Friday, August 18, 2017

Study the Insignificant

As the years have slipped by in the past 5 or 6 years I've been blogging, I've noticed that the  Poetry Friday offerings and Tabatha's Poem Swaps have matured and grown in depth and beauty - as I guess they would.

Wouldn't it be fun one of these Friday's to repost one of our earlier works with a new one - side by side, to see the growth?  Maybe that will be a post for another week.

Today, I have a poem in response to Irene Latham, who last Friday, inspired me to look at the Greek philosophers and use a quote as the basis for a poem.  I settled on a quote by Odysseus Elytis: "You'll come to learn a great deal if you study the Insignificant in depth".

Thanks, Irene, for inspiring me to squeeze out another bit of a poem!  It started out, just a study of a dandelion - that insignificant flowering weed.  I was going describe parts of it, but its small voice spoke to me.  It did not see itself as insignificant, nor a weed.  Perhaps we need to put ourselves in a better light, too.

The Small Sun

When I looked at the dandelion
Its sun sparkled countenance
Returned my gaze;
Its small rays reached toward the heavens
To touch the sun’s own outstretched
burly beams.
“Pick me and see
I am the twin
Of that orb in the blue,”
I held up the radiant blossom
By its pale hollow stem
and eclipsed the sun
With its grin.

by Donna JT Smith, 8/13/2017

My OLW "reach(ed)" is here, too!

Today I am in PA for tonight's production of "Jonah" at Sight and Sound!  So excited to see it later tonight.  We've seen "In the Beginning God" and "Samson" in other years.  It is such an impressive production.  If you ever have the chance to go - go!  It is amazing and you will not be disappointed. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Poetry Friday

I have been busy with grandchildren this week.  They are leaving just after lunch, so the legos, stuffed animals, crayons and gluten foods are all being put away until the next visit!
I have been writing some when I get the chance - mostly early morning or during nap time.
I wanted to share one of the days:

We went to the playground behind our local school where the kids climbed, swung, slid and ran, and ran, and ran.  And then they discovered a little house on a pole.  It was a Little Free Library.  I explained to them what that was, and how they could each pick a book and we'd put two back on our next visit.
My grandson, soon to be six, picked Chris VanDusen's "If I Built a Car" to take home.  It is an awesome book, written and illustrated by VanDusen, and the rhyming is just the way I like it!  And just right for my grandchildren, too!  Yay!
By request, his mom read it that night before bed.  The next day he had determined that he would design some cars himself.  He asked me if I had some paper he could use, and we rustled up some printer paper and some pencils and pens.
He began working, and continued during quiet time/naptime in his room, just like in the pictures in the book.  He emerged at the end of nap with more images to post on the refrigerator.
He wanted to build one now.  His mom asked if he was going to build a prototype and explained what a prototype was.  Yes, he would build some prototypes.
He set up a shop on the coffee table in the living room, with two Lego boxes and one of his drawings.  The first thing he built was the hot dog car - as seen in the book (the red and yellow car).  Many more cars followed.  It is a good thing that years earlier my son was really into Legos - and that I'd kept them all!  My grandson needed lots of blocks and wheels!  Oh, and doors!

My story/poem ... inspired by my grandson, the book "If I Built a Car" and the book "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie":

"If You Give a Boy a Book"

If you give a boy a book
He will want to read it.
Reading it will give him ideas.
When he gets an idea,
he will need a pencil.
And if he asks for a pencil,
he will also need some paper!
When he gets his paper,
he will lie down on his belly to draw...
He will ask for a blanket!
The blanket will be cozy and
he will think about taking
a nap.
When he thinks about taking a nap,
He will turn off the light.
That will make it too dark so see his paper,
and will ask for a flashlight.
His flashlight will remind him of
Headlights will remind him of
cars, and
He loves cars!
He will start to draw a car with his pencil.
When he finishes drawing the headlights,
he will realize that
cars need tail lights, too.
He will need crayons to make them red.
He will ask for some crayons.
When he gets crayons,
he will begin to color the car,
And draw lots more cars.
And pretty soon
he will have LOTS of pictures
on LOTS of papers.
He will ask for a stapler
to make a book.
And if a boy has a book
He will want to read it!


One of his very detailed cars - in blue ink


Permanent ink lines
Linking a book, a boy and
Transient cherished time.

by Donna JT Smith (aka Nannie)

Poetry Friday, it is!  Follow me!  I'm going to visit Margaret at Reflections on the Teche!  She's hostess for her birthday party today serving up delicious poetry.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Poetry Friday Here, Here!

Today is Poetry Friday, and I am hosting the party!  Yay!  Post your link for the party here:

Made with Padlet

Poetry Friday Padlet Linkups

It is summer.  Why, I remember it as if it were only yesterday when it was raining and I heard a robin's sweet song and I saw the first sweet rosebud on my rosebush by our house...

Sweet, huh?

So speaking of roses and sweet, my poem for today is about the beach rose - Rosa Rugosa - that can be found along roadsides and along beaches here in Maine. They are the absolute best smelling rose ever!  There's nothing like them for filling the air and surprising you with their sweet aroma as you pass by.  I have some roses given to us in memory of my parents, and from our church when we moved.

When Joy shared Jone's postcard and challenged us to write a poem about a little insignificant thing, I started writing this poem, and remembered I'd taken this picture a couple of days ago at the beach:
And after writing and posting the poem, I realized I'd also incorporated my One Little Word "Reach" in the poem, too!

RR Crossing the Sands

Rosa stands
In arid sands
With much to teach
About reach
Roots stray
Bursting to day
By mother
Forming another
She carefully aimed
And claimed
More beach:
Rosa’s breach.

The area in front of my house where we planted three rosa rugosas, is being taken over by new roses sprouting up all around the originals.  I laid stone around the area a couple of years ago, and there are new shoots coming up between the stones.  As beautiful as these roses are, they are a bit intrusive.  I am researching how to transplant some, so they can go with us to Friendship and so that my daughter and son can take some to their homes, too.  Though they are very hardy and resourceful when left to themselves, I have not been successful at transplanting any yet!

New Beginnings

Today is Spiritual Journey First Thursday and is hosted by Julianne at To Read To Write To Be.  The topic is New Beginnings.

I am a little bit unfocused on this topic, as I begin to write.  I have been ready for a new beginning that was to have happened this summer, and had it "called off" or at least "delayed for an undetermined length of time"...

Because the move was supposed to be happening on May 1, we packed most everything we thought we'd need at the new house; and made piles for Goodwill, for a yard sale, to give to our kids, to give to church, of trash, to keep, and of "I don't know about this stuff yet".
We started attending our new church just over an hour away from our present home, but closer to our new one...if we were there, that would make it convenient...but we aren't, so it isn't.
Kitchen in a Box... an ending or a beginning?
Then the hold-up occurred on the house.  Kitchen cabinets were kind of massacred and needed to be torn out and reordered from scratch.  When we were told the delay would be at least 8 weeks, we stopped treading water and kind of started drowning in stuff.  All our delays prior to this one had been for the ultimate good.  And so we must believe that this one was for some unknown, maybe never known, reason, though a good one.

But we'd never really seen a finish line before.  We'd never really started preparing for a move.  This time it seemed it would really happen, so we had begun the process - a process that has now essentially stopped mid-stride.  We are living in piles of stuff.  We stopped sorting.  Stopped throwing away.  Stopped caring.  Caring seemed to be too emotional, and we wanted to make it less stressful.  We wouldn't make it that important; it wasn't that important. 

However, instead of getting down to business and sorting at a more leisurely pace, we stopped that, too.  Beach trips, motorcycle jaunts, Starbucks, grand kids have all taken priority.  And now it is August with nothing more done.  I'm sitting in a mess, with few clothes to choose from each day.  I spend precious minutes searching for the paper towels or other items we've bought, but didn't want to put them "away - away".  Filling cabinets with stuff again seems so counterproductive!

New beginnings.  Sigh.  It seems that there is something wrong with the way we handled this delay in our new beginning.  Every morning I started with the thought that it would be different today.  Today I would surely pack more for the move or even unpack a small box of things I know we could use.
But which to do?  And then we'd go on a motorcycle ride to the beach.
We should really have a yard sale on Saturday.  But wouldn't a picnic be more fun?
The sun is shining.  It's hot in the house.  Let's go to the Flea Market.

Forget the new beginnings.  Each day is a new beginning for us.  And it doesn't matter where we are.  I have determined to stop feeling guilty for living in limbo and not attending to the day to day as well as I should.  I have determined - not quite succeeded yet - to just be content.

Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.  Philippians 4:11

I can't tell you how much I like to repeat this verse to myself!  It isn't permission to be stagnant, but it is a commission to be satisfied in what I have been given, and I have been given a lot.

New Beginnings

Beginnings and endings,
so closely aligned:
When one thing begins
an ending's resigned!
And though we might like
to hold on to the past,
Each new beginning is
better than last.
Reach for beginnings,
release what's been spent,
Rejoice in the chance
to enjoy what's been sent.
Begin each beginning
with smile and with grace;
And know that its ending's
just a lap in the race.

by Donna JT Smith, Aug. 1, 2017

Side Note: I'm thankful for receiving this poem - wherever in my brain it came from.  I was having a minor (which is always major for me) meltdown immediately after writing this post.  Then this poem suddenly emerged, and I am better now.  Breathing again.  Reaching.
Amazing how much that poem helped remind me of all the wonderful beginnings I've had in my life.  And that there are more to come.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Storm Poem in 14 Words

Today is Poetry Friday...though I'm posting this on Thursday, this is my poem share.  Thanks Linda Mitchell at A Word Edgewise, for hosting this gathering today.  I love your "Auction" of beginning lines today.  Such fun!  It would be fun to try in a face to face group, too, where you can hear the poets' thoughts and bids for a line!
I am stealing the line, I've won my bid for
Laura Purdie Salas has her 15 Words or Less Poem Challenge today, with a picture of a storm brewing over a skyline.  Here's my offering today.  It reminded me of a storm coming in over the trees and bluffs of Hokah, Minnesota, when we lived there - and LaCrosse, Wisconsin, when I taught there back a lifetime ago!  It's been long enough that I can look at it differently; back then it was much more serious.  Not sure I ever smiled when a storm laughed overhead.  Especially that one that leveled the home we were building and strew the broken pieces of the house over the valley.  Not funny at all, unless you ARE the storm.

This was not in MN - but in ME one night while out riding around.


Firs and bluffs
Tickle the sky
Chortles rumble
As tears tumble
From storm’s eye.

Donna JT Smith,
July 27, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

A Rhino-Whine

Poetry Friday, yippee! This week's hostess is Katie at The Logonauts.
Today is a Rhino-Whine...inspired when I saw Mary Lee Hahn's post about her stuffed rhino and the book Rhino in the House, the true story of saving Samia by Daniel Kirk.  Now I might have to read Rhinos Don't Eat Pancakes by Anna Kemp, which I discovered when I looked at the Samia book on Amazon.  Reading...writing...learning... it's just a never-ending cycle!
I ordered, on Amazon, the Shel Silverstein book Who Wants a Cheap Rhinoceros, and bought a stuffed rhino for my grandson when he was here last week. 

BTW: This figure was one I found on the beach between rocks.  He'd been abandoned between a rock and a hard place, so I picked him up off the deserted beach and took him home. 

My grandson, who is now 5 11/12, loves the rescued man, the book and the stuffed animal. It was his idea to recline the man on the rhino's snout (look back at the book and rhino picture), copying the picture on the book cover.   I haven't read him the poem yet.   When they visit in August, I will read it to him.  Hope he brings the rhino for a visit!

A Rhino-Whine

I want a rhino, big and fine;
A rhino that I call all mine!
I’d love her dainty rhinocertoes,
Her very pointy rhinocernose;
Rhino fine,
Rhino mine,
My love is rhino-genuine!

In my bathtub let her brine,
Brush her till she starts to shine!
When we’re finished doing that,
She could don my big sunhat;
Rhino fine,
Rhino mine,
In our deck chairs we’d recline.

Supine in the warm sunshine
Could it be it’s time to dine?
Browsing grass and leaves at brunch
Downing berry pies for lunch
Rhino fine,
Rhino mine,
Gives no thought to her waistline!

I’m in the “Buy a Rhino” line!
I’ll take sweet rhino number nine!
I want that huge rhinoceros,
No matter what the cost to us!
Rhino fine,
Rhino mine,
Remove her “Rhino For Sale” sign!

No longer will I sigh or pine;
No need for her to rhino-whine
This rhino’s coming home with me
For cookies, honey and some tea;
Rhino fine,
Rhino mine,
My world is now rhino-divine!

This distant cousin of equine
That some say looks like Frankenstein
Proves beauty's in beholder’s eye,
I think she's quite a cutie pie!
Rhino fine,
Rhino mine,
Perhaps I’ll name her Valentine!

By Donna JT Smith, July 13, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

National Macaroni and Cheese Day

Today is National Macaroni and Cheese Day.

Tabatha Yeatts, our Poetry Friday hostess today at The Opposite of Indifference asked around to see if anyone else would be interested in using this special day as a prompt for their Poetry Friday post.
I'm in!  So to celebrate this day, here is my Macaroni and Cheese poem.
I am gluten sensitive, and need to maintain low carb, so this is not my meal of choice anymore... but it is good stuff, and I remember it fondly!

Here's an interesting One Pot Mac and Cheese recipe to try.  Looks easy and yummy.  I've done a one pot spaghetti that came out great.  I might try this with a gluten free sauce and pasta sometime when I'm feeling like I can add a carb or two! (sorry for the ad!) If you wait through another ad you can see a Wafer Tater Tot Cheese and Bacon Sandwich...not Mac and Cheese, but I think I may have to do this someday!  When is National Tater Tot Day?

Here's my tribute to the meal of the day, jumping rope, and Mom's rules:

Ma Macaroni's Warning (a cautionary tale)

“Keep your elbows off the table,”
Ma Macaroni said.
“For that’s the day, I’m sad to say,
That you’ll be boiled and dead.
They’ll bury you in cheese sauce
With other elbow fellows
And bake you as a casserole
Until you’re golden yellow.
Then one by one and fork by fork
They’ll eat your hollowed hide,
And there’ll be nothing left of you!"
Ma Macaroni cried.
“Heed my warning, pasta,
No elbows on the table,
Or you’ll be in hot water
As dear Mabel sets the table!”
But then one day they all forgot
Ma Macaroni's law,
For pasta has such little sense
(Indeed their major flaw);
"Is it almost time to eat?
I set the table fast!
Is the pasta ready?"
Miss Mabel sweetly asked.
"It's ready! Come and eat!" Mom called,
Putting elbows on the table.
"Please, pass the cheesy pasta!"
Was the cheer from dear Miss Mabel.
Now there are no more elbows
on the table or a dish:
Tomorrow is another day
What's the rule for fish?
It has to do with fires,
And avoiding frying pans -
But that is for another day
And some old man named Dan.

by Donna JT Smith, 2017

More macaroni and cheese, please!


Jump rope chant:

Mabel, Mabel, Set the table
Don't forget the salt and pepper!
(lots of versions... but this is the one we said)

Nursery Rhyme:

Dan, Dan, the fine old man,
Washed his face in the frying pan,
Combed his hair with the leg of the chair,
Dan, Dan, the fine old man.

Please, please, make sure you have checked in at Tabatha's to see her poetic contribution today, AND all the other macaroni maniacs' commemorations, and the contributions of those who chose another poem for today.  You won't be disappointed!

Friday, July 7, 2017

My Writer's Card

Welcome to my Poetry Friday post.  There are lots and lots of poetry sites to visit, if you've never been to a Poetry Friday Party, go visit our hostess Carol at Beyond Literacy Link and click on more links!

Last week I showed you the front of my "business card" quotes because, well, is it a business?  I guess it's my "writer's card".  A card I can hand out when I'm writing something and need to let the person know what I'm doing.  Sometimes it might involve them, as being like the star of a poem...or their license plate or lobster boat is my topic.  It means they can easily get to the site and see what I've written.  I've handed out one card.  There isn't a big rush on them.  But I'm ready!

Here's the front again:

On the back I have part of this poem about whales:

A Wail of Whales

Once I heard
a herd at sea
The scene was seen
by none but me
I called and heard
The herd call back
A wail of whales -
Some plump humpbacks
Their siren cries
Salted the sea
The yearning calls
Assaulted me
And I walked in
Braved frothy waves
To greet them in their
Sea enclave.
I swam a bit
And gave a shout
My answer was
A waterspout.
Whales’ echoing
Off ocean floor
Gently nudged me
Back to shore
“We’re happy that you
Came to to see
What’s happening
Out here at sea,
But truly you must
Use a boat
For you never were
Meant to float
Nor sink even
For that is worse
You’re not a whale
And that’s a curse!
Next time you see us
Use a dinghy
Paddles, oars,
Or motor thingy
Don’t visit without
Safety vest;
Listen to us for
Whales know best!
There’s no spare air
In watery deep
Unless you’ve gills
Or you can leap
And grab with gusto
Air you need
Before you dive
Below to feed.
Next time you’re here
You should be found
By looking up
And not around.

By Donna JT Smith, June 17, 2017

Next Friday, July 14, is National Macaroni and Cheese Day!  Come join in the fun of some cheesy, pasta poetry next week!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Into the Dis-Comfort Zone

Pat at Writer on a Horse is hosting this month's First Spiritual Thursday with thoughts by bloggers on "Getting out of your comfort zone..."

Have you gotten comfortable in one spot?  It is easy to do.  I do it when I can.  It really is easier than moving on and taking chances.  Facing the known, no matter how unhealthy, unrewarding, even awful, it is, it is better than meeting the unknown - stepping out of your comfort zone and into the Discomfort Zone...

Being voted “Class Quietest” in high school, I was never one for speaking out or speaking my mind…I was a listener.  So you might say that my blog is even out of my comfort zone...

I think my most amazing step outside of my comfort zone, was singing a solo. Singing alone was truly terrifying to me - If I was singing alone outside of the shower or not in the confines of my car, I'd better be in a choir or a quartet...I could do those.  But not alone.  No solos for me.  I knew I would choke.  Positively die choking on notes.

But one day I was pushed out of my comfort zone.  Being pushed out of my comfort zone was like being pushed out of a plane!  Until I realized I had been issued a parachute.
I had been asked by the pastor to sing a solo.  Now if the pastor asks you to do something, you do it.  If the pastor thought God needed me to (let me rephrase that…) wanted me to, then that is what I needed to do, and somehow it would be all right.   I determined to do it.  I proceeded with much deep breathing, deep prayer, deep dread… and then laid it all aside, placing it in God’s hands.

I learned that I could sing alone in front of people, if it was for God.

When I did that, the most amazing thing happened.  He took over.  Took over my feet, pushing me forward to the front.  Took over my hands, taking away the trembling.  Took over my eyes, focusing me on the back window where for the first time I noticed that the lines of the two windows coming together high in the back wall made a cross.  Took over my heart, showing me that this was being done for Love. Took over my voice, putting forth a sound of singing I had never heard before.

That day opened up a whole new aspect of worship for me.  And I will ever be thankful that I was asked to step out of my comfort zone.  It would have been selfish, foolish and even prideful to remain in my comfort zone.

Because of our move, we have begun attending a new church that will be much closer to our new home.  There was a call for music “specials”.  It is a small church, and we have only recently joined.  I was going to wait much longer to “volunteer” to sing.

But then I asked myself “why would you wait to serve?”  Yipes!  That is right.  So I signed up to sing in two weeks.  This is going to be a totally new zone.  But I am assured that my “Comfort” will be there holding my hand.

Stepping out of your comfort zone, gives you the power to try another zone that you thought would be too far a walk. 

Maybe that is why I picked the One Little Word: REACH.  I’m not really one for reaching past where I'm comfortable, but the baby poem last week was a new zone.
Maybe that is why I tried the motorcycle.  Way out of my comfort zone.  I was sure I would never ever ride a motorcycle. But here I am riding in a new zone.
I can enjoy the ride now.  I can enjoy the singing now.  Who knew?

I wonder, what new "Discomfort Zones" will be conquered this year?  I must always remember that getting out of one's Comfort Zone just means there's a new experience that isn’t quite comfortable yet

Forging a rocky, overgrown, rough patch or "Discomfort Zone", it can become a well-worn path as we walk it often, taming it, resulting perhaps in a new "Comfort Zone"!

Thanks, Pat!  I'm glad I finally "talked this through"!

Friday, June 30, 2017

I Mean Business

I have spent time explaining to people what I do when I'm photographing their license plates to write a poem, and each time I've thought, why don't I just have a business card?  Then they could go read their vanity poem on my site someday.  But I never pursued it or thought about it again until the next time I tried to tell someone where to look for my poems.

But now I've done it.  And I even handed out a card last weekend.  Remember my OLW (one little word) for this year is REACH?  Well, I figure, the card is another way to REACH people.  AND (sorry for all the YELLING...but I'm not REALLY yelling...)
REACH I did.

We went on our trek to Starbucks last week, and the first thing (things? event? people?) I noticed was a group of 4 women, a man and a baby, all sitting together at the big table in the center of the room.  And they were happy, chatty and cooing.  The new baby boy was in the midst of all these adults, and though the baby was not giggling and smiling - being brand new and all - the adults surrounding him were beaming and handing him around the table for 5 or 10 minute stints with each one.

I was so enthralled with the happy group as I sat in a corner chair.  My husband and son were talking together, but I was watching the loving group at the big table together.  And I began to write.  I finished just as they were about to disperse.  They were clearing their table.  And I had to decide, would I or wouldn't I give them this poem?

I decided to reach out.  I walked over and told them I'd enjoyed seeing the joy they had at this new baby.  I met the mom - a local;  I met the great grandmother - visiting from PA.  I had them read my draft on the iPad, I gave them my card AND got their email address to send them a copy of the baby's poem.  They beamed some more, dropped a few more kissed on the baby and left.

Then I emailed them this:

New Baby Boy

Sweet the beaming smiles;
Love spills;
A family grows by one -
No frills;
By leaps, by bounds
It fills
The whole of souls
And wills
Our hands to fold
Each heart to hold;
And stills
Time briefly
He's overnight a man.

By Donna JT Smith

Hope you have a wonderful stay and enjoy that new soul! He is blessed to have such a loving family surrounding him!

I want to do this again sometime.  It felt amazing to watch the event, to be compelled to write, to take the moment to write and then to give that poem away.  I'm glad I took that opportunity to REACH out...and so glad I had my card!  

Oh, I almost forgot - when I gave them my card, they looked at the front and exclaimed, "Look what's on the front!  A whale!"  It's the mom's favorite!  Who knew my first card handed out, would be JUST one more connection that day?

Next up... head to see who else has poetry offerings at Random Noodling where Diane is hosting Poetry Friday today!

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:


Oh, Dat a Whay!

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

by Donna JT Smith


Oh, What a Day!

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

by Donna JT Smith


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).

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.


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:
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.



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!