Food, Family, Intimacy

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In the winter of 2019, we celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary. It was a great time of food, fun, and most of all family. This was just before the covid pandemic, so all of our children and grandchildren were able to come from near and far.

We shared a great meal at our local O’Charley’s restaurant and enjoyed great conversations. It is so much more rewarding to go out to eat when joined by family. I guess this is where the term breaking bread together comes from. Back when everyone broke pieces off of a large loaf of bread and used it to eat their food, eating was an intimate connection.

Breaking bread

Intimate expressions shared

Family connections

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Merril remembers her father who would be 103 if he were still living. She shared his love for celebrating with his family at his favorite restaurants. She asked us to write about a favorite restaurant and why it is important to us.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Finding Success

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Success comes from within

Not from what we have

or the car we drive

or the house we live in

or the trophies we have won

Success is getting up when you fall

Believing you can continue on

Knowing who you are

And what you can do

Success is loving and being loved

Knowing the value of family

The importance of friends

And that children are an extension of you

Success is giving $15 worth of work

On a job that pays only $10 an hour

Success is treating others with respect

even when you are mistreated

Success is standing up for justice

For those who are being oppressed

Success comes from within

From the core of your being

Success is who you believe you are

and being all you can be

Success is loving God and those around you

being willing to serve others for the good of all

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posting on d’Verse Open Link night:   https://dversepoets.com

Mourning or Celebrating

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New buds surround light

Filled with the hope of springtime

In church loved ones mourn

Remembering a life well lived

Celebrating family ties

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Yesterday we gathered with family and friends to remember the life of my brother’s wife. She was a beautiful strong woman, who spent 35 years of her life serving others as an Intensive Cardiac Care nurse. She was loved by all who knew her. Though we mourned her loss, we celebrated the gift she was to all of us.

Blossoms Bloom and Fall

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Pear blossoms peak out

Morning sunshine makes them smile

Cold Spring chill coming

A dear petal falls softly

While her spirit passes on

In the midst of life there is always death. As much as we shield ourselves from thinking about it, it became very clear during Covid-19 and now with the war in Ukraine. Yesterday my sister-in-law passed away. She was gentle soul and beautiful person, loved by everyone. She suffered from dementia over the past couple of years. This poem is in memory of her.

Flowering Pear

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Oh No!!

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Seeing our grandson for the first time since before Covid-19 created personal celebration in our minds. He and my son came down from Virginia on the Tuesday after Christmas.

We planned a big turkey dinner and invited our other son and family to join us. All was going well with the preparation. The Turkey was put in a browning bag to bake. Soon after it started baking, my wife realized she had forgotten to put the rack under the turkey to keep it up off the pan.

Carefully we pulled the hot turkey out of the oven. With big oven gloves, I lifted the turkey, and she slid the rack under it, That is when everything went South!

I pushed the broiler pan with the turkey back into the oven. The only problem was I did not push the oven rack back with it!! The turkey and the pan dropped off the back edge of the oven rack and wedged against the oven wall. The bag began to melt into the turkey!

Frantically we retrieved the turkey, moved it onto the sink counter, and we took it out of the melted bag. The heat of the oven wall melted the bag into the turkey’s skin. I carefully cut the damaged skin off the turkey, and we put it into a new browning bag. We were putting it back into the oven just as my son and grandson walked in the door.

Celebration

supersedes cooking faux pas

Foul turkey gobbled!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Lisa asked us to write a Haibun about some aspect of our holiday celebration. I decided to share one of a few faux pas that occurred over our Christmas celebration.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

Little Brother

Phil on the porch at Masontown

When I was ten years old, my parents announced to the four of us children that we were going to be having a baby brother or sister. Back then there were no tests to tell ahead of time. What a surprise for me (and I think for my parents as well). My mom was 43 at the time, and having a baby at that age was questionable back then, since the age factor could lead to issues like Downs Syndrome and others.

I remember being introduced to people as the “Baby of the family!” It brought a lot of good attention it seemed. But with the advent of my new little brother, all that changed over night. All went well and my brother Philip was born without any complications. He was the first of us to be born in the hospital! He was so cute and everyone loved him and showered him with attention. I don’t remember ever feeling jealous or left out as a result. I am sure it was a bigger adjustment for my parents than it was for us children. My sister was delighted to have a little brother and took him under her wing to look after.

Tomorrow, October 25th, he turns 64! It is hard to believe that so much time has passed since then. I wanted to write this post to wish him happy birthday!

What a nice surprise

A little brother arrived

Happy Birthday Phil

*

Photo from family album

Tattoos on my Heart

Tattoo heart

Some I’ve passed in life’s journey

left tattoos inked upon my heart;

Indelible piercings still remain

even though we are far apart…

Marking memories of times gone by

never to be removed, no matter how I try.

Good and bad // I remember them well

along with all the back-stories they tell.

Joy and pain have left their mark…

images tattooed upon my heart.

Some I hide and wish they were gone;

Others shine brightly like a dearly loved song.

All are foundation stones right from the start…

signatures of love engraved on my heart.

 

Tattoo from bing images

Connected or Disconnected

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Today I was feeling disconnected, so I thought I would write my feelings about it. My good friend Bob, moved back to New York, in 2018, to be closer to his family. He loved to talk and came by often when I was painting in my garage. He would sit and talk as we would solve the world’s problems while I painted.  Since he moved, I have not found anyone like him to connect with and it has been a lonely time for me. I am most grateful for all my wonderful blogger friends, but it is not quite the same.  

Feelings run deep

through the labyrinths of my mind

expressed in many subtle ways

as time moves on.

Emotions flow

like calm bayou waters…

over many tangled roots.

Finding connection with people

becomes a disillusioning task

in this age

of three-second attention spans

and busy schedules.

Friends who will take time

to sit and listen

are hard to come by.

Most acquaintances

are ‘hi and bye’ friends

with few shared interests.

Even family

is hard to connect with

amid work and school activities…

A smile and a hug

a shared meal or visit

between smart phone checks…

all on the run it seems.

Perhaps my interests

are just that…

my interests

while others have moved on.

Does anyone really care

what happens

how it happens

or what I think?

In our crowded

disconnected world

we live in seconds

not hours.

Who sits

and talks for an hour,

let alone minutes any more?

Perhaps we need more

front porch swings to sit on

with neighbors

who know each other…

people whom we can share

long conversations with

about the meaning

of life, love, and happiness.

Perhaps

we should spend real time

with our loved ones now

before it is too late.

*

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Worth the Risk

I am not afraid of dying

It is the fear of loneliness that haunts my mind

Family disconnect is unacceptable for me

Visits and hugs are worth the risk

Embracing Covid with masked precaution

I’m pushed into the pool

It is sink or swim

Photo: Ruth Roth

Today at d’Verse, it is Quadrille Monday. We are to write a Quadrille of 44 words that includes the word embrace. This has been a long lonely year for many of us, not being able to socialize with friends and family like we used to do. Covid-19 is taking its toll around the world. One of the worst effects of Covid is the separation of families at the time of death. This to me is unacceptable, even with the risks involved. We have decided that connecting with family is worth the risk, and though infrequent, we get together from time to time. My poem today expresses that sentiment.

A Living History

This is not a painting

It is a living family history

Not just an abstract splash of color

But, a life’s journey

A story that began a lifetime ago

Moving 2500 miles to Alberta

Building a little house in the big woods

Raising his family near a Cree Indian village

By the shores of Calling Lake

*

This is a story of mid-life change

to the big city of Edmonton

Becoming a respiratory therapist

A new career of serving others

Retiring to a condo

*

Memory fading to dim

More than Mother can care for

Her brain tumor required attention

Care needed for both

*

End of like can be full of surprises

This is not a painting

It is our family’s story

Painting: Dwight L. Roth 1-2013

Today at d’Verse, Mish asked us to choose an object, that means something special to us, and write a poem beginning with the line… “This is not a _________” Eight years ago we flew to Edmonton, AB to make care arrangements for both of my wife’s parents. Her mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor and her father was suffering from Alzheimer’s. It was a traumatic time for all of us. When we finally returned home the end of January, I poured my emotions into this painting depicting their life in Alberta. To me, this is much more than a painting. It is a piece of family history!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com …click on Mr. Linkey and read more poems.