My Dad Farmed with Mules: Father’s Day 2018

My dad was a workhorse. He plowed with mules in the 1930s in our field in Bainbridge     Later I stood beside him on a mechanical “beast” here in the same field cultivating the soil with a Massey-Harris tractor soon to plant tomatoes.     Poet Marge Piercy expresses...

read more

Aunt Ruthie’s Diary and 12 Gallons of Ice Cream

Once upon a time a five-year-old girl went to Cherryl Hill, a one-room school  with a big bell on the rooftop . . . Early in the morning  she rode over hill and dale In the back seat of the brown Terraplane Hudson with her teacher-aunt at the wheel . . . She wasn't...

read more

Rich Memories of Mother and Brother 2018

I am blessed because I had a Mother who . . .    Read to me In appreciation, I once gave this book as a Mother's Day present to my mother. It came back to me when we sorted through her books and papers in 2014.   A well-worn book Mother read to her children     Sang...

read more

Our Unexpected Journey with Brother Mark

The Scenario Begins “Hi, Marian, this is Kenny, do you know where your brother Mark is?” Our cousin Kenny, who lives in an apartment close by Mark’s in Elizabethtown, Pennsylvania had called me in Florida late Sunday morning. “No, I guess he’s in church. He always...

read more

Pausing

Because of the unexpected needs of a family member, I will set aside regular weekly posts for awhile. Also, I may not be responding to your blogs as often. Sometime this month I will post a Mother's Day tribute. You are welcome to contact me via a private message....

read more

Shakespeare, Vets, and a Newborn

Like the magnolias, petunias and daisies that bloom in Florida this time of year Shakespeare’s birthday pops up in my head, an annual occurrence, probably a carryover from teaching Macbeth, Hamlet, and King Lear. Like rosemary for remembrance, the date April 23 never...

read more

A Memoir Moment from the Strawberry Patch

Soon! Strawberries may not be ripe in your part of the world—yet! But they will come soon, Maybe in May or June.   Sam Gamgee, Frodo Baggins’ sidekick, remembers the taste of strawberries: Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon. And the orchards...

read more

Wordless Wednesday, April 2018

        Can you identify the season? Or the decade? What is the mother saying? What is her daughter thinking? Do you have family photos with 3-4 generations? If so, what was the setting (time or place) for the picture?...

read more

Secrets from Grandma Longenecker’s Diary

Last year when we were sorting through piles of paper in Grandma and Aunt Ruthie’s attic, I found this: just one leaf from a tablet my Grandma Longenecker began as a diary. She may have intended to add more.     Grandma’s Diary: the unedited transcription: Wed., Apr...

read more

An Easter Meditation with Jonah and Carl Sandburg

  A prophet and a poet deliver an Easter message for 2018.   This message is for you if you have ever felt depressed ecstatic or any emotion in between.   Story of Jonah Traditionally, the story of Jonah begins with the prophet trying to escape his divine mission to...

read more

All In: Spring has Sprung

Howdy, Spring. You’ve been a long time a-comin’ “But you live in Florida,” you say. “Why are you complaining?” I’m not, but I wish for more flowers, more blooming trees, more singing birds ~ strawberries even, which won’t appear until April. I can never get enough of...

read more

Magnificent Magnolia Stories

Magnolias are majestic and magnificent. I love magnolias!   Magnolias usually appear in late March in north Florida, fading by June. The sensual blooms suggest both passion and fragility, turning brown as they age. These magnolias come from my daughter's garden.    ...

read more

The Tricky Mind: Writers’ True Confessions

Why Do Writers Write? What About Writers’ Block? What is Hypergraphia?   Dr. Alice Flaherty answers these questions and more as she investigates the mysteries of the writer’s mind. Both a medical doctor (MD from Harvard Medical School) and a PhD from MIT, Flaherty...

read more

500 Hats and My Fifth Year Blogging

Five is the magic number this week: I have arrived at the 5th anniversary of my blog. And as it happens in the Land of Even Numbers, this is my 400th post. Magical! In 2013 when this blog was birthed, I posted twice a week, Wednesdays and Saturdays. As writing my...

read more

The Boy Who Grew Too Small: Author Cliff Tells Why

Author Cliff narrates the story of his creating The Boy Who Grew Too Small . . .    The Dream One night I dreamed about a boy who started shrinking because he began smoking. Why such a dream, you ask? I had just learned that the Florida legislature had won a case...

read more

Have a Heart

Missing a Heart A tornado whirling through Kansas, whisked Dorothy and her dog Toto to the magical land of Oz hoping to meet the Wizard in the Emerald City. As they progressed along the Yellow Brick Road, they met three creatures who lacked something important: a...

read more

Not Lost But Gone Before, Hope’s Message

A little church in Alabama with rough-hewn walls holds a glittering stained glass window with this expression: Not lost but gone before.   The saying in golden glass ends with a period though it’s not a complete sentence. Yet those five words reflect on a real ending...

read more

Wordless Wednesday: Imagine a World

              February is Brotherhood month, often celebrated in schools, and in state and national ceremonies. Any such celebrations in your neighborhood? What does the body language of Garfield and Odie suggest? If you created a sequel to this painting, how would it...

read more