The Life of Mary Allerton Cushman
Mary Allerton Cushman was not only the youngest passenger on the Mayflower, but the longest lived of the “first comers.” Though this engaging 2020 book is historical fiction, N.A. Granger (Noelle Parsons at MHC) brings alive what the life of women was really like in the seventeenth century. It captures the grit and struggle of the Pilgrim women who stepped into a new world in 1620 – one filled with hardship, danger and death. The Plymouth Colony would not have survived without them.
N.A. Granger is a Professor Emerita at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. After 40 years of research and teaching undergraduates and medical students, plus earning her EMT license, she decided to use her knowledge of human anatomy and emergency medicine in mystery writing. In addition to the The Brewster mystery series (Death in a Red Canvas Chair, Death in a Dacron Sail, Death by Pumpkin), she has written for Coastal Living and Sea Level magazines and several times for the Bella Online Literary Review. Her latest mystery, Death in a Mudflat, was released in June 2018. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with her husband and a Maine coon cat who blogs, and she spends a portion of every summer in Maine, researching for her books and selling them, too.
Also check out the review of Noelle’s stellar August, 2021 mini-reunion presentation under Past Events on this site.
Throughout my life I have written light verse for friends and family to commemorate special occasions. At the onset of the Covid lockdown, I received several emails from high school friends who were reaching out to say “Stay well! Good luck”. And then one day we received our first Amazon delivery of sterile gloves, hand sanitizers, alcohol wipes and masks, etc. and I gleefully said to my husband, “We can start a little Covid Corner” and the rhythm and rhyme just flowed. I decided to share it with 300 high school classmates I hadn’t seen in decades as well and friends and family. I got such positive feedback that I was encouraged to continue to create and post in what became the “Covid Collection of Pandemic Poetry. Before long, I found that while observing how the pandemic had changed our daily existence, I had become acutely aware of the way the government was responding to the pandemic. I continued for a year and a half, and finally last September I decided to stop because I found that most of my reflections were so negative in content, and it was painful to focus and comment on the state of the world. Will I pick ups my quill again and put thoughts down in writing? I don’t know, though every once in a while a line runs through my head. We’ll see……
Changing Times (4/30/20)
I never thought we’d see the day
When “normal” simply went away.
We took for granted where we’d go
Without a care, no need to know
If we’d be safe and free from fear
Of catching Covid — “Is it near?”
It seems our needs were always met-
a haircut now, a book to get from local libe, but wait — not open.
(Avoiding Amazon I was hopin’.)
I sit now at home — a day filled with gloom,
It feels like I’m waiting for life to resume.
But life DOES go on, no matter the date
Though many activities simply must wait.
We do what we can and we learn to make do.
We search now for joy in the little things, true.
The song of a bird, the tint of a flower.
(Aroma of coffee has grown in its power!)
All senses awaken with more time to spare.
I’ve “stopped to smell roses” and see what is where.
Our lives have slowed down, our rhythms are new.
A chance to see life from a different view
Sitting on a covered porch
Watching summer showers,
I call to mind our youthful days
Of carefree joys and powers.
We take for granted endless life
When we are in our prime,
Assuming that forever’s ours,
No limit to our time.
We learn, as years go flowing by
We can’t “rewind”, “replay”
The passage of our lives on earth.
We must use every day
To find the beauty and the worth
Of precious time we’re given.
Connect with what inspires us,
Let somber thoughts be driven
From minds and hearts. Instead, rejoice
And honor what is dear.
Connect with friends and those we love
And raise a glass of cheer.
Let’s hope for happy times ahead.
There’s much we can create.
The clouds will part, the sun will shine.
Life’s ours to celebrate!
As E-day draws closer, I’m very on edge,
Concerned that democracy sways on a ledge
Where balance can totter and truth takes a dive.
Without course correction, we cannot survive.
Please make your choice, not by thinking of taxes,
Kowtowing to lobbies, integrity lapses.
Consider the future, our children and “grands”
Protecting a country where liberty stands.
We all want what’s best, but how does that look?
(Deception, autocracy? not in my book!)
Honor is missing and courage to act
With forthright conviction, according to fact.
There’s so much at stake, as we make our selection
To safeguard democracy in this election.
Please value our essence, and choose whom you trust.
To safeguard this nation, smart voting’s a “must”!
Beth has always been drawn to creativity and tries to incorporate it into her life. An avid cook and baker, referring to her kitchen as her “playroom”, she revisited knitting during the early days of the Covid lockdown, producing baby blankets for the great grandchildren she hopes to have someday, as well as afghans and scarves for her 5 grandchildren. She is a yoga teacher, avid gardener, interior designer and the greatest fan of her husband, Chuck Queener, an amazing illustrator and graphic designer. They live in Newtown, CT. For more poems from her Covid Collection, contact Beth@neatnesscounts.com.