Getting Ready for Dr. Peter Quigley

Dr. Quigley in his book Housing the Environmental Imagination, quotes Thoreau, “We are wont to see our dooryard as a part of the earth’s surface.”

I surely do, it is why I offer up so many photos of the view from my office. I used to think that my dooryard could be anywhere. My first apartment was as a studio.. I knew from the get go that it wasn’t large enough. I needed more than a dorm room.

The good news is the studio had a huge balcony on which I could grill. I had learned from a friend known as the “food scientist” that eating like a king at breakfast and a pauper at night could enable me to lose weight.

First thing in the morning, I grilled either pork chops, lamb chops or steak and added it to three eggs, bacon and toast. I surely made my dooryard as part of the earth’s surface just by the animals I brought there albeit they had already been butchered.  I don’t remember if I lost weight.

Not sure I can tell that story with any success when I meet Dr. Quigley for dinner next week, but I surely enjoyed the memory his book provided.


Dragons Talk

This morning I finished writing a story for my monthly newspaper column in the Peterborough, NH Ledger-Transcript.  It had to do with dragons. The dragons that appear in our midst challenging us to pass. For me writing is one of the keys to getting by them.

This afternoon I returned home from work and was spending some quality time on our back deck when I noticed a dragon fly floating in our dog’s water dish.  The dragon didn’t look like he was taking a drink, but rather drowning. I had seen one before in this predicament, but not able to save it.

This one remained alive so I tried gently pouring out the water, but in the transition one of the wings bent back. I went inside and tore off a small slice of paper towel. Returning to the porch, I slid the towel toward the dragon-fly thinking I could I slide under it. The dragon grabbed on right away and held as I walked it to a nearby table.

As I sat in a chair watching I noticed its wings had returned to their proper place. Suddenly, the dragon fly fluttered them but didn’t go airborne. I watched hopefully as the dragon wiped its face.

After about five minutes, its wings beat rapidly and the dragon took to the air. As the dragon lifted over the roof of our house, I thought I heard it say something, but couldn’t catch what it was. No matter, now I know dragons talk.  This should come in handy next time I want to get by one.

Marking Territory

What makes home, home? After growing up in one place, I left home at seventeen never to return. In part because when I left so did my parents. I went off to college in Massachusetts and they moved to San Francisco from the Camden area of New Jersey.  Once there, they made it their forever home.

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In his book Housing the Environmental Imagination, Dr. Peter Quigley writes, ” By being the most prominent extension of the imaginative into the physical realm, houses are full of communication: they are political statements, social commentary, as well as embodied aesthetic projects.”

Yesterday The Boston Globe  published a picture of Tom Brady and Gisele Bundchen’s house that just sold in California as well as the new one being built in Massachusetts.  The “old one” was a huge house, over eighteen thousand square feet. New one is down sized. Looks to be only about ten thousand square feet. Statement lost per square foot?

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