Another Year Together

Photo by Bolivia Inteligente from Unsplash.


Another Year Together

Together we faced

the challenges of the year

with love and courage…

disappointments and setbacks,

lucky breaks and happy days.

This new year will bring

unforeseen challenges and

unexpected joys.

Thank you for sharing the years,

walking hand-and-hand through life.


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia


Photo by Kelly Sikkema from Unsplash.

Another Year

“Another Year Together” was written for the holiday card I put in Robert’s Christmas stocking this year. We have had a very personally challenging 2022: sickness, surgeries, extensive dental work, unexpected expenses, and family visits cancelled by weather and illness. The whole world has had a challenging year: wars, violence, storms, fires, floods, famine, supply chain issues, inflation and financial distress, a continuing Covid 19 pandemic compounded by widespread outbreaks of several other viruses…and on and on and on..

Robert and I have met the challenges of 2022, including Hurricane Ian. Although we are a little tireder and a little older, we have survived! We have also savored the pleasures of everyday life and the blessings that came our way. Our hopes are high for a better 2023, both for ourselves and for everyone worldwide.

We wish you courage for your journey, strength to meet the challenges you encounter, hope in your heart, and peace of mind. We wish you fair weather and good fortune. May you be inspired, creative, and productive. May you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.

❤ Happy 2023! ❤

Photo by Austin Schmid from Unsplash.

Holiday Gifts of Childhood

Photo by Clint Patterson from Unsplash.


Holiday Gifts of Childhood

Mid 1950s, Western Pennsylvania

Christmas morning at our grandparents’ house.

Doll with golden curls, evening gown, and pearls

waiting for me under the Christmas tree

when I was six or seven.

Photo by Marina Ambrosimova from Unsplash.

How excited I was!

Soon, though, I cut the doll’s hair in a crew cut,

wore her pearl choker on my wrist,

and went looking for bugs, rocks and frogs!

Late 1950s, Tidewater, Virginia

Christmas mysteries were in the air at our house

when I was nine or ten…

All of the colorfully wrapped presents under the tree

had been squeezed and shaken for days.

Photo from Pixabay.

On Christmas morning, there was a huge surprise…

Parked around the Christmas tree, there were

three Christmas bicycles for my siblings and me!

Mine was sky blue.

The three of us were always on the go,

bicycling far and wide for the next five or six years,

enjoying our newfound independence,

challenging our mother’s peace of mind!

Early 1960s, Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

My brother, sister and I grew strong, riding our bicycles

up and down the steep hills of our little town.

Our mother soon learned not to worry…

to the extent that mothers can ever be free from worry.

There were no bicycle helmets when I was a child. For safety, wear a helmet! Photo from Pixabay.

Late 1960s-1980s, Shenandoah Valley of Virginia

Christmas Eve…we exchanged gifts at my parents’ home.

My husband, Frank, and I were expecting a child in the spring.

The gift from my mother was an album of old family photos,

including pictures of my father and me on our tricycles.

In my future, there were three children

receiving bicycles for the holidays.

Like my mother and all other mothers before her,

it was my turn to worry!

Girl on a tricycle Photo by Tuan PM from Pexels.

I was shocked at first when our daughter Ellen,

age three, requested a motorcycle for Christmas,

but her father saved the day!

He found a yellow plastic motorcycle/tricycle.

Ellen was overjoyed on Christmas morning

to find the tricycle parked under the Christmas tree.

Like her mother before her, she was empowered.

She rode the little yellow “motorcycle” toward independence.

Several years later, Ellen received a shiny new bicycle.

She still bears scars from surgery that followed an accident.

Under her chin, are traces of gravel from later accidents…

Ellen always got back on her bicycle; she lives her life that way!

1990s, Miami Beach, Florida

Hanukkah menorah, dreidle, and presents. Photo by Dad Grass from Pexels.

Celebrating holidays with Drew and our children…

Joe, age eight, always adventurous, ever nimble,

climbed the trellis to the rooftop with his new telescope

from Dad, exploring the wonders of the night sky.

Our daughter Katey, age six, was dazzled

by everything she saw and wanted all of it, too…

but in the end, she was delighted with every gift she received,

a new bicycle or the small, sweet surprise of Hanukkah gelt.

Hannukah Gelt. Photo by Joey Dean from Unsplash.

Katey loved unwrapping a gift on each night of Hanukkah

and receiving Christmas presents, but most of all, she valued

being surrounded by the love of family and friends,

that most precious of holiday gifts.

Photo by Any Lane from Pexels.


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia


Photo by Engin Akyurt from Unsplash.

Happy Holidays!

Wherever you are, whatever holidays you celebrate,

we wish you childlike wonder, pleasant surprises,

inspiring experiences, and auspicious new opportunities.

We wish you health, love, and joy in every New Year!

Robert & Cheryl

Harvest & Heritage

Photo by Zefong Li from Unsplash.
Hayride. Photo by Randy Fath from Unsplash.

Harvest & Heritage

How warmly now the summer sun does shine

on bees at work in clover fields so fair!

Sweet ripened fruit hangs heavy on the vine.

Perfume of roses lingers in the air.

How softly ripples wheat in summer breeze!

Bright roadside flowers nourish butterflies.

In orchards, apples ripen on the trees.

Abundant food the garden plot supplies.

As birds fly south, the leaves turn red and gold.

In autumn, nature’s bounties harvesting,

we labor to prepare for winter’s cold

and save some seeds for planting in the spring.

At harvest, we give thanks for all good things:

our life and strength and gifts that nature brings.

Photo by Max Gorin from Unsplash.
Photo by Marek Studinsky from Unsplash.
Photo by Jakob Owens from Unsplash.

Restoring Our Connection to Nature

Hydrophonic gardening on a balcony. Photo by Lettuce Grow from Unsplash.

On small family farms like the dairy farm where my mother grew up and in home gardens that were the pride of my grandmother and my father, there is a profound connection to nature. People work in cooperation with nature to provide for themselves and their families.

In the time of large corporate farms, most people do not live on small family farms and raise all of the food they eat. Many people may have lost the connection to the land and to the changing seasons.

Whatever our work, wherever we live, we are a part of the cycles of nature. We can help to preserve and renew the environment. We may not be able to do everything, but there are things each one of us can do to renew our connection to the natural world.


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia


Photo by Megan Lee from Unsplash.

Happy Thanksgiving to All My Fellow Bloggers!

After this week, I plan to take a couple of months off in order to regroup and focus on some long-deferred projects. Happy holidays to everyone!

Diwali Lights the Way

Diwali festival foods and lamps. Photo by Prchi Palwe from UnSplash.

Diwali Lights the Way

Light over darkness…

People worldwide long for justice and peace;

Diwali lights the way!

Knowledge over ignorance…

Everywhere on earth, people seek opportunities;

Diwali lights the way!

Good over evil…

We all want to live in a clean, safe environment…

Diwali lights the way!

Guiding our journey to a brighter tomorrow,

Diwali lights the way!

Jodhpur during Diwali festival. Photo by Anirudhi from UnSplash.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

Photo by Suchandra Roy Chowdhery from UnSplash.

The Transformative Power of Diwali

Nearly every culture has celebrations incorporating light. Bonfires, torches, lamps, candles, fireworks…all light the way to our best selves and a better world. Diwali is a beautiful and joyous festival, but what seems extraordinary to me is its universal message…nine simple words with the power to transform the individual and the world:

Light over darkness!

Knowledge over ignorance!

Good over evil!

Happy Diwali, Everyone!

Jack O’Lanterns Grin!

Photo by Robert Linder from Unsplash.

Jack O’Lanterns Grin!

Jack O’Lanterns Grin!

Laughing at all our fears,

we celebrate life.

Movie star? Monster?

Try a new persona for

fantasy and fun!

Photo by Steven Libralon from Unsplash.

Red hots, gummy worms,

candy corn…okay today!

Enjoy, enjoy guiltlessly!

Photo by Alexander Grey from Unsplash.

Phrases frowned upon,

“Guess who!”, “Trick-or-treat!”, and “Boo!”

bring a smile today.

Be slightly goofy,

gluttonous and boisterous.

Happy Halloween!

Photo by Betzy Arosemena from Unsplash.

Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia


Photo by Mary Jane Duford on Unsplash.

Have a Safe and Happy Halloween!

Two Poems: “Quoting Mom” & “Antiquated Sexist Nonsense”

Photo by Sophie Dale from Unsplash
Photo by Kenny Krosky from Unsplash

Quoting Mom

So often these days,

I find myself quoting Mom…

proverbs, quips, sayings…

Mom had a real treasure trove

of wisdom she shared with me.

“Treat other people

as you want to be treated.”

That one is golden!

It was Mom who taught me that

reliable guide to life.

Mom was unfailing

in her caring and concern.

She gave great advice,

but, in matters of romance,

was a woman of her time.

Mom’s take on romance

was antiquated sexist

nonsense, best ignored.

Mom’s true advice to follow

was, “Think for yourself, Honey!”

After thirty years,

Dad found a younger woman.

Mom kissed a few frogs;

Prince Charming never came, but

Mom found her inner Princess!

My mother, Marian Nicholson, on her ninetieth birthday!

Antiquated Sexist Nonsense

“It’s a man’s world,” was the mid-twentieth-century consensus.

My mother passed several of the following outdated gems along to me:

Always let boys win if you want them to like you.

Act helpless. Let a boy be your hero and lift heavy objects for you.

Play “dumb.” Laugh at all of his jokes. Always agree with him.

Pretend to enjoy doing all the things he likes to do.

Don’t chase after boys. Make them chase after you!

Play hard to get. Never be the first to say, “I love you.”

Hide your passions. You don’t want him to think you’re “easy.”

If you “give in” to a boy, he’ll “dump” you and “kiss and tell.”

Go to college to find a husband, even though you know

you will be a homemaker after you marry.

A woman must never make more money than her husband…

His delicate pride can’t handle it.

Let a man think he’s boss…

Use “feminine wiles” to get what you want.

The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach…

Cook all of his favorite dishes.

Men are like little boys…They like to be told

how handsome, strong, and smart they are.

Make a habit of paying exaggerated compliments to men…

It builds their fragile egos.

Men are unable to control their impulses.

Women must be the guardians of morality.

If a woman wears a short skirt and gets assaulted, it’s her fault.

Sex is something a wife must endure for the sake of her husband.

Fortunately, I never fell for any of this antiquated sexist nonsense!

Sorry, Mom, but I don’t believe in playing games.

I was paying attention when you taught me to be honest and to

“Do unto others as I would have them do unto me.”

With respect to this poem’s dubious advice, I quote Mom,

“You might as well laugh as cry!”

Photo by Jason Briscoe from Unsplash

*Cautionary note: Some of the antiquated advice in this poem may appear to work in the short term, but some of it could come back to bite you later! Authentic relationships tend to be based on honesty and mutual respect. How long would you be willing to pretend you are enjoying a food you actually detest? How would you feel if you found out that someone was playing you? Better to be real!


Copyright© 2022 by Cheryl Batavia

❤ Happy Mother’s Day! ❤

Show love to Mothers today and every day! Remember to cherish your mother’s wise advice, but don’t forget to “Think for yourself.” 🙂