Friday, April 30, 2010

by Laurie Kolp

Boxes and boxes fill the jam-packed garage,
(along with other normal junk)
sweet memories of my teaching days,
(twelve years to be precise)
books I felt attached to, could not part with,
(they are all over my house, too)
files that might come in handy one day,
(if I ever go back to teaching school)
knick-knacks and gifts from students,
(although I have forgotten what they are)
bulletin boards for every month, every holiday
(and everything in-between);
all waiting like forgotten photos,
(where did those photo albums go),
dozens and dozens of beat up boxes,
(after eight years of neglect),
for that day when I can finally let go,
(taking a piece of me with them).

Thursday, April 29, 2010

And Suddenly Our Lives Changed Forever
by Laurie Kolp

We never could have seen it coming
barreling down the curvy road
like a train without warning,

no waving flags or reverberations
to announce its appearance
why didn’t our horn make him stop,

that teenager in his big white truck
looking down at the radio
unaware of the Saturn waiting to turn left,

and suddenly our lives changed forever
the broken vertebra, surgeries, heartache
all because of a heinous song.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Some days are just like that

Nicholas had a baseball game today.  It was quite crazy if you want to know the truth.  Pete had to work and could not come, so I had all three kids in tow.  Katie had homework to finish and since she was going to have late dance recital practice she had to bring it with her.  But she ran into some friends right when we got to the ballpark and out flew the "working on homework" idea; she spent most of the time walking around with them instead.  Andrew left right away to go watch his good buddy play over on the other side of the ball park. 

So I was left in the stands alone to watch Nicholas play while holding a little bit of this and that for the kids.  I must have looked a little odd.  Several of Nicholas' friends and kids I tutor were on the other team, so I was rooting for both sides.  One of the boys hit a ball out field and I was yelling and clapping for him, as his team made a home run and our team failed to stop them.  The parents on our team slowly turned their heads to look at me, so I sat back down.  Not long after that I heard someone calling me from the dugout, and it was not my son, it was a friend of his from down the street.

"Hey, Nicholas' mom," said the voice, then louder, "NICHOLAS' MOM!"

"What?" I answered quietly.

"Can Nicholas come play tonight?"

On a school night? At 7:00?  I don't think so.  I said, "Not tonight sweetie, but thanks.  Some other time."

And so the night went on.  We got home then had to turn around and take Katie to dance.  Luckily Pete got home at 8:00, wolfed down some dinner and went to pick Katie up while I got the boys to bed.  Andrew had the TAKS test today and finishes tomorrow, and Nicholas had a big field trip all day; they were pooped.  Sometimes our days are just like that...and then it starts all over again.
by Laurie Kolp

She held onto the shoes for months
the last remnants, last reminders
of the times they shared together
shopping weekly at Sam's,
where she somehow mustered
enough strength to push
a wheelchair and a cart simultaneously
while laughing at her common dilemma;
eating lunch at the Golden Corral,
where she repeatedly filled plates with ears of corn
for the lady to put in the Tupperware
she had carried in her purse for that sole purpose;
or simply staying at the mansion chatting,
the old lady in her favorite chair,
she at the foot of the four-poster bed
listening patiently at repeated stories of yore,
the broken records that were conversation-
until the last time she saw her
(unaware it was the last)
the companion,the dear friend
told her to try on all the shoes
they went through her closet together
and laughed at the frivolous styles.
She brought the dozens of shoes home
found room for them in her matchbox closet,
the only remnants of their precious time-
and that's all she had.

It does take a village...

Baby pictures of Nicholas, Andrew and Katie respectively

I went back to my sister-in-law's house last Thursday through Saturday to help with the baby while her husband was out of town.  I was reminded of the sleepless nights and mere hopelessness all moms feel when their babies are crying inconsolably...and the exhaustion that comes from it all.

I can look back now and realize how very lucky I am to have such a wonderful husband.  I do not know how I would have gotten through the newborn stages without Pete.  I had to have three c-sections, so my recovery period was much longer.  My wonderful husband took two weeks off when each child was born.  When he went back to work, Pete would come home early to check on me or bring me lunch, even when it was out of his way.  He got up in the middle of the night to change diapers after I was done nursing.  When the babies graduated to bottles, Pete would feed them at night so I could sleep, and I would wake up with the babies early in the morning.  It was (and still is) a partnership- husband and wife, father and mother.  Together we made it through the sleepless nights: teething, acid reflux, asthma and croup, etc.

I also could not have made it through the baby stages without my mom.  Luckily we live in the same city.  She would come and help me while Pete was at work.  Mom would watch the babies so I could have a break.  In fact, she watched Katie for a year when I was still teaching (I quit when I had Andrew).  I am so grateful for her, and my dad, for their selfless love. 

Friends also helped me in those early years.  It was so nice to talk to moms with babies and discover they were going through some of the same things.  I met the moms through my church, Mother's Day Out, and various play groups I joined.  All of these things were as good for me as they were for my children.

It does take a village to raise a child.  Who belongs to your village?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lonely Drought

by Laurie Kolp

Our love began when we first met,
electricity long gone out
recharged all senses, made me sweat;
you pulled me through a lonely drought.

My sensual appetite whet,
you became all I thought about.
Once dead, my life was now set;
you pulled me through my lonely drought.

When did our love become Kismet?
The game you play fills me with doubt-
my love, do you now have regret?
You led me to my lonely drought.

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Next week is National Playground Safety Week. I was writing an article about it that reminded me of all the mishaps we have had on playgrounds through the years. Here are the ones I can remember:

1. Broken nose
2. Broken arm
3. Broken growth plate in foot
4.  Knotted head
5.  Busted open head
6.  Scratches and bruises

I challenge you to identify which child had each accident: Katie, Andrew or Nicholas.  Please put your answers in the comments and get a surprise from me.  Oh- and be safe on the playground!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

When we see not our way through some trial or difficulty, we have only to look to God and to wait in patience, and in due time His light will come and guide us.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in His word I put my hope.  My soul waits for the Lord.
~Psalm 130:5-6

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Snow cone anyone?

Last night I worked the concession stand at the local baseball field.  In the past I have signed up for the early shift (5:00- 7:30), but this time I was put on the later shift (7:00- 9:30).  I was not looking forward to working so late, but it ended up being fun (and less busy). 

I was assigned the snow cone window.  The kids get a free snow cone after their game and I knew it would be busy, so I prepared myself for the hordes of tired baseball players that were sure to come.  I organized the area, placing the paper cones in an easy to reach spot and making sure the spoon and straw holders were full.  Then I waited.  I waited and waited and waited.  I visited with some of the other volunteers, got some bubblegum and still no long lines.   I reminisced about the olden days when my friends and I used to hang out at the ballpark, but I did not get overloaded with kids. 

I had a small trickle of people occassionally, most of them young spectators, but never did I have the crowd the earlier shift gets when the Little League plays.  I guess the older kids are too macho for snow cones?  Some very young children came, though, as did a group of the same kids who kept finding baseballs (they get a free snow cone if a foul ball is caught and returned).  Most were polite, but some were rude.  The nerve of them! 

Overall it was a fun night filled with great conversation and little stress.  I got home around 9:45 with sticky shoes and snow cone juice all over my shirt, but I did not feel overworked or stressed out like I thought I would.  I hope next time, which is in a couple of weeks, turns out the same.  I will let you know.

Monday, April 19, 2010

by Laurie Kolp

one single writer
competing against a million others
sits at the computer typing
one word at a time
hoping someone, anyone
will discover her
like a needle in a haystack

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Thought for the day

Said the robin to the sparrow:
"I should really like to know

Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so."
Said the sparrow to the robin:
"Friend, I think that it must be,
That they have no Heavenly Father,
Such as cares for you and me."

~Elizabeth Cheney

Saturday, April 17, 2010

A Storm Within
by Laurie Kolp

The silence is deafening
as thoughts of you
twirl in my head
creating a
I can't

Friday, April 16, 2010

Keeping my eyes on the light

When I was drowning in exhaustion from having three children under the age of four, it was hard for me to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I knew it would come and that the kids would become more independent, but sometimes it felt like I would never get any sleep.  I would often remind myself to "keep my eyes on the light."  This helped me through some challenging times.

Sometimes I get to feeling that way today, but for a different reason- deadlines.  As a writer, I am basically self-employed.  I love that aspect because it allows me to work while I keep up with the tasks of running a family of five.  I have so many projects I have to keep up with, though, I don't even have time to finish up the book I have been working on for several years.  I guess I need to remember to "keep my eyes on the light," which today is when my book finally gets published.  Until then, I will trudge through this busy time and revel in the fact I am happier than I have ever been.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Serenity Island
by Laurie Kolp

The boy has a place where he can go
to escape reality,
a tree house in his backyard
nobody else can see,
nestled away in a big old oak
away from family,
Ben goes there when troubled or sad-
a place to break free;
Ben’s secret oasis, his secret place
recharges his energy.

His parents are keen to where Ben goes
hiding in the tree.
They keep the secret hidden
knowing that’s the key,
witnessing Ben begin to boil
then disappear quietly,
Mom and Dad await his return
now bright and happy;
so they call Ben’s hideaway spot
the Island of Serenity.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Not another turtle

Some of you may remember last May when a turtle got lost in our house.  That's why I was so surprised yesterday when Pete carried in another turtle for the kids to see.  Of course, they all wanted to hold the wee little thing, but all I wanted was for them to get it out of my house!  Pete took the kids outside for a while and they got to see it up close.  I don't know how, but somehow the turtle ended up back in our house.  Shortly after the turtle came to visit, Pete went back outside and left us alone with him.  The kids began fighting over who was going to hold the turtle.  They all took turns and began asking if they could keep it for a pet.  I don't think so, I told them.  I asked Nicholas to put the turtle down, as I was looking for something to put it in.  Nicholas heads over to the kitchen table and is about to put the reptile down.  Luckily I noticed and could yell "NO" before that happened.

So the turtle stayed in a big blue bowl last night, sleeping with the dogs in the back of the house until Pete and I went to bed, and then he went in the garage for the rest of the night.  This morning Pete took him off to set him free; a sad day for the kids, happy for me.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I just got back from a writer's guild meeting about blogging.  Jessy Ferguson, an accomplished author, educator and friend, shared some helpful hints.  She stressed the importance of posting frequently- something which I have fallen short on lately.  I am going to try to post more often than I have been, so please keep checking and leave a comment. 

Today has been a much better day for me.  I was able to publish an article for my writing gig at the online Examiner.  I had a nice visit with my mom and treated myself to a pedicure (my favorite thing now, thanks to a friend).  As I sat in the chair relaxing I noticed that the ladies who work there all speak more than one language.  They talk to the customer in English and then they start holding conversations with each other in their own language.  Are they talking about me or someone else?  I wish I had my own secret language with friends that I could use for discreet observations.  Wouldn't that be fun?

Another interesting thing that happened is the turtle-in-the-house incident, but I will share about that, with photos, next time.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Last Straw
by Laurie Kolp

Temptation got the best of you
and undeniable frustration wells within;
as you divorce yourself from the family
I see you giving in to lustful sin,
unpeeling layers of lies and betrayal
as you fall into a deep abyss,
refusing to come around without her
this is the last straw- why did it come to this?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

by Laurie Kolp

Last night I had a dream;
I picked out a denim shirt
for your birthday present.
I searched the store
for a short line
until I came to the last
place to check out.
There you stood
with HER-
her arms around your neck
planting kisses on your lips-
it made me sick.
I walked up to the line
and all the pent up
emotions came bursting forth
like the levees during Katrina.
I yelled at her-
How could she destroy
a family,
children and spouse?
How could she steal
my sibling
away from me?
I pushed the wench away
until she finally left,
head sagging
like a wounded puppy,
and then I gave you a hug.
If dreams were wishes
everything would be
just like it once was.
Dream on, right?


Welcome Jonathan Major Kolp, our nephew.
Jonathan was born on his mom's birthday March 31, 2010.  I had the wonderful opportunity to go and help Jonathan and Chelsea (who had a c-section) for a few days.  Jonathan is a wonderful and beautiful baby, and we are all truly blessed to have this healthy baby boy in the Kolp family.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Catching my breath...

Wow!  It feels so good to finally sit down and relax.  The past two days have been crazy.  I feel like I have been running around like a baby chick that has been died green...
...or like someone being chased by Big Al, the largest alligator in captivity in Texas...
...maybe even someone who visited friends from Turkey and had Turkish food made with mutton.. between dying Easter eggs...

                     ...and making the infamous Easter Bunny cake...

...not to mention mass, Easter egg hunting, visiting with an old friend and making homemade potato salad.

               It feels so good to finally sit down and catch up again.  Happy Easter everyone!                        
History of the Easter Egg
by Laurie Kolp

Dying eggs at Easter,
an age-old tradition,
fresh colors of spring,
showing life’s fruition.

Pre-Christian spring jubilees
used colored eggs as symbols of
new life and resurrection,
promises of eternal love.

King Edward 1 of England
in 1290 ordered eggs gold-leafed,
presents for all at Easter
who in the resurrection believed.

Eggs were buried in tombs
by Egyptians and Greeks;
“All life comes from an egg,”
a Roman proverb speaks.

Dying eggs at Easter,
an age-old tradition,
fresh colors of spring,
showing life’s fruition.

Friday, April 2, 2010

April is National Poetry Month

Do you like a challenge?  April is National Poetry Month and in honor of this historic literary form, you can participate in a poem-a-day challenge.  Robert Lee Brewer's Poetic Asides hosts this wonderful writing opportunity every year.  This is the third year and my third time to participate.  Each day, Robert gives a prompt to write a poem about and then you can either post it on his blog or not.  But keep checking back to the blog because at the end of the month, Robert will tell you how to submit some of your best poems to be considered for a chapbook (a collection of poems).  I would love to read your poems if you choose to participate.  You can post them on my poetry blog Conversations with Laurie.  Hope to see you there.
April Is National Poetry Month and I am celebrating my favorite form of writing by participating for the third time in a poem-a-day challenge.  Sponsored by Writer's Digest, Robert Brewer's Poetic Asides is posting a topic everyday.  You can find my poems there, but I will share some of them throughout the month.  You can participate, too!  If you do, I'd love to read your poem in the comments below.

Yesterday we had to write a "lonely" poem.  Here is a version of my Haiku:

The eye of the storm
a lone seagull sits ashore
and dives in warm waves
@Laurie Kolp

I's never too late to start- just go back and click on the previous day's comments and post anytime.  You do not even have to post your poems, just write a poem daily and get those creative juices flowing!