Dying to Return

He had to die to come home

After all the decades he’d roamed.

His parents, sibs, rellies, all others

Banned his return at life-end of mother

Now as ashes he rests beside her

Was he dishonest, the now-mourned cur?

Baffling those divergent tales, his coda, all

From beauteous birth to addictive fall.

Prodigal gathering at his passing~~

Or was the plea 80th kiss-my-assing ?

Jenison 7/15/2019

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Posted by on July 16, 2019 in Uncategorized



Snowstorms are no winter novelty to one who has lived

Near, all her years, a Great Lake, thenrest of life cicumnavigating its shores

Chicago-born, suburban childhood, by circumstance borne as single mom

To Michigan, where my now- far flung children were raised.

Their travel relates primarily to business and children’s country & worldwide trips, sometimes to us at the enchanting lake.

This winter weekend with iced road multi- vehicle accidents I remain inside. Hoping the power will not fai us, among 150,00 already without.

I read the crawls: schools on their 11th to 16th snow days; services to my mother-in-law cease all week, this due to rehab facilities closures so she leaves in worse shape than she arrived ;

and all nearby freeways close for miles of multi-car pileups that lead the national news evening reports.

All occurs in Michigan’s lower peninsula, more normal to Yoopers who qiuckly clear or close the single highway that transverses east to west. Whiteouts are common as are blizzards at Easter. Often the two-lane highway with too-few passing lanes close fore and aft for whiteouts, leaving only 38-mile detours on unplowed northerly stairstep roads.

Sixty mph wins scream along the shoreline discouraging beach walks toward the Soo Locks final days ; at night the anchor opposite awaiting their call to progress.

Snowshoeing one birthday didn’t prevent sinking up to my waist. I removed my snowshoes, crab- crawled across the snow to the road. Argh! Snowplow piles were 28”wide & high, impossible to cross! I could only creep back.

But how I miss its beauty, even this 2019 winter. God’s country, it’s called.

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Posted by on February 15, 2019 in Uncategorized


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10873600_568455256622910_8181565552322198314_o.jpg 1,200×1,800 pixels
— Read on

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Posted by on January 2, 2019 in Uncategorized


Fondly remembered

The day I went to retrieve a small garden seat restored by former neighbor, Bill, I received a message from his wife Rosemary. She had been called in to sub at Fredrick Meijer Gardens at an outdoor Art Cart for someone suddenly unavailable.”If I’m already gone, I’ll leave it in the breezeway for you to pick up.” Workable, and I was eager to see her Bill’s woodworking skills applied, so continued to their home filled with memories, next door to the one I had sold years after my husband’s unforeseen, sudden death in his sleep years earlier.

In the breezeway I saw several objects I had left with them, but had forgotten over intervening years, like so much of that past life. A wave of nostalgia engulfed me, and I dared to look across at the door at the home shared so many of his last years with mylate husband who departed in his sleep. We had bought the higgledy-piggledy home sporting 5 outdoor exits from many add- ones for its gardening potential, though it appeared to have none of that charm remaining after the years of my new life away.

I had purchased my parents’ condo of 20 years when they moved to luxe living in a senior care center apartment in mom’s hometown in a neighboring state with two brothers and their tribes of children and grands accessible within two miles, either direction, who saw my dad through his final illness, mom visits on a nearly daily basis now at age 95.

Before: back to my former home and the pickup. The door was cracked open! My companion was warning and mortified as I went in to see what changes had been made by the buyer who resold it at huge profit to a scientist from halfway across the globe. Knowing from former neighbors that the man had just begun to move in but was at work all day. I decided to have a peek. I mean it was shrouded by bike path tress along the road at least 100 feet distant.I assure you.

I discovered with certainty “you can’t go home again.” The home charm had departed and a structural house shell remained. Rooms had been eliminated starting with the entrance sunporch with windows on three side, high ceilings that had accommodated the tallest Christmas trees, even ceiling skylights , so hard to clean or pull tricky shades with hooked, long poles. What else?

It was basically a white shoebox within. The new owner had placed suitcases, travel bags, a few grocery bags along what had been the multi-paned dining room window, no furniture yet. Were the rhododendrons restored after a heavy ice storm per my reading of those leveled in England, cut to ground by a successful post-WWII army of gardeners’ own blitz? I couldn’t bear to look out either wide window, dining nor living room to the front, lest I see that bleeding hearts, too, were staunched.

Opposite that front wall was a trendy sliding barn door I opened to two master suites on either side of a long hallway. Jutting out to the living room side ell, the French doors remained, though a wood burning stove, its brick dais below, and display brick wall and shelf behind did not.

Outside those doors, the charming deck with overhead trellis beams and built- in benches and nooks created behind seating, the site of many gatherings , particularly for Easter egg hunts for up to 60 with families…gone. A blank large concrete slab covered that area from house wall outwards, and only a covered round smallish hot tub offset midway on a smaller slab provided yard decor. Surrounding fragrant mature, tall lilac bushes had been surrendered fornthat hot tub spot I had once pruned annually, filling the house with lush fragrance. Gone! as was the raised annual garden the lilacs guarded from deer feasts between them and the deck.

Remaining: a clear view of a middling lawn surrounded at far end by renegade shrubbery, unpruned for years. Still at side border of property, beyond a line of shrubs that bloomed in vernal sequence was a credible view of tall trees guarding that neighbor’s 8-10 foot stacks: five years of firewood adequate for their wood burning furnace, grace of nearby retired grandpa who delivered trailer loads, tree cutting his hobby in retirement. A hot tub with a forest view, alive yet no longer charmed by a long perennial garden leading to our neighborly pass-through. A few brave asparagus plants gone to seed remained near the deeply buried bones of the cat who chose his spot after goodbyes from neighboring children ( and parents) passing with me petting him to the music of The Lion King Broadway version, mewing faintly whenever the disliked Disney version came on.

Occasionally I am overwhelmed by the effects on my body of postpolio sequalae of almost 20 years now, 20 more if I live long as did my forebears. The struggle to get even a single bulb or plant into the ground without jostling my uncooperative limbs…or potential dislocation. Or reprimands for unsettling soil, tho my plantings from my home to my parents were years are ‘ grandmothered ‘ in prior to ” flowerpots only” bylaws.

So I then garden- grub on the deck rail-hugger pots as I will today. It looks out over a channel (which I disrespect by calling it a ditch) where we –my husband of a year- plus–have identified more than 20 species of life, mostly the 3 dozen ducks who live much of the year here. He is an excellent photographer who has caught most of them in close-up from fish in water passing from nearby Grand River to a small lake to spawn, or a baby beaver, to a pair of hummingbirds capture digitally in mid-flight, their wings stilled.

There is an interesting placement of twin ponds with fountains across the ‘ditch’ at the care cottages of another condo village. Nothing floral nearing what I recall. In gloomy days which can multiply in cloudy West Michigan, I can now get downstairs to the big, yet cozy library my dad created during their two decades living here. There, next to a left-behind lounge chair, is my remaining photo scrapbook stash of My Secret Garden photospheres, others gone to my children and a brother who evolved to become the family archivist with a same-age cousin who shares his interest. Lou, hubby, photographed all pages before I parted with them, so a photo stick contains memories of. 35 years of family life, while two books do not require computer use for my fondest memories of life journeys moved on.

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Posted by on September 29, 2018 in Uncategorized


A 3/4 Heart in Time

Where did all the love for

Me originate? There’s always more!

Our hasty marriage after so few months known

We both had imagined living alone

Soured relationships, so much hurt,

We came together cautious, alert.

Our full year passed

It may not be the last! Next

Cardio appointment six months hence

Not daily, weekly, monthly…whence?

Decreased meds to be glad for

Reduce his daily zombie stupor

My Vitruvian Man whose heart is quarter-dead

Caresses me daily with cherishing words said

He ought not be loving me in his caretaker role

But in it he’s strong of heart, spirit, soul

As I face surgery # 25

Mirabile visu we both are alive

I suspect God saw health-hopelessness, pain,

Then winked for us to meet, try again

For however long, no one can know—

Lives might end in sleep or adagio

Whatever the pace or meter, our time

Promises journeys to reunion eternal, sublime.

July 21, 2018, NAV


Posted by on July 24, 2018 in LouLove



My husband thought I meant with him when
I used that four-letter word I’d forbade my children
“Bore”– I meant that the calendar was filled
Constant medico appointments for my many ills

Mine increased to 3 majors last week
1) Mid-year mark of foot rebuilt foot, nowhere near peak
2) Cataracts healing though weeks of eyedrops to go
3) B A D hip dislocation,scissored as I sat, doncha know!

Bored with him? Never! tho he’s so left-brained fixit
I try to learn, but my word nerd brain nixes it.
Now I truly believe in a laughing God
Who brought us together, two-gether as one bod.

June 22, 2018


Posted by on June 23, 2018 in Uncategorized


22nd on 22th

Never predicted I’d reach twenty-two

Surgeries, till I could not fit nor walk in a shoe

Cannot bear weight now surgery’s through

Forty years of spraining right ankle

Vanity excluded growth to a “cankle”

Turns out there was more going on, making it sore

Foot bone grown into tibia, pain when foot hit floor

All tendons loosed, had to be lassoed

Between x-rays and surgery two months passed: how rude

Doc got to fish out new bone chips, serves him right

Overbooked patients did not my ambulation delight!

Winter 2017 NAV

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Posted by on May 9, 2018 in Honeymooners