Stories Of The Night

Whenever I was scared at night or woke up with a fright

Mom would snuggle in bed next to me and talk about the night.


“There’s nothing to be afraid of.” she’d say in a soft and soothing tone.

“For the night is full of wonders and miracles...all its own.”


“You can see it in the stars...or in the flash of a firefly

unmistakable proof...the night has a twinkle in her eye.”


“There’s nothing quite as beautiful as a world lit by the moon

it’s the only time some animals come out...like the opossum or raccoon.”


“The nightingale and the owl fill the night with their sweet song.

And you find a rhythm in your step...as you try to sing along.”


“As you’re listening to the music if you’re lucky...you just might

see the blossoms of the moon flower...which only blooms at night.”


I’m sure Mom kept on talking...in that voice so comforting and deep

But by the time she got to moon flower I was usually fast asleep.


I stopped being afraid of the dark...and I know it wasn’t right

but for years I pretended to be scared...


just to hear her stories of the night.

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My Favorite Foods

I can eat my favorite breakfast alone...

eggs cooked the way I’ve loved them all my life...

but breakfast always tastes a little better

when I eat...next to my wife.


I can eat my favorite lunch alone...

A Philly Cheesesteak that never ends...

but lunch always tastes a little better

when I’m eating it...with friends.


I can eat my favorite dinner alone...

A steak and potato cooked just for me...

but dinner always tastes a little better

when I eat...with my family.


I can eat cake on my birthday alone...

I can sing happy birthday...sing my name...

but without people gathered ‘round me

that cake wouldn’t taste the same.


Yes, I can eat food by myself

and I know that I will thrive

but when I eat with friends and family

I know that I’m alive.


I once thought my taste buds decided my favorite foods

but perhaps that’s just a myth...

Perhaps what makes them my favorite foods....


is who I eat them with.

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Room Upon My Knee

As I saw her on the stage, I smiled...

My mind drifted to when she was three

and we would read her favorite book

as she fell asleep upon my knee.


Now she’s grown and on her own.

Could I possibly have the year wrong?

Wasn’t it only yesterday?

Has it really been that long?


It was a bittersweet moment,

but I didn’t feel glum.

I sat there, marveling, 

proud and happy

at the woman she’s become.


Happy we’ve created old memories

I can now recollect,

and happy to create new memories

every time our journeys intersect. 


Proud and happy life has played out

the the way it’s supposed to be...

knowing her favorite book still sits on my shelf


and there’s always room upon my knee.

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You'll Be Glad You Did!

When it came to raising children

my parents held one key.

They often, for no reason,

said how proud they were of me.


They’d tell me how they loved me

from the time when I was small

sometimes when I was sitting there...

not doing anything at all!


It taught me a wonderful lesson:

To show your children a love that lasts forever

tell them often that you love them...

for no reason whatsoever.


If you do this over and over

from the time they’re just a kid...

by the time they are adults...


you’ll all be glad you did!

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A Drawer Full Of Memories

After the holidays we were straightening up...
getting our house back into shape...
when we ran across a drawer filled with memories...
on something called VHS tapes.

You see we used to take pictures with a camera;
and on the TV is where they were shown.
This was back before all that high tech gadgetry
Back when a phone was merely...a phone.

We popped the first tape into the machine
What was on it?
We wanted to know.
And we were delighted as we were transported...
back to a time and a place long ago.

Back when we were all a bit younger
Back when on vacation we’d take a long drive...
Up to visit Grandma and Grandpa in the mountains
Back when Grandma and Grandpa were still alive.

We were transfixed to the screen
watching our memories
come in such variety...such a wide array...
So one after the other....we kept watching tapes...
Wild horses couldn’t pull us away.

When we were finished, we sat hand in hand
Thinking...Wow! That was over too soon...
Not realizing how fast time had flown
For we had been watching them...all afternoon.

Thank God we have our memories.
Thank God they come in all sizes and shapes
And thank God in the midst of holiday cleaning
We found a drawer filled with VHS tapes.


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Nature's Finest Masterpiece

Everyday nature is painting...she has forever...she’s in no rush...
A magnificent work of art...with but a flourish of her brush.

Everyday she is adding colors...subtracting shadows...rearranging...
For she knows her work of art...is evolving....ever changing.

And everyday we should stop and appreciate...the paint she has applied
Knowing tomorrow...what’s on her canvas...will be slightly modified.

Yes, everyday, nature...that old master...in her artistic expertise...
Is painting a portrait of our family....perhaps her finest masterpiece.

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My brother's mega blocks

A new movie has arrived and available in theaters it is. An amusing and exciting popular film for children at the top of the box office. Merchandise pops up here and there in every store you walk in front of. Modern action figures including many special features never seen before seem to persuade kids well-enough. The toys catch my brother’s eyes because they’re all that he wants. After hours of entreaties in tears, his mother can’t help it but to make the purchase, my brother has a glare of joy drawn in his face. My brother gets what he wanted so on and on for weeks he enjoys his new toy. Thus he plays shooting plastic flame-like ammo at the other characters, making up storylines with witty dialogues between his action figures who are fighting over their issues. After a while, he’s exhausted all features this thing has, so the new toy lays in a random dusty spot which is usually somewhere on the floor. He then finds himself playing with his mega blocks, he had built multi-colored houses, squared ships, a yellowish L-shaped gun that has shot dead every member in his family at least a dozen times each. He had run out of ideas but his mind is refreshed, and the new toy has joined the bench. He’s now building an Eiffel Tower held up by sloped pillars and shooting 3-block bullets with another thing that was meant to propel hot-wheels cars. No matter what new toy is for sale in every store, for my brother it’ll be fun for a while until the new features aren’t new anymore. My brother doesn’t ask anything to any twister since wherever he plays it won’t stay the same by the end of his game. The toys he owns aren’t lucky at all, the more charm they have, the more odd-looking they get with a missing arm. Yes, they get torn apart since they come in one piece but that’s not the case of the mega blocks which you can always break down and put back together to get new things. He will always come back with more ideas for his Lego-like mega blocks. He makes a mess though, for each room in my former home you may find a bunch of these figures in more than a row. After all, he can’t be blamed by me at all, I was the one leaving those very same old mega blocks on the floor about a decade ago. That’s the way my bother Diego goes with his mega blocks.

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That Same Old Rocking Chair.

¡Oh how I still remember that same old rocking chair after a decade! Made in a small factory on the outside of this city, this chair would just not go away. There goes my grandfather on the road when this great white rocking chair caches his eye. He stops with a wide look and a big smile, he already knew he was going to give that chair a new owner. So next thing he does, is call us immediately, because that chair would not carry itself. ! Oh I still remember the heat on that day! ! 40 degrees and there we were, loading a big ugly rocking chair into the back of a Crown Victoria! So finally it the long trip back home was over, the rocking chair was finally at the place it would remain for more than 10 years. Every day the man would wake up and immediately walk to that chair, drink a coke and smoke a cigarette, the dream really. He was faithful to his friend the chair, even when it rained , when it snowed, when it was as hot as an oven, there he would be, rocking .. rocking… rocking… forward… back… forward… back. The house would get a makeover, the kitchen floor would change, the garage would get bigger, the living room would get a new carpet. ! Oh but how that same old rocking chair would just not move! Whenever the family would get together to celebrate an event like a birthday or Christmas, we would all make a circle around that chair. Even when his health was not on his best, he would go all the way from the hospital to his house just to sit on his beloved rocking chair. Every month he would clean it by hand, polish it and give it a new coat of paint. ! Oh how he would refuse to leave the city because he feared his beloved old rocking chair would get stolen! Just as that rocking chair moved, so did time. My dear grandfather passed, spending his last days on that rocking chair. Summers and winters have passed, the house abandoned, no cokes were drunk anymore, no cigarettes were smoked. !Oh but the worst part is still to come! To this day the same old rocking chair stays on the porch of that house, silent, waiting for a new owner.

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My grandmother and her sewing machine

My grandmother from my mother side had a big white sewing machine that she loved, year after year, vacation after vacation we travel all the way from Maturin to Maracaibo that’s almost from one end of the country to the other it always took us two days on our car, we traveled to our hometown to visit our all our family, we always stayed at our grandparents house and i remember that every time I got to their house there she was sewing in her room with a big smile. My grandmother loved to sew nothing made her more happy, sewing was her job, her hobby and her passion one which she was very good at, she use to made all kinds of dresses for all kind of occasions each one of them beautiful and unique like if they came from a big boutique or made by one of the greatest designers on earth,  but what she was best at and what she loved doing the most were wedding dresses, that was her specialty and the also the reason because most of the time she had so much work, lots of women came to her for help with their dresses because they knew that my grandmother would make them the most beautiful and memorable dress, in other words the dress of their dreams. I remember how she always was so focus and dedicated to her work nothing or nobody could distract her, and especially no one can touch her work, I remember times when my sister or cousins started playing with her machine and moving stuff from her table that she was working on thatuse to made her very angry, she protect her work so much because she wanted every piece she made to be perfect and unique that’s one of the reason because she was the best and because I respect and love her so much. Now that I think back my grandmother had a lovely hobby that made her and the people she made the dresses for happy, for that I thinking for the first time that stop sewing had to be the most difficult thing that she had ever do, but as she says her new hobby is taking care of her grandchildren and that no hobby is more important than that, that’s why we all love our grandma so much, just how she love us.

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