Country Ways


06 Jul 2010 12:41 am

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Reminiscing about my excursion to the country a few weeks ago. While driving out with my husband and his friend to my sisters’ house in the woods we had to slow down to let two deer cross the road.

We were up early and arrived in the country around nine a.m. My sister, Lucy was our guide, leading us down the mountain through the woods to the place her husband had set up as a make-shift range.

The guys had quite a few different kinds of guns. They were carrying way too much gear so I ended up helping them out by carrying one bag which got heavier and heavier as I went down the hill.

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The guys had forgotten to bring a target so a small white sticker was stuck to the wood.

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My husband’s friend, Mike knows how to shoot. He is a former Army officer and is now a policeman.

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Lucy tried this gun and so did I. It didn’t have as much recoil as I expected which was fun.

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We spent about an hour down at the range in the woods and then packed up to make our trek back up the hill. It was hot and we were all tired, except for my tiny Amazon sister, Lucy, who beat us up the hill.

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I took a slow walk up the hill, taking photos along the way. Bob and Mike decided to go on back to town but I stayed to visit with Lucy. She made me a cup of Irish tea. We practiced singing a song we were to sing at church the following Sunday for Fathers Day.

The tea was so good. Then came a lunch of bacon, eggs and tomato juice. Yum. We enjoyed our very American day even though a thought came to me at the time…Guns, bacon, eggs, tea. None of these delectations and items of self defense are popular with the political elite and yet most Americans enjoy some or all of these American standards.

29 Jan 2009 09:52 pm

Now, this is more like it.

From Yankee Magazine Online, New England’s Website, (a website I highly recommend) is a deeply felt and carefully drawn tribute to the great American painter, Andrew Wyeth.

The Ghost of Andrew Wyeth

America’s Most Beloved Painter is Gone

by Edgar Allen Beem

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Trodden Weed,” self-portrait by Andrew Wyeth

Andrew Wyeth is dead. He reportedly passed away peacefully in his sleep at the great age of 91. Had this been summer, he probably would have drifted away in Port Clyde, Maine, but, as it is winter, his final resting place was Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, the little hamlet where he was born in 1917. America’s most famous and most popular artist, Wyeth was also its most misunderstood.

Andrew Wyeth lived a charmed but cloistered life. His world was largely limited to the two poles of his existence - Chadds Ford and Maine, where the Wyeth clan owns properties in Cushing and Port Clyde, including several private islands. He preferred “going deep” to scattering his attentions far and wide. As such, he created internationally-known art out of the lives and landscapes of these two rural outposts.

There is much more to read in this very insightful tribute so please do. The last paragraph is the most meaningful in this piece as it expresses what I believe is the reason Andrew Wyeth will transcend the critics in the art establishment just as Vincent van Gogh did.

If you’re going to live a deep life rather than a shallow one, you have to embrace your roots. Wyeth was trained by his father, the great illustrator N.C. Wyeth, and when he came to paint his oblique 1951 self-portrait, “Trodden Weed,” he portrayed himself walking the land of his forebears wearing boots that once belonged to his father’s teacher, Howard Pyle. We all inhabit the past. We live among ghosts. And now Andrew Wyeth, who knew this better than anyone, is himself history.

I discovered Andrew Wyeth in a high school English textbook when I was a sophomore. His painting, Christina’s World was opposite a poem by Robert Frost. I remember being in awe of the painting, carrying the book home from school that day, not to read, but simply to stare at the painting, taking in all the rich details, lines, and subtle colors.

The discovery of the painter, Andrew Wyeth ranks as one of five thrilling discoveries in art in my young life: Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World, Michelangelo’s David, Leonardo’s Mona Lisa, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and Monet’s Haystacks.

07 Jul 2007 10:33 pm

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We went out to the country to see my cousins, Jeanne and Junior. They moved out to the country about fifteen years ago and have a great garden.

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I love Jeanne’s Four O’clocks. They bloom every afternoon like clockwork.

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Junior and Jeanne’s abundant garden has tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, potatoes, okra, yellow squash, acorn squash, green beans, asparagus, cabbage, lettuce, cucumbers, onions, and more. They also grow blackberries, strawberries and have peach and apple trees.

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Jeanne and Junior’s cats and dogs have the run of the place.

We had a supper of tomatoes, cucumbers, homemade guacamole, chicken enchiladas (the best I’ve ever tasted) beef enchiladas, and spanish rice. For dessert: delicious strawberry shortcake.

Afterwards we played a friendly game of Pinochle. We spent so much time laughing we didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the game and yet the crafty guys managed to win. I went outside on the deck to listen to the sounds of the night in the deep country. No street lights were around for miles, Jeanne and Junior live on a dirt road off another country road with lots of acreage.

The sounds of nature were even more striking than the bright sky. The night was a little humid but still peaceful and restful to the soul.

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The coolest pantry I’ve ever seen.

Jeanne and Junior have a beautiful tortoise shell cat who’s taken it upon herself to guard the driveway. When we first arrived she wouldn’t move out of the way so we parked out of her way. When we left, there she was again, right in the middle of the drive, so my husband drove out in the grass to avoid her.