I can’t wait to wash my mushroom!

Jocelyn and Angelo came with me on a hike yesterday. Sort of. They went one way and I went the other way. They chased each other with snowballs for the full two-mile loop and by the time we met back in the parking lot, they were both pink-faced and drenched in the specific wetness that comes from being pelted, repeatedly, with snowballs.

It must have been quite a workout because even though it was cold, they both had their jackets tied around their waists and were fanning themselves as they got into the car. They were breathless and their hot faces reflected pure joy.

They share a special bond. Jocelyn is 17 and five years older than Angelo. From an early age, Angelo insisted on spending time with Jocelyn, clearly stating, “I hate Mommy and Daddy! I only love Joce!” I suppose I should be embarrassed that my kid said he hated me, but the moment filled (and fills) me with absurd pride. I’ve always loved watching them interact.

As we drove home, they “argued” about who won the snowball fight. By all appearances, it looked like a draw. They both had several pancake-shaped wet marks on their clothes. It dawned on me that I truly didn’t (and don’t) know who won.

Was it really a draw? Did Jocelyn throw the fight? I don’t think she did.

My thoughts were interrupted when I noticed my car shaking. I looked at my speedometer. I was going 80 in a 55 mph zone. Country roads, amirite? I gently braked and set the cruise control to 55.

“Sorry about that,” I said. “I wasn’t paying attention. Remember, cruise control is your friend.”

I always apologize when I make a driving mistake in front of my kids. It’s part of how I train them to become safe drivers and embrace accountability. But sometimes I talk too much.

“I’m just excited to get home and wash my mushroom,” I added quite unnecessarily. “But that’s still no excuse for speeding.”

It’s true: I had found an artist conk in the woods and I was excited to get it home. I am absolutely that nerdy. But that wasn’t why I was speeding.

I was speeding because I was obsessing over their snowball fight. Even though we hiked in separate directions, I heard them shouting and laughing for most of the hour we were apart.

It occurs to me now that snowball fights don’t have winners and losers. I’ve never seen anyone come in from a snowball fight anything other than happy. As I reflect on the snowball fights of my youth, I remember them with warmth and fondness. Of course, I am sure there are people out there who have had terrible experiences with snowball fights. Got bullied, bruised and traumatized. I hate that but for the most part, I am pro-snowball fights, even in April.

Thanks for reading! Time to go dry off my mushroom! -Connie

My artist conk soaking in warm, sudsy water.

Be the mushroom you want to see in the world

Good morning from Rockford. It’s snowing. It’s March and the earth is warming up so the “downy flake” won’t stick around long. But it’ll be here long enough to brighten up the brown.

Spring snow always brings a pale blue light with it and I must warn you: I’m dangerously close to writing a nature poem. But I won’t do that to you because it would be too literal.

Morning, Noon & Night

Snow is falling         
yeast is rising
laundry's tumbling

Neighbor's shoveling
dough is balling
oven's heating

Ice is forming
pizza’s baking
clothes are folding

Wind is shifting
Kids are eating
Dog is waiting

Clouds are moving
Heads are resting
Stars are glowing

Night is covering
Morning's hovering

-me 03-07-2022

Instead, I’ll just tell you I’m serving homemade mushroom pizzas for dinner. We love mushrooms over here.

But yesterday I was reading A Promised Land by Barack Obama and he referred to a time he was treated like a mushroom. He wrote that he was “fed shit and kept in the dark.”

Boy, I hate when somebody I admire makes disparaging remarks about something I love. I have enormous respect for Barack Obama and feel a strong sense of loyalty to him but am I supposed to dislike mushrooms now? Because that’s asking too much. I’m dangerously close to writing a poem about feeling conflicted. But I won’t do that because it would be too sad.

However, I will tell you I find it oddly comforting and reassuring that even the former president has been “fed shit and kept in the dark.” I thought that only happened to me. I’m dangerously close to writing a poem about how Barack and I are soulmates.

Instead of that, since I have poetry on my mind, I think I’ll leave you with a poem about women’s rights by Sylvia Plath. You’ll never guess the title.


Overnight, very
Whitely, discreetly
Very quietly
Our toes, our noses
Take hold on the loam
Acquire the air
Nobody sees us
Stops us, betrays us
The small grains make room
Soft fists insist on
Heaving the needles
The leafy bedding
Even the paving
Our hammers, our rams
Earless and eyeless
Perfectly voiceless
Widen the crannies
Shoulder through holes. We
Diet on water
On crumbs of shadow
Bland-mannered, asking
Little or nothing
So many of us!
So many of us!
We are shelves, we are
Tables, we are meek
We are edible
Nudgers and shovers
In spite of ourselves
Our kind multiplies
We shall by morning
Inherit the earth
Our foot's in the door

-Sylvia Plath

Thanks for reading my blog and, more importantly, the poem by Sylvia Plath. Now if you’ll excuse me, I better get back to the kitchen. Those mushrooms aren’t going to cook themselves. -Connie