Monday, November 22, 2010


“Over the river and through the woods…”
Whatever happened to those rushing rivers I recall from my childhood?
And what about the snow-covered woods?
Well, at least, there’s still grandmother’s house, right? Oh, but it’s not a farmhouse way out in the country anymore, is it? No, a patio home in the city is more like it, or a condo on the beach. And “Grandmother?” When is the last time you called her that? It’s a good thing we have a song to remind us of the way things were.
It appears to me that new names have taken over in most families in the years since that song was written as well. Granted, most are versions of the old, but I love the imaginations of the minds that bring forth such endearing terms as Graham Cracker, Meemaw, Oma, Grana, Bubbe, Mimi, Nonna, and more. And as varied as the names, so too are the persons and personalities.
Some grandmothers are as the Norman Rockwell images project in our minds: fulltime homemakers who find delight in cooking and needlework. Some are Cagney and Lacey type policewomen working to “protect and serve” in our communities. Then, there are those we know in the public eye. Mary Travers, of the singing group, Peter, Paul, and Mary, comes to mind. Mary was a grandmother, not much older than I am now when she passed away, but through the beauty of her voice, she left the world with many recorded reminders of having been here.
I wonder if the homemaker’s decision was always her first choice in life. Do the ones who protect and serve really want to be ridding the streets of riff-raff? Would they rather be home reading bedtime stories, rocking and cuddling grandkids? And, as she aged, did Mary Travers love her life in the spotlight on the road, or would she have given it all away in exchange for the home-style life projected in Norman Rockwell pictures?
Earlier today the thought raced though my mind that I would rather be at my computer writing this article than in my kitchen cooking those goodies that my family expects and loves to eat as part of the holiday tradition! Wait a minute! Sitting at the computer instead of preparing a holiday feast? What is wrong with that picture? It appears that more than the rivers of my childhood, the snow-covered woods, and the name of Grandmother have changed as part of the holiday tradition. I am a grandmother who is supposed to be happily humming as I buzz busily around my little kitchen creating confections that the most discerning of palettes will long remember.
Perhaps I’d better think long and hard about the legacy I’m leaving if I choose the computer over the cooking. After all, if I don’t cook, will I be the cause of some future composer’s not writing a new song about “Over the rive…”; well, you get the idea!
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 11-22-2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010



Thursday, November 4, 2010


What is this description I keep hearing of the lonely, quiet life of the writer? Either I am not the writer I purport myself to be, or somebody has been misleading me!
I sit down with a story in my mind, eager to get it into my computer so I can share it with my fellow writers. I no sooner place my laptop in my...well, in my lap…when one of our small dogs jumps up beside my leg, stretching herself close to full length alongside my knee to ankle, on the lifted leg-rest portion of my recliner. Our other little dog climbs onto the footstool by the chair and stands there looking forlorn because he can’t jump up by my side with his Big Sissy Dog in his way. He knows that would raise a row and he doesn’t want to risk her ire. I take pity on him, make sure my computer is secure on its cooler pad, reach over and lift his small body into the space between the arm of the chair and my thigh.
Dogs settled, now I can get back to my story plots. Buzz-zzz…Buzz-zzz! Oh, hold that thought. The dryer announces clothes are ready to come out right now or they will end up with wrinkles set in them. Sorry doggies, got to dump you as I lower the recliner leg rest and head to the laundry room. It’s a good thing I have time to think about my story while I take care of the laundry.
Clothes taken care of, but more laundry is in the dryer now. Walking by the kitchen on the way to and from the laundry room, I notice the addition of dishes in the sink. Funny how those dishes just seem to appear as if by magic, yet they never seem to do themselves. Have any of you ever noticed that? There can be an empty sink and stovetop when a writer walks by to put the laundry in, yet the next time she walks by, not only is there a used frying pan on the stove, but also dirty dishes soaking in the sink as well as crumbs crawling across the countertop! Thankfully, the crawling crumbs are not alive! Might as well do a swift sweep with a wet cloth since I am walking by anyway. This may give me something more to write about.
Now the dogs want to go out. Good timing. I’m on my feet. I wonder how they decided to ask to go out now since I’m not trying to sit and write! Amazing! Good girl! Good boy! Out you go. Guess I’d better follow and clean up the yard before the yardman gets here. His careless stomping anywhere and everywhere, as well as running the lawnmower all over everything, just creates a problem if I don’t get out there before he does. Okay, doggies, time to go back inside. I’m not getting any writing done out here.
Ah, back in my recliner and at my laptop at last. “Ding!” E-mail has arrived. I’d better check that. I’m waiting for a response from the banker who’s working on our house refinancing. No, but one of my writing friends wants some suggestions with a place that has her stuck. She has a deadline and since I don’t, I certainly can help her. Oh, and here’s a joke I want to share with several friends. It has to do with writing and may be a prompt for some folks. We all need a laugh now and then. That reminds me, I have some snail mail get-well cards I must get sent today.
At last, back to my story: “Iva was an intelligent…”
“What are you thinking about for supper?” hubby asks.
“Supper? We just had breakfast a little while ago.”
“Yeah, but I was thinking if we are going to have something that’s frozen, we should be getting it out now so it can thaw.”
(Sigh)…and that reminds me of the groceries that need to be bought.
I just get back into the storyline in good shape when the phone rings, not necessarily for me, but enough to be a distraction. If it isn’t the phone, it is likely something on the TV whose sound I cannot escape during most daytime hours.
Speaking of escape, of course, there are occasions when I go away from the distractions of home, and work on my writing. Usually, that’s when my husband and I, or both of us, go for medical appointments or to rehab, where I know I will be sitting and waiting. The problem with most of my times away seems to be similar to the times at home: there is almost always a TV running in the background. If not a TV, someone is having a discussion a few decibels louder than necessary. So far, I am not deaf, but sometimes I wonder how long before I will be!
The library is a quiet place. I do go there from time to time, but I never thought to go there to write. I go there to find books so I can read books written by those who, I have been told, live the lonely, quiet life of a writer.
As I finish this writing, I wonder: should this be posted under truth or fiction?
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 10-4-2010