Rainy Day Joys (Left Side)

What a pleasure to have a mostly-rainy week whose only rhythms are three daily meals and walking the dog. (And many hands make light work.) Early walks, followed by a little recorder, or sketching, or a game of cards, or curling up with a book. With a pot of split pea soup simmering on the stove.




Rain on Deep Creek Lake


We had a few days’ long-anticipated and most welcome end-of-summer R&R at the peaceful lakeside house of dear Martha. Our vacation was baptized with days and nights of amazing and nearly unceasing rain. I took advantage of a brief lull to paint this from the dock—until the rain resumed, adding its own washes.

CakeWeddingWalter & Seska


Life on Earth


At this time of year my husband and I are usually in western Massachusetts (hiking, sketching, and—if deadlines have required hauling along a laptop—working) while our daughter’s homeschool coop spends the week working on a Hudson River Valley farm. This year the coop has a different plan, so here in DC we remain. Nevertheless, in honor of Earth Day, I post a sketch from one of our hikes through Mass Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, where we have spent many happy hours quietly watching beavers. (The beavers are less happy to see us.)

For another sketch, and a history of Earth Day, please see Earth Day.



Holy Water


Our family is in the mountains with our church community for a couple of days of singing and dancing, meditation and prayer, and thoughtful discussion, interspersed with hay rides, hiking, and brownies. The accommodations are basic (hurray for indoor plumbing and hot running water!), and the food is definitely Lake Wobegon, but I always return with a feeling of good will toward all humankind and a renewed determination to do better at my part in it.

Here is a view of the pond, which, besides being restful for the spirit, is on Saturday afternoon the best place for children to immerse themselves in frogs and mud.






Falling down the steps and going to the local ER is NOT the recommended way to begin a lakeside vacation. Unless you are resigned to giving up the hiking and swimming you had planned, in favor of that big sack of work you brought along for evenings and rainy days…

Oh well. The view is beautiful. And I can still paddle the canoe!