Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Peaches sunkissed
drip love juice down
elbows and sticky

Tomatoes vine ripe
and naked
needing nothing

Berries bursting
with frosted color
waiting to
freeze summer
in a bag

Freckles popping
on brown skin
my heart is
sun ripened -
pick me

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Camping 101

Growing up in them thar' hills, we camped, rustically and primitively. We didn't bring much. It was bliss~ frequent, habitual, and filled the summer with countless memories. The cooking was done outside. Food was substantial, but plain. Mom, did we have such a thing as a cooler back then?

Tess was two weeks old the first time she went camping. We invited her, welcomed her into the tradition when she was born. When Brita came along we did the same for her.

Craig hadn't grown up camping like I had, so we followed my family's way of simple and rustic. We left the primitive out, because the only places we could camp were campgrounds. This felt a little 'anthill' to me, but getting out was a pleasure. Running water was nice. :)

We camped with groups of friends who brought everything but the kitchen sink and a stunning array of entertainment, food, cooking gear, outdoor gear, etc.

We went through three tents by the time the girls were in their teens. By that time, they were doing camp outs with friends in a group setting. Sleeping on the ground became unbearable for a time for me, because of pain.

Camping became extinct after we threw out our last tent. We became hotel/cabin campers.

Three years ago some friends with a motorcycle asked us to go camping. Our motorcycles looked like pack mules heading to the Yukon for the gold rush. Arkansas or Bust should have been hanging from the back. We were able to take very little. Think back packing. It was a blast. We felt young and free.

Until we woke up the next morning. On sale floaties are vacuum packed. Small addition. Two uses. Float in the lake. Sleep on it.

No matter how we tried, we kept sliding off the thing until morning when it had deflated. I was cranky because Craig spent most the night steer wrestling with his pillow, the floatie, and the blankets. From the outside, the rumblings going on inside must have looked like we had all night sexual stamina. The thrashing to get comfortable in our little pup tent might have earned some snickers from our neighbors? Getting dressed was a challenge. The tent almost collapsed at the strain, along with me.

We are going on our third annual motorcycle camping trip the end of the month. Someone loaned us a trailer. A new hitch is behind the bike. We will NOT have pans dangling and a lawn chair tied to the sissy bar. We will look less like hillbillies, and miss the amused looks of those passing by.

We bought a bigger tent this week and will try it out camping with some friends this week by the river. Things aren't as tight financially as when the girls were small. We splurged on some gear, as we have a pick up that it will fit in. It has a five star feel. Uptown.

We both decided we didn't want to be done camping. Yes, it is some trouble. It can be messy; but oh ~ the stars at night. The sound of water close by. The brisk shivering air when you crawl out of the warm cocoon to unzip the day ~ I'm not ready to be done with making these memories. Yet.

Outdoor cooking makes me wriggle with delight. Camp coffee makes me almost swoon with contentment. Poking the fire is free therapy.

If the tent is rocking, don't come knocking ~ we have upgraded our air mattress. Being new and all, we might try to manage a christening of some sort.

When you get tired and weary from learning about God, stop everything and go be with God. He's a camper, I'm sure of it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Homeless Thief

Loverby and I stopped by for dry ice to finish off the root beer recipe. I dropped the five pounds in to the
ten gallon cooler and screwed the lid on loosely. The fragrant fog rolling out from under the lid caused a
passerby to turn his head and sniff the air. I met his eye and we smiled at each other. He said it smelled so good and reminded him of when he was a kid.

I mentioned we were heading over to the park for a last BBQ of the season and he was more than welcome to come. He looked down, shuffling his feet and said it would be hard for him to get there. I offered him a ride with us.

Loverby had a conference call, so Frank helped me run into Safeway for 5 bags of ice for the ice cream
making part of the root beer float extravaganza.

He helped us unload the truck, took his turn at cranking the ice cream, and kept ice and salt packed around the cylinders.

Frank sat with me as the ice cream was curing and before the food line started. That picnic bench
turned quickly into sacred ground.

He didn't have a spot to sleep that night because he wouldn't be back at the shelter before curfew.
He had beautiful, tender eyes.
He said he wanted to be seen, for someone to look in his eyes.
He only remembered a grandmother's love when he was five.
He started hopping trains when he was 15.
He had hot tears streaming down his eyes and tried to dash them away with his sleeve, unseen.
He had a hard time keeping personal belongings from getting stolen.
He was afraid of getting diseases 'common to transients' - his words.
His biggest fear was dying alone on some track, without anyone knowing or caring. Dying alone.
His biggest dream was having a new big backpack full of adventure on the rails.
He made me cry.
He told me when he was able to have a shower with fresh clothes, he felt good.
He made me cry some more.
He admitted that he had a drug and alcohol problem, but liked to give his fellow 'transients' food stamps if they were hungry.
He wanted to help people.
He talked of pain, of feeling different and alone, not fitting in.
He made me cry.
He was 28.

I saw his back as he walked away before eating with us. I didn't follow him, even though I wished he
could have stayed and had steak and a root beer float. He never looked back.

A friend gently said, "Maybe he got what he needed tonight."

Maybe so, but perhaps it was me who got what I needed tonight. A precious glimpse into a life and heart
outside my safe little, clean little, warm little, suburban bubble.

The water marks on the page, if you can see them, are tears. Hot, salty, futile ones.

Watch those homeless people, they are thieves and can quickly steal your heart.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Far into darkness
it shines both ways
north and south
then out to sea.

it sends pulses
of safety and light

Were any saved from
the rocks and rough shore
by its reflecting mirrors  
and hand blown glass ~
this bright beacon
always searching  
keeping death 
in the darkness 

I couldn't seem to get any rhythm at all with this. Hope you get the feeling anyways. If any of you poets want to help me out and rework it - I would be so happy! :) SOS means help.....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Old Chain

Crusted iron
hammered solid 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Speeding effortless 
on the 
oiled track 
heading in the 
 planned direction


pulled the lever 
 switched you over
another track
heading in a
 different direction

Sunday, August 1, 2010


Crackled old paint 
 revealing layers
of living full while 
playing hard 

soft colors
it all ~
luggage or
baggage ~
whatever the 
case might 

patina like this 
can't be bought 
or instantly applied
straight out of the can
it comes only by way of 

along with


passenger car
with storied walls
mute with remembering
 stares out its own window
facing future 
rust locked
yet still
on track