Friday, June 23, 2017

Poetry Friday Bumbershoots

On Thursdays, Laura Purdie Salas has an image and a challenge to write to the image in 15 words or less.  This week she had a picture taken at the Maple Grove Chalk Art Festival where it had been raining. 
(Here's a portion of Laura's image)



Here's my response:

WHAT IT IS…

Oh, Dat a Whay!

On, shumberboots;
Up, bubber roots;
Through ruddled poutes!
The rind and wain are in hacoots!

by Donna JT Smith

WHAT IT WAS…

Oh, What a Day!

Up, bumbershoots;
On, rubber boots;
Through puddled routes!
The wind and rain are in cahoots!

by Donna JT Smith

TAKE YOUR PICK.


I have been "off the air" for a while, trying to get some things straightened out with our new house.  Maybe I'll try to write about it soon.  We are not there yet.  I am living in piles of boxes - some packed, some unpacked, and some half-way filed; and surrounded by stuff that has had to be unpacked because we had to have some item in the two month delay and  ever-changing move-in date.

We have just recently had installed a beautiful new set of kitchen cabinets at our new home, but it will be ripped out in a couple of days, due to a very poor installation job and some design problems... Good news, though.  Lowe's is covering it all.  It was really bad.  Really.  Bad.  Thankfully, Lowe's immediately responded and has treated us fairly.  I will continue to shop there and recommend them.  I don't even think I want to show the images of the disaster, as they have been so gracious and willing to make it all right.  I will show images when the finished kitchen is all displayed in it's buttery splendor, though!

Happy here.  Have a wonderful Poetry Friday!  Go visit our hostess, Heidi, at My Juicy Little Universe and see what poetry treats are in store!

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Poetry Friday - Avoiding Joy


It's Poetry Friday!  I love this day!  And I love visiting Mary Lee's site, so it is doubly fun today as she is hosting all our poetry links.  Go visit Mary Lee at A Year of Reading.  Check out all the other offerings!
Is this not joy?

Last week on Thursday, the Spiritual Thursday post was to talk about "finding joy". Margaret Simon had the prompt and was our hostess that day.

Well, I had started this poem about finding joy and then lost it - or forgot about it.  Then on Friday morning, I was looking for something and in my purse I found this folded up North Country Harley Davidson invoice with scribbles on it.  It was the poem I'd started while we were riding in the car, when I started thinking about the topic of Finding Joy, its original title. As I began writing, though, it was clear that it was more about how we can refuse to find joy, preferring instead to wallow in self-pity, depression, unhappiness...
Have you ever avoided joy?

I've seen people do this... ME?  Of course, it is more understandable when I do it!!  LOL!  The poem was spurred by my own actions at times when I just wanted to wallow or be difficult, and thinking about how hard it was to snap out of it and "succumb to" good thoughts and a smile!

I remind myself that it is easier sometimes to find the bad in things than the good when you are on a roll!  However, it is just as easy to find the good and get on that roll!  It might involve putting the brakes on hard and almost upsetting yourself to do it, but it is worth it and always do-able.

I want to stop the Pollyanna-eze here, though.  I admit there will be times when it isn't as easy as one would like, and I can't say I am always successful at it.
(Yeah, like this week when I wasn't too happy with some of the details of our kitchen cabinet  installation...  but I digress... back to joy so I can avoid going down that path again...)

Avoiding Joy

Did you ever avoid finding joy?
I know it can be done:
Refuse to muse on trees,
Deny the warming sun,
Turn from a dewy bloom,
Rebuke the glinting sea,
Look through disdaining eyes,
Hold on to jealousy,
Drain color from a sunset,
Remain in shadowed vale,
Still a robin's echoing trill,
Pursue a lonesome trail,
Trade the sweetest laughter
For hot and bitter tears,
Decline the tiniest hint
Of any smile that nears;
Turn away a touch,
Slough off all advice:
You haven't need of such,
Embrace your heart of ice.
I've seen it being done;
It seems a sorry goal
To uninvite a joyfulness
For sorrow in your soul
When it could very easily
Be welcomed in your heart.
It's hard at first, but when you do
A hum will likely start,
And slowly seeping past the doubts
It starts to overflow;
It's scary when the singing starts
With words you do not know.
Just go with it, look through new eyes,
The ones without defeat,
And you might find the world out there
Is bountiful and sweet.
It's more than we deserve in life;
Be watchful for each stone -
For turning them we'll likely find
Some blessing yet unshown.
Embrace the joy of blessings

Melt your ice with flame;

If you refuse the joy in life

You’ve only you to blame.




by Donna JT Smith, 2017

Have you ever avoided joy???

Friday, June 2, 2017

Golden Poetry Friday

This is a repost of my Monday, Memorial Day post - with a few additions and revisions:

I was reading, Laura Salas' Golden Shovel poem creation.  I had heard of Golden Shovel before, but wasn't sure what it was, so I looked it up.  It looked like fun!
Grab a line of poetry.  Use each word in the line in order as the last word in each of the new poem's lines.  Make sure to credit the original author.
I decided to give it a go - if I could actually find a book of poetry in this awful mess I've created around me in the process of packing, tossing and yard-saling for our move to Gull Haven.

I did find one book without unpacking or digging:

This one was still unpacked in a stack of books on a box in the kitchen.  It was a book of Rupert Brooke's poetry "1914 and Other Poems".  It actually has more than at that link; it is two collections in one volume.  The second part of the book is just Poems by Rupert Brooke.  My eye happened upon "The Voice" first, in the second part of the volume and it made me laugh.  I'll let you listen to it first, being read by Heine Smek.


Further searches brought me to the Rupert Brooke's Society page and an article about his life in The New Yorker online.  After finding "The Treasure" written in August of 1914, in the book, I also found it online.  It was this one I decided to use for my Golden Shovel Poem.

The Treasure

by Rupert Brooke

When colour goes home into the eyes,
   And lights that shine are shut again,
With dancing girls and sweet birds' cries
   Behind the gateways of the brain;
And that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
The rainbow and the rose: -
Still may Time hold some golden space
   Where I'll unpack that scented store
Of song and flower and sky and face,
   And count, and touch, and turn them o'er,
Musing upon them; as a mother, who
Has watched her children all the rich day through,
Sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
When children sleep, ere night.
August 1914

I selected the highlighted line to write my "Golden Shovel Poem".   It came out in one sitting with no edits.  It must have been the right line.  And I think it was affected by the mood of "The Voice", as select words were lifted from that poem also.

Treasure in Night
from Rupert Brooke's "The Treasure"

She, in solitude, sits,
The night speaks in quiet
Voice and she is handed,
The keys to a thousand dreams in
Place of the
Touch of his hand, memory fading
As the sun makes real in the light.


by Donna JT Smith, May 29, 2017 (102 years later!)

Today is a day like no other.  Go find a poem to befriend!
There are definitely some great links being posted over at Buffy's Blog!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

First Thursday - Finding Joy

Today Margaret Simon is hosting Spiritual First Thursday and has offered the topic - finding joy.  I started writing this as soon as the reminder came out from Irene.  I wrote and thought I was all done.  Then I went back and looked at it.  A jumble of thoughts.  A patchwork of words.  I didn't like it.  So I'm starting again.  A REJOICE.

Finding joy is about rejoicing.  You can always find joy once.  But can you do it again?  Can you do it again when you really, really need it?

Imagine you have a cookie.  And when the cookie is gone, are you still happy?  Can you get happy again just by thinking about it?  Or do you have to have another cookie to bring back that state of mind?  Sometimes we feel so close to God the joy is palpable.  Then we distance ourselves, and the joy is diminished.  We need another "cookie".  We need another prayer, a talk, a walk.  You need to keep close to Him and that closeness will bring you the joy you are seeking.

It seems that you can be unhappy and still have joy in your heart.  It makes the times of unhappiness more bearable.  This is a something that, though it can't be seen, others can sense even when you are bearing a terrible load.  They can sense that your load is being carried by someone else along with you.  They can smell those chocolate chip cookies and see the crumbs!  Be ready to answer the questions they ask about finding some of that joy themselves... share your cookies!

Isaiah 12: 2-4
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.
And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.

Once you find joy, it can bolster you and keep you strong through the worst of happenings.  How do you find it?  It is just a matter of remembering and turning to Him when the cookie's been eaten.  Actually, it's a good idea to return BEFORE the cookie is gone.
Joy doesn't need to come in "waves"; it can be a steady stream of rejoicing...a conveyor belt of joy!  Rejoice - Joy again!

Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say Rejoice!  Philippians 4:4

There's nothing better than to have joy again and again!

"Oh, rejoice in the Lord, He makes no mistake;
He knoweth the end of each path that I take;
And when I am tried
and purified,
I shall come forth as gold!"

The worst times don't have to be devoid of joy.  Joy allows you to be tried and still emerge strong.

Here's Ronald Hamilton and the story of how he came to be known at Patch the Pirate, and singing the song "Rejoice in the Lord" that he wrote about his experience (at about 4:13 if you just want the song).
Enjoy!



Okay, now I'm tired!  I've rewritten all of this, and I hope it makes sense!  I'm setting this to post at midnight, and I'll read it again in the morning.

Actually I'm probably going to find more joy in reading all the other posts about finding joy more than rereading this one!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Parenting the World

 Slice of Life Tuesday:
View from the top edge - a long way down!

View off the left edge

View to the right partway up.
We went here last week.  Took the motorcycles for a short ride down to the ocean.  It was a cool day.  The tide was going out, but was still pretty high on the beach and rocks.  It was a loud and boisterous sea.
We were on our way climbing the path to the high point that overlooks the open ocean and the sandy beach off to the side of it.  As we approached, we saw a young child on the beach.  There were two adults on the beach also and two more coming over the dune walkway.  I watched but both pairs ignored her and went on their way.  We continued to walk up the path and I spotted her again, now approaching the ledges with a small stick.  She began to climb up and wander toward the ocean side of the rocks.  No one was with her.  No one was close by except us.  She continued to walk up the ledges closer to us.  I called to her and she looked at me and smiled.  I asked her if the man on the beach was her dad and she answered something, but her voice was carried away by the wind and muffled by the waves crashing on the beach and rocks.  I asked her again and pointed to the couple that was below on the beach taking pictures of the ocean - though I was pretty sure they were not her parents, as they were not paying the least amount of attention to her.
I again asked her where her mom was and she pointed in a direction where I could not see a living soul.
I got very close to her face, so I could hear her and she could hear me, and then asked her to take me to her mother.  She willingly obliged, and began climbing down off the rocks.  This took a while and I would have liked to have held her hand and helped her down, but decided not to do that.
When she got down I followed her across the beach.  From behind the shelter of a driftwood lean-to on the far edge of the beach, a good distance away from the water and the ledge, a woman appeared wearing a trench coat and a brimmed hat.  She looked cold.  She began to walk toward us.
When we met on the beach, I told her that I'd asked the girl to take me to her mother, since she appeared to be alone on the rocks with lots of strangers around.  I was concerned for her safety.  Her mother said, "Oh, she's okay."  I repeated my concern.
"We were watching her," was her reply.
I explained how we have lost people from these ledges when a waves hits them.  She smiled and thanked me for my concern.  I asked her if she was from the area.  "Yes, Auburn," was her reply in a thick foreign accent.  Right.  If you aren't from the ocean, and in particular familiar with this beach, you tend to ignore the signs telling you how unpredicable the waves are and to be careful not to get too close to the water on the ledges.
She wasn't "from here", so I explained one last time how dangerous it was on the ledge with unpredictable waves, and turned to go.
The little girl asked me my name, and I told her Mrs. Smith, and that I was a teacher in the area. Her mom's eyebrows raised and she said, "Oh!" - kind of surprised sounding (and it seemed a little impressed?).
The little girl repeated my name.  I decided against asking her what her name was, but instead asked her how old she was.  She counted up 4 fingers to show me.

Anyone who has to hold up their fingers to tell you how old they are should have an adult holding that hand.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Golden Shovel - Take 1

I was reading this morning, early, Laura Salas' Golden Shovel poem creation, and decided to look up what this was and how to do it and could I try it if I actually found a book of poetry in this awful mess I've created around me in the process of packing, tossing and yard-saling for our move to Gull Haven.
I found out what it was AND I found a book of Rupert Brooke's poetry "1914 and Other Poems".

I also found the Rupert Brooke's Society page and an article about his life in The New Yorker online and the poem "The Treasure" written in August of 1914.

The Treasure

When colour goes home into the eyes,
   And lights that shine are shut again,
With dancing girls and sweet birds' cries
   Behind the gateways of the brain;
And that no-place which gave them birth, shall close
The rainbow and the rose: -
Still may Time hold some golden space
   Where I'll unpack that scented store
Of song and flower and sky and face,
   And count, and touch, and turn them o'er,
Musing upon them; as a mother, who
Has watched her children all the rich day through,
Sits, quiet-handed, in the fading light,
When children sleep, ere night.
August 1914

I selected the highlighted line to write my Golden Shovel Poem.   It came out in one sitting with no edits.  It must have been the right line.

Treasure in Night
from Rupert Brooke's "The Treasure"

She, in solitude, sits,
The night speaks in quiet
Voice and she is handed,
The keys to a thousand dreams in
Place of the
Touch of his hand, memory fading
As the sun makes real in the light.


by Donna JT Smith, May 29, 2017

Sunday, May 28, 2017

It's Sunday - The Book

Though this is not a response to Michelle's Ditty challenge for May, it was inspired somewhat by it.  The word "book" began to talk to me.  As we have been packing to move, I have been discovering Bibles galore in our house.  Everywhere I turn, I see a Bible.  Most of them were on bookshelves.  Most are unread - because really, how many do you NEED at one time?

I've realized that I have a problem with buying Bibles (and my husband does, too), but I'd never gathered them ALL in one place before.  Purple?  I don't have a purple Bible!  I need one.  Oooh, a snap closure!  I don't have one of those.  Zippered AND blue?? I'll take it!  
Sometimes we bought them and forgot we did.  We even rescued a perfectly good leather Bible at the dump once.  I now have my mother's, my father-in-law's, and my grandparents' family Bibles in our collection. 
And these aren't all of them - I don't even know how many we've given away over the years! Sometimes we bought them for kids at church when we did special programs, or to give to someone when they didn't have a Bible.  And do you count New Testaments as Bibles... there are quite few of those.
As I sit here I can count 12 Bibles in the kitchen.  There are more, but I can't see in the cloth shopping bag that is full of them.  I don't know how many are in the livingroom or the hallway, and my own church bag has at least one in there.
So to say we have too many Bibles for the space in our new small house would be an understatement.  I think we will be bringing our excess Bibles to our new church to see if anyone needs one, or if they want to keep some for new people as they add members.  We'll see.  Maybe I can keep a just a few extras for spares.  There is just something about knowing that I have the Word in my hands...
Oh, there is nothing like the smell of a new book - especially a leatherbound Bible.


The Book

This, my Book upon the shelf
has nowhere else to be
but in my willing hands
to open doors for me;
This that's carried in my hands
I've captured in my heart,
Reminds me where to look to find
a whole new way to start;
It's opened up new doors for me,
it stays close by my side;
No more residing on the shelf
with other books to hide.

This book is like my GPS:
It guides me step and turn,
with points of interest in each verse
and chapter that I learn;
This book is wholesome medicine
to heal a broken heart,
with remedies not understood,
no need to plot a chart.
It tells of mysteries we can know,
solutions we can reach
by asking for forgiveness;
Repentance mends all breach.

This Book once standing on the shelf
has somewhere now to be;
I open it with loving hands -
it reads my heart to me;
It comforts me and leads me,
Addresses every need,
It points me to the One who died
For every soul He'd bleed.
Reaching deep into my heart
He asked me once to go
To walk with Him and talk with Him
And let Him save my soul.

If not for my dear Bible
I'd dread what lies ahead;
I'm glad it called from on the shelf
and brought me where it's lead.
It pulls my heart strings constantly,
reminds me where to look;
Whispers soothing to my soul say 
God's within this Book.
And as I hold it in my hands
God holds onto me too;
I'm thankful for my Book from God;
How I pray it calls to you.

by Donna JT Smith, 2017


 Do I have a favorite Bible?  No and yes.  It is whichever one is in my hands.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Birthing a Book

Birthing a Book

Writing is like giving birth... same amount of pain and joy... same order.
Thanks  Michelle Barnes and Melissa Manlov for the challenge this month to write about how writing or a book is like something else...  Yesterday I posted Circus for Poetry Friday.  Today is Poem #2:

Birthing a Book

Giving birth to a book
Is no ordinary thing;
Like a true living baby
It makes your heart sing!
Right from the beginning
You knew it was there,
And though not all formed
You gave it your care.
You felt as it moved,
And it gave you a nudge,
And even at midnight
You’d feed it with fudge.
Some times this book-baby
Would make you feel sick
But cozying down
Sweet names you would pick:
That name, for a boy,
This one, for a girl,
Then back to the business
Of taking a hurl,
Until things settled down
And it grew and it grew,
Till the “Precious” you dreamed of
Emerged and came true;
That laborious birth-day
Was a day like no other,
For now you were newly
And truly a mother.

©Donna JT Smith, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Poetry Friday - The Circus



In response to Michelle Barnes' and Melissa Manlov's May challenge to write a poem that explores how writing or a book is like something else, I wrote this poem comparing a three ring circus to writing.  I have been in such a different mind place lately and not had the minutes to myself to write, that this challenge was a challenge.  I knew from the beginning it would be a circus, yet it wasn't coming through quickly.  So I doubted myself, and began to jot down other ideas of comparisons.  They were horrid, so I'd give up, knowing that none were speaking to me; then the circus would return.  Giving up on the idea of an easy flow of words, I let the rough edges of the circus take shape in phrases.  Then the "comparison" poem (kind of two voices) evolved, and I let it do what it had been trying to do all along.  Never fight it.  Poems do not like to be told what to do.


Circus

Step right up and sit right down,
The thrilling Big Top’s come to town!

I wake up, sit down to write…
Some thrilling Big Thought's brought to light!


Juggling rings, plates and balls,
Taming lions, tigers and all,
Throwing sharp knives,
Balancing chairs
Grasping a flying
       trapeze in the air...   
Swallowing flames,
And other such games;
Walking on tightropes
Lights flash in the dark -
Shot from a cannon
       just hits the mark!

Juggling words and phrases,
Taming lines, titles and spaces,
Throwing hands up,
Balancing rhymes,
Grasping a flying
       thought as it climbs...
Swallowing pride,
No corner to hide;
Walking a fine line,
Light glows in the dark,
Shot of caffeine that
       just hits the mark!


At end packing up tents
And daring events
       On to the next town

At end packing up pens
Yet daring again
       To write more thoughts down


One must never forget
       To set up the net

And, just as important,
       To send in
           The clown.


©Donna JT Smith, 2017


A happy ending is always good. 

It's Poetry Friday and Margaret at Reflections on the Teche has loads of links to share today if you are in the mood for a plethora of poetry!

Friday, May 19, 2017

A Poem Today


And She Grew

Step by step

In helical line,

From roots

to shoots,

A journey divine.

Donna JT Smith, 5/18/17

It's Poetry Friday.  Please take some quiet time to read some lovely works of art by visiting our hostess today, Kiesha at Whispers from the Ridge.
This was originally written for Laura Purdie Salas' 15 Words or Less challenge yesterday.  It fit in my thinking a few ways in addition to the image of the Arc De Triomphe stairway.  This was one of them.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Poetry Friday

Yesterday was my daughter's birthday.  Last week was her daughter's birthday.  We missed them both, as we are knee deep - "litterally".  Oh, we should have started this better last year.  The house is littered with years' worth of stuff - the dead skin of living in one place for a long time.  We have moved before, but most of the time it was to a same sized or larger house and so it didn't matter that we had lots of stuff.  Twice when we moved we had professional movers.  Oh, my they are fast!  And you just get to sit back and watch mostly.
One time though they moved our trash even.  Never asked anything about it.  Just packed it up and Voilá! instant trash at your new home!
We are not professionals.  And we are older than last time.  We are older and slower than molasses running uphill on snow.  But we will get there.  Slowly but surely.
I took a break and went on a motorcycle jaunt into town for a teacher certification meeting (retired but still working on mentoring and certifying teachers in the district), and then a stop for coffee at Starbucks where I met up with my husband on his bike.
Then back home to pack, watch a little tv and try to get to bed early so we can have another go at it.  No sense not having some fun in between, and making sure we don't get so spent that we have to take a year to recover!

See where the pot is?  See where the azalea is leaning? 

It's trying to stretch over to the lawn to get light.
 

As I sit here between the box of pots and pans being packed, and the already packed boxes, I can see my sorry azalea.  Years ago we set it, pot and all out in the back yard where we were going to plant it.   We didn't get to it that year, and the following spring we were sure it must be dead, having it's roots out of the ground all winter.  We never watered it or talked to it - gave it no attention.  And the purplish leaves of winter got greener.  It spent a couple years, doing this.  We'd discovered when we wanted to move it that it had put down roots through the small openings in the pot and was clinging to life, literally!  So we left it.  The third year, I believe it was, out sprang a single blossom.  And after that each year it sproinged more and more flowers.  It gives us the first flowers of spring every year nowHow can I leave it here?  Should I try to move it?

I wanted to write a poem for it.  I think I have before.  But I'm spent for writing today.  Then "Ding!"  a found poem from the paragraph above.


Sorry, Azalea

As I sit here
I see
my azalea
set pot and all
in the back yard
to plant,
never watered
or talked to,
it put down roots,
clinging to life;
it gives us
the first flowers
of spring now.
How can I leave it here?

By Donna JT Smith, 5/5/2017 And did you catch the finished Progressive Poem?  Go check it out at Irene Latham's!  It is a real treat, not to be missed!

It's Poetry Friday.  I hope you enjoy many more poems that are being offered today.  Go join the party at Jama's at Jama's Alphabet Soup

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Spiritual Journey First Thursday

Spiritual Journey First Thursday is here today. You may put your link below on the padlet. I'm REACHing a bit to day with the format, hope it isn't too far a reach...

REACH is my OLW this year. Last year was BOLD.  I felt that these two words are related in many ways and are showing a progression for me.
I was bold last year in my prayers for healing.  I was bold in changing my eating habits and losing weight.  I was bold when I told my doctor that this was a diet that defied contemporary logic of low fat, and was in fact the opposite of what the media and the health industry would have you believe.  I was bold when I told him I no longer needed blood pressure medication.  He laughed.  I was serious. He agreed to try it.  It worked.
I was bold when I signed up for motorcycle classes.  I was bold to actually go and get the license.  I was bold to buy a bigger bike to use this summer.  I was bold to decide to take my son's advice and ride the bigger bike as soon as I got it.  Whoa!  Scary moment alert... bold, bold, bold.  I can't tell you how MUCH last year was a total change to my life.

As of last August, I am a 50 pounds lighter woman who can hold her grandchildren on her lap, who can walk easily and quickly over a mile, and climb stairs without growing faint.  A woman who has gone to the beach in a bathing suit again, who rides a motorcycle and who can kneel at the altar again.  I thank God every day for giving me BOLD.

Now I want to continue being BOLD, but extend my REACH.  I don't expect to REACH this year, all the things I want to do, experience or know.  But I plan to REACH for them.
REACH is an action; you have to do something. (REACH = stretch out an arm in a specified direction in order to touch or grasp something)
I may not necessarily  "REACH a destination" (REACH = arrive at; get as far as.), but I can REACH for all the goodness God has for me, and reaching as far as I possibly can.

If you don't REACH, how can you attain?
If you don't REACH out to people, how can you connect?
If you do not REACH out to God, how can you ever know what He has for you?
If you do not REACH out, you will never REACH your destination, your goal, your prize.

Wondering where REACH is in the Bible?  I was.  I could only think of the Tower of Babel, reaching to the heavens - not exactly the best REACHers...

Then last night, as I was cleaning (I'm taking a 15 min. break every two hours and this is one of them) I reached into the bookcase and pulled out a very old leatherbound book on the shelf that didn't even know I had.

Inside the cover are the giver's and recipient's names:

"This from Nathanial Mayhew to his son
Nathanial Mayhew Jr., Portland"
Mayhew is a family name, so I'm assuming I got the book from my mother when she died -

Wow, this was a REACH into the past: 1828. 
It is a Concordance - Dictionary for the Holy Bible KJV, of course.

So I looked up REACH in it, and this is what I found:

And I saw it - the reference to one of my favorite images in the Bible - John 20:27, where Jesus tells Thomas to "REACH hither thy finger, and behold my hands: and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side; and be not faithless, but believing".
By reaching out and touching Jesus' scars, the "doubting Thomas" is then convinced of Jesus' identity.  I like that Jesus was not really angry with Thomas for his doubt, and was willing to satisfy him.

John 20:29 - "Jesus saith unto him, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed."
When we have doubt, we need to reach out, read, pray, touch His wounds, and let your faith flow and grow through that reach.

I want to reach out more this year - to friends, strangers, family and God.  I want to reach out and do things that take me just a little bit out of my comfort zone.  I want to reach for something each day that is challenging, and something that grows my faith.  I want to remember wherever I am to reach out - whether planned or spontaneous.

I'm REACHing out now and wondering how my REACH touches you today.  I hope that there has been enough "meat" to this word to make it worth your meditation.

I hope I have not just made a mishmash of this, that it makes sense on some planet.  I have been kind of exhausted lately.   The move has been delayed a week, and in some respects it is a blessing, as we are not finished doing the sorting and paring down.  Nearly done...but little bits here and there to go still.  I am losing things right and left.  Put something down, it gets swallowed up in a massive sinkhole of Goodwill shirts or buried under the debris headed to the transfer station...or maybe I'm still holding it and have forgotten it is right in my hand...

Please, add your link to the Padlet below.  Click on the + and a box will open.  Paste your link in it.  If you have trouble, leave the link in the comments, and I will add it for you. If this area is too small for you or you are working from a phone or iPad, you might want to go directly to the link for the Padlet and enter the info there.  It is live so it updates here, too. Link for the Padlet: https://padlet.com/djts/FirstThursday2017.
Scroll down through the padlet to see everyone's links for today!
PS - Go ahead - REACH...add an image if you feel brave!

Made with Padlet


Sunday, April 30, 2017

ZOOMWGN #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link to you.


ZOOMWGN

Zoomwagon

We had a station wagon - what?
You don’t know what that is?
Well it’s a kind of longish car
To take kids for a whiz.
You stuff them all loose in the back -
No fastening seatbelt;
They hadn’t been invented yet,
You don’t know how that felt!
We stood in back of Daddy,
And breathed on Mommy’s neck;
But if we got too rowdy
Dad’s hand would sweep the deck!
Sometimes we’d crawl way back to sleep
And peace would reign for miles,
But one would wake for bathroom break
And end the parents’ smiles.
Oh, it was fun to travel
To zoom on open roads
But I’m a’feared it wasn’t fun
For those who drove the loads.

by Donna JT Smith, 4/28/2018

A scheduled post for Sunday...
I have a picture somewhere of me and my four siblings perched on the fins of our 57 Chevy station wagon, looking pleased as punch - though in reality our faces were kind of scrunched up from looking directly into the sun.  That's how you always had to face in those black and white photo ops back in the 50's.
Found a station wagon that at least looked like ours!


And the last of the A to Z Challenge!  I made it!  Xselnt! Yippee! Zowie!

Here is a recap of all - Z to A!  Please visit more if you get a chance!
And that is it until NEXT year.

We are making progress in our sorting and paring down and will be moving on Monday! There are piles of things to keep us organized... yard sale items, Goodwill things, give-aways for friends and family, some with question marks, lots for trash.
But we did take about an hour off yesterday and went for a refreshing and invigorating motorcycle ride down to the beach, and then to the docks.  It was a beautiful day for a ride!
I'm sorry to see the end of April here already.  It has been a fun month of poetry.
For those who asked or wondered, I took all the pictures of vanity plates, beginning at the end of last year's AtoZ Challenge.  I have many pictures that didn't get put on the blog.  Maine has a lot of vanity plates - and these were taken only in our local area in probably about a 50 miles radius!
The Progressive Poem has reached its conclusion today!  Let's see what the surprise ending is!  Laura Purdie Salas at Writing the World for Kids is supplying the last line today!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

YOGA #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link you.

YOGA - an Acrostic

Yoga says Clear your mind; Become
One with the universe, But
God says, I am His creation;
And I must meditate on His Word.


Donna JT Smith  4/14/2017 

I'm betting this is a plate from a yoga instructor! I would have liked this one to be posted on a Sunday, but Z is for Sunday and it isn't Z and it isn't Sunday...

Only ONE more letter to go!
See you tomorrow for the end of the alphabet: Z!  (the only A to Z post on Sunday!)

Here is a quick list of the A to Z Challenge posts, so far: 
We have one more day in the Progressive Poem.  Check out what 30 poets have created - well, 29 today.  The last day is Sunday, and the poem comes to a conclusion.  We have been all over the stage with this one.  Check out where Charles at Poetry Time has taken the poem today!

We are moving by bits and pieces, out of the house and to our small home up the coast.  Some things are in a pile for a yard sale, some for Goodwill, some for friends and family, some with question marks, lots for trash.  This will feel good when it is done.  Right now it is just exhausting!

Friday, April 28, 2017

XSELNT #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link you. 



Still paring down and sorting, so I apologize for not getting around as much as I should!  We are going from about 2000 sq. ft. to 900 sq. ft., and on top of that we have been married for - well, let's see... this September it will be 45 years.  So we have plenty of stuff, even after the flooded basement and the soot damage from the fire 10 years ago.

Ok.  I'm on limited time.  I'm going to try to finish the A to Z tonight and schedule the posts just to be safe.  So I need to stop gabbing and get writing.  Below are my "Maine Vanity Plate and a Poem" for X.  Below that you will find my list of previous plates in case you missed them.

XSELNT

What part of speech
Is excellent?
Is it a noun or verb?
It can't be one of those things
For "to excellent" is absurd.
It cannot be a person,
a place we go, or thing.
So what is left for it to be?
I think I know it,  "Ding!"
Things can be so excellent,
As can friends or where you live;
It means the same as "Wicked Good",
So, it's an adjective!

By Donna JT Smith, 4/27/2017

Only two more plates to go!  Collect the whole set!  This Sunday is the last poem.  In order to get 26 this year, we have to post on Sunday, April 30.  I'll have mine scheduled to go, so check back for Y and Z!

Yesterday I used the definition of "excellent", "wicked good" as mentioned in the poem.
It is also Poetry Friday, and being hosted by JoAnn at Teaching Authors.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

WCKD-GD #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link you. 





Wicked good... a phrase often heard in Maine... means ultra good, the best, way cool!

Wicked Good

I think that I shall ever grow weary of
sliding on seaweed covered rocks hiding sidling crabs,
watching wind worn gnarled scrub pines survive a'salted by the sea,
staring up at regal King's pines shooting plumage straight to waiting clouds,
dodging silky seagulls swooping, snooping, scooping eating lunch for free
rolling along on acres of northern fields of bobbing potato blossoms
stumbling over farm grown rocks popping up faster than any other crop
spying on deer feasting on grasses, daffodils and any ornamental plant
breathing in, breathing out, listening to the whispering of waves nonstop
It's more than good;
It's wicked good.

by Donna JT Smith, 427/2017





Wednesday, April 26, 2017

VLCRPTR #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link you. 


Velociraptor

I’m called “swift thief”
A Velociraptor;
My fame misnamed:
I’m a “not so fast” captor .
I’m tiny, too,
But really fierce;
Admire my teeth
That rip and pierce!
I may be small,
But I’m tenacious
I seek more food
Always rapacious!
    -I’d feed on you
     For I’m predacious;
     But, don’t worry, dear,
     You run too fast -
     Remember what I said
     Of that?
No lizardy skin
As shield from weather
Instead I wear
Some bird-like feathers.
    - Well, that’s how scientists
      Think I was...
      But I'm Velociraptor
      Mysterious.

Donna JT Smith, 4/26/2017


In the middle of sorting stuff for Goodwill, yard sale and keep.  I just got this done on a break.  Another sip of coffee and away I go again...


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

UGONANY #AtoZChallenge

Notes about this challenge:
The A to Z Challenge is to write to the letters of the alphabet in order, one a day each day in April, except on Sundays.
To find more A to Z Challenge blog posts, click on any A to Z Challenge link I've made in this post. Read through the comment links on that page and see what interests you.  Read.  Comment. Spread the love of our alphabet around!
If you are commenting here, please include your post's link so that I can return the visit easily.  I'd like to visit your site, if you don't mind!
If you want to see where I've visited, click on A to Z Challenge in the tab at the top and it will take you to a padlet of links.  If you want to see yours there, visit me.  If you are doing the A to Z Challenge, I'll visit you and link you. 
  PS:  If I don't get to your site today or this week, for a visit, my post today explains WHY!
It is also Tuesday's Slice of Life at Two Writing Teachers where there are more links to snippets of life from teachers.


You Go Nannie!

We are moving this week:
madly dusting,
quietly fussing,
silently cussing;
Decluttering
while recluttering,
sputtering
 muttering
puttering;
Wrapping up my life,
taking pieces of it and
giving it away
to other lives -
We don’t need mugs for
every day of the year;
We don’t need towels for
every possible extremity
or calamity,
We don’t need ten chairs
in our kitchen of two bodies.
We will bring
just what we need
and nothing more,
Except maybe my mandolin
that sits by the door
that I still can’t play.
But maybe
in this new place
its mellow tones will grace
that shore.

by Donna JT Smith

I had this plate, too.  It has the same message.










 

By Sunday night, we should be in Friendship.  We have spend the past 18 years in Georgetown.  When we first got here it was an adventure living out on an island just a few miles from the beach.  Every night coming home from school, I crossed over three bridges to get to our island home we had built.  I got to see what vacationers see when they come:  the beauty in the rock ledges, the tall white pines, the rivers, the sandy beaches.  I got to see what the vacationers don't see: the inside of the little school, the town transfer station, the wildness of the beach in winter, the grounded lobster boats wintering on shore, the lobstermen repairing traps and painting buoys, the April day of the osprey couple's return from Jamaica, the departure of the osprey in fall.
When we first moved here there was a family of moose we might encounter at night as they strolled along the edge of our dark (no streetlights) road, browsing on the young birch and other wonderful greens.  Sometimes one would look in our big picture window to see what we were doing.
There were terrible mosquitoes, wasps and ticks, too.  But over the years, all these creatures seem to have disappeared for the most part.  No more moose stroll through, and the biting insect population seems to have gone down.
We had no squirrels for many years, but for the past five years there have been a couple of gray squirrels, a couple of reds (one with a partial tail), and some ground squirrels that have all helped tear up the blue tarp that covered our old lawn tractor to use the lining for their nests.
The deer and turkeys are plentiful and entertain us as they pass through, finding things to eat.  It is a safe spot for them, and they don't mind too much the barking of the dog.  The owls that visit us sit still and watch our comings and goings.  Once when my grandchildren were here, a pair of them sat in a tree branch over our driveway.
We had a grouse who came to visit and stay for a season.  He'd appear each time we came out of the house to follow us around the yard, tug on our pant legs and chase the car down the driveway each time we left the house. 

We said good-bye to our church family on Sunday, though we will be there off and on for special days or when family visits there.  But the church is over two hours away from us now.  We began going when my father died and my mother had no way to get there.  We drove her every Sunday from 2001 to 2003.  And when she died, we kept on going - over an hour's drive each way every Sunday.

I will miss all of this.  I won't be sitting by the same window as I type my blog, create my poems, paint my world.  My drive will still have the ocean, but not the same look.  I'll still have a chair by a window, but there will be no deer, turkeys or owls.  Seagulls will replace the owls.  I don't know what new moments we will make in our new home, but I'm sure they will be ones we could never have dreamed of.  It will be good, too.  Just different.

We bought this new house five and a half years ago. We've been slowly having work done on this "House with the Wrinkled Wall".  It is almost finished becoming a house that can become our home.

Retirement.
It has fully set in.

U - Go - Nannie.
You go.

What will be next?


Monday, April 24, 2017

THWAP #AtoZChallenge

It is day 20 of the A to Z Challenge.  I'm moving through the alphabet using vanity plates from Maine that I've seen since last year's A to Z Challenge (except for one - used an older plate not written to yet).
Here's your chance to expand your vocabulary as you visit some awesome bloggers.
My A to Z tab above will take you to a list of my daily visits to the A to Z posters, if you are inclined to see the Padlet of places I've been.  Or click here.



 
I just wrote these acrostics, and couldn't decide which one to leave here today, but since they are short and star the same beast, I'll leave them both as a double acrostic - since there are usually several "thwaps" at a time.  Kind of like "hiccups"...

THWAP!

Terrifying daily
Hazard of the
Woods and shore;
Agressors awaiting you -
Prolific, predatory mosquito!

Thwarted irritating attack as
Hand hits home, without a hitch
Welt averted, without an itch
Anticoagulating agent of a
Probing probiscus diverted!

By Donna JT Smith, 4/24/2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Sunday 4 BELEAF

Today is not an AtoZ day...it's Sunday.
Sunday is day 23 in the Progressive Poem over at
Let's see how our poem is coming along!  Last I knew we were on a ship, weighing anchor and sailing away!

Here is an "EXTRA" vanity plate and poem today.  Though it is not an A to Z Challenge day, it is still National Poetry Month. I'm doing a poem a day for April, and there are seven more days to go!


The acorn
falls Planted in places
Of rocks and rain But Sunlight
Is warming And that which was asleep
Inside begins to surge With life that 
Knows no other thing than To grow - Born To weather 
storms It knows no other direction Than up; It knows no other 
protection For withstanding the cold Times of life Than to 
follow the Sun To life in the Light. It knows no other option 
As the winds snap The tenuous, dying twigs -
       Those useless and dried, than to Hold onto
 those leaves And supple branches That bend 
and sway  Back            to  straight              And growing; 
    It has             no other 
    mission     Than to
continue 
tossing 
more 
acorns 
to the 
ground 
To the 
field, To 
Life and 
to then Stand 
to face Another storm
                             With    well-grounded         and      faithful     roots.                               
            by
                    Donna
          JT
           Sm
         i
            t
                  h