Sunday, November 13, 2016

MOONLIGHT FOLLOWED BY FROST...


Last night, I thought it had snowed. 

But no, it was moonlight, 
spread thick and white like a layer of cream all over my valley; 
and the creek waters gleamed. 
And now the new morning is crisp, 

and the beam of my flashlight picks up bright diamonds left on my lawns by the frost. 
Sunday is here, 

and it will be lovely, whatever the temperatures.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, BRYAN O. MOORE...


And now the birthday is here, Honorable No. 2 Son Bryan O. Moore.

You were born to us on this day in 1967, well before you were due; and oh! you were tiny! 


By your teen years, however, you towered above us; and you're still standing tall in your life. 


You're a son to be proud of. We love you.
MY 3 SONS (from left) Bryan, Kevin, Mark

Friday, November 11, 2016

HOME IS THE HUSBAND...


Coffee with my husband in the morning... 

A small privilege we never take for granted. 

It's so good to have him home.


          (11-10-2016... Bob is home from the hospital)

Monday, November 7, 2016

NICE TO BE NOBODY BUT ME...



Every time I open my Face Book page, and every time I turn on TV and see the great crushing crowds of the strident Presidential political campaigns, I think of Emily Dickinson's poem, and I smile.

I’M NOBODY- WHO ARE YOU? 
(Emily Dickinson, 1830 - 1886)


"I’m Nobody! Who are you?
Are you – Nobody – too?
Then there’s a pair of us!
Don’t tell! they’d advertise – you know!

How dreary – to be – Somebody!
How public – like a Frog –
To tell one’s name – the livelong June –
To an admiring Bog!"
"NOBODY BUT ME" RELAXING...


Saturday, November 5, 2016

AN IDLE OBSERVATION CAN BE A MOMENT OF GOLD...


We are husband and wife, sitting together with our dog and our coffee, watching gold leaves travelling down from the tallest of tree tops, floating like gliders along the north winds... 

And when the winds pause, the leaves sift vertically downward within the clusters of trees, and they sparkle in the sun like stained glass...


We could be sleeping or reading or working, but we agree that sitting here lazily watching is better...


At least for the moment...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

AUTUMN SUN SHINES IN MY VALLEY, ONE WAY OR ANOTHER...



So golden in my valley are the autumn leaves this time of year, that even when the clouds will hide the sun, I will feel I am walking with the sunshine.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THIS SEASON IS OVER...


OMG... 

Our female Presidential candidate is speaking today in Dade County Florida. 


Like a candidate for National Grandmother, she goes on and on and on, telling us to elect her so that America's daughters won't have a male President who will make them think they're all ugly if they gain a pound or don't look glamorous. 


In the meantime, her biggest backers and fans live in and made their fortunes in Hollywood, and they grew up with transplants and liposuction and cosmetic surgeries of all sorts.

Monday, October 31, 2016

TIS THE NIGHT OF THE ANNUAL FLIGHT OF THE WITCHES, AND I'LL BE AMONG THEM...

SECURITY DOG LOOKING ON AS WITCH ROSE PREPS FOR TAKE-OFF 



TIS THE DAY OF BENEVOLENT SUNSHINE AND THE NIGHT OF THE GHOSTIES AND GOULIES


Happy Halloween on this cold Monday morning. It may have been 41 in nearby Cleveland, but it was a frosty 31 in our Lake County valley near the Geauga County border. 


Big Dog Mick and I rose early to walk in pre-dawn darkness.


We were dazzled by the size and brightness of the stars splashed above us. 


Sometimes it seems that the stars must GROW in the cold of such mornings.


When daylight arrives, it will even more beautiful!






(Direct comments to Rose at randrmoore@gmail.com)






Monday, October 17, 2016

AN OCTOBER WALK...







Sweet, soft, summery air. Seventy-eight degrees this afternoon in my Northeast Ohio valley. A soft breeze stirs up music from the leaves... 

My big dog Mick and I walked down the path into the bottom land and barn. There was music even from the creek when we sat against a rock beside the water, and we all but fell asleep... 


I wish Bob could walk that far; he would have loved it. How rare such weather is in our Octobers...


Mick and I will walk back to the house and join Bob on the porch.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

BUTTERFLIES IN AUTUMN? ...


   A summer day in autumn:


   Hefty breezes try to cool the air but don't succeed;


   Golden leaves from off the trees flutter through the air around me;


   And THAT'S the closest thing we have to butterflies this time of year!



Saturday, October 15, 2016

A LOVELY NEIGHBOR KEEPS ME COMPANY...

     
    A NEIGHBOR THAT I REALLY LOVE IS THE BIG OLD SYCAMORE TREE THAT LIVES AT THE CORNER OF OUR HOUSE.    
    I LOVE ITS BARK THROUGH ALL THE SEASONS, AND I LOOK AT IT ALL TIMES OF DAY, IN EVERY SORT OF WEATHER, AND PHOTOGRAPH AND WRITE ABOUT IT OFTEN.




Wednesday, October 5, 2016

   Now and then my big dog Mick and I will travel slowly through the thickest of our valley's woodland acres to reach some "secret shrines"-- those special scattered spots among the trees where sunshine penetrates.
   We move together through the coolness of the tree-created shade until we spot broad shafts of sun ahead amidst the greenery, and there we find one of those favored spots, where we'll rest until we rise to seek yet another of our secret woodland shrines.
   It is always quiet in these places. On a sunny afternoon such as this superb October day, there is a special warmth and fragrance; a soothing peace.
   Mick and I can almost always find a log on which to sit, and prayerfully we ponder there. 
   And soon we rise again, refreshed.







 

SPEAKING OF ANGELS AMONG US...

I happened to hear a woman today speak of angels among us.

She described her perception of what they would be like if we humans could see them, sit with them, walk with them, feel and hear them...

I was touched by what she described, for her words very much brought to mind what I see as one of God's great gifts to humans...





The marvelous creature we know as the dog!




Monday, October 3, 2016

AN AFFAIR OF THE BRAIN AND THE HEART...

AN AFFAIR OF THE BRAIN AND THE HEART
by Rose Moore, written March 2011 in  www.roseabouttown.com

"And here's the thing: Regardless of how miraculous a recovery may be, no one is the exact same person afterward. While I'm thrilled when people say, 'You'd never know Bob had been injured,' he can tell you how he's changed and what he does to compensate... " (from Parade Magazine, in Lee Woodruff's story about her reporter/husband Bob Woodruff's brain injury).
   I know about such things. In 1995, my own brain injury came in the form of a massive cerebral hemmorhage that even involved my brain stem. As the big yellow Life Flight helicopter carried me away for special help, my husband was rushing to the same destination on the roads below; he had been told at the local emergency room as I left that, if I lived, I would likely be a shell.
   But I never lost awareness of the world and people around me, though I could not "download" my thoughts and responses... I could see the depth of worry on my husband's face as I was carried off. From the air, I worried too, about his safety on the roads below. And I remember how frustrating it was for me, a pilot and a lover of the sky, to be trying to tell the Life Flight crew that I wanted to sit up and see the blue September skies around us as we flew. I realized the words I was trying to say were not getting through to their ears.
   As Lee Woodruff wrote about her husband Bob's brain injury and recovery, she talked of many things that had changed for her husband and herself; they changed for my own Bob and me as well. But they didn't change the love between us.
   If I were to write a book about the ways I coped and compensated, I would title it, "An Affair of the Brain and the Heart." It would be a story of the steadfast love and support from my husband and friends. Mine wouldn't be a mournful memoir; it would be a funny book. And it would be much longer and more in-depth and detail than what I  include in this blog.
   A lack of short-term memory--something that had always for me been as sharp as my long-term memory--became a daily enemy I worked against intensely. In my memoir, my husband would be a central character. I would describe his gentle joking that I had become a "cheap date." He could rent a movie and show it to me several times; and until the third showing, I would think I was seeing a new movie!
   I would write, as well, about the day I proudly reclaimed my longtime checkbook and bill-paying duties. I wrote the checks and figured the figures with great effort and care; it seemed to take all day; actually I believe it DID take all day. My husband checked things carefully for me and told me I was "right on!"
   Moments after I sent out the checks and made the deposits, I realized with horror that I'd put the mail in the night deposit and the cash envelope in the public mailbox on the square! With great embarrassment, I called the bank and post office. The bank was the easiest; the local post office was dicier. The postal people had to run out and retrieve the cash from the mail box in the nick of time as the regional mail pick-up was opening the box! This would not be my last humiliation in that early period of my recovery.
   I had always loved the Biblical quote, "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord." Now my injured brain did not enjoy any noise at all, joyful or otherwise, and I seemed to have lost the ability to discern where a sound was coming from. That seemed to make me an unwilling captive of noise; it was all around me and I existed WITHIN it. That contributed to something else... brain fatigue!
   A balm throughout was my great good fortune to be recovering in a new home in a beautiful setting; we had built it ourselves because we loved the land upon which we had set it, and the land was now a consolation that brought me peace and patience and its own sort of joy as I recovered. Our eldest son kept our family business going so my husband could be with me, night and day. And Bob and family were my greatest motivation.
   Description of my self-created coping mechanisms would include the trail of paper plates I had him hang each day, to find in the morning---a strategy to train myself, plate by plate, to follow the things I needed to do to get through the day. I wrote on the plates and my husband suspended them from strings at our doorways. As I made mistakes, my husband wisely and lovingly let me make them. I cherished and shared his humor through it all. It kept my own sense of humor alive.
   Reading had always been my joy, but it took a bit of time to teach myself to read again. I arrived home on our 35th anniversary, and Bob set before me the neatly stacked news magazines that had arrived in my mail. To my surprise, I couldn't read them! The words looked like Greek, though I knew they weren't. I spent days and nights thumbing page by page, TRYING to read. I refused to give up, and soon my word recognition began to return. Trouble was, I read my magazines BACKWARD for a time. If I'd been Chinese, with their backward writing, that would have been fine.
   I was still doing a newspaper column (and still am). Writing has always been a part of my spirit; it's a great part of who I am. I was able to keep my column going, but only because I had years of written histories and essays and information tucked away on my computer. These are what I sent to the newspaper at first... though someone had to teach me again to turn on the computer and retrieve them!
   After six months I was able to drive, but not alone. My spatial senses had not fully returned, and that was adventurous! By summer I was able to drive alone, and I was as excited about that as I had been when I passed my driver's test as a teenager.
   For a time, my sense of direction was out of kilter; it was amazingly easy to get lost in places I had known since childhood. At first I drove my husband's work truck because it was equipped with a built-in phone. I would call and say, "I see a sign that says such and such; where am I?" And he would tell me. I re-learned my old neighborhoods and routes by accidentally wandering off the beaten path so often.
   Early on I told my doctor firmly I didn't have amnesia, and all she said was "hmmm." A week later I told her I did have amnesia. Apparently I hadn't realized it because I had forgotten a lot of what I was supposed to remember! I also had a problem recognizing familiar faces, particularly in a crowd, and if anyone who's reading this has ever felt snubbed... well, it wasn't intentional.
   I laugh to recall the day a neurologist used flash cards with photos of items, to test my progress in language recovery. In identifying the photos of the items on those cards, I went through many associated words---Frankie Vadnal... squeeze box... music... (etc)---and then on the tenth word or so, I victoriously announced with great elation: "ACCORDION! IT'S AN ACCORDION!" I don't know whose grin was broader; mine or his!
   For the short-term memory problems that interfered with language re-development, I discovered the computer I had accepted so grudgingly would now become my friend. On the screen in front of me, it would hold each word, each sentence, each paragraph as I wrote.  Without this fine mechanical assistant, my mind would have lost  every word, every sentence, every paragraph as soon as I began to read the next. For me, this amazing machine that so patiently held each word I wrote even helped with reading recovery.
   Writing will never be as innately swift and easy as it had been all my life, but it did return; it just took me longer, and still does. And what did it matter; I was never paid by the hour! Within a few years, when two of my columns were submitted (unbeknownst to me) to the annual Cleveland Press Club competition, both columns won awards (first and second place) in this all-Ohio event with national judging panels. No one will know how shocked I was when I received the calls from the Press Club, informing me.
   I still miss such things as my formerly photographic memory, which never did return. Until I lost it, I thought all people had photographic memory and encyclopedic knowledge.
   All these years later, life is normal now; at least as far as anyone can see. But then again, I like to joke that at 70 I can make a slip of the tongue or search very hard for a word or phrase or train of thought... and well, it's just a senior moment; who DOESN'T have them?
   Some things are better than ever. One of these being a certain go-with-the-flow mellowness; an appreciation and enjoyment of each day and each season; an ability to appreciate the highs and ignore the lows, to savor the good and shrug off the bad; and not to worry unduly about the things I cannot change.
   If some would say I'm Pollyanna, let it be so. All these extra years have been a gift. What a waste it would have been to complain about the things I've lost and not to see the things I've gained.
   And now I end this shallow reminiscence of my recovery with a quote of my own:
"Learning has always been my pleasure; it has always been my joy; I wish I could unlearn and start again." Those were the last lines of a poem I found in my casual journals sometime after the aneurysm. When I noticed the date on that poem, I laughed. I had written the words just two weeks before what my doctors referred to as "the big bleed."

AFTERNOTE: Rose About Town needs to tell you that, before these thoughts were posted in 2011 on her blog site, she had never before written publicly about any part of her own experience with brain injury; and may never  do so again. She was inspired by Lee Woodruff's column that weekend and by her ongoing prayers for the recovery of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford and her own brain injury.
AND NOW TODAY, in October 2016, at the age of 76, she shares the posting again. This morning, in the east window of her home library, she sat in comfort watching the beginning of the new day, and she was overcome with gratitude for all the days and weeks and months and years with which God has gifted her. .
You can share your comments with her at randrmoore@gmail.com

Friday, September 30, 2016

EYES TO THE SKY...

   The morning sky has turned from dark and thick and wet into a bright kaleidoscope of blue sky, clouds and sun. 
   This is the sort of day that leaves me with a stiff neck; it's hard to keep my eyes away from sky. 
   Sky-borne winds at different levels are providing changing movements and cloud shapes. 
   At the moment, lower-level winds are scudding sheer, translucent clouds so swiftly from the south, they are racing past the slower-moving, settled cumuli. 
   In minutes things could change; a sky fan like myself needs to be attentive...

Friday, September 16, 2016

"IT'S FOR YOU, MICK..."



"IT'S FOR YOU, MICK! IT'S THE METER READER MAN. HE'S COMING TOMORROW, AND HE WANTS YOU TO STAY IN THE HOUSE SO YOU CAN'T EAT HIM UP!"




Saturday, September 10, 2016

ANNIVERSARY MEMORY OF A DIFFERENT SORT: 'THE HONEYMOON HOUSE WHERE I LEARNED TO LOVE MOWING'



   For our honeymoon house, we rented a cozy old farmhouse on 30 green acres with a small lake. The owner had moved to another state and didn't want the house standing empty. (That house still stands today, beautifully restored and much enlarged, though the 30 acres have been split and the small lake has not existed for many years).
    We didn't live in that place for long, as much as we liked it. In winter, the old coal furnace had a ferocious appetite we simply couldn't afford, and it was a chore just to keep the house warm on cold winter days.
    In summer and fall, however, it was a wonderful place to be--a fine place for honeymooners to roam together, particularly people who enjoyed the outdoors as Bob and I always have. 
    There was a sturdy red barn on the site, and one day Bob decided to give me some shooting lessons with a target he attached to the barn. I was an absolute failure; I literally COULDN'T hit the broad side of that barn! And the only gun he owned had such a kick it bruised my shoulder and knocked me backward every time I pulled the trigger. 
    The big green Oliver tractor was a different story. The landlord had left it with us for mowing purposes, and I happily learned to run it and just as happily assigned myself as Bob Moore's "lawn boy." I found it relaxing to sit on a tractor and mow. I loved the meditative qualities, and to this day if I'm trying to solve a mental block, I can get on my tractor and mow, and the clouds in my mind will miraculously clear.
    I do recall, over a certain period of time, when I was one of the few women in our then-small community who mowed by tractor. A few decades after our marriage, I was stopped in my lawn work and chastised by a well-dressed woman in an expensive car, who said to me, "Don't you know that women of your character don't do such things? Much less right out in the open where they can be seen by passers-by; mowing and tractors are men's work. Your husband should be ashamed!" 
    I jumped back on my tractor and commenced to wonder what "women of my character" were, exactly.
I resented the idea that something I enjoyed so much could be reserved for men only. But my husband was never ashamed of his tractor-mowing wife; and if he had been, I still would have fought to be the one on the tractor. I kept on with my mowing, and I still do the mowing.
   Over time, my tractors became newer, better, easier and more comfortable; and I was the one who would choose them. My husband often joked that it would have been cheaper to keep his wife in jewels than it has been to keep her in tractors. 
    I can remember every tractor we purchased over the years; and their good points and bad points.Then two decades ago, I met up with a used but well-kept John Deere, and it turns out we were made for each other. No matter what feature a fancy new tractor might add for my mowing, I stubbornly stuck by John Deere.
   In fact, if you drove by the Moore place this week, anniversary or not, you would have spotted Olde Rose with her vintage John Deere mowing the acreage, with a smile on her face!
SELFIE OF OLDE ROSE AND HER VINTAGE JOHN DEERE


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

SEPTEMBER! I HAVE ALWAYS LOVED IT, AND I ALWAYS WILL!


     
     SEPTEMBER IS a glorious month; who could deny it? But in recent times, something has changed. Google up the word "September" on your computer, and you'll no longer find the words of poets and essayists and editorial writers who have always been inspired by this month and the loveliness it bestows upon us, day and night.
     Now it seems the beauties of September are hidden behind the dark veil of the memories of the catastrophic events of 9-11, 2001.
     The bright September sunshine may still be present in our skies, but say the word "September," and for many people it evokes a memory of smoke-filled skies, collapsing buildings,and the stark drumbeat of death...
     AS FOR ME, I still love September. I always have and always will. September sings its own sweet song to me, and I refuse to let the 9-11 memories obscure it.
     September is my favorite month. In fact, that's why I chose September for my wedding day, and then I had good reason to love September even more.
      September is fine wine; it is the year matured. Blue and gold and green, it opens up my eyes and elevates my spirits. It contains the autumn equinox, whose changes seem to beg for my attention.
     The sunrise of September mornings turns dew-clad spider webs to neon and creates a host of other-worldly morning mists and shadows.
     September daytime skies are mostly brilliant, and its sunny afternoons turn fragrant with the ripening apples, wild berries, grapes and grasses. The changing angle of the sun throws golden light onto the forests and lays a mellow hand on fields and lawns and gardens.
     September is a time of quickened step, big yellow buses, high-school bands and football games, and roadside stands heaped high with produce.
     It's a month when birds and mammals congregate and chatter, and so do school kids. Corn stalks begin to dry and soon will rattle in the fields. Swirling breezes stir up dust-devils, and wildflowers lend nobility to dusty roadsides.
     If each day in September sinks a little sooner into darkness, so be it; that's well compensated for by its sunsets, which can be spectacular.
     The nights are cool and quieter and soon grow pungent with the dying vegetation. The moonlight is the most benevolent of any of the twelve moons of the year, and it seems to add an extra sheen upon the night-time trees.
     And a whiff of distant smoke is all it takes for me to conjure up my autumn nights of childhood, when the signature aroma was the smell of happy campfires and burning leaves.
     IF I'VE HAD COMPLAINT about September, it might have been the threat of early frosts to kill the flowers in my gardens. But even that no longer bothers me; it gives me, after all, a seasonal respite from lawn and garden work. As the autumn of my human years advances, that respite is very much appreciated.
     Now and then, on one day or another, I admit September weather lets us down. But in the ledgers of my memory, by far, September's assets far outnumber any of its imperfections.

     IN MY BELOVED northeast Ohio, I love every season of the year, for different reasons.
     But if God would tell me, "Choose your favorite month and that will be your season in the after-life, above all others," I would choose September... Memories of 9-11 notwithstanding.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

HOT AUGUST NIGHT...


This will be another steamy, muggy August night. 
I must remember to pay heed, not to the discomforts, but to all the things unique to sultry summer nights:
The songs of summer crickets and cicada...
The perfumed air that rises upward from my gardens...
The unexpected breeze against my skin as I sit barefoot underneath the moon and stars...
The dancing lights of fireflies around me; they seem to love such nights...
So what is it I DON'T like? When I'm sitting in the August darkness, I cannot recall. 

                                                                                                              ~~Rose Moore

Thursday, August 25, 2016

AGING FLOWER CHILD REMEMBERS FLOWERS AT THE FAIR...

      Every year when County Fair time comes around, there blooms in my mind the memory of an embarrassing project I entered for the judging at our Fair in 1954. 
     Earlier that year, I had signed up for 9th grade sewing class. All I really learned there was how much I hated sewing. I asked my mother to sign for me to drop the class, and she refused. What I had started, I must finish.
     The summer afterward, my mother was surprised to learn I had agreed to make a bright sundress to enter into judging at the Fair. Perhaps I figured it would serve as proof that I had seen those classes through and actually had learned something. 
     On opening day, I took a last look at the dress. With new-found clarity, I saw the truth---I had butchered all that splendid floral fabric!  I had lost my battle with my mother's old-time, out-of-sorts and out-of-repair, treadle-style Singer sewing machine. 
     In truth, however, I knew that poor machine was not responsible for my own shortcomings. My seaming was unprofessional; the detailing was minimal and far from perfect; and the shoulder ties were less a style choice than my way of overcoming fruitless efforts at making sleeves. Even in the muted shadows of the fading afternoon, I could see my dress would not stand up to judging.
     In despair, I asked my mother, "Can I just forget to take the dress?"  Once again my mother said a project, once committed, must go through. Pointing to my flower garden, she suggested that I take along a second category for the judging. Was there time? "You have some minutes left," she told me. "Do what you know."
     I hurried to my garden---It always always gave me joy!---and I clipped and snipped until my arms were full of flowers. From a shelf I took my mother's favorite vase, a graceful, patterned Grecian shape in lustrous black; and contemplating vase and flowers, I followed a creative impulse.
     My bright bouquet had all the beauty of a sun-drenched wildflower field, and I dropped the brilliance of the flowers into the darkness of my mother's vase. Plunked in place without design or preparation, they smiled back at me, and I liked the daring carelessness of what I saw.
      As for myself, I felt a little dashing, too. My hopeless dress, draped across my forearm, was a backdrop for the flowers I was cradling, and I headed to the Fair.
     My flowers took First Place and won a lot of praise. For just a moment I felt guilty, as if my mother's handsome vase had won the prize. Then I thought of all the love and labor I had put into the garden that produced the blooms. Like my gardens, those blooms reflected some of what I loved and what I knew.  Mom was right!
      I wasn't wrong about the dress, of course. It didn't win a ribbon, and I cringed to see it on display among the rest. I quietly removed it and took it home.
     In later years I warned my husband when he proposed to me, to withdraw the question if he thought I'd ever sew for him. And still, he wanted me to be his wife. 
     Through all our married years since 1960, he has always smiled to see his vegetable gardens interspersed with flowers by a wife who doesn't care that they're not edible... 
     And he has loved to see his summer rooms adorned with flowers from the gardens of a wife who doesn't give a snap for sewing and admits it freely without guilt... 
     But he has always known that, if his socks need darning,  he will have to throw away the socks and buy some new ones.
     And that's the truth. You can blame it on the Fair if you see fit. 



TALK ABOUT A LOST PHOTO OP...


Last night Bob and I were watching the news, with Big Mick nestled at Bob's feet. 

For one reason or another, each of us left the room. 

I returned first, and there sat Big Mick... butt on the seat of Bob's armchair; feet reaching down to the floor; front legs resting on the arms of the chair... sitting up straight and tall, intently watching the news!

 (Couldn't get a pic; my camera was out in the car!)

Saturday, August 6, 2016

WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN, I WILL TURN PURPLE... (My parody of the famous poem by Jennie Joseph)

    

WHEN I AM AN OLD WOMAN, I will turn purple at my birthday party and revive myself when people dial 9-1-1.
    I'll dine on jelly beans and ginger snaps and coffee and circulate hot rumors all around the town about myself.
     I'll be haughty with the sales clerks who carry only tiny sizes, and I'll skip obituary pages in the morning paper, just in case my name is there.
      For my health, I'll wear a copper bracelet and rub my skin with mink oil and start my day with fiber laced with M and Ms.
     I'll paste a smile on my face for make-up; and I'll refuse to tan and soak for hours at the spa, where I might wrinkle into nothing and be mistaken for a raisin.
     I'll ignore the TV ads for PolyGrip and grown-up diapers and those ugly chairs that stand you up, and I won't let Ed McMahon seduce me into pre-paid funerals, or elder magazines or cheap insurance.
     I'll cultivate a mellow air of wisdom, and when the young folks seek advice, I'll tell heroic tales about the past and lie to them about the future.
     I'll let my dwindling eyesight go, for that will let my mirror lie to me, and it will also help to camouflage the cobwebs, dust and dirt.
     I will not dance the hokey-pokey at your wedding or spend my days at Big Lots trying to save a dime.
     I won't hang out at craft fairs or in bingo halls; I will not go to quiet towns in Florida for shuffleboard and golf; and most of all I won't go into places where my young friends aren't allowed.
     I won't bend over in my garden in a flowered muumuu; and I won't let the Beauty Ladies tint my hair in any shade of blue or cut and kink it into scouring pad or Orphan Annie hairdo.
     I'll wear strong necklaces in case I ever want to hang myself, and of course my friends and loved ones know that isn't likely.
     If I'm forced to trade down to a dinky little car, I'll let the neighbor kids paint flowers on it and glue a wind-up key upon the roof, and they can ride around with me and make a lot of noise.
     If you ask how old I am, I will not hear you; and I will not criticize the young except to God, who has been around awhile and sympathizes.
     I may someday build a pedestal and designate myself an icon, but I will not speak of growing old until I'm well into my 90s, if I live that long...
     And then I'll hold that very private conversation only with myself.
                                          ---------------------------------------------- 

BACK NOTES: 
--I did NOT "let my dwindling eyesight go" after all. With recent cataract surgeries, I can now see without glasses... unless I want to read! (I'll soon be fitted for my reading glasses).
--I wrote this birthday poem when I was 50. When I was 73, I shared it publicly through my column in Gazette Newspapers.
--In April, after more than two decades with that column, I retired. Now it's just me and my Bob, growing older and older together!

ROSE AT AGE 7...before she was OLDE!
SELFIE of Olde Rose today without her glasses.
(Actually an image via mirror) 

Thursday, August 4, 2016

SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY STARTED WITH A COLUMN... (REPRINT)

by Rose Moore, columnist, Gazette Newspapers of Ohio

(Blogger's note: Today would have been the 91st birthday of the late Fred Holp. Since his Face Book page has not yet disappeared, I wish him happy birthday and share this good-bye which previously ran in my former newspaper column in Gazette Newspapers).

    YEARS AGO through this column, I wrote about a man we kids called Grampa Hope. And there began a sentimental journey...

    In the early 1940s--a time of shorter life spans, when many miracles of modern medicine had not yet been discovered--I was not the only child who had no living grandparents. My mother's parents and my father's father had passed away many years before my birth. Like my older siblings and many children whose grandparents were no longer living, I would look around my neighborhood for an unofficial grandparent, and he was Grampa Hope.

     We found him in a purely accidental way, in the twilight of World War II, when our makeshift kid-parades had distinctly military flavor. With pots and pans for drums, and bowls atop our heads for soldier hats, and homemade army "tanks" with cardboard, wheels and other bits of cast-off junk, we dragged our friends and siblings and our pets along in these grand marches, and we made a lot of noise.     It was a summer day in the midst of just such a "Little Rascals" brouhaha, when we spotted Grampa Hope sitting on his porch in an old wood rocking chair, near a shallow set of steps where sunshine met the shade. He didn't flinch when our raggle-taggle little bunch of rowdies approached him in their military gear.
    He smiled, and the smile reached his eyes and crinkled to his ears, and we knew that we were welcome. We broke our march and crowded near him on the steps, bombarding him with our excitement-of-the-day. From that point on, Grampa Hope was ours.
    Looking back from later years, I recognized his frailness. He was bent and thin; his veins showed clearly through his skin; his gnarled hands rested on the wooden cane on which he leaned as he rocked. Yet we kids never sensed that our exuberance might tire him.
    We talked; he listened. He answered silly questions patiently, and often told us tales of what the world was like when he was young. On cicada dog-day afternoons, his voice would blend with insect music until it was hard for us to stay awake. If truth be told, we sometimes dozed and woke to find he had quietly retreated and left us with our dreams.
    A calmness seemed to coat us as we touched base with this Ancient of Our Hearts, whose amiable spirit connected us to the era of our parents' parents we had never met. Did "Grampa Hope" have children or grandchildren of his own? We never asked; it didn't matter; Grampa Hope had us, and we had him.

    "GRAMPA HOPE" IS still the perfect name for him, at least to me. But until a reader of my column told me that Grampa Hope was actually Christopher Holp, as indicated in an old Painesville City directory. I passed that information to my readers, and like a bit of magic, responses filtered in from my old neighborhood and far beyond. And here's the truly magic thing: These responses led me to his sole surviving grandson.

    Patricia Milgate Holp, whose deceased husband Bob had been a grandson of this man, provided the first information which truly began to answer my request: "If Christopher Holp has descendants who might be reading this, I would love to find out more about him."
    She told me he was gone before she married Christopher's son Bob. "But I know my husband felt very attached to him," she said.."There were always such wonderful stories about him. He was well beloved by the entire family and so special to all of his 'real' grandchildren as well."
    A bit at a time I learned more. I heard of tragedy in Christopher Holp's life. His wife had died after her clothing caught fire from a cook stove. She had impulsively run for the creek to douse the fire, and that is where her husband Christopher found his beloved Dorothea when he came home from work.
    I learned that Christopher was born as Christoph Holpp in 1863 in Reichenbach, Germany. He came to this country with his father Christian, mother Eva Rosina, older sister Rosina Margaratha and younger brother Gottlieb. They settled in Cleveland for a time. When Christopher was older, he moved to Girdled Road in Leroy Township in Lake County, where he bought land for farming. He married Dorothea Kristina Pederson in 1891. Dora, as she was known, was from Denmark. They had three children---Harry who died when one year old; Alfred Johnson, a nephew they adopted when his mother died in childbirth; and Fredrik Gottlieb, the Fred Sr. who lived in Painesville for many years.

    WHEN FIRST I WROTE of Grampa Hope, I did not yet know of Fred Holp Jr. of California, the one surviving grandson. Later when I was given Fred's address, I mailed him a copy of the column. Fred called as soon as he received it, telling me how happy he was to have had his grandfather return to him through my column.

    Over time, I learned even more from Fred, who still possessed one of the two original packing trunks that had come with the Holpps on their journey here from Germany. He shared memories of his grandfather from the 1930s and 40s, before Fred went into the military.
     He spoke of how he and his grandfather enjoyed their favorite mustard sandwiches together, and how his grandfather always kept a good supply of small hard-candy on hand for his grand children's visits. He shared with me his memory of the smell of the old coal-oil cooking stove his grandfather cooked on, and the smell of bacon and eggs, which his grandfather often cooked...
    "In the late 1930s," Fred recalled, "Grandfather sold sets of horse harnesses so Dad could buy Bob and me a pony. We lived on Overlook Road at the time and sometimes rode the pony over to my grandfather's place from there... Mother and Dad would have Grandfather over for our Sunday evening meal, chicken and dumplings... In the early 1940s, my brother Bob and I bought Grandfather his first floor-type radio...
    "He always enjoyed seeing Bob and me in our high school band uniforms... He helped Mom and Dad buy new bikes for us from Sears at Painesville Square... I remember asking him to teach us some how to read some German words, but he didn't want to. He was all-American, he said."
    Fred mailed to me a photo of a wall at his home, decorated with such things as his Grampa's rifle and cane and a double-frame photo of Fred and his grandfather. He described vintage family photos and genealogical charts; and copies of his great grandparents' 1867 passport papers to America' and a list of the Holp (Holpp) family members interred in Painesville's historic Evergreen Cemetery... and more.
    When Grandson Fred was in the Navy, Christopher sent him a touching pencilled note dated Feb. 24, 1945, and Fred said he has always kept that note. The child-like scrawl seemed to indicate an aging Christopher was having trouble with his hands and eyesight as he wrote: "Mr Dear Fredie, How are you? I think of you every day. I long to see you, be of good cheer, the Lord will take care of you and bring you home. Gram Pa."
    Fred told me he did return home safely that year, but by that time his grandfather Christopher Holp was gone from the world. I sensed the sadness in Fred's words. I told him that when I had heard that "Grampa Hope" had died, I got comfort from imagining him in Heaven, talking with my own grandparents.
     Soon after that conversation with Fred, a manila envelope arrived at my home, and the space for the return address bore the words: "From Heaven from Grampa Hope. I still remember you." Inside the envelope was a copy of a faded photo of Grampa Hope, obviously sent by his grandson Fred. The California postmark was the giveaway. When I called Fred to thank him, he laughed as he assured me, "It was my grandfather's idea!"

    GRAMPA HOPE'S MEMORY remains intact with me. And now his grandson Fred---loved in his own right by family and friends---is also mingled with that memory. I kept in touch with Fred by phone, by mail and by face book; and my husband Bob and I were his invited guests at a multi-class Harvey High School reunion group (our mutual alma mater, though in different generations).

    In March, his family informed me that Fred had passed away peacefully at his home in California, at the age of 89, and in April a service will be held in California for him. A second memorial will be held in Lake County around the time of Fred Holp's August 4 birthday.


    And so, goodbye to you, my friend Fred Holp.  I wish Godspeed to you as you join the amiable colony of Holps who are gathered in the Lord's Hereafter.


FACEBOOK PHOTO OF FRED HOLP


(You can direct your commentary to columnist and blogger Rose Moore at randrmoore@gmail.com).











Tuesday, August 2, 2016

THE NEW MOON... August 12, 2016


    THIS MORNING the new Moon rose with the sun. Had you been awake, you would not have seen it, For a new moon is too close to the sun to be seen by the eyes of a human standing on earth.


   Just as the new moon will always rise with the sun, it will also set with the sun. Though it won't be visible to my eyes, the moon-watcher in me will always know when it's there. 
    Its invisibility has one great advantage for stargazers like myself. Without the light of the moon, the night sky is darker than normal, and it won't be competing with my view of the stars. With no clouds forecast for my valley, the stars tonight will rule! And this night will hold a lot of the warmth of the day, making it a fine and comfortable time for sitting outdoors and enjoying that view. 
    Tomorrow the moon will be visible, though briefly, as a slender crescent in the west after sunset; its profile sketched with such a fine line it might well have been drawn with light from the finest of fine-line markers. 
     Some call it young moon at that stage. I do not. I always see the moon as the very old presence it actually is; and always one size, though that size is greater or lesser to the human eye, depending on the stage it has entered on any particular night.

young moon one or two days from full

MAY ALL OF YOU HAVE A GOOD NIGHT!---Rose Moore and the New Moon