Beanery Online Literary Magazine

January 20, 2011

Have I, a Caregiver, Failed??




I sit, watching him sleep,

watching his peaceful, even breaths

that include, every now and then, a long pause. 

I think I hold my breath too, when he gasps.

Then he breathes evenly once again.

     It’s been a difficult twenty-four hours. For a caregiver this is really not a surprise, but for this household, yes, this is a surprise. 

     Most days have moments to get through, things to ignore, things to do, and things to undo. But still, they are just moments.  And then………..
     Yesterday, in a split second, he bent over, got dizzy, hit the floor. I
moved, quickly, but not quick enough to catch him. On the bright side those of you who know us know that he is 225 pounds, and I am 96 pounds. Perhaps my moving quicker might have resulted in injury to myself. Still, instinct says try, and this I did.
     The damage is not too bad. He has a pulled abdominal muscle, two pulled muscles in his chest, whip lash of his neck, a bruised left hip, deep bone bruise of right wrist, and a two inch section of missing skin on his forearm. Movement of any kind is now painful to him, and the night was a very long one. Still, we are grateful nothing is broken. I must (more…)

January 14, 2011

How to Write About (Historic) Buildings



      The Beanery Writers Group (Southwestern Pennsylvania) members have an opportunity to visit and write about a Frank Lloyd Wright structure, in any genre the writer chooses. Once the idea was seeded, I realized that doing this would present a challenge to many of the group members, including myself. 

     We are preparing for this project by visiting and writing about local structures: two unusual restaurants, a historic building built in 1799 which is now a museum, a Catholic church Basilica, the county courthouse, etc. Because these excursions have proven how difficult it is to write about historic structures, I searched the ‘net for guidance. I discovered that there’s a scarcity of instructional material to glean from.


     Buildings, like people, have stories to tell about their community’s and the nation’s past. Embedded in historic structures and landscapes are traces of past lives that are clues to how our ancestors lived, and how life today evolved. To write about them is to bring these traces to life.

     Historic structures, with a wealth of history, legend, and folklore on their doorstep, provide fertile material for factual and fictional writing. The writer’s imagination, inspired by the iconic locations, can run wild, using descriptive style and creating imaginative stories based on both fact and fiction.

     There are different approaches to writing about historic (or current day) structures.  

  • Describe in detail a general overall view of the structure, a room, or an item(s) on display. Use all (more…)

January 9, 2011

Train Up a Child




Scripture: Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Reflection: It is 1980…

     “Dad, it’s Sunday. I need some sleep.”

     The voice of a young boy rang out loudly through the house in response to his father’s call to awaken, knowing what his father’s answer would be—it was always the same: get up, get dressed, and go to church.

     It is 2007…

     “Dad, it’s Sunday. I’m tired, let me sleep.”

     The man standing at the staircase bottom heard these words as he called to awaken his son. The memory of those same words he told his father in 1980 made him smile.

     The boy of 1980 had become a good father, faithful to his God and church, never failing to seek help through faith. Two hours after awakening his son, he watched the child don his robe and light the candles as acolyte at Sunday services. The young boy was proud, smiling. He told everyone (more…)