Are You Hoping For Spring?


      It’s bitter cold outdoors, and yet the view through my cherry blinds of wood depict the promise of a coming spring.  Yes, a patchwork quilt of powdered snow covers the climbing hill behind my home. 

      Rays of sun sparkle through a forestland of tall gray trees, sharing shadowed imprints of majestic trunks atop blades of evergreen grass barely peeking through. 

      Grabbing a jacket to hear the beauty of it, I stepped onto my ice-covered patio.  There, I gazed at a sky the color of a bluebird’s breast and indeed heard wings chirping by.  

      Leafless limbs scattered their fingertips of weathered bark from one end of vastness to the other.  They reached nearly out of sight, surely toward an unseen cloud of Heaven.

      I looked into the viewfinder of my phone to snap a photograph.  The sight I saw was pretty, not altogether unusual.  “Click-click.” And, then my picture came through, nearly taking my breath away.

      Although it is the sun, it seems as though the light of God shines brightly between the oaks of the forest, making way for spring.  Or perhaps an angel soars wearing blinding wings to beckon this new season that I’m hoping for?

      Tell me, do you see what I see?

      

      Old and Newness


      Life.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  How fast it flies before our eyes.  No more has this picture reel of reality flashed before my own than in the last couple of days that I’ve helped to care for my grand-baby twins.

      They are two months old now and have finally grown to new-born size.  Bundles of innocence swaddled in blankets of gauze.   Flannel sleepers printed in dancing rainbow elephants.  Buttons, zippers and covered snaps of Downey soft against the delicacies of skin gently massaged in baby lotion hinted in shades of pink.  Oh what a scent so sweet!  Hundreds of kisses skip over growing curls of silken black hair on otherwise bald heads.  Too many invisible prints of lips to count.  Never enough for “Grandma.”

      Yesterday, while changing the ‘younger’ of the two girls, we had a private conversation.  Staring back at blue-green eyes contented, there was no doubt she recognized my voice.  Normally she isn’t too fond of being naked, even for a short minute.  But, this time she looked at me wide-eyed, as if in amazement.  “What are you saying to me, Grandma,” she wondered?

      While covering her in cotton, stories were whispered about Mommy, Daddy and her precious sisters.  I reminded her of the love they shared together, and how one day they would open a chubby fist in order for her to grasp a golden string.   Someday not so far away she would pull a magic wooden moon of painted yellow to float future dreams on four wheels a wobbling.

      Spring was coming soon so I traced word pictures on her tummy, creating stroller walks we’d take while rays of sun soaked the curve of our backs.   With wheels bumping over gravel, God would warm our fronts for us to view wildflowers along a path in surprise colors she had never seen before.  E.V.E.R.  Can you imagine that?

      Slipping a tiny curled fist through a soft cotton sleeve, the last of two bent legs stuffed into the bottom of a ‘dragons’ foot.  It was an emerald-green grinning face together with grey felt claws hanging from side to side.  Zipping her up, I wound the music on her party-colored mobile of merry-go-round animals to simply gaze at her.  She grasped my finger, holding on tight.  My heart spilled over while drinking her in.

      This littlest grand-baby of mine listened to melodies of music while turning her head to and fro to the sound of them.  And, then she stopped to stare straight through me.  Kicking her ‘dragon claws’ in wild delight, she struggled to make first sounds while opening a rosebud mouth.  Smiling at me, yes truly smiling at me, her lips arched upward singing her first “Coo” to the tune of the music.

      Life.  Here today, gone tomorrow.  The lives of my little grand-babies are just beginning while mine is….well, on the other side of theirs.  The love I have for all five of them pushes me with renewed inspiration to share with all the world.

      Not quite ready to call it a day…or a month…or even a year.  Right here, right now, I see myself writing forever in this cozy office space within the comfort of old and new books surrounding me.  I must remember that inspiration is a newness forever in my mind, never to grow old or disappear.

       

       

       

       

      Gifts of Books


      Children.  So innocent all around.  Their bodies, minds and spirits flow as rivers to a sea of undiscovered imaginations.

      Perhaps it was the snow that triggered this memory from long ago, or maybe it was rushing to grab a cup of coffee before I was out the door.  Years ago, when my youngest son attended kindergarten I still owned a small publishing company producing children’s books targeted to schools.

      Once a week, in the afternoon, I stopped by his classroom to help a chosen student write and ‘publish’ a book.  For me, it was a magical time, minutes turning into an hour to strike a rare friendship with a five or six-year-old never met or known before.  Before long, I would get a peek at their inner soul.  Often giggles were shared.  Sometimes tears were shed.

      The topic of the book was completely left to the budding author.  Once out of the safety of the classroom, an angelic girl dressed in the latest fashion might begin to fidget in her chair.  Or a boy, warm in a checkered flannel shirt stuffed into jeans would tap his pencil over and over and over again. “What should we write about today?”

      We talked about things in ‘their’ world.  Life at home, school and fun stuff like sports, hobbies, collections, pets and family vacations.  Some kids didn’t have the traditional family.  Their parents were divorced or they lived with blended families or sometimes with a grandparent.  I explained how all of these were families too.  I never pried, only listened to what they were willing to tell me.  Most often, what they told me turned into words which made their own unique story.  For the first time, they became real ‘writers’ on those days.

      There is one little boy who wrote and illustrated a story I shall never forget.  As soon we pulled our wooden chairs out from the Formica table that winter afternoon he knew what he wanted to write about.  I listened quietly as he began to tell me the story of his loving grandpa.  I got out the pencils and colored markers, the paper and tubes of glitter while he recited his tale.  With each turn of the page, more words were written.  It was not my job to correct spelling or grammar.  This would soon be a book authored by a kindergartner, in all its finished glory.

      The little guy with blonde shaggy hair who was dressed in overalls wrote of how his grandpa took him fishing near a fast blue river.  Together, they liked to ride ponies and play cowboys in the woods.  His grandpa liked to lick vanilla ice cream cones on a hill behind his house.  He smoked cigars but never in the house.  His grandpa made funny jokes, tickled him until he giggled and wore scruffy whiskers on his face.  He was his best friend in the whole United States.

      “Oh, how lucky you are to have such a fun grandpa.  You must love him very much.”  I remember saying, or something to that effect.  I checked my watch.  Our hour was nearing its end.  Time to staple the cover, add the T.I.T.L.E. together with the proud Author’s name.

      “Wait, I’ve got one more picture to draw,” my new friend plaintively said.

      I sat watching this endearing little guy who had tremendous love for his grandfather.  Not only did I hear and see it in his words, I felt it from his soul.  He picked up crayons and markers to draw lines in different colors, connecting one to the other.  A long box began to take shape.  Next, a floor lamp appeared at one end of the box.  “What would this be,” I wondered?   The little boy was very quiet…pensive even.

      Within seconds I could see.  On a lined paper page, a portrait of a beloved grandpa took shape, laying in a box.  It was a child-like depiction of a casket.  “Grandpa,” I learned through tears and tissues, had recently passed away.  He was very much on this precious child’s mind.  This is what he wanted to write about.  This was going to be his first published book.

      All of the children’s stories that year were special.  They were theirs alone, ‘published’ into books right before their eyes.  I still remember each time the last staple clamped down on colorful construction paper covers.  Light shined through on faces of proud innocence as if to say, “I did this!  I wrote and published a book!”

      The tangible book is gift to be treasured forever.  Bound pages of paper to hold in the two of your hands.  Run your tips of fingers over printed words while dreaming of the unimaginable.  Oh, what a gift…..

      senior-pag-grandpa-walking-with-grandson

      Silent White


      So quiet today.  Snowflakes falling…falling…falling until they landed silently atop a million or more drifted near my door.  Later, a slight tug-of-war broke out, highlighted by the sound of rubber screeching slightly.  Me, using a bit of force to push against it.  “No, don’t open me,” my back door seemed to say.

      The white seal at the bottom of the door frame had expanded.  The cold of dropping temperatures together with the freezing flakes of white seemed to have made the door fit tighter.  Finally, with another push of my shoulder the door burst free, flooding me with fresh cold air.

      My back yard is blanketed in virgin white snow.  I’d guess about six inches or more.  Not an animal track to be seen anywhere.  No deer or turkey, nor feathered friends have crossed my land.  The tree branches hang covered, while bushes low to the ground look like they have been drizzled with powdered sugar icing.   They remind me of cookies decorated long ago with a frosting tube.  Obviously, the ‘child’ in me got carried away……Still, they are beautiful.

      The snowflakes started last night.  I caught a glimpse of them when I let my ‘Doodle’ dog out just before bedtime.  Snowflakes splashed on to my face.  New and wet, fresh from a dark moonlit sky.  I ran to grab my camera phone, hoping to capture a picture of them falling in front of a street light.  Such a sight to behold.  No one else seen on the road.  I was wrapped in the quiet wonder of it.  Under the light, such a contrast between the jet black onyx of the sky and the sparkling bright, white snow.  It was as though no one existed in all the world except for me and God.

      Back inside the warmth of my cozy home, I wiped clumps of snow off the paws of my loyal furry friend.  Locking doors before bed, I peeked out a leaded glass window one last time to view the street light where snowflakes had given me something to dream about.  Yes, the lamp still shined brightly among the darkness.  And, all around it fell beautiful wet snow flakes of silent white.

       

       

       

       

      A “Fishy” Imagination


      Mommy said, “Go to bed!”  Hurry up, can’t stay up, little girl must brush pearl teeth. Quick, comb your hair.  Climb each stair we’re almost there.  Under covers tucked right in. Kiss on cheek with book to read.  Turn the page…look!  Lots of kids with more like me. Night-night now, close the door.  Moonlight shines on wooden floor.  Tiny thump with four paws down.  Darkness fades around her bed, light bulb flashes in my head.  “Get up!  Get UP! GET UP RIGHT NOW,” my mewing said!  She stirs and wrestles.  POOF! Plump pillows push floating feathers to play with me.  Soon, I hear her breathing even and steady.  “Wait….I’m not ready!”  Open a window, slink down trellis, green with waxy vines.  Careful and quiet don’t cause a riot.  Mommy sleeping, daddy too, stars are waiting with hilltop seat for me.  There it is, way up in the darkness of the sky.  Twinkling lights dance to form a picture. “Do you see what I see?”  A tasty dessert for me to eat.  My imaginary bedtime treat!Beautiful Night Sky Wallapers (19)

      Premio Dardos Award


      premio-dardos-award3

       

       

       

       

      Awards….so rewarding.  Although the temperature has dropped from 72 last Saturday to only 29 today, my world is filled with blue skies and plenty of warming sun having being nominated for the esteemed Primio Dardos award by the terrific Sally Cronin.

      This award recognizes cultural, personal, ethical, and literary values in creative and original writing.  At first glance I had to read the above over again, wondering if my blog truly qualified.  For Sally to believe it does humbles me greatly while motivating my imagination.  I have much more writing to do, more topics to explore and more words to offer others.  Thank you Sally, for this very great honor

      Please visit Sally who blogs at https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/ where you will find a variety of topics from health to humor.  She is one of the most giving persons I’ve ever met or known, always tooting someone else’s horn before her very own.   She is a published author, wife and animal lover who works from day to night running several successful companies with her adoring husband while juggling several hats on her lovely coiffed head.   Please take time to get to know her as she is a fantastic person and supporter of others like no other.  I feel privileged to know her in this blogging world of ours.

      Rules: The rules of acceptance are quite simple.  Please thank the blogger who nominates you with a link to their site, followed by nominating 15 fellow bloggers whose writing you so admire.  Add a link and a bit of information about each one to help readers learn a bit about them.  Hopefully, they will become followers and their readership will grow.

      **With so many terrific writers it is always difficult to narrow the number down to only 15.  Please do not take offense if your site is not on the list below.  It truly is nearly an impossible task.

      ***On the flip-side, some nominated bloggers may no longer accept awards or do not have the time to do so.  I understand and will not be offended in any way.  Every blog is a gift to others, listed or not.  I thank all of you for your passion, for following your dreams of writing and providing all of us at WordPress with the gift of each word you write.

      Nominations:

      http://roughwighting.net/ Pamela is a published author who specializing in the genres of romance and suspense.   A loving wife and mother, she teaches creative writing in addition to blogging.

      https://saylingaway.wordpress.com/  Noelle was raised in a small town near the eastern shore, but now lives in North Carolina.  She is the mother of two children and the author of two, published novels.

      https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/ Rowena blogs and writes at “Beyond the Flow.”  It is a collection of thoughts and musings of what may enter her mind on a daily basis.  I relate to her on many levels as we have chronic illness in our lives, yet she perseveres, never dwelling on it but choosing to focus on the ‘positives’ in life.

      https://kmihran.wordpress.com/ Mihran is trained in Hospitality Consulting and Services.  However,  she has gifts of  many including writing, singing and inspiring others.  She writes poetry, short stories, general musings and posts beautiful artwork on her blog.

      http://thewritemight.me/ Mahesh is a most esteemed writer, having received a professional certification of Creative Fiction in Writing from NYU.  His posts vary with his feelings as he pens profound words on various topics, always writing what matters most to his heart.

      http://poeticparfait.com/ Christy writes from Canada.  She has a debut book of poetry with rave reviews coming out and inspires others with her words.  She posts poetry, music, short stories and interviews.

      https://abozdar.wordpress.com/ AB is a self-proclaimed, “Nomad on the Loose.”  He is an accomplished poet who writes fantastic and often profound lines of poetry each and every day.  Do not miss his posts!

      https://michaelwatsonvt.wordpress.com/ Michael is a shamanic healer, a psychotherapists and a teacher among other things.  I truly enjoy his posts as his writing reaches deep into your soul with a short paragraph or two.  Lovely writing.

      http://yadadarcyyada.com/ “D’s” blog is always a surprise.  She is a voracious reader who had a happy childhood and lives in Canada.  Her words will make your heart sing, your eyes shed tears or your belly laugh

      https://kabryce.wordpress.com/ A blog of beautiful lines of poetry are written several times per day, most with fabulous photographs, readings or music.  Astounding!

      https://theaccidentalmissionary.wordpress.com/ Scott is a missionary who travelled to Guatemala where his life was changed forever.  In addition to blogging, he is a husband and father who works as a corporate trainer and speaker.  He now travels the world to spread his word of goodwill to others.

      https://zipsrid.wordpress.com/ “Zip” writes from her free spirit, never knowing which way her keyboard may take her.  She prefers poetry although once in a while a short story will pop into her blog.

      https://witlessdatingafterfifty.wordpress.com/ Robin has recently entered yet anther chapter in her life and writes about many subjects.  Family is very important to her, specifically her children and grandchildren.  You will find her loving life within her words, never knowing what she may write about day-to-day.

      https://amityrustacreations.wordpress.com/ Allie has truly lived her life, and is a firm believer in her dreams.  An accomplished writer and published author from the UK, she most often writes poetry.

      http://projectlighttolife.wordpress.com/about/ Christine hopes to inspire others through her blog.  She is extremely successful in many different areas including “Happiness!”  Kudos to you, Christine!

       

       

      The Forecaster


       

      red_squirrel_in_snow

      Reblogged  and edited from 1/6/2014 in honor of my son for “National Weatherperson’s Day.”

      Most of the country is in a deep freeze today.  A friend from St. Louis texted me a picture of my home.  It looked like a Christmas picture postcard all adrift in powdery snow.  A bit blurry at first, I squeezed my eyes tighter to hold my I-Phone a bit farther away.  No, there was nothing wrong with my eyes.  The picture was fine, not fuzzy or out of focus.  It was simply difficult to see my home adrift in all of the white of sparkling powder.  Millions of minute snowflakes, no two alike were falling from God’s sky in all of their delight.

      Currently, the weather is a dilemma in many parts of our country.  This is not lost on me.  I’ve raised a son who lives and breathes it every day.   Since toddlerhood, he has been fascinated with snow.  Now that he is an adult, he warns of severe thunderstorms, tornadoes and all of the alike while helping to predict hurricanes and typhoons.  His passion though, is snow.   Yes, S.N.O.W,  through and through.

      Whenever my son sits in front of his computer modules looking at colors on the screen…. lines of reds, greens, blues and yellows together with squiggles of movement and flow, it becomes his golden time.  He’s waited all his life for such weather history.  Half the earth is colder than it may ever be in this century!  This is my son’s life-time of dreams with a shiny trophy to be put on an imaginary shelf.  One he never expected to live to see, yet here it is!  Can it really be?

      My son has a passionate love for the beauty of the freezing snow.  Yes, this is true.  Most importantly, he saves lives.  Lives…..yours and mine!  Others don’t often stop to think about this. Many make jokes about the weather.  Some say, “Anyone can predict it.”  Ha! When sirens screech loudly in the distance or when radio signals blare while local television weather persons say, “TAKE COVER,” it is due to the years of education together with many long and arduous working hours of….you guessed it, my son’s forecasting.

      True, the study of “Atmospheric Science” or Weather is my son’s  passion.  Still, stop to think about this.  He gets up in the dawn of morn or the black of midnight while his wife and precious babies sleep tight.  Sweetly, he kisses pink foreheads before packing up to leave for an unknown number of hours.  His ‘day’ depends on weather conditions that may extend for an unknown number of hours.  Working three different shifts from week to week or month to month, his schedule often changes.   His body clock struggles to adapt, yet he never, ever complains.  At times, his loyal service dog, “Nimbus,” may look up to question him.  Black eyes the color of damp mud look to his Master as if to say, “Already?”  “Again?”  Four paws and a tail shake it off before trudging away for another night or day.

      So, while you’re out shoveling today, slipping, sliding, complaining or having fun, please remember my son.  Yes, he lives and breathes to see sparkling, white snow.  But, too, he’s always doing his very best job for you.

      His very best job….

       

      Heaven’s Angel


      Once a tiny seed, a speck, a fleck

      Barely fluttering heart so near

      Inside my chest.

      Love internal soon to grow

      Every second

      Hour and minute.

      Weeks go by

      Turning months

      Nearly a year

      Soon you’ll be here.

      Yes, I feel you deep within

      Loving you more

      Fluttering like before.

      Bigger now, the whole of my heart

      Close my eyes to dream

      Of butterflies beautiful

      Imagined, not yet seen.

      Soon to be born

      Cradle until you fly.

      A gush, a splash

      Astounding love envelopes me

      Baby born, now you’re here

      Skin to skin upon my chest

      Pink and perfect

      Suckle and cry

      Tip-toe peeking while you sleep

      Mine to keep.

      Bursting heart with love to share

      Holding you till the end of time

      Rolling over, sitting up, grasping toys and giggling too.

      First tooth, big smile and curly locks

      Cuddling, kissing, wooden chair while daddy rocks.

      Dreams of a lifetime snatched forever

      Without warning, halting, stopping.

      Half a year is not enough

      I cry and shake and ask God, “Why?”

      Clutching you, tiny fingers too

      Nighttime crib, flannel sleeper, little life

      My heart is broken, shattered glass

      Pieces and shards, strewn over the blanket of life.

      Devastation

      No greater loss

      Crying…wailing…weeping.

      What to do, where to go, can’t survive without my child.

      My heart has spilled, its empty now

      Feeling nothing dark and dead.

      Help me God, to understand

      Dry my tears, give me strength

      Pass the courage today and every tomorrow.

      My babe is an angel that I know

      Fluttering now outside my chest

      She has her wings

      Of a golden hue

      Butterfly beautiful indeed

      The tiny seed

      Once a speck

      Invisible fleck held so dear.

      Needed in Heaven or so I’m told.

      Take my hand to pray with me

      Rock my baby night and day

      A gift to me forever you see

      Kiss her gently, love her too

      Till I can join her next to You.

      Light of Heaven (3)

      *For T in memory of her beautiful baby daughter, and to honor all parents who have lost  their loving babies to SIDS.  My heartfelt blessings and prayers to you.