Prologue: Book Report II

For some time now, I’ve been meaning to write, but, as you might have noticed, I haven’t produced anything since I gave you my mother’s cookie recipe.

First, I wanted to write about the five Lake Superior rocks I have by my birdbath here in Central Virginia. I didn’t know what I was going to write about them, but  I know they are important to me. My guess is that I wanted to say something about the thesis and antithesis and synthesis of the North and the South (and the East and the West, for that matter) inside of me. Something like: I love the little birds and flowers here in this (mostly) mild place, but how I love that cold and wild Superior.

Lake Superior rocks and birdbath

Lake Superior rocks and birdbath

Then, I wanted to write about my swiss chard: maybe something more about the about the polarities in my life. I grew up eating iceberg lettuce or, to be exotic, the odd bit of romaine or escarole. When I was still quite a new gardener back in the early 1980s, I figured out that there was no point in me growing either head lettuce or spinach. The former didn’t work for my home garden—I need greens all the time, not one time and then you’re done. The latter bolted as soon as the weather got hot and it’s hot everywhere I’ve lived since the 1970s: hot and dry or hot and humid. So, I started growing swiss chard even though it seemed exotic to my bland mid-western self. Swiss chard grows for me in  hot and dry and  hot and humid and cold and snow and  mud and baked clay. I love it. We eat chard in salads and in pasta and with rice.  My favorite chard varieties are “Bright Lights” and “Rainbow Mix.” I am growing organic “Rainbow Mix” this year. How lovely, how timely: Here’s to our rainbow country and may we all live long and prosper.

swiss chard, "Rainbow Mix"

swiss chard, “Rainbow Mix”

Later,  I wanted to write about how Tom and I camped on the Eastern Shore. We were so excited to be among the wild horses at Assateague National Seashore, but a little time passed and I forgot to write.

wild horses, Assateague National Seashore

wild horses, Assateague National Seashore

Finally, I took dozens of photos I wanted to share with you of Tom’s climbing rose, Awakening, but none of them (even the photo below) were able to  completely capture the gentle, fresh beauty of its reality.

awakening copyright Lynda Terrill


I think I couldn’t write because my mind these days is like a Tilt-a-Whirl. My mind spins one way and then another. It stops, goes up, then down, and makes me sick in my stomach and in my head.  I couldn’t shake out the words.*

A trusty remedy for my twirling mind has always been reading. Child and woman, student and teacher, I have enjoyed book reports. Expect a report tomorrow on the four books I am currently reading.

*I have never liked amusement park rides. So many stories: the feckless pilot of my bumper car trying to be cool like my brothers; two go-rounds on the Edgewater roller-coaster, to be cool and then puke; my sister-in-law encouraging me to go on the “mild”  pirate ship, so that I felt even more terror than on the Hershey Park roller coaster. Apparently close to the ground is where I belong. Anyhow, if you want to see a photo of the Bob-Lo Island Tilt-a-Whirl and other photos, go to


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