On Top of the House #Poetry, #Tuesday Tidbit

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

When I was growing up, one of the houses where my family lived in Tucson, Arizona, had a swamp cooler mounted on the roof. It wasn’t always reliable, and it always broke down during the hottest part of the summer.

In the following poem, I talk about a time when I accompanied my father onto the roof one day and watched him fix the cooler. I remember how slanted the roof was but also my view of the world from up there, which I illustrate in the poem.

It was published in my collection, How to Build a Better Mousetrap: Recollections and Reflections of a Family Caregiver, and you can click the Play button below to hear me read it. I posted it here back in 2011, but I hope you’ll agree it’s worth a second look. Enjoy!

 

On Top of The House

by Abbie Johnson Taylor

 

The cooler stands silent, inert,
dares Dad to fix it.
At the age of eight, I perch on one of the roof’s slopes,
gaze in wonder at the world below.
Mother calls from far away, yet close.
Where is she?

Dad hunches over the cooler.
“Turn it on,” he calls.
After a pause, it springs to life,
distributing cool air throughout the house’s interior.
It’s time to leave the top of the world.

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

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An Invitation to a Virtual Poetry Reading #Events

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

I’m cordially inviting you to a virtual reading in which I’ll be participating. Sponsored by WyoPoets, my state’s poetry society, it’ll take place a week from tomorrow on Zoom. Not only will you hear others read their poetry, but you’ll also be able to share a poem or two of your own. You’ll find all the pertinent information below.

***

Wyo Poets is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join us for our first Virtual Poetry Night of the year on

Sunday, Jan. 10 @ 5 p.m.

MST.

This event is open to anyone who wants to share or listen to poetry. No, really, anyone is welcome to join us! You don’t have to be a member of WyoPoets

or Cheyenne Writers Community, you don’t even have to be in Wyoming to participate or to listen in.

Please sign up to read using the Google Form at:

https://forms.gle/U8J14eBBtBDyqC566.

The first 20 poets to sign up will get to read, additional poets will be allowed based on time.

 

Topic: Poetry Night

Time:

Jan 10, 2021 05:00

PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84370375214?pwd=bkJjUjF1TVg1Nmw1Z3VwWFBMeHRYZz09

 

 

Meeting ID: 843 7037 5214

Passcode: 076858

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,84370375214#,,,,*076858# US (Houston)

+16699006833,,84370375214#,,,,*076858# US (San Jose)

 

Dial by your location

 

+1 346 248 7799

US (Houston)

 

+1 669 900 6833

US (San Jose)

 

+1 253 215 8782

US (Tacoma)

 

+1 312 626 6799

US (Chicago)

 

+1 929 205 6099

US (New York)

 

+1 301 715 8592

US (Washington D.C)

Meeting ID: 843 7037 5214

Passcode: 076858

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Auld Lang Syne #Musical Monday

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.

What am I doing New Year’s Eve? Probably what I do every night, stretch out in my recliner with a good book, magazine, podcast, or movie. What did we do on New Year’s Eve when I was growing up? Not a whole lot.

On rare occasions, we went out to eat, but we usually didn’t stay out late. One year, we lit sparklers in the house when the ball dropped on Times Square. Because December in Wyoming was cold and snowy, we didn’t take them outside. It’s a wonder we didn’t burn the house down.

Then, there was the year Dad got pulled over for drunk driving and would have spent the night in jail if Grandma and Uncle Jon hadn’t bailed him out. You see, because my father sold and serviced coin-operated machines, he was often called on New Year’s Eve and other nights to fix a broken jukebox in a bar where there was no other entertainment. On this particular New Year’s Eve, the establishment to which he was called was in a rural area. And, of course, he stayed after fixing the jukebox and enjoyed one too many. Fortunately, a highway patrolman caught him before he could have an accident.

On New Year’s Day, Mother always insisted on taking down the Christmas tree and other decorations. Although everyone was present when the house was decorated, my father and younger brother often had places to go on New Year’s Day, or they were sleeping it off after a night of celebration. So, the task of un-decorating fell to Mother and me.

I loved taking down ornaments just as much as I loved putting them up, fingering the glass balls and snowmen, angels, and other figurines. Although Mother grumbled about the lack of assistance, I didn’t mind. After everything was taken down and put away, I helped her haul the tree to the alley, where it would eventually be picked up by the sanitation department.

What about you? What do you remember doing on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day when you were growing up?

The song I’m singing today is synonymous with ringing in a new year. According to Wikipedia, “Auld Lang Syne” is a Scottish poem written by Robert Burns in 1788 and set to the tune of a traditional folk song. As I’m sure you all know, its traditional use is to bid farewell to the old year at midnight on New Year’s Eve. But it can also be sung at funerals, graduations, and as an ending to other occasions. The phrase, “Auld Lang Syne,” has been used in similar poems by Robert Ayton (1570-1638) Allan Ramsay, (1686-1757) and James Watson. (1711) It’s loosely translated as “for the sake of old times.” To learn more, click here.

If you know the words to “Auld Lang Syne,” you might want to sing along with me. Whatever you do New Year’s Eve, please keep others safe from the coronavirus by not gathering with a large crowd, and please don’t drink and drive. This post is part of Dr. Crystal Grimes’ holiday blogging party. Happy New Year!

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

 

 

O Mournful Night #Poetry, #Wednesday Words

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.After my mother’s passing,
I wash dishes, mouth the words
to that familiar carol, her favorite.
As soap washes away scum
from plates, glasses, flatware,
my tears wash away grief,
leave me at peace.

***

 

One night a year or so after my mother’s death, I was washing dishes while listening to a program of Christmas music on television. When I heard “O Holy Night,” I was inspired to write the above poem. You can click on the Play button below to hear me recite it and sing the song, accompanying myself on piano. This post is part of Dr. Crystal Grimes’ holiday blogging party. To participate, click here.

Please note that for the next few days, I’ll be taking a staycation to celebrate the holiday. So, I won’t be posting here again until Monday. Merry Christmas!

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

 

Breath of Heaven #Musical Monday

I’ve posted this song here before, but since it’s one of my favorite Christmas songs, I hope you’ll agree it’s worth another listen. When I first heard it in 2005, the plight of the Virgin Mary, as depicted, captivated me. For some reason, I’d never looked at the Christmas story from her point of view before. At the time, I’d been married to my late husband Bill for two months, and we were happy, never dreaming that tragedy would strike a month later.

But it did, in January of 2006, in the form of a stroke that paralyzed Bill’s left side. We weren’t sure if he would ever walk again. You can learn more by reading My Ideal Partner: How I Met, Married, and Cared for the Man I Loved Despite Debilitating Odds.

After Bill’s stroke, I remembered the song and found myself identifying with the Virgin Mary, wondering why this was happening to us and if I would have to deal with the uncertainty alone. Thus, I was inspired to write a short story about a pregnant teen who gives birth in a barn. Later, I wrote a poem, which you’ll find below the audio player. It was published in the fall/winter 2018-19 issue of Magnets and Ladders. In the recording, I recite the poem before singing and playing the song.

According to Wikipedia, Amy Grant, who popularized this song, co-wrote it, along with a book based on it. The song appears on her album, Home for Christmas, which was released in October of 1992. In the 1980’s, Amy Grant was one of the first artists to cross over into popular music on the heels of her successful contemporary Christian albums. You can learn more about her here.

Now, I hope you enjoy my rendition of “Breath of Heaven,” along with the poem the song inspired. This post is in response to Dr. Crystal Grimes’ holiday blogging party. Click here to learn how to participate.

 THE POOR BLESSED VIRGIN

She stands, alone, cold, weary
after traveling many days and nights.
Why was she chosen to bear this Holy Child?
Must she do it alone?
Will Heaven help her?

***

By the way, for those of you who use the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, The Red Dress is available for download from their site here. No matter how you read it, please be sure to review it wherever you can. That goes for all my books. Thank you for stopping by. Stay safe, happy, and healthy.

New! The Red Dress

Copyright July 2019 by DLD Books

Front cover contains: young, dark-haired woman in red dress holding flowers

When Eve went to her high school senior prom, she wore a red dress that her mother had made for her. That night, after dancing with the boy of her dreams, she caught him in the act with her best friend. Months later, Eve, a freshman in college, is bullied into giving the dress to her roommate. After her mother finds out, their relationship is never the same again.

Twenty-five years later, Eve, a bestselling author, is happily married with three children. Although her mother suffers from dementia, she still remembers, and Eve still harbors the guilt for giving the dress away. When she receives a Facebook friend request from her old college roommate and an invitation to her twenty-five-year high school class reunion, then meets her former best friend by chance, she must confront the past in order to face the future.

***

My Books

My Amazon Author Page

Facebook

Website

 

Image contains: Abbie, smiling.