Lost in Thought

The park benches are angled and face one another.
Dedicated to a husband and wife. His bench reads
“run, run, run” and hers is “walk, walk, walk.”
Frequently I pondered how they viewed life
here by the lake. Perhaps he was driven in
his profession, and she tried to help him slow down.

Pondering the same dilemma of running versus
walking, I muse if I am in a hurry or
should I take time to reflect upon nature’s beauty
as I listen to the birds and ducks? Or I might slow
the walk and sit on the bench. Perhaps just be.
These mini-retreats restore my spirit.

She passed twenty-four years ago; yet,
I can still hear her voice and words in my
heart as if we had a conversation a few
moments ago: my mother, Mary Elizabeth.
I reflected on her family tree of Dolan, Connor,
Ryan, Connell, O’Neil, Keating and Mooney.

Fascinating how the two sides of the family
left Ireland and Poland to settle in Massachusetts
and Connecticut. Life is precious.  So, yes, I still
meditate and contemplate my life and parents and
give silent thanks that they showed me love,
faith and the importance of family.

Posted in family, family love, family trees, Ireland, Poland | Tagged , , , , , , | 16 Comments

Building a Repertoire

Days, weeks and months filled
with music and singing. Dr. Kay Smith Paulsen.
Practice, practice and more practice.
Daily. Passive and active listening
and learning. Hard work, diligence,
and love for music compels me to continue.

Private lessons and group
work in choirs, choruses and chorale.
Practice, practice and more practice.
Highlight the new parts to sing.
Concert attire, music folders,
pencils, pens and markers.

Vivaldi, Gorecki, Getty, Mozart, Haydn,
A.R. Rahman, Sjolund, S. Schwartz,
Sondheim, J. Williams, arr. Lojeski,
Sean O’Laughlin, Erik Kibelsbeck,
Peppie Calvar, Lou Lemos, Betsy Burleigh,
Sivers, Chirello, and Caravan. Classical music,

music improv, modern, Broadway, sacred music.
Latin, French, Polish, English, German, Italian
and Tamil to name a few.  I have found joy,
inner peace and deep love for music. Practice
and more practice. Weekly rehearsals, dress rehearsals,
new music friends who share music connections.

Practice, hours of practice.
It takes an inner desire whose source
lies deep within my spirit. Music, the international
language and language of the soul. It nourishes
and satisfies the spirit. Music brings happiness and
inner calm. For now and for eternity.

Posted in Berkshire Chorale International, classical music, Italian and Tamil, Onondaga Civic Symphony Orchestra, Pops Chorus | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 27 Comments

Drive to the Diner


Poles, wires, trucks, tires
Over potholes to the diner-
the trip couldn’t be finer.

Waitress knew me and
asked if my daughter would
be joining me. Not today.


Coffee, orange juice and water –
oatmeal, eggs, toast,
a side of bacon. She knew the order.

Talk of family trees in
booth next to me with
reunion at a state park


Branches of family tree,
cousins never before seen,
aunts and uncles too.

They ordered a Cunningham
sandwich on toasted sourdough
with turkey, ham and dressing.

IMG_3054 (2)

Sign out the window read
Dollar Tree, WT Brews, AT & T
Whoa! It’s April snow!

Well, folks, a joke?
It’s April tenth – enough of
the white stuff.

Travel home wishing Old
Man Winter would go away
and let us have flowers, a sunny day.





Posted in Cunningham sandwich, family trees, sourdough bread, waitress | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Let’s go to Nana’s house!


Let’s go to Nana’s and play her piano
I said to my two year old sister
in diapers and baby fat.

Down the hill to Main Street in
Monson where the hitching posts
from a bygone era stood at attention.


A Civil War-era cannon stood
guard at the Monson Town Hall.
Looking both ways at intersections,

I picked up my sister and carried
her across streets. Heavy she was
for my four year old arms.

We made the two mile walk
and arrived at Nana’s. She
was surprised to see us

and looked around for our mother
who was still at home up the hill.
We set Nana’s player piano in motion.


And sang tunes we made up.
Had a great time too until our
mother showed up at Nana’s to fetch us.

Much later I was told how I reassured
my mother that I had looked left and
right before carrying my sister across streets.

When I was older, I learned a big word:
precocious. We walked the two miles
back up the hill. Unscathed by the adventure.

When I close my eyes today, I can see
our house on the hill and Monson and where
Nana lived. Those were the good old days!



Posted in Flynt Avenue, Monson, MA, Nana, player piano | Tagged , , , | 47 Comments

It Must Be Spring


Tiny buds and busy birds

are full of activity. Daffodils

have pushed through the ground.

It must be spring.


Gentle rains nourish the

plants and trees.

Mud where snow was.

It must be spring.


The forsythia will be

in full blossom soon

Lilacs too overnight.

It must be spring.


Tiny birds labor to

bring blades of old

grass inside the birdhouse.

It must be spring.


Singing hymns at church.

Have the Easter suit

and hat ready.  Pink.

I must think spring.



Posted in Easter season, flowers and birds, rains | Tagged , , , , | 17 Comments

Friend at Church


It seems the pace of life has quickened and the calendar is full with events, rehearsals and appointments. Today’s post is a blitz poem which is a 50-line poem of short phrases and images and a few rules.  It feels like my life currently.  Some neighborhood children built a couple snowmen in our yard.  These sentinels bring me much joy as I gaze at the front lawn still snow-covered.


Friend at Church


build a snowman

build a friend

friend and neighbor

friend forever

forever trustworthy

forever and always

always listens

always helps

helps with homework

helps cook

cook dinner

cook soup

soup with vegetables

soup for the family

family of four

family love

love and smiles

love and hugs

hugs for Mom

hugs for Dad

Dad reads

Dad plays

plays with me

plays games

games of soccer

games and sings

sings silly songs

sings a lullaby

lullaby by Brahms

lullaby at bedtime

bedtime comes early

bedtime when tired

tired of chores

tired of practice

practice multiplication

practice piano

piano lessons

piano in a blizzard

blizzard and winds

blizzard and snow

snow to play outside

snow is white

white and cold

white and black

black dress

black suit

suit for church

suit for choir




Posted in church attire, family, friends, neighbors, piano, snowman | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments

3 Sisters and 25 Snowmen

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Originally posted on Dr. Mary Ann Niemczura:
? Every winter there was magic in the winter air when we had a big snowfall in Sturbridge, Massachusetts where our father built our house on Cedar Street. We children loved all the…

Gallery | Tagged , , | 34 Comments