Linda Kulp Trout

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Winter Mornings

I love snow days!  Sometimes I think we teachers love them as much as the kids do!  There's nothing better than waking up on a winter morning to find several inches of new fallen snow. I love how the world becomes suddenly quiet and everything slows down, no rushing out the door at 5:45 AM, no long commute to work, or scrambling to the copy machine to beat the crowd.  Nope! A snow day is all about having precious unexpected time to make a crock-pot of vegetable soup, savoring the smell of homemade rolls in the oven, sipping cups of hot cocoa, and curling up with a good book. 

My husband has a different idea about what makes a perfect snow day.   He walks about five miles most every day regardless of the weather.  He likes to walk in the early morning or late evening, especially in winter. He says the frozen air energizes him. I enjoy going for walks outside too, but not when temperatures dip below zero! 

For Christmas, he gave me a copy of Ted Kooser's WINTER MORNING WALKS: one hundred postcards to Jim Harrison.  So while my hubby was out for his walk,  I enjoyed a winter morning walk of another kind with one of my favorite poets.

There are so many lovely poems in this collection. Today I'm sharing one that has special meaning to me because my mother passed away June 10 (technically still spring), and this was our first Christmas without her.  It begins:

december 31

Cold and snowing.
The opening pages forgotten,
then the sadness of my mother's death
in the cold, wet chapters of spring.

You can read the rest of the poem here.   The poem is toward the bottom of the page.
You can also read about composer Maria Schneider setting the poems to music.

Be sure to stop by and say hello to Tara at her new blog site A Teaching Life , and have a delightful Poetry Friday!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

One Little Word for 2014

I love how poetry helps me discover something about myself. Linda Engwall's  poem really fits where I am in my life right now.  It led me to my OLW.

Finding My Voice

When you have all these thoughts
just running around in your head
how do you make sense of any one of them
Switching from analyzing this
to analyzing that

Oh to find some relief
Like to take my head off
let all the garbage spill out
Then I would be left with a empty head
Funny I know
But how else do you clear the clutter away

Read the rest of the poem here.

I chose VOICE  as my one little word to guide me through 2014 because this is the year I want to figure out the "what's next" I mentioned in my birthday post.

Our voice is a unique expression of who we are.  I've spent much of my life trying to find my voice-- afraid to trust myself, I waited for others to tell me who I should be.  But, growing older gives us the courage to do things differently, to take risks, and discover our own true selves.  I don't know where Voice will lead me this year, but I look forward to the journey!

I'd love to hear about your One Little Word. 
In case you haven't chosen one yet, here is a link to a video with Jon Gordon talking about how to choose your OLW.  (I apologize for the advertisement that precedes the video.)

Don't forget to stop by and see Donna  at Mainely Write for today's Poetry Friday.

Thursday, January 2, 2014


Today I'm celebrating more than a new year, I'm also celebrating my birthday!   This feels like a big year for me because exactly one year from today (January 2, 2015), I'll turn 60!   Yep, the big 6-0!   Wow!  Even as I type these words, I can hardly believe it! 

I recently heard an interview with Oprah talking about how she felt about the new year and her upcoming 60th. birthday. She said that she's never felt better about her life. "Every year you have another chance to try again to get it right."  I like that.

Last night I got a birthday email from my son that said, "it's the beginning of the life you always wanted."  I think that is a great way to think about the transitions in our life, they are new beginnings and worth celebrating!

With retirement just a few years away; I've been thinking about what’s next.  Of course my family will continue to be my main focus, but I also want to put more effort into achieving my writing goals. I've put them on the back burner for far too long.  I'd also like to blog more often on Poetry Friday. I love being part of this community, but I often worry that I don't have anything interesting enough to post. I'm trying to get over that and let myself have fun with it.  I have a tendency to talk myself out of the things I want to do, so that's another area for me to work on this year.

Having goals and pursuing a dream keeps the heart young. I chose to share this poem because it reminds me that that being old is more than just a number, it's how we choose to look at life. 

                                       How Old Are You?
                                 H. S. Fritsch

Age is a quality of mind.
If you have left your dreams behind,
If hope is cold,
If you no longer look ahead,
If your ambitions' fires are dead --
Then you are old.

But if from life you take the best,
And if in life you keep the jest,
If love you hold;
No matter how the years go by,
No matter how the birthdays fly--
You are not old.

(This poem is in public domain.)
Next week, I'll share my One Little Word for 2014.  I put a lot of thought into the word I want to guide me through the year.   I think it's a great word for where I am right now in my life, and I can't wait to share it with you.  How about you? What is your One Little Word.


Betsy is hosting today's  Poetry Friday over at I Think in Poems.