Diane Vogel Ferri is a teacher, poet and writer. Her essays have been published in Scene Magazine, Cleveland Christmas Memories, Raven’s Perch, and by Cleveland State University among others. Her poems can be found in numerous journals. Her chapbook, Liquid Rubies, was published by Pudding House. The Volume of Our Incongruity was published by Finishing Line Press. Diane’s essay, “I Will Sing for You” was featured at the Cleveland Humanities Fest in 2018. Her novel, The Desire Path can be found on Amazon. She is a graduate of Kent State University and holds an M.Ed from Cleveland State University.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hang Your Hat on the Moon, My Daughter

These are song lyrics by Vicki McCrone. She is the daughter of my late friend Maryanne.
This is for my daughter.

One by one your senses come alive
but you know it doesn't happen overnight.
So stop your worrying about wondering why
it took so long for the season to arrive
'cause you know you've got to keep on moving on,
you've come such a long, long way.

Hang your hat on the moon my daughter
Don't give up til it's time to give up,
just hang your hat on the moon.

It will come - all it takes is a little time
all it takes is knowing there is something more
so what is all this crying for - it won't be long,
I can see it in your eyes.
I can see you've got to keep on moving on.
You're not that far away.

In the dark it would come to try to take the dream away
but it's a different day now,
and you're wide awake now.
In the dawn will be what you have wanted all along
As if it always was - don't ever give it up.

Just hang your hat on the moon , my daughter.
Hang your hat on the moon.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

The House on Oakmont Drive

Maybe each of us drives by the house on Oakmont Drive occasionally. The house where my children were raised. The house where I was raised from the dead. But this time as I slowed the car down to look, my daughter next to me, there was a public auction sign. It was empty. I backed the car up and pulled into the driveway like I had hundreds of times over those eleven years. We looked at each other like two kids in a candy shop and decided to go look.

The spacious welcoming front porch seemed tilted even farther than I remembered as we climbed the uneven stairs. We peeked in the windows and saw the living room, dining room and what we called the music room adjacent to each other. All the walls and woodwork were white. The floors uniformly covered in beige carpet.

But in that moment in time I saw something different. I saw country blue woodwork and matching drapes. I saw flowered couches and scratched wooden floors that were so crooked you could drop a marble and watch it roll through the rooms. I saw every hand-cut Christmas tree in the corner. I heard children's voices and someone playing the old upright black piano. I saw two long-gone dogs at my feet. There were dozens of friends and family crowded in at Thanksgiving and New Year's Day around my grandparents' round wooded table.

I saw every knick-knack, rug, painting, and the wallpaper my mom and I had carefully hung in the dining room. My dishes were still in the leaded glass cabinets with a blue cushion I made on the window seat between them. The canary cage hung in the back corner and Oliver was singing his heart out. The French doors separating that room from the dining room were the ones I spent days stripping multiple layers of paint off the glass. My daughter and I stared in surreal wonder. Even with all that missing it was still so very familiar. It was home.

We walked around to the side yard and remembered mean old Mrs. Skinner yelling at the kids, and the dog getting maced by the mailman the day we moved in. In the tiny backyard there was an empty spot where the wooden swingset had been, built for the kids by their dad. My glorious lilacs were gone. The dogwood tree we planted as a memorial for our dog was gone. There were people in the house next door, but not my dear friend Jeanne, whose funeral I had attended a mere two months ago.

The basement windows were now opaque, but in my mind I could see the dim, dank room that held my son's first drum set, and the jacks we'd installed to hold up the sagging floor above. We couldn't climb the stairs inside but I could still see her pink bedroom walls, his blue bedroom walls. I could see all my books on the hand-built shelves that lined the hallway. I could hear myself crying in the extra room behind my bedroom or in the clawfoot bathtub with the water running, trying to cover the sobs.
I could hear children running through the house laughing from the games we'd play on family night. Then I saw their faces the day we sat in that living room and told them their lives were about to change forever.

As we got back in the car I could see my son and daughter on every first day of school on that front porch - new clothes and shoes, new backpacks and smiles, and I wanted it back. Oh, how I wanted it back. There were some days in that house that I would do anything to re-do or to erase from my memory. There are hundreds of days I would love to relive.
Then there was the day when I opened that same front door and saw a certain man - and I was looking at my future.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

I Live My Life in Widening Circles

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give it to myself.

I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I've been circling for thousands of years
and still I don't know: am I a falcon,
a storm or a great song?

Rainer Maria Rilke
from The Book of Hours

Friday, September 26, 2008

My Favorite Show

Generally I think there are four situations when television is a good thing:
1. When you are nursing a baby at 2AM.
2. When you're too sick to do anything else.
3. When you've had a bad day and you get enjoyment from watching sitcom morons screw their lives up more than you have.
4. When there's an real event or crisis and you know exactly what's happening.
I like sitcoms because there are no committments to watch again. I don't like reality shows with people who would normally appear on Jerry Springer or those who act like their age is their IQ. I have never watched an episode of Law and Order or CSI, even though I'm sure they are good programs. And sadly, I don't have much of an imagination for fantasy. I don't own a DVR or a Tivo because nothing is worth recording - okay, the real reason is that I would record General Hospital every day.
But I have watched ER since the first episode when they wheeled in Nurse Carol after a suicide attempt. ER doesn't fit into any of my four reasons to watch TV though - and it's very strange that I like it so much since I spend the majority of the show with my hands splayed over my eyes since I am squeemish (almost faint) at the sight of 1. needles 2. blood 3. surgeries 4. anyone in pain. Nevertheless - I've always loved the show.
Last night was heart-wrenching. (SPOILER ALERT) If a show is well-done and you have watched the same characters for years in vulnerable situations - you feel like you know them - kind of like a good book. Last night Dr. Greg Pratt (Mekhi Phifer) died surrounded by all his ER doc-friends trying desperately to save him. You could swear you were witnessing a real person facing his own death - the terror on his face was so real.
My only point here is that sometimes TV shows are amazing. We're so used to everything looking so real that we take it all for granted. Imagine what it takes to make some of these shows. Actors get waaaaaayyyy too much attention and glory and I always say they are just people pretending to be other people - big deal. But last night Mekhi and company broke my heart. So this is my little tribute to one of my all-time favorite shows. It is in it's fifteenth and final season (how time flies!). Hunky doctors have come and gone and I'm still watching - and I think I'm going to miss it when it's gone.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Day

This is the kind of day I had.

I'm trying to remember what this felt like.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wine Update

Several times a day the handsome Italian winemaker pushes the grapes down in the barrel as the carbon dioxide pushes them to the surface.
The beautiful juices flow out of the handcrafted press. Do not suggest to the winemaker that he has stomped the grapes with his feet like Lucy - this annoys him.
The juice rests and relaxes in five gallon jugs. Now we wait.

The aftermath in my laundry room/winemaking room. Yikes! (He cleaned it up though.)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

COEXIST XI - Are We So Different?

Recently the Cleveland Plain Dealer featured an article by Margaret Bernstein that reported a traveling exhibit coming to our Museum of Natural history entitled - "Race: Are we so Different?" She states," The DNA strands twisting through the cells of any one individual, whether that person be black, white, Asian, or Latino, bear surprisingly similar patterns to all other humans, especially when compared with the genetic variance in other species." She goes on to report that all humans originated in Africa and that the varieties of skin color evolved as an adaptation to the sun's ultraviolet rays.
I don't know about you, but I don't find that all that surprising. It's even biblical. Whether you believe that Adam and Eve were literally the first two people on Earth or whether you believe they represent the first humans God created - we're pretty clear that it was over in the Middle East - North African region of the Earth.
I don't think that I've ever doubted that God created ALL people equal and in His image. So what happened? First the Native Americans were here. I won't go into the horrific way they were treated by our European ancestors, but the Plain Dealer article sites the example of federal lawmakers in the 1880's trying to make the American Indian culture disappear. There are photographs of Indian children in their traditional garb and long hair and four months later the same children dressed in school uniforms, sporting chopped off braids. That's just one example of the intolerance of other cultures.
We know that African people were brought here to be slaves. I 'm sure some slaves were treated well and maybe even revered their masters, but for the most part I would think it was a life one would want to escape from. So what did they do? They created their own culture. Songs, food, stories, which eventually were passed down through the generations. In the course of history slavery in America was not all that long ago - and so now we continue to have differing cultures. This is where racism, intolerance and bigotry come in.
I will never forget the year I was assigned to a new school building. The district was providing a lot of "multicultural" training for all the teachers. I was new to the staff , and in the course of one of our multicultural sessions I made some kind of comment about all the students being the same to me. There were several black teachers on the staff and they became infuriated with me for that statement. "No! They are not the same! You must recognize their differences and celebrate them!" (or something to that effect). A rather loud and uncomfortable discussion followed while I tried to slide under the table.
Later, the principal, who was a black woman, said to me something like - someday you'll understand. I felt foolish and humiliated. The principal never liked me after that day.
That experience stuck with me. What's wrong with us being equal but not the same? What's wrong with different cultures within one country? Nothing as long as tolerance and coexisting happen from both sides.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Happy Birthday COEXIST!

COEXIST was created one year ago, and it's been an experience of growth for me. Bloggers seem to share the collective feeling that we are friends who have never met. We have entered each other's lives in big and small ways over this year.

I have met wonderful, thinking, creative, reverent and irreverent women with whom I've discovered great commonalities. I have shared Skywatch photographs with people all over the world. I've met stay-at-home-moms with much more insight and wisdom than I recall having at that age.

I've met a wonderful actress and singer, now retired in the Hollywood hills, who shares nature photographs as well as pictures that include many familiar movie and television actresses that she still knows. Her photographs and memories of a Hollywood gone by are precious.

I've posted my poems, - some carefully thought-out and some spontaneous and unrevised. I've been interviewed by a blogger in England.

I've been tracked by the Cleveland Plain Dealer and quoted on Cleveland.com.

Blogging friends have bought and read my book and I've read theirs as well.

I've enjoyed and treasured every single comment and word of encouragement. THANK YOU.

This blog has made me think (every day!) and be more creative. It's made me write more and form more of my own opinions. I've been privileged to be an inspiration and to receive inspiration .

Blogging has literally opened up the world and made me believe in COEXIST even more as I see every day how much more we are all alike than we are different.

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Grandmother's Gift - Part 2

Nostalgia by Elsie Heberling
(This was written about her childhood in the 1890's. She probably wrote this piece in the 1950's or 60's, but she did not put dates on her writing.)

Nostalgia can be a devastating thing; and after wrestling with its gnawing, which at times brought a form of sickness that could no longer be denied, on a bright and hot August morning we set out for the hundred mile trip to visit my childhood home. The early sunrise was just beginning to stain the eastern sky with all its color and glory as we drove out onto the highway. It was not the distance that had prevented me making such a visit, but I was afraid it might be changed; and I never wanted it to change, and besides, I wanted to see for myself.

Perhaps it was the poor quality of the fruit that the market stalls were offering, with their tough wooden texture, that caused me to go at this time when I knew the fruit trees would be yielding their burdens of lusciousness. I had visions of plump red and golden peaches hanging heavy with ripeness in the hot sun. As children we had plucked them fresh from the trees, all for free, just for the taking, and if we sometimes acquired a bellyache from an over abundance, why that was for free also, and we accepted it as a matter of course and well worth the discomfort. A peach ripened on the tree, fresh and delectable, provided an ambrosia that the ancient gods could not surpass. I had prepared myself to once again partake of these delights.

When we arrived, the sun was high and hot, but the big white house standing back from the road on a higher level, seemed cool and serene. The first glimpse of it through the trees caused the lurch of homesickness to creep over me with greater intensity than I had ever known. As the car moved slowly to where we could have a better view, there was much evidence that it was not the same at all. Many changes had been made. The wide porch that had spread full width across the front had been enclosed in glass. On the same porch we had sat together as a family, in the evenings. The cool breeze would waft down the creek valley and bring relief from the day's heat, and as twilight deepened, we children would count the stars as they appeared in the sky, until there would be so many we could no longer count them. We listened to the hum of the night insects and the forlorn croaking of the frogs. A little later we would sit entranced, watching the lemon colored moon slowly rise into the velvet sky, directly over the church steeple. And each time in its never failing rising, it would appear to us as a new and wonderful revelation.

This is only the first part of her essay on Nostalgia. I think her descriptive writing is beautiful and insightful. And so, my grandmother's first essay is published on the Internet, on a blog - two things she never heard of or could have imagined in her lifetime.

Random (TGI) Friday Fotos

I call this one "Dude, where's my house?"
These are the delicious grapes from which my husband will make delicious wine. I always endeavor to do my best in my role as taste tester.

I found Tinkerbelle at a garage sale this week. She's just for me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Grandmother's Gift

In August we hosted the annual family reunion as we always do. Everyone graciously thanks us for doing it, but I am so grateful to them for being such an amazing family and for making the effort to come from all over the country so we can see each other.

This year I received an additional gift when my cousin turned over my grandmother's manuscripts to me. In several old boxes I found many short stories, essays and articles with my grandmother's thoughts and opinions as well as four full novels.

My grandmother lived from 1889-1978. My mother is the last of her six children born over a twenty-one year period. My grandfather died before I was born and my grandmother lived a very humble existence in a number of small apartments in a little town in Pennsylvania. I knew she was a writer and I read one or two of the handwritten novels as a teenager. I was fairly young when she died and she lived 100 miles away, so I didn't know her as well as I wished I had.

I sat down on a summer day and read page after page of her precise handwriting (and some pages typed by someone else because she did not have a typewriter) and suddenly I felt so close to her. When giving me the boxes my cousin said "You're the writer in the family, you will take care of these." Well, she was right about that. I treasure them. I learned from them and I was truly impressed by her ideas and her writing talent. She must have worked so hard on those never-to-be published novels. I complain about revising my writing, but try to imagine revising an entire novel several times by hand!

So this gift unexpectedly landed in my possession and I am very grateful for the chance to know my grandmother all over again, as an adult and a fellow writer. The photo is from the day I sorted out the manuscripts that had become a little disorganized in the boxes. I will share some of her writing soon.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Coexist X - Constitution Day

September 17th is Constitution Day.
This is not a political blog and it is not a religious blog, but as I wrote on August 31, we cannot always separate our beliefs into easy categories. I am a Christian. Why am I a Christian? Well, one factor would be that I was born into it. By heritage and birth I am a Christian and therefore I believe that was in God's plan for me (and at some point I also made a choice to be a Christian). If I had been born into a Jewish or Muslim home it is much more likely that I would choose those religions.
The truth is - we all think we are right. Every religion thinks it is the right one. Every political party thinks it is the right one. If we possess any logic at all we can plainly see that this is a conundrum. Some political arguments tout the notion that this country was founded on Christian principles and beliefs and therefore our elected officials must align themselves to those beliefs - WRONG!
Do you know:
*Our nation was founded as a secular government, based on the authority of "We the people", not a god, king or dictator.
*The words God or Jesus do not appear in the US Constitution or the Declaration of Independence.
*The US Constitution guarantees religious liberty for all religions, atheists and agnostics.
*A US treaty signed by President Adams states: "...the government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion..."
*"In God We Trust" has only been on US currency since 1957.
*The phrase "under God" has only been in the Pledge of Allegiance since 1954.
*US Presidents are not required to put their hand on the Bible and say"so help me God."
So, as much as some of us would like to think that America is a Christian nation and it well should be because we know we are right - the facts show us otherwise. As Americans we are called to COEXIST together. We are the melting pot of religions, cultures, races, orientations, and beliefs. This protects us from totalitarianism, authoritarianism, anarchy, dictatorships and other forms of chaos - if we can just coexist.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hurricane Ike Hits Ohio

A hurricane in Ohio? Last night Ol' Ike got all the way to northeastern Ohio. Wind gusts up to 78 MPH. It was scary! Of course, we lost power as we always do during a storm - so now we have a generator. I just spent an hour picking up branches and twigs from the yard and there are plenty I missed. It's a mess. I saw at least a dozen large trees down on the way to work and power is still out in some areas. It's just strange to think that a storm could travel so far. If it was scary here I can't imagine what it was like in the south. I heard the eerie crackling of a tree breaking in half last night. Luckily it was in the woods on the edge of, but not on our property. The bad thing is that it will probably remain that way.

A few years ago during a storm I saw a GIANT turtle waddle down our river-like driveway. I was home alone and tried to take a picture, but it was raining too hard and it didn't turn out. My husband constantly teases me that I was exaggerating or I didn't really see it (but I did). Last night he said he thought he saw it as well. I said - if it's there in the morning I'll take a picture - and it was. Ha-Ha-Ha.
Sorry for the less-than-inspiring posts lately. I've been finalizing my poetry collection, getting over a cold, spending time with beautiful daughter and nursing afterschool-headaches. Bear with me!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Music: Libera Me

Songs are waking me in the night
in swollen crescendo until my eyelids flap open
with words - their relentless codas, their meanings
transforming my dreams to music,
and my heart to sonorous beats of rhythm.
I cannot abandon this oracle, but wait
to hear its conclusion. I am moved to ovation
and new music enters - notes, sounds, lyrics,
surrounding my bed in a luminous corona.
I am inexorably caught up in the spontaneous gift
and am powerless to cease its intrusion into my rest.
I love and obey the song's presence
and await the diminuendo to sleep again.

Daylight brings the torrid, angry, crashing piano
fulfilling my need to cry, to understand.
Verdi comes at twilight: kyrie, kyrie eleison.
It is better to know and love it all as
the world opens up in lyrical and tonal diversity.
At nightfall libera me, salva me from that
which I cannot comprehend.
The gift, the rush, the orgasmic pleasure
of the counterpoint, and the chaotic, shattering climax.
The foreign language now holds my prayer.
The requiem overpowers me
and brings me
to my knees.
I await the
dies irae.
I pray:
agnus dei
libera me, salva me,
libera me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Food as Art

Last weekend we went to Cleveland's West Side Market. I have to admit that food does not interest me very much. I am not a cook and when all the ladies are talking about recipes and new flavors I'm left out of the conversation. I hate going to the grocery store, but my husband thinks it's an adventure. I wish this wasn't so, but hey, you can't be fascinated with and good at everything, right?
But the West Side Market is an adventure. Cleveland's is the oldest operating indoor/outdoor market space originating in 1840, and it is on the National Register of Historic Places. The indoor concourse has 100 stalls and the outdoor has 85. The current Neo-Classical Byzantine style building was finished in 1912. It has a large clocktower and a view of downtown Cleveland.

It was fun to go from stall to stall picking beautiful fruits and vegetables. The stacks of God's colorful bounty looked like works of art. We left loaded down with more than we needed and ate very healthy all week!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11

it snowed paper
it rained blood and tears
it ushered in a united pain
then we heard screaming
and our songs
we saw flags
and an altered skyline
we inhaled dust and fear
we touched a future
veiled in smoke and war
we loved our freedom and comfort
we saw it collapse before
our eyes

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Add to the Beauty

I often find myself wondering why I write poems, why I write at all. Today, in the glow of knowing that someone else finds my poems publishable I ask myself again, why? I think we all desire to add something to the world, to create something, to leave something behind. When you are a parent you know that your love and efforts have added brand new people to the world, full of hope and potential. But many of the things we do add to the beauty. We take God's earthly gifts and turn them into something others can enjoy. If you like to cook you do that with the bounty of the earth. If you sew or knit, you take a piece of cloth or a skein of yarn and turn it into something new and useful. If you sing or play an instrument you use the talent God gave you to make music. If you have a flair for decorating you may create a beautiful home to invite others into.
There is a singer I enjoy named Sara Groves. These are the lyrics to her song Add to the Beauty:
We come with beautiful secrets.
We come with purpose written on our heart, written on our souls.
We come to every new morning with possibilities only we can hold.
Redemption comes in strange places, small spaces,
calling out the best of who we are.
I want to add to the beauty, to tell a better story
I want to shine with the light that's burning up inside.
It comes in small inspirations.
It brings redemption to life and work, to our lives and our work.
It comes in loving community.
It comes in helping a soul find its worth.
This is grace - an invitation to be beautiful.
And I want to add to the beauty. . . .
And today while listening to her CD on the way home in the car - this song: It Might Be Hope
You do your work the best you can.
You put one foot in front of the other.
Life comes in waves and makes its demands
You hold on as well as you're able.
You've been here for a long time.
Hope has a way of turning its face to you
just when you least expect it.
You walk in a room, you look out a window
and something there leaves you breathless
You say to yourself - it's been a long while since I felt this -
But it feels like it might be HOPE.
That's how I feel today. Thanks for all your well-wishes. To answer a question - a chapbook is a paperback, stapled book of about 26 poems. It is considered a first big breakthrough for a poet.

Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm Pinching Myself

This morning I had a few minutes before leaving for work and sat down to check email. I opened up a message and literally sat there staring at it for several minutes before it sunk in. A literary press is publishing my poetry collection!!!!!!!!!!! It will be in the form of a chapbook. It is a place that I have repeatedly submitted to because I just had a gut feeling that it was the right place for my work. I'm SO glad they agreed! I've spent years putting together collections and years wondering if I was wasting my time. The validation is sweet. I will let you all know when it is published and in my waiting hands. Thank you Lord!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Woman I Cannot RelateTo

If nothing else, Sarah Palin has stirred up the decades-old question of whether a woman can "have it all". First, let me say that I am not judging her - but trying to relate to her as a woman, which I think is reasonable. Second, I will say that I certainly have nothing against working mothers. I was one - albeit reluctantly, and I think I did a pretty good job of the balancing act. I am still grateful that I established a career before having children, and I don't think the job of staying home is any easier than of working - they both take patience and dedication.
A woman having presidential ambitions certainly does not surprise me either. A woman wanting to be vice-president with a four-month old baby does. There, I said it.
I think back to the days of having an infant and all I can recall is that infant - nothing else. The baby was all-consuming and all I needed. I indeed, thought I had it all in those precious first years of their lives. Granted, I only did it twice - maybe the thrill and the all-consuming part wears off by the fifth one - I don't know.
I also need to insert here that I do not have any doubts that fathers are capable of raising children and that they are certainly as necessary to bringing up healthy, happy kids. Maybe that's Sarah's deal. But I can't get away from the fact that the baby is four months old! At that age, my children weren't more than a few yards away from one of my breasts at any given time.
Here's the other glitch - this child has Down's Syndrome. I have to be honest and tell you that my very first thought was - why are you having a baby when you're 44 years old? Of course, I know that these things can happen accidently to any of us - coincidently to her teenage daughter as well - I'm wondering if they can't get birth control up in Alaska ? But I digress.
If I was 44 and knew I was having a Down's Syndrome child I would definitely have the child, as most women would. But I would also know that this child would need even more of his parents dedication and attention. If you've ever known a family with a Down's Syndrome child I'm sure you understand. It's a great PRO-LIFE statement to have a disabled child, but it doesn't mean as much unless you hang around to raise it . (Okay, now I 'm just being mean, right?)
What does "having it all" mean? Why do we need to have it all in the first place? Is there something we need to prove? I think most women make hard choices and set priorities about family and career and most are satisfied with their decisions. You choose what is right for you, not someone else. So I am not saying that Sarah Palin cannot be a good mother and hold the second highest position in our government, which always includes the possiblity of moving up to the most important, but as for me, I just can't relate to that.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cleveland Rocks

I promised to write a few posts about some of the attributes of Cleveland and I know you have all been holding your breath for it. I already wrote about the astounding Cleveland Orchestra and Severance Hall. (see April 11) And I wrote about the spectacular reopened galleries at the Cleveland Art Museum. ( see August 14)

Did you ever wonder why the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is in little ol' Cleveland? A Cleveland disk jockey, Alan Freed is credited with coining the term and Cleveland is the location of the first"rock n' roll" concert. Hence, Cleveland rocks! (As you may remember was sung at the opening of Drew Carey's show) I don't know about other cities but Cleveland has many, many small concert venues and clubs, including two on the Cuyahoga River and Blossom Music Center in nearby Cuyahoga Falls- so we continue to attempt to rock.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame opened in 1995 in the redeveloped Northcoast Harbor area on the shores of Lake Erie. It was designed by Chinese architect I.M Pei. It has been a source of controversy why the the annual induction ceremonies are held in New York City - but apparently beginning in 2009 Cleveland will be blessed with the induction party every few years.
After one of my posts someone from another city left this comment - We spent a day in Cleveland a few years ago and took in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was right on the lake and so beautiful. Just that day a number of "tall ships" were coming in for a weekend exhibit and it was really quite incredible.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Oh, give the birds a resting place
in your private silhouette.
Surrounded in peachy-pink dusk,
formidable in the sunset.
Oh, give the birds a refuge
to tuck a head under a wing.
In your long and sturdy arms
they'll awaken again to sing.
To see more Skywatch visit http://skyley.blogspot.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

What's Your Heaven?

It's come to my attention that some people believe that our dear departed loved ones are up in heaven looking down on us, pecking at our window as a little bird, even moving our car keys as a heavenly practical joke. If this is true I would like to give my grandparents a day in heaven they will never forget - the shock of thier eternity - something to chat about while they're up there polishing their wings.
First I will dye my hair red so they won't be sure if it's really me. I'll throw all my recyclables in the trash and then get in the SUV. I'll drive without my seat belt on in an unknown direction until I'm lost (without consulting Mapquest first) I'll just be hoping that one of them will lead me safely home. If they don't come through I'll have to use my cell phone.
When I finally get home I'll get on the Internet and post a rumor that Brad and Angelina are breaking up and that their babies aren't even that cute. After that I'll go in the kitchen and put something metal in the microwave just to see it spark like hell. I'll watch a whole season of Project Runway that I Tivo'd while eating microwave popcorn instead of walking on my treadmill and then. . . . well, now that I think of it - if my grandparents care or even KNOW about any of these things well. . . they're definitely NOT in heaven.
PS - I hope some of you can take a joke :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Sincere Appreciation

I just have to say thank you to all the wonderful, thoughtful, and generous comments you've sent my way recently. I appreciate every single word. I just wanted you to know that even though I may not write you a profound response - with school starting up along with everything else I don't have as much blogging time, but I do LOVE you all!!! Please feel free to share my blog with others - I'd appreciate that too. You are all great.

Easter in September

Okay all you real gardeners out there - is it normal to have an Easter lily blooming in September? Or is it just there to remind me that every morning is an Easter morning? (I think it looks especially nice next to my dead shrub . . . an Easter resurrection probably will not be occuring for the poor little shrub.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

You'll Never Walk Alone

Today is the 43rd telethon for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Jerry Lewis helped to establish this organization in 1952 and has been hosting the telethons since 1966. His efforts have raised approximately $2 billion for neuromuscular patient care and research. The International Fire Fighters are the largest single sponsor of MDA since 1954 raising over $250 million. At the end of the telethon Jerry Lewis will sing this beautiful song by Rogers and Hammerstein:
When you walk through a storm keep your head up high
And don't be afraid of the dark.
At the end of the storm is a golden sky
and the sweet silver song of a lark.
Walk on through the wind
Walk on through the rain
Though your dreams be tossed and blown
Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart
and you'll never walk alone.