The road ends, but the journey continues...

Tag: neighbors (Page 1 of 3)

Thanksgiving 2019

– A mini spur of the moment gratitude list –

T – Terry, the love of my life.
H – Home. Wherever we alight if we’re together, it’s home.
A – All Creatures Great and Small, the Lord God Loves Them All.
N – (Finding) Neverland – childhood is precious.
K – Kindness. A little goes a long way but why be chintzy?
S – Snow. On Thanksgiving. The best.
G – Grumpy family. It’s okay to get grumpy sometimes, that’s when the Family gets to show you (me) love when you’re (I’m) the grump.
I – Interest/engagement in the world outside (y)our personal realm makes for a fuller life.
V – Vistas. The views from the peak of our Family’s mountain are the ultimate 360-degree surround sound/visual. Thank you Ma & Dad for preserving its wildness.
I – Inspiration. Found in such vistas and meant to be shared via our (he)art.
N – (Mister Rogers’) Neighborhood – childhood is precious.
G – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

— How about you? Please feel free to add to this mini gratitude list below —

Snips, Snaps and Soggy Bottom Pie

Catchy title, eh? It’s been rolling around in my head as a title for a poem since 2015.
The alliteration, associated visuals, meanings and rhythmic feel just lends itself to something more creative than yet another blog post. I mean, speak this out loud: snips, snaps and soggy bottom pie.
Like I said, the perfect set-up for something more to follow than just another blog post. I think four years of this title sitting in a Word file of ideas for poems is long enough. It needs to see the light of day.
Which brings us to this day.
Notice that what follows is not a poem – more like a framework of thoughts prompted by said title. Which is handy as I’ve come against a brick wall lately trying to sort through the myriad current events and life events crowding my mind all screaming for first place in being presented in ‘yet another blog post’.
I’m sure most bloggers squash up against that brick wall every once and awhile. It’s one of the commonalities we bloggers share.
I therefore choose to start with Soggy Bottom Pie as the first smack down of that formidable barricade.

Soggy Bottom Pie

My current favorite PBS series, The Great British Baking Show aka The Great British Bake Off in the UK, is rich in such ‘show stopping’ images. (Yep, pun intended, for those of you familiar with the show).
Can’t you just hear Mary Berry intone, “It mustn’t have a soggy bottom,” as she pokes and prods a contestant’s pastry crust in the pie baking ‘Technical Challenge’?

cherry pie a la mode

I like mine with 2 scoops of the creamiest French Vanilla Bean ice cream available!


Truth be told, I am partial to a good homemade pie with, yes, a slightly soggy bottom. Sensuously luscious when the à la mode melts deep underneath the crust, bathing the jammy juices within.
My favorite pie is cherry. My extra favorite is a cherry pie made with Montmorency cherries picked from our own backyard tree*…seems like centuries ago when our kids and the neighborhood kids all helped pick once the harvest was in full swing.

What’s your favorite soggy bottom pie?
What’s your favorite reason why?

Snaps

“Contrary to popular belief, I am a snapdragon…” snapdragonsThus began a post I wrote in 2014. Based upon a now defunct ‘What Kind of Flower Are You?’ internet quiz, it was a fun foray into matching flower personalities with us humans. Or should that be human personalities with flowers?
I came out a snapdragon 8 takes in a row – even though I’m more partial to giant purple irises, deep red orange poppies, daisies and milkweed blossoms. I learned that my cousin Marybeth and blogger friend Deborah (christened ‘flower-sister’) both came up snaps in the quiz. We three are also October babies. Connection?

Snappy, flappy, flower laughing lips.
Caring, sharing, dreamy dew-drop drips.

Snips

Come a Stranger by Cynthia Voigt coverI do relish reading books and finding passages float up from the page past my eyes and into my (he)art. When that happens, I often mark it with a sticky note, reread it later, then if it still resonates, hand copy it into my book of quotes – or snip(pet)s if you will.
I often find lovely prose in young adult novels. Here’s one from Come a Stranger I jotted down 4/15/07.

“Even after everyone had gone home, the house was filled with the good time they’d had, as if it could linger in the air like the voices and music lingered in memory. Mina wrapped the memory up and put it in her heart; there was a quiet gladness, deep like a tree and tall in her.” Cynthia Voigt

 

 A tisket, a snip(pet)
A green and yellow kismet.
~~~

 Snips, Snaps and Soggy Bottom Pie

What comes to your mind as this phrase echoes about?

*we’ve since moved from our ‘growing-a-family-and-garden’ home…sigh.

Keeping you in my heart for awhile…

Note: Something triggered this nostalgic moment and while more on the rough draft side, I thought I’d use it for day three of my “6 years on WP.org” posts.

Denver Mandolin Orchestra Laura Bruno Lilly, Paul Drury, others

Detail of Denver Mandolin Orchestra group photo (circa 1999?) Laura Bruno Lilly (me) – kneeling in front, Paul Drury – tall one in the back


One of the joys of being a performing member of the Denver Mandolin Orchestra was the sense of generational genesis. The turn of the 20th to the 21st century marked my introduction and induction into this motley crew of musicians. A group ranging from violin virtuoso Thereza Stephan doubling on mando; mando greats Eli Karasek, Charlie Provenza, Drew Horton; to mother-daughter and father-son mandolinists sharing music stands during rehearsals and consequent performances. And then there were us guitarists headed by Ron Grosswiler whose collection of historical American classical guitar scores along with Mandolin Orchestra Repertoire from then till now was legendary and not fully revealed until after his death in 2010.
Peppered throughout the DMO’s 23+ musicians, amateurs and professionals alike, we all contributed to the awareness of this largely unknown type of accessible American music. Plus, those like myself who just wanted to play in an ‘orchestra’ with instruments not normally associated with conventional orchestras.
But what I remember most vividly is the memorial service Swallow Hill hosted for one of its own volunteers, and for one of our very own DMO members, Paul Drury, sometime in 2004 (?).
Living within modest means, and one who knew hardship as well as gritty challenges, Paul cared for others. He made sure everyday people got to enjoy simple pleasures – like music. Often, he’d pass on Swallow Hill concert tickets he purchased himself to people he knew marginally (often a little lost in life) – just so they could bask in the healing that is music.
One evening, he died suddenly due to an unperceived advancement in symptoms of diabetic shock…
I hadn’t been a part of the DMO for several years, but was contacted about the jam-session memorial to be held in his honor…an invite to bring my instrument and pluck some of the corny rep we played as a group. And yes, he had a proper musical tribute played by a smaller version of the DMO.
However, it wasn’t until the first strums of Warren Zevon’s Keep Me In Your Heart drifted through the auditorium sound system that the crowd got silent…Paul’s wish for all, sung for the one we had all come to honor that night.

The State of Our American Backyard

from cnn: (comments in italics are mine)

“A beloved Northern California festival (Gilroy grows great garlic and is a small town for goodness’ sake), a neighborhood Walmart in Mississippi (who doesn’t go to Walmart?), another Walmart near the US-Mexico border (Cielo Vista Retail/Mall is a major shopping area that even Las Cruceans go to…) and a popular entertainment district (summer evening activities in the heart of the city…should be safe). All four were the scenes of shootings in the last week — events that together left at least 34 people dead and more than 50 wounded.

A week bookended by violence has left residents shaken, frustrated and grieving.”

“A weekend bookended by violence…”

That phrase, that sentence keeps resounding loud and clear in my mind along with the images of the people and places known and unknown to me.
We lived in the Bay area during the 1980s often joking about Gilroy because of the garlic in the way most large metropolises talk about small towns. Hubby is from Las Cruces, NM where we’ve lived at different times in our married life and where the connections with El Paso and Juarez are more profound & active than with Las Cruces’ New Mexican cities to the north. In fact Cielo Vista Mall was the place to go from all around to shop for clothes. And as for the other two places – who doesn’t go to Walmart or enjoy a summer’s evening out?
Who doesn’t go to school or church, temple or mosque for that matter?
Everyday Americans doing everyday things.
Then the loudest voice among ‘experts’ chiding us everyday Americans for not carrying weapons in order to protect ourselves while going out and about doing our everyday activities…(ref. Larry Ward responses to Amna Nawaz interview questions on PBS Newshour)
Lord have mercy.
20 years ago our kiddos sat in their respective classrooms in Boulder County schools (the eldest in high school) during the shock-surprise of Columbine just 34 miles away from us.
Not directly in the line of fire – but definitely in my backyard.
Our backyard. Our American Backyard.
This cannot be our new normal.
Lord have mercy.

st francis quote

from St. Francis of Assisi, prayer

Yes, we have no banana (boxes)

Just got back from an aggressive search for free packing boxes from a variety of grocery (and non-grocery) stores. Grabbed a few that were offered, but quite frankly the pickin’s are slim.
It’s time to ramp up the packing from passive to serious, while still maintaining a sense of functionality around the growing stacks of boxes in this 1000 square foot rental we currently call home.
I’ve been buying a few cardboard boxes here and there for ‘specials’ and then a few of those ubiquitous plastic bins for clothes and other items needing more protection during the moving process. But I’ll be darned if I’ll buy boxes for books, DVDs, CDs, office stuff, eating utensils or other such miscellany.
I’m no neophyte when it comes to packing and moving. In fact, my latest efforts were utilized over a period of two years of settling Dad’s estate and getting that house* ready to sell.
So, call me nonplussed when I learned banana boxes (my favorite freebie box of choice) are no longer available for use to the general public.
Say what? I mean, I had no problems getting them right up to the end of selling Ma & Dad’s house last year.
What’s the deal?
According to the customer service lady at Food Lion, all banana boxes are now returned to the banana distribution company for credit. Fine. Good idea. Better than tearing them down and sending them off to some non-existent recycling center (personal soap box…not for now).
But strange to encounter such forward thinking here** in a place where it is very difficult to recycle basic items like aluminum cans, glass, plastic and paper. Oh, we have a bin where we’re to place all recyclables in together for weekly curbside pick-up. But after several tries, our street here in FloTown doesn’t seem to have the clout of other neighborhoods around town.
Let’s just say, I’ve seen the regular garbage guys simply dump the recycle bin contents into the regular garbage truck…not just our carefully selected to-be-recycled items, but our neighbors’ bins as well.
Needless to say (yes, Camden Writers, I am using this phrase intentionally) I no longer fool with the extra effort involved with sorting and cleaning items for the recycle bin.
I mention this because it added to the nonplussed-ness I felt with the stellar actions of the Food Lion to deal with disposal/recycling of their banana boxes.
I know this is a sort of dorky blog post, but I think of it as a public service to my fellow future packers and movers. Alerting you to the fact that “Yes, we have no  banana boxes” and the need to scrounge out other freebie boxes.
Oh and yes, we are moving…been in the works for awhile – but that’s a story for another time, a ‘public service’ notification for another blog post!
~~
*  in Lakewood, CO
** in Florence, SC

At the Y Wondering Why?

South Florence, SC water tower

February 2018 – repairs being made on the South Florence water tower


Wednesday, October 3rd I drove the 5 miles across town to the newer Aldi’s on the West side of Florence, SC. It’s a better one than the one in our neighborhood as I live one block west of the area demarcated as ‘the other side of the tracks’ on the South side of town. I’ve long since given up taking casual walks around our neighborhood due to safety issues and drive to an area across town, not too far away from that same Aldi’s, to walk the Rail Trail when weather permits. All of that to say, most of my exercising occurs indoors at the YMCA a few blocks from our little rental home.
Around 4ish that same Wednesday afternoon, I wheeled my almost empty grocery cart to the only open check-out lane. I arrived third in line, standing behind two others, each with heaping shopping carts filled with groceries and cases of special Aldi’s offerings. After waiting about 10 minutes, watching the lone checker struggle with the bulk purchases of the first customer, I decided to return my 3 items and come back another day. That put it at 4:15 when I left the parking lot to return home, empty handed, around 4:30ish.
Meanwhile, about 3 miles further northwest of that same Aldi’s, in an upscale neighborhood, an ambush was taking place. 7 police officers were shot…making National News. Continue reading

For all the children who will not know – collaborative poem

For all the children who will not know

Laura Bruno Lilly, Andrew James Murray

 ~ 5/22/2017 ~

For all the children who will not know

the warmth of sunshine upon their cheeks;
the cold of dug snow-forts and candy-land  castles.

For all the children who will not know

the slurpy free love of an old faithful mutt;
the drooly mouth kisses from kids of their own.

For all the children who will not know

the joy of youthful wanderings;
the joys of returning home.

Laura Bruno Lilly

 

~ 22/5/2017 ~

The flowers bloomed early
and were cut down by a cruel frost.
We all came together
– but at what cost?
For what was gained can’t be measured
against what was lost,
and those children will never know.

Andrew James Murray

a belated thank-you to my NOMA Dancer

“To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
…A time to mourn,
And a time to dance…”
Ecclesiastes 3: 1, 4b

NOMA Dancer

A child’s joyful abandon: Millie dancing before the NOMA Earth Tubes (photo, A. Murray, father)

Thank-you, Millie, my NOMA Dancer*

*My wish to dance in front of the NOMA Earth Tubes was first mentioned in a prior post found here. And fulfilled in proxy by Millie, my NOMA Dancer.

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