Long Week, #WeekendCoffeeShare

This has indeed been a long week, and I would enjoy visiting with you over coffee (or, in my case, charcoal-filtered water). Toddy coffee is available, fruit juices, hot tea… Help yourself! I think that Al’s even got some chocolate chip cookies that were left over from the memorial gathering on Friday evening. I doubt that there was anything left over from Dad’s 100th birthday party on Saturday morning, but we did not stay to help with clean-up at the assisted living center.

We were  there, however, for family photographs at the birthday party. We were only missing 12 family members (and three spouses) for the photos, although my youngest brother and his wife arrived late, after the larger group picture was taken.

The sharing of memories at the end of the memorial gathering on Friday was marvelous. The five of us siblings who thought we could hold it together, told about the ways that Mother impacted our individual lives and helped to shape our growth and paths through life. Matt, the youngest, decided not to chance it, and the oldest son waded through with pauses for tears and sobbing. Some of Mom’s friends were there, and some of those also went up to the lectern to talk about their own relationship and interactions with her.

I must tell you that the funeral home found an organist for us, so we got to sing The Navy Hymn to close the sharing of memories. We are all of us singers. Mother (Navy) and Father (Army) both served in the Pacific during WW II.
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Refuge | a birthday snippet

If we were sharing coffee together, today, I would tell you about a birthday custom, the “birthday snippet”. Julie, a friend of mine who is a writer, encourages friends to post “snippets” of their books or works in progress (WIPs) on their birthdays. It’s a nice way to keep in touch and fun to read what folks are writing. I am not sure there are any other poets in the group, other than those whose books are enriched by songs as part of their books or short stories.

If we were having coffee together, this weekend, I also would tell you about having dinner out with my husband, yesterday afternoon. We save up for special occasions and enjoy going out to eat and visit about what’s occurred since the last time we did so. Since Al had volunteer work scheduled for today, we celebrated my birthday privately on Saturday afternoon. We talked about growing old. About what a wonder it is that we have made it into our 70th year happy and in relatively good health. We had not expected to live so long, we realized, when we looked back on our twenties. We had not thought, then, that we would reach age forty.

I wrote “Refuge” at the middle of September, this year. I suppose it’s no coincidence that it was in the weeks leading up to the first anniversary of my sister’s death. Although I didn’t make the connection until I began editing and revising it, this week. It’s a not-a-sonnet poem. In my head there is a story that it fits into, that provides the context. I have yet to write the story.

Anyway, here is the birthday snippet, the poem in its most recent form, as I posted it this morning on Julie’s page.


I welcome the sweet sounds of autumn’s end
and onset of the winter’s quietude.
Denizens of nature in the woods find
deeper dens and curl up to sleep,
treasuring their energies until the time
to chase or nose out their next feast.

Long nights of silences and contemplation
of a white landscape that encourages repose
provide the time and emptiness that nourish
dreams: imaginings of people, places, vows
kept or broken, far from this exile place.
Stories never to be told, endings never known.

The driving rains, the ice, the winter snow
shield all that’s wild until spring’s waking glow.


Copyright © 2015-09-15, by Elizabeth W. Bennefeld.
All rights reserved.