From the pup—

Gizmos that whirl
And gadgets that blink
Too many dishes piled high in the sink
We stayed up awfully late
Then Got up so darn early
I’m afraid it made me a puppy quite surly
All of that wrapping
And Good Heavens those bows!
But my love for this family continues to grow
I like to watch them as they dance & they sing
They smile & they pet me,
And what lovely biscuits they bring!
They’ve been celebrating
A tradition it seems,
Full of love & sharing & kindness extreme
But now I am sleepy
It’s time for a rest
Excitement is nice, but a nap would be best
But one last thought
‘Fore I nod off to sleep
“Merry Christmas to all!” now time to count sheep!

🎄 Christmas Lights 💡

Christmas Lights:
A bit of Magic for children
A total headache for adults

As a child I didn’t know what it took to make it happen. They just appeared, enchanting and delightful. The cocoa & the lights in town; another part of what made this season special & unique…where did they come from I’d ask myself & hope that it would never end!

As an adult I now know what it’s like to be the man behind that tangled curtain of lights. Grasping & gasping at yet another burnt out bulb, another rickety ladder propped against the gutters–those damn gutters that still need to be cleaned out!!! Stringing the lines along the eaves of a sagging roof that needs to be replaced and shingles that need repairing. The thought of the added electric bill charges on an already maxed out budget. The feeling that this display going up is so pitiful in comparison to the others, that why even bother at all…

But it is because of knowing these things and more that I want to say Thank You.

Thank you for those guiding lights, shining softly in the distance. Calling, beckoning us home at this special time of year once again.

Thank you residents & businesses of town for keeping that bit of Christmastime Magic real and alive for the children, and especially for the children we all once were…

—December 2014

New Year = New You?

A new year, a new you? No thank you, I think I’ll pass.

Instead, I prefer to work on being “The Best Me.” The Best Me in my own class.

You see it’s because I like me: old or new it matters not.

And I will strive to be the Best Me. For that, I’ll work a lot.

I can’t erase the old me, and the things I did back then.

But, I can learn and strive to be the Best Me over and over again.

Each year is new and fresh–I’m ready for the New Year, and all it has in store.

And, to me, that means to learn new things by building on all that went before.

—Taken from a FB post: December 18, 2014

Telling Stories

People tell me things. Stories to be exact. Sometimes even Tall Tales, which have often been the most, fun even if the hardest to believe.

But for as long as I can remember, people just start talking to me, and they often end those conversation with, “I don’t know why I told you that!” Or “Thank you so much for listening.” Or just a blanket statement like: “You are such a good listener.”

And I take all these conversations and stories to heart. Because sometimes, even if I never see those folks again, and our paths, as far as I can tell, will never again cross, I know I’ve made a friend.

Mostly because I was there and not only listened to them but HEARD them when they felt they had something to say, and wondered if anyone even cared or if anyone was even listening.

And I do care because I LOVE stories and the people who tell them! I love to know Who Dun It? And did they live Happily Ever After? And is this a To Be Continued or a The End.

So I’m glad the grown up me got a degree in English…not the study of the English Language, mind you, but a Degree in the things human kind has written and told in story form for centuries, eons, from the time of thought incarnate…

And not only have I been told I am a good listener, but I have been told I am a good student. And I suppose I should finally accept what people told me then, because I have a degree on my wall with some sort of Greek wording around my name, and I had to stand for pictures on the day I received my degree, with red, yellow, blue, and green cords hanging off my shoulders, and pins on my lapel that read Alpha Chai, Alpha Lambd Delta, and other Greek things of that nature.

And in order to earn all those shiny pretty things, and that piece of paper with the funny Greek words, I had to study Hard. I had to not only read stories, but I had to criticize them, tear them apart and put them back together. I had to take on the great Masters in my field and first prove to my professors, the Doctors, that I knew exactly what was being said and what was not being said. And then after I had shown them I could do that, I was told before I could walk across that stage I had to Prove to THEM, and them alone, that I could not only tear something apart, but that I could put it back together. And not into what it was, but into something new & different, and uniquely My Own Story with supporting evidence from other professionals in my field, and it all had to be precisely documented, and Most Importantly, it had to make sense.

It had to be crystal clear, because it would be something that stood alone. Alone to be judged, to be torn apart, to be used as needed for whatever purpose the new reader chose.

That is what an English Major’s Life is for 4 years. And that is what it culminates in to get out of University with your paper & your debt…we call it our Senior Thesis, and we begin working on it our Junior year (if we are lucky enough to be able to start that early!)

My Thesis was titled
“Beloved Through a Marxist Lens: Increasing the Value of Self.”

That year it won 1st place in the University’s Research Paper Competition, a competition opened to all disciplines and all students. As the prize, winners were given $100 and told their work would be held in perpetuity in the University Library.

What a gift that was to hear as an English Major: Paid for my words and assured that folks would be able to read it long after I am gone.

So yes. I am an English Major and I am good at words and stories, or at least that is what I have been told.

And still people tell me things. I don’t announce my background to every individual I meet, and I have found that, sadly, English Degrees are referred to by some as a “dime a dozen” so to speak, and not thought of in their true light.

And still people tell me things, just like when I was a child.

And somehow they know that I will never use their stories to twist things to my advantage, or talk openly about things that are private between two individuals. Somehow they intuitively know these things when they see me smile at them as we pass along the street, or from across a busy lunch table. And I’m happy because I know I have a new friend just by looking in their eyes.

People Tell Me Things.

I do not share those things for one simple reason: Their stories, and all the minute details, are not my stories to tell.

Thanks for listening.
English Major
SU Class of 2004

Graduation May 2004

The Gift 🎁

I want to share a gift with you
Its worth I’m still only beginning to comprehend—
More valuable than diamonds
rubies, emeralds and gems

More valuable than oxygen
but a beating heart knows the cost
For if you do not guard them both carefully
sadness, and grief consume you when you realize what you’ve lost.

It means so much more to me
than dollars, coins or bills
And if you keep a tally of it
You’ll find how much of it that you have likely killed

It’s not that you can really measure it
like a peso or a yen.
so eek it out in quantities
where you prefer to spend

I’d like to share this gift with you
I’ve guarded it, for it is sublime!
But You, yes, you I want to give it to you
For you see my treasure I so freely share? My currency, my gift, is nothing more than Time…

Poem—Dec. 2012