Tag: April Showers Bring . . .

Group Writing: Odds and Sods

 

April brings, if not so many showers lately, then seeds to be sown – and I’ll get to them any day now, really I will: Dahlia seeds and all sorts, lamenting the cold spell we’ve been having, have taken to asking me confidentially, wouldn’t I rather sow them in pots on a nice warm windowsill instead?

It also brings digging to be done and roses to be planted – old roses, nice old roses, good old roses with fine-sounding names – like Gloire de Dijon (a golden apricot-yellow climber) and Star of Waltham (a rich open red).

It brings pots and seed trays and things that need washing (I’m getting there, I’m getting there).

April Showers Bring…Thoughts of the Eternal Verities

 

I wrote the following post on Ricochet four years ago, a year when Granny’s birthday and Easter Sunday fell on the same day.  And, even at the risk of repeating myself, I’m doing just that because April Showers Bring…these same thoughts and reflections along every year.

Like many families, mine has a couple of stretches in the calendar where it seems memories, both upliftingly joyous and heartbreakingly sad, are piled one-on-top-of-another, all at once.  Early March through mid-May is one such.  Another is late September through the end of October. As I write this today, I suddenly realize that July isn’t looking so great either, anymore.  I suppose some of that is just the price of old age, and it will probably get worse before (I trust) it finally–once and for all–gets better.

Regardless, or irregardless as the case may be, from April 16, 2017, here it is:

April Showers Bring: Pimento Cheese Sandwiches (and the Masters)

 

The American South was my home for 42 of my nearly 54 years (so far) on this earth. In those aforementioned years, I don’t remember ever not knowing about (and understanding the importance of) the Masters and the sacred institution that is the Augusta National Golf Club. For a true Southerner, attending the Masters is, if not a rite of passage, definitely a bucket list item. That’s probably also a true statement for any avid golf fan.

Since I’m not a true Southerner — now, that’s not to say I don’t have a lot of Southern qualities — 42 years is a long time, am I right?! It was inevitable that I adopt at least some Southern traits. But I digress… As a Damn Yankee™ northerner by birth, I always assumed a forgiveness of sorts for never (ever) caring about golf. Yes, golf courses are (usually) pretty beautiful, and Augusta’s course is second to none. See the photographic evidence below:

April Showers Bring . . . Godzilla?

 

Godzilla 1954What could possibly go wrong here? Japanese scientists, with the approval of government officials, will dispose of radioactive waste water from the decommissioned nuclear power plants at Fukuyama by dumping it in the Pacific Ocean. This is not from the Babylon Bee, nor is it a belated April Fool’s story. It is a tale of our time, playing on our distrust of asserted expertise and asserted public interest. The power of the story also depends on a belief in zero risk options, indeed of magical cake that all may enjoy while continuing to have. Oh, and the story has deep international cultural significance.

I ran across the story through InfoWars, hosting a ZeroHedge column. So, trust but verify. Strait Times? Check. Business Insider? Check. The Sun? Check.

The cooling water that has been accumulating at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan will be released into the Pacific Ocean after it has been treated to remove all harmful radioactive substances, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga’s Cabinet decided yesterday.

April Showers Bring . . . Woke Weatherproof Styles Ad

 

Amazon April front pageIt is perfectly natural for retailers to pitch products to the season or occasion. We should especially expect on-line retailers to pitch rain gear in April. So, the presence on Amazon’s homepage of two boxes, “Men’s weatherproof styles” and “Women’s rain-ready styles,” is unremarkable. We have also come to expect the leftist virtue signaling, in the form of the latest approved intersectional hashtag and special emphasis on Black Lives, showing that they Matter to Amazon. Yet, what are we to make of the visual presentation of how Amazon thinks a black man should look?

The top right image is a Amazon screen capture from the evening of 11 April 2021. There is a web page wide top banner advertisement that rotates. The advertisement you see is for an Amazon Prime original series, Them, with each season intended to tell a tale focused on African Americans, and apparently on white people as racists.

Them‘s first season is grounded in the historical reality of the second Great Migration (1940-1970). This was the second wave of the Great Migration (1910-1970). American blacks moved from rural areas to inner cities and from the old South to the North and West. Walter Mosley set his Easy Rawlins private eye series in Los Angeles, with the series starting in 1948. If you have not read any of the series, you likely at least recognize the Denzel Washington movie based on the first novel, Devil in a Blue DressSo, Los Angeles is a good setting for a series set in the 1950s, as well as convenient for the video/movie industry.

April Showers Bring Unfinished Tales

 

The above is an unfinished illustration that I was working on a while back for my story serial Once Upon a Spinning-Wheel (under the putative title of Said a Whiting to a Snail well, we’re already safely Through the Looking Glass, so what’s to lose?). The operative word here being ‘unfinished’.

Earlier this morning, it snowed properly for a good hour or so (April brings showers of snow – see, you knew I’d bring it back to the monthly theme), which in my corner of the world is a bit unusual these days, sadly – and it got me to thinking about unfinished projects, things I’d like to do, and things of that kind.

The Promise of Blossom

 

I think I mentioned that it’s cold here at the moment (well, coldish), and the blossom on the trees is just coming into bud:

But the star-gold of the forsythia still lights up the garden regardless:

Member Post

 

April showers bring…more than just May Flowers.  April is a month many people love to hate, because it brings Taxes.  I seem to remember, from the Christmas story, that Joseph and Mary had to go to Bethlehem because the Romans declared that all the world “should be taxed”, and the rule was that everyone had […]

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Group Writing: Snow in April

 

We’ve grown in some ways sadly unused to snow in April in my little corner of England, but in the recent cold spell, there’ve been moments here and there when the sky has let loose a little fluttering of snowflakes just to remind us it could, if it wanted to. So there.

It reminds me to be cautious for the time being in my ongoing program of feeding and encouraging the budding plants in my garden at home, not to set too much young growth going to be nipped by a sudden frost. So I redirect my energies (as do the plants) in biding out my time, and thinking what I can do undercover to prepare for the dawning spring.

In boxes somewhere, I’ve got seed potatoes and dahlia tubers who I’m sure would be glad of some attention. A tin box somewhere else holds seeds crying out to be sown in pots under glass – marigolds and helichrysums (or strawflowers – glorious annual flowers that resemble nothing so much as living jewels on tall green stems – and that deserve to be much better known), heleniums (or Sneezeweed, so I’m informed in some places) and Michaelmas daisies – promising peace and colour in the glow of summer.

Group Writing: The Showers of Shiloh

 

Cannons and a stone plaque at the Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee.

It was a hard, cold rain that fell on the living and dead the night of April 6-7, 1862, but it was the showers of a few days before that may have determined the course of the Battle of Shiloh.

In February 1862, General Ulysses S. Grant had captured Forts Henry and Donelson, opening up central Tennessee to the Union and making him a national hero with his insistence on “unconditional surrender.” Grant advanced his army along the Tennessee River to an isolated area just north of that state’s borders with Mississippi and Alabama. Another army, commanded by General Don Carlos Buell, had been ordered to join Grant and they would both then advance to capture the key rail junction at Corinth, Mississippi, less than 25 miles to the southwest.

Member Post

 

We were told but did not believe: He would rise again. The Lord did not cast aside those who turned from Him in unbelief. For the seventy-seventh time, Jesus opened the wondrous treasury of His sacred heart and let His mercy rain down upon us in abundance.  Let them turn to the LORD to find […]

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Group Writing: Aprille with His Shoures Sote

 

Geoffrey from the Ellesmere Manuscript

The enlightened Chaucer

Whan that Aprille with his shoures sote 
The droghte of Marche hath perced to the rote,
And bathed every veyne in swich licour, 
Of which vertu engendred is the flour; 
Whan Zephirus eek with his swete breeth 
Inspired hath in every holt and heeth 
The tendre croppes, and the yonge sonne 
Hath in the Ram his halfe cours y-ronne, 
And smale fowles maken melodye, 
That slepen al the night with open yë, 
(So priketh hem nature in hir corages): 
Than longen folk to goon on pilgrimages 
(And palmers for to seken straunge strondes) 
To ferne halwes, couthe in sondry londes; 
And specially, from every shires ende 
Of Engelond, to Caunterbury they wende, 
The holy blisful martir for to seke, 
That hem hath holpen, whan that they were seke.
Bifel that, in that seson on a day, 
In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay 
Redy to wenden on my pilgrimage 
To Caunterbury with ful devout corage, 
At night was come in-to that hostelrye 
Wel nyne and twenty in a companye, 
Of sondry folk, by aventure y-falle 
In felawshipe, and pilgrims were they alle, 
That toward Caunterbury wolden ryde; 
The chambres and the stables weren wyde, 
And wel we weren esed atte beste. 
And shortly, whan the sonne was to reste, 
So hadde I spoken with hem everichon, 
That I was of hir felawshipe anon, 
And made forward erly for to ryse, 
To take our wey, ther as I yow devyse. 
But natheles, whyl I have tyme and space, 
Er that I ferther in this tale pace, 
Me thinketh it acordaunt to resoun, 
To telle yow al the condicioun 
Of ech of hem, so as it semed me, 
And whiche they weren, and of what degree; 
And eek in what array that they were inne: 
And at a knight than wol I first biginne.
— Geoffrey Chaucer, The Prologue to The Canterbury Tales

And so, out of April’s sweet (not sooty) showers comes the great unfinished cycle of Chaucer’s celebration of God and man as he finds them in an age of war and death and pestilence and piety both sincere and false. He was the son of the king’s bottler, or butler, which was to say vintner, and we find him in service as a page in a noble house as a youth and later a diplomat married to a prince’s sister-in-law and, of course, he was most famously to history a court poet. The Canterbury Tales loosely follows a plan adopted by the Florentine Boccaccio in the Decameron, a work of scorching humor where characters in the story share stories themselves, creating a cycle of stories. The Decameron is first released when Chaucer is about ten, and a revised edition when he is about 30. Chaucer appropriates the plan and uses it in part to repurpose and revise earlier works as modern writers sometimes do today, as with Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love, and also to bring us new stories. 

Member Post

 

What do April showers bring to you? Thanks to Ricochet member @RushBabe49 for suggesting this topic, untouched in the history of this group writing project. To set the mood and tempo for the month, let’s start off with a sound track, a playlist playing off the theme “April Showers Bring . . . .” Climbing […]

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Member Post

 

What do April showers bring to you? Thanks to Ricochet member @RushBabe49 for suggesting this topic, untouched in the history of this group writing project. Ricochet members, founding or first time subscribers, AND especially the reticent or keyboard shy, are heartily encouraged to join in our group writing project this month. Each month, Ricochet members […]

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