Tomorrow

Tomorrow I will take the time to linger by the lake,

To touch my toe tips to its cool surface and watch the flash of fish

Slipping beneath the weeds.

Tomorrow I will pluck a daisy and count off the petals,

Each one a vindication or a soft rejection, who needs that kind of

Fickle love anyway?

Tomorrow I will bake the bread, rolling and kneading and

Watching it rise, the smell of warm yeasty goodness almost making me

Swoon with giddiness.

Tomorrow I will honor the friends whose days were cut short,

I’ll wear patchouli on my wrists and dress in a gypsy skirt, maybe with bells

Announcing my arrival.

Tomorrow

Back to Studly

Today we hope Studly Doright gets some relief from his agonizing sciatic pain. It’s been 24 days now since he’s gotten more than 30 minutes of sleep at a time.

Studly is a man’s man, but when he’s in pain, all bets are off. After both of his knee replacement surgeries I was ready to trade him in for a less abrasive model. It didn’t help that he had a persecution complex and severe paranoia brought on by the pain meds he was on. He accused me of posting his post-surgical photos on Facebook! I promise, I never even considered doing such a thing. Well, it might’ve crossed my mind, but I wouldn’t have done it without his permission. They were seriously grotesque.

I’ve been pleasantly surprised that he’s kept his sense of humor and his sunny disposition throughout this whole sciatica ordeal. He hasn’t taken a day off work even when I thought he should have, and he’s cracked a few jokes during even his worst moments. Some of the jokes might have been amusing, so I laughed just in case.

But today, we see a pain management specialist. Hoping our prayers will be answered because, all kidding aside, I hate seeing my Studly Doright in pain. He’s my rock, you know. Positive vibes appreciated.

Peace, people.

Spring for Some

Spring for Some

By Leslie Noyes

Spring comes early in Florida.

Flowers blossom and the grass grows taller. Bees pollinate, birds court, squirrels scamper. It’s a time of life and renewal.

But as I walked around my yard today taking these photos I was overcome with grief. Surrounded by this display of life in bloom, I stopped to pray for those whose lives were cut short by a gunman last week in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people who won’t experience spring’s beauty. Young people who will never get to hold their own babies or experience the joy of being a grandparent, growing old with their spouses. I prayed, too, for their families whose lives will never be the same.

One individual with a high-powered rifle ended the hopes and dreams of 17 people in less than five minutes. Was he mentally ill? Perhaps. Did society fail him? More than likely. Did numerous agencies fail to do their jobs? Perhaps, but until someone commits a crime these agencies often have their hands tied. If he hadn’t had easy access to guns would he have found another way to attack? It’s possible. BUT, he DID have easy access to guns, and this access allowed him to literally destroy 17 lives and figuratively destroy hundreds of others.

So stop with your second amendment talking points. Let’s do the right thing and begin looking at real solutions to gun violence in this country.

Peace, please, people.

Forest Photo

I had nothing to publish on this Wednesday morning. Sitting in my favorite chair with a cup of peppermint tea in hand, I was stymied. As is the norm these days, the television news was depressing, so I turned off the tv and looked out the windows onto our back yard that slopes down to a small lake.

Seemingly overnight the leaves had overwhelmed the green grass resulting in a carpet of fall colors. Now I’m thinking about putting on a hoody and some boots for some serious leaf crunching. I’m sure Studly Doright would appreciate it if I did some raking while I’m out there, too.

The Assignment

Once upon a time I was a teacher. I wasn’t a great teacher, nor was I an awful one. I loved being with young people all day long, but I am a woman of little patience, and that is not a good thing when working with active children.

While I taught students in grades three through seven at various times in my career, by far my favorite years were those I spent teaching English to middle schoolers. I know what you’re thinking, “How’d someone with Leslie’s blatant disregard for the rules of grammar ever teach English?”

Shucks, y’all. I had a teaching manual. Duh. Seriously, though, before I began blogging I was much more cognizant of, and adherent to, those pesky rules. Now it’s “Rules, Shmules” most days. But this post really isn’t about me. Gasp!

One of the first assignments I gave as a seventh grade English teacher was for students to write about something important that had happened in their lives. It could be something funny or frightening, happy, or sad. I’m not even sure I placed a word count requirement on this paper, I just wanted to get to know the students better and to get a feel for their individual writing abilities.

I was shocked and pleased that those seventh graders went immediately to work, and after I’d read their rough drafts I knew that the students who wanted to share their stories with their classmates should have the opportunity to do so. Much of what they’d handed in was so honest that it had to be worth more than just a grade.

After making some editing and proofreading suggestions on each of the ninety or so papers (I taught four sections of English), I handed back the papers and told my students how proud I was to have them in my class, and that once they’d written their final copy I’d open up the floor for anyone who chose to share.

Now seventh graders are an interesting lot. I figured I’d have perhaps twenty percent of each class volunteer to read their papers. Instead, every single student shared their stories. And what an experience that became! I’m sure we spent way too much time on this activity, but my students and I bonded over these stories.

One athletic young man had us all in stitches as he told of the time he and his buddies got into his older sister’s closet and put on various pieces of her clothing, including tutus and swimsuits. and wore them to dinner, much to the horror of his sister and the amusement of his parents.

A shy young woman told of being chased by a vicious dog while riding her bike and being rescued by another dog at the last minute! By the end of the story her classmates were on the edges of their seats, cheering her on.

The story I remember having the most impact, though, was the story a quiet young man told about his mother’s illness. He and his father and sister were at the hospital visiting his mom who had been diagnosed with cancer. As the boy walked down the hospital hallway, he turned to his sister and asked, “Is Mom going to die?”

His sister became angry and told him that he just killed their mom because it’s bad luck to mention dying in the hospital. Their mother did die later that week, and the child blamed himself. The class sat silently when he finished, many were in tears. I was in tears, and I’d read the story.

The love that then surrounded that young man was amazing. Other students made a point to tell him he wasn’t to blame for his mom’s death. He knew that deep down, but hearing those words from his peers seemed to turn a light on in this child. I watched him blossom that year.

When we finished sharing, more than one child thanked me for allowing them to write about themselves. While I’d just been trying to help myself get a feel for their abilities, I got a good deal more. Extras like that are what make the profession unlike any other.

Peace, people.

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life

By Leslie Noyes

We serve as witness

No more, no less, bearing weight

Of life’s existence

That’s why we remain

When those we love cease to be

We serve as witness

When my time here ends

Serve as my witness; I lived

I can ask no more

The Long Way

The Long Way
By Leslie Noyes

She likes to take the odd way home and longs for unpaved pathways. A crowding of trees on either side pleases her

More than she can explain. He, though, searches for direct routes, interstates and expressways. No time for

meandering hither and yon. No desire to stroll the byways; a clear cut destination with the horizon firmly in view.

Always ahead of schedule, critical of those who linger over the simple pleasure of traipsing off the beaten trail.

She loves him anyway.