Monday Musical Memory: Under the Boardwalk

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

When you read this, I’ll be on my way to Jupiter, Florida, where I plan to spend a relaxing, fun-filled week with my brother and his family. In past years when I’ve been there, I’ve enjoyed walking on the beach, feeling warm sand between my toes and the whoosh of cool water as waves wash over my ankles. I’ve also walked in the water, tried my hand at boogie boarding, and eaten many wonderful picnic lunches. If Bill were still alive, we might be sitting on a blanket under a boardwalk having some fun just like in this song. Click the link below to enjoy.

 

Under the Boardwalk

 

How about you? Have you ever been to a beach? Did you enjoy walking along the shore and in the water? Did you ever swim? Have you ever tried surfing or boogie boarding? Did you bring your own lunch or buy hot dogs and French fries from a vendor? Have you ever sat under a boardwalk on a blanket with someone you loved?

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

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Like me on Facebook.

 

The Ice Cream Stand

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Thanks to blogger Mary Hiland for inspiring this. In her post, she shares memories of buying sweet treats from an ice cream truck as a kid.

When I was a kid, I wasn’t a fan of cones, Eskimo pies, or any other treats you could eat with your fingers. Instead, I preferred malts, sundaes, and other treats that could be eaten with a straw or spoon. The stand at Kendrick Park here in Sheridan, Wyoming, had plenty of those. When I was in high school and college, our house was only a block away from the park. My younger brother and I often walked over and swam in the pool, then bought ice cream. Behind the stand was a playground, and when I was younger, I often enjoyed myself there, even after Mother accidentally caused me to fall off a swing.

On Tuesday nights when there were concerts in the park, Dad and I often took our Irish setter, Clancy, over. After the concert, we made our way to the ice cream stand. While I had my usual chocolate malt, Dad got a vanilla cone and a spoon. He told Clancy to sit, and he fed him some of the ice cream from the cone. When the cone was empty, he gave that to the dog as well.

One summer, my ten-year-old cousin Shelley and her family were visiting us from Iowa. Dad, Shelley, Clancy and I walked to the park as usual on a Tuesday evening. We brought lawn chairs, and after the concert, Dad decided to stow them behind a tree while we made the quarter-mile trip to the ice cream stand. When we returned to that tree after enjoying our treats as usual, the chairs were gone.

Dad told Shelley and me to start walking home while he looked around to see if the chairs had been dumped somewhere else. They were old and not of much value. While we waited to cross a busy street, to our surprise, Shelley spotted the chairs in the back of a green pick-up truck that was driving by us.

So, when we got home, Dad called the police. When the detective arrived, Shelley gave him a description of the truck. The next day, the chairs were found. Unfortunately, the police needed to keep them for evidence, and we didn’t get them back until October. By that time, I was away at college, and attending band concerts and eating ice  cream were far from my mind.

What about you? Do you have any specific memories of buying and eating ice cream from a stand or truck? What was your favorite kind of ice cream? Did you prefer it in a cone, dish, or malt? Any way you like your ice cream, I hope you enjoy plenty of it this summer.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

 

Monday Musical Memory: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

My late husband Bill was an avid baseball fan. His favorite team was the Colorado Rockies, and he stood by them always. They lost many games over the last few years of Bill’s life. At the end of a losing game, he was so frustrated sometimes that he would say, “The Rockies are rotten to the core.” At the start of the next game though, his ear was glued to the radio, anticipating the first pitch. Bill’s adoration of this team inspired a character in my new novel, The Red Dress, coming soon.

A year after he passed, I had an opportunity to attend a Colorado Rockies game. I was visiting relatives in Colorado Springs, and my uncle from California, an avid Los Angeles Dodgers fan, was also there. He had tickets to see the Dodgers play the Rockies at Coors Field in Denver.

So, I went with him and my uncle and aunt in Colorado Springs, and my cousins from Denver joined us. Because of my limited vision, I couldn’t see much of the action, and I forgot to bring a radio with headphones so I could hear the play-by-play, but since my cousins were Rockies fans, I could tell which team was ahead by who was happy. As the evening wore on, my uncle became more jubilant and my cousins more depressed.

I felt close to Bill, sitting in those stands. If he were still alive, he would have called me a million times from the nursing home to discuss the game and perhaps hear the roar of the crowd over the phone as well as on the radio. If he were actually at the game, he would have stayed till the bitter end, which my California uncle did since the Dodgers were winning, but I left with my Colorado Springs kin soon after the seventh-inning stretch.

Speaking of the seventh-inning stretch, the song I’m singing today is in commemoration of the opening of the National Baseball Hall of Fame eighty years ago on June 12th. The song, which is usually sung at the ballpark during the seventh inning stretch,  was recorded live at Elm Croft, an assisted living facility where I entertain for their monthly birthday parties. I accompanied myself on guitar since a piano wasn’t available. Click the link below to hear it.

 

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

 

How about you? Have you ever attended a major or minor or even a little league baseball game? Did your team win?

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

Dad, Fats, and Me #Poetry #Music

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Here’s a poem I wrote several years ago about something my father and I loved doing together. It was published in Magnets and Ladders. You can click on the title to hear me read it. Below the poem is a video of the song mentioned in the poem. Happy Father’s Day to all you dads out there.

Dad, Fats, and Me

As the piano’s base notes
imitate baby elephant patter,
I stomp my six-year-old feet in time,
while sitting on the couch
across from Dad, sprawled in his easy chair,
his nose in a book.
He looks up, chuckles.

As Fats Waller sings no praises
to a woman’s over-sized feet,
I stand, stomp around the den.
Dad sings along–I giggle.

As the song crescendos
with blaring saxophone and trumpet,
I lift my feet,
bring them to the floor with purpose.

The record has other songs:
“The Joint is Jumpin’,” “Seafood, Mama,”
but my little feet always stomp in time
whenever I hear Fats say, “Your Feet’s Too Big.”

 

Fats Waller–Your Feet’s Too Big

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

About Love

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.Thanks to The Life and Death of Love for providing interesting answers to some questions about love. Now, here are my answers to those same questions.

***

 

Define love in five words.

 

Love warms and comforts you.

 

Do you believe in love at first sight?

 

Since I’ve never experienced this, I don’t have an opinion. However, for my late husband Bill, who was totally blind, it was love at first sound. He was living in Fowler, Colorado, and I was living here in Sheridan, Wyoming. He heard my voice on an audio magazine for people with blindness or low vision and apparently fell in love with it.

 

Have you ever changed yourself to make someone love you?

 

Yes, at least I tried. It drove Bill nuts when I talked to myself. I did my best to kick that habit but never really could. Finally, after Bill suffered two strokes that paralyzed his left side and depended on me to do almost everything for him, he said he liked it when I talked to myself because he then knew where I was and what I was doing.

 

Love is like a box of chocolates. Discuss.

 

Chocolates and love are sweet and irresistible, but you have to be careful. If you eat too many chocolates, you’ll gain too much weight, which causes diabetes, heart trouble, and other complications. If you have unprotected sexual intercourse as a result of love, you could end up with an unplanned pregnancy and/or a sexually transmitted disease.

 

What’s the one thing about love that scares you?

 

It’s the commitment. After Bill sent me a letter, asking me to consider marrying him, I alternated between wanting to spend the rest of my life with him and not being sure I wanted to live with him for the rest of my life. It took me a couple of months to make a decision, and these were agonizing months for Bill because it had taken him six months to work up the courage to ask me to marry him.

 

Do you think you can be in love with two people?

 

Absolutely not! A married man who has an affair has apparently fallen out of love with his wife. That’s why it took me a couple of months to decide to marry Bill. I was thinking long-term, which is something people don’t do when considering marriage proposals.

 

How do you know when you love someone?

 

I don’t know how, but you just know. At least that’s the way it was for me. After Bill sent me his letter of proposal, he came to Sheridan to visit me for a week. We planned a dinner with family and friends at a local restaurant, where Bill would make his proposal official.

On the day of that dinner, I was still experiencing periods of doubt. The ring he’d brought was too small, and we were waiting for it to be re-sized. He used a necklace instead. When he placed it around my neck, I knew, and I said yes without thinking.

 

Do you believe love conquers all?

 

Absolutely! Three months after our wedding, Bill suffered the first of two strokes that left him unable to use his left arm and leg. Our love for each other got us through the uncertainty of not knowing what our lives would be like and the difficult times we endured while I was caring for him at home.

 

What do you hope to gain from love in the future?

 

Now that Bill is gone, I don’t think I can love another. I’m sure Bill wouldn’t mind if I did, but no man loved me before Bill and I doubt any man will love me again. Many women end up in abusive relationships or have husbands who cheat on them. I’m thankful to have never been in such situations and feel it’s better to be alone. If you’d like to learn more about me and Bill, read My Ideal Partner.

***

Now, it’s your turn. Please feel free to answer any or all the above questions on your own blog or in the comment field below. I’d love to know what you think about love.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

 

Monday Musical Memory: Oh My Papa

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.My father was a bear at times. He laid a hand to my hind quarters when I did something wrong. When my younger brother was suspended from high school for mooning out of a bus, he yelled, “When I see you, you’d better have a book in your hand. If you want to do something useful, chop wood.” He often got into shouting matches with my mother, especially when he was drunk.

Life with Dad wasn’t all bad, though. I spent many happy hours with him listening to jazz. At the age of six, my favorite song was Fats Waller’s “Your Feet’s Too Big.” When my younger brother and I formed a band with me on piano and him on drums, Dad often played along on string bass. When my younger brother developed an interest in photography, Dad helped him turn our third-floor bathroom into a dark room.

My father wasn’t like the papa in this Eddie Fisher song, who could be funny and adorable and would take you on his knee and change your tears to laughter. Nevertheless, he was a good man, and I loved him and learned a lot from him. May he rest in peace. Click the link below to hear me sing the song.

 

Oh My Papa

 

How about you? What was your father like? What did you enjoy doing with him? How did he punish you when you were bad? Happy Father’s Day in advance.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.

 

Thursday Book Feature: Understanding

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

Understanding: An Anthology of Significant and True Life Events

by Stevie Turner et al.

Copyright 2019

 

In this anthology, edited by fellow blogger Stevie Turner, contributors, me included, share stories of life-altering events such as sexual abuse, traumatic accidents, and teen pregnancy. My story is about my years of caring for my late husband as outlined in My Ideal Partner- How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds Stevie also includes her story of how she survived thyroid cancer.

Most stories are in the form of an interview. Stevie sent us each twenty questions about our experiences, which most of us answered. One author, though, chose to provide her answers in the form of an essay. At the beginning of each story is the author’s biographical information.

I enjoyed reading many of these uplifting stories of courage and determination in the face of adversity. For me, caregiving wasn’t fun, but many authors here endured a lot worse. This book has a strong message. No matter what curve balls life throws at you, keep going, and things will get better.

 

My Books

 

My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

How to Build a better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

We Shall Overcome

My Other Links

Visit my website.

Like me on Facebook.