Category: Aging

summer garden

summer garden
some work yesterday
we keep the path
to the door clear
rest in an old chair
careful with the sun
and new ideas for
the garden this year


Bloganuary prompt for January 13, 2022

What does your ideal day look like?

My ideal day looks like this day.

new flowers
from a store

Free Flower Border Image – Reusable Art

From my archives:

peaceful morning
a prayer from childhood
still with me

treasures stored
here and there
homemade chapbooks

books on the shelf
supported by each other
kindness of friends

new day
in my older life
sun on evergreens

“peaceful morning” was published in Bundled Wildflowers, Haiku Society of America 2020 Members’ Anthology. Bryan Rickert, Editor.

And The Daily Haiku: Nov. 10, 2020 at Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog.

Daisy Repeating Border – Reusable Art

Ellen Grace Olinger

Bloganuary prompt for January 11, 2022

What does it mean to live boldly?

The conversations with our blogs span generations and are from many places. With this question, I think about how I would have different answers at different times and places in my life. And some of the questions bring back my perspective and voice as a teacher, as opposed to most of my posts. I love a more simple and quiet life now, which is also good for my health. I hope to still be writing posts a long time from now!

My father’s passing (1983) was when I was a new student in a doctoral program in Special Education at Northern Illinois University – so long ago now. My professors gave me more time to complete work, as my mother lived in Wisconsin. It took courage to complete my degree (Ed.D), and more time (graduated in 1987). I began writing more poetry during those years. I wrote a poem, and then was able to concentrate on my studies. My parents were both teachers.

Also some times, a change in direction was needed. These are individual decisions. Life changes. Health first. I have read memoirs, poetry, novels, biographies, listened to music, read books about creativity, letters published after an artist died, etc. The finished product may be excellent, but “everyone has a story.” There is a lot of encouragement to be found in art, history, and literature. Takes time and dedication. Always more to learn!

The ongoing Joni Mitchell Archives are generous – so much hard work sustained over time. I remember working on lesson plans and listening to her music and poetry. She also shows how if you can no longer create in one way, there is other work you can do. Joni is also a painter. It will take some time to listen and learn from her archives and remastered albums – her life work in progress.

In conclusion, I would like to reprint two early poems. In another post, I hope to write about the Psalms and share some verses. One of my sites is POEMS FROM PSALMS AND NATURE (July 2010 – to the present). For some prompts now, I may simply share a short poem or verse.

There are so many artists and authors I would like to mention, and these are thank you notes. This is long enough for today. Thank you and blessings. Take good care, one day at a time. Blogs are flexible, and a good way to be and stay creative.


To have a vision
to sustain the effort
to see it all the way

Even when it seems
to leave you

It Is Important was published first in Time Of Singing.

Petals On Wood

The daylilies in the vase
Are ending

       Petals drop on wood

I leave them
They express something poignant

       That words never could.

Petals On Wood was published first in ARTS ALIVE: A LITERARY REVIEW (1988, The Tinley Park – Park District; Illinois).

Ellen Grace Olinger

Bloganuary: January 4, 2022

What was your favorite toy as a child?

I remember my first published poem, written in high school.

I love to sit and dream of days long past,
Of a chubby, brown-haired girl
Dressed in checks and stripes, a feather-
plumed hat on her head–
Sitting in her little doll room
Eating a pound of potato chips

Published in Parnassus in Print (1971) and The Discerning Poet (2004). Reprinted here on December 27, 2009.

As I thought of the prompt for today, one memory led to another. I often write about the language arts. I remember libraries and also the wonder of owning a few books. Still a wonder. Crayons and crafts, learning to cook, and working at a bakery in high school. In college, at UW-Madison, I worked at a Pizza Hut as a cook and waitress.

A few years ago, I read Becoming Madeleine: a biography of the author of A Wrinkle In Time by her Granddaughters Charlotte Jones Voiklis and Lena Roy (Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers. Copyright 2018 by Crosswicks, Ltd.). You can learn about the book here. It is a unique work, and the design is beautiful. I think I will reread a little today.

Two Pages from the official Madeleine L’Engle site are Home and About Madeleine L’Engle (1918-2007).

A photo collage:

Photo by Mariya on
Photo by Steve Johnson on
Photo by Jessica Lewis on
Photo by Ekaterina on