Monthly Archives: June 2015


back when we were baby birds

feeding each other
cold spaghetti worms
in grass clipping nests
empty summer stretched in front of us

stale plastic wading pools
pressing yellow circles
into grass
that smelled like wet bandaids

during a game of hide-and-seek
dust bunnies behind the chest
full of old prom dresses
in the upstairs hall

mouse droppings
in the basement
pits from sour cherries
scattered on the back steps

scraps of soggy paper
dried into small sculptures
under the weeping willow tree
revealing part of each original message

mommy is . . .
. . . ate my cookie
I hope Sharon . . .
my doll doesn’t . . . your doll . . .

summer just an empty cup
we filled each day
with the long summer rains
of daydreams.

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “In the Summertime.” What has been the highlight of your Spring or Summer?

To see my other post today, go HERE.

Sunday Stills Challenge: White


The Generational Cusp

I have to reblog Lydia’s entertaining and insightful continuation of the “generation” theme. I don’t want to think too long about her statement about the “Z” Generation, but no doubt you’ll do better with it than I have. Nothing like spreading the news–be it bad or good. Judy

A lot from Lydia

Label me a cynic if you will, I don’t care. Perhaps I don’t care what you call me because I’m a member of Generation X– the slacker, unfocused generation, and we don’t care about anything- do we? Actually I’m not even a true X, I’m on the cusp between Generation X, and the Baby Boomer generation. Once again, I’m Jan Brady- the middle child with the injured id and ego, always fighting for an identity.

I believe the baby boomers gave prominence to this generational segregation, and have emphasized the differences and short comings of subsequent generations.Must we always label and compartmentalize everything, boomers? How is this grouping helpful to society?

Would it be politic for a prospective boss look at a job applicants year of birth and decide to hire or not to hire, based on the generational demographic they fall into, despite: references, education, communication skills, experience…

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Cee’s Flower a Day Challenge: Crab Apple in Bloom

DSC06689 DSC06691This flowering crabapple tree was in my Niece’s front yard in Minnesota.   You can see a fruit growing at the bottom, which surprises me as I didn’t know this was possible while it was still blooming.

Cee’s Flower of the Day Photo Challenge: Mystery Flowering Vine

IMG_1011This view is much-magnified. The bloom is very small.

Version 2

Does anyone know what this vine is?  I’ve been trying to grow it for years, but it remains sparse, even though the vine I snipped it off of for a starter was lush.  I keep trying!

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In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Generation XYZ.” What can you learn from the generation immediately in front of you or the one immediately in back of you

                                                    Generation “Haven’t A Clue!”

I really do not know what name was given to my generation. Someone born into a small town in the forties was more or less protected from being classified into any generation, at least for their first eighteen years.  The mass-education and pasteurization of the internet had not yet happened.  We didn’t have television until I was eleven–when the first transfer station was built in my part of South Dakota.  Even then, the programs were idealized. Ozzie and Harriet, Father Knows Best, The Danny Thomas Show , Leave it to Beaver and The Donna Reed Show presented squeaky-clean prototypes of the American family for us to gauge ourselves against.

Drugs had not yet worked their way into the American mainstream.  The first time I even knew about pot was in college, when a few kids of California opened up a network, via the post office, for educating the naive plains states kids about the glories of escaping the pressures of homework, exams and pecking order by escaping on a cloud.  Crystal meth had not yet been invented, nor crack cocaine, nor any of the other drugs that have since given so much of the developed world society a total escape–and in the offing, created huge social problems.

All-in-all, I’m grateful that i was born into the generation I was born into.  Although the world of computers, texting and social networking have reached out and grabbed us, we nonetheless have a memory of a time without–when books were held in the hand and messages were delivered mouth-to-ear with a hand held in front to prevent information leakage.  Today’s world with instant texting with a camera attached is just an invitation for bullying and the sharing of private information and acts that should never have occurred in the first place. Every bully becomes his own broadcasting network and increasingly violent programs on the television and both big and tiny screens have desensitized the world.

Witnessing act after act of violence and cruelty and a world obsessed by “reality” shows makes us numb to reality–as though it is not enough.  We crave sensationalism even as we tsk tsk and shake our heads at it.  I am truly afraid for the generations that continue to be exposed to this widespread compulsion to view each violent act–be it on the news, via YouTube or on the fictional screen of choice.

Screens get ever larger or ever smaller, so they fill the wall in our media room or get lost in our pockets; but whatever the side of our viewing device, our brains slowly fill with depravity that rivals the Colosseum, the gulags or the German concentration camps. This wholesale violence is the real lethal drug unleashed upon our world, and I don’t know a way out of it.  It is no longer of influence primarily in the big cities, for with the advent of the internet, the entire world has become one colossal city.  We know of the most violent act of the flogging of bloggers in the Mideast or the stoning of homosexuals in Iran or raped women in Africa.  We know of senseless and seemingly motiveless mass murders in churches and schools and fast food restaurants, beheadings in Mexico, suicides of bullied teens and murders of children by their mothers–but all of them occur too far away to be influenced by any action we might take.

We know too much about a world where we have no influence, and so all that happens is more hate, disgust and a further drawing away and warlike attitude toward societies that we don’t understand enough to judge.  And so we hate an entire society instead of hating the violent part of that society that, as in our own society, commits the violent acts that we judge the entire society guilty of.

In the meantime, our politicians are drawn ever more into judging their actions according to economic results rather than humanistic or ecological considerations.  So our cars get fancier, our kitchens are turned into little museums of opulence, our TV screens turn into movie screens and our hand held devices fit on our wrists.  Yet we increasingly turn to takeout and what we watch either warps us, disillusions us or totally removes us from a world of performance and action.  Technology has made it possible to wage wars without leaving the control room–to spy with drones and mount combat with missiles.  We find romance by watching staged reality shows, watch others plan their weddings and pick their wedding dresses, watch million dollar staged weddings and then day-to-day reports of the divorce a few months later.

Yes, the world is crazy, and growing crazier with each technological advance.  So you might have surmised that I would not have chosen to have been born at a later date than my 1947 birth.  And in spite of my yearning to be out in the wider world for most of my earlier life, I am not sorry that my explorations began in my twenties.  I saw the world with new eyes–not having seen The Wild Kingdom, The Discovery Channel or any of the other programs that show us idealized views of far off worlds.  All of my shocks of discovery were purely my own and many of the countries I visited were undeveloped.  I took ferries across rivers now bridged, strolled the dirt paths of towns now paved over and filled with tourists.  I lived in countries I knew nothing about before I lived there, formed my opinions according to my own experience. I was naive, uninformed, ignorant and young.  What better way to see the world?

So, long story short, I would not have chosen to be in any generation but my own.  I did not participate in demonstrations until my fifties when I was an expat living in Mexico.  I was not a flower child, didn’t live in a commune or go vegan.  I was too ignorant to protest the Vietnam war until it was over. But neither was I exposed to crystal meth, heroin or crack cocaine. My mode of escape in college was bridge, not texting, and in my youth it was Monopoly, Cops and Robbers and Drop the Handkerchief!  Perhaps it is pure nostalgia that makes me say I prefer my generation to all others, but I don’t think so.  I think it is the realization that I’ve lived in two worlds and appreciate the perspective this gives me.  Perhaps this is true of every generation, but if so, I wonder what horrible future will render the events of this generation a patina of nostalgia.

Tilted Things–Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week Challenge

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These are supposed to be pictures taken with a tilted camera, but I’ll be darned if I can tell whether the objects themselves or the camera was tilted.  I’ve gotten dizzy trying to figure it out, so I hope you just enjoy the pictures for themselves without taking the assignment into account.  They are taken from my photo library, so you may have seen some before. Still having problems downloading (uploading?) from my computer.  Perhaps the fault is with my internet connection speed. I’ll use it as an excuse to repost pictures from past blogs.

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6 A.M.

A vividly red 6 A.M. glares out from an electric alarm clock on the side table of the bed.

“Carol!  Wake up! Do you know what time it is?”
“Not really.”
“Well, maybe if you opened your eyes, you could see the clock!”
“Mmmm. Hmmmm.”

He gives her a gentle swat on the bottom.

“C.mon, get up! I’m going for a shower so I won’t be here to nag at you.  You gotta get up now!”

The sound of his bare feet  leaving the room.  A door opens and shuts. Sound of a shower and an electric razor.  Then, he enters the bedroom from the adjoining bathroom, tucking in his shirt.

“Carol!  It’s time to get up! You’re running late!”

“What time is it?”
“Open your eyes and you’ll see!  C’mon. Open your eyes and here, I’ll help you scooch around and put your feet on the ground.  Now sit up.  And open your eyes!!”
(gentle snore)
“C’mon.  Right now!  Open your eyes.  If you don’t hold yourself up, I’m gonna let you fall down. So I’m letting loose, Carol.  Sit up on your own or you’ll fall down!”

There is a slight and muffled percussion sound as she falls backwards on the bed.

Dammit, Carol.
Okay. This is it.  I’m tired of your shit. I’m just going to let you stay in bed and miss a day of work without calling in.  You’ll lose your job and there goes the Hawaiian vacation!”
“Brad and Janet will be there, and Chet and Tina.  Pina coladas, sunburn, sand in their toes, hula lessons and moonlit walks on the beach–and we’ll both miss it all because you’ll be unemployed and we won’t be able to afford it.  Carol!  Get the hell out of bed!!!  Open your eyes and get up!”
“Mmmmmm. Hmmmmmm.”
OK!  That’s it. I’m giving up!  I’m going to work now. I’ll stop and get breakfast at Shorty’s on the way.  You’ve made your bed and you can lie in it–literally!!”

Sound of a door slamming, car revving and driving away. Carol slides her feet back up on the bed and pulls the covers over her head.  Gentle snoring sounds.

Seven O’clock.  Phone ringing.  Carol reaches out to her bedside table and answers it.

“Hi Carol.”

“Who is this?”
“This is your mother-in-law, dear. May I speak to Robert?”
“Your husband, dear. My son.”

Carol reaches out beside her, pats the bed.

“He’s not in bed, Roberta.  Try calling his cell phone and perhaps he’ll pick up from down below.  We had a late night last night and I’m sleeping in.”
“Okay, dear, sorry to disturb you.”

Sound of a phone being put back in the cradle. Almost immediate gentle snores. Twenty miles away, in early morning traffic, the gentle brrrrrrr of a cellphone is heard.

“Hello, Robert, where are you?”
“I’m on the road, Mom, about to pull into Shorty’s for a fast breakfast. What’s up?”
“You went to breakfast without Carol?”
“No, I’m on my way to work.  Carol decided not to go in today.”

Silence from the other end of the phone.

“Mom, are you still there?  What did you call me for?”
“Well, dear, I’m just wondering why you are going in to work on a Saturday, and why you didn’t call your dad to call off your golf game if you’ve decided to work instead!”

Sound of brakes screeching as Robert turns off at an exit and drives over the overpass to reverse directions.

(For an earlier response to this same prompt, go HERE.)

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Groupthink.” Write a dialogue between two or three people other than yourself.


Cee’s Black & White Challenge: Houses

These are all pictures I took on an Amazon River trip in Peru a few years ago.

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