Monday, September 28, 2009

Riding to California

That looks like a turkey.  That’s a big bird. 


It looks like swans.  I don’t think it’s swans. 


My friends are into this stuff.  What kind of stuff is that? 


It’s got skinny legs.  It looks like a turkey.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen anybody riding a big bird.  It looks like a turkey with skinny legs.  I keep thinking of turkeys, turkeys, turkeys.  I saw the whole turkey. 


Who is in the picture?  Or what is it?  It has to be a man or a woman.  I’ve never seen anybody ride a bird like this.  It looks a woman up here and a man down here.  The legs are too masculine to be a woman. 


The person riding the bird looks like a woman.  What is her name?  What should we call her? 


I surely wouldn’t want to ride that thing like a horse.  I would be scared to death.  But they can train those things, I think. 


Where is the bird going?  Any place in the good old USA.  California.  There’s snow there.  I never saw it while I was there. 


Could be a quarrel, a fight.  What would they be fighting about?  I don’t know.  Let’s make it up. 


This might be a big lie. 


I think one of them is trying to beat the other one.  They’re both jumping the wire at the same time.  I’ve seen people riding these huge birds.  Let’s just turn the paper over and see how good it is. 


It looks like a very strong bird.  It’s probably in some kind of park.  It looks like a duck.  A duck!  Wasn’t there a long time ago a game called duck-duck-goose? 


If I turn this picture the other way it looks like a cow.  It looks like a woman with a man beside her.  She’s got to give that bird a good kick.  They’re not going like that all the way to California. 


Where are they right now?  There’s a lot of snow around.  They could be any place.  Not Florida.  I don’t wish for snow. 


It looks like a man and fish.  A man and a stork.  A long-tailed woman or something.  You can look at the same picture and see two or three things. 


She should not give the bird a big kick.  That would not be very nice.  That’s a very large bird. 


I’m still curious about what they’re quarreling about.  


That’s a bird of some kind.  There’s not a lot in the background.  What are those posts doing?  He has something.  Right there.  That looks like a bird of some kind.  I wonder who dreams up these pictures? 


What does the bird want?  What would the person want?  That’s a very big bird and it can kick you.  It looks a like a man with his arms around a chicken.  Where do you see a chicken?  Just the top of the head and the skinny legs.  That looks like a cat to me. 


The man wants to go for a ride.  What’s stopping him?  He’s going to California.  He looks very happy with this bird.  A lot of people say that’s a very ferocious bird.  What are they going to do in California?  I hope they’re not going to walk all the way to California from here.  Well, there’s snow in California all the time. 


What is the bird’s name?  That looks like a fish.  It looks like he’s got reins around his neck.  They’re very strong birds.  Look at its legs.  He’s got nice shoes, if nothing else.  So if the bird gets tired of walking to California, he could carry the bird.  He doesn’t look like a football player.  The bird lays eggs. 


What is the man’s usual job?  He trains birds.  He probably likes his job.  I never have seen a bird stand up that tall.  It looks like a big swan.  Birds like a big area.  They lay eggs.  I always thought there were more of these kinds of birds in California, but I don’t know.  I haven’t been to California yet. 


What do people do in California?  They’ve got big cars.  I doubt they will go surfing.  Yes, they will go surfing. 


How do you know it’s a bird?  It looks like a man and a woman to me.  And this looks like a horse.  Do you think a bird would learn a person’s language?  Yeah. 


I thought this was a man.  I thought so, too.  But now I think it’s a fish and a fish and a fish.  No, that’s a part of a bird.  It’s a talking parrot.  Birds that big can talk and say real dumb things.  What does it say? 


Now all of the sudden it looks like three ice cream cones. 


The bird would say to the man, “I coming through.”  In your picture it looks like a cow and in mind it looks like a stork.  The man might have spurs on his shoes. 


If you look at the picture from a distance it looks like a flower and different colors.  At the top of the picture it looks like a fan.  What kind of critter has legs like that?  It looks like a banana with a skirt.  Now when I look at it again it doesn’t look like that at all. 


I think that bird is more around in California.  I believe the bird is from California.  He’s going home.  What do you think the sign on the bottom says? 


The person has flowers on his arms.  I don’t know if it’s a man or a woman.  The bird looks like a parrot. 


There it is.  That doesn’t look a dog to me.  It looks like a fish.  Why would a fish be standing up like that out of water?  That must be something else. 


How many birds does this man have?  Just one.  What about this one down here?  Does he have more than one?  Yes.  He has something. 


Are they taking money with them to California?  I think so.  I used to sell Avon.  Maybe they’re going to sell Avon in California.  No, it’s too hot out there. 


All of the sudden it looks like he’s playing on something and shooting things up in the air.  This guy is sitting on something.  That wasn’t a woman sitting there a while ago.  He’s coming out of a trashcan. He’s certainly going to get his butt warmed.  I suppose that’s warm water. 


How do you think our story should end?  With oddballs.  Does it end in California?  I like California so I don’t want it to end.


STORY BY: Vivian, Miss Peach, Patricia, Nancy, Betty, Sudar

HELPERS: Terry, Jessica, Katie, Sarah



Sunday, September 20, 2009


Love is my children.

Love is my husband. 

Love is my friends.

Love is my grandchildren.

Love is caring for others.

Love is going to church.


We should love everybody.

Love thy neighbor.

Too many people don’t.


Love is my dad packing lunch

for me and leaving me a note in the lunchbox.


You should try to love all the people you meet.


Love is my husband changing my children’s diapers.

My husband worked six days a week and had Saturdays off.

On Saturdays he always shooed me out of the house

and said, "Go where you want and I’ll take care of the kids."


Love is children loving their mother and father.

That makes for happiness.

Makes for a happy world.

Love is loving your aunt.


Love is happiness.

Happiness is chocolate soda.


Love is when my sons come to visit me here.

My son is due to come today.

You look forward to them so much.

It means so much to me.  That’s love.

My daughters call everyday.  They don’t live close enough

to come but they call every day.

My son comes to visit.  He’s a good kid. 

I’ve been very lucky.


Love is visiting my sister on Sunday.


Love is loving yourself.

You can’t love anybody else

if you don’t love yourself.


Great love is always a family thing.  To love and know

that if you are able to help, that it can be done.


I first went to work as a secretary at a country club. 

There was one woman who did not like me. 

So I went home crying about it

and my mother said “love is reflected in love.” 

By golly, she turned out to be my best friend. 

She did the things I wanted because I was loving to her.


It’s nice here. When the girls pass you

they rub your back and acknowledge you. 

Love is being acknowledged.


Love is catching.

Love is attention.

Love smells like fresh air.

Love smells like fresh baked cookies.


Love is raising foster children,

which I did in my younger days. 

It was a great deal of love. 

They needed it very badly.

I was a Girl Scout leader for fifteen years

and I tried to get two girls out of their homes

and into foster care because I noticed the abuse. 

It’s hard to interfere with someone’s family,

but when you see children being abused,

you have to say something.


Love thy neighbor as you love yourself.

You don’t have to say, “I love you.”

Actions speak louder than words.

Love in an important ingredient in life.

POEM BY: Beth, Myra, Mary, Jennifer, Kendra, Trudy, Betty, Grace, Anna, Margaret, Jean, and Sarah

Two Different Pictures

Bob and John are trying to point out something in the sky to people.  All kinds of fish.  They are standing on the shore. There are all kinds of fish.


It looks like John and Bob are dancing.


How do John and Bob know each other? They go fishing together. The fish are very colorful.


What do the fish think of the people?  "We're leaving."


There is a silhouette of people.


The big one is not a fish. It's a shark. There are more than one shark. There are a lot of sharks in there.


I  don't even think it's a fish.


I'm wondering what else they're going to find besides fish. It looks like two separate pictures.


One of the fish look like a horse. But they have no feet!


One of the fish looks like a pillow.


There are a whole bunch of fish at the bottom. I don't think all those fish like to be next to the bottom!


The people are ashore. They like that. Maybe that's why they are pointing.


What is the little thing in the corner here? The fish want to be away from the shark.


The fish look like a fan. I think they are called fan fish.


I'm pretty sure one of the fish is a turkey. He's got a long tail and he's pretty fuzzy.


What do John and Bob think of the sharks? Do they know there are sharks there?


They're not in water. They're not walking sideways. They're looking out over a cliff.


They look like the birds with the big tails. Peacocks.


 We have two stories going- a bird story and a fish story.


The bird story- there is only one fish. The rest are birds.


Have John and Bob ever seen these birds before?


They are all excited. These are all small fish. They are scared of the shark.


He's looking at what he said, and he wants to watch.


I'd be afraid and holding onto somebody if I was standing at the edge of a cliff.


It could be farther away than it looks. The fish seems to be coming in from the side. Exuberant. There is something to be excited about. There is foliage at the top of the cliff. There is foliage in other places, too. There are different colors.


Why are they so excited?  It's the first time they came close to the fish. It seems like there are two different pictures.


Where are John and Bob? Where are they looking at fish? On shore of course.


The bigger fish want to get the smaller fish.


The foliage looks like a New York street building. The kid's shoes are near the cliff. Can you see the buildings here? It looks like they might be on top of the building or looking over the building. None of the animals look like four-legged animals. All of the animals have wings. And they're flying.


It's amazing they can see so many things in one place. The ocean is awful deep looking.


Where are John and Bob going to go next?  How the story will end? They will wonder where they have been. They look like color TV pictures. I wonder why it appears as if there is glass across this place. Because why would they stand so close to the fish? It's impossible I think. Do you think so? They are inside the building. It must be an awfully big glass! To be able to see the sharks along there. In a big city some place. There are some places like that. There are waves of the beach lower than this.


How does their day end? Do you know how your day is going to end? Do you? No. Well, I don't have any buildings like this or oceans so I don't know. Someone has to have an imagination to make this look like this.


I think there are two or three pictures on top of one another to make it look like one.

STORY BY: Mary, Betsy, Betty, Sudar, Miss Peach, Nancy

HELPERS: Terry, Jessica, Katie, Sarah


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Burying the Lead: A Dramatic Monologue


Why don’t you listen to me? 

I’m worried about how

we’re going to feed our three children. 

How can you sit there and read the newspaper

when we don’t have any food on the shelf? 

You don’t even know what you’re reading.

You’re only interested in that newspaper. 


When we first got married,

you were wonderful and attentive. 

Now I’m not happy like I used to be. 

What happened to our marriage? 

You don’t pay me enough attention. 

We both have to stick together

if we want to get through this Depression era. 


I feel like I’m going to cry. 

A lot of men don’t discuss their worries with their wives. 

Women need to know what’s going on. 

I wish I didn’t feel so alone. 


The two of us were supposed to work together. 

I’m praying about it.  Praying about everything. 


This is a warm yellow room. 

It smells like sandalwood. 

I want to play Happy Days Are Here Again. 


I’m pregnant again.  Our fourth child.

I don’t know how to tell you. 

You’ll think it’s my fault. 

“I’m pregnant,” I’ll say. 

You’ll be in denial.  You won’t accept it. 

You’ll ask, “Is it my baby?”

And then “When is it going to be born?”

No, you won’t care that much. 


It’s a quiet atmosphere. 

That tells you something about us. 

We won’t yell and scream at each other. 


I’m happy about the baby.  My folks will be happy, too. 

I hope it’s a boy to make it even-steven. 

He can be a newspaper delivery boy. 

He’ll help us around the house. 

You’ll be happy if it’s another boy.  

You wish they were all boys to carry on your name. 

If it’s a boy, we’ll call him Bubba.  It’s a Southern name. 

If we moved back to the South,

you could plant a garden to feed the new baby. 


Have you found an interesting job yet? 

Better than being an executive

in a business office, or driving a truck? 


If you had come to me and said “I want a baby,”

I would have said no. 


You look happy now.  I’ll tell you now. 

Let’s go for a walk. 

I have something special to tell you.  


POEM BY: Phil, Margie, Margaret, Grace, Mary, Anna, Myra, Gretchen, Sarah

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Going to Church

That’s a church behind them.  What can they do in front of a church? They’re imagining.  I would imagine that they would be talking about whether they should go in the church or not. 


Why is the church so far back?  Why are they in the tunnels?  We’re not in the same paper.  We just cut right out. 


The guys are just fooling around.  Someone told them they could make a bundle of money, but they aren’t sure.  They decided to try it once.  They’re just scooting around.  Have they invested any yet?  No. 


He was little.  He really was. 


Why are they jumping?  They just wanted to do something. 


Is this little thing here part of the church?  It’s so pretty.  They’re tanks.  What kind of tanks? 


They probably wanted to attract attention.  Anybody’s attention.


How do you know they’re crooked?  I have no idea. 


What are in the tanks?  Is this really a church?  I think maybe it’s a coffin.  I would just like to see this.  I’d like to look at it.  When I roll my finger across the building it moves.


I don’t know of any church in Indianapolis.  It’s likely in Chicago.  That’s what I want.


Why are they going in?  Why do they have a church with rooms?  Are they going to go inside the church?  What I want to know is why do they want to go to a church when there are hotels around?  Why would a church let them stay there? 


Maybe they’re just going in for the hell of it. 


Well, they might have gone there thinking there’s going to be some singing and preaching and talking.  Because there are people there.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen that church before in my life. 


They come in there in the afternoon.  Are these tubes?  They’re tubes of something. Is this the back of the church or the side of the church or the front or what?  There’s nothing there.  Yours is a real bright place. 


What day is it in our story?  It looks like nighttime. 


Do they have guns?  Yes.  Why would they go to a church without any reason to be going there with guns? 


What do Harold and Bernard want?  They want to go in.  They want to see what’s on the inside.   They’re going to sing.  Maybe they’ll pray, if it’s a church.  That’s what I was thinking about last night.  That’s how it might start.  I don’t know what to do about it. 


Why haven’t they gone into the church yet?  These guys must know somebody that works in there.   They know the kids that work there.  They’re really impressed.  If kids see people putting money in places like this, they’re going to wonder why.


They do the work at the top of the church.  That’s where they keep all the confidential things.  


They might be planning to do things.  The lights are on in some of the rooms.  Why are the rooms scattered so throughout the church?  Harold and Bernard, are that their names?  That’s my husband’s name.  Both of them.  He wouldn’t do something like this.  I don’t think he would.  Not unless he got desperate. 


Why do people get desperate?  Which one got desperate?  I don’t know, because I don’t know which one is crooked.  I bet one is good and one is bad.  The one that is good wouldn’t shoot anyone.  Harold is the good one.  He’s the good one as far as being a crook is concerned.  He’s got all the bullets.  I don’t think Bernard knows it. 


Bernard is good at trying to find places to go.  He’s working on getting them inside.  It seems like he just likes to travel.  They’ve been around this place several times because they want to be sure they know where to go.  I’d like to know about that building. 


The men are too close to the church.  I don’t think so.  Is it safe?  It’s probably very safe. 


This is the situation.  I’m thinking maybe these guys are trying to find out who is honest and who isn’t.  But why are they leaving so many of these kinds of things? 


Those are air tanks.  It’s not big enough to put a room in or anything.  It may not be as good as you think it should. 


It looks like a landfill. 


It looks like he’s got money, or something.  Why would he have money out here in public?  I don’t think it’s right to count your money in public.  That’s true.  Bernard has fifty dollars.  What can he do with fifty dollars?  Fifty dollars won’t go any place. 


How should this story end?  We can let it run for a while.  I definitely think we should.

STORY BY: Miss Peach, Betty, Betsy, and Vivian

HELPERS: Terry and Sarah 

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

This I Believe

I believe in God.

I believe in friends. 

I believe in the love I have for my children,

and the love they have for me.


I believe in sunshine. 

You feel a great warmth. 

Sunshine makes you happy. 

Some people like to go to the beach

for the sunshine. I used to live at the beach. 

It’s too hard to work when the sunshine is out.


I believe my grandchildren are growing up

and they’re getting up to go to work soon.


I believe in nature.  The flowers

and the trees and the grass.

I believe in trees with a lot of fruit.  My momma used

to make jelly and different things like that.


I believe in soup with tarragon and pork.  It was sooo good

and we kids just loved it.  We lived on it.


I believe that attitude can make a big difference.

I believe that if you have positive thinking

when you get up in the morning,

you’ll have that all day long.


I believe in education. 

It’s important to have a good teacher

who teaches you.  She tells you different stories

so you know it.


I believe in having good friends and neighbors.

You can depend on good friends, and they can depend on you.

My neighbors always looked after me and wanted

to know if I was feeling okay. 

I have very good friends.  I had about four or five of them.

I believe that friends make your life fuller.


I believe we have a lot of nice nurses here that help us out.


I believe that family is important.

I believe in my sister.  She takes care of me all the time.

I believe in having children.  When I had my first child,

that was the most joyous time in my life.


I can’t say that.

I believe that I have nice nieces.  They look after me.


I believe in going to church and saying my prayers

for everyone that I know of.


I believe happiness is when all your friends

and family get together. That’s the happiest time.


I believe in sauerkraut. 


I believe that my daughter was beautiful

when she got married at sixteen.  She wanted to

so I didn’t stop her.  She was so breathtaking

when she went down the aisle.


I believe in a happy marriage.


I believe in going to a hospital and visiting

a person from the family. 


I believe in the sincerity of a friend. 

That’s very important to me. 

I believe in being very friendly with people,

in being sincere yourself.


I believe that we have a very special person

watching over us.  We’re all here together

and he has his eye on all of us. 

Not just one of us, but all of us. 


This I believe. 


POEM BY: Anna, Mary, Phil, Gretchen, Myra, Jean, Grace, Margaret, Margie, and Sarah

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

By Anna, Phil, Grace, Barbara, Mary, Jean, and Sarah


When I go away and then come home

it feels so good to be home. 

You miss your home.


I never left home until I went to private school.

You live in school.  On Sundays we went to church,

because it was a Catholic school.

We lived at school and only went home

on Saturday and Sunday and vacation. 

I loved it.  I did not know the difference between both homes.

I enjoyed it, but my sister would want to go home all the time.

That kind of life you don’t have much friendly kids. 

When I had children, we decided not to raise them like that. 


Home means to me being with my husband. 

I just lost him two years ago.  Home is anywhere

where he is together with me and the children. 

As long as we’re all together, that’s home. 

Home is very important to me

because I miss it very much.  Makes no difference

what’s in the house or what we eat,

 the main thing is that we’re all together. 

It’s just very important. 


I think of my Mom when I think of home. 

She could do anything. 

She gardened and cooked and canned.  House painting. 

My dad never turned a tack.  He was too important. 

He acted like he was too important. 

He never wiped a dish or did anything. 

As us kids grew up we helped Mom.  She never was mean to us. 

She was always encouraging.  Get those grades in school! 

She was a wonderful person.  She lived to be in her eighties

and she had nine kids.  I don’t know how she ever did it. 

I think she was born in 1885. 

My older brother went to World War II. 

But she never taught me how to do anything. 

My job was stir the gravy.  That’s about what she taught me.

Another thing I think of about home is my mother

used to give us directions about what we were going

to do that day.  Like I was going to help her clean

whether I liked it or not.  And my two brothers

were out in the garden cutting the grass

whether they liked it or not.  She gave them directions. 


Home to me means a house. 

My house was very important to me. 

I miss it very much. 


I have a pool around the house. 

All the grandchildren come to go swimming

and the grown-ups, too, and my neighbors.

They love it, you know?  They’re all there for it. 


When I think about home, I think about fishing. 

Whenever my husband wanted to go fishing,

he’d say “Are you coming with me?” 

On a weekend it was so nice to be on the water

catching the fish and I enjoyed it very much. 

It was so exciting when I caught a fish! 

I just love to be by the water and I used to love to be in the ocean. 

All the people out there fishing.  The splashing of water

and the different colors changing.  Purple, blue would splash. 

We went out sailing a lot and sometimes we saw animals

from the ocean that would splash out of the ocean. 

We saw dolphins jumping. 

We would just sit and watch it. 

I’ll tell you the nicest thing is when the sun goes down

and you’re sitting on the boat watching the sun set,

which is beautiful.  All different colors.


I like to dress up the Christmas tree

and decorate it and put the lights on

and light them up at night.  The kids love it! 

You feel like it’s Christmas, you know?


Thanksgiving.  That’s when the families get together.

Sometimes you see relatives you haven’t seen in a long time. 

That makes you comfortable, and you love your home. 

You smell the turkey, sweet potatoes, vegetables, and baked pies.

Pumpkin pie.  Everybody gets dressed up and goes

from house to house.  My mother was always the one

that did the cooking.  That’s what I remember

is her getting up almost at dawn to get ready. 

We laid in bed.  We just smelled it.


We always had a lot of kids in our house.  We sat

around talking, playing games, that’s the main thing. 

All kinds of games.  I had the neighbor’s kids come

around Thanksgiving and they would go around from house

to house, and you did the best you could to give them something.


I also remember July 4th.  That’s when we sat

on the curb and watched the parade.  All the kids

sat on the curbs.  Watched fireworks.  And we saw

all the homegrown veterans.  We went swimming

on the Fourth of July.  I used to like to watch the fireworks.

It’s so pretty in the evening.  They would do it by the ocean.

They made the fireworks go off so they wouldn’t fall

into someone’s house.  It’s a beautiful thing to watch

what they throw up in the air. 


It feels good to home.


Ode to Autumn

By Jean


Sitting on porches

with your friends

watching the birds

flying in the trees,

building nests

the beautiful colors,

they make you feel happy

because the weather is so nice.


The beautiful clouds in the sky

You just want to talk to them

I'd expect an answer back

The rain comes in autumn

you sit and watch

the rain come down


Walking in the rain

Children playing in the rain


The butterflies flying over flowers

Not having to wear winter clothes

Doing more walking

as the weather is not as cold.


The weather is beautiful

the leaves are falling off the trees

the different colors

digging in the garden