I’ve written here before about my “Ramble” creative writing project. On Dec. 30 of 2009, I sat down to write a Ramble entry for my late grandmother Beatrice Ridings, who was widely known to many as Granny Bea, Aunt Bea, or Ms. Ridings. I had two wonderful grandmothers who have now passed on, and luckily for me, Grandma Eileen Darnell, who we called Bam, was also tight with Granny Bea, so on more than one occasion, I was able to enjoy them both simultaneously. At long last, I have published a separate collection for Grandma Bam, and below, I am very proud to share my tribute to Granny Bea. Read more
We are dearly missing my sweet Aunt Helen Ridings, affectionately known as “Aunt Honey,” who passed away early last Tuesday at the age of 84. She has fought hard against many challenging health conditions over the past years, and always maintained her upbeat attitude, while sending us the pure kind of love that is the root of confidence in life, and one of its greatest treasures. Today, I’m thinking Read more
It’s March 21, 2010, a Sunday, a little over 12 years after I emailed the following report to our friends and family members, the first of five installments documenting our move to California. Neither Beth nor I had ever been west of Texas before that time, but we were up for LA and fun new times with the dawn of 1998. So much has happened since then, for us and everyone we’ve met on this journey. Over the days ahead, I’ll be posting the other notes from this trek, followed by the photolog of our 2001 move to the Blue Ridge Mountains. As much as ever, we are especially connected to the original recipients of these emails. Sadly, the cats we fussed over back then have passed on, along with many others near and dear to us. To our friends and loved ones reading this, we still love sharing life and good times with you, and we look forward to making wonderful new memories together. Rock on! Read more
Recently I was going through a folder I’ve held onto over the years, which has some of the poems I wrote the old-fashioned way, with a piece of paper and a pencil or pen, along with some similar keepsakes. Among the other pieces in the collection, my mother is a major contributor. She has always had a great way of giving things that feel special enough to make me want to keep them forever. Read more
I learned today of the passing of my Aunt Maxine Ridings. Talking about her with my mom this evening, one of the things that came up was how she has just always been part of our family, forever. Also, for her nieces and nephews, Read more
by Roger Darnell
I haven’t logged in up at the top yet…
I’m hardly qualified to be a poet tonight.
It was a good day… a day with the kids.
No less than Hickory Dickory Dock: The
indoor recreational labyrinth of legend;
it did not disappoint. Home, in the snows,
well into our sixth Appalachian winter,
our family joined the neighbors for dinner;
they had other friends with kids join us.
A night of merriment was enjoyed by all.
Such a simple lifestyle, so warm, so fun.
We are basking in it, and so are our two.
Settled ways with nice friends, all well
far and wide where we are looking.
Much to do… and yet, what an adventure
this simple life is turning out to be!
The ‘Bumper Crop’ series has at least one more entry, but requires a bit more work on my part before I can post the rest of the story. In the meantime, I wanted to share something from a more recent work. After we moved to the Blue Ridge Mountains almost exactly seven years ago, I found my creative writing energies more or less depleted. Soon, being a father added a new dimension to my life, and the one creative project that stayed on my agenda was to write an epic poem for Amelia, detailing the first day of her life from my perspective. That took over a year, and eventually it may find its way on here. After finishing that, in the moments when life and work settled down, I began to wonder what should come next. The answer found me in the form of a new project I conceived, and dubbed “Ramble.” Read more