A test of courage

Hi everyone,

Okay, a test of courage might be putting it a bit strongly, but it’s no small matter to leave one’s laptop for a whole week. That’s what I’m planning for an upcoming, purely goo foffing adventure. I don’t remember the last time I’ve done that, except maybe for an overnight. I’ll be like Linus without his security blanket. Be assured that I’ll have my writing pad, pens, and phone. I look forward to some serious reading!

I won’t be able to post on the blog. It will be one of the few times since 2009 to go a week without posting. The good news for me is that I’ve finished all the revisions I had to do. There may be others in the feedback from editors but for now I’m caught up and ready to pull back for a while. At least I think I am. I hope I am. We’ll see how it goes.

What once was

Hi everyone,

Yesterday SANDY found an old flyer I made for our gift store, GAMBLE’S Gifts, that we owned and operated for thirty-four years from 1984 to 2018. After she retired from being a high school counselor, Sandy managed the store for twenty years until closing it. We had a wonderful staff who cared about people and were experts about our product lines. The pictures show one of our Christmas seasons. Dressing up a store to look like that was a labor of love.

Sandy still misses the store, staff, and customers and the buying trips to Dallas, Atlanta, New York, and Las Vegas, and other markets. I was on most of those trips too. My other involvement was to spend some time weekly doing back-office work, making some of our promotional pieces (especially in the early years), and designing the new layout each time we relocated the store (3) to be closer to our customer base.

We carried a lot of lines, some of them exclusively. The flyer lists Crystals: Baccarat, Lalique, Marquis by Waterford, Miller Rogaska, and Waterford. China: Christian Dior, Fitz and Floyd, Lenox, Noritake, Ralph Lauren, Royal Doulton, Spode, Villeroy and Boch, and Wedgwood. Collectibles: Department 56, Hummel, Lladro, Lowell Davis, Swarovski, All God’s Children, Bunnykins by Royal Doulton, and numerous others, and Giftware: Arthur Court, Brass by Baldwin, Fine Linens, Jewelry, Music Boxes, Root Candles, Wind Chimes, Picture Frames, Capodimonte Florals, and a host of others over the decades.

Sometimes, during quite moments of reflection, we look back at something we’ve done that we’re proud of. I feel that way about Gamble’s Gifts, but it was Sandy’s show and became an important part of her daily life for a very long time. I know she misses the store. I know she is proud of what she accomplished. She should be.

A hacker through and through

Hi everyone,

My friend and colleague, TINA HACKER, tried to post a poem for this month’s Poetry Challenge. Alas, the gremlins ate it. She tried again at my request and I’m posting it here for her. Thank you, Tina!

Hacker’s My Name
Used to be uncommon,
so when it first appeared in newspapers,
“Hackers Cause Computer Headaches,”
I cut out the headline, posted it
on my office walls. Soon had enough
to post on everyone’s walls.
HACKERS, the movie, turned
the swell into an ocean.
Never thought I’d be infamous,
send emails people wouldn’t open.
Might as well type SCAMMER
on the subject line.
Considered adding a disclaimer:
I’m not a virus or a vampire
sucking secrets from computers,
just someone with a name
as dreaded as an earthquake,
bubonic plague,
winter in Fargo.
Crashing worlds if not today
surely tomorrow.
Now on Blu-ray.
Tina Hacker

Previously Published in Silver Birch Press

The bees are back

Hi everyone,

The bees are back, they come and go and buzz around the patio and land on hands and crawl on knees and own the blossoms, shrubs, and trees, no matter what the hummingbird thinks they rob its feeder of sweetened drinks, they skim the pool to slack their thirst and swimmers flinch and fear the worst, the bees are back. The bees are back with buzzing sound from hidden nest we haven’t found, their numbers growing every day as these tell others of the way, they grow more brazen, fearless, bold, what will our bee-filled future hold? All they crave is a sugary snack, but the bees, the bees, the bees are back. (c) 2022 David L. Harrison

But nobody knows but They

Hi everyone,

I found another poem from the files that uses “name.” It was published in 1994 by Boyds Mills Press in a collection I called THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS. The book didn’t sell well and I was disappointed because I liked the poems, but alas it had no theme. My editor had warned me about that, but I would have my way, and pay the price.

Thank you, Nate Papes, Springfield News-Leader, for the swell picture.

I don’t know their names,
but They live in the grass,
and They’re only two inches tall.
Nobody knows where They came from
or why They’re so terribly small.

They slip through the clover
and hide in the leaves,
so you seldom can see them at all.
Nobody knows why They live there
near the base of our garden wall.

They dance and parade
by the light of the moon
and visit with crickets all day.
Nobody knows how They got there,
or whether They’re planning to stay.

Maybe you’ll meet them,
and maybe you won’t,
if you come to my house to play,
‘Cause everyone wants to know who They are,
but nobody knows but They.

(c) 1994 David L Harrison, from THE BOY WHO COUNTED STARS