Home Again!

Home feels best when you’ve been away from it for a while. The thought of returning home after a long trip is nearly as exciting as the trip itself. We just spent two beautiful weeks in Italy where we collected memories, stories and photos that will last us forever. I plan to share some of them, so stay tuned; but for now, I’m enjoying the familiar comforts of home… and doing laundry!

I took 3, 431 photos on my camera and over 200 photos on my cell phone while we were traveling. Needless to say, it will take some time to go through them all, but this one taken at night from a bridge in Venice is bound to be among my favorites.

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I’m glad to be back! I missed you, blogging friends!

Foto Friday #13

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Echo the Footsteps – a haiku

Footsteps, now silent,

resonate as memories

across the old bridge

This bridge is gone now. It was a feature I dearly loved in my neighborhood, but because it was difficult to maintain, the political powers-that-be decided to remove it. I used to go there daily to observe nature, the changing seasons, and either the swift movement or sluggish ripple of the creek below. Dozens of photos like the one above – and my footsteps across this bridge – are cherished memories.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

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While touring Ireland a year ago, we had ample opportunity to sample a variety of liquid refreshment! Local pubs are the heart and soul of the Emerald Isle. Our favorite “pub” experience was at a corner bar in Galway; not so much for the beer, but for the sweetest little old man we encountered there. He was in town that day for a doctor’s appointment and had stopped by his favorite pub for a pint of Guinness before heading home. He clearly enjoyed telling us all about himself and even circled a spot on our map to show us where he was from. You can get a drink anywhere, but the people you share one with make the memories special!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Liquid

A Turn of the Crank

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Deep into ever-dimming light

where dampness dwells on the walls

of what seems a bottomless well,

sinks an old wooden bucket

attached by heavy rope

to a crank turned with ease

by his big strong hands.

Down, down in the murky shadows

the bucket magically fills

with water before he hauls it

out of the darkness and into the light.

The bucket arrives full of clean, clear water

glistening in the sun where the reflection

casts playful spots upon my face.

A ladle hangs, as it always does,

from a hook beside the crank

which he dutifully dips into the water.

Carefully, as though the contents were a prize,

he brings the tarnished ladle to my lips

for a sip of sparkling cold refreshment.

This is how I remember it… decades ago on Grandpa’s farm.

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

Thanksgiving in Hannah’s Kitchen

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Aromas, spicy and strong,

emit themselves from the depths of Hannah’s kitchen

where she busies herself with tasks no one will notice:

potatoes peeled, cranberries washed

and flour swept from the floor after making pies.

Members of her family offer their help

but Hannah finds them useless

like the cold, dead turkey she pats dry.

She fills the bird with stuffing and rubs him with oil,

massaging the skin as if it were a former lover.

She reflects on by-gone days and her early escapades

into the promises and promiscuity of youth.

She glances around the kitchen,

embarrassed by the direction her mind has gone;

just one more reason she is glad to be alone.

She tends to the turkey once again,

preening him like a groom before his wedding.

It startles her when his legs become untucked,

as if wanting to stand up, just once more, in the shallow pan.

Meticulously she binds them—tighter this time

then shoves the whole damn turkey into the oven.

While attending a poetry session at a Writer’s Conference a few weeks ago, we were challenged to write a poem about someone’s kitchen, but not our own. We were to make it feel like a nesting spot for the subject. We were to incorporate the words “tenderly”, “into the oven” and “dead”; and introduce someone new—real or imaginary—halfway through the poem. In the last sentence, we were instructed to use a word we wouldn’t ordinarily use (guess which one that is)! This is the result of that challenge, and also my response to today’s one-word prompt: Nest

Image source: Pinterest

Recite the Pretty Words

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Sometimes I let my mind reach way back. I can almost hear Momma’s voice as she recites the pretty words:

“From the lake, from the hills, from the sky.
All is well, safely rest, God is nigh.”

Then, just as I drift towards peaceful slumber, she moves on to that dreadful song:

“When the bough breaks, the cradle will fall
and down will come baby, cradle and all.”

Forget sleep!

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

A note to my grandchildren: I’ll always try to use the “pretty words”; and I’ll always try to catch you if you fall!

A Moment in Time

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It was one of those moments! A moment when, without a doubt, something divine tapped me on the shoulder and whispered in my ear that this – this very moment – was one I would always remember.

I was enjoying a walk in early fall on the wooded trail near where I live. The walk was filled with countless pleasures! Sunlight was splashing on my face through holes in the ceiling of trees. Leaves, nearing their peak of glory, proceeded to dance with delight all around me. Birds were singing harmoniously while the continuous rush of the nearby creek kept a beat like percussion in natures’ song.

Suddenly out of the blue, there it was! That tap on the shoulder and a whisper that said, “look up”! That’s when I saw the tree. No, that’s when I NOTICED the tree, for I had seen it plenty of times before. But on that particular day it was bathed in golden sunlight much like a scene from a movie. You know what I mean, right? Where the heavens open up and a spotlight beams down on some person, place or thing while angel voices raised in song announce the advent of some kind of miracle? Well, that’s what it was like! I had this sudden recognition of something wonderfully impressive which I had somehow failed to appreciate until then!

I pass that tree nearly every day and each time I do, I pause to remember the moment I first noticed it. It’s not the most magnificent tree in the world, but to me it is stunning none-the-less. I photograph “my tree” each season every year; in spring, summer, fall and winter, and yet I rarely look at the photos. I don’t need to – all I have to do is close my eyes!

PS – I seem to be stuck on “trees” this week! See my last post “Do You See Me” in Poetry.