The Gift of Song

The printing was clearly hers
Song titles in a list
Lyrics perfectly scribed 
On scraps of paper
Found in a box on a rainy Sunday

The tidbits of paper 
capturing many a program for
Patients in a hospital 
Patrons at a piano bar
Or judges at a show

Newspaper clippings tumble out too
Of contests won and prizes received
An alligator purse
costume jewelry
silk nylons 
And other long lost trinkets

Certificates from Veteran Affairs 
for her service entertaining troops
and veterans in hospitals
Congratulations given
Paper reward for gifts from the heart

I see her now 
standing tall 
With her eyes
 twinkling in love
For her husband and her family 
And most of all for her love of singing
Her gift to the world

It’s Tuesday and I’m sharing my small moment post with the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers. Check it out!

Engineering Gene

My kids always claim their Dad had the engineering gene. I quickly jump in defending my abilities in finding creative solutions to problems around the house. My latest invention is one I am quite proud of.

Living on a lake is lovely. Beautiful sunrises, cool breezes and wildlife galore. But when a family of a dozen geese decide to meander onto your lawn each morning to nibble and dump, you need to get creative. All the while being conscious of not spoiling your view. Last year I noticed that the geese are more apt to saunter on the lawn when the water reaches a certain height. The gate that blocks the stairwell no longer keeps them at bay. My careful observations found that the high water allowed them to hop up onto the lawn from the lake. Side note: I am not certain why they don’t land on the lawn, but I am grateful for that. So Amazon to the rescue with a short green fencing that I can pop into the grass without stress. It worked. Until this year.

The geese are getting daring and are now swimming through the gate at the stairwell and knocking it over. They then jump clumsily up to the area next to the grass. How cunning this family is. We placed the paddleboard over the stairwell to stop their entrance but how ugly was that! So Sunday I was bound and determined to make something work.

With the help of my daughter we placed a few PVC pipes across the staircase thinking it would be less of an eyesore. Our concern was they would be too light to stop them and would probably blow over or be nudged by our dear friends. So I decided to take a piece of metal gate and wove it through the piping. Brilliant!

Not that pretty, but it works!

The stairwell is now blocked enough so that the geese can’t get to the grass, and weaving the metal fencing back and forth allowed for fewer gaps for them to swim through. My engineering prowess shone through again! And once more I can remind my kids of MY ability to engineer some superb solutions to household problems.

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the folks over at Two Writing Teachers with my small moments post. Check it out!

Best $12 Ever!

The lively tune played on repeat as we neared the entrance. Two of my grandchildren were in the back seat bouncing along to the beat and singing to the chorus. They were as excited as we were for this excursion on the first hot day of the year. Where does one take two preschoolers when it’s 90 degrees out and no air conditioning at home?

At the car wash
Workin' at the car wash, girl
Come on and sing it with me
(Car wash)
Sing it with the feelin' y'all
(Car wash, yeah)

(Work and work)
Well, those cars never seem to stop coming
(Work and work)
Keep those rags and machines humming
(Work and work)
My fingers to the bone
(Work)
Can't wait 'til it's time to go home

(Hey, get your car washed today)
Fill up and you don't have to pay
Come on and give us a play
(Do the wash, right away)

We were babysitting overnight and my car was covered in pine pollen and bird droppings so a trip to the car wash was first on our fun list of things to do. It was my youngest grandson’s first visit to the car wash and we knew that this could go either way as we entered the dark tunnel to the unknown.

We verbally prepared them each step of the way, first by making a big deal about not having any hands on the wheels and the car magically driving into the darkened abyss. We told them about the spray of water coming, the blue suds being showered on, and then the scrubbing flaps on each side. They loved the monster scrubbing wheels that came down from no where and made the car rumble with its commotion. And finally the air blowing loudly and drying my car making it sparkle and shine like new.

Fun times at the Car Wash!

We exited the tunnel and all they could say was “WOW! Let’s go again!” We agreed it was a load of fun and certainly well worth the $12 for the memories and for a clean car. We started up the song again clapping even louder than before and said: “Maybe tomorrow we will come back with your dad’s car!”

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers for Slice of Life Tuesday. Take a peek and consider joining this supportive writing community.

Rabbit rabbit!

A few years ago a friend post “rabbit rabbit” on social media. I had never heard of this tradition and had to research the words. Apparently saying these words upon waking on the first of the month will ensure you will have good luck in the following days of that month.

I was thinking about these words today on this first day of June as I went about my day. While I didn’t utter those superstitious words, I did end up experiencing some lucky moments.

  • Spotting the turtle swimming across the lake. This turtle is rather old and slow but occasionally makes her presence known by paddling by our house. I just happen to be looking out the window today when that occurred!
  • Picking a four leaf clover! I was hurriedly watering my plants between PD sessions and looked down and found a four leaf clover amongst the grasses. While I do find four leaf clovers quite regulatory, I still feel lucky when I discover one.
  • Surprise early end time for a day of PD. After sitting and participating in learning sessions today, it was nice to be rewarded with an early finish allowing me to get outside in the fresh air for a few minutes.

Rabbit, rabbit! My lucky streak on this first day of June took center stage despite the lack of pronouncing its entrance. I wonder if that luck will continue for 29 more days!?!

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

The news broke a few years ago that the minor league ball team was building a new stadium and moving to the city near us. Cheers of excitement ensued as the up and coming city hosted contests to name the new team. And the frenzy grew as the park listed the area restaurants and breweries that would be featured at the stadium. Needless to say we were all looking forward to bringing the grandchildren to this kid friendly park on Sunday!

The hype began at the parking lot with an electric shuttle cart arriving just as we were crawling out of the car dressed on the new WooSox hats. The boys looked at the vehicle with trepidation but once we boarded they were thrilled riding in the cart speeding down the city street and dropping us off at the gate. The magic continued with the first glance of the field as it was being groomed by the crew. “Wow!” was all they could say.

Walking through the ballpark to find our space we meet up with the team mascot Smiley, a nod to the Worcester born creator of the original smile face from 1965. Handshakes and photos ensued as the smiles grew and the thrill of the day sunk in for the boys.

And then the announcement… “Play Ball!”

The sound of first crack of the bat!

The bags of salted peanuts!

Number one foam fingers waved.

What more could a two preschoolers and their grandmother ask for!

It’s Tuesday and I am joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers for their weekly Slice of Life share. Won’t you join in too?

Train Rumblings

Her house sat on a small dead end road
With a backyard as narrow as can be
If you stood on that small lot of land
and stretched your 12 year old arms
one finger tip would touch the house
and the other would reach the sooty wall
The wall that held up the train tracks twenty feet above your head
The train that rumbled all hours of the day
And night
Banging and clanking at the switching yard just beyond your view
The commotion shaking the entire house
And bringing fright to all
Thinking the rattling would tumble down the old family homestead
Instead a highway came through forcing eviction to the home where the family was born and raised
The home that held one tiny bathroom for eleven kids and a mom and dad
with a ceiling so low one had to duck to get in the tub
Four small bedrooms with windows darkened with train smoke
And a creaky dark staircase

But the parties!

Jammed in tight with all of the cousins and aunts and uncles
Candy jars filled with chocolates
and ribbon candy and pink pillows filled with peanut butter
Music playing loudly on the 8 track drowning out the chugging
And occasionally an uncle or an aunt leading us all in a chorus of the family’s favorite tunes
Oh Danny Boy
My Best to You
Or a popular musical hit
Memories of a small house that may have shaken endlessly
Only to have been brought down with a single strike of a wrecking ball
But still oozing with love
And memories to last a lifetime

It’s Tuesday and I’m joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers with my slice of life story. Won’t you consider joining in?

Good Morning Coordination

I have always considered myself uncoordinated. Zumba classes were a laugh, as I tried to get my right foot and left arm to go in opposite directions at the same time. My new fitness routines however have proven to me that I can improve my coordination with patience and practice. I judge I had conquered the beast and was able to better perform the complicated moves with my limbs. I even bought a shirt reading “Good Morning Coordination” to honor my progress. I felt confident – that is until I visited the foot doctor last week.

I was experiencing some strange foot pains that were not improving and so the podiatrist recommended a gait assessment. I arrived at 8:30am for the appointment with two nurses waiting for me in the room. They explained the procedure to me. Walk across the square computerized pad on the floor making sure your stride hits the mark in the center of the pad, first with your right foot hitting the mark, then back across again with your left foot hitting the mark. The nurses suggested I practice a few times before officially recording my gait. I readily agreed.

As usual I started my step on my right foot and landed on the center mark without a problem. But each time I needed to start off with my left foot my brain froze and I struggled to get it right. It felt awkward and stilted and I required a few more minutes of practice and loads of verbal cues.

Right foot forward – great

Left foor forward perfect

Right foot – I remembered

Right foot – oops.

We needed to start all over again and again and again.

The nurses and I had a good chuckle, making fun of myself and my lack early morning coordination. I promised that next time I would wear my new shirt: “Good Morning Coordination!” Maybe it will help.

It’s Tuesday and I am once again joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers with my weekly slice of life post. Won’t you consider joining in?

Keep Your Fingers Flying #SOL21

It’s a dreary day here and I am sitting at my computer trying to write. I say trying because I have no clue what to write about today. Which I find interesting because I just completed sixty-one days, yes 61 days, of writing. March brought the daily slice of life challenge, and April had me writing a poem a day. My choice of course, and I loved every minute of it. I rarely had writers block, almost always finding something to slice or “poet’ about. So today with the freedom to write a small moment I find myself stuck.

Is my brain fried? Have I led some boring existence? Is this another side effect of the pandemic? The answer is a resounding no on all fronts, it’s just one of those days.

Yet it ties me to many of my students who claim they can’t write. The ones we sit with and guide into searching their brains, their writing notebooks, their afterschool plans to help jog their minds for topics. So we tell them to just keep their pens going.

That’s me today – keeping my fingers flying on the keyboard with no message, no little chuckle of a story to offer, no cute grandbabies to smile about. For today, I am simply keeping my fingers flying. And for today, that feels just fine.

Is my writing mood a reflection of this dreary drizzly scene?

I am joining the writing community over at Two Writing Teachers today and every Tuesday with a little slice of life story. Please consider joining in the writing fun!

Thirty Days of Poems: Day 30/30 #NationalPoetryMonth

In honor of National Poetry Month I have been drafting a poem each day. So it is fitting that my final daily poem be a reflection of the writing accomplished. While I won’t be penning daily poems, I’ll still be playing with words on this blog and elsewhere.

Reflections: A Palindrome Poem: Day 29/30 #NationalPoetryMonth

I took this photo of the sun rising above the lake this morning and knew it had a poem hiding in the scene. I kept thinking of the beauty in the reflection and then it occurred to me that a palindrome poem fit the scene perfectly, with words reflecting top and bottom. What’s a palindrome poem you ask? It’s a poem that reads forward and backwards. So the first four lines are repeated backwards, pivoting on the word in the fifth line! I wish the words came as easily as the idea. These poems aren’t as easy as they sound.