Cool breeze lightly blowing

Summer’s heat seemingly dissipating

Is another year being whisked away

Trying to remember this year before it is gone

Ireland, Hattiesburg, Chicago

Yet always downsizing

Not exactly sure how our house became

The repository of designated ‘hand me down items’

And it is a repository that seems to replenish itself

Progress is being made though

Currently there are now boxes labeled for dispersal

Some to Goodwill

Some to grand nephews and grand nieces

But then a box is found in such a way

As to indicate my possible inclusion in eternity

A box of three sets of Lincoln Logs

Labeled for the unborn children of our grandchildren

With the box going to the first grandchild who has a great grandchild

Needless to say none of our grandchildren are married yet

But I’m beginning to get a sense

Of how the script for the future might

Have already had it’s first reading

And somewhere in the hazy mist is

I don’t know yet 9/24/2022 Copyright FXC

Darcy’s Room

Darcy turns 13 next March

As an aging canine she does well

A beige mixed breed rescue dog

Hobbling periodically after a long walk

Perfectly all right staying close

Where once she desired to wonder

Her early years at night spent on an old blanket

Maybe in the living room or kitchen

But on storm filled nights

Seeks the safety of our room

As the children left the house

A spare bed room became available

Still complete with bed, dresser and desk

The marbled top desk  was a family heirloom from G.P. Becker

Grandfather of the current mistress of the house

Family pictures adorned thei desk along with an oft used sewing machine

So Darcy’s now cushioned bed had a more permanent location

We always knew when friend or family were appearing at the front door

Darcy arises from her bed, tail wagging to attend to the door

But on the oft chance a stranger might approach the door

Darcy would give a well heard growl, or low bark but no more

Rushing to defend the house is not part of her genetic makeup

The highlight of the day for Darcy are meal times

Not her meal times but the meal times of the lady of the house

For at those times, Darcy has honed the ‘look’

She fixates her stare at the young lady eating the meal

Until a morsel of food is flung to the floor

Mission accomplished

Can’t really get lonely with a dog looking you in the eye  9/4/22 Copyright












Hold tight to what matters

One’s values seem to be able to be castigated

By any one’s opinions or blogs

What was seen as ‘the good old days’

Considered as false history now

But met a lady quite clear in her value

Of personal possessions

Seems a relative, a close relative

Took it upon themselves

To survey her kitchen utensils

While visiting for an extended time

Value was being given to her possessions

Based on age, along with wear and tear

Totally the opposite of how my lady friend

Judged her pride and joy

A particular faded red metal pot

Seemed to come under particularly harsh judgment

The poor lady’s relative did not quite understand

The well worn condition of the red metal pot

Only elevated the value of the pot

Long after this lady’s relative had left town

The red metal pot would again occupy

The top shelf of the faded white kitchen cabinet

Much as it had for half a century

Periodically warming a pot of chili

Nothing would ever change the value of

The precious red metal pot

FXC Copyright 8/7/2022

Hold that thought

The closed door that each possesses

Allows privacy, ecstasy, anguish, to remain behind the door

Vestiges of our hidden truth might have been revealed

If the door is slightly opened to engage in daily business

This reality has been so enforced by the pandemic

Masks aided the muting of conversations

Greatly reduced commingling

Zoom is the new norm for communication

Can’t think for oneself, the media will provide endless ideas

The far left and the far right now own the press

Went to a family reunion last weekend

Just so perfect to hold and hug

Those we love and have missed so much

Can’t really care anymore about those shouting for my attention

Just want to hold those so close that I have missed so much

Need to be able to open my door again

Hold that thought

FXC  6/12/2022 Copyright





Where is Edgerton Wisconsin?

In 1970 E.V. Holland lived at 619 6th Street Wilmette Illinois

She was a thin older woman who sat in front of her picture window

Painting with water colors, her wisps of grey hair curing into ear eyes

Gnarled fingers seemingly immobile presented visual moments of her early years

As her mailman oftentimes I had occasion to study her work

She presented me with two of her paintings which to this day  hang in my home

Now that I’m older I realize how old E.V. Holland must have been

I also realize the sheer effort she had to have made to paint every day in pain

She wrote the name of her hometown on the back of one of her gifts to me

My memory occasionally will flicker every now and then

Names and places sometimes escape me

But for all time I know what Edgeerton Wisconsin looks like

Thank you E.V. Holland

FXC  Copyright 05/21/2022


Just never new

She wasn’t the first perfect girl I knew

Of course my Mother earned her spot

My wife has carried me this far

Two daughters who lit up my life

The first granddaughter who quickly

Reminded me to be softer than I usually was

But this budding preteen

Provided me the opportunity to learn

All over again the joy of every day

Each morning before carpool

‘PaPa’ like music as she starts her day

Her accomplishments, her disappointments

Now part of my world

Acutely aware these days won’t last forever

Squeezing every precious moment

She shares her journey with so many others

Her parents have given the world a pearl


FXC 3/3/2022 Copyright

You never know you never did

You never know you never did
Raining, raining 100% chance today
Weather forecasters put their jobs on the line
Reading graphs prepared by computer programs
But 100% is a relative term
What is a 100%?
Constant rain for 10 minutes, 24 hours?
Or walking with an umbrella water running by
I’d rather feel the rain on my skin like when I was 10
No I don’t remember being 10
A few moments in my youth I do recall
Sledding endlessly with my sister
Watching another sister run track
Doing supervised homework
I needed supervision
Traveling through Europe with my family
Meeting the Pope
Camping in Switzerland
Saw my first slug
So shy of girls, couldn’t open my mouth
Played center on grade school basketball team
At 5’7” that was a huge step up
Might have been that there were only 11 boys in the class
Won a few games lost more
Now as I explore my memory
Moments emerge
Maybe not names
But faces and actions arise
Thought I might be forgetting things
Might be I couldn’t remember every detail
My worse place for memory loss is Kroger
Inevitably a distant voice will seek me out
Cringing I will turn, searching
Unrecognized faces till one beaming smile
Confirms my fear, I don’t know them
Ignorant chatter and greetings ensue
As my mind sorts through a near empty mental Rolodex of names
Occasionally that technique will work more likely not
But always smile, most people like a smile
Quickly though an excuse must be presented to escape
That accomplished, the grocery list on paper can be followed
Mostly I am of the opinion my memory is of the present ‘tense’
A daily driver of grandchildren, grocery trips, weekly church
Who really reflects back on their ancestry
Joined one of those sites
Exciting to read and in some cases see
Relatives going back maybe 200 years and 1 maybe 2 countries ago
Okay now what, miss them all
So many were so perfect, so wish they were still here
Will I ever see them again?
Where does all of this end or begin?
You never know, you never will

FXC Copyright 1/1/022

Moments in Time

Couched, positioned carefully
Words crafted so as to hide a true self
A blog does not do justice
To an autobiography, a memoir
Very difficult to accept
The results of staring in a mirror
Hushed conversations
Gleamed from behind walls
Have revealed other’s observations
Of how one is perceived
Questions bubble up
What were my parents like?
What have I been like?
As a parent, a partner, a friend, a person
Cui bono? To what good is self analysis
Every known and unknown “expert”
Testifies in the media
As to who and what is right and wrong
As the train chugs to the end of the line
Only one judgement matters
Believe, believe in what you have tried to do.

FXC 12/12/21 Copyright

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