Archive | Memoir RSS for this section

PERIODICAL

My word, her whisper startled me!

as did the closeness of her eyes magnified by my readers!

“I simply have to share this with you, ” words breathed in utter confidence.

I nod, trying to place her.

“I love to crochet…and I love all the crochet magazines, not just this one I’m holding.”

“uh hunh.”

I cannot back up since we are so close to the counter…

“Well, it is the same every month, every month, in every magazine, see?

She holds it open to me, tapered fingers sliding down the spine,

“See?”  dark eyes boring holes in mine.

I do.

I see it!

Someone has torn out an entire section of an article!

Someone has had the nerve to rip apart a library magazine, stealing the patterns, no doubt about it.  Slight panic…I dart a look back into her eyes, trying to remember if I had done it.  Then I remembered I don’t crochet, so…

“I’m going to tell this librarian over here right now.  I’m going to tell her.”

I nodded,

“good idea,”

slowly inched away, gathered my books, then hurried out the door, barely waiting for the automatic door to open… I do not know which librarian she nabbed.

“Ma’am,” she whispered, “I love to crochet…”

that would be nothing

we were three,

my sisters and me,

’til Ruth died,

Mag disappeared,

and I was left to be

whatever I am without them

MY BROWNIES, MY BOOK

When we were small our father read
The Brownies, Their Book,
just before we went to bed.
Tiny imps making great big trouble,
sneaking into rooms at night,
then leaving on the double
after swarming over tennis courts and houses quite grand,
knocking over pots of ink,
digging in the sand
…to be continued…
…to be continued…]
*****
Palmer Cox wrote the brownie books in couplets with eight beats… so I have to start again with that cadence…

 

NaPoWriMo April 17th

 

same time

every year

this anniversary

this reminder

Dad’s mortality

proven true

46 years!

forty six

years ago

lives ago

 

 

 

 

TONIGHT AT ACC

A scholarship fundraiser

A nod to International Women’s Day

A collection of poems and excerpts from books

Read by their poets and authors

As delicious as that first bite of a well seasoned filet

Juice running onto the plate

With the promise that every last bite

Will be just as fully satisfying.

 

rJo Herman

March 10, 2106

(on the first time I entered Arapahoe Community College, instead of simply driving by, and finding my future amongst writers and readers and even musicians.  Life is good.)

 

DON’T BLINK, OR YOU’LL MISS IT

I was reminded of this by another’s blog this morning.

***   ***   ***

A beautiful little crab apple was planted out back.

She bloomed bright pink each May.

Heavy, Spring snow broke her one year,

But, determined to keep her, I trimmed her back,

and she continued on,

though without as much enthusiasm as before.

I patted her trunk and whispered,”looking good,”

Each time I mowed the lawn.

Three springs ago, seven years after she broke, she bloomed with complete abandon;

Beautiful and bright on every branch.

I couldn’t help myself.

I took out my sheers to bring the blooms inside.

Just as I snipped that perfect branch, the entire top of the tree tipped towards me,

then fell to the lawn…

and the perfect tree died.

I’ve not replaced her.

 

rJo Herman   1/31/16

PEACE IN THE VALLEY

Once I climbed a hillside
up Cattle Creek;
sat on a dusty rock looking across to Mt. Sopris,
while a tiny bee buzzed ’round a purple mountain aster.
No photo.
No video.
Just the memory of that hot sun
burning my skin in that crisp, clean air.
How I wish you could feel it!
rJo Herman 1/30/16

OH BEAUTIFUL!

I saw it
while driving up I-25
in the morning traffic

there to the west
below white peaks…
Purple Mountain’s Majesty

rJo Herman

MY COLD WAR: THOUGHTS WHILE STUDYING AMERICAN HISTORY 1865 TO PRESENT

I wrote these thoughts in our discussion section BEFORE reading the textbook to see if any of my remembrances match history as these authors present it.    I have found a number of inaccuracies in our assigned reading, leaving out a phrase or even a word, which gives the authors’ desired slant to history.  Addressing that slant is a project for another day.
********
********
My Cold War Memories:

* Dad and his B-52 crew on Alert, living at the Alert Shack two weeks every month – sometimes families were allowed to visit and share a Sunday lunch…not every Sunday though

* Dad and crew flying 24 hour missions to Russia –

* something about a Chrome Dome…something to do with those 24 hour missions and Russia  (Wikipedia explains it so: Bombers loitered near points outside the Soviet Union to provide rapid first strike or retaliation capability in case of nuclear war)  I always imagined it like a cover over the earth, and Dad flew to its edge

* the “red phone”

* Dad’s big flight helmet with a sun shield, and he wore these two little plastic discs around his neck. He told us that Santa could speak to us through them…sometime later someone told me they were radiation detectors, to tell if he’d been contaminated somehow

* Everyone at Mass praying for God to stop the spread of Communism every day before class (2nd grade – 6th grade), and on Sundays

* All the kids at school wearing dog tags with our names and addresses

* People building bomb shelters (we didn’t)

* Being told that if the Russians bombed America, we would be amongst the first to be bombed because there were missile sites all around the base, and the Russians would want to take out the missiles and the B-52s first.  We were proud to be that “important.”

* Practicing for a nuclear blast…all families on base had to have a stockpile of water, canned foods sufficient for at least two weeks; everyone was told to stay inside (though we kids would sneak out after the AP (Air Police) vehicles drove down the block – it was a game to hide from them)

*******

*******
Have you ever seen a fully loaded B-52 fly over with its vast, heavy wings?  Have you ever imagined what it is like for that giant airplane, loaded with nuclear bombs,  to refuel below another giant airplane (tanker), so close that one miscalculation could explode them both.

Once one of the 52s exploded on base (Walker AFB, NM).  The blast blew out all the windows in our base school.  One of the Airmen who was killed had been our Sunday school teacher.  The power of that explosion was stunning.  Imagine the power of a nuclear bomb…

The world knew the destruction of the Atomic Bomb.  There was no reason to believe it could not, would not happen again.  It was, and is, a real threat.
I am curious to see how this textbook presents it.  The very question to describe real vs. perceived threats makes me think the authors are skeptics.  Perception is reality…threat of death by bombs was very real when I was a kid.

FOUR THIRTY

Eight bells on the hour
One on the half-
So chimes the clock
On my brother’s mantel.
“I’ve heard this ring every day of my life,”
as he winds it
like his dad before him
like his dad before him.