Category: Chronic Illness

Needlepoint and Easter Lily

Karl took these photos in 2013. I made the needlepoint picture a long time ago, and then had it framed professionally.  The kit was high quality, and the picture is from a painting by Paul Cezanne. We still enjoy the picture in our home.

I began again with needlepoint after I was blogging here for a time. To remember how, I looked at an unfinished piece by my grandmother, Grace, who died a year before I was born. My mother gave me a few of her mother’s handmade aprons. I think my art is from Grace, and my love of language is from my mother. All gifts from God.

Ellen Grace Olinger

Poem by Charles A. Waugaman

GARDEN TEA PARTY

Listen to the leaves
of robin song
spill into the rain:

parched dreams expanding
and staining the
long afternoon with

poignant fragrances:
blending past and
hope with vibrant joy.

Charles A. Waugaman
WITHIN The Circle of Seasons
2003, Elin Grace Publishing
All Rights Reserved

The rhododendron photos are courtesy of wpclipart.

Gratitude

Yesterday, Karl and I went to Deer Place Plaza in Kohler, Wisconsin. I have been going to the Great Clips there for years, and am happy with my new short Spring hair cut. This was a spontaneous decision. The young person who cut my hair asked if I wanted it shorter, and I said, “Yes, if you have the time.” So helpful. Great Clips is also taking donations for the Ronald McDonald House Charities. We like these opportunities, and the way stores post images with names of those who donate on the wall. There are many stores at Deer Place Plaza. We also went to Target, and then a short walk on the way home.

We support the Aurora Health Care Foundation in our area. I learned that March 30 is National Doctors’ Day. I am indeed a Grateful Patient. My nurse practitioner, doctors and all who help me make a difference.

So many people serve in so many ways, including volunteer work and all the ways people are encouraged through sharing creative work with our blogs and websites. It is wonderful to see how poets and artists also create books and other work for sale. I have been able to buy a few books, cards, and prints over the years. Here and there, as I can. Wonderful. More good content than I could ever read or view – I trust the Mystery! Sometimes a book is on my shelf for a long time, and then the day I read – exactly the words that bless and are needed that day. Times when I have been unwell, rereading works well: the Psalms, Jan Karon, Luci Shaw, many authors.

I still remember when I began getting to know this area, a long time ago. On Mondays, after helping my mother on Sundays in the Milwaukee area, I’d go to the library and a grocery store. People whom I do not know were kind, and then I’d learn the country roads home. I wondered sometimes if my concern for family showed on my face. I must have looked tired. And people were simply working in a kind and professional way. I honor all.

I belong here, with our blogs, and our community in a simple way.

learning more
about native plants
I too thrive best
where I belong

Ellen Grace Olinger

This is another photo by Karl from last Sunday:
Along The Sheboygan River.

Poems, Photos, Work on the New Large Print Book

garden journal
through the seasons
every photo a prayer

Cotoneaster shadows on the wood path – May 8, 2017

Hosta – August 8, 2018
Photo by Karl

The perennials are beautiful as they grow, flower, and change through the months and seasons.

The last rose of the year – September 17, 2016
Photo by Karl

Begonias in a thrift store vase – August 31, 2017

It is interesting, as we create a second large print book, the same poems seem to go well with a blog post, an email, and/or reflections in general. There is no hurry with this project. I am beginning to memorize the poems for the book. Then I will know the sequence. I like to be able to think about the work as I work in the kitchen, for example, and soon – the yard.

poems we read
again and again
washing an old plate
the pattern
still new

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

clouds and yet
enough light
to fill a jam jar
with the last
of the carnations

different shapes
of the rose bush
and lilacs in the yard
they grew towards
the light

knowing
they cannot stay
but will return
lilacs

Our first large print chapbook is Quiet Christmas Poetry.

Ellen Grace Olinger

night March sky

night March sky
snow rests
on evergreen
branches

With the ash tree gone, the view is different. Beautiful too.

Ellen Grace Olinger

And some vintage Spring images from Reusable Art:

Spring poems

Skeins of geese flying
To our neighbor Canada
A brand new chapter
Books arriving in the mail
Songs of beauty and courage

Bell’s Letters Poet, 
2011

primroses growing
from garden to lawn
deep decades of roots
strengthen my faith
for new dreams

thunderstorm
and then quiet
raindrops on branches
with tiny leaves
bird songs begin

Poems are by Ellen Grace Olinger.

Images are courtesy of Reusable Art. I also like this image of Pink Roses that was added there this year.

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.

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

seasons repeat
we tell the stories
we are given

*

country cemetery
trumpet vines
growing taller than
the gravestones

*

Credits:

my blogs – this opportunity to create with WordPress

*

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

“seasons repeat”

*

Mayfly (Brooks Books Haiku)

“seasons repeat” was published first in Mayfly.

*

WestWard Quarterly: The Magazine of Family Reading

“reading”

*

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”

*

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

100_5000

Ellen Grace Olinger

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