Vacation Fun

A streak of lightning zig-zagged from one end of the sky to the other end. I counted, “One-thousand-one, one-thousand-two, one-thousand-three.” A loud boom of thunder rattled our cottage.

My daughter Tammie said, “The storm is three miles from here.” Another streak of lighting was followed by thunder two seconds later.

“I said, “The thunder sounds like it bounces back and forth between all the bluffs around us like a ball in a pin-ball machine.”

While a thunderstorm would ruin some people’s vacation, I went to the cottage hoping that we would have a storm during our stay. It was beautiful and my daughter and I enjoyed it very much!

My daughter and I had decided to spend our vacation in a cottage surrounded by a vineyard on the side of a bluff in the driftless area of Wisconsin when we missed the enrollment date for a pilgrimage to Ireland. Untouched by the last glacier that had scoured most of Wisconsin flat, tall bluffs and deep coulees makes the driftless area seem like a beautiful foreign country.

Besides visiting a few local points of interest, I planned to do some writing while at the cottage. Tammie and I decided to describe our stay in poetry through pantoums and haiku.

A Pantoum is an adaptation of Malaysian poetry in which certain verses repeat. The verses may rhyme, but don’t have to. It is arranged in sets of four lines, which is called a stanza. There should be 8 to 12 syllables in each line. The second line is repeated as the first line in the second stanza, while the fourth line in the first stanza is repeated as the third line in the second stanza. This pattern is repeated in subsequent stanzas.

In the last stanza, the unused third and first lines from the first stanza are placed as the second and last line. The effect of this arrangement produces a continual feeling of looking back over your shoulder.

Tammie and I wondered if our kitties missed us, so I wrote this pantoum.

Cat Pantoum

Two pairs of kitties left at home.

Do they even know we are gone?

Having fun chasing a stray thimble across the room

And pouncing on dust motes in the sunlight.

 

Do they even know we are gone?

They never know if they are doing right or wrong.

Pouncing on dust motes in the sunlight,

And knocking over the tall thing called a broom.

 

They never know if they are doing right or wrong.

With taking twenty naps, a day is never too long.

Knocking over the tall thing called a broom,

With a clatter it comes down with a boom.

 

With taking twenty naps, a day is never too long.

Soon their human moms will be home where they belong.

With a clatter it comes down with a boom.

Until then life is like a Looney Tune cartoon.

 

Soon their human moms will be home where they belong.

Fun chasing a stray thimble across the room,

Until then life is like a looney tune cartoon.

Two pairs of kitties left at home.

 

Haiku

A haiku is a Japanese poem of three lines. The first and third lines contain five syllables each and the second line is seven syllables long. The three lines do not have to rhyme, but do sumarise a situation, describe nature, or share your feelings. The following haiku describes our first three days at the cottage.

Wednesday August 17th

Grapes hanging on vines

By a Mississippi bluff

A cottage…two girls.

 

Outdoor play…Shakespeare.

Bats swoop, actors ham it up.

Audience happy!

 

Curved roads, going home

from Comedy of Errors.

Fog…looking for turn.

 

Thursday August 18th

Hot August Sunshine,

cool air-conditioned cottage.

Short walks among grapes.

 

Large approaching storm…

scary bank of dark blue clouds.

Lightning, thunder, rain!

 

Storm during the night,

Enjoyed…snuggled in my bed.

Rain drops pound on roof.

 

What was on the slope?

Coyote hiding in weeds?

Slips away…unseen.

 

Friday August 19th

 

Owner with shovel

Fights rain-induced erosion.

Living next to bluff.

 

Friday fish; new twist

Bleu cheese smothered cod fillet.

Yum! Must begin diet.

 

Bleu cheese poured on fish,

Calories to end famine.

Must find recipe!

 

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4 thoughts on “Vacation Fun

    • Loren, I am glad you enjoy Life Lines. I am using word press like you are, but bought the domain name, so my address doesn’t have the words, “word press” in it like yours. My daughter set it up for me. Every Wednesday she posts my new articles on her Facebook page.
      Kathy

  1. Hi Kathy,
    That was lovely. I grew up not far from those bluffs. As children my family canoed to them, hiked, swam, and enjoyed many picnics there. I love visiting the Sauk County area as much as possible!
    Continue writing your wonderful thoughts and adventures. I enjoy them so much!

    • My daughter and I really enjoyed our vacation there. We were impressed with how beautiful it was. Wisconsin is wonderfully interesting with all of its varied landscapes!
      Kathy

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