Monday, February 28, 2011

An Inkling of the Past and Present

Every now and then, I can get my husband to talk about his past.

One morning, I was commenting on how much I like to write with gel pens--love, love, love them! I said they reminded me of the ink well and pens we used in 4th grade at Emerson Elementary in Gary, Indiana. We sat in those old, heavy, wooden, black, wrought iron desks, and the top of the desks housed a small well where the ink waited to be dipped into by pens with metal tips.

Writing then was a slow process, but you felt like you were creating a writing masterpiece by slowly dipping the pen into the ink well, and then proceeding to write for a very short period of time before you had to go back again and dip the pen into the ink well again and again.

I looked up and saw my husband's eyes glaze over. Aha! He remembered those pens and ink wells, too, and he must have loved to write with them, also--Wow!--something I never knew about Steve!

Steve then spoke up, "Yeah, I would dip that metal tip into the ink well, making sure it was full, and then very carefully, I would place the pen tip on a strand of hair of the girl who sat in front of me. I watched as those little dots of ink were absorbed into that strand--it soaked right in! Then the teacher took my ink well away from me!"

(Uproarius laughter from me!)

This is, oh, so Steve!!! Talk about voice!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Diamonds Are Forever Unless You Hock Them!!!

I chose the word "glass" for my word of the year. I read on someone's blog to choose a word for the year--sorry, I forgot whose. I thought about what word I would choose.

Two days later, I was outside trying to crack up some ice on the driveway when I thought about how ice is like glass. "Glass" is the word! I liked it! I started coming up with a list of words/ phrases that referred to glass such as ice, cut glass, through the looking glass, glass houses, still water, diamonds, glass frame, wine glass, glass slipper, looking through a glass darkly, etc. My writing group, the BON(S), added to my list, too.

Only one word/phrase has invited me to dance so far--diamond. It actually stirs a memory I have of one of my mothers. One of my mothers?? I've always said I had 3 moms--my birth mom, Lillian, and my two aunties, Mary and Helen. Maybe this is why I love the name Mary Helen!!! They all took care of me and influenced me some how at different times of my life.

Auntie Mary was the gem of all gems in my life--kind, caring, steadfast, patient, down-to-earth, and a God-loving human being. She always told the truth and understood life for what it was--a constant challenge to one's being.

My Auntie Mary and I always sat at her kitchen table and talked about whatever. I don't remember why the subject of diamonds came up that day, but I remember her saying, "If someone ever asks you if you want a diamond, say, 'Yes' because you can always hock it!" She had a quiet sense of humor, also. It was an odd comment, but as a child, I did not ask questions usually, because in my family, asking questions was not the thing to do. Later, I could guess why my aunt would say something like that.

My husband, always being the very practicial person he was and is, asked me to marry him and then said, "Do you want a diamond?" I was and am a pretty practical person, too, and was just in my first year of teaching after college. I knew neither of us had any money to spare at the time, but I remembered what my aunt had said, "Say, 'Yes' to the diamond!" I didn't know if I would ever have to hock it, and I said, "Yes" to the diamond! I respected and took to heart all the things my aunt said and did.

Forty years later, I've never had to hock it--thank goodness, and my aunt would be proud!!!

My husband and I still love each other, and I loved my Auntie Mary!!!! Funny what words can do for you and to you!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Hallelujah! The snow is finally melting after a month of snowing, and it's the third day of 40 degrees! The sun is shining--spring is here!!! I open the patio door and stick my head out. No, this is not spring--winds of 18 mph, making the air feel very, very, cold and damp. Ahhhh, not spring, not winter either--between! I had that feeling of "betwixt."

Being betwixt makes me feel
without a place to go,
at a loss,

This is when I started a list of all the things that I could think of that are "betwixt" to me:
-pieces of writing

When one occasion is finished, that feeling of betwixt comes upon me, and I begin to ponder. I look back on what has been good or bad, but I am more concerned with finding the next episode that will fill this loss or gap. This should be a time to slow down, rest, and look for the next adventure that will hold on to me.

We can't go back,
only forward to the next turn,
only to find that betwixt time again and again.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Clock Special

I still find the face of a good old fashioned clock inviting. I know I'm dating myself, but how does a digital time piece compare to the face of a clock? Digital shows you numbers, not space, not relevancy, not a face.

Look at the face of a clock. What do you see? I see that a second, a minute, an hour, a day has passed without thinking twice. I look at the digital time and see numbers only. You don't see a face and the 10:00 and 2:00 and 6:00 positions. If someone said to you, "Look in the direction of the 2:00 position." Digital people, I think, would be lost. I would focus to the right but not too far down to the right! I will not be lost.

I have digitals all over the house depending on what electrical time pieces I have, but when in my comfort zone, which is in my favorite chair before bed or at my computer, pondering my next blog bit, I have a clock with a face--my resource, my friend.

I had a regular clock on school desk when I taught. Not too many students asked me about it because, really, they admitted they didn't know how to read it or tell time by it. I gave clocks to two of my sons for Christmas. Did they need one? I don't know, but I will see it when I visit and, hopefully, my grandchildren will know that friendly face of a clock and wonder about it. Will they feel as I do? How long will the face of a clock last?

I will always need that face to give me comfort--to know where I am in my day--not just a number.