Monday, November 28, 2011

St. Nicholas' Day is just around the corner! Now where did I put those wooden shoes?

My Mom always celebrated St. Nicholas' Day for us, and it has become a very sweet and special holiday for me, and I want to pass it down to Lucy and my family. It falls on December 6, and you can read about it here. Also, this is a link to another special bit of info, which talks about the children in Milwaukee celebrating the day, which must be part of Mom's roots...

Happy St. Nick's Day! Hang out your wish lists, and I hope you get a little treat (to be shared), not a lump of coal in your wooden shoe or stocking or under your bed (where our gifts always show up).

I wonder what St. Nicholas will place under Lucy's cradle...


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Lucy's Picks ~ First Trip to the Library

Lucy made her first trip to the Concord Public Library the other day - what a treat to lay her on the floor and read a million books to her while she smiled and played. These are her first choices for take-home books (all wonderful!):

Autumn Leaves, by Ken Robbins - such a beautiful book, teaching us all about identifying different trees by their leaves (and Lucy loves it)

Let it Fall, by Maryann Cocca-Leffler - I loved this very dear family story; worth a read

Candy Corn: Poems by James Stevenson - fun poems for children (and their adults)

Sylvia and Bird, by Catherine Rayner - a beautiful book about a dragon who discovers loyal friendship with a tiny bird; with magical and dreamy watercolor illustrations

The Crow (a not so scary story), by Alison Paul - a fun book with great illustrations, but it really is a wee bit scary

Mouse's First Fall, by Lauren Thompson - sweet story about the joys of Autumn

Chamelia, by Ethan Long - such an enjoyable story about a chameleon who loves to be different and unique (like a certain childhood Allison...) who learns how to fit in while still keeping her flamboyant identity

Lucy's Picture, by Nicola Moon - how could we not get this one? a charming and sweet story about a little girl with a flair for artwork and creativity, with a surprising plot twist at the end

A Bird or Two: A Story About Henri Matisse, by Bijou Le Tord - beautiful illustrations, of course, about the famous artist

Farm Animals, by Eye Openers - fun facts about animals, designed in a charming way

The Singing Hat, by Tohby Riddle - how can you not love a story about a man with a bird's nest on his head?? (who quits his corporate job to care for the bird who lives there...)

Le Petit Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery - a little French for Grandma Char, who is loving reading it again and will read it to Lucy

Hope you and yours can enjoy some of these wonderful books too.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Little Girl Reads Some Poetry

An excellent way to pass a quiet Friday afternoon, with Mama and Grandma Char (and Gina the Giraffe).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fevering and Teething

Baby's home with slight fever and swollen legs from her four month injections yesterday - damn Western medicine and its healing ways - and teething, to top it off. So we are reading a few poems by James Stevenson. Mama likes these:

Coming or Going

The screen door screeches.
The screen door slams.
Coming or going,
Going or coming,
The sounds are the same.

But what a difference
It makes to me --
Your going away,
Your coming home.


When the moment comes
When you can tell
The sky is blue, not black,
You'll see torn bits of it
Scattered through the trees,
Fallen like confetti,
As if to say
Night is not forever--

In fact, within one hour,
A grand parade is coming
With white clouds marching.

Wishing you will feel better this morning, Darling, as Mama goes off to work and you slip off to dreamland at Christine's. I love you.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lights of Life 2011

Remember my work with hospice and Concord's Lights of Life ceremony from last year? Well, it's that time again. And damned if I don't have new names to memorialize. [Looking forward to celebrating the year when I just donate money and not a new name for the list.] Anyway, Lights of Life is a wonderful celebration of those whom we have loved and lost, who have gone before us and continue to shine in our hearts. Electric candle lights are placed in town businesses and restaurants to actively remember each soul, and they are a visual blessing to the rest of us still traveling this earth.

This year, we will memorialize:

Dr. Arthur "Pete" Snyder - Scott's father, a wonderful, generous man and highly skilled surgeon who healed and touched the lives of so many in his 78 years. We will celebrate the Christmas holiday with his wife of 55 years, Scott's mom Fran.

Dorothy Alma "Ann" Holman - My maternal grandmother, and the sweetest, silliest, and most fun grandma I've known, mother to my darling mother. We were blessed by her memorial service in Wisconsin and the ensuing family reunion last month.

Judith Schaeffer - Scott and my previous boss and dear friend from Vermont. She was an incredible beacon in our book publishing industry, with so much knowledge and a pure love of the craft. She was a longtime and faithful best friend to Jessee and surrogate mother to Jennifer (and Kira), some of our other Vermont "family" members. She died suddenly and will be sorely missed.

And of course,
my beloved father, Larry Cox, who continues to live heartily and joyfully, if not sarcastically, in my heart. I feel your presence all the time, Dad; and though I am pissed you are not here to play with and utterly adore Miss Lucy, not to mention take her for special pancake breakfasts and fishing outings and camping trips, I know you are watching over us. I don't know much about the likelihood of a heaven, Dad, but I do know the absolute truth of your enduring spirit. I love you very much.

Please celebrate with us. Feel free to use the Comments button below to add your special loved ones' names. When I see the candles lit downtown, I will remember yours as well.


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Friday, November 4, 2011

Lucinda: illuminated

photo by Scott Snyder

Lucinda: illuminated
by Allison Snyder

You are asleep on my chest,
your tiny body laced onto mine.
You are a mysterious traveler from a foreign land.
A halo of fluff covers your head;
in your delicate, lavender eyelids,
I can see the past, the future.
When your eyes open, light shoots through me.

Your heavenly bits are wearing thin, my darling,
now four months in this world.
You stir when a shiver of life runs through you.
You smell more of Dreft than of the ether.
Soon, your otherworldly memories and magic will disappear.
By the time you can speak, you will no longer be able to tell me
where you've been, where you were going.

"I love you!" I whisper urgently:
it's all I can think to say,
yet it encompasses everything.
"You're mine," and immediately
I know you never were,
but what I mean is: You're home now,
and I claim you.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Postcard from Rockport
by April Lindner

Cold as a slap, this indigo sea,
where we clamber on blonde-fringed rocks,
where someone's tarted up the fishing shacks
with red paint and artful nets.

The sun floats like ice in a highball.
Condos train their plate-glass gazes
on the horizon, amnesiac
to past conspiracies of cloud,

storms that shook homes and swallowed boats.
Just north, a granite wall's etched with the lost—
decades of their half-remembered names.

Imagine waking always to this spread—
each day the ocean swelling
to loll at your feet, exotic pet.

The galleries glow, ripe with impasto,
sunsets we could be bite into:
raspberries, marzipan, seafoam like cream.

Their artists shoot for the numinous,
overlook the jagged and impermanent:

barnacles overtaking the dock,
clustered mussels, tangled kelp
and the steady lament
of pebbles tugged senseless from shore.

I am remembering many amazing moments spent at Halibut Point State Park, walking through the brush maze, peering over the crystalline quarry ledge, viewing the stunning ocean with its crashing waves and majestic rock outcroppings. I love this poem.