Banner Mountain Girl # 48 — “A poem begins . . .”

“A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness . . . It finds the thought and the thought finds the words.”–Robert Frost

At the age of nine, I had not heard of Robert Frost when I wrote my first poem, there at Banner Mountain in the two room schoolhouse. But my first poem was about love for my mother. My words rhymed, and I’m sure I was following the teacher’s instructions when I penned my first masterpiece onto the page of that Big Chief tablet.

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But it would be many years before I set foot on my journey into writing and poetry. And now, I continue with writing and poetry because they are my destiny. The journey is still adventurous and lovely, sometimes frustrating but always satisfying. I agree with the quote by Robert Frost on how a poem begins. He created masterpieces!

~ Freeda Baker Nichols

 

BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 47– I am not a Halloween cat

cougar the cat

I am not a Halloween cat.
My master  knows where I am at.
Although today is Halloween.
I prefer not to be seen.
And so guess what?
I tried
to hide
inside
this big flower pot
and I could not.
That’s what!

©2017  Freeda Baker Nichols

 

BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 43 Two Kittens

My kitten named Polly was silky black with white trim about her face. She looked like a tiny panther, which had been sprinkled with honey and then turned loose in a cotton patch. The white patches resembled bits of cotton stuck to the honey on the black, silky fur. Honey was an appropriate way to describe Polly because, as a child, I loved my kitten very much.
Another kitten, called Peter, was my sister’s pet. I suppose that sometime in the first readers, Yvonne and I must have read stories of Peter and Polly, a little boy and girl, because I know that as a child I was not creative enough to think of original names.
As an adult, I found that naming my children was a difficult task. When I gave birth to four babies, I was flabbergasted–not about the four babies–about how to choose suitable names. The babies did not come to me during one delivery time; they were delivered at four different times, spaced quite appropriately, I thought. They were spaced from two years and eight months to five years between them, so that the range of time I had children in the house was a total of thirty years. That makes me sound very old, but I don’t feel old. I must be getting old though because now I’m remembering my childhood and Polly.
Polly was a kitten which I loved with all the love and warmth that a little girl can give to a family pet. My sister and I treated Peter and Polly like real children, feeding them milk, trying to put them on a schedule, making them take a nap. Polly often would nap, but Peter never did. And he was spanked many times for misbehaviour. But spanking Peter made him worse instead of better.
My sister and I tried to feed the kittens three meals a day from one glass of milk. Our “day” might be only half an hour, and often Polly would take her nap and eat again when the milk was offered to her in a short while, which we called lunch time. But Peter thought he should drink the whole glass of milk in one great gulp for breakfast.
I can’t recall what happened to the kittens. I do not think, though, that it’s because I’m older or that my memory has faded. I think the kittens just went away, the way children see things like that go away.
My sister and I are stronger because we held close to our hearts, literally, two little kittens who might have been just as happy without us,but without them, we would not have grown to love and create as deeply as we do. My sister is now an artist and this story makes me a writer–I think.

© Copyright, 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

Yvonne & Freeda                     Nella                   Freeda & Yvonne

 

BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL # 37 from my diary

September 1980 —The September breeze touches the hickory leaves gently. Buzzing insects twitter across the dry, dusty lawn. Although the rain from last evening helped the grass to turn green again, more rain is desperately needed across the state.—Freeda Baker Nichols

Hickory, 2012- 098

Hickory

Banner Mountain Girl # 35 My Favorite Room

The Kitchen is my Favorite Room

Some writers say their favorite room is their writing room. I write in my office but it’s not my favorite room. I go there to write or to be alone. I can be sure I won’t be disturbed because I’ve had only one visitor in the several years I’ve been writing. One day, time slipped by as I worked on an article and my husband came in to ask what time dinner would be served. I no longer spend a lot of time in my kitchen — and my husband might not believe this — but my kitchen is my favorite room.

violets from my windowsill

African Violets bloom from my kitchen window which faces east, and that pleases me because they are supposed to thrive only in light from the north, and I don’t have a north window for violets. My kitchen window not only provides a shelf for potted plants, it also allows me to see the driveway which brings friends to my door.

Friends and family are important to me — like good books — and in my kitchen I like preparing foods and beverages for people. Their compliments are more rewarding than I deserve but it’s part of the reason why I like my kitchen.  I don’t like to clean my kitchen floor, but I like a spotless floor and when the floor is sparkling, I like my kitchen even better.

In the near future, I plan to remodel my kitchen. In its present state, it’s far from a picture model in Better Homes and Gardens. My husband is either lucky or unlucky that I have a sense of humor, because without it I would not have survived the many years of preparing meals from this kitchen. Without my sense of humor, my husband and I might have parted with this kitchen, or I might have parted with my husband, one of the two.

I realized I had a sense of humor when my son got married. Following tradition, I invited my son’s fiancé and her parents for dinner. Her mother stood in my kitchen talking about the wedding shower which was given in her hometown for the newlyweds-to-be.

“They received everything. Just everything,” she said, “except fine china.”

Oh, I thought, fine china. They must have fine china. As I opened my cabinet to get a pan, every piece of Tupperware I own came crashing out and spilled onto the floor. That’s when I laughed. Laughter costs a lot less than tears and I’m an economical person.

Today I changed two light bulbs in my kitchen. My husband would have changed them but it’s so easy to ask him to do that, I decided that changing the bulbs was more of a challenge than asking him, so I changed them. I hope this doesn’t prove I can get along without my husband, because I can’t. I need him, not only to compliment my cooking but also to proofread my novel.

It’s a romance and an exciting adventure for me. I hope it’s a best seller, but if not, I’ll try another category. From my favorite room, I’ll share a secret or two. Good cookbooks are always in demand.

cowboy stew simmers on stove

~© Freeda Baker Nichols

 

Banner Mountain Girl # 34

Sea Star

I live in the ocean
in a far away land.
One day I was swept
onto the dry sand.

A sweet girl picked me up
by one of my arms
and I was impressed
by her human charms.

Somehow, she knew
that I longed to be free.
She gently carried me back
home to the sea.

Rockport

Rockport — A Place Beside the Sea

~~© Freeda Baker Nichols

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Banner Mountain Girl # 33

From my journal . . . dated 1980 . . . random thoughts

Days that come as bright as the golden sun filtering from a blue sky. Sun that filters from a blue sky. Sparkles of sun that sifts down in lines that eaglets follow. Birds opening their beaks, reaching for food. Worms. Food for birds. Birds singing. Happy birds. Birds have problems, too. Keep the cat away. Keep the people away from the nest of eggs or baby birds. Many kinds of birds. They sing with different melodies. They are beautiful. They are of many colors. Yellow, black, orange, red, blue, purple.

A million blackbirds flew over the house. They made a huge shadow when they were in the sunlight. They alighted on the bare limbs of the gigantic oak tree. They looked like big leaves on the tree. They all flew to the ground. They looked like a big black carpet.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

A bird in flight.