Speaking of Blinking

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To whom do you express thanks?  Family and friends.

Do you recall a special teacher you had in school?

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I am grateful for Mom and Dad and my grandparents.

It turns out that our first teachers are our parents.

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Do you still hear their voices telling you of their love?

Do you smell that apple pie baking in the oven?

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Do you hear the piano being played and Mom and

Dad singing their songs?  Those memories linger on..

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I am thankful for our four seasons, the birds and

gardens.  Golden beets and greens still grow and thrive.

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When our two children were born, a friend told me

not to blink.  Before you know it, they will be in school.

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Life has a habit of passing quickly when we blink.  True.

Just look:  our two are done with college and married.

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We are empty nesters.   Life intervenes.  Never stuck

in the mundane, we remain active and hopeful.  We

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blinked and now will become grandparents.  Tempus

fugit.  The young wish they could be older and vice versa.

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That’s life.  Accept it and be joy-filled.  Try not to

blink too much.  Give of yourselves.  Love will increase.

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Posted in blinking, empty nesters, gratitude, love | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

Ode to Peace and Prosperity

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With gratitude I honor the five

brothers who served faithfully

that we might enjoy peace and

prosperity. Boundless dedication.

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Thank you:  John, Henry, Joseph,

Albert, Stanley!  All Veterans of

WWII.  You loved your country.

You sacrificed and served with valor.

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To all Veterans everywhere, we

honor and thank you from the

bottom of our hearts.  Selfless,

devoted, brave and courageous.

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Never forgotten.  Every time we

fly the colors, recite the Pledge of

Allegiance, sing our National

Anthem, we recall the oath you took.

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Thank you!  Happy Veteran’s Day!

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Posted in flying the flag, gratitude, National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Preparations Are Underway

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Everywhere we look, there are preparations.

Trees, flowers, and shrubs have made way for

dormancy.  Leaves have fallen.  Bare branches.

Still some warm days to balance cooler nights.

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Last week I observed a rotund squirrel with

a mouthful of large red apple.  Balanced on

outer branches and overestimating its

ability to the point of nearly falling.

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Clever little fellow left the large fruit perched

on the outer limb.  At some point it was retrieved.

Glad for a warmer spell when I can leave the

jacket behind.  The young high school student

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who has been mowing the lawn is now on

crutches, unable to mow.  Yet, we arrived home

yesterday to a mowed lawn.  Someone will

ring the doorbell to collect payment.  Baffled.

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Our expectant daughter had a baby shower

recently.  Creative decorations were

evident in the photos she sent.  Grandchild

number one is a big event.  We await our

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bundle of joy.  Preparations for the baby’s

room have been an ongoing project.  As it

nears completion, the baby will decide when

to make an appearance.  Keep preparing!

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Posted in expectant daughter, lawn mowing, mystery, preparations | Tagged , , | 14 Comments

Wait! A Pile of Leaves?

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Now with the robins gone from their nest, I

decided to investigate how it looked inside.

My goodness!  Filled with seed pods.  For

the winter I assume. What efficiency they

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employed building the nest.  Bits and pieces

of found rests of plastic strips, crinkled and

colored paper.  A sight to behold.  My husband

had to stand on the step ladder to get the

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desired shots since there remained odd

and sundry leaves on the branches.  What

a production and sight we made!  The birds

it seems are great at recycling what has

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been discarded by humans.  As I went to

the mailbox earlier, I spied activity from

the “empty” nest.  Not so empty it seems.

Eyes watched me approaching with the

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camera in hand.  Fur with stripes.  A tail

too.  Sunning in the nest!  Wait! That was

no bird! It was our resident chipmunk!

Napping in the sun on top of the seed pods.

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Who knew chipmunks behaved thusly?

Trying to quietly capture the desired photos,

we backed away only to notice more stripes in the

corner of the stone step on top of a swirl of

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leaves.  Our garden snake was sunning on

probably one of the last warm days of Fall.

For several days, the birds and squirrels have

bustled about preparing for winter.  They

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don’t really seem bothered by us either.

The chipmunk practically runs over my

husband’s shoe as he sits on the front

porch.  Deftly climbs the branches too.

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Ready or not, we reluctantly pulled out

warmer coats this week.  The afternoon

sun warms the spirit.  The colorful leaves

blanket the lawns.  Serene landscape.

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Posted in colorful leaves, efficient builders, nature's creatures, recycling | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Remember when?

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Remember when you were given reasons to study a foreign language?

The teacher gave a list to justify learning a language.

In retrospect, I smile when I recall being told and later telling

my own German language students of the importance.

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My path was facile since I had a good ear for music.

I had easily memorized pieces of music for recitals.

With ease, I acquired Latin, French, German, Old Norse,

Middle High German and a few words of other languages.

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Recently a plumber in our house heard the word

languages, and mentioned his wife was from Germany.

Naturally, I switched to speaking in German.  I resorted

to using French and German once when I was lost in the

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Czech Republic.  The people I asked for directions

spoke no English so I resorted to abundant body

language along with a mixture of French and German.

And, yes, I did get the directions.  To this day,

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I enjoy viewing foreign language programs and

movies on television.  Subtitles are in English but

it is gratifying to hear the language.  Sometimes,

though, not everything is translated.  Usually colorful words.

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One of the strangest places was in our church choir

and just prior to the beginning of a funeral.  One lady

walked up to inquire if I was the German teacher?  All

eyes were upon me then!  Yes, I was.  She wanted me

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to meet a relative from Germany at the conclusion

of the funeral.  So just remember when you may have

need to use your foreign language.  When you

least expect!  Enjoy the conversation in that language!

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Posted in foreign language films, Foreign Language Learning, German teacher, German, French, Latin, Old Norse | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

My First Love

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Come, sit a spell, and listen

to the story I have to tell.

My first love, my Dad, was

a great role model. I sound like

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him when I say and do tasks.

Pot handles face the middle of

the range.  Of course, the dishwasher.

Only one way:  the right way.

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He was an engineer and showed

me an efficient, a better way.

I learned to find solutions to

problems.  I learned from my mistakes.

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He taught me to think ahead and

to plan for outcomes.  When I

thought things through and was

a step or two ahead of him, he

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chuckled and would say “chip off the

old block.” Dad prepared me for

my future education and jobs.  I

am my father’s daughter!

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To this day, when I deconstruct a

package to recycle, I observe how

cleverly something had been made.

I apply lessons learned to my own

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sewing, cooking, music, and life

in general.  As I reminisce today and

ponder what he taught me, I can

still hear some of his corny sayings

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such as “I am the best male singer

in the house.”  We always laughed and

remarked, he was the only male singer

in the house.  We keep your memory

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alive even though you have been gone

from us some 32 years now.  You would

be proud and happy to know that we

await our first grandchild.  But you

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probably already know that don’t you?

Alive and well in our hearts and minds.

Thank you for being the best Dad to me.

Forever with me and one thought away.

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Posted in Dad, engineer, lessons learned, role model, sit a spell | Tagged , , , | 16 Comments

For Now

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For now, his earthly life is complete.

For now, he has eternal peace.

Integrity, courage, honesty tempered

with humor. Always teaching others.

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Tucked into his niche in a simple

pine box with his name and a cross.

He was surrounded by friends and

family on this perfect October morning.

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Music sung, memories uttered, prayers

invoked, he moved to the cemetery chapel

where final farewells were murmured.

A single red rose, his rosary and a

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geocaching memento. A brilliant blue

sky accompanied the warm sum.  Friends

and family gathered for a luncheon.  It

was a simple, elegant manner to pay respect.

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For now, I am saddened by his passing.

For now, I visit with him in silent prayer.

In peace, he rests after a life well-lived.

For now, it is our turn to care for others.

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Posted in earthly life, integrity, paying respect, sense of humor | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

The Trees Letting Go

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Age is an opportunity no less than youth

but clothed in another dress.  It is that

season when trees show us how lovely

letting go is.  Especially sugar maples.

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A surprise lilac against the backdrop of

our house greeted me in the sunshine.

All my beauties still abound. A feast

of colors.  Orange, pink, red, and green.

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Listen now to the bevy of Canada

Geese overhead, flying in formation,

to signal the season!  Only one or two

Montauk daisies greet me.  They

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are the last to blossom and are a

sign of the winter to come.  A time

and a place for everything.  Early

Halloween decorations dot the

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landscape as I drive past.  I imagine

there are little ones who love

the season of orange pumpkins,

houses with goblins and cobwebs.

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For now, there is no rush to decorate.

I’ll take in evening twilight as it

fades to a sky filled with stars.

Invisible by day.  A wonder at night.

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Posted in a feast of colors, letting go, Montauk daisies | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Bemused and Befuddled

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Preoccupied, I meandered the gardens.

Whoa!  Watch my step!  Soundlessly, the

garden snake slithered from side to side.

Another surprise awaited in a flowerpot

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and startled me.  A leopard minding its own

business and napping.  Lots of squirrels out

and about thrown off by the sudden cold. 

Remnants of half-eaten apples in the lawn

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under the apple trees.  It’s a shame the

critters don’t clean up after themselves!

Messy eaters.  Uncouth manners!  Same

for the chipmunk who leaves a mess

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on top of the gutter downspout.  Smiling,

I observe their activities and keep an eye out.

The rabbits hop on over to eat the apples

left behind by the squirrels.  Some late-

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blooming flowers make a welcome

appearance.  Just buds now on the

Montauk daisies.  They are the last

ones to share beauty with us.  Early

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snowfall this year?  The stores and the

neighborhood are already displaying

some decorations for Halloween.  In a

few weeks, the orange plastic pumpkin

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will once more adorn the front porch.

Invigorating weather and season.  Soon

the colorful leaves will fall.  On cue:  cold

winds and rain arrive.  Happy Autumn!

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Posted in acai bowl, autumn weather, flowers, pumpkins | Tagged , , , , | 8 Comments

Warmth Sequestered

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Quivering, shivering branches and leaves

bend and sway in the cooler breezes.

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Overcast, cloud-filled skies portend rain.

Apples and leaves fall down once again.

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Upon us, the impending cyclical storms.

The season of cool nights. ‘Tis custom.

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Squirrels bury acorns.  The lawn thickens now.

Kept at the ready is the snow plow.

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Herbs, tomatoes, zinnias hanging on

All too soon, they will be gone.

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Pay attention to nature’s omens:  plants, trees,

berry bushes, gardens will soon freeze.

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Shorter days, cool the nights, dormant period.

The cycle complete.  Warmth sequestered.

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Posted in cyclical storms, omens, sequestered warmth | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments