Monday, August 22, 2011

A rediscovered treasure

Our daughter Abby has been making greeting cards since she was a kid. Using colored markers, glitter, stickers, and more recently photos, she creates cheerful, heart-warming messages for birthdays and various holidays. I sometimes come across one that I used as a bookmark, but mostly they are with the cache of cards that I've been consolidating, little by little, in my office.

In 1996, when she was a sophomore in college, she used her card-making skills to create a Christmas gift. It's a display piece that features cut-out illustrations of some of my favorite activities: gardening, baseball, art (or does that one represent lounging?), theater, fishing, and Christmas. It, too, has been in my office, but like everything else it was packed away while the ceiling was being repaired. I just pulled it from the box moments ago.

I love that the photos still represent my interests, except of course for the grandkids. But then I read and rediscovered the poem. It was lovely at the time. It's even greater now.

The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe
by Joyce Johnson

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe,
And all her grandchildren played there too.

She laughed at their jokes (when they were funny)
And kept a green jar of bubblegum money.
She rode with them on the carousel
And played Monopoly very well.

She taught them to paint and how to bake bread.
She read them riddles and tucked them in bed.
She taught them to sing and how to climb trees.
She patched their jeans and bandaged their knees.

She remembered the way she'd felt as a child,
The dreams she'd had of lands that were wild,
Of mountains to climb, of villains to fight,
Of plays and poems she'd wanted to write.

She remembered all she'd wanted to do
Before she grew up and lived in a shoe.

There was an old woman who lived in a shoe
And lived in the dreams she'd had once too.
She told those she loved, "Children be bold.
Then you'll grow up but never grow old."

 And that is exactly the message I want to give to those I love. 


Pearl said...

I absolutely love this -- and the message.



Chantel said...

Simply awesome.

Jeanie said...

What a nice memory to recover. The poem is really wonderful.

Sally Wessely said...

I love it. Thanks for sharing.

DJan said...

Awww! that is such a wonderful sweet sentiment. Love the poem, and the sweet collage...

Dee Ready said...

That poem speaks to all of us who want to remain young at heart while our bodies age. Thank you for sharing it.

You wrote that the collage doesn't show, because of when your daughter made it, your great love for your grandchildren. But your daughter was prescient. She posted that poem, knowing how you had been in her life, and how you, the "old woman who lived in a shoe," would be with your grandchildren. Because "all her grandchildren played there too."

A great posting today.

Teresa Evangeline said...

What a fine wish for loved ones. I made many collage cards several years ago. They were so much fun to create. I made one last winter again and I think I will do more this winter. Looking ahead for projects already!

It's nice to have such things from our children. Great reminders of the love that lives there.

Ms Sparrow said...

I had my three great-granddaughters last week and as always, a trip to the Carousel was at the top of the list of things to do. I just love sitting on the sideline and waving to them each time they circle by.
Here's hoping that they will be doing the same for their great-grandchildren some day!

Leah Rubin said...

I totally love that poem! I just printed it out to keep it as a reminder of how I want to be! Thanks for sharing-- and Abby's work is wonderful!

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great poem and it fits you to a "T"..of course Abby knew that way back when..she is a smart gal:)

troutbirder said...

The poem is perfect! I love it. And thanks for stopping by my little book review blog. I also have a blog focusing on Minnesota parks and nature in general - stop by sometime. I really enjoyed you post on the carousel etc. My spouse & I both grew up in St. Paul and took our Colorado grandson on it a few years back. The former mayor who tried to move it away was not one of my favorite people. Spent many happy timed watching Sparky the Seal et. all in my childhood.....

Jeanie said...

This is absolutely charming! What a wonderful poem -- it's simply perfect!

Lo said...

Hi, dear
I am not sure if you know that you are one of the lucky winners of my lottery for an Erma Bombeck book......but...

I need your address in order to send it to you.....I do hope you pick up this is a little late, but if you are like me you always keep checking for new comments.
Do send me your address to my email:

Unknown said...

This is wonderful, and all the more so since I just learned I shall be a grandfather in five months. I always enjoy your posts.

Zimzamzim said...

That poem is beautiful - thank you for sharing it!

Zimzamzim said...

I hope I'm like that when I become a Granny :)


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