Napatree

In my mind I am often on Napatree. You're welcome to come along.

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August 31, 2014

Tomorrow is Labor Day. My late mother, now a voice in my head, tells me to put away the white jeans and relegate white sandals to the back of the closet. A person who loved clothes, she knew her fashion rules.

"Project Runway" mentor Tim Gunn, though, says otherwise. According to Mr. Gunn, white after Labor Day is okay as long as it’s weather appropriate. What he doesn’t care for are cropped pants, they make men and women look squat, and cropped tops which he says belong only at the beach. He also says black and brown can be worn together and that wearing different patterns together is fine, too.

I like brown and black together, the mix of different patterns, also. But white after Labor day gives me pause. White shirts and tops, fine. A white sweater, absolutely. But white shoes, never. Mr. Gunn missed the acquaintance of my mother.

8:27 am cdt | link 

August 30, 2014

The Labor Day weekend. The Minnesota State Fair. The locusts in late afternoon with their end-of-summer song. When I was a child I heard them and wondered why no one talked about it. Was I the only one, I remember thinking, listening to the sound of what I couldn’t see?

What I heard then, and am hearing now, are not locusts but cicadas. August insects looking for mates. It is only the males who partake in a late summer chorus, and for their size they make a noise louder than any other living creature. Some people find the noise shrill and disconcerting. To me it is an annual voice of the landscape. A back-to-school sound.

6:52 am cdt | link 

August 29, 2014

I am editing my life, not only my books. Gradually the furniture recedes, the chairs from Spain now vanquished, the Shaker rocker somewhere else. Even the baby cradle, like a wooden shoe, eases another woman’s child into sleep. I did not know when I amassed the things I once assumed important, I would instead prefer the possibilities of empty space. My tools, my mother’s ring, the drawings by my children all I need. My father’s ashtray holding years of smoke.

7:37 am cdt | link 

August 28, 2014

Thursday is flower share day at the farm, and the late summer offerings are bountiful: asters, zinnias, globe amaranth, statice, gladioli, Irish eyes, sunflowers, cosmos, scabiosa, strawflowers, ageratum and the last of the lisianthus.

That book of environmental quotes, I was unable to pitch it! This one works for me today:

"You forget that the fruits belong to all and the land belongs to no one."  J. Rousseau, 1755 

7:11 am cdt | link 

August 27, 2014

Rummaging through a shelf of books I found an old photo album stuffed with a handful of loose photos I had not bothered to put in. Pictures of a California vacation, a Thanksgiving dinner, a kindergartener boarding the school bus on the first day of school. Family memories. As much as I treasure these photo albums of personal history, I treasure more milestone drawing made by the kids.

Someone told me to do this, this was not my idea. On their birthday I had each child draw a self-portrait. I started when they could barely hold a crayon or marker, so the first self-portraits are just scribbles. I dated the drawings and put them away in a large envelope not to be opened until their next birthday when they drew their self-portrait for that year. I provided the paper, pencils, markers, paints but they could not see what they had drawn the year before, or in previous years, until they completed their current portrait. Only then could they look at the ‘before’ self-portraits.

They are all graphically inclined kids, loving to draw, so it wasn’t much of a chore to get them to do this, even in their teen years. But because the project didn’t end until they graduated from high school, I do remember withholding car keys on a couple of occasions. The self-portraits are amazing. Wearing braces, sports uniforms, a new haircut, you can tell what they were thinking about, and about themselves, at the time.

8:49 am cdt | link 

August 26, 2014

The writing assignment for this week’s writer’s meeting is – Back to School, Not.

My year begins in September, always has. Boyd Elementary School, junior high school, Memorial High School, college, graduate schools, the kids’ schools, time teaching, subbing, volunteering in schools.

As I write the yellow busses are being readied, the uniforms being purchased, the lunch boxes and backpacks being selected. The year begins with a new teacher, new friends and challenges. The first challenge being how to sit quietly in a circle, a later challenge perhaps the GREs.

My friend who taught high school art said she used to get stomach pains in late summer. After she stopped teaching the stomach pains stopped, too. Another friend, also a high school teacher, mentioned the anxiety dream called the ‘teacher dream.’ In the dream you are assigned to teach a class on a subject for which you are not prepared.

It’s almost time for school. The sound of the school bell still resonates with me.

8:38 am cdt | link 

August 25, 2014

This weekend just past, garden flowers for another wedding. An outdoor wedding, a ceremony at a farm. A hog roast wedding. The bride told me because of the number of guests, 500, cupcakes would be served instead of a standard wedding cake.

Wedding cakes are wedding cakes. Sometimes they are extremely beautiful but not very tasty, less often they are delicious but not very handsome. A particularly beautiful wedding cake comes to mind.

The bride and groom were both chefs. New York chefs. The wedding reception took place in a Connecticut bistro. My flower instructions were simple, garden flowers, heavy on herbs. On the restaurant tables, in lieu of arrangements of flowers, fine wire baskets were filled with tiny pots of parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme, also marjoram and basil. A sophisticated look appropriate for the marriage of chefs. The wedding cake was a standard, tiered cake iced with chocolate frosting. The icing wasn’t a dark chocolate color, more of a mocha shade. But what made the cake special was the cascade of frosting fruit: bunches of green and purple grapes, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries artfully cascading from the top of the cake diagonally down one side. It was spectacular to look at. I had to imagine the taste.

8:48 am cdt | link 

August 24, 2014

If you are over thirty-five, you, like me, probably rode your childhood bike without a helmet. You bumped up and down curbs, transported stuff in a bike basket, didn’t always remember to use a kickstand. Leaving your bike on its side in your friend’s front yard was a regular. Maybe you also rode a city bus by yourself, knowing how to transfer to another bus downtown to get to your piano lesson, your swim lesson at the Y. If your parents worried about you, you were unaware.

Not long ago I was parked in the lot by Ace Hardware. As I was contemplating getting out of my car, it was raining, I saw, in the distance, three boys on bikes. They were riding fast, doing the occasional pop-a-wheelies. They were without helmets or rain gear. They were soaked, their hair plastered to their heads. I gave a momentary sigh of relief those full-of-it-kids, those reckless kids, did not belong to me. Without my noticing they turned into the lot where I was parked. The rain had stopped a bit and I was getting ready to get out of the car when one of bike riders grew closer.”Mor?,” said a wet, grinning face as I rolled down the window.

8:43 am cdt | link 

August 23, 2014

The editing of my books continues. Florentine Embroidery, gone. Clothing Concepts, The Complete History of the Flute, New England Walking Trails, Scandinavians in America, Colonial Cooking, The Wayside Inn, Women Who Run with the Wolves, Basic Design, all of them gone. And novels purchased for book Club meetings: Cold Mountain, She’s Come Undone, A Map of the World, they are leaving, too. Not because I didn’t like them, they were wonderfully told stories, all of them, but because I tend not to reread a story I’ve read.

A book under consideration for removal, a tome titled Environmental Quotations, I am giving  more than a second glance because I like its cover, displaying a painting called "Earth Garden" by a Nicaraguan painter. The quotes inside are divided into sections: Land Management, Conservation, Ethics, etc., serious subjects. A quote by Ogden Nash under Aesthetics, a quote written in 1933, caught my eye:

     I think that I shall never see

     A billboard lovely as a tree.

     Indeed, unless the billboards fall

     I’ll never see a tree at all. 

6:57 am cdt | link 

August 22, 2014

From now to then. Yesterday a trip backward with the cheerleaders, the class brain, a girl who dove off the high board, the quartet of girls who became nurses and teachers. We have been meeting annually for years, flying in from the coasts to reassemble and remember. We laugh and tell each other we look the same as we did last year, we compliment on new glasses, jewelry, a handsome pair of shoes. Behind our laughter lurk our losses. Women as different as snowflakes nurtured, and bonded, by a time, a place.

9:06 am cdt | link 

August 21, 2014

I am cleaning out my library, editing it right and left. The Book of Iron Ornamentation, gone.  The History of Knitting, gone. Art the Critic and You and The Philosophy of Art, gone and gone. Thinking philosophically can be wearying. A tricky business at best. In spite of a handful of philosophical tomes in my library I remain confused about most everything.

This little story from years ago remains in my head. I have taken a seat in a classroom at the University of Hartford Art School and notice that someone has written, in ball point,  “God is dead,”  on the top of the drafting table and credited Nietzsche. A few days later I return to class and find myself at the same drafting table. Under the “God is Dead” phrase, someone has written “No, Nietzsche is Dead.” It's been signed, "God."

Also taking leave of my library is a book called, 511 Things Only Women Understand. Item 503: Nancy Drew.

6:42 am cdt | link 

August 20, 2014

They are with me in Fairbault at the Minnesota Motor Vehicle Department.

Across from me a man with thunderous arms bearing blankets of tattoos. He wears a silver ring in his nose and a t-shirt with the word "Harley" in bold letters. Beneath the “Harley,” and in smaller type, the words "Group Therapy." 

Next to the motorcycle man sits a woman of about fifty. She wears sneakers, aqua Capri pants and a shirt I recognize from a Land’s End catalogue. She has pale hair and blue eyes behind silver framed glasses. Sitting next to me is a Somali woman in what I would describe as traditional dress. The skirt part of her dress is a pattern of black and gold flowers, the scarf around her head is pale green and wraps under her chin exposing only the oval of her face.

The man leaning against the door frame looks Latino. He wears black pants, a blue short-sleeved shirt and on his wrist a substantial looking watch. He wears his hair in a buzz cut.

We are in this room at this moment. The whole world is assembled here.

7:22 am cdt | link 

August 19, 2014

A friend gave me the just-out September Wall Street Journal Magazine. The style edition. I enjoyed looking at the beautiful, distant-eyed women wearing the newest fashions: fake furs, pastel coats, sleeveless shifts and clunky shoes with anklets.

My mother worked outside the home and hired a woman named Kate Lehman to help with the family ironing. I would often sit in our breakfast nook coloring or drawing, watching Kate Lehman iron. Kate Lehman smoked when she ironed, her lipstick applied so heavily her cigarette adhered to her lower lip leaving her hands free. She always wore thick-heeled heavy brown shoes which she paired with colorful, argyle ankle sox. Kate Lehman was ahead of her time. 

6:48 am cdt | link 

August 18, 2014

Driving along to somewhere, we stopped at the side of the road where a man was selling things he had made from unfinished wood. Bird houses, chairs, tables, a couple of cradles. Important things. We bought a cradle, a sturdy cradle that reminded me of a boat or a wooden shoe. And because it looked just the way I wanted it to look, I painted it three different shades of blue. Tropical, green water blues. And from blue/green striped flannel I made a quilted mattress. And the baby slept well in the cradle.

Yesterday, after the baby who has grown so tall had helped me move the cradle down from the attic, a woman bought it for the baby she is waiting for. “Oh,” she said when she saw it, “a Wynken, Blynken and Nod cradle.” She knew. I wished her a wonderful baby. 

8:33 am cdt | link 

August 17, 2014

A man rides by my window on a bicycle. Sitting tall in the seat, he pedals casually without intention. He is wearing bright blue shoes and his right hand holds a paper cup of coffee. His left hand holds a cell phone to his ear. Regularly I see a man, a different man, pushing a baby in a stroller. He has some sort of apparatus built on the stroller which holds his lap top. He is able to type important things as he walks along.

We do wonderfully strange things. We have contests to see who can scarf down the most hot dogs. We cram our feet into uncomfortable, pointy-toed shoes. We dress our pets in funny outfits, and we rent storage units to house our ever mounting accumulation of stuff.

What do we do when absurdity overwhelms us? We laugh.

6:53 am cdt | link 

August 16, 2014

Saturday morning and I could write about metaphysical realism, apodictic knowledge, the meaning of life. Big thoughts, though, tend to escape me, skitter away. Today is an ordinary day and ordinary flowers: zinnias, sunflowers, cosmos, stock, ageratum and asters, bloom, without thinking, under an August sun.

My mother’s favorite flowers were asters, my father loved Oriental poppies. My mother and father were very different. Different backgrounds, different cultures. Even their food preferences were dissimilar. Looking back I might question their marriage but who, really, can understand the marriage of someone else. I only know that each spring my father planted asters, and in August my mother cut them and brought their colors into the house.

7:18 am cdt | link 

August 15, 2014

The juniper, the stretching, floppy so-lengthy juniper that extends between the two upright cedar trees outside my window, was devastated by last winter’s polar vortex. On the south facing side of the house, it suffered from the bitter cold; its prickly countenance was almost totally burned brown. “Oh, it’s gone,” my knowledgeable garden friend said one spring day when she was in the garden. “Oh, for sure, it’s gone,” I agreed.

I didn’t get around to having it removed. Too busy, too preoccupied with other things. Spring, as it does, turned into summer. And summer, as it does, is becoming fall. Maple leaves on the top of the tree are showing color and the sky is already September blue. The dead juniper, though, is turning green.

“Keep hope alive,” reads the cover of my writing notebook. “If you lose hope, you can always find it again,” are the words that are found inside. 

5:53 am cdt | link 

August 14, 2014

It’s an August day with temperatures in the low 80’s. We’re headed to Napatree. I’ve made us sandwiches for lunch and picked up fresh peaches from Draghi’s farm stand. A hat, sunscreen, swimsuits, a couple of towels, binoculars and we’re ready. Let’s plan on some swimming near the beach houses or, we can just wade out and let the waves toss us around. We can stretch out on the beach there too, watching tiny boats on the horizon making sounds much larger than their size.

The walk to the point is only a mile and a half, but there are things to see. Sometimes there are jelly fish in the shallow water and, wearing no shoes, we’ll have to be careful. There are always crab shells on the beach, sometimes a live one. Shells, sea weed, the unexpected, depending on the tide, will be scattered on the sand. And there are birds, so many birds. Gulls, sandpipers, terns and, on the leeward side of the point, cormorants. We can’t forget to check on the two elevated osprey nesting sites, too.

After, we’re going to stop for an orangeade at the Olympia Tearoom. There are always things to see in Watch Hill: tanned tourists eating ice cream cones, fancy shops, the carousel, boats at the yacht club. Maybe, just maybe, we’ll run into Conan O’Brien or Taylor Swift who, I have heard, own homes in town. 

8:41 am cdt | link 

August 13, 2014

Takashimaya, the name on the triangular bag in my shopping bag collection, was a branch of the Takashimaya department store of Japan. It closed, after 50 years in the United States, in June, 2010. It was located on Fifth Avenue near the Plaza Hotel. Though I have stayed at the Plaza Hotel, I am quite certain, after some online investigation, that I am not responsible for the beautiful bag in my collection. Online photographs of Takashimaya and its gorgeous clothes, flowers, textiles, furniture, food and teas, would say that a visit to the store would forever stay in a person’s memory. The shopping bag, and maybe its contents, was probably a gift.

Robin Williams had a gift. Most stories we only know chapters of, bits and pieces, fragments, so his death sneaks up as unwelcome surprise. Thinking about him I ponder his legacy. He was responsible for taking so many people out of their own moments when he made them, with words or actions, laugh.

5:45 am cdt | link 

August 12, 2014

People collect things. Christmas tree ornaments, art, dolls, baseball cards. Collections shown on "Antiques Road Show" are often the snuff box, Bakelite jewelry, art poster kind. Who knew that a theater promotion card from 1935 would be worth $5,000?

My shopping bag collection began when I studied typography and became interested in type design. Shopping bags are mobile advertising and say something about the person carrying them. Shopping bags are also easily available and free. They store well, too.

Yesterday, when I was rummaging in the attic, I pulled out my collection. A collection that hasn’t been added to in years but contains hundreds of bags. East Coast bags, bags picked up on travels, Dayton’s Christmas and special event bags sent to me by my college roommate. Looking at them I saw my personal history, my shopping history. Bags from museum shops, bags from department stores like GFox, Bonwit Teller, Sage Allen, B. Altman, Brown Thompson, Luettgens Limited that have gone out of business. I had a nostalgic time looking at my old, almost forgotten collection which included a tan shopping bag about ten inches high. A most unusual triangular shaped bag which reads "Takashimaya" in darker tan, small, typewriter style type and "New York" in thin black, sans serif letters. The bag’s handles are silky black cord and on the back of the bag there is a small Asian graphic in a circle. I have no memory surrounding this memorable bag. I am going online. 

10:54 am cdt | link 

August 11. 2014

If I had a pen, or better yet some markers or a tiny tin of paints, I would illustrate what I saw on my yesterday morning walk. At 7:00 a.m. you might think a Sunday morning is still sleeping. It isn’t. The August sun is slowing, the air hazy and the atmosphere soft but there are joggers running their individual ways: swinging arms, light footed, leaning too far forward, swaying from side to side, heavy footed, happily, unhappily. There is a man in plaid pajamas retrieving his newspaper. There are walkers with dogs: a black French poodle, a short-haired collie, a mixed breed brown dog and two different terriers; there is a woman, wearing a bathrobe, on her patio drinking a cup of coffee. Two people water their lawns and a man without a shirt washes his jeep; a man and a teenager load a car carrier with vacation luggage. For a moment I stop to smell garden phlox the size of softballs, another moment I pause to admire purple Platycodon grandiflorus. I am nowhere, I am here. I walk through this place extraordinary.

5:36 am cdt | link 

August 10, 2014

Just the gentlest nudge against my sneaker. I am on my knees transplanting seedlings but my feet stick out into tall grass. Again a nudge and I turn around to see the tiniest of rabbits.  A mangled rabbit recently attacked and mortally injured. By the neighborhood cat?

Who needs a rabbit in their garden? A hungry rabbit. Who needs a damaged, bloody rabbit, a beautifully perfect creature with fragile ears and tender whiskers? A tiny rabbit dying, literally, against my shoe.

In case I forget to remember, there is murder and mayhem in a garden. There are spiders and snakes and worms and stinging insects in those rows of larkspur and zinnias. So who needs a rabbit? Little rabbit dying at my feet, I do. 

6:45 am cdt | link 

August 9, 2014

Ordinary can fascinate. Free stuff, the stuff people leave piled at the street, piques my curiosity. Who knew such an ornate looking bookcase resided in that plain little ranch house? And the size of that grill, compared to the tiny condo it sits in front of, means there must be a Bobby Flay wannabe living there.

On a street nearby I saw a vacuum cleaner, the upright kind, with a note attached reading, in magic marker letters, ‘this works.’ Was a new Dyson purchased, a Roomba, had an installation of hardwood floors taken place?

Yesterday I saw, among a pile of curbside freebies, a toboggan. When I returned from my errands, it was gone. August. A toboggan? I am in awe of people who can plan ahead. 

8:28 am cdt | link 

August 8, 2014

My mother thought I should know how to type. Not just hunt and peck type, really type like a trained secretary. So, the summer mornings of a years-ago August, I could be found in the typing room of the local vocational school.

I don’t recall if we had individual desks or sat at long tables. I only remember a textbook to the left of our typewriter, a typewriter with a cover positioned over its keys so we could not look at the keyboard. The instructor stood in front of the class holding a loud timer. We started typing when we were told to. When the timer sounded, we were to immediately stop typing even if we were mid-word. Then, from a formula of counting up typed words, words with up to five letters, and subtracting words with errors, we determined how many words we could type in a minute.

I was a teenager and more interested that summer in the shop classes down the hall. More interested in sawing and welding than typing, more interested in the boys in those classes than my totally female typing class. Though no office would ever want me as a secretary, my mother had been right. I am pleased I learned how to type.

8:44 am cdt | link 

August 7, 2014

Maize. It is on the menu for dinner.

"American Indians developed a great number of maize varieties and, in doing so, greatly reduced world-wide hunger. After suffering periodic famines, the Old World population benefited from the introduction of an easily grown food crop. Along with peanuts and manioc, maize came to Africa and transformed agriculture there, too. In fact every tomato in Italy, every potato in Ireland and every hot pepper in Thailand, originated, like maize, in the Americas."

I was fascinated by a piece in the Atlantic Monthly by Charles Mann, the source for information noted above, which was where I learned the importance of maize. My thinking was stretched and even altered by reading the article, "1491." There was life, and very interesting life, in our United States before Christopher Columbus set foot on our shores.

It is August and maize, or sweet corn, is available at every Farmer’s Market. Maize has a history and its history changed history.  

7:51 am cdt | link 

August 6, 2014

Another lake day. A lake where the vocalizations of loons are heard by your heart.

How is this lake unlike other lakes? Unlike so many lakes here? There are answers. This lake is small, only 4.5 miles around. Most importantly, decisions were made that this lake should exist for its flora and fauna, its habitats, its water. To make this happen the interests of humans associated with the lake would come in second. The lake, and its health, would always come first.

All shoreline must be kept natural. Homes cannot have lawns that abut the lake. In fact, lawns are discouraged near the lake. The use of chemicals is not allowed on lawns. Docks on the lake must be small.

There are strict regulations about transferring boats from lake to lake. Outsider boats must be cleaned before entering the lake.

All fishing gear used on the lake must comply with standards. No lead sinkers allowed. Loons and other wildlife are never to be disturbed.

Navigating the lake is accomplished by kayak, sailboat, rowboat, canoe, paddleboards. No large motor propelled boats, no jet skis. Ever.

The water is clean today and everyday. The lake is perfect for swimming.

6:30 am cdt | link 

August 5, 2014

In August we went to Maine. To Lake Keoka. I will write about Lake Keoka and my writing will take me there. Today, that is where I would like to be.

A Maine lake, small and clean and remembering wild. Facing the lake from our place on the water, to the left, and some distance away, a miniscule town beach. Rarely is anyone there. Above the beach a creek flows into the lake. A beautiful place, that curving creek, with its herons and ducks, its turtles absorbing August sun. Eden. Then, an area of shallow, grassy water which makes gentle sounds when a canoe eases through it.

Further on there are some homes, a few with boat houses, but not many. There are wild areas along the lake, a single sandy beach. There is a rocky island where the breeze seems to change direction.  There is another public area sheltering a handful of campers, smoke, in the evening, wafting up from campfires and grills.

Silent sailboats, kayaks, canoes. Pieces of color soundlessly dotting the blue. Swimming to the raft in late afternoon, fish in clear water; the occasional sunnie brushing against your toes.

5:42 am cdt | link 

August 4, 2014

From my village I see as much of the universe as you can see from earth,

So my village is as big as any other land

For I am the size of what I see,

Not the size of my height.

Fernando Pessoa as Alberta Caeiro wrote these words, in Portuguese, over one hundred years ago. These words are my words. These words also belong to me.

8:17 am cdt | link 

August 3, 2014

So now we know, courtesy of "Take Part" online news, the worst restaurant meals ever.

Most everybody tries to watch what they’re eating, at least to some degree, and I guess I’m no exception. When dining at a restaurant, one can become a little cavalier. Unless you’re eating alone, it is usually a social occasion and you may not give too much thought to what you are ordering. But according to the article I just read, beware. Stay away from the following items. They are a hazard to one’s health.

Bruleed French Toast, 93 grams of fat

The Monster Burger Meal, 3,540 calories

The Big Slab, includes 1/2 pound of ribs, 14 teaspoons of sugar.

Super Cinco Combo, equal in calories to 14 tacos.

Deep Dish Chicken Ranch Pizza, 4,500 milligrams of sodium

Farfalle with Chicken and Roasted Garlic, 63 grams of fat

The Big “Hook” Up Platte, 5 days worth of salt.

Prime New York Steak, Contadina Style, 2,420 calories

The deadliest dessert is Reese’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake Cheesecake. There are 21 teaspoons of sugar in a single slice.

Reading about these particular dishes, served at restaurants everyone is familiar with, was off-putting. But I will admit, the accompanying photos looked, well, good!

8:06 am cdt | link 

August 2, 2014

Yesterday we were in Rochester to spend time with Connecticut friends who were there visiting The Mayo Clinic. It was a beautiful late summer day spent with people we love and rarely see, a day for laughter, for visiting mature summer gardens in full bloom. But the day was tinged, like the August day that it was, with the awareness of time.

It was the sight of tall hollyhocks in full bloom, stately stalks of pinks and peach colors, dark reds and whites that took me back to childhood and my grandmother’s garden, a garden, within a circular drive, that nourished hollyhocks. Admiring those old-fashioned flowers in Rochester was feeling time and its passing, knowing our friends would return home, that our now togetherness was fragile and too brief. Time is then and then becomes now. Yesterday time was a hollyhock.

10:46 am cdt | link 

August 1, 2014

Since moving to Minnesota we have had football players at the front door. High school players selling coupon books and midget league players looking for financial support for their athletic program. They are always in uniform, complete with shoulder pads and numbered jerseys, carrying their helmets in their hands. August is the start of preseason football practice.

The playing surface of TCF Bank Stadium has recently been changed from artificial turf, the regular football playing surface, to grass for two international soccer matches to be held this weekend. Rolls of sod have been laid on top of the artificial surface in what was called, by a University spokesman, “pretty significant effort.” “Running on artificial turf is not good for the legs,” according to a soccer tournament spokesman, “soccer players, who run 7, 8 miles in a match, play on grass which is the natural playing surface for soccer.”  The grass will be removed, exposing again the artificial surface, after the matches have been played.

In the park near my house I watch, when walking Scarlet, two little boys kicking small, soccer-type balls across the grass. They are no more than four-years-old and run willy-nilly with great delight. They are barefoot.

8:15 am cdt | link 


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