It’s amazing how little it takes to make me feel domestic. I came home in the late afternoon daylight and helped Lisa weed the bed beside the driveway.

(The beds are all a complete disaster, incidentally. We have paths around all the garden beds, from the garden to the back patio, and from the garden to the garage door, and all the way down to the street covered in bark. Thinly covered, now, and with weeds creeping through—actually, covering—the bark. I foresee paving brick, landscaping cloth, lots more bark, and raised beds in the future.

(Also, have I mentioned how good it is to have daylight again?))

Anyway, I only got as far as the end of the fence while the light was still good, then we did some quick shopping and made dinner from leftovers and did laundry and set a pot of stock that I started making last night back on the burner to cook down. What is it about dryer sheets? the smell? Something, anyway, that makes me want to be even more domestic. Or else just makes me sound like Mickey Rooney on a bad day.

Emails from Rachel

From a different front: The Guardian has reprinted a series of emails from Rachel Corrie, the American who was crushed to death by an Israeli bulldozer as she tried to keep Palestinian houses in the Gaza Strip from being destroyed:

I spent a lot of time writing about the disappointment of discovering, somewhat first-hand, the degree of evil of which we are still capable. I should at least mention that I am also discovering a degree of strength and of basic ability for humans to remain human in the direst of circumstances – which I also haven’t seen before. I think the word is dignity. I wish you could meet these people. Maybe, hopefully, someday you will.

We are going to war. Shall I stay silent?

I’m having a not-infrequent crisis of confidence, brought on by the failure of the administration’s incompetent, amateurish, hypocritical diplomacy… no, wait, let me start over.

I’m having a not-infrequent crisis of confidence, brought on by the nearness of the war and the lives being placed in danger on both sides. Prayer seems called for but pointless. Part of me says I should be supportive of our troops and not question their leader’s motives for bringing us to this point. And I do wish our troops Godspeed and a quick and decisive action, with no innocent blood spilt.

Part of me says I should just ignore it, that it will quickly go away, and that the stock market rebound will fix everything. (If it happens.) That’s not a very big part of me.

But I can’t stay silent. Even without questioning the president’s motives (which is tempting), I have to question his actions when they seem to fly in the face of everything I ever learned about this country and what it stands for.

I have to question his statement that we are legally justified in going to this war when the evidence to the contrary is strong.

I have to question his claims that Iraq poses a clear danger and possesses weapons of mass destruction, when all evidence of these weapons has proven to be based on fabricated documents, plagiarized British war dossiers, unreliable and discredited speculation, and misinterpreted reports.

I will not stay silent. These are my duties in this war:

  1. It is my duty as a citizen to be informed.
  2. It is my duty as a blogger to inform others.
  3. It is my duty as a Christian to pray for the safety of our troops.
  4. It is my duty as a patriot to question and challenge.

Esta: back, without photos

Esta reports on her trip home to the family ancestral stomping grounds, where they visited Dave and Sally’s home at Betty’s Cove on Bear Creek, and came away with memories but no photos:

Through the entire expedition I’d been taking pictures like a madwoman, with my aunt joking about Pulitzer prizes. I had my Dad’s camera slung around my neck, and took rather painstaking care with focus and light, hunting for unique perspectives. From the cove we went to Antioch church, where my grandparents and many other relatives are buried. I took more pictures of the headstones, documenting dates and relations for future reference. Willie, Johnnie and Alice; distant cousins I hadn’t known existed, all dead before they reached 25. A Lunsford ancestor who died in the Spanish-American war. Obidiah and Polly O’Dell — I don’t have enough time for all the stories about them.

Yeah, lots of pictures. Too bad there wasn’t any film in the camera.

I talked to her late yesterday morning as she was driving home. She’s bringing back a stack of recipes from my grandmother’s collection. Apparently most of them are clipped rather than written down, since she mostly made up what she cooked, except for cake recipes. But we’re still hopeful to find some gems.