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

Simply Sunday

Listening

Two of us
Together
In the kitchen
Making coffee
Cleaning
Cooking
Breakfast
Blueberry pancakes
Bacon and eggs

Our grown-up
Children
Together
Around the table
Laughing
Comparing
Embarrassing
Stories
Old and new

My heart
Quiet
Listening
Voicing
Silent prayers
For contentment
Over ones
Forever
Part of us

Everyone home this weekend. Happy mom. ❤️

Two Poems

Elbows and Knees

I cried at the sight
Of you frail
Unaware of
My presence-
Chose to remember
Different images
On that day-
Tall and lanky
Uncanny ability
To sit comfortably
On your haunches
Elbows perched
On knees
Backside inches
From the ground-
My college senior
Piano recital
Me in my black dress
You in your blue
Cotton shirt and pants
Both beaming-
Five years later
Christmastime
My newborn son
Sleeping in your arms-
After you were gone
I saw your reflection
As my son sat
On his haunches
Elbows perched
On knees
Backside inches
From the ground-
Pictures of you
Held dear,
Grandpa

Workshirt

The morning
Is dark blue
The kind of blue
That almost
Looks black
But once
The sun rises
Turns to cerulean-
As the day
Progresses
The sky shifts
Until night washes
Over the work
Of the day
Bringing rest
To the Earth-
And rest to you
Handsome you
Strong you
Wearing your
Favorite blue shirt
Faded with time
As the dirt
And sweat
From a lifetime
Of hard work
Was washed away

I wrote the first poem specifically about my Grandpa Crow. He was a sweet man. Hardworking and loved to fish. The second could describe many different people from my growing up years. Maybe you can relate. 😊❤️

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? 😉

Peaceful Resolution

My mind
Can hardly
Separate
The words
From melody
Notes rising
And falling…one
After the other
In seasons of distress and grief
Can you hear it?
I silently sing
The phrase
As I write-
Many times
It has entered
My thoughts
Unannounced…
Waiting for
A phone call
Sitting in a
Hospital room
Driving to
A funeral…
The music repeats
Easing tension
On the last note
The last word
Of the new phrase
My soul has often found relief
Listen closely
A peaceful
Resolution
Sweet hour of prayer

Sweet Hour of Prayer Kelley Morris, piano

Growing Up

My husband likes to tell people I was raised in a commune. I was not. I suppose, however, that a simple description could be misinterpreted. Let’s see.

Picture a two-lane country highway winding through small towns. Between two of those towns, turn onto a narrow paved road with thick trees lining both sides. Drive about a quarter of a mile until you see a clearing. My house was the first on the left.

Here is the unusual part. My grandparents’ house was in the center. And at any time over the last fifty-plus years, between four and six of their nine children lived nearby. Not a typical neighborhood with straight streets and cull de sacs. More like a valley. When standing in the middle, you could see almost everyone’s home.

Of course, we were free to come and go as we pleased. 😉 And though I left at the wise-old age of seventeen, there is no other place I would have wished to grow up.

Growing up there meant family. It meant security. And no, it was not a peaceful utopia. There were disagreements. But none that could not be solved over a cup of coffee or a few days of staying home.

My mom also grew up there, though, during her childhood, there were more forests for exploring. And with nine children, they needed the space to roam. The original house was small, with only two bedrooms and an outhouse.

I have heard stories of sleeping sideways on the bed, lots of giggling and being scared to go outside at night. Mom remembers as a small child when men came to dig a hole for their first electricity pole.

As you can imagine, they were hard workers. Whether planting in the field or washing clothes on a scrub board, there were always chores to be done. But there was also always fun to be had.

Some days, her dad would come home with a pocket full of penny candy. Enough for everyone. On Fridays, they would have chili dogs and ice cream. Can you imagine dividing a carton of ice cream for nine children? They would open the entire carton and cut it into equal squares.

My mom is now in her seventies. Four of the siblings (including my mom and dad), some grandkids, and great-grandkids live in the clearing today. Only one of her siblings, her oldest sister, Pearl, is no longer living.

Mom recently shared some thoughts that touched me. She described being overcome with emotion thinking of how hard her mom worked to make sure the kids had fun times. She was so young herself; it could not have been easy. Mom said the older she gets, the greater her appreciation for her mom grows. I think I am beginning to understand…

Morning Thoughts

Leaving for work
This morning
Car packed for
A weekend
Road trip
Thoughts already
At the end of today
Think I’ll send
A text to Mom
See you tonight!

Little cardinal
Crosses my path
His brightness
Could not
Be ignored
His fluffy
Red feathers
Taking off
From the ground
Made me smile
Slow down as
I drove out of
The neighborhood
Rachel says every time
She sees a cardinal
It reminds her
Of her Papa