Tag Archive | family

Exotic Places to Live

As she approached I remembered her daughter had lived in Asia.  Probably prompted by my daughter’s potential adventure.  I asked how her daughter was doing.  She brightened and answered, “Oh she’s doing great!  She’s married and lives in Seattle now.  Now my son lives in Amsterdam and I got to visit him.”

It wasn’t one-upmanship, really.  The thought strolled into my mind unbidden and unspoken.  Filling my heart with joy.  “My son lives in heaven and when I go to see him it will be to stay.”

 

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Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

Welcomed to more rural lands,

By the acrid scent of a distant fire,

An afternoon of time travel,

Back into history,

Off the asphalt path,

Deeper into the aging forest,

Near to the heart of the mountain.

The conductor calls all to attention,

With the shrill, singing tune of the train whistle blown,

And the warning clang of the bell,

Startled children clap their hands over their ears,

And respond with shrill cries of their own.

Moving slowly along the track

Swaying to the clickity clack

Past drying ponds and river beds,

Beaver dams and old homesteads,

A parent relates beaver tales,

Kid’s revel in the rhythm of the rails,

They conduct an invisible symphony,

Then the train slows for all to see,

Majesty.

Mount  Rainier looms large before us,

Balding.  Snowy white has

Given way to granite gray,

Pictures are snapped in rapid fire,

Comments on the mount’s attire

Or lack thereof.

We pick up the pace to the old logging camp,

Through lush forest dark and damp,

Sunlight filters through stately trees,

On shimmering waves

Of clean, cool air,

Hiding ghosts living in there,

Exposing verdant ferns.

Locomotives and cranes are quiet and tall,

The logging camp buildings are neat and small,

It wasn’t calm like this at all,

100 years ago.

Sound of the warning whistle calls us back,

The clanging bell calls out the “all-aboard,”

Squeaking, thumping, skins of metal scrape,

Creating friction with the swaying of the cars,

Children of good conduct sleep,

On the shoulders of their parents,

Too tired to utter as much as a peep,

As the unique tune of the train whistle wails out its warning,

When we cross the asphalt highway,

And the steam of 1,000 pressure cookers

Carries us back to present day.

Sherry Bibb, 8/22/15

Molasses

SBPC - WIN_20140423_172635 (2)

I baked cornbread yesterday
The warm chewy, crumbly goodness
A delight to my carbs-deprived lips
A sudden hunger for something else
I haven’t had in a long time.
Does anyone even use the phrase
“Slower than molasses
In the wintertime”
Anymore?
I pulled the molasses
Out of my pantry
And drizzled some
On my cornbread
The heavy, earthy sweetness
Floods my mouth with flavor
And my mind with
Long forgotten memories
And stories
Of my great-grandmother
Born before 1910
I’m not sure exactly when,
I don’t think she was either.
Amazing!
To not know your birthdate
To not lock your house
To be married at age 14
She shared the scandalous
Tale of her teenage years–
She once rode a horse
Straddle instead of side-saddle!
Maybe it was more than once.
She belonged to a different era
She was a gentle soul,
Sweet and simple, fragile yet sturdy.
She was widowed at age 55
She lived as a widow
Longer than she had been married
She never cut her hair
Because her husband liked it long.
She told me about
Making sorghum molasses
A process similar to
Making maple syrup
There was a wistfulness
In the way she said
“Sorghum molasses”
Like she was remembering
So much more
And so it reminds me of her-
Belonging to a different era
A poor man’s honey
Sweet yet strong
Delicate and down to earth
More complex and rich
Than I first thought.