Tag Archives: memory

Becky’s Freku: The Sun between the Trees

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One day, I went on a stroll along a new path

In hopes of a journey that in my memory will last.

I entered the woods walking, as usual alone, and all the while

Following a narrowly rutted trail.

Upon the ground I kept my eyes ever so keen

Trying not to stumble on the limbs of fallen trees.

I often feel a bit off-balanced and a little clumsy

That the smallest obstruction could render me to my knees.

So very studiously I kept my eyes appealed

For any low-lying obstacle along this trail.

As I stepped carefully along the way

I was surrounded by the emerald greenery of the trees

That towered, swished, and swayed.

Finally I did gaze upward through the leaf-laden trees

Which whispered and swayed in the gentle breeze.

And lo, wouldn’t you know?

The Specter that was peering at me far below?

The glowing sun was so brightly beaming

Like a brilliant iris through the trees was gleaming

Beneath that vast deep blue canvas

Of the high vaulted sky far above us.

And in that gentle and tranquil moment I did know

That the Lord was quietly watching over me far below.

He was keeping me safe and secure

As I continued on my little adventure

Of exploring this peaceful forest of greenery

Where occasional birds musically tweeted.

So indeed this quiet stroll through the trees came to be

A sweet memory that has remained inside of me.

A quiet stroll through

The emerald trees becomes a

Treasured memory.

Remembering My Mom and the Runaway Grocery Cart

Pics from Camera 2-8-2015 361

 

Today, February 13th is my mother’s birthday and she would have been 71 as she was born in 1945. She was gone too suddenly and too soon and I can’t help but miss her. I miss her smiling face and her look of astonishment when I would stop by for a surprise visit. I miss our little chats when we sat in the living room in the evening and her quiet laughter when we watched a light-hearted comedy movie. During the many quiet evenings, she often worked on a project while later is revealed as a Christmas gift. She also shared about her faith in God in very quiet ways.We also used to go on long strolls past the farm fields and visit the tiny pond on our property. Mom enjoyed hearing the sound of frogs at night which was something she remembered as a young girl: listening to the choir of chirps in the night air. She also talked about how she saved money and bought her own radio. With her radio near her bed, she would lay awake and listen to the Grand Ol Opry. She liked taking photographs too but often didn’t like having her own picture taken. As a mom she could be stern at times and let us kids know when she was displeased about something we had done. However, she made sure we all knew that she deeply loved us and there was no end to her love.  My mom was a modest and quiet lady usually too modest to draw attention to herself; this was evident in her quiet mannerisms, often subdued tone of voice, and even her laughter contained a quiet and musical quality. To be sure, I have shared many humorous moments with her when she suddenly would erupt in giddy laughter However, one day unexpectedly, I heard her burst into loud and uncontrollable mirth.

One warm summer day while I was visiting my mom, she had decided she needed to go to the grocery store. Sometimes, if she didn’t need too many groceries, we would just visit a grocery or convenience store in nearby Hixton. However, on this day, she needed more. That meant heading to Burnstad’s in Black River Falls. I accompanied her to the store where she proceeded, with list in hand, to grocery shop. She had the aisles memorized and knew just where to find each item. Often her grocery list was organized according to items needed in each subsequent aisle. I helped to look and grab items she couldn’t reach or I might run back a few aisles to pick up a forgotten item. And, almost always a few extra things get placed into the cart.

We finished shopping, completed our purchase, and headed to our parked car. I was pushing the cart and parked it in back of our vehicle, opened the trunk, and began transferring the groceries into the open space of the trunk. I had all the grocery bags loaded and needed to only transfer the gallon of milk and the watermelon.

Suddenly my mom cried out, “The cart!!”

I turned to see our grocery cart, still containing the milk and the watermelon, rolling downhill across the parking lot. I dashed off as if I had been propelled from a canon to catch up with the runaway cart; but no matter how fast I ran that cart rolled faster. However, I continued to pick up my pace determined to catch up. The crazily careening cart shot across the parking lot, rolled into the grass, and flipped over in the ditch sending the milk and melon flying. Much to my amazement, neither item was broken. I retrieved the cart and the groceries and then headed back to the car and my waiting mother.

As I retraced my footsteps across the parking lot I mentally prepared to apologize to my mom about being so absent-minded as to park the grocery cart on the wrong side of our vehicle. If I had set it next to the car on the uphill side, it would not have rolled off speeding across the pavement and crashed into the ditch. However, I soon found that my apology was unnecessary. When I arrived at the car, I found my mother bent over laughing hysterically; she could not control her mirth. According to her giggle-tainted description, the scene of me chasing this speeding runaway grocery cart across Burnstad’s parking lot looked so ridiculous and absolutely ludicrous that I was convinced I should have been in an episode of The Three Stooges or, perhaps, Laurel and Hardy. After I stored the milk and watermelon into the trunk and safely put away the cart, we headed home which was roughly 13 miles. During the drive, my mom still couldn’t contain her laughter and it was contagious for soon I was smiling and giggling with her.

We arrived at home still unable to subdue our hysterical mirth. Nathan, my nephew, ran out from the poll shed demanding, “What’s so funny?”

Between bursts of giggles I tried to explain, “I just turned around and the cart was gone.”

This made no sense to Nathan so I took a deep breath and explained the tale of my oversight in parking the grocery cart on the wrong side of the car so that it shot across Burnstad’s sloping parking lot and flipped in the ditch. Then I picked up the milk and the watermelon from the trunk and exclaimed, “But look, neither the milk nor the watermelon were smashed. Isn’t that good?”

Nathan shook his head and smiled.

It was not every day that I had the sweet opportunity to hear my mother’s unhindered and joyful laughter. That day was an unexpected and special gift. While she lived on earth, my mother faced her share of hardships and disappointments but even during those times she made sure her children and grandchildren knew they were loved. She worked hard over the years to take care of the family she loved so much. She also basked in the sunlight on warm and beautiful days when she could sit outside in the yard to hear and watch a nearby water fountain which sent a tiny waterfall gushing over the stones and into a small pond. There was a sense of gentle calmness when listening to the trickling water. Nearby she had set up bird feeders so she could watch the colorful humming birds fly in and feed. Those were wonderfully pleasant days to sit and just visit. Often I wish and yearn to have just one more day with my mom. Each memory I have today of her is a gift that I treasure in my mind and heart.

Glimpse of a Memory

Last night I had a dream

Of a quiet wintry scene.

The vision lasted only seconds

And, at first, I didn’t comprehend

As the place looked unfamiliar to me.

But soon more details I could clearly see;

A small shed near the towering old barn

And banks of snow piled up in the yard.

A pristine white drive leading to the road

And to the old mailbox upon a metal pole.

The sky glistened a brilliant blue

Beneath the sun’s glowing hue

As understanding dawned and I did know;

I was standing in the place of my old childhood home

Where my siblings and I spent many wintry days

Sledding down the gently sloping driveway.

The scene too quickly faded and yet remains in me;

A yearning glimpse of a distant memory.

Becky’s Haiku: Black and White

 

Becky and Debbie on tractor_edited

The black and White photo, is a

Memory preserved of long ago.

I have just attempted yet another haiku challenge from Ronovan Writes blog using the words “black” and “white”. These prompts from Ronovan can really be a fun challenge to the mind.  If you like writing poetry challenges and haiku’s then I invite you to also accept his latest challenge at this link: https://ronovanwrites.wordpress.com/2015/11/30/ronovanwrites-weekly-haiku-poetry-prompt-challenge-73-blackwhite/

Writing 101 Day 7: Starting with a Quote about Hope

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“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”

Holy Bible NIV

I have heard it once said, “Joy is a choice; choose joy.” As I awake on any given morning, gaze out the window, I can choose to be joyful or not. Well, I am also learning along life’s pathway that hope is also a choice. I can wake up on any morning and decide to be hopeful or not. Admittedly, there are days when choosing to be joyful or hopeful are very hard to do when I am in the middle of a difficult situation or perhaps, when I have been disappointed because my latest dream was slashed to pieces.  Or I wake up realizing I have a huge problem.

Several months ago, that is exactly what happened; I woke up one spring morning and found I had no electricity in the house. I wondered around checking all the rooms. As I entered the kitchen and looked out the window, I found a huge problem; a huge tree had fallen during the night and had pulled the electrical wires out of my house. It damaged an entire wall. The lower interior south wall looked fine but once I stepped outdoors, the story changed. A large section of the outer wall was missing and a window from the attic had also flown out.  I was much shaken and wasn’t sure what to do first. Being on my own, there is no one to call for help.  I started with the city utility office and went from there. They had already found my fallen tree and turned off power to my house until I could make repairs. I had to arrange for emergency tree removal, have my wall repaired, fix the electrical hardware, and then I could have power. But all of that could not be done in one day. Completing all the repairs was a long process in which I needed to work with my insurance company and pay my deductible to have everything done.  Also due to lack of power, I was temporarily displaced from my home. My insurance company was really good and paid for my temporary stay in a hotel where I also received hot breakfasts.  Additionally, the hotel was near my worksite so getting to work every day was not a problem. No doubt, God was good as he kept blessing and providing for my needs.

But as this process continued on, it was easy to lose sight of hope. I was so anxious for everything to be fixed in an instant and life be back to normal. My mother did tell me more than once that I was too impatient. The practice of being patience is a lifelong endeavor for me. How I wish I could hear my mom’s gentle and cheerful voice one more time.  Also, my finances tend to be tight so this personal catastrophe was a huge drain. I felt sick to my stomach as I contemplated this latest mess in my life. Furthermore, I was displaced from my home over Mother’s Day weekend. Both my parents have passed away and I didn’t receive the blessing and honor of becoming a mother. Therefore, not only was I temporarily “homeless”, I also was all alone while everyone else I could think of was celebrating and spending special time with their families.  The weather did not help matters either as it was raining with heavy gray clouds in the air; the charcoal gray scene outside my large hotel window seemed to deepen my gloomy mood. So I rested on the unfamiliar bed in tears.

The next day, Sunday which was the dreaded Mother’s Day, on my calendar, I did manage to muster the willfulness to attend church and tried to stay close to God in quiet prayer. Because my own mother wasn’t here and I wasn’t a mom, I knew I would be spending most of the day all alone; a sense of hopelessness, like a large boulder, had parked itself in my stomach. Considering the special family holiday, everyone I met at church had plans to spend with their loved ones.  So, as expected, I returned to my home away from home all alone. But something made today different from yesterday. I was struck by a sense of restless;  felt as if God was nudging me and saying, “Come on, you don’t want to stay cooped up in here all day.” For by now, the weather outside had gradually changed. The dark, soaking rainstorms of yesterday and this morning had finally dissipated. In place of the storms was a bright blue sky beneath brilliant and warm sunshine. No, I didn’t want to stay indoors all day.

I wandered outside where I could smell the fresh spring air and feel the warmth of the sun wrap my bare arms. Since this area was new to me I felt adventurous enough to embark on a new path where my footsteps have never wandered before. Although the highway was nearby, I was also surrounded by the greenery of the ground, the bushes, and the trees.  Singing birds glided and swooped high above me. I smelled sweet lilacs along the way which was a tender reminder of my childhood home where each spring new lilacs bloomed along the road. As I walked along, I felt hopefulness trying to return to calm and soothe my aching soul.  It was as if the Lord was quietly speaking inside of my heart and kindly telling me it was my choice to make. I could continue this day in a sense of gloom and, “oh, woe is me” attitude or I could choose to hope and firmly believe that all will be well and fine; I just needed to continue to trust and believe over time. So with a silent prayer and taking a long, slow breath, I resolved that today I would choose hopefulness.  With a lighter heart and a burst of cheerful energy, I felt that once immovable boulder in my stomach slowly melt away. I continued along, letting God gently speak to me. And being a writer of poetry, I sensed a new poem forming in my thoughts. Often I write poems as a way to remind myself of the little milestones between the Lord and me; my writings are like a memory album of my walk in faith. God had meant for me to remember this day and how I emerged from this long tunnel of dark gloom to embrace renewed hope now resting inside of me.

After the Rain

The sun brightly appears after a stormy spell

Letting everyone know that all again is well.

The shrilling wind has lessened its’ churning

While the pelting rain has ceased it’s drumming.

Trees, shrubs, flowers, and everything green

Is bathed in wetness on this summery day in Spring.

A new fresh scent permeate  the air;

A welcomed sign that the earth is renewed and fair.

Such a sweet blessing to remember and realize

That the loving Lord is in charge: rain, snow, or sunshine.

And at night when the orange setting sun is dipping low,

He stays in charge of all our nights, and our hopes for tomorrow.

Poetry 201 Assignment 9: Landscape, Found Poetry, and Enumeration

 

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Okay, I completed assignment 9 in which I needed to write a Found poem about ‘landscape’ and include some enumeration (a list). Found poetry I learned is when you gather a collage of words like cutting them from a newspaper and then use those words in a poem.Other poets were much more creative than I by arranging theirs’ in a crossword pattern to illustrate the concepts of their poems. This took me a long time and I probably overdid it. The picture above illustrates the collage of words I used for this poem.

Forever Changing Landscape

From one century to another and one lifetime to the next generation,

The earth’s multi-faceted landscape is forever changing.

From the warm weather of spring to the humid days of summer,

And then transforming from the colorful fall season to snow white winter.

The land of earth is continuously transforming as moving time is a steady constant

While the passing seasons and the world itself are inconsistent variants.

 An enchanted traveler might see the view shift gradually or with sudden surprise

As if surrounded by the deep darkness of night when bursts a glorious sunrise.

For traveling through America is like mentally picking up the vast pieces

 Of a larger than life picture perfect puzzle as each state represents just a speck.

Whether touring by bus, car, cycle, or by riding on the river;

Or perhaps take to the trails by looping around the lakes

In an ambitious and challenging hiking adventure,

An unexpected surprise may meet your wondrous eyes

While you journey from the dawn of morning until the dusk of night.

Ranging from the hot, sandy deserts of Arizona to the north shore of wintry Alaska

And from the mountains of Wyoming to the fields and farms of Kansas and Nebraska;

The land, rivers, forests, and mountains do not remain stale and stagnant.

Instead they all steadily flow by your passenger window; moving, colorful and dynamic.

Even when traveling from one brightly lit up city to yet another,

You may expect to view similar, towering skyscrapers

And perhaps be in reverent awe of their architecture.

However, experiencing the sights and sounds of New York City’s Broadway

Does not compare to walking along the shoreline of San Francisco Bay.

And if one should venture around the world while soul-searching,

The sights of historic Greece would greatly defer from the Eastern Caribbean.

In such travels what peace of mind, new hope, and good delight

May inspire one to adopt new and fresh perspectives on life.

When one chooses to embark on an unknown and great journey;

May it be an exceptional journey to never forget but linger and echo in memory.

Poetry 201 Assignment 7: Fingers, Prose Poetry, and Assonance

 

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Continuing in my poetry class, I was asked to write a piece of prose poetry in which the poem looks like prose but can you see the poetry within? It includes the subject of fingers and a technique known as assonance in which a repeating vowel sound is used. Can you determine what repeating vowel sound I used throughout this poem?  I hope you enjoy reading it.

Fingers on the Keyboard

Fingers floating and sliding along the plastic keys as I tried to remember the last melody. When was it that I struck a key followed by another and another? I plucked C, B, G, E, and sometimes D. Such a mystery as the last time keeps escaping me. When did I last take a seat with content upon a piano bench and played a tune with such gentle sweet ease? However now, I no longer have my grandmother’s piano, you see. Instead I have this electronic keyboard for simple melodies and that seemed just right for me.  Such a lifetime ago it was when my fingers danced gingerly and with subtle familiarity caressing and pressing those musical keys. Oh those sweet notes, the ebony and the ivory playing alternately and creating a sweet sounding melody.  When struck together they resonate in pleasing and lingering harmony. Although admittedly when oft my unpracticed fingers did glide over the black and white keys one may hear unmistakable disharmony. Many memories reside in me playing but constantly dismaying at the clash of keys in off-tuned melodies. I am not as talented as I would like to be to play this fine musical instrument; this assortment of black and white vibrating keys. Melody and harmony are too much for me and their mastery has too often eluded me.  So my fingers became still and my keyboard became silent; as quiet as can be. It serves now only as a tangible memory of my younger days when I would strive so determinedly to play a simple and sweet melody.