A Quick Truck Trip

 A Quick Truck Trip

A quick truck trip 

Chevy Silverado 2500 

white work truck

22K miles 

in Dawsonville, Georgia 

but wait! another offer – 

a gentleman from Raleigh

just saw it and left 

but changed his mind halfway home 

and wants it now 

“it’s our policy,” 

the salesman said,

“that if someone else 

is already on the way,

we still show it.”

so we looked 

you drove 

I rode 

we talked 

we offered 

they rejected 

we walked 

an hour later 

you got a slew of pictures 

of this truck

with a promise:

“if the gentleman from Raleigh changes his mind,

 we’ll call you on Monday.”

Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge

Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge 

August 23, 2020

Room 405 Amicalola Falls State Park Lodge 

a spellbinding window wall of a view- 

not your typical 

tacky woodland painting


instead, a live view 

birds gliding 

hikers climbing 

like ants on a hill 


on their tasks 

two queen beds 

farm-style sliding doors privatizing the bathroom

stark white shower light awakening the senses  

invigorating the body 

and coffee –

thankfully, coffee 

pour a cup 

to take to the lobby 

to capture in words this glorious place 

three-story stone fireplace spanning lobby to ceiling geometric 

clear glass 

window wall 

an A-frame view 

of the mountain valley below 


from this summit 

repurposed log 

split lengthwise, 

now a mantle 

holding two tall pottery vases


for breathing 

the clean mountain air 

start of the Appalachian Trail just a few steps from

these doors, 

its map spanning

two stories 

on the wall 

opposite the fireplace


lamp shade chandeliers, 


couch, three chairs, 

tables and lamps, 

clean wood floors –

echoing space 

free of any form of clutter

space to breathe

space to think

space to write 

restorative soul space

occasional muffled voices, otherwise 

the early morning quiet 

of this hour 

blended aromas of breakfast- 

bacon, coffee, toast- 

waft through the lobby 

invisible clouds 

on the move,

part two of this

Bed and Breakfast Bundle

soon to come 

mountainous autumn 

color schemes –

rusts, beiges,

greens and browns 

bring in the earthy beauty of these outdoors 

leaving the sky 

the monopoly 

on the blues and whites 

canoe-shaped bookshelf offering flyers -what to do 

what to do?! 

what to do!?

take a walk off the grid 

visit the butterfly farm 

hold tight 

      for a zip line adventure 

take a hike 

be enamored 

      by the 

         rushing waters 

             of the 



go fishing 

have a picnic 

practice archery 

take flight 

      to the birds of prey show 

sit in an Adirondack chair 

sip wine at a vineyard

go kayaking 

go shopping 

normally, we might do these things 


but not today –


we pan for different gold 


we retreat to the peace offered here 

today, we take it easy!

Picture Perfect



Picture Perfect


back to FDR State Park

log cabin #7 on Lake Delanor

evening shade of Slash pines

big around as burn barrels


hum of trucks puttering

around the lake loop

pulling campers

sound carrying across the water


country music from site 21

lighter fluid and charcoal wafting

smoke crossing borders

embers perfect, ready to grill



umbrella up, covering the flames

grilling steaks in the rain

together, all that matters


two yellow kayaks, one red canoe

paddling to shore

peace interrupted

steaks done, so is the rain


eerily quiet and still

air-conditioned cabin

too cool on damp skin

urges dinner on the screened stone porch

in the rockers


chirping of birds and crickets

tree frogs trilling

tender steak, coleslaw, dilled red potatoes

juicy seedless watermelon

two bottled Blue Moons


steam rising off the lake

in a misty picture







we’d been going out

then a wrinkle

decided to stop

see other people


out of town

the call came


“there’s been an accident,”

she said,

“a freak accident that

made the Atlanta news

we need to take food”


a car crashed

through Mojo’s restaurant window

where you’d been sitting

your parents holding hands

across the table


pinning them


shattered glass



miraculously you lived

no one understood how –

that’s the nature of a

triple miracle


so we made a raisin-glazed ham

and scalloped pineapple

delivered it to

the Funny Farm

where you were

helping your folks and

recovering too


from the kitchen

I caught a glimpse

of you

in the recliner

your face and hands

cut, bandaged

avoiding my gaze

as you sat alone


my heart skipped a beat

I saw a different you

a vulnerable you

who’d shown

heroic courage

in sifting through

shards of shattered glass

to save others


not the showoff trickster motorcycle rider

not the competitive race car driver

not the fast talker with orange PowerAde staining your lips

              as you talked on a concrete picnic bench


I saw you –

knew I was in love with you

but was too scared

of another broken heart

to unleave


how does anyone unleave, anyway?

not all pieces are as easily picked up

as shattered glass


I could at least

ask how you were feeling

no risk there


so I texted,

“wanna talk?”


expecting to wait days

for the response

that came





Today’s writing prompt from my writing group sparked connections between the book that I am currently reading and a choral response, so I am taking that form today and using letters exchanged between Barbara Webster and Gladys Taber in 1953 from their farms as I converse with these late authors. Secret Confession: I think I have a writer’s crush on Gladys Taber.

Gladys, from Stillmeadow (Connecticut, 1953): “Do you ever have a moment that is absolutely exquisite? Such moments are rare. They are like holding a pink pearl in your palm. Happiness, I think, is being able to live these moments when they come.”

Kim, from the Funny Farm (Georgia, 2020): A pink pearl, for me, is a cold winter’s morning: a toasty fire, a cozy blanket, a charming book, and my two rescues dozing in my lap.

Barbara, from Sugar Bridge (Pennsylvania, 1953): “Sometimes I think that if I had a whole new life to lead, I’d like nothing so much as to be a really good gardener.”

Kim, from the Funny Farm (Georgia, 2020): I’d be the female Henry David Thoreau, carving out three years to live in a cabin by the lake in a sparsely-furnished space with a rich supply of paper and ink.

Gladys, from Stillmeadow (Connecticut, 1953): “Yes, it takes living to find out what values life has. Most of us, as we grow older, gentle the wild ponies of our heart. Then you find, on the lower pastures, the small flowers that are there and you know the richness of small busy tasks of ordinary living.”

Kim, from the Funny Farm (Georgia, 2020): I’m looking forward to Friday, when I will help lead a group of sixth graders to write letters to nursing home residents in Warm Springs, Georgia who can’t have visitors during this pandemic – young, wild ponies bringing forgotten and unexpected surprises of handwritten letters to the mailboxes of much older horses – flowers in the lower pasture.

Coding 101: Secretly Forecasting Atmospheric Conditions



Coding 101: Secretly Forecasting Atmospheric Conditions

compass rose
on our faces
reversed to self,

“weather check?”
I remind us
before venturing along

I turn toward him
gaze to the heavens
a windsock lifting
changing angles
awaiting the forecast

“cloudy in the western hemisphere,
with a strong chance of sunshine
and a slight chance of storms,”
my own private meteorologist
in his whispered broadcast

in every forecast he makes there is
a strong chance of sunshine
and a slight chance of storms

he tilts his head
checks the sky

no scripted teleprompting needed here

“sustained winds
according to the
barometric pressure
but otherwise
clear and balmy
stay tuned”
I whisper back
grinning a secret smile
signing off the air

I hand him a Kleenex and
duck into the ladies’ room
cocooning my own tissue
in my right hand
in search of a mirror
to release a small cloud from
my western hemisphere

Enneagram Pantoum

Challenge from

Emily Yamasaki – write a worry box Pantoum.

Enneagram Pantoum

Enneagram Type One? Hmmm….. maybe.

I took the free test. 

A rule follower who wants things done correctly? Me? 

A 98% Perfectionist pie slice?

I took the free truity.com personality test. 

I’m 97% Type 5, Investigator? 

When have you ever known a preacher’s kid who “follows rules”??

I “seek knowledge” and am “more comfortable with #DATA than people?” 

97% that AND 94% The Achiever? 

98%, 97%, 94%?  This pie seems skewed. 

I want “to be successful, admired,” and I’m       

        “conscious of my public image?” 

Is it sinful if I’m more comfortable with data than

        with people?  

The glass pastorium has me nauseated

        with the public image thing, plus Pantoums 

        prove I’m no Perfectionist. 

I’m a tormented breed of a 1, 5, 3.

What am I least of? 47% Type 2, The Giver? 

No, no, no. I tithe. I just give in Godlier ways.

I’m a tormented breed and I’m selfish? 

Exactly how is a rule follower who wants to do things correctly selfish? 

No, no, no. They have me all wrong.


Melatonin Dreams of the COVID Cocktail

Challenge from Emily – write about an indelible moment 

So I share a recent indelible moment – about 3 hours recent – and it’s horrifying. Readers beware. Strange what pills will do to “keep us well.”  Backstory: negative COVID test – but take this COVID Cocktail to prevent it……

Apologies for the length…..

Melatonin Dreams of the COVID cocktail

an assortment of vitamins and


1 to 3 milligrams a half hour before bed 

as tolerated 

what does that even mean? 

as tolerated

I’d heard sleepless friends say melatonin causes nightmares 

(in my dream 

I was supposed to be at a horse rodeo 

but never saw 

the first horse 

I was in a big eatery

first at a table with people I didn’t know 

two little Italian boys 

twins, maybe 5 

talking about desserteria 

and then selling $1.75 trinket rings 

as a fundraiser 

my own dad suddenly appeared because my mom wanted one)



in heaven in real life now-

and Dad here- 

(offered to pay for my ring but I scrounged up my own quarters) 

quarters from the same Ziploc sandwich bag 

I keep in my Caribbean Blue Rav 4 console 

that I actually 

-not in a dream –

had used to make the change part of my grilled chicken lunch 

from Big Chic yesterday 

in the drive thru in the sudden deluge 

for $7.06

-a twenty from

my purse, a nickel and penny from the bag, 

two fives and three ones back-

(so I asked the little boys if they’d been to Italy and one said 

yes, he’d gotten an Italian haircut there 

– and kept eating his desserteria

what is an Italian haircut? 

is desserteria even a thing? 

his huge group of older relatives 

strangers I’d never met started getting up from

the next table and had all the Italian features of olive toned skin and 

Ray Romano noses 

and glared at me like I had crossed lines with their boys

I stared back with viral oomph 

squinted my eyes at them 

meeting their challenge

asking with my expression:

how dare they?!? 

I’m not the one who let them sit at a table with total strangers 

eating desserteria 

spend some time with your kids, my eyes accused 

it suddenly seemed like we changed from a restaurant to a train car 

further down the mallish corridor I saw 

a work


-from real life 

– her family I’d heard all had COVID in real life

(and then Joanie and her husband)

I actually saw in real life 

– not just in this crazy dream- 

eating barbecue at the Oink Joint in Zebulon this week

(on the walk I saw 

my friend Peg  

praising the pho

so the Asian girl behind the counter asked me 

what I wanted and I ordered 

“what they were having”

since I don’t know enough about pho to know,

pointing at Peg and Mary)


married friends of mine who’d left their husbands for each other 

back around 2002

(but I left the line for a minute 

– I do not know why –

came back, got in line to pay for the pho 

and realized – no money! 

reached in the pocket of my sweater 

wait, no,

-this was Mom’s Korean sweater) 

-because in real life this week Dad had mailed me a box with her Korean jacket and two Gladys Taber books- 

Stillmeadow and Sugarbridge 


My Own Cookbook

(and I pulled out-

what is this? 

foreign currency? 

paper bills with unknown faces on them 

a five and a one

not knowing whether it was stronger than the dollar or weaker 

a young black girl 

about seven years old

pulled out her own foreign currency to pay for hers

glanced at me and said something

about the food?

in some language I did not understand

I hoped the foreign money might work

– hers did

where was I in this international rodeo? 

in the eating area 

a lady named MooreAnn was there with her husband 

they were showing how they’d made all these jigsaw puzzles

but neither was clothed and they were hairless and plopped against a wall covering themselves with their arms except for one exposed flat and droopy breast 

expressionless lumps

not saying a word while someone else talked for them 

a girl ran out from behind a counter to get a cigarette and a light from someone standing by the wall who seemed to know what she wanted without words 

then she ran back to work behind the counter

someone said it was MooreAnn’s daughter and I said she looks like them

only with clothes

she was wearing running shorts and a T-shirt

running with a lit smoke and a smile

next there was a labor room where 

newborn naked babies were on display 

lying on twin beds with their dads while the moms were off somewhere else 

-God only knows where-

one baby was cute but way bigger than all the rest and had a disproportionately huge head

his bottom was way too plump in a babyish sense and when he lifted his head to grin 

I saw two buck teeth 

up top and little teeth on the bottom

and asked how he’d been born with all those teeth already in and how was he already that big? 

he had to have hurt

a random

lady there to see the babies told me he’d surely have a brain tumor later 

I quipped back it was sad how we don’t know all the answers and why does God let us go through things like this? 

those poor parents 

facing a baby with cancer

and then I went back to a room 

– like a hotel room but not – 

to get things to go home 

-wherever home was

I was making a right hand turn 

in the far left turn lane and maintained my lane 

but a car next to me 

had me wondering if he would do the same- 

I was hyper-aware  

but the car stayed in its own lane

I asked whoever was in the car with me

-I knew them but had no idea who it was – 

how to get back  

– I didn’t know where back was –

but no answer from

the back seat passenger

the roads were dark and desolate and I didn’t know where to go

I guessed at it and saw a child 

a girl of about ten 

wearing magenta shorts and a shirt walking on the edge of the road

-finally, someone who was dressed-

I went around her 

-but a child? 

-on a dark highway? 

-is this not strange? 

And this was when things got worse

I saw the boy

a clothesless boy

about 8 years old

had been hit by a car

and was lying in the road screaming for help

should I stop? 

– of course I should


I missed hitting him and pulled to the side to try to help 

but the Rav was going too fast to stop 

up next in this Melatonin nightmare – another body this one already dead and bloody 

and I could not tell anything at all about the victim that 

like some roadkill 

had been hit several times

and then I saw nothing but blood spots on the road the further I went 

and I convinced myself I should turn around 

because we may be next if we kept going down this road 

I spun the Rav around to take a different way 

– to go back and turn onto the road 

I had passed 

and saw that the car that had been behind me had spun around too

I wondered what

that driver 


in this dream of terror 



we’re they in on the killings!?)

4:21 a.m. in real life-

-thank God I’m back- 

jolted awake by the horror

bolt upright! 

No more Melatonin for me! 


No. More. COVID. Cocktail. 

I’ll take my chances.

I choose real life! 

wide awake

I get up from bed in this log cabin in FDR State Park 

stumble to the toilet

hear a sound 

I’m thinking hubby is behind me in line to pee next

the same way our two dogs line up

for the same spot 

I hear popping sounds on the wooden floor

creaks the whole time I pee

“Hey, baby?”

no response 

I go back to the room

– there he is in bed 

        fast asleep 

as he was when I left

in this haunted cabin #7 

by Lake Delanor 

In FDR State Park

On Saturday,

August 15,





Choose shoes 


forget hats

they’re not-all-thats

choose shoes

to shift whos


#cowboy boots

#army boots














#trail hikers

#heel spikers


#steel toes



#swim fins

#doc martens


#saddle oxfords

#red galoshes


#running shoes

#suede blues


#bunny slippers

#scuba flippers


#soccer slides

#lacy brides


#sling backs




#figure skates






#taylor chucks


#golf cleats



#brown mules



#stride rights

#got-it- rights


#beach thongs



#dutch clogs

#london fogs


#barn muckers

#leather uppers


#penny loafers



#sexy pumps



#neutral flats

#mean old bats


#ballet points

#what’s the points?



#feel terrifics



#Greg Haynes!


choose shoes

whose shoes?

shoes’ll take you back


Shoes’ll take you back

shoes’ll take you back

-sparkly coral wedges-

to your son’s  wedding 

on a Tennessee mountainside 

where the hand -hewn arbor 

crafted by the bride’s dad 

framed the majestic simplicity 

of vows exchanged 

shoes’ll take you back 

-ecru platforms-

to the restaurant in Johns Creek 

where a community of Chinese descendants 

gathered to celebrate 

an American war hero 

whose missions saved their grandparents 

when his remains came home- finally 

shoes’ll take you back

-coffee slings- 

to the cobblestone streets of Savannah 

walking around the historic squares 

of the Flannery O’Connor childhood home 

on the way to Bonaventure cemetery 

shoes’ll take you back 

-black Merrells-

to the streets of Europe 

eating German licorice in Berlin 

escargot in Paris 

fish and chips in London 

pasta Arrabbiata in Florence 

pizza margherita and pistachio gelato in Rome

shoes’ll take you back 

-white baby boots-

to your child’s first steps 

the little white lace barrels screwed tight 

to prevent tripping 

in classic white Stride Rites 

festive bells sounding every success 

shoes I’ll take you back 

-gold spray painted sandals-

to your wedding day 

where God had turned your world around 

so you flipped your wedding party 

to face the guests

so they could see 

you were happier this time around 

shoes’ll take you back

-patriotic sneakers-

to the day you started kindergarten 

in Reynolds Georgia 

when all you wanted was 

a pair of 1970 red white and blue canvas Keds 

and the Whatleys  loaded you up 

in their Winnebago 

for a trip to the Macon Mall 

to find them in Belk

shoes’ll take you back