Category Archives: Life

When Poetry is the only way to say it

Goals and Tasks: Planning for SuccessWhen did we become so quick to hate? Race, religion, political disagreement, economic differences. It doesn’t seem to matter.  We even threaten others when they don’t end a series the way we thought it should. It’s all made easy and impersonal by social media.

I had an English teacher in high school, Mr. White. This was in the 70’s when race riots were happening on a regular basis. He asked a white kid, what color is your blood. He asked the same question of a black kid. Both answered red. He looked at the class and said “Then, where’s the difference?”

That has stayed with me my entire life. Racism is another form of hate.

Hate is not genetic. It’s taught. It’s taught from the moment we bring our innocent baby into this world. By our examples. By our reactions to the people around us.

When my feelings about something run deep, only poetry allows me to express it. I wrote this a few weeks ago.  So much hate and anger on the news, boiling over into our day-to-day activities. Both sides of the argument were more intent on expressing anger than empowering change. Only when we see our similarities with kindness and empathy will we be able to be the change.

When you strip away race, religion, sexual preference, political beliefs,  how different are we really?

What color is your blood? Mine is red.

Why do you hate me so?
We are mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters
We get up in the morning, work
Take care of families.
Wipe noses, comfort children.
 
Why do you hate me so?
The same sun rises in the morning
The moon at night.
We share the night sky in all its beauty.
The same earth beneath our feet.
 
Why do you hate me so?
We want the same things.
Peace. Love. Joy.
A better life for our children.
A home of our own.
 
Why do you hate me so?
Our blood flows red when cut
Our lungs fill with air, exhale
Our hearts beat fast in fear
And flutter in love.
 
Why do you hate me so?
We birth children
We suffer sorrow.
We laugh
We cry
We bleed
Feel pain
Are we so different?
Why do you hate me so?
 

Thanks for indulging me….

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Easter and the Family Feast – Southern Style

2010 March 30 Glencairn ACG1Growing up Easter was a huge deal in our house. My mom would sew new dresses for my sisters and I and  a new suit for my brother. Easter baskets were set out for the Easter Bunny. We would go to church and then to Glencairn Garden  for pictures of the kids among the blooming azaleas. We would hunt eggs in the yard and be off to the grandparents.

Now, we are all grown with children and grandchildren. It’s off to Grandma’s house for dinner after church.

Going to church on Easter is a huge part of my southern heritage. It was the one day of the year everyone would show up whether they wanted to or not. You had to get there early or not have a place to park.

Food was also a huge part of Easter. There were chocolate bunnies, and those fruit and nut eggs, jelly beans, and hard boiled eggs we’d colored and decorated.1208-idea-house-outdoor-space-l

Spring in the south lasts about a minute. We go from 32 degrees to 80 in the course of a day or so in March and April. Our last freeze date is mid-April, so if Easter is late like this year, we have fresh strawberries coming in. Low Country tomatoes are getting ripe. If you are lucky, Easter Sunday won’t be too cold or too hot, but just a beautiful, low-humid day. Front porch weather.

This year is special. My son and his wife and their beautiful baby girl are coming. We’ll have glazed-ham-ck-1120262-xthree generations together for Sunday dinner. There will be blackberry-mustard glazed ham, sweet potatoes with bacon and onion, salads, veggies, macaroni and cheese, strawberry shortcake, and many other goodies.  And biscuits. Can’t forget biscuits.

Since it’s Baby Girl’s first Easter, there will be sweet little favors made by my very creative daughter-in-law and a lot of photos. Maybe even an egg hunt.

I never thought about how special these times were, until I started writing about the South. I’m beginning to realize how special it was to grow up where people talk to total strangers and always say ‘hi’. If one thing comes out of writing this series, it’s my appreciation for where I grew up.

How about you? What traditions do you celebrate in Spring? What’s the one dish you have to have to celebrate at your house?

 

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Change – It’s inevitable

need-a-changeJust a brief post today as I’m in the middle of one of the best craft books I’ve read in a long time. It’s filled me with AHA! moments. Don’t worry, more to come later.

I’ll be reworking my website over the next few months. Why? I’ve decided to write a contemporary romance series. It’s growing by leaps and bounds as new characters move into my fictional southern town.

I’m not giving up on the regency historicals by no means. I love writing historicals, but I needed a break. With national novel writing next month, I thought I’d get this story out of my head to make more room for Sophia’s story, the second book in the Townsend Family series.

Those of you who have heard about Miss Townsend’s Unexpected Wish, it is finished and off to an editor who requested the full. I have my fingers crossed and am on my knees hoping this editor will love Anne as much as I do.

Stay tuned. More to come.

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Letter Writing: A Lost Art

writing letter0001While my son is in basic training with the Air Force, we can only communicate via mail. Remember the mail? Where you wrote out the envelope and applied a stamp?  In this world of emails, text messaging and skype, old fashioned letter writing is a lost art.

The Saturday before Mother’s Day, I received flowers from my oldest and his wife.  I also received a letter from my son in basic.  I had hoped he’d be able to call, but not until the 4th week.  This letter is most precious. It’s short. He wished me a happy mother’s day. He’s fine and wanted more football news.  So mundane, but I find myself reading it over and over. I’ve saved them all.

I now understand the importance of letters to Regency women. This was their only lifeline to news and to each other. I imagine that waiting for the post could be the highlight of the day. Writing letters was their only form of communication when they were apart.

Distance was another factor. Today we think nothing of driving thirty miles to visit someone.  We track distance in the number of minutes we can get there in. Not so with my Regency characters.  Even five miles was a great distance if one had to walk. In an Unexpected Wish, Anne and her family can’t afford a horse, so she walked everywhere.  Letters were precious.

sealedletterIn his last letter, my son asked that we write more. I’d like to think he’ll save these letters from home, treasure them as we treasure his. I’m probably wrong, but it has been a good experience for us both.  Hearing from a loved one in written form, where you can hold it in your hand, fold it and re-read it again and again, is an amazing experience.

When was the last time you physically wrote a letter to someone you cared about?

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A new curve in the journey

United_States_Air_Force_logo,_blue_and_silverMonday my last son leaves for Air Force basic training. My job of raising my boys ends and a new phase begins. My mother put it best. Your children are on loan to you to raise and cherish, then to let go so they can make their way in this world.

I’m not sure how I feel about that. We’ve had children in the house for a long time. When my oldest left, it was in steps. First he got his own apartment, then he moved to Florida. He was within driving distance. Then he moved home. I needed him at that time. Then he moved to New Mexico — a 3 day drive. I cried in the driveway.

We are lucky to be in this age of digital communication.  We can text, email, facetime, skype with loved ones any time we want. We can see them face to face. It eases the pain and the distance between us.

Now my youngest leaves. It’s different this time.  This is the son I have secret giggles with. He’s always trying to make me laugh. This tall, thin, young man is going to serve the country. I’m so proud of him I can hardly speak without tears.hands-holding-newborn-300x198

It’s just my husband and I after all these years.  Funny how we looked forward to this time together and now that its here, I’m not sure what to do with it.  We have our first grandchild on the way and I’m not sure how to be a grandmother.

Where did the time go? I’m looking forward to this new curve. I’m hoping to get more writing done. I’m hoping to travel to visit my son as he spends time in exotic places. (I’m secretly hoping he gets stationed in England for three years.) I can’t wait to hold my grandchild in my arms and smell that sweet baby smell, rock him/her to sleep in my arms.

Yeah, saying good-bye hurts, but life is good and I’m thankful for the different curves in the journey.

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