Monday, December 31, 2007

Holiday Reflections

Nighttime reflections in the front window
at (son) Otto's and Kristin's house.
Phyllis with camera, Otto (husband) at computer.

Note the computer discs hung in the window - a rainbow room decoration both day and night, as a kaleidoscope of color plays across their surfaces. The Christmas tree itself doesn't show in this photo, but it appears in the previous post.

On this New Year's eve we are reaching the end of wonderful holiday season with four generations of Smiths celebrating together (counting ourselves, the oldest). How we wish that everyone could have a coming year filled with the joy we have had these last two and a half weeks! Unfortunately the news of the world negates that possibility, but we can at least hope for improvement.

And Happy New Year to you, my blog friends!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Our Christmas

Ocean enjoyed playing with new train parts
especially when helped by his father

I hope you all had as happy a Christmas as we did! Port Townsend and nearby Port Hadlock have been our homes since December 13 and will continue to be until the third of January. We stayed first with grandson Joe, his wife April, and great-grandson Ocean, celebrated Christmas morning with them, opened presents, enjoyed a waffle breakfast; then we moved to Port Townsend and did the same with son Otto, his wife Kristin, and grandchildren Anna and Johnny. Then everyone got together at the latter house for a dinner of barbecued black cod - the world's most delicious food - prepared by Joe outdoors in the freezing cold. Thank you, Joe!

This is the tree at Otto's and Kristin's house
That is Anna peeking around the door at the ceiling-high tree.

We have had much beautiful music. Here Otto and Kristin play at the home of friends.

Happy New Year! We hope it will bring peace o earth - although we're keeping our fingers crossed!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

DREAMWHERE Sunday Scribblings prompt: Now and Then

photo by my nephew,
Allen Sterling III

You walked all night to beat the cold
so now you drowse on a sunlit bit of sidewalk
legs sprawled, head lolling on your knapsack
backed against a facade of patterned tile
from Mexico.

Your eyesballs move behind your eyelids
but your face is slack and inward turning.
Surely your dream is not here on the avenue,
hassled by corporate cops, muttered at
by passers-by who must detour around you
as they scan store windows for a way
to spend their money.

Where do you dream?

Do you toss a football to the brother lost in 'Nam'
Weave a mysterious plot that's fraught
with dream significance?
Walk a shaded path you know but can't say where?

Will you remember when you're wakened
by the grip on your shoulder
and the order to move on?

No. Dreams like that escape like noonday ghosts

You stumble to your feet,
grit grinding where your elbows met the sidewalk,
limbs still leaden with fatigue
mind struggling to retain the dream
where lost loves linger—
even your own lost self.
Phyllis Sterling Smith

Saturday, December 22, 2007

December memories

Memories in the making -
Our son Otto, Grandson Joe, Great-grandson, Ocean

As we enter life’s December
pictures help us to remember
the lives that we have led.
A snake casts off entire skin
but only camera eyes take in
the shapes that we have shed.

A baby boy with double chin
sits Buddah-like with happy grin
for everything he sees.
A tiny girl stands on a chair
for studio portrait, will not wear
a false smile just to please.

Posed at first with sister, brother,
later we’re young father, mother,
and years speed up their flight.
Snapshots capture bits of pleasure,
moments with the ones we treasure
as dark hair turns to white.

Monday, December 17, 2007

What's happening

Above you see one of our hosts here in Port Townsend: Ocean, two years old. We flew up here Thursday and are staying with his parents, our grandson Joe and his wife April. Son Otto and Kristin returned from Thailand on Friday, full of enthusiasm and with more than a thousand photos, most of which we have yet to see. Grandson Johnny is home, too, and Anna will arrive on Wednesday on Christmas break from Adelphi.

I probably won't have much time to keep up this blog because we'll be having too much more of the fun we've been having to leave time for the internet. I missed participating in Sunday Scribbling this time around. I was helping Ocean hang indestuctible ornaments on a Christmas tree.

I hope all of you are having a happy holiday season!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Sunday Scribblings prompt: Competition


my sister Martha do you never
lie in the cold still dark and hear
the fallen words that swirl like stars
or sardines swarming
flashing silver?

much too sensible for that
you net them
layer them with salt
and oh so provident
in briny reeking tubs

I hear the muscular swish and turning
star-tossed glitter of silver fish-words
weaving a shimmer of strands to net me
here in wakefulness
their fretting slivers splinter sharp

night-tossed sharded starved for meaning
I fish in His eyes
for silver words to
fullfil me

from the oven you pull forth
crisp brown loaves
sweet smelling
bring savoury fish stew
to feed His hunger.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Balk (Sunday Scribblings prompt: "walk")

According to what my parents used to tell their friends, my first word was "balk", the nearest I could come to pronouncing "walk." It's said that a child of less than three years does not form memories. Yet I feel sure that I remember back to those first toddler days when I would demand, "balk!" I meant that Daddy should stop the model T to let me stagger through ferns higher than my head, among the tall trunks and fragrant scents of the redwoods, with shafts of sunlight dancing on lower leaves of madrone and (sigh) poison oak. Many weekends we would drive over the summit of the Coast Range to Santa Cruz, the two-lane crooked road winding among just such tempting "balks." The floor of the forest might be studded with little gems of flowers such as trillium or calypso orchids, which my parents wisely, in those pre-ecology days, prevented me from picking.

I have never lost my taste for walking. I would like to make a distinction, though, between "walking" and "hiking". The latter implies destination goals and, frequently, strenuous exercise. "Walking" is a more leisurely pursuit, with time to savor each aspect of the landscape through which one is traveling - to stop to spot that warbling bird or to watch a chipmunk burying a morsel.

Even in the city, where I am more apt to walk these days, I want time to appreciate - and possibly photograph - beautiful gardens. Walking gives one a chance to become acquainted with one's neighbors, those who might be out gardening or washing a car. And at night one can catch glimpses of cosy interiors through lighted windows. At this time of year, decorated Christmas trees are a special treat.

Hike for exercise, I say, but walk for simple pleasures.