In the meantime, enjoy the responses I have made to other prompts.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Another response to a prompt - and a little about me

Destination Recovery

It was not the best of times; it was not the worst of times. It was college, for me, a time of tremendous growth and self-discovery. And none of it would have happened if a boss at a blue collar direct mail services facility hadn’t taken me into his family. Al Forrester, God rest his soul, saw in me what I could not – potential. After spending a summer being a big sister to his and his wife’s, Donna’s, five daughters and learning how a loving family operates, through Al’s insistence and his preacher brother’s connections, I began my freshman year at Tennessee Temple University at aged twenty-one.

As a freshman I was on probation. My recollection is it was because I never took the SAT’s, but it could have been I scored poorly on them. In either case, I needed to prove myself academically.  Reflecting back to my academic performance prior to college, excluding my senior year when I moved from Virginia to South Pasadena, California to meet my father for the first time (which is another story), I was never a good student. I was probably one of those students we teachers say has potential, but doesn’t live up to it. Unfortunately for me, my teachers never stopped to ask why.

But as a college student, I blossomed. I learned I was not as stupid as my mother and alcoholic step-father constantly told me. That has to be the greatest lesson I would take away from my year at Tennessee Temple, and my subsequent years at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, of which there were many, UCONN Law School and Central Connecticut State University where I earned my teacher certification (after spending twenty years as a tax accountant).

Yes, that is a lot of schooling, but as an undergraduate I never gave thought to college being a means to an end. I majored in English because I wanted to be a writer, but I never thought about job opportunities. I never talked to career counselors, although I expect the school had them. I took the courses my major required. I graduated magna cum laude and I ended up working at a blue collar direct mail services facility – with no connection to Al Forrester – when done.

Along my college journey I did not stop to think about my future because thinking tended to be painful if it were on a personal level. It was almost as if I were a student placed on a conveyor belt in a college assembly factory. I rode the belt until the end when I was taken off and given my diploma.  I had the brains to excel in my classes, but lacked the wherewithal to do anything with my education.

My upbringing – plagued by physical, emotional, and sexual abuse – left my mind in a dysfunctional state as a young adult. I cannot emphasize enough what the Forresters did to start my healing in motion. It’s kind of scary to think where I might have ended up had Al Forrester not crossed my path, but he did.  He turned the switch to move my life and mind onto a different track, with the first stop being college.

Undergraduate school taught me I could think. From there it was a long journey to adjusting other misconceptions about myself and humanity, but the trip eventually found me mentally strong enough to live a somewhat-normal life with a husband, three amazing daughters and, for the last fourteen years, a job as a middle school math teacher. Just as when I was a freshman at Tennessee Temple, I still want to be a published writer. However, the education I received while pursuing my bachelor’s degree was invaluable and not one I would trade for any job.

Monday, June 19, 2017

How Can We Love?
A Sonnet

How can we love with all our children gone?
Since morning, noon and long into the night
when they were young the time for us was slight.
The question's asked, how can we carry on,
relight the flame to which we once were drawn,
adjust our gaze to where we focused sight
before our daughters came into the light?
Let’s find the passion parenthood’s withdrawn.
Our flock has flown, but we are in the nest – 
a man and wife whose friendship must renew.
This time of change puts marriage to the test,
but we’ll survive if what we had was true
and we make time together now our quest.
You work with me and I will work with you.

Initial inspiration came from Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet, "How Do I Love Thee?"

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A Wish Come True

The kitty cat sat staring at
the goldfish in the bowl.
The fish thought, I must make a move
before he eats me whole!

He then said to the kitty cat,
“For you, I’ll make a deal.
I’ll grant you seven wishes
if you don’t make me your meal.”

The cat said, “I am not a fool;
you can’t grant any wish,
much less make seven dreams come true.
You’re clearly just a fish!”

“I beg of you to let me try.
What damage can it do?
Just tell me what you want, then give
one day to make it true.

Although the cat was skeptical,
one day was not too long. 
How bountiful his life would be
if he were proven wrong!

“Okay,” agreed the doubtful cat.
“My first request is mice,
a lifetime’s worth of well-fed ones – 
organic would be nice!” 

“Then next I’ll take some catnip plants
that never ever die,
and fresh-caught tuna once a week,
an infinite supply.”

“That’s all for now my goldfish friend.
Tomorrow is the test.
If you deliver on these three,
I’ll let you know the rest.”

The goldfish bid the cat adieu,
then he began to pray
the boy who owned him would show up
and make an overlay. 

The cat, who had a fitful sleep,
with dreams about his haul,
expected mice when he woke up,
but saw no mice at all.

“Perhaps I need to go to him 
to cash in,” said the cat,
but when he got down to the fish
he only saw a rat.

The goldfish bowl was covered up,
the goldfish swimming free.
“You have no magic,” hissed the cat.
“How could you swindle me?”

The goldfish answered through the vents,
“I simply told the kid
you threatened you would eat me up
and so he made this lid.”

This is a part of a 30-Day writing challenge on Two images a day and the writer only has to respond to one. This is day 17.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

An Earth Day poem for a challenge

Poo-Poo to Plastic

There once was a young man named Michael
Who would constantly choose to recycle.
“See, our future depends,”
He would tell all his friends,
“On reusing from Maine to Lake Baikal."

Of his bottles of water he’d say,
“Though I drink many bottles a day,
Not one plastic have I;
I’m a S’well kind of guy,
And I urge you to swig the same way.”

To those shopping for staples he’d plead,
“There are alternate options indeed!
Offered plastic? Refuse!
They sell bags to reuse
Leaving nothing on which fish will feed.”

"And then lastly," he stated, “I’ve found
All those floss sticks or picks are not sound.
As a general rule,
Use the wax-coated spool
So we won’t find those picks on the ground!"

Author's Note:
Lake Baikal is an actual lake in Siberia.
S’well is a brand of a reusable water bottle.