Archive for July 8th, 2009


Dan and Whit’s is a real general store.  Their slogan—“If we don’t have it, you don’t need it”—combines the ideal of American bounty with a New England puritan disapproval of things.  Shopping in the store is a desultory, serendipitous ramble.  Hardware can be found hard by the lotion.  Cheese isn’t far from ski gloves and board games.

J in D&W
Their hardwood floors are warped with age.  Their common sense slips into irony (there’s a hand-scrawled sign on the green door between the deli and the house-paint that says “this is the green door”).  Their pride is in being entirely unpretentious.  There was a collective huff when the store started carrying Carhartt work clothes last year.  (The brand was seen as too hoity toity.)  But they do succeed in maintaining their own brand of mish-mash pragmatic back-to-basics authenticity, even while carrying Champlain Chocolate (next to the Blow-Pops), top shelf wine, and retro wooden toys for the upscale toddler.
What was this gigantic dragonfly doing there?  It must have lost its way between Main Street and the Bloody Brook.


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My cousin, Michelle, and I teamed up for this one:


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Weed Semantics

“I grow some edible weeds,” I was told by my new friend, Diane.   I love the oxymoronic concept of cultivated weeds.  Weeds are, by definition, the enemies of cultivated plants.  They compete, strangle, are overly macho.

Or are they?  Some are delicious.  Toss them in a salad, or do a quick search in the blogosphere for wonderful ways to cook them.

Lamb’s quarters, chickweed, dandelion, lovage, sorrel, ramps, purslane, fiddlehead ferns,  nettles…

These weeds of New England speak to us in the Anglo-Saxon Latinate of foraging colonials with a fervor for naming New World and introducing Old World species.

Natural. Invasive. Cultivated. Edible. (Rediscovered.) Free. Gourmet. Weeds.

When you first meet someone, you only know three or so things about her, or him.  I like Diane because she plants edible weeds, because she looks natural in red lipstick at the beach, and because she is a painter.  Here is her bug mural, at the playground in Truro:

Diane's wall

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