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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Carolina wren carries food to her babies.

Sitting on the back porch at the lake, we noticed a small bird coming and going, in and out of the flower pot of red vinca.

“I wonder if there’s a nest in there,” said Mom while sipping her morning coffee. “When I watered it yesterday, I noticed a big hole, but I didn’t think anything of it.”

A little while later when I didn’t see the adult bird around, I peeked into the pot.  When I moved a stem of the flower, I saw movement and then three wide-open yellow beaks, hoping I had a juicy insect to drop in.

With excitement, I ran inside to announce to everyone that there indeed was a nest and there were baby chicks in it.

Last summer on my yearly visit we watched goslings of a Canada Geese couple.

My visits to the lake are spent hanging out on the back porch talking with my family.  Nature moves around us every day, and we never seem to have the time to really pay attention.  This nest of Carolina wrens (it took some internet research, a bird book, and consulting a bird expert to know what kind they were) entertained us and helped us focus on what’s really important: life, love, and family nesting.

Can you see the mama bird? Babies are right underneath.

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Slice of a Swing

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

Join the Two Writing Teachers blog for the Slice of Life Challenge.

girls-on-swing-in-1997

My three daughters lined up on the swing with Isabel, our weenie dog, and Sammy, the three-legged cat, on the first day of school.  My husband built the swing of heavy cypress, and it hung in the breezeway between the house and the carport.  The picture was taken in 1997 and took some time for me to find.  (I got lost in the trip down memory lane through albums of photos.)  I remembered that we took the first day of school picture every year on this cypress swing outside our back door.  Digging through the photos, I only found two.  The second one was taken in 1998, and Maggie had outgrown first-day-of-school photos, so it was only the younger two. (And Izzy and Sammy, of course)

clean-sanded-swing

Fast forward almost 20 years.  The swing has been sitting in our carport ever since we moved to this house 12 years ago.  We’ve just never found the right spot for it.  Our cats have enjoyed finding a dry spot to hang out, and we’ve used it to hold various things that tend to land in a carport.  It gathered dirt and leaves while the paint peeled.

painting-swing

A few weeks ago, our oldest daughter bought a house with her boyfriend.  They are engaged to be married this spring.  Their new house has a nice front porch just begging for a cypress swing.  So Jeff spent a few weekends cleaning, sanding, and painting the infamous swing.

swing-in-truck

On Sunday, we loaded it into his truck to deliver to its new home.

To me, this is a right of passage, of sorts.  The next generation is making their way into this world.  The swing has many more years left in it.  Solid, strong, and safe… like our family.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Morning walk in the park, a great egret in Devil's Pond.

Morning walk in the park, a great egret in Devil’s Pond.

My house is full: three daughters, one fiancé, one sister, one brother-in-law, one niece, one nephew, two dogs, three cats.

My fridge is full: turkey, dressing, sweet potato casserole, macaroni and cheese, Brussels sprouts, salad, pumpkin cake, and a big pot of gumbo.

My heart is full: card games, laughter, stories, tiny hats, satsuma rum, dog hugs, cooking, cleaning, Venti latte, “whose phone is this?”, laughing, hugs, smiles, photos, swinging on the rope, harvesting satsumas, canoeing on the bayou.

I celebrate this wonderful full house that fills my heart with health, love, and peace.

My nephew Jack climbs into the satsuma tree to harvest.

My nephew Jack climbs into the satsuma tree to harvest.

My son-in-law-to-be learns the way to my heart is with coffee from Starbucks.

My son-in-law-to-be learns the way to my heart is with coffee from Starbucks.

Sisters enjoy the feast.

Sisters enjoy the feast.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

I have a new best friend. We met on the Internet through blogging, linking up each week with the Two Writing Teachers blog. We met face to face for the first time at NCTE in the fall. So when she told me she was coming to New Orleans to visit colleges with her daughter, I jumped at the chance to get together. Julianne Harmatz, her daughter Claire, and I spent the day together on Tuesday. I showed her some of my favorite things about NOLA, The Quarter, beignets at Cafe Du Monde, and Pim’s Cup at The Napoleon House. Julianne and I talked nonstop. At one point we were discussing birthdays and guess what!? We have the same birthday! I screamed, “Soul sisters!” I celebrate friendship.

With Julianne in Jackson Square

With Julianne in Jackson Square

On Wednesday I drove home to Mississippi to be with my sister and her kids to celebrate our mother’s birthday. All of us (brother included) went out to a nice restaurant for lunch together. Much talking, laughter, and fun. Here’s Mom with her Crème brûlée desert.

MomBday

My brother, Hunter Gibson, is a musician. He was featured in The Clarion-Ledger this week. Friday night many of us gathered to hear him play and sing. Jack, my 10 year old nephew, and I made origami with dollar bills for the tip jar. Jack made an elephant and I made a guitar. I celebrate creating with Jack and in giving to Hunter.

origami guitar

The sunsets are glorious here at the lake. I celebrate being with family, watching wildlife, and reconnecting with friends old and new.

June sunset on the lake

June sunset on the lake

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Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Join the Spiritual Thursday round up at Reading, Teaching, Learning.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Use this button created by Leigh Anne Eck to post your Digital Poetry this month.

Holly Mueller leads us to spiritual reflection each week. This week the theme is family. I didn’t think I could write a poem about family without being trite or cliché. Sometimes cliché just happens, and this is one of those times.

Family is a full cup
overflowing
with nourishing water
a twist of lemon.

Family is a dog,
four cats,
an occasional frog.

Family is photo albums
in the antique armoire
saving the years.

Family is a favorite restaurant
where they know your name.

Family is a daily text,
Facetime, calling Bluetooth,
feeling close together
while far apart
knowing there is no place like home
and no friend like family.

–Margaret Simon

Last night I happened upon a Twitter chat for #TCRWP. Someone mentioned using PicLit, so in the spirit of digital poetry, I tried it out. The first picture that came up was the Bean in Chicago where we have posed a few family pictures. The word family was not listed, so I used people instead.

PicLit from PicLits.com
See the full PicLit at PicLits.com

And here a family Bean photo with haiku using Picmonkey.

Bean family reflection

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SOL #28

SOL #28

Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Tulips from the grocery store.  A gift for my mom.

Tulips from the grocery store. A gift for my mom.

I am at home. My parents are surrounding me and my friend, Cathy, with love, kindness, and laughter. I love seeing my parents through her eyes. We are eating breakfast this morning having lively conversation about personality types and stories. The stories! I hear stories again that I have heard before, but with my friend, the stories have new meaning. I am celebrating friendship and family.

Last night we ventured out to an oyster bar to hear my brother’s band play. What live music does for the heart and soul should be celebrated. One of his band members, Monty, has been playing with him for 36 years. I celebrate my brother, his music, and Monty.

My brother Hunter, me, and Monty, his longtime friend and bass player.

My brother Hunter, me, and Monty, his longtime friend and bass player.

Cathy and I are in Jackson for the Sweet Potato Queens weekend. The theme this year is Braveheart, so we wore plaid tutus to the Big Hat Brunch. Cathy made the skirts as well as our hats which reflect our own personal theme of “birds of a feather.” I celebrate Berry Queens, friendship, and Cathy’s creativity.

Me with Cathy in our Berry Queen finery and big hats

Me with Cathy in our Berry Queen finery and big hats

View of the lake from an upstairs window.

View of the lake from an upstairs window.

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Discover. Play. Build.

Ruth Ayres invites us the celebrate each week. Click over to her site Discover. Play. Build. to read more celebrations.

Jack interviews Martha via Google Hangout.

Jack interviews Martha via Google Hangout.


My nephew Jack, a nine-year-old 4th grader, had a class assignment this holiday to interview his hero. He chose my youngest daughter Martha. Martha is a social worker in Chicago and couldn’t be with us for Thanksgiving. (She is coming home for Christmas! Yay!) I had the privilege of listening in on his conversation with her in a Google Hangout. He had a list of 9 questions.

Martha is a Community Support Specialist with Thresholds, a nonprofit organization that works with the those living with mental illness. What struck me most about the interview were her convictions about being a good listener and giving voice to people who have been silenced through society. She spoke with understanding and respect for her clients.

Being Martha’s mother and she being my baby, I haven’t really appreciated her selflessness. As she was growing up, she was the quiet one. She was always well behaved. She did well in school. When she decided to go to Chicago, I worried. I worried about stupid things like will she be warm enough and how will she navigate such a large place. I didn’t tune in the significance of her work. During Jack’s interview, I saw her differently. I saw her as his hero. I saw her as an advocate for the lonely, the homeless, the mentally ill. She became my hero.

Today, I celebrate my daughter. I celebrate special time with my family. I celebrate heroes.

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