November 21, 2010

Giving Thanks....

We're going away for Thanksgiving dinner and I'm giving thanks for the invitation to our daughter's house. No three days of cooking for this mom.

My oldest daughter does the turkey just the way I like it, tender and moist - she's a great cook and while there are many things I love about her, I especially love that she's a good cook and loves to cook. It's one other thing that we share as well as our love of books and reading. That's a whole other blog - all the books we've shared over the years. She started out just as I did. Reading books in bed late at night as a teen when she was supposed to be sleeping.

To our special dinner, I'm contributing the stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, plus the cherry and pumpkin pies. I may do homemade rolls as well. I know the grand kids who'll be there, Dan and Jillian, love my rolls and so they will be appreciated. All right, so I love them too!

Today I made the pie crusts and put them into the freezer. Makes the pie making go much smoother on baking day. With some leftover crust I made six applesauce tarts in my cupcake pan. R and I love them. I kicked the plain applesauce up a notch by adding nutmeg and cinnamon and extra sugar. Now that I've downed two tarts I can attest - they were delicious.

Whatever you are doing on Thanksgiving, remember to give thanks not only for the food, and for those who prepared it, but for those who are sharing it with you, and for those who might not be as fortunate.

This year, I'm especially thankful for the gift of writing.
I still believe it's a gift --- to be able to pull words out of the air and create a story that makes someone else feel happy or sad. Or some other feeling.
It's amazing.

I've had a prosperous year writing. And I appreciate the many friends I've gained through this blog. Thank you!

Have a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving.
And keep writing.

November 18, 2010

Grandma's Rocking Chair...

Grandma’s Rocking Chair
by: B.W.

Grandma’s rocking chair -
passed on to our daughter -
headed for Wisconsin
loaded in a U Haul, nestled
between an antique secretary,
and a refinished dresser -
mirror long gone.

Our three year old triplet
grandchildren, faces pressed
to the window of the van,
wave good bye to me and grandpa
in the driveway, their tears
breaking our hearts.

Our daughter, Jill,
heavy with the child of her new husband,
hums to the children
And soon they are fast asleep.

The rocking will start
while baby is in the womb,
this new grandson of ours,
whose name before
he's even born, is Austin Cole.
He will learn from his mother
How rocking soothes the soul.
Nourishes the spirit.
Links us one to the other
And to generations past and future.
just as we were linked
as children forming the circle
for ring around the rosey.

-the end-
Comments Welcome!

November 1, 2010

Is Life what you Gather or Scatter?

RED MARBLES
By Anonymous


I was at the corner grocery store buying some early potatoes. I noticed a small boy, delicate of bone and feature, ragged but clean, hungrily appraising a basket of freshly picked green peas.

I paid for my potatoes but was also drawn to the display of fresh green peas. I am a pushover for creamed peas and new potatoes. Pondering the peas, I couldn't help overhearing the conversation between Mr. Miller (the store owner) and the ragged boy next to me.

'Hello Barry, how are you today?'

'H'lo, Mr. Miller. Fine, thank ya. Jus' admirin' them peas. They sure look good.'

'They are good, Barry. How's your Ma?'

'Fine. Gittin' stronger alla' time.'

'Good. Anything I can help you with?'

'No, Sir. Jus' admirin' them peas.'

'Would you like to take some home?' asked Mr. Miller.

'No, Sir. Got nuthin' to pay for 'em with.'

'Well, what have you to trade me for some of those peas?'

'All I got's my prize marble here.'

'Is that right? Let me see it' said Miller..

'Here 'tis. She's a dandy.'

'I can see that.. Hmmmmm, only thing is this one is blue and I sort of go for red. Do you have a red one like this at home?' the store owner asked.

'Not zackley but almost..'

'Tell you what. Take this sack of peas home with you and next trip this way let me look at that red marble'.. Mr. Miller told the boy.

'Sure will. Thanks Mr. Miller.'

Mrs. Miller, who had been standing nearby, came over to help me.. With a smile she said, 'There are two other boys like him in our community, all three are in very poor circumstances. Jim just loves to bargain with them for peas, apples, tomatoes, or whatever. When they come back with their red marbles, and they always do, he decides he doesn't like red after all and he sends them home with a bag of produce for a green marble or an orange one, when they come on their next trip to the store.'

I left the store smiling to myself, impressed with this man. A short time later I moved to Colorado , but I never forgot the story of this man, the boys, and their bartering for marbles.

Several years went by, each more rapid than the previous one. Just recently I had occasion to visit some old friends in that Idaho community and while I was there learned that Mr. Miller had died.


They were having his visitation that evening and knowing my friends wanted to go, I agreed to accompany them. Upon arrival at the mortuary we fell into line to meet the relatives of the deceased and to offer whatever words of comfort we could.

Ahead of us in line were three young men. One was in an army uniform and the other two wore nice haircuts, dark suits and white shirts.....all very professional looking. They approached Mrs. Miller, standing composed and smiling by her husband's casket. Each of the young men hugged her, kissed her on the cheek, spoke briefly with her, and moved on to the casket..

Her misty light blue eyes followed them as, one by one; each young man stopped briefly and placed his own warm hand over the cold pale hand in the casket. Each left the mortuary awkwardly, wiping his eyes.

Our turn came to meet Mrs. Miller. I told her who I was and reminded her of the story from those many years ago and what she had told me about her husband's bartering for marbles. With her eyes glistening, she took my hand and led me to the casket.

'Those three young men who just left were the boys I told you about. They just told me how they appreciated the things Jim 'traded' them. Now, at last, when Jim could not change his mind about color or size.....they came to pay their debt.'

'We've never had a great deal of the wealth of this world,' she confided, 'but right now, Jim would consider himself the richest man in Idaho.'

With loving gentleness she lifted the lifeless fingers of her deceased husband. Resting underneath were three exquisitely shined red marbles.

The Moral: We will not be remembered by our words, but by our kind deeds. Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath......

Today I wish you a day of ordinary miracles ~ A fresh pot of coffee you didn't make yourself...An unexpected phone call from an old friend...Green stoplights on your way to work....The fastest line at the grocery store...A good sing-along song on the radio...Your keys found right where you left them.

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU GATHER, BUT WHAT YOU SCATTER THAT TELLS WHAT KIND OF LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED.
PS
A friend sent this to me through email. It made me stop and think about how I conduct my daily life. Hopefully, I'll slow down some and scatter some kindness along the way.
God Bless!
Barb