Beary Scared: A Memoir Episode

During the summer of 1960, we took a family trip to the mountains. We climbed inside the Chevy station wagon and headed east from Seattle. Aunt Dee and Uncle Cecil lived in Cashmere, WA. Mom had promised to meet them at a midway point and we would follow them to their cabin. After several miles and songs of, The Bear Went Over The Mountain, Mom pulled into a gravel parking lot of a local tavern.

“Stay in the car,” Mom said. She grabbed our baby sister and shut the car door. She followed Dad inside.

As soon as my parents were out of sight, my brother, Jerry opened the door.

“We were told to stay in the car,” I said. Did he listen? No.

Jerry climbed over a log barrier and ran into the woods. I hopped out of the car and raced after him.

“Come back!” I yelled.

“I want to pet the bear,” Jerry called.

I looked where he pointed. A baby, black bear nibbled on some blackberries. As Jerry got closer, I heard a roar. Mama bear lumbered towards him.

I rushed to my brother’s side and grasped his hand. “Run!”

We rushed to the station wagon and I slammed the door behind us. Mama bear stood on her hind legs and rocked the car. We screamed and held each other tight. Our parents hurried out of the tavern. Dad grabbed a long stick and put his coat over it. He raised it above his head and waved it around.

“Ge out of here!” Dad yelled.

The bear scampered off to the woods. It’s a day I’ll never forget. My five-year-old brother just laughed about it.

black and white photo of bear on wood

Photo by Pixabay on


Here is a poem I wrote.


Madronas hung precariously along the bluff in irregular fashion.

They shed their bark like creamy butter, rolling from a knife,

And fall as rotten apples to the ground.

Brittle leaves, once vibrant and glossy,

Crumble like dry, caked mud,

Tumbling into the pile of defecation.

The earth embraced their warmth,

As worms danced in a comical masquerade,

Forming compost around the trunks.

Their lives sustained,

The branches caress the dirt,

And buds sprout from their limbs.

Clad in newly grained burnt-orange bark,

Green leathery leaves emerge,

And white pyramid flowers blossom.

The Madronas have

landscape photography of green leaf trees

Photo by Johannes Plenio on



Their heads bobbing up and down,

Doves peck the ground,

Resembling sewing machine needles,

Eager for fallen seeds.

Squirrels climb the pole

And hang upside down,

Stretching to reach the sunflower seeds.

Little birds flutter round,

Red-headed finches, wrens, and dark-headed chick-a-dees,

Inching their way to feed,

on the variety of seeds.

But woe to the keeper

That plucks the empty shells from the ground

animal autumn avian bird

Photo by Arek Socha on

of the scattered seeds.

Terza rima Poetry

A Terza rima is a form of poetry with a rhyming verse stanza consisting of an interlocking 3-line rhyme scheme. The end word of second line to supply rhyme for first and third lines. Here is my example:

They rose from the dead

like gorgeous towers

in brilliant blue, yellow, and red.

Oh, they have such powers

to strike love in my heart

with the sight of their blooming flowers.

I hate to see them part,

For it seemed they just got here.

So, I’ll take them to the mart

and everyone will peer

at my dazzling beauties,IMG_0359

before they’re gone for another year.

Mother Mt. Rainer

Here is a poem I wrote. In Washington state, Mt. Rainer can be seen from many directions.

Mother mountain towers over all

And watches her wide expanse of land.

Aspens in riches of gold and orange,

Yellow-leafed beeches and giants of evergreens

Cover the hills and valleys of her domain.

Waterfalls tumble from her crevices of rock

And splash the carpet of burgundy below,

Until it flows into the river main.

Her flock gathers at her hem.

Elk, deer, rabbit, and bear at her feet

And birds-of-prey circle a halo above her.

Bigfoot’s call wavers on the wind,

Hidden in Mother’s folds,

Yet deep he pressed his feet into her mud.

Magnificent is Mother’s beauty,

Yet she suffers through summer’s heat

And winter’s sorrows,

But stays strong through it all,

And gives us faith and hope.IMG_0256.JPG



Nature Writing

Try sitting outside and just listen. What sounds do you hear? Are there birds singing? Do you hear traffic and if so, can you distinguish the sounds? Write everything down on a piece of paper or a journal. What do you feel? Is the wind blowing? Is it raining? Do you feel the warmness of the sun? What about smells? Can you smell the scent of spring? If you’re near the ocean, can you taste the salt in the air?

I recommend this lesson for any writer. This is a great stress reliever as well as clearing the mind.  Sometimes writers get stuck in the middle of their writing and think, now  what?  This might help.

Look at your notes. Use all five of  your senses to set the stage for your stories. It makes a better setting and draws the reader in.