Monday, October 26, 2009

Mercy's Quill

From Mercy Hayworth's Journal:

(a portion of the page has torn away. The entry appears to be a few days after her sixteenth birthday, in October 1689.)

. . . Papa gave me a book of poems and inside are these lovely verses by Anne Bradstreet. . .I wish I had known her.

By Night when Others Soundly Slept
by Anne Bradstreet

By night when others soundly slept
And hath at once both ease and Rest,
My waking eyes were open kept
And so to lie I found it best.

I sought him whom my Soul did Love,
With tears I sought him earnestly.
He bow'd his ear down from Above.
In vain I did not seek or cry.

My hungry Soul he fill'd with Good;
He in his Bottle put my tears,
My smarting wounds washt in his blood,
And banisht thence my Doubts and fears.

What to my Saviour shall I give
Who freely hath done this for me?
I'll serve him here whilst I shall live
And Love him to Eternity

Friday, October 16, 2009

It is hot today, nearly eighty degrees and I can't believe I am simmering a pot on my stove, but the girls love my vegetarian chili. It's a savory pot of bubbling beans, very nice for an October evening - in Vermont, though, not southern California.

But Abigail likes it. That matters to me more than anything.

Here it is:

Esperanza's Veggie Chili

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
2 carrots and 2 celery stalks. chopped
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 28 0z can diced tomatoes
4 or 5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 green pepper, chopped
1/4 cup parsley
4 ot 5 tsp chili powder
1 tsp each cumin and oregano
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans kidney beans
2 small zucchini, sliced

Heat oil and add onions, carrots, celery and jalapenos. Cook, stirring often for 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic, green pepper, parsley, and spices. Simmer 20 minutes. Stir often. Add beans and cook 15 minutes. Add zucchini and cook 5 minutes. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Serves 4 to 6.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Abigail on the Classics

My humblest apologies. It is my fault that I am so late in writing this. I lacked the energy when we returned to Santa Barbara after our little retreat to the Pismo Beach house, and then I lacked the motivation.

It's not that I didn't have a lovely time with my girls. I did. I was unmotivated because I had such a lovely time. I didn't want to come home to this house where my mother died when I needed her most and where my father died sputtering he didn't need me at all. I know I will probably breathe my last in the same room where they both left me - fifty years apart. Tell me you'd race home to embrace an imminent future like that one.

Clarissa says if I am going to spend my last few months here whining about the past, she's leaving. I don't think she is serious. Well, actually, maybe she is. In any case, when she said that, I realized I really don't want to think of this house as the place where I will die. It is, but I don't want to think of that being its purpose. It is the house where I made most of the choices that have defined me, good or bad. It is the house where I learned what I could change and what I couldn't. I met Lauren in this house.

It is the house where I lived.

So I had my coffee on the patio this morning. The birds were singing to the day and the sun was coaxing the morning glories into a most narcissistic display of splendor. And I just sat and sipped. Clarissa saw me there before she left for class and I think she realized she does not have to think about finding a new place to live.

Lauren is getting a package today. She told me the galleys for the diary are ready and she is going to be going over them word by word. This is the last time she and I will have a chance to weave Mercy's words into the tale that will be her legacy.

I am glad the sun is shining today.