A Foggy Trip

Ocean wavesI am digging into my archives to post this poem until I have something else more current to post.  Hope you enjoy.  Thanks for reading.

This poem is about a trip I took with my best friend to work for the summer.  We had gone all through Catholic grade and high school together which took twelve years and had only graduated a short time before taking the trip.  We were going to the New Jersey shore to work as waitresses, then she was going back to school to become a nurse or as they called it then, “in training.”  My plans were a little more vague but I knew I had to get a job to support myself and help out at home.

We had a  wonderful time at the shore, getting jobs right away finding a boarding house to live in.  Unbeknownst to either of us, that would be our last time together as she and her family moved away soon after we returned from the trip and we never saw each other again.  But that is another story.

THE END OF A FRIENDSHIP

 We traveled by train to reach our destination

It was foggy most of the way

As the train pulled in, the fog was lifting

A sign of the good days ahead

We worked hard all the days we were there

It was more like a sort of play

In the evenings we danced until our feet hurt

Not noticing the blood till the end

We laughed, we cried, the time passed too quickly

And too soon we had to leave

Never knowing that this was our last time together

We frolicked on the train all the way

STREAM OF CONSCIOUSNESS

MEDITATION

This is a writing prompt from one of the classes I have been taking during these past few months, going into years.  It was in my archives, so I thought I would post it again to see what response I would get.  Hope you enjoy it.

Our prompt for today is to write for twenty minutes anything that comes into your mind.  A stream of consciousness.  So I set the clock and here is what came out:

I am sitting on my favorite chair, a big recliner with my cat, Lady, on my lap.  I usually do morning notes (not every morning) and it is interesting what comes out when I go back over the notes at a later date.  I got the idea for the morning notes from a favorite book of mine, “The Artist’s Way,” by Julia Cameron.  Julia says the book is “A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity.”  I have certainly gotten a lot out of the book.

Some of the ideas I have from doing the exercises in the book such as, the morning notes and the Artist’s Date, I have used in the stories I have written and they occasionally find their way to my blog.

It’s usually best to do the notes first thing in the morning with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea.  I have a cup of green tea most mornings as I am doing now since the green tea is my favorite.  I like coffee but it sometimes causes me stomach pain.

I find that green tea with white tea combined is a really smooth drink.  I am taking a sip now.  It’s funny how when I finish the notes, the tea is finished also and it is time for another cup.

Glad to be in the Class again especially since it keeps me motivated to do some writing, if not every day, then most days a week.  And it is always interesting to read other classmates ideas and stories.  There are a lot of creative people in these classes and they are very helpful.

And another thing, the morning notes plus the classes keeps my brain working, thinking of new ideas of what to write about.

Also the photography class and the poetry class were very interesting.  I did not know I could write poetry and there I was doing poetry.  It made me feel good about myself to do something I never dreamed of doing.

I have expanded my horizons with all the classes and writings to such an extent that I feel as though I can go on writing indefinitely.  Not sure how good the writing is but I am enjoying the very act of writing so much that I look forward to it everyday.

So coming to a close here with two minutes to go, I can only say that I am really getting a lot out of these classes and hope to continue and improve as time goes on.

 

THE TRIP

THE TRIP

The train rattled back and forth as my cousin Joseph and I were jostled about.  We were sitting on our suitcases in the aisle of the train as there were no seats left.  I was fourteen and Joseph was twelve at the time and we were traveling to his home in New Jersey.  Down the aisle a bit from where we were sitting, were my Aunt Maud and my other cousin, Harry.  Harry was ten years old.  They had been visiting us and other relatives in the small town in Pennsylvania where we lived.  Aunt Maud and my mother were sisters but Maud had married and moved to New Jersey a number of years ago.  Maud had another child who was being cared for at home by Maud’s  mother-in-law.  Tina was only three and not really a good traveler so it was decided to leave her at home.

The train continued its rattling and it was beginning to upset my stomach which was delicate to begin with.  As far back as I can remember, I had a delicate stomach.  Certain foods did not agree with me and as a result, I was very careful what I ate.  The train was not helping anything.

It was a long trip from where I lived to their home near the beach in New Jersey and I was really looking forward to spending the summer with Aunt Maud and especially Cousin Joseph, since he was the closest to my age.  I was going to be babysitting some of the time and helping Aunt Maud with light cleaning also.

They lived near the bay in Asbury Park and Joseph and I and maybe even Harry were planning on walking there to do some wading and maybe even go out in a rowboat.  The water was shallow and it was a busy spot for families, especially in the summer.

As the train rattled on, I felt sicker and just then I saw Aunt Maud calling to us and asking how we were doing, especially me, since I  probably looked pale with the upset stomach.  I said I was okay but she passed us each a coke from the cooler bag she had with her.   It did relieve my stomach and I guess my color came back into my face as Aunt Maud looked relieved.  She was warned by my mother that I had stomach problems and threw up on a regular basis.  Sometimes I would even faint if  I forgot to eat.

This was my first time on a train and so I did not know what to expect, stomach wise.  My father always complained of having an ulcer but mother would always poo poo that, as he seemed to be able to eat anything he wanted including fried foods and coffee.

So I was usually compared to him in an unfavorable way in more ways than one.  He had left us for the last time a few months earlier.  We kids were pretty happy when he finally left.  A lot less bickering and even blows a few times.  In those days, no one ever called the cops unless there were vast quantities of blood.  Although my father  wasn’t really a violent man, he was mostly lazy and did not want to support his family, let alone work.

Also, I was happy to get away from my younger sisters at home .  They were constantly arguing and fighting with each other and when they got bored with that, they would pick on me.  Sometimes I would haul off and swat one or both of them.  Then they would tell mother and there would be hell to pay.

Mother usually would take their side and I would get a whipping with a switch from the bush in the yard, which hurt like the devil.  But sometimes I would just take off for the day and not come back until nightfall.  By that time mother would have forgotten what had happened.

Aunt Maud was a lot more fun than mother even though she had three kids to keep her busy.  But of course she had a good husband who held down a good job, he was a Captain in the Coast Guard, making a very good salary.  And they had a beautiful house and they got along very well.

So I was looking forward to having a  good time at their home near the beach.  Joseph and I got along great and Harry at ten years old was a nice easygoing kid.  Oh yes, I was really going to enjoy this trip.

When we arrived at Aunt Maud’s house, we looked like refugees.  We were all sweaty and disheveled and also hungry and thirsty.  Joseph showed me to my room for the summer which was a nice, bright room with a lot of girly do dads scattered about.

Just having my own room was a luxury for me after sharing a room with my two sisters.  I flopped on the bed and Joseph left to go and help his mother with some chores.    I don’t remember falling asleep but when my eyes opened it was dark outside and I could smell a tantalizing aroma coming from the kitchen.  I could also smell the ocean and I could not wait to get down there.

I jumped up and after washing my face and cleaning up a bit, I ran downstairs to see what was for dinner.  There was no mistaking Uncle Joe’s  booming voice and when he saw me his eyes lit up and he said, “How’s the little lady doing?  Are you happy to be here?”

He could tell by my smile that I was and before I could answer, he picked me up and swung me around.

“Put her down,”  Aunt Maud yelled, “she’s not used to the rough housing like the boys are.”

“Oh, don’t be an old killjoy,” he said.

And to me ,”You like it, don’t you?”

I was smiling from ear to ear, so he knew that I did.

We finally settled down around the dining room table and started in on the food which looked great, even though I couldn’t eat much.  After dinner, we all packed into the car with Uncle Joe at the wheel to go for ice cream.  I would find out that this was a weekly routine and I came to love it much as I loved everything about my new family.

Where I lived at Twelve Years Old

I am submitting this story from my archives as I am in somewhat of a slump right now and can’t seem to get going on writing anything new.  So hope you like this “blast from my past.”

 

WHEN I WAS TWELVE……….
we had moved out of the shack we had been living in for a good part of my childhood.  The roof leaked, we had no hot water except what we heated on our coal stove and our toilet was outside in what we called a porch.  It was freezing in the winter when we went to the toilet and in the summer there were mosquitoes to annoy us.

So moving to the ‘new’ house, which was actually a duplex, we were beside ourselves with the joy of having a roof that didn’t leak and an inside toilet.  We still did not have a proper bathroom but just to have an indoor, enclosed toilet was enough for us.  We still didn’t have hot water unless we heated it on the coal stove but we were happy at least for a while..

I lived with my three sisters and my mother as my father had deserted us years ago, while we were living in the shack.  I had one older sister and two younger sisters.  My Mother worked as a cook for a doctor and sometimes she had to stay overnight, as she also did some of the cleaning for the doctor’s family.  She had to take two buses to get to the doctor’s house and of course two to get home.

My older sister was fourteen and had gotten a part-time job after school and this helped with paying the bills.  I was babysitting for a few of my Mother’s friends and that helped with buying my own clothes and various things I needed for school.  WWII was going on and rationing was the order of the day.  Sugar and butter were things I missed most and they, of course, were rationed.  That stopped us from making cookies and candy, that we loved so much.

We lived in a small town in Pennsylvania where everyone knew everyone else.  It was good and bad.  Good because everyone knew what everyone else was doing and bad because everyone knew what everyone else was doing.

We went to Catholic school and were taught by nuns and got a very good education.  The church was near the school and we went to mass every Sunday and holy days of obligation.  Also, we went to mass on certain months that were holy for some reason and we had to go every day before school.

In those days everything was in Latin, the mass, the singing, the whole bit.  We had to take two semesters of Latin and two semesters of another language or four semesters of Latin.  You had to have at four years of Latin to be a nurse, which was what I was thinking I might do. But then I decided to take two semesters of French because I was so sick of the Latin by then.  There went my nursing career, which I have since regretted.  But when you are young you make a lot of mistakes.

My Mother was a good cook, so on the days she was home we had some delicious meals and on other times, I usually tried my hand at cooking.  Sometimes the meals I cooked turned out pretty good, because I had learned a lot from Mother.  Other times when I tried something new, the meal turned out not so good and there was a lot of complaining from the sisters.  But I carried on and since I was the only one willing and old enough to cook on the coal stove, the complaining was held to a minimum, especially if they wanted to eat.

So we lived in that house until I was nineteen and my older sister was going to be married.  At least we were moving up in the world by then as we moved to the nearest big city.  We were upgrading at each move, especially since both my older sister and I had graduated from high school and were both working full-time. But the small town where we grew up and graduated from high school, still holds some fond memories of school days and friends, some of whom I still keep in contact.