They Still Don’t Know

Nova Scotia, Poetry, The Pea | Posted by Jannie on 23 October 2012 @ 12:07 PM 25 Comments


where their red hair comes from

but that’s okay, it comes from love’s

ocean we’re all mermaiding in.


it comes from the doctor’s daughter who

in 1916 at age 10 posed in a Nova Scotia

summergarden with a chestnut violin.


it comes from the pines and the lilacs

of the dance hall she bought on auction

with 700 borrowed dollars in 1942,


the dance hall now in arrears,

but with my loving intention will shine

up the seashells again in seven years.


(because all love is up to me.)


one day, the invisible red thread that ties us all together

will reveal how after her too-young Episcopalian minister

husband died suddenly and unexpectedly of heart attack,


she took up buying and selling

antiques for the next 35 years,

finally closing shop at age 85


and her eyes at age 97.


how she never remarried, but

for a while had a beau who landed

on the beach in front of her house

to take her flying by seaplane.


how she loved silver

blue cotton sundresses

a glass of white a night

her 3 sons, their wives

her grandchildren,


and went on to outlive

all her sisters and friends,

but not the lilacs, and


not the love writing

this bottled message

here in Texas today.


will 2 red-haired angels

one day get to be friends

with a little half-sister,


maybe show her around

all the secret caves and coves

of the island they call home?


I hope so!


but who knows?

who knows how it

all will go, really?


i sure don’t, but

my money’s on the love

and on the red string


that knows all

the best waves are

still yet to come.


~~ end of poem written with hope and trust in all things good.

And hey — it’s Tuesday!


Sorry I’ve not been out to most of your blogs lately, I’m still in major bread-winning mode these days.

Love you all, tho. And plan on blog-hopping later this week, whoooohoooooo.



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  • 1

    On 23 October 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Linda said, 

    Nice story/poem you weave here. Been missing you! I’ve been either vacationing busy getting ready to go, or putting away once we returned. Have a great week. :)

  • 2

    On 23 October 2012 at 2:17 pm

    Teresa said, 

    Love this! It just draws me in wanting to know what was going to happen next.

  • 3

    On 23 October 2012 at 2:26 pm

    ayala said, 

    Nice tale !

  • 4

    On 23 October 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Lynn said, 

    My favorite line: “because all love is up to me” – I think that is wise and wonderful, Jannie Muffin.

  • 5

    On 23 October 2012 at 3:16 pm

    kelly said, 

    mo money’s on the love… always.

    this is so beautiful, a wonderfully spun tale.

  • 6

    On 23 October 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Poet Laundry said, 

    Love this. Beautifully spun.

  • 7

    On 23 October 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Daisy said, 

    A lovely story, Jannie. You pulled me along with each new line of that.

  • 8

    On 23 October 2012 at 4:03 pm

    Madeleine Begun Kane said, 

    Wonderful story poem. I especially liked:

    “she took up buying and selling
    antiques for the next 35 years,
    finally closing shop at age 85
    and her eyes at age 97.”

  • 9

    On 23 October 2012 at 5:18 pm

    brian miller said, 

    smiles…love is all up to us…and a pretty cool look as well at your history…i think it important we share these with our kids…that they understand where they came from…there is power in our sharing of these stories….cool pics too jannie! smiles.

  • 10

    On 24 October 2012 at 1:17 am

    Fred said, 

    wonderful piece Jannie. Love the way you wrote this, really reminded me of a sit around story-telling, as we’d have as kids and the parents would take turns telling stories, many of them true, too bad that tradition ended when a few of the parent’s friends moved out of the area, but this piece is so good love the magic created as you tell this. Thanks

  • 11

    On 24 October 2012 at 10:37 am

    Sara V said, 

    Jannie, I loved this–especially that ending the best waves are all yet to come–and the red thread that joins everything together. Also, closed the shop at 85 and her eyes at 97–so much said, in so few words–excellent!

  • 12

    On 24 October 2012 at 3:09 pm

    Beth Winter said, 

    because all love is up to me

    I adore that line

  • 13

    On 24 October 2012 at 3:46 pm

    Sara said, 

    Dearest Jannie — As always your words danced as I read them, but I felt slightly sad at the end. There seemed to be a longing, a wish just slightly out of reach.

    Still, I loved the story you told and the idea of the “red string” tying us all together through the generations and even beyond.

    I don’t think you have to worry about keeping up with your visits or your posting. I think the people who visit here, come to read YOU without expectations. We know something special when we see it and you are definitely special. Good luck with your ebay work.

  • 14

    On 24 October 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Liara Covert said, 

    Dearest Jannie, what a delightful journey to share here. The “invisible… thread that ties us all together” is a reminder that everything always unfolds with perfect timing. As resistance ceases, you feel nothing is ever to early or too late. Nobody is too young or too old to do what comes naturally; that is, to love, to return to love, to be love and to embrace everything with a heartfelt smile. After all, this life is a game and we choose our roles…

  • 15

    On 24 October 2012 at 10:28 pm

    SnaggleTooth said, 

    I didn’t know Ariel posed for pics! ooo I’d love to have a seaplane! Don’t think the coves here are long enough to land in tho-
    I like your invisible red string, n the tale of the real Lady who lived so long.
    Thanks for your inspired verse, n much luck with the bounty catching!

  • 16

    On 25 October 2012 at 12:58 am

    Chris Edgar said, 

    That is so poignant yet uplifting Jannie! If there were a Kickstarter campaign to save the dance hall, I wouldn’t even need a commemorative t-shirt or mug to be convinced to chip in!

  • 17

    On 25 October 2012 at 2:29 am

    Rosemary Nissen-Wade said, 

    Intriguing! And thank you for the link to ‘she’.

  • 18

    On 25 October 2012 at 7:44 am

    Dr. J said, 

    You have a wonderful family history, Jannie!!

  • 19

    On 27 October 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Audrey Howitt said, 

    You make me weep Jannie! You make me weep–beautiful, wistful write—hope all is well in your world!!!

  • 20

    On 27 October 2012 at 10:14 pm

    Alice Audrey said, 

    Is that the same kind of red thread that the Japanese say connects lovers?

  • 21

    On 28 October 2012 at 4:40 am

    Hilary said, 

    Hi Jannie – what a great post .. I can relate to this at the moment .. those last lingering memories tying themselves together – the umbilical chord that is life – yet we let our silken threads spread out across the stars through the web of our life .. I love your imagery here: one day a story might arise ..

    Kelly looks great with her mermaid queen … big hugs and lots of thoughts – be writing soon … xoxoxoxoxooxoxox Hilree, Hardwick and Muddy Hippo! xoxox

  • 22

    On 30 October 2012 at 10:25 am

    gdk3 said, 

    So many of us Nor’easters have history filled with intrigue and mystery, but nobody writes it like Jannie. Thank you again for sharing.

  • 23

    On 5 November 2012 at 4:28 pm

    LL Cool Joe said, 

    I have to say I do think there is something weird about the mermaid’s mauve shell bra, mind you that’s the kind of bra that Katy Perry wears all the time. Okay this comment makes me sound a bit pervy. 😀

  • 24

    On 8 December 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Alice Audrey said, 

    Is that the same red srtrng the Japanese say connects lovers?

  • 25

    On 9 December 2012 at 9:22 pm

    Jannie said, 

    I thank you ALL so much for your comments.

    And I continue to believe the best really IS yet to come and that love is all there is. So let’s keep loving and realize, as Liara points out, things are unfolding as they should.


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