Home Again

Photo by Meg on Unsplash

I came back home in time

For the blizzard to hit,

After four months in the barcode barn,

And two weeks with Grandpa John.

Grandpa and Grandma Julie, and Milo

Had visited me every week,

And Beatrice every other.

Uncle Arlo came once, but he was drunk.

They wanted to keep him, but he ran away.

Grandma Julie and Grandpa John bought me food,

Bottled water, and soft drinks.

Milo bought me bourbon, but

I poured it out when he left.

Beatrice bought me wine and I wept

When I told her I could’t drink it with her.

She said she understood

And kissed me when she left.

Now I’m home, and alone.

August N-N-1

I missed the deadline for submitting a photo and words for the August N-N-1. I took a photo, but I could not finish an accompanying poem in time to submit. I am still trying to finish it. But you should not be deprived of seeing the blog published on This Labyrinth I Roam.

N-N-1: The August Edition

Our time and space travelling project is continuing to capture real-moments globally, allowing us to see and read about events we can’t currently be there for. And until they invent that teleportation device, we shall live vicariously through the N-N-1 phenomenon.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, go to the N-N-1 collaboration archive to get up to speed on all the cool posts you’ve missed.

Here’s what our global ambassadors have been up to this August.

A Splash Of My Life

“This lil teefer deserves a warm bed and warmer cuddles. After a long, exhausting day at the Ensenada shelter, these pictures give me the determination to do all I can. I hope that they will be out, surrounded by love and care. Soon.” – Princess Butter

The View From A Drawbridge

“I’m beginning to think that the only way to beat the heat in this new global climate change reality of ours is to head north. So I decided to spend the first days of August in Vancouver, Canada, one of my favorite cities. This visit happened to coincide with the Celebration of Light in Vancouver. Each year, they have three countries compete in an international fireworks competition on 3 different nights. This year it was India, Canada and Croatia. We were there for Canada, and it was the most gorgeous display I’ve ever seen. It’s a wonderful way to take your mind off the temperature, but I tell you what, I wouldn’t want to be a dog in Vancouver at this time of year.” – Barb Abelhauser

Classical Gasbag

“Our good friends Mary and George treated us to a weekend getaway in LaPorte, Indiana. Our wedding anniversaries are just a few months apart, and we were celebrating our mutual years together.

On Saturday, while the others were enjoying the inn’s swimming pool, I drove a few miles to my hometown of Rolling Prairie to see what changes had occurred since my last visit. There were quite a few. While there I drove past the first house that I remember living in. I took this picture.” – Norm Houseman

This Labyrinth I Roam

Mother, Daughter, Granddaughter.

“Being the sort of person who has drifted from country to country for all her life, I never imagined I would get the opportunity to have family beyond those I shared DNA with. Then I met my partner. And then I met his family. I never realised how deeply I had fallen in love with all them – their quirks included. This weekend I got to spend time with them in their small village in the countryside of England and we got to soak up the sun, try some local craft beer, and just spend time basking in each other’s company. And now that I’ve felt these feelings, I can’t imagine going my whole life without having it. Isn’t that weird?” – AL


Passing on N-N-1 Information

A group of fellow bloggers were sent an email a few days ago concerning the the next N-N-1 (a group project of photos and words). You can check this blog for previous examples. If you think you would like to join our group, here is the email I received:

From: cupitonians <labyrinthiroam@gmail.com>

Hello, hello, hello, 

Summer is well and truly here, and so is the season for another glorious N-N-1 post! While we’re all suffering enjoying the high heat of summer, perhaps we could take time to take a photo in the first weekend of August? 

Days: 1st-4th August

Time: Any time you aren’t busy melting

I’ve left the days and times flexible as I understand most of us are living through a heatwave of sorts and so motivation could be up and down. The theme is also open! 

I will send you a reminder closer to the date. 

Have fun and let me know if you have any questions, 

This Labyrinth I Roam


I have been sitting in

Photo by Amy Humphries on Unsplash

The shallow end

Of the nostalgia pool.


I am sure that as I grow older

I’ll move deeper and deeper

Until I have to stand

To keep from drowning.


Live is too full of now

To wrinkle your fingertips

Sitting in the past,

And remembering only the good things.


The bad things can also teach

And keep us humble.

We can all use more humility.


The other day on the telephone

I told Grandma Julie

How much I liked Grandpa John’s stories.


I told her he made me see things

Photo by S O C I A L . C U T on Unsplash

Through his eyes

From so very long ago.


She laughed when I said it,

because it wasn’t so long ago

In their lives.


And then she told me

That I should take his stories

With a grain of salt.


She said that Grandpa John

Always added details that

Might not have happened.


Or that not every girl

Or woman swooned over him.

And she laughed again.


Then she said quietly

That the stories helped him forget

That those days will never return.


I need to ask him

To tell me more stories.

For the sake of both of us.

Stories He Told #3

Grandpa John knew I was anxious to leave.

I wanted to go home to my second floor apartment

Above the hardware store,

But couldn’t because the water was still to high.

So he searched his mind to find more stories

To keep me from pacing around the room.


Grandpa told me about being in basic training

During his army days.Warfighter Challenge

He told me going for a run every morning

When it was cold, just as the sun was coming up.

How he could feel and measure how his endurance

Increased as the days passed slowly by.


He told me about the teasing he received

From everybody in the barracks when he got letters

Doused in perfume from his girlfriend of the time,

And how one of those letters included her description

Of a dream she had about standing at an alter with him.

He said that letter dampened his romantic feelings for her.


Then, after checking that Grandma Julie wasn’t in the room,

He told me that he ran into that woman a year or so

After he came home, and found her much more mature

Than she had been, and more mature than him.

How he was still pretty much a punk,

And wondered what life would have been like with her.


I couldn’t tell if he was sad. I hope not.

I moved back home three days later.

N-N-1 Season Changes

I have been honored to offer this most recent N-N-1. Thank you to everyone who participated. I am already looking forward to the next one.

Princess Butter, whose blog is asplashofmylife.wordpress.com, has a short, but very sweet, entry for this N-N-1.

It could be spring, summer, or winter, for all I care. Right now, it is all about love for us. image1Here’s hoping for an everlasting season of happiness and cuddles. Occasional showers are permitted. 🙂



Barb Abelhauser has the wonderful blog theviewfromadrawbridge.com/ . She tells us about the change of season and of the change in her working conditions.

Seattle Opening DayAs a bridgetender in Seattle, the first Saturday in May is a pivotal one. This is the official opening day of boating season in the emerald city. Granted, you can boat all year ‘round, but today is a day of celebration. There are races and a boat parade, and thousands of Seattleites line the shores to celebrate spring.

It’s also the time of year when we start to have the spectacular weather that we try to keep secret from the rest of the country. So, yeah, people are out there on the water. I would be, too, if I had a boat instead of opening this bridge for them. They’re out there, and it seems as though they won’t touch dry land again until at least September.

As a bridgetender, two weeks ago I might have averaged 3 openings in a shift. Now, and for the next few months, it will be more like 10-15 openings. This is the time of year when I stop feeling guilty about my excellent pay and benefits, and actually start earning them. Talk about season changes!

This is a picture of today’s festivities from my perspective.

Miss Anju, also known as Cupitonian,  whose blog is thislabyrinthiroam.blog is in India. She sent this picture and writing:

cupitonian1It’s easy to assume that the tropics have just one climate – hot! But I remember the changing of seasons fondly. The trees in Bangalore would turn a vivid green; parakeets would start hosting family gatherings in them; the streets would smell like mangoes and the promise of rain; pink, red, yellow flowers would line the branches that hung over streets, sheltering children playing a game or two of cricket or kabbadi; the roads would fill with the sound of the ice cream cycle’s bell and kids running after him, screaming “ting ting uncle, ting ting uncle”. Every now and then you’d catch a glimpse of a mum calling for her kids to come in and hydrate – fresh lemonade, chilled watermelon, spicy buttermilk and the promise of endless afternoons spent reading under the shade of a tree! The houses would have their windows open, their carefree attitude leaking out or being sucked in, adding to the riot of colour and the feeling of total freedom. This week, I was able to capture that feeling of summer in a picture. And now, you get to share in it as well.

Mr. Norm who has the blog classicalgasbag.wordpress.com, sent this picture and writing:


One of the things that I love most about the beginning of Spring is the trees that bring forth new leaves. There is something special about new leaves on a tree. They seem brighter than they do later in the year. Even on cloudy days, like this one, there is a brightness in the color of the leaves, almost as if there  is a light from within. I’ve thought about it and wonder if it is because the leaves are sparser on the limbs, and more natural light limns the leaves, or perhaps the air is cleaner, or maybe it is my imagination. Whatever the reason, I love it.


And now my submission:

Spring Comes to Stub Toe Creek

Stub Toe Creek

Stub Toe Creek

Flows into The Little Elbow River

A few miles south of West Lumbago,

After meandering through woodlands

As well as making forays into and out of

Farmers’ drainage ditches.


Like the creek, my life has wandered

Through pretty places and bleak places.

I have nurtured a few friends

And have poisoned others

With the runoff that I’ve picked up.


I return to the pretty places, like the creek,

To cleanse my mind and body

Of the nastiness I’ve witnessed

And spread to others.


This Spring day is one of those days

Where I refresh my being

In the beauty of life.

Stories He Told #2

Staying with Grandpa John was fun.

We spent time watching old and new movies


That he had on DVD and tape.

They stretched from Johnny Mack Brown westerns

To Marvel’s Ant-Man & The Wasp.

We listened to his Country & Western albums.

And he told me stories.


He told me about seeing Manhattan Transfer in concert,

Taken by a woman who wanted to sleep with him,

But who didn’t appeal to him that way.

She didn’t get mad. Or so he says.

He couldn’t describe her very well,

But he told me details of the music and performance.


Grandpa told me about driving thirty miles

To pick up a woman for a date;

A woman he did want to sleep with.

But she had forgotten about the date and wouldn’t go.

He didn’t get mad. Or so he says.

He described her to me in great detail.


He told me about a period of two years

When he didn’t date and remained celibate.

He told me he was nursing a broken heart,

just as we all  have done.

All of these things happened

Before he met Grandma Julie.

He had more stories to tell


Miss Anju and Mr. Norm asked me to host the next N-N-1. With some fear in my heart, I accepted. But because of the person I am, I want to make this one slightly different.
We have done themes before, and I like them, so this time let us do the theme “Season Changes.” The theme is voluntary, so you are not required to stick with it. Secondly, rather than be forced to take your picture on a specific date and time, or even just a specific date, you have a three day window to take the picture.
Now for the details:
Take your picture sometime between Thursday, May 2nd and midnight on Saturday, May 4th. Send your picture, a bit of writing (no more than 200 words of prose or poetry) to me at ngarvois@gmail.com no later than midnight on Monday, May 6th. Oh! All times are local to where you are. I’ll put all of the submissions together and post them in my blog, wildriversrunsouth.wordpress.com, and send you a link so that you can reblog the post if you want to. You do not need a blog in order to participate. If you know somebody who would like to participate, please let them know. 

Stories He Told

Grandpa John took me in

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

As the flood waters rose

And then receded.

He fed me and soothed me

When I worried about my friends

And he told me stories.


He told me about drinking

His first full can of beer

In the back seat

Of his friend’s car

After a high school basketball game.

And he told me more stories.


He told me about trying to ply

Lovely young coeds with Ripple wine

On the back roads near the university,

And of ultimately failing

To get past second base.

And he told me more stories.


He told me about dating

A high school girl one summer

When the zipper broke on her blue jeans

And the dog was sicced on him

The next time he came to her house.

He promised to tell me more stories.

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑