Saturday, August 6, 2011

“Vicarious Vacations”

           
       
          As summer draws to a close, I must take a moment to thank all of my friends for including me on their travels! Caregiving means we’re limited to infrequent, short weekend trips. Of course, taking a yearly vacation has never been in our budget. We manage a trip once every five to seven years, so being home all summer usually doesn’t bother me. However, you know how it is, once something slips out of your grasp you want it more. Now that I cannot easily pack my bags and take off for a week, I long to do it more than ever!

            This summer I’ve made two remote trips to Hawaii where I’ve strolled along the beaches and celebrated the purity of the ocean. Mountaintop views have left me breathless. After Hawaii, I ventured up the California coastline, stopping in various cities like San Francisco. Venturing northward, my secondhand traveling deposited me in Seattle where I walked through museums. A day trip took me to Mt. Rainier’s snowy peak. From there I wound down the mountain’s snaking roads, stopping for waterfalls and wildlife. My laptop adventures nudged me northward again to cruise the Alaskan coastline. Glaciers and virgin forests, moose and sled dog puppies, pristine vistas and heart-stopping sunsets graced my days. My faraway meandering included excursions into Canada, tours through major cities, “four-wheeling” in Colorado, rides at Disney World, and spending sprees in Las Vegas. I even climbed in the mountains of Peru!
            These vicarious vacations entertained me when my days stretched in tedious repetition. Maybe one day, I’ll get to finally get to amble down a Hawaiian beach. Maybe I’ll revisit San Francisco or Seattle and wind back up the road to Mt. Rainier. Perhaps I’ll make my first trip to Alaska and Canada, or even finally make it to Disney World or Vegas. For now, I’m forever grateful for the photographs and anecdotes shared by all my untethered friends.









A special Thank you for photography provided by: Brenda Allen, Lisa Davis, Espe Garcia, Nona Hall, Suzanne Bellah Kenoyer, Rebecca Robles, Traci Williams
Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Friday, August 5, 2011

“Pet Peeves”

            I decided to generate a list of the top ten behaviors that irk me—just because. I haven’t ordered my list in any way. I wonder, though, if any of you also share the same irritants. Feel free to add to my list with your comments!

I hate it when people: 

greet me like I’m a long lost relative with effusive hugs when  I know it’s all for show 

agree to be at a certain place at a certain time, show up late (or not at all) and then act annoyed because I’m upset 

swear (usually in front of other people) that they’ll gladly help, and then cancel when it’s too late for me to line up someone else 

preface their criticisms with, “It’s nothing personal, but . . .” and then blast me with a long list of very personal things they’d like me to change
 
dump their problems on me and never offer a reciprocal dumping of my woes 

expect me to be a good person at all times (loving, generous, thoughtful, forgiving) while they can treat me with nastiness 

deny me my right to speak my views because I’m too different from them; yet want me to listen without rebuttal to their diatribes   

preach to the choir (a favorite in educational circles). If you have a problem with something someone says/does, speak privately and directly to that person 

brag about their lives in an effort to exclude me from it 

know what is right; yet choose to do wrong 

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Thursday, August 4, 2011

“Daughter-In-Law”

Independent and intelligent  
she offers him unlimited love—no strings attached  
she has no hidden agenda  
she’s guileless as she wades into the water  
unaware of currents that will toss her aside or pull her under  
instinctively, she fights against the undertow  
taps into her endless energy as she swims toward the farthest shore  
drawing him with her in her wake  
offering him firmer footing on the opposite bank  

Resourceful and resolute  
she opens her heart to him—believes in him  
she focuses on their life together   
she’s na├»ve as they begin to build a bridge  
believing they’ll be met half way, linking and reconnecting  
but flash flooding upstream destroys their efforts  
ripping away the incomplete structure, tearing away their progress  
sapping her strength and snapping his ties  
they cling together on the distant shore  

Unwavering and understanding  
she stands with him—unites her life with his  
she trusts his constancy  
she’s accepting of his assurances of calmer water ahead  
hope persuades her to test the river again  
but rapids downstream leave her cut and bruised  
cultivating a cynical disbelief in ever reaching the other side  
withdrawing protectively back to the river’s edge, she stands   
turning her back to the other shore forever  

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

“The Corner of My Eye”


Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpse a laughing ghost  
she morphs into my fancies  
as she alters my reality  
I sigh her name and capture her hand—  
but she vanishes into the mist of who I was  
so I release her when she smiles    
recognizing myself reflected in her twinkling eyes      


Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpse a noble dragon  
she sparkles with childhood jewels  
as she flies into view  
I reach out to touch her, to skip my fingers across her scales  
but she slips out of reach  
as she beckons me to follow her flight  
back to simple pleasures   

Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpse a dancing fairy  
she glimmers with tomorrow’s blessings   
as she throws a kiss my way  
I long to turn my head and follow her as I boogie along  
but she’ll vanish from sight     
so I let her tease me and entrance me all day     
listening for her breath and the whisper of her wings  

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

“Art”

An abstract on pink
Large eyes and flaring hair
A mom
A dad
A son
Stick legs and square torsos

Proudly he displays the family

We applaud
We exhibit it to friends
We cherish it
Preserved within the folds of a treasured scrapbook

The child draws his world
Pen gripped by small fingers
A circle
A continuation
A union
Connected by squiggling lines
of trust, happiness, and love

We pause
We notice its significance
We cherish him
Preserved within the folds of embraces and smiles


Copyright 1989 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Monday, August 1, 2011

“Ambition”

His ambition 
fascinated her—a reflection 
of her own drive  

for ultimate   
control in answering only to   
her own wishes. 

He drew her in 
with his passionate promises 
whispered in bed 
  
while her husband 
and children slept in innocence 
and ignorance. 

On moon filled nights 
she pledged her bright future to him, 
desperately 

clinging to him. 
Crumbling her disillusionment 
within her fist. 

Wagering all 
against a bid for happiness 
with a new life 

centered on him. 
She counted on his commitment 
to her—for them, 

to bind old wounds 
and invent a life together 
without heartache. 

Year drifts to year 
as her love grows, but his wavers 
and then retreats 

back to control 
of his own life and ambitions. 
He abandons 

her for himself. 
His selfishness now a mirror 
for her sorrow. 

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, July 31, 2011

“Heart of Stone”

The promise of forever died 
with a single call from you. 
Seems no matter how hard I tried, 
there was nothing I could do. 
Our clumsy steps fell out of sync 
before the dance had ended. 
I could only stare and blink 
when you felt so offended. 
I know my feelings grew too fast, 
that I scared you with my plans. 
You did not want our love to last, 
to get so quickly out of hand. 
I knew from the moment we met 
that you could destroy my heart. 
My determination was set— 
nothing would keep us apart. 
I counted on your affection 
being equal to my own. 
Now I know upon reflection 
that your heart is made of stone!

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman