Search This Blog

Monday, March 19, 2018

Parade love into every room...

Himself with grandson #1

I awoke this morning,

I had dreamed such beauty.
You were at the heart of it.

I opened my eyes.
You were not there.

You had made your
silent escape,
while I slept.

When we were young,
I felt your leaving,
glad for you to go.

Now we are older.
has darker implications,
I dread to think of.

So now;

I parade your love
in parking lots,
while switching car seats,
(of grandchildren at nursery schools)
in stores of concrete floors
(which make my knees hurt)
in rooms of every sort.
(while our children look on with puzzlement)

Knowing now,
time has always been fleeting,
just not your love.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Baby Days

And here are the objects of my post. 

Well, today is Friday.

For some this means going out for a drink with fellow co-workers. For others, date night, some others it may mean something even more varied then my tried mind can think of as I write these words.

For me Friday means the start of two days without::

1. Diapers to be changed.
2. Nursery school pick-up.
3. Apples cut into slices arranged on non-breakable plate in a floral arrangement.
4. Treat for going to the potty. (What's good for the two year old is good for the grandma)
5. A floor clear of wooden toy trains and baby toys gone awry.

It also means the start of two days without:

1. Spontaneous, small arm  hugs wrapped around my knees, with an upturned face smiling at me.
2. Coos, raspberries, and squeals of enjoyment from two six month old babies.
3. Contagious giggles over unexpected events.
4. Pure unadulterated love, without condition or expectation.
5. Reading story after story after story after story, one more time.

I am glad I am able to care for these little ones, I am also glad to be intimately acquainted with their lives, and their parent's lives too. And while, someday I feel my age acutely, I feel renewed by their love.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Seduced by Electronics

My spouse, mi esposo, mio marito, mon mari, of just shy of forty years, is my friend, no matter the language.

In fact, we hardly need language to communicate to one another, which is handy as he isn't what one would call a big talker.  Unless, of course, he is recounting his golf shots he takes in the backyard, describing why the loft on his sand wedge is just what he had hoped or how a line of programming code is eluding him in the function he was hoping to achieve.

He loves to swing imaginary golf clubs everywhere, everywhere. To his credit he has a beautiful swing. When we met, he had planned to be a golf pro. He chose another course, no pun in tended, as he felt it was a rough lifestyle for a family, and he wanted a family. He rarely plays on a real course, but his backyard has seen him hone his putting, sand wedge shots, and patience. I have never heard him complain at the lack of playing time, which considering his YouTube profile of golf videos, is exemplary.

His profession ended up in the Information Technology field, in other words, computers. This path has work out well, though it does keep him inside.

He is excellent at explaining things to small children, like the time he substituted for my Sunday school class,and successfully taught them all how to do bicycle hand signals. When you think about it, bicycle hand signals are great metaphor for life. One way or another it is always helpful to communicate just where you are headed, so those around you can anticipate your next move.

One of my favorite things about my husband is this: he is thoughtful. While this thoughtfulness plays out in interesting ways, it is in his tangible gifts, I find this the most delightful.

For my birthday one year, he gave me a power surge protector, when asked why, his response, "I thought you needed one for your computer."  Always looking out for me. For my thirtieth birthday, a portable house phone, before the days of mobile phones. His logic? With four small children running around, it would make my like easier if I could take the phone with me, instead of leaving a child unattended. For Valentine's Day? An I-Pod. He thought it would be nice for me to have portable music when I walked off the baby weight after our fourth child. All of these examples show how quirky, kind, and dear he is to me.

His latest gift? A small boom box, which as I write, sits upon my desk, keeping me company. I had mentioned I wished I could listen to the old WFMT Midnight Special programs we had taped in our youth off off the radio. We listened to this program on Saturday nights while we played with our first baby.

This small electronic wonder arrived several days after I had verbalized this desire. He has once again seduced my heart with electronics, and thoughtfulness.

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Recent watercolor, which once again has little or nothing to do with anything,
least of all this poem. 

Moments build
small mountains
between people.

My mountains
grow without
aid of volcanic lava.

Maybe eruptions.
while sometimes unexpected,
purge pain,
retarding the growth
of heartache.

Though while my heart aches,
my mountains
feel ragged
with sharp cuts,
from cutting words.

I'm without words,
without tears,
longing for both.

Hoping for:
healing from
salt water,
even while it burns.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Solid Ground

So, it is snowing, again...

Is it possible to sink on solid ground?

Apparently, it is.

As I have been doing so all  week.

It takes time to come around,

to notice,

to observe,

to slip between the picture

and the solid ground.

It feels like shoes don't fit,

like all my dreams were just in my sleep.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

We Had Pie

The Friday before Thanksgiving some of my husband's cousins came to make pie.
 And...we did make
Cranberry Pie
pie. We also made so much more.

There had been a long friendly argument between one of his cousins, and myself regarding making one's own pie crust. I felt that he needed to to try to make his own, and he felt he did not. SIlly man.

My good friend, Paula Hainey, of  Hoosier Mama fame, wrote a delightful cookbook on how to make pie. I purchased a copy for his birthday, I then enlisted her aid in my endeavor to encourage him to make his own pie crust. Hoping her message, MAKE YOUR OWN PIE CRUST, in big friendly letters. along with her autograph, might inspire him. IT DID NOT!

After various volleys back and forth, I invited him over to learn how to make pie crust. He is one of twelve children, ten boys, two girls, and as the news spread between them all, so did the interest of his siblings in joining us.

Hence, I had eight of these cousins coming along for the lesson. I always feel like the more the merrier.

I cleared all of the counters, made recipes of pie dough ahead, as I had only one food processor, with the idea of I would demonstrate one batch, allowing all of them to see how easy it was.  Then they could roll out pie dough from batches that had chilled the correct amount of time, this would make it possible for them to finish in the amount of time we had.

I had made several chicken pot pies, from recipes in Paula's book, for lunch planning we could eat while the pies baked. Then they would be able to take home a completed pie.

My daughter took off work to witness this event, my older daughter with her baby,  came over to join us for lunch, my spouse came home for lunch, after all they were his cousins. It was to be a full house. Just the way I like it.

The cast of cousins arrived in one minivan, Their exit from the vehicle was watched with glee from the front door. The anticipation of this day had loomed large for me. I had been harrassing this poor man for a long time. I had to make good on my assurances that this was going to be worth the trouble.


After everyone had donned their aprons, we moved into the kitchen, and first up was assembling the ingredients in the food processor, which I have had since I was married 40 years ago, promptly broke. Flushed with embarrassment, I called my daughter, who lives across the street, and asked if I could borrow her's amid good natured heckles from the cousins.

Salvation arrived quickly. Once more into the breach, we began. This time all went well. All were amazed with the speed the dough went together. They each got to see the various stages, and seemed like maybe this wasn't so hard. (or so I hope).

Rolling Pie Dough
Rolling out the premade dough came up up next. Flour was pretty contained considering the number, and limited space we were working in. Crimping edges, up next, all did very well.  Pie pans were prepared, filling was poured in,  pies were popped into the ovens, as I took the pot pies out for lunch.

This is when the really wonderful part of this day occurred. The sharing of life. Stories, some I had never heard previously, about my husband, the cousin's mother, my husband's aunt, and my husband's father, who were siblings.  All told amidst laughter, love, and the space to share it in.

Not too  much later,  the baking pies finished. We all tasted the test pie, pronounced it good, just like the day spent together.

As these eight cousins carried their pies out to the minivan for the return trip home, I felt a little choked up.  I have known these people for over forty years, and that day, making pie dough  was a moment in time which made so much more than pie.

As I grow older, I realize these are the magic moments that fall into our laps and may never happen again, so they must be hugged as close possible. For It makes a community that is built of; shared love, lives, and time.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Caught off Guard

Small things,
catch me off guard.

Great Grandma Margaret with Winston
Which of course,
brings me to tears.

The kindnesses of
neighbors stopping by,
messages from old friends
both near and far away.

The sound of my mother's silver scissors
sliding across the table,
as if they are still in her hand,
they are in mine.

Today, I made cookies,
from a recipe card,
written in her hand.

And it is her hand,
that guided mine,
I miss the most.

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Legacy of Laundry

Today is the day of my mother's wake.

I find myself, in preparation for this momentous event, sorting laundry, folding clothes, and heating up the iron.

What started out as a quest to make sure my spouse had a freshly ironed shirt for the occasion, morphed into a familiar task that sets my soul at ease.

I find a certain harmony in the process of things; laundry, sewing, mending, knitting, doing dishes, and making beds.

Domesticity at it's finest.

Tasks that make of the backbone of everyday living (or loving).
Forgotten or left undone, we find to our peril, will catch one off guard, in a state of want.

Which is where I am today.

Caught off guard.
In a state of wanting.

Wanting, one more lesson from my mother on how to pick up a stitch in my knitting, or how to get the pleats pressed,
just right,
or all of the other insights that made
up the minutes of our history.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

We will leave here.

You and I can call it home.
Margaret Ruth Smith Hucker
August 13, 1935 - December 8, 2017

We will leave here,
    as my mother did yesterday.

It can sometimes seem like
  there isn't  a trace left,

But, that would be a mistake to think so.

While the traces can sometimes seem like breadcrumbs left along a path,
  not easily found or followed,
it is still there, and always will be there.

In the little moments, the small gestures,
  the eyes of my daughter, that mirror my mother's, looking towards me with love.

Sentences spoken, allow me to hear my mother's voice in my head,
  not realizing I have taken her expressions into my lexicon so deeply.

So deeply,
  she is embedded in my soul,
  it is in the soul we will meet again, and again.

Monday, September 18, 2017

There are cracks in the concrete

Here is hoping this plant is lovely

Thoughts, like the seeds,
work their way up through
the sidewalk of my mind.

Small, tenacious,
eager to fulfill the need to grow.

Forcing the way forward,
as if time had not passed,
knowing only, the powerful desire to grow.

Disregarding attempts,
to stem the tide,
to keep at bay,
vessels of feelings
floating into my heart.

not the concrete barriers of fear,
restraints of time,
or distractions of everyday details
keep these thoughts at bay.

Ah, if only I wasn't so sentient,
life would be so much more blissfully unaware.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Window flowers

Summer is almost gone, at least if you look at the calendar, but we know better. The garden will keep bubbling it's bounty onto my counters, demanding to be used in some meaningful way. Though sometimes, it doesn't quite make it off the counter in time. Oh well.

The grass will continue to grow, as will the weed, and crabgrass between the bricks in my sidewalk.

September feels like it should be almost time off for good behavior, of a summer well planted, groomed and fertilized. Not so.

The flowers will continue to bloom, and here you will get no umbrage from me. Though the roses are long gone, the dahlias, shine forth, making my mornings glisten with dew on the petals. Cosmos, zinnias, phlox, daisy and even a few straggling gladiolas, are bursting forth with glee.

There is one hydrangea by the drive, that has constantly made my day by proving me right, in making the poor plant move to this sunnier location. Now that is validation one doesn't often receive.

Making a risky move, with the hope of making something better out of the mistake made, while one was too young to know better.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Missing Kevin

Kevin, painted by his wife, M'Lou McEneely
My husband's eldest brother, Kevin, was the kind of brother-in-law one should try to have, if at all possible. Stalwart, generous, loyal, funny, and warm. Which makes it even more difficult to have lost him this last Monday.

Infact, had it not been for this man, I would not have met my husband 42 years ago.

He gave my mother a job. He took a chance on a newly divorced woman, who had never held a job in her life, not finished high school, and was sorely lacking in self confidence. My mother had thought maybe she could get a job in a factory or warehouse when she applied. My older sister drove her as she was too scared to go alone.

When she had filled out the paperwork in the HR office, Kevin interviewed her and told her he thought a place in the office would better suit her, and hired her. Then for the next ten years he mentored and promoted her until she was the manager of the order processing department with over 80 employees to manage. Something she never thought possible, yet he saw the possibilities in her, and allowed her the opportunity to find them in herself.

One day, Kevin asked my mother if she had any work for his kid brother. My mother believed in always saying yes to your boss, if at all possible, and that is how my husband came to work for my mother, and I came to meet my husband.

My mother was one of many, many people he nurtured, and smoothed the path for. He did this for his sons, nieces, nephews, friends of the family, and everyone he came in contact with.  He did so quietly, without fanfare, and with grace. I can't ever remember him complaining or speaking ill of anyone willingly.  He had the patience of Job, and then some.

He was kind to me, when I didn't make it easy to be kind, he was very patient with my four children, even when they were very trying. I have a huge debt of gratitude to him. He allowed me transcend what I was, and gave me room to grow into whom I have become.  I will forever be grateful.

To read his obituaryclick here