A Moment of Serenity

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Place yourself in the chair. Imprint the image on your mind’s eye and imagine the sound of the creek flowing by, feel the soft touch of the breeze on your face . Close your eyes for a moment and feel yourself there. Now that you feel so calm, find your writer’s notebook and your favorite pen. Place yourself in any chair. Start writing.

Last week (when I didn’t get my slice written and posted) I was visiting friends in Indiana, Pennsylvania, and we went to their cabin in the Laurel Ridge Highlands. Tubmill Creek crosses their land. I sat in that very chair, for much longer than a moment, and soaked in all the serenity I could. I took a short video so I can recapture the feeling as needed… I tried to insert the video here, but alas, WordPress sends me the message “this filetype not supported.” Perhaps your imagination is better, anyway. Maybe your imagination can also bring to life the spotted fawn that dashed out of and back into the trees on the other side of the creek. I didn’t have my camera at the ready when it did… but I can still see it in my mind.

Posted in memories, Uncategorized, writing | 8 Comments

A List of Slices

1. Last Tuesday, I was still at school with students. This Tuesday, I’ve been on summer break almost a week.

2. I claimed the allowed exemption for a mid-summer call to jury duty. (My name came up even though it has been less than two years since the last time I reported.)

3. I finally got a smart phone. (I love it!)

4. We took my nephew to a movie in a theater with recliner seats. His eyes popped out in amazement! (I kept dozing off throughout the movie!)

5. We have had day after day with scattered storms, with more coming, some severe. Maybe there will be poems…like this.

6. I bought a cantaloupe, which turned out to be just perfect. Maybe it deserves a poem, too.

7. Tough news from a friend- the ovarian cancer she beat has come back for another battle. Good news for my sister: she is cancer-free a year after her surgery. Awaiting news for my niece after exploratory surgery tomorrow- will there be a chance for another baby?

8. I went in for my annual mammogram…have you?

9. I read The Beginner’s Goodbye by Anne Tyler. I recommend it. Looking forward to a lot more summer reading!

10. I joined the Blogstitute at Stenhouse. This is the first week. The first blog is from Jeff Anderson and Debbie Dean, discussing their book, Revision Decisions, which I highly recommend.

11. I took part in a poetry workshop about list poetry at a local writer’s center. We read a lot of mentor texts, wrote a poem as a group, and spent some time writing on our own. I was somewhat awestruck by the amazing writers who were there.

12. Last Tuesday, I forgot Slice of Life and linked my slice on Wednesday. This Tuesday, I was getting on the computer for something else and shouted to myself, “It’s Tuesday!” and started reading slices for inspiration.

Posted in random thoughts | 7 Comments

Daddy-Daughter Love

A baby girl is born
And with that first look,
The first wonder-filled, gentle touch-
A man’s chest swells with pride and
His heart fills with something new,
Intense, never felt before-
Daddy-Daughter love.

Days, weeks, and months pass by
The baby grows, babbles her first word,
“Da-da” and reaches her little arms up
To be held in Daddy’s strong arms.
The little girl take her first steps,
And one day puts her little feet in
Daddy’s big shoes and walks around,
And Daddy-Daughter love grows.

The years fly by and before he knows it
The little baby becomes a little girl,
Then a gangly teen and suddenly
A beautiful young woman.
She’s the apple of his eye and
The joy of his heart.
Daddy-Daughter love remains true
Through it all.

Eventually new loves arrive on the scene-
Grandchildren followed by
And then Daddy-Daughter love
Becomes stronger, deeper-
A bond that will never break.

The decades pass and roles shift-
Daughter takes care of Daddy
Until one day he is called away
To his heavenly home…

Daddy-Daughter love lives on…
And it always will.

Posted in home and family, poems | 3 Comments

Goodbye, 9010

Your red door welcomed us so cheerfully,
Your living room offered a gracious place for conversation.
The kitchen and its big table set with home-cooked meals beckoned the family to gather around-
The family room was full of comfy spots to sit to talk and laugh.
The back porch swing lulled grandbabies to sleep,
The bedrooms offered a haven for rest for family and friends, too.
The green, green lawn was soft as velvet with trees that started small
and grew, just like our family did through the years…

9010, you were more than a house, you were our HOME, heart of the family…

We all will miss you dearly, we hope you work your magic for your new people…

We have just sold the house our parents built in 1978…how thankful we are for the memories.

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

What Could the Title Be?

Driving to school, I came up behind a pickup truck when I stopped at a light. It had a large decal picture on the tailgate.

A toad, a lizard and a frog frolicked on the beach at sunset. The toad and the lizard danced gleefully. The grinning frog sat atop a pile of books with a book open across its lap. One of the books in the stack had lettering on the spine, but, try as I might, I could not get close enough to read the title. I really wonder what it might have said! Would it give a clue to explain the odd little scene? What do you imagine the title of the book was?

Posted in random thoughts, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Mother-Daughter Moments

This story is not about me and my daughter. It is about a glimpse I had into some mother-daughter moments with students from my school and their moms. It happened on Saturday, at a district-wide event: the annual Multicultural Festival. The event includes performances of music, dance, poetry and speeches by students from elementary, middle and high schools, as well as displays of work by students that show how diversity is embraced and practiced in our schools. Our display featured “Where I Am From” poems written by 5th and 6th grade students to celebrate family heritage. We also had a table with writing materials, a copy of our mentor text (“Where I’m From” by George Ella Lyon- 2015-16 Kentucky Poet Laureate, author and teacher), and a description of our writing process. Several of the student writers were scheduled to come throughout the day to interact with visitors, to share their poems and to encourage the visitors to try writing a poem.

A was the first student to arrive. I was a little worried when she first walked up to our display, because she was by herself. Since the program was at a local mall, in addition to approval for displaying the students’ work, I had requested in the permission form that a parent come and stay while their student was at the festival. It turned out that her mom was there, waiting nearby in the food court. A helped me finish setting up the display. I reminded her that her job would be to talk to visitors, ask to read her poem for them, and see if they would like to try writing a poem- and if they did, she could explain how we wrote our poems at school and guide the person as they started their poem. I suggested she could practice with her mom.

She went and got her mom and brought her over and introduced us. Then she pointed out her poem and asked her mother if she wanted to hear her read it. Of course, mom said yes. A proudly read her poem. She got a lot of smiles and a big hug. Then she showed her mom the materials on the table and asked if she would write a poem. After a brief protest, “Me? Write a poem?” mother and daughter went to work. What a magical moment to watch! Heads bent together, they laughed and talked happily as A showed her mom the brainstorming sheet we had used to gather ideas and mom began jotting things down. I even overheard A say some of the same things I had said to the students as we worked together at school! Proud smiles were on both faces when a draft of the poem was done. And, of course, I had a big smile, too.

A was an enthusiastic promoter of our display. She got a couple of other visitors to read her poem. She even got the district director of curriculum and instruction to sit and write a poem! It was a revelation to watch A. All too soon, it was time for her to leave.

I was at the table alone for quite awhile before M and her mom arrived. M read her poem and got a hug and smiles (and a big laugh) from her mom. She, too, explained to her mom how she wrote her poem and got mom to try it. When I asked her if she learned anything she didn’t know about her mom and their family, she grinned and nodded her head. There weren’t any other visitors for M to talk to (she might have been too shy anyway), but it was a great experience for her to share with her mom.

And those mother-daughter moments made my day!

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Spring Breezes

Gentle spring breezes
fly through the
tree branches,
setting the leaves
like the wings
of a thousand
emerald butterflies

Posted in poems | 11 Comments