Each purl stitch was interlaced with love from the touch of her gentle hands. She, the teacher, me, the student, as our bodies sank into the big sofa checkered in a seventy’s palette.
For a new teen, my love for her went unmeasured. Now, fully immersed in motherhood after three decades, the mom role is clear as plate glass, how heart and mind require flexibility, the juggling of many hats.
Her wisdom mingles with my thoughts so often that I whisper, “I get it, Mom.” Teardrops of love struggle for freedom, grief clutches at my heart.
Autumn browns, reds, yellows, and oranges from that afghan warmed memories over the years, but at some point, my novice knitwork must have slipped a stitch because those warm shades unraveled through the seasons, crafting a hole in the center that mirrors the chasm in my heart from missing her.
With her tender care, she creates perfection Like a mama bird, she provides protection Under her wing she carries warmth A frown in her view, she’ll easily transform Her beauty shines, flows like a river Ah, but her love will never wither She embodies splendor of many colors bold for confidence, pastel for aiding others With a butterfly’s elegance, she graces our presence Her million-dollar smile illuminates her essence A sister, daughter, friend, and lover A doting spirit like no other An angel on earth, A spirit divine A lovely blessing One of a kind
Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms out there, and to our Moms in Heaven, we miss you and love you! 💕
And a Big shout-out to my daughter and son who are absolutely the best and make me feel so blessed. ❤️
I’m excited for my book, More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose, to be featured on Sally’s Bookshelf today at her wonderful Smorgasbord blog. I’ve included an extract from one of the stories below, but I invite you to check out Sally’s post for more information, and Thank you, Sally! ❤️
Extract from Ascent:
It was all so strange – grieving the passing of my father, and at the same time having planned the trip. After talking to my sisters, they encouraged us to still go. “It’s what Dad would want,” they said. I wasn’t sure it was the right decision, but after much thought, we took my sisters’ advice. I couldn’t ignore the slight guilt of going on the trip while it was all so fresh. I wouldn’t have left if Dad was still in the hospital, but he was at peace now, no longer suffering. In some otherworldly way, I felt his approval.
We began our four-hour drive to the Sierra a few days after his passing. When we arrived, we unloaded our stuff and “suited up”. During the trip preparation, as well as the drive, Matt repeated, “It’s only a mile and a half to the lake!” What he didn’t mention was that the hike entailed an ascent over a huge granite dome. I became anxious because I didn’t feel physically prepared. But his confidence in my ability was apparent, so we began the uphill hike.
When we reached the top and I looked down that sleek granite dome, I was amazed at what I had achieved. Never underestimate our abilities. On the other side of the dome, Shealor Lake was in full view. We gave our legs a short rest, drank some water, then headed downhill with the enticing pull of the lake’s beauty. As we neared the bottom, my emotions ran wild. I was relieved that we finally made it, but a sudden wave of grief washed over me. We removed our packs and sat on a log for a time-out. I was so overwhelmed that the tears found freedom. I didn’t fight them. I cried for the loss of Dad. I cried for having completed this hike that I didn’t think I was capable of. I would’ve backed out graciously had I known the details.
After a few minutes, I composed myself and looked to the lake. The water, a jeweled phenomenon. It sparkled, inviting us for a swim. While we set up our back-country camp, the orange-hot sun blazed down on us as if we had drastically turned up the thermostat, so the cool lake water soothed our sun-kissed skin. The fact that we were all alone in this canyon full of forest and smooth granite was beyond welcoming. The tranquility offered me the chance to reminisce about Dad and my parents together. The solitude afforded a perfect destination to grieve, think, remember, and cry. Mourning the loss of one parent was difficult enough but losing both felt surreal – a new stage of life had begun.
This Sierra adventure provided a chance for hiking and granite-rock hopping. The sun was our alarm clock, bidding us good morning and night as it rose and faded behind the hills. At night, our campfire’s dancing flames mesmerized, and the star-sprinkled sky enthralled. No matter where we explored, magic wrapped us in its warm embrace. This trip challenged my mind, body, and soul. I gained insight into my deepest being, learning not to limit myself. This amazing destination and experience proved to be the best medicine.
More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose by Lauren Scott is a heart-warming memoir that captures lovely moments of childhood, of parents’ love, of attachments, of campfires and hiking with the love of her life. The blissful moments come alive as Scott revels in the good times, letting nostalgia transport her into time machine, to watch the reel unfold like “pictures on a camera roll.” She talks about the value of some priceless gifts that are handed down from one generation to another; she takes pride in the stories that such “gems” tell to evoke fond memories of parents. Only the happy times have been shared in this book.
Written in a simple and straight-forward style, Lauren’s poetry is realistic. ‘To My Babies’ tugged at my heart and I am sure all mothers can relate to this delightful poem. Fragrant memories of “Earthquake Cake” made me smile. ‘Simple Existence’ is thought-provoking and made me pause to comprehend the depth of words that dance across “desert dunes and boundless oceans.” ‘Forever Steady’ too gives you a reflective message to take a breather, look at magical wilderness of nature and see how “delightfully birds sing and trees welcome our company.”
I loved this book and finished it within an hour. If you value relationships and family bonding, this book is for you.
In this series you are invited to share an extract of 500 words from your most recent book published within the last 12 months. Details at the end of the post.
The aim of the series
To showcase your latest book and sell some more copies.
Gain more reviews for the book.
Promote a selection of your other books that are available.
Today an extract from poetry and short memoir collection More than Coffee: Memories in Verse and Prose by Lauren Scott.
About the collection
From the early woes of childhood and teen years, this collection of stories and poems paints a picture of young dreams and fears. But as adulthood sets in, these dreams and fears change. More than Coffee touches on love and loss, nature and endurance, marriage and parenting. In these memories, humor diffuses fear and taking risks proves to be a powerful method in boosting self-confidence…
I’ve never participated in a poetry reading before. Even though I’ve sung in front of audiences in my youth, the thought of sharing my original poetry in person immediately starts the internal flapping of butterfly wings. Sharing behind a screen isn’t so scary.
Well, a friend of mine heard of a local poetry night taking place last week, so she encouraged me to sign up. Her exact words, “You should do it!” So I did, but not without jumpy nerves.
There were 27 poets, different ages, even some young voices which was fabulous. I prayed that I wouldn’t be the last reader because we all know the effects of anticipation. Instead, I was second to read, which was a little nerve-racking in itself, but at least it was over fast. According to my friend, I did great. And even in my mind, I thought I had done well, maybe not stellar, but well enough for the first time. I didn’t trip over any words. I didn’t sneeze or fall into a coughing fit. I stayed focused, and afterwards, I received some “Beautifuls”, which I believe is music to any artist’s ears.
Irregardless, I’m glad I finally did this, another box checked off the list. Listening to the others read their original poems or poems written by another author was also wonderful. This event turned out to be an enlightening experience.
Now, for the sake of trying something fun and different, I’m sharing an audio of the poem I read that I recently recorded. I’ve posted “Castanets” before, but I’ve made small revisions since then.
I also can’t help wonder if most people think their voices sound strange when they hear them recorded. I know I do. Nonetheless, here goes…
Stepping outside, I stroll down the quiet road with my lab on my left, his gait as graceful as a galloping horse in slow motion. Squirrels raise their sleepy heads because of the early hour. The sky appears to be coal black, but when I turn the corner, watermelon pinks, corals, and lemon yellows take center stage. My camera doesn’t do justice. Then I recall my son saying, “Enjoy the moment.” I slip that device back in my pocket. To my right, salmon-colored roses flaunt their fragrance and I am intoxicated. Passing orange poppies, their stems flutter with excitement, eager for the sun’s ascent, and in the distance, silence sings its serene ballad. As the tempo of our pace speeds up, a breeze joins us, and the leaves on the trees lining the lane sway in rhythm as though dancing a waltz. Jowls flap, he smiles with brown nose set in overdrive. The sun’s gentle touch adds a glimmer to his copper coat. I pause, bending down to his level, fingers stroke shiny, silky fur, his eyes close, contented from contact. When we move again, his nails on the asphalt mimic the clicking of two sets of castanets, and in seconds, I realize these observations are what life is all about… seeing…feeling…smelling…listening… being.
Day 5: Victoria Zigler at Zigler’s News will host contributing author M.J. Mallon and share a review by Victoria Zigler.
Day 6: The publisher, Kaye Lynne Booth, will be in the interview spotlight with James J. Cudney over at This Is My Truth Now.
Day 7: Robbie Cheadle at Robbie’s Inspiration will share a guest post from contributing author Colleen M. Chesebro.
Day 8: Kaye Lynne Booth at Writing to be Readwill wrap things up with a guest post from contributing author Leon Stevens.
If you follow the tour and leave a comment at each stop, you will be entered in a random drawing for a chance to win a free digital copy of **Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships**
Today I am thrilled to feature my guest, Miriam Hurdle, a lovely poet and blogger and a contributor in this anthology. And now, I invite Miriam to talk about her poetry…
Hi Lauren, thank you for hosting me today. I’m excited about the new release of Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships. It’s my privilege to be a contributing author.
There are six of my poems in this anthology collection:
Baby’s First Steps
I Walked Barefoot
April 28 is Pay It Forward Day. I want to discuss the poem related to doing a simple act of kindness to pay it forward.
Life has ups and downs Friends will stay around While outlook bright on good days Who knows what’s ahead? When you’re half dead Promising scenes fade away
The kindness of heart Brought you a fresh start Real friends hard to be found Only wisdom knows What tomorrow holds What goes around comes around
One’s fate made a turn Stumbled, fell, and churned Drowning into ocean’s deep You’re right around Sensed cries without sounds Graciously kindness repeats
I wrote this poem with two incidents in mind.
During the recession in 2008, a friend and his subordinates lost their jobs because of the company’s downsizing. Ted was a kind person who was friendly and gentle with the guys he supervised. He kept in touch with those guys during this hard time. It was difficult to find a job during the recession. When one job was open, there would be hundreds of applicants. Ted was unemployed for many months. One day, he received a call from his former subordinate about a job opening and asked him to apply. He did and got the job. His subordinate became his boss.
Ted and I were in the same choir. He was excited to share the news with the choir members. I couldn’t help but think that Ted’s kindness toward the people working under him paid off. He received kindness in return.
We don’t always return the favor to the same person who was kind to us. But we can Pay It Forward.
On April 28, 2007, Blake Beattie started Pay It Forward Day. After beginning in Australia, the holiday now spreads love and kindness in over 85 countries. It’s a celebration of a small act of kindness that makes a big impact on the world.
In 2008, I was diagnosed with stage II melanoma cancer that progressed to stage IV. I was a recipient of ongoing love and kindness from people near and far during the entire year of treatment. I can’t return kindness to all these people. What I can do is continuously Pay It Forward to show kindness to myself and the surrounding people, no matter how small the kind act is.
Why is kindness important?
Most research on the science behind kindness has centered on oxytocin. Dr. Waguih William IsHak, a professor of psychiatry at Cedars-Sinai, said that a simple act of kindness can reward our bodies and minds with feel-good chemical substances. Sometimes called “the love hormone,” oxytocin plays a role in forming social bonds and trusting other people. It’s the hormone mothers produce when they breastfeed, cementing their bond with their babies. Acts of kindness can release hormones that contribute to your mood and overall wellbeing. However, the effect isn’t lasting. Therefore, acts of kindness have to be repeated.
I’m grateful for the kindness I received, and I want to keep my overall wellbeing. With these in mind, I practice Pay It Forward and repeat kindness.
Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.
Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.
I’m thrilled to be featured over at Kaye Lynne Booth’s blog for Day 1 of the WordCrafter Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships Book Blog Tour. If you follow the tour and leave a comment at each stop, you’ll be entered in a random drawing for a free digital copy of “Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships”.
Below, I talk about the poems I’ve contributed…
I have contributed four poems, and the first, “The Fine Points” was inspired by my 33-year marriage to my husband. He is literally my best friend. The love we have shared over the years survived tough times when life threw us curveballs out of our control, but that same love thrived in more joyful moments than I can name. From the beginning when we shared our vows, when cell phones and computers were unheard of, we delivered unconditional love to each other that harbored no expectations of us to change in any way. I can’t ask for anything more.
After a couple years of marriage, our daughter was born, then our son completed our family three years later. Fast forward many years and our children are well into their adulting years.
“2020 in Digital” speaks of the chaos that raged in 2020, but how our year was brightened by our daughter and son-in-law’s unconventional yet beautiful wedding. They had been engaged for two years, together for nine, then Covid entered into the equation. A big wedding wasn’t going to happen due to restrictions, and they didn’t want to wait. So, they chose to do the next best thing.
“Something Right” was inspired when my husband and I were close to becoming empty nesters. Our daughter who is mentioned above had been out of the house for three years. Our son was about to venture into the world, paving his own path. Exciting, joyful, yet bittersweet. They both live across the country, pursuing their dreams, and we couldn’t be prouder knowing they’re making it on their own. But there are just too many states in between us, so hopefully, we can minimize that number in the near future.
Lastly, the poem entitled, “The Roses” is about my parents who have left our physical world. They used to love working in the garden, taking special pride in their roses. We miss them so much. It’s very surreal losing both parents, the family’s foundation.
This is Day 1 of the WordCrafter Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships Book Blog Tour, and I want to tell you all, you are in for some real poetic treats this week. This wonderfully unique collection of poetry features works by Robbie Cheadle and her poetic guests from the 2021 “Treasuring Poetry” blog series right here on Writing to be Read, and it really is a treasure chest filled with poetic gems. We’ve got a fantastic eight day tour planned for you to learn more about this poetry anthology and I hope you will all join us…
Contrary to my poem on climate change a couple weeks ago, “The Effects”, I found a trail of spring on a recent morning walk. Even though we’re still in dire need of buckets of raindrops, the blooms I saw rejuvenated my steps. I felt inspired because of their beautiful representation of rebirth, exactly what this lovely new season is all about. They didn’t mind posing for a quick photo op, so would you like to join me for a second time around on the trail?
And now, a little more about Nature herself…
Harmony lives in each flow of a breeze In each gentle embrace of evergreens The clear blue enchantingly shields Let nothing stay concealed.
Blooms tender their affable smile Leaves listen in for awhile Birdsong soothes the whirling mind A landscape perfectly designed.
Nature’s lessons are plentiful Shall our choices be flexible? We are not ignorant to her offerings Receive them for relief of suffering.
A painting of beauty and brilliance Mesmerizing even in distance Can you deny the splendid view? Allow serenity to fall into you.
(From my book, “More than Coffee:Memories in Verse and Prose”)
I am thrilled to announce that Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships is now available, and I am honored to be one of the contributors in this lovely anthology. This collection consists of poems from 12 authors and was compiled by Kaye Lynne Booth and Robbie Cheadle. If you’re a fan of poetry, here is the link to purchase your copy: https://books2read.com/u/3kP8aK
The book tour will take place from April 25 – May 1, so watch for it then. Happy Reading! ❤️
If, like me, you thoroughly enjoy Robbie Cheadle’s “Treasuring Poetry” blog series and can’t wait for her posts to come out each month, then you’ll be as excited as I am to learn that Poetry Treasures 2: Relationships is available at your favorite book distributors now!
Relationships are golden and each of
Arthur Rosch, Elizabeth Merry, D Avery, Robbie Cheadle, Harmony Kent, Lauren Scott, JulesPaige,
Leon Stevens, Colleen M. Chesebro, Miriam Hurdle,
M JMallon, and Lynda McKinney Lambert
pay poetic tribute to their most intense
That’s right folks. Now you can get this wonderful collection of poetic gems by Robbie and her 2021 “Treasuring Poetry” guests all in one place. We’ll be doing a book blog tour April 25 – May 1 so you can learn more about the amazing treasures contained within, but you don’t have to wait.