Today we have another wonderful written piece from Jeanne Claire Probst, in our continuing literary series.
Report by Paula Antolini
April 13, 2015 8:19AM EDT
Today we have another wonderful written piece from Jeanne Claire Probst, in our continuing literary series. We are thrilled to have author/poet/blogger Jeanne Claire Probst join Bethel Advocate as a contributor, sharing her “Thought and Poem” written works with us. Her work covers many topics. She is excited to be fulfilling a life-long dream of writing a novel of which “The Fifteen Houses, a Novel” is her first published work. I think you will enjoy! (Read more about Jeanne Claire Probst below.)
THOUGHT AND POEM
Written By Jeanne Claire Probst
As a writer, my mind will go wild with ideas as I spot an object and wonder what is behind the history of it and the memories it may hold. It is amazing, but each time I look at the object, I can come up with many different stories around which to build on with words and make it come alive. There is a challenge that I look for when I see something or if a word touches me in some way.
I wrote this story last year after I saw an oak rocking chair at a yard sale and my imagination took over and this is the fictional story behind what I saw. Sometimes when I write I put myself in the shoes of those who may have used such item…as in this case the oak rocking chair.
What about you? Do you allow your mind to wonder about what stories may be behind the history of the objects you see…perhaps in your attic or basement? Share your thoughts with us…
Jeanne Claire Probst
The Oak Rocking Chair
I love the quiet, lazy, hot and sunny summer afternoons. I welcome any excuse to stop what I am doing and sit on my old oak rocking chair that I have placed on my newly painted wrap-around porch. We had purchased this oak rocker last summer at a Flea Market in a small quaint town about forty miles from my home.
I remember the day so clearly. My husband and I decided to just take off for a long ride to see what we would find or where we would end up. We got on an old back road and headed east toward all the old settlement towns. I love these special moments with my husband; alone time, adult time. No pets, no children, no grandchildren, just us! Our cell phones were muted and the radio was off. Nothing left but the car, the road, my husband and I. How about this tactic to force actual conversations with one another that is not e-mailed or sent by text messaging. It almost felt as if we were on our first date.
We passed by a hot dog and ice cream joint that we had frequented many times when we were courting. We would huddle together in the booth by the back corner of the room, and where it was quiet and away from the other patrons. In “our spot” which we would later refer to these moments, is where we could whisper our thoughts about our future together and… well… of course, our love thoughts too. Almost as if my husband had read my mind, he pulled over to the side of the road and when it was clear, he did a U-turn and drove into the parking lot of our “favorite” place. It warmed my heart that my husband remembered how special this place had been to us and it melted my heart to know that he had a yearning to be there with me again. I was touched.
Surprisingly to both of our eyes, we scanned the room and wouldn’t you know it, our “special” booth was still there and available. Because both of us had grown physically since the last time we visited the place, we had to now sit on our own side of the booth. Still my lips were smiling and I felt as if I was twenty-one again. I was even more surprised when my husband reached over from across the booth to hold my hand. His smile told me that he was enjoying the moment as much as I was. It is always nice for married people to be on the same “page.”
After we left our tip, we got in our car and followed the signs to a local Flea Market. It was just a short distance away and my husband did not have to wait for an answer when he asked me if I wanted to, “check it out.”
Hand in hand, we strolled through the marketplace not really looking for anything in particular. We were just enjoying the time together, the peace and the opportunity to put a little something more into our already blissful marriage. Couples need to do this from time to time, and more often than not.
We saw an elderly couple, still holding hands, sitting behind their table. You could see the love in their eyes. They must have been in their late seventies and you could read from their faces that they had experienced a good life together.
It was here that my eyes targeted an old rocking chair behind them. I could see myself rocking in that chair on my porch for many years to come. My husband too, as we always share. Without saying a word, my husband reached into his back pocket and handed the man the money to purchase the chair and looked at me and said, “For you.” Oh, I was touched to the point where my knees had gotten weak and I had to grab hold of him for support, like I had done when he had asked me to marry him. Another moment I will never forget…a memory I will cherish forever.
THE OAK ROCKING CHAIR — POETIC VERSION
Written by Jeanne Claire Probst
On quiet and lazy hot summer afternoons,
I like to stop what I am doing and sit on my porch where it is cool.
The oak rocking chair was a gift from my husband last year,
When he had seen a Flea Market and decided we would stop there.
We had been out for a ride, not knowing where we would end up,
But spending time with my husband was special, so I did not care where we went being with him was enough.
No cell phones, no pets, no adult children or grandchildren to take care of,
We just drove down streets, together, alone, just the two of us.
We’ve done this many times since we had our first date,
And my husband had taken the route where we would end up passing our “favorite “eating place.
As we passed by it, it was as if he had read my mind,
He pulled to the side of the road and turned around now driving on the other side.
Our booth was still in the corner where it had always been, shades blocking the sun.
Sitting in “our booth,” hand in hand, we whispered softly that this is where our love had begun. It warmed my heart to know that my husband remembered our spot,
And it touched my heart knowing he wanted to be here with me, I was thankful for the memories, I was glad we had stopped.
After we left and got back in our car,
We spotted a “Flea Market” sign, and it was just down the street a bit, not very far.
We strolled through the marketplace, and again we held hands,
We weren’t looking for anything in particular, but the blissful feeling only true love could understand.
We stopped by a booth, and we smiled to each other,
The booth belonged to and elderly man and woman, and you could sense the love they still had for one another.
Although they may have had rough times in their life,
It was clear that they experienced a happy married life despite.
We spotted the oak rocking chair behind them in the booth, off to the side,
Immediately I could picture myself rocking in this chair in the years to come, I had to hide my teary eyes.
And because my husband and I always shared what we had,
To let him rock in this chair too, would also make his heart glad.
Without saying a word, my husband paid for the oak rocking chair,
And looked at me lovingly and said, “This rocker is for you my dear.”
Surprised, my knees got weak and I had to grab hold of him for support,
Oh, how I will always remember this wonderful day, a memory I will cherish forever more.
Jeanne Claire Probst
The Fifteen Houses, a Novel
The Fifteen Houses is the first book of this new and exciting series to be published. Staged in the beautiful and scenic palate of East Longmeadow, Massachusetts, in the early 1950’s, the main character delves into her reoccurring and discomforting memories of her younger, formative years. Searching for answers to questions that have resurfaced in her mind over and over again during her time away from her family, she seeks to find rhyme and reasons to her insecurities, anger, phobias, fears, and life’s choices. Julianne Marguerite, one of eleven children, is determined to uncover the “mystery” that resulted in the downfall of her family. As you turn the pages in the book, each series of memories, will open a different door, to the different homes, (“Fifteen” to be exact).
ABOUT JEANNE CLAIRE PROBST
Jeanne Claire Probst was born and raised in the New England state of Massachusetts, is retired an lives in Ludlow. She is excited to be fulfilling a life-long dream of writing a novel of which “The Fifteen Houses, a Novel” is her first published work.
Jeanne shares her poetry blog, “Thought and Poem,” on her Facebook Page: Jeanneclaire Probst that is aimed to encourage, comfort, and share with others what it feels like to be human! She is also doing her part in bringing awareness around bullying and finding solutions to redirect anger and disappointments and her blog: Breaking Down the Bully Wall – One Action at a Time can also be followed on Facebook.
For more information about the author, her book and poetry visit: