This Thanksgiving

We didn’t go to her house
on Thanksgiving Day
She didn’t bake the turkey
or make the dressing
We didn’t hear her chatting
with the girls as they
rolled out and cut up
“Grandma’s dumplings”

She didn’t join hands
with us in the circle
as the blessing was said
We didn’t cry, though some
were teary-eyed and the
prayer was lifted in a
broken voice

She didn’t fill a plate and
try every dish
We didn’t hear her telling
old family stories
one more time
She wasn’t there, but…
We had her in our hearts,
and we always will…
A reason for Thanks-giving
every day

We love you, Mom

Posted in home and family, memories, poems | 8 Comments

Golden Books

Were some of the first books on your bookshelves, like mine, Little Golden Books? In my early childhood days, they sold for just 25 cents…although the price started going up- in 1962, it was raised to 29 cents. Now the books are around $3.99- still a bargain! Today I got a copy of Everything I Need to Know I Learned from a Little Golden Book by Diane Muldrow. Of course, the first thing I did was open it to write my name inside the cover where it says “This Little Golden Book belongs to _________.” Then I took a trip down memory lane, revisiting old friends like the Poky Little Puppy, the Tawny Scrawny Lion, and the Shy Little Kitten and coming across some friends I didn’t remember meeting like Pantaloon and the Sailor Dog. They are all here in this book to give humorous and practical life advice. And as you turn the pages, you will realize how many great children’s authors you probably first met in the pages of Little Golden Books. Your heart will be warmed by some of the sweet recommendations, such as “frolic,” “stargaze,” and “stroll.” Even the admonitions are gentle- “Look up… and savor the seasons as they roll around.” There is some sage advice, “Work hard” and “Play hard”-and encouragement, “Believe…that your ship will come in. As long as you do, your life is bound to be Golden!”

If you, like me, first knew these books in your mom’s voice, then your own “I can read it myself” voice… if you later read them to siblings, then to the kids you baby sat… and eventually your own children, and grandchildren, too, you will enjoy this Golden Book. Look for it here.

Posted in memories, SOLSC 2014 Weekly, thoughts on books | 5 Comments

Veteran’s Day Salute

I was born an Army brat, though that phase of my life passed while I was too young to know or remember it. When I was married, my husband was in the United States Air Force. He completed that service and years later became an Army chaplain. So I spent many happy years as a proud military wife. Later I became a Marine mom when my son served in the United States Marine Corps. So today I salute all our men and women who are serving or have served our country. I cherish the freedom that is mine because of their service.

In honor of Veteran’s Day, here is one of my family’s American stories:

An American Story

Her whole life long
The story was told
Brother gone to serve
Left landlocked Kentucky
For island Hawaii

Tragedy struck
America was under attack
Long days of waiting
Finally the news
Brother safe-
A weekend pass
Spared his life

Still so sad
Many lives lost

Her whole life long
The island held allure
She longed to go
See for herself
The sacred watery grave
Brother escaped

In her seventh decade
At last she went
She walked across the bridge
Stood on the deck
Looking up to pray
She saw the flag wave
Snapped her camera

Her whole life long
That flag will wave
Framed in her home
A constant reminder
Of the price paid
And the brother saved
Both for America the free

Diane Anderson December 2012

Note: This was my mom’s story. She passed away this year. Now that flag will wave in my house.

Posted in home and family, memories, poems, SOLSC 2014 Weekly | 10 Comments

Rainy Autumn Afternoon

Rainy autumn afternoon
No color in the sky
Except shades of gray

Meanwhile the trees
Still boldly flaunt
A palette of colors

Lingering summer greens
Frosted blue-green spruce
Dark velvety evergreen

Shocks of brilliant yellow
Sunflower and dandelion
Harvest gold

Splashes of orange
Pumpkin and persimmon
Leaves aflame

Fiery blazing red
Darker deep burgundy
Warming cool fall days

Hints of brown
Burnished copper
Bare bark

Empty limbs rise
In stark contrast
Against cloudy sky

Rainy autumn afternoon
Gray day
Bright day

Lovely

Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Do You Know?

It’s a brief, simple statement followed by a question. “It is 11 o’clock. Do you know where your children are?” A police officer says it, looking directly into the camera.

It is a tradition recently revived in our city. I remember hearing it when I was in high school, but it was just a voice then. Something about seeing a different officer each evening, repeating this same statement and question feels important. My children are adults now, but I think of my elementary students and their middle school and high school siblings. I hope their parents are hearing the message and taking it to heart. There is too much violence and loss in our city. Too much crime that hurts our youth.

This public service announcement, in the face of it all, may be a small action. I hope it is big enough to save a child, a family.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Random Recent Events and Thoughts

Here are a few things that have been going on lately- couldn’t seem to decide what to write today, so I thought I would just do a list and see what popped up.

1. I didn’t want to see it, but today I saw the realtor’s sign in the yard at my mom’s house. All summer and into the fall, my sisters, brothers, and sisters-in-law worked to get the house ready. So many tears shed, so much laughter shared, so many memories sorted through…and now there’s a sign in the yard…

2. My baby will celebrate her 21st birthday in 10 days. I cannot believe it yet.

3. That same baby planned a surprise birthday dinner for me. She gave me a bouquet of roses. My month-old nephew was there, his first public outing. My brothers and sisters-in-law weren’t there, except for the selfies they sent showing them at the restaurant the night before- which to give them credit, was my actual birthday.

4. It’s Fall Break! Two weeks!

5. There was a morning rainbow, but I missed seeing it except in pictures on the news. This evening the weather forecaster announced there will be a blood moon visible early tomorrow morning. I won’t miss that.

6. My brother spent hours on Saturday installing a new disposal under my kitchen sink and replacing the ruined flooring where the old one had leaked. We went to lunch together. I loved that time together.

7. I opened windows to let the fresh fall air in, and our two cats jumped up into the window to enjoy it, batting at the tree leaves rustling in the breeze just out of their reach.

8. My sister and I went to the movie The Good Lie. What a powerful story!

9. Someone made a jealous remark. It hurts deeply.

10. Someone shared tears. Very unexpectedly. It was a holy moment. I was honored to be so trusted.

11. My sister is moving next week. I’ll be there for her.

12. Did I mention it’s Fall Break? Two weeks! Thank goodness!

Posted in random thoughts, SOLSC 2014 Weekly | 3 Comments

North Star

I step outside
My eyes are drawn up to the sky
Dark still, but clear
Bright stars scattered across
Guiding North Star
Shining brightest-
Constant, true

I needed to see that-
Hope gathered
Once again
Within me

Posted in poems, reflections | 8 Comments