Frances, Editor recalls a family story to illustrate, our question for November, “My parents told me I was a ___ baby.”

Frances says, “ “My parents do not remember me as a baby. Daddy was overseas fighting in’The Islands’ during WWII when I was born. He did not meet me in the flesh until I was 2 1/2 years old.

Only Mother remembers me as a baby. One story she routinely told about my baby days. “Fritzie got her days and nights confused.” Nodding her head at the memory, she went on,

Since she would not sleep, I had to find things to do through the small hours of the morning. Scrubbing floors was one thing.”

Mother and Me ( and Photo for Daddy Overseas.)Mother and Me ( and Photo for Daddy Overseas.)

Mother and Me ( and Photo for Daddy Overseas.)

I suppose you could say I was remembered a “confused” baby!


This month’s question, “If you were asked to create the ultimate dessert, what would it be?” will hold over for November with “My parents told me I was a ___ baby.”











     Simon Stargazer (Sept.’17) adds,Think about it. I do, and I have mixed emotions. On the one hand, I miss calls from family and friends .In the same vein, I am also guilty of not calling. On the other hand, I love the pictures that my family and friends share with me on Facebook, usually with short and to the point comments. I reply with’likes’ and comments. Sometimes I am also triggered or’shamed’ into making a phone call when I been out of touch been too long.” 


Days driven by discomfort, I have

become a contortionist. Of course

there will be poetry alive by other


there will be chills of moonlight,

there will be dances of

color on paper

paint in the veins

ink in the head

ink on the walls

ink on the floor

ink in the heart.

Life is excruciating.

Brian Janisse (Sept.’17) adds, Twisting myself to fit new Chicago reality, so hurried and happening, so opposite the holy quiet mountaintop pure living art life Asheville I had come from, I compulsively wrote to alchemize my spirit, determined to make poetry out of everything.”


There were times:

Retrospect embarrassments

Covetous resentments

Lied upon entanglements

Sheer nonsense contentments

Innocent awe and belief firmaments.

There were times:

Happiness, passion, wild


Pain, shame and desperate moments

Complacency and boredom –

just living with life’s entanglements.

There were times:

Wanting more, bigger and better,

Taking undue credit,

Having insatiable appetites,

and hiding in secret places.

There were also times:

Of searching, seeking, knocking,


Hoping, wishing,

Full of joyful wonderment

Of peace, love, clarity:

And now:

Deep gratitude

For all the elements.

But, there never was a time:

God failed to supply my daily requirements.

DAPepple (Sept.’17) says,

Life’s journey is filled with many ingredients, conjuring the full spectrum of emotions and consequences. Yet it takes what it takes –took what it took –to bring us to our here and now. I would not wish to see many of the “movies” again, yet I am in awe of how God uses all moments to mold His beloved children.


As if I am on a throne,

My green couch suffices,

In my royal clothes,


(if you must know,

Warm or cotton lightly,)

I look out my doorway,

Sometimes open, sometimes


But always with a quiet buzzing


Even if there is nothing to hear,

Young birds scatter on branches,

Learning to fly,

Mother and Daddy cardinals show off

Their bold and beautiful redness

Against the sky—

Branches might be blowing back

And forth,

The day, before begun, the sky

Is alert with promise,

Sun or rain,

I wait for words to come;

Not dependent on the weather,

Still my delicate mission,

I write my early morning poems

In verse,

Hoping that love is in them,

And that love will find me

In return,

In due course.

table with flowers

Bluebird (Sept.17) adds, “Morning Words (poems) is the first thing I do in the mornings, my meditation, my prayer, my connection to others.  Nature is in front of me through the screen door or open if in fall or spring.  Beauty is always in the rainy days, the sunny days or cloudy.  I think of friends and loved ones and friends on Facebook seem to love my morning thoughts and muses, hopes and dreams.


When I went to church with my mother, I picked up several books being discontinued from their library. One was the book Congregational Discipling.

The book includes chapters on how to deal with issues that children, younger adults (my generation), and the elderly face as members of a Mennonite Congregation. It urged compassion, discipline, and above all, love.

It included suggestions for how people in the above age categories might get involved in outreach in the community and in the lives of the church.

Bookworm (Feb.’17) adds, “I am a real fan of the way the Mennonites are involved in mission outreach and working to make their communities better: living as Jesus Christ did.”


I recently read Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. I really love her books! She’s clever and witty in this one about climate change and the butterfly migration changing location.

Pervious to that volume, I read From Sand and Ash by Amy Harmon. It was the best, most compelling book I’ve read in I don’t know when. I want to read it again –and that hardly ever happens.

Gail (Sept.’17) adds, “A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles is another outstanding read about a Russian aristocrat who spends 30 years in house arrest at a luxury hotel and how he learns the true meaning of life in the process. It’s a good philosophy – if we don’t manage our circumstances, they manage us.  Colson Whitehead’s Pulitzer Prize winner last year, Underground Railroad was excellent, as you might expect. Additionally, God bless our Florida Ninepatchers as they resettle themselves during this devastating hurricane season.”

left unexpressed…

Left unexpressed, ideas and feelings die.

James (Sept.’17) “Communicating one’s thoughts keeps them alive.”


In my salaried days there were certain aspects of the job that I would dread well in advance. I dreaded management review because it took 2 weeks to prep the data, and then the VP’s would try to pick at it. I dreaded Detroit because of the drive, GM, and the employee whining regarding GM. I dreaded Cortland because there was nothing there but cows.

For all those years these dreads would swirl through my mind stirring up feelings of dissatisfaction. And I would go do the work and come home. The work was always just what it was. My dread existed separately, like an emotional virus, creating an achy whinny interior landscape that robbed me of my pre work joy, and supplied me with a pair of poo-colored glasses to wear while doing the work.

Dread never changed things for the better. Dread was the enemy. Living day to day is THE ONLY WAY!

Sherryl (Nov. 16) adds, “Let work have you. Take it as it comes. Siphon off the good and flush the rest. Then go home and live your life. Period.”


husband's last boat

My late husband, Ed, made model boats –maybe 4 or 5 of them –the year before he died. He stopped just two weeks before he passed.

The boat is a model of one he and his cousin always went out on near Devil’s Lake Michigan when they were on vacation there as kids. In the 1930’s there was a man who built the boats. He went from cottage to cottage to sell and build.

Ed puzzled over how they had been made. He figured out the jigs, forms and such.

My question is why he continued to make and refine those last models. I do know they were reminders of wonderful childhood memories and escape with his cousin on adventures.

But then it came to me. In his mind he was preparing the boat to cross to “the other shore.”

Maybe he will come for me in that boat and take me home, too.

Amy Karen (Sept.’17) adds, “Life is quiet here. After a lot of rain, we had sunshine today. (Boy, did that help my outlook!) Still trying to find some rhythm in my life.”