No U-turns

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On the road today, we are traveling to meet old friends. This is our first vacation since Covid started. As we traveled North to Ohio, the mountains in West Virginia were gorgeous.  but when we crossed the Ohio River, the clouds were spectacular. At my age, getting together with old friends is so important. Better to do it now rather than waiting for a memorial service in the future.

Life moves on

Seasons keep changing

No U-turns

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Today at d’Verse, guest host Xenia Tran asked us to write a Haibun about a special September moment. Today was a gorgeous Fall Day to be traveling.

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Houses in Bloom

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One of the most beautiful spots we visited on our anniversary trip up the Rhine was the Medieval town of Colmar. It is located in the Alsace region of France. The old part of town is maintained much like it was hundreds of years ago. The thing that struck me was all the beautiful flowers that were in every window of the houses along the canal. The quaint houses and brick streets made an interesting contrast to the beautiful flower boxes in the windows.

Flower boxes bloom

Filled with bright summer blossoms

Tourists snap photos

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Posting for open link night at d’Verse poets pub.

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The Summer of ’69

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We were in love…

It was the summer that men first walked on the moon.’

I was going home with Ruth to meet her parents

We drove across country with friends…

2500 miles in a Ford Falcon

stopping in Illinois so they could be in a wedding,

then driving all night to Iowa City.

It was definitely not your usual trip

But, in five days we reached Edmonton, Alberta.

We both still had miles to go to reach our destination.

It was a wonderful trip, with tubing on the river

canoe rides on the lake, and a boat ride down river;

and, of course, spending time with her family.

The Apollo Moon Mission was in progress

Neighbors invited us to their house to watch

as Neal Armstrong took that first step onto the moon.

It was a little 13 inch black and white TV

with a fuzzy picture,

but we knew history was being made

in many ways in the summer of ‘69

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                  We were married after Christmas in 1969

Photo:from the family album and Jim Bowmen 

Today at d’Verse, Linda gave us the first lines of twelve different books and asked us to pick one to include in our poem. I chose ‘It was the summer that men first walked on the moon.’– Paul Auster, Moon Palace, Faber and Faber 1989. I have so many great memories from that summer.

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The Misfit

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Spike the Tomato

A photographic moment

Russian dolls sparkle


Spike the player smiles

Misfit big nose blends right in

A juicy moment


What are they hiding

deep inside those pretty shells

Stacks of surprises


Waiting to be revealed!

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

At d’Verse today, Ingrid asked us to write a poem using concrete nouns. We are to leave out the emotion and feeling words. Spike the tomato grew in my garden a few years ago.  My wife put the face on him and he became a children’s story about being different and accepting yourself.  You can read the whole story of Spike the Unusual Tomato on Amazon Kindle under my name or the book title. If you would like free a pdf. copy email me at .

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Come Along and Ride this Train… (travel NC) Great Smoky Mountain Railroad

Today, I am doing a photo montage of a wonderful trip we took to the small town of Bryson City, in the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Train rides into the Nantahala Gorge are available on reservation. There are several levels from an open car, to an vintage dining car with a full meal served.

The ride is about two hours long, with a lay over of about forty five minutes at the White Water Center, where they have competitions and train for the Olympics. You ride along beautiful Lake Fontaine as it winds its way into the gorge. For someone looking for a different vacation than usual, this is a wonderful spot to visit.

Train ride memories

enjoying nature’s beauty

Whitewater flowing

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Come Fly With Me

Like sardines in a can we waited

for Covid to to be abated

Some wore sweats all day

on their computers with pay

Now many have their shot

Tired of staying home a lot

Fourth of July is coming

Jet engines are now humming

Stamp Art: Dwight L. Roth

Today I wrote a Quadrille of exactly 44 words. The Quadrille was created by d’Verse Poets Pub, which is now on mid summer break for two weeks.

Venturing Out Again

Today is the anniversary of the Covid-19 shut down in the United States. We had no idea what was going on, and it seemed no one else did either. Travel bans, restrictions, quarantines, hospitalizations, and deaths all came together for the perfect storm. It has been a very different year for all of us.

We celebrated our 50th in the summer of 2019 with a European River Cruise. We are so thankful that we were able to do this before all the Covid restrictions came down. We are waiting for our second shot, and the ability to feel safe going to restaurants, church, and travel to visit family once again. Hopefully you are doing well also.

Hiding in shadows

Missing travel, family, friends

Spring brings warm fresh air

Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Big Valley Pennsylvania (Travel)

Horses and buggies can be found clopping up and down the roads of Kishacoquillas Valley in Central Pennsylvania. Big Valley lies between the towns of Lewistown and Huntingdon. It is the home of a great number of Amish and Mennonite Farmers, who, along with many others farm, this beautiful valley. People there refer to their home as Big Valley. It is the home of many of my ancestors on both sides of my family. It is one of the most beautiful places in the country. These are a few of the sights you might see on a visit there.

Memories and roots

grow deep in rich black soil

Ancestors rest here

My mother’s home
My father’s home
The Crossroad

CN Train

When our boys were young, my wife’s parents took us to the mountains on our visits to Edmonton. We camped in the Canadian Rockies and watched the long freight trains wind their way through Hell’s Gate Canyon. I was always impressed with the way railroads were built along the winding rivers providing connections with Vancouver and Calgary. One that we watched coming through the mountains was the Canadian National or the CN train. A few years ago, I decided to paint a CN train coming though the mountains. I did it in color, but I really liked the effects of the black and white! Which one do you like best?

Freight train winds its way

Through Canadian Rockies

Summer and Winter

Paintings – Dwight L. Roth


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!