Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Once I Ate a Pie

Have you seen the new show The Greatest American Dog? When I first saw it advertised, being a cat person, I didn't plan on watching it. The TV was on that channel when I turned it on, and after a few minutes, I was hooked. Each dog on the show has its own distinct personality. Seeing the show reminded me of a collection of poems on my bookshelf, "Once I Ate a Pie."

The collection of mask poems is written by Newberry winner Patricia MacLachlan and her daughter, Emily MacLachlan Charest and beautifully illustrated by Katy Schneider. I've been a fan of Patricia MacLachlan for years and have many of her books. I knew the poems would be wonderful, and they are. The voice of each dog comes through as they tell their story in just a few short lines. Lucy is adopted and has claimed everything in her new home to be hers. Darla doesn't like other dogs, but she likes people and even the cat. Mr. Beefy steals tubs of butter off the table when no one is looking and says, "Once I ate a pie."

One cool thing about the poems is that not only do they remind me of dogs I've known, but they lovingly remind me of people I've known. I sure can relate to Mr. Beefy enjoying pigging out with a pie!

I'm glad I took a chance and watched "The Greatest American Dog" because of it, I rediscovered the poems in "Once I Ate a Pie."

Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer So Far...

The summer is quickly slipping away, and soon it will be back to school. I haven't accomplished nearly as much writing as I'd hoped to. There's always so much to do, and taking time to write just because I love to, seems like an indulgence.

My entire adult life, I've felt that a woman was successful if she could work a full-time job while raising happy, healthy kids, keeping a spotless house and homebaked goods on the shelf. Once, my mother said, "Your floor is so clean, I could eat off of it." Wow! Her comment made me feel like I had made it as a "good" wife and mother.

Now that my mother is ill, I've been wondering about what she might regret. She always worked so hard to keep her home clean. She worried about what others thought if it wasn't perfect. She enjoyed writing poems, but it took a backseat to housework. Cleaning was important to her, but it didn't bring her joy. Mention her poems, especially the one she wrote about her dad, and her eyes light up. Besides her children, her poems are her pride and joy. She asked me what of her belongings I want to remember her. The only thing I really want is her poems.

What will I regret? I doubt I'll regret not constantly having a sparkling floor. No one else really seems to care or notice anyway. I'm sure I will regret not doing more writing.

One thing I have done is to send introductory packets to several education publishers hoping to get an assignment. For some reason, it's much easier to justify spending time writing when there's a deadline an editor is expecting me to meet.

I've been working all summer writing curriculum, learning a new program for the upcoming school year, and getting household chores done. Now it's my time to write.