Comments Posted By Carol

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The word: Enthusiasm

The Rubber Ducky Birthday Party

The invitation came.
A rubber ducky birthday party.
For a one year old.
On a hot summer day in Houston.
For our granddaughter’s cousin.

How could we not go?

It’s only a three hour drive for a two hour party,
but it’s a rubber ducky birthday party.
And our granddaughter from Washington would be there.

We drove to Houston,
we drove to the house.
Shhh, the babies are sleeping.

While the babies slept,
the parents took the rubber ducky party supplies
to the J,
to the baby pool.

When we arrived with Mia and the birthday boy,
the baby pool was full of rubber duckies,
big rubber duckies and little rubber duckies.

And babies,
babies splashing, babies crawling, babies crying.

The sound of thunder sent the party inside
to the gym.

Mia grabbed my finger.
“Come Grandma, come”

Carrying a ten inch rubber ducky under one arm
and three little rubber duckies in one hand,
Mia ran from trampoline to bouncing ramps
to the climbing wall
with me in tow.

She and I bounced and jumped,
and walked the balance bar.
We slid into the red and black sponge blocks.

She gave me the rubber duckies for safekeeping.

As we climbed into a five sided pit,
I dropped one of the little rubber duckies.

After we climbed out of the pit
and started back to the bouncing ramp,
Mia called out.

“Grandma, I want you to sit down.”
I sat down on a soft block as she sat down on the floor.
Not there, here” pointing to the floor near her.
So I sat knee to knee,
almost eye to eye,
With Mia on the floor.

“Grandma, you are not to throw the
rubber ducky on the floor.”

After giving that admonition, she jumped up,
holding on to that little rubber ducky,
to jump, and run, and jump again.

Pizza arrived,
then cake,
candles to blow out.

The babies and their parents went home,
but Mia and the birthday boy
went swimming with the rubber duckies
in the indoor pool,
both still full of enthusiasm.

» Posted By Carol On July 25, 2017 @ 2:58 pm

The word: Deliciousness


The day is hot, so hot.
The gauge reads 110 in the sun.

In the shady part of the garden
I dig and pull and tug at bamboo roots.

On my hands and knees,
I dig to follow the trail of one root.

Soon it dives beneath another root
and a third intertwines,
all three going in three directions.

On hands and knees,
I pull away grass and dirt,
clip the bared side roots,
moving from nodule to nodule.

Sweat burns my eyes,
trickles into my ears,
drips from my hair and
runs down my back.

I sit and sigh,
stand up and try to pull away a foot length of root,
trying to tear it from its earthy bed.

The one foot length of root sticks out above the ground,
taunting me.

Back down on hands and knees
to dig and clip,
I am determined to follow one root to its end.

I give up when blisters start to form on my fingers and on my thumbs.

Clothes soaking wet,
dirt clinging to my sweaty body,
I put away the shovel, the clippers,
the other garden tools.

I turn once more to the bamboo roots.
“I give up, but only for today.
I will be back tomorrow”.

Their silent laughter follows me into the house,
into the bathroom
where the deliciousness of a shower
restores my energy.

I stand there,
the cool water spraying and splashing
from head to toes with
soapy suds cleansing
away the sweat and dirt.
The water pouring over my body
dissolves my discouragement
and drowns out the laughter.

“I will be back tomorrow.”
Unfortunately the bamboo root will have grown another foot.

» Posted By Carol On July 12, 2017 @ 12:21 pm

The word: Aplomb

In a hurry
on her way home.
The parking lot almost full.
Driving round and round
and finally
a spot.
She drove into it
even though he had his signals on.

Not looking back
she raced into the store.
Fruit for big salad tonight.

Don’t rush here she thought.
Find the best.
Mangoes, pears, and peaches.

As she walked down the aisle
she saw him and gave him her biggest smile.
He didn’t smile back.
Her elbow hit a piece of fruit and sent it flying to the floor.
She leaned over and picked it up and walked away with aplomb.

» Posted By Carol On June 19, 2017 @ 12:56 pm

The word: Energy

The Seventy Some Year Old vs The Two and a Half Year Old
One body remains at rest,
enjoying the quietness,
the feel of laziness.

One body bounces from room to room,
jumping and dancing and singing.
A bundle of energy.

Three months before they collide.
Three short months.

The first body is being pushed.
Pushed and pulled and pummeled.

On the arc, on the rowing machine.
Weight training again with a personal trainer.

Push ups, pull ups, crunches.
Yoga, on the floor, off the floor.
Sweat pouring down the face,
sweat dripping from the hair.

Sore muscles screaming;
The body too tired to move.

But wait,
there is a smile on its face and a prayer on its lips,
seeing in August, both bodies
jumping and dancing and singing.

» Posted By Carol On May 9, 2017 @ 2:58 pm

The Squirrel
It scurries along the top of the weathered grey fence,
moving right to left,
a cherry tomato in its mouth.

Stops by the window,
feet clutching the fence while the tail goes straight down for balance.
It munches the tomato, then scampers away.

It scurries along the weathered grey fence,
moving left to right,
a pecan in its mouth.

Stops by the window,
looks in as if to say good morning.
It quickly devours the pecan,
bits of shell flying in all directions.

Pauses, looks in, then turns its back,
And away to forage its next morsel of energy.

» Posted By Carol On May 9, 2017 @ 2:55 pm

The word: Crepuscular

The Twilight of a Lifetime

The ice chest,
dust dulling the bright orange color,
is pulled off the bottom shelf.

Inside a smaller cooler –
perfect for a six pack,
or left-over butter or eggs.

No more cross country car trips,
to Myrtle Beach or Washington, DC.
No more elaborate picnics.

Four duck pin bowling balls,
two blue and two red.
A young couple playing in a league,
She pregnant with the first child.

Picking up a dusty plastic bag holding a box of ice cream salt
and seeing children running and jumping and laughing
and begging for a chance to turn the crank.
The paddle comes out and everyone’s fingers
eagerly swipe for a first taste.
First seeing the sons,
Then seeing the grandchildren.

Frisbees, kites, and worn-out tennis balls.
Flower pots, cement blocks for never-done projects,
and then the in-line skates pilled onto the pile.
No more chances for another broken bone.

Looking at the empty spaces.
Big holes and little holes on all the shelves
and along the wall.

Seeing the holes in life with so many friends gone.

» Posted By Carol On April 25, 2017 @ 9:22 am

The word: Happy

A Christmas stocking purchased.
How many months until the needlepoint must be finished?
Will this be the last?
Thoughts come and go all week long.
A phone call on Sunday
confirms another will be needed.

» Posted By Carol On April 4, 2017 @ 5:08 pm

The word: Solitaire

The green anole
hops atop the grey weathered fence.
Hops and stops,
puffs out its red pouch,
hops and stops,
on top the grey weathered fence.
It hops and stops and looks around.
A green gem on top the grey weathered fence.

» Posted By Carol On March 28, 2017 @ 4:57 pm

No more Monopoly
nor Sorry nor Scrabble.

No more chatting or babble,
no more laughter or arguing.

In a small room, alone,
she deals out cards onto a small table,
one by one,

while sipping tepid coffee from a small cup and
chewing on a small tasteless bun.

Cheating so she can always win,
And sighing, Yes, now always I can win.

Bored, bored, bored.

She puts aside the cards
and opens Traffic Jam.

Which vehicle to move first?
What difference? In this game there is always undo,
unlike real life where do is done
and said is said.

And a friendship lost.

She sits in her small room,
and thinks of what her words cost.

She sits in her small room,
larger without a friend, yet not.

She deals out cards, one by one,
No arguing, no laughter,
Always winning but at what cost was it bought?

» Posted By Carol On March 28, 2017 @ 4:53 pm

The word: Extravagant

The sermon is over.
A thought provoking sermon.
Then comes the offering while the violinist plays.
The notes of Tempo di Minuetto soars, then
becomes softer and slower, softer and slower to the end,
The last note lingers, so beautiful.
Is that Jonathon Bell playing?

Purple candles glow brighter while
the stained glass windows muddy and lose color.
The Sanctuary darkens.

In the quiet, the minister
lifts the bread of life
and the cup of forgiveness.
As he speaks, the rain suddenly pounds against the roof.
Loud pounding with loud thunder,
with lightening briefly showing the colors of the windows.

We are invited to the table,
to taste the sweet bread of life
and the sweeter taste of the cup of forgiveness.
Now the musical notes of the violin
mix with the staccato of the thunder
and the steady downpour of the rain.

A Heavenly feast with a Heavenly concert.

» Posted By Carol On April 4, 2017 @ 5:03 pm

The word: Mental Health

Breathe in a deep breath
Hold it, then let it out slowly.
Shoeless, step forward
Forward into the labyrinth.

A labyrinth has one path leading to the center.
A center where one can pause, rest, pray, meditate,
Or turn around immediately and follow
The same path to return to the world.

The first time I walked a labyrinth was in Washington, DC,
in the great hall of our Church.
It was a painted canvas, one installed for just one week.
A trial, an experiment for a different kind of worship.

I picked an early morning time when no one else was there.
I opened the door to the great hall. It was so quiet.
How can taking off shoes seem so loud and noisy?

I stood there before the labyrinth, breathing in the quiet.
I studied the pattern, and
the distance to the center.

A hesitant step forward onto the path.
The path twisted back on itself,
It went a fourth round the large circle and back, then back again.

I could barely breath.
The quiet was overwhelming.
I noticed that I was walking alongside where I had just been
and realized that I could be ending my journey
and yet meet someone beginning theirs.

I stood in the center with eyes closed, thinking I should leave
and yet, remaining, breathing, being.
Eventually, with reluctance, I began the journey
to go back into the world.

Since then I have walked many labyrinths.
One in Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, CA.
A Cathedral our son visited. A Cathedral that proclaims that all are welcome.

An unusual square labyrinth can be found in a small chapel,
In the Church we now attend in Austin,
marked in the wooden floor with darker wood.
Available always.

By day walk its path tinted by the colors in the stained glass windows,
the greens, blues, purples changing as the sun moves or the clouds cover the sun.
Walk its path at night with candles marking the perimeter,
the colors now subdued.

In Washington, DC, certain evenings are set aside at the Washington Cathedral,
Sit aside where all chairs are removed
and two large painted canvases of labyrinths are placed side by side.
Leave the hustle and noise of a big city and
enter into flickering candlelight,
candlelight pushing back the darkness.
Enter and hear a harp or a violin playing.
Enter and add your shoes to the long line of shoes.
tennis shoes, dress shoes, red shoes, ragged shoes.

Join the line,
A quiet pilgrimage begins.
Here it is crowded,
pass someone, someone passes you.
Still a quiet pilgrimage.

Outdoor labyrinths.
One painted on concrete fully in the hot sun in Virginia Beach, VA,
one marked with small stones in dirt under trees at a small retreat in east Texas,
and a great one painted with blue lines along the Potomac River in Washington DC.

This one along the Potomac River I see frequently.
I see Mia and her group of 8,
sometimes holding onto a loop in a rope,
sometimes running across the blue lines,
sometimes sitting on them.

Always I see the two of us on our journeys
One much into her journey
And the other just beginning.

» Posted By Carol On December 6, 2016 @ 5:18 pm

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