Tag: family

The Empty Juice Box Blues – Poetry Friday

No, I don’t have a four-year old wunderkind that may, sometimes act up. Especially if there’s too much juice involved. Why do you ask?

The Empty Juice Box Blues

by Jim Hill

I’ve had me some timeouts,
My best friends are fools,
My teacher’s been on me,
For breaking the rules.

Don’t run in the classroom.
Keep your hands in your lap.
Sand’s not for throwing.
I’m caught in a trap!

There’s just no denying,
When something is true.
I’ve got the too-restless-for-nap-time.
Empty juice box blues.

Got pulled out of snack time,
For being a slob.
Had a small problem,
With a red jello blob.

Things didn’t go better,
At craft table time.
I turned my green paint
Into thick-booger-slime.

Now Mommy’s been called in,
Daddy’s coming too.
I’ve got the you’re-gonna-be-grounded
Empty juice box blues.


Elaine over at the Wild Rose Reader is hosting Poetry Friday this week. Pop over there and soak up some serious stanzas, couplets and stuff.

Imminent Growth Spurt – Poetry Friday

I had a different poem on deck for this week’s Poetry Friday, but then my four year old decided to eat everything for dinner. Seriously, everything. I expect he’ll wake up tomorrow and tell us that his legs hurt again. Good thing it’s almost shorts season.

I hope you’ll come back next week for The Empty Juice Box Blues.

Imminent Growth Spurt

by Jim Hill

Rotini and red sauce,
Two meatballs and cheese,
One glass of milk,
May I have more please?

Watermelon slices.
Yogurt that’s drinkable.
Honey graham bar.
This kid is unsinkable.

Still hungry, Daddy.
A cheese stick will do,
And peanut butter toast
When that is gone too.

He ate for an hour,
slept an hour times ten,
And when he woke up
He was bigger again.

It’s a pattern repeating,
We’ve learned to adjust,
He just might keep growing,
Six-foot-seven or bust.

Jumping Into Poetry Friday

I recently discovered Poetry Friday (thanks Greg Pincus!) and will be hosting it at then end of January. Today I get my feet wet with this piece, from an adolescent’s POV. There is a tight rope walked when you want to be hugged, but are kind of embarrassed by your parents. Growth, change, finding your place in the ever embiggening world. I tried to capture a glimpse of that confusion here. Hope you like it.


by Jim Hill

Sometimes I don’t know
What I am at all.

Am I an elephant
Or a basketball?

Sometimes I’m too big
To tuck in just right.

Sometimes it seems
I shrink from sight.

The world is full up,
With folks that fit.

And then there’s me;
Just a little bit.

photo credit Ylog

Be sure to visit this week’s host,the Book Aunt, for the more Poetry Friday goodness.

We Gather Together

Originally published in Nov 2007 as a Goals Gone Wild newsletter.

Thanksgiving, another chance to overeat, visit with the family and give 40,000 grocery items to a local food pantry. I had a lot of help with that last one. Read on to learn more.

For seven years, Cape Cod has practiced a new Thanksgiving tradition. One created from passion and respect, and carried out by a squadron of volunteers with truly charitable goals. One that brings hundreds of people together as a community and displays the power of little gifts that collectively make a big difference. As a bonus, it’s also a healthy way to start a day associated with bloated waistlines and food comas.

The We Gather Together 5K was started in 2001 by Rich Havens and his Time Out! Productions team. The entry fee for the race is $5 and a bag of groceries that go to the Sandwich Food Panty (and affiliates). What a great idea. This year I finally got the chance to ask Rich about the origins of the race.

It all started with his parents. He discovered that they had been making regular donations to their local food pantry, but that age and illness made it difficult to continue that practice. Then, the big idea struck. He took their passion for charity and combined it with his expertise in managing racing events. Add in a community of volunteers and you have some magical, THRIVE-alicous alchemy.

Passion + Expertise + Teamwork = Awesome Achievements

New England weather is never a sure thing and this race has faced some severe conditions. The people committed to this effort as organizers, volunteers, runners and walkers have faced rain, cold rain, freezing rain and single digit temperatures (luckily without rain). Yesterday we had it easy and enjoyed blue skies with 60 degree weather. (Somwhere Al Gore is readying another powerpoint presentation on this phenomena).

As I looked around at the crowd I was struck by the good will and comraderie on display. I saw reunions with visiting friends from far off places, couples with new babies in strollers walking the course, serious racers attempting PRs, neighbor cheering neighbor and strangers greeting new faces with laughs and smiles.

Above it all I saw a tractor trailer truck overflowing with food for those in need and a community goaded into action. I saw small sacrifices turned into great bounty. I saw Thanksgiving in action.

Bringing It Home

The We Gather Together 5K shows how it can be done on a large scale. How can we bring it home to work for us? Successful achievments don’t have to be big. Maybe our family’s Thanksgiving dinner is a good example. We all have a passion for a good meal. We don’t all have expertise in preparing one. We can use teamwork to make it come together.

Whoever hosts cooks the turkey (hey, they just don’t travel well). The rest of us split up the side dishes (I’m an expert potato masher). Anyone unable to do the cooking helps set the table and clean up. This year my brother-in-law showed new flashes of brilliance in turkey carving (hurray for the Food Channel!), so now we have a designated expert.

Simple, right? Bring on the leftovers! I think I’ll try a tasty, turkey smoothy (with a booster shot of cranberry sauce).

Related Links

Time Out! Productions

FreeRice.com – for each word you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice to end world hunger.

Quote of the Week

“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“It’s a ritual sacrifice, with pie.”

Anya, Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Three for Irene

Sunday saw Irene come and go here on Cape Cod. Lucky for us there was not a lot of damage, and almost no rain. With both power and internet access I was busy scanning Twitter while my son watched Netflix on the iPad and the TV showed the New England weather action (hey, I said it wasn’t bad here…).

While on Twitter, I saw Katie Davis tweeting short poems and thought I’d join in with some of my own. Then I saw that Kate Messner was looking for other folks creating during the storm and figured I’d add my little bits to her collection.

Hope you made it through the storm safely. We’re incredibly grateful to have gotten away with a bit of yard work.


Irene is a tease
who tosses the trees
who skirted the coast
and toured the valleys


I watch the trees bend,
I watch them bounce back.
I wonder which ones might break.
One thing’s for sure,
This week will involve,
Quality time with a rake.


Branches bouncing off the roof.
Children bouncing off the wall.
Blustery, blowing, billowing blasts,
This storm’s a pretentious squall.

A Father’s Day Poem

isaac-baby-handOn Father’s Day

On Father’s Day
the sound
of feet
running to
your room
is a wonderful thing.

On Father’s Day
breakfast with your son
squirming in your lap
elbowing you
in the head
and eating your fruit
is a wonderful thing.

On Father’s Day
thinking about your Dad,
wondering about the things
you might’ve shared
if life had been different,
is a troubling thing.

On Father’s Day
being the Dad you
wished you had,
breathing in each moment,
being a Dad at all,
is a wonderful thing.



Robots, Rockets and Trains

Today my son is three, and I’m participating in a month long poetry writing challenge. So, that explains this. Enjoy.

robots, rockets and trains

tomorrow you’re three
and it feels like both an eternity
and only moments ago
that you came out
and unfolded
and unfolded again
so long and slimy and squirmy
so wonderful and beautiful
so life changing
so life affirming

we battle
already a clash of wills at 6 am
with tantrums and tears
over the right cereal bowl
(the orange one)
and whether the oatmeal
is any good
(it is)

by six-oh-five
we’ve rediscovered teamwork
and hugs and smiles and whispers
and all the drama that just happened
is forgotten –
“that’s silly, Daddy”