Category: Caregiving

Wisconsin Seasons and Encouragement

So far, I have a list of several poems for my new large print book.  The seasons here – and each month – have their own characters.  We’ll include a few of our photos.

I enjoy learning about the seasons from many places, from our blogs.

When I was recovering from a chronic illness and major surgery years and years ago, I learned a lot about the materials that may work at these times.  This is one of the ways I began writing short poems.  And when I spent time with my mother in a nursing home, I noted the bags residents had attached to their walkers, or how they carried things with them in their wheelchairs.  A change of view from their rooms to a shared sitting room, with something to read, is nice.

So the poems also express experiences in common, in addition to the seasons I know here.

Here are a few that may be in the next book, or another.  There are many layers to the process.

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cold week
ice floats in the water
yet the light is changing
and robins will return
on time

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reading
in a sunny corner
of the house
I could be
any age

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roses in the sun
some ending
some beginning
and some in full bloom
good to grow older

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seasons repeat
we tell the stories
we are given

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country cemetery
trumpet vines
growing taller than
the gravestones

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Credits:

my blogs – this opportunity to create with WordPress

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Charlotte Digregorio’s Writer’s Blog (Daily Haiku)

“seasons repeat”

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Mayfly (Brooks Books Haiku)

“seasons repeat” was published first in Mayfly.

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WestWard Quarterly: The Magazine of Family Reading

“reading”

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Time Of Singing: A Journal Of Christian Poetry

“country cemetery”

tinywords

“seasons repeat”

My Poet Profile page at The Haiku Foundation Haiku Registry

“seasons repeat”

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Just a beginning, and with gratitude for all the editors, readers, friends.  I’ll include poems from anthologies in a future post.  Thank you.

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Ellen Grace Olinger

January 22, 2018 – I added more details to the credits.

Winter

Winter is colder this year, though yesterday was warmer with sun.  The days are longer, and the light is different.

We had some errands yesterday, and we went to First Watch in Mequon for a meal.  Karl went to First Watch in Florida with his mother.  We remembered our mothers.

On my way to the Milwaukee area every weekend for years, to be with my mother and help manage her home and care, I sometimes stopped at bookstores that are no longer there.   I felt loss.  Spring has arrived many times since then.

Winter is a part of Spring’s birth for me.

buttercups

Image: wpclipart

Daily Prompt: Cherish

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I cherish memories of the caregiving years with my mother and family.  I could not imagine blogs then.  My mother often asked, “Are you writing?”  She was called Home in 2004.

Grateful for a quiet Christmas this year.

And I have to review my archives to remember all I have written since the caregiving years.  One day at a time, and also trust for the “big picture” over time.

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Taking turns
Letting each other go
Only to learn again
How love grows,
Mother

(Published in Bell’s Letters Poet No. 115, Jan. 2006.)

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Ellen Grace Olinger

Daily Prompt: Sympathy

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Lake Michigan yesterday – Ellen Grace Olinger

I have watched this great lake through many seasons and years; through work, chronic illness, caregiving, grief, new art, fatigue, rest, and ever-growing hope.  This year the water is high, and reaches the seawall.

Wait on the Lord:
be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the Lord.

Psalm 27: 14 (KJV)

This verse sustained me during a difficult time.

For the prompt Sympathy

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Photo by Karl – 2011

Ellen Grace Olinger

Quiet Christmas Poetry

This year I wrote a new post for our large print chapbook, Quiet Christmas Poetry.  Karl and I created the book from the Christmas site in 2014.  The book was printed by GT Graphics in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

We received good feedback.  All proceeds are for the print journal, Time Of Singing, edited by Lora Homan Zill.  Copies are for sale at the TOS books page.

I’ve written posts to share a picture of the cover and other information.  Then the posts that became the book follow, if you wish to visit Quiet Christmas Poetry.

Ellen Grace Olinger

The Art Of Good Care

Quiet memories of my parents and other loved ones this Thanksgiving day.

Karl and I were in the Milwaukee area recently and drove on roads I had not seen for some time.  Yet these roads and streets were part of my weekly routine for years, when I had the privilege of helping with my mother’s care.  I can picture the holiday lights in the old neighborhood.

I was flooded in a good way with all the memories, especially from the caregiving years.  For the rest of my life, which is in God’s hands too, I am blessed.  There is beauty during these times.  Grace, love, and mercy.  It was actually hard to return to everyday life.  Blogs helped me a lot.

Caregiving is an art – though not always seen by the world as other efforts are.  It was not easy to begin again “in the world.”  Now I begin to see God’s plan a little more, and I trust.  Hope and trust.  Always imperfection, and accepting that.  Always room to grow.

Caregivers have to take care of themselves as well.  I could hear my mother’s voice after she died, “I want you to take care of yourself.”  I say no more often, make sure to get the rest I need.  Learning about the amount of rest I need made a great difference in my overall sense of well-being.  I often wrote about this in my early years with the blog.

Grateful for this day, and happy in a quiet way.  When memories revisit, I sit quietly and reflect and pray.  Then, that is enough, and I do something practical.  I cook, do dishes, rearrange flowers, etc.  Try for some balance.  Always the Psalms.

groceries for Mom
fresh flowers
always on the list

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Post was updated on October 8, 2018.
Ellen Grace Olinger