Merry Christmas


Courtesy of Paul Sherman has ornaments in 28 languages (4 colors each).

I chose French in honor of many years of study, grade 6 – through first year of college.  Miss Silvernail, who taught French at Wauwatosa East High School, knew my father, who taught History there, and sent me a kind note about my early poems.  I could always read French better than I could speak.

WPclipart is an educational resource.

Christmas Eve Morning


Christmas Eve morning.  Sitting quietly and allowing the memories to surface as they wish. This year no one is in the hospital.  There are four generations alive and well in our family.

Many ways to give life and offer hope to all the generations.  Art and friendship give life to me every day.

The light is passed from one blog to another . . .

Every year is different.  Many loved ones are in Heaven.  It is good to be quieter now.  Accept losses and change better than I was able to a year ago.  I have written all I know to write.

Yesterday, though, the light danced on the snow, and I know there will be new thoughts and poems and essays in 2013.  Blessings, Ellen

winter landscape
old weathered barns
with one evergreen wreath

Image: Karen’s Whimsy.


grateful for every day and Christmas too

~ for Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays~

Selections from my gratitude journal:

2. Gingerbread pancakes & laughter at Judi’s Place*

3. Christmas lights in town

4. Reflection of the lamp light in the window

~ and this weekend:

31. Lavender soap

32.  Winter Come Gently – CD by Amy Shreve

33.  Sun in my soul in the sunroom

Link to Ann Voskamp’s site:

Amy Shreve’s site:

* Judi’s Place is a wonderful family restaurant here in Oostburg.  I had pumpkin pancakes in November.  Real food!

Gold snowflake:


Poem for the Seasons


All My Years In The Midwest

each season feels as if life
could be no other way

evergreens bow with the snow
then the new light green
in spring

summers as hot
as winters were cold

glorious autumn colors
and then the equally
glorious serene skies

I have known the
   springs and summers
of young growth

and the years
when the leaves

seemed to fall too soon

and then redeemed by
the blessings
of a long winter

with new light


more light soon


a cold day
so dark
rain against
the windows

the solstice
then more light

each day

My gratitude journal is open on a file cabinet, to remind me to keep my heart and hands open in prayer.  I also have a list here, to catch and type moments as they occur, and then I write them in my journal.  Examples include:  the kind readers of my blogs and the fact that we have not lost power today.  We have a generator if we do.  Lots of old trees in this area, and the power companies do prune them–interesting shapes result.  I’m always amazed everything works as well as it does!

Simple Christmas plans this year–also grateful for composure (so far anyway!). 

Blessings always, Ellen

First image:
Second image: Karen’s Whimsy.

The Snow Falls

the snow falls
and the sun rises

I see the sun reflected
in a neighbor’s window

the snow falls
on everything

evergreen branches
picnic tables, rocks, grass

planters left untouched
for just this reason

the snow falls
on everything

also the graves
the fields that were

this gentle healing

Blessings, Ellen

light frost

Today is a quiet day at home.  Routine tasks. I also watched some videos on YouTube by Ann Voskamp.  I began a gratitude journal and hope to list a thousand gifts too, and then begin again.  In a way this is like my practice of writing haiku, but the journal is a list.  I am leaving space though for the poems that may arrive later on.

It is amazing the gifts of beauty given at hard times.  I have a picture in my mind of the soft lights in rooms across the courtyard from my mother’s room at the nursing home, during her last illness.  I know enough to know these gifts are like manna.  Daily we look for them and receive; they are given too without looking.  Sheer grace.

I bought a journal from Christine Mason Miller.  Her boutique closes today at 5:00pm PST–please see her website if you wish details.

light frost
this morning
on the bushes
that spell renewal:

Blessings, Ellen