dad with saw-
dad-6974

For one pretty amazing dude on Father’s Day, my dad Joseph Reczek, more to follow.

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First Haying, TInmouth, VT

June 11, 2016

in May

first haying-6735

Glenn Merrill, a pleasant young guy doing the mowing here, finally stopped near me, popped open the cabin door, and said “You must really like tractors!”

At that point, he had been around the field five times or so since I arrived and started photographing.

“Well it’s more the first haying of the season..”

The unofficial start of Summer.

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Zoe, Gone

June 7, 2016

in June

zoe one of the first-
From a note today to some friends:

“..Just writing to let you know that our little sweetheart Zoe is no longer with us physically. We felt we needed to put her down a couple of weeks ago, following a deteriorating course over 2-3 months, secondary to either a stroke or a lesion on her brain (or maybe just old age). She was probably about 15, and found it increasingly hard to walk, and when she did just went in tight circles. We had to hold her up to feed her (she loved eating even at the end), and cart her in and out for pee/poop time.

One of my friends said that we were providing her hospice care, and indeed, we probably were, especially in her last month. I am SO SO glad though, that I had four months post retirement for her final stretch here. The work of caring for her was not a burden, even at the end; her spirit and her trust in us made it easy. Even carrying her in and out many times a day, for instance, never got old; it was a great opportunity to hold her close, which she seemed quite OK with.

So, we no longer have the gift of her physical presence, but in her passing, the gift of her memory, and, the gift of time. This is the first time in about 20 years that we are pooch free. The general plan is to stay that way for maybe a year and then jump in again. We’ll see what’s in store… ”

The top photo is from a decade ago, shortly after our mutual adoption, and the one below – the last I took of her – on her final morning here.

zoe last photo-6584

Farewell for now, little mo-mo. We miss you. And our deepest gratitude for being such a wonderful part of our lives.

“Love to stay, gotta go…”

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son de me tierra-

My good friend Jose and I had dinner in Middletown CT a couple of weeks ago, and afterwards roamed the streets a bit. We lingered in front of this band for a couple of tunes, including one Jose requested, a song called “Por Mujeres Como Tu”, which you can listen to here (translated lyrics below). I later asked him what the song was about; he laughed and said ” women… alcohol…”.

He and his wife emigrated from Venezuela some years ago; it got me thinking about the song(s) I might request if we were in Venezuela and it was now my “home”.

Twenty years ago my wife and I went to France, and we took along a few CDs to help with any homesickness: Eat a Peach by the Allman Brothers, and Working on Wings to Fly, by Cindy Kallett. And though we never had to use them, it was nice to have them along.

Por Mujeres Como Tu (For Women Like You)

I’m becoming afraid and she’s realized it,
And that’s not very good for me,
If I want to keep her in my arms
It’d be better for her not to see me suffer.

I’m keeping myself in the failures,
And today I’m going to fix the situation.
It’ll be that I’ve always given too much
And in the excess I always end up hurt (lit. damaged).

For women like you, my love
There are men like me, I know
That we can lose ourselves
In alcohol
Because of a deception.

I’m keeping myself in the failures,
And today I’m going to fix the situation.
It’ll be that I’ve always given too much
And in the excess I always end up hurt (lit. damaged).

For women like you…

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old barn, new garden-7042

This barn looks even better today than in 2007 when I took this picture. It’s been freshened up with red paint, and looks, well, 30 years younger and even more photogenic. The garden – from a distance anyway – looks like it’s just been marking time over the years.

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bees and blossoms-1799

I once picked apples at this orchard, over 30 years ago – the only local (and gringo) so employed – everyone else was from Jamaica. It took me a full two weeks to acclimate my body to climbing up and down the ladder with a load of apples in the kidney shaped bucket at my waist, straps cutting into my shoulder, and I thought of myself in pretty decent shape to begin with. We were on a daily quota for the first week; to a man my co-workers finished by noon while it took me the full day. By the end of the season though, which lasted about 6 weeks, I had pulled even.

Many a fine memory there; the top rung of the ladder offered the best view of the orchard itself as well as distances near and far. It was heaven to be doing that hard physical work, no matter the weather; knowing it was time limited probably helped.

This image is from the beginning of the season, after the trees had been pruned and just before the bees really began pollinating.

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Tulips, Wallingford, CT

May 18, 2016

in May

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spring at the west river-7134

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New Garden, Newfane, VT

May 12, 2016

in May

new garden-6970

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mother's day-6997

For all mothers near and far, for the hard work and sacrifice that allows the love in this universe to flow through you to your children, day in and day out. May there be many gifts received in turn!

In the Buddhist tradition, which recognizes the continual repetitive cycle of birth and death in this existence, it is said: “Of all the beings in samsara (existence), there is not a single one who has not been your own kind mother.” (Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche in Skillful Grace, p 49)

And of course for my Mamusiu, Josephine Reczek (1913-2006), with love and an ever deepening appreciation.

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