Archive for September, 2012

A Child no More

Suddenly, I must look at this person I gave birth to, love,  nurtured in a completely different perspective.

One day, my child is playing in the sand, rolling cars or dressing baby dolls. Without realizing how time has rushed by, I realize I am now looking at a person that I may have given birth to, but has become a unique person of their own making

You, wrapped in a soft blanket,
tiny, tight fist, ready to fight this evil world.
I hold you to my waiting breast
as you unfurl your fist and
hungrily taste life for the first time.

My whispered words to you
as I gazed onto your face
for the very first time-
Hello, little lady, or
There’s my young man.

Now, racing through my mind
come priceless memories,
first smile, first words, first step.
So many new pages
fill your book each day,

Always hoping the story never ends.
I see you growing,
Instars in a journey
that will take you to places
I have never been.

You dance and change
so quickly I can’t keep up,
More amazing with every step.
I see you as a chrysalis,
wanting to soar.

I close my eyes tightly,
Life’s pages ripple by.
I’m afraid to let you go,
Will you stay near,
Will you be here at all?

I watch silently, in awe
with aging, tight fist
as each of you ascends
into your own unique
and always perfect butterfly.

A tear rolls down my cheek,
soft blanket in my arms.
I can no longer hold you,
in those arms, but always
in my heart, my soul, my dreams.

Whether you fly
off into the heavens
or stay near  me
on this earth,
You are, and always will be

The best of me that I could give.

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Life on the Edge

Autumn used to be my favorite time of year, the amazing colors of the deciduous forest, the assortment of multicolored mushrooms, the fall flowers. Four of my kids were born in later summer or early fall. I loved harvesting my garden, the surprise of huge pumpkins, or perfectly shaped candy roasters. The fragrance of herbs filled my senses.

Six years ago, I lost my 5th child, one of my later summer sons. My world changed forever. It has seemed like I have been sitting on the edge of the world, looking for something familiar, comforting, and finding nothing.

I am again enduring serious illness, as I did when I first lost my son. Looking out, daringly over the precipice of life is frightening now. I find no joy, no adventure, no song in my heart.

Take the beauty of life when it presents itself. It may not be there tomorrow. It will never be the same again.

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Vance Birthplace, Weaverville, North carolina

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Inside Vance Birthplace Historical Site, near Weaverville, N.C.

Zebulon Vance was the Civil War Governor of North Carolina

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The slave cabin at Vance Birthplace, near Weaverville, North Carolina

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Inside the upstairs bedrooms at the restored Vance Cabin,

Weaverville, North Carolina

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Visiting a Different Era

 

The Outer Banks

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Double Vision

“I am not a person who thinks in abstract.” I told my doctor. “But when I took that new medicine, I felt as if I were in a room filled with smoke.”

“Hmm.” he replied as he adjusted the stethoscope on my chest. “I have never heard of that kind of reaction to this drug before.”

“I couldn’t tell if it was caused by dizziness, or hallucination.” I continued.

“Have you taken any other medications lately?” The doctor sighed, sounding rather bored.

“No, only this one you subscribed yesterday.”  I answered, knowing my heart was now racing. I felt a panic attach coming on.

“Well, Mrs. Jones,” he replied as he swirled around on his stool. “I imagine it is just a case of vertigo-maybe caused by an ear issue.”

“I’m NOT Mrs. Jones.” I replied as I shuffled off the table, my panic attach  now in full gear.

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A Different Kind of Autumn

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Years ago, I held little hands,
enveloped with sounds of giggles and joy.
I laughed as they threw golden piles of leaves around.
Life seemed so gentle, hopeful, joyous.
Today, Autumns leaves seem to go from green to brown,
New children rush about in a whirlwind,
To busy for leaf piles, laughing, memories that endure time.
I look at myself as rain patters outside the windows.
Where did that time go? My health, my child?
As a tear rolls down my cheek, I vow,
to make a leaf pile, film the excitement of little ones.
To slow the world down, breath in the cool air.
Time will not wait, nor will life, not even hope.
We must find a way to grab hold of today,
And never, ever, let its lessons escape us.

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Early Autumn in the Southern Appalachians

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A Honeybee on a Wild Black Eyed Susan

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Mushrooms are abundant in deciduous forest-this may be a Hygrophorus Milky mushroom

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A family of black bears frequents my aunts yard

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A male and female praying mantis mate amidst the wild asters

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Annual displays of wild purple asters viewed from her kitchen window

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Family reunions remind us of sweet memories

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Heirlooms are passed down through generations

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Making the Model A “zoom to life again!”

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Golden rods still provide nectar for autumn insects

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We are ALL Teachers!

 

 

 

 

We often find ourselves asking  children what they want to be when they grow up, and they invariably come up with  a familiar list of answers. Dreamy eyed, gap-toothed children smile as the tell us with confidence, “I am going to be a professional ball player” or perhaps, an actor. The more logical child will tell us that they want to be a doctor, a nurse, a firefighter, or policeman. A few of them will tell us they intend to become a teacher, and I nod my head in the knowledge that in fact each of them will become a teacher, whether they intend to or not.

It seems that a great many of us are not aware of the effects that our attitudes, behaviors, habits or reactions have on the younger generation. By working in our public schools, I have seen the great influence that we can have on a child, although it is often years later, if ever, that we hear about that influence.  I was fortunate to hear the story of a child that I had worked with nearly a decade earlier as a “reading buddy”.

I had never realized that I done anything other than simply volunteer my time.  A friend of mine, who was a teacher, was kind enough to share with me the contents of a report that one of my “reading buddies” had written. When asked to write about a person who had a profound influence on their life, this young person chose me. I was both honored and mystified,

The young lady wrote that I had done much more than read or recite poetry to her when she was a young child, she said that I had listened to her thoughts and fears, that I had given her a much-needed hug or word of encouragement.  I listened, misty eyed, as the teacher told me that the young lady had been inspired by me to recognize her own worth, and  see herself as strong, confident and capable. In my mind, I had always felt that the children I worked with had done much more for me than I had for them.

As a mother of six children, I had the opportunity to be both friend and mentor to many of my children’s friends and acquaintances. It is an honor that I am still called, “mom” or “Beebee” (my grandma name) by many of  them. Now, years later, when I see their children’s reaction to a cross word or hurtful comment made in the spur of a moment,  I remember, from years ago,  that same look on their faces, the dejected, head held downward look, as they felt that somehow, they were not “good enough“, even for their own parent. It was profoundly sad to me that these young people were, without realizing it, projecting the same hurt on their own children that had bruised  their young spirits years before.

The reaction of both my former “reading buddy” and that of the young parents I had know as children, simply served to confirm my contention that each of us is an example to someone, in essence, a teacher.

It is vitally important for us, as middle aged or older adults, to remember that what we say or do, how we react or even fail to react is being watched by some child, teen or young adult. That kind word, encouragement, or praise may go much further than we realize. Likewise, a thoughtless comment, an unintentional smirk or, worse yet, an immature reaction may make someone think it is “OK” tp behave in that manner.

We must always remember that to others around us, we ARE teachers, whether we intend to be or not. Let us always act in a way that will show our best to the adults or parents of tomorrow. Like water spilled from a glass, we never know how much our reactions may travel.

 

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Stress

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It seems like stress is overtaking my life. There are so many issues to handle, so much to do. I have always felt  “blogging: was a release from stress, but as I have gotten more followers, which is, after all a goal for most of us, it is sometimes difficult to read the work of your followers and friends and keep your own creative juices flowing.

Do any of my fellow 20 Lines or Less or other blogger friends have any suggestions? If I stay off line a day or two, the email becomes massive, yet I want it. I want to hear comments on my blogs and make comments and “like: the blogs of my friends and followers.

I am also having a problem publishing from the green button that says publish on the POST page with the titles POST and your name at the top of each page you read.  The button that is supposed to stay green until I are ready to publish turns gray before I have finished with tags, or even my article. I contacted wordpress, but all they do is post my complaint on a site, where other readers say they have experienced the same problem and got no help. Does anyone know how to fix this? In simple terms, if you have an idea.

The photo is of my son’s school trying a rope course-which is definitely stressful, and thus why I chose it!

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The World is Mine!

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Just before school started I took.my son and his friend to a scenic area near our house. Even though the beautiful area was covered with graffiti and littered with broken bottles and such, my teens had a great time climbing, taking photos, just being young and free.  To see them romping joyfully around on the rocks was delightful. It reminded me of my younger days when everything seemed possible,

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