The Right Word

Today was our last day of quarantine. It’s back to work tomorrow! Three of us have been together in this house for three weeks. All of us sick, but all of us together. And quite often, we were sitting in front of a warm fireplace.

As I sat down to write, I couldn’t seem to find the right words. So, I decided to read this precious book my daughter gave me for my birthday. I had read some of it before, but this time I read cover to cover. And there was only one word that would do.

Inglenook

Discovered a
New word today
Whose quirky
Appearance
Caught
My eye
Attempting
Pronunciation
Brought a chuckle
I read it fast
Inglenook…inglenook
I repeated it slowly-
In-gle-nook
As quickly as
Articulation
Made me laugh
Meaning
Made me smile-
Picture a bench
Nestled by a cozy fire
Imagine yourself
Sitting there
But not alone
A beautiful space
Happily shared
Your very own
Inglenook-
I like the way that sounds!

Shifting

Didn’t take long
A few minutes
Maybe five
My face turned
Toward the sun
Soaking up its
Light and warmth
Shifting my
Response
To this day
Cold air was
Not a deterrent
Favorite blue sweater
And soft grey slippers
Made certain of that
Back inside
Warm and cozy
Still wearing my
Favorite blue sweater
I continue to feel
The sun on my face
Though no longer
Standing in the
Path of its rays-
Didn’t take long
A few minutes
Maybe five

My friend, Marina, keeps telling me to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D. Today, I finally decided to listen! 😉
Sunshine On My Shoulders~~Kelley Morris, piano

Bittersweet

I guess it’s my word of the day. I can’t seem to get it out of my head. The thought of it first came with my morning coffee…

I love coffee in all forms. My day usually starts with a simple cup of hot, black coffee. Yes, there are hints of bitterness, but a taste for them has developed over time.

Thanks to COVID-19, my taste and smell are almost zero. It is a strange sensation, obviously making it impossible to enjoy any food or drink.

In my current state, bitterness was the only taste in my morning coffee. No hints of anything else. Kind of like drinking hot water with an aftertaste of cough syrup.

Yesterday, I noticed a slight recognition of sweet. It was subdued but present. That gave me an idea. Coffee creamer to the rescue? It was worth a shot!

I filled the bottom of my cup with vanilla creamer. And then poured in the hot, steaming coffee. The result? Bittersweet. And that is not a bad thing. Today, it counts as an improvement!

FYI-It has been a tough week. No need for a symptom list. I’ll just say I am beginning to feel better. This virus is no joke, and it is so important to remain vigilant. Protect yourself and the ones you love by wearing a mask and taking precautions. ❤

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. ❤

Time Passes

Time is a funny thing. Looking at the clock, I see the seconds ticking away. Always the same, steady beat.

And yet, I foolishly think I have some control over its passing. Certain moments I try my hardest to slow down as if they will last longer. Others I try to push ahead, wanting them to be over already.

Here’s to taking each moment as it comes-all steady, sixty-seconds of it.

Stopping Time

What if I lie
Perfectly still
In the dark
Breaths shallow
Muscles relaxed
Surely time will
Stop for a moment
Allowing me a
Space to hold
One single note
Ringing in the air
A reminder of
Joy that sings
Even when
Days are hard
A simple request
One moment
Frozen in time
Melting away only
As your hand reaches
Through the darkness
To take hold of mine

Fast-Forward

Looking for the
Fast-forward button
Feeling like life
Is busy taking
Seldom giving
Desire to connect
Difficult to maintain
When physical touch
Is discouraged-
But time passes
No faster than
On the days
We can walk
Hand in hand
Arm in arm
Whispering in
One another’s ears
No-there is no
Fast-forward button
To be found
So, I wait
Ready for
Winter to pass
Flowers to bloom
Friends to embrace

Tomorrow’s Memories

Traditions washed away
Left with a choice-
Create new ones
Or spend hours
Grieving the old
Left with a choice-
Sprinkle drops of
Sadness on those
I love or shower
Them with love
That transcends
Traditions
Left with a choice-
Allow the temporary
To weigh down or
Be lifted up by
Treasures of
The heart
Mingling joy
With sadness
While celebrating
The mysteries of
Faith, hope, love
Family, friendship-
Understanding
Today’s choices
Will become
Tomorrow’s
Memories

Danger High Cliff

I snapped this picture on a recent weekend getaway with my husband, Gart. The lodge we visited was built on the edge of a cliff. Views of the valley below were breathtaking. Birds flew all around. It was a perfect spot for some quiet relaxation.

But that sign…I chuckled the first time I walked past. I even witnessed several people coming and going safely from the entrance to the trail. Still, I was hesitant.

After breakfast on our first morning, we ventured toward that sign. We walked the short distance down to the edge of the cliff. It was a narrow trail, but not scary, except for that “edge of the cliff” thing.

When we reached our stopping point, there were several big rocks-
perfect places to sit and rest. Some seats were closer to the edge than others. No surprise, I chose the first available seat. Gart, however, picked one just a few steps further.

The logical part of my brain knew he was in no real danger. But the anxiety, afraid of heights part of me-well, it struggled. We were both seated, taking pictures, enjoying the scenery. Both perfectly safe. Yet, my imagination had him slipping and falling off the edge.

Later in the day, I thought about that hike and the warning sign.
Life kind of feels that way right now. Like there is a danger sign around every corner. It is easy to become fearful and anxious.

At this moment, I am safe and healthy. My family is safe and healthy. But the news reports daily virus increases. There are increased warnings about travel, the importance of masks, and social distancing. Not to mention the impossible questions concerning a return to school.

Like the edge of that cliff, the potential for danger is real. And just like the warning sign at the trailhead, there are potentially life-saving signs offering help through the pandemic. But only if I read and follow the signs.

Gravity & Grace

We are currently in a state of constant, overwhelming information. And though I try to limit my intake, anxiety has a way of creeping in. It is easy to lose sight of what truly matters.

These two poems provide a glimpse into how quickly my state of mind changes. Some days are a constant battle between worry and trust-anxious and calm. Can you say rollercoaster? 😉

Maybe you can relate. ❤

Gravity

The pressure
Begins to build
In the center
Of the chest
Pushing past
The heart
Welling up
In the throat
Seeking an
Escape route-
Tears falling
From my eyes-
No consequence
Weight remains
Reason requires
Assistance
A temporary
Reprieve
Help from the
Unexpected
A song playing
On the radio
Laughing, I
Shake my head
Momentary release
From the gravity

Grace

Not considering
Personal gain
Instead, seeing
Another in the
Light of grace
The same grace
Through which
Each one of
Us desires
To be seen
Grace that places
Selfish interest
Out of sight
Out of mind
Where it belongs
Two people
Face to face
One saying
I see you
I hear you
And I want
To know you
Not a request
An offering
Of friendship

Home to Home

I left home at the mature age of seventeen and, except for one summer, never came back. My mom often reminds me. 😉

Before college, I had lived in the same house my entire life. I attended the same school, first grade through senior year, and was surrounded by extended family.

And even though I needed to find my own path, the place where I grew up would always be home.

A recent visit with my parents caused me to think about the word home. Especially the idea that home has little to do with the actual place.

As I pulled up in the driveway, my dad was waiting under the carport. Mom came right out as if she’d been listening inside for my car. Soon, we were talking about everything from the kids to work, politics, church. And, of course, the pandemic and quarantine.

They’re so cute. ❤

As an adult, I enjoy this time alone with my parents. Being there by myself means my only role at that moment is a daughter. Even if this visit brought some adult daughter anxiety.

Due to the current pandemic, I had to be very careful about where I stopped on the four-and-a-half-hour drive from our house to theirs. My parents are over seventy, Mom a breast cancer survivor and Dad with diabetes and kidney disease. Their health is currently good, and I couldn’t bear the thought of exposing them to this virus.

My anxiety quickly faded as Dad asked, “How’s my little girl?” Mom said more than once, “I’m so glad you came.” At face value, simple phrases. Yet, they wrapped me in the love and security I experienced growing up.

When going to visit my parents, I say I am going home. And when it’s time to leave, I use the same phrase. I guess both are true. Home is about the people not the places.

I may have to leave tiny pieces of my heart behind when leaving one, but I know they will be refilled upon arrival at the other. Not the same, but new, and whole.

A sweet paradox, traveling from one home to another. ❤

Green Green Grass of Home by Claude “Curly” Putman, Jr.

The old home town looks the same
As I step down from the train
And there to meet me is my Mama and Papa…
It’s good to touch the green, green grass of home


Question?

Question of the week-
Which is harder
Only seeing faces
On a screen
Or seeing faces
In-person, yet
From a distance?

The computer screen
Filled with little faces
Smiling, waving, singing
An adventure
Controlled chaos
No group hugs
Yet, welcome connection

The short visits
In-person, tho
Physically distant
No pats on the shoulder
Yet, beautiful smiles
Kindly delivering
Much-needed messages

Both experiences
Bring a rush
Of emotions
Tears, happy and sad
Despite attempts to
Swallow the lumps
In my throat

Maybe it’s not
A question of difficulty
Instead, a reminder
Both complex
And beautiful
Of how desperately
We need each other
Up On the Roof by Carole King/Gerry Goffin
"And if this world starts getting you down
There’s room enough for two…"