Friday, February 18, 2011

Nichols Family Style: Poetry reviews are not for pansies!

I made the mistake of telling my family that I had written a poem, and that I had posted it on line on a blog. I told them no one had commented, so either no one had read it, or it was really bad.

After I forced them at gun point to read it - the rest of the conversation went something like this - We didn't even get past the first line.

"Dust mote...what the heck is a dust mote."

"Dust mote, mom you have a mis-spelling, it's dust MITE."

"Ain't a dust mite a bed bug?"

"You wrote a poem about bed bugs?"

"Isn't a moat something that goes around a castle? Why the heck are you writing about a ditch full of dirt..."

When I finally finished laughing and crying, I asked them if they understood what the poem was about.

"Well duh, words on a page..."

Well - yes - but it's also about about stories, and about history, and the importance of writing down what happens before it's lost forever. It's about keeping creativity alive for the ages. It's about remembering people we have loved.

I guess if I am going to write, I'd better grow a thick skin.

I know for any introductory offer it's pretty bland and boring, maybe even juvenile, but just getting something *out* there was a pretty important milestone for me.

Even if no one reads it.

But I guess I better learn - poetry critiquing, at least in my family, is not for the faint of heart.

Poetry reviews are not for pansies!

Happy Friday.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


As some of you may know, about a year ago, thanks to my bosses, I was able to start a pet sitting business in Stillwater.

I have wanted to start a business for years, and the opportunities all added up at just the right time. Since that day, I have learned a great deal. One of the best things about "the business" has been meeting all kinds of really great people.

One of those really great people was Patricia Imboden.

I'll never forget the first day she called me, looking for a pet sitter for Cashew. I think we were on the phone for 30 minutes. Somehow, we just clicked.

Pat was one of those amazing people. She was outgoing, kind, practical, and giving. She was down to earth, with a full, rich personality. She touched my family in ways she will never know.

Pat died unexpected last Thursday, the day before she was to leave on a trip to Florida.

I'm left with wonderful memories, and a few regrets.

I wish I had written a thank you note for the grape jelly and bread she left us last week.

I wish I had mentioned to her how much I appreciated her story about the guinea pig she had when she was a girl.

I wish ... I had one more day to spend with her learning about her life.

I wish I had shared just how wonderful I thought she was.

So for now, I have to share it with the world.

Please, share your thoughts with those you love. Don't let anything get in the way - let them know how much you appreciate them - today.

words on a page

dust motes spin
through streaming sunlight

lives rise up
from parchment layers

A whisper of yesterday
takes a breath

Footprints trapped in ink
tap out memories

on today

passages remain

tomorrow's ending
safely waiting


as long as there are words
on a page.