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Edie at home in her kitchen.

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The View from Mary's Farm

Happy Halloween

October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween! I want to put in a plug for my arts-funding campaign. I'm looking for help to fund my next book project which I have titled "What There Was Not To Tell." I've decided to use Indiegogo, a great arts funding program, much like Kickstarter. You can donate as little as $15 and get "perks" back, like a signed copy of the book when it's done, signed copies of my other books, homemade cookies, there are plenty of options, or just an opportunity to help support this project. The book is based on letters shared between my parents during World War II and tells a story of war and loss. To find out more, click on this link. www.indiegogo.com/edieclark

If you like what you read, please help and then foward the link to other friends of yours who you think might be interested in this subject or my work. The campaign is gathering momentum! Thank you so much!!
www.indiegogo.com/edieclark
If this link doesn't work for you, go to Google and punch in: indiegogo edie clark.

Meanwhile, here is this month's essay about the Halloween surprise of last year. We're still digesting this year's Halloween surprise and my heart goes out to those of you in the many places of disaster. We had a night of violent wind and rain, which took many shingles off my roof but I consider myself very lucky compared to others in the Northeast. Take good care.


Stuck

The day before Halloween, I bought two small pumpkins for my porch, thinking that I might carve them for Halloween night. It had been a very long fall, warm and indulgent, and the leaves on our trees had clung as if time had stopped. At the edge of the field, the big oaks stood guard in russet and gold. From the garden, I cut a bundle of kale. A friend who lives on the other side of town was coming for dinner. A rare bird around here, he works often in Africa and even more commonly in DC. He savors Harrisville as a retreat. When home from Rwanda, he comes here to swim in the green waters of Seaver Pond and hangs out at the store, where there is WiFi and good company.

He was coming that Halloween weekend to shut down his house for the winter and had suggested we have dinner. An exciting time for him: he was engaged to be married and he had a book coming out in the spring. He said he would bring a proof of the cover of his new book to show me that night. I knew the book was the result of long years of research, making many visits to Rwanda for a book about the youth of Rwanda, whose futures under a despotic regime were glum, in fact, nonexistent.

But Ė what? By afternoon, snow raced past the house in good blizzard fashion, covering the ground and my garden in minutes. By 5:30, I saw headlights coming over the hill and watched out the window as Marc prepared to back into my driveway Ė the wise thing to do in such weather. But he overshot, and, in a spray of new snow, the rear wheel went up onto the stone wall, now concealed by snow, leaving the other wheel spinning manically in the air. As I donned coat and boots and ventured out, Marc was emerging from the car, which I noticed was not his car, but rather, a generic, rear-wheel-drive rental car. He and I stood there, assessing the next move and then, when he went to get into the car, he found it had automatically locked when he got out, one of the most mystifying and annoying features of new cars. The engine was still running; the headlights shown brightly into the density of the storm; and the windshield wipers whacked back and forth. The next two hours, as snow piled higher and higher, Marc spent calling all portals of help, while I prepared dinner. The freak storm had given rise to accidents much more urgent. We were snowbound.

After dinner, I prepared the guest room for his stay. In the morning I took the dogs out into the continuing storm. From beneath the white, car-shaped hump, I saw the tail lights glowing and I could hear the engine running. The windshield wipers still hurried at their task. The headlights beamed outward like some kind of eerie sentinel. Soon, the snow had subsided and Marc called the local garage. They came quickly. Within ten minutes, they had liberated the car.

Over breakfast, Marc showed me the proofs of his new book, whose title, I noted with some amusement, was: Stuck. Thinking of the plight of these Rwandan youth, our night stuck in my fully-stocked, woodheated house, a storm raging outside, gave the necessary perspective. Marcís car, sitting in place like a rocket waiting for launch, enhanced the picture.

As it turned out, that storm, which yielded an astonishing two feet of snow, was one of only two of the winter of 2012. Marcís book came out in February to excellent reviews. Never carved, the pumpkins lasted a very long time and the leaves stuck to the trees until December.

Selected Works

Articles
In 1992, the Bishop of Worcester condemned St. Joseph's Catholic Church and ordered it closed. The parishioners refused to leave, sleeping on cots and on the hard pews. For thirteen months this was their life. In July of 1993, they were removed by the police. In many ways this was the blossoming of their faith. Originally published in Yankee Magazine in November 1993.
Growing up, nothing I could do seemed to please my mother and nothing she said made sense to me. But when my mother, on the threshold of death, came to live with me, I found what seemed to have been lost forever. Originally published in Yankee Magazine, May 1995
(The follow-up article to Miracle at St. Joseph's.) The Bishop turned to them and said, "Your prayers have been answered, the hard hearts have softened." Originally published in Yankee Magazine, December 1996
A reflection on the power of cooking and friendship and the concept of family. Originally published in Yankee Magazine, November/December 2007
Memorial Day, Harrisville, New Hampshire 1995. Originally published in Yankee Magazine, May 1996
My Articles
Libraries occupy a special place in the heart of a town. Evening events at the library give a strong sense of community and make it seem like a great place to live. And in the wake of the online revolution small town libraries have found a way to not only survive but to be indispensable.
In December 2008 an epic ice storm left virtually the entire state of New Hampshire without power. The residual effects of that storm paralyzed the Monadnock Region almost through Christmas. A first person account.
In 1994, sixteen-year-old Billy Best was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease. After several treatments, he ran away to avoid chemotherapy. What happened after that may have been a miracle.
Roxanne Quimby once lived primitively in the Maine woods. Today she owns 90,000 acres of those woods, and her goal is to create a national park to preserve the landscape forever. So why do so many people wish she'd just go away?
Multi-million dollar border stations are rising along our line between US and Canada. What was once the "friendliest border" has become deadly serious.
Renowned short story writer, Andre Dubus, reflects on the accident that cost him his legs.
A trip to Poland discovers a beloved family friend
An elegy for the master of the short story.
Fall comes to The County
Thousands seek healing from this innocent, comatose child.
A complete listing of articles published since 1978
Fiction
An encounter with a sick fox brings a young woman to the heart of her grief