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Posts Tagged ‘Family’

 

When I was twelve and my mom came home (Hammond, Indiana) one day and said that she had found the cutest little house for us to live in. She could have a garden and we would have a huge yard to play in. And, then she took us there and my heart just fell. But, I shall always remember it as my home on “Hookey Hill” where we had love, adventures, sorrow and joy.  We were a family.

 

THE SHACK UPON THE HILL

 

I was a lonesome run-down shack

Sitting high upon a hill

Abandoned and neglected there

My rooms were much too still

 

My boards were loose and weathered gray

With specks of former hue

My tarpaper roof was wind-torn

And had a leak or two

 

My chimney crumbled from neglect

And had a ragged crest

Sparrows used it yearly

To house their springtime nest

 

My window glass held years of grime

Some frames had lost their panes

And sills showed signs of sad decay

From frequent snows and rains

 

My door had broken hinge and lock

So hung a bit awry

The sounds it made in passing breeze

A squeaky lullaby

 

My insides, too, were ailing then

With checked and peeling paint

But though in need of much repair

Could be described as quaint

 

For everywhere that one might look

Were glimpses of the past

And though it was in token form

Had somehow seemed to last . . .

 

Clean spots left upon my walls

From pictures hung with  twine

That hugged and graced the covering

Of faded rose design

  

And on my rough hewn pantry shelves

There sat a broken clock

A mason jar, a dented pan

And damaged butter crock

 

Rusty one-pound coffee cans

With sparse and dried remains

Of pungent red geraniums

Sat on my window frames           

 

A gaping hole was in my wall

Where stove-pipe once went through

Linoleum graced a cracked sink

And Granny cupboard, too

                                               

A room was added long ago

With roof of rusted tin

There was a deep dark cellar room

That served as harvest bin

 

And that is how I was perceived . . .

As a crumbling old shell

But life was not to see an end

For I have more to tell

 

A city family on a drive

Discovered me one day

And saw potential beauty here

Beneath my sad decay

 

And soon my wounds and bruises

Were no longer seen

I have new paint and paper

And brand new window screen

 

My chimney with its new red bricks

No longer winter sleeps

And with its new gray covering

My roof no longer weeps

 

There’s glass in all my window frames

That’s now kept sparkling clean

New hinges on my big front door

Prevents that awful lean

 

Pretty pictures once again

Decorate my walls

And the plaster on my ceilings

No longer cracks and falls

 

A big thick rug on once bare boards

Gives warmth to front room floor

While chintz and lacy curtains

Grace windows as before

 

There’s flowers on my window sills

A tiled kitchen floor

And a rug for wiping soiled shoes

Is by my busy door 

                                  

The musty smell of aging wood

Is now replaced, instead

By the smell of country cooking

And loaves of homemade bread

 

Six noisy children, with  their pets

Just love to laugh and shout

With youthful exuberance

As they run in and out

                                                      

And the woods that surround us here

Have come alive once more

As children play their childish games

On its thick leafy floor

 

A cottonwood holds a crude tree house

A mighty oak, a swing

Another tree, the tallest one

Is crowned with kite and string

 

A cow is grazing in the woods

There’s chickens in a pen

Little hatchlings trail behind

An old brown setting-hen

                               

A little boy plays in the sand

With tiny trucks and cars

And little girls pick wild-flowers

To put in old fruit jars

 

But that is not the best of it

For these are only things

My rooms are filled with happiness

And all the warmth that brings

 

My walls embrace this family

While sharing hopes and fears

And all the poignant feelings

Of their joys and their tears

 

And so I live, in joy again

A long awaited thrill

With time to make new memories

In this shack upon the hill

 

 

5/5/81            Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

 

This is the DeWitt Family of Griffith Indiana

back row: Edward, Sally and dad

front row: Patsy, Beverly, mom and myself – Phyllis

Brother Donald had died in the war.

Edward and Patsy are now deceased but Sally, Beverly and myself (Phyllis) will have a reunion, in October, in Tennessee.

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       THINGS I LOVE

 

The laughter of a little child

Timid creatures of the wild

Lilac scent on wafting breeze

And summer shade beneath the trees

 

A lonesome whistle in the night

From some big train way out of sight

Bright butterflies and lady-bugs

And joy felt from children’s hugs

 

Birds in all their feathery hues

And poems derived from poignant muse

The gurgling sound of running streams

And magic cast by gold moonbeams

 

Rainbows after a summer storm

Flower’s beauty as they take form

America’s flag waving on high.

A gentle breeze that seems to sigh.

 

Rain that cools the heat away

Watching kittens as they play

Frost fronds on my window panes

Long inviting country lanes

 

Beautiful leaves that drop in fall

So many things, but best of all

A family to love, as they love me

And God, who gave my Soul to me

 

 

7/12/99      Phyllis DeWitt-VanVleck

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        ABANDONED

 

If you see me standing by the road

Looking frightened and alone

My master took me for a ride

And dumped me far from home

 

He’d said he really wanted me

And spoke of future care

He couldn’t wait to take me home

And I was happy there

 

I really love his family

We all had so much fun

Romping around his great big yard

And playing in the sun

 

At night I’d settle near his feet

Snuggling on my rug

And when the children went to bed

I’d get a loving hug

 

He laughed at all my antics

And even taught me tricks

He scratched my ears and tummy

And had me chasing sticks

 

I tried so hard to please him

Obeying his command

So why he doesn’t want me

Is hard to understand

 

He surely knew I’d shed at times

And might get in his way

That I’d need some food and water

And exercise each day

 

My life is sad and painful now

Since being dumped out here

And I’m so thin and hungry

That I’ll die soon, I fear

 

I found some friends like myself

Their owners dumped them, too

We shared some garbage as a meal

Back a mile or two

 

One tried to cross the highway

To get a quenching drink

And was hit by a semi-truck

‘Twas over in a wink

                       

The other one is also gone

You should have heard him whine

As he slowly mourned himself to death

Poor old friend of mine

 

I hope I do not die as they

But it may well be so

For I’m hungry, cold, and thirsty

And have no place to go

 

I need someone to love me

I really don’t ask much

Just a little food and water

And a warm loving touch

 

But, here I stand, watching cars

As I weep with silent plea

That my master has a change of heart

And will return for me

 

6/23/84          Phyllis DeWitt VanVleck

 

3’rd …. Arkansas NPD 1990

                 

Printed on the Arkansas Humane Society Calendar

            for the year 1993

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