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A short slice of life - Uh-Oh, Spaghetti-Os!

©Shers Gallagher 2014 

I grew up in the midst of a big gaggle of kids, which is why a lot of my memories include several overnights with the grandparents who were kid-oriented and loved us to bits. Yet, in truth, I think that even they needed a break from us now and again. One of these times was when they left us to spend an afternoon at a neighbour’s house, who’d also had grandchildren to watch that day. And, I’ll never forget the memory, if only for the lunch menu item the grandmother had served.

I never thought that my little Irish-American mother spoilt us kids. In my mind, it was more like she indulged us with her own love of children and play. Yet, I can’t remember her ever serving us canned foods for a meal, except for maybe a cup of warm Campbell soup along with a sandwich. But that was it. So, when this neighbour of my grandparents’ served us all platefuls of canned Spaghetti-Os, I was appalled. I was also brought up to be polite, and did try to be as mannerly as a young girl could be, being raised in the midst of a ramshackle bunch of brothers. So, I sniffed and eyed and played around with all those red, soupy over-starched ‘O’s’ as long as I could without seeming rude. Then I thanked the lady and told her I really wasn’t that hungry after all. When I got home, I told my mother how the woman had taken several cans of these ‘O’s’, plopped them in a big pot, fired up the burner and blasted them all to a boil before serving. Mom agreed that this sounded disgusting, and that was that.

I had forgotten about my Spaghetti-O moment until something my Dutch husband had said about growing up in Holland and watching American TV series, wondering what that big bowl of white paste was about that American families always seemed to be plopping in the middle of the dinner table and serving their kids. He had never known what it was and thought it an odd dish for Americans to consume as a part of their daily diet, mostly because it looked to him like something one might apply to their walls before papering. Hahaha. When I told him it was simply potatoes mashed to a pulp and often served with a dollop of butter and gravy, his mouth began to water. He may have even served this as a side dish to the meal he was preparing that evening. Oh joy! 
Aisling Books


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The Call

©Shers Gallagher 2016
The days grow colder and my heart grows bolder
to hear the call of the totem wolf, 
though limbs begin to rattle like the branches of a tree
as leaves turn bright before they fade and quietly fall,
drifting down and crumbling into air 
that smells of crackling pine and roasting logs of cedar.
I missed you then as I miss you now. 
But most of all I miss my youth 
and the dance I used to be.
Not the dance of whirring bees,
because I never was a hostile takeover. 
I miss the playful shadows of light
and soft breezes on silken feathers.
I miss the easiness of then, 
though, in truth I’m more physically comfortable now. 
And yet I’d give it all up for only a few more 
playful shadows of twilight and silken days. 

Aisling Books

Shers on Irish FM radio - Murder On the Rocks!

What fun to be asked to do this radio interview with CRY 104 FM in County Cork while I plugged a murder mystery I'd written and set in Youghal, Ireland.

Murder On The Rocks!
 is the first of what has eventually turned into a 3-part series, entitled: A Felly van Vliet series, named after its protagonist.
Airtime with this County Cork DJ - Stan Notte - ended up with him not only asking about why I'd based this first work in the sleepy little Irish harbour town of Youghal, but also a bit about the writing process and my background as well.
Have a listen to this live broadcast. As the Irish say, it was great craic!

We are humans for humanity - building bridges, not walls

We are humans for humanity - building bridges, not walls
Kudos to every man, woman and child who organised, promoted and took part in this past Saturday's remarkable event

Though I had to work in another part of the country of the Netherlands during 21 January's Women's (and men's) March on Washington, I was happy to have had a small hand in laying the groundwork for our Dutch protest that I hear ended up having around 3000 plus protesters marching in Amsterdam Saturday. WOW! These numbers may not seem like much to the rest of the world, but for our small country I found it nothing less than fantastic. Thanks to the wonderfully tireless preparations of organiser Petra Benach and her small crew, I too was able to contribute beforehand by passing out flyers and talking to others about the event in hopes of raising awareness as to why it’s been so important to hold a march here in the Netherlands as well. With others I discussed why it wasn't just a national but global p…