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Rose Arrowsmith DeCoux

The Yawn Snatcher

The Yawn Snatcher is a wily creature.

It has curling horns,

And curving fingers.

Its feet are quiet as a whisper.

You won’t ever hear it coming.

But you might feel it:

That reaching feeling just behind your ears

Like the pull of a magnet

Drawing the yawn away.

 

The Yawn Snatcher waits

In late nights

Early mornings

Afternoons that drag on.

The Yawn Snatcher loves boring lectures

Fancy dinners

And long waits at the bus stop.

 

When a yawn begins,

The Yawn Snatcher senses it,

Smells it.

With its spindle-thin legs

It strides across the land,

Fast as a shadow.

It crouches behind you,

Fingers curled

Elbows back

Ears cocked and

Eyes bright.

 

It reaches round you

— so quickly you can’t see it,

So deftly you tell yourself it was a trick of the light—

And plucks the yawn right out of your chest.

Its fingers curl, cage-like

Around the vaporous, wriggling yawn.

Then it gobbles it down

Or stuffs the yawn into its sack

Or one of its many bulging pockets,

And lopes off

Back to its lair in the misty mountains.

And you will stand and scratch your head:

Where did that yawn go?

 

Sometimes, the Yawn Snatcher will trip,

Drop its sack with a spill,

Or the yawn will wriggle out through a hole in its sweater

And fly back to the yawner.

 

Sometimes, if it has flown a long way,

It will be a weak little thing,

Hardly satisfying at all.

 

But sometimes a quick and clever yawn

Will break free

And gather momentum.

It will hit you square in the back

Sending a shock through your whole body.

And then you will have the most jaw-cracking,

Arm-stretching,

Mumble-moaning yawn in years.

A yawn that makes you blink your eyes and smile.

 

The Yawn Snatcher will gnash its teeth,

But it can’t do a thing about it.

It will slink back to its cave

With a grumble and a grimace

To sit and stroke its stolen yawns

And swallow them one by one.

 


 

(Inspired by Ennis taking FOREVER to get that yawn out last night!)

Slug Conversations

We’ve got friends up in Hovland (further up Highway 61). They live in a dovetail log cabin they built themselves, from trees they cut on their property.

Going up to visit them often reminds me of when we lived at Wilderness Canoe Base: a tiny cabin (for a year with no plumbing) on a lake, an hour out of town, way out of cell phone range.

The thing that strikes me is the quiet. Even though Grand Marais isn’t a bustling, noisy city by any means, it’s not truly quiet the way the woods are.

I went for a walk through their property and came across these two slugs in quiet conversation. Perhaps they need a story written about them… Let me know if you do.

Medicine Friends

My grandparents’ house was sold at the end of the summer. This was a Century Farm, meaning it had been in the family for over 100 years; my grandpa was born there. My grandma moved half a mile from her childhood farm when they married.

They each had their own gardens (as did her parents). The story I’ve heard is that they needed their own spaces to plant what they wanted. Both gardens were magnificent in my childhood: my grandpa grew roses, my grandma grew everything else.

I’ve only discovered my dormant green thumb when I bought my first house: all of a sudden I was digging and moving rocks and dividing plants… and transplanting. That first home in St. Paul presumably still has the cousins of my grandmother’s peonies growing out by the front door.

When we moved into the bed and breakfast in 2013, I began the process of recreating my grandmother’s garden once again, though I didn’t realize that was what I was doing at first. There was already a hardy perennial flower bed here with peonies, day lilies, some tiger lilies, and irises.

But there weren’t flox or echinacea or black-eyed Susan.

So when I found out that, a few years after my grandma moved into an apartment, her farm had a buyer, I made sure to go dig. A year later, they’ve bloomed. Next year they’ll be bigger.

Perhaps once they’re established, I’ll be ready to try my hand at roses.

Anniversary

Twelve years ago on October 12th, I finished my show as Pippi Longstocking at the Norsk Høstfest and walked around to say hello to the wood workers.

There was a cute guy in suspenders and a plaid cap, carving a timberframe trestle. I stayed in character… And stopped by again later.

We went to the Ground Round for supper (along with my mom and some of the North House ‘old guys’). We spent the next 4 days of the festival together, making plans for trips to Prague and India. (Charlie the birch bark guy said “don’t go getting married tonight!”)

A week later I visited Grand Marais for the first time. We kayaked Lake Superior (and got soaked), slept in a yurt, looked at stars on the Bridge of the Master, and I kissed him on Fishhook Island.

In January we got engaged.

In August we got married.

Since then we’ve lived in the Twin Cities in an old farmhouse, at a canoe camp at the edge of the Boundary Waters, in the Indian Himalayas, in a yurt at a CSA, and now at the B&B.

I know weddings are a big deal, but the day we first met always seems like the most magical anniversary to me. ❤

Gardening Season

I used to think my grandma was a little crazy for having such an enormous garden. I helped her once, but even being paid to weed couldn’t make gardening appeal to me.

Everything changed when I bought my first home in St. Paul: suddenly I was making straight lines curved, dividing and transplanting, and salvaging old bricks for edging.

Here at the B&B we inherited a beautiful perennial garden. After four years I’ve learned that weeding really has to be done right away, before everything gets tall.

Oof! This one didn’t get any attention last summer.

An unexpectedly warm May-June  has meant I’ve made a lot of progress. I find I’m about as fanatical as my grandma…

 

Thanks, Dad, for putting up all the lattice!

Also, I can’t recommend the Yard Butler Twist Tiller enough!