Category Archives: A stab at writing

Why?

Looking at the eagle
soaring oh so high
wings spread wide
in glorious flight
I wonder what he
thinks of us
down below?
He must wonder
why do they bicker
and fight?
Why can they
not find peace?
Why can’t their hearts
take flight
and enjoy
the beautiful land below?

Tired of Thanksgiving?

As I stand here shoving the third and final giant foil pan of food into the oven, this one stuffing, I was wondering if any of us could really grasp the true spirit of Thanksgiving as felt by the Pilgrims. Here we are, most of us with our fabulous technology to do most of the hard work for us yet we still complain. I know that I have today. By the time I was working on the stuffing I could really care less if it came out right or not. No one would die if we didn’t have stuffing. There would still be plenty of food to go around. Most of us won’t go hungry. And there will be a nearby store or restaurant open to get something if it is absolutely necessary.

The Pilgrims were overjoyed at their abundance of food, blessings of life and new friends who saved their lives. For many present day people this holiday is just a family meal to get through, a travel ordeal, an all around major hassle. You would rather be sitting at home in your favorite chair wearing your pajamas, reading a good book or watching T.V.

Does your Thanksgiving really look like the ones on T.V? All happy and joyous? Does anyone still say Grace? Is there a tablecloth made of lace?

Is Thanksgiving still relevant? Maybe our world has evolved far beyond this more personal celebration of life by a people who had been through more than most of us will ever understand.

Or maybe we are inundated by too many holidays many of which are grouped too close together. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years and As I stand here shoving the third and final giant foil pan of food into the oven, this one stuffing, I was wondering if any of us could really grasp the true spirit of Thanksgiving as felt by the Pilgrims. Here we are, most of us with our fabulous technology to do most of the hard work for us yet we still complain. I know that I have today. By the time I was working on the stuffing I could really care less if it came out right or not. No one would die if we didn’t have stuffing. There would still be more than plenty of food to go around. Most won’t go hungry. And there will be a nearby store or restaurant open to get something if it was absolutely necessary.

Now don’t get me wrong I am grateful for the sacrifices made by the Pilgrims, for family and friends but really wouldn’t a Bring Your Own Sandwich work just as well?!

Thank you Kathy Neal for pointing me in the right direction.

Shanghaied

Shanghaied through time and space
Into a cult-like twilight zone

Awakening to the realization
A small group bans together

The treacherous escape route
Is found
But not everyone is on board
Many are paralyzed with fright

They will have to unite to survive
Work together to configure the escape
Set up a front and run defense

Quickly plot and plan
In a small place

The feeling is that of suffocating
Panic and fear is rife
Behind the mask of normalcy

There is no choice
Their lives and free will are at stake
An attempt has to be made
It has to be fast and furious

Jumping through the rabbit hole of time and space
Send the weak and terrified down first
Push and shove
Keep moving
Faster and faster

There is no stopping
The strongest goes through last
To hide the trail and in case of discovery
And conflict

No one is left behind
Hands are held
They move as one
To freedom and life

No one remembers breathing
Just moving pushing shoving

Sliding back through into reality
Into the real world
Everyone is greeted with cheers and laughter
Their arrival had been eagerly awaited

Hearts and minds are light as air
Lives are restored
The nightmare is over

The Angels…

danced around in the soft, blue moonlight, laughing and singing praises to God.

Angel-1

They blew kisses onto the heads of babies on earth down below that smelled of bubblegum and sweet gardenia flowers.

Angel-2

Hyper Tanned Mom

Every day that it was warm enough and the sun was shinning, after all of her house work was done, she could be found in her back yard soaking up the sun. With the help of baby oil. For hours on end. It was a ritual that I witnessed my entire youth. Back in the old days, the 70′s and 80′s.

Was she the darkest white lady in all the land? Yes, yes she was. She was so dark that until one of my children was quite old they thought she was a black woman. It didn’t help that her last name had the word black in it. I have a photograph of my young child sitting in her lap on a backyard swing. My child was as white as they come with bright white hair. In her lap my child looks like a ghost and she looks like a black woman. We lived in an all white neighborhood. This was a long time ago.

Did we think it was strange? I don’t think so. As a child and a teenager that was the only way I had ever seen her. She never lost enough of her tan in the winter to look white again. And her tan didn’t look bad. It wasn’t uneven or spotty. She was perfectly roasted. As a white un-tanable teenager I was very jealous. Her sister-in-law was almost the same way. They loved the sun and went to the beach for a week or two every summer come hell or highwater.

In spite of terrible family tragedy this woman was one of the happiest and most together women I knew. She ran her house with military precision. She sewed, she baked beautiful birthday cakes for everyone in the neighborhood on their birthdays. Her kids were always dressed nice and well-mannered. They all went to college, got married and had kids. This lady also smoked cigarettes and had two beers every night.

By todays standards this lady would be considered very unhealthy right? Of course she would. She probably looks like an old leather saddle now right? I think so. I haven’t seen her in many years. I have been told that she does indeed look bad and that yes she has had skin cancer. But if none of that happened until she was in her late 70′s then all in all is that really too bad? She has had a long life which she enjoyed to the best of her ability in light of a terrible family tragedy that she had to endure.  If she had to do it all over again I doubt that she would give up any of her pleasures, they are part of what made her who she was. A hyper tanned mom who was not a freak. And yes her children often layed out with her but never tanned as well or as much as she did. They were a close happy family and still are.

How Many Syllables?

Ever stuck on how many syllables a word has? Me too. I know it’s a huge world-wide problem. Well this web site is the one for you! Just type in your word and it will tell you.

Here is a web site that is great to use when teaching children or grammies about the art of Haiku.

I was teaching my grandson about Haiku so I needed that web site. It is so true, if you don’t use it, you lose it.

Here is one of his Haiku’s:

This season is great.
Dark, fun, spooky and creepy.
Candy is near me.

I guess you can put periods in them. I am not sure. Or does it have to be one entire sentence. Oh well he is six so a little at a time.

I found the answers to my questions on this site.

Boy Scout Knives

I have never heard of a Girl Scout knife, do they even exist?

I just thought about this after I discovered my husband’s Boy Scout knife knocking around in the washing machine. Yes it was my fault. I left in my pants pocket. I carry it when I remember too. This is the first time I have washed it though.

So it made realize that I had never heard of a Girl Scout knife before. Girls need protection too! We might be out in the woods and need to start a fire, cut something, carve something or even kill someone. Girls need to be prepared also.

Speaking of being prepared just in case any of you wander into the forest and get lost for days I will tell you how to eat acorns. No people don’t eat them like squirrels do. They are very bitter, dare I say hot. Maybe squirrels are of Latin descent. Anyway gather as many as you can, shell them then grind them on a flat stone as best you can. Then put them in your sock or something like that and float them in a stream overnight. That will remove the bitterness allowing you to eat them without getting a stomach ache. Or you can grind them into a very fine powder and boil them as you would oatmeal.

And just to be safe always carry a clean freshly washed Boy Scout knife with you everywhere you go because you just never know how it will come in handy.

Hurricane Hugo, 1989, Category 5


Hurricane Hugo approaches the South Carolina coast in this satellite photo taken on September 21, 1989. (Photo credit: NOAA)

How well I remember. I had an eight year old and a two year old and we lived out in the country in a mobile home. We had never seen a hurricane before. We had no idea what to expect. Just what the media told us. I know that a lot of people are saying all of the fuss about Hurricane Irene is overkill. So be it. It may save someone’s life. Better to be a little inconvienced than dead.    

I remember my daughter was wearing a cute little pink jumper. My husband had pulled the car right up beside the deck and I was literally pushing the kids in. I remember her pink diaper bag crammed full and overflowing with whatever I thought we might need. Pink must be my favorite color. I don’t remember what anyone else was wearing.

We really waited to late to go into town to a more secure structure. Trees were down everywhere so the normal route to town was blocked. Trust me turning around and going back and trying different roads was not a fun adventure in the middle of night with two children in the car. No wait, the children were fine. I was near hysterics. Power lines were down. It was dark. The rain was pounding. Not my idea of fun.

On the way back home the next day it was shocking to see how many trees were down. It took a lot longer than usual to get home. By the time we made our way down the winding dirt road we lived on I really didn’t expect to see our mobile home still standing. But here it was. Still standing. A double pine tree the length of the trailor had fallen parallel to the trailor within about half an inch of it. That was a good thing because from the other side another huge pine tree fell across the trailor. The double in the front kept it from cutting our little home in half! It only uprooted one end with a little smush and a branch went through the living room roof. Both fixable. The biggest loss was a very nice huge deck that my husband had built the summer before.

 

I do remember the sound of chain saws for a long long time. It must have taken months to clear all of those trees from around our home. The smell of pine sap was overwhelming. It was hot and humid as there was no electricity for about two weeks. Two weeks that my husband won’t let me forget that I spent at my grandmothers about three hours away with all the comforts of home. Hey when my husband went to work at night it was dang scary out there in complete darkness and the pine sap bothered my asthma. So yes I deserted him. If I die first he will probably have that written on my headstone.

Now when I hear hurricane I start making plans. Mother Nature is like an angry mother bear that you leave alone. We know what to expect so, we wish all of you in the path of Irene good sense, safety and home in one piece to go back to.

A Cape Verde storm in the North Atlantic Ocean, Hugo intensified dramatically and was already classified a Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Scale while positioned well east of the Leeward Islands in mid-September 1989.


Hugo then turned toward the northwest. Hurricane warnings were issued for the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. As the hurricane proceeded northwestward, the eye wall scraped the northeastern tip of Puerto Rico. Twelve lives were lost on the island and $2 billion in damage was reported. There was enormous damage in the US Virgin Islands where St. Croix was leveled.

After Hugo’s interlude with Puerto Rico, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) downgraded it to a Category 2. Preparations for the storm were made from Florida to the Carolinas. By Wednesday, September 20th, it became apparent that Hugo was heading for the South Carolina coast.

Emergency management officials prepared the area for a Category 2 hurricane, but on Thursday, the hurricane began to intensify rapidly. By Thursday afternoon, it became apparent that Hugo was going to be a significant hurricane.

Hurricane Hugo made landfall northeast of Charleston, South Carolina, near midnight on the night of September 21st and the storm surge was estimated at over 20 feet.

Fortunately, the eye of Hugo passed just north of Charleston, and the storm surge was highest in an area that was not highly populated.

Buildings and structures were devastated across the state, like this one that sustained massive damage in Charleston, S.C. (Photo credit: NOAA)

Had the eye passed even 20 miles to the south, much of the Battery district of Charleston would have been overrun with water. Considering the number of news crews operating in the area, many lives would have been lost. As it was, much of the communities of Folly Beach, Sullivans Island, Isle of Palms, and McClellanville were heavily damaged.

Sustained winds were in excess of 135 miles per hour as Hugo made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane. Another surprise for the forecasters happened inland. Because Hugo’s forward movement was nearly 30 miles per hour, the storm remained strong as it moved up through South Carolina into North Carolina.

Hurricane force wind gusts resulted in tree and power line damage as far inland as Charlotte, North Carolina. The remnants of Hugo moved into West Virginia and western Pennsylvania. Damage was estimated at over $7 billion.
This information from Weather.com

Wednesday’s Yarn Along from Small Things Blog

I have not made much progress at all on the dog blanket for the shelter, I am a very slow knitter! I did however finish reading Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss. Below you will find my review.

The novel, Chang and Eng by Darin Strauss was certainly one of the most unusual and interesting books that I have ever read. After all how many times do you read about conjoined Siamese Twins?
Born in 1811 on a poor fisherman’s small thatched houseboat on the Mekong River in Siam Chang and Eng lived a full but unusual life to say the least. It started out full of love and support but then came many troubled times for these most wonderful siblings. They had many adventures from being in freak shows in the circus to being married men with their own families.
Their father unknowingly gave them one of the best blessings of their lives when he taught them Gung-Fu at a very young age. This form of mental and physical exercise would prove to be invaluable to them throughout their lifetime as would an old saying he also taught them…Mekong fishermen stay abreast of change. River men’s judgment helps one to make the appropriate decisions at the appropriate moment and diminish the influence of fate.
Chang and Eng had two distinct personalities which often times made living attached to each other quite a struggle. They learned from their most loving mother that fighting with each other was fruitless so therefore they had no choice but to learn to get along well together. Their love and support of one another was very touching and sweet.
Reading about their marriage and family life as adults was most interesting. Their marriage to two southern sisters was especially unusual considering the time period. I will say that I would have come up with a slightly different arrangement than the one they used for their marriage bed.
I thought it very odd that they owned slaves considering what they had been through in life. The brothers were hard workers in spite of their handicap but they did need help in running the small farm where they lived during their marriage. I would think however that hired help would have been a more gentle answer to the situation.
Although there were many moments of happiness in this story it has more than its share of sadness. I did not cry until the very end and I can’t imagine anyone not getting at least the slightest bit teary eyed. The story of Chang and Eng had perhaps the most emotionally touching ending that I have ever read.
I put off reading this book for a long time thinking it would be far too sad to read. Now I am glad that I read it. By using the first person point of view in telling Chang and Eng’s story, Darin Strauss captured their true essence so very well. It feels as though I have personally met them and have been familiar friends with them for a long time. It would have been a most interesting and wonderful friendship.

Little Bug

Run little bug, run.
You are out in the sun now.
Hide near a flower.