#PiperPoetryMonth

Grandpa and Grandma Tiger

Golden Anniversary

Have you seen walking around town
a man who looks lost and forlorn?
He is in search of a woman he thought he knew
except she may have told him one little fib.
You see the man is my husband and for years
he believed my birthday was April 29, 1911.
But in fact…
I was really born in 1910.
I had no other choice but to lie to him.
He would never marry an older woman
and I knew I was eight months older than he.

This poem is based off the true story of my grandparents courtship. They did meet in grade school and even back in the dark ages 😉 teachers would announce birthdays. Well my grandma knew my grandfather’s birthday was in December so when her birthday came around in April she told him she was born in 1911. A lie that lasted, I’ve been told, for decades. It wasn’t until my grandfather went down to the social security office (to set up retirement payments?) and he learned her true age, because they did not have a record for an Estelle Tiger born in 1911 but they did have one for the same name and birthday but in 1910.

I wrote this poem yesterday a combination of the #NaPoWriMo and @piper_center prompts. It is a funny monologue about my grandparents’ 50th anniversary portrait – not exactly what the photo sees looking outward more like what was occurring inward.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day Eight

Obituary Paul M Tiger 1989

Paul M Tiger

I met and fell in love
in grade school unaware
she was an older woman.
We married in 1932
and raised four children.

I lived most of my years
in the garden state
and spent summer hours
toiling over the vegetables
I grew in my backyard.

Married over fifty years
my beloved wife, Estelle Ellett
preceded me in death.
One afternoon in June
I was found by her gravestone.

Gravestone – Estelle and Paul Tiger Photo: Randy Tiger

NaPoWriMo Prompt Today, I’d like to challenge you to read a few of the poems from Spoon River Anthology, and then write your own poem in the form of a monologue delivered by someone who is dead. Not a famous person, necessarily – perhaps a remembered acquaintance from your childhood, like the gentleman who ran the shoeshine stand, or one of your grandmother’s bingo buddies. As with Masters’ poems, the monologue doesn’t have to be a recounting of the person’s whole life, but could be a fictional remembering of some important moment, or statement of purpose or philosophy. Be as dramatic as you like – Masters’ certainly didn’t shy away from high emotion in writing his poems.

Good afternoon and welcome to day eight of #NaPoWriMo. I’m not sure I have the exact flavor of the prompt down. But the memories I have of my grandparents are few. I do remember the garden my grandpa had in his backyard and driving on the tractor with him when we would visit. I also remember when we moved down the street on Nottingham; I had found some little seed and planted it in our new backyard before the sod was placed down. My grandparents came to visit and I walked my grandpa over to the seed I planted. He saw the sprout and told my mom to leave it. He wasn’t sure what it was but was curious enough he wanted to see it grown and harvest. So the first summer in our new home, one corner of the backyard remained a dirt patch. And come fall we discovered my little seed was Indian corn. We pulled it and my mom used the one ear (it only grew one) as fall decoration on the front porch.

#NaPoWriMo 2021 Day 2

Frost family spring/summer 1910

Move across country
has made all the difference
old fools write of snow

Watch downy flakes fall
before moving to Phoenix
leave snow far behind

Four siblings grow up
busy themselves raising kids
many miles apart

Families diverge
travel down different roads
hope to meet again

NaPoWriMo Prompt Day TwoAnd now, for today’s (optional) prompt. In the world of well-known poems, maybe there’s no gem quite so hoary as Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken.” Today, I’d like to challenge you to write a poem about your own road not taken – about a choice of yours that has “made all the difference,” and what might have happened had you made a different choice.

Good afternoon and welcome to day two of #NaPoWriMo five years ago today, I wrote about the Frost family.
My mom would tell us how Robert Frost and her grandmother were cousins. She said she remembered one Frost family reunion when she was about four or five everyone was whispering about this old man who showed up. As a small child she did not understand all the hubbub; she had no idea the “old man” was a famous poet.

Let’s fast forward to twenty-two years ago, Shawn lost his spleen and was recuperating at my parents’ house. We were about to close on our first home but the mortgage company wanted us to sign the paperwork when Shawn was in the ICU so instead of moving from our apartment into our first home, we moved back in with mom and dad. The winter of 1999 was brutal in Buffalo and Shawn lost his job and we decided it was time to leave Buffalo. Both Shawn and I decided we wanted to be somewhere warm. We were both tired of the snow. Shawn wanted to move somewhere warm with family so I suggested Arizona. The other reason I’m so focused on family today is my Uncle Pete passed away Wednesday night. He was my mom’s last surviving brother her generation is now gone and life moves on.

Mom, Uncle Jim, Dad, Aunt Kime (standing) Uncle Paul
Uncle Jim, Mom, Uncle Pete

Grand Canyon #100years #keepitgrand

 

When Gretchen graduated from high school earlier this year, I asked her how she wanted to celebrate. She said she wanted to go to the Grand Canyon. It’s been 9 years since our last visit and Shawn’s mom, Kathy has never been. I looked into setting up our first extended Hosking family vacation.

Family weekend
Love to see their happiness
Grand time at Canyon

I booked a couple rooms at a motel up in Flagstaff and we drove up early Friday afternoon. We met up with one of Rachael’s friends Friday night and had dinner in old town Flagstaff Friday night. Then Saturday morning we drove out to the Canyon. We stopped at the visitor center and watched the introductory film. Then we had lunch before taking the red line shuttle up to Hermit’s Rest.

 

After we got off the red line shuttle tour, we drove to the desert view to see the watch tower. On our last trip in 2010, Shawn wanted to see the watch tower, but we did not make the stop. This time we made it there in time to see the sunset. Of course my husband and children took better sunset photos than me. So I borrowed one.

Drive to Watch Tower
Just in time to view sunset
Explore Grand Canyon

After the sunset, we drove back to the motel in Flagstaff. It was a fun filled 12 hour day. We left the motel at 9:30am and returned at 9:30pm. Everyone was tired, but we all had a really good time. One of the most remarkable moments was seeing the elk on the drive over to the desert view. Then Sunday morning we checked out of the motel; stopped for breakfast at Dunkin Donuts; and then drove back down to Phoenix. It was a great three day weekend.

Protect the Canyon
Stop uranium mining
Time to take a stand

Pickle Gift #Haiku Fun

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Pickle gift and ASU mug

Expect to be teased
What do you Meme, Fear the fork
Perfect Christmas gift

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#WhatDoYouMeme Playing Card

Annoy your sister
Make her cry, Leave me alone
Challenge accepted

Happy Boxing Day! How many people have a pickle ornament on their tree? This year Santa left #WhatDoYouMeme as the pickle gift. And as we were playing the game Christmas morning, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tease the evil twin again. 😉 Then I picked up the perfect card – I did get to play it one round and won.

And then I was able to work both photos into haiku for the #haikuchallenge. Yesterday’s word was expect and today’s was challenge. On I go annoying my sister. #Fearthefork

Merry Christmas

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Neighborhood Santa Photo by: Shawn Hosking

Penultimate day
til Christmas, follow arrows
visit with St. Nick

We had Christmas dinner at Nonnie’s last night, and as we drove into our neighborhood we noticed signs pointing the way to Santa Claus. Of course we had to follow them. Yes, I was able to get a family photo with Santa and the Mrs. 😉

 

Eggnog, Candy Cane
Pumpkin and Chocolate pies
Hard to choose just one

The Misadventure of 45

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My 45th birthday was on Saturday and my Uncle Pete was in town staying with my cousin Russell and wanted to see everyone and take us out to dinner. We arranged to meet at Red Lobster over near my cousin’s house. On a normal day, it should only take about half an hour to get over there. But 45 has a bad connotation and it proved to be accurate for my birthday. The I10 was a parking lot with an accident around 107th ave. We got caught right on the on ramp at Dysart Road. Stuck in traffic going nowhere; it took us 2 hours just to get to the next exit at Avondale Boulevard. Needless to say, I sent a text to my cousin telling him we’d be late. At that time he said the restaurant gave them a 50 min wait. We figured that shouldn’t be too bad; we didn’t think it would take two hours to make it up one exit on the thruway. Ha-Ha what did we know.

Driving to dinner
Standstill traffic a burden
Birthday goes awry

My Uncle and cousin were seated long before we even got off the highway. Then there was an 8 car pile-up on Avondale Blvd, slowing that street down. After getting past all that, Shawn backtracked to Dysart to head north before going east. FINALLY almost 3 hours from when we left the house, we made it to the restaurant. My birthday dinner and the conversation and company was very nice. And we do have quite a story to share about our commute.

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Trapped in car for hours
Will not crush my birthday plans
Family dinner

Crushed cars on thruway
Traffic going nowhere fast
Birthday adventure

Back from Buffalo

Vacation over
Housework keeps husband busy
while I supervise

 

Okay I did steam mop the bathroom floor and cleaned the shower before doing the hard work of supervising. It’s amazing how dirty floors get leaving three cats alone in a house for a week. I cleaned out the litter box yesterday before watching TV; then went down the hall to scoop out the one in the girls’ bathroom and found Rachael beat me to it. And somehow this morning Gretchen went off to 4 Paws with Rachael to clean more litter boxes. 😉 Actually Rachael says Gretchen plays with kittens more than cleaning.

Meanwhile we are still minus one dog. Nonnie worked yesterday not sure about today, trying to find out as 4 Paws is close to her house and the girls can pick her up on the way home, but haven’t heard anything from Nonnie. It’s strange not having a dog underfoot, but it has made it easier to sweep, mop and vacuum all the hair accumulated in the house by three cats.

In other news before we left on vacation, Rachael started working at the ASU research veterinary clinic and Gretchen finished her summer classes at EMCC. She got a B in Public Speaking and an A in Sociology. Well I should get back to cleaning while I’m still minus a couple children and a dog.

Haiku Winner

 

No one answers door
rely on neighbor to send
bouquet across street

Since Rachael’s birthday is on a Sunday and she works at 4 paws, she wanted her birthday celebration yesterday. Well yesterday also happened to be graduation day for the high school and the delivery person came when the neighbors were at the ceremony. We got to hold onto the flowers. Of course I had to take a picture of Rachael’s birthday present by all the nice flowers. The flowers behind the present are my Mother’s Day roses and the bouquet in the forefront with the balloons is the neighbor’s. Rachael wanted to have sushi for her birthday, but we found out Friday night trying to make reservations that Blu Sushi is closed. The picture I shared yesterday of Rachael’s 19th birthday was the last time we ate at Blu Sushi without knowing it would be the last time. Rachael decided on Nakama Sushi restaurant. After dinner the gang came over to our house. Shawn was able to go across the street and deliver the bouquet; he came home with a piece of cake for his troubles. The rest of us played Cards Against Humanity. It was the first time we went through the entire deck. Rachael won with 24! cards. It was close though because Karolena got 23. I ended up with 16; Gretchen 15 and Emmett got 12. The poor guy was playing too nice of cards the game is titled against humanity for a reason.

I did win the haiku card 😉

The Big Bang
Some god damn peace and quiet
Geese

The #haikuchallenge word on twitter today is rely so of course I had to tout my victory.

Rely on nature
Cards Against Humanity
End haiku with geese

I found out this morning Shawn is having a solo show at Alwun House later in the summer – August 24-29. Since his brother’s birthday is the opening date, I thought he was doing it as a memorial for Scott; he said no. But now he may include a piece dedicated to his brother. This summer will be Shawn’s first trip back to Buffalo since Scott’s funeral. Maybe he’ll get a chance to photograph some places that remind him of Scott to put in the show. Okay and now that I’ve slipped down a sad road on Rachael’s birthday, I think I’m going to stop typing.

#NaPoWriMo 2018 Day Twenty-Four

Three and a half years
first responders given help
Craig Tiger Act passed

NaPoWriMo Prompt – And now for our prompt (optional, as always). Today, we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy – a poem typically written in honor or memory of someone dead. But we’d like to challenge you to write an elegy that has a hopefulness to it. Need inspiration? You might look at W.H. Auden’s elegy for Yeats, which ends on a note suggesting that the great poet’s work will live on, inspiring others in years to come. Or perhaps this elegy by Mary Jo Bang, where the sadness is shot through with a sense of forgiveness on both sides.

Good Evening and welcome to day twenty-four of #NaPoWriMo. I’m not very good at elegies, but while I was on Facebook tonight I saw the Arizona house bill offering first responders help for PTSD passed yesterday. It was named after my cousin who committed suicide in November 2014 a year after my brother-in-law committed suicide and less than 3 months after my mom passed away. As the Arizona Police Association post states, the hope is this bill will prevent another first responder from facing PTSD alone.