cronechronicler

Exploring the poetry of everyday life

Haiku: Caps In the Air

Summer job, pay checks
Oldest grandson makes me proud
Hard work paying off

Real life lessons learned
High School Senior must apply
Goal to graduate

8 Comments »

Haiku: Music In the Air

White boots, drums, trombones
Figures traced on football field
Practice for the fall

Grandson joined the band
Plays new sounds that stir old hearts
Some things never change

7 Comments »

Haiku: Litmus test

How to be Grandma?
Though endowed with snow-white hair
Baking’s not my lot.

Grandkid’s faces beam
Some in scrapbooks, some on wall
Own no camera.

Once sent greeting cards
For significant events.
Birthday cards endure.

Just don’t measure up
Must not be in DNA
Then it came to me.

Always been like this.
My grandchildren know me well.
Who else could I be?

4 Comments »

On the Occasion of James’ Fourteenth Birthday

Here’s to my dear grandson James
Who likes to cook over the flames
For his birthday the trick
Is to fix eggs Benedict
Then we will play some card games.

17 Comments »

Negotiating Lunch

When my son and his family dropped me off after our extended family Easter brunch my grandson James asked if he could come to lunch the next day. I quickly rummaged through my refrigerator mentally and said yes. I volunteered that I had deli ham and cheese and “healthy” bread (meaning not likely to be something a thirteen year old would like). James replied that he could bring macaroni and cheese, at which his almost sixteen year old brother groaned as a put-down to his younger brother who considers himself quite the chef. My daughter-in-law, who well knows that I am mostly retired from cooking, offered to send along some left-overs she had on hand. Menu settled we set a time for James to be dropped off at my apartment the next day. Game on.

James arrived with a goodie bag. We explored what his mother had packed and found the remains of a Key lime pie (his mother remembered that is one of my favorites), chunks of cantaloupe and a big bag of potato chips. On my part I had come up with some little pecan tartlets purchased at the grocery store bakery left over from a pot luck with friends. Also I discovered I had bagel thins on hand we could use instead of healthy bread. I laid out the sandwich fixings and we were ready to roll. James suggested we grill our sandwiches in the toaster oven. I replied that in my experience bagel thins tend to get too dry in the toaster oven. Then James, always looking for new ways to do things, said lets add fried eggs to our sandwiches. Yes! He got out a skillet while I got stuff from the refrigerator. James chose three eggs, expertly cracked one for me and fried it over-easy to perfection. He did the same with the other two for himself. I started setting the kitchen table but James wanted to eat on the dining room table. He wanted candle light and music, too. A young man after my heart since that is how I eat my dinner. He put the icing on the cake when he said he preferred old-time music. We agreed on Chet Baker and his jazz horn to accompany our meal. There we sat, two friends two generations apart mutually sharing a convivial lunch.

10 Comments »

Cuba 2012 – Love Songs Written on My Heart: Introducing Jose and Finding Nemo

Jose was not quite our drum major but I think we would have followed him anywhere as he introduced us to his Cuba. He was a tour guide unlike any I have encountered on my travels. Jose incarnated the history of a people while introducing us to his everyday existence in Cuba. His mother’s family was from Spain and he was aware of his more affluent European roots. He now lived with his wife and two young sons in his mother-in-law’s home. That is how Cuban families manage on barely life-sustaining incomes. Jose, his wife and her father had jobs while his mother-in-law took care of the house and her grand children. Jose had worked hard to make it possible for his family to acquire the resources to add on a room of their own. I say resources because no one has money to buy lumber, tools and other things necessary for construction. Bartering skills and materials is a way of life. Cubans have devised a brilliant underground solution to get around the limitations of poverty. Jose explained to us that in Cuba there are un-legal things as opposed to illegal things. The people are masterful in defining and balancing on this thin margin. Jose’s work as a tour guide was not his first choice but it is one of the best paid means of employment in Cuba, always excepting the Government. His heart’s desire was to lead bicycling tours, which he did in the off-season for tourists. (Except for U.S. citizens people from around the globe visit Cuba.) When we asked Jose questions about Cuba that he was uncomfortable answering he would smile and say, “It’s complicated.” His grin and ability to laugh at the ironies of life in Cuba were endearing.

Though Jose spoke fluent English our tour bus driver spoke none. He helped those of our tour group, including me, who found getting off the bus problematic. It’s always that bit between the last step and the ground that is daunting. The bus driver gave us warm smiles. With my high school Spanish I could say “gracias” but wanted to say more. I had noticed the orange fish with bright white and black stripes hanging from the rear view mirror of the bus. As an educated grandmother I recognized the fish was Nemo. One day getting off the bus I said “Nemo” and the bus driver grinned. We were discovering a common language. Pointing to myself I said “abuela”, which I knew was the word for grandmother because I live near a restaurant by that name and learned the translation from its menu. He pointed at himself and said “papa”. Then we communicated with fingers about how many children and grandchildren we had between us. A couple of days after our conversation the bus driver appeared with a step stool to bridge the gap between the bus and the ground. We beamed at each other. Our message was sent and received.

8 Comments »

Happy Birthday Haiku to My Grandson

James now aged thirteen Brave fencer and sailor free Loves gourmet dining. James with his quick mind Curiosity leading Loves solving riddles. James with loving heart Eyes noticing obstacles Keeps Grandma upright.

17 Comments »