Friday, 22 May 2015

The Art of Being in the Kitchen

By Arlene Corwin of Arlene Corwin Poetry

In the library of my mind, I stand,
Knowing that I must make lunch.
On no more than a hunch
I riffle through the freezer, fridge,
Bridging tastes.
Going through from A to Z, standing quietly
I taste and test, investing time
To form a meal that will fill.
Maybe I rotate a bit, but really, I’ve not moved my butt.
A meal is forming from within;
Splendid, or so-so, I have no way of knowing, for
Like all good genies,
This one’s free to come, to go,
Its will
An individual.
I may review a recipe,
Then alter strategy;
Start out with one intention,
Ditch it on the kitchen bench and
End up cooking something new –
(Something you might least expect)
Cooking at its very best!
This is just
A form of art
That all too quickly turns to fart,
The start of which
Is simply being in the kitchen.


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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Writers Write: Right?

By Marc Leavitt of Marc Leavitt's Blog

I’ve learned some wise words that I heed
On how a writer can succeed.
Work hard; the formula will prove
The way to get you in the groove.

Distractions woo us from all sides;
Excuses roll in like the tides.
For best results, here’s what I say:
Do some writing every day.

Sit right down and write a sonnet;
Good or bad, don’t dwell upon it.
The lazy man will take a fall,
But enterprise can conquer all.

Or, start a novel, fiction’s fun,
Your words will flow while crafting one.
The true joy’s in the work itself,
Not just some book upon a shelf.

It’s lonely staring at a page
That’s white and empty at first stage,
But think how happy you will feel
When your own words are down for real.

One caution, though, and you’ll agree,
Life gives you choices; nothing’s free.
Ideas may sparkle, shine, and gleam,
But work alone, fulfills your dream.


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Wednesday, 20 May 2015

I Remember Then - But It’s Now

By Elle Hayes

it’s May-Saturday
      garden in the sun-I’m
      Hot. Dirty. Sweaty. Sore.

find shade-sit
      time for a beer
      Sit. Ache. Aspirin. Tired.

folks walk by
      wave-say ‘Hi!’
      Barking Dogs. Smelling Butts.

cars drive by
      wow!-I see
      Big RV. Ski Boat.

Flashback 1970
      Bass Lake & lotsa kids
      Water Ski Weekend. Sunburned.

Crowded lake cabin
      wall to wall beds
      Full Of Pooped Friends.

Spaghetti dinners
      Sangria-lovely drink
      No TV. Old Rock n’ Roll.

Which is better?
      can’t ski anymore
      That Feels Sorta Sad.

Todays reality is
      I can still garden
      Dig Dirt. Plant Tomorrows

Memories Today
      made yesterday
      many yesterdays make today.


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Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Shopping Convenience

By Henry Lowenstern

Going to the grocery store
used to be a tiring chore:
We carried the food home on the bus;
now, they deliver the stuff to us,
bringing it directly to our door.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

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Monday, 18 May 2015

I Vote in Secret

By Clifford Rothband

One evening, the wife fell asleep at 9PM. We be oldies. She was watching Dancing With The Stars. I was in another room watching The Antiques Road Show. Or was it the History Channel? Of course I can't remember at this age.

Did I ever remember? I can't remember. The wife is impressed by the stars. I would rather watch a full moon. We have a thousand TV channels. I am still not impressed.

The irony of it is that the rich and famous are usually just like the rest of us. I have been warned not to use real names even if they have passed on. Our store was located in Boca Raton, Florida.

One character stands out. This short guy Bobby, a star golf and tennis player, the man of the century. He would make me laugh. He would bet on anything, as though he rigged everything; just flip a coin.

He would buy one thing at a time from me so he had to come back. His deal, double or nothing. I really got a kick out of him. I always explained that my wife would kill me if I didn't bring home a check. Wouldn't you know it, Bobby always lost. I wonder if his wife would have killed him if she knew; she certainly was big enough. Sorry.

After reading about his passing, I get a call from his valet/handyman, our mutual buddy. Did I want Bobby's trophies? Could I sell them, after all they were probably all silver.

I tell Bruno that amongst my friends and clients, I just don't know anyone who might be interested [BTI, before the internet].

Then Bruno says to me that Bobby wanted to give me his trophies since I usually would not accept his bet or dare. The laughs and all the times I did I beat him. Nobody else was ever that lucky. This all happened a while back.

Now I've really got to watch my description of this famous politician. Bruno comes into our store, "Hey mister Cliffy, I need your help. I got a repair job for you. You know the house that AT&T owns. The one near the tennis courts by the bushes.”

The house with the secret tunnel behind the pool area. The magnificent James Bond type house. So I make an appointment and I fix a couple of blinds and draperies. A couple of hours of honest work.

I give Bruno the bill. He asks me if I am a Republican. If it means getting a pay check I could be a rooster. When I ask him why, he says, aren't you a small business man?

Then he goes and gets a signed check from the guy living there. Then he says, “Look, now you have this famous autograph.”

So I put the check into my shirt pocket like any scrap of paper and Bruno asks me if I want to shake hands with the next governor.

Sure, why not.

So this guy approaches me - as big, rich and powerful a man as I can imagine. We shake hands and then the check comes out as swift as if a magician did it or pick pocket had removed it. I hear "campaign contribution.”

As I grab my check back, I shout, "Sorry, but I vote in secret.”


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

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Friday, 15 May 2015

Meeting on 42nd Street

By Marc Leavitt of Marc Leavitt's Blog

At 42nd Street, by chance,
They nearly passed without a glance.
Distracted by work’s daily crunch,
Both friends were rushing back from lunch.

At Third, the traffic light turned red,
They looked around; one of them said,
“Hey, Frank! I can’t believe it’s true;
Long time, since I bumped into you.”

Frank laughed, delighted, and replied,
“Hi, Tony, hey, I thought you died!
I haven’t seen you since last year;
I know I’m right, on that I’m clear.”

“Our class reunion had just passed.
Time disappears so bloody fast.
What’s new? You look like things are swell;
I hope the family’s doing well?”

His friend said, “Yeah, I can’t complain;
In fact, we just got back from Spain,
We’d planned to go there since last June,
To have a second honeymoon.”

“It goes too quick, what can I say?
Your wedding seems like yesterday;
But that was – what? Ten years ago?
On green, they both began to go.

The friends shook hands, made plans to meet
For drinks one day right down the street.
Let’s not forget, both of them vowed,
Melting into the lunchtime crowd.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

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Thursday, 14 May 2015

Not Today

By Dani Ferguson Phillips of The Cataract Club

It has been almost three years since I last wrote about “The Big C.” My husband of only one year was still merrily navigating life in what I had concluded was a blissful state of denial. After all, I had been advised by everyone in the medical field to prepare myself for what they had predicted would be a brief and devastating illness.

Ron had already endured two invasive surgeries; the first to remove a kidney and a football sized tumor which left him with a prognosis of three to six years. I had been told there was no treatment for this type of cancer other than surgery and that there would be no chemo or radiation to fight it.

So, in 2012 I was prepared to deal with what I believed to be the inevitable. The cancer had spread to Ron’s lung and possibly his remaining kidney. Every time we met with the oncologist following a three month cat-scan, we would receive yet another devastating blow.

No matter how hard I tried to prepare myself for the results, I was always knocked to my knees by the news. But Ron just plowed ahead with only one thought and that was to get the cancer cut out as soon as possible so he could resume his life.

And that’s exactly what he did. When I was unable to hide my fear my husband would tell me, “Hey, we are all dying but I’m not dying today.”

On May 30, 2013, he had his third major surgery after monitoring the growth of the spot in his lung for a year. This time they removed part of his left lung.

Just like all the other surgeries, Ron sailed through it like a warrior. He didn’t bat an eye and only minutes after returning from post-op he walked to the hospital shelter as tornado sirens screamed outside.

I remember sitting in the shelter designated for visitors and thinking how surreal the moment was. But we dodged the tornado and Ron recovered quickly and we resumed life once more.

Three months after surgery Ron had his routine CAT scan. The day he was to get the results, I was unable to go the appointment because of a work conflict. I remember holding my breath as I awaited his call.

The phone rang and before I could ask Ron said, “No sign of cancer.”

All I could do was exhale slowly and soak it in. For the first time in three years the words cancer free had been spoken. I knew it didn’t mean the cancer would never return but it was the first time I had a glimmer of hope and believe me hope is powerful.

Three months later, he repeated the same routine. CAT scan followed by office visit to receive the results. Only this time I was convinced our luck depended on me staying away from the office visit.

So, I waited in the waiting room hoping to retain the positive karma we had received three months earlier and again there was no sign of cancer.

We’ve repeated this routine for the past year and each time the news has been the same. His oncologist told him that there is no change in the next year, his CAT scans will be reduced to once a year instead of every three months.

This was BIG news!

It has been six years since his initial diagnosis and we are still here. I have learned so much since that time.

I have learned that no matter what the diagnosis, there is always hope. Even when all the odds are against you and hope is all you have left.

I have spent the last six years trying to prepare myself for the unthinkable while my husband has just simply lived each day as it came. But, I’m still superstitious and refuse to go in the exam room for the scan results.

At Ron’s last visit, even his doctor agreed that whatever we are doing is working and said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

So, in July you will find me sitting in the waiting room but this time I know that miracles ARE possible and as Ron says, “Nobody’s dying today!”


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

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Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Pills

By Henry Lowenstern

Two at breakfast, four at lunch
and at dinner, a whole bunch
of prescription medications
filled to my doctors' specifications,
including one that I can crunch.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

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Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Every Last Word is Contagious

By Fritzy Dean

Every last word is contagious.What does it mean
To have the last word? That you can talk louder
Or longer? That we will never speak of it again?
I don't think so.
Every last word is contagious. don't believe
The old story about sticks and stones. Words
Can hurt. It takes You're wonderful
One thousand times to erase one You're stupid
Every little word is contagious. One word made me
Lift weights, dance Zumba and enter a race, just
Because he called me an athlete.
At five years old I heard my mother say She would be
Cute if only her hair would curl. After 75 years I still
Remember the sting. My own mother thought I
Was ugly. Every single little word is contagious.
Harsh words infect the soul with toxic poison.
Loving words infuse the heart with joy.
Words can be a kiss, a caress:
I appreciate you. You are amazing.
Words can be a dagger to the heart:
Leave and don't come back. You are a
Loser and always will be.
Be aware of the words you choose.
You will never know their impact.
Every last word is contagious.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

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Monday, 11 May 2015

Happy Mother’s Day

By Mickey Rogers of This, That and the Other

Mom, after battling cancer for several months, you left us on New Year’s Day, 1997, just three-and-a-half months after Dad had died.

Sometimes it feels like you’ve been gone just a few months; at other times it seems like an eternity. Anyway, as I think about this special day several memories flood my soul:

I can still smell your wonderful homemade bread. From my point of view, while still warm it was the best bread in the universe. It had to be eaten in the first couple days, however, because after that it would dry out and fall into tiny little crumbs. Of course, I did my best to see that it was devoured long before it began to crumble.

Like your father, usually you were quiet and even shy but deep inside lurked a volcano. The relatively few times that you were angry were scary moments indeed.

I’ll never forget when those pesky ants crawled into your cake mix while you talked to a friend on the telephone. This was one of those rare times when you turned into the Incredible Hulk.

It was kind of funny when you tried to sift those varmints out of the mix; little bodies were flying everywhere. As I remember, out of pure stubbornness you baked that cake but being equally stubborn, I refused to eat it.

Whenever you were ticked off at one of my siblings or at me you pelted our backsides with a wooden paddle. Remember the time, despite tugging and chewing on the string, you couldn’t extract the ball from the new paddle? I had to bite my lip to keep from laughing while you pounded my posterior with that ball still intact.

Remember how both you and your sister loved to buy and read those silly magazines that one sees at the grocery store checkout counter? On more than one occasion you argued that those stories were true.

I remember one in particular in which a tall green alien supposedly regularly advised several presidents. Maybe that explains why we’ve had some sub par leaders of late.

You were a walking, talking encyclopedia. Mom, you were the only person I knew who could remember so many details about so many things.

I still miss those jelly-filled cookies that you made.

Like you, I have a love of history, but I can’t remember nearly as many details as you did.

Being the oldest child, you served a large family as an “assistant mom.” Your siblings owe you big time for your sacrifices.

I forgive you for letting my sisters talk you into taking me along to those boring weekly sewing machine classes so that they could have the house to themselves. Of course, it will take a few more decades to forgive them for such a fiendish act!

Unfortunately, I never expressed how much I love you. Hopefully, late is better than never.

Mom, you never expressed in words your love for us but you always did your very best for us and for that we are thankful.

Mom, please forgive me for constantly teasing you about Harvey and other guys that you knew during your youthful years. My excuse was that I was a stupid kid who didn’t know any better and I’m sticking to it.

So happy Mother’s Day, Mom. Your kids love you, appreciate you and most of all, miss you. Rest in peace.


[INVITATION: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. They can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, memoir, etc. Please read instructions for submitting.]

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