Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From time to time

Time changes but stays the same.

Some days whiz by, with sunrise almost meeting sunset in passing.  But then there are those days that stagger past: a slow unraveling of time.  Clocks tick louder and taunts with enjoyment of lingering seconds.

What day is this?  Fast or slow?  How to measure?

Is time measured in chores needed to be done?  Is it counted out by songbirds in citrus trees?

Is time meted step by step from start to destination?  Cars passing on their way to and from?

Such weariness is passing of time when it is slow and reluctant. 

Such exhilaration when whirling creativity stirs up wells of thinking.

Fiddler on the Roof

What time is it?

Friday, November 23, 2018

Memories held in hands

Great-Grandma Annie Praul Shive Johnson
A creased and tattered photo--
Held, shown, and stored in a shoe box for decades.
Hard evidence of a life lived
and remembered
Around in a circle on Christmas morning at Grandma's house, that is snapshot where I still see my family, frozen in time.  Photos have a way of capturing the smiles and memories that cannot be stored on a chip, flash drive, disc, cell phone...

A photo brings back sounds of laughter, of dishware placed onto the stretched out table.  Then it would have said the table was a mile long and the browned turkey as big as the sun. Lots of children noises filled the room, children laughter and some tears.  Just a quickly as they started, they stopped when grace was said and dishes filled.

A photo inhales wafting mashed potatoes with gravy cascading down the mountain and onto stuffing.  Creamed, buttered, fragrant, never-ending--amazing food, enough to feed entire towns. 

Then pies.  Queens of homemade pies, that's what Grandma and Mom were. Name any filling and these queens could whirl to place perfect pies, steaming hot, crust golden brown on the table.
 Front row: Robert, Bill, and me (with my new doll)
Don, Mary, Dad and Mom Christmas 1959

A photo can be held, placed lovingly an album, where smiles and bright eyes will look at it, talk about that day.  Remember...Mom nearly spilled the pie was...

A photo is taken of people of people frozen in time. "Hold still. Bill, stop it..." Click and wind. Click and wind. Then the roll of film would be put in an envelope, sent off, and returned. Open the envelope. And Christmas is re-lived over and over.

Food and family without end

A photo will travel across decades to find its way into hands of one who calls back that day with all its senses.  One who will caress faces of those long gone, saying, "I know when this happened."
Grandma and Grandpa Cardiff at home

A photo kept safe for decades in a box emerges into my hands. I can still smell the pies and feel the love all around us.

Can one do this with a digital? Can one hold the photo and feel all that?

Monday, November 19, 2018

Quintessential Radio : Dr. Love

Dick Clark American Bandstand 1961.JPG
Dick Clark, a legend in radio and TV
Radio Host:  Okay, you’re on live.  Let's speak to ...I don't know who he is, but here he is...Mr. Memphis.  Take it away, Dr. Love.

Mr. Memphis: Okay…I wrote this girl a letter…I gave it to the postman and he put it in his sack…

Dr. Love:  So he put the letter in his sack, and…?

Mr Memphis:  (sobs) Bright and early next morning, he brought the letter back…

Dr. Love:  So, the letter was returned?

Mr. Memphis:  …she wrote upon it:  Return to sender, address unknown…(quiet sniffling)

Dr. Love:  You had a quarrel?  A lover’s spat?

Mr. Memphis:  I wrote “I’m sorry!” But my letter keeps coming back…(indistinct nose blowing).

Dr. Love:  So, the letter was returned....What did you do next?

Mr. Memphis:  So then I dropped it in the mailbox, sent it special D (delivery)…

Dr. Love:  And the next morning…?

Mr. MemphisIt came right back to me…RETURN TO SENDER…

Dr. Love:  Same thing?  Address unknown?

Mr. Memphis  ...and, ‘No such person…No such zone’! (soft crying)

Dr. Love:  What the heck?  What’ll you do next?

Mr. Memphis This time, I’m gonna take it myself! (determined voice)

Dr. Love:  And put it right in her hand?  Isn’t that stalking?  I mean, really?

Mr. Memphis:  …if it comes back the very next day, then I’ll understand the writing on it…

Dr. Love:  I think that's best.  Take a hint.  Move on, buddy.  Move on...Next Caller, line 2...something about "Your Cheatin' Heart" you're saying?...

This is a re-post from 2013. You can't go wrong with Elvis Presley.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Do You Hear What I Hear?

I love it when you say
Let's talk. Which
really means "
listen while I talk
and not hear a
word you say" in
such a nice way.
Uh huh. Yes. Oh really?
Perhaps one of the annoying habits and the hardest to break that people possess is not listening to what other people are saying.  Not just nodding politely, but is one actively listening with understanding in their eyes?

Guilty. I am so guilty of this. 

Over my lifetime, my mind has always been wandering, thinking about what I want to say in answer to their words. I want to tell my story! Let me interrupt you and tell my story. Their last sentence comes to a logical end, then I grab the reins before they reach the full stop.

Their eyes glaze over briefly before I hit my stride and then they relax. Oh, well, they think, politely smiling. Are they also mind-plumbing for their next reply?

It doesn't end with conversations. When our progeny were small, I would sit in church and the pastor would be preaching, sincerely presenting the Word of God. I fed my youngest progeny Cheerios and let the middle progeny play with his cars. The oldest one was quietly drawing.  

What was I doing? Hearing Pastor talk and nodding my head in agreement. What was I really doing?  

I was wondering if the crock pot chicken would be done. Would Sherlock Holmes (Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce) be on after I washed dishes? Did I move the wet clothes to the dryer?

Yes, inane random thoughts would invade my brain, while I nodded in response to God's message.

Perhaps the worst not-listening is when God is talking to me.

We have an on-going conversation throughout the day with me querying Him and then hearing His first three words, before I jump in. Yes, You are right.  Then my mind wonders off to laundry or dinner.

Let God Talk.  Then, wait. Don't cut Him off. He knows what you are going to say, but He wants you to hear Him. 

Let God Talk. He knows the answers to questions you are asking. He understands your fears, your worries. God is in charge.

Let God Talk. He has a plan for your life. Even though you groan and shout at Him, He is big enough to absorb your pain and your anger.

Don't interrupt God. Don't ignore God. Don't guess what He is going to say.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10

Ask and it will be given to you;
seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened. Matt. 7:7

Let. God. Talk.


Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Paradise No Longer

Sources: Nextzen, OpenStreetMap, Microsoft, USGS
More Information
Now named among the deadliest fires in California, Campfire, has destroyed the town of Paradise. A town of 27,000 lost 8,000 structures of which 7,700 were homes.

Forty-eight people are confirmed dead. An estimated 228 are missing.  Recovery teams and dogs are finding more, most of them in pieces and bone fragments.

California is dry with a strong Santa Ana winds and high temperatures. The fire is considered to be 30% contained.


Donations may be made. American Red Cross is a good site for this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Cardboard Town

cardboard alley

Cardboard Town
Where the bounced are trounced

The in-flamed are out-flamed.

Variety of rich to poor,

Poor to beyond poor.

Raspberry, Blackberry,

Gangrene black

Creep and seep.

Down and up,

up and down.

All in Cardboard Town.

Cardboard shanty

This is a re-post from June 2014, using underlined words as a writing prompt. The words were provided by Delores at Mumblings, who threw out some words and invited bloggers to use them. The "Wednesday Words" challenge is still happening! Go to either of these sites: Elephant's Child and River  to see what words are being used this week.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

What Grows in a Field

Lily and Clara trying to restrain Benjamin, unsuccessfully. He took off in a 2 yr. old run. I barely caught him.
Benjamin was unrepentant, in a cute way.

In 2014 our family joined together in Switzerland to spend time with Mary and Richard McKinley and our grandson Benjamin. It was a fabulous time, just can't tell you how great it was.

John and I stayed at an AirBnB in Kӧnig, a rural area near Berne. We booked it after Mary researched it. What she did not realize at the time that this lovely place had two fairly steep gravel roads leading to the apartment, which was on the second floor.  What she did not take into account was that we were her parents in their 60s.

This farmer owned about 4 John Deere implements, all pristine. 

These gravel roads led to a farm; not just a farm but it was paradise, at least to me. We always stopped at the barn and house where an arch of old barn connected to new barn. We rested for about five minutes because we were knackered before striking out on the next hill.

A farm was complete with cows, apple trees, a garden, and wheat fields. Each day as we walked by the farm, the wheat fields were ripening. What caught me was the red among the green.

So amazing, this lone poppy was a bravely growing flower.  

This is on my sidebar.

Within the second week, we trudged up the first hill and saw that the wheat had been harvested, taking the poppy with it.

It will return next year in another place. Poppies are resilient.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Measure of a Man

American soldier walking with his daughter : Stock Photo
Hold my hand, daughter.
God, history, and hormones arranged how each gender performed in a family unit. Who did what? Man and Woman with their progeny struggled to survive in a sometimes harsh life. 

Man=hunt, impregnate, and kill. Woman=give birth, care for children, gather. Pretty straightforward, wouldn't you say? 

Some would say that there has been a radical turn-around. While many parts of this mixture remain solid, others shift around a bit. Given the changes in society and its needs, change in inevitability is natural.

Whether there is a dad or a mom in the home does not change a primary focus:
their family.

Mother's Day
Men walk through a mall carrying a pink diaper bag.  Women wear combat fatigues when walking their children to school. Men return from work on a motorcycle. Women take the cycle and head out. Men make quilts while women repair pipes. Men and Women both cook. Some better than others.

Things change, things stay the same. 

  It takes a real man to feel safe in his role, whether it has changed or not.

It takes a real man to accept what he will do, what he can do.

It takes a real man to be the husband or partner to his beloved while both hold onto their family unit. 

And, it takes a real man to change a diaper. 

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Dark and Light: Gone the Night, Final Chapter

Continued from Ch. 3

Oriental Poppies an oil painting by Georgia O'Keefe.jpg
Georgia O'Keefe
Fingers tightened and squeezed Kylyu, constricting slowly, crushing the witch. Kylyu screamed and shrunk, cursing Snow White, writhing with all that she had been. Snow White reached into the witch's chest and grasped a beating heart.  

Kylyu's eyes widened as her vision faded. Snow White bit into the dark muscle, blood pouring down her chin, then spewed it onto Kylyu's dying face.

Crumbling ash drifted from Snow White's hands, the remnants of Kylyu. The staff dropped onto stones, resounding through the cavern. Snow White grasped it tightly, her power burning and cleansing it of Kylyu. 

"I dare not leave this behind." Snow White staggered to her feet with quaking legs. Drained of nearly all strength, Snow sensed Anam covering her with the last of her own energy.

They dragged Gunther to the cottage, where Snow White collapsed.  In moments, Snow found herself by the hearth, while buckets of cool water flowed over her. Gunther lay quietly by the fire, a bowl of stew beside him.

Anam draped herself onto Snow White. Sleep now. Sleep. Snow fell into a deep slumber, knowing the staff was standing silently by the hearth