Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – SoCS 2019.09.20 – Two Unwrapped Gifts by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the second post from poet Miriam Hurdle and this week Miriam shares the two gifts she gave herself in celebration of graduating with as Doctor of Education in 2000.

SoCS 2019.09.20 – Two Unwrapped Gifts

I gave two unwrapped gifts to myself when I graduated with the Doctor of Education in year 2000.

The first gift was two season tickets to six operas in 2001 as my husband would accompany to see the opera. When I was a kid, we didn’t have a radio but my neighbors did. I went to my neighbors to listen to the news, ghost stories and other broadcast. There was a theme music playing leading to the news. After thirty seconds, the music faded as a female announcer came in to report the news of the day. That was the beginning of my classical music appreciation and I later identified the theme music as the Overture of Bizet’s Carmen. I enjoyed singing and started taking voice lessons at nineteen years old and sang pieces of operatic music.

Image result for bizet's carmen

I hoped to see operas such as Carmen, La Bohème and La Traviata, and learn about other less popular ones. Hubby likes mostly country western music, but he would go with me to see the operas. Part of the attraction to me was to dress up and be with other people who had the same interest. At the opera house, people could rent small binoculars at $7 each. We brought two binoculars with greater strength. I not only wanted to see the details of costumes but also the singers’ expressions.

Classical music was not Hubby’s taste, let alone opera. Many people enjoy classical music but have no interest in opera. The first opera we went, Hubby slept through the first half. I didn’t wake him even though his chin dropped to the chest. The only time I would interrupt was when he started snoring which didn’t happen. Snoring in a classical performance is rude to the performers and disrespect to the audience. People don’t cough or sneeze during the performance. They hold their breath and focused. When one movement is over, you’d hear people clearing their throats. The conductor waits until everybody quiets before he raises the baton. For the subsequent performances, I oriented him with the plots, so he watched the acts as if they were Broadway shows.

I stopped subscribing the tickets after three years when the popular operas repeated.

~

The second gift was a new car. I had a Honda Civic for about eight years. It had enough scratches and mechanical problems. It was about time to get a new car. I had ideas of the features in a new car that I liked, so I made a spreadsheet, listing on each row the specifications such as 4-doors, sunroof, automatic, CD player, and other items. On the columns, I listed four makes of cars – Infinity, Audi, Lexus, and Acura. At the bottom of the spreadsheet listed the price of each car. After the comparison and considered the pros and cons, I decided on the Acura. There were two determining factors, one of them was the price. I had to be practical after paying for three years of a doctoral program. Another factor was Honda had a higher rate of returning customers. Acura is the luxury car of Honda. I like Honda, so I would be happy with Acura. I bought an Acura.

Image result for images of 2000 white acura

Hubby kept up with the oil change and maintenance year after year. We didn’t have any major problem with the car. Four years ago, fifteen years after I had the car, I started thinking about what I wanted to do. I would need to buy another car for my remaining life. When to buy it? The car needed new tires, and we bought four new tires. The tires were good for five years or 50,000 miles. I wanted to wait until close to the end of warranty to get a new car. A school principal told me he kept his Honda to 300,000 miles. My car should make it for several more years with the leisure driving after retirement.

In September 2018, we went to Las Vegas for a week. Upon our return, the car started to get overheated. Hubby tried to drive slower, but it made no difference. I didn’t want to leave Nevada and have the car die in the desert. Calling AAA was in order. The driver came in a tow truck. After his assessment, he confirmed that the radiator broke. The car needed to be towed. We were not near any exit to turn around. The tow truck went forward fourteen miles to an intersection, then turned around toward Las Vegas. The closest Acura dealer was seven miles passed Las Vegas. Well, my insurance covers certain miles of towing and I paid for the rest. The dealer couldn’t work on the car until the next day. We spent a night in that city where the dealer was and picked up the car the next day.

After replacing the radiator, I started to think of shopping for a car but didn’t feel the urgency. I was thinking about doing that within a year. I should have gotten a new car before September this year but I didn’t. Last Thursday, September 12, 2019 was the first week of classes at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI), a program for the retirees. On my way to California State University, Fullerton, the car was not running smoothly. I found a place to park and called Hubby. He said the car had some traction issue but not a big problem. I went on to my classes. On my way home, the car had bigger traction problem. I pulled over by the curb, stopped and restarted the car, made it go for half a mile and restarted again. When I made a left turn at an intersection, it stopped in the middle of the road. I rolled down the window, signaled the car to bypass me. After great struggle to restart many times, I was like dragging a pouting dog to go for a couple more miles. Two miles before getting home, the car said, “That’s it, I refuse to go any further.”

Hubby came right away. We called AAA and the tow truck came, towed the car to the dealership which was five miles away. This time it was the transmission problem. The manufacture doesn’t make the transmission for that model anymore. Getting a refurbished or used transmission cost $4,500. It’s not worth spending that kind of money when I’m overdue for a new car.

I got 217,000 miles and 19 years out of my Acura anyway. I’ll be car hunting and get another unwrapped gift for myself.

(Note: I got another Acura in November 2019 – Acura RDX)

©Miriam Hurdle.

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I downloaded Songs of Heartstrings in my Kindle almost half a year ago. Selfishly, I’ve been reading it a little at a time, because I like to dig deep into a poem, savor it. let it simmer within me, then re-read it days or even weeks later. There is SO MUCH in Miriam’s verse and prose. All of her nature poems – trees, flowers, plants, insects – are lovely and speak to the human in us even while describing the flower or the butterfly. The poems she wrote during/about her cancer treatments are so deep and intense – through reading the poems, I experienced what Miriam felt as she dealt with chemo and worry and wonder. The poem about finding her “balance” yogic pose after recovering from chemo was amazing – I believe she is writing not only about balancing on one foot, but finding balance in her life as she recovers. Hurdle’s poetry is relatable to us all.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam

Website and blog: Showers of Blessings
Facebook: miriam Hurdle
Twitter: @mhurdle112

My thanks to Miriam for permitting me to share her posts and thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives 2020 – Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the current series of Posts from Your Archives in 2020 and if you would like to participate with two of your posts from 2019, you will find all the details in this post: New series of Posts from Your Archives 2020

This is the first post from poet Miriam Hurdle and this week Miriam shares her wonderful garden and its abundance of fruit trees and other bee friendly and colourful bushes.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Tree Stories by Miriam Hurdle

This week Ann-Christine gave us the theme for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #50 – Trees.

Here are some of my tree stories.

I’m thankful for having many trees in our front yard and the garden in the back of the house.

Our county is named Orange County known for the orange groves. In 1948, a vast forest of five million Valencia orange trees grew on 67,000 acres. The postwar population boom triggered an almost wholesale conversation of farmland to suburbia.

Our home was built before 1948 with an orange tree planted in the backyard. The Valencia tree produces two crops a year yielding several hundreds of oranges each crop. The juice we squeeze and freeze from each crop lasts for four months.

1.IMG_9631

I planted two plum trees in my garden several years ago. The plum blossoms start earlier than any flowers. In 2017, when the trees were mature and started having full blossoms, I worried there were no bee attracting flowers to pollinate the plum blossoms. Well, I said there were no bee attracting flowers around, it was not entirely true. There were clovers with yellow flowers but yellow was not my favorite color of flowers. To one person is flower, to another person is weed. I consider clovers weed and always pulled them to give room for planting other flowers. That year, after I pulled two handful from the slope blanketed with clovers, I spotted bees. I was surprised and happy, but sorry for what I did. I quickly plugged the clovers back to the soil. Ever since then, I leave a large area on the slope for clovers.

2.IMG_3212 (2)

3.IMG_0057

This year, with five months of winter rain, both plum blossoms and clovers grow wild. There are several hundreds of plums on each tree.

(Note: The heavy rain throughout the winter boosted the growth of the plums. When they started ripening. For the sake of curiosity, I tallied as I picked them. From June 16 to July 15, 2019, one thousand and one hundred plums (1100) were picked. What a year!)

3.IMG_4891 - Copy

IMG_4963

Without giving too much thought on many kinds of apples, I planted a Granny Smith apple tree several years ago. It turned out that Granny Smith apples were too sour for me to eat. My friends recommended to use them to make apple pies. We don’t eat pies too much for health reason. I ended up chopping down the tree and planted a Red Delicious apple tree. The tree is three years old with thin branches, but with the help of heavy rain this year, there are a couple hundreds of apples. I had to use heavy sticks to pop up the weighed down branches.

6.IMG_2563

Cypress trees require little water to grow to a maximum of 100 feet tall and 20 feet wide. Many homes use them as natural fence for privacy or border of the property. We grow them for privacy reason. The home on the hill on the top of our slope has the backyard facing our second story. Even though people don’t purposely intrude other people’s homes, we wanted to have the added beauty of the trees and privacy.

8.DSC01386 (2)

There are three Hibiscus trees, two in the garden in the back of the house and one in the side yard. Hibiscus tree has gorgeous flowers without requiring too much water. I used to water them the same way I did for other trees and flowers. Then I noticed white flies growing from the back of the leaves. My gardener asked me to rinse the leaves with soapy water. I got rid of the white flies with soapy water, but I decided not to water the trees at all. Since the roots of the trees are deep and draw water from the deep soil, the trees grow beautifully with dark green leaves and bright color flowers.
Hibisbus-poem-flower-Miriam Hurdle-blog tour-new release-Vashti Quiroz Vega-The WriterNext Door-Vashti Q

©Images Miriam Hurdle

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

I downloaded Songs of Heartstrings in my Kindle almost half a year ago. Selfishly, I’ve been reading it a little at a time, because I like to dig deep into a poem, savor it. let it simmer within me, then re-read it days or even weeks later. There is SO MUCH in Miriam’s verse and prose. All of her nature poems – trees, flowers, plants, insects – are lovely and speak to the human in us even while describing the flower or the butterfly. The poems she wrote during/about her cancer treatments are so deep and intense – through reading the poems, I experienced what Miriam felt as she dealt with chemo and worry and wonder. The poem about finding her “balance” yogic pose after recovering from chemo was amazing – I believe she is writing not only about balancing on one foot, but finding balance in her life as she recovers. Hurdle’s poetry is relatable to us all.

Read the reviews and buy the collection also in Spanish and Portuguese: Amazon US

And: Amazon UK

Read reviews and follow Miriam: Goodreads

Connect to Miriam

Website and blog: Showers of Blessings
Facebook: miriam Hurdle
Twitter: @mhurdle112

My thanks to Miriam for permitting me to share her posts and thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck #Poetry – The Sun Welcomes Me by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Today we continue with the series of posts from the archives of poet Miriam Hurdle, who is a regular contributor to the blog. This time I am selecting the posts and the next one I would like to share with you is another of her poems which I know you will enjoy.

The Sun Welcomes Me by Miriam Hurdle

The theme for  Lens- Artists Challenge #12 is Path. This reminds me of some poems I have written about the path I have traveled.

Silver Falls State Park 2018.02.13

We may have decided on a destination or direction to go, but we don’t get to choose the path to get there. It is true in my journey. It was through pain and suffering, travel high and low, to come to where I am at this point in my life. If a time machine could take me back and give me a chance to choose a path, I wouldn’t have chosen a different path. I believe there is a reason for every season.

This poem was written in reflection to my diagnosis of stage IV Melanoma cancer in 2008. I went through six months of harsh chemotherapy treatment, three surgeries, and two months of radiation therapy. After the treatments, it took two years of physical therapy and ongoing exercise to recuperate. My left leg still suffers lymph-edema (swelling) and requires daily exercise and wearing the compression stocking.

But, I’m happy! My physical condition motivates me to go to the gym with my husband and go walking either with or without him!

The Sun Welcomes Me

Journey through high and low
amid worrisome melanoma cancer.
The sense of mortality heightened, with
no assumption of the survival chances.
My prayer was to ask the mercy of the Maker
granting me one more moment to live.
Every new morning was a precious gift.
cloudy or sunny the sky might be,
trotting on the street rain or shine,
even when having no energy to pick up my feet.
hoping to keep up the physical strength
to sustain through six months of harsh chemotherapy.
What a profound gratefulness as treatment fading at the end
when the sun pierced through the clouds to welcome me.

©Miriam Hurdle

 

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings which has a recent review

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book! 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Website and blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

My thanks to Miriam for allowing me access to her archives… it has been a pleasure to read her posts.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #PotLuck – #Poetry Beautiful Tiny Baby by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Today we continue with the series of posts from the archives of poet Miriam Hurdle, who is a regular contributor to the blog. This time I am selecting the posts and the next one I would like to share with you is a poem that is clearly very close to Miriam’s heart.

Beautiful Tiny Baby written by Miriam Hurdle at Spillwords.com

Beautiful Tiny Baby by Miriam Hurdle

Seven months of being pregnant,
driving from California to Oregon
for a Christmas family gathering.
“Take breaks more often,” Doctor said.

Still, it was 1,000 miles in distance.
When we arrived, I started the contractions,
went to the hospital in Salem.
“We have no equipment to care for
premature babies.” Doctor said.

An ambulance took me,
traveled one hour to Portland.
I was holding my baby tight,
praying, telling her, “I love you,”
all the way.

We arrived at the hospital safe and sound,
the contractions seemed to quiet down.
I had a belt on my belly strapped around
to monitor the frequency of contraction.

Not long after I had dinner,
the monitor beeped a warning sound.
Yes, my daughter wanted to come around.
A cesarean section was in order.

“An experimental drug could be
injected into your spinal cord
to mature the baby’s lungs, so
she could breathe on her own;
the effect on you is unknown.” Doctor said.

Without hesitation, I wanted the injection.
It turned out to be a sound decision.
Baby Mercy only needed twelve hours of
respiratory help.

She was tiny and beautiful.
I had her in my arms.
Her eyes followed mine.
My baby had the angel’s guide.

Her birth was years ago,
the vivid memory never gets old.
She started with her tiny feet,
her steps have been directed by
the heavenly Father’s lead.

Note from the author:

This poem is about the unexpected birth of my seven-month premature baby Mercy who was born safe and sound on the day after Christmas and my joy and gratefulness for the beautiful baby. Mercy is married with a beautiful family.

©Miriam Hurdle

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings which has a recent review

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book! 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Website and blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

My thanks to Miriam for allowing me access to her archives… it is a pleasure to read her posts.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – A trip to Yellowstone Park and Alaska by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Today we continue with the series of posts from the archives of poet Miriam Hurdle, who is a regular contributor to the blog. This time I am selecting the posts and the next one I would like to share with you is from Miriam’s travel category. This posts is part of the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #33 – Nature

A trip to Yellowstone Park and Alaska by Miriam Hurdle

In this post, I feature photos taken from two trips representing two ends of temperature in nature.

My brother John and his wife Peggy visited us from Hong Kong. We went on a bus tour to Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park preserves the most extraordinary collection of hot springs, geysers, mud pots, fumaroles, and travertine terraces on Earth. More than 10,000 hydrothermal features are found here, of which more than 500 are geysers.

Types of Hydrothermal Features

There are five types of hydrothermal features readily visible in Yellowstone:

  • Geysers: Hot springs with constrictions in their plumbing, which causes them to periodically erupt to release the pressure that builds up.
  • Hot Springs: Pools of geothermally heated water.
  • Mudpots: Hot springs that are acidic enough to dissolve the surrounding rock. Typically, also lack water in their systems.
  • Travertine Terraces: Hot springs that rise up through limestone, dissolve the calcium carbonate, and deposit the calcite that makes the travertine terraces.
  • Fumaroles: also known as steam vents. These hot features lack water in their system, and instead constantly release steam.

Resource: https://www.nps.gov/yell/learn/nature/hydrothermal-features.htm

Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone,U.S.1Old Faithful Geyser named for its frequent and somewhat predictable eruptions which number more than a million since Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in 1872.

Hot Springs, Yellowstone, U.S.

Abyss pool hot spring

Mudpot, Yellowstone, U.S.

Mudpots

Mudpots, Yellowstone, U.S.2

Mudpots

Terraces, Yellowstone, U.S.1

Travertine Terraces

Fumaroles (Steam Vents,, Yellowstone, U.S.4

Fumaroles – Steam Vents

We had been to Anchorage, Alaska on two trips. The first time we went in late September, one week after the summer season and missed the train going to Denali National Park. It was the reason we took our second trip last year and secured a tour to Denali before the trip.

We did a lot of sightseeing during our first trip. We took the Glacier Cruise departing from Whittier and explored the western side of Prince William Sound. We went on a rafting trip down a river and had a helicopter ride up to Harriman Glacier. My husband has a helicopter license. The pilot jokingly said if Lynton had the license with him, he would let him fly the helicopter. We got out after the helicopter landed and had a gorgeous view of the glacier, the valley and Prince William Sound.

alaska-1

alaska-8-3

alaska-17

alaska-11

alaska-18

alaska-15

©Miriam Hurdle

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings which has a recent review

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book! 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Website and blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

My thanks to Miriam for allowing me access to her archives… it is a pleasure to read her posts.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives – #Potluck – Share Your World by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome to the new series of Posts from Your Archives, where bloggers put their trust in me. In this series, I dive into a blogger’s archives and select four posts to share here to my audience.

If you would like to know how it works here is the original post: https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2019/04/28/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-newseries-pot-luck-and-do-you-trust-me/

Today we start a series of four posts from the archives of poet Miriam Hurdle, who is a regular contributor to the blog. This time I am selecting the posts and the first one I would like to share with you. This week I thought we might find out a little more about Miriam and this post was in response to a prompt on Cee’s Share Your World – June 4, 2018

Share Your World by Miriam Hurdle.

Cee posts excellent questions in this week’s Share Your World – June 4, 2018.

A piece of clothing from your younger childhood you still remember?

I came to the US 40 years ago as a student. I checked in 2 suitcases to my flight. I had one carry on, and my purse. I wish I had brought more sentimental items, but I couldn’t. In fact, my carry on was too full that the security people asked me to take out something to leave behind. The problem was that I packed them very tight. After I took out something and repacked them, the bag was bigger than before. If you like camping and roll every piece of clothing tight to make your packing compact, you could visualize how I packed my bag.

During my three years of studies in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington, I moved 9 times. In 1980, I drove from Seattle to Los Angles, California by myself. It was 1,1 75 miles with 18 hours of driving. I stopped overnight in San Francisco. Next day I still arrived Los Angles after dark. The freeway was very intimidating to a new person in town.

Even if I had brought a piece of childhood clothing, it couldn’t have survived with so many moving. Fortunately, my sister had scanned some of my childhood photos and I made copies of them. The first one was when I was six years old. I wore a Chinese style top and matching fabric pants. The second photo was when I was in third grade with the school uniform, a white shirt and a blue skirt with straps.

Miriam_0003 (2)Miriam_0001 (2)

Regardless of your physical fitness, coordination or agility: If you could be an athlete what would you do?

Remember this is SYW, dreaming is always allowed.I would like to be a competitive swimmer. I learned swimming in the ocean when I was in Hong Kong. After I graduated from college and started working, it was hard to find time to go to the beach. I went swimming in an outdoor pool in a park. During one swimming, I slipped and almost  drowned. Ever since then, I was afraid of water. I still swim, but only in shallow water.

Swimming

The photo was taken when Mercy, Will and her friend participated in the Triathlon.

In a car would you rather drive or be a passenger?

I had driven long miles during my working life. I stayed in the same school district for 25 years even though we moved three times. The furthest distance was 30 miles with heavy traffic. The longest time it took to go to work was two and a half hours. The driving put a lot of stress on me, so we moved closer, but it was still a 21 miles drive.

After I retired, I don’t like to drive too much, especially at night. If I had a choice, I prefer to be a passenger.

Lynton driving

What did you appreciate or what made you smile this past week? Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination.

I appreciate that I could spend the time to do gardening, trim the grape vines, watching the Red Throat Hummingbirds, the House Finch birds, and the Mourning Doves.

Birds1

©Miriam Hurdle 2018

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings which has a recent review

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews for the collection

A fantastic collection of honest, heartfelt poetry that takes the readers on a journey through good times and bad. She writes about a health scare that could have easily ended her life. She weaves nature, family, love and faith through her writing. If you love REAL poetry – poetry that moves you, you will enjoy Miriam’s book! 

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Website and blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

My thanks to Miriam for allowing me access to her archives… it is a pleasure to read her posts.

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.

Smorgasbord Posts from Your Archives #Family – #Kidney Transplant – A Good Match by Miriam Hurdle


Welcome back to Miriam Hurdle with the third of her posts from the archives and this week a life-saving operation is needed for her brother-in-law.

Kidney Transplant – A Good Match by Miriam Hurdle

DSC00264

DSC00357

In the summer of 2008, my husband Lynton, my daughter Mercy, her boyfriend (now husband) Will, and I planned to attend my nephew’s wedding in Hong Kong. That was the year when China was hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics. The airfares going to Hong Kong from the U.S. were higher than usual because of the people traveled to Beijing through Hong Kong. After searching, I found a Bangkok tour from the U.S. via Hong Kong, and we could stay in Hong Kong at any length of time. It was a deal I couldn’t resist. I had never been to Bangkok, so this would be a bonus for our trip. All we had to do was adding five days to our travel.

I scheduled the tour and stopped by Hong Kong first. We arrived on June 25, 2008 and stayed with my sister Yolanda. Yolanda and her husband Patrick took us sightseeing for two days. Hong Kong decorated the city with the Summer Olympics theme.

After my nephew’s beautiful traditional Chinese wedding, we went on a five-day tour in Bangkok. When the tour was over, we came back to U.S. via Hong Kong. There was a two-hour’s layover.

While we were waiting at the Hong Kong airport, I called Yolanda. To my surprise, there was worrisome news. Yolanda said while we were in Bangkok, one day Patrick went to work on the train as usual. He got on the train but had a feeling he should get off the train in the next station, and he did. As soon as he got off, he felt dizzy and fainted. Upon arriving the Emergency Room and attended by a doctor, he was diagnosed with kidney failure.

My heart was heavy for the worrisome news. Yolanda said they had known about the possibility for quite some time. They were thankful that Patrick got off the train at the next station and was taken to the hospital close to home. Besides, had he fainted on the train, it could have taken longer for Patrick to receive the hospital care.

We came back to the U.S. and I kept close contact with Yolanda. After Patrick received the initial treatment, the doctor put Patrick on routine dialysis at the hospital as outpatient services. He adjusted to the new condition well.

Three years prior to Patrick’s incident, their family migrated to Canada. Patrick and the two children moved to Vancouver, B.C. while Yolanda continued her government job in Hong Kong. To get their Canadian citizenship, they had to live in Canada for three consecutive years. They moved to Canada for two reasons, one was for the two children to get a good college education, the other was for getting better health care services. During the previous three years, Patrick stayed in Vancouver with the two children and went back to Hong Kong four times a year to spend time with Yolanda.

P1020092

During the months Patrick received the outpatient dialysis services, he could not go to Vancouver to see his children. He then learned to do the dialysis by himself at home. He only needed to do it every twelve hours. After many months of doing it by himself, he could visit his children in Vancouver. He monitored the timing of the dialysis, so he didn’t have to do it on the plane. Most of the time he stayed in Hong Kong to be close to the hospital.

After assessing the chances and distance between Hong Kong and Canada, as well as Hong Kong and China, he registered in the medical system in China to get a kidney donation. His blood type is O. He could only receive a kidney from a donor with blood type O, whereas people with any blood types could accept blood type O kidney. He had fewer chances to get a kidney of the same blood type. The hospital in China told him that the waiting time was from two to ten years.

The four basic blood types are A, B, AB and O. People with type O blood can give to others with any blood type but can accept only from the ones with type O.

blood-typesimages

Accepting that he had to wait for a long time to get a kidney donation. He quit his job to take care of himself. Yolanda was very supportive. During this time, their children stayed in Vancouver with the family friends to finish school, the daughter finishing high school and the son finishing college.

After six months waiting, Patrick received a phone call from China; let him know that there was a kidney donation for him, and that he had to go right away for the transplant. Yolanda could not go with him without advanced notice to get a leave from her government job. Patrick’s sister went with him, taking the night train to China. Next day, Yolanda took time off from work and joined Patrick. She stayed with him for the ten days while Patrick went through testing, transplant, and observation.

When matching organs from deceased donors to patients on the waiting list, many of the factors taken into consideration are the same for all organs. These usually include:

  • Blood type
  • Body size
  • Severity of patient’s medical condition
  • Distance between the donor’s hospital and the patient’s hospital
  • The patient’s waiting time
  • Whether the patient is available (for example, whether the patient can be contacted and has no current infection or other temporary reason that transplant cannot take place)
  • Depending on the organ, however, some factors become more important. For example, some organs can survive outside the body longer than others. So, the distance between the donor’s hospital and the potential recipient’s hospital must be taken into consideration.

Many kidneys can stay outside the body for 36-48 hours so many more candidates from a wider geographic area can be considered in the kidney matching and allocation process than is the case for hearts or lungs.

https://www.organdonor.gov/about/process/matching.html

Apparently, the donor and the Patrick were a Good Match. Patrick’s body showed no sign of rejection of the new kidney. After the ten days, Patrick’s condition stabilized, they went back to Hong Kong to receive the ongoing medical care. He was making good progress slowly but surely. We thank God that it was a miracle for him to get a kidney donation within six months. It was a miracle it was a Good Match of the donor and receiver.

To fast forward the story to 2017, Patrick eventual went back to work part time, and then transitioned to full time. He is now working a combination of a part-time church pastor, and part time Headquarter staff for his church. God is merciful. His loving kindness is with us forever!

©Miriam Hurdle 2017

About Miriam Hurdle

Miriam Hurdle is a multi-genre writer. She writes poetry, flash fiction, and short stories. Her poems are included in Letters to Gaia, Whispers and Echoes Issue 2, Whispers and Echoes Issue 3, and Outcast and More Words.

Music has rooted in her life. Being a soloist as a teenager led her to taking voice lessons and to have ongoing singing engagements. She continues to sing soprano in choral groups. Lyrics have a major influence in the natural flow of her melodic writing. She writes memoir in the form of poetry.

Along with her brother, she took photos when the films were black and white. Photography is still her enjoyable hobby. Drawing and painting were fun activities as a child. Her favorite was to draw a Japanese girl with big eyes, long hair, small lips and chin. She resumed drawing and watercolor painting several years ago. In her poetry collection, photos and paintings are included to illustrate the poems.

She earned a Doctorate of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California.

About  Songs of Heartstrings

Human being has the willpower to travel through an exhausting journey, win a tough battle, and heal a deep wound. Strength from hope keeps us going until the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight and striving until the storm is over.

This poetic memoir comprises themes ranging from the suffering through an undesirable relationship, surviving an aggressive cancer, to the happiness in true love, the joy of parenthood, and gratefulness toward the Maker. Hurdle reveals the honest self-talk and reflects a heart filled with optimism, faith and trust. She illustrates the poems with her beautiful photos and paintings.

One of the recent reviews

This is a collection of poems, photographs, and drawings that tell stories from Ms. Hurdle’s life. They include sitting in nature, giving birth, death, illness, and loss. Faith and being a survivor are strong themes throughout “Songs of Heartstring.” My favorite part was when the poetry connected to nature, but all the poems were heartfelt and lyrical. The tribute to the author’s parents was touching, along with the loss of a friend. The glimpse into dealing with cancer was inspiring. Although this was a quick read, it’s full of depth and can be enjoyed more than once. This is a book that poetry lovers will enjoy.

Read the reviews and buy the collection: https://www.amazon.com/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

And on Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Songs-Heartstrings-Poems-Gratitude-Beatitude-ebook/dp/B07K1S47W9

Read reviews and follow Miriam on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Connect to Miriam

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW
Website and blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miriam.hurdle.1
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Thank you very much for dropping in today and I know that Miriam would love your feedback. Thanks Sally.