Vacations

Remember the days

when vacations were fun

Time off work

and we were on the run

Traveling as far as

our imaginations could reach

To the mountains

ride the train

and fun times at the beach

Coming home exhausted

and ready for a rest

Back to work on Monday

Vacations were the best!

I took this photo in 1976, when one of my students, Sharon Ulrich, won the My America contest for the state of Virginia. It included a week long trip across the state of Pennsylvania, stopping to visit all the historic sites. It included her parents and her teacher (me) and winner representatives for each state. By the time we got to Lancaster County, to ride the Strasburg Railroad, many of the folks were worn out and needed a rest… as you can see in the photo!

Boats of Amsterdam 2019

A private canal ride
Tourist canal boats carry you where you want to go!
The garbage scow picked up our ships trash!
The Norwegian Pearl slowly leaves port
Life on the Canal

Water everywhere

Boats of every shape and size

Just like people

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

More Memories of Travel on the Rhine 2019

Kiser Wilhelm at Coblenz
Fortress at Coblentz
Cruising on the Rhine
Fallen Heroes Memorial at Colblentz
Sunset on the Rhine
Industries all along the Rhine
Bridge checkpoint on the Rhine
View of the Cologne Cathedral from our room
Our ride up the Rhine
Open air seating in Strasbourg
Evening on the Rhine

Cruising up the Rhine

Tourists packed on a cruise ship

Only mem’ries now

Morning Wake-up Call on the Farm

Uncle Fred's Farm Painting

Dwight      time to get up”

Five forty-five comes early

When cows must be milked

Just five more minutes…

Cowbells tinkle down the lane

Must get to the barn

Cows find their own stall

We hug their necks to chain them

Now it’s milking time

Milkers pump     milk flows

Pipeline to bulk storage tank

White gold for farmers

Twenty-six cows fed

and milked      time for our breakfast

Fried eggs      (fried) cornmeal mush

Same routine each day

Morning and evening chores done

Sleep comes easily

***

Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, Frank Tassone asked us to write a poem using haiku in sequence.  I decided to do a snippet of farm life. When I turned thirteen, it started working summers on my Uncle Fred’s farm in central Pennsylvania.  He had a dairy farm with around 26 cows that had to be milked morning and evening every day,  three hundred and sixty five days a year!  Morning always came too soon for me. My Aunt Dorothy would call up the stair steps and tell me it was time to get up. This is my poem about getting up and getting to the barn each morning.  Some of my best memories come from working there.

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

Home Again

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We celebrated our fiftieth wedding anniversary with a cruise up the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel. It was a wonderful week of new adventures. We met some really interesting people along the way. After a long 19 hour day of travel we were very thankful to be home again! More photos to come in future posts.

So glad to be home

Traveling in summer heat

Memories to keep

*********

Dream of a lifetime fulfilled

Waking  to reality

 

Remembering a Life Well Lived

Paul White

Life passes so quickly from young to old

With all of its ups and downs

A mother lost //a stepmother gained

One never forgets that pain

A life of giving // hard work // and faith

Raising a family // with love and grace

Changing occupations at midlife’s crossroad

Back to school //  then life down a new road

Deep faith in God sustained him through

heartaches and struggle no one ever knew

As life’s end drew near // with dementia and separation

He still kept his humor right up until the very end

After 91 years of a life filled with service

His spirit passed on and we will rejoice

“A life well lived” was not just a cliché

And he wouldn’t have had it any other way

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In loving Memory of

Paul H. White

4-29-1927 – 8-2-2018

Tomorrow we celebrate the 89 years of my father-in-law’s life with friends and family. His sister flew in from London and his brother from Ohio. Children and grandchildren arrived here in Edmonton where we all gathered at his favorite restaurant. About thirty of us shared a great meal and remembered the good times and reminisced! It was a great time for all.

 

 

 

 

 

Fall in the Woods

Dwight with bird house from Lauralville 001

Growing up playing in the woods all summer was wonderful. We ran over the trails and played Cowboys and Indians, Davey Crockett, and Daniel Boone. We had no video games or smartphones. We spent our days in the outdoors. I hope you will bear with me for reposting this bit of nostalgia. I posted it last year and will probably post it again next year. Perhaps you can picture the changes in our woods as fall came on each year. This is where I grew from a child into a teenager at Masontown, Pennsylvania.

Fall in the Woods at Masontown

I can still remember, like it was yesterday
Fall in the woods at Masontown

Cold weather closed in early
Leaves in the woods
Turned shades of yellow, orange, red, and brown
What was once a lush green woods
Filled with green hollow stemmed weeds
Now becomes blanketed
With a soft silent coating of leaves

The Silver Maple and Butternut next to the house
Dropped their yellow-tan leaves
The quince turned yellow-brown
As the apple trees blended into the scene
With rich deep red leaves
Highlighted by a back drop of color
Pouring from the shallow woods
Extending from our house
To the church cemetery

On the driveway black walnuts still in the hulls
Driven over with car tires
Squishing and shelling
Removing the hard nuts inside
Picking them up, peeling off the excess
While blends of saffron, amber, and walnut stains
Are left on my hands and under my nails

From driveway to furnace room
Down in the basement
The nuts carried to be dried
For cracking with hammer and brick

Out in the field behind the chicken house
Rows of asparagus
Lined the edge of the woods
Bent over like a hundred old men
Kinked and twisted
Dry hollow stems
Seed pods still clinging stubbornly to the tops
Some will weather the snow and wind
Only to be disked up in the spring
To start all over again

Masontown 1972 (2)

Out in the woods,
Paths where our bare feet ran all summer long
Disappeared under layers of leaves
As frost took its toll on the trees
Now I can walk through the woods,
With a borrowed single-shot 12 gauge,
Looking in the pit holes for rabbits,
Flushing out ring-necked pheasants
From the edge of the corn field
Just beyond the back side of the woods

Life was simple then,
Rabbits shot were few and pheasants even fewer
But walking through the woods and field
Was an experience I enjoyed
Just for the sake of being there

The woods remained stark and bare
For the rest of the winter,
But it’s passing and recurring beauty
Left indelible impressions
On my mind for years to come

Sometimes I wish
I could just be there once again

Masontown, PA circa 1949 001

Photos: Dwight L. Roth & Family Album

 

 

Under the Ziegler Oak

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Did you ever read a poem an think, “I think I could write one like that!” Perhaps you might even have the audacity to think you could do one better! This is what I thought a couple of years ago when my sister sent me a poem, by Helen Hay Whitney, called With Music. The poem was a good one, but to me was very depressing. I thought I could write one from my own experience, using the same format, but changing the words to make it more positive and upbeat. See what you think.

 

Under the Ziegler Oak

Yes dear, we did meet in some clear yesterday?

I distinctly remember how the cool breezes blew

Among green grass and shade of our oak,

And on the grass, beside the tree, we lay

In early twilight; faintly, far away,

Came lovely sounds adrift from the mocking bird above,

With answered echoes of a scolding blue jay,

While twilight waited tiptoe, fain to stay.

Her Brown eyes were sweet with innocent mystery.

You looked in mine, as the music rose and fell

Like little, lisping melodies of the sea;

Our souls were joined, our voices in harmony rose—

Golden words, a note, a line, who can tell?

Soft—music rising—I recall it all.

*****************************************

(Written in contrast to the poem

“With Music”

by Helen Hay Whitney)

“With Music” was published in “Sonnets and Songs”

(Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1905).

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Memories of Smell

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Memories of Smell

Memories of smell seem to linger on

Embedded in our minds long after they’re gone

The smell of Mom’s sugar cookies gooey and sweet

Fresh out of the oven on a flat cookie sheet

The sweet smell of love its perfumed scent lingers on

Recalling excitement enchantment long since gone

Hugs at the end of the day filled with warm aromatic sweat

Aromas a grown child remembers no matter how old he gets

Mom’s talcum powder soft sweet pepper in the air

Brought comfort and love as we sat in her chair

The smell of stale smoke on clothes and in the car

Carpooling butt-filled tray inhaling all that tar

Smelling that Tide from the old ringer washer

Watching suds squeeze out soap under pressure

Fresh-cut alfalfa lying green in the sun

Dried hay in the barn when the day is done

Then there’s the stable with manure’s rich aroma

Wafting ‘cross the olfactory a smell like no other

His jacket still hanging on the nail near the door

Still carries his smell recalling good times and more

Sweet memories carry us on through the years

Smells take us back leaving joy and tears

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth