What Are Your Traditions?


Seven days ago on March 19th a few steps were taken back in time down the carpeted stairs of my red brick home.  There, below the main level slept a spare bedroom with a nondescript bathroom.   Together, they waited all cozy and warm for March Madness to begin.

A buzz was in the air, much like you see and feel during holidays minus decorations everywhere.  Our big television was ablaze in all its LCD glory!  Red, white, royal blue and emerald-green uniforms waited for imaginary cheerleaders to jump out of their metal chairs.  To the left, a natural wicker table was set for a boys day of play.  On top, colorful bowls and baskets overflowed with taco chips, salsa dips, chicken wings and candy in case of low blood sugar attacks.

Ding-Ding!  What was that I heard?  ‘Doodle’ dog barking at the leaded glass door up above.  Running to open it, there he stood.  My oldest son, Jay, who took time off from work in order to watch basketball with his brother and father.  It had been a long-standing tradition in our small family for years and years.  Ever since the boys were very young like my husband had once been too.

In bounced my son’s service dog, Nimbus, his jet black tail knocking everything off tables before I had time to get to them.  Nothing mattered.  How glad I was to see them both!  Doodles jumped up and down with kisses of, “Hello.”  The two dogs rolled on the floor then chased each other all over the house.  Soon, the lab’s master firmly commanded, “PLACE!”

Minutes later, my youngest son popped over, jovial with a bear hug for his mama.  Warmth through and through.  A few minutes later my husband arrived home from his trip on the road, delighted to see his two sons already waiting for him.  So thrilled he was at the prospect of tradition.  Basketball together with March Madness plus so much more.

Jay and his dog were spending the night.  Too late to drive home after games played into overtime, he planned to sleep in a room that had once been his own.  How kind of his wife to extend this special gift to her husband.  Bonding time with his father and brother like no other.  Rare in these days of work that included varied shifts of hours never known.  Days and nights of travel, duplicate families, little children and babies of all ages.  Yes, grown-up lives….

And, an enormous “Thank You,” to my youngest son’s wife for holding down the fort all by herself with three babies at home.  Yes, three.  T.H.R.E.E!  Twins girls who are three months old plus a 17 month old daughter scattering every which way!  Such a gift to us all, but especially to my husband who rarely has such special time with both of his sons together.

March Madness.  Yes it’s about basketball, but in our house it’s so much more.  When I hear those two words, “March Madness,” it’s not a brown ball tossed through a hoop of white rope that comes to mind.

No, to me March Madness is all about tradition.  The tradition of family.  Bonding over munchies set on an old table of wicker.  Screaming faces in front of a screen that doesn’t respond.  Brackets, favorites, cheering and choosing.  Stomping feet, tossing heads in disbelief or smiling faces slapping high-fives!  Balancing paper plates on laps of sweat pants while taking notes with pencils of yellow.  Wiping mouths with printed paper napkins or hopping up in the air to yell, “No Fair!”

And, in the end hugging Good Bye to a son and brother in the dark of night.

Tradition….

The Thursday Thirteen: 13 Books I Loved as a Child and Love as an Adult


kcg1974:

What books would you choose? Part Time Monster chooses 13 children’s books already proven to be WINNERS.   An easy choice for you.   She’s done all the work.   Hope on over to your local library or bookstore ASAP!

Originally posted on Part Time Monster:

This week, for my Top Ten Tuesday post, I wrote about books from my childhood that I’d like to revisit. And, as I said in that post, I had difficulty with it, as I revisited a lot of books from my childhood during the years I was studying children’s literature–and as I’m mother to a 6 year old.

I decided that the Thursday 13, then, would be a list of books that were just as good when I read them as an adult as they were when I was a child. (Except that the Suess books had to go in one spot, and so did the Narnia books.)

Books that Stand the Test of Time:

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“. . . listen like saguaros listening to cactus wrens”


kcg1974:

Beautiful poem making me long for my father”s desert Arizona home.   I love and miss you, Dad!  :)

Originally posted on Becoming is Superior to Being:

7 Falls (1 of 1) sepia blogSonoran Desert Moonscape — Image by kenne

. . . listen like a mountain

listen like saguaros listening

to cactus wrens, coyotes, night

owl: listen like the owl

listen like the owl’s prey

jittery in rocks beneath bighorn’s

clocking feet: listen to the clock

listen to time, listen

to rattler’s warning maracas

listen, like the culebra, with

your tongues . . .

listen

carnales listen

to the hymn of it, the lie of it, the

prayer of it, the voices

singing our names: listen

it’s our story, it’s our song,

you’ve got to hear it — 

listen.

– from Listen, by Luis Alberto Urrea

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LollyPop Chalk


Like colors of chalk upon peppered cement, words wait for fingers to draw a story of a different kind.

In yellow and pink with blue and turquoise too, colors fill lines with shades of waiting….  

LollyPop colors to catch everyone’s eye.  Squished in the middle between hues of blues is a purple head poking up and out towards the right.  Slowly it sneaks apart waiting for a chance, like horses in a race or dogs soon to take chase.  If an innocent’s hand should move for a minute, sweat with one bead, scratch on the side or open wide a LollyPop head shall loft up, up and away.  Into the sky. Gone for good.  No coming back.  Not a chance.

“NO WAIT….It can’t!  There is a wish inside!  Come back!!”

Through green of trees the LollyPop head of chalk soared above blue bird’s nests of brown made of twigs, feathers, paper and mud.  Onward and upward it flew above chimneys and rooftops. Whee, so free it floated over hillsides of roaming cows and meadows of flowers. B.a.c.k and f.o.r.t.h like children on swings!  Push higher still to soar above woods and valleys with rivers so deep.  Shadows passed by the daily sun and soon the silver moon just so.  Yes, a purple puff of round carrying a single string below….Climbing above until it touched Heaven where golden keys unlocked a gate hidden behind clouds of frothy white.

“I’m sad to see you go, to say good-by, to let you go,”  said the little girl who clenched her fist so tight.  She wiped a tear, sorry that her purple balloon of chalk was gone.

Just then an angel appeared, dangling a broken string beneath her feathered wing.  A printed wish was tied to one end.  The angel told the child that all LollyPop’s chalk passing through the gates of Heaven magically turned into poofs of fairy dust.

Eyes of wide gazed at the angel in awe.  “Does this mean that my wish might still come true,” she asked, with hopefulness?

“It already has,” replied the angel,” looking back knowingly, as she flew toward Heaven.

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Hearts of Dolls


Bittersweet.  A taste inside my mouth trickling down the back of my throat.  All the way down, down, down to the pink of my heart.

Today would have been my mother’s 79th birthday, yet she’s been gone for over four years.  She left this world far too soon.  Thankfully, my belief in God is comforting.  I believe she is at peace.

This morning, I spent time in my grand-children’s nursery playing with dolls.  Yes, you read my words correctly.  I played with dolls.  Baby dolls, Barbie dolls and Madame Alexander dolls plus every other brand in-between.

A very special cabinet once owned by my mother protects these treasures which were all part of her collection.  Together they were given to me by my father after she passed away. Shortly after he emptied his home, I wrote of this in a post entitled Cabinet Full of Heart http://wp.me/p41md8-14b .

Today this grand piece of glass with little wood is the center of my grand-children’s nursery.  It’s the first thing eyes of wide see upon entering their room.  Every visit, we sit and stare until a girl of little picks her chosen one for the day.  She holds it gently, combs hair of long or short and sleeps beside limbs of four during an hour of nap.

So yes, this morning on my mother’s birthday, the day after my own and my husband’s too, I played with dolls.  The very best present I could have given to her, all wrapped up in an imaginary pink bow of satin sent with love.   Later, when toddlers with curls and babies too, come to visit, she’ll be looking down upon us wearing feathered wings with dreams come true.

Never too old to lose the child within one’s heart. 

Riverwalk


The whole of the day was spectacular.  Sun sparkled high in the blue of everywhere while a warm breeze lofted through the air, even blowing through my hair.  A splendid sort of day, one where convertibles peeked out of garages for the very first time.  And yet, only a few short moons before a picture postcard of another sort grabbed me by the hand, luring me out to play.

I remember fingers of ten pushing down keys, naturally lifting them up while I sat behind a keyboard of basic black.  Earlier, I woke with a horrible migraine headache, my own Chronic Condition.  I visit a neurologist regularly, keep a ‘headache diary’ and know that prescription medication must be swallowed at the earliest onset in order to keep the pain at bay.  Hoping it will go away.

Hours before, rain had drizzled from the sky of night, dazzling the pavers of our driveway.  Glancing out long narrow windows of the turret in my office library, they glistened and looked brand new.  Mist hovered in the air surrounding them like tiny beads of steam bubbling on a glass door of clear during a hot shower.

As the morning went on, I continued to work while glaring at my computer screen.  Simple sounds of soft keys clicking up and down began to SCREAM at me.  Temples on each side of my head pulsated in unison.  What to do?  My headache was going to be endured regardless.  Literally, I threw caution to the wind.  Tossing on a raincoat, I drove to the nearest walking park near a lovely winding river.  I wanted to take deep breaths, to breathe cool damp air deep into my lungs, hoping my head would not be worse for wear.

The cool squishy ground together with puddles here and there were a gift to me.  The park was mine alone.  It was hushed quiet except for birds hiding in overgrown woods surrounding the grounds.  Grasses were golden damp while trunks of trees were painted green with stripes of lime colored moss.  Venturing toward the nearby river, toes of boots nudged piles of musty leaves, soaked from the rain while squirrels played tag a few steps away.

Around the bend I discovered a dead-end.  Erosion from the river had eaten a two lane road totally away together with most of the trail, making it unsafe for any passers-by. There was nothing to do but turn around.

Upon reaching my car, I shook my head in disbelief.  No more headache.  I  thanked God for this relief from pain.  Taking in one last look around the park, I noticed a Robin strutting close by.  Bright red in breast, he tossed a pink worm.  Up…up…up into the air, fresh from a cocoa colored puddle that lay atop the grass of golden brown.

Never thankful for a migraine headache, everything truly happens for a reason.  Sometimes hidden until later, waiting for the curtain to be parted or a season of newness to begin.

Yes, always a Lesson for me.

In Gratitude


In gratitude to Erica Heard, an accomplished writer living in New Jersey with published poetry and plays among her impressive resume.  Recently, she most generously nominated my blog for the prestigious Leibster Award.  With loving thanks to you, Erica!

liebsteraward

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Erica’s blog is entitled Suburban Hobo, and as it might suggest, she sometimes lives and writes in the form of a free spirit having once lived in Hollywood!  Please visit her at http://suburbanhobo.com/

 The Rules for this Award are as Follows:

  1. Thank and link the person who nominated you.
  2. Answer the questions given to you by the nominator.
  3. Nominate approximately ten other bloggers you admire.
  4. Create ten new questions for the nominees to answer.
  5. Notify all nominees of their nomination.

 Questions for Me to Answer

  1. What is your favorite day of the week?  Saturday-No plans!
  2. If you could live in another era or country, what would it be? The 18th Century.  Romance, beautiful clothing, together with hours of reading poetry!
  3. Who is your best friend (human or non-human)? I have a few very close friends who are all considered to be “best friends.” 
  4. The mountains or the beach?  Beach.
  5. If you could have a different job (profession) what would it be? An actress or a movie critic.
  6. What are a few of your favorite films? Dead Poet’s Society, Funny Girl, A Beautiful Mind, Working Girl, Million Dollar Baby, One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ordinary People and West Side Story.
  7. Who is one of your heroes/heroines (living or deceased)? My eldest son, Jayson for reasons most of you know.
  8. Do you speak more than one language?  No.
  9. Name some of your favorite books and/or authors.  The Year of Living Dangerously by Joan Didion, About Alice by Calvin Trillin, The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls, Not My Father’s Son by Alan Cumming, A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar, Watch Me by Angelica Huston and anything written by the late Dominick Dunne.
  10. Future Hope and/or Aspiration or Goal (s)?  To keep writing and get something published before the year’s end.  To stay healthy in order to see my grandchildren giggle while growing older.  To be alive when there is a major breakthrough in diabetes research, hopefully a cure.

The Nominees:

http://yadadarcyyada.com/

https://susanneleist.wordpress.com/

http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/

https://neihtn.wordpress.com/

https://doctorly.wordpress.com/

http://maryaperez.com/

http://rachelmorrill.com/

http://inesepogagallery.com/

http://gifsdomi.com/

https://lifeconfusions.wordpress.com/ 

Questions for the Nominees

Were you raised in a big family or a small family?

Any regrets in life?

What is your favorite television show?

How long do you wish to live?

Favorite hobby?

Cooking at home or dining in a restaurant?

Dogs or cats?

House, apartment or condo?

What do you consider to be your best asset?

Dream vacation?

*Congratulations to all nominees together with every hardworking, imaginative blogger here on WordPress!  To those who do not accept awards, I understand completely.  If accepting, please feel free to take your time.  Thank you for reading with wishes to all for a wonderful new week.  :)

 

 

Are You Listening?


globe7

 

 

 

 

 

A child of two or three takes steps you see

With coat and hat warm to be

On battered bricks of pebbled brown

Toddling on streets in square of town

Listening…listening to sounds he hears.

Where to go when feeling free

When feathers beckon to follow thee?

Fluttering wings and tilt of head with tail to catch

So close behind he’s almost there

Listening….listening to sounds he hears.

A magic bird held in arms that care

Angel wings with beak that sings.

Humming, whistling, caws and wooos….

Listening, listening to sounds he hears.

The Perfect Day


Dare my mind believe spring has sprung?   Truly, just begun?

The clocks were set back prior to sleep last Saturday night while I hoped seven hours of slumber would magically feel like eight upon my wake.  When lids lifted ‘later’ than usual Sunday morn, it was easy to pretend.  Opening blinds of white to see a sun of yellow, it shined so bright…high in the sky.  I had to bend my neck to the right while peeking through slats to see it there.

Grabbing a robe, Doodle dog followed every single step, meandering through rooms and spaces small until we were out the double doors atop the patio.  Bricks of red felt unusually warm below bare feet and paws.  Snow was gone.  Could it be so?   Birds were chirping, flying feathers near.  I glanced above to see never-ending blue without a cloud in sight.  A perfect morning with a blanket big covering the ground below.

After weeks and months of cold, could it be true?  Oh, to count my blessings.  I would not argue with such wonder.  Never, oh no!

I spent much of the day walking….w.a.l.k.i.n.g.  It seemed like miles at times.  No boots or gloves or a single scarf of stripes around my neck.  No wooly hat upon my head.  Bare hands held a wide string of dog at my side in the warmth of 66 degrees.  I spoke to neighbors and little ones in the streets.  Smiles of teeth and jokes to tickle my inner belly.  Silly fun!  Shook hands and met new neighbors never seen before.  Played in poofs of dust from colored chalk drawn on driveways.   Shared time with family and marveled at the antics of an innocent child with curls who lived in a place called Wonderland while basking in the glory of golden rays upon my face from God above.

Yes, it was the perfect day……