Writing Wins and Woes: Grandson, the Adventure Begins

I  love adventure, don’t you? Mountain climbing. Surfing. Skiing. Cliff diving. Ha ha. Yeah, I’m not the adventurous sort. When I was a kid, I hung upside down from a swing,  fell off and got a nosebleed. I never did that again. The most adventure I have is visiting a zoo with wild, ferocious animals, taking hikes on man made trails and maybe, just maybe camping, if there is a cabin involved. But do you know what? That is just the right kind of adventuring for being a grandparent.

I’m so excited to be a brand spanking new grandma, or Mom Mom or whatever he chooses to call me. My grandson, Miles Scott,  was born on Monday through a very difficult labor, which I’m sure my daughter doesn’t wish me to relate on my blog, but suffice it to say that he was born not breathing through c-section and to me, he is a little miracle, because he is home with his mommy and daddy after only 4 days in the hospital or 5 if you count the labor.

I’m so looking forward in anticipation to the adventures we are going to have together; taking walks, feeding ducks, visiting zoos and aquariums, playing with toys and reading books. Maybe we’ll even write some books together. My adventure begins very shortly because I am going to spend all next week with him and his mom and I can’t wait. So next week I will take a little hiatus from my blog. I’ll join you back here in two weeks.

Let the adventures begin!

my grandson MilesMiles in carseat

 

Writing Wins and Woes: My Mother’s Mother

 

It seems kind of strange on Father’s Day weekend that I would be honoring my mother’s mother, but since last week I shared two poems about my father’s mother, I decided to do this. A while back I wrote a little narrative about time spent with my grandma. Toward the end of her life, I spent a few weekends with her, along with a lot of visits with my Mom. It’s ironic that my grandma was a cleaning lady and now I’m a custodian for a school and a church. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. My grandma and I had similar tastes even though we were very different. She loved science fiction and animals. Best of all, she grew to love Jesus and I’m thankful that someday I will see her in Heaven.

So here’s the little memorial I wrote about her:

Memorable matinee

Woolworth’s department store was such a pleasant memory for me as a little girl. It was Woolworth’s and Rotisserie chicken. Although I don’t think we called it that back then. It was just delicious chicken barbecue, wrapped in tin-foil, brown and crispy. In those days, I could eat the skin, and I did in all its plentiful goodness.

I remember walking the streets of Lancaster, PA, hand in hand with her, my mother’s mother, my grandmother. At that time I hadn’t known her so long or so well, and yet I warmed to her graciousness, kindness and love that I could feel exuding from her hands and to my fingers as I clasped them tightly.

Lancaster was not my home. It seemed like a big city to me, who was usually entrenched in small town life. I was a scared child, but with her I felt safe. I can still see her; black hair, maybe a little graying, tall, thin, cat-eyed glasses and plenty of no nonsense persona. She was a cleaning lady most of her life and she was exact and thorough at it as she was in everything she did. There was no hint of earlier days when she led a raucous lifestyle and drank too much. My mother used to say that she loved parties and people. I was never anything like her , and yet she warmed to me.

I know she loved animals like me because she fed squirrels peanuts from her kitchen window. They came right up to her and took them from her hand. She wasn’t even daunted by one that bit her finger in its eagerness for quick sustenance, and she never blamed the squirrel. So I love squirrels, also, naming the ones in our yard all the same. They are Snip and although I wouldn’t dare to trespass my boundaries by hand feeding, I love to sit out a dish of sunflower seeds for them and watch them satisfyingly from my window.

Grandma took me to the downtown movies. Now I am so baffled by her choice, Planet of the Apes, one of the series, I don’t remember which one. I only know that it doesn’t seem like a grandmother’s choice, more like Casablanca or Fiddler on the Roof. Yet she took me to see it. I remember her falling asleep half way through, but she had to have honest interest because we stayed through the next showing to see the parts she missed. Back then you could. Nobody shooed you out with buckets and brooms as soon as the credits came on.

At night we watched Dr. Shock Theater, campy old horror films, hosted by a comic Dracula. I remember loving them in all their fake scariness. She loved them, too, not just for me, but for herself, as well. That’s how I saw it.

She had a very old and much used stuffed leopard on her bed. She must have loved it once, but she so willingly parted with it to give it to me, as if extending the baton to the next generation, imparting her love with it. I wish I still had it, but more than that, I wish I could walk those streets again, eat chicken barbecue, sit through a matinee, and once more spend the night quivering through Dr. Shock Theater with my grandma. She couldn’t have known then what it means to me now.

The End

grandma Watson

Writing Wins and Woes: Sundries

The old fashioned way. Typing.  The other day I was  talking to one of my best friends and she mentioned the word sundries. She thought it was a cool word and I did too, so I’m stealing it for my blog today, because it is all about sundries.

WIN_20160610_08_57_25_ProMy first Sundry is this poem I wrote about my Grandma. It was written a long time ago in memorial of her life. She was always laughing and smiling. She had 12 living children and still managed to laugh. If I had that many children my laughter would be from insanity.

I wrote two poems about her and this was the second. I am sharing the first one also.

This poem reminds me of the importance of family. I love Christmas but when I lost the person I loved, Christmas did not seem so appealing. In fact, it was downright depressing. I’ve found this to be true not only with death but when someone I loved moved away. I had a hard time finding any joy in my life after that.

So those are my first two sundries. My next sundry is good news and bad news. The good news is my fairy tale story about Sleeping Beauty was accepted at Enchanted Conversation. Yay. I’m so happy to be getting good news.  Because last week I got bad news. Although my story for Daily Science Fiction had been short listed, which is truly amazing, it ultimately was not picked. They added a little note to the rejection, A difficult decision. It made me feel a little better, but it was still hard.

My third sundry is my story for Guardian Angel Kids is in the June issue. It is also about grandmas, so it fits in well with this blog post. My poem talks about angels in Heaven and the story is about angels and grandmas. How cool is that? With writing, you have to take the good with the bad. Although I was disappointed and it had me depressed thinking about my story for Daily Science Fiction, I just told myself that there will be other opportunities. Keep on keeping on.

Text of poems:

Christmas without Grandma

Christmas without Grandma

Seems more than I can bear;

The something special about

Christmas is that

Family is always there.

Christmas without an evergreen tree

Would be so very sad…

But Christmas without Grandma?

She’s the only one I had!

Christmas without presents

I wouldn’t really miss;

Besides, I’d trade them in a moment

For the warmth of Grandma’s kiss.

Christmas without stockings

Hanging in a row;

Christmas without holly

and leafy mistletoe…

Yes, Christmas things are lovely,

As lovely as can be;

But lovelier far is the sight of

My dear Grandmother to me

I know Grandma wouldn’t trade

The blessings of her resting place,

But I’d trade all the joys

of Christmas for a glance

at Grandma’s face.

Oh, the angels up in Heaven

Are the luckiest of all,

Because at Christmas time in Heaven

They’ll be hearing

Grandma’s call!

****

Grandma’s Smile

I see Grandma’s smile everywhere,

I see it in a winter’s night,

Or in spring’s day so fair.

I see Grandma’s smile everywhere,

Her features are so fine!

I see them in a sunny day,

And in the stars that shine.

Sunny, laughing daffodils

Can’t match her laughing face

I hear her bubbly laughter

In every kind of place.

Grandma’s face was always

So sweet, so kind, so good;

Grandma had just the kind of laugh

A Grandma always should.

She always brought some sunshine

Into every dismal day.

You didn’t question how or why,

Because that was Grandma’s way.

I see Grandma’s smile everywhere,

In flowers, lakes and trees.

Grandma was as soft and sweet

As a cool and gentle breeze.

Many things I miss about Grandma,

But some things I’ll always see.

Grandma’s laugh and her smile

Will always be here with me.

By Shari Lynne Klase

In loving memory of Sara Kriner

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Writing Wins and Woes: A Letter to my Dad

Easter, pets and daddy 001
When I was thinking about doing a new series for June, I was batting some stuff around in my head and thought, “Duh, you just did Mother’s Day, what about Father’s day?”

I wanted to start out my series with a similar letter to my dad. When I thought about doing this, I thought, my relationship with my dad is complicated. It’s complicated because most of my growing up years I didn’t have a father in my life. My parents separated when I was six, and reunited when I was 16. Also, for much of my life I didn’t even have contact with him at all. But life dramatically changed for us when my Mom and I became Christians and started going to church. We both forgave my dad for things that happened in the past and God did a miracle. He allowed us all to become a family again. So, before I steal anymore of my thunder, here is my letter to my dad.

Dear Dad,

I don’t remember much about you when I was little. I remember our tiny apartment we lived in, and my room and my stuffed animals but I don’t remember you very well from those days.  They were days of a lot of turmoil and sadness and I’m glad I don’t remember those days. The Bible says when we become Christians, the old things go away and all things become new, and that’s what happened for me and you.

The old, hurtful things are no longer a part of my life. God washed those memories away and allowed us to have new ones. So now, this is what I remember. I remember all the walks we took together and still take together with the dogs. Sometimes it’s just down to the river. Sometimes it’s on a trail, but wherever we go we talk about things. I never got to share my life with you before. Now I can.

I remember all the times you spent with my children. Sometimes that hurt because I didn’t get to spend those times with you, but mostly it felt good. I loved watching the way you hugged my kids, played with them and loved them. They had and still have a special relationship with their papaw.

I remember all the things we did together as a family. I didn’t have the opportunity to do those things with you when I was a child, but now I do. We made trips to Knoebles, where we sat and watched the Mahoney Brothers sing. We went to zoos, which we both love. We do shopping trips together. I don’t dwell on what I didn’t have. Why should I? Some people had childhood memories and then they stop. I have memories now that keep on going. I have my dad, that I thought I’d never have.

You changed. That’s what I remember most about you. You let God in and you threw the devil out. You stopped letting alcohol be who you are, and let God decide who you’d be. When I was born, you were my biological father, but now you’re my dad. I love you for allowing me to see that God can change a life. Because when you became one of God’s own, you didn’t just change your life, you changed mine.

I love you forever,

Shari