FUN: Of stickers, raisins and graduations


An open garage door meant time to visit Mr. Buddy.

Our driveways were directly across the street from each other. And if Mr. Buddy’s  garage door was up, he was outside and my sons would trot across the street in our subdivision to say hello.

When they were toddlers and preschoolers, I accompanied them, listening as they jibber jabbered and Mr. Buddy gave them his full attention – as if nothing else mattered. The thing is – it didn’t. To him, those childhood conversations were an ingredient in his day and part of his routine.

The best part, though, was that before they left to return home, Mr. Buddy always asked them a question to which they always responded with an enthusiastic, “YES!”

“Do you want a sticker?” he’d say after hearing toddler tales.

And then, they’d beam as he held a sheet of stickers before them letting them select one. Sometimes they’d put the stickers on their shirts. Other times on their faces or siblings. But the main point was that they had seen Mr. Buddy and gotten their stickers.

During a period of two years, nine babies arrived: Jared, Matthew, Daniel, Benjamin, Chelsea, Samantha, Crystal, Amanda and Leah – all born to families near us and all sticker recipients from Mr. Buddy.

As years passed and school began, the boys and others routinely visited Mr. Buddy after school or in the early evening, always keeping watch for the garage door signal. It was comforting to have a grandfatherly neighbor. Even during elementary years, the visits and the stickers were a neighborhood staple.

The kids especially enjoyed it when they were finally old enough to hop into the bed of Mr. Buddy’s pick up – all sitting there yakking away as they conducted their eye-to-eye summits – telling him about school, friends and about their favorite classes such as lunch and PE.

They blabbed – endlessly.

And then there was Halloween. Trick-or-treating door-to-door was still commonplace and safe. After making their rounds and getting their loot, the kids always made sure to stop by Mr. Buddy’s. There they found Mr. Buddy and his wife, Kay, manning trick-or-treat patrol, sitting in their lawn chairs in the driveway. Everyone wanted their treat – raisins. And they sat there chatting it up and adding a healthy spin to the holiday.

The couple is even fond of telling about one Halloween when a young lady who’d grown up there was back for a visit. She dropped by Mr. Buddy and Miss Kay’s – to claim her snack sized box of raisins!

My life is full of rich memories like these and I was especially reminded about them earlier this week when our two sons – now 17 and 18 – accompanied my husband and I to make our annual trip to see Mr. Buddy and Miss Kay. Buddy enjoys weekly golf outings and whenever my husband can get him tickets for a local professional tournament, we deliver them and catch up on neighborhood news. After my husband gave Buddy the tickets, our oldest son leaned toward Kay, giving her an invitation for both of them to attend his graduation party.

As we caught up on each other’s lives, we laughed, told stories and recalled the stickers and the raisins.

“We really hit the jackpot tonight,” Kay mentioned, motioning toward the tickets and invitation.

No, Miss Kay.

I think it’s the other way around. We really hit the jackpot years ago when you started sharing your lives with us, listening to our children and being there.

Just wondering: Do you have someone in your life who played an important role by doing something simple like listening? Add your story!


FUN: A Poem


Writing poetry at The Statue of Liberty made my day!


Loving Miss Liberty  

Boats brought them to her feet,
A plane, cab and ferry delivered me.
Years of standing strong
Gave hope to weather beaten lives from a far,And me from Florida.
As I approached
I surveyed her from each stately angle
Fully expecting her to be taller, but realizing she isn’t.  

It was comforting because
Proportionately her pedestal was higher than I had imagined.
Now I don’t feel so small.  

Maybe the point is
She elevates possibility
For them – processing and the pronouncing of freedom
For me – a majestic symbol of strength and a country
Open to individuals and their creative endeavors
Their hard work
Their joyous play
Their dreams.  

As their feet passed hers
Did they stop and see how she looked over them
While making major life transitions
Within her gaze?  

Dressed in a beautiful, flowing stone robe
She stands ready and ever alert to make sure
That those within her sight experience her gift – liberty.

FUN: A Poem about my Dream


The prompt for this was to being with the word Until and put another word or phrase behind it. Here’s my attempt.

Until my dream comes true

I’ll keep writing
And noting the details of life
While others sit in front of screens
Learning trivia
I’ll keep writing
In a notebook
On a computer
At my home
In my car
I’m never far from words- the bridge to the dream
Of writing for children
So they can have a moment of attention,
A touch of love
A hug of kindness
A smile of worth
Before someone says, “Goodnight”
And leaves in them in the dark
To dream their own dreams.

– Cheryl B. Lemine

FUN: Today’s Poetry Topic: TMI (Too Much Information)


Do you get bombarded with details and information? 

I do. 

When I saw the topic for today’s Poetry a Day Challenge for 2010 I wasn’t sure what I’d really want to write. After all, there is SOOOO much to read. So, the approach I took was to use an acrostic poem using the letters TMI to start each line. Then, I took a minimalist approach by writing very little – instead of writing a LOT.  

Here’s my attempt: 

Too many screens, too many details, TMI!


Continue reading

FUN: April is National Poetry Month and I’m Celebrating!


Last year I found and accepted a challenge: to write a poem a day in April in honor of National Poetry Month. My professional reading includes Writer’s Digest and I believe I found out about the challenge that way. This is my second year of participating and the great part is that the challenge is very open-ended. Each day, a poetry “prompt” (suggestion) is posted on Then I write. You can, too. Want to join me?  

Last year I made sure to post my poem each day on the website. It was exhilirating because people from all over the world participated simulateously. This year, I’m keeping one long Word document with my April poems inside. During the course of the month, I will be sharing several with you. Not all of them, but some.

Here’s an example: the prompt was to write a water poem.

This was my result:

This water poem was inspired by my time in Roanoke, Virginia as a child.

I remember…
      the smell of chlorine at our city pool.
      Summer days full of splashy times with friends.
      Marco Polo. Chicken Fights. And mandatory rest periods.
      Fifteen excruciating minutes each hour.

I hated…
    The double-whistle signal from on high.
     It meant to stop having fun.
     Sit on the sides of the pool, feet dangling downward
     While the refreshing tub of fun cooed and teased us…

     “Well, you’re almost half way in…”

I wish…
     That clean bleachy smell still meant summer days filled with splashy times and friends
     instead of cleaning that needs to be done over and over and over again.

I want…
     someone to blow a whistle and say, “STOP! REST!”
     Come prop up your feet and enjoy the magazine that arrived 4 months ago.
      Look at it as reading ahead to be prepared
      Instead of catching up because the truth is…

You can never recapture time passed.

–         Cheryl B. Lemine


 Just wondering: Have you ever written a poem? Do you have a favorite poem? If so, please post!