Spell a Day – Feb 14th 2016

Today Gentle Readers is the great celebration of love that is Valentine’s Day. Flower shops and chocolate makers rejoice. Jewelry stores and stuffed animal producers dance a little jig all the way to the bank with the hard earned money of love struck individuals. November sees an increase in births (well, I don’t know about that one for sure but it is still funny). The moral of the spell today is that today isn’t just about romantic love, but also about love of self. Appreciate yourself and, even if you are single, know that you are worthy of love.

For me, today has always had another special meaning. Today is my grandmother’s birthday. She would be 86 today if she had not passed away in 2012. Anyone who has seen previous posts knows that my grandmother meant everything to me. She helped raise my brothers and I. As her years waned I took care of her. Losing her was losing a part of my heart. Most of the time I couldn’t pinpoint my religious beliefs, but I am sure she is looking down on me. I just hope I am making her proud. I have shared poetry inspired by my grandmother before and today will be no exception. This one is a little sadder than the previous ones as today I feel a bit more melancholy.

Just Gone
An emptiness fills my soul
Pain, Blinding, no comfort at all
Seeking something to fill the hole
Left, inside, and my spirits fall
To lose one who was always there
Is a heavy burden to bear

Always supportive, never failing
Constant unchanging, solid standing
How do you go on when they leave
So suddenly you are forced to grieve
Your heart left desperately longing
For one more day, another sunrise to see

They vanish, never to be seen
They vanish, a heart torn all apart
They vanish, pain so deep and keen
They vanish, piercing a battered heart

Where do loved ones go?
When they leave our side
So much still for them to show
Tears flow like a rising tide
My heart, cries out against the truth
Her hand, cold in mine is the proof

 

I hope that you all will take the time today to tell the ones you love how you feel about them. It doesn’t matter if it is romantic love or just platonic. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

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Spell a Day – Feb 13th 2016

Today’s topic is special in and of itself, but also because tomorrow, Valentine’s Day, is also my grandmother’s birthday. She would be turning 86 if she were still alive. Not a day goes by that I do not miss her and wonder what she would say about how my life has changed in the last few years since she left us here for the next great adventure.

Parentalia is an ancient Roman tradition where one honors their ancestors in some way. Many would visit the graves, bringing flowers and wine, to commune with their forefathers(and mothers) in a meaningful way. I think this is a lovely tradition. Since my grandmother passed I have tried to spend some time on her birthday to remember the lessons she taught me on the road to becoming who I am today. She was always filled with compassion and forgiveness for others, even when better judgement said the person felt no remorse for their actions. She always tried to see the good in people, especially her children and grandchildren. The world is a darker place for her departure.

I have shared this before but this is a poem I wrote when she was alive and we used to play cards in the morning when I got off from my third shift job.

Spending Time with My Grandma

There are mornings where I have a new pastime.
It involves a visit with my aging grandma.
We sit and talk and play a few hands of cards.
While I talk to her about my work and day,
she listens intently, always with a few kind words,
or a bit of advice to help me on my way.

Staying with my mom, she is right on the way
home from work. This new fun pastime
of mine is sometimes hard to put into words
what it truly means to me. When I visit grandma
she always tells me she misses me every day,
and is quick to bring out the deck of cards.

Her shaking, aged hands shuffle the cards,
everything on the table cleared out of the way.
With school and work I can only visit every few days,
but nothing can take away the joy of my pastime.
The time is precious that I spend with grandma,
and the hours spent is more important than any words.

We pass the time in laughs and exchanging of words,
shuffling, dealing, shuffling, and dealing the cards.
“I am going to beat you this time,” says my grandma,
getting three aces and clearing the cards out of the way.
I think she has as much fun as I do with our pastime.
With excitement I wait for the visits on those days.

When it is time for me to leave at the end of those days,
a sadness creeps into my heart. We put into brief words
the happiness and comfort that comes with our pastime.
The table has been reset, the scorecard and the cards
have been put in the drawer and out of the way.
With a hug I leave, saying, “I love you grandma.”

The time with my grandma on those special days,
will always outweigh the advice or the words,
or the little deck of cards of our favorite pastime.

Spend time with those loved ones that are getting on in age Gentle Readers. I would give up anything to play one more hand of cards with my grandmother.

Spell a Day – Jan 31st 2016

Today’s spell a day is a two-parter. The first part is that on this day in 1949, the first Soap Opera appeared on television. This leads into the second part of “washing away” negativity from your life.

Soap Operas were so dubbed because most of their sponsors in the early years were the soap/detergent companies. Because of the melodrama evident in their storylines, similar to an opera, they coined a new genre in the infancy of television.

Soap Operas are almost a thing of the past it seems as they have been replaced by endless talk shows on day time TV. I remember growing up and occasionally watching day time TV with my grandmother. This was especially true during the summer when I would come inside for lunch and she would be watching Bold and the Beautiful, Young and The Restless, Day’s of our Lives, Guiding Light. Usually she was also folding laundry, which I felt obligated to help with. During the school year I wouldn’t get to have these moments with my grandmother, but she would gladly tell me all about it when I got home from school.

It is recommended that you take a long shower today with lots of soap. Visualize the soapy lather gathering up all the “dirt” and harmful influences in your life,pulling it from your very skin. Then picture all of this negativity washing down the drain and out of your life.

Anyone have a favorite soap opera that may or may not still be on the air? Until next time Gentle Readers.

Spell a Day – Jan 18th 2016

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Today is all about hearth and home. In the not too distant past, this would have been the combination fireplace and cookstove for the household. A place where a family would gather for light and warmth, and to share their evening meal. In modern times there is such fast food and vegging in front of the television that we may have forgotten the importance of a strong hearth. The hearth, or kitchen in modern homes, provides nourishment not only for the body, but for the soul. It is a place where parents make cookies with little children any time of the year. Memories are made accented by good food and good conversation. As we move along this fast paced technological ride of modern life, we mustn’t forget the past and what the hearth meant to our ancestors.

Some of my fondest memories in the kitchen are with my grandmother growing up. She showed me how to make cookies from scratch at Christmas time. I learned to take a base tomato spaghetti sauce and turn it into something much more delicious by adding a pinch of this and a sprinkle of that from the spice rack. The conversations about life, teaching me what I needed to know for when I grew up and moved out on my own. I will always be thankful for the kitchen for these lessons.

The kitchen is a place of bringing together in the home. Don’t forget to bake those treats and let your kids lick the spoon or beaters when you are done. They will thank you for it later. Make good memories Gentle Readers. Feel free to share any memories or stories in the comments as I would love to hear from you. Until next time.

Writing 201: Fog, Elegy, Metaphor

Well, I started off with a desire to use all three again from today’s assignment. Somehow, once I started writing, the fog was lifted from my mind and disappeared into who knows where. However, I discovered that a previous style crept back in like a rolling fog across the moors (ok, was that cliche enough?) Anyway, Here is what I came up with. I suppose when the fog clouds my perceptions again, I will be able to more clearly stay on prompt. (oh wait, I found the fog, just not where I expected to when I started writing.)

That morning was a cold grave
Oh the sun shined and birds sang
Their voices drummed on my ears
All that once made bright
Lost in the dark of night
Looking for that glimmer of hope
Yet is is nowhere to be found
Cursing the path fate wove
Rushing headlong with misted glasses
Understanding escaping like tears from my eyes
She’s gone forever
Her smile concrete on her face
Exactly as in life
Death mocks me

The idea of an elegy made me think about my grandmother who I lost a few years ago. Her birthday was Valentines day, (hence the previous post Bittersweet Valentine’s Day).  Seems I come back to that event over and over. I think i have a half dozen poems not posted on here that in someway relate to her.  Sorry for getting sentimental on you there readers. Hope you enjoy. And 10 points to the person who finds the previous style that ended up getting reused. 🙂

Bittersweet Valentine’s day…

Today is a day of love and romance for many. For me, it is also one of reminiscing for a different reason. My grandmother, who I spent most of my young life living with, was a Valentine’s baby. She was a guide and role model for my life that I could not be who I am without. She would have been 85 this year, but she was taken from us almost 3 years ago. I know in my heart there isn’t much that I could have one to spend more time with her, but I still wish I had had one more day, even one more hour. We celebrated her 82nd birthday at my home, she laughed and joked and we had a grand time. 3 months later i was camped in her room at the nursing home when she took her last breath. The emotion is raw still, especially this time of year. While everyone else is buying roses and chocolates, I think of a very special woman and all the advice and wisdom she imparted to me over the years. A few years before her health started to decline, I worked third shift and would visit with her in the mornings when I got off work. I am sharing something I wrote during that time. There are times now that I still have to fight a tear when I pick up a pack of playing cards.

Spending Time with My Grandma

There are mornings where I have a new pastime.
It involves a visit with my aging grandma.
We sit and talk and play a few hands of cards.
While I talk to her about my work and day,
she listens intently, always with a few kind words,
or a bit of advice to help me on my way.

Staying with my mom, she is right on the way
home from work. This new fun pastime
of mine is sometimes hard to put into words
what it truly means to me. When I visit grandma
she always tells me she misses me every day,
and is quick to bring out the deck of cards.

Her shaking, aged hands shuffle the cards,
everything on the table cleared out of the way.
With school and work I can only visit every few days,
but nothing can take away the joy of my pastime.
The time is precious that I spend with grandma,
and the hours spent is more important than any words.

We pass the time in laughs and exchanging of words,
shuffling, dealing, shuffling, and dealing the cards.
“I am going to beat you this time,” says my grandma,
getting three aces and clearing the cards out of the way.
I think she has as much fun as I do with our pastime.
With excitement I wait for the visits on those days.

When it is time for me to leave at the end of those days,
a sadness creeps into my heart. We put into brief words
the happiness and comfort that comes with our pastime.
The table has been reset, the scorecard and the cards
have been put in the drawer and out of the way.
With a hug I leave, saying, “I love you grandma.”

The time with my grandma on those special days,
will always outweigh the advice or the words,
or the little deck of cards of our favorite pastime.