“Yonder Street That Fronts The Sun”

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word for today is DISPOSABLE

I haven’t written a story for awhile and today I’m in the mood for fiction, and inspired by this poem. So here goes…

Little I ask; my wants are few;
I only wish a hut of stone –
a very plain brown stone will do –
that I may call my own;
and close at hand is such a one
in yonder street that fronts the sun.

--Oliver Wendell Holmes

The New Home

“I sure hope you’re going to be happy here, Mom,” Miranda said as she took a couple of suitcases from the trunk. “You’ve brought so few of your things with you. But I guess you don’t have room for much.” She eyed the tiny cottage and sighed.

“Don’t worry,” Alice reassured her. “This will be a cozy nest for me. I’ve brought with me the things I really love and will use every day. Looking around that huge house, I realized just how much of what we had was non-essential. Quite disposable, really.”

Her son-in-law looked up at the sky. “You’ll get the morning sun here. That should be cheering.” He picked up her microwave and Alice hurried to unlock the door for him.

Franz was trying to be upbeat, she knew. They’d questioned her choice of a small cottage on a dingy street, but what could they do? They glimpsed the tip of the iceberg, not the full extent of her penury. Widowed now, she could never afford that huge house, or even a nice senior’s apartment.

Miranda said, “I’m sorry you had to part with your lovely bone china, but I’m sure Chandra will take good care of it.” Chandra was Alice’s granddaughter. “Still, I hope you aren’t planning to live on instant dinners in disposable pouches?”

Alice laughed. “No, my dear, I’ll make myself proper meals now and then.”

Back at the car again, Franz grabbed the cat carrier from the back seat. “Alphonse will have a nice little back yard to prowl.”

“Yes, I have Alphonse to keep me company. We’ll get along quite well here.”

After her things were soon unloaded, her children had kissed her goodbye, and left, Alice let the cat out of his carrier. As he explored their new home, she sat in a chair and surveyed the furnishings she’d chosen. Tears slid down her cheeks. So much was gone; so little left of her old life.

Howard’s investments hadn’t borne much fruit; he’d kept that fact from her. Did the worry over finances cause his heart attack? What she’d sold had covered the debts and paid for this home, left her enough income to live on – she was thankful for that. Her knew her children would help out, but she didn’t want to be a drain on them.

She dried her tears, wandered into the kitchen and stared out the back door. The small fenced yard had a tiny patch dug up for garden, mostly weeds now. Well, she’d plant some flowers there. Maybe some lettuce and a few tomato plants. She went back to the counter and began opening boxes.

Here’s To Friends!

New Year’s Eve seems to be a time for paying tribute to our dear old friends, maybe because of Bobby Burns’ poem that’s come to be a standard New Year’s Eve song:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And the days of auld lang syne?
... We'll drink a cup of kindness yet
For the sake of auld lang syne.

I came across an enjoyable poem by Edgar Guest where he pays tribute to a dear friend. Here’s part of it:

To An Old Friend

When we have lived our little lives
and wandered all their byways through,
when we’ve seen all that we shall see
and finished all that we must do,
when we shall take one backward look
off yonder where our journey ends,
I pray that you shall be as glad
as I shall be that we were friends.

When we have met all we shall meet
and know what destiny has planned,
I shall rejoice in that last hour
that I have known your friendly hand;
I shall go singing down the way
off yonder as my sun descends
as one who’s had a happy life,
made glorious by the best of friends.

From his book,  Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company

Hope is a Thing With Mice

Monday Morning Musing

Good morning everyone. Time for a brief update and maybe a few haiku. Last night I was reading a book about the early masters of haiku. According to an old legend one of them, Ihara Saikaku (1642-1693) wrote 23,500 verses in a day. Can you imagine writing almost a thousand verses in an hour – using Japanese characters? Legend is a wonderful thing.

Would any of those be of sterling quality? (STERLING being the Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning.) I was inspired to do a few myself, but for sure mine aren’t very sterling. It’s not hard to dash off words, but it takes me time to write something that will even make sense.

winter nipping
a mouse squeezes into the warmth
heaven or hell
?

When the winds blow cold and there’s a nip in the air, hopeful mice are wont to creep into houses, hoping to find a cozy home for the winter months, hopefully with a food source not too far away–like a bowl of cat food on the floor. Last Friday I was sitting in my recliner reading, while my black cat dozed contentedly on my lap. Glancing up, I spotted one such hopeful mouse creep out from under our wood stove sitting in the corner of our living room. We have poison set out, but this must be a clever mouse.

brave mouse scurries
under my wood stove
wee Napoleon.

“Mouse, Angus! Mouse,” I screeched, and the mouse quickly disappeared. Angus opened his eyes and gave me a “What are you on about?” look. It didn’t take long, though, before both of our cats caught on about those little mouse feet scrabbling on the stones. I’ve moved the cat food elsewhere and our cats spend time by the wood stove these days, hoping for a Waterloo.

Fresh Snow

Winds are definitely whipping and winter is nipping today. After a mild spell most of last week, the temp dropped yesterday evening and a north wind picked up. Snowflakes were falling by the time we left church, just before 9 pm, and before long we had the makings of a storm. Fine flakes blew through the air all night; we’ve a nice amount this morning and more is falling as I write this.

“Hope is a thing with feathers…” In this case sparrows hoping for a few grains have found a bare spot on our driveway somewhat out of the wind. Our sidewalk is blown in ankle-deep, I learned as I waded out a bit ago to scatter seed for them.

lame magpie
bullied by his own finds peace

among the sparrows

Poetry Reading

“Hope is a Thing With Feathers,” the famous poem by Angie Dickinson, was one of the verses read at our Poetry night Saturday evening. I was hoping for a bit larger crowd but, apart from the readers and their partners, only five others attended. Hopefully next time… Renaming it “Literary Night” might draw more interest. I read a mixture of my own poems and short stories myself.

Click here to read one of them.

So Tomorrow Will Be Twitter Tuesday?

Now that Black Friday sales are basically done, I received half a dozen ads this morning telling me that today is Cyber Monday. Can anyone explain that? No, never mind…

I’m hoping this will be a better week for me. I was pretty wiped out last week, not sick but very weary. Energy level 2/10 kind of thing. I suspect my white cell count is on the rise, but we’ll see how this week goes. Hope is a thing with energy… 🙂 I’ve another phone visit with my oncologist Dec 12, which should give me a better idea how things stand.

Speaking of energy, it’s our youngest grandson’s 12th birthday today.

Image: Dessie Designs — Pixabay

A Colorful Creature

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is KOOKY. Well, here’s a kooky poem I wrote for the sheer fun of it — with a nod to Ogden Nash’s The Spangled Pandemonium, one of my favorite children’s poems.

The Fugitive

A creature glided through the dark,
he thought it quite the prank,
to break out from the zoo and hide
beside the riverbank.

But patches of its fur showed up
right through the foliage green.
As I passed by those colors roused
my curiosity.

I peered, and spied this creature,
odd-brindled blue and white
with dabs of green and violet.
It gave me such delight!

I couldn't recognize the thing;
my Google didn't help.
I tried to get a closer look
but it gave a fearful yelp!

Some keepers of the zoo ran up
and said, "Say, have you seen
our multi-mottled commingal
with fur white, blue and green?

I pointed to those bushes
that bulged suspiciously
and they set out to capture
their colorful escapee.
Image by Alexandra Koch — Pixabay

The Neighborly Man

Recently I started reading a book titled EMBRACING OBSCURITY. The author, Anonymous, writes about how, in today's society, we're apt to feel we must be a SOMEBODY if we want to count at all. I haven't read far, but I gather he's saying we need to abandon dreams of being Big Names and settle for  being ordinary people. As Edgar Guest aspires to in this verse...
The Neighborly Man

Some are eager to be famous, some are striving to be great,
some are toiling to be leaders of their nation or their state,
and in every man’s ambition, if we only understood,
there is much that’s fine and splendid; every hope is mostly good.
So I cling unto the notion that contented I will be
if the men upon life’s pathway find a needed friend in me.

I rather like to putter ‘round the walks and yards of life,
to spray at night the roses that are burned and browned with strife;
to eat a frugal dinner, but always to have a chair
for the unexpected stranger that my simple meal would share.
I don’t care to be a traveler, I would rather be the one
sitting calmly by the roadside helping weary travelers on.

I’d like to be a neighbor in the good old-fashioned way,
finding much to do for others, but not over much to say.
I like to read the papers, but I do not years to see
what the journal of the morning has been moved to say of me;
in the silences and shadows I would live my life and die
and depend for fond remembrance on some grateful passers-by.

I guess I wasn’t fashioned for the brilliant things of earth,
wasn’t gifted much with talent or designed for special worth,
but was just sent here to putter with life’s little odds and ends
and keep a simple corner where the stirring highway bends,
and if folks should chance to linger, warn and weary through the day,
to do some needed service and to cheer them on their way.

From his book,  Collected Verse of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by The Reilly & Lee Company
Image from Pixabay

Who Has It Better?

The Ragtag Daily Prompt word this morning is ENVY. American poet Edgar Guest had some wise thoughts on this subject and many of his verses speak of being content, so I’m going to post a couple today.
Here’s the first…

THE OTHER FELLOW

Whose luck is better far than ours?
The other fellow’s.
Whose road seems always lined with flowers?
The other fellow’s.
Who is the man who seems to get
Most joy in life, with least regret,
Who always seems to win his bet?
The other fellow.

Who fills the place we think we’d like?
The other fellow.
Whom does good fortune always strike?
The other fellow.
Whom do we envy, day by day?
Who has more time than we to play?
Who is it, when we mourn, seems gay?
The other fellow.

Who seems to miss the thorns we find?
Th other fellow.
Who seems to leave us all behind?
The other fellow.
Who never seems to feel the woe,
The anguish and the pain we know?
Who gets the best seats at the show?
The other fellow.

And yet, my friend, who envies you?
The other fellow.
Who thinks he gathers only rue?
The other fellow.
Who sighs because he thinks that he
Would infinitely happier be,
If he could be like you or me?
The other fellow.

From his book JUST FOLKS
copyright 1917 by The Reilly & Britton Co.