This is a poem I wrote years ago and just found in my files: The familiar odor of strawIn the feed boxWhere I layGave meager comfortThrough that lengthy nightOf labor.Waiting to beholdThe joy within me grown,I feared I would be dazzled by His light.Such painful entry to a pain filled world.At last I saw my own beloved son.My God,A baby!A red and wrinkled, mewing little thing,Mine to teach manhood,Ours to find divine.How could the sky not crack and fallThat He, Almighty, should have entered thusThis aching world? I smiled and held him close,Stilling his tiny wails with my own giftOf motherhood,Blessed among women that I knewMy child would surely live to bring us life.
Once, while at a friend’s yard, my neighbor kids and I discovered a door under their front steps that opened to a tiny area. Inside there was no floor and only a single shelf.On that shelf was a big jar, that had probably held about five gallons. It still contained some liquid and a gigantic pickle covered with fuzzy mold.It was disgusting!So we decided to pretend that it was a sacred pickle and, every day, we would spend a few minutes pretending to worship it.But one day a girl who lived about a block away happened to be with us and she got upset at that game. She was Catholic and said it was wrong to worship anything but God. Even though we told her we were only pretending, she still refused to do it.Somehow that took all the fun out of the game, so we never went near the pickle again.My friend moved away a few years later and I never found out what happened to the sacred pickle.Maybe it’s in pickle heaven.
Anyone who knows me has probably heard me say this before.Money is a strange thing.You can’t eat it, cook with it, build houses out of it, or wear it.Even in America the gold standard no longer works since the government doesn’t have nearly as much gold as the currency implies.The only reason money has value is because everyone agrees that it has.At least there’s one thing everyone on the planet, Earth, agrees about.If only we could all agree on more things.
Tomorrow will be Thanksgiving, and I hope we all have a lot to be thankful for. Usually by this time of year I’m saying to myself, “I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by.” Instead, this year I’m saying, “I can’t believe how long this year has been.” It has certainly been a difficult year for everyone on our planet, but we still have a lot to be thankful for. Vaccines and effective medications to treat the covid virus are being developed, and the nasty politics should be finished soon. Even though many of us can’t gather with family for the holidays, we can keep in touch with each other through the internet. I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day even if you can’t be with loved ones physically. And may next year be shorter than 2020.
We live in difficult times, but things could be a lot worse.For example, when I was a kid my grandfather, who had been born in the 1800s, lived with us.One day I told him sadly, “I think you love my brother more than me.”He replied, “Of course I do. He’s a boy and you’re only a girl.”“What do you mean, only a girl? I asked.“Boys are better than girls just as men are better than women. There’s nothing a woman can do that a man can’t do better.”“But, what about cooking and sewing?”“Women can only do those things well enough for home. The professional chefs and taylors are all men.”“What about having babies?”“We don’t talk about that.” He walked away.
Barbara Bockman has written an exciting book for kids about an intriguing mystery. The two main characters, James and Thomas, come from very different backgrounds and hostile family relationships, but the mystery can only be solved if they work together. This is the kind of story kids, especially boys, will love.
When I was a kid people often asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. From the time my newborn brother was brought home and I got to hold him I knew I wanted to be a mommy when I grew up. I learned to read well by second grade (that’s another story) and decided I wanted to be an author when I grew up. Later, I decided to have a victorian house and fill it full of kids. I planned the family I would have: a boy named Robert and three girls named Christine Elizabeth, Evelyn Ruth, and Anastacia Joy. Well, I did become a writer and I did become a mother, get a victorian house, and fill it full of kids. My husband and I raised three Deaf foster sons and one birth daughter and I had a family daycare home in that house for many years. All my dreams came true, but none of them exactly as I had imagined.
I’ve seen quite a few posts lately about the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989. Here’s something to remember about it. Part of the Bay Bridge between San Francisco and the East Bay and part of the freeway in the collapsed due to the earthquake. It happened during commuting time and, normally, more than 200 cars would have been driving on that par of the freeway and more on the bridge. I knew several people who ‘should’ have been in one of those places but, due to various unpleasant events, weren’t able to be driving there at the usual time. Two local teams had made it to the World Series that year, and were playing in San Francisco so hundreds of people who would normally have been commuting had gone to the game instead. I think of the players in other teams who messed up so their teams lost games and didn’t make it to the World Series that year. So when bad things happen, we never know if they might be preventing something worse.