Welcome, cuzins!

Groom Aaron & Bride Michelle at their trailer-trash bash

No shotguns needed at the nuptials I mean nupchuls for Aaron and Michelle, my friends who decided to throw a big wedding I mean weddin’ bash the likes of which none of us has ever seen. That may be a bit presumptuous on my part as the guests did a shockingly good job of looking like this was just another Saturday night at the Bitely Tavern for them.

The invitations scrawled on the back of a Busch beer carton set the stage…

Friends – I mean ‘cousins’ – were the players…

There wasn’t a dry eye – I mean mouth – in the crowd, including the happy couples’.

If you think you’ve seen the man (a rescue helicopter pilot) and wife (a physician’s assistant specializing in ER and trauma) before, please forever hold your peace about that, and just let them have some well-deserved fun.

…I sure did!

Swanchurch

There are lots of swans here, which is why I call my writing retreat Swanchurch. Here are two trumpeters (blackbilled) and a mute swan (not as quiet as you’d think) just off my dock a couple springs ago.

Every spring, I hold my breath in anticipation of the signets. A banner crop of six in 2018 holds the record for most babies, also for most losses, which is a story about snapping turtles.

This year, Keats and Shelley (the pair–whichever pair–that claims my stretch of the river as theirs is called Keats and Shelley) had two signets two days ago.

Today, there’s only one. I’m not posting a picture of that.

There are swans here year round… they are photogenic in all seasons. I could post a hundred more pictures, but will leave you with this one from last autumn at Swanchurch.

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Out of hundreds of Iraqi girls in her Baghdad high school, she is the only one whose name means beautiful. This is how I learned one of only two words I’ve mastered in Arabic so far. The other is the word for avocado . . . which is avocado. Factoid: She loves guacamole. As host-mom for a month, you’d think I’d have picked up on a few other words, but mostly she wanted to know how I say things. So I said things. And I took her picture often–with her permission.

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We covered figurative language as I unabashedly exposed my rabid disapproval of the Cheeto-Dusted Bloviator . . . Agent Orange . . . yes, him, the Assaulter-in-Chief in our White House. She was never entirely sure I should be talking like that about the president of this county. I think she would have changed the subject if she knew how . . . she was worried for my safety . . . she’s read terrible things about what happens to some Americans in this country.

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Well, someone else can (and does) stick to the company line. I’m keeping it real on my watch, although we did cover a lot of other territory.

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We fished for bluegill, savored ice cream, teeter-tottered, reburied some poorly-laid turtle eggs, nearly flew out of the speedboat jumping waves on Lake Michigan, and mutually crushed on Mena Massoud.

ice cream vs gelato Q
turtle eggs

She showed me how to make dolmeh and gave me too many presents. I met her parents thanks to WhatsApp, and Yes, of course, I’m coming to see them all very soon after the Screaming Carrot Demon is voted out of office.

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Soon enough, she’ll be back home. She has big plans that she’ll deliver on even when her parents choose her husband. She assures me she can say no. Well, don’t agree to anything until you kiss him . . . you won’t know everything you need to know without that, I tell her. She shakes her head vehemently . . . no no that cannot happen until after they’re married, and if she’s caught breaking that rule, her head can be cut off . . . or she could be shot in the head . . . headshot.

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. . . this head

. . . this beautiful head and fine mind

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Is she any safer here than she is there? Am I?

Every night I put my hand on this country,
It slips away from my fingers,
Like a soldier running from the front.

(from The Last Iraq by Fadhil al-Azzawi)

© by Leeanne Seaver, July 23, 2019

the sound of my own voice

It is a phenomenal thing to be paid to write books, and I am thankful every day for this. The business of book commissions and editing takes every ounce of my braingoo so I almost never have time to write in my own voice for my own reasons. But right in the midst of GTS’ing something for a project, this popped up… was 2016 really the the last time I even tried?

timber by Leeanne Seaver | Autumn Sky Poetry Daily

Thank you, #AutumnSkyPoetryDaily, for reminding me of the sound of my own voice.

fight or flight

This morning (all mornings, actually) I am struck by the thought that it takes both a left wing and a ring wing to fly. We know that… and now we must find the sinews that connect us and massage the life back back into them… see if we can remember how to even try.

(POV: Directly under this eagle while hiking along the Mississippi River near the Keokuk Dam, 2013)