Category: WordPress

Good To Learn

I’ve been reading many different blogs and thinking a lot about learning.  Sometimes I have a conversation with someone that calls upon my years of teaching, and I feel those gifts again.  Other times, I’m in a brand new area, and my knowledge is at a beginning level.  I think this is great! 

Sometimes I refer to Karl and me as “The Poet And The Engineer.”  I told him I read on WordPress that “code is poetry.”  He said millions of lines of code are probably supporting this wonderful learning experience of blogging. 

What an interesting world!

Karl took these photos a few winters ago.  No snow yet this year.  Some years we’ve had mild Decembers and then very long cool springs, snow in April.  One day at a time!

Grateful For Everyone’s Gifts

This morning I watched our tape of One Last Thing, the PBS documentary about Steve Jobs.

I am always interested in the human side of giftedness, and I believe we are all gifted in some way.  One great thing about blogs is the support of the community–the finding of kindred spirits who support one another.  The sheer joy of being creative.  I don’t know a lot about Steve Jobs, but his joy in creating came through the program well.  His sources of inspiration were well-honored.

The program was also a review for me of how rapidly technology has grown in our lifetimes.  Karl and I were students at UW-Madison from 1972 – 1976.  Karl had many long nights at the Computer Science Center working on assignments for classes, with the old main-frame computers. He also worked at the Space Science Center.  I was in education and also working at Pizza Hut until late at night.  Now I can barely stay up through the news, but then I see the sun rise over Lake Michigan!

The lake looks so cold today.  The waves keep rolling to shore.  For me, science requires concrete examples.  I never could understand intuitively what is happening when steam rises from the water.  Then one day, I sat with a cup of coffee steaming in the cold sunroom, and I made the connection.  Sometimes the water is warmer than the air.  So good to learn new things always.

“Steaming Coffee” courtesy of

Red And Grey – Some days are prose, others poetry

Red seems to be another color that is even more itself in contrast to grey skies.  

In all I could have noticed this morning, the red cardinal on an evergreen branch caught my eye.

Spring is colder here this year.  I’m still wearing my blue winter coat.  This was an adjustment for me when we moved further North several years ago, but now I wouldn’t want to live any other way.  Still this year seems unique. 

cool Wisconsin spring
grey skies paint the background
for spring colors

The cactus blooms are beginning to fade.  I still remember seeing its exquisite flower for the first time.   The cycles of plants are a beautiful metaphor for the creative life.

Some days are prose, others poetry.  All gifts from God.  As I grow older, I also find it best to have days when I reread poems that are deeply familiar by others, and let my own writing have a day off.

So I’ve been rereading poetry journals from years gone by, and lovely to hear the voices of many friends and to contemplate God’s faithfulness.  Thanks to the editors and printers who also make this possible.  Blogs and print journals support one another.  And thanks to WordPress–I learn more every day.

Photos by Karl.

Thank You

A year ago today, we began this blog.  Karl helped me set it up, learn how to add images, etc.  His photo of  the Trumpeter Swans on Lake Michigan is one of my favorites.  Many people support this effort, with such grace and good wishes.

So thank you for your support and your many kind words.  I am learning every day.  From my years in education, I know that over time we grow, as we faithfully invest the time.  It’s very important to get enough rest too.  There’s a mystery about rest and learning our own pace.  

My technical skills are not as strong as my language arts gifts, so I truly thank WordPress for a format I can continue to learn.  I read several other blogs and admire them.  Print journals, memoirs,  fiction, history…I am older now, live at a slower pace, have more time to read, and am so grateful.  I cannot be involved with larger poetry and publishing projects now, but hope to keep this blog updated. In the early morning, I say, “Lord, I know I don’t have to write every day anymore, but if a poem arrives, help me to write it well.”  

Thanks again!

All the best to you and yours…

new poems

in older age

winter wheat

Ellen Olinger

Four Haiku For The Four Seasons

Here’s the second Post in the series begun on October 13, 2010.   Photos by Karl and poems by me.

frost soon–

cutting flowers


new poems

in older age

winter wheat

gulls lifting

from the sand

corn an inch tall

home from the city

the beautiful city

stars my skyline

for Milwaukee on a late summer night


“frost soon” —published in The TOP, The Tournament of Poetry, in 1995.  This is the first haiku I can remember writing.   I lost touch with this publication a long time ago, but am grateful to have been included.

“new poems”–I shared this poem with penpals last year and on this blog last December.  The feedback I received encouraged me to focus more on my own writing again.

“gulls lifting”–Published in SMILE (2009, 2010) and Bell’s Letters Poet (2010).   These two print journals included features common to blogs before I had ever heard the word “blog.”   A variety of poems, by well-known poets and beginners alike, with a feeling of fellowship and conversation.

I always feel like I am just beginning.  Thank you.

Four Photos: Autumn, Winter, Spring, Summer

This blog began in December 2009.   As we look forward to our first year anniversary, I’m planning some new Posts which will celebrate the four seasons by reprinting a previous Post for each season in one new Post, according to a common theme.  Regular Posts will continue as well.

Here is a selection of Karl’s photos from Oostburg.  I’ll include more with special Posts of poems too.