a marriage, a meeting, a menu and a little may madness

"I stuck my head out the window this morning and Spring kissed me bang in the face." ~ Langston Hughes


Ah, May! The merriest of months is here.

Mmmm, mmmm! But you do get better looking as the days go by. What’s your secret? Have you been bathing in dew drops again? Whatever you’re doing, let me just say it’s really working for you. ☺

The view outside my office window couldn’t be more perfect: sun shining through the trees, soft breezes tickling newly opened pale green leaves. We have a bird’s nest on our front porch again; after looking through my field guide, I’m guessing it’s a catbird. She’s a very devoted mother, sitting on those eggs through high winds and rainstorms.

All our favorite yard pets are busy with their spring activities: cardinals, bluejays, robins, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sparrows, chickadees, and bluebirds chirping the latest news, happily singing and flitting about; Fuzzy the fox tending to her kits, squirrels up to their usual mischief, deer grooming each other in the back yard, Boxcar the land tortoise wandering onto the street (don’t worry, Len rescued him).

Our dogwood trees look especially beautiful this year. The blossoms seem bigger, fuller, whiter . . .

Other things I’m happy about:



Yes, I’m still thinking about it. Loved. Every. Minute. It would have been enough with all the pageantry, funky hats, double KISSES, bright yellow Queen, McVities Chocolate Cake, 1902 Landau, breathtakingly stunning wedding gown, adorable bridesmaids and page boys, moving sea of joyous humanity (admirably controlled by spiffy bobbies) and a hot sister to carry one’s train. Would have been more than enough. But for me, this fairytale wedding was also personal, nostalgic, emotional.


I just happen to favor weddings in London, having tied the knot there 33 years ago. Everyone wants to believe in fairytales, and this occasion allowed some 2 billion people to celebrate this modern-day love story, a beacon of hope and jubilation in an otherwise uncertain, complicated world.

I’ve never seen Westminster Abbey look so gloriously beautiful, a marvel of Gothic architecture with its marble columns, pointed arches, ribbed vaults, rose windows and flying buttresses. Once upon a time, I sat in the Abbey choir with Len, my parents and maid of honor for choral evensong. The pure, sweet voices of the boy sopranos, surely touched by angels, brought tears to our eyes. Hearing the Abbey Choir during the wedding ceremony was definitely one of my favorite moments. 

Once upon a time, I stood in Poets Corner, trying to wrap my brain around the fact that Chaucer was actually buried there, along with Dickens, Browning, Dryden, Hardy, Johnson, Kipling, Tennyson, Spenser. And many of the other literary giants I had studied and idolized for years have been memorialized there: Shakespeare, the Brontës, Jane Austen, William Blake, Byron, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Lewis Carroll, Henry James, Gerard Manley Hopkins, on and on. Hallowed ground indeed, teeming with British cultural history.

Everything about the wedding ran like clockwork: it felt good to witness an event marked by precision and orderliness with every last detail attended to. The world is crazy and chaotic, but for a few hours, time stood still for love. A great moment in history. England will always be magical in my eyes; it was there my own little fairytale came true.


Just before Easter, I got to meet LJ friend Debbi Michiko Florence in person for the very first time! We met for dinner at Gadsby’s Tavern in Old Town Alexandria. What a kick when someone you’ve known online for several years actually materializes. She’s real, she’s real! And taller than I expected ☺. We discussed two of our passions: travel and FOOD. Such a beautiful person, inside and out.



No, it hasn’t escaped my attention that Bob Dylan will be turning 70 on May 24th. Fellow Dylan fan and LJ friend, Kevin Slattery, has proclaimed May as Bob Dylan month! Be sure to check out k.slatts.com and his blog for all the fun, which will include special features and this giveaway: Leave a comment to win a signed copy of Kevin’s self-published, fully illustrated book, Ain’t gonna hang no pixel: an artist stops painting with paint.

Wait. Bob’s gonna be 70? Wow, I never realized he was 40 years older than I am! ☺


MAY MENU for alphabet soup!


May is both Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and Latino Books Month. I’m looking forward to reading and possibly reviewing some new-to-me picture books in commemoration. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

As for food — May is Strawberry Month, Hamburger Month, Egg Month, Salad and Salsa Month. I’m going to do my best to focus my eating and some of my reading accordingly. All for you, of course. ☺

I’ll be hosting Poetry Friday on May 13th. Hope you’ll join the party by sharing a poem, song, review, or commentary on any aspect of poetry.

Now that Poetry Month is over, I can tackle my big TBR pile, and will feature some of my favorite reads. Hint: Ruff ruff, Civil War, rocks, planting a garden. Who knows, a surprise guest or two might drop in!

The unending Quest for Pie will continue. Need I say more?

General May madness and merrymaking, tra la. Hope you’ll drop by often this month. For now, please help yourself to some strawberry cream pie:


*skips away*

*Royal Wedding photos from weddingenet.com.

Copyright © 2011 Jama Rattigan of jama rattigan’s alphabet soup. All rights reserved.