Sunday, March 19, 2017

Stella(r) Snow-etry

            A surprising third snow day Thursday presented the opportunity to write limericks. According to , a limerick has five lines. The first, second, and fifth lines have eight or nine syllables each. The third and fourth lines have five or six syllables each. The first, second, and fifth lines rhyme with each other. The third and fourth lines rhyme with each other.

            There’s also a meter, but let’s not go crazy here! If you read a few limericks, you’ll be able to feel the rhythm.

            Limerick Day is May 12, the birthday of Edward Lear who made limericks popular in England. By then, the weather will be so lovely we won’t have any reason to think of limericks. We thought of them March 16.

            The first three are mine.
This may or may not be Jamaica.

Stella attacked like a ghoul,
Winning me three days off school.
I slept till eleven--
A foretaste of Heaven!
Who says winter is cruel?
There once was a blizzard named Stella,
Who dumped tons of flakes on a fella.
We dug through the mound;
He finally was found
In Jamaica under an umbrella.

When it dips below thirty degrees,
My fingers and toes start to freeze.
When it gets down to twenty,
I need blankets aplenty,
To prevent icicles on my knees.

         Marcia Woodard wrote the next two.

PA's forecast, "More snow!" made folks scurry
To add layers of clothes warm and furry.
But though we were ready,
With hearts brave and steady,
Indiana got barely a flurry.
A fella was once heard to boast,
"I'm not just a fair-weather host!"
But when dozens got stranded,
And food was demanded,
All he had were supplies for French toast!

This is French toast and I am hungry.

        And Deb Troutman responded to Marica:

A storm full of snow
Was predicted and so
To the store I did run
Then had so much fun
Staying home reading and eating French toast!
        Kathy Scott lets us know that Stella was Irish.

There once was a snowstorm quite Irish.
It blew into town not so stylish.
It covered all green.
Not a shamrock was seen.

And all the gold coins turned to tarnish

       Bill Cheesman takes a brighter view of the Irish snowstorm.

In March the winds they did blow,
And then we were covered in snow.
In a change of the scene,
Everything was green

And all the Irish did glow!

       Beth Brubaker bemoans the fate of her car:

I hope this is not Beth's car.
I once had a car that was nice
though living here made me think twice
the snow and the sleet
Plowed on from the street
Has now encased it in ice! 

      Janyce Brawn laments the whole sorry situation.

Winter's chill prevails
The rain just hails
The roads are icy
And driving's plain dicey
I'll sniffle and cough with all my ails. 

     And finally, Dave Coup sums it up.

Snowflakes continued to fall,
Much to the worry of all.
They covered the road.
At home we abode,
Stella has paid us a call.

       Happily, the temperature is warmer today. Snow is shrinking around the edges and settling. It’s also crashing off of roofs. Hopefully we will salute this as the last disaster of Winter 2017.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Haiku. Do you?


            In an attempt to amuse and express myself on a second snow day, yesterday I posted haiku on Facebook about Storm Stella, and I invited others to do the same. As you surely remember from high school English class, a haiku consists of three lines. The first and third lines have five syllables each, while the middle line has seven syllables. I’m sure there are many more subtleties of themes and patterns, but for my snowbound purposes, I cared only about syllable count.

            However, just to be sure, I checked and learned “haiku” is already plural:

noun, plural haiku for 2.
1. a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.
2. a poem written in this form.

            And look! “…often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.” We nailed it.

            Enjoy our feeble offerings as cabin fever infects us all. The first three are mine.

Lovely, deadly snow
My frozen heart burns with hate
Won't you please melt soon?

This is not my street. But it could be.
Where cars once were parked,
Snowy mountains line my street.

When will the plow plow?

A frigid trek to
Lisa's Milltown Deli, where
Friendship warms my soul

Author friend and humorist Beth Brubaker contributed this:

This is not my cat.
And it will never be.

Pane of a window
Is much better during snow
Than pain of shov'ling!


      Family friendly author friend Carrie Anne Noble sent this:

Drifting flakes of snow
May you blow away to He(ck)

Melt on Satan's brow

       Nonconformist author friend Linda M. Au proved her frugality with words:

This is not my church. But I am a Baptist.

           Everyone else was too busy shoveling, binge-watching, plowing, sleeping, or
 measuring and photographing the snow to compose haiku.

            Today’s challenge? Snow themed limericks. Keep them clean, friends!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Small Potatoes

            Burdened with overstuffed handbag, rolling suitcase, and ukulele, I maneuver around the front door and manage to pull it shut behind me. At least the sun is sort of up and it’s not raining. I safely cross the compacted snow and ice separating me from my car, unlock it, and stow the suitcase and ukulele in the back seat.
            Finally in the driver’s seat, I start my car. Only it’s not my car. My car was making a funny scraping sound and went to visit a mechanic. This is my husband’s car. It’s newer than mine, runs smoother, and the Sirius XM radio comes in clearly all the time. But I don’t like it. If I were in my car, it would already be warm. A brilliantly conceived Christmas gift from my sons a few years ago, a remote starter, means I happily press a button and the car starts and warms up while I frantically rush around inside for a few more minutes.
            Today, the hub’s car is cold. Jack Frost decorated the front windshield and vandalized the rear windshield. My hub’s pristinely empty car has no ice scrapers. He must have moved them to the rental he’s using. My ice tools went to see the mechanic with my car. So I must wait for the wires in the back window to melt the ice. I’ve always wondered why the auto designers don’t put wires in the front. I must wait for cold air blowing from the cold heater to melt the cold ice on the front windshield. 
             I’m going to be late for school.
            As small patches of clear glass appear, I run the windshield wipers in a feeble attempt to spread the warmth. Finally after an hour, or maybe five minutes, there’s more clear glass than frost and I start driving. There’s still not heat. Also the car doesn’t quite fit my body. I sit on a thick cushion. The seat is so far forward to reach the pedals that my knee bumps the steering column.
            I turn on my hub’s superior Sirius radio and I can clearly hear more drama about the White House staff. Ugh. The stress of the presidential campaign and election and aftermath and inauguration and aftermath just won’t go away.
             I turn off News and choose Symphony. Some intense pianist is beating the keys in a stress-elevating staccato rhythm. Ugh.
            How do I find Sirius’s Christian station? How do I get out of Sirius and find WGRC, my local Christian radio station? I need Don and Dave’s badinage in the morning. I need encouraging music. I need Luis Palau. All available by pressing button 4 on my radio in my car which is at the mechanic’s.
            After ten miles, the car is finally warm, but still silent. I try to remember an encouraging song I can sing to myself. A few lines from a back-in-the-day song emerge, “Reach out to Jesus; he’s reaching out to you.” I sing with my croaky morning voice and more lines come.
Is your burden heavy as you bear it all alone?
Does the road you’re traveling harbor dangers yet unknown?
Are you growing weary in the struggle of it all?
Jesus will help you when on his name you call.
He is always there, hearing every prayer, faithful and true.
Walking by his side, in his strength we hide, all the day through.
When you get discouraged and you don’t know what to do,
Reach out to Jesus; he’s reaching out to you.
            I come close to remembering the words. I sing it several more times to myself and to the Lord.
            I remember my favorite passage from the Message paraphrase of the Bible.
So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. 2 Corinthians 4:16 – 18

            The more serious NIV renders the verse, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.”
            It’s popular nowadays to call this kind of stuff “first world problems.” While women in other parts of the world are walking miles to get water and carrying it on their heads back to their village, I feel put out because I have to drive my hub’s VW instead of my PT Cruiser.
            But I prefer the very American idiom, small potatoes. The stuff I’m facing this morning is smaller than small potatoes. It’s smaller than a tater tot or a single shred of hash browns. 

            Thank you, Lord, for reminding me.