Talents & Frustrations

Today is my dear husband’s 75th birthday. Quite a milestone! We celebrated officially last Sunday night after a church function, and are looking forward to a dinner out with the family tomorrow. Of course he blogs about it on his site, mentioning all the things that have changed since he was a boy.

What really scares me is the thought that the next twenty years will go by just as fast as the last twenty. Whatever happened to “old age, when the hours would drag by”? We find the flight of time incredible!

I can assure you that in his youth Bob was a studious lad just like the young fellow below. I don’t know if there was ever a “Willy Brown” in his school to be jealous of, though. Hope this poem gives you a smile.

FRUSTRATION

My teacher says that I’m the best
And smartest boy in school;
I’m never careless like the rest;
I never break a rule.
If visitors should come to call,
She has me speak a piece,
Or tell what makes an apple fall
Or binds the coast of Greece.
You might expect that since my brain
Holds such an awful lot,
I’d be extremely proud and vain;
But, oh–I’m not.
For Willy Brown’s a cleverer lad
Than I could hope to be;
Why, I’d give anything I had
To be as smart as he!
He can’t recite, “Hark, Hark, the Lark,”
He’s not the teacher’s pet;
He never gets a perfect mark
In ‘rithmetic — and yet,
Could I be he, I’d waste no tears
On foolish things like sums;
For Willy Brown can wag his ears
And dislocate his thumbs.

Author’s name unknown to me.

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Wistful Reflections

A WISH

by Edgar Guest

I’d like to be a boy again, a carefree prince of joy again,
I’d like to tread the hills and dales the way I used to do;
I’d like the tattered shirt again, the knickers thick with dirt again,
the ugly, dusty feet again that long ago I knew.

I’d like to play first base again, and Silver’s curves to face again,
I’d like to climb, the way I did, a friendly apple tree;
For, knowing what I do today, could I but wander back and play,
I’d get full measure of the joy that boyhood gave to me.

I’d like to be a lad again, a youngster wild and glad again,
I’d like to sleep and eat again the way I used to do;
I’d like to race and run again, and drain from life its funs again,
and start another round of joy the moment one was through.

But care and strife have come to me and often days are glum to me,
and sleep is not the thing it was and food is not the same;
and I have sighed, and known that I must journey on again to sigh,
and I have stood at envy’s point and heard the voice of shame.

I’ve learned that joys are fleeting things; that parting pain each meeting brings;
that gain and loss are partners here and so are smiles and tears;
that only boys from day to day can drain and fill the cup of play’
that age must mourn for what is lost throughout the coming years.

But boys cannot appreciate their priceless joy until too late
and those who own the charms I had will soon be changed to men.
And then they, too, will sit as I, and backward turn to look and sigh
and share my longing, vain, to be a carefree boy again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From his book Along Life’s Highway
© 1933 by The Reilly and Lee Co.

Word Press daily prompt: Moody

Learning From A Loss

SHARING

by Edgar Guest

We who have wept together
know what it means to love,
we who have suffered sorrow,
strewn roses a mound above,
and knelt on the ground together
to whisper a common prayer
with trembling lips and hearts aching
know what it means to share.

Time was we danced together
and laughed as the days went by.
Month after month we romped through
with never a tear in her eye.
We fancied we loved each other,
but little of life we knew
and I was a jesting comrade
with only my work to do

Then suddenly sorrow found us.
Out there by a tiny grave
we learned what it means to be tender
and just what it means to be brave.
We learned that love deepens and strengthens
by hurts it is asked to bear,
and out of our common heartache
we learned what it means to share.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

From the book, Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest
Copyright 1934 by Contemporary Books, Inc.
Chicago, IL, USA

Pancake

Today’s Word Press Daily prompt, Missing, reminds me of this story about the missing ingredients in the cake Allen — my birther father — tried to bake one day. (“Mom” was actually my aunt.)

Christine's Reflections

My response to today’s prokitchen-74243_640mpt is a story my Mom told me about when she and her brother Allen were still school children. Grandma, a widow at that time, must have been away housekeeping for someone when Allen got a craving to eat cake.

One day she’d had been later home from school than Allen for some reason, and he came running down the road to meet her. “Myrt,” he announced, “I baked us a cake.”

“You did!” Her mouth was already watering at the thought. “Oh, that was really good of you.”

“Yeah, but, umm…..it looks funny. And it doesn’t taste very good.”

“Oh? Did you remember the flour?”

“Yes.”

“You didn’t forget the baking powder, did you?”

“No.”

“Did you remember to add the sugar and the eggs?”

“The recipe didn’t call for any sugar.”

“What? It didn’t call for sugar? What kind of a cake was…

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Happy Family Meals

I woke up early this morning and thought of our US friends, for whom the Thanksgiving holiday is over. I came across this lighthearted poem by Edgar Guess and thought I should post it for those moms who are busy cleaning up and washing tablecloths after the family feast.

Table-Cloths

Some people, when they sit to eat,
prefer to see the table neat.
They want the linen spotless white,
the glasses dazzling in the light,
the silverware in trim array.
But as for me, I often say,
“Give me glad childhood’s tablecloth
well stained with jelly, milk and broth.

Not long in peace could I abide
in houses cold with pomp and pride
or dwell where dignity commands
precision’s care from little hands.
I much prefer the happier place
illumined by a smiling face—
the dining room where soon, I know,
a glass of milk will over go.

Be mine the room with laughter filled
where no one frets o’er what is spilled.
For what are tablecloths that they
should drive all merriment away?
And why think accidents a crime,
especially at dinner-time?
They gather sorrow for their pains
who make too much of jelly stains.

I should not like to always dine
where silverware and glasses shine
and linen white outlasts the meal—
too sad and lonely should I feel.
In tablecloths I take no pride;
I want the children at my side.
My joy is in those splotches red
when jelly dances from the bread.

.
From his book Collected Verse of Edgar A. Guest
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company