Lingering on a Corner

Imagining
Rolling hills
Once covered
In grass and dirt
Graced
With trees
And fields
As far as
One could see
Now paved
Rolling hills
City streets
Perfectly lined
With building
After building
Architectures
New and old
Juxtaposed
To create
An endless
Visual puzzle
Architectures
As varied
As the languages
I hear while
Waiting in a line
For breakfast
City of diversity
In every sense
I’m captivated
And caught
Between
Wonder
And Grief
Marveling at
All that surrounds
While walking
Down sidewalks
So many call home

Macaroni and Cheese

I like macaroni and cheese. In high school, that and baking a cake were the extent of my cooking. My mom even entered a recipe on my behalf for a church cookbook one year. Not a cake. Oh no, it was the instructions from the back of the Kraft macaroni and cheese box.

My kids also like mac-n-cheese. It was a staple in our house. Of course, I always tried to pair it with broccoli or green beans. Balanced meals, you know.

Some stories need to be remembered. Told over and over. Handed down from one generation to the next. And not just the ones considered to be pleasant. Also, the challenging ones. Those are the ones that show resilience, teaching valuable lessons.

This is one of those stories. And, of course, it involves macaroni and cheese.

My parents have always been hard workers. But like many others, hard work did not always keep hard times at bay. Some years were more difficult than others. And when I was little, money was tight.

My dad was a carpenter and was working on a house about an hour away from our home. One day, mom and I went along for the ride. Well, sort of. You see, he had not yet gotten paid for his work.

Macaroni and cheese…they had one box left. So, we went with him, taking the box along with us. While dad was working, mom cooked the mac-n-cheese on the job site in an electric popcorn popper. That way, all three of us would have something to eat for lunch.

That same day, the woman that owned the property retrieved a frozen chicken from her kitchen. And though my dad was a little uncertain about that chicken, it went home with us that afternoon, along with his paycheck. It was available that day after work.

Perhaps some would think of this as a sad story. Not me. I see the resilience of two people, able to keep going, making the best out of a difficult situation.

Anytime we talk about this time in our lives, Mom always reassures me. “No matter how hard things got, we always made sure you did not go without. You always had what you needed.” Without a doubt. ❤️

Truth is, not only did we survive as a family, but we also thrived! And though my cooking skills have improved a little, I still like macaroni and cheese.

Remain Seated

The clock ticks
One second
At a time
The sun shines
One beam
At a time
And yet, with love
One second
Quickly becomes
One thousand
One sunbeam
A multitude
Flooding
Darkness
From the heart
As two sit
Together
In this space
Of time and light
Giving no thought
To the ticking clock
Or the sun’s rays
Only the desire
To remain seated
And experience
The transformation
From the measured
To the unmeasurable

Simply Sunday

Days

Enjoying
Art and
Nature
Exploring
Lessons
Offered
By history-
Our own
Others-
Reminiscing
Our combined
Years of living
In only seven
Of these
Precious
Allotments
Of time
Each holding
The same
Number
Of hours
Each passing
Too quickly

Adventures Old and New

Greetings from Massachusetts! My first visit to this beautiful state. Even though the weather was cloudy and rainy upon arrival, I quickly noticed the many shades of green. No matter where I looked, a different type of tree. Some familiar, others not.

This morning the sun is shining, and the sky is a perfect blue! I am excited to explore with my Aunt Martha and Uncle James. Such a treat! 💚

View from their lovely backyard in Lee, Massachusetts.

Chanel No. 5-Reblog from September, 2019

I don’t wear a lot of perfume. I’ve had a couple of favorites as an adult, but allergy sensitivities often keep me from enjoying them. Currently, I own one bottle of Chanel No. 5.

I’m not sure how long I’ve had this particular bottle. During our recent unpacking, it caught my eye. I could not remember the last time it was open. The design is so classic and pretty, I decided to leave it out.

One morning last week while getting ready for school, that bottle of Chanel caught my eye again. This time, I opened it and placed a small drop on my finger, then dabbed it on my neck and wrists. “It might be nice to wear a little perfume again,” I thought.

As the familiar scent filled the air, a flood of memories filled my mind.

When I was a little girl, visits to my Aunt Martha and Uncle James’s house were a treat. They, along with their children-Jim, Angela, and Brad-moved several times. I remember trips to Fayetteville, Memphis, and Louisiana. Typically, it was a week-long visit during summer vacation.

Some memories are as clear as a photograph. Dressing my cousin, Angela, up in her Raggedy Ann doll clothes. Riding the bus with my cousin, Jimmy, from Little Rock to Memphis and spilling an entire big bag of M&Ms. Kick boxing with Uncle James. Rolling a piano from room to room so I could play while Martha and James painted their house.

So, why did this sweet smell cause such reminiscing? Because Aunt Martha always had a bottle of Chanel No. 5. And when I visited, she would let me wear some of her perfume. Just a tiny drop on my finger, then dabbed on my neck and wrists. Such a treat for a little girl.

I continue to be amazed by the beautiful complexity of the heart and mind. The simple scent of perfume has the power to transport me back in time. It leads me to precious childhood memories. And it reminds me that the love I experienced then has only grown over the years.

I still live far away from Aunt Martha and Uncle James. I look forward to our visits, no matter how far apart. And I am thankful for time spent with them as a child.

Who would have thought a bottle of Chanel No. 5 could make such an impression on one little girl? 😉

Simply Sunday

Father’s Day

Five days
Waiting
As doctors
Prepared
To repair
To replace
Pieces of
Your heart
Restoring
Strength to
The rhythm
Of your days
Five days
Worth
Waiting

I snapped the first photo on Dad’s first day in the hospital. Due to COVID regulations, visitations were limited and only one of us at a time, so I was thankful for these moments. The second was on the day he was released to go home after open-heart surgery. Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I love you! ❤️

Spaces

Certain spaces
In this life
Feel empty
Certain spaces
In this life
Look dark
Even though
They are not-
Not completely-
Each of us
Fills the moments
Of our days
Each of us
Fills the span
Of our years
No matter
The length
Of said spaces
Even when
We are alone
Light remains-
Your light
May seem faint
For a time…wait
Allow me
To see it
And together
Our days
Will be brighter
Our years
Fulfilled

Yesterday was the last day of school. The last day of school for a tough year. Teaching and attending during a pandemic created challenges we continue to process.

Certain times of the year felt dark, frustrating. But as time went on, stresses seemed to lift a little at a time. We accepted our new normal and continued to do what we do.

As school ended yesterday, I was not prepared for the tears from students. Uncontrollable crying over the idea of leaving their current teachers.

Teacher friends, don’t ever doubt the influence of your light in the classroom. Even while dealing with our own concerns and fears, students saw lighthouses in the storm.

Now it is time to rest. Time to reflect. Time to stoke the remaining embers and prepare to see those faces smiling back at us in August!

Happy Summer! ❤

Mingling

Gentle breeze
Across my face
Carries hope
For a new day
Some days
My mind is stormy
Unable to focus
Thoughts
Jumping
From one
To the other
Lightning bolts
On the horizon
And yet, the storms
Pass with your
Witty words
Our laughter
Mingling with
The breeze
Kissing away
My fears

Twenty-eight years. Sounds like a long time. As far as anniversaries go, I am hoping for twenty-eight more. Through moves, job changes, raising children, illness, even deaths, there has always been laughter mingled with it all. Hardly a day goes by without it. I’m not sure if that’s our secret, but I don’t ever want to take it for granted.

I always say you rescued me. I suppose it worked both ways. All I know is that I’m glad you didn’t let my putting a hand in your face deter you from trying again. 😘

Happy Anniversary! ❤

Mingling

Gentle breeze
Across my face
Carries hope
For a new day
Lately my mind
Has been stormy
Unable to focus
Thoughts jumping
From one to
The other like
Lightning bolts
On the horizon-And yet,
The storm passed
With a quiet word
A gentle embrace-
Reassurance from
Your presence
Mingling with
The breeze-
Kissing away my fears

Miss You Tomorrow

Today I am where
I have not been
In quite a
Long, long time
Sitting here
Talking with you-
Nervousness fades as
Repeated questions
Are patiently met with
Repeated answers
Happiness grows
With each smile
With each laugh
Making new memories
For future questions
For future answers
Worth repeating-
Ready to go home now
I will miss you tomorrow-

I will miss you, too

We had a fun visit with our friend, Marie, this past weekend. She was nervous at first but settled in quickly. Pizza, movies, shopping-some things never change.

However, there were some noticeable changes. Most importantly, happiness and security thanks to love and consistency from her foster family.

Though she was ready to go home Sunday, she told me several times-I will miss you tomorrow. ❤

Fading Away