Cherishing Life

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To be in full bloom

Where one exists,

Is what one’s life should be…

To live in the moment always

Not in the past or worrying about one’s

Future that has not arrived yet. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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The Little Things, and More

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On a green metal bench, outside

Our favorite ice cream spot

We watch the dogwoods dance

In the breeze off the lake,

The sky is bursting with their pink

and

White petals

Reminding me of the delicate

Frosted flowers on the cupcakes

Across the street designed

By a young baker,

The smells in the air

Around us are intoxicating

And the blooms

Become confetti on the sidewalks

My cone contains sweet caramel

That is sex on my tongue

As I lick it,

A touch of sea salt and

Sprinkle of pecan nuts,

A swirl of whipped cream

And a shiny cherry on top,

What else would one want

While they watch the skies

With their favorite love

And forget all the foreign thoughts.

 

Being with the man of your dreams

Is always wonderful

Even without these added pleasures

His curly hair at his neckline

As his sudden smile appears

When he watches the ice cream

Drip onto my lap.

His presence is appreciated

And his eye contact

Makes me blush

My shoulders ache for his touch.

A hug that brings me in so

Close right before his lips

Caress mine. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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Shared Sunsets

DONELOL
A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.
~Having the right connection~

Shared Sunsets

The girl that is rare
Is the one dear to one’s heart.

As I stand by my tree of choice
And watch the sun make its
Colors at Sunset
With the birds lining the tree
Branches–but not uttering a song
At all
As puddles fill with insects
And the rows of corn
Flutter in the wind
In all the fields sprawling
Before me
The black silhouettes
Further out reflect the remaining
Reds in the skies

Those evening skies
As I hold the hand of my closest
Friend and we remain silent
And happy with the passing
Of time
Because it happens with us
Together
Before this lovely scene in
The sky.
–J. E. Cook ©2017
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Also Visit: https://josiecook48.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/musings-on-a-sunday-morning/

Moving On~not always a choice~

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Moving On

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

leaving a place of love and happiness…

Moving On

 

Moving is scary to me,

Leaving the things behind that I became

Accustomed and familiar to

the change of the seasons every year,

those colors the tree leaves always

become every fall,

the sunrises and sunsets full of the

emptying cloud ranges,

the places on their horizons

that I view each day after day,

sitting on the deck at dawn

watching the day begin and end,

In the morning, the sky bringing up its light,

sitting right beside the big Maple tree

that I will always miss after I am gone

from here,

listening to the rise of the day,

nothing there, except me and that

special tree,

a tree where my daughter spent her

afternoons after school swinging, talking with her

friends, and climbing with her cat,

daylight arrives and I think of haunts of this land,

I’ll miss this tree, the memories will bring it back

After I am gone,

But what I’ll miss even more is this weird little

White house I bought myself,

It’s creaking and moaning during thunderstorms,

Its own pellicular grace and style

That brought me happiness so many times

While I was here.

The garden that I tended and worked in

With its life cycles each season,

Tiny seeds being pressed into the soil

Waiting for them to poke through

The ground,

Maybe, I am just a seed, too

What I’ll remember most is my bedroom

Here,

Because it is right beside my big Maple tree

It stands there like a soldier guard,

My bedroom windows look out to the garden

That I love,

I hate to be a long time gone from this

Place of love and happiness

But, I am moving on. –J. E. Cook ©2017

 

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Allie & my daughter, Victoria having a discussion under the big Maple.

Mother Nature & Our Divinity

In Divinity’s developing, early spring garden

Where many flowing wildflowers flourish,
to produce and cultivate others,

To promote so many varieties in color,
these shades of her beautiful tints stretch

for miles and miles…
such as beauty often does but never lasts

past its challenging termination,

One may never find it

In the same precise shades again,

like heaping painted canvas clinging to the knolls

And the spreading valleys,
nature’s brush of changing colors,
with each hue as bright as the sunshine,
kissing the splendor dispersed over our land,

When a heavy winter coat of white

Arrives and covers the same spots,

This ground rests and sleeps until
spring in the coming year,
then these fragrant blooms come back,
stretching and multiplying over the

Endless growing territories,

Building a constant circle of nature at its best,
the brush of Mother Nature creating art

From loam, mud, and particles of dirt

By mixing the drops of constant rain

with the warm

Endless breezes helping her,
This creation reminds us that miracles exist

And our ultimate survival depends on her,
without her touch, man and his family

Would not flourish like the blooms of

The earth.

These renewing buds

Coming from dry seeds shall carry us on,
as they are blown across the world,
the rain showers arrive to nourish them,

The fall season always prepares the soil for

The approaching slumber,

the endless sun will keep bringing

Its warmth every spring, and

into the rumbling summer,
and soon it will be time for dancing

hummingbirds

And working insects to cultivate the

natural growth,

without her hand, nothing matures,
Mother Nature is our keeper,

and the land’s tending gardener,
There’s no need to change her routine

because it fits our necessities for life,
with the essential gifts of her love.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Reading Meanwhile there are Letters

This book is based on the correspondence of Eudora Welty & Ross Macdonald edited by Suzanne Marrs & Tom Nolan and it is quite a treasure to read.

In one letter to Welty:

“I don’t quite know what is happening to the country, or has already happened. A friend, formally in the government, writes from Washington about “the coming constitutional crisis,” as he calls it. I believe the country has gone through a moral crisis and failed to recognize it. We proceed cheerfully on our desperate way like a man with a bad doctor and a fatal illness.”– Kenneth Millar (102)
After reading this quote, I thought about how it is so fitting to our current situation in our country!

In her next letter to him I noted this passage relating to the above passage from his letter:

“…I think, the same feeling about the awful things we were perpetrating upon that midnight clear (in Vietnam). I hope and hope, while knowing there’s damage that can never be undone and something lost we can never get back. Just hope for the end of the killing–I think it has to come soon, don’t you?” –Eudora Welty to Kenneth Millar in a letter. (105)

I believe–Hope is always what keeps us going on in times like these! These writers’ thoughts seem to relate to our country’s current government decisions and actions.

As I continue to read and reflect on this:

As I read this thick volume slowly, I reflect on so much of the material covered in their correspondence through their letters, specifically what Welty tells him about nature, writing, and also how he responds to her questions and her personal concerns in the areas of her writing and doing interviews. This can be so useful to authors and poets today. Millar is always reinforcing her through his perspective on her writing talents and her public speaking engagements. When she doubts her written work and her speaking abilities, he always seems to have the right answers about her troubling thoughts and how she might be somewhat off the mark with her personal reflections on her public interviews that she reveals to him inside her letters.  Millar gives her his expert perception on them, and they are always on spot with what is happening with her writing and her unique capabilities.  She, in turn, does the same for him often through her reviews and her feedback on his writing.

Their relationship was truly a working one as far as their writing is concerned. They seem to feed off of each other and reinforce each other as they correspond making their writing endeavours stronger and more successful as years go by.

I will be reading more about them soon and I may post more here on what I find in this treasure of a book about Welty & Millar and their growing relationship as they communicate with each other through letters.

 

GREENWATER

Writing in the Spring of 2017~

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Enjoying a Sunday in the Sun

On a Sunday afternoon,

I watch a flower by the name of Camelia

Open fully in the summer heat,

This occurs after a gently falling rain,

A white collared sparrow sings from a wire

High above me,

I return to my reading material

To ponder and think ~Jeanette E. Cook ©2017

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At Thirteen, my mind

Knowing everyone has some secrets

Hidden that never get told,

As I ponder about giving up my Barbie doll collection,

Thinking about pretty floral dresses for the next

School year,

As we visit the village drugstore together

for penny-candy stuffed inside brown paper bags,

And watch various grown-ups collect bottled medicine,

I know changes are around our corner,

As the news reporter talks about a woman

Jumping off a local bridge to her death,

And some of our daddies dying at war,

And I dream of fun gatherings with my close friends

To block out the numbing pain

Of our societies’ decisions

In the midst of timing and transformations.  —J. E. Cook (C)2017

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Nature’s Unique Giving to Our World

To examine it closely takes time and patience

To find a bushtit or a fly hiding under a leaf

With its eggs as a spider looks for them.

 

Dinner is served by the unnoting as it flies

Away,

Random occurrences a coyote stealing

Chickens from a neighbor’s yard at night.

Passing an open window in early morning

As the mourning-dove perches in the fragrant

Lilac tree by the potting shed,

She sings to the lonely.

 

Rats eating from the trash piled high against

A decaying building as a birdfeeder is torn apart

By a passing squirrel,

Baby spotted-owls waiting for their mother to

Return with their evening meal in her beak.

 

A turtle returns slowly to the water’s edge

As a boat leaves an island for home.

A man sits inside a rowboat watching a duck

Dip into the water in front of him.

Connotations gathered on a Sunday morning

From the porch of an old maid as she watches

The birds fly by,

To a river surrounded by trees.

 

A drainage ditch serves as a water hole for the passing

Duck family,

Where are the red-eyed vireos? Have they left for better

Places?

On Saturday night, a beggar sits on a wooden bench

Watching and listening,

He hears some noise coming from the distant swamps,

Then, someone asks “where are you headed?”

Some fellow stops to tell him about an owl found inside

A rusty tub, he knows him from the café up the street

Where he often brings him a fresh cup of coffee with

A cream doughnut every morning,

Baby bats fly high above them as they continue their

Exchange of words on that wood bench

Only a few feet apart.

 

A hawk eyes those black babies from a tree across the street

Bordering the long muddy alley by the Victorian inn,

The rattlesnake he had for breakfast long gone.

 

A distant windmill makes a suitable nesting site,

There are cobwebs, moss, and hair in the muddy nest

Lichens cover this rusted metal frame,

Feathers fall to the ground as the slow rotation moves the

Wind,

An old man twists his white mustache and he watches for

The returning momma cat from his seat on the sagging peeling

Porch,

She is a female beauty with long tiger hair,

All allegories in time and many chapters on glorious reflection.

J.E. Cook ©2017

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Spring Violets

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

My Tribute to the poet, William Jay Smith, an American poet. Spring and the flowers with the sound of birds.

“Did anything ever sing to Emily and Charlotte on the moors above Haworth?”

–E. Welty~

Spring Violets

The white and purple violets I left last night on the patio,

To the best of my knowledge, are out there still,

And will be there until I remove them or they die.

 

And will be there as long as I think that I

Can throw the sliding doors open on our world,

A touch of the violet color in the tail of my eyes;

 

As long as I think I see, past the Maple leaves green-growing,

Cars and trucks moving down our street, ever flowing,

Fulfillment is in the thoughts so ongoing,

 

Fulfillment in the sight upon sight responding,

To the sound of the sound of small birds flying by,

In life as life gives, and in death as it arrives.

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Life’s Holiday Circumstances

A Poem by Josie E. Cook M. A.

I wrote this poem as a tribute to the work of Henri Coulette, poet and teacher. These are my thoughts and memories put down like he did his when he wrote his poetry.

During a holiday gathering with friends and family

Watching the people arrive is always

Full of endless surprises,

Frequent laughter fills the big living room and it mingles with the

Youngsters’ running, chasing and bickering over toys.

 

How do we cope with the individual thoughts, various

conversations and background confusion as the area fills up?

People on-time and people arriving late

This creates an adjustment needed in the planned dinner

Starting.

 

I always try to be on time

Though, there are many times I arrive a little tardy

This nags at me as I walk through the front door

Then, I realize that I am not the only one

Rushing to get there.

 

As I walk in with loads of required baggage

Small children run to meet me with

Excited tight hugs and many dewy kisses

This puts me at ease

It is the reward for being there.

 

Even though, these social holiday gatherings

And scheduled festivities

Are stressful to prepare for and to attend

I’m always glad that I made the effort

To attend.  –J. E. Cook ©2017

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New Poems

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From my Spring to Yours

 

I watch the pear trees in half blossom

Parade in the east winds,

Small thin bronze leaves,

Having a silky white line,

Reminding me of little ears.

 

The trees that line our sidewalks

Represent so many shades of

Gold, green, amber, and the palest

Yellow,

As wisteria, dogwood, and some bright

Azaleas, present these endless pathways

through our town.

 

There are many fragrant climbing roses along our

Neighbors’ decorated

wooden fences, garden walls, and cement steps.

 

Looking forward to our high spring

When the tall irises show off their unique color

Combinations,

 

Maybe, I will toast them with pink

Champagne,

When they show their growing buds in

Full-bloom to us.   J.E. Cook ©2017

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After the Rain, Darkness sets In

 

The dark evenings are filled

with shimmering lights,

After dusk arrives,

The stars fill in the skies,

The moon joins in to complete

The barrier over our sun,

Then, the colors of the night

Enter the distant skies,

Staring at it long enough,

We can see with the shadows

Appearing around the fringes,

As the light remains; only much dimmer,

in different hues and pigments becoming modified

colors.

Street lamps glow and little streams of light

Appear around growing objects and endless fixtures,

Varying shapes and familiar likenesses are in altered

States of darkness…

A star is shining somewhere guiding

Us through the night.

 

After a rainstorm, the sky is cloud-covered and moonless,

That is when the real darkness sets in,

Strong breezes tickling the back of my neck,

The smell of the rain still in the air coming through

my

Open windows in the bedroom,

Touching my exposed skin as I try to get back to sleep,

Missing you on your side of the Queen-size mattress,

The garden outside calling your name

And wanting your expert attention

That only you can give it after the rain,

Come home and give it to it.

That’s all I will ask now,

Not for me, but for it.

The dark has taken all my light away,

There’s no love remaining or trust or faith,

Just a little flicker of hope

Remains,

To carry me along like a dandelion seedling

Floating in the winds.

–Jeanette ©2017

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 A Painter’s Interruption

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A Painter’s Interruption

Ripples across the water’s surface,
On a sticky evening,
Shadows of night creep in,
Latches are locked and secured,
Attics are closed and sealed,
Windows are double-checked,
Pinpricks touch her spine
As she sets in front of her unfinished canvas
Where the candlelight flickers across it,
Her limbs are tired and growing numb,
She drops her paintbrush to the waiting tray,
Her gaze follows the distant moon
Through her side window,
As the wind chimes chatter,
Stagnant air fills her bedroom,
She looks on at her brushstrokes
In blue and green,
A crimson sunset,
Then, she remembers that she didn’t
Lock the doors downstairs,
Passing a dainty dollhouse on the landing,
She follows the stairs to the bottom,
Sliding the locks in place,
Fire explodes behind her
In the fireplace,
Her mending basket is near,
Blurry smoke fills the room,
Something whirls in the smoldering embers,
An acrid odor touches her nose,
She pours water over the glowing light,
It is done and she is relieved,
Even though the smell lingers of burnt leaves.
–J. E. Cook ©2017

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Sensible Relevance

One need not be a hollow ember to be preoccupied,

One need not be an enterprise;

The mind contains passageways and trailing thoughts

transcending

Quantifiable references in life. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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She chose Love over what was Expected

During a blue moon,

He reached for her hand,

Brought to his mouth for a quick peck,

He pressed his lips to her upturned palm,

She trembled slightly,

Her exposed neckline caught his eyes,

She did not move and was afraid to breathe,

His lips touched her waiting mouth,

Then his seduction took over,

Her senses went crazy inside,

As her fingers grabbed for his bare chest,

When he entered her,

She found herself as she tilted her hips

Towards him,

Revelation filled her mind,

In a blinded rush,

As they moved together,

Later, his sharp cry signaled

His release,

He still held her,

For several minutes

Before they parted,

His breath touched her neck

With small bursts of exhaustion,

He touched her ear,

Then whispered,

Not trite at all,

My love.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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My Deceitful thoughts about Delicious Truffles

When your mind betrays you and you desire more of something delicious…but maybe, you should not.

My desires for the most delectable

Chocolate creations are persuasive and compelling…

Maxim’s de Paris

Those truffles crafted with Champagne and Cognac

The rich dark chocolate and powdered sugar coating,

So, exquisite,

With the cocoa butter, eggs and rich butter,

From Saint Jean, du Cardonnay of France.

Or maybe, Pink Champagne truffles that are so velvety

and complex in flavor from Charbonnel et Walker,

Yes, these are to dream about often with their powdered sugar

Exterior and wonderful creamy center with a light strawberry flavoring

Mingling with the champagne of pink,

The butter and the lightly dusted outside mix with milk chocolate

As they are consumed slowly to savor the taste,

From The Royal Arcade at 28 Old Bond Street in London

I crave them in a fervent way when they gone

Because they are potent in a deep-seated way bringing

On an ardent appeal for more.

Seeking the best chocolate truffle formation

With the finest flavor is often my devious diversion,

They accompany my coffee or tea selection with harmony

And balance of taste,

Something nothing can match—this accompaniment

Is marvelous in colossal sensations and with superb flavors

Becoming magnificent.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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How Hard Was it?

Pulling to the curb to park,

Pausing and taking in the numerous

Cars and other vehicles

surrounding the building

And the church we were married in,

Watching a young man smoke at the edge of the

Approaching sidewalk,

Thinking about why I am here and if I can go inside,

Checking my reflection in the rearview mirror,

Then, looking at the display on my phone to see

The exact time,

It’s just minutes before the designated time,

Taking a cleansing breath,

And telling myself that I can do this,

Stepping out as the sunshine touches

My upturned face,

Crossing the street and keeping my eyes

On the young man puffing on his cigarette,

Is he a greeter or not?

I go directly to him,

Thinking maybe he’ll remember me,

“Taking a smoke break I see—is everyone inside?”

“Yes, they just returned from the gravesite.”

He says this as he smiles at me,

But he says nothing else.

I go inside,

As I enter, one of his sisters comes to join me.

She greets me by asking me if I am indeed,

Jeanette,

I respond with a yes and a nod,

As she pulls me in for a hug,

She points out where everyone is seated.

And she thanks me for coming,

I feel shaky–like this is all surreal,

After talking with his three sisters,

I sit a bit with his mother,

She is quite distressed at times,

However, she is holding together for the

Most part,

Then, after viewing some old photos of him,

she dissolves and heads for the restroom,

A former middle school teacher approaches me,

He stands very near my chair and he goes

Down on one knee,

He asks, “How hard wasn’t to walk through those doors today?”

I respond to his question, “It was one of the hardest things I have

Ever done, but I felt like I must or I might regret it

Forever.”

“I understand.”

Then, the man’s oldest son—the man I was married to

For almost ten years, but separated from him

for almost

Seven years

comes to the table I am sitting at

And he joins us,

This son is the one that stepped up,

And took care of every detail for me

Pertaining to this sad event,

Even though he lived out of state,

And had his own reasons for not

Wanting to address this sudden situation,

I will always be grateful to him for doing so

With such courage and kindness towards me.

May you now rest in peace,

Because life never represented much of it

While you were here with us,

Walking out was as difficult as entering

That day with sun still shining overhead,

As I departed,

Driving down the street on which

You died inside this tiny village

Where you spent most of your lifetime,

A village where you were raised

And where you died suddenly

Without me by your side.

–J. E. Cook ©2017

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A Rainbow Appears after the Storm

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I remember your sly grin,

I did so yesterday while doing my routine shopping

In the much-needed rain,

I haven’t decided whether I like this or not,

But you were there in my thoughts,

After a passing stranger’s cologne lingered in the

Dewy air,

He had that same stubborn look on his face as

He looked up into my eyes.

We shared a lot of good in a short period,

I think about your once familiar touch and long kisses,

However, that can’t fix it all,

So I push onward because you were more than I could

Ever handle.

It’s all foreign to me now,

Mostly because I didn’t really know you at all.

Your thirsty addiction for the drug scene won and it

Broke us.

My desire for you is currently very faded and wilted

Like a battered yellow rose from Texas dying in the summer sun

Of a humid Ohio season.

The dark skies are clearing and I’m persevering

With strong courage to succeed,

That rainbow there—stands for my renewal in life

and my striving

Commitment to being a pure soul again

with my utmost goals always

remaining

Firmly planted in my educated thinking.

–J. E. Cook 2016

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Musings on a Sunday morning~

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Opportunity or Fantasy

When something ends a bit badly,

It isn’t always a mistake,

Sometimes, we are reckless with our lives

And don’t think things through enough

Before acting upon our thoughts,

We often must pick through a lot

Of fool’s gold before a rare diamond is

Revealed. —J. E. Cook ©2017

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Bounty in the Countryside

 

Driving past the sage colored pastures

With cows gently grazing on the bounty,

Puffs of cotton clouds fill the pastel blue

Skies,

Old stone houses of varying sizes

Create a magical neighborhood among this

Countryside area of farmland,

One guest cottage with its own little

Garden patch calls to me,

It is quite a distance from the main house

On this farm,

Entering the cozy front room through

the turquoise door,

The hardwood floors shine back at me,

Light streams through the big window across

From the stone fireplace,

I quickly walk through and take in the cozy

Spaces

as I approach the back door,

And go out to see the flowering apple trees

The vibrant leaves fluttering in the breeze,

One picnic table by a small goldfish pond

And a dog napping in the sun,

I hear the murmur of the cows in the distance

As I am greeted with a basket of cheese, wine,

French bread and tart berries gave to me

By a familiar woman in white

with a quilt over one

Arm,

She hands the nurturing gift to me as she puts

The worn quilt over the rough boards on the tabletop,

The clouds seem to be following her to me,

we take our seats across from each other

And unpack the bounty in unison

to enjoy together,

In the afternoon sun with touches of shade

Now and then,

The hint of what will come causes us to toast

To this beautiful day on the farm.  J. E. Cook ©2017

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What are the ridiculous myths in life?

 

Philosophy teachers lecturing about Plato to us

In college,

Believing that every person on Earth has

Another half, they must find to complete

them,

And they will fulfill all the needs of each other

After they fuse together to become one unit

Of love and happily ever after,

sharing

Vows to cherish until they part because death

Has arrived,

But never is a long time to consider

And vow to each other with promises to keep

attached

Until one dies.   J. E. Cook ©2017

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Quinn and Her Journey with Fibular Hemimelia

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Fibular Hemimelia Support & Awareness

My family is raising awareness about this condition and these ongoing stages associated with this serious condition involving their growth rate and their limbs. Many children all over the world have to deal with this condition called Fibular Hemimelia upon birth. Fibular Hemimelia is a birth defect where part or all of the fibular bone is missing. It can be associated limb length discrepancy, foot deformities, and knee deformities that are present at birth.

This is a shared post from my daughter’s Facebook page and this is Quinn, my granddaughter that will be three years old in November of this year.

Her mother’s words:

“This is Quinn. She is my everything and my hero. Although, she is my daughter I find myself looking up to her a lot for how strong she is. She was diagnosed with fibular hemimelia at four months old after I noticed her legs were not developing at the same rate. She also had a foot deformity that doctors just kept saying was nothing more than a congenital foot deformity. I am so glad I pushed for answers so she gets the correct treatment as some, unfortunately, do not. She has had approximately 10 X-rays since birth, two braces, seen about 5 different specialists and just recently got a raised shoe. I know we have a long road ahead to get my baby two semi-normal legs. We will face the possibility of knee and ankle reconstruction and leg lengthening but my biggest worry is making her feel normal. She wears two separate shoe sizes and it is a struggle just to find something as simple as a pair of shoes not to mention adding the lift modification to the shoe. I find it so important to educate society on limb difference and to help others realize they are not alone. I find the more educated people are the less judgment they are. Myself and many other mothers are writing you on behalf of the FH community to get support and get the word out. People go undiagnosed and misdiagnosed on a regular basis and we would love to help decrease this and let people know there are options. We love our FH warriors.”

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10155140034492535&id=592472534

For more information about this please go here: http://www.paleyinstitute.org/orthopedic-conditions/fibular-hemimelia/fibular-hemimelia

Or here for questions to be answered:

http://www.limblengtheningdoc.org/files/fibular_hemimelia_FAQs.pdf

 

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Quinn at Home

 

Quinn spent a day at the Zoo with her parents

 

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At the Zoo

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Then, going home she went to sleep.

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The Little Things and more

On a green metal bench, outside

Our favorite ice cream spot

We watch the dogwoods dance

In the breeze off the lake,

The sky is bursting with their pink

and

White petals

Reminding me of the delicate

Frosted flowers on the cupcakes

Across the street designed

By a young baker,

The smells in the air

Around us are intoxicating

And the blooms

Become confetti on the sidewalks

My cone contains sweet caramel

That is sex on my tongue

As I lick it,

A touch of sea salt and

Sprinkle of pecan nuts,

A swirl of whipped cream

And a shiny cherry on top,

What else would one want

While they watch the skies

With their favorite love

And forget all the foreign thoughts.

 

Being with the man of your dreams

Is always wonderful

Even without these added pleasures

His curly hair at his neckline

As his sudden smile appears

When he watches the ice cream

Drip onto my lap.

His presence is appreciated

And his eye contact

Makes me blush

My shoulders ache for his touch.

A hug that brings me in so

Close right before his lips

Caress mine. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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Remembering what You were like

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With me, you were often a different person…

 

Curled inside the new

quilt your mother made us

Feeling the warmth, it provides me

I love that feeling of the cool denim hugging

My naked body,

The blue lining keeping in the inner heat,

Our wedding anniversary of one year has

Arrived and gone,

You have been away for a while on business

In New Orleans,

I missed you so much,

But your phone calls kept me grounded

Here

I shiver and pick at a loose thread hanging

From the quilt’s corner.

You join me under it and many others

like it,

Glad to have you back inside with me,

I cuddle close to your muscled chest

Warm suntanned skin, as fresh balsam scents

with vanilla

are mixed into our shared air,

I rise to kiss your sultry closed mouth,

Our lovemaking begins,

A pin in the fabric pricks my tender skin

Along my inner arm,

I’m snagged by it and a trail of red

Smears me as I move with you,

This not being the first time your mother

Forgot a pin or lost one,

Your lips touch the wounded spot

And everything is better and forgotten

As you keep kissing my skin

Moving upward

To my breasts and lingering there

For several moments,

I’m drowning in your passion,

A devotion that I never considered

An accident,

It was what I once wished for

However, the price became too high

And it had so many strings attached to it,

Ones that were hidden and often dormant

Until they were unleashed by something

Unexpected and unwanted. –J. E. Cook ©2017

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I enjoy starting each day by reading…

Sometimes, it is a book and other times it is a small selection of admired poetry. Here are some of my favorites by poets in time. William Blake is the one I would have to pick if I had to site one favorite poet; however, I have many favorite poets, writers, and authors that I often turn to every morning while I sip my coffee or tea in those early hours as the sun rises and creates an inspiring image on our skies. 

The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst, 
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. writ over the door;
So I turn’d to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
–WILLIAM BLAKE~

‘Out, Out—’Related Poem Content Details
BY ROBERT FROST
The buzz saw snarled and rattled in the yard
And made dust and dropped stove-length sticks of wood,
Sweet-scented stuff when the breeze drew across it.
And from there those that lifted eyes could count
Five mountain ranges one behind the other
Under the sunset far into Vermont.
And the saw snarled and rattled, snarled and rattled,
As it ran light, or had to bear a load.
And nothing happened: day was all but done.
Call it a day, I wish they might have said
To please the boy by giving him the half hour
That a boy counts so much when saved from work.
His sister stood beside him in her apron
To tell them ‘Supper.’ At the word, the saw,
As if to prove saws knew what supper meant,
Leaped out at the boy’s hand, or seemed to leap—
He must have given the hand. However it was,
Neither refused the meeting. But the hand!
The boy’s first outcry was a rueful laugh,
As he swung toward them holding up the hand
Half in appeal, but half as if to keep
The life from spilling. Then the boy saw all—
Since he was old enough to know, big boy
Doing a man’s work, though a child at heart—
He saw all spoiled. ‘Don’t let him cut my hand off—
The doctor, when he comes. Don’t let him, sister!’
So. But the hand was gone already.
The doctor put him in the dark of ether.
He lay and puffed his lips out with his breath.
And then—the watcher at his pulse took fright.
No one believed. They listened at his heart.
Little—less—nothing!—and that ended it.
No more to build on there. And they, since they
Were not the one dead, turned to their affairs.

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An Unexpected Summons

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Come, you fragile poets filled with the sea’s liquid.
Come and leak your speech upon our parched beaches!
Come and sing with the ocean’s primordial influences.
Come and sanctify our living dictionary.
Come and listen to our seas–rivers–the many lakes.
Come and offer a levy to our tributaries.
Come and accompany us.
Come with your mask of shifting personas falling away.
Come with your torches burning.
Come add your bouquet to the existing aroma.
Come bring your artfulness for our sake of the art.
Come with your lacerations, tender, and red.
Come with your heart brilliant or obscure.
Come with your words for the distinguished dead.
Then go to the notorious graves and remember their souls.
And recite all of your remembrances.
Yes, come and find your passion; your true natural ability:
The marriage of thoughts to be esteemed hydration.

–J. E. Cook ©2016

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Springer Spaniels instead of Chocolates

 

A Story by Josie Cook

 

 

It’s a cold February afternoon. There are tiny crystal snowflakes suspended in the frigid air. Many residents are thinking about Valentine’s Day gifts. Amelia is in her large dainty pink bedroom contemplating the big Victorian across the street called the Tabor House as the sun reflects off its snow-covered cupola. Looking out her window, she can view the corner of Commerce Street and Bluebird Crossing. As Amelia does this, she observes her girlfriend, Georgia sitting on her enclosed front porch. Her auburn hair is shimmering with a golden glow encircling her head as she reads from a big book in her lap. Georgia’s image makes Amelia think of sun-kissed berry. A tiny puppy is dozing against her left side on the white wicker settee. Georgia’s calico cat named Millie is sleeping against her right side. This intriguing glimpse of Georgia fascinates Amelia. She moves closer to her window. Amelia knows that Georgia’s father suffers from numerous allergies every spring.  Dogs are one of the things on his long list to avoid. Millie is not permitted inside their house. The tiny black and white puppy will need care around the clock at this stage. Amelia thinks Georgia should keep the puppy indoors, or how will it survive?

 

Amelia gazes at her own face in her mirror. Her hair is smooth like corn silk, not one strand out of place. She heads down the curved stairwell. Grabbing her quilted coat from the hall closet along with her fur-lined mittens, Amelia watches for her mom as she puts on her winter outerwear.  Amelia opens the front door and she goes out to sit on their front porch swing. Still thinking about the puppy and Georgia, she glances their way as Georgia reaches over to pick up the little pup. She cradles it in both arms, as Millie wakes and stretches into an arch. The cat backs away quickly. Millie jumps up into the windowsill, and she curls up into a ball. Amelia decides to visit them and see what is up with the new arrival.

Amelia knocks on the porch door as she peers through the glass. Georgia smiles. She comes over to open the door with the puppy still cradled in her arms.

“Georgia, where did you get that cute puppy?”  Amelia asks with a cheerful smile spreading across her freckled face.

“Aunt Patsy gave him to me as an early gift for Valentine’s Day since daddy is a long business trip. He doesn’t know about him yet.” Georgia giggles as she sits back down letting the puppy rest in her lap.

“Won’t he be furious when he finds out?”

Amelia sits down beside Georgia. She strokes the puppy’s fur. Millie doesn’t seem to care at all about them. The cat dozes in the sun’s rays coming through the windowpanes.

“Mom says she will take care of it. Whatever that means…” Georgia rolls her eyes at Amelia with a smirk appearing on her face.

Amelia looks over at Georgia, she pauses, “Patsy is your father’s sister, so maybe that is what your mom means…” Amelia whispers to Georgia as if she is afraid that the girl’s mother will overhear them.

Amelia continues thinking about how lucky Georgia is to have two pets when she has none. Her black bunny that she named Bell died last winter.  Her parents don’t want her to have another pet because they live in town. Amelia’s parents think she should be content to share a pony with her younger cousin, Charity. She lives in the country. Amelia doesn’t get to ride the pinto pony as often as her younger cousin does because their farm is a good hour and a half outside of the city limits.

“Mom says dad will get used to the idea of having a dog around.” Georgia picks the pup up and hands it to Amelia to hold for a while.

“I just love how his hair is all wavy.  He has such blue eyes when he opens them. Gosh, Georgia I would love to have a puppy like him.”

“My aunt has two more puppies to find homes for since she is only keeping their mother. Maybe, you could ask your parents if you could have one, too.”

Georgia glances at Millie. She gets up to catch her cat. Georgia brings Millie over and sits down by Amelia and the puppy.

Amelia notices that Millie is purring loudly and rubbing all over Georgia. She feels a little sorry for the cat because she must share Georgia now.

“Georgia, do you think Millie is going to feel left out if you spend a lot of time with your new puppy? After all, he is going inside with you and she must stay on the porch. It’s not that warm out here at night.”

“No, he stays in our garage.  I check on him every two hours. Mom says he’ll be fine. He has a new bed with his toys and plenty of food.” Georgia tells her.

“But, the garage is where your dad works on his car on the weekends. I bet he won’t like having this puppy out there when he is polishing his red Camaro for the next car show at the park.”

“I really don’t know what he’ll say. I named him Freckles because he has all these little black spots on his face.”

“What do the other puppies look like?”  Amelia asks as she stares at the pup’s face.

“One is almost all white with some big black spots on his belly and around each eye. The only female has small white spots all over her tan body. All of them have these beautiful blue eyes and long wavy hair. But, my aunt says, their eyes may turn brown later.”

“I’m going to ask my mom if I can have one for Valentine’s Day!  Before they’re all gone.” Getting up quickly, Amelia hands Georgia her pup.

Amelia pauses before crossing the street, as a car passes by. She can’t wait to get her own puppy. As Amelia reaches her porch, her mother comes out the front door.

“Where have you been? I was calling up the stairway for you. I need to go to the grocery for some milk and bread before it snows again.”

“I was visiting Georgia. She has the cutest puppy! Can I have one too? For Valentine’s Day?” Amelia watches her mom’s face for clues to what she might say about a puppy.

Her mother eyes Amelia closely. “I’m not the one to ask about that and you know it. When your father gets in this evening, you can ask him.”

“Oh, mom. Why does he always make all the important decisions? You could tell him the puppy is a gift for me. Please. Don’t make me wait on him—the pups might be gone by then.”

“Amelia, please just get inside the car. We need to get back so I can start dinner on time. Your father works out in the weather all day. He needs a hot meal on time.”

Amelia walks to the drive and she gets inside as her mother starts their old rusty Chevy. As they cruise down the street to the stop sign, Amelia waves at Georgia. During the ride to the store, she daydreams about waking up to a puppy licking her in the face every morning.

Arriving back home with several bags of food and cleaning supplies, Amelia and her mother unload the trunk. Amelia can’t see across the street now because is it dark. She wonders if Georgia asked her aunt about the remaining pups and if there are any still available.

In the kitchen, Amelia’s mom is singing as she cooks dinner. Amelia is at the table doing her math homework. She is having a hard time doing her story problems because she keeps thinking about puppies. The back door opens and in walks, her father covered in tiny snowflakes. His dark coat moist from the snow. He pulls off his black boots at the door along with his work gloves.

“Daddy, I have something important to ask you. Can I get a puppy for Valentine’s day?”

Her father looks up from tucking his wool socks into his boots. His eyes go to the cook stove where her mom is looking at her cookbook on the counter. Her fingers are busy moving down the pages checking the ingredients for making seasoned dumplings. She turns away from them and she walks to the sink to run water as Amelia goes to her father’s side. Amelia watches his face as she waits for his answer that seems to never come out of his mouth.

“Did you hear me? Can I have a puppy?”

“A dog is a big commitment. I’m not sure you’re ready for that kind of responsibility.”

Her mother turns around to stare at them. Then, she starts mixing up the dumplings. Amelia waits for them to say something else. However, her father walks into the living room and turns on the TV. His favorite sitcom is on and he doesn’t like to be interrupted as he watches each episode. He tries to figure out the answers to the mystery quest taking place before it is solved.

“You better finish your math before dinner.”

Frowning at her mother, Amelia picks up her pencil with worn eraser. She tries to focus on the last story problem on the page. There’s a knock on the front door. Amelia peeks around the doorframe as her father answers it.

“Hello, Mr. Gilbert. May I step inside? The wind is picking up and I’m freezing.”

Amelia sees a teenage boy holding a box wrapped in pink foil paper. He is holding the box closely to his body. His hat is covered in snow as well as his wool coat. A scarf is wrapped tightly around his neck.

“Of course, come on inside. Our dinner is about ready. You can join us if you like.”

“Oh, no. Just came to drop off your package. Mom is waiting in the car for me and my father expects me to help him with the feeding soon.” The young man stays on the tile by the door waiting for someone to come to him.

“So, nice that you came over this evening with this weather. We could’ve waited until in the morning to receive it.” Her father takes the box and hands the teenage boy some cash.

“Well, I better get going. Thanks again, Mr. Gilbert.” The boy turns to leave.

“I’m sure this will work fine and be safe on the road home.” After the boy nods to him. Her father shuts the door tightly.

“Amelia, come here. I wanted to wait until morning since Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. But, I don’t think this can be delayed.”

Amelia walks into the living room to stand beside her father as her mother joins them. She takes a seat on their couch with a dish towel still in her hands. Amelia looks up at her father. He hands her the pink box. It feels heavy and bit off balance. Amelia joins her mother on the couch as her father takes a seat in his recliner near the fireplace.

“Darling, maybe you should grab your camera and snap of picture of Amelia as she opens her early gift. Don’t feel left out, I have yours arriving in the morning.”

Amelia’s mother rises and she goes to retrieve her pocket camera from their bedroom where it is always lying on the bookshelf. The box seems to move a little on Amelia’s lap. She holds it tighter until her mother returns to the room.

“Okay, Amelia. I’m ready. Go ahead and unwrap your gift.”

Clunk. The box hits the carpet. Then, it rolls a couple of times. There’s low whine from inside it. Then, some squeals of some sort.

“Oh, no, I hope I didn’t break anything inside.” Amelia jumps up to get the box. But, her father is already picking it up.

“Go sit down on the couch, please.”

Amelia does so. She straightens her plaid skirt as she looks up at her father. He hands her the shiny pink box. Amelia places it in her lap again with one arm wrapped around it. She uses her other hand to rip the paper loose. The top of the box pops open. A set of bright blue eyes stares up at her. A pink tongue licks her cheek. Her fingers touch the tan wavy hair before the whole fluffy body lands on her chest. Paws on each side of her face. Wet kisses all over her freckles. A ball of energy wiggling in her hands. Amelia feels tears fall—joyful ones. She smiles at her parents, “This is the best surprise ever. I love you, both.”

 

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a long time gone by Karen White

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My thoughts on this novel…

I have read most of White’s published novels, and I think this one is my favorite thus far!

Home means so much to all of us and to each it is a different definition in our minds. White creates a meaning for her characters and shares it with her words. Her sensory descriptions make the images appear to me as read this fabulous book. Heirloom objects mentioned in repetition throughout make it true to her reader.
Vivien is wild at heart and often coming undone with her past chasing her and matching her in thoughts. Dementia is appearing through her mother’s actions and her speech. Mothers and daughters are evolving inside the story. The Walker women share some history and it drives the storyline along with surprises towards the ending.
Inherited ways are thought and discussed. Returning home is the key to facing Vivien’s past. Through Carol Lynne’s dairy, the reader learns the meaning of motherhood and how a women’s destiny can be revealed through those that she gives life. Children often shape women’s lives and what they do in the future. This is what the circle of life is for mothers and it takes place in this story.
The ghost of the dead woman takes form and drives the story into the past and what happened before Vivien was born. Generations are involved and objects give clues to what happened in the past. A ring inspires people to seek its meaning and it brings curiosity along the way to the intended discovery.
Whites handles the shifting timelines so well in all of her novels including this one. The era of the 1920’s has always fascinated me, and I became compelled to learn more about this timeline as I read on.

 

Keeping a gardening journal and talking about the replanting of a garden that held family memories was a nice touch too. The meaning behind the visiting crows and what a certain tree meant to the main character made me think about how nature often influences our daily thoughts. Mississippi is the location and setting in this riveting well-structured fiction novel. Storms and flooding play into the family history as a ghost visits and the cypress swamp sings in the background. Vivien is on her personal quest and journey as she rebuilds her life and leaves one behind that involves a self-centered ex-husband and a step-daughter that she can’t forget.

 

Mississippi is the location and setting in this riveting well-structured fiction novel. Storms and flooding play into the family history as a ghost visits and the cypress swampland sings in the background. Vivien is on her personal quest and challenging journey as she rebuilds her life and leaves one situation behind that involves a self-centered ex-husband and a step-daughter that she can’t forget. A step-daughter that becomes her focal point towards the end of the book. Chloe has made a lot of inroads and personal connections by visiting Vivien after she returns home. She becomes unforgettable even after she is retrieved by her father.

 

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