A Slant of Light
diffused through a window
is not a good lunch date.
A friend double-took a
look at my lip line,
so I daubed my mouth –
saw no napkin stain.
She did it again.
I found a
(okay, a couple)
to pluck when
I got back
to the office.
We swapped seats
next time – my back
was to the glass,
and I saw
to keep that seat.
I came home
from work and
tossed my own can of
that absorbs impurities
while adding next-day
texture and volume,
now firmly resolute that
my dry shampoo days
in a certain
slant of light.
Stories of Hope
Sharing their stories
Offering hope for miracles
God is still at work
They’ve known deep trenches,
dark alleys, places of doom
They know there is light
They know there is hope
When all seemed hopeless, God worked
miracles in them
This week’s topic on sharingourstoriesmagic.com is quiet. The golden silence sets the tone of the day for me. No radio, no tv…..medicinal space for reflecting and writing. Solitude. Peace. Stillness. Coffee.
Thanks to Slice of Life and SOS for giving writers space and voice!
the whirr of the fan
faint hum of the fridge
quaint strum of the heat
whispery paper turning a page
flutter of leaves
in the breeze
hush of misty
soapy shower steam
a snore of a snoozer
a schnoodle, asleep
the peace of the house
without any stirring
save for one spoon
in the coffee I’m swirling
morning solitude savored, fleeting
moments of peace
……..before workday greetings
rustic cabin window shelf
Mason jar blush bouquet
faintly perfuming the air with
of carefree days
through grassy meadows
to a snow-quilted picnic knoll
blanket of sunshine
drifting off to youthful adventures
on distant hills
sledding in a red coat
waking to yellow butterflies
Japanese cherry blossoms
Celebrating Kona, Who is Loved a Grande Latte!
Today’s post is written by my father, Reverend Dr. Felix Haynes, Jr., whose birthday is February 13th – the day before Valentine’s Day. As Ken and I celebrate our Dad today, he celebrates his schnoodle, Kona, who nuzzled her way into his life one year ago. And oh, the difference she has made!
IN GRATITUDE FOR KONA – AND APPRECIATION TO MY CHILDREN
Kona came into my life one year ago on Valentine’s Day, the best Valentine ever, a love expression from my children. This schnoodle was 9 months old at the time. She was “rescued” from a home where she was loved by her owner, who was in the midst of an unfortunate situation and was unable to keep her. She got to St. Simon’s Island by relay from Tallahassee, Florida to Albany, Georgia (where Kim received her), then to Tifton, Georgia (where Ken took the baton) and on to St. Simon’s Island late Sunday on Valentine’s Day 2021. Ken and Ginger walked into my home toting this canine bundle. I was undogged and not in the market for another because of the responsibility and emotional dynamics of dogdom.
I had warned my children not to do such a thing. Ken said, “Dad, Kim rescued this puppy, and you have 48 hours to make a decision.”
Kim fell in love with her from Albany to Tifton. I quickly fell in love with this cute little bundle of fur also. No pressure! We walked Kona and played a bit. Less than an hour later, I had a dog – or, perhaps more truthfully, a dog had me! I knew immediately I would not change her name because I love coffee (Kona is the leeward side of Hawaii where they grow coffee). She sits in the chair with me every morning when I have coffee.
The Florida State University former owner from whom Kona comes, who was wearing his Seminoles t-shirt when he stepped from his truck with her, suggests a bit of Miriam (once a FSU student herself) steering Kona to me. I don’t know. Maybe. Probably. But I am sure I was meant to have this cherished friend, no doubt. I would rather have Kona than a brand new Mercedes. She is the best gift.
Kona is appealingly persuasive. She can win the heart of anybody she meets. She does not discriminate and brings a bright spot all over St. Simon’s Island and beyond. She gets 3 or 4 walks a day: pre-dawn (usually 5:30 a.m., to the Pier and back) — 11:00 a.m., around the ballpark (getting a treat at the Recreation Office). She pulls like a dog sled to get through that door—then, at 2:30 p.m. to the dog park. She knows how to tell time. She has dozens of friends there and has brought so many new friends into my life. We have occasional gatherings at restaurants – a great fraternity. And we meet many people and breeds of dogs from all over the country. This is an enriching dimension to my life – and Kona is responsible for it!
Kona transmits love and joy because she has a divine spark. She has distinctive barks: (1) A shrill woof-woof—let’s play! (2) a yelp- “Let’s go” (3) a SWEET WOOING WHINE- “pick me up.” (4) A louder repetitive bark –she isn’t happy about something.
She can jump amazingly high and impresses everybody who sees this. It is her eager enthusiasm! She could win the high jump in the Canine Olympics. You must see this to believe it. She can walk on her hind legs in such a way that she could be on Dancing With the Stars. Her tails wags like the flutter of a hummingbird’s wings.
She is an amazing dog, and people who see her give her treats beyond the Recreation Office at the ball park. She gets treats at Parker’s convenience store. She gets a puppy cup (of ice-cream) at Frosty’s. We share it.
She is devious and delightful. When she gets in trouble, she has the most appealing scamper and turns her trouble into a game. She is smart. When she sees I am upset with her, she turns on the charm, looks me in the eyes and pleads, “I didn’t mean to.” There should be more people like Kona.
Kona is total energy with skin pulled over it. She is JOY personified. She is LOVE in the best sense of the word. She is PEACE on my pillow. She warms my bed, brightens my day, challenges my patience. She is an unfailing friend. I am convinced this sweet little gal is an angel.
One year later, THANKS!
ten feet from our driveway – a bloodbath!
scraps of fur, one tiny claw left
suspect: our resident hawk
victim: baby squirrel?
we cheer for one,
mourn the wee
did it fall
to its death from
the towering pines?
fly talon-pierced away?
little one taken too young
plucked from the warmth of its mother
nourishment for our majestic hawk
Covid Picnic Shakespearean Sonnet in Iambic Pentameter
I had a Covid picnic in the sun
(whose warmth was bright; it wasn’t all that cold)
at least a quarter mile from everyone
authentic Vitamin D was my goal
one fighting orange for Vitamin C
a mason jar of water: fluids forced
Ritz Crackers – all one really ever needs
DayQuil, store brand the company outsourced
picnic blanket, family Christmas gift
computer writing – for that healing lift!
Iambic pentameter is five heartbeats with the emphasis on the second syllable – paPUM, paPUM, paPUM, paPUM, paPUM. The rhyme scheme of a Shakespearean Sonnet is Ababcdcdefefgg, comprised of three quatrains and a rhyming couplet.
Alice, you charmer!
You sweep, mop floors to a shine!
You’ve got my back, friend!
Carol Brady said
you’d be the best at this task
you’re worth more than gold!
Several years ago, my son and daughter in law told me that they loved their vacbot so much that if it died that day, they’d go get a new one that evening. With 3 dogs, they said, ”it saves us from the dog hair!”
We have 3 non-shedders, but the dirt from going inside and out on a wood floor is no small task. Floors have always been my husband’s task, so as his Christmas present last year, I hinted that I’d like a vacbot that sweeps and mops. He brought Alice home, and we’ve been hearing The Brady Bunch theme ever since she started working her magic.
What a blessing to come home to a clean floor every day! I think if Alice dies today, Alice II will be here by evening.
I’m on the lookout for a cookbot…..
This week’s topic at http://www.sharingourstoriesmagic.com is snow. Having grown up on an island in South Georgia and remained in the deep south all my life, I have never been around much snow that I can remember. That’s why my best memories of snow are from a church youth trip that we took to go snow skiing in Sky Valley.
The Pie in the Sky Valley
The First Baptist Church of St. Simons Island, Georgia youth group took a trip to go snow skiing in Sky Valley in the 1970s. The Edwards family of Edwards Pie Company just happened to be among the members of the church, and they generously loaned us their lodge for the trip. Funny how a simple word like “snow” can prompt such memories – – I remember so much – and so little – from the winter wonderland scenes of our time high up on that mountainside in the cabin. I was absolutely mesmerized by the icicles and the sparkling trees heavy-laden with snow, and feeling it crunch underfoot when we walked in it, feeling the cold air shock our lungs in ways that we were not used to inhaling cold, dry air. I imagine this is how it would have felt stepping out of the back of the wardrobe into Narnia. So unexpected. So surreal. Island kids, we were all used to sand between our toes – not snow under our feet.
We had Bible studies in the main room of the lodge , sitting in a circle next to the fireplace on the door wall as we shared in fellowship. Julian Ward was our youth minister back in those days. He talked about scripture and brought the Bible’s words to life for us through illuminating the passages. Jesus was not just a concept – He became real to us, and we grew to know Him. The Word became not only relevant, but a guiding force in our lives, and retreats like these were part of what anchored us and solidified our bond as Christian youth.
The boys bunked in one big room, girls in the other. To the immediate left of the front door, there was a small kitchen for preparing food and our favorite drink – hot chocolate. One chaperone made according to directions: one teaspoon of cocoa in six ounces of water – which was waaaaay too watery, but she would not be corrected. Everyone, especially the Hallmark Channel, knows that hot chocolate is only good when it’s heavy on the cocoa and marshmallows. Nevertheless, we drank it just to get warm. There was a long table for dining – and we savored that time together around the table back when people still did that sort of thing. When I look back on these times, I feel blessed to have been among the last generation to understand the importance of the dinner table, and sorrowful that so many of today’s children do not. The disappearance of the dinner table is probably much the same way my grandparents and great grandparents felt about the disappearance of the front porch. Oh no, the world is going to Hell in a handbasket!
Those were what we now call the good old days – before screens took the places of faces, when we still knew how to get along in big groups or to suck it up and deal with it if we had a disagreement about something, and when we appreciated the togetherness of simpler times. As hard as it was, we knew back in those days how to actually apologize and mend fences – to overcome rifts, forgive, and move on. And the next time we found a rift, we did the same thing again. No social media to keep pouring toxic salt in our wounds made things easier.
I reached out to some friends who were also on that trip to see what has stuck with them after all these years. Don Wheeler and I lost our mothers at about the same time of the year (different years), but we both understand the heartache of holiday loss of our mothers. I remember our mothers bringing casseroles for Wednesday night covered dish suppers, and our families being at church together every Sunday. Dad told me about a time he saw Don recently in a restaurant when Don came over to the table to chat. When Dad went to pay his bill, Don had beat him to it – tip and all! Don sent me some photos. I believe we actually went to the Edwards’ cabin more than once for retreats, because in his photos, the lake is not frozen and there is no snow. Don writes:
Kim, I think you took these photos. Do you remember finding that old cabin?
Riding in that bus through the mountains was thrilling. Also tubing down towards the lake.
Lisa Strickland Warren is a friend who lived right around the corner from me. We rode bikes all over St. Simons Island together and spent time climbing the giant oak tree in front of Candy Pruitt’s house, swinging on the rope swing from the tall branches. She lost a son, Michael, New Years Eve (2009, I believe), a student at the University of Georgia who did regular missions work and was going into the missions field. His legacy lives on in powerful ways – many have come to know Christ through Michael, and he has never stopped orchestrating his good works here – now, he does it from Heaven. He sends cardinals to his mother, sister, and father regularly to let them know he is still at work here, but he’s loving life in Heaven. The seeds of our assurances of this life being a temporary place were sown in that youth group in the 1970s. Because of our steadfast faith that was built in those days together as youth, Don, Lisa and I rest assured every single day that we will be reunited with all those we love in time. Each moment here is but a blip on the dash.
Lisa remembers us all wearing blue jeans when we went to Sky Valley to go skiing.
That was so much fun! I had no idea how to ski and surely didn’t have a cute ski outfit! We wore jeans that were sprayed with Scotchgard! I remember the bus couldn’t get to the lodge so we had to walk down the road that was covered with snow with our luggage! I think my favorite part was tubing in the back yard! If you went too fast you ended up on the frozen lake!
I have lost all memory of the bus and the cabin we found in the woods , but I do remember those blue jeans – only mine were not Scotchgarded, and on one fall, I left a blue skidstreak in the snow from the as-of-yet-unwashed denim. I was positioned in such a way that getting back up required help. Some guy on the ski lift yelled out from overhead, ”Will somebody please help that girl? This is my third time going up the lift and she still hasn’t moved!” I was both embarrassed and relieved at the same time when help arrived.
That’s why I was relieved when Lisa added, “….and now I’m retired from skiing! Been there, done that!” I think we were all fortunate that no one broke anything. I replied, “Me, too. And rollercoasters. I’m retired from rollercoasters, too.”
But the one thing I am pretty sure we would all do again well into our fifties is tube down that snow-covered hill. There was nothing more magical, more exhilarating than speeding downhill through the freezing air, lips and cheeks chapped, eyes stinging, toes and fingers practically frostbitten, ears suffering cold-weather earaches, praying we didn’t end up too far out on the frozen lake where the ice was too thin. Some things we just never outgrow – like the magic of snow, and our faith!