Separated in Flight. . . . Reunited by Love

Illustrations by Sue Cornelison from “Lost and Found Cat”, Crown Books 2017

A little over a year ago, Sura, a widowed mother, her three daughters and only son fled war torn Iraq under cover, taking only what they could carry on their backs and in their arms. Among their possessions was Kunkush, their beloved cat. On their way to Istanbul, they travelled by car, followed by three days on foot where Sura and her children walked behind the others lest the smugglers discover Kunkush and double the price of their escape.

Crossing the Aegean Sea to the island of Lesbos, the family along with 60 others was crammed into a flimsy rubber boat meant to carry 25. When they finally scrambled ashore, in the excitement Kunkush’s carrier—its door broken—was left unattended for several moments. He slipped out and retreated to the forest.[...]

Through the Woods to Grandmother’s Dinner…

Mural, Dance of the Books, Panel 3, Helena Clare Pittman, The Grahamville Library. www.helenaclarepittman.com

Everyone’s up early this morning. To grandmother’s house they go to share a Thanksgiving Day feast. A cheerful collection of characters, each with a story to tell. (Just ask.) Goldilocks and Baby Bear appear to be buddies, with Mama and Papa Bear, in stride on the outside. This is one of their vegan days and Granny’s menu provides plenty of sweet desserts. Little Red helps her out with those. (She brings the wine, too, in most versions of her tale.)

Curious George adds fun, ready to search for solutions “outside the box” to problems that might arise. King Babar, dressed in modern royal, is a fitting leader for the harvest celebration parade.

[...]

It’s Sunrise…Look Who’s Up!

“Dance of the Books,” Panel I, Helena Clare Pittman, The Grahamsville Library, Grahamsville, N.Y. www.helenaclarepittman.com

At the Grahamsville Library, as the light of the early morning sun fills the sky, Strega Nona, Harry and Harold, Alice and Willie and their buddies emerge from between the pages of the books that hold their stories. With his purple crayon, Harold sketches big fluffy clouds—his specialty—and Willie wakes the late night partiers with his whistles.

Rise and shine, my famous companions, the sun is up and so must you be to begin your storied days.[...]

Ban on Grandparents . . . Didn’t They Get the Memo?

Illustration credit: Jackie Ferrentino for Nautilus, “What good is Grandma?”

Post Dedication: To all of us and any of us who answer to the following: Grandmothers, Grans, Grannies, Grandfathers, Grampas, Opas, Nanas, Nonnos, Abuelas, Abuelitas, Avós, Farmors, Großmutters, Grootmoeders, Grandmères, and the other millions of parents-once-removed from around the world whose names or titles I can’t track, or reproduce in print on my key board.[...]

To Swim 70 Miles a Day . . . Every Day of Her Grandmother Life . . .

Photo via Orca Network, by Heather MacIntyre

Listen to podcast while you read:

And still able to spring out of the water, balance for a moment on her tail before going under for the next laps in her Pacific Ocean domain, traveling with other members of her orca pod. All are in high spirits, breaching and tailfin slapping, momentarily released from their H2O milieu and apparently rapturous about the brightness of the sun and the massaging of their skin by surface breezes. [...]

The Covenant

How does it happen that as infants grow into their six-month stage, their eyes, large and wide, their gaze, long and leisurely, seems to beam from a far off place, a heavenly body, perhaps, where pools of feeling need no shelter, where wonder and seriousness are in abundance, exposed and available for the innocent to absorb.

My most recent “gaze” came from my grandniece, Lucy, at her baptism ceremony. [...]

November Bloom

november iris

When I rounded the bend in the cul-de-sac in front of my house, I stopped dead in my tracks to stare at the most beautiful of blooms, an iris, planted in our community garden by my neighbor, a variety in Connecticut that always produces its clusters of flowers in early June, hearty and elegant with the graceful curves and colorations of its petals.

But this was November, nearly five full months past its days for blooming.

Under the petals, two fully developed buds were in waiting with a third further down the stem. The shock for someone like me [...]

T-REX—on My Deck

T-Rex On My Deck

One day after a wind blown summer storm, my 7-year-old grandson, Matthew, and I collected fallen debris from trees and other rubble, piling fragments of dead branches in a corner of the deck. As we stacked final bits, I remarked how great it was to have his help.  "Now, it's time to get the recycling bag, yes?”

“No. I have an idea.”

“Really?”

“Yup—you’ll see.” [...]

Living in the Listening

iPod as recording device

April 2007, on an impulse, I stepped into the Apple store in my local mall to check out the iPods on display. Smart phones had yet to arrive on the market. What I wanted to know was whether these small, sleek devices had a recording function? Specifically, could an iPod record conversations between Matthew, my seven-year-old grandson, and me? I asked, Tom, one of the sales associates.

“Sure, it just needs a microphone.” He retrieved a tiny black box from the rear of the store, attached it to an iPod and turned it on. We had a short conversation about the wonders of new technology. I put in the ear buds, dialed the recording, and listened to a nearly flawless replay of our exchange. [...]

No More Popping Babies—But Still Good to Go

yo te vigilo by Raúl González

"yo te vigilo" provided by Raúl González via Flickr's creative common license

I sink exhausted in my chair at lunch, my 4-year-old grandson sitting across from me, and hit the play button on the VCR so that the next episode of Thomas The Tank Engine rolls through while we eat. The morning has been endless moves from inside to outside, upstairs and down, [...]