Saturday, January 31, 2009

Two Below

(A sampling of the icicles hanging out in our neighborhood after the BIG SNOW this week)


I didn’t make any New Year’s Resolutions this year ... can’t remember the last year that I did, as a matter of fact.

Instead, I’ve gotten into the habit of making DAILY resolutions, like ...

Remembering to take my meds ... without having someone else ask if I remembered to ... oh, yes ... I was just going to do that.

Working ... seriously working ... on the backlog in the study before it poses a serious bodily threat to those who venture too near the stacks.

Taking care not to misplace printouts of e-mails ... especially those which have the potential of turning S&G into a really ... REALLY interesting posting.

Balancing my checkbook ... once I find it again ... and then can find my last couple of statements.

Reading ... sitting down for a few minutes each day to do some serious ... or even light ... reading.

Writing ... to do more of that than I did the day before ... which should be an easy mark to top.

Catching up ... in general ... but more specifically with my posting on my daily "blog" ... known as "Chosen Words" ... but which perhaps should be known as something more befitting the lag there, too.


I’M SURE you get the picture. I start each day resolving to do better than the day before ... and end each day wondering where it went so fast ... and why I didn’t really make a dent in my list of things to do.

Well ... there’s always tomorrow ... a new copy of the old to-do list ... and a new set of resolutions.

And one of these days ... maybe even tomorrow ... who knows? I might even ... well, I’ll let you know.


I DO APPRECIATE your patience with me during these recent hectic weeks. I’m surprised there are any visitors to S&G ... or that any of you are still speaking to me ... and thank you ... thank you ... thank you ... that you are.


EVEN THIS PAST week, when we ... like a lot of the country ... were snowed in ... I thought I might be able to make some headway on catching up.

After all, I was homebound for three days ... plenty of time to get to the keyboard ... get in gear ... get things done.

Instead, I seemingly spent hours staring out at the snow ... ventured out a few steps beyond the side door ... and right back in ... finally did some shoveling, when the storm ended ... spent some time thawing my fingers and getting the kinks out of my back ... and WHAMMO! ... another week had gone whizzing past.


THE WEATHER ... as is often the case ... was even worse elsewhere ... Rogers, Arkansas, for example, where a son of LOREE (Kansas) lives. They had two inches of solid ice over everything, he reported to Mom ... they were without power ... and "he fell asleep last night with the constant noise of a war zone in his ears ... the cracking, breaking and snapping of tree limbs."


LOREE ADDS that she’s glad "to see that you have once again gotten the upper hand over that headstrong brute residing in your house ... the computer!"

Well ... and I’m afraid the computer may hear me saying this ... but I don’t think I’ll ever again feel that I have the upper hand over it. These rascals have ways of tossing us humans around like ... well, like bits of scrambled data ... and dragging their feet? They don’t even have feet, but they drag ‘em, just the same ... and, most baffling of all, don’t leave any skid marks ... I just don’t understand. Or have I said that before, too?


TODAY'S QUOTE: "When your toes are as cold as your nose ... and your fingers are as brittle as frozen spittle ... just remember: We’re another day nearer to the beginning of spring." - Professor Squigglee


TODAY'S POEM - I’ve learned ... the hard way ... that I can empty the room ... almost instantly ... during a family gathering, simply by saying, "That reminds me ... "

They’ve all heard THAT before ... all of it ... Even with variations, they know ... bottom line ... that they’ve heard this one before.

Now, at risk of emptying the room, albeit the electronic room in which you are viewing this installment of S&G ... I’m going to share a poem that you’ve likely seen before.

All because this recent weather ... not just in Ohio, but across so much of the country ... reminds me ...

Meanwhile, the poem:


Pale slice of lemon
floating in thin clouds
far above temperatures
fallen, clicking,
struggling to rise
where they were
sometime yesterday
before falling back
in the sullen darkness
that will cradle us
like two sleeping bears
dreaming of spring.

(originally published in Southern Humanities Review)


IF YOU FEEL like making a quick comment, please do ... below the current installment, if you like.

Or if you'd prefer e-mail, that's fine, too ... especially for more detailed observations. Just send an e-mail, please, to and it helps if you put "Squiggles" or "S&G" ... something like that ... in the subject line (just remember, no religion or politics ... please!)

UNTIL NEXT week ... take care ... see ya.

© 2009

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Sudden Thunder

LOOKING BACK ... all the way back to a couple of weeks ago, when I said:

"THIS PAST WEEK it may have appeared that I had, indeed, wandered off ... But I hadn't. I was right here at the keyboard ... endless hours at this infernal keyboard attached to this infernal machine that I don't understand at all ... It was like trying to play the piano ... blindfolded ... and wearing boxing gloves. And I'm beginning to think doing that might be more fun than what I was doing ... and doing ... and doing ... "


IT WAS ALSO like trying to sweep the ocean back with a broom ... a small broom. But I think that’s over. The ocean is still there, of course. I’m still here, too.

Where are my writings for the past several years ... my carefully saved photos? They’re still out there somewhere, and I’m still trying to recover them.

At this point I’m still hopeful that I may be able to recover them ... at least part of them. I’ve recovered some, thank you very much. I hope to recover more.

The lesson in all this: Don’t neglect those backups!


ONCE I GOT my e-mail gadget working again, I found tons of e-mails ... I had forgotten how many forwarded e-mails I receive in a day ... in a week ... in a COUPLE of weeks!

I also found several personal e-mails inquiring abut my health and well being ... and I thank you for those.

One evening, when I thought I had spied a glimmer of hope on the horizon ... I found an e-mail from LOREE (Kansas) ... who correctly suspected that I hadn’t wandered off ... and fallen off the edge of the earth ... but was having computer problems.

She informed me that she had checked ... and checked ... and checked ... for the weekly posting of S&G ... but, of course, didn’t find one.

Her question: Will it now be yearly?

I’m still puzzling over a possible answer to that one ... but I’m leaning toward resuming a regular weekly schedule ... while knocking on wood and keeping my fingers crossed.


TODAY'S QUOTE: "My, how time flies ... when you really, really don’t want it to." - Professor Squigglee


TODAY'S POEM - When my computer stopped working, it seemed so sudden ... Doesn’t it always? ... but I’m sure there had been warning signs, just as the poem hints about the "sudden" thunder ... and the deluge which followed.

The poem didn’t come immediately to mind when disaster struck recently ... believe me, I had a lot of other things on my mind ... but when that little ray of computer hope presented itself to me ... then, oh, then ... I did think about the poem ... and how I had stood there in the rain, admiring a red, red rose that I would not have seen, had the thunder not caused me to turn and look in its direction.

I suppose there’s lesson of some sort in there ... some place ... but I’ll leave that to you.

Meanwhile, the poem:


I was going along,
immersed in thought,
when a nearby
crash of thunder
wheeled me around
and I was looking
down a long driveway
toward a red, red rose
that was leaning
and straightening
beside a dark
gray fence.

For the longest
moment I remained
rooted, letting
the rain trickle
down my neck,
drip from my
fingers, puzzling
over this flower
that had drawn me
to it with this
clash of cymbals,
brittle song
of thunder.

(originally published in Kaleidoscope; included in my first collection, Chance of Rain, published by Finishing Line Press, 2003, read on Marion Roach's program on Sirius Radio, June, 2006)


HEY, DON'T BE SHY ... If you feel like making a quick comment, please do ... that can be done below the current installment, if you like.

Or if you'd prefer e-mail, that's fine, too ... especially for more detailed observations. Just send an e-mail, please, to and it helps if you put "Squiggles" or "S&G" ... something like that ... in the subject line (just remember, no religion or politics ... please!)


UNTIL NEXT week (I hope) ... take care ... see ya (I REALLY hope).


© 2009