This I Believe

Donna - Beverly, Massachusetts
Entered on October 10, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50
Themes: family
  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

New England Nostalgia words of warmth, wisdom and wonder

Ahh… the days of lincoln logs, silly putty, tea parties with salamanders and Walt Disney, on Sunday nights. Come re-visit the warmth, wonder and wisdom with my words.

Dancing in my Grandfather’s shadow

As a child I found comfort

in my Grandfather’s shadow

nestling in his towing wisdom

his spoken words

gently whispered guidance

as callused hands told stories

walking me through his years

with innocent glimpses

of his unmet dreams

His aging eyes captured my adoration

mirroring tradition and casting fortune

At times they would twinkle

inviting my loyalty and respect

as his unrestrained smile balanced

yesterdays pains and joy

Time embedded forehead lines

mapped his many journeys and detours

through life with respect not regret

Often my Grandfather would cup his ear

as he listened to my hunger for his affection

while never letting on that he knew

my adventurous stories were exaggerated

for his benefit

My Grandfather always paused before he spoke

claiming my full attention in anticipation

for the “rest of the story”

and the lessons behind his words

I carry my Grandfather’s impact on me

as I map out and journey my own life

while I proudly dance in his shadow.

Donnalee Webber


Jenny jumped her checkered rope

for hours in a day

Each time her tapping shoes went down

her pigtails up would stay

Everywhere that Jenny went

her skipping rope would go

She jumped all summer, spring and fall

from dawn to twilight’s glow

Jenny jumped for many years

each day of every season

Everyone tried to make her stop

it mattered not her reason

You look silly, they all scorned

you’re getting much too old

Jenny paused, to share a smile

and with pigtails gray she told

You are all the silly ones,

that chased childhood dreams away

But I pledged 90 years ago

to never forget how to play



Pixie cuts, Faded overalls

Buckle shoes

Sweet baby dolls

Sunday bonnets, A tiny tea set

Little jarred firefly

Night light pet

Cracker Jacks, Stacked Lincoln logs


Pail of pollywogs

Walk stone walls Like a balance beam

Arms stretched out

Which way to lean

School swings that touch the sky

snowball fights

mittens to dry

Sneak green apples from a neighbor tree

who gets the belly ache first we’ll see

Trade a big nickel

For that little dime

Hopscotch jump a rope

Hands clap with rhyme

Splashing puddles

Mixing mud’s

Mr. Bubbles

A beard of suds

Watch Walt Disney

Each Sunday night

So colorful black and white

Pink silly putty Stuck on comic books

School yard cooties

Catch dirty looks

Digging to China

From a big sand pile

“Where is this place?”

It’s sure taking awhile.

Picking Lady Slipper’s

Run home with a song

Innocence not ignorance

To know that it was wrong

Whispering whishes

As shooting stars fall

Reflections of hand puppets

Dance on the wall

Kicking your heels

Against church pew’s

Before you realize

You’ve outgrown your shoes

Pockets of tradition

echo’s of a song

treasures of innocence

gifts to pass along