Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Voice of the Turtle Is Heard in the Land

Four years ago on May 23, 2013, I published the blog post below, which is basically a love song to my New England village of Grafton.  It started with a photo of the mean giant snapping turtle who comes every year across the road from the lakeside to lay her eggs in our front yard.  

I didn't see her last year and yesterday I was saying, "I wonder if that turtle's still alive?" but just now I looked out of the second floor bedroom window and there she was in the driveway.  So I went outside to say hello and she glared back as always.  I know she'll be several hours out there digging a hole and then laying her eggs (very slowly!) and then we'll try to help her get back across the street safely.

Right now, exactly as I wrote four years ago, the irises and the clematis are in flower and the peonies are about to pop open and I've been photographing it all.  And just as I said then, I'm dreaming about being able to afford a tiny apartment in New York, so I can spend my declining years there. But every spring I start watching for this turtle and I realize there's no place I'd rather be than here in our 300-year-old house in Grafton.   

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (KJV)
11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;
12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

She came today, just as she does every year, crossing the road from the lake, digging a nest in our front yard and laying her eggs--the biggest,  meanest old snapping turtle you ever saw, but we always watch from a distance and make sure she makes it back across the road without becoming road kill.
And today the clematis started to pop open and so did the best of the irises.

Last week I was back in New York City. We dined at Swifty's and I walked through Central Park every day at the height of its blossoming and I tried to figure out how I could sell our country house in the Massachusetts village of Grafton and buy a tiny apartment in New York to spend our declining years, but then I got back home for last weekend and realized that Manhattan can't hold a candle to our New England village.

At the Common they were celebrating Grafton History Day--the 150th anniversary of a time when both the Town House and the Unitarian Church were burned down on Sept 11, 1862 as the Civil War was raging, and rebuilt in 1863.
Linda Casey, president of the Grafton Historical Society, greeted me in her daytime dress.  She had another gown for the ball that night.

There was a  Civil War muster and the Mass. 13th Volunteer Infantry Regiment was recreating an authentic Civil War encampment.

Ladies were buying plants on the common, no matter what the shape and size of their petticoats.

Next I went to the Plantapalooza at the Community Barn and Harvest Project where kids and adults were planting about a gazillion tomato plants as part of the community's volunteer farming for hunger relief (they give away everything they've grown) .  And everyone who came got free tomato plants. 

You could meet alpacas and go on the cookie walk & buy handmade crafts and local honey and jams.

And of course there were the yards sales on the weekend--I bought somebody's grandmother's collectible dolls for $2.00 each.  And the all the doll clothes for another $2.00.

Manhattan may be my favorite big city, but as Dorothy said, there's no place like home.

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