. In two days it will be over, loaded onto the truck, on the way to elsewhere.

Last night, home from my trip across five states, I found three zuchini and a tomato finally ready on the vine. A small harvest: tomorrow's dinner, with salt and pepper. A simple impulse in the midst of disorder. The mystery vine trails across the stone path, more tomatoes grow on the vines, absorbing the sun and heat. More profusion. The urge to grow amazes me.

The herbs fill out their pots. A moveable garden, to adorn the small house on the end of the street which will soon be, however temporarily, home.


The work awaits, the writing must wait, at least for now, on the blog. I'll be back, in a week or two after re-assembling our home. I'm pleased to know, however, that you'll be here online, when I return. Some things don't have to be uprooted. For this I'm grateful.


Smoke & Light

For the last three nights, the firecrackers and roman candles have filled the air with a film of smoke and set the dogs' nerves on edge. Even tonight, after the town's display over the park, the noise continues, and will continue for hours.
Early in the week, the days are punctuated with short bursts of explosions, growing to tonight's peak: every street and cul-de-sac filled with children and laughter. The water hose and buckets at hand, we light our corner of the world, with sons grown tall. Five years in this place, a place one could call Home.
We say goodbye with sparks and smoke. We learn to sleep with the commotion.


Look, Every Day

The gourd vine grows wildly again this year. A mystery. Baby pumpkins? Striped, winged gourds? Little white ones?

Out front, in the flower beds, a watermelon plant, perhaps from last year's Fourth of July festivities. A straggler, a weed. Is there time for it to bear fruit?

I don't know. I look every day, to wonder at the profusion.

Child, we've done our best.

Someone will have to weed and spread
The young sprouts. Sprinkle them in the hour
When shadow falls across their bed.
You should try to look at them every day
Because when they come to full flower
I will be away.

--from "Heart's Needle" by W.D. Snodgrass