Volume XI, Issue 52 ~ December 25-31, 2003

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Bay Reflections

Reflections and Commentary are our most intimate spaces, where writers come to tell truths and readers to share truth.

Steve Carr: Steve’s Snow-Rating Scale ~ March 6: No 10
I don’t know about you, but I measure snow by how hard it is to shovel.

I’ve come up with a handy-dandy rating system that, like the Richter Scale, more accurately reflects the real power of a snow storm …

Audrey Y. Scharmen: The Oracle ~ May 1: No. 18
A sweet-faced scarecrow the size of a seven-year-old child has become a sounding board for one who is accustomed to talking to herself in this wilderness of apathy where I reside.

War was imminent, and she became a sly effigy in a mask and cowboy hat. A series of placards pinned to her shirt expressed our views of opposition. The messages changed quickly from: No War to God Bless Our Troops and finally, in capitulation, simply a plea for Peace.

Now she is cast as a grieving mother presiding over a small headstone at her feet, which reads: Rest in Peace.

Kathleen Murphy: The Oven-Cookers ~ May 8: No. 19
I stand in the middle of a long line of women who bake acts of love. Today as I bake, my mother looks down from her celestial kitchen, her presence so real as she peers over my shoulder, coaching and smiling. When I knead dough, a grandmother’s hand is covering mine in spirit. From their rich lives came a love of nourishing others and a desire to feed.

Marnie Morris: Small Boat, Big Fish ~ May 22: No. 21
On sunny Sundays, my husband and I put our canoe in the Patuxent River. At the remains of a duck blind, we stop, bait our hooks, cast our lines and rest our bodies. An hour and a half later, we still haven’t had a nibble. We eat our lunches and I sprawl out on the floor of the canoe in pure relaxation, my head on a life cushion.

Until my fishing line makes a loud whir. I look to see line flying from my reel. “Holy cow! Holy cow!!” I scream.

Lauren Silver: Following in My Fathers’ Sentences ~ June 12: No. 24
Something must run in the family. As I begin my career as a writer, I discover that my father and his father are there before me.

Writing this, I have already veered off the self-taught paths of my father and grandfather, for they have not given me the chance to learn for myself what my grandfather tells me, that “an idea, a simple thought doesn’t write a book.”

My father and grandfather have both shown me that it’s not the idea that makes a writer, but her will to express it.

The words will follow.

Kathryn Reshetiloff: Woodland Romance ~ July 17: No. 29
Eerie, soulful sounds floated through my open window in the early morning. Hoo-hoo-hoo. Hoo-hoo-hoo-haawww.

A few weeks later, a large bird swooped silently and lit upon the crook of an old beech. Even before grabbing my binoculars, I knew that this was one of the owl suitors on whom I had been eavesdropping.

M.L. Faunce: They Had a Dream ~ Aug. 28: No. 35
Back in the early ’60s in my first job in Washington, secretaries in my office would work their week, then return home to the Norfolk, Virginia, area and join sit-ins at shoe stores and lunch counters. What they were able to enjoy in Washington — the simple freedom of trying on a pair of shoes or sitting down in a café for a coke or a cup of coffee — was denied them in their small hometowns.

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr., and the much-heralded civil rights march on Washington would keep my friends in Washington, sharing the dream.

I watched the March on Washington on TV. “You should have been there,” my friends said quietly over lunch that Monday.

Dick Wilson: Diving The Chesapeake ~ Oct. 16: No. 42
I wish my next scuba dive adventure were here at home, in Chesapeake Bay. In relative terms, warm tropical water, with its 100-foot visibility and brightly colored fish, is a desert as far as abundance of life is concerned. Cooler temperate waters, as in Chesapeake Bay, host many more different species in a smaller area. But we can’t have both visibility and profusion. That, and the pollution, result in water that’s murky at best. Chesapeake visibility is probably less than three feet.

Vivian I. Zumstein: Mindless Musings ~ Nov. 13: No. 46
Like ironing, blowing leaves during autumn is mindless yet gratifying. I move across the lawn in an unbroken rhythm, not unlike a dance. With three steps forward I sweep the blower from side to side, leading my disjointed leaf partner in fluttering moves. My body acts without thinking, freeing my mind. Thoughts glide through the now empty recesses. Good thoughts. Deep thoughts. Thoughts usually overwhelmed by the daily clutter.

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Last updated December 24, 2003 @ 11:47pm. Merry Christmas!!