Monday, October 20, 2014

Autumn brings old memories

Time for the weekly Slice of Life at the Two Writing Teachers blog.  Tweet at #SOL14  Thanks Stacey, Tara, Dana, Beth, Anna and Betsy!

      I usually don't work Mondays, so today I played a little bit, taking pictures and really just being out in our fabulous fall weather. It was especially windy, and leaves blew, and blew, then blew some more. Some branches are stripped! My garden filled up with leaves, as did the evergreens. I posted a poem on Margaret Gibson's kidblog site, where they gave a challenge to write a choka, which is a double haiku, for the National Day Of Writing. Check it out from her students! That pushed me to sit in the yard and take a 'burst' of photos on my phone so I could capture leaves falling. See, I really did play! That one leaf in photo two looks like a butterfly!





        Afterwards, I kept thinking of Halloween. I'm old enough that it was way before the huge Halloween candy displays and decorations, and many times we were given apples, sometimes not very good ones, and all sorts of homemade goodies. However, the candy wasn't the big thing anyway, and the people in my little town where I lived until I was twelve were delighted to see us in our costumes and always welcoming. I knew most everyone, and actually remember liking the attention. One memory is when it became very cold and starting to snow, and my choice that year was to be Tinker Bell. I thought I looked so pretty, and then my mother made me wear my winter coat. Big disappointment.
        I also remember enjoying being a little scared. Sometimes people would leap out from behind a bush, and laugh when we jumped and screamed. It was okay because then whoever it was would show themselves, and say "Happy Halloween!" 
        My grandparents read to me all the time, and one final memory I'll share is a favorite scary poem, one my grandfather read every Halloween. There are so many great Halloween poems around. I enjoy them all, but this one brings back my grandfather's voice too--special. If you have a favorite poem for this holiday, share in the comments!

Little Orphant Annie, by James Whitcomb Riley

His inscription: INSCRIBED WITH ALL FAITH AND AFFECTION




 
To all the little children: -- The happy ones; and sad ones;
The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones;
The good ones -- Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

ITTLE Orphant Annie's come to our house to stay,
An' wash the cups an' saucers up, an' brush the crumbs away,
An' shoo the chickens off the porch, an' dust the hearth, an' sweep,
An' make the fire, an' bake the bread, an' earn her board-an'-keep;
An' all us other childern, when the supper-things is done,
We set around the kitchen fire an' has the mostest fun
A-list'nin' to the witch-tales 'at Annie tells about,
An' the Gobble-uns 'at gits you
Ef you
Don't
Watch
Out!

You can find the rest here.

 

36 comments:

  1. What a wonderful way to spend your Monday! Surrounded by beauty and creativity.

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  2. What a beautiful day of memories - and gorgeous nature as well.

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    1. Loving this time of year! Thanks, Katherine.

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  3. Love hearing about your Fall play day (great photos) and reading the James Whitcomb Riley poem (new to me). Such a lovely time of year, isn't it? :)

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    1. Glad to hear this is a new poem for you Jama. I think it's great. I imagine it's gorgeous at your home, too! Thanks!

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  4. So many beautiful things in this post. I love reading and seeing fall in other places. I especially enjoyed the butterfly leaf.

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    1. Thanks, Julieanne, happy you enjoyed it. Fall is simply beautiful, isn't it?

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  5. Love this poem--a great read aloud! And your photos are beautiful, butterfly leaves and all!

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    1. Thank you Jane, so glad you enjoyed it all!

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  6. Loved hearing all your interconnected Fall memories, Linda. We did not celebrate Halloween in either India or London, where I grew up - but this time of year brings lots of fond memories of struggling to help my kids make the elaborate costumes they had dreamed up. I miss those days! Lovely photographs, too - Fall has certainly arrived in Denver.

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    1. It almost seems as if it arrived overnight, Tara. Guess we say that every year. When you started raising your children, Halloween must have seemed strange to you. It has really become more commercial since I was young, as I mentioned above. Still fun, but different.

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  7. I really enjoyed reading your slice and am envious of your play time on Monday. The poem is new to me and I love it. I also love that it is particularly special to you because of the memories you associate with the poem.

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    1. I'm glad it's a new poem for you, Lisa. How great!

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  8. So many leaves, so many memories. I am glad you had the time to watch the leaves and travel back in time.

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    1. Thanks Terje, it was nice to do this, & also to write about it. Amid the rush of prep & cleaning, etc., good to do something a little different, to pause and appreciate what's around me.

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  9. Such a lovely day for you, and the photos are beautiful. I did some pausing today as well. So good for the soul!

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    1. Indeed, now today for me, back to work, but yesterday was good. Thanks, Kendra.

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  10. Fall is a beautiful time of year. I don't think that there is any box of crayons that can match the colors of Autumn.

    I remember when we were kids going out Trick-or Treating we would get money - usually 10 cents at most houses. We felt rich at the end of the evening.

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    1. You're right, sometimes some did give us a little change. I'd forgotten. It is a gorgeous time-love it!

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  11. So happy to be a small part of your happy Monday and day of writing. My students were so pleased to see that you played the choka challenge.
    Halloween was my favorite when my kids were small. Now I get sad because they are all grown up. I'm treating myself to a poetry workshop on Halloween this year.

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    1. That sounds like a great thing to do on Halloween. I signed up for Poetry Friday hosting this year, already thinking about it! Thanks Margaret.

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  12. Linda, having to wear a coat over your Halloween costume is torture when you're a kid! Thanks for sharing your memories - brought back some of my own. I can't wait to experience Halloween through my daughters' eyes this year - they are at such a fun age!

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    1. I know it's so fun for the kids. We have a huge parade at school, & even the older ones participate, although many of them don't trick or treat anymore. Have a great time & hope the weather holds!

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  13. Your post brought back vivid memories of Halloween in Maine. Seldom could we wear a cute costume without a jacket to ruin the whole thing. Thanks for the memory.

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    1. I know, then it was Missouri, & I remember one of my own children's when it was pouring rain, all night! We so rarely get rain, & for it to come on Halloween! Thanks, Gigi!

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  14. Love all the memories you shared -- sounds like a wonderful day! Love the picture of the butterfly leaf! I shared your poem at dinner tonight -- my kids loved it.

    Clare

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    1. How great, Clare-so glad to hear it was shared. It's such a good Halloween poem! Thank you!

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  15. I love the windy, wooshy, wispy feel of your descriptions of the leaves falling--and the motion capture in the pictures is a neat effect. What a warm and wonderful memory. Thank you for sharing it.

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    1. You're welcome, Lee Ann. I love that 'burst' on my IPhone, helps me capture some motion I couldn't before.

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  16. What a wonderful way to spend the day, Linda! Thank you for sharing your photos and thoughts. My grandmother read to us, but also had the card game authors. For many years, all I knew of James Whitcomb Riley (and many other authors) was because of this game!

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    1. We played the authors game, too. You're right, he was one of them. Thanks for the memory, Catherine.

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  17. Linda,
    I'm always amazed at the way you keep up with everyone. I haven't tried a choka, but it sounds interesting. Your photographs are beautiful and really catch the action of this colorful season. Your post also took me back to the days of Halloweens with plastic costumes and stringed masks. The walks around our neighborhood were always full of adventure. There was a lady who gave out a comic book each year and another who always dropped a nickel in our bags. Great memories.

    Cathy

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    1. Thanks Cathy, love that someone gave a comic book. What a terrific thing!

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  18. Loved strolling down memory lane with you in this post. Mrs. Lewallen, my 4th grade teacher, shared this poem with us, and I remember being scared by it. I think we were exposed to lots of James Whitcomb Riley and Eugene Field back in the day. I still love "When the Frost is On the Punkin," and was delighted to pick up a picture book version of it illustrated by Glenna Lang.
    My fallback costumes were always a clown, a hobo, or a gypsy. You could always make those costumes from stuff at home. And we carried pillowcases to hold our haul for the evening. I love the Halloween scenes in "Meet Me in St. Louis."
    I need to have you teach me how to do a burst on my phone!

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    1. Yes, the pillowcases were the thing for sure, & the Daily Poem just shared "when the frost is on the Punkin" this week. It's good too. I'll look for the picture book. The bursts are on IPhone5 & up, so if you have one, just press down & hold the photo button. It'll take a 'burst' of photos & will catch the action. Have a great week, Ramona-so excited for your Friday poetry!

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