A Page from Pollyanna

It is Mother’s Day in America and my prodigal surprised me this morning by being there when I woke up. He and Gretel both supplied cards with gooey messages, and Hansel and the Hottie gave me a bunch of flowers.

Hansel and the Handsome Prince are now toiling in the yard which, although I say so myself, is looking spectacularly good. It is, of course, best viewed from the new deck.

When I was a red-headed child, I identified with Anne of Green Gables, with whom I shared a love of long words and a tendency to get into scrapes. Now I am grown, I channel Mrs Rachel Lynde. I sit on my deck and rock (usually with the assistance of a chair) and keep a close and critical eye on the comings and goings in the neighborhood. I chat, gossip and kvetch with passersby I lure on to my porch. The deck has only been fully operational for two days and already I have received two local ladies for light refreshments. I hope to host many more.

In Atlanta, I had a wonderful dinner at South City Kitchen  with my new  friends Kristin, Patty and Linda. Kristin is promising to fix me up with her dad who, apart from his enthusiastic membership of both the Republican party and the NRA, sounds absolutely ideal. What could possibly go wrong?

Bonus of the week: I received a shout out on Health Demystified’s Blog and was listed as one of the Most Valuable Players in the Health and Fitness blogosphere. This is very flattering, but hardly well deserved. I’d perhaps better not mention in any detail the goat’s cheese, chicken livers and delicious Cabernet Sauvignon I consumed with my Southern Ya Ya Sisterhood at the restaurant above.

The good news continues with a new pair of green shoes that are easy on the feet, a trip to Atlanta that involved a lot of Southern eating, and lots of interest in the Crone’s coaching.

It appears Pollyanna is big in the Bosphorous and adored by the Aegean. Today I heard from my Turkish friend Kursad in warm and sunny Bodrum. Kursad declares that Eleanor Porter‘s heroine is his favorite faghag  (against strong competition-ahem) and urges me to continue to emulate the cheery waif.  I shall therefore press on, celebrating my life’s small pleasures and greeting the world with a generous grin.

If only every day could begin like today, with a bowl of stewed rhubarb. Rhubarb is rare in these parts. There is more chance of finding beanstalks grown from magic beans. When I spotted the delightful red and green yesterday in Gretel’s grocery I scooped up every last stick. I gave some to Peggoty who loves it too and stewed the rest. I had two big bowls this morning.  Yum.

On my wrist there glistens a crystal bracelet which was a gift yesterday from Gretel. It is green and pink and pearl with beads interspersed with sparkles and it fits without having to be extended. Call me wispy, call me delicate, and don’t forget to describe my wrists as slender.

My garden sprouted overnight thanks to the rain. Eat your heart out Vita Sackville West–no dreary whites and grays for me.

My quest for inner calm has been treated with hoots of derision from my sister and Doris Brazil. Lucky them, they must have the mental equanimity to cope with everyday life. The Cackler repairs to her mobile home for mental refuge, and Doris resorts to a nap in the Parker Knoll and a binge on the Bombay Mix. I however, having been refused additional chemical support by my doctor, am determined to go on looking for reasons to be cheerful. Today was a doddle.

1) There is something very glad-making about this vegetable tableaux and anything with a visual pun (iceberg. geddit?) is always to be praised. Also, there is a Belfast connection, for the ill-fated Titanic was built at my home city’s shipyard. My great grandfather was one of many hundreds of shipyard workers who worked on the liner. My great uncle said it broke Sam Simpson’s heart when news of the sinking of the super ship reached East Belfast. The ship’s captain was also a Northern Ireland man. It’s fair to say that Atlantic crossing was not our finest hour, and so therefore you must be wondering how I am finding cause for celebration in this reminder of (another) dark day in Northern Ireland’s history.  It may surprise you to learn that Belfast’s newly gentrified dockland is now named the Titanic quarter. Talk about perception is everything. Talk about taking control of your story. Talk about taking lemons and making lemonade.

2) I went to visit Gretel this morning at work at the baked goods counter in Itchy Ankle’s emporium. She and her colleagues do not stint on the food coloring when it comes to decorating their buns and cakes. I don’t want to eat this stuff (Thanks be to God), but I do find pleasure in its exuberance.

3) I had a great afternoon with Ms. Monroe at a newly discovered winery close by Itchy Ankle. There is something about the order and promise of vines that is pleasing, and of course it was nice to support local enterprise by having a drink or two. Read the full report of our visit here.

I am working on my attitude and the way I see the world. It appears that those who feel gladness and give thanks are more resilient and better able to cope with life than those who are not. I need me some of that.

Today, I am grateful that the Chesapeake Boys are building my new deck. I am going to plan a party for late May. There will be parasols and bunting. That would make anyone glad.

It’s nearly 5pm and the Chesapeake Boys are packing up to go home. A cavalcade of trucks is pulling away from the house. I am glad about that–they have been banging and screwing since 8am.

I am glad about the frilly purple irises blooming in front of the house.

Yesterday, I was glad to see Marina and the Princessa, and very glad to have the Hottie drive me home.  Here are some photos of them and of other glad-making things from the last few weeks.

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