20 Lines A Day

A Community of Writers and Photographers


Originally posted on Living and Lovin:


So Fast Indeed……. sorry lousy FAST photo, pretty color though :)

It was windy and cold so we stayed home.  JT was tired of staying in so I slid my boots on and wrapped a warm scarf across my head and face lol I must be getting old :) and when I grabbed the camera she ran off to get her Frisbee.  She is too smart but I must have told you that before.  Most of us are now old friends. I still didn’t have my coat on and she was running back and forth from the door to me in the kitchen.  Going on 8 but some days more like a two year old.

I took her out to the area that was clear of snow and where the least ice was on the bare ground. Last thing either us needs is an emergency room on Christmas morning.

As you…

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Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Very Happy New Year to each and everyone of you

Originally posted on Living and Lovin:


I wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas and for those who do not celebrate the birth of our Christ  a very Happy Holiday Season to you as well. 

I remember the days of our family home on Christmas morning.  We, the three of us children,  were so very lucky to have what was waiting under our tree, be it real or the metal one with that colorful wheel.  We never knew of the struggle or the monies spent for months to follow, to pay for it all. Life is simple through the eyes of a child or that is how it seemed when I was a kid. I was blessed with a Mom and Dad. A roof over our heads and a wonderful feast laid out on the kitchen table. 

For many years Thanksgiving was spent up here in New Hampshire with my Mother’s side of the family…

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Christmas Memories

Originally posted on Living and Lovin:

Daily Prompt: Memories of Holidays Past
What is your very favorite holiday? Recount the specific memory or memories that have made that holiday special to you.

Christmas Memories

Christmas used to be so special when I was a little girl growing up with my two brothers.  We had the best tree Dad could find but one year we truly had a very cool tree.  I never knew my parents were cool, I mean really COOL. Yes it was the sixties and that Christmas we saw them set up a funky metal tree.  It came with a color wheel.  Do you know what I mean?  This was something that ran on electricity and had different colored film on it and it would turn our tree Blue then Red I can’t remember all the colors on the wheel but I can tell you our tree was very different compared to the other homes. …

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Treeless Christmas

No Christmas tree adorned our living room
this year. Our children traveled. So did we.
A few small decorations blessed the bloom
of Christmas in our home. We couldn’t see

the ornaments and tell the stories one
more time of how they came to be, but light
from glowing candles gave us indoor sun
and made the season merry, lovely, bright.


The Telephone Rings

Her little voice across the phone last night:
“I saw your picture in the paper. Nice!”
(My writers’ group, one afternoon of white
snow, candy canes, hot chocolate, gave a slice

of literature with readings, workshops, sales
of our own books before the Christmas rush.)
And then my granddaughter asked, voice in trails
of hope, “Can I come over?” In a hush

of happiness how I agreed. “I’ll bring
my books and I could have my lesson.” Yes!
She plays piano. I, the richest king,
anticipated her arrival, press

of long brown hair against my chest. And soon
I saw her lime-green coat. She ran to me,
“Hi, Memah.” O, that sweetened perk. The moon
last night shone brighter than the stars. To be

with her is treasure. How this charmer brings
me joy with laughs and smiles tucked in so tight
that every polished moment like this clings
with stubborn happiness and makes dark light.

English: Siemens Gigaset 4010 Classic, cordles...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


An Open Letter to 20 Lines Readers

“Let us be grateful for those who make us happy. They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” (Marcel Proust)

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting such a charming gardener this past Sat. and I want to share the meeting with all of you, first because it was such a special time for me, and second because it affects all of you.

I met Melissa, our Melissa who has begun and who maintains 20 Lines. We went south to visit my brother and his family for a week following Christmas, and it turned out that Melissa lives only about an hour or so from him. So we made plans to meet about halfway in-between for lunch. She did some research and found a restaurant called Southern Roots. My brother, his wife, their grandson who lives with them, along with my husband all drove me there.

We arrived first, and when we did I discovered that the place was closed on Saturdays. Very loud music led me through the back door to an empty restaurant with chairs upside down on tables, and two guys cleaning. Friendly as could be, they apologized that they were closed (yes, even though the back door was open), and directed me to another place down the block and across the street.

I called Melissa and told her the predicament. She arrived a few minutes later. I was sitting on a park bench in front, watching up and down the street for her when my husband came around and said, “She’s here. Come on, hurry. She’s here.”

And there she was. Tall, slender, lovely, she walked toward me on the sidewalk at the side of the building. As if we’d known each other for a hundred years, we hugged like old friends happy to be together again. And then…chatter, chatter, chatter. I don’t think anyone could have stopped us!

I walked her over to my brother’s car and introduced her to him and his family. And then…we were off, walking to this other little restaurant. It was a little treasure of a place, called Fresh Manna, tiny, with one booth and three high top tables for two. Tucked away behind a place that sold garden items, ironwork, and interesting artistic outdoor pieces, Fresh Manna offered a menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches. Over tomato basil soup, Greek salad, and chicken salad, we talked as if we didn’t have enough time. She showed me pictures of her adorable children, and I was proud to show her pictures of my children and grandchildren.

We talked poetry, 20 Lines, families, life experience, and mostly just enjoyed the fact that there we were, two people who only knew each other from online and now we were really meeting. It was quite an amazing thing. I know, in this techno-age, people meet all the time, but for me it seemed almost unbelievable.

I am grateful to my brother for taking the time to drive me to the place where Melissa and I met, for taking his wife, grandson and my husband to drive around and explore the town and eat lunch while she and I had our own lunch and time to come to know one another.

I know I felt that time was rushing by too quickly. We left the restaurant and sat outside on the patio for awhile, taking pictures of ourselves for all posterity. We snapped pictures of Fresh Manna and the various art pieces, the sign over the door, the steps that led up and around to the street again, the place.

Yes, the place where we made our mark. The restaurant was a tiny hole in the wall with good food and friendly people, and it became imbued on Saturday with the freshness of a friendship newly-discovered and forever-bound. We agreed that we would each write in our own way about Saturday on 20 Lines, so you will also be reading hers here soon.

You know Melissa from the way she writes on 20 Lines, whether it’s her meaningful poetry or how she describes the community she has established. I have had the privilege and delight of meeting her, and I’m here to tell you that you would love her too.

We are fortunate to have become a writers’ and photographers’ community led by someone so deeply-committed to fostering a place where we can express ourselves through our art and develop further in our pursuits.

Thank you, Melissa, for making time for me on Saturday, and for all you do to make 20 Lines the place to be online.

Saturday will remain for me a day of a new friendship beginning. You know, kind of like those seeds we plant in the garden in springtime. They blossom, bloom, and bring beauty.

Thank you, Melissa, for being such a charming gardener.


My grandchildren were over recently, before our early Christmas celebration, before the hassle of the illnesses we’ve had, before the travel. It was a typical Friday, a cold day, and before I started giving my grandson his piano lesson my granddaughter said, “I’m going outside to play. OK?”

“Sure, honey.”

Five minutes later she was in again.

“Grandma, do you have some gloves I could wear? It’s colder out than I thought.”

I gave her a pair of my mittens. Turns out she had a “job to do,” and she picked up lots of twigs on the ground that a very strong wind had blown around.

“And I wanted to check Snuggles’ grave,” she said, “to make sure the sticks around it were still there.

On the day she and her brother came over to decorate our beloved cat’s grave, she had encircled the grave with sticks. Snuggles’ final resting place up on the hill is duly marked.

I got to thinking about those mittens after she came in, had her piano lesson, then after we took them home that evening. We so often say “walking or following in someone’s footsteps,” but in this case she mittened in my handprints. I love the fact that her little hands have warmed my mittens.


So I went to the doctor yesterday, and he gave me lots more stuff to take. The cough is already more shallow, not so deep, not so frequent, not so painful. I even cleaned one of the bathrooms when I got up this morning, so energy must be returning. I am not, however, going to overdo it. I will finish packing for leaving on our trip on Sun. without stressing too much. Going backward with this would be horrible.

I’ve missed 20 Lines, and will try to do a bit of writing before we leave. If that doesn’t happen, though, it will only be because I’m conserving time and energy, and putting it into things I absolutely have to do.

It’s amazing, once I begin feeling even the slightest bit better, how feeling as miserable as I did fades into recent memory.

It’s snowing a gentle pretty snow, and is not supposed to get bad enough to affect travel on Sun. So now I’m looking forward to the trip we had to postpone and having Christmas with my brother and his family.



Well, hello again. I’m sorry for my long absence. I’ve been sick for almost a month now and just today am having my first decent day. I guess it’s “going around,” this deep barking hacking cough, pain on swallowing, and all the awful symptoms of flu and bronchitis.

My husband got it over the weekend. We had to cancel our travel plans to North Carolina to see my brother and his family for eight days, however we have rearranged our plans to leave this coming Sunday, and will be home on Jan. 6.

It’s so aggravating to feel this miserable, not be able to participate at all in Christmas festivities, and just hang around the house sleeping and napping and taking medicines and moping and wishing we felt better.

My husband was better on Mon., but this cough of mine is stubborn and has held on tightly. I have an appointment with a pulmonologist tomorrow, and am actually feeling better today, back to the land of the living. So I wanted to pop onto 20 Lines to at least say “hi.”

Hi. : )


Christmas Past

Albums from my shelf stare at me-
Don’t take them down, my heart screams.
My hand reaches up, my soul wanting to see
the sweet face of my baby, the glimmer of the tree.
Presents piled high-touching the limbs.
Pictures of lots of kids, lots of different trees.
The tears I knew would come, fall down my cheek,
In a quiet house, my oldest  ones all grown,
Families of their own, their houses now with those
glimmering trees, those piles of presents.
And my baby, the baby from those days, gone.
I visit his grave, decorate it like a table in the den.
I cry there, with his younger brother with me.
Not even born when those pictures were made.
I made the cookies, wrapped a few gifts, got cards.
I went on the church outing, held my tears, my breath.
Christmas, it was so wonderful, hope, peace, love.
I knew better than to believe it would last for me.
I need to get a new album, this one is falling apart.
Like my life did. Tears fall as I replace it on the shelf.


Merry Christmas to all …and to all a good night :-)

Best singing voices everyone – to be sung to Away in A Manger

Christmas in Australia

is just round the bend

I have prepped and stressed out

and now hope this will end


We shall have our nibbilies

when they first walk in the door

then we’ll offer them a drink

one or two or maybe more


We shall sit at the table and crack

our bon-bons plastic toys and

paper hats silly jokes and

lot’s of noise


I’ll stress ’bout the turkey and also the pork

is it cooked through

is it done right

please test with your fork


I’ll consume too much alcohol

I know this to be true

and I’ll get all melancholy

just looking at you


the entree will come first

do not know what they’ll bring

I’m sure it’ll be delightful

and we’ll gladly tuck in


the potatoes will be crunchy

the pumpkin cooked just right

the mushy peas and salads

tasty morsels every bite


Then we have our pudding

lashings of custard if you please

then there’s trifle laced with alcohol

oh our belts will surely squeeze


The wine will flow freely

the laughs will get loud

there’ll be memories of

past years and how we imbibed


The presents will we open we

will goo and we will will gaa

we shall say oh you shouldn’t have

you really went too far


BUT secretly we are happy

for the presents that they gave

we’re delighted and thankful

and each one is our fave


The Carols will be playing

in the background soft and sweet

we shall eat drink and be merry

and later fall asleep


Yes this day is for families

and ones that you love

if I start to get teary

I will blame the egg-nog


The festivities will be finished

the kitchen is a mess

the dishes piled up high

but at least no more stress


Then Christmas day is over and

our tummies will be full and we

daren’t go and weigh ourselves

no that would be cruel


So enjoy your celebrations

whatever you may do have

and cry or laugh hysterically

for you’re entitled too


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