Ready for a new direction after 32 years of teaching high school English. I wrote my first poem about green socks in 1977; I hope I've improved since then.
A cool December morning opened, and I tossed raw peanuts and seed to feed the local crows and blue jays. They often heard me opening the crinkly bags before I came outside to feed them. My 5-year-old tagged along, wanting to see the birds gather before her. Delighted in any kind of animal, Coruja Pássaro enjoyed the birds flapping in the high branches, waiting for their treat.
Bo's New Freedom
It’s in his haunted eyes. When I drove to the city an hour away, the anticipation of meeting our new dog was filled with wavering trepidation. There were three sweet beagles available for adoption through the Beagle Rescue: all three cute as a button. They had their stories, their photos, their details pasted on the front page of the website like a dating site. Bo’s face was turned a little to the side, and I could just make out the speckles that identify him as a beagle. His backstory is what sealed the deal for me.
Getting a good night's sleep
Sleep never did come easily for me. Ever since I had my first child, my “mother ears” are on throughout the night, listening for every strange or familiar noise. My husband, on the other hand, can fall asleep anytime, anywhere, and in any position – sitting up, on a chair, on the sofa, etc. I’m not so lucky. However, I have gathered some solutions that often work for me. I need to be more consistent, and that’s one of my resolutions for this year. First, I’ll list the items to avoid.
Healthy Food and Diets
It’s completely unfair. In case you never noticed, healthy food costs more than processed food, and healthy food doesn’t last as long in the fridge (or on the shelf), which means food shopping more often and spending more money. This is so unfair. According to US News, roughly 40% of all Americans are obese, and WebMD says that more than 70% of women are overweight or obese. With these numbers, wouldn’t it make sense to regulate the price of healthier foods and stop making Ramen a dollar for 6 packages? We’ve become addicted to quick and easy, and throwing together a last-minute meal with our hectic schedules means getting food out of a can or a box. Add to that the conundrum that sometimes the other people in the house don’t want to eat what I prepare because it’s…healthy.
The Change That Happens Later In Life
Her hand in mine. Holding on tightly The six of us continued looking at the machine with the numbers, watching, waiting. Top number was the heart rate; below that were other numbers: blood pressure, oxygen saturation, and respiration. The glowing digits in the darkened room changed every moment as the tendrils of tubes measured the last bits of my mother’s life. An hour earlier, I had jokingly bet which number would reach zero first – respiration. I would be right.
Eulogy for Barb Dukeman in the event she dies from COVID because she was forced to go back to school, late summer 2020
You might as well get comfortable because she wrote her own Eulogy. SHE. WAS. AN. ENGLISH. TEACHER. That means you’re getting her last lesson, and those typically ran 45 minutes. Listen carefully because there will be a quiz at the end. She starts off with a super silly ditty she remembered as the first poem she ever memorized:
The Three Wishes
Terry’s favorite was always macaroni and cheese, but only the Kraft Deluxe brand with the dinosaur shapes. He could eat that golden goodness three times a day. His parents, however, felt he needed more balanced nutrition. For most other children, the introduction of new foods is slow but usually successful. Eva and Greg tried everything they could to entice him to try a carrot, but he just gave it to his brother.
Jimmy Buffet wrote, “Mother, Mother Ocean/I have heard your call.” Well, I’ve finally been asked, “Why do you always end up at the beach? Your Facebook posts are all on the sand.” I’ve tried to resist saying, “Why not?” and instead, I’ll attempt to explain why “moonlit walks along the beach” is not just a cliché in my world.
There were many stories about the Liberty Theater in the center of small town. Closed for decades, it remained standing, its ornate frontispiece a state landmark. The other stores and pubs on the street were streamlined and modern, and the theater seemed out of place and time. The lights if the building remained on, a nod to an old superstition about always keeping a light on in the theater so ghosts can conduct their own plays. Actors were one of the most superstitious groups. The only other groups as superstitious were mariners and athletes.
The Black Cat
Each year thousands of black cats languish in animal shelters because of the bad luck with which they’re associated. For centuries, witches having black cats had become fodder for stories and movies. In fact, many shelters ban the adoption of black cats in October because cats become targets for abuse and worse. Jennifer had always wanted a black cat and feared she’d be alone again this Halloween. She grew up with animals - dogs, cats, birds – but living on her own, having a pet was expensive.