Category: Family

Christmas Table

Karl created this beautiful Christmas Table by the patio doors yesterday. The poinsettia is from Mentink’s Piggly Wiggly in Oostburg, Wisconsin. He used branches from our Norway Spruce tree, that had to be pruned, for the arrangement in the planter – a container he had saved from a gift. He also has saved ornaments from wreaths over the years. The tablecloth is from my family. Karl bought LED holiday lights some time ago. He waited until late afternoon to take this photo.

Twelve years is a long time

Twelve years is a long time. When I first began here in December 2009, I wanted to reprint a few poems and say thank you to the editors – perhaps send a few new readers their way. I was looking back at a chronic illness and surgery, and then the caregiving years with my mother, and then others in the family. My health experience made me a better caregiver. I learned that each hard experience makes us stronger for the next, if we can accept and learn.

When I was in the hospital in June 2018, I wondered if I would blog again. Slowly I began again, one slow step at a time.. A post that could be viewed in a few minutes could take a few hours to create, and lots of rest around the work. Now if I have thought about something for a time, I can write a post in a relatively short time.

Karl and I are both fully vaccinated. We had our booster shots and senior flu shots this Fall. We wear our face masks and practice social distance. Please stay safe and take good care.

When we lived in Illinois, I taught Sunday School for 12 years. Karl helped. Other places of work and education were for shorter periods of time.

I think about history and challenges each generation has to face. In my own way, I understand how we may think we are on one path, and then life asks something different of us. Down the road, there will be more depth and colors in one’s work. I cannot say I completely understand, but like my parents – who went through an economic depression. wars, and health challenges too – I have “big picture faith.”

Twelve years here – lots of changes and one post at a time. Times away, and hopefully some growth. A quiet Christmas here. Thank you.

And always the Psalms:

God be merciful unto us, and bless us;
and cause his face to shine upon us; Selah.

That thy way may be known upon earth,
thy saving health among all nations.

Psalm 67: 1 – 2

Photo by Pixabay on
Photo by Pixabay on
Photo by Pixabay on
Photo by Pixabay on

Saturday Morning: Creative Notes

Saturday morning. Before sunrise – about 6:30 AM here. I am grateful that Karl bought groceries yesterday. And I am reflecting upon the year. As I have mentioned, my father was a veteran and then a history teacher. This year, I have spent much more time learning about history. There are many ways to learn – one story at a time, a chapter in history, art created during that time, a memorial service, and the letters someone wrote that were later published. Sometimes I listen to a science or history program, and I know I am barely beginning to understand. I often say, if I learn 10%, I know more than before. And as a writer, I like to hear and learn vocabulary from different fields of work.

Memoirs and letters by artists are also an encouraging way to learn about creativity over time. And when I look at dates on books and music CDs, there can also be years between creative works. Or an artist can record a song again, with the wisdom of an older voice. And I also learned, that if we cannot do one thing, there will be something else. I have been in the hospital two times since we moved here: 1993/early 1994 and 2018. That is a long time between visits. In 2018, I saw that when I could not post, or post very much, others were reading/viewing what was already here. New poems for many – many people in the world! I am so very grateful.

This year, I bought White Bird – Anthology Of Favorites by Judy Collins. My copy is from Amazon. And as I have written, I am learning from Joni Mitchell’s work with her archives.

I have seen how artists also work very hard at health, so they can keep working. Health first.

Floral Heart Bouquet is courtesy of Reusable Art.

Old and New

old and new
art in my study
poetry by my chair
and art on the walls

comfort during
an illness or loss
a good memory
of support

and the new says
to look forward
as well

This is a new vintage image for me today: Flower Lined Path, courtesy of Reusable Art.

Old Poem: And So My Soul

And so my soul
Spills over
Into print again
As the sun spills
Over flowers
And the neighborhood

Endurance is eloquent
And marigolds are
Admirable because
They bloom
So long

Oh, my heart
Is tender
Yet God keeps it
And so my soul
Spills over
Into print again

Ellen Grace Olinger

Time of Singing,1991

Photo by Kevin Rojas on