Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Birds are Singing

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain 
over and gone;

The flowers appear on the earth; 
time of the singing of birds is 
come, and 
the voice of the turtle is heard in 
our land;
 The fig tree putteth forth her 
figs, and the vines with the tender 
grape give a good smell. Arise, my 
my fair one, and come away.

~Song of Solomon 2:11-13

Monday, March 20, 2017

Welcome, Spring!

Twice a year, the earth moves into a position where the sun's vertical rays are striking the equator.  On those days, there is equal daylight and dark all over the planet.

March 20 is called the vernal equinox, from the Latin equi, meaning equal.

We call it the first day of spring.

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt  everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
rose from the  dreams of its wintry rest.

                                                           —Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Winter in March

~Florence Main Street photo

                          I do not like the cold North breeze
or temps low enough to freeze
the pipes, the plants, and the parts
of motor cars that make them start.

I do not like the freezing rain
that makes the roads a major pain
to try to get to work and school.
I do not like it, and I’m no fool.

I do not like the mushy snow.
It doesn’t set my heart aglow.
Instead, it just makes me mean
as I pine for something green.

I do not like the low, gray sky.
Sometimes, it makes me want to cry
when I think of all the blue skies gone
and weeks of winter yet to come.

I do like the summer, humid and hot;
long lazy days and temps that do not
fall below seventy, even at night!
Hurry up, Summer! It’s nowhere in sight.
~Wanda Stricklin Robertson

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Happy Birthday, Sis!

In Loving Memory

Mary Lynn Stricklin Horton

January 12, 1937-December 2, 1990

Let's just pretend, because it is your birthday,

that the lump in your breast was a mosquito bite

that disappeared in a few days and your life

stayed normal, if normal can describe life.

I will call you up and tell you to come by, the

coffee is on and there is coconut cake.

We'll talk about hair color and plants. You will be

amazed at how the grandchildren have grown. 

We will speculate about Rosie's new man

and how high the price of groceries will rise

because of the early freeze. I will make you a

copy of that quilt pattern you've been wanting.

We will giggle at old stories: the time you broke

your foot riding a bicycle, the leaves in the chicken stew.

We will groan about our weight gain and I will say

your boobs are as big as the moon.

 We will refuse to talk about cancer. We won't

think about chemicals and radiation and

Lord help us get through this.  There will be no

emaciated body that lost its strength to talk about.

When it is getting close to suppertime, we will hug

and I will say Happy Birthday and you will say

Forty, again, and then you will go home.

But not very far, so I won't miss you.

~Wanda Stricklin Robertson

Friday, December 16, 2016

Gatlinburg Wildfires

Last Monday, two weeks since the Gatlinburg wildfires, Hub and I drove through there looking at the damage. The worst damage was in the mountains above the bypass from Gatlinburg to Pigeon Forge.

My friend who works at Apple Annie's was there when it all happened.  She had been warned that evacuation was possible, so she went to the store across from the police department to fill her gas tank.  Fire was all around them, and people congregated at the store because no shelters had been opened then.  Hurricane force winds caused power lines to break and people lost electrical power and cell service at the same time.  In addition, emergency sirens were everywhere, adding to the panic.  Thankfully, there were no fatalities in her neighborhood, and the arts and crafts community on Glades Road was not damaged.  For my quilting friends, we stopped at Susan's Quilts and they are all fine.

It will be a long, hard winter for the folks who live here, but spring will come again. The trees will put out new leaves and Smoky Mountain wildflowers will push through the ashes on the forest floor.

We drove by the ruins of the Alamo Steakhouse.  Already, heavy equipment was moving the twisted metal, getting ready to start construction of the new building. I'm guessing they will be serving that delicious food again by spring break.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Pearl Harbor

My parents took us to cemeteries regularly during my young years.  They taught us about our people and our past by reading the headstones, each one with a story. They taught us to never, never, walk on a grave, because it showed great disrespect for the bones beneath our feet.  Sometimes, in the old cemeteries, it is hard to tell exactly where the graves are, but I still try my best not to walk on one.

Today marks 75 years since that morning when Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, was attacked by the Japanese. Hundreds of men died, and our country entered World War II. The ship Arizona was among those that sank that day. In 1962, the Arizona memorial was built directly over where the skeleton of the great ship rests on the shallow seafloor. It covers what remains of 1177 souls lost in a few minutes on that Sunday morning. When we were there in October, it was a somber place. It felt like I was walking on graves.

Seventy-five years later, oil from the Arizona leaks to the surface, at the rate of about nine quarts a day.  Environmentalists there predict that it will seep for another half-century. Seeing that oil on the water made the battle so authentic and personal to me.  

There may come a time, maybe not so far in the future, when I won't remember much, but  I don't think I can ever forget the sadness I felt when I saw that oil on the water; a  physical reminder of the overwhelming loss to wives, mothers, families, and our country.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Old Lahaina Luau

When I called to reserve our table at Old Lahaina Luau months in advance, I was told it was already full for the night we would be there.  I was put on a waiting list, and before long, someone cancelled their reservation and we were able to get a table.  It is billed as the only authentic luau on the island, where a whole pig is cooked in the ground.  It was a beautiful place.

There was entertainment before and after our meal.

Pictured above are poi and sweet potato chips.  Pretty, but not very tasty to me.

We served ourselves in a buffet line, and I wanted to try a little of everything.  There were several buffets set up, and we didn't have to wait.

The meal and entertainment lasted about three hours, and I enjoyed every minute of it.  Don't miss this if you go to Maui.