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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Daily I wake.
Daily I see your face.
Daily I am amazed.
Daily you persisted, grace.

My friend you were.
My friend you became.
My friend you remain.
My joint adventurer, same.

(more…)

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My mother’s family came from central Georgia. She had six sisters and two brothers. As often as we could, my parents piled us into the family  car, a station wagon, to make the five hour trek from Charleston to Milledgeville. It was a pilgrimage of sorts; off to reconnect with family. There is nothing quite like a large family of siblings connecting with their cousins who also have a large family of siblings. Meals were usually had around long tables with benches for seats and foldout card tables for the overflow. Noise, laughter, and at least one argument was always part of our visits. I never cared for the road trip to Georgia or the even longer road trip back, but I always enjoyed my time with my cousins. These were special times, special adventures, special moments.

One special moment was a visit to Uncle Jake’s and Aunt Mildred’s farm. Even though raised in the south by two country born parents, we were pretty much city kids. The idea of having and raising pigs, having a working farm, was quite foreign to me. I recall one trip where the kids went down to see the livestock. The older kids were down there, near the wood-railed fence, looking at the pigs. I wanted to go down there with them. I don’t think I was allowed, so naturally, I tried sneaking down there to be with the big kids, anyway. I got about half way down there when a pig came out of the pen and chased me back up to the house. I tried three more time before giving up. The same pig would come out of the pen and chase me back to the house. I think I spent the rest of that visit on the porch or in the house. I was miserable.

Meals for a large family with a visiting large family were noisy and a flurry of motions in getting everything prepared and set to the table while still hot enough for everyone there. In one of those meals I recall the flurry of motion, emotions, and conversations around the table. It seemed that a torrent had descended on the kitchen and after a brief storm the kitchen was empty again. Empty except for my brother Rob and I. We sat at the table picking at our bowls of oatmeal and staring at the glasses of buttermilk. These were new experiences for us both. We sat there and were told we could not go outside unless we had eaten our food. We were having none of that. We sat and complained as little boys would do.

Our host, Uncle Jake, came into the kitchen. He smiled at us. It was like he wanted to laugh but didn’t. He seemed a very big man to me. He wore a short sleeved shirt with the sleeves rolled up just a bit, and he wore bib-overalls. He was a working man who understood hard work. I was a little boy who was at war with a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of buttermilk.

Uncle Jake sat across the table from my brother Rob and me. I wish I could remember the entire conversation. His words have been lost to years and time. He talked to us like he was one of us. Told us it was good for us. He had us try little bits, then a little more. My brother Rob may have been smarter than me. He ate his up and drank a good portion of his buttermilk then was excused to go outside and play. Uncle Jake was exceedingly patient with me. With his encouragement, I finally finished my oatmeal. He let me go without finishing the buttermilk. I complained rather sadly at how it tasted like it was bad. I remember I felt like I finally escaped when he said I could go. I do not think I even said thank you. I ran from the table as quickly as I could and joined the kids outside.

I do not remember the rest of that day or that weekend. It was so long ago and blended into other memories. What I do remember the most was my Uncle Jake taking a moment to spend time with me to ensure I got enough to eat. I remember his face and how he genuinely cared. To this day I still do not much care for buttermilk, but I do owe and credit my fondness for oatmeal to my Uncle Jake who took the time to be with his baby sister-in-law’s little boy and helped him eat his first bowl of oatmeal. There were other trips, other visits, but none that I remember more than this one. I wish I knew him better and had other memories I could pull up. But, this is a good one. I am glad he took the time with me, helping me get through a bowl of oatmeal and a glass of buttermilk.

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Old family photos
Wrinkled and faded with time
Old family photos
Faces staring back at me

Moments captured
Frozen faces from times gone by
Moments captured
Snippets of who they were once

Time held still, fixed on paper
Halides holding images of life
Souls stolen for a moment
Transfixed by lens and chemistry

Old family photos
Wrinkled bits of tin type
Sepia colors in washed out faces
Stuck and still until the flash subsides

Old family photos
People like you and me
Sitting or standing
Moments from their lives captured

So real yet untouchable
Imploring eyes rushed to make a moment
Sit here, look there, hold, flash, done
A family memory of their when now ours.

Robert Lee_Emmie Jewell_Snow_c.1925

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here be the keltoi
the historian said
here be a vast and varied people
skilled in trade and in the working of metals

our heart is in the land
it is our charge
savage to the usurper
loyal friend to our kin

father begat son
brother begat clan
clan begat village
village begat the keltoi

rolling hills
deep forests, green
wide fields of heather
grasses tall, wind waved

mountains tall
icy blue
white capped and wind swept
dark masses we call home

the earth is our mother
but she did not give us birth
she feeds us, nourishes us
she gives unto us wisdom

you see,

we are a people
born out of time
ancient is our culture
timeless is our way

hairs of gold, copper, and brown
black as the night and white as snow
eyes of crystal, emerald, and blue
brown and amber, black and gray

lovers of color, let our plaide show
lovers of craft, hammer and chisel
clay, bronze, and iron sing to our heart
alive and vibrant, they sing beneath our hands

the mystic, the fairy
the wyrding way
a more ancient past calls us
ancient beyond the sacred grove

places of meeting
stones stacked high
places to listen
mother teaches wisdom

of dragons and fell mysteries
to our heroes did call
into the mysts, atop the great spire
into the dark hollow, depths of mother earth

the creator loved us
gave us feet to tread
a restless heart
a desire to see

restless feet planted
calls to our heart, “come see…”
wanderlust taken
no place to call ours

we walk this earth
tending its land
the land sings to us
we feel its heart

rain washed highlands
swift running rivers
deep, mist covered lowlands
salt sea breezes

towering pines
ancient oaks
rock hard maples
sturdy ashes

twilight deep forests
the boar and the bear
lions and eagles
harpies and gryphons

roaring seas
rolling hills
sky piercing mountains
heart of the earth ravines

the earth, she calls to me
return to my ancient home
beneath the skies of Gaellea
ever westward we roam

songs sung by bards
in the twilight of the night
of heroes, witches, and kings
of damsels and crones

our history plays
in the song of a key
no words are written
the story maker sings

of family and calling
plaide and voices say
i am kelt and clan
i am praeton, scot, eyre, welsh, belgae, frank

my people still call to me
beyond the great divide
do not forget your ancestors
dream of heroes and keltic pride

©2008 Dave Doc Rogers

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