Mysteries in our Middle Lands

South Dakota–where space is plentiful!!

(Have a look below and then come back up and play along with Rogershipp’s Plentiful prompt.)

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

If you want to know where I came from, drive about 135 miles east from Rapid City, South Dakota, on Interstate 90 and look for the Pioneer Auto Museum signs!


This is the old Highway 16 that parallels the Interstate and that brings you into town.
This is the house I grew up in. It once had a very big front porch that extended across the whole front.  My dad planted all the trees. My friend Joyce, who bought the house many years after my family left, added the fancy front door, shutters and brick steps.

IMG_0075The old water tower still stands, but two more modern towers now store water from the Missouri River 60 miles away.


The widest and perhaps emptiest main street in the world is not just an optical illusion.

IMG_0117Head out of town past the cemetery and you’ll find the gate to the last house…

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Perilous Trees! June 17, 2018


Mexico is so baaaad that even the trees are dangerous!!!! I love this sign. There wasn’t even a tree in sight! It was just a general warning about the dangers of trees, I guess. Don’t miss the film clips in the original post. If you are viewing from Reader or Facebook, Click on the title above and look in comments!

For Sunday Trees prompt

Poinsettia: Flower of the Day, June 18, 2018


This is what poinsettias look like before they turn red and after a heavy rain!

For Cee’s Flower of the Day prompt.

Blogger’s Lament

Blogger’s Lament

I do not want to bait a hook,
do the dishes, write a book.
Don’t wake at 6 or make my bed.
Most of my time’s spent in my head.
In two weeks, I’ll be seventy-one,
so when all is said and done,
I’ve earned the right to just obsess
on what I wish to. I confess
I’m up at eight or nine or ten,

with laptop or with notes and pen,

fulfilling all my blogging jobs,
and I must say that there are gobs
of prompt sites since

(and here I wince)
WordPress quit, thereby unleashing
scads of prompt sites without teaching
Mr. Linky or other ways
to try to ease our blogging days.

Now hours are spent just trying to

link up to that frog that’s blue

or finding where the prompt is hidden
even after we’ve been bidden
to come post on someone’s site.
So what was once our day’s delight

now seems more like one of those things

that paid employment always brings.
What once called out for “More time, more!”
now seems to me to be a chore.

It’s 2 p.m. and still I’m writing,

complaining, whining, jotting, citing

all the woes that blogging brings,
so why don’t I do other things?
Pot some plants or solve that pile
that’s filled the table for awhile

of bills, old poems––a dish of butter?
What’s that doing in the clutter?

Needless to say, I have a life
apart from blogging’s stressful strife.

Yet at 1:30, still at the keys,

lunch by my side, cat on my knees,
not quite through with all my griping,
but still typing, typing, typing.

Because in spite of present ills,

there is a space that blogging fills.

It’s friends for whom you need not dress

to turn to in your worst duress
to brag, to rage or to confess,

and they could never ever guess

what you look like, what you’re wearing
or that you’re slightly over-bearing.

Blogs are one great soapbox where
you don’t have to comb your hair
before you mount the stage to say
what you want to say, the way

you want to say it, every day.

And so, though I won’t eat tomatoes,
polish windows, peel potatoes,

walk the dog or trim the trees,
I will do just as I please.

Don’t do pilates. Don’t do jogging.

All I gladly do is blogging!

Dear Newepicauthor. Since I wrote this poet for all bloggers trying to fulfill all the prompts, I think it is appropriate to all. So I’m trying out your list to see if it will work for me.  Hope you don’t mind!

Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Sunday Writing Prompt – Teachers, for thehouseofbailey Destination Dreams Scotts Daily Prompt Gift, for Sheryl’s A New Daily Post Word Prompt: Languorous, for Daily Addictions by rogershipp prompt Disaster, for FOWC with Fandango – Literally, for Martha Kennedy Ragtag Community Antediluvian, for Teresa’s Haunted Wordsmith Three Things Challenge, where the three prompt words are “grandmother, daisy and wolf” and for Tales From the Mind of Kristian Word Prompt Moiety and for Swimmers the New Community Pool prompt – Clouds.

“Old English Teachers” April 1 Post

This was actually the first post I ever made that transformed my “Grieflessons” blog into a “Lifelessons” one. That was over five years ago when I probably had five followers to my name, so I’m reblogging it today because t seems to work for the Sunday Writing Prompt:

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

Someone sent me an invitation from NaPoWriMo to write a poem a day for a month, but I need a website to post them.  Since this is the only blog/website I have, I’m going to use this one.  There will be a poem each day for a month, all written on the day they were posted, dashed off quickly, but what fun to have completed 30 poems by the end of the month.  Please join me and post your poems here, as well.

Earlier today, someone posted a comment, then wrote back to change “lying”  to “laying.” Of course, I had to fight my better nature and write back that he was actually right the first time.  I then included this little poem, written in about a minute, to soften that pedantic blow.  Yes, I really am a “reformed” English teacher.  But I backslide now and then:

Old English teachers…

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How To Keep Warm in an Avalanche

I certainly think being buried alive in an avalanche qualifies as a disaster, don’t you?

For Daily Addiction’s Prompt: Disaster.
Please support this prompt site. It is dependable and easy to post!  They’ve gone to a lot of work to set up the site and could use some bloggers to post on it.  Just slip their prompt in and use it along with another prompt and post on both sites.  Two birds with one stone!!!

lifelessons - a blog by Judy Dykstra-Brown

How to Keep Warm in an Avalanche

To be buried while I’m still alive? One of my greatest fears—
tons of snow muffling my screams and freezing all my tears.
If I knew rescue was coming and had sufficient air,
how would I keep from panicking in this wintry lair?

Perhaps I’d think of old loves, from sixth grade up to now.
Every silent signal. Every declared vow.
The first boy who “chose” me—the pleasure that was new
of knowing I’d been noticed by a boy or two.

Unsure and not quite ready, those crushes quickly passed
as they moved on to other girls that I considered fast.
I lived up to the adage “sweet sixteen and never been kissed”
and started to be sorry for what I knew I’d missed.

By seventeen, I found out and luckily my first
was all that I had hoped for—like slaking a long…

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Merriam -Webster has this to say about their changing the definition of “literally” to mean both literally and figuratively:

“….the fact that Charles Dickens used literally in a figurative sense (“‘Lift him out,’ said Squeers, after he had literally feasted his eyes, in silence, upon the culprit”) doesn’t stop readers from complaining about our definition. We define literally in two senses:

1) in a literal sense or manner : actually
2) in effect : virtually

What I have to say to Merriam-Webster?


I am literally astounded that the meaning of this word
has come to be its opposite. Don’t you find it absurd
That literally  means “actually,” but now you have the gall
to say it also can mean “figurative?” Now I’ve seen it all!


For Fandango’s Prompt: Literally.