Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Smile a while

I hope you are all doing well. I am missing my babies and the Goodwill Store. I am reading more. Writing & posting short poetry in response to five word prompts at Washington University #Life/Lines for April, poetry month. 

Last weekend the weather warmed. I decided the one thing that would give me unlimited pleasure in this time of quarantine is planting new flowers. I love my little angel solar light, and my new flowers. Even on gloomy days, I smile when I look out the door at this sight.

Hubby thinks I go a bit overboard decorating, but I had an old scarf that I thought matched perfectly, so I embellished the planter. 

Sassy Cat is used to us coming and going all the time, so he is a bit confused that we are here ALL of the time. He still thinks he's king of the castle. We read that his breed can't get enough food or affection. Sums up his personality completely. He must be in the same room with us, prefers Bill.

 I caught him taking a cat nap. He looks a bit indignant at being disturbed.
 As I said, he prefers Bill's company, and the two guys are almost inseparable. See ?
Is there anything that is making you happy these days? 

Friday, April 17, 2020

Bittersweet honey

I don't know about you, but I am so distracted I can't sit long enough to read a chapter in a really good book. I can't write articles or essays even though I am determined to journal my thoughts for my great grandsons, but I can't do it just yet. Not because the situation is fluid, but because I am not ready to sort through EVERY thing going on and how the pandemic is affecting all of us. But I will.

For the past two weeks I have been participating in Washington University St. Louis, Humanities Dept. Poetry Prompt. They provide five words to be used in a short poem. The resulting poems are incredibly diverse and interesting. My submission for today is about my great grandson Liam.

I asked him recently why he wasn't in school and he explained, "This germ virus gets in your mouth and people die. And I don't want to get it really bad in my mouth."  (Breaks my heart.)

                    A soft bee incubates inside my young one's mouth. 
                                               Honey lubes his shattered-glass little boy gut. 
                                               Exhausted from rest, stacked weeks-high,
                                               each time he hacks up fear in a warm gust
                                               he wonders if this time HE has been stung.
                                               "I don't want this in my mouth, really bad, Nana.
                                               People get a cough and die from it."

                                               I'm bringing home a baby bumble bee...

                                               Linda O'Connell 4/17/2020

Missouri Historical Society is doing a project on the Pandemic, requesting submissions, images, videos, words etc.
So I submitted this poem and photo of my sweet Liam who is missing school "really bad."

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Viewing from afar

Today it's  been a month of self quarantine. We hopped in the car and went for a short drive into downtown. In 12 miles round trip we saw maybe a dozen pedestrians, five of them panhandlers, a few vehicles, businesses and schools shuttered, and a fat rat wandering around. It was like a horror movie. And to think the entire WORLD is resting, except for the essential workers. My son,  grandson, and son-in-law are front line heroes.

My cousin is still in ICU, and after a week is now off the ventilator recovering from Covid 19.

Our neighbor was taken by ambulance yesterday; he is presumptive positive, no final diagnosis.

I am grateful. We have everything we need. Bill and I are healthy. I am lonely though and so miss my little guys and big kids. I miss my writing group the WWWP's. We wild women wielding pens share more than the written word. Social distancing is weighing heavy.

Every single day, without effort, Bill makes me laugh. This incident happened one Monday before the confinement. We were in the car heading for a casino to indulge in the half price senior buffet.

I said, "Oh you left your glasses at home."

Without missing a beat he said, "I don't need to see the catastrophes up close anyway."

Alex is two and a half, and when the boys woke up Easter morning his mama filmed it for me. He wanted to know where the candy was. Ashley said, "You have to find where Bunny hid it. That bunny is sneaky."

I heard him shout, "Yeah, STINKY bunny!"

Just looking for things to make me chuckle. You have anything funny?

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

You have mail!

We are on our third week of quarantine and I am missing my babies so much. Nicole, 12, was stung in the face by a wasp or bee yesterday and had to get a steroid shot due to reaction. I want to go hug her. I can't. 

I haven't babysat my great grandsons in weeks and I miss them so much. 
I sent them mail. I copied dot-to-dot dinosaur pages with dino facts for Liam who was so excited to get the mail today.

Alex received a page copied from the book, "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie." It was the page where little mouse is on his tummy with crayons spilled across the page. I printed his name as if the mouse had done it in orange crayon. I included a personal note for my babies. They were excited to get mail.
Charlie is happy with everything. They had fun coloring at their Nana Tracey's who babysits them.

Today in St. Louis we broke a 130 year weather record when the temperature reached 90 degrees. Out came the water table and squirt bottles to wash their cars and toys.
I asked Liam why he wasn't going to school. His reply: "Nana, there's this thing...flu, no virus and everything is closed down except stores and drive through restaurants, because this virus can get in your mouth and cause people to die. I don't want to get it REAL BAD!"

I knew he meant he really badly doesn't want to get it. As much as we want to protect kids, they hear.

He told me he had a nightmare about a snake as big as a camper chasing him all over a campground.

That virus is a snake, sneaking up unexpectedly on all of us. I hope you are doing well. 

Saturday, April 4, 2020

House bound and down

My friend Gerry is back to writing and shared his recent work with me. Would you visit his blog? Click on his name above. If you are local, you may recognize the landmarks. 

Being housebound has its benefits. I cleaned the carpets and read three books in the past two weeks. I have cooked (and eaten) more than ever before. 

Today I fiddled with poems. What do you think?  Do you have a preference, a particular style? Next week we are expecting temperatures around 80 degrees. I will be sitting in the sun, not under an apple tree! 

Spring Palette

Splash the barren earth with daffodils,
golden forsythia o'er the hills.
Smudge hedgerows purple, dark and light,
tint azalea blossoms raspberry bright.
Rouge ruby red on pansy cheeks,
daub dainty smiles that glow for weeks.
Spread winter’s lawn with sage and jade.
Paint spring on every branch, and blade. 

Housebound Locked Down

In a crook of the rippled lake 
still water cradles autumn’s 
discarded foliage, usurped 
by algae propagating 
in sunshine golden as the finch 
that flew its nest, confused 
by the absence of visitors 
missing out on nature's best.

Suburban Orchard

The newly arrived immigrant  
planted a dozen apple trees alright
there on his small front lawn,
painted the trunks stark white.

Flowering orchard, twelve towering trees,
uniformed sailors taking orders from the breeze.
Blossoms drifting, swirling, floating down
the best-dressed apple trees in town. 

Who am I to say a spread of sweet Williams
or daffodils would be more apropos?
This man from "over there" probably doesn't know,
a hedge of roses in all their glory would certainly delight.

But who am I to say HIS front yard is wrong
and everyone else is right? 
Neighbors mow their grass and whack away their weeds.
While we all manicure our lawns, he tends his apple trees.

This orchard is a few blocks from our home on a main street. 

One year we were taking a drive and came upon an entire front lawn of pink flowers,
thousands of them.

What is the darndest thing you've seen on a front lawn?