Queen of the May

In May, the smell of lilacs, Viburnum and dandelions filled the air, just in time for Mother’s Day and the May Crowning.   Bonita and I kept an eye on the lilac bushes, two at the side of the house, and one on the way to the barn.  We prayed they’d be ready to pick by Mother’s Day.  Mom loved flowers.

Every year St. Joseph’s had a May Crowning; the whole month of May was for Mary, but only one day was for everybody else’s mother.  I guessed that’s what happens when you’re the mother of God, but that didn’t seem so fair to me, ’cause Mary only had one son and he was perfect, so Continue reading

What kind of Numbskull Puts Carpet in a Car?

This is an example of custom-made floor liners from Huskie

Every year around this time, my local television station advertises custom floor liners for cars and trucks.  Maybe it’s the muddy weather.  Maybe it’s because people begin to think about buying new cars.  Maybe they say, “never again” as they try to clean the salt and residue from car carpets.

I always think of Dad.

When I was a little girl, our car never had carpet.

“Who wants carpet in a car?” Dad said when Continue reading

Summertime Memories brought to you by #NaPoWriMo

April is the NaPoWriMo challenge.  So all of my posts, whether here or at The Black Tortoise, are poems.  No I’m not a poet.  I do enjoy a challenge, always have, even when I was a little girl.

Today’s challenge from NaPoWriMo.net:

take a chance, literally. Find a deck of cards (regular playing cards, tarot cards, uno cards, cards from your “Cards Against Humanity” deck – whatever), shuffle it, and take a card – any card! Now, begin free-writing based on the card you’ve chosen. Keep going without stopping for five minutes. Then take what you’ve written and make a poem from it.


Summertime BackThen

Summer mornings’ cool meant:

Weeding, Mowing, Ladybird, Barns, Laundry.

Hopscotch, clip-on roller-skates, jump rope;

Party of Nine charged outside until

 Sun beat down hot and humid and we

Sought refuge with oilclothed peanut butter sandwiches,

swirled in Welches grape jelly on toast,

Washed down with pasteurized milk or Kool-Aid:

Wished we had some, can’t wait.

Little kids napped, while big kids Slapped Jacks or,

 Crazy Eighted Old Maids, and I Doubted.

OhHellOhHellOhHell as delicious as

Peanut M&Ms counted with care, even-steven.

To be fair to be kind to be siblings to be equal.

Tested melt-in-your-mouth, not-in-your-hand, patience.

All remainders, a lesson learned in math, Mom’s.



BUT Jesus is IN There

BUT Jesus is IN There


This is a little boy, but the story fits so well with my memories, that I feel compelled to share.

Originally posted on mother of nine9:

I was preparing dinner one afternoon when five-year-old Joesph came running up to me with a serious

look on his face. He was always full of  energy and mischief but he also had a delightful spirituality that was not taught but inborn. Once again, David had another theological question for me,

Mary Sauer

“Mum, does Mary live in my heart?”

I did some fast thinking. “Heaven is within us and Mary is in heaven”, I thought, so I answered,

“Yes sweetie, Mary is in your heart.”

Joseph sighed, content with my answer.

“I guess that means God is in my feet.”

I laughed silently. This was a very theologically correct concept since God is our foundation. I had no idea what went on in his head after my answer  but I  soon found out.

 It was about a week later, when all the kids who were old enough (and one who wasn’t really old enough), were playing hide…

View original 72 more words

Written in the Stars NaPoWriMo

Again this year, I take the poetry challenge. Writing a poem a day throughout May.  I am taking weekends off. I must rest my fingers and say hello to my family.

Today’s prompt from NaPoWriMo.net is to

take your gaze upward, and write a poem about the stars.

Immediately, I thought of when I was a little girl:

Stars and Saints Forever

Sister said, Therese saw her name written in the stars,

Back when She was just a little girl..

Easier than  a martyr or holy wars.

Sainthood is what I sought back then.

In the stars. Why not? Give it a whirl.

Therese saw what lay in store.

There in the sky, a great big capital T.

I looked and looked and looked some more.

No capital A, no lower case Adela in the heaven.

No crusade or death by sword, nothing written up there.

My little girl’s wish upon a star.

Baby steps: toddle and falter and toddle again.

See goodness, do right,

Honor the holy in all eyes.

Little ways, Little ways, Little ways again.

Sainthood is in the daily chore.

cranky nun

Absent a Miracle Worker


Vickie, Loren, and Bonnie-Jo

I started babysitting for other people’s kids when I was ten years old.  I suppose parents thought I was a pretty good bet, being I had the Little Kids around me all day long.

I got my first job babysitting for Bonnie-Jo, Marian, and Wade.  I told you before about babysitting them while Mrs. D drove around in her Corvair  because Wade opened the door and fell out in the gravel when she took a big dog-leg turn.  Deanna or I stayed with the kids at the Little House, where they lived.  Bonnie-Jo had straight chestnut hair, and big brown eyes and a little body heaped full of energy, just like my Bonita.  Marian had super-curly hair the color of carrots and was just a tinsy bit chubby.   I don’t remember the color of her eyes, ’cause all  that hair curling off like that snake-haired lady, Medusa, kinda distracted me from looking at her face.  Wade had blonde hair and blue eyes.   Bonnie-Jo and Marian were pretty nice kids.  Not Wade.  He was  the awfullest kid I ever knew.  Mrs. D let him get away with anything ’cause he was deaf.  She was just like the mother in The Miracle Worker.

Continue reading

Sick and Tired of Torture Cures

The following is a re-write of some memories I published about five years ago.  A young mother confessed she stewed about whether she should get her two kids vaccinated. She told me this story convinced her to get the vaccinations.  I hope I change a few more minds today.


When I was a little girl, I got sick a lot:  headaches, colds & flu, chicken pox, measles, mumps, lots of upset stomachs.  Of course, just about anything, except headaches went through the whole family.   Looking back,  I’m sure even the headaches more than likely spread to at least one other person.


I could almost always think of something clever and make a grown up chuckle a bit. I was a pretty smart little girl.

I was almost always itchy.  Sometimes Mom taped Popsicle sticks to the inside of my arms, to keep me from scratching.  Julie and Johnnie were all itchy, too, because of allergies.  Dr. Regan didn’t believe in allergies, when I was little,  he said I just had  Noxzema and a runny nose and just needed my tonsils out.  That’s why Mom sewed pockets on all my clothes; before I left the house, she said, “Do you have your Kleenex?”  I never left home without a pocket full of Kleenex, each one folded in quarters.

One time I got super sick over at Uncle Frank’s house.  When I breathed in, I was sure my insides looked the same as when somebody sucked in instead of blowing out on a balloon.  I just layed down in the way-back of the station wagon, all the way home, no talking or singing, just trying to breathe tiny breaths, so it would hurt less.  Mom took me to see Dr. Regan.

“See,” she said.  “This is the way she gets sometimes.  I think she has asthma.”   Mom had the same look on her face when she was thumping her finger on a newspaper showing Dad something in the Sunday newspaper.  Dr. Regan Continue reading