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Today, I heard you calling my name

A few notes from a familiar song

In the passing of minutes, maybe seconds

A few notes, but only one word

Each new song the same

One after another, after another

Only a few notes, still the same word

I heard you again even after the music stopped

This time, a whisper from the row of pines across the road

I could smell their fresh, clean scent in my memories

See their lovely green against the blue sky

As in the songs, also in the pines

I heard you calling my name

At the end of my fifth-grade music class today, we watched the Pentatonix video, Home. It is a medley of songs all about, you guessed it, home.

I asked students to count how many different songs they heard. I counted right along with them. The total was fourteen! ( I missed one. 😉)

Though our purpose was listening to count, the activity had a slightly different impact on me. I found myself wanting to make a list and listen to each individual song. Maybe another day…

For Poppy

Yes, I know sixteen years is a long time, especially in doggie years. Our sweet Poppy girl, always my shadow. You never missed the chance for just one more treat. And I was always a sucker.

I was not prepared for the grief of losing you. It held tight on your last day with us. Leaving me barely able to breathe, unable to hold back tears.

I keep looking for you around the house. Glancing where your bed should be. Death is a part of all life. Causing an emptiness in spaces and hearts.

In the Sun

Wet nose
Wagging tail
Flipped-back ear
Now held in
Memories
And photos-
Your once
Brown spots
Long-since
Turned gray
Eighty
In our years
You lived
A long life
Especially
For a runt-
Grateful
For our time
Spent sitting
In the sun

I don’t typically post twice in one day, but I could not let the year pass without sharing about our sweet Poppy girl. We miss her so…

A New Start

As the new year approaches, this is my prayer-embrace 2022 with strength, love, and compassion. Noticing the things that may seem insignificant at first. For quite often, those are the things that teach me the most. Happy New Year, Friends! ❤️🕊

Sharing Stories

What a seat
You’ve held
All these years
A quiet observer
As children
Skipped
Up and down
The road
With little
Thought
To their age
Or yours
You watched
As birds
Flittered by
Chuckled
When squirrels
Hopped on
And off
That inviting
Green carpet
Squirmed as
Lizards scurried
Underneath
Then out again
What adventures
You’ve had-
As I walked by
This morning
You caught
My eye
Made me smile-
Thanks for
Sharing
Your stories,
Old mossy rock

No Way to Travel

Painted lines
Mark the middle
Of the road
Move too fast
And the marks
Merge into one-
One long line
Moving me
Faster and faster
Down the road
Leaving
No time
For a pause
No time
For a breath
That is no way to travel!
The goal merely
Getting from
Beginning
To end
As quickly
As possible
Giving no mind
To the trees
Waving hello
To the birds
Singing their song
To another traveler
Holding out their hand
Waiting
To see if I will reach back

Christmas Thoughts

A quiet Christmas morning. Time for us to rest, enjoy each other’s company. No hustle and bustle of last-minute shopping required. Thankful.

A quiet celebration. Occurring in the heart. Reflecting on the roots of my faith. Believing along with my questions. Faithful.

A quiet remembering. Blending memories from Christmas past and present. Children who graciously accepted gifts now thoughtfully give. Hopeful.

Hark! the Herald Angels Sing
What Child is This?
In the Bleak Mid-Winter~Kelley Morris, piano

Merry Christmas! ❤️🎄 🕊

To Reach You

I’d forgotten
The distance
Required
To reach you
Just one step
And my heart
Quickened
As I heard
Your voice calling
Thru the trees
Each new step
Taken with purpose
The path
Becoming
More familiar
Remembering
The distance
Required
To reach you
Answering
Your song
With every breath
Until finally
The forest cleared
Revealing
Every drop of
Your roaring
Cascade
Rushing
To the pool
Far below-
And to think,
I almost left
Without
Visiting

After one week of visiting my mom and dad, it is time to go home. Yesterday was our last day together. We drove to Petit Jean Mountain State Park. A place that holds many memories from childhood to the present. Beautiful views, hiking trails, camping. We enjoyed lunch at the lodge and the views.

One of my favorite spots on the mountain is Cedar Falls. As we sat in the lodge, I wondered if the falls were flowing. One trail leads down underneath the falls. I’ve hiked it in years past. But there is also a shorter trail leading to an overlook.

Mom and dad said they didn’t mind waiting if I wanted to walk to the overlook. After a brief hesitation, I drove to the trail entrance and hopped out of the car. So glad I did!

Driving home on this Christmas Eve with a grateful heart. ❤️

Kick Off Your Shoes

We used to live in a two-story house. It was great for growing kids. All their bedrooms were upstairs, making it quiet for mom and dad downstairs.

Whenever they would get home from school, shoes were kicked off at the bottom of the stairs. This was not an expectation or house rule. It is just what they did. At some point, we placed a small storage bench at the bottom of the stairs. A place just for shoes.

I can picture them now. Shoes off, heading up the stairs. It was time to relax after homework and a snack, of course.

Hi, Mom!
Hi! How was school? Homework?

Kids are all grown up. We no longer have stairs. Nor the same number of shoes.

Today, I decided to clean the laundry room. Ours is attached to the garage. And often becomes the drop zone for lots of non-laundry stuff. It is small, but there is a counter for folding.

Once the counter was cleaned off, I knew it needed a little something. Maybe a cute laundry sign. Something small, simple. Just enough to encourage us to keep it clean.

My daughter, Rachel, and I went shopping this afternoon. Looking at Christmas decorations and possible décor for the laundry room. I had just about given up when we saw the perfect sign.

Not at all what I had pictured, yet, perfect!

I know only close friends and family will likely enter our home through the garage. But I hope those that do take the message to heart. Like the kids when they were little, kick off those shoes and let go of their worries. If they’re lucky, there might even be snacks!

My Moon

Big, bright
Beautiful
Moon
Lighting up
The morning sky
Wish I could
Follow you
See where you
Would lead
Instead of
Turning away
Leaving you
Behind me
If my Dad were here
He would smile and say
Look! There’s Kelley’s moon!
As if I was still
That little girl
Claiming you
As my own
And not a
Grown woman
Driving herself
To work
On this early
Morning-
You know
Maybe I will
Claim you
As my own
…just for today

Freeze Frame

Pictures holding
History stored
In memory banks
Called to the surface
In a single snap
Of my fingers
Leaving me
Wondering
Why that?
Why now?
Why then?
Times I would
Like either
To forever
Forget or
Always
Remember
Each frame
Projecting
Enough
Power to
Push me into
A time-warp
Of emotions
Unless…
I slow down
Pay attention
Freeze
Each
Frame
Long enough
To grasp
This truth-
The past
Enriches
The present
Either by
Making me
Thankful
For changes
Grateful
For growth
Or content
With constants

Personal Collection

I drive past a picture-perfect scene every day. Red barn, green trees and meadows below rolling hills. Offering beauty and reasons for smiling. Looking for the two resident horses is always fun. Sometimes they are close to the road. Other times, resting under the shade of trees.

Recently I began to see additional residents in the field. Deer, from fawn to buck, grazing. Now I look for them each time I pass by. Twice, I witnessed them hopping and playing on the hillside. And grazing under the shade of a sprawling tree.

I attempted a photo from my car once. No luck. Another day, I pulled into a bank parking lot across the street. Snapped several photographs but was unable to fully capture what I saw driving past.

Maybe I will try another location, maybe not. For now, the images remain in my head. And I will keep adding to my collection with each drive past.

Horses rest and roam
Deer leap and play on the hill
Red barn proudly stands

Photo attempt from across the street.

Writing Circle

Sharing two poems I wrote in a recent poetry circle facilitated by Ali Grimshaw https://flashlightbatteries.blog/. I continued to be amazed at the beautiful connections made across many miles over computer screens. ❤️

At Seven

It is difficult
To remember
The me who
Once was seven
Do you find
The same
To be true?

Oh, there are
Glimpses
Flashes of
Childhood
Aided by
Photographs
The reciting
Of stories at
Family gatherings
I believe at seven
Happy outweighed sad
And freedom came
When swinging
To the sky
Then bravely
Jumping out
It is difficult
To remember
The me who
Once was seven
But I am grateful
For her spirit
Continuing
To reside in me
Even when
I’m afraid
To jump out
Of the swing

Tiny Boxes

Hours spent
Together
Make me want
To remember
Not just the present
But every visit past-
Each block of time
Long or short
Places another box
Inside my heart
Tiny boxes
Full of surprises
To open when
Days are long
Mind-wandering
Tiny boxes
Fighting battles
Threatening
To take away
Focus, purpose, joy
Tiny boxes
Filled with
Memories
Of loving and
Being loved