Mar 19 2012

it begins here
{scintilla day 4}


What does your everyday look like?
Describe the scene of your happiest moment of every day.


every day starts with this cup.

the reflection is always different,

some days there are flowers,

some days nothing more than grey skies.

but always, there is something

to see.


this post is part of the scintilla project. see more here.

Mar 17 2012

it is what it is,
except when it isn’t, no. 2

Yesterday I heard that some journalists (okay, maybe just one) are saying things like this about The Lorax: “The President’s liberal friends in Hollywood [are] targeting a younger demographic using animated movies to sell their agenda to children.”


I know Dr. Seuss did have some political leanings and statements in his work and all, but, really?

And then I went to the grocery store and bought myself some tulips. They didn’t have pink, which was what I wanted, so I picked these instead.

The woman checking me out said, “We call these Fighting Irish tulips, because of the colors.”


Silly me.

I just thought they were pretty.




Mar 16 2012

i beg your pardon…
{scintilla day 3}


Talk about a memory triggered by a particular song.


I never promised you a rose garden. Along with the sunshine, there’s got to be a little rain sometimes….

It’s winter and I am on the couch reading. I don’t remember the name of the book, one of the countless number I devoured as a child, possibly one by Laura Ingalls Wilder, or Carolyn Haywood, or Louisa May Alcott.

I have no idea where my brothers and my sister were at this moment, perhaps I was home sick from school. It’s just me and my book and my mom and her dust cloth. Lynn Anderson serenades us and my mom sings along. She has a pretty voice, my mom, and she sings as if no one is listening.

The smell of Lemon Pledge drifts through the air.

I feel safe and warm and cozy.


My mom cleaned our house from top to bottom every single day when I was a child. Dusting, vacuuming, mopping. Every. Single. Day. She also made our beds, given that none of us could ever achieve the “you could bounce quarters off that” requirement with our bedspreads. I look back now, and I don’t know how she did it, how she kept up with it all. I don’t know why she did it. Well, that’s not entirely true, I know she did it because she loved us.

We all had our own little chores to do, but they were small things, taking out the garbage, drying dinner dishes. My mom did all the rest, cooking dinners, ironing (everything, including sheets and underwear), and all that cleaning.

My dad worked hard, too. Trick shifts they called it, rotating his schedule between A, B, and C shift every three weeks. One week 7 to 3; the next 3 to 11; the next 11 to 7. He never caught up on his sleep, never had time to adjust to staying up all night and sleeping during the day, because the very next week it would all be reversed again. There were many nights when he fell asleep at the kitchen table, which, of course, we all thought was hilarious.

My parents both came from not-so-perfect childhoods. Truth be told, that’s quite the understatement. But they both worked hard to give me and my siblings a better one. Writing this now, it all sounds a little bit Leave it to Beaver-ish. And in reality, it wasn’t. As we all got older, things changed, times changed. Like all families, we had our ups and downs. But just the fact that this was the goal says a lot. And I’m certain that it was far, far better than the childhood that either one of them experienced.

They each gave everything they could to their children, always. And that is still the case today.


All it takes now is a Lynn Anderson or Loretta Lynn song, and I am back in a clean, cozy, lemon-scented world, my mom’s voice playing over me like a blanket. And that’s a pretty good place to be.

So smile for a while and let’s be jolly…

Mar 15 2012

i don’t want to grow up
{scintilla day 2}


When did you realize you were a grownup?
What did this mean for you?


This prompt made me smile, because my first thought was, “Never.”

I’m still waiting to feel like a grownup, still waiting, at almost-50, to feel differently inside than I did when I was 18, or 12, or 6. And don’t get me wrong, I act like a grownup, I do all the things that grownups are supposed to do, I’ve raised children, run my own business, bought a house, contributed to society.

I’m quite responsible, other than for the occasional forgetfulness that plagues my family, as in, “I went to the store for bread and milk and forgot the bread.” I’ve always been responsible, even as a child. Always worked for straight A’s, never skipped school or even homework, got my first job when I was 12 and worked hard ever since, I take care of my health for the most part, I take care of other people when they need it, all in all, I am a very grownup grownup.

But I’ve never stopped being amazed at life, I’ve never stopped being hopeful, I’ve never stopped looking at the world around me in wonder. Never stopped with the rose-colored glasses.

Okay, I have missed a few days. Maybe even months.

But I always go back to that place, the same place that will find you lying on your stomach in the grass watching an ant try to move a potato chip, the place that lets you believe in the magic of Santa Claus, the place that lets you see how fragile and wonderful and beautiful life is, believe in the goodness of others, be certain that the sun will rise another day.

I have always been a Caretaker of Wonder.* And inside this body that seems to be aging without my permission, this keeps me young. Yes, young at heart is the best I can hope for at this point in my life, but that’s not so bad.

My goal has long been to never become a bitter old woman. It is (and I have mentioned this several times before) to be the old laughing lady. If that means that I will never really truly feel like a grownup, well, then I am okay with that. I may not be able to get back up once I lie down to watch ants crawl through the grass, but I am okay with that, too.

I can always roll over and see what shapes I can find in the clouds up in the sky.

I think I see an angel, don’t you?

*From one of my favorite children’s books by Cooper Edens.

Mar 14 2012

who am i?
{scintilla day 1}


Who are you?
Come out from behind that curtain and show yourself.


i am growth that spirals,

hope that grows,

life that reaches

for the sun.


this post is part of the scintilla project. see more here.

Mar 13 2012

fool’s gold

when i was a child i found a rock
that shone with flecks of gold

excited (and thinking it was real)
i ran to show it to my father

who gently explained (in the way
that fathers do) that it was not.

he told me the name of my pretty,
sparkly nugget and i was sorry.

worthless, he said, trying to explain
the difference between pyrite

and the gold that circled his finger,
and together we imagined the

disappointment of miners who surely
must have thought they struck it rich.

yesterday, i walked through a garden
that was not mine and stopped in the sun

to chat with a friend and (listening) i looked
down to discover chunks of my childhood

sparkling up at me and i smiled as i stooped
to pick up three pieces to give to her girls.

i told her the name and the story, and then
placed one last piece in my own pocket,

because these days, i am happy to believe
that there is far more value in this stone

that glitters just enough to remind me
of a long ago moment with my father

than there is in any amount
of the real thing.




this post is part of dVerse poets Open Link Night, join us!

Mar 10 2012

this moon


over this tree

in this year

with this man

beneath this sky

outside this house

savoring this moment

in this life


Mar 8 2012

front and center

I’ve been thinking so hard lately that my brain hurts. Thoughts swirl around in my head until all I can hear is the howl of wind. I wish I could say that I’ve been thinking about something profound, but, no, just ordinary, everyday, very mediocre things.

Of course, there has been a lot to think about with all that is going on in the world. And while that has all been added to the mix, most of what’s been swirling around inside my brain is internal, what I should, or should not, be doing with my life kind of stuff.

It feels like one long experiment.

Of course, that is not necessarily a bad thing, it is precisely that constant change that keeps us on our toes. But you can only stand on tiptoe for just so long before your muscles start to ache. A little stability would be nice, I’m thinking. Perhaps some alignment would be good.

The other day, as I was whining to myself, it occurred to me that I have it all wrong. That no one, nowhere, ever said it would be easy. Or if they did, they were talking out both sides of their mouth. It wasn’t so long ago, in the history of man, that day to day life was simply a matter of survival. That all our time was spent hunting, gathering, defending, surviving. In fact, for some of us on this earth right now, that it still the way of it.

There is no easy button. We keep trying to find one, though. I see it everyday, everywhere around me, people searching for the magic that will make life perfect, or meaningful, or safe, or continuously happy.

But it doesn’t exist. Nothing will ever make every single moment of life perfect. There will always be bouts of wind and hail and sleet and rain to batter you as you try to put down roots, stand tall, keep growing. There may even be the occasional flood, or blizzard, or tornado. Those are the moments when you hang on for dear life, and if you make it through, when they are over, you are grateful just to be alive.

You straighten up, stand tall, reach for the sky.

Because the simple truth is that life is hard.

But also, it’s beautiful.




Mar 6 2012


some days you have to peel back some skin
just to be certain who you are.

the pretty face you put on for the world
can only disguise so much

and then the mystery starts bleeding through
the edges, those places that are frayed

and torn, held together with yellow cellophane
no longer necessary to hold that old wound

together, but a comfort of habit just the same.
lift it away and your scars are revealed,

white-edged and deeper than anyone can guess,
even you. smooth planes are only for

the innocent, the unscathed, the empty-handed.
it’s the skeleton that always tells the real

story, dancing alone in the closet like a fool.
at night i can hear the wind whistling

through all the cracks and patches
in my heart, and every so often

the sound finds a way to mimic
the cut of yesterday’s knife.




this post is part of dVerse poets Open Link Night, join us!


p.s. if you used to follow me through google friend connect,
please see the sidebar at right for new ways to follow.
google dropped the GFC widget for wordpress blogs,
and all of my followers were deleted.


Mar 3 2012

just me and my shadow…

It’s so lonely here these days…

On Wednesday, Google discontinued Google Friend Connect, and I didn’t find out until it was already deleted. So, for those of you who followed me from there, my blog will now be gone from your list. Apparently Blogger blogs still have the GFC feature, but since I am on WordPress, I do not.

If you like, you can manually add me into your Google Reader list
by using this url:

And here are some other current ways to follow:




I always put my posts up on facebook and twitter, and I am planning to start posting them on google+ as well.

There is also an RSS feed option in the “follow me” tab at the right.

If you have any other suggestions as far as how you prefer to follow blogs, please let me know.

I miss seeing all your little avatars on my sidebar.


I haven’t always have time to respond to comments, but I want
you to know how much I appreciate the fact that
you follow, visit, comment, support.

It means a lot.