Tuesday, April 30, 2013

When I was about four years old, I can remember going to Resh's Red & White store in Indian Head, Pennsylvania. (That chain is now Shop'n Save) I was with my dad. I don't remember what we went to the store to buy, but I do remember meeting Aunt Jemima.
In the niche at one side of the store, she was standing behind a gas heated griddle. The grill was about eighteen inches by twenty-four. She waited until I approached and asked if I would like to try the pancake mix and syrup. I looked at my dad. He gave me a nod of approval. I felt tongue-tied and could only nod an assent with my head. I was a bit nervous. This was the first black person I can remember meeting and I wasn't used to being addressed by strangers.
She quickly and deftly poured three small rounds of the pancake batter onto the hot griddle. She smiled and began to talk to me as I stood there watching the silver dollar sized pancakes bake. (There were no protective barriers to keep my hands from the grill. Back then, people assumed that children were intelligent enough not to touch hot things and to keep our hands to ourselves).
She seemed to tower over the griddle. As my shyness waned, I looked at her. Aunt Jemima had deep golden skin, a warm smile, and dancing brown eyes. She was wearing a red and white gingham dress and a bright read head scarf. Around her ample waist she had a sparkling white apron tied in the back. It wasn't that she was fat, but rather full bodied.
With practiced and deft movements, she flipped the small pancakes over. As she did, the aroma seemed to fill the area and made my mouth water. I can remember seeing steam rising from those three golden brown discs. They were baked to a color several shades lighter than Aunt Jemima's skin.
She talked as the cakes continued to bake. I can't remember what she said, but I can remember her sparkling teeth and her beautiful smile. She had a wonderful laugh that seemed to tickle, even though she never touched me.
I watched her as she reached for a small, white paper saucer. Holding it near the griddle, she waved her metal spatula, scepter and the golden coins were moved to the plate. Laying her scepter aside, she picked up a tall glass bottle filled with Aunt Jemima pancake syrup. Unscrewing the cap, she drizzled the thick, brown sweetness over the cakes that were nestled on the saucer. Setting the syrup aside, a small fork seemed to magically appear in her hand. She placed it on the saucer with the pancakes now covered in the syrup. Handing the plate to me, she said, "Here you go. Taste them, but be careful. They are still hot."
She smiled. I recall that the cakes and syrup seemed to taste wonderful. I never saw the woman again, but this is a tribute to the impression that she made on me with this brief encounter. She has imprinted herself on my memory.

I am rhymed out and must substitute stories of my memories until I can write more poetry.
Reminiscing, I have been thinking about some of the small things that have been a part of my past and possibly part of yours. I want to share them before they are gone and forgotten. I only wish I had the foresight to have written down the stories from my dad's youth. I need to do that before my memory is completely corrupted by time. I fear much is already tainted and lost.
I can remember going to our country store when my parents, who would give me a few pennies or if I was very fortunate, a whole nickel. I thought I was rich. As I entered the store, I could smell the mingling scents of old wood smoke, leather, and the heady aroma of spices, all mingling to invite the customer to come inside and spend money.
I didn't need the smell, I was drawn to the glass and dark wood display case that housed a plethora of sweet confections. The front of the case always had small finger prints and nose prints of the young shoppers before me. (Even if those hands and noses had no money, they were pressed against the glass, dreaming of what they would buy).
The wood part of the case had darkened over the years from grubby hands touching it as these wee people made their decisions as to what to buy.
A vast array...a kaleidoscope....a veritable treasure trove of candies were on display. The volume made any child's mind whirl, deciding which candy to buy for volume, which candy would last longer, and which to buy for its flavor. No other decision in the world seemed to be larger.
In boxes and glass jars, the shelves were overflowing with mouthwatering sweetness. Even the top of the display case held wonderfully tempting treats. Tall jars with shiny lids held long pretzel rods and pixie sticks that dominated the counter. Boxes of chewing gum crowded tightly around them. The selection seemed enormous; Teaberry in its enticing pink package, Black Jack wrapped in blue, gray, and white, Cloves in red, burgundy, and white, Beeman's looking crisp in white with a bright red banner. Then there were Chicklets, Spearmint, Doublemint, Peppermint, and Juicy Fruit in its bold yellow wrapper.
Inside of the case, on its top shelf were rows and rows of candy bars; Hershey bars, Chunky in its foil, Milkyway, Three Musketeers, Clark bars, and Bonomo Turkish taffy. Zagnut, Necco Sky bars and Necco wafers, Tootsie Rolls, Black Cow, Baby Ruth, Slo-Poke, O'Henry, and Good'n Plenty filled the boxes. Beside them were the bubble gum cigars, Chuckles, Sugar Babies, Cracker Jacks with its surprise tucked inside, and the "so cool" candy cigarettes. My favorite candy was the Lunch Bar. Wrapped in a forest green paper with silver lettering, it was rich milk chocolate with peanuts and the most enticing thing about it was it only cost three cents.
On the lower shelf was the penny candy. (Some were two of three for a penny). It became torture trying to decide which of the sugary delicacies to buy. The selections seemed like an endless array to the youthful eye. It was a vast panorama, but each candy had its merits and would call hauntingly to be chosen. The confusion seemed more dazzling when the sea of candies was reflected in the mirrored doors at the back of the case.
Each candy was unique; Black Jack, licorice whips, Mary Janes, Bazooka bubble gum, red hot Fireballs in their clear cellophane wrappers, wax lips, wax teeth, wax moustaches, sealed wax bottles holding sweet liquids, Kitts, were small squares of taffy in banana, chocolate, or strawberry. Jaw breakers Swedish fish, Jujubies, and root beer barrels were huddled there to name a few.
Finally I would make my decision; some for the flavor and some because they were long-lasting. I would catch the grocer's eye and he would walk over, picking up a very small brown paper sack. With a quick flip of the wrist it would pop open and he would say, "What did you decide?" He opened the mirrored, sliding doors in the back.
Pointing and directing his hovering hand, he would lift my selections and drop them into the depths of the sack. I would hand him my money and after folding down the top of the bag to protect the precious contents, he would hand the much treasured items over to me. I would wrestle with the desire to immediately open the bag to sample some of the flavors inside and the need to make the candy nestled there, last forever.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I was reminiscing yesterday and remembered a small, almost insignificant incident that I had all but forgotten. It wasn't anything memorable, but it came to mind and I thought I would share it. I was with my mom and we to see a physician. I can't for the life of me, decide if it was with an ophthalmologist or otolaryngologist. Their offices were in the same building, but different floors..

             In the lobby of the building there was a glass encased marquee that listed the floors and office numbers for the professionals of the building. I looked through the glass case to find the person that I sought; the floor, and the room number. The elevator was located at the one side of the lobby.
I walked across the marble floor to the elevator. The elevator wasn’t on the there on the bottom level. I could see that the shaft was dark and empty, through the small window  of the door. I could see a metal accordion gate on the other side of the door. It was a time when elevators had an operator who would greet you and take you to the floor that you requested.
 I reached out and pressed the black button with a white arrow that pointed upwards. There were two buttons were centered in the shiny brass plate. Even though this was the ground floor of the building, there must have been a basement, because there was another button pointing down. Above in dark recesses the elevator shaft, I could hear a loud resonating ring of a bell. In response to my summons, I could hear the rumble above of something heavy being closed and then the squeak and rattle of something lighter closing..
From the emptiness shaft, I heard the rumble of an electric motor starting and the shush of the car starting to descend. Through the small window, I could see the cables loop lower and lower as the pale light in the dark shaft grew stronger. The humming swoosh and the clicking sound of the elevator car grew louder as it lowered to the floor where I stood with my mom waiting.
The thick, dark floor  of the elevator came into view as the floor of the car lowered past the window. The thrum of the elevator became louder as it neared its stop. A gentle jiggling of the controls by unseen hands leveled the floor of the car with the floor of the building.
I could see a black hand reach across the window to unlatch and pull open an accordioned metal, safety gate. A pull caused it to scissor open to the one side. The hand reappeared and I could hear the rasp of metal as the windowed door slid open.
To one side of the now open door, was a wooden, fold-down seat and on it sat a middle aged black woman.  She smiled at me. Her dazzling white teeth were even more pronounced against her ebony skin. “What floor, please?” she asked.
My mom told her what floor we needed. She smiled again as she reached for a metal handle that was attached to the inside of the solid door and pulled. The door slid closed. She pushed the accordion gate closed as well before settling back onto her fold down seat.
Adjusting the controls in front of her, the elevator rumbled to life and began its slow ascent up the dark shaft with a small bump. Pushing the wall mounted control farther, the elevator car gained some speed, but by all modern standards, its ascent wasn’t very fast. Several floors passed the elevator's small window. I could see numbers painted in white on the thick, dark concrete designating each floor as we passed.
She slowed, as the floor we needed approached. A short adjustment with the speed of the car and we were there. She opened the gate and the thick door.
As I exited, she gave us a dazzling smile and said, “Have a good day.”
“Thank you.” I replied and exited the elevator with my mom.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I ran the rototiller through the garden yesterday. I planted a few flowers in pots for the front porch and made two hanging baskets of assorted annuals. (My excitement for the day.)
I'm watching the weather, but it looks like I won't have to move the plants in this week. There's no danger of frost in the forecast. Other than chatting with a few friends on Facebook nothing else happened yesterday.
I did look through several ads on Craig's List. I want to find either a place to volunteer several hours per week or get a casual job to use up some of my extra time. I have worked too long not to have a bit more structure in my life. Thirty-six years at the same place.
I started working for several summers in high school on a dairy farm to earn money for school clothes. My senior year, I was a stock boy/sign painter for a hardware store in Connellsville.
After graduating I had a job at a plant making valves for the Walworth company. My next four years were dedicated to Uncle Sam in the Navy.
Then I knocked out a four year Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing, completing it in three years. After graduation, I began my career in nursing.

Accomplishment, how can I achieve it when there is no goal to believe?
How can I know I've hit the bull's eye when my target's not set very high
or write without guideline or structure? How can I know where I'm going for sure?
How do I direct thoughts, to what end or how do I get my thoughts to blend?
Just as kids need guidelines growing, my guidelines need practiced and showing.
Some people say, limits stifle our children. Without limits bad things can happen;
broadmindedness eventually leads to flat headedness, when left free.
I am needing structure when I write, guidelines so kids will grow up right.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Instead of a poetry post, I thought I'd delve into my past and use an amusing anecdote and frankly I need a break form the poems myself. It was a nice day at the writer's group meeting. I enjoyed it a lot.

It was one of those days when my children were irritable. Nothing that I could do could redirect them from chasing each other around the house, yelling, screaming, and fighting. My patience was wearing thin. I was at a loss of what to do.
Finally I cornered them and said, "Look! You kids need to settle down. The neighbors are going to complain and call the police." I thought that I could scare them into behaving for a few minutes.
It was then that an unusual, fortuitous, and completely coincidental event occurred.
My son came running to me and in a hushed, frightened tone he said, Dad! There's a policeman outside." His voice almost a whisper.
As I walked past the window that overlooked the driveway, I could see parked in my drive was a Pennsylvania State patrol car. On my next step, I could see the gray uniform of the state trooper's uniform as it ascended the stairs to my front porch.
Just as I reached the door, there came a knock.
I could see my kids huddled, fearing what would happen once I opened the door. As I turned the knob, I could hear the scurrying of little feet disappearing into the depths of my house.
I opened the door. I immediately recognized the trooper standing there. He was one of my cousins. His patrol was close to my house. He patrolled the Pennsylvania turnpike, route 76 in southwestern part of the state.
I stepped outside to join him, closing the door behind me. I followed him off the porch and into the yard.
Looking back at the house, I could see three heads peering from under the curtain behind the closed window. Six eyes were peering out, wide with fear.
I smiled. My cousin said the reason that he had stopped was to ask me about a house next door that was for sale. He said he had heard that there were issues of the home being tied up in legal battle between the heirs.
I told him what I knew and then explained why my kids were glued to the window. It was because of what I had told them earlier.
He smiled and pointed his finger at the three tow headed children in the window. Immediately, the faces disappeared.
My cousin chuckled and returned to his cruiser. He waved and drove off.
When I went back into the house, I told the kids, "Don't worry. I handled it this time. No one is getting arrested., but the trooper said, 'You need to tell your kids to keep the noise down and quit fighting or I will be back.'"
It did work. They did behave for several days.
I have been sorting through old papers and photograph. Slowly separating them into trash or to save. There were a lot that I had accumulated and others that were passed to me by relatives who've passed on. It's no simple job. Some deals with our family's history and others may be important to others.
I am getting older, aging, but not to gracefully. I want to fight it off for another few years anyway.
Another cool night. I actually built a small fire to help warm my house overnight. If the rden is dry, I might run the rototiller through it again today.

I look at my face in the mirror.
Who is this man staring back at me.
Scales tell my weight rom the bathroom floor.
Wishing to lose, but the same I see.
As I've aged, my whiskers have turned gray.
New wrinkles appear, others are known.
I'm intimate with my face each day;
brushing teeth, shaving, trim hair that's grown,
my thinning hair and my shaggy brow,
a bit of baggage under my eyes.
Who is this old man who looks back at me now?
It looks much like me but in disguise.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I got my garden tilled yesterday morning. I wanted to get the fertilizer and the wood ashes tilled under before it rained. I gentle rain would have been okay, but the downpour that we had yesterday would have washed it all away instead of causing them to soak into my garden.
My shoulder is feeling much better today, even with using the tiller for nearly an hour yesterday. I pray that with a little more rest and those medicated pain pads, it will be back on the mend.
Some days it seems that I write a good deal, but when it comes to publishing them in my blog, what I write doesn't seem appropriate for the day.
I found an unfinished Christmas greeting, reworked, and finished it, but the season isn't even close to Christmas. Besides, who wants to be reminded of the cold weather. Instead I will just remind you it is still Spring and the nights are still cool.

The full faced moon, pale as buttermilk floats on the night sky, smooth as black silk.
Bright starry sequins start to appear, sparkling brilliant white and shining clear.
No lights shining but the stars and moon. Somewhere far off, night owls start to croon.
The cool air moves closer on tip toes, cool enough that my steaming breath shows.
Huddled I sit, arms around my knees. I wonder what it is  the moon sees
when she is looking down from her throne, as I sit here quiet and alone?
The cool night air starts to chill my feet. It is time for me to leave my seat.
I say to the moon, "Have a good night." I go inside losing her from sight..

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yesterday, my right bicep really was giving me a lot of pain. After wrapping it in a pain patch, taking Tylenol and ibuprofen, it is feeling a bit better today. I did manage to spread some fertilizer and wood ashes on my garden. I wanted to till them under, but my shoulder wouldn't allow me to use my tiller.
I paid the Spring taxes yesterday. I think it is remarkable. If I could sell my home for what the government assesses its value to be, I could move to Tahiti and live until I die on that amount alone, but that is our government, big on promises and little on delivery. I don't want to get on my soap box here, so I will quit with that comment.
I want to visit dad today. I had planned on visiting yesterday, but had a change of plans. His doctor should be there for a quick examination and there are a few things that we need to discuss.

          How do I describe the majestic beauty of a sunrise?
How can I make it visible to another person’s eyes?
How can I describe the constantly changing kaleidoscope
with infinite colors, frustratingly I wrestle to cope?
Finding words for the infinite colors, I fumble and grope.
I hope with my descriptive words, I can partially impart
         The sight of the inky sky waiting for the morning to start.
The sun peeks over the horizon, its face still dark with night,
Turning to periwinkle as indigo sky is touched by light.
Fine seams of light seem to fill with flames of orange and red,
Stretching from side to side as the sun rises from its dark bed.
It appears wearing a multi-hued robe, flowing in the wind.
First rays of morning light appear like a monster golden finned.
With an explosion of white, the sun pops up with blinding eye.
It surges up, anxious to begin its trip across the sky.
The clouds reflect the sumptuous grandeur of its random hue,
chasing away the last vestige of night, turning skies bright blue.
When ev’ning comes, the reverse is true. My attention turns west.
Sunsets are as colorful. How do I choose which is best?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last evening, I finished the picture that I was drawing. It was a Winter scene of a farm house, barn, and horses. I have always thought that horses were graceful and beautiful, but I have always had  difficulty drawing them. When I was in high school there was another student who drew horses marvelously. Whether she sketched them or painted them, they looked as though the horses would step off the pages.
One oil painting was so vivid and real I can remember it exactly. It was of three wild horses galloping across a desert shallow stream. A black horse, a white horse, and a chestnut in full stride with white water splashing up like diamonds in the sunshine. Judy was a true artist.
Yesterday I wrote about my wife. Today I am writing about my mom. She died exactly three years after my wife's passing, three years exactly. It was on the third anniversary of my wife's dying. A crazy coincidence wasn't it.

Dear Mom,
It has been eight years since I have said goodbye
or told you that I love you, and looked you in the eye.
How quickly those years have passed and how much you're missed.
How I long it has been to have you here to be hugged and kissed..
How I long ago we would sit and laugh, talk, and share memories.
Alzheimer's took that away from us, what a terrible disease,
long before your soul soared toward heavenly shores.
One day in that heavenly home, we shall meet of course,
and we will share those happy times again since you've gone ahead.
Friends and kin who've to those mansions already sped
with you I will meet at the wide open pearly gates.
We shall have new bodies in those eternal estates.
Perfect bodies that will be untouched by disease or time,
untouched by infirmities of sin, pain, or grime.
I love you Mom.

I just wrote these lines on the fly as the words came out.

Monday, April 22, 2013

It was another cool night and a promise of a warmer day. I like that promise. I did some writing and rewriting yesterday and I even managed to do some art work. I am doing a mixed media picture; pen and colored pencil. It has been so long since I have done any art work, I feel rusty. I was never Norman Rockwell, but I like to do it, so that is the reason that I try. I do get frustrated when I see it in my mind's eye and it doesn't come out from my fingers. I think I need to retrain myself.
I am already looking forward to the writer's meeting this Friday. It is always an enjoyable time.
We have an evangelist at our church all this week. He is a very dynamic speaker. There is no chance to catch a nap when he is behind the pulpit and he doesn't stay behind the pulpit for long. He likes to walk around as he shares his sermon.
No sorting allowed for the rest of the week. Anna has a Pampered Chef party this weekend, so I have to clean up my messes and then disappear during the party. (I don't have to disappear, it's just my preference.)

Wearing her spectral shoes, she wanders through my mind
seeking the memories, the ones she knows will please.
She looks 'til she can find, ones that I cannot refuse
to join her in that dream. She whispers in my ear,
she pulls my thoughts to her, reality will blur.
In dreams she draws near where memories still stream.
She warms me when I hold her closely in my thought.
Though she's gone many years, she still brings me to tears.
It is a heady thought, ever young, never old,
she keeps her youthful face while my youth has long fled.
Always young and lovely, now just my eyes can see.
The woman I once wed and love time can't erase.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

The cold is back, much to my dismay. It is still Springtime and the push and shove of the weather systems is in full swing. I was spoiled with the almost Summertime warm and sunny days.
Just after I was finished writing my post yesterday, I heard a tapping on my window. It was icy sleet. It fell enough to coat part of the grass and left a layer on the cars. I built a small fire yesterday in the wood burner and another last night. I like the warmth of wood burning better than the heat from an oil burning furnace. It is a more steady heat.
Other than the mundane things; visiting my dad, laundry, and still in the sorting and tossing mood, there is nothing exciting happening in my life. I still write. At least one poem a day to stick in my blog. If it wasn't for the poetry, my blog space would be pitiful and may still be pitiful even with the poetry in it. I have been neglecting the novels that are in the works. Hopefully I will get the energy to go back to work on them. Mostly it is typing them and saving them in the computer. I would ask my daughter to help, but she says she can't read my writing. (Smart girl. Her momma didn't raise a fool.)

It was cold this morning, sleet was in the air.
It tapped on my window and lodged on my car.
The grass cradled the icy white in its arms.
Coldly caressed and captured, sleet nestled there.
It is still the time when Spring and Winter spar.
I was lulled by the sunny days' warmth and charm.
I'd just put all my Winter jackets away.
I didn't think that I would still have a need.
I was thinking that Winter's weather was through
and thinking that Springtime's warmth was here to stay.
The chill and sleet surprised me, yes indeed.
When this back and forth will end, I have no clue.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

I spent much of the day sorting pictures and papers left over from my mother-in-law and her mother. They had been sitting idle at my house for much to long. I didn't want to just throw them all out in one fell swoop. There was too much family history that needed to be preserved and many items that would be lost forever if I would randomly discard them.
The one thing that made the task less daunting, less tedious, and more enjoyable was the fact that it was a cold, rainy, and dreary outside. To give myself a break from that chore, I have been going through my old clothing. I have been sorting the things what I either can't or won't wear. They will go to our church school yard sale.
The Mount Zion church school is situated at the top of Kreinbrook Road The yard sale fund raiser that is held twice a year. The next one is May 17 and 18, 2013. All kinds of things are donated, from furniture, fresh baked goods, and knick knacks. Most of the clothing is sold for one dollar to fill a grocery bag. The bags used to be paper bags, but now we have to use the plastic shopping bags. When the time comes, my house will be several hundred pounds lighter of donated things.
One thing that I am giving is a large library of Louis L'Amour paperbacks. I always enjoyed reading them. It is time to pass them along for someone else to enjoy. Louis' writings always had an unique turn of phrases, his language was not crude in any way, and it was easy to put down the book and pick the story back up without losing the plot of the tale.

Like a lover spurned, the sun has gone away.
The clouds have arrived, the rain is here to stay.
The clouds seem to be glowering, gray and dark.
The oak trees have no leaves and appear quite stark.
The falling rain drips from bare branches like tears.
Windblown rain against windows where it adheres.
The thick clouds hang heavy and yet hurry by.
Only by staying inside can I stay dry.
The grass is covered, slippery with the rain.
It washes away all Winter's grimy stain.
Underneath umbrellas people seek refuge
as soot and ash disappear in the deluge.

Friday, April 19, 2013

I went to Walmart yesterday to make reprints of some of the photographs that I have been going through and sorting. I am trying to get them into the hands of people who will treasure them. There are newspaper articles of servicemen and obituaries tucked in albums throughout. The old paper is brittle, fragile, and not easy to sort. There are some articles about families that I am not sure how to find caretakers for them. They may just have to stay archived for now.
This weather is such a wonderful change. Sunshine and warm breezes are dominating now. It almost seems like Summer and not Spring.

As I lay on my bed readying myself for sleep
my window's open a crack to lure in any wayward breeze.
I feel a bit of coolness begin to shyly creep
into my stifling room, where heat will begin to ease.
With its smooth, cool fingers, it creates a soft caress
as my recumbent form waits for slumber time to dream.
I relax and the cool touches woo away the stress.
The darkening air flows in like a slow moving stream.
Oft' that stream deepens, becomes too chilly of a flow.
It enters my bedroom to ease beneath my cover.
It cuddles much closer, lingering at my foot and toe
to warm itself like intimate, cold-footed lover.
I climb out of my bed to shut the window slightly,
not to shut out this desired and once sought paramour
just to restrict access. The window's not closed tightly.
I return to my bed to sleep for another hour.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I woke up with a Rice Krispies neck this morning. Snap! Crackle! Pop! The arthritis in the neck will do that to me. It's not painful, but annoying as all get out.
I spent most of yesterday going through old photo albums. Some had been stored in the old "press and stick" page albums. That is not good for storing the pictures. Some of the photographs I had to slip a knife under and pry them loose. Others got bent because they were stuck so tightly the surface of the page.
I have been separating the photos that my mother-in-law had taken and saved. I want to pass out the pictures to those who the photos will mean much more than they do to me, stuck in those albums. There are a some that I want to make copies. They need to be given to two or three other people and I want to be fair in dividing them. A lot of the photos are of people who have left this world and having copies will be a blessing to those who still here.
The sunset was beautiful a few days ago and was the inspiration for the following.

The sun is hidden behind the clouds,
rays appearing in a bright golden crown.
Layers of clouds with open spaces;
Golden, white, and gray, like floating shrouds.
I stopped to watch 'til the sun went down.
Its beauty my mind still embraces.
The white and gray clouds were tinged with gold,
their undersides and edges were trimmed,
like a golden, gilded picture frame.
Sunset's beauty was awesome and bold.
Slowly its beauty darkened and dimmed
until the light fled and the night came.
I was saddened when the sun departed
sitting alone as the blackness fell.
Thoughts of folk who were lights and now passed
ran through me and made me sad hearted.
Their lights shine through each story we tell
reminding us of the light they cast.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

It was supposed to have rained yesterday. It did, but it held off until later in the evening, then hit with a lot of lightning and thunder. I think that the power flickered off and on, more past evening than most of the other storms that I can remember.
I was glad that I worked in the garden before the storms came. I removed the weed barriers and stored them beside the garden. I removed some of the rocks that came to the surface over the winter, then ran the mower over the area to chop up old stalks and weeds. I will need to till the garden when it is dry enough.
I also made a divider for the kitchen knife and sundry drawer. It isn't the most fancy, but it does the job and my daughter likes it. I guess that is all that matters.

I worked in the garden. The earth looked rich and dark.
I cleared Winter's debris and dried weeds,
picking up and hauling off rocks, twigs, and bark.
My next chore will be tilling, preparing for seed.
I like Spring and the time of making a garden,
playing in the dirt and making rows long and straight.
Opening seed packets and transplanting from cartons,
gardening takes chaos and makes an ordered state.
Rolling up the weed barriers, storing it at garden side
to replace it when things are planted in each row.
Dropping seeds, setting plants, potatoes, multi-eyed.
Impatiently I wait for the first leaves to show.
Some folk always plant by the Farmer's Almanac.
It gives the crops to plant and the best time and date.
I plant when time and weather allows, that's a fact,
praying the yields, my labor will compensate.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I was so sorry to hear about the incident in Boston, but I will leave that to the journalists. The government is sure to try to blame it on the Tea Party, NRA, or other Bible toting Americans instead of terrorists. We aren't to use that word nor are we to use illegal aliens. It is all a soft soap as freedom slowly slips away. Enough of the soap box oratory.
I went to see my dad yesterday. He is not too bad, although the medications that he is on sometimes makes him drowsy. He still has a great appetite and always eats the food my sister or me will take in for him.
I kept hearing a ring-necked pheasant for the last few days, but couldn't see him. Yesterday, he decided to claim my yard after I mowed. It was so interesting to watch as he looked for food and would flutter his wings and crow loudly. He was the inspiration.

I saw a ring-necked pheasant in my yard today,
splendidly iridescent, shining in the sun.
Soft brown feathers on his thick body all fluffed up,
He struts through my yard beating wings, crowing away,
claiming his territory or wooing a hen.
His green and white neckwear flash, calls sharp and abrupt
red turban on his head, like royal potentate.
With assured steps, he cocks his head from side to side.
He stops, beats his wings, and opens his yellow beak
crowing, "Hear me. I am the master of my fate."
His cocky confidence, reflected in each stride.
Brilliant, royal plumage shining so smooth and sleek.

Monday, April 15, 2013

I am sorry that yesterday's poem was a repost. I was so out of it from my headache on Friday, that I was lucky to even remember my name. I forgot to mark the pad that I had used that poem.
I am looking forward to taking a few days of vacation. I am thinking about the Lancaster area. It's not too far, but it is  away from home. I am not sure when , but I need to get away for several days.
I answered a Crag's List ad from a woman in Texas who said she was fifty-four, looking for someone with "old fashioned" values. I thought I would write, thinking we would have time to develop common ground before we met or find that we weren't compatible and save the time and expense of dating. (I know I am cheap. My kids tell me that.) About the second reply, she tells me she is actually fifty-seven. (It's a woman's usual prerogative to not be true about her age.) I gave her the benefit of the doubt and continued to write.
A few posts later, she says, "I must tell you that I am married." Wow, that kind of knocked my socks off. The ad read, "old fashioned". I wrote back saying, if you wanted old fashioned person, why are you looking for someone else without your husband knowing?
My response must have upset her, because she wrote back saying, "I sorry you read my ad and wrote back to me. Goodbye." She wasn't sorry that she placed the ad, only that I had read it and answered. Strange.

I love to play with words. I think it's fun.
Rhyming, chiming, timing, working them through..
Caring, sharing, making their place to rest.
Shaping, forming, placing them in a pun,
a play of words giving a hint and clue,
sorting, selecting, settling on the one.
Picking the right word and setting it in place,
double entendre, Often I will use.
In my writing of jokes, poems, or rhyme,
I try the meaning of words to embrace
while my odd sense of humor and love of words fuse.
Writers are poor men. I haven't seen a dime.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

I feel so much better this morning. I had a great nights sleep, no headache (yet), and I had help cleaning out my built-in back porch. All Winter, it becomes a depository, repository, and almost a suppository for undecided things and things difficult to put away in the Winter. Everything is sorted; some things are tossed, some saved , and the others in boxes to go to the school's yard sale. The only things there now are the things that belong there or will be going to the yard sale neatly boxed. It was several hours of work and I am glad that it is done.
It was a cold enough to build a fire in my wood burner. It felt very nice to have a nice toasty house this morning. I like the wood burner's heat better than the oil heat. It is more constant than on and off heat of the oil.

Yard work, not hard work, when I take my time.
Trim here, use the shears, with the ladder to climb.
Bug squash, window wash, cleaning away Winter's dirt.
Colt's foot, weeds are pulled, plant beds to convert.
Moving growing things, transplant and replant.
Wipe chairs, mending stairs, fix a table's cant.
Sorting. aborting things that have collected.
Paint trim, scrape and skim the things neglected.
Hose flush, soap and brush wash down the siding.
Sweeping, unheaping the junk colliding.
Screen doors, other chores, raking up stray leaves.
Yard work, not hard work, reducing my pet peeves.

This poem seems vaguely familiar. I recopied it and that may be why. If it's a repost, I apologize, but it seemed to fit in with yesterday's activities.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Wow. Yesterday was miserable. I had a headache almost all day long. It was one of those horrible ones that made me sick to my stomach and I didn't want to eat. I was almost afraid to take my medications for fear that I'd toss them back up. It is unbelievable how good I feel the day after when the headache has gone.
I like to write my blog early in the morning when it is quiet, before the problems of the day intrude. Sometimes I even walk after I write to get some exercise into my loose schedule. Then I try to write a poem for the next day.
I went to my writer's group meeting yesterday, even though I felt sick. It is my time to get out of the house for me. I like the group so much and the people are so friendly. When I drove over, on the seat beside me was my emesis basin. I still felt ill from the headache, but I was determined to go. I left the group a bit early, but I did stay long enough to enjoy the camaraderie.

I love the beauty of the horse; sleek, smooth, and muscular.
Whether at rest or on the run, they're truly wonderful.
Their beauty is more than their coats, they're intelligent too.
Chestnuts, sorrels, pale grays, or browns, they're dressed in various hues.
Dappled, blacks, buckskins, and pintos, Palominos and whites.
Appaloosas, roans, and grullas, work horses bred for their might.
Ponies, Arabians, Morgans, Percherons and Clydesdales.
Wild mustangs, broncos, or Belgians, in groomed fields, prairies, or vales.
In an arena or stable, mountainside or Amish farms,
Powerful stallion snorts with pride, in open fields or in barns.
Mare nursing a foal at her side, all are pleasing to my eye
Light plays across their muscled backs as they run free 'neath the sky.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Do I have a headache this morning. I think it is from the weather change. I hope that I can get it under control. Today is the writers group in Latrobe. I really enjoy the other writers who come. There are so many styles of writing and so many personalities.
Yesterday was another wonderfully warm and beautiful day. There were clouds off and  on, but that was better than the cold. Occasional rain that has continued over night and the forecast calls for more.
I did a little yard work yesterday. Everything can be done in moderation. just planning what I need to do is strenuous enough.

Yard work, not hard work, when you take your time.
Trim here, there a shear, a ladder to climb.
Bug squash, window wash, sweep up Winter's dirt.
Colt's foot, weeds need pulled, plant beds to convert.
Moving, things growing,, transplant and replant.
Cut snag, shortened leg, fix the table's cant.
Sorting, aborting, things that have collected
Paint trim, scrape and skim, the things neglected.
Hose flush, soapy brush, wipe down the siding..
Sweeping, unheaping, junk piles colliding.
Screen doors, other shores, raking up stray leaves.
Yard work, not hard work, one of my pet peeves.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

The peepers are going wild. The Spring has set their hormones raging as they search for mates. I slept with a window open last night and it took awhile for me to get used to their serenade. I hope that Winter is just a past thought,
I was talking to someone on Facebook and decided that I have a lot of acquaintances but no real friends. I have decided that I need to get out and do more. Maybe find a place to volunteer. I think that it won't be at the hospital. I have spent too much of y time there already. That is my new quest, to find a place I fit in and a place that interests me. A place to meet new people and to possibly make friends to do things outside of my home; bowling, camping, or whatever.

Wonderfully soft and warm, you surround and caress,
Like a lover's arm you excite, I must confess.
You touch me all over. I feel your sweet tenderness.
With the touch of a lover your warmth woos with success.
I remove my coat for you, I feel the need to wear less.
I would follow and pursue. Who is this love? Can you guess?
Do you know who I would hold, to free me from this distress?
Springtime frees from Winter's cold. Zephyr's woo from snowy mess.
Finally Spring is here. Each day the warmth will progress.
Summertime is drawing near, with more soft breezes, not less.

I must be missing friendship and someone with whom I can hare my life, when I make the Springtime breezes a lover.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Another beautiful day yesterday and I really enjoyed it. There is almost nothing left of my woodpile and I have been stacking the lumber on which I stack it. I just need to rake the bark and small pieces of wood together.
My last trip to the chiropractor was yesterday. My shoulder is still sore, but my neck is feeling better. He suggests that I go to a physical therapist for the shoulder. I am not sure what I will do.
The "peepers were out in force all day yesterday. Those peeping frogs will keep it up most of the summer, but not as loud and as often as they do now, seeking mates.
I am eying the garden. That will be my next chore. Cleaning out any weeds, mowing over it, and then to till it up. I have to wait for warmer weather or just plant onions and potatoes for now.

Who can trace the path of the wind or travel the roads that they walk.
Their pathways plotted and defined, assisting the birds as they flock.
Wandering winds whistle and whine, over thick woodlands, hills, and lakes.
It sings as it strolls in the pine as its way through the maze makes.
It swirls and dances at odd times, Its pathway sometimes straight ahead.
Loudly roaring or softly mimes, with its wings narrowed or widespread.

Another short one today, blog and poem. Hum drum life doesn't always allow for much excitement.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I was outside yesterday doing yard work. I had my leaf rake dragging the gravel out of the grass and back into the driveway. The temperature was beautiful, the sun felt good, and the breeze was as Goldilocks said, "Just right!" I picked up some trash from the roadside. Litterbugs have no respect. I have always wanted to just one time, know who it was and then take a dump on their front porch. It might let them know how upset the trash along the road bothers me.
It isn't because of some "Green Weenie" thing and the false premise of "global warming", the trash ruins the beauty.
I wrote to spoof the many items of trash, but especially the disposable, plastic shopping bags. I titled it The Pennsylvania Tumbleweeds.

Like tumbleweeds, they roll along, seeing different colored hues.
There are whites, browns, purples, and blues, Pushed by Springtime's winds, gusty strong.
The melting snow is nearly gone. Roadside trash exposed and showing.
Dried in the sun with winds blowing, the migration of trash is on.

Wal-Mart, K-mart, and shopping bags roll in wind-planned route.
Dried leaves give chase, as along they scoot, pausing only for roots and snags.
Caught on weeds, like flags in the wind, fluttering, flapping, plastic bloom,
finally, freed from stick-trap tomb, they tumble and roll end after end.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Writing on my Blog Spot isn't too hard, but creating a new poem certainly keeps my brain activity at a high level. Looking back to the time when I was writing my novel in a month, I don't know how I managed to do them both.
Today is my youngest child's birthday. I need to finish this and then get her gift together, wrapped, sign her card, and plan breakfast. No applause, I know I'm a good Dad.
The weather was beautiful yesterday, no thanks to Punxsutawney Phil. I think the worst of winter is behind us. I need to start the Spring clean up around the house.
This thought for next writing took place Saturday morning when there was a very heavy coating of frost on the grass and the sun rose.

This morning, hoary frost lays heavy on the grass. I find this too will pass,
It glistens like silver fire in the early light. Such a beautiful sight.
The sun explodes over the horizon in bright gold. The rays warming the cold.
Frost and fire slowly disappear from the grass blades, flames turn to ash brown shades.
My shining treasured gems are now turned to drab dross. I'm saddened by the loss.
I close my eyes to contemplate such a great change. It doesn't seem so strange.
Seasons quickly change in with all of its ebb and flow, in growth, fruit, frost, and snow.
Things are beautiful, even when they are fleeting; each cycle completing.
It's all beautiful and wonderful to my sight, bright day or starry night;
From thick ice and snow to flowing water and trees in warm or cooling breeze.
The aromas of the Earth woo me and entice, heady with flowers and spice.
They whet my appetite to experience more. Eyes open I explore.
No matter what the time of day or what season, love life, there is reason.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It was a very nice day yesterday. I was able to enjoy the time with an outing, doing things with a very old friend. We walked through the Laurel Mall flea market, found a few deals, and talked. She about the deaths in her family and me about the deaths in mine.
I know that it doesn't sound like a great day, but it was. Sharing another person's burdens is what makes the bonds of friendship stronger. Being able to get away from the routine of day to day things and not having to worry what you share with a friend. You are with a close friend. That makes a difference.
We ate at the Olive Garden, went to Lowes for a few items, then we came back to our homes. I know, not very exciting, but that's my life and sometimes that time is necessary.
We have known each other from the years when we were both kids and as the years have passed, we have become closer friends. It seems that is a concept alien to the people of our church. They can't seem to grasp that a man and woman can be close friends without anything sexual. She nor I want to risk losing the closeness of our friendship with anything more.
We have gone on trips in the past, each staying in different rooms. Our being away together has caused quite a stir. I have hugged her at the church when I know that she was hurting and that has caused tongues to wag. So, I sorry if it offends, but that is their problem not ours.

Have I ever wished I could go back in time and make another choice instead
deciding on another course more defined as the years swiftly sped?
Each crossroad faced, whether it is great or small may often grow on down the line.
Whether to yield or deny temptations' call, though the choice oft times is not mine.
The choices I've made, leave me battered and scarred, listening to some inward voice.
Since time cannot be redone or rewound, I must take care of what I choose.
It scares me to think of choices that abound with each I must study all clues.
To each time I move or word I say may change things of my tomorrows
I can't change the past, only to live today, dealing with its joys and sorrows.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It was a beautiful day yesterday. I loved all of the sunshine. So far the government hasn't been able to tax that. They are trying to tax the carbon dioxide we make, even the amount we breathe. It does not cause global warming. The latest research is saying we are getting colder. That is why they're slowly changing it to climate change. If they would spend the time and tax dollars in other endeavors, we would be richer and a lot better off.
I am off my soapbox for now and am truly thankful for the Springtime weather.

What a beautiful day. The sun was shining brightly
although the air was cool, the sun felt good on the skin
cascading, sun's bright ray. Spring arrives delightfully.
Winter and Spring's in duel. Springtime seems as though it will win.
I pray that there's no more snow and frost has gone away too.
Birds sing spirited songs, lifting their voices in joy.
I want flowers to grow beneath cloudless skies of blue.
Birds returning in throngs. Insects will come and annoy.
and small frogs' soft peepings in the bog behind my house.
Knowing that the Winter's past, they seek mates, chirping their tunes.
The warm weather wakens squirrels, ground hog, chipmunk, and mouse.
Springtime has come at long last to robin's voice as he coons.

Friday, April 5, 2013

I hear the robins singing outside my window. It is so nice to be serenaded by them instead of the wind. I am praying that spring is here at long last.
On  the bank near my driveway, the crocuses are blooming with the tiny grape hyacinths. Next the daffodils and tulips will soon be blooming, I am not sure why, but it seems that the tulips are dwarfs and stay small. From the bottom of the stalks to the top of the flower it is only about six to seven inches, the flowers are less that two inches high.
My youngest granddaughter has been sick, from a head cold, and from it, she developed an ear infection. I think that when a child is ill, it is hard on the parents. It hurts the heart so. So much that you wish you could do more and yet there is only so much you can do.
It made me think of just how much I truly love them all, my children and of course my sweet granddaughters.

Grandchildren, aren't they a blessing.
Sweet little beings, our progeny.
Wee folk filled with hugs and kisses,
they hold my heart, I'm confessing.
I love dandling them on my knee
Or buying their Easter dresses.
No boys yet, but granddaughters three.
Visiting them is such a treat.
My heart melts and all else seems nil.
I love it when they run to me
and ears hear the, "Hi Pappy" greet.
Watch their bright faces smile with glee,
my eyes will never drink their fill.
Growling, chasing, watching them flee
with Pappy crawling on all fours.
"No Pappy, no!" I hear their plea.
I grab them and tickle each belly.
Sometimes Pappy is just a horse
and the rider is someone wee.
Grandpa truly loves his babies.
Sorry parents, it's a grandpa thing.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

I am feeling as though I may just survive today, Yesterday, I moved from bed to couch and back again. Back ache, joint aches, head congestion, and runny nose all at the same time. I am glad that I am feeling better today.
I know that yesterday had the same hours as any day, it seemed to go on for eternity. I napped and would wake and would nap again, seemingly no nearer to bedtime. I couldn't taste food and smelling anything was out of the question.

March winds blow, sometimes blustery and cold,
sometimes the breezes glide gentle and warm.
In the brisk winds, kites fly with colors bold
Soft warm zephyrs, good for garden and farm.
April comes, holding on to March's tail.
It follows behind the cold winter months.
It's days mixed with sunshine, rain, sleet and hail.
Cold and snowy days now become truants.
May gently warms throughout the longer days,
wanting beautiful times of clear blue sky.
Sparkling showers splash in the sun's bright rays
filled with singing birds and butterfly.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

This back and forth feeling of stuffiness from my head cold is driving me crazy. I can't sleep and breathe at the same time. First one nostril is open than I reposition and the other open. I can't have them both pulling in air at the same time and the nose runs.
My dad used to jokingly say that he was built backwards, his nose ran and his feet smelled. My dad came up with cornball sayings and my mom would sing a song about whatever was being talked about. I am somewhere in the middle. I will sing a song or tell a story that goes along with whatever is being talked about. (Not a whole song. Just a line or so.)
I can't wait for warmer weather. I want to open the windows and blow the germs away, hang up the heavy coats, and store the shovels.

Old Man Winter, please let go.
No more ice and no more snow.
My woodpile is dwindling down.
Please remove your frosty crown.
I want warmth. Let the sun shine,
Days of breezes soft and fine.
Spring's zephyrs wanted, needed.
Gardens to be plowed, seeded.
The fresh earth smells fill my nose.
Newly turned soil warms my toes.
Winter, let it go and bring
The resurrection of Spring.

A short post today. I am sure to the pleasure of any readers.

Monday, April 1, 2013

I am still fighting off this head cold, but now have a slight sore throat, but so does most of my family. I pray that the ones who don't have it stays free.
This morning I hear the "peepers". There are small frogs that have taken up residence in a swampy area at the edge of a field behind my house. That is another sign that spring is almost here. I don't know how, when it is chilly, that these cold blooded creatures can sing.
Last night, just after midnight, my daughter came into my bedroom saying "I think I broke my toe." and shoved her foot under my nose saying "April Fool". She got me.
I can hardly wait until she wakes. Last night I made a sign saying, "WANTED male suitor. OBJECT; elopement." this morning I took the ladder from the back porch, leaned against my house, just under her window, and taped the sign to it.
Yes, she'd single and looking, so I thought I'd help her. Any suitors out there?
I've basically finished the plot of my novel. Now I have to type it into the computer and actually put clothing on the skeleton of the plot. Adding details and enhancing the characters.

Old Shakespeare once said,
that all the world is a stage
and each person plays a part.
I think that some folk
are just characters.
Some are funny and some are mean,
some because of they did.
or that they are sweet.
It depends on who you meet.
Some you keep, others best to be rid.
There are those who are dull and others keen.
Shakespeare called them all actors
Some play it safe, others go for broke.
Each follows the nature of their heart
Whether gentle or in a rage
The world's a stage and each part is played.