It was a busy day in downtown Asheville, North Carolina and I only had a few minutes to shop and enjoy the sights and sounds of a new city. I was on a quick weekend trip spending precious time with my son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren, so shopping was last on the list of the many things we wanted to do to re-connect in three short days. But there we were in a busy downtown area with a few minutes to shop. As I crossed the busy street towards what I spied to be a cute shop with little girly dresses in the window, I recalled my late-husband often-quoted phrase: “There’s no shopping in vacation!” whining just like Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own. Despite his words singing in my head, I continued on with a smile and an urgency to reach the store. I swung open the door and that’s when I saw him. He was sitting on a stool across the way with a typewriter balanced on a box. The side of the box bore a sign that read Poems for Sale. I stopped in my tracks still holding open the door. What did that mean poems for sale? I desperately wanted to take a moment and explore further but I was soon interrupted with the gently tugging on my hand by my granddaughter reminding me of the store filled with frilly delights that beckoned before us. I ventured in, hesitant to let go of the image of the man selling poems on the street.
I often think of that man selling poems and wonder…
What was the price of his poem?
Can you put a price on poetry?
How were poems generated? Was the buyer involved in the topic generation?
What was the background of the poet on the street corner?
Did he ever struggle or have writer’s block?
Was this a full time job or a fun little hobby?
So many questions that will have to wait until my next visit to Asheville. I hope he is still there typing away.
Each Tuesday I join the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers with a slice of life story. Take a peek and then consider joining in!
It’s that time of year when everyone talks about their resolutions for the new year. For me, it’s time to pick my one little word that will guide my thinking and doing for the year. This will be the third year that I have chosen a “little word.” Last year my word was Pause and in 2017 I focused on Joy.
In previous years I let my word percolate for a few weeks mostly by thinking about what was happening in my life at that time and hoping the word would guide me in the days and months ahead. This year however I stumbled across an online site offering daily emails to walk me through a reflective process to let a word choose me. I registered for the free emails and began my journey.
One of the first activities was to reflect on experiences of last year in hopes that a word or phrase might rise up. It was then that my mind returned to my mission trip to Haiti. I noted the strong sense of purpose I felt on that trip, something I had not felt since becoming a widow five years earlier. Purpose. It had a nice ring to it.
My daily email activities continued with suggested activities such as taking a contemplative walk, consulting with a friend, and paying attention to my dreams, all in hopes that my word would speak to me through this process. It was only after I had a vivid dream of driving around bumping into things as if I had no control of the car that I confirmed that my word, purpose, had indeed chosen me.
My word brings out two questions that will be guiding me throughout 2019:
What is my life purpose? This question will be important as I move towards my 60th birthday in February and consider plans for what my retirement might look like in a few short years.
What is the purpose for doing this? I tend to make decisions based on what I’ve done in the past without considering the underlying reason. My hope is that this question will guide me to make decisions that keep my priorities in place and not simply doing things because it’s what I have done in the past.
My new word has found me and I am excited for this word to guide 2019.
Happy New Year!
I am grateful for the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Each Tuesday I join in with teacher writers in sharing my slice of life story with this wonderful community. Consider joining in.
Bebe. That’s the name I chose for myself three years ago while awaiting my first grandchild to be born. I wanted something unique and easy to say. After much talk and thought, Bebe came to be. I love my new name especially when spoken lovingly by my two oldest grandchildren.
So imagine my surprise when I was gifted with a cute ceramic box with the words “Be Be Be Be” written across it on little lines that looked like school notepaper. I chuckled at the thoughtful gift with “my name” scribed across the front. I placed it on my kitchen windowsill and smiled.
Then I thought again… Be Be… the gift was calling me to BE, to slow down and enjoy each moment, especially when it comes to my grandchildren. Isn’t that what a grandmother is all about? Being?!
It’s Tuesday and I’m sharing my slice of life story with the community of writers over at Two Writing Teachers blog. Check it out!
Our mom and dad, George and Teresa Dodd, always fostered a love of music in us, their children. Both of them were musically inclined and modeled for us how music can be a gift to others. George and Terry sang in various groups entertaining at senior centers, in nursing homes, and for veterans. They also encouraged us, their seven children, to use that gift to benefit others. Since there were seven singing siblings, we were often compared to the VonTrapps in the Sound of Music. At holiday gatherings mom and dad would often have us singing My Favorite Things or Edelweiss, much to our dismay. Looking back over the years and the singing gigs we had, we now understand and appreciate this gift given to us and cherish music in our lives.
While our dad passed away from cancer in December of 1994, this tree is dedicated to both of our parents, George and Terry Dodd, for their love of family and the “Sound of Music.” Thanks to them the hills will be filled with that sound of music evermore.
Thus read the tribute I wrote to be placed on the Christmas tree we bought and decorated to be raffled off for a cancer fundraiser at our church. The tree was planned to be in memory of my mom and dad and so it was fitting that the siblings would work together to make the tree a reality.
Six of the seven siblings gathered on a sunny Saturday morning to make ornaments using the old sheet music we found in the piano bench at our family home. We laughed, cried, and had a wonderful time together crafting all sorts of paper ornaments and garland to grace the tree. Each ornament we made had a story to tell, a song to be sung. Some of the sheet music we used carried meaning and memories, and others simply songs that were long forgotten. We glued and glittered for hours and then said our goodbyes with hugs and tears.
The day of the raffle came and yes, I dropped a raffle ticket in the box to hopefully win this tree, but alas it was not meant to be. My hope is that the family that won this tree will continue to foster the love of music with their family much like my mom and dad did for us.
Its Tuesday and I’m joining the writers over at Two Writing Teachers. Consider joining in the writing fun!
No More PJs
The decision has been made… no more new pajamas for Christmas Eve.
Buying matching sleepwear was getting to be so time consuming considering all the sizes of the three children, two spouses, four grandchildren, and myself, never mind the expense of the purchase. And all that hassle for the purpose of a family photo, which by the way hasn’t happened for the last two years, due to babies napping or differing work schedules.
The decision came about after much agonizing. I wasn’t certain if I really wanted to change a tradition that has brought much joy and laughter to our family for over 30 years. Each year’s design was revealed upon the unwrapping of the first present on Christmas Eve. One year it was matching plaid, the next colorful stripes. We’ve sported custom-designed t-shirts, and fluffy robes. Then there were the years we welcomed our soon to be daughter-in-law and son-in-law into the family with their first pair of matching pajamas. Each year was something new and exciting. It truly was a wonderful tradition.
Time to move on…
I hesitantly discussed the idea of dropping the tradition with the family over the thanksgiving weekend. They were very quick to support my decision, stating that they had drawers overflowing with nightwear.
So it is with a tear in my eye that I must say good bye to our Christmas Eve tradition of matching pjs and a picture to capture the event.
Maybe… just maybe I’ll buy them just for the grandchildren!