Saturday, December 31, 2016

My Advice to Me

Take a deep breath.
Let it out, and pause.
Smile with your whole face,
just because.
Watch a movie and cry.
Root for the good guy.
Scream and shout and cheer.

Instead of gazing at the moon,
watch the sun rise.
Maybe Benjamin Franklin
gave good advice.
"Early to bed, early to rise..."
This year I'd like to be
healthy, wealthy, and wise.

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Saturday, December 10, 2016

It’s December.
Christmas is approaching.
School will be out for two weeks.
Presents must be bought,
the tree put up,
cookies baked,
and decorate.
I have an extra granddaughter,
a package deal,
her and her dad,
who married my daughter,
and my new grandson
needs a ‘First Christmas’ ornament.
I lost my dad in October.
It’s a bittersweet holiday
with new people to celebrate,
and old memories to commiserate.

by: Paula D. Nevison

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Dad’s List

When I was young,
my dad would talk about retiring,
how he wanted to sit on the front porch
and watch the cars the drive by.
I thought that wasn’t much of a goal,
and a waste of time.
As I reflect on what dad said,
I don’t think he could have
just sat, and watched.
He always had a list,
made new everyday,
of all the things he had to fix.
It was categorized in A, B, C importance.
Then numbered in 1, 2, 3 order.
Anything he didn’t finish
got moved to the next day’s list.
He was a doer, not a sitter.
When he had spare time,
he would go for a walk.
He kept himself busy,
usually with the list
that included more than just his things to fix.
He helped his kids,
his neighbors, and friends.
He helped until he couldn’t see and couldn’t stand.
He refinished, reupholstered,
framed, carved, rewired,
sanded, stained, etched, drew
plans again for something new.
He fixed the old and falling apart.
He built new, like a piece of art.
No, I don’t think my dad would have ever just sat.
I think that list was where he was at.

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Jack Mosher Plantin

There were many ways he shared all the gifts he knew
He was always a giver, a father figure,
Project man, loved to work with his hands
Church goer and prayer, smile maker
Wood worker, coffee drinker
Daily walker, dish washer
He was gentle and kind, never did mind
Generous in every way – tried to be every day
Believed in all big or small
Kind and true he will always love you!
by:  Jennifer Stenberg

My sister wrote this poem about our dad. I think she did a great job describing him. He was 75 when he died on October 12, 2016. So, she wrote a 75 word poem. She was nice enough to give me permission to share it on my blog. Thank you Jennifer. She was also assigned the task by dad to write his obituary, which can be found here

Thursday, October 13, 2016

My Dog and My Dad

Buried my dog, Lady, yesterday.
She had bone cancer,
ate up her back hip,
part of her spine,
and blocked her colon.
Had to put her down
before she became septic.

My dad has bone cancer
all over his body and in his brain.
Metastasized is what they said.
He lost a lot of weight
and can’t stand.
I flew to visit him.
He was in bed,
skin over bones,
big smile though.

He was wearing a prayer shawl (scarf)
around his neck,
knitted by old ladies at his church,
like I knit with at my church.
Dad was very pleased with his scarf.
He told me how they were praying for him,
and that he knew the lady that knitted it.
All of a sudden, the knitting I’d been doing
for random people I don’t know
became personal.

We reminisced.
He told old stories.
Then asked, and said
he was trying to figure out
when he would see me again,
Are you coming to the funeral?”
Then he remembered
it’s irrelevant.

It was hard to leave.
My sister, her husband, and son
were with.
They drove.
She lives there.
She’s cried her tears.
I tried to hold mine back
while I walked away
realizing that was the last time
I’d see my dad.

I couldn’t talk.
We drove in silence for a while.
We stopped for burgers.
Mine had peanut butter
(dad liked peanut butter)
and spicy jam.
We had chips and fries.
My sister was good,
she had a salad.
Not me,
I drank Dos Equis.

We did some last minute shopping,
gifts from Minnesota for my kids.
Argued about old times,
she called her mom,
which proved her wrong,
and proved that I was right.
We looked at old pictures.
Her husband cooked us breakfast
to which her mom joined us.
They were nice to visit with,
a gracious host and hostess.

Yesterday, I got a text,
dad had stopped eating.
So as I brought Lady to the vet,
my mind and thoughts were on my dad
dying of bone cancer in his bed.
I cried for the dog.
It was very sad.
But my heart was in Minnesota
crying for dad.
The dog was my son’s.
We cried together
while we watched her die.

Brought Lady home in a box.
Help came to dig the hole,
his sister’s boyfriend,
who brought a shovel.
The two men worked together
in our southern, still hot, autumn sun.
Broke a shovel. Laughed a little.
I took photos
for his dad and other sister
who couldn’t be there.
And the day went on like normal.

Got a text in the evening,
the priest had come to see dad.
My sister was able to be there too.
This morning, I got the news,
Dad passed away last night
between 10:20 and 10:50.”
He was ready to go.
I’m looking through old photos.

I did my crying yesterday.
I walked for dad when I got back.
I baked his favorite cake.
I checked out a book from the library that he read,
Dying Wishes, a Haunted Yarn Shop Mystery”
I’m a knitter.
Now it’s time to read.

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

To the Most Important Man in my Life

That same old thing
that has become routine,
please don't mistake for boring.
For something perfect
can't be fixed and changed,
or it may become, to us, estranged.
I'm addicted.
I like predicted.
Routine is good.
withdrawal sets in.
I fall apart.
It is the stitching
that holds together
my broken heart.

So, will you be my valentine
for the twenty-seventh time
in a row?
I don't know
how to express,
this I must confess,
so I stick to the routine,
the same old thing,
I'm not boring
to the most important man in my life.
I feel lucky to be your wife.

Happy Valentine's Day

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Dragon and the Ballerina

So...I'm participating in an online writing workshop, and one of the days was telling us that we need experience, observation, and imagination, and to write a short-short story.

Imagination is what I need to work on, so I asked Ava, “What should I write a story about.” She said, “A dragon and a ballerina, but make sure the ballerina was flying on a dragon.” Then she got involved in watching Dora and left the rest to me.

The dragon laid down,
curled his tail around to his side,
so Princess Ava could climb up on his back to ride.

Draco, the night guardian of the sky,
had been watching over the castle for centuries,
ambivalent about people,
his goal was only to keep the peace.
The bangs and crashes of their fighting
disturbed his daytime sleep.
After being alert all night,
into the depths of the castle
where it was quiet and dark,
he would creep.

Little Princess Ava,
having just learned to twirl,
practiced her pirouettes everywhere,
and as she danced she sang.
Today, she bumped into a statue in the hall,
abruptly stopping her.
She noticed a door nob
that she had never seen before.
Squeezing behind the statue,
she turned the nob.
With the latch released,
a once invisible door
opened into a dark hall.
Not afraid, but curious,
she squeezed back out from behind the statue,
and skipped and twirled her way
up to her room to get a flashlight.
On the way she sang
about the invisible door
and the wonderful and pretty things
she might find inside.

Flashlight in hand,
she started down the hall.
It's walls were filled with paintings
of a world she had not seen yet,
as the four year old princess
living in a castle
on top of a mountain in Greenland.
Trompe l'oeil trees up to the ceiling,
green grass covered in brightly colored flowers,
birds, and squirrels,
she found a new wonderland to explore.
As she turned the corner,
she ended up with her little face
to a great big strange face.
She stopped singing.

Draco spoke, in his calm deep voice,
Don't stop making that noise.”
What noise?” posed the princess, “I was just singing.”
The singing. Please continue.”

That's how they met and became best friends,
a little princess, and the great Draco.
He loved to listen to her sing.
As she danced around the castle,
her sweet little voice would lull him to sleep
while he laid in the dark tunnels underneath. 

by:  Paula D. Nevison 

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

The Man in the Moon

My daughter cannot see the man in the moon.
This is difficult for me to understand.
He's always been such a good friend.
Maybe she's too smart for her own good.
She sees the craters and the mountains for what they are.
The shadows do not speak to her.
Yet art is who she is. It oozes from her being.
She doodles intricate pictures on everything,
including her friends,
their binders, and their hands.
She is an extremely talented artist,
especially good at drawing faces.
Which is why I do not comprehend
how my daughter cannot see my friend.

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Fish into Chicken

Ava and I
were watching TV.
They were catching fish.
She said to me,
If I catch a fish,
and like, peel the skin off,
and take the bones out.
Then you can cook it,
and turn it into chicken,
and we can eat it.
Would you like that?
You can turn it into chicken,
like, cook it.
If it tastes bad,
you can,
if you got a drink in your refrigerator,
you can,
drink it.
Then it won't taste bad.”

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Leaves on the ground, jump,
playing in the gentle rain
on this sunny day.

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Walking My Dog

He's the one with injured feet,
but I'm the one gimping along.
His toenails clicking across the street,
trying, almost unsuccessfully,
using all the restraint he has,
to keep from pulling me along.
Of course he has to stop and pee
on every bush and tree he sees.
His alert eyes searching all around
in case a squirrel or cat is found.
He sees some children laugh and play.
He looks at me to join the game,
but we continue on our way. 

by:  Paula D. Nevison 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

My “Old Lady” Friends

Every Tuesday I knit with my “old lady” friends.
We've been knitting together since I can't remember when.
They are as old as my mother, some older,
so that's how I've always identified them.
While we sit, and visit, and knit,
my granddaughter
plays quietly with her toys at the table.
So, somewhere between when I met them and now,
I guess, somehow, I joined the crowd.
I need to rethink that label.

by Paula D. Nevison

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Knitting at Panera Bread with Friends

Broccoli cheddar soup
with some carrots,
a tube of yogurt,
and Sierra Mist
(no high-fructose corn syrup).
She's not an amiable.
She's a 4 year old with an imagination,
who will sit and play quietly,
after she eats,
for almost two hours.

We brought Polly Pockets,
a carriage, a castle, a car.
I wove in the crochet ends,
and visited with my friends.
She took them, those ends,
her favorite play things, by far.

My old lady friends compliment her,
and sometimes give her a hug.
They think she's adorable.
She is. They're right. :)

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Friday, January 15, 2016

A Late Gift

A paper princess castle, and mini plastic princesses:
Princess Aurora, Ariel, Snow White, and Belle.
When you're four years old,
that is the best game in the world.
Of course, I totally agree.
I may be old, but I'm still a girl.

How do you upstage a princess game?
With a bike in a box (training wheels included),
Princess Elsa, and Anna, adorned.
It finally came today!
The puzzle of pieces assembled by Uncle Joe,
we went outside to play.

by:  Paula D. Nevison 

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Drive Carefully

A dog died.
Not mine.
But a dog I saw,
then went back to help find.
A little Chihuahua mix
hit by a car on Hillcrest.
Lily said, “Mom, you don't have to cry.”
Couldn't help it. It died. I cried.
Too many distracted drivers on the roads.

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pop-Up Magic Castle Game

When I was young,
my grandpa played games with me,
specifically, Monopoly.
We played for eternity,
happily, or so it seemed to me.

Now I play with my granddaughter,
Pop-Up Magic Castle.
It has princess dollies
that move around the board,
land on rocks, or villains,
and when lucky, land on gems.
Then we get to pick tokens,
and move ahead six bonus,
until a princess
goes up the paper steps
into the castle to win.
Then we start again.
I finally understand
my grandpa as the man.

by:  Paula D. Nevison

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Good News

I got a call.
It woke me up.
"We got your dog.
Come pick him up."
It was the pound.
Our Duke was found!

by:  Paula D. Nevison 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Year's Dinner

New Year's dinner,
all the kids came over.
We actually all got along.
At least until midnight,
when my baby got uptight
after being picked on all night
by her sister-in-law.

I call the evening a success,
after Christmas Eve's big mess.
Dead dogs, then jail, and “Come outside,”
was said by eldest male.
No fight broke out at grandma's house,
though emotions bubbled over.
I postponed our Christmas dinner.
Nobody came. It was not long enough.
Too many feathers had been ruffed.

New Year's brought a brand new start.
Just long enough to scab the heart.

by:  Paula D. Nevison