Sunday, May 20, 2012

Little Blessings

I enjoy taking my daughter, Alana, to school in the mornings. I’ve noticed that the drive usually assumes one of at least three moods or tones. There are mornings when she wants to listen to the radio or one of her CDs; some mornings we forego music and talk to each other; and then there are mornings when we’re quiet, together in the truck, alone with our thoughts. We had such a morning recently.

I had just turned onto Bethany Road, that long winding stretch of road that would take us to Alana’s school when, after several miles of silent contemplation, she spoke-up and said, “I miss that patch of honeysuckle that grows near the garden where we used to live.”

I was surprised at where her thoughts had taken her and asked, “Why is that, little girl?”

“I miss the smell of honeysuckle. I miss plucking a blossom and tasting its sweetness.”

For a moment, I wondered if she had read the haibun from my Frugal Poet post of two weeks ago, but then it occurred to me that she had seen a patch of honeysuckle alongside the road and the memory of me having shown her how to taste the plant’s sweet nectar prompted her comment.

“Don’t worry,” I told her. “We’ll find a patch of honeysuckle soon.”

Alana (most folks call her Lainy) and I enjoy riding our bikes in the evening. Our current route has been to follow 9th Avenue north until it ends at Monroe Street, which is about three blocks from Poet’s Cottage. We turn left onto Monroe, then turn left onto 10th Avenue, where we coast down a gradual hill toward Main Street. We then turn east onto Main Street and back onto 9th Avenue.

We were in the process of taking a second turn around our route later that day when I happened to notice a patch of honeysuckle on 9th Avenue, in a vacant lot just up the street from Poet’s Cottage. I stopped at the honeysuckle patch and pointed so Lainy would see the blossom of her longing earlier in the day. She smiled, slid off her bike and said, “Do you think we’ll get in trouble?”

I smiled, “I don’t think the folks who own this vacant lot will miss a couple of honeysuckle blossoms.”

She plucked a honeysuckle blossom, then one for me and waited. I then realized that tasting a honeysuckle's nectar is something that she wanted to share with her dad.

My daughter and I have been residents of Poet’s Cottage for eight months now. I could not ask for a better daughter and friend to have as a roommate. Our circumstances have not been without hardships, but we are blessed and thankful to be where we are today.

We ain't all about biscuits and gravy here in the south. This week’s Frugal Poet offering is the perfect side for a spring or summer meal. Thank you Beth Pulliam for sharing this delicious recipe!

Marinated Veggie Salad

Drain and combine:

1 can shoepeg corn
1 can french style green beans
1 can bean sprouts
1 can lima beans
1 can peas
1 2 oz jar pimentos
1 can water chestnuts
1 cup chopped celery
1 thinly sliced onion


1 cup sugar
3/4 cup oil
3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
dissolve 1 T salt in 1 T water
1 t basil
1 t oregano
1 t garlic powder

Whisk marinade together and pour over veggies. Refrigerate overnight.

Continuing with this week’s theme of vegetables and plants that sustain us, I offer this haiku:

recession —
poke salad growing
in a sidewalk crack

The Heron’s Nest: Volume XIII, Number 4: December, 2011


  1. Another well written article. A great read.
    Peace, Andy.

    1. Thanks, Ange.

      Please feel free to share the link.

      Peace, buddy.

  2. Lovely. She is lucky to have you, you are lucky to have her. Nice haiku, and looks like a great recipe- have to try :) Thank you:)

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Pifla.

      The recipe is awesome! Definitely a keep!

      Thanks for dropping by. Please feel free to share the link.

  3. I never knew that you can taste its nectar - I learned something new today. Thanks and blessings to you and Lainy. I will think of her every honeysuckle season :) Andrea

    1. Honeysuckles produce the sweetest nectar.

      Here's hoping you sample a blossom's sweetness soon, Andrea.

      Thank you for dropping by The Frugal Poet. Please feel free to share our web site with your friends.

      Curtis :)

  4. Another good story from a good life ;-)

    1. Thank you, Dave.

      Say hello to Lila for me.

      Best to you both always,


  5. The honeysuckle that grows where you are at the moment is always the sweetest of them all. The past is memory that sometimes makes us sad.... but the sweetness of this moment, this fleeting moment is best.

    1. Merrill, you've penned the sweetest prose poem!

      Thank you for your kind words. :)


  6. "We’ll find a patch of honeysuckle soon."
    i just loved this, thank you for sharing some sweetness in life.

    1. Thank you for your kind words.

      And thank you for dropping by The Frugal Poet. :)

  7. One question: Do you still ride around with a machete behind your seat? ;) GREAT to see you again, Curtis!
    Fantastic "feel good" story! Dad/daughter time on a bike experiencing honeysuckle...doesn't get any better than that! Recipe looks good too. Checked out the haibun. Can see why you figured Alana may have come across it. Very nice work on that one and the haiku here. Beautiful little girl you got there!

    1. Oh my! Wait! You're the Angie whose web site I visited not long ago, with the shrimp recipe pasta recipe. You're the same Angie? from Collinsville? Are you still in Collinsville?

      How are you? How's your family? Well, maybe it is a small world after all.

      LOL! No machete. That wild impetuous boy is long gone. You'll likely find computer parts in the back of my truck now.

      Yeah, I'm a single parent now. Alana often inspires poetry or a Frugal Poet post.

      What a pleasant surprise to start the day.

      Thank you for dropping by The Frugal Poet. Susan and I are working on an anthology of poems and recipes. Please submit if you have a poem and a recipe. :)

  8. Yepper, the very same one. Moved away from the area way back in 1982. Wild? Impetuous? Never witnessed any of that. I recall a tall, affectionate, and highly respectful young man. Good thing I was so oblivious I failed to even pose the question in my mind of why in the world you would be driving around in a loud muscle car with a MACHETE! Being me is a full blown trip! Fond memories, I tell ya'. So glad to reconnect with you. I'll submit something if I can conjure up a suitable poem -- haven't been writing any poetry over the past couple of decades. Good time to get back to that too. I'm sure I've got a recipe. Drop an e-mail to and fill me in on what you've been up to over the past 3 decades. I probably shouldn’t share my whole life on the public internet…LOL!

    1. Fond memories for me too. In my mind it will always be called "The Summer of '78". :)

      It's amazing, but looking at your picture now, you haven't changed a bit.

      I'll send an email soon.

  9. lovely i just got wind of 'Frugal Poet' and decided to visit, very interesting

    much love...

    1. Thank you, Gillena.

      Please share The Frugal Poet website/link with your friends.

      And please drop by again. :)