I believe in being prepared for any given situation. It isn't because I'm a pessimistic person; I think it is just good common sense. Hence, I've entitled my blog "Even Nothing is Something."

This covers my butt in any event. On any given day I can feel great exaltation that I have done something grand. I can scribble fiercely when my thoughts are leaping across the meadows of my mind like a happy little colt in the month of May, or my mind and writing can be as dry and arid, as cold and without life, as the Gobi desert - because even Nothing is Something.

I want to thank all of my fellow artists who work through other means and forms and who sell their work on the wonderful artist's site "Etsy," a place to buy and sell all things handmade, along with vintage items and supplies for their craft. They are a great group of people.

Those who have links to their site on my blog represent only a few of those whom I wish to include. Just click on one of those links and join the Etsy community. It is free. They are a great group of artists who have relieved me of my money in the most delightful of ways. If it weren't for their encouragement, I would have never shared my work through this blog.

Thank you my darling friends!

Enjoy my blog - The Poet or Not - More or Less

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Poetic Tomfoolery

My paternal grandmother was a wonderful woman. She taught me how to be a lady. Grandma didn't even don a pair of slacks until she had gotten so far up in years that the arthritis in her legs demanded more than stockings for warmth and comfort. Her daughter, my Aunt Helen, bought Grandma slacks for Christmas.

I'll never forget that Christmas morning. I just happened to be coming in the front door of the house we shared with my grandparents when Grandma tried to sneak out the side door of her bedroom and slip into the hallway where she could hide out in the music room. She didn't want anyone to see her wearing slacks until she had gotten rather used to the idea. When Grandma was embarrassed, she would cover her face with both hands and leave out one of her hearty laughs. She took one look at me looking at her and did just that.

Grandma finally got used to wearing slacks every day of the week except Saturday. On Saturday we got all dressed up and Grandma and I would paint our nails. I can still smell the nail polish of that era; it smelled like Juicy Fruit chewing gum. Prior to her introduction to slacks, Grandma most often wore what were called "house-dresses" throughout the week. These were always covered with a coordinating apron. But, on Saturday, Grandma preferred beautifully lined wool skirts at a length an inch or so below her knee. With those she would pair a lovely pullover sweater. I remember she wore a skirt of forest green with a cream colored sweater; it was my favorite. I usually wore a dress rather than skirts.

She had strands and strands of pearls from which she would allow me to choose for our Saturday afternoon attire. And, I remember those earrings of the time that were shaped like a "U" with decorations on both sides so you could choose which side you wanted to show. The darned things could easily slide off your ears but, since my parents wouldn't allow me to have my ears pierced, and Grandma had never had hers pierced either, it was the best we could do. It was enough. Oh, and Grandma had a real passion for shoes. Before she retired, Grandma bought a new pair of shoes every payday.

Grandma was a lady of strong opinions and she held one peculiar one. She honestly believed that, if you read too much of the Bible, you would go insane. She used to worry about me because, at the time, I was a big Bible reader and regular attender at a Grace Brethren Church, in spite of the fact that I, too, had been baptized Lutheran.

My grandmother had a story she would tell infrequently. Once, many years before I was born, one of Jehovah's Witnesses knocked on her door and he wasn't the most diplomatic of chaps. He told my dear grandmother that there were "X" number of churches in our town and none of the people attending were going to heaven. Well, Grandma became quite indignant. The poor bugger didn't have time to explain that Jehovah's Witnesses believed the majority of mankind would continue to live on an earth restored to paradise conditions and also see the end of all evil, including death. Grandma assumed he was telling her that she and her mates were going to die and go to hell. I can imagine he didn't have much opportunity to explain because, although a lady, when riled, Grandma could cuss, only because her husband, Papper, taught her.

Papper was a dapper chap all on his own, but, of a Saturday night, he liked to drink his share of Old German beer and get more than a little loopy. He never fell down or totally lost control of himself; he would just begin to imagine himself to be a great musician. And, he always drank at home. Papper wasn't a bar hopper. Oh, he had a peculiar enough habit of his own - he would periodically shake salt onto the back of his hand and lick it off before he took a swig of beer. He always drank from the bottle, and the beer was delivered to our house every Saturday morning by one of the local beer distributors.

I'll keep this short, or shorter anyway. Grandma was a hale and hearty woman. She loved to laugh and she laughed a lot. She literally died laughing. She and my baby brother were watching television and, while laughing at some commercial, Grandma died instantly when an aneurism in her brain burst. Since she had stopped attending church after she and Papper married, the local minister didn't know her from the six foot hole in the ground that would entomb this beloved woman. At the funeral he didn't even know her name. He kept calling her Grace. At first, I thought he was referring to the little ditty known as "Amazing Grace."

One more thing that I loved about my grandmother was this: Before she fell in love with Papper, church was where Grandma fulfilled her social needs. At the time, it was customary of churches to sponsor many events called "Box Lunches" where a gal showed up with a boxed lunch to share with a date. Grandma would say, "Yes," to all the boys who asked her to attend this ocassion with them; then she would go with the first one to knock on her door. Papper was the first of three on the Sunday she met him, a delightful man full of blarney, a full head of red hair and good luck.

Now, to this bit of poetic tomfoolery. This is a work in progress. Who knows where it will travel in the future.

Just Call Me Grace

Grandma was born a Lutheran
and she would die one too.
Least that’s what she’d say
when Jehovah’s Witnesses
came ‘round wanting to read
something to her from that
Bible of theirs. Grandma
always said too much Bible
reading would make you
insane; she believed it too.
Never did know of her going
to church of a Sunday, but
there was always that big
family dinner. I suppose
if she had invited the latest
preacher man she’d have
been considered less of a
sinner and he might a known
her name. But, Grandma
she’d sit with Papper of a
Saturday night while he
drank his fill of Old German
beer. We all prayed he
wouldn’t find the mouth
organ Grandma bought him
as a gift and then wished
she hadn’t; she hid it before
Saturday night. If Papper got
lucky and found it, we could
be guaranteed a Saturday
night fight. It was bad
enough we couldn’t hide
the old player piano, where
Papper’d sit on the bench
and pick and peck on the
keys, more and more pie-eyed
as he drank his Old German
Beer and licked salt from the
back of his hand. When poor
Grandma died she was sorely
missed; she was both a lady
and a broad who knew how
to take care of her family. The
preacher man who came to
do the sermon was a might
shady because he didn’t even
know Grandma’s name, but
he pretended to know her
heavenly status and kept calling
her Grace, like he had her
confused with one of his
hymns. He really made us fairly
ticked; someone must have
straightened out his sin between
the funeral home and the
grave site, where he finally started
to call her Clara. I’m sure
Grandma would have understood
and said, “Just call me Grace, so
long as I end up in the bosom of
Abraham and his wife Sarah."

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