Tag Archives: KS

Thanks, Mom

Dear Mom,

Before I post my newspaper op-ed, I want to thank you. All my life, you’ve supported, encouraged, and sometimes gently questioned, my writing. When I was working on the article about Notre Dame vs. Chapman, Kansas, you listened as I explained it, but you fell asleep twice. Dementia and 93-years have made you a fast drop-off napper, and I wasn’t offended. You slept, and I kept writing. This was only my second newspaper article since my days at McPherson College, and it was slow going.

When I cleaned out the house where David and I grew up and you and Dad had lived for more than 50 years, I found a wonderful gift tucked in folders on a closet shelf. You had saved copies of my published stories, essays and articles through the years. Some of them I know you enjoyed and approved of more than others, but you celebrated each acceptance letter with me, and encouraged me to keep trying when there were rejection letters. I doubt you remember that now, but I will remember.

After “Notre Dame’s Missed Opportunity” was published in the Chapman Times News last week, I learned that a wrestling coach read it to her team, and readers were talking about it all over town. One long-time resident of Chapman posted a note on this blog (see ABOUT US, the last comment) and he closed by saying this:

“…You wrote like you had grown up in Chapman and had the pride of the town that I haven’t seen for a long while. It seems we feel it but it is not expressed as you did. Very good of you to take the time, hope you do more of it.”

THAT is one of the reasons we write, Mom, to make a difference. You taught me that by your example, and supported it with your encouragement and support.

Thank you, Mom.

Love, Marylin



Filed under Dementia/Alzheimer's, making a difference, memories for grandchildren, teaching, writing


Thanks to everyone who wrote a poem for this contest.  We had entries posted on all three blogs containing the contest information, and many more were emailed directly to me.  There were rhymed, free verse, Haiku and narrative poems; some were humorous and some were poignantly sad. Some taught a lesson, some recreated a memory, several recounted a frightening or heartbreaking experience, and others used similes and metaphors to express emotions, struggles, and loss.  To all of you, my sincere thanks for sharing your creative spirits with us for this contest.

And now, special thanks to the four judges who volunteered their time, energy and talents to select the following winners:

$25.00 First Place ~ Laura Horsfell, Great Bend, KS


There he sat, in his black robe.

There I stood, shaking like a leaf.

I didn’t want to be there

But knew I’d done wrong.


When his gavel hit the table,

The damage had been done.

One year of probation.

Life without fun.


$15.00 Second Place ~ Vivian Kirkfield, Colorado Springs, CO


Childhood often invades adult life.

Fears laid down early create later strife.

Afraid of adventure and trying new things,

Mom constantly cautioned: Be careful! Life stings!

To conquer that panic is my fervent wish.

I’ve parasailed, skydived and swum with the fish.


And a special “Educator, Thank You” award for a GED teacher in Junction City, KS who wrote this poem as an example for his students…and as a tribute to his wife’s nonexistent domestic skills.  (But she’s a soldier at Ft. Riley, so none of us really cared that she can’t cook!)

To teacher Jesse Nicholas the judges present $10 so he can buy his own chicken dinner!


You tried to make chicken

It did not come out finger licken

The children and I

Sat down and did cry

Because what was served

We did not deserve

Only to those

You wish to poison and die


To the King we did go

To secure a feast

My children and I

Were saved for the moment at least


Author Jaye Manus is again graciously publishing the contest winners on her blog, http://jwmanus.wordpress.com   You will learn some valuable writing and publishing information from Jaye, so be sure and visit her blog.



Filed under lessons about life, writing


Yesterday I received great 2012 news, a message from Pamela Zimmer awarding me the Versatile Blogger Award.  Along with receiving the award came the responsibility of writing 7 things about myself that haven’t been covered in my blog.

Here they are:

1) I grew up in Fort Scott, formerly a fort established in 1842 in the southeastern part of what was Bloody Kansas.  It is the location of the #1 National Cemetery, the home town of author/photographer Gordon Parks, and the current home of many exceptional and wonderful people, including my mom (who is the inspiration of my blog, “Things I Want to Tell My Mother.”)

2) I moved to Colorado Springs, and for 30 years I taught high school English, literature, speech and creative writing (and for part of the time coached debate and Mock Trial). Despite a handful of impossible students, parents and administrators along the way, I wouldn’t have traded this for any other career.

3) Because of this blog, I’ve met talented, insightful, surprising and creative bloggers from all over the country, plus Canada and Finland.

4) My published writing credits–short stories, articles, essays, memoir pieces and a play, ranging from mainstream to religious to horror to children’s to True Confessions–may make me seem like I have multiple personalities.  Actually…

5) I have a short attention span for writing topics, and I love trying a variety of genres.

6) I am proud to belong to Colorado Authors League, SCBWI, National League of American Pen Women, and the lesser known but equally important and inspiring Wednesday Wonder Writers (which also includes Thursday now).

7) My favorite “other” name is Mor-Mor (Swedish for mother’s mother), especially when it’s accompanied with hugs and kisses from our grandchildren.

The tradition of the Versatile Blogger Award is to list other blogs that deserve this award.  As it turns out, some of my favorites have already received this recognition: pamelazimmer.wordpress.com; lesliehobson.wordpress.com; susanwritesprecise.com; nineteenfortyeight.wordpress.com.

Here are four more great blogs that deserve The Versatile Blogger Award:

http://tomstronach.blogspot.com (of Essex UK)





Filed under memories for grandchildren, The Versatile Blogger Award, writing