Getting Back Up

Pick up my pen
And wait…
Batteries seem to need
Recharging
But all the packages
Are empty
Not giving up
I’ll wait awhile
Look out the window
For inspiration
Re-read some old
Cards or letters
Dig up memories that
Make my soul happy
What if I paperclip
Those memories
Together with
My dreams
For the future?
So next time I fall down,
I’ll remember the strength
Found in getting back up

Today’s prompt was very interesting. Listen to a favorite song and take notes. Make a list of things found in your junk drawer. Write a poem combining the two. For more info and prompts visit https://www.napowrimo.net/.

My song was “Like Everyone She Knows” by James Taylor. I will let you guess what is in my junk drawer. 😉

The Gum Man

I was old before I was old. My body weary, tired.
The cane that was always by my side left that impression.
It also begged questions, but very few asked.
No matter. When Sunday came, I had the job of a lifetime.
I was the gum man.
Chewing gum, never left home without a supply.
When the children came running, I was ready.
I’d like to think chewing that gum helped some of them sit
through sermons, avoiding pinches and glances.
Anyway, it certainly made them smile. And it made me smile, too.
I wonder if any of them remember me?

Today’s challenge was to write a poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who has died. I immediately thought of this sweet man from my childhood. ❤

Find more information and prompts at https://www.napowrimo.net/.

The Old Oak

A wooden backboard
Metal rim, no net
Nailed to an oak tree
The ground below
Covered with rocks
An uneven court
To be sure
Shaded by branches
And green leaves
The perfect spot
For a friendly
Game of H-O-R-S-E
Maybe one on one
Or three on three
Aunts, Uncles, Cousins
Lots of laughter
A few skinned
Elbows and knees-
Players are long gone
The old oak remains
Holding in its rings
The memories of
Summer days and
Basketball games
Played under its
Watchful care

I am, admittedly, not a huge sports fan. Growing up, I was never part of an official sports team. My thing was music.

I do enjoy watching the occasional college football game and March Madness basketball. Especially when the Arkansas Razorbacks are competing. Growing up in Arkansas meant being a Razorback fan.

I watched games with my family. Listened to my Dad and Uncles yelling at the TV. Learned how to “call the hogs.” Then went outside to shoot hoops under the tree on our gravel court.

I attended the University of Arkansas for graduate school. Met my husband, who was a tuba player in the Razorback Band. Watched our oldest son follow in his footsteps, continuing that Razorback Band tradition.

So, tonight I will be cheering on those Razorbacks as they play ORU in the NCAA sweet 16 games. It is sure to be exciting! And just hearing those hog calls is sure to bring back lots of fun memories. Go Hogs!

California, Here We Come!

This post is part of SoCS. https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/24840312/posts/3241112703

California, here we come! Well, actually it should say there we went! I would have to spend a few minutes calculating to remember exactly how many years have passed since that trip. But, oh, what a trip!

Just picture this-three Honda Odyssey vans and one motorcycle. A caravan from Oklahoma across the country to California. The whole family! Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, cousins-thirteen people in all.

Rest stops were longer than usual. And cousins were constantly switching vehicles, which was great for the adults. One stop even included kite-flying!

This trip has so many memories. We visited the Painted Desert, Grand Canyon, quaint towns, local restaurants. And our eventual destination meant visiting family and a trip to Disney Land. Not to mention, sandcastles on the beach and playing in the ocean.

No matter how much time passes, this particular trip will always hold a special place in my heart. Lots of laughter and actually very little stress. I think that may have had a lot to do with the three vans. 😉

All the kids are grown now. Some have kids of their own. And Papa is no longer with us. I know there will never be another trip like that one-and that is ok. California, we love you! And all the places between you and Oklahoma!

Breathe Again

It feels like I’ve been
Holding my breath
For days and days
Waiting for results
Over which I had
Absolutely no control-
Control-I’m beginning
To think that word
Should be erased-
Is there any such thing anyway?
In an attempt, my brain
Played out both scenarios-
Good news and
Bad news-trying to
Foresee my reactions
Would I be brave?
Would I cry?
Would I crumble
Into a million tiny
Pieces on the floor?
Today was the day
The news was good
No sign of cancer!
My response?
A deep breath
Followed by tears-
Tears of relief and joy-
I can breathe again

Today, I am thankful for positive results. But I am also mindful of the many whose news was not positive. Many have fought the battle against cancer-friends and family. It seems to strike with little rhyme or reason. And whether their physical battle was won or lost, their bravery is lasting. I cannot celebrate today without also remembering…💗

The Sidewalk

Anxiously waiting for
Family to arrive
Coming from what,
In my young heart
Seemed like a
Faraway place-
Used to be a short walk
Down the hill
A knock on the door
Hello! Come out and play?
Now visits were
Few, but precious
Filled with late nights
Laughter, memories
Never enough time
Never ready to say
Goodbye…
I see myself standing at
The end of the sidewalk
Unable to contain my tears
Waving until their faces
Drove out of sight-
Already anticipating
Our next visit

No Matter the Detours

Lately my thoughts
Seem to wander
Backward
Focusing more on
Where I came from
Less on where I’m going
Hopes for things to come
New adventures in this
Wild, unpredictable life
Hang in the back of my mind
But those thoughts
Are not for today
Today is for remembering-
Seeing me as I once was
Embracing the path
That lead me to this
One singular moment
Embracing the faces
That loved me
No matter the detours
Showing gratitude as
I wander backward
And forwards

Snow Surprise

Living in Arkansas and Oklahoma, snowfalls are uncommon. Several years might pass between weather events. They bring a sense of wonder, fuel for the imagination.

Around five inches of snow fell last night in our corner of Oklahoma. Another four to six inches may fall tomorrow night. Of course, wind chills are negative. So, we are enjoying the view from inside our warm home.

As I sat down to write this morning, I wasn’t planning to write about the snow. I planned to follow a familiar writing prompt pattern, which did not include snow. It is funny how one thought leads to another and another. Often with an unexpected result.

Writing out my list of words from the prompt, one stood out-sheep. Sheep turned to lamb turned to white turned to snow. And the progression of thoughts became a poem. While writing, an image kept coming to mind. It was a stuffed animal lamb. When you turn its silver key, music plays.

This particular lamb rests happily on a shelf at my parents’ house. It was mine when I was a baby. A quick text to my mom, and I had several photos of my cherished lamb. As you can see, this lamb was well-loved and is no longer white like the snow. But I am glad its sweet face appeared in my memory today.

Tranquility

Ground covered
In fluffy white
Like an innocent lamb
Precious and new
Quiet cries quickly
Comforted by mother
Pink belly once again
Rising and falling
In perfect sleep
No fear of today
No worry about
Tomorrow
Only tranquility in
The fluffy white-
Tranquility in
A blanket of snow

Homesick

The mountain comes into view,
As I drive across the river bridge.
A drive I’d love to take today.
To me, a majestic outline, though
Small in comparison to other mountains
Barely high enough to garner the name

Hiking to its peak as a child was
Like standing on top of the world
Peering out over tops of trees
Roads, cars, and houses below
Appearing as toys in a tiny
Land of make-believe

Was home really as small as it appeared?

Time for exploring always
Ended too quickly-never enough
Time to stand on the edge.
But laughter followed as we
Made our way down the steep trail
Into the green valley below

The world again at eye-level
My head forever in the clouds

Pinnacle Mountain State Park
Never too old to feel homesick. ❤

Missed My Turn

Have you ever been headed somewhere and driven right past your intended destination? It is a funny feeling. I have done it many times. On my way to work early in the morning, lost in my own thoughts, a little sleepy, and…oops! Just missed my turn.

I had this experience last week on my way to the grocery store. Even deciding which of two possible stores to go to was a challenge. During this pandemic, I use the grocery pickup as much as possible. This day, however, there were no available times.

So, after much back and forth, I chose the store closest to our house. Even though store two is a little better, I am more familiar with the first store. I headed out with a list in hand.

Music is usually playing in my car, even if I am not going far. My choices are predictable. James Taylor is always an option. The Hamilton soundtrack, Need to Breathe, or the Vince Guaraldi Trio is also current favorites.

For some reason, I chose an Apple created list called “Kelley’s Station” for this short drive. I was curious. What songs did they think I would want to hear? The first several songs were old favorites. I smiled and sang along.

Then one popped up on the screen that I did not recognize. I read the title-Best Song Ever by One Direction. Hmmm…it did sound familiar, but not a regular on any of my playlists.

When the music began to play, there was an instant connection. I could see myself standing at the edge of a dance floor. Smiling, I watched my son, Robert, and his wife, Erin, dancing with all of their friends. They were having the best time laughing, singing, dancing, and celebrating!

As the Best Song Ever continued to play, I continued to remember their wedding day. Such a perfect mix of beauty and fun!

In that few moments of reminiscing, I drove right past store number one! Thankfully, the second store was only a few blocks further. At least I was able to listen to the rest of the song! Truthfully, I was kind of glad that I missed my turn. 😉