Category: Love


On Being Teeta

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Oh how my soul does sing…

15 years ago, I was planning a wedding – my 2nd – to a man with kids.

I loved them then because they were his.

Their relationship was fragile.
Difficult at times.
But his kids were the pieces that completed him.

And I loved them for it.

Through their ups and downs, I watched and loved….
As he grew.
As they grew.
As all our hearts grew together into the single beat of family.

We beat as a family parallel…

One of the strengths I admire and treasure most in his kids is their willingness to, alongside their relationships to their mom and previous stepmom, to love me and let me love them.

A family.
A family parallel.

And then came the Grands.
And the heartbeat of our family,
took on a deeper, stronger,  tangible beat.

The kids — his kids I love as deeply and as dearly as my own, not only for who they are to the hubs, for for who they ARE, and who they are to me — have blessed us all with beautiful,  perfect darlings.  They have their Bubbie, their Honey,
…. and they have me.

And so.
Here I am.
A Teeta.
Not a grandma by birth but by a family parallel.

And OH, how my soul does sing.

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31 days?
I wasn’t sure I could do it.
31 days?
Did I have enough to say for 31 days?

31 days…..?

It seemed so daunting at first.
Scary.
Huge.
Too much.

31 days….?

Of writing,
Of sharing,
Of reading,
Of reflecting.

It seemed huge.
It seemed too much.
I’m so busy I meet myself coming and going.
I’m so busy;  how could I ever accomplish such a thing?

I’m so busy.
….for 31 days.

So busy being blown away by the experience.
So busy being enriched by the posts I’ve read.
So busy being stopped in my own moments.

Forced to be still,
To reflect,
To think,
To BE.

So here I am.
At the end of 31 days.
31 days…!
Each a little different.
Each it’s own flavor slice.
Each a reflection of who I am, where I am, how I am.

I set my goal.
I held my breath.
I jumped right in…
And wrote.

…for 31 days!

Then sings my soul…..

Humble and Kind

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Always be humble and kind.

Tim McGraw sings it….
Beautifully.

This man lived it….
Fully.

I was on my way home from my weekly manicure date with my grandma tonight,
With my grandpa on my heart,
When this song came on the radio.

The words are lovely and loving.
More so because they fit my Grandpa to a T.

It’s been 25 years since stupid cancer stole him from us too soon.
25 years…..
And yet I can still hear his voice in moments of quiet,
moments of incessant noise,
moments I need him near.

My grandpa was a man of wisdom and wit.
And 1,001 saying to fit the world.

“Christmas in July” when my Grandma walked in the room.
“What do you mean?” I once asked.
“Oh, Honey. I’m so blessed to have your Grandma…it’s like Christmas in July!”

They just don’t make love like that every day….

“If you’re not a part of the solution, you’re a part of the problem,” when I had a whiny moment.
“But Grandpa….” I’d plead.
“Well???”

‘Nuff said.  And he’s right. It’s a lesson I’ve taken to heart. It pushes me ever forward.

“Study long; study wrong!”
…OK….
This one was about playing dominoes.
Which he NEVER “let” us win.

But what tremendous life lessons we learned while shaking the bones at the kitchen table!

“You got your driver’s license?”
…every single time we got in the car.
His way of saying, “I love you.  Be safe. Take care. And behave!”

….and do you know?  I carry my license everywhere!

Humble and Kind.
That’s him.

Alfred Hoerig.
A simple man.
A great man.
Humble and kind,
Indeed.

Then sings my soul…..

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Reflecting on this Easter Sunday was much tougher than I imagined it would be.   There were so many moments to savor:  the sight of my beautiful grandmother in church for another Easter service,  the Hubs and his mini-me Grand sitting on the grass playing with Hot Wheels from the egg hunt,  all the wonderful food and family time, …
But ultimately it came down to this.
Cascarone Wishes.

May every day contain a bit of Easter.
With rejoicing and rebirth,
Faith and hope,
Family, food, and fun.

May you have just the right amount of confetti in your hair.
And most importantly, of course, the sheltering arm of someone who loves you draped across your shoulders.

Then sings my soul….

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It’s Good Friday and a holiday.
And this….
This is the view from where I sit.

At first glance,
SPRING!
At second,
So much more.

The redbird at the feeder.
The shallows in the nest.
The succulent overflowing the old wash tub mounted on a stump.

Life!!!!

A lone goldfish,
Swimming under the repurposed hunting tripod —
Now art over our crazy overgrown pond.

The bathtub iris,
Flourishing in the claw foot tub, rescued from a heap of discarded past —
Now a wildlife fixture on our porch.

The sparrows,
Perching on ocean bouys,
Treasures washed ashore and gathered on my coveted sunrise walks on the beach —
Now a resting place among the feeders.

Hmmmm.
At second thought,
The first glance was right.
SPRING!

Rebirth.
Regrowth.
Repurpose.

Renewed.

All while being serenaded by the Star Wars cantina chatter of my beloved swallows,
In the nest they’ve spent years building.
Nestled just so in the corner
Where we peek at each other under the curtains handmade by my mom….

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The view from where I sit.
Oh!
Then sings my soul!

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Found this treasure today and it made me think
Maybe I was born for this…

A ponderer of thoughts
With a way for words.
A student of the world around us
With a penchant for the click of the keys.

Starting young.
Books and songs in the lap of my mom.
And this.
Definitely this.

Another of my treasures is my dad’s old steamer desk where he wrote oh, so many words.
It is huge
And heavy
And goes with nothing.

Nothing, that is,
Except my heart,
And the words that pour forth from it.

Then sings my soul….

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Then sings my soul!

It’s usually my tag line,  but with these boys and their cousins, it’s where it all begins.

Then.
Sings.
My.
Soul.

I came into my stepkids’ lives when they were older.  
Their relationship with their dad was complicated,
And I wasn’t quite sure where I fit into the equation.

Over the years, I have come to know them as incredible human beings.
I love them dearly and I believe they love me.

And then came the grands!!!!
Oh my goodness!
The grands!!!!

Tonight I walked to the oldest’s baseball practice across town.
(Yes, walked….but that’s a Slice for a different day.)

I did it just for the chance to breathe some of the same air.

I knew he’d be busy.
I knew his dad – my oldest stepson – would be busy too.
But I knew I’d be able to see them in their element.

My stepson is step dad to this precious boy, our oldest grandson.
He is at every practice.
He is at every game.
He loves this boy…
And he parents this boy….
And he makes a difference!

And my soul does sing….

It sings to see the love and strength of their connection.
It sings to see the pride in B’s eyes.
It sings to see that B and he know right where they belong.

And then.
As the sun set over the field and the night hawks moved in….
When the evening couldn’t have been any more beautiful….
When it was time for me to walk back across town….
One of the team moms asked if I was I.’s mom.

“No,” I said.
“I’m one of the Grandmas.”

And I knew.
I absolutely knew….

I’m right where I belong as well.

Then sings my soul….

“I love your poems,” they said.

“You find poetry in the simplest things,” they said.

“Look at that. Another one,” they said.

“You’ve such a poet’s heart,” they said.

These things as Facebook comments??!!
WHAT??!!?

I never set out to write a poem.
That’s never been my intention.

I’d not thought of myself as a poet.
Not ever.
Not once.
Nada.
Nope.

But then I stopped…
And I thought.
And I read.
And I realized.

Yes.

It is poetry that flows from my fingertips.
Poetry that flows from my heart.
Poetry….
A direct line from my soul to the screen or the page.

And that’s so wild.
So completely and totally wild.

It’s not who I ever thought I would be.
But here I am…
And it’s me.

I think, not in paragraphs, but in stanzas.
I write, not in prose, but in verse.
I think…. I feel…. I dream….

(Oh! How I dream….)

And this, I believe, is why.

The more life I live, the more I come to see and to know
The power of the pause.

For life – the real magic and beauty of life – is in the pauses,
The dashes,
The ellipses….

Life is what happens BETWEEN the words.
BETWEEN the comments.
BETWEEN the lines.

Life is that single glorious moment when the sun splits open the sky at dawn.
It’s that split-second when the sun disappears over the horizon at dusk.
It’s the light in a baby’s eyes when Momma walks in the room.
It’s the flutter of the hummingbird’s wings.
It’s the newborn calf at it’s mother’s utter – it’s face covered in milk.

It’s the moments.
The pauses.
The seconds.
The frames frozen in time – in our mind’s eye – as we stop.

We stop.
And we notice.

We pause.

And if the pause is right…
It becomes a poem.

Whether we meant it to or not.

I never set out to write a poem….
Instead, poetry found me.

And, oh!
Then sings my soul….

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Those hands….
Those precious, precious hands.

Each Tuesday,  I travel to the next town after work.
I travel to visit.
I travel to talk.
And I travel to pay tribute to those hands….

Those precious, precious hands.
The hands of my grandmother.

95 years in the making.
95 years of living, loving and service.
95 years of hard, hard work.
95 years of nurturing….

95 years of love in action…
… through the bread she kneaded and baked.
the clothes she cut, pinned, basted, and sewed.
The veggies she planted, tended, harvested, and canned.

95 years of doing whatever it took for her family to thrive.
Cooking, canning, sewing…
Taking in ironing so that her girlchild could take piano.
Working tirelessly at home and out, if she had to.
Working the fields,
Working at the five and dime,
Whatever it took…

For the last 25, these hands have been solo,
Mourning their partners, my grandfather’s hands.
For 25 years, she has managed the house and continued to do all that she could — all while waiting for the day her hands reunite with his.

95 years…
and now frustrated by having to sit idle.
Hands at rest for the first time in 95 years….

Hands it is my honor and good fortune to pamper just a bit,
to thank with the caress of my touch,
the smoothing of her skin,
the trimming, filing, and shaping of her nails,
and the painting….in her favorite colors: Vivacious, Red Carpet, and Bubblegum.
The dolling up of those beautiful, marvelous, precious, precious hands.

God’s work has been mighty through
those hands.
God’s work is mighty in those hands.

Those precious, precious hands.
The hands of my grandmother.

Then sings my soul….

Twice this year, we’ve had to say goodbye too soon to giant men with giant hearts, giant humor and giant love for their friends and family.

Twice…
Stupid cancer.

Twice this week, my husband has been gifted with a bag of clothes from the closet of these friends.

Twice….
Lovely thoughts.

In one bag, shorts.
In the other, shirts and camo hunting gear.
Both bags full of so much more than clothes.

Sorting through the thread and cloth, I’m struck by the threads that tie us all together.
Some we can see.
Some are invisible to the naked eye….
But not to the heart.

Rick, the first friend lost, was the one who would call or text and say, “Krista. That shirt your huusband wore today has GOT to disappear.”
He was the one to keep Michael looking sharp.
Rick was also the one to keep him honest, start the smack-talk, and generally keep things rolling with a laugh, a smile, and a tsk tsk tsk. His blue eyes always twinkled with an impish gleam… Looking for and celebrating the joys and chuckles of life.

Steve, memorialized just weeks ago, would never have dreamed of telling me to throw out anything – no matter how faded, worn or full of holes. In all honesty, I don’t think he ever even noticed.
He was the one who would challenge with an observation, a thought, a subtle wisecrack you never saw coming, but I don’t think he ever saw the outside of anyone….his blue eyes looked right into a person.

Both men hunted.
Rick got his beautiful trophy buck on a “bucket list hunt” with his closest friends…. Michael was there.
Steve hunted, too….but he spent his time reading great books, drinking Diet Coke and perhaps occasionally watching some deer. He paid for his spot on the lease for decades – just to spend time with the guys he loved.

Stupid cancer took them from us.
Far, far too soon.

But stupid cancer doesn’t win.

The blue eyes and brotherhood lives on.
Not through the clothes.
Not even just through the memories.

Clothes don’t make the man.
But the threads of friendship that are woven in, out, and throughout our lives….
These things make the MEN….
They make the WOMEN.
They make US.

Then sings my soul….
It’s a melancholy song tonight.
But the joy and love on which it’s built will find its way through.

In time.
A stitch in time….and the threads weave on.