Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Family news

Hi all! Here is an update on the family.

Katherine: busy busy busy... the school year is in full swing and that means she is over the moon with work. Still finds plenty of time for Scott and Christopher (a junior in high school and running x-country, doing mock trial, and very involved in church).   I am grateful for frequent calls to me. I love that she calls on her way home from work several days a week. Nice private Mom/Daughter time. Scott is busy with his job too and yet finds time to call regularly. His girls are living back with their mother, not the best thing for them or him, but there is nothing to be done about that at the moment. 

Kristin: busy busy busy... work as usual and she just went to a nursing conference in D.C. where she visited Arlington and the grave site of my parents. A sad moment to be sure. She called me from there and we had a bit of a "boo-hoo" together on the phone. She also took pictures of the newly-engraved niche cover. It has been fixed as to the date error of my mother's info and the Purple Heart is back (it had been omitted when her info was put on originally) Thanks Kris for letting me see it is fine now. Alexander is a senior and we are planning a trip to CA in June for his graduation. Justin at VVC for some general ed. stuff before deciding what to do about going back to NAU for upper division work.

Gina: busy busy busy... work and kids' activities and balancing too many of those. Kids are involved up to their ears in scouts (Jake) , water polo (Nick) and drama performances (Jennie)
Hubby Bill still playing music with his group and spending time with his kids when he can.

Erin: busy busy busy (see a theme emerging here?)... running around like a chicken with kids activities and taking care of a senior lady (Ann) and another woman's household (personal assistant?). Adam busy too with job at Microsoft (loves it and is doing great there!) Jozeph is doing so well in school and enjoyed playing kid football. Jenna Bee is her sweet self, enjoying first grade.

Richard: way busier than we want to know! His life is filled with job and managing the three boys and worrying about Yeya (his wife) who is having another cancer surgery. Prayers for these folks, please.

Lauren: busy busy busy... running around doing kid stuff with a very active three year old (almost) and taking care of Matt who is recouping from serious back surgery. He is chomping at the bit to get back to his job as fire captain. It must be bugging him to be home with all the fires to be fighting now in So California. Patience Matt! Alyssa (9) and Megan (7) are busy with school and Brownies/Girl Scouts as well as their other interests. Lauren's scrapbooking job ended when the store closed. She is getting her online scrapbooking business up soon. Watch for info on that.

Bill and I are busy too, getting the house ready for winter and preparing for a trip to the White Mts of NH and then to my sister's for Turkey Day. Soon it will snow, but so far the ground is just bare and the air is cold. Brrrr. But we love winter here. Way more than in CA.

Enough for now. What are YOU doing?

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my winter poem from assignment 11/18/08


It's easy to know that when the horizon blackens,
something new is on the way, a dream rinsed
in yesterday's black mood. The sun spins away like a mad kite,
its light a shattered wine glass on the hearth. 
How can we mend visions of fuchsia and heather
when there is less and less, not a crumb to gather
for the table? And what of the plot to bury the yard
in shrouds of white? What witch cast that spell here?
What moth ate all the leaves we planted? Stay deaf and dumb,
wait for the sky to open again, to cast its bluest eye
on the yard again, to rouse the seeds that sleep now. Wait
as the bird waits on her egg. It is a season of windows.
Hear the nothing of falling snow. Wait. Watch the sky.

today's assignment 11/18/2008

Try this: write a 20 line (or longer) poem about winter without mentioning winter. Here are some words to include: blacken, crumb, rinse, spin, moth, glass, mend, witch, plot, dumb. You may notice that some of these words are off or half rhymes with one another. Hmmmm? Could there be something to that? You can use these, use some, use none. Just write.

Go ahead now, pick up your pen. Make tea. Eat chocolate. WRITE!

a winter poem

Here is a winter poem of mine. It was first published by The Comstock Review. Enjoy. Send in your own winter poems!

awol on my own blog

Hi everyone! I have been away from my blog because I couldn't remember how to get back! (stop laughing! really, just stop!) OK, I look like a non-tecchie here, but I really do have brain fade sometimes when it comes to these things. Sorry. I promise to be better.

It is getting to be winter here in Maine and my thoughts turn to snow and ice and the coziness of being "tucked in" behind the glass. It is actually my favorite time of the year when there is actually TIME to sit and knit and write. I am teaching two classes (Freshman and Soph Comp) so I have constraints on my time. But I enjoy it, and hope I am making a difference for my students. 

One really great thing about winter here is loads of time to read. The stack next to my chair is growing. I read and then cannot bear to put the good book into the bookcase. After all, I might want to get back in! I'd love to hear from my friends and family what they are reading, so come on! Give me some hints as to what I could add to the stack! 

I went to the Dodge Poetry Festival this fall and brought back a group of books  (poetry of course) and I think I will create a topic later for books we love. So watch for that one. Anyway, I am reading a great collection of war poems, American War Poetry, edited by Lorrie Goldensohn. It traces poems from the pre-colonial time to the present day. Wow. Poets have surely been writing about war a long time. I have been surprised by a few of these. Who knew that the Star-Spangled Banner was originally entitled, Defence of Fort Mc Henry? or that it has three other stanzas? Who knew that Robert Frost wrote war poetry? I recommend reading "Not to Keep," which is wonderful. Although it was written about W.W. I, it is pertinent today. I guess that is one thing about war poems: they (like war) are timeless. I hope for a day when no one will have to write war poems. Having said that, I am doing it myself, adding to the ones in my collection (Daughter of the Ardennes Forest). I guess it will get to be a longer collection. Who knows.

Well, why not send in a favorite war poem of yours, friends. Let's see what we are reading in that area of poetry!