Re-Blog: Ida Matilda’s Cream Pitcher

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.In celebration of National Poetry Month, I’ll try to post a poem a day for the next thirty days. Most poems will be by others, but when I have time, I’ll post one of my own.

Lynda’s delightful poem should bring back pleasant memories of your own grandmother. If it does, please feel free to share them, either here or on Lynda’s blog. Enjoy, and happy National  Poetry Month.

 

Ida Matilda’s Cream Pitcher

 

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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Maroon Dream

I posted this poem here five years ago but am re-blogging it in response to a daily prompt. It was published in Serendipity Poets Journal in 2013. You can click below to hear me read it.

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https://soundcloud.com/user-91961896/maroon-dream/s-i0YUt

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Maroon Dream

As a teen-ager, I loved Grandma’s maroon Cadillac,

its soft, red velvet seats,

automatic windows, stereo speakers,

longed to take the wheel,

cruise up and down Main Street, radio blasting,

have fun fun fun till my granny took the caddy away.

I could never hold the wheel,

put the pedal to the medal.

With eyes that only saw objects and people up close in color,

I could only sit in the passenger seat

while Grandma negotiated the roads,

as we drove to the movies

or to the park for ice cream.

Through the years,

Grandma’s driving became more cautious, less certain.

Eventually, she sat in the passenger seat, said nothing

while I rode in back—

Dad drove us to restaurants or the theater.

When Grandma left this world,

her car and other possessions were sold.

Someone else drives her maroon Cadillac,

lucky to have such a car.

***

Who first taught you how to drive? Did you ever cruise Main Street?

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Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

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

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

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

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

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Radio in the Morning

In a recent guest post, Lynda McKinney Lambert featured a poem about her grandmother’s ivory cream pitcher. This inspired me to revise and re-post a poem I wrote a couple of years ago about one of my grandmother’s rituals and how I still carry it out today. Click below to hear me read the poem and sing the John Denver song that inspired it.

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RADIO IN THE MORNING

 

“It’s a good day,” the announcer sang.

“Now, stand by for news.”

At the age of twelve, lying next to Grandma

in her big double bed, I asked her

why we had to listen to news.

She said it was necessary to know

what was going on in the world.

After local and national events,

sports, horoscopes, we began our day.

 

In my own room at home, I had a radio,

woke up to all the happenings

around town, around the country, around the world.

 

As a teen-ager, I awoke to latest hits,

re-broadcasts of The Shadow,

The Lone Ranger, some comedy.

 

Now, with Granma gone,

I wake up to NPR news,

“find out what goes on in the world.

***

Now, it’s your turn. Think of one thing you remember about your grandmother and write about it in the comments field. What you share doesn’t have to be in poetic form. I look forward to reading about your memories.

***

Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

We Shall Overcome

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

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

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

Click to hear an audio trailer.

Like me on Facebook.

 

Over the Bridge and Along the Creek

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Here’s a little ditty I wrote recently. Years ago when my grandmother was alive, I enjoyed walking to her house, even as an adult. Now, our town boasts a series of connected cement walkways that would have provided a scenic route from my house to hers if she were still alive. The following is set to a familiar tune we associate with Thanksgiving. To hear me sing it while accompanying myself on piano, go to https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/over%20bridge%20along%20creek.mp3 . Happy Thanksgiving!

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OVER THE BRIDGE AND A LONG THE CREEK

Over the bridge and along the creek to Grandma’s house I go.

My cane knows the way. I will not stray as through the leaves I go.

Over the bridge and along the creek, now Grandma’s house I spy.

Hurray for the turkey, stuffing, and yams and Grandma’s apple pie.

Over the bridge and along the creek to Grandma’s house I go.

My dog knows the way so “Forward,” I say as along the path we go.

Over the bridge and along the creek, now Grandma’s house we spy.

I must insure my trusty guide does not eat Grandma’s pie. Ruff ruff.

***

Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Vote for my new book idea.

Grandma’s Radio

Grandparent’s Day was a couple of weeks ago, and I completely forgot about it until now. Several months ago when it was my turn to facilitate our third Thursday poets’ meeting, I played my guitar and sang “Grandma’s Feather Bed.” I brought copies of the lyrics so people could sing along if they wanted. I then suggested we write about the best darn thing about our own grandmothers’ homes. To hear me sing the song with piano accompaniment, go to https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/grandma%27s%20feather%20bed.mp3 . What I wrote is below.

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GRANDMA’S RADIO

“It’s a good day,” the morning announcer sings.

“Now, stand by for news.”

At the age of twelve, lying next to Grandma

in her big double bed, I ask,

“Why do we have to listen to news?”

“So we’ll know what’s going on in the world,”

she answers. After local and national news,

sports, horiscopes, we begin our day.

In my own room at home, I have a radio,

wake up in the morning to all the happenings

around town, around the country, around the world.

As a teen-ager, I listen to latest hits,

The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, some comedy.

With limited vision, I’m carried off

in a way never accomplished by television.

Now, with Granma gone, I follow her example

lie in bed, listen to National Public Radio,

know what goes on in the world.

***

Now it’s your turn. What’s the best darn thing about your grandma’s house? Please feel free to share below.

***

Abbie J. Taylor 010Author Abbie Johnson Taylor

Front Book Cover - We Shall OvercomeWe Shall Overcome

Cover: How to Build a Better Mousetrap by Abbie Johnson TaylorHow to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver

That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

Order from Amazon

Order That’s Life from Finishing Line Press.

Vote for my new book idea.

Remembering a Loving Grandmother

Today would have been Grandma’s birthday if she were still alive. I’m not sure how old she would have been, but I remember her 90th birthday celebration during the earlier part of this century. It may have been the summer after my mother passed away in 1999.

We rented the Historic Sheridan Inn, and relatives from Colorado, California, and Utah converged on our town in Wyoming. We also invited many friends who lived in the area. The party included food, live music, and of course picture taking and lasted well into the night. The next day, my uncle and aunt hosted a barbecue at their home. It was a great two-day bash and Grandma’s last big birthday celebration.

In 1973, my family moved here to Sheridan so my father could take over the family’s coin-operated machine business after my grandfather died. For a couple of months until we found a home of our own, we stayed with Grandma. I enjoyed sleeping with her in her double bed and waking up in the morning to her radio. I was twelve at the time, and the local talk program bored me. I once asked her why she listened to the news, and she said she liked to know what was going on in the world. Her attention to current events rubbed off on me. Now, when I wake up in the morning, I tune my radio to NPR so I can hear state and national news.

Grandma became a fixture in our lives when we moved to Sheridan. We visited her often, and my brother and I occasionally spent the night with her. She gave us our favorite foods: macaroni and cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers. I loved her potato salad and Boston cream pie. She rarely made a fuss when we yelled at each other or made a mess. Dad once told us that when he was a boy, she made him eat everything on his plate, but she never did that with us. She seemed to enjoy making her grandchildren happy.

Grandma’s back yard had a swing set that brought us hours of pleasure along with the jukeboxes and games Dad kept in the shop that he would later distribute to restaurants, bars, and other establishments. There was also a picnic table, a glider, and several comfortable canvas chairs. When out of town relatives visited, we congregated there for a barbecue. A jukebox was rolled out of the shop for entertainment, and after eating, we kids danced and listened to the music while the adults talked and drank, and Grandma talked and drank right along with them.

Grandma wasn’t fazed by my visual impairment and supported me in my endeavors. My grandfather was a musician so she liked the idea of me being a singer. When I was in high school, she bought me a guitar and arranged for me to take lessons. When I sang and accompanied myself on the guitar or piano or performed with a choir, she always said the music was beautiful.

When I decided to study music therapy in college and work with senior citizens, she was all for it. After completing a six-month music therapy internship in Fargo, North Dakota, I moved back to Sheridan and found an apartment and a job in a nursing home. Since the apartment had no washer or dryer, I often went to a Laundromat a block from Grandma’s house and visited her. She seemed to enjoy hearing about the music and other activities I did at the nursing home and even had ideas.

Once after I received a written reprimand from a supervisor who claimed she couldn’t work with my visual impairment, I showed Grandma the paper. She took one look at it and said, “Hey! Who is this bitch?” She rarely used colorful words and admonished us when we were kids not to use them so it was all I could do to keep from laughing, but I had to fight back tears as well because those words illustrated her undying love.

Grandma also didn’t like it when words were used incorrectly. Her biggest pet peeve was saying a particular food was healthy instead of healthful. Fortunately, she never saw me buy Healthy Choice frozen dinners at the grocery store.

When my late husband Bill proposed to me in 2005, Grandma was skeptical, especially since I wasn’t sure I wanted to marry him. To make a long story short, in three months, I changed my mind, and she was behind me all the way, remarking that he had it bad for me. She also supported my decision to quit my day job and write full time. My wedding was held in her back yard.

Grandma died in January of 2006 after being hospitalized with pneumonia. At the same time, Bill suffered his second stroke, and he was already partially paralyzed as a result of his first. I regret not spending more time with Grandma in her last hours, but I think she would have understood if she were aware of what was going on around her. AT her graveside service, another big family event that took place in July around the time of her birthday, I sang “Amazing Grace” with no accompaniment of any kind. To hear me sing the song the way I did back then, go to https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15213189/amazing%20grace.mp3 .

What do you remember about your grandmother?

Abbie Johnson Taylor, Author of We Shall Overcome  and How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver  and That’s Life: New and Selected Poems

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