The Reid Effect

Imagine if you can
Thirty six Home Depot bags
Stuffed with newly minted leaves
Which had expired after a very long summer
Actually they appear quite clean and rested now
But their travels in the last twenty four hours
Were the result of forty two years of training and planning
You see ‘Grampa’ not mine but my betrothed’s ‘Grandcpa’
Schooled me on all matters of fall or falling leaves
The skill had been shared with him by his father from Germany
After we conquered the leaves he would treat me
To a beer and pickled bologna at a local bar
i learned that skill quickly also
So there is an actual plan for disposing of leaves?
Yes, quite so and even rules
1. Know the particular trees you are dealing with
2. Determine average time of year the leaves fall
3. Include your neighbors trees in the planning
4, Acquire all needed equipment
5. Paper bags, rakes, blowers,
6. Know which way the wind blows
7. Ah yes, and be properly staffed
So Saturday November 20 was the chosen day
On Friday November 19th, the assigned leaf blower
The well known betrothed leaf blower
Extremely experienced and relentless
In the pursuit of escaping and wandering leaves
Had spent five hours corralling the wayward leaves
Into a virtual berm of leaves a hundred and twelve feet long
Ha, yes now the challenge was before us
The morning started perfectly
The weather, a cloudy 39 degrees
Could have been depressing
But to start with I had Katie, my eldest daughter
Brought in especially for her skills at bagging leaves
Her payment would be lunch at Taco Bell
She is relentless in her drive to complete this job
We started at 8AM as I had no hope of completing the task in one day
Even placed two folding chairs nearby for resting
After all the pay per hour was pitiful
Then toil we did, with Katie holding the bag in place
Like the stance of a batter at the place
The specific angle of the empty open bag
Spelled success or anxiety for the one
Bending and picking up the leaves
And with each two armful of leaves
Placed in the bag, then the bag holder would need
To crunch the bag down so it would hold more leaves
The tan bags filled slowly but methodically
As each was designated complete
They were moved to the departure location
For the weekly leaf removal service on Thursday
Eleven bags were placed when nine year old Reid appeared
Reid a precocious neighbor with boundless energy
Had glanced outside and seen things I had totally overlooked
In his Vision which he did not divulge but rather demonstrated
Where we saw the necessity for raking
He dove into the piles of leaves as if swimming
Scooping them up into into the bag
Then diving again to do the same
Until he used his swimming technique to make another pile
With exuberant flair he would take a bow
By jumping up and then collapsing on the bag to compress the leaves
Its been many, many years since I had seen this effort and speed in action
Our effort had to be stepped up
For goodness sake it was only 9:17
Then lo and behold my second daughter Emily came to visit
Wanted to share a coffee but forsook that pleasure
To dive into the project with us
Then Reid’s brother, Evann and their Mother
Descended on the project like angels
Yes, I said it, like angels
10:28 the job was done, thirty six bags filled
What would I do with the rest of my day?
That I could figure out
But this much I do know
The Reid effect will be forever etched in my memory
Thank you Reid!

FXC Copyright 11/21/2021

Funny you should ask

For a long time , for a very long time
By some calculations; a lifetime
For so long you wouldn’t talk about it
It was almost as if the intimacy was too much
And yet out of respect never did I broach the subject
Oftentimes wondered what harm would I do
Providing pampering and attention
Where needed
Could not fathom what harm must have occurred
That would prevent you from allowing a modicum of pleasure
Till finally your discomfort became to much
No longer could you hide under your socks
You asked if I would take you to
‘The Nail Salon’ to learn the
Rapture of a pedicure
Once again I responded in the affirmative
Another page in the book is turned
FXC 11/4/2021 Copyright

This time last week

It was Sunday a week

Drinking hot dark coffee

Obsessed with the panoramic view

In upstate New York

Early morning as the sun rose to greet me

Quiet so quiet in a seemingly endless display

Of fall’s colors cascading from trees with seemingly endless length

Mind boggling as I was brought to my knees

In this church of nature

Here for literally thousands of years

Th panoramic view framed me

As I meditated on my incidental moment

Here today

Honestly this would  be a desirable eternity

Yet this respite begs to be replicated

On Tuesday as I return

Home to view my own church

With eyes refreshed

As every day begs

For its moment of peace!

FXC 10/17/2021 Copyright





Missed me

Heard tell that Covid has taken one out of every 500 Americans

Having recently recovered from a brutal Covid experience

I must conclude to be vey grateful to be carrying on this conversation

Without any media touted cures other than bed rest and luck

That and sharing this fretful experience with a long time friend

Which finally brought us to  this Monday, when “Quarantine” no longer applies to us

So now what?

For a few days was not concerned who said what, where

For many years was of the opinion all was white, Protestant and just like the morning mirror

To this day to grapple with accepting nothing has changed since 1776 nor does anyone agree pretty much about anything

However, however pretty much though I have found some old friends

Quite bereft of sanity, nonetheless I still find them caring old friends

Which maybe is exactly how they have always perceived me!  Amen.

FXC 9/18/2021 Copyright



The newest dating app

No explaining what possessed an old man, a very old man

To play Cupid

He was the driver of record for the delivery of grandchildren

To school, camp or home again

Years of this much needed service were provided

Till the last week of camp this very  summer

Actually till the third to the last day of camp

Which is when this very old man found out

The young lady most responsible for his grandchild

The most caring, professional camp counselor of all time

Was leaving to go back to school for the fall

Surprised but composed enough to ask where

The location and year of graduation were revealed

Mumbling thanks, the carpool continued while the old man’s mind scrambled

What had to be done was obvious

The next morning he revealed to the counselor

His eldest grandson was going to be a senior

Even thought the grandson should meet her

Enough said, planning was required

Grandson was called and asked if he would run the afternoon carpool

Even stated the purpose

The meeting occurred

But just as with the rest of our best laid plans

It’s out of our hands

Even if we are playing Cupid!

FXC Copyright 8/15/2021









The right to bear arms!

No point to discuss to vaccinate or not to vaccinate

Even less a reason to question the need for masks

A trip to the grocery will fully disclose

The juxtaposition of opinions regarding the wearing of masks

Clearly to those of us left to make those decisions

Fair warning, there are those willing to kill others

In the quest for the seemingly inalienable right

To make what is perceived as a personal decision

Well no wall being built by this patriot to protect health

Just arming with vaccine, mask and sanitizer

While I still have the right to vote!

FXC Copyright 8/15/2021







Just throw it out!

Many times questions arise

In reference to the value of a particular belonging

Usually the discussion is between acquaintances of long time standing

Needless to say an emotional history is stuffed inside these reflective moments

Hidden in the discourse are the varied images rambling in old minds

A framed picture of an aunt just vaguely remembered but highly regarded

An old rickety wooden chair dating back to a now closed family owned grocery store

A beautiful marbled counter top from that same store

Baby clothes saved to be given to great grandchildren or great nieces or nephews

Such a responsibility to possess such a heirloom

File cabinets of material from a thirty three year teaching career

State fair ribbons for sewing awards

A drawer full of nick knacks requiring turning the pages in one’s mind to remember

But time has slowly eroded the need to make a decision on any of the objects

A quiet acceptance by both parties that acknowledges

The removal of just one of the precious possessions

Begins their own removal from the history that was being passed on

And we know what the next page of our own history will be

So no everything can stay just as it is,

Thank you very much

Just another legacy we are leaving!

FXC 7/14/2021 Copyright






House rules

It was a Tuesday morning

On another hot summer morning

No relief in sight

Too early for a five year old to be stirring about

Yet, yet I understood

She had very real concerns on her mind

And her current Google persona was PaPa

’Where’s Daddy?”  “ I want my Daddy”

Repeatedly the  answer was ‘he is working to make money’

Just like Mommy

Money for food, clothes, the house, dolls, toys

Quiet filled the room for a few moments

Finally and innocently

She asked “Where do you and NaNa get your money, you don’t work”

Somehow the room became even quieter

It was quite clear  I was out of my league

My time was nigh

Her Daddy had been nurtured knew these rules, the stories

It was quite clear now between the two of us

One quite young, the other quite old

I was out of my league,

Upping my game would only embarrass me  more

Best to leave the room

Before the inevitable question would come forth

’PaPa what are bitcoins”

FXC  6/30/2021 Copyright






It’s good to be old

It’s good to be old

A simply amazing weekend

Friday ate a late lunch at ‘Cheddar Box 2’

Gosh, a blistering 90 degree day

Twenty minute wait

Young kids in and out as outdoor eating

Has become more commonplace

Young kids, okay, young adults

Like grandchildren age

Smiling laughing, without a care in the world

A few of us, sprinkled about

To observe this reemergence of life

Yes, yes, we have been hiding lest we  be taken before our time

So that today we might enjoy this sweltering heat

Remembering to be grateful for air conditioning

And not to mention  when there was none

And to be able to order dishes we would never be able to make ourselves

The sheer glory of being out again

These are the days when the aches and pains subside

To allow smiles to return and new memories be made

There is no going back

The mirror won’t let us

But our hands beautifully wrinkled and gnarled

Steadying ourselves as we now venture to an antique mall

Where quite assuredly we will encounter a similar crowd

We’ve not been down this road before

Thank God we are old together

Never dreamed we would have this time!

FXC 6/20/2021 Copyright







Old papers twenty years ago

Gently, softly I need to let you go

I didn’t know how to tell you so

We’ve been so intertwined

Our thoughts to begin so eye to eye

Struggles, so meshed, no difference

Between beginning and end

Like the morning sun, lighting what was dark

It’s so clear now

Rebirth must occur

Who are you really?

So clearly, I remember your long brown hair

Rosy cheeks, uniform skirt to mid thigh

Your smile, warming and calming

My turbulent youth

Your quick mind and wry humor

Easing the vicissitudes of life

I stole you from your youth

Sent you on a long journey of responsibility

Our time together busy with work

Children and community

Now, today, I have to ask

Does our journey together continue?

I need to know

We have grown together and apart

As we have learned to heal others and ourselves

Do we still share a vision of us?

Do we still have a dream about our future?

You fly from my heart to be you

So clearly you, so unique

This is my gift to you

I would not have you be my wish

But rather your dream breathes

So many have said, give to receive

So as before, I love you

I still expect nothing but have been granted all

As your fly towards the sun

Let your shadow cast

Your love towards me

FXC 07/02/2002