My kind of HIGH school . . . . .

Apple Tre

The Interview

What did you first write on?

I believe I wrote on the edges of a page from the Sears and Roebuck catalogue.

Where did you study writing?

In the apple tree, reading books and eating apples

Does anyone help you with your writing?

Most certainly. Voices speak to me with ideas I had never thought of.

What do you enjoy most about writing

Listening.

 

Writing and Wishing . . . . .

Baby card cover

I ran across this greeting card this morning. It is one of the many, many that I wrote for Hallmark back in the 70’s and 80’s. This is one of my early ones. Later ones gave my name. Maybe I’ll post a card now and then, although most of my cards I never saw.

People ask me if I studied writing in school and I have to say no, I never had a class in writing. Probably because I was in college during WW2 and our choice of classes was  limited. Still, I’m glad I didn’t. Right or wrong, what I write is me, and my mind was never tampered with by a far out professor with his own ideas and conditioning.

Imagine this. Hallmark asked me to write thoughts and feelings in words that have never been used in cards (thousands of them) before. That challenge was one of my teachers. I learned about writing things you can see and feel, also, in the 25-or-less words contests I entered for a few years, in which every single word was important and I was competing with thousands of writers. Still,  I filled wastebaskets with them before I sent one off.

 

Baby card 1

Baby card 2 - Copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

African violets . . . Swedish humor . . .

AFRICAN VIOLET

Here is a picture of the Aftican violets in my kitchen window niche. Isn’t it amazing how neatly the leaves are trimmed in white?  That was not done by humans.  I do not have a green thumb so I appreciate every day this plant looks so beautiful and so healthy.

Today my niece Vida posted on Facebook a funny list of definitions. Made me laugh out loud. I come from a Swedish family and the Swedes have a great sense of humor. We used to laugh through an entire family reunion and remember to this day some of the things that made us laugh.  They would have loved this:

Definitions:

Artery:  Tue study of paintings

Bacteria:  Back door to a cafeteria

Caeserean section:  A neighborhood in Rome

Delate:  To live long

Fester:  Quicker than someone else

Fibula:  A small lie

Labor pain: Getting hurt at work

Medical staff:  A doctor’s cane

Morbid:  A higher offer

Nitrates:  Higher than day rates

Node: I knew it

Outpatient:  A person who has fainted

Pelvis:  Second cousin to Elvis

Post Operative:  A letter carrier

Recovery Room:  Place to do upholstery

Seizure:  Roman emporer

Tablet:  A small table

Terminal illness:  Getting sick at the airport

Tumor:  One plus one more

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Photo kill . . . . .

IMG_0596 (2)

I would really like to take my cup of tea, settle into my comfortable chair and watch a good movie. But I’m finding good movies hard to find, so I almost always end up watching more ghastly news or watching a National Geographic of some kind. Well, really, they are often of one kind . . . animals chasing and killing and eating each other. It’s painful to watch, yet awesome, and the backgrounds of forest, desert, rivers, plains, are gorgeous.

I remind myself that I just turned down several movies that were about people killing people and here I am watching tigers, lions, leopards, crocs, and even huge spiders killing and eating other creatures. I don’t understand what we can learn from this.  It seems it is alright to kill other animals for your survival. But people don’t kill people for that. So far, at least, we don’t eat each other. Not physically, although through our words and actions we are often wearing each other down. We do kill and eat animals though. But it’s so common we don’t take pictures of it or feature the kill on the internet. We love the dogs and cats and horses. We eat the chickens and pigs.

Watching the scenery makes me want to be a photographer, yet I can’t  imagine what professional photographers go through to catch these shots. It has to mean hours and hours of waiting in uncomfortable and dangerous niches and often leaving without a single shot. Storms, both water and dust. Extreme hot or cold. And always danger.

Maybe it wouldn’t be as much fun as I’d thought but, man, I admire their work. Just don’t like the killing.

I can’t even kill a fly. I open the door and shoo them out.

 

 

 

Old people, old pictures . . . . .

J-2

Somehow, people think that old people spend their time looking at old pictures and remembering how wonderful things once were and sighing over how horrible things are now. Not. How wonderful kids once were, and good times. Still.

Somehow, when we look back and see all the changes in our society we can know for certain there will be that many changes again, over and over. To predict what direction these changes will take is impossible. To speculate which changes are bad for the society and which may lead to better things is impossible.

When I look at old pictures I just remember the good feelings from those moments and I know that people today experience those same good feelings in their lives and will one day look back at their pictures and enjoy them again.  People today have so many more pictures than we ever did, photos snapped anytime, anywhere with no limit . . . and no cost to develop them . . and no need to put them into photo books with little black corners to hold them (the activity that we often put off for years.). That indeed is one of the reasons we don’t have so many pictures from our lifetimes . . . the cost not only of the cameras and the film, but the cost of development and cost for copies. For young people on low incomes it was a luxury.

I have so few pictures of my wedding, and the ones I have were taken by friends with good cameras. I have so few pictures of  my babies, but I remember every moment with them and can bring up those pictures in my mind at any time. Bathing the babes in the kitchen sink . . . capturing their amazement at gifts under the Christmas tree . . . overseeing their first bicycle experience.

Even though times have changed, parents still experience those moments, and they record them. One day they will look at those pictures, just as we look at our memories, and they will assess what was happening, what they were learning, in those years. And they will thank those kids who came into their lives and taught them.

 

 

 

 

 

Gifts for Mothers . . . . .

Well, it’s time to remind you again that Mother’s Day is fast approaching. These two books have been good gifts for moms. If you want them for your mom or your daughter, they are available in the Abbey bookstore in Norfolk, Nebraska or on Amazon.com, iUniverse.com, or right from my home . . . and I will be returning there by May 6.

I have wintered in Honolulu longer this year than any other. But then, this winter was longer than any other.  It was strange indeed, in many parts of the country. But now we hope we won’t skip right to summer.

I have several book readings lined up for this spring and I like to put out the word that I am available to speak or to read for any group in the area . . libraries, book clubs, church groups, any kind of club. Please help me spread the word. After all, I have plenty of free time and I love to talk story.

 

 

Birds . . . . .

IMG_0140 (2)

 

Even here,

in a city, in a high rise,

the birds sing.

Early morning, on the

railing, they will chat

and sing and call.

They perk their heads

to listen to echoes

in the palms

and just before they fly

they leave a gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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