I Remember … (NPM ’16-Day 30)

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P1050901

Story time with Aunt Helen

I Remember…

I remember the holes in the green roll-down blinds
and how they looked like a starry sky.

I remember caramel-colored fly paper
hanging twisty from the ceiling
dotted with black.

I remember making cakes and cookies
when we got to play with water in the sandbox.

I remember lying sick on the couch
and how the flowers in the living room curtains
became faces.

I remember story time with Aunt Helen.

I remember angel food cake
and strawberries with whipped cream
for every birthday.

I remember licking the beaters.

I remember Saturday work
and how much I hated it.

I remember washing the cream separator last
and how slimy the dishcloth got
in old soap and lukewarm water.

I remember early wash day mornings
with the sounds of the chugging machine
and daddy playing quartet records
while he waited for another load
to hang on the line.

I remember starting the fire in the sleigh—
the smell of kerosene and smoke
and how one side of my leg
would soon be sunburn-hot.

I remember grape juice and pop—
our Christmas dinner “wine.”

I remember frosty spring mornings
and cracking crystal ice.

I remember spring evenings
full of the drone and ribbet of frogs.

I remember the smell of earth
and the wind holding its breath
just before a summer rain.

I remember the gentle sound of grazing chickens
on summer holiday mornings.

I remember how prickly nervous I got
gathering eggs from nesting hens.

I remember the smell of the kitchen
when Mom made pickles.

I remember the smell of wheat
in the fall when Dad was combining.

I remember the sweet-sour caramel crab-apples
Mom made for fall picnics.

I remember reading
till 2:00 or 3:00 a.m.
and wishing Anne of Green Gables
was my friend.

©2016 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

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I decided to take the April 29th NaPoWriMo challenge of writing an “I remember’ poem:

“… write a poem based on things you remember. Try to focus on specific details, and don’t worry about whether the memories are of important events, or are connected to each other.”

I discovered, once I got started, it was hard to stop! The poem contains only a few of my memories. Are they anything like yours?

And with that I come to the end of  poem-a-day National Poetry Month 2016! It was fun posting a new poem every day, even though sometimes a little hectic. Of the 30 poems I published this April, 28 were newly written this month. Thanks for all who came by to read and leave a comment!

I’ll now get back to my usual about twice-a-week posting schedule.

Learning to Skate

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Poet Maureen Doallas tagged me this morning in a poetry-writing meme. Her poem, “Learning to Jump Rope,” is based on Lisa Hesselgrave’s painting Jump Rope Pink Room.

I took my inspiration for the poem below from these lines in Maureen’s poem: “your wrists will begin to ache / at a quarter to three…” As I recall, a skipping rope isn’t the only thing that gives a kid aching wrists.

girl in skates

Photo courtesty RGBStock.com

Learning to Skate

My natural klutziness stumbled
more than Cinderella kissing her fella
kept me stuck on twosies in jacks,
botched up numberless rounds of hopscotch
and learning to skate.
Ice’s cool smoothness
my magnet despite no toe picks
to trip up white tube skates.
Flailing arms broke my fall
dozens of times, wrists ached
from first recess and through the day.
Books were much easier
on the body.

© 2015 by Violet Nesdoly (All rights reserved)

A Child’s Christmas in Saskatchewan

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It’s Christmas Eve, the time our thoughts turn to all things holy—and presents! How crass. But how real, especially if you’re a kid.

A few weeks ago when I was cleaning out some papers, I came across a picture book I wrote and illustrated way back when. It was one of my course requirements at UBC, (College of Education). It’s my memories of childhood Christmases on our farm in Saskatchewan. I hope you enjoy.

A Child's Christmas In Saskatchewan - Cover

A Child’s Christmas in Saskatchewan – Cover

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Now a Merry Christmas to all who read here!

Ben’s quilt

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Play quilts by Grandma

Ben’s Quilt

I got this quilt from Grandma
Put it on the floor
Ran my cars along the roads
And made the engines roar,

Raced my speedboat in the lake
Drove the kids to school,
Picked up groceries at the store
And hauled wheat to the Pool.*

Other blankets are for sleep
But this one is for play,
No other quilt I know can warm
In such a special way.

© Violet Nesdoly

*Pool was the name of a grain company, painted on many prairie elevators when I was growing up.

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My mom was an inveterate quilt maker. She made some sort of quilt for each of her 20+ grandkids, many of them play quilts. The wonderful thing about these quilts was that each one was different. Some were based on songs or lullabies (one illustrated a song—My Pigeon House—that she sang to each of us when we were babies). Others had themes—birds, animals, nursery rhymes. The photo is of two of the quilts she made. The one on the left is similar in theme to the one she made for my son. You’ll recognize lots of nursery rhyme characters in the one on the right.

“Ben’s Quilt'” is a poem I wrote in 1999. It is a child’s, my son’s, imagined response to Grandma’s quilt. I was reminded of it by Amy’s wonderful poem “Quilt Map” that was part of last week’s  Poetry Friday.

poetry+friday+button+-+fulllThis poem is submitted to Poetry Friday, hosted this week by Jama Rattigan at Jama’s Alphabet Soup, the most delicious blog on the net.