Saturday, October 15, 2011

"A Galaxy"

Feet rooted on rocky ground   
Head tilted back   
Eyes skyward    
Dizzy under the velvet   
Stars evermore   

Soul suspended in the sky   
Spirit swirling away   
Body forgotten   
Honored within Nature   
Stars evermore   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Friday, October 14, 2011


         Friday. Friday! Friiiiiiiii-dayyyyyy!
         Now, many would wonder why I cheer because it’s the end of the work week since I’m “retired.”  But Fridays still hold a special place for me. I may not leave the house every day to go to work; but in caring for my mother, I pull ten hour days. By the time Fridays arrive, relief washes over me for several reasons.
         First, even if we do nothing all weekend but take care of Mom and watch television with her, there’s someone else around to stir up the pot of conversation. My mother tends to watch different things, too, when David suggests them. Women of her generation learned to defer to men on even the littlest things like selecting television viewing. With David around, my muscles get a break from the lifting that Mom requires as we move through the day.   
            I also love Fridays because they mean I’ll get to spend a little time outside over the weekend. This weekend, because we finally had rain, we’ll mow the yard. In our previous life, David always trimmed hedges while I piled branches, and we both bundled. David would weed-eat, and I would mow. Once David finished weed-eating, he’d take over the mowing, so I could start all the sweeping. We’d finish simultaneously. Now, we stagger yard work. David will go out and do part of the work while I stay with Mom. Then we switch off. He’ll come inside to stay with Mom while I finish the yards.
            Twice a month, Fridays herald the arrival of one of my siblings. Tonight my brother, Charles, will pull into the driveway. With an extra pair of hands available, it becomes easier to take Mom out to a restaurant or to a store. I don’t have to handle the stress of getting her into or out of the car if she goes rigid, which is a terrifying experience. Their stronger arms and backs can lift her into the car if she stiffens into a life-sized doll. The luxury of having someone else lift the wheelchair into and out of the station wagon can’t be under appreciated.
            When my brother or sister comes to visit, David and I have the opportunity to run errands together. It amazes me that I miss doing little activities with him. Even a run to HEB together has become a special treat. Sometimes when my siblings visit, David and I will meet up with our son; and the three of us will run up to Gruene to have lunch at The Grist Mill. A few months ago, my mother could handle an outing like eating out coupled with a little shopping, but leaving the house becomes more and more difficult for her.
            So when I wake up on Fridays, I do a little singing and jigging in celebration because I spot The Weekend ahead.

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Thursday, October 13, 2011

“A Bad Mood”

         Do you ever have those days where your heart feels cranky? Where every attempt at a smile distorts into a scowl or a twisted Joker grin? Where you filter every nice word or act of kindness from another person through a stinky film of cynicism, and the end result is FUNK?
         My mood has snapped and snarled at all living beings for the past twenty-four hours, and I have absolutely no excuse for my foul behavior. I survived the last three years of my teaching career mired in the worst situations public schools offer. The parents and students ran the school while a parade of administrators attempted “rescue” and left in shameful defeat, and the faculty clung together in defiant unity. I had plenty of reasons to go into work grumpy. I had plenty of reasons for staying cranky as I blew my ever trusty whistle into the faces of little tyrannical shits (a behavior foreign to me a few years earlier). But now?  
         Within the framework of my mother’s schedule, I can manipulate my own chores. Some days, I schlump around in my nightgown until noon! Although my most recent draft of my novel sits untouched on my desk,  I do manage to scribble a few lines here and there in my spiral notebook, or I slip into my bedroom to type a paragraph. Occasionally, I email a letter to a friend, or take a few moments to read my favorite blogs, or get coins in one of my games. Although I don’t get to leave the house for several days on end, and I don’t get to read like I used to, I have discovered many movies and television shows that I never watched in the past because I didn’t have the time.
 The monotony of my days just cannot explain the level of crabbiness I feel, so I lay blame on the full moon, the pull of the tides, or the unseen ripple in the space-time continuum. Some days, I just can’t muster the energy to play nice. The good thing about falling into a bad mood for no reason? The mood will lift just as easily and inexplicably as it descended.

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

"Lovely Leading Ladies"

         Equal time must be given to the women of Hollywood. Compiling my inventory of female favorites took longer for me than generating my list of male hunks. The first few names of these beautiful women sprang quickly to mind, but once I started my list, it grew well over my goal of ten names.

         My criteria for the women on my list varied from that of the men. With the women, I had to really enjoy watching them. Whenever I’ve seen them in a film, I’ve thought, “Wow, she’s stunning.” I’ll have to admit that for some of these younger actresses, I couldn’t name a single film that I’ve seen them in, but I remember thinking, “Pretty! Sparkle!” A couple of these actresses have shaved of their tresses and still remained shockingly beautiful. Of course, several of the other actresses have mile long lists of movie credits and represent some of the best acting ever seen in Hollywood!


Chapman’s Top Ten Lovely Leading Ladies List (in no particular order):

1.      Katherine Hepburn                          6.  Keira Knightly
2.      Maureen O’Hara                              7.  Judy Garland
3.      Cate Blanchett                                   8.  Barbara Stanwyck
4.      Natalie Portman                                9.  Elizabeth Taylor
5.      Halle Berry                                        10. Gene Tierney


I’d love to see the names you put on your list. Feel free to post a comment and share your personal favorites!  

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

“Hollywood Heartthrobs”

         Because of Netflix and TCM, I started a mental list of Hollywood Heartthrobs. These splendid actors, with their dashing good looks, draw me into their worlds for about two hours at a time. The other day, I realized that my list of favorites included debonair dudes  dating back to my parent's generation and went all the way to current gents with “bedroom eyes.”

         I began to wonder exactly what combination of traits made me hunger for one Hollywood hunk over another. When I considered my list critically, I realized that voices play a huge role in my criteria for sexy. Looks may come and go, wrinkles and sags eventually get the best of everyone, but voices—well, they stay wonderfully sensual throughout a lifetime.
         My admiration for many of my heartthrobs evolved as an appreciation of their ability to craft their art. The actor playing the same character year after year and film after film didn't make my list. I particularly enjoy watching a performance where I lose the actor within the character he portrays.

         I sat down today to generate an inventory of my Top Ten Heartthrobs, and surprised myself when I crossed several names off of my list. I know my sister will squeal in protest over the deletion of Sean Connery while several other friends will feel disbelief that I don’t have Robert Redford, Mel Gibson, or Richard Gere. Anyway. . . here’s the list:

Chapman’s Top Ten Heartthrobs (in no particular order):

1.       Gregory Peck                             6.  Jimmy Stewart
2.       Cary Grant                                  7.  Gene Kelly
3.      Johnny Depp                               8.  Keanu Reeves
4.      Harrison Ford                              9.  Tom Hanks
5.      Denzel Washington                    10. Orlando Bloom

My curiosity longs to know, who would be on your list? 

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman

Sunday, October 9, 2011

“Rain on the Rooftop”

Rain on the rooftop, a Texas lullaby   
Thunder a distant heartbeat, wind a crooning sigh   
Watch the windows weep as lightning cuts the sky   
Clouds roll and tumble, carry raindrops on a ride   
Trees cleanse their dusty leaves—shake off Summer’s dry   
Droplets form to puddles, and rivers start to fly   
Mother Earth’s cracked face smiles and laughs in reply   
To rain on the rooftop, a Texas lullaby   

Copyright 2011 Elizabeth Abrams Chapman