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  • A Slice of Life

    A Baby FoxThis morning I was up with the sun, watering can in hand. The birds serenaded me with their wake-up melody as I sprinkled my new plantings. My favorite pine tree was beautifully silhouetted against the pink fingers of dawn as they spread brightly across the sky. Ah yes, God was on duty, releasing the sun to shine again.

  • Colors

    Black and white pictures viewed on a small DuMont TV screen. The Lone Ranger wearing a black mask and riding his white horse as he dodged arrows and tumbleweed against a backdrop of smoky gray prairie scenery. Black and white saddle shoes. Black and white high school year book portraits. Golly, I grew up in a very black and white world!

  • A Smile

    If you see someone without a smile, give them yours. So reads a sign in the reception area of the nursing facility where I visit weekly. I believe it is good life-advice. Physiologists tell us it takes more muscles to frown than to smile anyway, so why not spread your grin around? Go ahead, release your endorphins and make yourself and others feel good!

  • My Favorite Cats

    Do you have a pet? I have always had a dog or two and an assortment of cats—rescued and otherwise. My favorite cats are of the ordinary domestic black or “tuxedo” cat variety. As T.S. Eliot wrote in Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, regarding the ebony Bustopher Jones:

    “He’s the Cat we all greet as he walks down the street
    In his coat of fastidious black:”

  • Springtime Tree

    As my warm winter boots crunch through the spring snow cover, I am astonished at what I see peeking up through the icy white crust. There, in the only sunny spot beneath the towering pines, are two delicate lavender crocuses bravely reaching for light and life. Their golden centers are not yet visible within their still-growing, cup-shaped blooms. They are the first of spring’s wildflowers to appear in my subalpine neighborhood. I stop and stare—silently cheering them on.

  • The Owl and the Pussycat

    When it comes to hard candy I have the willpower of a sand flea. I grew up when candy cost a nickel, and LifeSavers were king—fruity delights that fit perfectly in your mouth and kept your tongue busy investigating the hole.

  • The Woodpecker

    For more than a week I had listened to the very loud rat-a-tat-tat of a woodpecker making a mad assault somewhere nearby. The next thing I saw was my elderly neighbor balancing precariously on a ladder in a desperate attempt to mount a birdhouse at second-floor level.

    “I’m trying to divert a woodpecker,” she cheerfully called, after seeing the look on my face. I can only imagine how loud the sound of drill, hammer, and thrum must have been from inside her house.

  • Finding Summer

    I am really looking forward to summer! My young grandson lives a thousand miles away, and our visits are few and far between. This summer he is coming to stay with me for a short time, and I can hardly wait for our conversations.

    The last time we talked, he told me about his friend who has “A really cool watch that doesn’t even need a battery.” Hmmm, “How does it operate?” I innocently inquired.

    "Well, he twists a little button on the side until it is really tight and then it runs for a whole day!”

    Ah yes, seems to me I have heard about those.

  • Sweet Nostalgia: A Sparkling Winter Day

    Sweet nostalgia! I recall wonderful hours of skating across the slick, glistening pond where I grew up. I also remember occasionally hitting tiny twigs and pine cones, covertly imbedded in the ice, and then landing ker-splat. Although I am more aware of fitness now than ever, the exercise of caution rules, and I have not dared to don skates and head for the nearby lake to frolic—chiefly because of those sneaky twigs.

    A Sparkling Winter Day

    I cannot reach the holly

  • Write It and Show It

    I am a baby boomer—and a late bloomer—I was a secret poet until I turned fifty! It seems like only yesterday I was in grade school listening to my teacher tell me to always do my best and never give up trying. She was, of course, talking about perseverance, and I have always respected that word. When I began writing poetry, this is what I wrote:

    There’s naught
    so lovely
    as verse,
    Whether sweet,
    silly,
    or terse.
    Tho’ my words
    go awry

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