Thursday, November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving

 

When I think of Thanksgiving I think of family together in multigenerational joy. Children playing with cousins they seldom see. Siblings reunited, jokes and games played, laughter, shared memories, and love.

Travel was involved, sometimes great distances covered for the joy of time together. And oh the storytelling. When I was small, nothing pleased me more than my father regaling us with tales of his boyhood. Of him and his sister Pearl, sharing memories. We’d heard the stories before but we enjoyed hearing them again and laughing right along as they told them. We sat in rapt attention listening as they reminisced. My father’s laugh, oh his laugh was something to experience. His sense of humor was legendary.

Then there was the food. I’d wake Thanksgiving morning to the smell of turkey roasting in the oven, and my mother singing in the kitchen. I did not think I could make it all the way to the Thanksgiving dinner. Sure there were other less interesting and less tasty things to eat before the Thanksgiving meal, but everything paled in comparison to the feast.

 My mother set a small table for the kids. I used to look and listen to the conversations at the big table where all the adults were swapping stories and wish I could be there.

 Each child in our family was involved in helping in some way. My job was to polish the silver, my brothers had to climb to the high cupboards and bring down the best china. We set the table and then got out of the way of the adults preparing food. 

The years have rolled by and I hope that we have made equally special memories for our sons.  It seems that we are all involved in making memories for our children and grandchildren.

May you make joyful memories for your children and grandchildren to cherish.

 Happy Thanksgiving and may your blessings be great.

 In Thanksgiving

 For sunny skies,

   For mountain peaks.

For woodland deer,

   and snowy streets.

For smiles from loved ones

   far and near.

Thank you LORD,

   I’m glad I’m here.

Sandra Mason

Monday, October 31, 2022

 

 

                      
        

              

Pumpkin Time

For children,

the most joyous time of fall

is Halloween,

and pumpkin carving.

Our granddaughters, under the tutelage

of their father and uncle,

carved the largest pumpkins

from their garden.

Magnificent grand, hefty pumpkins,

gigantic, gargantuan,

full of large seeds,

spectacular beauties.

The girls cut out the tops,

scooped the seeds,

and carefully smoothed

the inside.

Online, their father and uncle

found spectacular jack-o-lanterns.

Each reproduced, with help,

the pattern they chose.

The carving begins,

they handle the carving knife,

carefully supervised by a loving

adult.

What joy to watch them

create works of art.

The children smile as they work.

And bask

In the love of their elders.



Wednesday, August 31, 2022

 




It looks as if I’ve taken a vacation from blogging. Here I am, the last day of August. It is time to post for this month. In case you haven’t noticed, I completely missed July. The truth of the matter is; I’ve not had one creative writing thought for the majority of this summer. I’ve been lost in the garden. That is a nice place to be, watching plants grow. There is the flower garden to attend to as well. I snapped the picture of some of my petunias this evening. 

It amazes me how much time a garden takes. There’s the early morning watering and harvesting. You must pick before it gets too hot. Then there is processing, either by canning or freezing. My satisfaction is well stocked fruit on the pantry shelves and a full freezer. I am also rewarded by the variety of colors of the flowers that have blossomed all summer long.

 September arrives tomorrow and I look forward to the geese returning to our field. Truth is, they have already made an appearance here. They gather in small flocks at first and later in the fall they appear in greater numbers on our field eating grain left behind by the farmer after his harvest is complete. I’ve attached a poem below about the geese:


Geese on the Field

They stand, sentinels of Fall,

resting and feeding on their journey southward

ahead of the gales of Winter.


Sometimes in large flocks,

but today two small family groups.

The first seven, watch quietly as the last four

sail in like graceful jets.


I never tire of watching them.

I looked again, and their flock has grown to eighteen.


Soon, they like Fall, will be a distant memory.

I embrace them knowing this is for but a moment,

and pray the Lord of all will guide them on their journey.

 

Sandra Mason, 9/25/21


 


Wednesday, June 29, 2022

 

The Art of Finishing


In this world of instant gratification, packaged meals delivered to your door, the just heat-an-eat generation is upon us. Where is the joy in that? Are there any out there who remember waking on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of a baking turkey? Or the smell of bread or rolls hot from the oven? How about the smell of apple pie hot from the oven? Speed seems to be the way it is now.

I have been weeding my blueberry patch. It is a slow process, no Weed Wacker in use here. It is the old fashioned, crawl-on-the-ground version of weeding, my version. What do I get out of this besides sore knees, dirty clothes, and sore hands? I get the literal joy of watching the berries appear, tiny at first. I get to watch them grow. This is not in the same category as watching grass grow. No, believe it or not, it’s actually fun to watch a crop grow, be it corn, tomatoes, or blueberries. There is excitement in seeing something you’ve planted grow.

My neighbor commented on how good the blueberry patch looks, she said that I should have taken a before and after picture. I had not thought at all about taking a picture. I was just happy to see the progress I make as I get the job done. Slow for sure. I don’t do very many things quickly these days.

What is the writing lesson hidden in this post? First, you have to start. Then you have to keep at it. When it is finished, you may think it looks great, but you should get other eyes on it. Others may see things you’ve missed. It isn’t time for harvest or celebration, for sure there is more work to do. My blueberry patch looks a lot better than when I started, and the weeds aren’t sucking nutrients from my  plants. Is it done? No, it’s done when you have a great crop of blueberries to share or freeze. As in writing, it seems to me that finishing, completing what you started is a pleasant experience.

Author Stephen Pyne once wrote. “Many start, few finish.” Let’s be among the few!

Monday, May 30, 2022

I noticed a quail similar to the one below when I looked out the window during a mighty wind storm. There he was trying to keep from toppling over. As soon as he disappeared from view I ran for my computer.  He didn't seem worried, but seemed a bit puzzled, as the wind nearly toppled him several times. He inspired this poem.

Quail

The young cock quail
huddles in the wind
Tipping like a tottery
old man, seeking balance.
 
His crest flutters like
a flag in the stiff gale.
Huddled near a small
Japanese maple,
he turns like a
weather vane.
 
His beauty is stunning,
with iridescent stripes
that glow on his sides. His
gray-blue feathers
sparkle.

He sports a
stunning rich brown
apron.

I’ve never seen one
so close before. I peer
from the window, and
marvel at his beauty.

And wonder at
his solitude.

Sandy Mason 
May 19, 2022



Monday, April 25, 2022

 



April is National Poetry Month and Writers Digest challenged us to write a poem a day. I stuck my toe in the stream and wrote a few, but not every day, oh no, I wasn’t brave enough for that.

I admire those who took the challenge and jumped right in. Here is my shaky step to one of the challenges:

How to Write a Poem

Poetry is
conservation of thought
and words.

Each word must say MORE than
narrative, which can go on
and on
and ON,
traveling
to a grand finale.

Poems need not go far,
they are sparse
fierce, pithy,
and pierce
the heart
and conscience
saying more
with less.



Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Barn


There it stood tall and gray, covered with cracked barn wood. It touched the sky. I had never seen anything like it or more wonderful. A huge door stretched high. My big brother Jon, pulled the door open and swung it wide. We crept inside and explored. There was a roomy place, for what we didn’t know. I immediately pictured a horse or pony for me in that spot. It was dusty, still and filled with possibility. I wondered what had lived there.


A fenced-in chicken coop with wooden nesting boxes, now empty and silent, completed the back of this barn. Beside it was an open shelter with an ancient metal bowl. We decided it gave water to a cow. It stood empty, full of dust and rust. A large sturdy manger completed the space. It was so tall that my three-year-old self could barely peek over it. I imagined it filled to the brim with fragrant hay to feed the long-gone bovine. A slanted ramp made entry possible for this cow.


My brother looked above us, was that a hay loft? Could we access it? I certainly couldn’t, I was too small. My brother, quick and lithe, scrambled up there. I looked longingly after but couldn’t follow. Ever industrious he scooted down, found a hammer, nails and some old boards. He pounded in the boards, standing on the lowest to complete the upper and wow, ACCESS!


Oh the joy of such a space. Nine years later, my father would build a board fence corral, to house a horse I cared for while her owner attended college. He cut that huge barn door in half and made a split door so I could open the top and keep a horse inside, although she preferred to stay outside. Four years later my father enlarged the corral with posts and wire for the horse I had so longed for. My very own precious gelding, a high school graduation gift that I found and requested, instead of a car. But that is a story for another time.


As I think of this story from so long ago, I also think of my brother. He, always so strong and sure nearly succumbed to Covid a few weeks ago. He is much better now and on the mend. When I think of how close we came to the unimaginable pain of loss, I think of the pain of those who did lose loved ones. My heart bleeds for them. We hope and pray and carry on as best we can. We find joy in family, friends, and creating beauty where we can. And we  look for better days.