Early there were murmurs of adults
reading stories to each other-
near the warm kitchen stove,
grandparents, father, mother.
In summer came the chirps of cricket song,
and wind in pines made whistling sound.
Greenfield added rumbling trains
as raucous city noises would abound.
In teen years I heard music of my peers
the stuff my mother could not love-
and I came to know choral hymns
telling us of God above.
In nursing I heard anguished moans of pain,
from terminal patients unrelieved.
Their doctors’ fear of making addicts
was not to be believed.
In motherhood I cherished tiny sounds
of newborn infants’ little cries,
and when I held and nursed them,
there were gentle happy sighs.
In all the years my kids were growing up,
their noise of living filled my every day,
laughing, joking, squabbling, yelling-
my children went on their way.
Inevitably, declining times have come,
and lesser sounds are falling on my ears.
Cicadas, crickets, hoots, and howls
serenade me through the years.
About two months after my uncle’s death, I decided to go back to New Jersey to see how my aunt was doing, since she was now alone in a fairly big house. It was early spring, and I decided to travel by bus.
I didn’t bring any money with me. There was money in my bank account here, and I thought I could just go to a bank in New Jersey as soon as I got there. To my utter surprise, the banks closed at one o’clock on Saturdays in New Jersey. I was sure I could get by until Monday. After all, my aunt had always provided anything a family member needed.
By the time I got to my aunt’s house, I could see she was very upset. I learned that my uncle had left some loose ends after a previous marriage, and this was bothering my aunt. As we sat talking about it, I became very tired, too tired to continue any dialog, and I told that to my aunt. All of a sudden she seemed to snap, and she jumped to her feet shouting in a rage, ”Get out! Get out!” Continue reading
Charlie and I will soon be celebrating our 48th anniversary. And they said it wouldn’t last! No, really they did! Charlie was two months away from his 19th birthday and I had just turned 19, nine days earlier. Does that make me the “older woman?” I’ll have to say this, it wasn’t always easy. Big surprise, huh? But I will also say I wouldn’t trade a second of it for a billion dollars. I used to say a million dollars, but what with inflation and all.
Can I tell you about our big fight? Doesn’t every couple have at least one of those? Well, here’s ours, laid bare Continue reading
Dad had bought Uncle George’s car—our very first car! Dad insisted that Mom learn to drive. Mom, all bundled up against the very snappy weather, sat in the driver’s seat, Dad coaching beside her. Mom followed all the commands—everything was going well, when Dad instructed Mom to shift into reverse, let off the brake and clutch, and step on the gas.
“I said step on the gas, not stomp on it,” Dad yelled as the car winged straight back, missing the big Maple tree by inches, crossing the street, (no traffic, Thank You, Lord) and coming to rest atop a snow-covered embankment. Continue reading