Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Writer's Group...Join us

Are you a writer in the Hermiston, Oregon area?  Join our writer's group.  We just finished up a "class" at BMCC Hermiston and decided to continue to meet to share and discuss writing.  We're hoping to meet twice a month in the late afternoon.  If you are interested in joining our group, leave a message below in the comments and we'll let you know when and where we will be meeting.

Mother's Day 2010

I have had three children, two girls and a boy but they haven’t all met. My daughter Michelle and I found each other in 1993 and have kept in touch since. She lives in the mountains with her doctor husband and five children. My other daughter lives in New York City, Manhattan and calls me nearly everyday so even though she is the furthest away and I haven’t had the money to go see her or her come here for twelve years we are the closest. My son and daughter-in-law live next door with my grandson and we don’t talk a lot because he’s so busy with his own work and family. So it’s very strange that my daughters are so far away and I miss them so much. My son and Michelle have met but my daughter in New York hasn’t been home since she left in 1988, mostly because of a lack of money to travel. So my greatest wish is to have all three of my children meet and be in the same room before I am dying or something. I want some good time with them to enjoy them.
This Mother’s day I spent out in my back yard planting flowers. I bought my mother’s favorite geraniums and planted them by the seagulls statues she loved. I moved up here from Medford when my Mom thought she had cancer. She didn’t but I got to have about twelve good years with her before she died. We were very close and did all kinds of things together, like antique shopping and just long talks out on the patio next door. One time we went to Weston to see my grandmother and took the back roads and got lost out in the wheat fields and laughed and had a good time. I want that kind of precious time with my daughters before I’m gone so they have good loving memories like I do to cherish too.
After my daughters called my son came and told me to come over for barbeque chicken. He and my grandson had gone to the nursery and bought a whole truckload of plants for his wife. Just a tidbit of jealousy that she gets so much but then she has to live with him too. We’re ok it’s just that he’s a typical male that has to be in charge so we but heads sometimes. We do love each other though. It would really be interesting to see all my kids that are so different and live such different lifestyles in one room. Maybe for a Mother’s Day Barbeque someday in the near future like my family used to do when I was growing up before all of us got busy with our own lives and families the five of us brothers and sisters had awesome time with my mother and Mother’s Day was special.

This Mother’s day was both sad and special. It’s wonderful that my birth daughter thinks of me and calls and we get to talk. We found we have many things in common but she’s made a lot better choices with her life and finished college which is why I let her go in the first place. Neither of my other children went to college even thought they are smart and work hard and are good people. They just didn’t have the advantages that Michelle did with having good parents with the money to raise her well. It makes a difference when children are raised with and have the benefits of enough money. I can tell you this from my own experience and can see the results. I’m living it everyday seeing the children I raised not even get together because of a lack of money. Maybe it’s just that they are so different and it’s deeper than just the money issue. I don’t know for sure. It would be interesting to find out someday soon. I’d love to see all of my children in one room together to meet each other. My son would probably say “ too much drama Ma”. I would probably cry like mother’s do sometimes but that would be a happy cry.

written by ccwriter

What I Did on Mothers' Day

“Mom,” Barbara said to me on Saturday, “Did you expect a Sunday brunch?”

Mother’s day is a standing joke in our family. We don’t celebrate it. On Sunday I was balancing high on an aluminum ladder leaning against the wall of Barbara’s house, reaching out far to the right, to line up blue masking tape with a window frame. Barbara was perched on top of another ladder, hanging on to the other end of the tape. We secured the tape to the top of the window, gingerly stepped down one rung of the ladder, unraveled a thin plastic sheet attached to the tape, and fastened the horizontal edge of the plastic to the window frame. One more step down, more tape. Then to the bottom of the window, where we taped the plastic to the window sill. I ran my thumb along the edge of the sill to check for air leaks. One more window done. We were getting Barbara’s house ready to be spray painted. The scruffy yellow walls will soon turn a sophisticated dusky rose.

“Actually,” Barbara said, “This is what most mothers’ days are like: the mothers work their tails off, while the rest of the family is off doing their thing.” And the boys in our family? Were they scrambling up ladders too? Nope. They spent a leisurely day fishing on the Clackamas River.

I get my Mothers’ Day attitude directly from my mother. She thought it was inane. Another commercial holiday. I absorbed her attitude and have resisted any attempt to modify my position. And Barbara is continuing the No-Mothers’-Day tradition in her own family.

“For Mothers’ day I only want hugs and kisses,” she told her nine-year-old son.
“I know,” he answered in a bored you-don’t-need-to-tell-me-that voice.
However, in school on Monday he told anybody who wanted to listen a different story.
“For Mothers’ Day I caught my Mom dinner,” he said.
“And what was that?” teachers and kids asked.
“A 20-pound Chinook,” he answered nonchalantly.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

As a daughter, I honored my mother on Mother's Day; and my father honored his mother. In this way I was taught that mothers were special, and deserved a day set aside to remember how important they were to our lives.

When I grew up and had my first child, I was suddenly a MOTHER, but since Michael was not old enough to know about Mother's Day, my husband gave me a card and bouquet.

More children arrived, and as soon as they could hold a crayon they created their own cards to give me. The girls folded paper and decorated the outside, and made up a poem for the inside. Janice drew flowers with "Roses are red, violets are blue, and I love you" on the inside.

Karen's more often portrayed horses, cats, or dogs, but again the "Roses are red....." inside. Michael was not the artist the girls were, and he was color blind, so his usually had a green tree with brown leaves. On the inside was just a sweet "I love you, Mom".

Ken came along five years after Karen, and he was artistic and his cards were often quite beautiful. His poetry was more original than the "Roses". He is the one who sends me flowers on Mother's Day.

Now they are all grown up with families of their own; but they still send me cards. On Sunday it is a race to see who will make the first phone call. They are four unique individuals who have made me understand the meaning of Motherhood.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

House Hunting

Have you ever been faced with having to move on a short notice? Not just any move, but one that requires room for two horses and two stock dogs? Let me tell you it isn't easy! We recently discovered, quite by accident, (our landlords didn't see fit to warn us) that the old dairy next door was going to be renovated and opened again to up to 1,000 head of milking cows. Now in case you are unfamiliar with living next to a dairy, let me explain. First there is the noise, mooing, stamping etc; then there is the smell (I don't need to describe that); and of course the flies! Also all the workers coming and going at all hours. So you can see why it is necessary to move.

Next came looking for a place with a couple of acres, that would be in our price range. I soon discovered anyone with acreage and a decent house on it thinks it is very valuable. No matter that they paid about half the amount they are asking; but when you are desparate you consider all properties. Finally we found one that was in a good location, didn't need a lot of fixing, was fenced, and priced too high. We made an offer, rejected with counter offer, we countered the counter offer with our original offer which was finally accepted.

Now we come to the financing. I had wisely checked with a couple of banks before we started looking, and was told what was available, interest rates, amount needed for down payment on property within our price range. OK, didn't sound too bad. They checked our credit and said we would be good to go. One stipulation was we didn't want to use all our savings and we wanted to keep the monthly payment no higher than what we were paying in rent. After all my husband and I are on Social Security, which means a fixed income. Oh, no problem they said.

All right, I go to the lending institution armed with bank statements, proof of income, and various other papers. This won't be any problem, just put down most of your savings, and we can get your monthly payments, including interest and insurance, down to only $150 more a month!

I ask you, does that sound reasonable? The nice lady then reminded me that if we got everything in order right away we would be eligible for the tax rebate of up to $8 ,000. In the meantime, we will be hoping nothing happens to either of us, and cutting back on anything in the way of fun and relaxation.

That dairy isn't looking so bad after all.

Written by Carrie

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Rich, not Gaudy

My grandmother, Märta Cederström (1879-1934), traveled to Italy in the 1890’s when she was a teenager. She was likely accompanied by her mother Clara Blixen (1855-1925) and her three sisters. Their visit included stays in Rome, Venice, Florence and Naples.

Both Clara and Märta were interested in art, art history and antiques. Besides extensive sightseeing they did some shopping. I have several items that the ladies may well have purchased in Florence: a small oval box, an oval waste basket, and two picture frames, all covered in elegantly gilded leather.

For hundreds of years Florence has been a center for gilded tooled leather work. Today the Franciscan monks in the monastery at the Santa Croce church run a leather working school keeping this old art form alive. Barbara has several small gilded boxes that belonged to Moster Brita. They are newer, in excellent condition (except the one that Claes bit when he was one) and were likely gifts from some of Brita’s close friends who lived in Italy.

I got the waste basket from Moster Brita after she died in 1993. It sat next to the antique Italian writing desk in her living room. My mother gave me the oval box, when I was 11 or 12. I got the two picture frames after my mother died in 1990.

The leather is in excellent condition on the smaller items, but the waste basket shows signs of wear and tear. The thin leather has worn off in places and there are a number of spots. I occasionally oil the leather, but I doubt anybody else has ever done it. My guess is that all the pieces date back to the late 1800’s.

The little box is one of the many things I have that I really treasure. I have seen it most days of my life, but never given it much thought. I love the patina of the faded soft leather, the dainty gold leaf work, and the graceful shape of the box. I think about my mother when I see it, and I wonder about the grandmother I never knew.

Oval gilded red leather box (3h x 5w x 3w cm)
Oval waste basket (30h x 28w x 19w cm)
Gilded brown leather frame (26h, 20w, frame width 17mm)
Gilded brown leather frame (30h, 25h, frame width 35mm)
This is part of a collection of notes I make about objects I have.
Each item has a picture, size, materials, condition, age, place of origin, history.
I also tell whatever I can think of in connection to the object: the object becomes the starting point to a story of a person or an event.
The collection has family tree information, where people lived etc. as separate entries.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

To Milton

H.D. Lamb (1864-1927) was an entrepreneur with his finger in many pies in Red Oak, Iowa. He bought and sold pieces of real estate, ran a grocery store, an undertaker venture, and a furniture business, and did some farming. It seems like the ventures he was involved in were successful, but never made the family really prosper. In 1906 the Lambs left Iowa to seek their fortune in Oregon.

The Lamb family, H.D. and his wife Mabel (1867-1940) and their children Marjorie, Harold, Frank, Fred and Harry boarded the train west in Red Oak headed for Portland. They interrupted their journey in Pendleton to visit their friend John Bolt who had moved from Red Oak to Milton. However, the Lambs liked Milton so well that they decided to stay instead of continuing to Portland.

H.D. took his heavy, eight foot long furniture maker’s work bench along on the journey, expecting to rely on his furniture making skills to make a living in his new home. Years later H.D.’s daughter-in-law Willie gave the tool bench to her son Gib.

“You can have it, but don’t ever give it away,” Willie said to Gib when he asked if he could have the tool bench. Today Frank has his great-grandfather’s workbench. It is a sturdy implement, the wood darkened with age, a much used piece of equipment.

Few things remain of the belongings that the Lambs carried with them on that long ago train journey. A carved oak clock some ten inches tall sat on the seat beside them on the train ride. Later it sat on Gib’s TV for years, a treasured belonging. (There is a story about somebody—Willie—who couldn’t sleep when it was ticking or perhaps not ticking)

Stashed away in their luggage, Mabel Lamb also carried some silver. Those days silver flatware was a sign of prosperity. Silver was a luxury item and one that was easy to show off. When the lady of the house had company over for coffee she would dig out her silver coin spoons. Willie Lamb inherited Mabel’s spoons. She eventually gave half of the spoons to Clark and Arleen Lamb and the other half to Gib and Helen. After Helen died the spoons were divided between her children.

H.D. stayed active in business and the community in Milton. Gib remembers that his bald Grandpa was fond of saying, “You can’t grow grass on a busy street.” (Add short recap about business ventures)

This is a work in process, recording objects and events. It is hard to make it come alive.
Other belongings: Blue Willow Ware china, crazy quilt
Attach H.D. Lamb family pictures and Lamb family tree
Silver spoon story


Sunday, April 25, 2010

He had been resting in the shade of an old Juniper when he noticed a dust devil whirling across the desert. He squinted from under the brim of his old Stetson at the clouds gathering on the horizon. "This is gonna be a bad'un, partner." He didn't expect Buck to answer, but he knew he understood better than most two-legged animals would. "Come on, we best hed for some shelter, there's a line shack about a mile away." He saddled Buck, gathered up his gear, and climbed into the saddle, grunting with the effort. "I'm gettin' too old fer this" he muttered. He whistled for his dogs, a Blue Heeler and a Border Collie, and headed down the trail.
Reaching the line shack, he turned Buck loose as he would weather the storm better, and giving the storm another look, he and the dogs went inside to wait it out. Those blamed cows and calves will be scattered all over, he thought. Oh, well, that's a cowboy's life, dust, mud, heat, cold; and he wouldn't trade it for any other.
As was the way of most dust storms in this desert, this one was over in less than an hour. Buck was waiting for him when went outside, expecting to be saddled and go gather the cows. The dogs were eager to go too, but the old cowboy wasn't in any hurry. His lean frame ached today, and for some reason he was having trouble lifting the saddle; but he finally got himself on and headed out to find those critters.
When he didn't return to the ranch that evening, the cow bossd was worried. Old Shorty should be back by now, unless that storm caused more damage than expected. He called to a couple of the younger cowhands, who were leaning on the corral fence, and told them to saddle his horse and join him. The three of them headed for the back country searching for some sign of where he might be. It was nearly dark when they found Shorty, lying on the ground, with
Buck and the dogs keeping watch over him. It was the last round-up for Shorty.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Dinner at Nana's

Heavy clouds darken the evening sky as Barbara pulls up to the curb outside Nana’s apartment at Mary’s Woods. Nana is on the lookout for us and slides the glass door open to let Missy out. Missy comes charging, her fat dachshund body wiggling in ecstasy. When she reaches us, she lies down, rolls over on her back and wants to be petted, her tail wagging enthusiastically. Then she gets up and charges back to the door.

“Hi, Nana,” Finn yells. “Do you have any monies for the money-truck?”

Nana finds a jar of coins, and Finn gets the piggybank, shaped like an old-time truck, from her book shelf. He starts loading quarters into the slot while we take off our jackets.

As we head for the community dining room, Finn races to the end of the long hallway, turns, and runs back as fast as he can. “Hi,” he says politely when he meets an old lady, but moments later when an elderly gentleman greets Finn, he doesn’t notice. He is busy driving an imaginary garbage truck along the handrail that runs along the wall.

“Beep, beep, beep,” the truck slowly backs up, before continuing down the rail. A maze of winding hallways leads us to the dining room. Finn stops to survey the array of walkers and three-wheelers parked at the entry.

Well-groomed ladies and distinguished looking gentlemen fill the dining room. We wait our turn and are seated. The staff knows Finn: he’s their only regular two-year-old customer. We used to ask for a secluded corner table where a faux pas was easily concealed, but no longer need to take those precautions.

The waiter takes the orders for the adults, then turns to Barbara, and motions toward Finn. “I want grilled cheese and fruit,” Finn says and after a pause adds, “Please.”

Barbara carries emergency entertainment in her large tote bag. When Finn wants to stand up in his chair, or tries to throw silverware on the floor, she digs into her bag for distractions. Today she brings out a couple of trucks and discretely parks them by his plate.

“You don’t put trucks on the table,” Finn tells her pointedly. “They go on the floor.”

“Oh, of course,” Barbara says.

The dining room is filled with distractions tonight. A meticulously coiffed lady passes our table in her maroon and chrome wheelchair, equipped with prominent hand breaks and a rear view mirror. It even beeps when she puts it in reverse.

A friendly gentleman stops on his way out and says, “See you later alligator.”

“In a while crocodile,” Finn confidently answers.

“See you soon, little raccoon,” the man continues, winking at Finn. At this, Finn hides his face in the chair. The man peaks around and says, “Don’t be shy, butterfly.” He walks away looking over his shoulder grinning at Finn, who has emerged from his hiding spot.

As the dining room starts to empty, Finn wanders off and crawls under a vacant table by the picture windows. We hear muted conversation from under the table cloth as his two imaginary friends, Sicsic and Gecka, join him to watch the rain that is now falling in sheets outside.

“Let’s play the piano,” Finn says to Carl as we leave the dining room, and they make a detour to the baby grand in the lounge area. Finn climbs up on the stool and plinks on the keyboard, then slides down, bounces on the long coaches along the wall, is off to climb the wide stairs to the second floor, scoots back down on his bottom, before joining Nana on her slow walk down the hall.

Wednesday is bridge night and a game is underway in one of the rooms we pass on the way back to Nana’s apartment. Under Bruce’s coaching Finn has started to look in on the game.

“How are you, ladies?” he announces to the room in a clear voice.

“We’re fine,” a lady at a nearby table answers. “How are you?”

“Just fine,” Finn responds. “How’s the game going?”

The ladies laugh. Finn, suddenly shy, hides behind Barbara’s legs, then turns and races down the hall.

When we open Nana’s door, a wiggling Missy comes bounding out to meet us, turns and runs back. By now it’s getting late, we gather our belongings, and Finn walks over to Nana.

“Goodbye, Nana. I love you, Nana.” he says and gives her a hug.

“Love you too,” Nana says, “Come back soon.”

We say goodbye and dash out to the car through the rain.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Character Description

She flopped down on the creaking swivel chair, switched on the light, balanced the coffee mug on the crowded desk next to the half-eaten doughnut, turned on the computer, and picked up a dog-eared sheet of paper.

“Ok, Max,” she said to the shaggy calico cat who sat watching her, “Let’s do this Character Profile Sheet.”

Max looked at her with his clear, green eyes, but did not respond.

“Character’s Name,” she continued. “What shall we call this character, Max?”

Max yawned and started to lick his left paw.

“How about calling him Max?” she said, carelessly pushing back her limp, dark hair.

“Sex,” she frowned, “I wish. Perhaps we’d better make it a she. Maxine.”

Max looked offended, but continued his grooming routine.

“Age 35 and single,” she decided, “oh well, why not make it 27.”

“Physical appearance,” she murmured, and glanced at her plump reflection in the window. Absently twisting a button in her faded flannel shirt, she reached for the mug and gulped down half its contents. Max and the room faded into the background as her fingers flew over the keyboard

“Maxine crossed her long, slim legs, reclined gracefully against the plush pillows, and smiled at her handsome companion. Her glossy, strawberry blond hair just touched the shoulders of her teal cashmere sweater. She absently stroked the silky fur of her Siamese cat and reached for the dainty demitasse at her elbow to take a slow sip. Her clear, green eyes, fringed with long, dark lashes … “

Written by Birgitta

Thoughts behind this piece:

In class Jann mentioned writing fiction … I wondered what I could possibly write

The doughnut comes from the low carb conversation in class

I’m trying to figure out how to write humor

I couldn’t remember what color is in fashion right now so I wrote “teal”

I was trying to get some clichés in, but wasn’t very successful

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bobby's Christmas

In my family you learned to live with teasing. It was a fact of life with Dad and my brothers; but as I was the youngest by several years, it seemed to take me longer to learn this. I remember one Christmas especially when I was about four years old.

I had always wanted a little brother, but since that didn't happen, I decided to change one of my dolls into a boy doll. I changed her name from Barbardine to Bobby, and pinned her dress to look like pants. My aunt had given me long baby stockings and baby shoes, but I longed for regular boy-doll clothes for Bobby. One day I saw my Mother sewing as usual, but the clothes were small. I asked her they were for and she said they were for a little poor boy. I thought no more about this as she was always making clothes for someone.

Christmas Eve we all hung our stockings. Dad asked if I was going to hang Bobby's stocking. I told him Bobby was a doll, and Santa wouldn't bring anything for a doll. They all persisted, so I hung his stocking alongside mine. Christmas morning I rushed in to see what my stocking held, and behold, Bobby's stocking was filled! I took it down and looked in but all I saw were what looked like rags. My family were all smiling, so I thought I had been had again. I was hurt and mad, so I picked up the stocking and started to throw it into the wood stove; but before I could my brother grabbed the stocking. Mom sat me down and insisted I look inside. There they were! A blue shirt and overalls, and a pair of pajamas, all for Bobby!

I don't remember what I received that Christmas, but I sure remember what Santa brought for Bobby!

Written by Carrie
(This was part of the Life and Times of Carrie McClain that I wrote for my kids)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

2004 09 Claes


Wapato is lying in the living room wedged between the sofa and the coffee table. Finn is sitting on Wapato’s back. Finn flops over and lays on top of the dog, one arm around Wapato’s neck. Finn’s head is wedged between the sofa and the dog. In that position he falls fast asleep and remains there until Barbara rescues the long-suffering dog and carries the sleeping Finn into his bed.


Claes likes to push around Finn’s high chair in the kitchen and climb up on it. He pushes it over to the refrigerator and climbs up to look at all the pictures, points at the ones of himself and says “baby,” pries loose the magnets and throws them on the floor. Sometimes he pushes the chair to the middle of the floor, climbs up and stands on it. As a variation he pushes it over to the kitchen sink, climbs into the sink, turns on the water and is standing there looking out the window when Barbara discovers him.


One day as the boys are playing in the sandbox, Barbara goes into the kitchen on a quick errand. A block away, a train whistles as it approaches. Finn walks down to the garage to watch it go by. Claes, left in the sandbox by himself, decides to explore. He climbs out and crawls toward the kitchen. He passes the kitchen, crawls out to the road, up across the rough gravel to Bill and Diana’s house next door, and into their parking lot.

When the train has passed, Finn returns to the sandbox, and goes searching for Claes. He hears Claes talking, follows the sound up to the neighbors, and finds Claes investigating Bill’s trailer. Finn scoops Claes up, holds him tight under the arms, and lugs him back down under loud protest. As the boys round the corner to the drive way, Barbara comes out of the kitchen to check on them.


Finn is building a machine on the living room rug. It consists of sticks, a rubber band, a cork, and scissors.

“What’s it for?” Barbara asks.

“It’s for taking out the bad bones from the carpet,” Finn answers.

Written by Brigitta

Here are some thoughts …

Do I need more background to anchor these vignettes?

Is it a good idea to write in the present tense?

Should I invent dialogue if I don’t quite remember how it went?

Do I need to tell the boys’ ages? Readers are limited to family.

Do I need to define who the various people in the stories are.

Does there need to be a moral in the story?

I-84 on a Windy Day

Tumbleweeds dance across the freeway And I grip the steering wheel tighter.
I’d like to move that way:
Let go, be free,
Tumble wherever the wind takes me,
But then maybe
I too would end up caught in a fence
Somewhere in the desert.

Written by Brigitta

Goodbye - Finn Nana Dies

On Monday June 27, 2004, the day before Helen died, Finn visited her at Mary’s Woods for a couple of hours during the morning. He played with her black toy truck, sat in Barbara’s lap by the foot of Helen’s bed, and played mice with Claes behind the big chair in the living room. When it was time to leave, Barbara asked if he wanted to say goodbye to Nana, because she was going to die.

“Yes,” Finn answered.
He walked up to Nana’s bed, where she lay dozing, her worn body ravaged by cancer, but her mind still lucid.

“Bye,” Finn said in a cheerful voice as he leaned close to her.

“Give Nana a kiss too,” Barbara said and lifted him up on the bed.
Finn leaned over, gently kissed her cheek, and said, “Love you, Nana.”

Written by Brigitta

How Are You?

That is the question people use as a greeting and walk right on. It’s a question and in my mind it is rude to just say that and not care or wait for a reply. On occasion I have stopped someone, store clerks and told them it was inconsiderate to say that and keep on walking. Poor people, they must have thought I was crazy but it just depends on how I’m feeling that day. Sometimes I have said I’m ok, or just hanging in there, or some other brief comment that gets a response of agreement about how their day is going too.

This all started for me when I got lupus and even though I was walking around like there was nothing wrong, I hurt all the time but no one could see that pain or that I was disabled. So can the empathy and the sincerity be taught so we ask that question with compassion? I don’t know the answer to that yet. It’s something that I think needs to be considered because so many are disconnected from any feeling of realness in our relations. Possibly most people don’t really want to know how someone really is and just expect a “fine” answer like it’s automatic and irrelevant. This unconsciousness needs to be changed so we become more aware of people in the moment. Some cultures have much better greetings than the American “how are you?” like the Hawaiian Aloha.

I never ask the How are you question unless I sincerely want an answer and want to know how someone really is doing and feeling even, although that takes more time. My friends know that I mean it when I ask them how they are and there is an element of reciprocity in it too that is meaningful and honest. They know I want to listen, that it is important to me and they are relevant in my life.

How do you ask the question? How are you? Do you stop and look someone in the eye and wait for a real answer? Do you mean it sincerely or is it just something you use without thinking or being aware? Do you care? Ask yourself the question before you walk right on by again just because you’re busy. And what answer do you use automatically without thinking when someone asks you. Is it a lie? Do you just say I’m busy and dismiss any chance to make a real connection? Maybe, just possibly, if we as human beings started being more honest with this seeming simple question it would be a better world and we would all feel more connected on a daily basis.

Written by ccwriter

Sunday, April 11, 2010

2003 03 Finn Hide and Seek

(March 2003)
Frank and Finn are sitting by the playhouse at the landing halfway up the stairs to the attic, busy parking their fire engine and backhoe.

“Grandpa, let’s play hide-and-seek,” Finn says.

“Ok,” Frank answers.

“You hide here,” Finn says and pushes Frank into the low playhouse, “And I’ll find you.”

Finn runs down to the kitchen. “Have you seen Grandpa anywhere?” Finn asks Barbara, who is peeling potatoes at the kitchen sink.

“No,” Barbara says. “Did Grandpa go away?”

“I wonder where he is,” Finn says. He hunches his shoulders and spreads his arms, palms toward the ceiling.

“Is he in the bathroom?” Finn asks as he looks into the bathroom.

“Nooo. He’s not here. Where could he be?”

Finn searches in the closet, in the living room, up in the attic and keeps a running commentary.

“Is he in the attic?”

“Nooo. He’s not in the attic. Where could he be?”

Finally Finn comes to the playhouse and opens the door.

“There he is,” he yells as a cramped Frank crawls out.

Written by Brigitta

2002 10 Finn- Run Titta

I’m out walking with two-year-old Finn, when he dashes off shouting, “Run, Titta, run.” An old knee injury prevents me from running, but I pretended to jog. As we trot side by side he cheers me on, saying, “Great, Titta! You’re doing great! Good job!”

Finn settles into my lap with a book and asks me to read. We page through the book, discussing the pictures. “Där är en katt,” I say and point at a striped cat. He looks closely at the cat and says, “Cat, Titta, it’s called cat,” carefully enunciating his words.

I settle Finn in his buggy for a nap, kiss him and say “Night, night.”

“One more kiss,” he answers.

“Where?” I respond and he points at his nose.
I comply and he says, “Have a nice nap.”

I laugh and reflect that, yes, I am ready for a nap.

“Mom, my shoe feels funny,” Carl, age five, complains as he is leaving for the school bus. I straighten his sock, but he says it still doesn’t feel good. In exasperation I pull off the offending shoe and to my surprise find a pair of scissors inside.

Written by Birgitta

Friday, April 9, 2010

Sing Out Loud...and with enthusiasm!

In sixth grade I loved music class. All of the sixth grade classrooms at Knollwood Elementary came together as the sixth grade choir. Within the group, some were more elite than others. There was a small select choir who sang special parts of the program. Membership in this exclusive group was by invitation of the music teacher. My friend and neighbor, Peggy McGinnis, was in the select group. Peggy and I had a lot in common. We lived on the same small street and hung out in the cu-de-sac playing kick-the-can on those long, warm California evenings. We each had an annoying brother two years younger, and we both loved to sing. Peggy always did everything right. She knew the answer to every question. She was neat and tidy. She never blurted out in class and was always in her seat. I did none of those things. But, we both liked to sing. Why wasn’t I in the select choir?

If you wanted to be in the select choir, Peggy told me, you had to audition for the teacher. That was why I wasn’t in the choir… I just hadn’t known that I needed to audition. So I confidently marched up to the music teacher and told him that I needed to audition. In my mind, it was just a formality. So the next Monday I stayed after school and met the teacher in the auditorium. He sat at the piano and asked me to sing. I don’t remember the song, but I do know that I belted it out with my usual enthusiasm. The teacher thanked me for auditioning. He explained to me how important it was to have strong voices in the general choir. Those voices were an important reason our choir was so good. He was counting on me to continue to keep the general choir strong. I left knowing that I was making an important contribution to my class.

It was years later that I realized that I had failed the audition. How fortunate I was to have a teacher who knew how to maintain his standard of excellence (because I know now that I cannot carry a tune), but still allow a small child to maintain her dignity and passion for music.

Written by #1Nana

Carrie's submission for week 1

The old woman entered the store wearing a long print skirt, white long sleeved shirt, and a long leather jacket with large pockets. Her black hair hung down her back in a fat braid, and her face was lined from too many days in the sun and cooking over an open fire. Her moccasined feet made no noise as she walked around the Five and Dime looking at all the trinkets and beads, which sometimes found their way into the pockets of her coat. No one seemed to take notice of her, and when she was ready she stopped at the counter and paid for one item. She then strolled silently out the door.

Written by Carrie

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Welcome Hermiston Writers

Have you always wanted to get your stories down on paper?  This blog has been created to support the Write Your Life writing class that will be offered by Blue Mountain Community College in Hermiston spring term.  Learn to write, and share your stories with other writers. 

The goal of this class is to create a community of writers who will support each other as we write.  A weekly class can force us to be accountable and actually produce that piece that we've been thinking about writing for a long time.  A supportive group of fellow writers can provide suggestions,  hopefully some insight and challenge us to write better....and have some fun in the process!

If you've always thought that you wanted to write, come join other like minded people in Hermiston:
  • April 7, 2010  10:00-12:00
  • April 14, 2010  10:00-12:00
  • April 21, 2010  10:00-12:00
  • May 5, 2010  10:00-12:00
  • May 12, 2010  10:00-12:00
This class carries no college credit. 

Want to see what I've been writing since I retired?  Check out my blogs at: