I’m more than willing to revise my picture book. However…

I’ve now written a half dozen revisions. Some bits of each of them are pretty good, some are not so good, some may be awful, some may be just right. Figuring out how to choose those bits and eliminate the rest has become my dilemma.

This is what I’m going to try. I will put each revision in the same document, but each will have its own color. Then I will cut and paste bits of the different colored versions that are related to one another.

My hope is that when I see the opening page in all the different colors, I can meld the best words and phrases together.

Maybe it will work. May not. If not? Try again!


We have new speed bumps in my mobile home park. I’m glad. Prior to their installation, some people who took no heed of the ten miles per hour speed limit and treated our short narrow streets like a major highway.

I see drivers on multi-lane city streets change back and forth across lanes at top speed from one stop light to the next. Sometimes they even make it through one stop light before being caught by the next one. Many times I pull up next to them, not having changed lanes or put the pedal to the metal in the 45 mph zone.

These annoyances sent me back to high school equations. Remember the problems that asked when the trains would meet?

Only on a highway with a minimum of 100 miles to travel can any significant time be gained. Even then the difference in 100 miles at 70 and 65 is a grand total of six minutes. If you are going only 10 miles the difference is all of 36 seconds. For one mile, the time difference even between 40 mph and 70 is a whopping 38.7 seconds. Wow! Think of all you can do in a whole 38.7 seconds. Just in the 7 tenths of a second you could have an accident. Not good.

Check out my math. Distance = Time X Speed     S=D÷T   T=D÷S

To go 1 mile

@ 70mph = 51.3 seconds

@ 65mph = 55.2 seconds

@ 60mph = 60 seconds (1 minute)

@ 55mph = 68.2 seconds (1 minute 8.2 seconds)

@ 50mph = 72 seconds (1 minute 12 seconds)

@ 45mph = 80 seconds (1 minute 20 seconds)

@ 40mph = 90 seconds (1 minute 30 seconds)

@ 30mph = 120 seconds (2 minutes)

@ 20mph = 180 seconds (3 minutes)

To go 10 miles

@ 70mph = 8 minutes 36 seconds

@ 65mph = 9 minutes 12 seconds

@ 60mph = 10 minutes

@ 55mph = 10 minutes 54 seconds

@ 50mph = 12 minutes

@ 45mph = 13 minutes 20 seconds

@ 40mph = 15 minutes

@ 30mph = 20 minutes

@ 20mph = 30 minutes

To go 100 miles

@ 70mph = 1hour 26 minutes

@ 65mph = 1 hour 32 minutes

@ 60mph = 1 hour 40 minutes

@ 55mph = 1 hour 49 minutes

@ 50mph = 2 hours

@ 45mph = 2 hours 13 minutes

@ 40mph = 2 hours 30 minutes

@ 30mph = 3 hours 20 minutes

@ 20mph = 5 hours



Summer is here and with it comes a beautiful ever-changing roadside garden. Look about you and see the shiny yellow Common Buttercups, Hedge Mustard’s stiff stems with a mass of tiny yellow blossoms, lavender and white Phlox, and right now bright orange Daylilies, a garden escapee from Eurasia. Queen Anne’s Lace enhances any bouquet whether on the roadside or in a vase.
A display of Chicory’s true blue flowers mixed with Queen Anne’s Lace flat white heads is one of my favorite roadside sights. The common daisy or Oxeye Daisy nods its head and I am still tempted to pull the petals off one at a time: “He loves me, He loves me not.” Tall Cow Parsnips blossom with flat white flower heads–Queen Anne’s Lace on steroids. Mullein’s tall stalk, covered with small yellow blossoms, rises from its big velvety gray-green leaves. Yarrow, also popular in home gardens, produces flat white flower heads from its fuzzy gray-green stems and fern-like leaves. Musk Mallow blooms with five pink-lavender or white delicate petals in each blossom.
I spot large white flat blossoms of Elderberry bushes. They will later dazzle me with red-purple berries that form on tiny stems from each of those blossoms. Many birds choose them for fine dining. Some people gather the berries for Elderberry jelly, pie, or wine if they get there before the birds, but I find picking the little berries from their tiny stems too tedious.
Soon Sheep Sorrel will show tiny red blossoms. As a single plant it is barely noticeable, but millions in a field produce a pink glow. Black-eyed Susan, a daisy-like flower with deep golden petals with a dark brown or black center comes front and center along the road. A foreign invader, Purple Loosestrife is pushing out many native species, but a large cluster of its blossoming purple spires, is a great sight along a creek.
The Bull Thistle, with its leaves too sharp to touch has rosy lavender blossoms that feel like silk. I love the striking contrast of a Goldfinch, a bright yellow black-winged bird, sitting on the soft blooms, perhaps waiting for the blossom to produce its favorite seed.
In mid-summer some plants manage to blossom and set seeds without being noticed. Cattails in the roadside ditches and marshy areas started blossoming in early summer, but they don’t come to my attention until they become the distinctive brown spires. The reddish flowers of Dock escape my notice until the seeds form on the stiff stalks. I don’t see Teasel when it is green, but only after the lavender blossoms have dropped and the seed heads stand taller than the grasses around it. In the early fall I put on gloves to collect stems of Teasel to highlight arrangements of greens in my window boxes.
When Asters and Goldenrod begin to show their colors, they announce the grand conclusion to the season’s wildflower display. New England Asters, New York Asters, and Small Flowered Asters are but a few of the wild varieties in pink, white, and purple. The many varieties of Goldenrod, often falsely maligned for causing hay fever, shine and nod with the wind. Ragweed, the true enemy, hides from detection.
In the cool days of early autumn, trees prepare for winter, their leaves changing to red, gold, orange, and brown. With the fading of the colorful blooms of summer, the fields and roadsides turn a mixture of neutral tan, brown, and gray. White silk umbrellas explode from their enveloping milkweed pods, brown seed heads of Goldenrod sway, and plumes of Giant Reed wave to me as I drive by my roadside garden as if they are saying good-by.
Winter brings its own beauty. A fresh snow shimmers like quartz crystals in the sun. Only stalks from the past summer’s blossoms protrude through the earth’s blanket. Most deciduous trees stand black and naked for me to admire their structure. Only oaks refuse to let go of their leaves and wait for developing buds to push them off. Evergreens call out, “We’re here!” Just when I think there is no color, Winterberry bushes show off their bright red berries.
“As the days begin to lengthen the cold begins to strengthen,” my father’s adage, remains true. However, the world around me is preparing for spring. New leaf nubs grow and the trees appear fuller, less stark than last fall. Willow trees begin to show bright yellow twigs. I wait for the Coltsfoot to surprise me in my roadside garden and bring the promise of a whole new roadside garden that I don’t need to tend, but only appreciate.01-anniversary 5863