Sunday, August 13, 2017

A CHILDHOOD PERSPECTIVE

Tonight's blog was prompted by massage, you heard right, massage.  My neighbor is dealing with an obscure health issue, called torticollis, that affects everything in her daily life. It came on suddenly and seems to be ganglion of tense nerves that affect the muscles at the base of the neck. This causes her head to drop to the left.  I've been giving her a massage followed by a Celluma treatment (the explanation of which would take too much time to explain here) twice a week and it really has made a difference. After the half hour treatment, I then follow with another massage.

Now, what does all that have to do with tonight's blog?  I guess I'd have to say, everything.  All that massaging had me looking at my hands, such as they are, and remembering:

MY MOTHER’S HANDS
By Patty Lynn

When I was just a little girl I thought my mother’s hands
Were hands that I admired so, in fact, were something grand.
The stand-up veins I loved to trace, so easy to depress…
Left me to hope that someday mine would be like hers, I guess.

And as so happens, time brought change and mother’s hands changed too,
Continued to show signs of age, her knuckles gnarled, askew.
Through grown-up eyes I realized those hands, they told a tale…
Of all those years of mother’s toil, hard work by hands once frail.

Her hands showed some arthritis, though, not rheumatoid, at least.
Her knuckles and her finger joints with swelling had increased...
In what might be described as a deformity of sorts.
Mom’s working woman’s hands, they showed that evidence, of course.

The admiration that I felt when I was but a child
Was now replaced with deepened awe for I had reconciled...
The reason for those gnarled hands was what she daily showed...
In every task she chose to do, her love on us bestowed.

Though gone from us she leaves behind her love, her legacy.
My childhood admiration of her hands has clarity.
For love is shown in many ways, in words and deeds alike,
And when we leave this world behind, the love we’ve shown abides.





Friday, August 4, 2017

YOU'RE NOT GETTING OLDER - YOU'RE GETTING BETTER!

This blog was actually something that's been on my mind for some time.  Believe me, I'm not complaining about getting older and the subject of retirement.  I merely wish that I had been given a reality check when I first embarked on the then upcoming foray into the sixties, aging in retirement and well, lots of things.  This particular blog I hope will make you think, laugh and think again.  It's just that when you see those ads for senior living, golf courses, condos, cruises, etc. I think we get the wrong impression of how things will be.  So humor me.  It's the way it is for some of us. I hope yours is different.

THE LIE
By Patty Lynn

You know, like many other folks, I couldn’t wait to be...
Retired, that held such allure, I bet you’re just like me.
Just think of it, it sounded great to stop the work-a-day,
The life of going to your job, the 9 to 5-ing way.

You wouldn’t punch a time clock and no rushing out the door,
No skipping breakfast, rushing kids & mishaps on the floor.
And just imagine you’ll be on “vacation” every day.
Your time is yours to pick & choose, to spend your time your way.

The thought of your retirement is such a glorious one.
You spent your work life earning this and when that time is done,
Retirement life, it comes at last, euphoria takes over.
The time you’ve longed for, here it is, you think that “you’re in clover!”

And then that day comes, you’re retired, it’s finally arrived.
The years of working crazy hours, it’s this, for which you strived.
Days of leisure, sleeping in, schedules open-ended,
And time, you’ve waited, oh, so long, each moment seems extended.

It’s grand, it’s great, it’s glorious, this time of life, the sixties.
You’re free at last and life is good, you’re feeling…almost frisky!
But then it hits you, that’s not it, frisky’s wishful thinking.
That bod of yours is slowing down, retirement dreams are...shrinking.

It’s still your time, this time you’ve earned, but here’s what you must face,
The “extra” time you thought you’d have, amounts to but a trace.
And that’s the biggest fallacy, the myth of time’s all wrong.
You still run out of time because your tasks take twice as long!

My motive here is not to take retirement dreams and dash them.
I know the truth from whence I speak, and so I must news-flash them.
And so as you look forward to the years in your retirement,
It’s best to know what lies ahead and face it with empowerment.



Monday, July 31, 2017

THOUGHT IT WAS TIME FOR A BLOG

Starting about a year ago I decided that it was time to weed out and organize, especially my basement where I have boxes upon boxes, some of which I haven't touched since we moved into this house, ten years ago.  Yikes!!! Well, I knew there were things I wanted to keep and things, well, that needed to go. And so, it began.  Going through box after box and deciding what "needed" to be saved and what didn't.  Besides, I didn't want some health event to happen and have to move it all somewhere else and not know exactly what was in the supposed keepsake boxes.  And clothes, don't get me started on the clothes.  I went through them all the boxes and the clothes and the items decent enough to go to charity, let's just say, the charity got a lot!  I took at least 50 good sized boxes and 10 van loads there. So tonight I thought I should dedicate my latest poem to that endeavor.  Here it is:


STUFF
By Patty Lynn

I started getting organized about a year ago
Because we all accumulate, I knew much had to go.
I started with the basement & I realized, at last,
Unnecessary, much of it, just “stuff” that I’d amassed.

So I went through each box I had, each shelf, each rack of clothing
And thus began the task ahead, some fear of it and loathing...
That I had kept what seemed to me important at the time,
But actually just took up space, no reason & no rhyme.

I had my work cut out for me, purge sentimental things?
But how could I, they’re pulling at my heartstrings?
With every card and every picture drawn in childhood scrawl,
The memories came flooding back as I would thus recall…

The times when I, a fledgling Mom, was new at child rearing…
Then I'd snap back and realize I’d best get back to clearing.
As you can tell this wasn’t such an easy job for me.
I was consumed with doing this, now done, I’ve come to see…

If you throw keepsakes in a box, your memories of your past,
And they’re not organized, preserved, they’re never going to last.
Besides it’s smart to pick and choose, you can’t keep everything.
And since mine’s labeled and pared down, I can find anything!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NEW FRIENDS

     Yesterday I met with a group of gals who love writing as much as I do, and let me say, it was really wonderful.  Each of us brought something different to the table, literally.  We sat at a table in the back of a local restaurant.  Do I need to tell you what happens when a bunch of women get together?  True to form and especially because we had a lot in common, we had no trouble keeping the conversation going.  And what made it even more interesting was the fact that we were different in not only our writing styles, but also in the specific type of writing we enjoyed.
     Some were in the midst of book writing, some were into poetry and we all dabbled in the blogosphere. Since I have had Poetically Speaking since 2008, I was a good resource for how to begin and how to get noticed.  One of the women was busy finishing the second book of a trilogy she's both writing and self-publishing and brought a copy of Book One, entitled LEGS, for us to see. She also shared the expense of self-publishing.  Later, she treated us all to an excerpt from the book.
     As we all shared some of our writing, I read my poem, Penelope Pickle.  You may recall that that was the poem I wanted to turn into a children's book.  All the gals were very encouraging and the reaction was good.
     One of the gals does have a blog which is both personal, almost diary-like but uses her personal story to create a devotion of sorts.  We suggested a domain name for her blog so as to get it into the hands of prospective readers.  Our plans are to meet once-a-month and to have accomplished additional steps in our own writing process to share the next time we meet.
     Tonight's blog post is a poetic look at the day's activities.


WRITER’S CLUB
By Patty Lynn

Today I met a group of gals I never knew before,
Our love of writing joined us all, that love was underscored...
As some of us were poets while other gals loved prose.
No matter how you cut it that cake, we each love to compose.

And so we got acquainted, each sharing things we wrote,
Some wrote of things remembered, and certainly of note,
While others were devotional, profound in observation,
Still others wrote for children just ripe for illustration.

We spoke of agents, blogs and books, self-publishing, what joy,
And why a publisher is best, if we each had our choice.
For some, like me, it spurred us on to keep the process going,

Encouraging each one of us to keep the juices flowing.

For even though some hadn’t met until we met today,
Our love of writing drew us close in a very special way.
Though different in our backgrounds, we found this common ground.
A writer’s club was born today, four gals I’m glad I’ve found.

Friday, July 14, 2017

IDIOM NUMBER ONE

This week I found myself teaching someone the idiom, LIP SERVICE.  Why? The person's first language wasn't English and they had never heard the word before.  Why did it come up?  Well, this person was complaining, complaining that no one follows through or keeps their word.  So I explained that that might be an example of LIP SERVICE.  I'm sure this all is extremely fascinating but whether it is or isn't, it prompted tonight's blog.

LIP-SERVICE
By Patty Lynn

I taught a common idiom to one who’d never heard…
It used in any way at all, they’d never heard the word.
I tried explaining idioms, but I was not successful,
It fact, the more I talked of it, the more they found it stressful.

I took a breath and simplified, I asked if this was known,
The old expression, TALK IS CHEAP, now that was in the zone.
And then I took that moment to stress just what it meant
To merely make the promises but not have the intent…

To follow through, to do the job, to mean just what you say.
So often that’s the way it goes, especially today.
It seems your word is not your bond, the way it used to be,
And though I think it should be so, I seldom ever see…

That someone really is on time, the work’s done partially,
And since this has become the norm, the problem lies with me…
Because, well, I expect too much and this is what I’m told,
“Don’t fuss, relax, it will get done, don’t worry and don’t scold.”

No, I won’t preach, I won’t bemoan that some don’t keep their word,
And merely say they’ll do something and their intent is blurred.
For me a promise is just that, my words have got a purpose,
But whether I agree or not, I’ve just explained LIP SERVICE. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

GUESS YOU CAN CALL ME DEBBIE DOWNER

I've known I was going to write this poem for a long time, but I have to admit, I've put it off as long as I could. Why? I guess I thought if I didn't write it, I didn't have to face the fact that this means so much to me.  But I have to face it, IT DOES! So, as my good friend says, "It is what it is."


IN MOURNING
By Patty Lynn

I’ve figured out the reason, just why I’m feeling glum,
The loss that I am mourning is not a common one.
I mean not everybody feels this deep, abiding loss,
Nor understands just how it feels or even come across…

An innate gift like mine, it’s true, a blessing undeserved,
A blessing like no other one that suddenly occurred.
And I was sure I’d always have this gift of mine forever.
I wasn’t owed, still God bestowed, this gift, my greatest treasure.

You see, I loved, yes, loved to sing, it mattered not the song,
From background music on TV where I would sing along…
To starring roles in musicals or hymns on Sunday morn,
Regardless, singing was “the thing” for which I had been born.

I know too well what has been said, “If it’s not used you lose it,”
I searched the past with heart downcast but found I’d not abused it.
Why then, I said, has this transpired, where is the voice I’ve longed for?
What have I done, why punish me, what is it that I’m wronged for?

No one can grasp the depth of this, my voice was my catharsis;
No matter what went wrong for me, just singing helped, regardless.
It’s true that in my younger days, I’d sing at different venues,
The chances, they were plentiful, these choices on my menu.

But my life changed, as years went by, performing less important.
I had the joy of Grandma-hood, so singing time was shortened,
Replaced with singing nursery rhymes and quiet lullabies,
My audience were baby boys, my payoff coos and sighs

I’m not complaining, no I’m not, I’d do it all again,
I only wish the voice I had was like it was back then.
No volume now, and if I sing I sound more like a man.
An octave lower than it was when all of this began.

And when I hear a singer who, like me, is older, too,
Whose voice maintains the same rich sound they’ve had their whole life through,
I can’t but help to mourn the loss of how my voice once was.
The joy it gave, the loss of which such sorrow it has caused.



Monday, June 12, 2017

PREPARE TO BE IMPRESSED

Tonight's post title seemed the perfect one as it concerns just how impressed I was when I attended my grandson's drum recital on Sunday.  I didn't know what to expect and, to a certain degree, I did expect to see a wide range of students, those who had been studying for a while, those who had a couple of years under their belt and, as with my grandson, those who had taken the drums for about a year.  Now it goes without saying that the drums are not particularly melodious and similarly not relaxing in nature and what began the program didn't disappoint.  In fact, when the first couple of kids began playing their 2-3 selections I had a hard time differentiating when one song started that the next song began.  But I am a supportive Grandma so there I was listening to the drummers one by one until my grandson performed.  So I heard a variety of abilities and as I said my grandson had only been taking lessons this past school year so I didn't expect much.  Until he began having an interest in the drums, I didn't realize how complicated it could be.  It's not just keeping a beat with a symbol now and then, it can get really intricate and when keeping rhythm in a couple drums at a time and differing rhythms at that, it's quite a feat.  So, without further adieu, here's tonight's poetic offering so I can share this experience with you as well.

THE DRUMMER BOY
By Patty Lynn

Today was something special and, boy, was I impressed,
My grandson's drum recital, I, frankly, never guessed…
That he would knock my socks off in quite the way he did.
He’s only taken lessons less than a year, this kid.

I wasn’t quite expecting that he would play so well.
His songs were complicated and, yet, as I could tell,
They took a lot of practice, and dedication, too.
His teacher is a good one & knows just what to do…

To motivate his students, to make them learn the ropes.
That’s why my grandson studies, ‘cause He has such high hopes…
Of being in a rock band and getting really good.
It’s obvious he loves them, and plays them as he should…

To be the kind of drummer that lends a steady beat,
Enhancing mood and message, to make the song complete.
He has an innate talent to sense just what to do.
I know he understands the fact the beat provides the glue...

That binds the song together and makes you tap your feet.
He holds the key to rhythm, the listener feels the beat,
That is, if there’s a drummer who really knows his stuff,
Whose playing is engaging and never is too much.

And though I wax poetic because that boy is mine,
Just try to understand that his playing, it was fine!
My grandsons just a ten-year-old, a ten-year-old, that’s all.
It might seem that I’m biased, but I say, “Not at all!”

He’s only taken lessons less than a single year!
That’s why I was so blown away, to me it was so clear…
That he’s got something special, a talent, that’s for sure.
My hope is with that talent, his interest will endure.