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My writing...reflections...poems...pictures...projects...life...in Maine.
All material on this website is © Donna JT Smith unless otherwise noted.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year


The new year sneaks in 
Past the old 
And lays claim to 
All that is 
And is yet to be.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Unwritten Thoughts

Sometimes when you are reading other people's material, and you make a connection . . .
like, "yeah, that's totally happened to me",
or  "hey, I'm with you on that one, dude". . .
but you never wrote it down . . .

Unwritten thoughts
Spilled and are lost
All for the want of my pen

Gone to the wind
Float to the sky
Never my musing again

Someday they will
Drift back to earth
Finding some other like soul

With pen in hand
They’ll scribe those thoughts
Claiming a notion they stole


Check out more poetry topics for Friday on Poetry Friday hosted by Julie at The Drift Record

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Carrot Pudding Angel


Funniest thing - just before I this happened, I read Christy's posting about the train wiring directions! Goose bumps.  I just had to post!

My husband and I went to RI for a couple of days last week on business.  As we were driving down, I received an email on my phone from my sister.  She had come across my grandmother's recipe for Carrot Pudding, hand written by our mom, on a little piece of paper tucked in an old cook book. Loving the sweetness of seeing it written in our mom's handwriting, she scanned it and shared.

A couple of days before getting the recipe email, I had been thinking about making my grandmother's Carrot Pudding for Christmas, but didn't know where to find the recipe.  Then, here it shows up in my inbox in Mom's handwriting!  I hadn't even told my sister...  I asked my sister if she might also have the copy of the recipe for the White Sauce for the pudding, but all she'd found was the pudding recipe.

On our return home, we discovered that our boiler wasn't working. To avoid steep charges for an emergency call, we waited until morning to call the repairman.  There would be no heat for the night without a nice fire in the wood stove. 

The next day, after the boiler was repaired and was again heating our home, I searched a few of my cookbooks and the Internet for the sauce recipe.  I finally found one that sounded close.  It had most of the ingredients I remembered, so I decided I'd use that.

Today, as I was doing some cleaning in my daughter's old bedroom, getting it ready for Christmas company, I heard what sounded like a low rattling coming from the basement.  I had heard the funny noise yesterday, but ignored it, thinking I'd mention it to my husband later.  Maybe it was the boiler again?  I decided to be a big girl and go check it out, just in case I needed to call the repairman.   But the everything was running smoothly.  I couldn't hear any unusual noise anywhere.  There was no more rattling.

A bit perplexed, I turned around to go back upstairs.  I went by some of the racks with boxes my husband had been going through, cleaning and repacking.  I stopped to look at a toy case with a fairy doll and a little stuffed dolphin that my daughter had when she was 6, over 20 years ago.  I didn't need those upstairs, but they made me smile.

I continued to the stairs.  As I did, I caught a glimpse of a pile of boxes off to the right, next to the basement wall.  The boxes were behind some fans and miscellaneous treasures on the floor.   There on top of the pile was a thick, faded red, familiar looking book.  The page edges were yellowed and the binding frayed.

"No," I whispered, "it can't be." (I really did.)

I shone the flashlight I'd brought down with me, but hadn't needed to use, on the book's cover where I was pretty sure I knew what it said. In large white block letters was "The Good Housekeeping Cook Book"  with a picture of a white baker's hat outlined below the title.
Mom's cookbook!  I didn't even know I had it.

I pushed fans and small boxes aside, and squeezed between them, reaching for the faded red cookbook of my childhood. As I opened it up, there were a few recipes cut from newspapers, and some other cards with recipes in handwriting I didn't recognize, but one scridge of paper was in Mom's pretty handwriting.  I don't know why, but seeing her handwriting is such a comfort to me.  It is something so personal in her absence, like a whisper.   And such a whisper it was.  On the little piece of paper was written my grandmother's Carrot Pudding Sauce recipe.

I'll probably never hear the rattling again.
I hope I do, though.

Guess what? There's going to be carrot pudding this year for Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

First Glove of the Season


I looked down.  And there it was.  Sad, lonely, waiting.
The first lost glove of the season.

It had followed its owner to Starbucks, riding quietly along in the car in the front seat.  Gloves had been very helpful in the chilly air as Mr. started up the car.  But it got warm in the car, so Mr. took off his gloves and laid them on his lap for the drive to Starbucks before doing a bit of Christmas shopping with Mrs..

Mr. and Mrs. had talked about what to get the kids.  New mittens, of course, would be on the list.  Having a basketful of mismatched mittens at home from prior seasons of cold, meant it was time to adopt a couple more pairs from LL Bean or Reny’s.

When they reached Starbucks they pondered whether they should go in or just get a drive-thru coffee vente.  Mr. thought they had plenty of time, so they decided to go in and enjoy a few minutes of Starbucks magic.

As Mr. got out of the car, the inevitable happened.  One glove fell to the floor of the car, while the other fell out on the cold, wet ground in the dark. 

Free at last! The glove was ecstatic!  The only thing better would have been if his partner had made it out too.  

The car door closed, Mr.’s feet just missed stepping on Glove’s thumb as he turned to go into the coffee shop.

It seemed hours in the darkness before they returned to the car.  Perhaps they will see me here, Glove thought.  But it was too dark.  The shadow from the car beside them, hid Glove from the light of the lamp post.  

Mr. opened the car door for Mrs. and then stepped over Glove as he got in himself.  They drove away without seeing, remembering or wondering.

They bought new mittens for their kids and even a couple more pairs to donate to the school for children who might forget their mittens on a cold day.  And then they drove home.

It wasn’t until the next morning, heading for work, that Mr. couldn’t find his gloves.  He searched the closet and his coat pockets thoroughly before remembering having them the night before in the car.  He raced to the car, fearful of what he might find...or NOT find.  

There on the floor was ONE glove.  Not two.  Not zero.  Just one.  

A quick search of the car confirmed it.  One of the gloves had escaped.  

Having one glove was senseless.  If they had just gone together, there was a chance they’d have found a good home...some cold hands that would welcome a nice warm pair of gloves.  But this, sadly, was not the case.

Remaining Glove was sentenced to the mitten basket with the other mismatched hand coverings.  Who knows, maybe those wanderers will return someday and again will be paired, left with right.

But I’ve seen Glove out on the street.  It isn’t coming home.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Is That You, Santa...Mrs. Claus?

Mr. Claus?
Mrs. Claus?
'Tis the season. Visions of sugar plums, hopes of glimpses of that jolly old elf...that's what's going on.
Last year in December, someone mentioned in passing that my husband and I looked like Mr. and Mrs. Claus. And this year, this week, out of the blue, on Monday, we were at our local Starbucks, and the staff exclaimed, "Here come Mr. and Mrs. Claus!" as we entered the shop.
I do not know these people. They are not welcome to sit on my lap, nor my husband's.  No one but me is going to sit on my husband's lap...although that hasn't happened since the time he said he couldn't feel his feet.

This morning we got on an elevator heading for the rooftop....well, the top floor, anyway. A woman was already on the elevator as we got on. We rode in silence to the fifth floor where the elevator stopped for her to get out. "Have a nice day, Mr. and Mrs. Claus!" she called back as the door closed.
Our bellies shook as we laughed. I didn't think to lay a finger aside of his nose as up the elevator we rose to the sixth floor, but we got there anyway.

So I'm beginning to think it is either time for us to get some color for our white as snow coiffures, or to get our round little bellies gone with that treadmill in the loft.

What's to dread, though? It's only one month of the year. I'm leaning toward just shopping for a sleigh, getting some warm, red, fur outfits and taking this show on the road. That would surely be easier than losing weight and coloring our white locks, AND you get to eat cookies.
Springing to the sleigh will probably be the toughest part.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Star



Linked to Dori Reads blog, hosting Poetry Friday for December 23, 2011.  Go there to read more great poems posted by others!

I am thinking about getting into the Christmas spirit.  This year Christmas comes on a Sunday.  I hope that doesn't interfere with celebrating Christmas...
now what was it I was supposed to be remembering on Christmas?

There's so much to do, 
with fruit cakes to make, 
Decorations to strew,
and cookies to bake.
There should be some stockings
to hang with some care,
And a tree to install
or the house will look bare!
The manger must grace
the uppermost shelf
Where it will be safe from
Cat, Grandson and Elf.
The turkey once bought
will have to defrost,
But first I'll buy presents
no matter the cost.
Lights will adorn
the windows and more,
And a wreath will encircle
our humble front door.
Put out the NOEL mat
To scuff off all shoes.
Get out the Santa mugs;
there's no time to lose,
For Christmas is coming,
It's most certainly near,
But let's not forget
Why our hearts should have cheer.
It isn't the presents.
It isn't the throngs.
It isn't the lights,
Nor the Rudolphy songs.
Remember that Jesus
to this earth was sent.
Remember the reason is
what His birth meant.

My 150th post!  Yea!





Thursday, December 8, 2011

Love Grows



My 15 words for today...
For my husband.

Just when I think
Our love
Is fully
grown -
New shoots
On old branches
Appear.

Note to self and others: I wrote 379 words to come up with these 15.  Sometimes you just have to write a lot to get a little.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Quinzaine for Cold Rain

 

Quinzaine comes from the French word quinze, meaning fifteen. 
A quinzaine is an unrhymed verse of fifteen syllables. There are seven syllables in the first line, five in the second line and three in the third line (7/5/3).The first line makes a statement, and the next two lines ask a question relating to that statement.
I used the Quinzaine format, to make a longer poem of 8 stanzas.

My husband killed a spider last night...and we all know what that means for the weather. 
And of course the dog got alerted to something...probably the rain. 
She usually does that when my husband isn't home.  I love that. 
Don't get me wrong; I'm happy that she lets me know about dangers
and such, but she usually goes and hides, barking from a distance. 
And then when all quiets down and you're all cozy and comfy, don't
you just hate when you have to uncozify and uncomfyize to wake up
and go to bed???
  
The dog growls low and then barks.
Did she hear something?
Is she scared?

Such a cold and rainy eve.
What would comfort you?
What would warm?

Grab a good book from the stack.
Do you consume books?
Do they you?

Flames from the logs rise and flicker.
Are they comforting?
Do they dance?

Embers are mesmerizing.
Might they hypnotize?
Do they glow?

Warmth emanates from the hearth.
Does it caress you?
Does it seep?

The cold and rain seem distant.
Are you comforted?
Are you warm?

Drowsiness soon overcomes.
Will you crawl to bed?
Will you stay?
 
267 words today

Sunday, December 4, 2011

To Great Grandparents


The eyes don’t have the depth of color
But twinkle just as nice.

The ears don’t hear the quieter sounds
But listen for them twice.

The legs don’t move as fast as once
But make a comfy lap.

The arms don’t hold the weight they did
But hug you while you nap.

The lips don’t always speak as quick
But hum a happy song.

The heart doesn’t seem to beat as loud
But loves you just as strong.


*I know some of these should have 'ly' at the end, but I don't care...poetic license, doncha no.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

We


We may be older
We may be slower
But only because we have
Lived long.

We may be more sore
We may be more stiff
But only because we have
Lived fully.

We may be more deaf
We may be more blind
But only because we have
Lived aware.

We may be more reserved
We may be more discerning
But only because we have
Lived watchfully.

We may be more loving
We may be more forgiving
But only because we have
Lived with faults.

We may be wiser
We may be happier
But only because we have
Loved truly.

Friday, December 2, 2011

A New Child


A new child
Untold tale
Nothing’s been scribed
Or erased

Tabula rasa
A blank slate
Nothing’s been etched
Or traced
 
Beginning now
No regrets
Nothing’s been tried
Or tossed

Newness of life
Fresh new start
Nothing’s been won
Or lost

Life beginning
Script to come
Everything’s planned
And known

Guided soul
From the start
Something once hidden
Now shown

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Best Friends


I was cleaning today and found this poem I'd written in 2008.
I remember feeling this way as a kid.  I had a few "best friends", depending on the day and the situation - what I felt like playing that day, where I was in the neighborhood, who had come to my house...
As a teacher, at recess duty, I always tried to imagine myself at play again with the imagination and enthusiasm of these charges that are "off duty" from the classroom.   I treasure the glimpses into their world.

Swinging, sliding,
Playing tag with a friend,
Laughing and racing
Every day without end.
Best friends forever,
I looks like we might
Be best friends forever.
Who cares if we fight?
The next day we're back
To share a new day
Ride on our bikes and
Run off to play.
Best friends forever,
It's our goal to be
Best friends forever
Just you, you and me!

Oct. 21, 2008