The Baby Is Coming!|NaPoWriMo Day 18

The baby is coming!
The baby is coming!

What do we do?
Where do we go?
Did you grab my bag?
My hair is a mess!

The baby is coming!
The baby is coming!

I have one brown sandal on
and one black one,
oh well, let’s go,
no one will look at your feet!

The baby is coming!
The baby is coming!

Why did I wait so long
to wake you up
so we could go?

Honey, it’s ok, really,
I didn’t mean to yell
at you! It just hurts!

The baby is coming!
The baby is coming!

The troops have
been rallied.
They’re in the waiting room.
Even Daddy came to
wait and see,
his little grandchild to be.

The baby is coming!
The baby is coming!

Oh, my body grows weak,
we’re trying so hard
to work as a team,
but twenty four hours
of laboring on,
seems sort of like a
bad dream.

The baby is coming!
The baby is coming!

The time has finally arrived!
Hallelujah!
It’s a boy!
What did you say
he weighed?
Nine pounds, five ounces.
Oh my! He’s huge!

The baby is here!
The baby is here!

Mother and babe are fine.
Now comes the hard part,
when we take him home,
for he has truly
stolen our hearts.

I pray that we raise him,
faithful and true,
gentle and strong,
don’t you?

The baby is here!
The baby is here!

As soon as I wake up well,
I promise I’ll give a loud cheer!

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/20/15

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And now for our (as always, optional) prompt, which takes us from 2015 back to the 1700s. After all, it’s the eighteenth of April, which means that today is the 240th anniversary of the midnight ride of Paul Revere! Today, in keeping with the theme of rush and warning, I challenge you to write a poem that involves an urgent journey and an important message. It could historical, mythical, entirely fictional, or memoir-ical.

Haiku Mood|NaPoWriMo Day 16

Fibromyalgia Fun and Pain, A Haiku

Yesterday was fun.
Physical therapy fun.
This morning, great pain.

Colorado Spring, A Haiku

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This is me and Daddy in the Spring of my life. I was 8 months old. He was 48 years old. 

Sun was shining bright.
Flowers and trees bloom.
Now, wind blows in cold and snow.

Family Tree Changing, A Haiku

Old limbs fell in wind.
We are old limbs now.
Are we strong enough to love?

Grief Brings Wisdom, A Haiku

Elders teach us life.
While young, we won’t hear.
Grief brings wise enlightenment.

Pleasure of Love, A Haiku

Lips touch, passion born.
Love comes, pleasure blooms.
Age gives us warm simple love.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/16/15


This is Milo, my first grandchild, who is about 8 weeks old in this picture. I’m 53.  I so look forward to watching this little guy grow up and see what his generation will be like!


I awoke very early this morning (3:00 AM) in significant physical pain and with some grief as well. Mother’s last sibling died over the weekend so the “older” generation of my family are all gone now and it dawned on me that now I am in a member of the new “older” generation. This generated lots of thoughts and feelings regarding the seasons, both in nature and in human maturity. I feel I’m in my Autumn season. It’s a shocking revelation. Anyway, I was in the mood to write simple, brief haikus about all this. I love haikus. They pare my many words down to what I really want to say. Peace and love to all of you today, Elaine

Money and Henry the Rooster–NaPoWriMo Day 7

Money. Simple money.
Figures on a bank app
show we have enough.
Enough to pay our bills,
buy our food, and even,
fortunately, and thank God,
enough to share with others.

Are we rich? No.
Put us on an American class scale
and we’d tilt the scales to
middle middle class.
Not rich.
Not poor.
But somewhere in the middle.
Richer than I ever thought I’d
be on that scale, for sure.

However, money isn’t valuable.
See this rooster?

Henry the Rooster is valuable.
He has been in our family
since I was 3 years old when I
first saw him on the shelf at the
Gold Bond Stamp store.

It was my parents’ 30th anniversary
and my sister, Judy, and I were
looking for a gift for our parents.
She found useful things like
pretty drinking glasses with gold rims.
I found Henry. Henry was meant
for Mother and Daddy to celebrate
their 30 years as wife and husband.
I was sure of it and rather stubbornly
stomped my foot over him
in the Stamp Store.

Judy acquiesced to her stubborn
baby sister and we went home
that day with drinking glasses
and Henry.

My parents made much of him,
said he was just perfect.
He was then placed,
and lived for years, in a place of
honor and safety on top
of our icebox.

I grew up.
My parents grew very old, and
then slipped away to heaven.
Through it all, Henry
remained at his post loyally,
never getting broken,
always there to gaily
remind us of the great love
of two people who married,
had five children,
and stayed together until
death parted them after
66 years of marriage.

If my house caught fire today,
Would I grab jewelry?
Money? Stocks?
Photo albums? Heck no!

No, I would grab,
Henry the Rooster,
and Buddy, my little dog,
the two most valuable
possessions in my whole house.

One reminds me of my past.
One holds me steadfastly
in my present, so that
someday we’ll all be
together in the future:

Henry the now antique Rooster,
Buddy my Chihuahua, Alan my husband,
and me, the richest woman on earth
because all of my valued possessions
remind me of LOVE, the most valuable
thing on earth.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/7/15

Watching Cars and Stars

Sitting on the front porch

with Daddy in the summer twilight,

was always one of my favorite times.

He’d smoke a couple of unfiltered

Camel cigarettes and I would watch

in fascination as the blue smoke

curled its way upward into the almost

twinkly sky.

We lived on the corner of a street

where cars drove by with fair frequency.

We played “slug bug” where if we saw a

VW Beetle, we would “slug” each other.

Our slugs were actually not slugs though.

They were more like pats on the back.

Daddy always let me win, but when you’re

only five years old, you don’t see that.

As the twilight deepened and the stars

came out in all their beautiful glory,

we would turn our gazes from cars to stars.

Daddy would point out the North Star,

the Big Dipper, the Little Dipper, and

other constellations every time.

His hand would draw the lines so I could

see the constellations clearly.

I would giggle and say I saw every single one.

I never did though. Ok, I saw the North Star.

The rest?  I just said I did because I loved

spending time with Daddy and listening to his

quiet, sure voice in the darkness.

I loved him so much that I listened for hours,

over the rest of his lifetime, to explanations

on how car engines worked, highways were built,

how he performed soil samples on those highway projects,

or how life was when he was a cotton farmer.

A little, bitty girl and her middle-aged dad,

sitting on the porch,

watching cars and stars,

and building a life of security, fun,

knowledge and, most of all, love.

©Elaine Wood-Lane

4/2/15

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Catching Up With Myself

(I started writing this on March 12.)
One thing that many people don’t know or understand about fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome is that often the people diagnosed with the syndrome appear to have normal, even very high activity levels. From the outside, everything seems status quo, even to the person who has fibromyalgia. Often, I’ll find myself thinking, “Oh good grief! There is nothing wrong with me that a good swift kick in the pants won’t take straighten out! I can do anything I set my mind to do.”

This week I have been in my hometown and area meeting my new grandson, little, sweet adorable Milo (no, I don’t care for this baby at all). I’ve also been spending time with Milo’s parents, other grandparents, family, and dear friends. The weather has been beautiful, the drives across my beloved plains have been inspirational, and overall life has truly been beautiful. I mean, how could you not be happy and energetic with moments like this?

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Or this?

Then comes Thursday afternoon and suddenly the bottom drops out. Your left big toe starts hurting like it is on fire. Your elbows get hot. You hips decide they want to feel like you’ve been practicing for the grand finals of Rumba dancing, and you realize you are sinking fast. You know you can make it to the next place you’re going (my sister Judy’s house), but you’re not very sure you’ll be coherent when you get there. The blessing of having a sister like Judy is she rarely thinks you’re coherent anyway so she doesn’t care or particularly notice that you acting “weirder” than normal. I tried to set up a printer for her, but since she doesn’t have wifi, it didn’t work.

(Wrote this today, Sunday, March 22)
Suddenly, I knew I had hit my limit. I told her I had to go, gave rather incoherent goodbyes, hugged her and her sweet fellow Palmer fumbling hugs, and drove away to my friends’ house where I was staying. Buddy and I managed to stumble to the bed, where I started writing this post, but somehow I fell flat asleep (for four hours) in the middle. So, now I’m completing this post a week and some days later. I ended up getting quite ill with a sinus infection and exhaustion. My drive back to Colorado Springs was gruesome to say the least. Every cell in my body hurt. At every town I wondered if I should stop and stay the night. I kept pressing onward, however, one town at a time. I finally made it home and was never so glad in my life to sit in my green recliner and just…be. I stayed there practically all week, taking antibiotics and regaining my strength and obeying my body’s commands on how best to take care of myself. That’s the thing with fibromyalgia. You have to listen to your body and respond accordingly. If you do that, you’ll be ok. If you don’t, and you push too hard, your body says, “Nope, you’re done for a while kid. You’re going to sleep now.” I have to admit, my body is smarter than I am sometimes. 😉 You know, though, given the same chance, I’d do it all over again just to be with my grandson. That grandmotherly love kicks in and is completely irresistible. Holding my baby grandson is worth any pain or exhaustion.

He’s sleeping with the blanket I crocheted for him. I think this is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen in my life.

I hope everyone has a great week!

Peace and love,
Elaine

MILO

I want the whole world to know I am now a Grandmama!!

Milo was born yesterday afternoon, 1/24/15, at 4:04 in the afternoon in Aurora, IL. He weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. Mama, Papa, and baby are all doing well, although little Milo did put his mother through a long and arduous labor.

Grandmama Lane, who had anxiously been “nesting” at home and awaiting news of progress of the labor and delivery yesterday, had this to say when she finally received the call that her grandson had been born, “Oh! It’s a boy!! Is he ok? Is Erin ok? I’m SO excited!” and then proceeded to do the happy dance right in the middle of the living room floor and in front of God and everybody. Grandpapa Lane was quoted as saying, “So it’s a boy! Are Erin and the baby both doing well? Oh, good grief, Dee, quit that!! You’re going to hurt yourself!!” Needless to say, Grandmama and Grandpapa Lane are very proud of the new addition to the family!

Of course, being the sentimental poet that I am, had to write a poem after I slept long through the night to recover from my happy dancing.

MILO

Milo,
one new little human.
Another branch on
a large family tree
that has been battered,
riven, grafted, and
survived to put on
new branches and
leaves of love.

Milo,
a four letter word
attached to a precious,
new little boy
who made me a
grandmother.

Milo,
a new sweet,
tender spot of love
that instantly grew
in my heart forever.

Milo,
a little boy who
I hope will call me,
“Grandmama,”
in that sweet little
boy way that
melts hearts.

Milo,
a new son who
gave my son a
completely new
gentle, mature, proud,
tone of voice instantly.

Milo,
I can’t wait to
meet you and
hold your little
body in the same
arms I held your
dad in when he
was brand new too.

Milo,
a name that will
always equal
LOVE to
all of us.

Milo,
we thank God
for the blessing
of you.

©D. Elaine Wood-Lane
1/24/15

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Come on Baby! Let’s Get Started!

My daughter-in-law is in the last days of her pregnancy. As we all wait with excited anticipation for the birth of her and my eldest son’s first baby, I have been drawn back in time to remembering those last days of my pregnancy with my son. As any woman who has been in those last days of pregnancy knows, they are full of a combination of growing discomfort, nervous excitement, a strong wish to get the birth over with, and, for a first time mother, a little bit of fear of the as yet unknown travails of labor and delivery. I remember mostly sleepless nights because there is no comfortable position to lay when one is big with baby. For me, heartburn raged, my back constantly ached, and the only way I could truly lay down and still breathe was semi-curled up on my left side like a beached whale. If I did happen to drift off to sleep, I was soon awakened by toe-curling leg cramps that could only be alleviated by lumbering out of bed and walking the charlie horses out. If leg cramps didn’t wake me up from my light, uncomfortable sleep, then the urgent need to empty my squashed bladder did. Fun times for sure! Yet, still, there was the almost constantly held breath of waiting for labor to begin.

101 years ago today my paternal grandmother, Maud Lee Spence Wood, was in the same expectant position, awaiting the birth of her third child, my father. However, where I and my daughter-in-law waited/wait in comfortable apartments with soft carpets, tight walls, running water, electricity, and central heat, in a modern city of thousands, my grandmother waited in a wooden house on the southern end of the great plains. The house had been built by her husband, George Washington Wood, after they arrived in Lubbock County, Texas in a covered wagon a few months earlier in October, 1913. They traveled 350+ miles from Dallas County to Lubbock County in that wagon with their first two children, Harrel D. and Jewel, and all their worldly goods. I’ve often tried to imagine what that trip was like for my grandmother, and, quite frankly, I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around it.

Now, here they were, 101 years ago today, waiting for their third child. I don’t know anything about my dad’s birth other than that it occurred at home in that little house on the prairie, hopefully assisted by a doctor or at least a midwife. Daddy arrived on January 23, 1914 and wasn’t named L.D. Wood until six weeks (months?) later because George and Maud couldn’t agree on a name for him! This was how Daddy’s long, full life began. He lived to be just shy of 93 years old and the world changed drastically in those years.

As we wait for Baby Cooley now, L.D. Wood’s great-grandchild, I can’t help but wonder what their life will be like and how the world will change in their lifetime. In three generations, the world has been transformed from wagons, rudimentary Ford Model T cars or trains for transportation, letters or telegrams for communication, primarily lanterns for light, wood stoves for heat and cooking, and no indoor plumbing to fast, computerized cars, trains, buses, and airplanes for transportation, 24/7 instant communication via high speed internet and cell phones, electricity (provided by a variety of energy sources), indoor plumbing and central heat and air. Our modern hospitals are prepared for any health needs or emergencies, including labor and delivery.

My grandfather died of pneumonia contracted while sick with the Spanish Influenza in 1920 at the age of 42. There were no antibiotics to treat pneumonia or anything else yet. My father lived 93 years and died of Alzheimer’s and old age, essentially. How long will Baby Cooley live? 100 years? 120 years? That’s not as improbable as one might think given the progress of modern medicine.

Regardless, as we await Baby Cooley’s entrance into this world, my constant, grandmotherly prayer is that the birth will be easy and uneventful for my lovely daughter-in-law, that Baby Cooley will be healthy and strong, and that they will live a life as long, full of grand adventures, and happy as their great-grandpa Wood’s. Come on baby! Let’s get started!! We’re all waiting!

Elaine

Missing Mother

It has been 14 years today since Mother passed away and I still miss her. Actually, the longer time goes on and the older I get, the more I understand her better and miss her. I wish I could apologize for some of the things I thought and said to her.

She was older than all my friends’ moms and a lot more outspoken than most and that embarrassed me dreadfully as a shy, quiet little girl. Now, I realize she loved her family fiercely and wasn’t afraid to be herself. She did talk a lot and revealed confidences that I wished to keep secret, but now I can see how insignificant most of my secrets were and why she ended up telling them. For that matter, I find myself doing the same thing sometimes with my sons. I have started to recognize, over the last five years or so, a look my sons and daughter-in-law get when they wished I would just hush! ;-). How many times, over the years with Mother, did I have the same expression and thought towards her? And this towards the woman who literally risked her life to have me when she was 45 years old?! I’m ashamed of myself, I am!

Mother was a lively, passionate, possessive, protective, loving wife and mother. She did so many good things for me over the years and I wasn’t grateful enough then. Now I am grateful beyond measure and I can’t tell her face to face. I only hope that she knows somehow anyway or that I get to tell her in heaven someday. I’m grateful for Mother’s spunk and fierce love. Honestly, if I were more like her, that would please me greatly! So…if you still have your mother and you love and appreciate her, please don’t wait too long to let her know. Mother knew I loved her, but I wish I had been more understanding and grateful for her when I had her here.

Monday Morning Haiku

Train whistle blowing.
Sun is mistily glowing.
Leaf drifts down from tree.
EWL 9.8.14

This is the last of my official gratitude lists. I’m three days behind on sharing these, but that makes them no less true or important to me. I am extremely grateful for all of these things:

1. A feeling of fall in the air with the sun moving to its autumnal position and the air cooling considerably more at night. I love waking up on fall mornings. The light of a fall morning is truly spectacular..
2. Good writers and good writing. I’ve been reading a lot lately and am always so grateful when I find a good writer to read. I’ve been reading old Christian romance novels (Grace Livingston Hill), Victor Frankl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Malala Yousafza’s “I Am Malala,” a book on Quaker holy silence, and poetry of all kinds, but especially a book of Haiku I bought recently.
3. Haiku poetry. I love truly good haiku poetry. They are so simple, but communicate with such grace and beauty. I write haiku poetry, but in no way consider myself a master of the form.
4. Sunnyside Christian Church. I love going there to worship God on Sunday mornings. I enjoy worshipping God on all mornings, but there is something special about gathering with others to worship God together and remembering Jesus’ sacrifice through communion.
5. Good friends, both old and new. People become friends through shared experiences and love. Most of my best friends are ones with whom I have shared both joys and tragedies, laughter and tears.
6. The new chance I get every single morning to be a better person than I was the day before and to follow God’s path of love. God’s love is steadfast and never ceases. It is new every morning!
7. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. That is all I’ll say about that, but I couldn’t even begin this list without it every morning.
8. My wonderful, loving, thoughtful husband, Alan, who is so good to me. I love the fact that we can just look at each other sometimes and laugh together. I love the fact that, though we don’t live in each other’s pockets, we do enjoy just being around each other.
9. My wonderful, loving, gracious, merciful God my Father, Jesus my savior, and the Holy Spirit within me. I would truly be lost without them.

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The Family Rings

Have you ever started to write a story or tell a story and somehow it seems to fall flat? Maybe I was trying too hard.  I wanted to write  about when Grandma Gill gave me her mother’s ring.

Long story short (since I failed at the long story),  Grandma decided on one of our weekly Sunday afternoon visits that she wanted to distribute some of her things. This was in the summer of 1976.  Grandma was about 80 at the time.  I was 15, but still felt like a little girl when I was around my grandma.  Grandma was failing in health and mind and I guess she decided it was time. The first thing she took out was her jewelry box and out of that she withdrew her mother’s ring. She asked which of her daughters would like it. All four of them, Mary, Inez (my mother), Evelyn, and Doris were there. All of them were appalled Grandma was trying to give away her jewelry, especially her mother’s ring and all refused to take it! This hurt Grandma’s feelings mightily. She turned to me and asked me if I would like it. Seeing how hurt she was and feeling honored that she offered it to me, I told her I would love to have it if no one else wanted it. Mother was appalled because she thought it made me look “grabby.” Nonetheless, Grandma was delighted and put the ring on my finger. It was much too large and still is, but I love it and cherish it because it was Grandma Gill’s. I loved her dearly.

I also have a ring that was my second cousin, Cassie Price’s, ring. She never married and was like an aunt to me. When she passed away in her 80’s, her brother and his wife told me Cassie wanted me to have some jewelry of hers. I was one of the few people in the family with fingers as small as Cassie’s were, so I was given this lovely ruby ring, which I wear often.  I treasure it because I remember seeing Cassie wear it frequently. She was a lovely person. I only wish I could be as elegant as Cassie. She was the true definition of a refined lady.  I’m the true definition of a Texas tomboy I think!  (Please forgive this awful picture.  Not my prettiest hand shot, but an honest one.  When you work your hands as hard as I do, they tend to age quickly.)  

Family Rings

And now you know the story of two of the family rings!  There are other rings with more history, but those stories will be told another day.  I think I’ve blabbed on long enough for anyone!  Hug someone tonight and have a great evening!