“Hey, Bud”

“Who do we have here?”, the man asked me as I walked with my grandson on the hiking trail behind my house.

I walk on the trail nearly every day and often pass this man as we go in opposite directions. We exchange brief pleasantries, usually about the weather.

One day when my grandson was visiting, he joined me on my morning walk. He had just gotten a hair-cut in preparation for his first day of Kindergarten. The cut was pretty dramatic – a mohawk – so it was hard to miss! We passed the man on the trail. “Who do we have here?” he asked me, and to my grandson he said, “Hey, Bud! I like the way you cut your hair!”

My grandson just looked at him and said, “I didn’t cut it”!

The man thought that was hilarious and could be heard laughing as he continued his walk passed us.

My grandson apparently felt the need to explain: “Well, I didn’t cut it, Grammy! The barber did!”

“I know, honey”, I said as we walked towards home. He looked confused, but I was amused!

For Ragtag Daily Prompt: Bud

It’s Only Words #12

Wishing You Cupcakes!

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Statistically speaking, I live in an affluent community—but statistics don’t mean a thing if you’re struggling to make ends meet. Whether in the continuous rut of poverty or a sudden downturn in luck, many families here need assistance. At our local food pantry where I volunteer once a week, these families can rely on the generosity of others for some basic necessities. Many churches, schools and scout troops in our area donate regularly to the food pantry.

One very charitable grocery store chain contributes their day-old bakery items. So, there – among the canned vegetables, boxes of cereal, rolls of toilet paper and bars of soap – are loaves of bread, packages of buns, muffins, donuts and cake! Families are limited according to size as to the number of staples they can receive, but they may take as many of the baked goods as they want since what’s left at the end of the limited expiration date will be disposed of.

It’s the cupcakes that are the most special! Thickly frosted and beautifully decorated, these colorful treats are like the sun in an otherwise cloudy sky for the children who come to the pantry. Two little girls, somewhere between my grandchildren’s ages of 4 and 8, were with their grandmother one day when she came in for supplies. As I gathered the essentials they needed, I let them know they were welcome to pick out a few bakery items. The grandmother selected a loaf of bread and hamburger buns. She told the girls they could get a package of donuts or cupcakes to share. They wanted cupcakes but couldn’t decide between a 6-pack of white or chocolate. I quietly told their grandmother they could each have what they wanted if that was OK with her, as we had plenty of cupcakes that day.

Oh my! You’d have thought it was Christmas morning! With giggles of delight, the youngest girl picked out white cupcakes with pink frosting and rainbow-colored sprinkles; the other one got chocolate with mounds of red, white and blue frosting.

I watched them walk away—the grandmother with her bags of grocery items, and the girls with their package of cupcakes held close like a favorite toy. They offered me shy smiles and waves as they got into the car. My heart was happy!

My wish for you is that you do what makes your heart happy! Approach the holiday season with excitement and joy… as if you’ve just been given an assortment of beautifully decorated cupcakes!

Image courtesy of Redbook

Of Leaves and Children

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In an early Autumn rain

golden leaves stick like glue

to the spot where they fall,

but when winds dry the dampness

from the floor of the earth,

it relieves wet leaves

of their burden.

Freed leaves grow restless!

They drift and scurry!

Some stay close to home,

but some scatter far, far away.

Leaves are like children!

Speaking of leaves, here is a haiku for Ragtag Daily Prompt: Elusive

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An elusive leaf

snatched up by a gust of wind

dances on for miles

In Light of Christmas

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They’re just children. The same children they are on any other day of the year.  But on Christmas, her sweetness seems sweeter and his delight, more delightful. I catch myself watching them more intently, memorizing their faces. Their smiles are bigger, and their eyes magically reflect the light of the twinkling tree. Their laughter is more melodic than the carols drifting softly through the air. When I force my eyes from my grandchildren, they immediately rest on my daughter. I remember her at their age. The sweetness and delight she possessed back then is still there, but now it’s more mature. Motherhood came naturally to her; it seems to have been her calling. I realize I see her with pride for the woman and mother she has become; who sits there, in the light of Christmas, watching her children and memorizing their faces.

PS – Happy Holidays to ALL my blogging friends!

My response to today’s one-word prompt: Calling

‘Tis the Season for Wishes

In this season of wish lists and gift-giving, perhaps this is what children REALLY want:

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A CHILD’S WISH LIST

 

Hide me, seek me,

chase me ‘round the tree.

Catch me, hold me,

bounce me on your knee.

Rock me, hug me,

cheer me when I’m sad.

Nurture me, enrich me,

forgive me when I’m bad.

Surprise me, delight me,

treat me to your laughter.

Excite me, train me,

give me a task to master.

Comfort me, soothe me,

heal me when I’m hurt.

Protect me, warn me,

help me stay alert.

Notice me, advise me,

correct me when I’m wrong.

Enjoy me, cherish me,

miss me when I’m gone.

Prepare me, lead me,

expect me to be kind.

Calm me, quiet me,

allow me to unwind.

Support me, guide me,

encourage me not to quit.

Humor me, indulge me,

spoil me just a bit.

Praise me, inspire me,

teach me how to pray.

Believe me, trust me,

find me if I stray.

See me, hear me,

answer me when I call.

Accept me, respect me,

love me most of all!

This is not a new poem – I wrote it for my grandson when he was 6 months old. You know, when our children and grandchildren are babies, we have such dreams for them! We are positive we can make their little world nearly perfect. Then life happens; we get overwhelmed, they get more demanding and we realize that perfection is not even close to attainable, nor should it be! But raising good, respectful, happy children isn’t impossible. We must simply remember what’s important to THEM!

I pictorialized this photo with a “colored pencil” edit.

The House in my Heart

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There’s a house in my heart

where I’ve built you a room

with windows in the sun to keep you warm,

through which shines the glow of day,

or the twinkling of the Milky Way,

while the moon up above

throws down beams of love

for you to catch and save.

I’ve filled your room with precious things

like butterflies and fishing poles,

teddy bears and dress-up clothes,

dogs and cats, balls and bats,

pots of gold at rainbows’ end,

and friend, after friend, after friend.

At the house in my heart

the grass is greener, the sky is bluer,

the clouds the whitest of white.

Breezes blow, not harshly to push you,

but gently to guide you,

sweeping the hair from your face

so you can see clearly the road before you

and which of the paths you should take.

If it should rain at the house in my heart,

raindrops of perfect pitch and rhythm

soothe your soul and

sing you softly to sleep.

While you lay dreaming

the faint sounds you hear

are rain fairies splashing at play.

Then after its shower,

the earths’ clean fresh smell

will wake you to a brand-new day.

Of all the rooms at the house in my heart,

my favorite room will be

the one you pack full of beautiful pictures,

some call them memories,

of all that you say and all that you do

and all that you hope to be.

The one to which you hold the key –

your room at the house in my heart.

My response to today’s one-word prompt: Giant

Why post this poem under one-word prompt “Giant”? Because it was a giant step in writing for me. It was the first piece I wrote as a gift to my grandchildren; and I did it years ago, long before I even HAD grandchildren. I just knew this is how I would feel about them.  And it is – it really is!

Ban the Messy Squirrels!

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I was taking a walk one day with my almost 3-year-old granddaughter. Along the way we noticed periodic piles of crushed walnuts on the path. I explained to her that the squirrels had opened the walnuts to get to the nuts inside. So, she says: “Well Grammy, someday when I’M a squirrel…I won’t make a mess with my nuts like that!” It’s probably safe to assume that all the messy squirrels will be bannedwhen SHE becomes a squirrel!

My response to today’s one-word prompt: Banned