Song of Flight

IMG_3664Sing a prayer
Sing a song
Song of love
Song of joy

Joy of flowers
Joy of birds
Birds flying
Birds feeding

Feeding their young
Feeding family
Family eating
Family traveling

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Traveling abroad
Traveling home
Home and hearth
Home and happiness

Happiness again
Happiness with friends
Friends for coffee
Friends talking

Talking on the phone
Talking over coffee
Coffee and pastry
Coffee and tea

Tea for two
Tea with lemon
Lemon grove
Lemon tart

Tart and sweet
Tart with fruit
Fruit and yogurt
Fruit trees

Trees bring life
Trees house birds
Birds sing
Birds soar

Soar above
Soar in the wind
Wind blowing
Wind swaying

Swaying to music
Swaying back and forth
Forth now
Forth onward

Onward and upward
Onward flight
Flight above
Flight to clouds

Clouds…

Upwards…

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Posted in bird song, birds, family love, music, trees | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Mother’s Day Prayer

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Remind me to take joy in ordinary events:
Chores such as laundry, cooking and shopping.
Let me make time to listen to others and share.
There is so much joy to find in the little things.
Birds are busy building nests in our bird houses.
They too have to consider the location
to house their young as they attempt to
bring in brown leaves much too large for
the opening. They do not give up.
Daily walks through the garden yield new
buds, flowers emerging and lush greens.
There is great satisfaction in visiting with
others, singing in the choir, reading and more.
Let me this Mother’s Day with my family
be grateful for life’s abundance.
Let me find happiness with my lot in life.
Let me remember my mother and hers
and all mothers everywhere. Once a
mother, always a mother. Let me take
joy in the little ones who have their
lives ahead of them. Watch over my
family as they discover life and the
ordinary events. For isn’t that what
it is all about? I am grateful and happy.
Let them also be. Remind them to
always help others and find that joy!
May their hearts be filled with love.
From my heart to yours.
Amen.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Mom. Ich liebe Dich.

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Posted in a prayer, Mother's Day, mothers, ordinary events | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Spring’s Harbinger

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Lush greens abound.
Bursting with buds,
trees assume new hues:
variegated greens.

Lawns are dotted with bright yellow
dandelions.  Spring’s harbinger,
the Lily of the Valley,
has not made an appearance.

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Nature’s sense of humor has
provided a cruel joke:
frost and a forecast
of snow the next two nights.

Never mind. Bundle up.
Prepare and plant the gardens.
Listen to the birds and
enjoy the backdrop!

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Posted in harbinger of spring, Lily of the Valley, May gardens | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Detours, Closures, Local Traffic Only

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Warm weather and road work go hand in hand. Last fall I noticed a digital sign which mentioned bridge work along a major thoroughfare. But it never came to fruition that I could see.

Today’s warm weather invited me to the park for a walk along the lake. Orange detour signs sent me in a wide circle. Dutifully I drove following the orange detour signs. Puzzled anew as I turned, I was told that street was closed and to detour. Now I retraced my route following orange signs with arrows which wound around more back roads. Finally I thought I could find a way into the park. No such luck!

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Again, the sign declared that the road was closed and to follow the detour signs. Now I was puzzled and mildly annoyed. This time, I opted to ignore the signs and read the fine print: road closed except for local traffic. Am I local traffic I asked myself? Throwing caution to the wind, I drove my customary route to the park. The closer I got, the more the signs warned me that the road was closed. Yikes. Forsooth.

The one lane bridge was closed for repair work. The park was open. Breathing a sigh of relief, I found a parking place and started my walk along the lake. The teacher in me kept thinking that the road signs could have clarified more clearly that the park was open, but the one lane bridge was closed for repairs.

Posted in bridge closed, detours, road repairs | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Thank You, Mom!

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Each April brings reminders of her. I was preparing for my second Fulbright teaching exchange to the former East Berlin. My mother died April 26, 1994, in Colorado so I flew out for the funeral and to help in close her estate with one of my sisters. My thoughts immediately went to my first Fulbright experience when my father passed in 1990 while I was in Neresheim, Germany.

We were well prepared for death as part of life and had been taught by their example. Both my parents spoke matter-of-factly about dying even though as young people, we did not want to speak about such subjects. So thoughts raced through my mind about preparing for the July departure to Germany with our two children as I sat on the long flight from Upstate New York Colorado.

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During the second Fulbright experience in Berlin, I decided the children were older now and in second and fifth grades so we traveled to more cities throughout Europe. On the anniversary of my mother’s death, we were in Rome in St. Peter’s Square for a public audience with the Pope. All the chairs set up outdoors were wet from a rain so I attempted to dry them off for the three of us. Some lovely young students from Ireland offered me their tissues to help dry the chairs. We struck up a conversation. I smiled inwardly as I listened to these Irish ladies speak and thought my mother must have sent them to comfort me and visit for awhile.

My mother was a true Renaissance woman who loved to read, write and play piano. Even when she returned to college later in life, she pursued many subjects including piano, theory, children’s literature and library science. As my mother prepared for a 65th high school reunion trip to Massachusetts, she unfortunately died before making the trip and marking her May 14th birthday.

Mary Mooney Niemczura

Many reminders of my mother still remain. I keep looking for our Lily of the Valley in the garden. My mother grew these and clipped a few for a small vase. Their fragrance and that of lilacs remind me of her. I still have some of the beautiful coats and dresses she sewed for me in her impeccable style. As one of my sisters travels to Europe and visits Ireland, my thoughts turn again to my mother and all the love she gave her family. So, thank you, Mom, for all the fond memories!

M A age 20002

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Posted in April memories, Fulbrights to Germany, gratitude, Mother | Tagged , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

Almost

 

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Almost warm enough
Almost time for planting
Almost time to put out house plants
Almost time to put seeds in
Almost – but not quite

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Almost no more frost
Almost but not too soon
Almost time for hanging baskets
Almost time for building birds’ nests
Almost but not quite

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Time for planning
Time for scouring the catalogs
Time to buy new bird houses
Time to turn over garden dirt
Time but not quite

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Time for patience
Time for potted plants
Time for potted herbs
Time to meander through garden stores
Time but not quite

Time to prepare hearts
Time to prepare souls
Time for prayers
Time for family and friends
Time for church and Him.

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Almost Easter
Almost preparing the house
Almost practicing music
Almost time for baking
Almost time for Easter

Time now for planting
Time for gardening
Time now for family
Time now for friends
Time has now arrived!

 

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Eleanor and Hank

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My Aunt Eleanor and Uncle Hank moved to California before we moved to Colorado. It was always difficult to visit, but we managed a trip to California.  They were amazing people, both over 6′ tall and builders.  Some folks build homes and then some folks make their own adobe bricks to build a home and surround it with a 6′ wall.  This was definitely not an easy way to build a home.  My Uncle Hank built and flew helicopters in California.  He is lucky to be alive after an accident when a helicopter propeller nearly severed him after hitting his kidney.

Aunt Eleanor didn’t like to be called Aunt so as a late teen, I learned to simply address her as Eleanor. She is the one who taught me how to swim correctly and overcome my fear of water.  As a tribute to her, I managed to get my Red Cross Life Saving certificate in my college swim class.  One visit to Colorado, she brought a present for all us girls which was an inflatable wading pool.  Now on a hot Colorado day, this was a welcome relief for us to “swim” in this pool.

One of my sisters and I visited Eleanor and Uncle Hank in California and swam in their in-ground which they had dug themselves and put in the foundation and lining. The trip was for my high school graduation.  We picked fresh lemons and oranges off the trees.  Eleanor decided I needed a cocktail dress before I went to college.  I couldn’t fathom why I needed such a dress but picked out one she suggested which was a midnight blue and black and fancy neckline which was also off the shoulder.  My mother liked the dress but by the look on her face, she probably thought I was too young at 18 to have such a dress.  I felt special and wore it to several parties which were fancy affairs.

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It was during our visit when I asked her of the house in Hermosa Beach which they had built. Eleanor and Hank drove out to the desert and made adobe bricks with the sand.  I asked about snakes which they had encountered.  But the huge tarantula spiders were another matter.  Before they could build the adobe bricks, they drove their Jeep over the tarantulas which hopped two feet into the air at times.  When I think of this today, it is difficult to fathom why anyone would go about building a house in this fashion.  But Hank is a Niemczura which explains a lot.  In addition to day jobs, all the men in the family built houses, furniture, maintained gardens and apple orchards and enjoyed working with their hands.  With the high cost of housing in California, Eleanor and Hank saved a great deal by building their own home with a wall around it.

Eleanor had a framed newspaper article with a photo which I inquired about.  It was of her brother whose submarine went down in WWII, and all were lost.  She missed him I could tell.  In later years when I caught up with her and wrote, she answered me that she was proud that I was an independent woman with a career.  She had been a docent at the LA zoo because of her love of animals.  They were a different generation, strong and resilient.  I miss visiting them and hearing their stories.  So, as best as I recall, I remember them with my blog today.

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Posted in a family of builders, adobe bricks, California house | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments