Arkansas, Food & Recipes, Gardening

Strawberry Yields Forever

All right, y'all! There's strawberry pie for anyone who can get here before it's gone! Yes, yes, I'll dress it with whipped cream when you're served. But you'd better get here soon because my grandson and his roommate were eyeing the pie before they left to see a movie. They'll be back, and I suspect, will… Continue reading Strawberry Yields Forever

Books, Fairy Tales, Family, Fiction, Goodbyes, Happiness, Movies

Two Is The Beginning

Tomorrow, we will celebrate our first-born child's 40th birthday. It seems almost impossible to imagine that fact is reality, but there's no denying it ... nor the corollary − that her daddy is considerably past his 40th birthday! (Okay, if I must admit it, me too.) How, I ask myself, is this possible? I posted a poem here… Continue reading Two Is The Beginning

Humor, Poetry, Writing

A Is For Aardvark

Because some of my silly verses have been enthusiastically received, I thought I'd offer another one today. I'm often struck by the variety of interesting and unusual animals in God's creation. Thinking about the animal kingdom often spurs my imagination and verses like the following are what come from my musings.

Brave New World, Culture, Dying, Education, Goodbyes, Narcissism, Rants & Opinions

The Right To Live

Their names (in alphabetical order) are:  George Chen (age 19), Katherine Cooper (22), Cheng Hong (20), Christopher Michaels-Martinez (20), Weihan Wang (20), and Veronika Weiss (19). Two women, four men ... daughters and sons, each with a unique story of hope and potential ... and each one's life abruptly ended by the soulless act of a self-absorbed narcissistic killer. Their… Continue reading The Right To Live

Divorce, Family, Love & Marriage, Poetry

Start Afresh?

As with other poems I've posted in the past, I must offer a word of disclaimer on this one ... lest readers jump to the incorrect conclusion that something is amiss in the "O" household. Written many years ago, this sonnet reflects (as with a couple of other sonnets I've posted -- here, here) my grief… Continue reading Start Afresh?

Culture, Dying, Family, Genealogy, Living, Narcissism, Poetry, Rants & Opinions

Remember Me

Poet Christina Rossetti wrote a beautiful poem titled Remember. Today, our annual day of remembrance signified as Memorial Day, we honor those who died in service to our country. My grandfather (Charles Frederick West, 1887-1932) didn't die on the battlefield but his exposure to mustard gas in the trenches of World War I brought about his death after years of suffering. His… Continue reading Remember Me

Christianity, Life & Health, Living, Narcissism

Failure Is Always An Option

Think about the failures you've experienced during your lifetime. When I consider my own, I'm always amazed by the important lessons I've learned thanks to my most spectacular failures. Thinking about the horrible events that occurred in Santa Barbara CA over the weekend, I thought briefly about the perpetrator's life (laid out in his personal manifesto running over… Continue reading Failure Is Always An Option

Fiction, Writing

Before They Come: Part 2 (of 2)

This is Part 2 of a short story I wrote back in the late 80s or early 90s. Read Part 1 here. “Someone cared for you. There’s a sensitive man under that tough-guy shell.” She wasn’t just flattering me. I was quite sure of that. I straightened my shoulders more than a little bit. A… Continue reading Before They Come: Part 2 (of 2)

Fiction, Writing

Before They Come: Part 1 (of 2)

This is a short story I wrote back in the late 80s or early 90s.  Back at St. Ignatious Parish School, Sister Mary Margaret predicted I’d be a writer or politician. She had high hopes for me even though I gave her nothing but trouble. She hounded me to finish school, encouraging me with her talk… Continue reading Before They Come: Part 1 (of 2)

Family, Genealogy, Living, Writing

The Diary

In Oscar Wilde's play, The Importance of Being Earnest, one of his characters says:  "Memory is the diary we all carry about with us." In the sonnet below, I was exploring some thoughts related to memories. I tend to be distracted by memory rabbit trails. Whether I'm exploring an aspect of family history and old… Continue reading The Diary