Tag Archives: Family

The Emperor of Chocolate

                                                                             image from internet

The Emperor of Chocolate

I am the emperor of chocolate. I conquer every bar.
I can detect its presence in wrappings or in jar.
When there’s no chocolate to be found, I simply can’t abide it.
I can find it anywhere—wherever you might hide it.
My tendency toward chocolate is a tale I hate to tell;
but I cannot help it, for it’s congenital.
My mother abused substances—namely, Russell Stover.
She could not close the box lid until eating them was over.

She couldn’t resist chocolates, though she was not a glutton
when it came to other foods like hamburgers or mutton.
She received a box of chocolates on every holiday—
on her birthday and for Christmas, and for sure on Mother’s Day.
When it came to appreciation, my mother never failed them,
for when it came to chocolates, she always just inhaled them.
One time my dad decided that he would have some fun.
He bought my mom some chocolates to dole out one-by-one.

He hid them underneath the cushion of a chair
to give her one piece daily, but she knew that they were there.
She ate the whole box in two days. It really was disgraceful.
Every time I saw her, it seemed she had a face full.
Only with my father did she manage to save face,
For she bought chocolate-covered cherries and put one in the place
of every chocolate she stole. My father never knew.
She was not tempted by the cherries—a taste she could eschew.

My father always thought he’d pulled one over on my mother,
although I’ve always known that the true jokester was another.
When the box was only cherries, and he offered them to her,
she’d say, “I’ll save it for later,” or sometimes she’d  demur.
To resist chocolate cherries, she was fully able,
and I was fully loyal to preserving mother’s fable.
That’s how my addiction was learned at Mother’s knee,
because the chocolate-covered cherries? She gave them all to me.

The prompt today is conquer.

It’s Not That Time of Year Unless. . .

In my family, after the tree was trimmed, the outside lights were up and that inedible Xmas candy was in the candy dish, there was just one thing that signaled Christmas: the yearly jigsaw puzzle set out on the card table that my sister and I put together but that no one could resist helping out with.  There was always that last missing piece that eventually we found on the floor under the nearby sofa or in the dog dish or someone’s pants cuff.

Last year my friends Patty and Marti and I went to my sister Patti’s house in Phoenix for Xmas and of course took a jigsaw puzzle along.  My brother-in-law Jim and the across-the-street neighbor got addicted, and we could hardly elbow our way into the action once they got started. Under strict instructions to finish it before Xmas dinner, when the counter space would be needed, we accomplished the task, with Patty doing the honors and fitting in the last piece.  It was a fun one.  What’s up this year?

(Click to enlarge photos)

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/time-of-year/

Opposites Attract

IMG_0286The youngest member of our family (Maddie, 9 months) seems rapt over the words and motions of our eldest, (Jane, 90), or perhaps she is just admiring her beautiful manicure.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/opposites/

Gathering Family

Tonight marked the end of our two day family reunion with my mother’s side of the family. The matriarch is Jane, 90 years old, and the youngest was Maddie the miracle baby, age 9 months. I am somewhere in the middle, but closer to Jane by one year as of midnight.  I unfortunately don’t see these lovely people often enough, but every time I am around them I’m appreciative of their closeness and acceptance of either others’ differences.

I had a wonderful time, as you might be able to gather from these photos. (You might want to click on them to enlarge them.)  The statue of Lincoln marks the highest point on the Lincoln Highway. We passed it this morning as we drove from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Laramie to visit Jane in her daughter Sara’s house. In college, the art class I was in came up on a cold blustery day to scrub him down with acid. Yesterday, we just stopped to admire him in his new spot next to the new wider interstate road.  He’s been raised up a good deal on a very high pedestal, so I wouldn’t relish giving him a scrub now.

The other photos were taken in three different locations as different events were held in three different homes. Representing my mother’s branch of the family were my niece Cindy, my sister Patti and I.  All of the rest were descendants of my mother’s sister Peggy and their spouses.  Lots of laughter, fun, memories, discoveries and great food.

Singlish

IMG_7421

Singlish

When Papa grabbed his squeezebox and baby hit the gong,
all the other children ran up to play along.
Henry played the drums and Molly the kazoo.
Oscar blew the tuba ’til he started to turn blue.

Sally on the saxophone and Henry on the flute,
Wanda on the trumpet went rootie tootie toot.
Mama led the singing and Grandma hummed along
as one-by-one the children joined them in their song.

All the kids went swaying, rocking on their toes
as they sang a song embellished by cardinals and crows.
The cattle in the pasture joined in with soothing moos—
the cockerels crooning descants with their cockadoodledoos.

The mourning doves sang background, telling of their woes,
while all the little sparrows cheeped neatly from their rows.
The horses voiced their  whinnies and sheep all baaaahed along
until the  world surrounding us had joined in on the song.

Woodpeckers beat percussion until our song was done,
joining us in music that proved that we were one.
Goldfinches and burros were next to join the throng,
all speaking the same language in this singalong.

I heard it from the mockingbird who heard it from the jay.
It was a pretty chorus that rose up from that day.
Now most days thereafter, we’ve sung in harmony.
If everyone would join us, how grand the world could be.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/sing/

Scar

Scar

 

   All bear them                                          as badges of life.
Each marks a wound                               and then a healing.
Like most of life, good                 growing out of the bad,
producing proud new flesh to cover the inevitable
that we all face––the cut, the gore, the severing.
Life is arranged for some reason to complete
pain with healing, one way or the other.
Proud flesh, proud heart–an excess
in us all that needs smoothing.
First pain and then succor,
a generation dying and 
 another one growing. 
Forever scarring 
the family or
  healing 
   it.

For the past year, I keep getting these heart-shaped wounds on my arm. I think they are from the dogs jumping up on me or from wounds won trimming the bougainvillea, but it is amazing how many times they are in a heart shape.  I’d already written this poem before I decided to try to make a concrete poem out of it. As I progressed, it wanted to be a heart.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/scars/

Closeted

Please go here: https://judydykstrabrown.com/2015/12/06/uncornered/ to discover what I’ve had to say on the topics of closets!

 

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/closet/