Kids and shots and voting

Hi everyone,

This morning I’m making a virtual school visit to twenty-five classes in the Columbia, Missouri area. I look forward to meeting the kids (K-3) and their teachers.

This afternoon at 2:00 and 2:15 Sandy and I get our second shots. And after that we’ll vote on the way home.

I won’t get much work done today but it will be an excellent Tuesday for sure.

Still smiling

Hi everyone,

I had a fine day yesterday celebrating my birthday with Sandy, Robin, and Jeff. Thank you, Tim, for loaning us your wife, and thank you, Jennifer, for loaning us your husband. And thank you to everybody who took the time to send me birthday wishes. I did the best I could to keep up but if I missed thanking you, forgive me. I loved each and every one.

Sometimes it’s better not to fix it

Hi everyone

Back in October I told you about a cyst on my left leg that had been there since I was 12 years old. It didn’t hurt and wasn’t too noticeable until the last year or so when it seemed to be getting a bit larger and was showing a bit of color. I decided to have it removed and on October 20 my dermatologist cut it out. It was benign. But the wound was deep and took two months to heal over. It was in a hard place for me to reach so poor Sandy had to change the dressing every day. The area around the site began turning red and breaking out in unsightly spots. They didn’t hurt or itch but they were spreading, and on my right leg a different kind of problem was developing, more like a rash that was soon on both arms too.

MY doctor took scrapings and the lab determined I had three infections: two bacterial and one viral. The bacterial were Enterobacter cloacae complex and Staphylococcus aureus, both very tough customers. Beginning twelve days ago I began taking an antibiotic for the infections, which I finished yesterday. I have an ointment for the rash. Progress is slow. This picture is pretty gross but before now the area has looked too unsightly to show. I hope this thing is about to turn the corner so I can see what my leg will look like when the healing is complete. At this point, I’m very sorry I tried to fix something that wasn’t all that broken.

Happy birthday, Dad

Hi everyone,

Ralph Kennon was born in 1909. Yesterday would have been his his 111th birthday. Ralph was Sandy’s daddy. We sat and talked about him, remembering fondly some of the things he liked to say, how hard he worked, how much he cared for his family. For much of his life he drove a delivery truck for Holsum Bakery, getting up at 3:00 a.m., taking a cab to work so his wife would have their car, and getting home late in the day. He’d catch his breath and head for the garden to spend the next hour or so working in the soil he loved so much. He was proud of what he grew. He had a right to be. It was all wonderful. I wrote about him in one of my early books of poems, THE PURCHASE OF SMALL SECRETS.

David L. Harrison

fingers lingering
over wondrous gifts,
he contemplates with satisfaction
the completed act.

“Nothing beats home-grown,”
he says.
“You won’t find corn this sweet
in any store.”

Another platter,
meaty red slabs
surprisingly heavy
on white china.
“Try these tomatoes,
tell me these aren’t
the best you ever tasted.”

Sweet onions
served with garden talk,
language of the soil,
wisdom of grandfathers.

Golden ears dripping butter,
spinach wrinkly tender,
delicately green,
cauliflower better than expected,
green beans
demanding to be bragged on . . .

“You won’t find these
in any store,” he says
to heads bobbing
over full plates.

He nods,
agreeing with himself.
I smile and think,
“Nothing beats home-grown.”

(c) 1998 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved

Ralph and Kathleen weren’t huggers and kissers. You knew they loved you because they showed you, again and again, in all sorts of ways. Their lives were an example of, “Show, don’t tell.” One day, after Sandy and I got to talking about how she had wished sometimes when she was a little girl that her daddy would tell her she was pretty or hug her or say he loved her, I was moved to write a poem for her.

David L. Harrison

He never told her,
not in so many words,
or kissed her,
or said she was pretty.

Sometimes she might have wished
for a hug,
might have wished
to hear the words

Yet she knew, always knew,
he did.
Whatever she needed he’d do —
blow the hurt off a skinned knee,
save his best tomato for her,
take her hunting and let her
carry the squirrels.

When she started school,
he picked her up
in his bread truck
and took her home
for a better meal.

when she lived three states away,
after work he’d drive all night
to see her for a single day,
bring her baby a bunny,
press small amounts into her hand
that made all the difference.

He’s been gone awhile and with him
his favorite expressions:
“You did that to yourself.”
“Boy I like ‘em.”
Gone, his boyish grin, beloved garden,
gone, those words unspoken
but few right deeds undone.

And even now she knows,
has always known,
how he loved her.

(c) 2011 David L. Harrison, all rights reserved