Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Divine Disaster

When my mother died I claimed her mixer,
But it was missing a large bowl,
So I bought a set of several sizes,
Thinking this would make it whole.

I was making a carrot cake for
The birthday of my "other mother,"
When the batter slung all over the kitchen
Like sweet, orange melted butter.

The mixer twirled that bowl around
At such a fantastic speed
I wished I had a sister here;
We'd have had quite a laugh, indeed.

It seems that my mom's mixer is
Much more powerful than mine,
Or is this a little prank they played,
My mom and her Divine?

Stupid Substitutions

When dealing with any form of technology
I always assume the jokes will be on me.
I found an easy way to substitute words,
But it led to words that I've never heard.
I thought I was changing a name from Ann
To May; at least that had been my plan,
But, lo and behold, the program when in doubt,
Sought the centers of words and cast them out.
All my many references to canning food
Were changed to cMaying; that wasn't good.
In my book about farm life this word appeared
Several hundred times. Oh Dear!
I'm going through the work to change them all back;
Technology may give me a heart attack.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

OCD in Action

Richard is now a tour guide, even though he will not boast.
People come to see the PT Boat and he becomes their host.
They probably get more information than they ever thought they needed
Like how many nuts and bolts are on board and what horsepower is exceeded.
He is so proud of this project that he often is elected
To do many detailed and risky jobs that, by others, are rejected.
Like crawling around in the rotting hull, taking photos of the structure
Risking life and limb if the planks choose this time to rupture.
He then painstakingly catalogs the pictures and the plans;
These picky jobs have been his specialty since the museum began.
Whoever says that OCD doesn't have a positive side
Has never had Richard as part of their team or their historical tour guide.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Refashioning Families

A big problem with families is the passing of the buck,
Blaming those who are close to us for our bad luck.
It is also convenient to have a several to blame
For decisions of our own that turned out to be lame.

There are many joys in having second chosen mothers,
And siblings by choice, be they sisters or brothers.
We start out with no baggage and no competition
For which one of us has the greatest erudition.

We can bring small gifts that really mean nothing,
But are simply a little "remember me" offering.
We can also limit the time we spend together
To opportunities to help each other feel better.

This isn't an option in families, of course
Unless the family members are willing to divorce.
Then all can be rosy, and sweet, and kind
"In love," not love, is that which is blind.

So what does one do to take care of the pain
That we bring home with us time and again?
Some have a cocktail; some say a prayer;
Some go into hiding; wishing no one was there.

One joy of retirement when the children have gone
Is that we can set the moods in our own homes.
No more are there pressures outside of ourselves
On which either of us is forced to dwell.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Being at the Beginning

A best friend came to visit, one who knows me well;
We reminisced about our lives, our heavens and our hells.
We took very different paths through family, faith, and fame
But, in the end, what we longed for was to be back home again.
There are so few friends who can look deep into our souls,
And aren't afraid to expose the things that keep us from being whole.
These friends are treasures because we have such long history
Where, in new relationships, who we are is a mystery.
It takes too much energy to begin at the beginning,
Continuing explanations for why we can't keep from sinning.
These friends already have deep understanding in their eyes;
Their compassion for us, once again, pulls the truth out of our lies.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Computer Crash

My computer isn't budging, even a little bit;
That bad case of worms is giving it a fit.
I don't know if the patient can be resuscitated;
Having a back-up machine can't be overrated.
How else would I keep in touch with Jack's new editor?
And work on my own book wouldn't get very far.
Richard took my computer to a friend to see if it's alive
But I suspect, it's permanently gone to the great bye and bye.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Star Status

I don't know how other parents live in their grown children's homes;
I guess it's sometimes the only alternative to living all alone.
I love to be treated as visiting royalty when I arrive
But if they saw me every day, I'm sure this wouldn't survive.
My granddaughter and I play games and snuggle in the bed;
She reads to me from books which I'm certain she's already read.
My grandson shows off his talents and his many friends,
And I don't want that magic to ever come to an end.
I love my son's sense of humor, but he sometimes gets carried away;
Because I'm in his house, there are many things I don't feel free to say.
His wife and he have discussions in which I'm not invited to take part;
This is just as well; it's hard to stop once my mouth gets a start.
Kisses and hugs all around when I come and when I go again;
Coming home to our own routines helps my star status to remain.

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Baby Brother

Yesterday was my brother's birthday;
What he meant to me
Was a precious baby brother;
That's not all he was meant to be.

He was a world-class hugger;
This turned out to be a shame,
Because so many women
Treated it as a game.

My beautiful brother was betrayed by friends,
Women and men alike.
He took to hiding in drugs;
His misery continued to spike.

My brother's faith in relationships
Had been so diverted
By the hypocrisy of authority,
Which, the powerful, had perverted.

He looked for mentors in older men,
But they led him further astray.
I wish these people were still around
To accept the hurt they lay.

My brother is long since dead,
But his memory lives on in me.
When I look into my husband's face,
My brother's love is some of what I see.

I am blessed to share life with a man
As huggable as my baby brother;
I only wish that more people
Didn't, their affections, cover.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Morning Man

I love waiting for my husband to rise
To see the joy of living in his eyes.
I'm honored that this joy includes me,
And that he shares with me what he will see.

We'll sit and have coffee together;
We will comment on the weather.
Then we may go on to discuss
Whatever else occurs to us.

On these mornings, he loves breakfast
Eggs and pastries are a must.
Then a day of working with near other
All the fires of our lives to smother.

Tomorrow we'll trade our morning chat
For tales of his work when he gets back.
Today, there will be no tales
With which on workdays he, me regales.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Temptations of Technology

Now my computer tells me we have worms
That seem to spread like viruses and germs.
Technology is so darn unpredictable;
Why does it have such a powerful pull?
For me it is my infinite university
Where I can study anything for free.
I've made friends that I may never meet,
But they still make my life more complete.

I have been able to help publish a book
Without having to leave my writer's nook.
I can email friends at two in the morning,
And enjoy their replies as day is dawning.
I get a bit spoiled not having to dress,
Or worry when my house or hair is a mess.
I can sit by my keyboard and feel connected
Without the worry of being rejected.

I could have our groceries delivered,
And never have to speak a word.
With writing, nobody can misunderstand
And ascribe evil to the message I'd planned.
The big, wide world comes to me;
Through the computer, everything I see.
But the pleasures of a friendly voice and face,
The wonders of technology will never replace.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Looking Forward to Life

The new computer monitor is in;
Let the publishing games begin.
My surgeon has released me;
I'm now free to simply be.
Today is a day to grab life by the tail,
And, once again, let my spirits sail.
Thankfully I'm grounded once again
By the people who insist on my acting sane.

Otherwise, I float too high, too fast;
This kind of energy simply cannot last.
While it's exciting to soar and dip,
The downward spiral is a scary trip.
So I'll continue taking time to observe
Before I make myself a scourge.
I'm looking forward to this shared life,
And happily continuing to be a wife.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Surrender to the Seasons

What a storm we had yesterday; the sky was torn asunder.
We threw open all the windows on the world
To see, smell, hear the lightening and thunder.
This morning, the air is cool, clean, and fresh;
I think I can smell fall on the gentle breeze.
This is the fine fantasy with which I am blessed.
This month actually is the worst of hurricane season;
We all know our world could suddenly be washed away.
Meanwhile, I'll enjoy these lovely days that defy all reason.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Friends and Failure

I had a sister who thought her only friends
Were those who followed her to her bitter end.
I am more inclined to celebrate
Those who help me be first rate.
Sob sisters seem to come by the scores,
Knocking down each others doors.

I like people who seek my best,
And put my strengths to the test.
Those who cheer for me when I win,
And when I fail, help me begin again.
These are the people who set me free,
From my past fears and self-pity.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Possible Possession

I believe my ambitions may be possessed
Or is it the technology with which we are "blessed?"
Three times I have made an attempt to format my book;
Twice, the software gave it a new look.
I finally think I figured out the format problem
But, through hardware glitches, I'm stymied again.
Will the computer problems ever relent?
Will I ever see my work in print?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Savoring the Soup of Living

Living large is more enjoyable when done in a group
Life doesn't all have to be steak dinners with wine;
Sometimes we like a bowl of soothing, homemade soup.
The soup that I like the most is a shared project;
Even the most humble meal is a celebration
When made by friends with no egos to protect.

We don't want constant complainers or team work saboteurs
We want only those who are committed to the team;
There's enough injustice we are forced to endure.
We want only those willing to share their strengths,
Those who are ready to do whatever is their part
Without each team member's buy-in to the whole soup,
The project is off to a disastrous start.

I know this isn't political or very nice to say,
But we really don't need any team members
Who will simply sit by themselves and pray.
Babies need tending while the parents stir the pot;
We need no preachers, comedians, or entertainers
If that's all the talent you've got.

I like working on teams where everyone is heard,
Where we must all wait our turns to speak
So we don't miss out on each other's words.
Today you may be required as the officer in charge,
If this particular plan needs your expertise,
This is your place in today's living large.

We also need people who are willing to sweep the floors;
We need people who will wash dishes well,
And those who will stand guard and lock the doors.
The people who run the errands are no less valuable
Than the people who write up the plans;
We all have our own weight we must pull.

It is always my hope that when the soup is done
The whole team will sit down to supper,
Nobody will feel the need, or have to, run.
We praise each other, give thanks for our gifts,
Savor soup, and bask in shared glory;
A job well done together is my pure bliss.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sights of Summer

My little family is back at the pool;
Granny in her pink hat, looking cool.
The baby boy jumping into her arms,
Knowing she'll allow him to come to no harm.
The young mother teaching her daughter flips,
Not once does her ability slip.
Then she throws her daughter as far as she can,
The child squealing with laughter since it began.
Another mother shows up with camera in tow,
Her pre-teen daughter has a summer tan's glow.
I will miss the people having such fun
When the winter doldrums have begun.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Rhetoric and Retirement

There is a saying that talk is cheap;
That's because most talk isn't very deep.
The talk about our neighbors and the weather
Is about as valuable to me as a feather.
I prefer talk in which I learn something
And talk that, to my fears, give wing.

I have never been good at small talk,
And from angry words I tend to walk.
Are bits of truth hidden within
Casual words of women, and of men?
Or are words simply a way to kill time
Free of the need for reason or rhyme?

I so look forward to time with dear friends
Where words are usually a means to an end
Of seeing each other all the way to our souls;
When with these friends, I feel more whole.
This cannot be done well in a social setting
Something, we who do lunch, keep forgetting.

Over salads, it's hard to suppress the urge,
Our deepest feelings and thoughts to purge.
When the door has been opened, how do we end,
And once again, into the outside world, blend?
I'm trying to remember that retired friends and I
Now have time together to laugh and to cry.

We no longer have to hold in our true selves
That, for years, we had no time on which to dwell
Months don't have to pass while we live away
Wishing for more time together to have our say.
Now we can parcel out our triumphs and travails,
I hope my sense of urgency will soon pale.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Cajun Cure

I've been feeling a bit disconnected;
This has caused me to feel dejected.
We finally hit upon something, I was sure,
Would, once again, make my soul seem pure.

Yesterday, we returned to my roots,
On the bayou with my Aunt Toots
Also in his eighties, Uncle Roman,
Laughing at surprises for which they can't plan.

The greatest gift they always give,
Is joy in having purpose for which we live.
Next time we take a trip to down below
My aunt's going to teach me Grandma's gumbo.

Grandma and her husband owned a general store,
But, for much of their lives, they were very poor.
They threw away nothing, every scrap was used;
The flavors of the meat scraps, Grandma's gumbos infused.

There was chicken, bologna, salami, and ham,
And always a roux, browned with loving hands.
The rest of her secrets, she never did say,
But the finishing touch was a spice called filé.

I will learn to make it, with Aunt Mabel's advice,
Then we'll sit down to a supper of gumbo with rice.
My cousins will come to share a few laughs,
The finishing touch on a Cajun repast.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hiding from Homicide

A lot of days, all I do is hide
So I'm not tempted to commit homicide
Against the many who get great joy
Bringing forth tears from small girls and boys,
Thinking they are preparing them
To hold their own as women and men.

Even on the sportsman's field
Their are rules, to which we yield.
Players are matched by size and age;
This, for the cowards, should set the stage.
It is easy to win when there are no rules
And the youngest and weakest play the fools.

Justice dictates that there be fair play,
Or the biggest bullies always win the day.
Many of us are simply overwhelmed by life;
Communities should share each others' strife.
We can act as referees and partners for each other
If we look upon all as sisters and brothers.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Babies as Bombs or Blessings

Watching out my window, I learn a lot about folks as they watch their kids at the pool and walk their dogs. It seems that the men are mostly on stand-by for emergencies, while the women want to bond with someone else, even if it's not with their children. Women also come to the pool with all kinds of equipment for hygiene, safety, and play.

When a woman walks her dog, she has on her exercise attire, something to drink in her hand or fanny pack, a poop bag, and her cell phone. The men wear whatever they are going to wear the rest of the day; if they're drinking anything, it's coffee or a beer; and they decided to walk the dog to get away from conversation. They know that the condo complex supplies poop bags every fifty feet along the water. If they happen to receive a surprise package from their dog, and they happen to be near a poop pick-up station, then they bend and retrieve the specimen. If not near a poop bag, they generally walk on and figure it's biodegradable, so what's the problem?

Wise women want to be prepared; most men think they are prepared. I think it's because many men love the rush it gives them to figure things out on the fly. That's what heroes are made of. Wise women are afraid of domino-effect consequences, so they over-prepare for every event. Men stay lost in their own thoughts until time to spring into heroic action, leading to a ticker tape parade in their honor. I think we could get more dads to change diapers if we presented dirty diapers as bombs needing to be defused before they detonate, catching them in terrible collateral damage.

Dads also seem to believe in the principle of survival of the fittest; whereas mothers tend to their children as if each is a precious and unique jewel. Dads walk and expect their charges to step in line behind them; mothers spend must energy gathering their chicks under their wings and checking to make sure that nothing is swooping down from the sky or sneaking up from the savannah to grab their baby birds in its sharp-taloned claws.

Dad's figure that you gotta let 'em learn the hard way; if they're scared of the water, throw 'em into the deep end. They'll either drown or swim. Because there are now laws against letting your child drown to teach him or her a lesson, once the emergency is dire enough, dad will save you. Then you have to sit out until you can stop crying like a big baby. What doesn't kill you, will make you strong.

Maybe we should have dads walk around with bowling ball-sized hand grenades strapped to their bellies until the babies they make are born. At the baby's birth, we pull the pin. Everything the dads do, they'll have to hold on tightly to the pin in their bowling ball or risk being blown sky-high. Do they want their progeny to be bombs or blessings?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Soaking In the Spirit and Sunshine

Yesterday, I went out and soaked up some sun;
Floating in an empty pool certainly was fun.
I took a book, Gandhi's autobiography,
And read of his search for religious veracity.

When I felt that I had filled my mind,
I'd close my eyes and float to unwind.
What better place to search for eternity
Than under the sky sheltering all we can see?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer Slipping Away

Now that the children are returning to school,
Will I see nothing but an empty pool?
And what will I watch instead of young sailors?
The harbors too small for racing Boston Whalers.

Maybe the multi-generation family,
Whose babies look too young for academies,
Will still take their afternoon swim;
I get a lot of pleasure from watching them.

In the cooler early morning hours,
Long before the daily summer showers,
There are people jogging in the sea breeze
And many walking with dogs they pretend to lead.

There's always something to watch,
Looking out my window near the docks
Simply observing the ripples on the water
Often restores serenity to my thoughts' order.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Vicarious Vacation

The children we have so loved
Have grown up to be good,
Better even than I let myself
Hope that they could or would.

If I never have a new adventure,
I'm ready to enjoy the afterglow.
Come sit by me and tell me
What you did and what you know.

Don't forget to include
All the fun we used to share,
Back in your younger days;
There's so much fun back there.

There is so much of my young life
I have no one with whom to remember,
But I would like to savor your joys
Until we've burned out every ember.

Nothing gives me greater joy
Than seeing your happiness today.
This is what I hoped for
And, for what, I still do pray.

When you come back from vacation,
Let's plan a show and tell.
This way I can feel that
I was on your vacation, as well.