19 July 2014

Floor of the Sky, Missoula, Montana

“Elsewhere the sky is the roof of the world; but here the earth was the floor of the sky.” - Willa Cather 

The other night, I started a new book - well, new in my library check-out stack - at about 9:30, thinking to enjoy only thirty to forty minutes of front porch reading while the day cooled slightly towards dark. 
I specifically did not choose the unread book by Elizabeth Camden, as her historical storytelling recently time warped me far beyond a sensible workweek bedtime. Instead, I delved into Pamela Carter Joern’s Nebraska summer saga of three generations in a wide-skied small town, The Floor of the Sky
Before any jaw-stretching yawning ensued, I decided to turn in at a natural pause in the story. Tiptoeing into the house, and around the shadowed sofa and chairs without incident, I stifled an audible “Omigosh!" at the LED declaration on the microwave: 12:02! Sigh.
 Well, there are far worse reasons for losing sleep than a captivating story.

May your summer make room for delightful reading - followed by sleeping in on Saturday morning.

17 July 2014

Petite Meadow Flowers, Missoula, Montana

Earlier this week we enjoyed the layered delight of a perfect summer evening: friends you count as family, a cooling breeze to temper the heat, laughing dogs and children, tri-tip barbecue-roasted by a master, and un-birthday cake. It doesn’t get any better, and for all these blessings, I am truly thankful.

After the cake-and-ice-cream course, we walked up the little hill meadow. 
Waving atop thigh-high grass stems, these petite blooms glowed in the evening sunlight, each cluster no bigger than the end of my thumb. 
Ahh, the grace notes of life, waiting to impart subtle sweetness, if we but notice.

16 July 2014

Canada Wild Rye, Fort Shaw, Montana

Best I could find in the Montana Field Guides, this is Canada Wild Rye, albeit growing in Central Montana, close to Fort Shaw. 
The opposing curved forms remind me of how horses will stand close, each head to the others’ tail end; if they’re the same colour, the right angle gives view to a single Pushmi-Pullyu
(Thank you, Hugh Lofting, for encouraging childhood flights of fancy and unbridled imagination.)

15 July 2014

Hard Used, Missoula, Montana

“…They blend along small-town streets
Like a race of giants that have faded into mere mythology.
Our eyes, washed clean of belief,
Lift incredulous to their fearsome crowns of bolts, trusses, 

struts, nuts, insulators, and such
Barnacles as compose
These weathered encrustations of electrical debris…”

From "Telephone Poles

by John Updike

(Click on the author's name, above, to read an insightful article on Updike's mother, also a writer.) 

14 July 2014

Fenceline, Shelby, Montana

"Three long days of dust behind him, 
at least that many more to go. 
His job it is to ride the fences, 

to bend the wire and mend the posts...

Another sunrise finds him mounted 
ready to begin the day. For now the sun 
is at his back, 
no wind or rain to cloud 
their way. 

He loses count of what he mended on his 
journey east to west. He knows the 
corner post will greet him; three more 
lines until they rest."

13 July 2014

Daisies Reaching, Lolo, Montana

It’s almost as if the daisies - precocious dreamers, all - are reaching, aspiring to the lofty cloud example.