BANNER MOUNTAIN GIRL #24 In the springtime

copy-cropped-cropped-homeplace.jpg                                    (Homeplace from a painting by Yvonne Baker Hall)

As I remember Banner Mountain in the springtime, I think of how the apple blossoms and plum blossoms greeted me as I returned from school. I might not have noticed the fresh blooms in the orchard as I left the house to walk up the trail to the Banner School. But always on my return, the orchard welcomed me back home from a day of “readin’, writin’, and ‘rithmetic” and playing with my friends.

Yvonne & Freeda Baker

Yvonne & Freeda Baker

Yvonne and I at the homeplace, standing between the daffodils and the lilac bush. With two years difference in our ages, we were inseparable. Mama said that when I started to school that Yvonne was very lonely. She’d go outside and call for our dog, named Rusty. “Here, Rust! Here, Rust!” In a couple of years, though, Yvonne joined me on the walk to school. As time went by, Rust met his fate although I don’t recall when or how he died. Another dog named Fuzzy came into our lives, and he was allowed to go with us to school. He waited around for us until school was out and he hurried along as we headed back home.  At the close of school for the summer when certificates were given to those completing the eighth grade, Fuzzy received a certificate, too. I don’t know how much Fuzzy learned but he was well-behaved and friendly to all.

The lilacs, the daffodils, and the orchard’s pink and white blooms were such a pleasant sight–the memory of which I still cherish from long-ago spring-times on Banner Mountain. ~~Freeda Baker Nichols


the bluebird flies purposefully


DSC_0183 -1_edited-1 2

Two mourning doves
how sad their song–
its melody echoes
all the day long.
No heart can rest,
no tears will dry.
Their song is haunting
like words of goodbye.
Does a loved one sleep
on yonder hill
where roses have faded
and the breeze is still?
A melody echoes
all the day long—
two mourning doves
how sad their song!

© 2014 Freeda Baker Nichols

unknown grave

unknown grave

roses at grave (2)

roses on a new grave

Once More From My Journal . . .

From my journal, some time ago . . .

A writer’s mailbox is an important part of the writing life. My mailbox, while not empty seemed empty just the same, today, as it often does Tuesdays. I don’t know why that is. Of course, there were the usual pieces of mail– utility bills, advertisements,  a letter from Jacques-Yves Cousteau asking me to join the Cousteau Society with money I don’t have.

I have a sweatshirt, a blue one with WRITERS OF THE FOOTHILLS monogrammed in gold across the back of it. Last week, I went with my sister, who had an appointment at the unemployment office and we stood in line waiting for the office to open. I was first in line, wearing the Writers of the Foothills sweatshirt and faded jeans. I felt that everyone was thinking that I must be a lousy writer, standing in line at the unemployment office. I even felt like an unemployed writer. I haven’t sold any writing lately.
The monogrammed shirt was a gift from my son, and it wasn’t my birthday or Mother’s Day, or anything. It was a sweet surprise and I love it. I’ll wear it with pride wherever I go. Even to the unemployment office with my sister.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Eggs for Bubble Gum

I traded eggs still warm for bubble gum
and always gave my baby sister some.
We blew big bubbles, like balloons of pink
until they burst and stuck upon our cheeks.
We both blew bubbles quickly as a blink.
I liked the gum I got from Peddler Weeks
and always gave my baby sister some.
I traded eggs still warm for bubble gum.

c Copyright 2012, Freeda Baker Nichols

poem in the Lil-Ann pattern