That I’ve learned nothing at all apparently

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Old habits die hard, if they die at all.

I took part in a 30-day poetry challenge shortly after signing up for Medium. I thought it would be a good idea to force myself to write every day for 30 days. Lock in the habit. I was successful at that. I wrote every day for 30 days, and have continued writing every day.

As I was thinking about putting together my what did I learn reflection to post I kept coming back to an event early in my writing journey. I took a creative writing class some hundred years ago as a sophomore/junior undeclared major of some sort. …

Tysons Corner, Northern Virginia, 1952–1968.

Photo by Kristopher Roller on Unsplash

94 Acre Woods: Stories of a land not forgotten

Story #1

We siblings, 5 boys and I, the one-and-only girl, grew up in a magical neighborhood in Northern Virginia. In a time when there were still patches of woods with creeks and critters to discover. In a time without constant adult supervision we learned to adapt, get along, imagine, and thrive.

A recent trip back to the neighborhood was depressing beyond tears. The entire 94 Acre subdivision and surrounding woods has been replaced with hotels, office buildings, off ramps and an expanded shopping mall parking lot. It wasn’t a shock like a sudden death is. …

True Story by Carolyn F. Chryst

From Family Photo Collection by Walter E. Chryst

The Family moved from Virginia to Oxford, MS, in the summer of 1967. This was well after the “ Battle of Oxford” race riots of 1962; but it was all the town folks could talk about. Dad bought a house nearly 20 years after William Faulkner’s “Intruder in the Dust” was filmed in it; yet it was all our neighbors talked about. A run down behemoth Victorian that belonged to a long lost era. The house even had a slave quarters listed as a selling point; which was all we Damn-Yankees from Virginia could talk about. To eleven year old…

Photo by Edward Lowe 1946

What’s your origin story?


Check the box CCO

Check the box:
single, widowed, divorced
Which label do I pick?

I may have divorced a dead man
really don’t want to know
each time I have to pick a box
label screams to me
You are alone
no exception like it or not
I am that

A hobby farmer
don’t even think
about calling me that
except I am
wanting to be more
truth, I’m not

Label me liberal-you’d not be wrong
but you’d have to look away and ignore
that fiscal and personal responsibility
are central to my core
Am I more conservative
than not? …


Tag you’re it!

Photo by Mark Stebnicki from Pexels

Someone with a legitimate complaint about tagging!

Carolyn F. Chryst, Ph.D. see I tagged myself so as not to offend. I’ve just read the umpteenth article witching about tagging with a capital “B”. The article was on my front page of Medium, so clearly some curator or algorithm agrees with the anti-tag sentiment.

To tag or not to tag is not even a question.

TAG away, Tag away I say.

I like being tagged for a variety of reasons. The primary reason I like when I am tagged is I enjoy being invited into a writing world I may not have chosen on my own.

A major…

Until I learned “the trick”

CCO on pexels-pixabay-33786.jpg

Best Behavior on Medium

I’ve read numerous articles about Medium etiquette. A major issue of discussion is clapping protocols. I was told by my Medium BFF that we should clap no less than the max of 50 times.

“Give a full set of claps or don’t bother.”

I took the advice and started giving a full set for any article I found even remotely interesting. I made a goal of reading a minimum of three articles with my morning coffee. But clicking that darn space bar with my thumb 50 times made my arthritis, aka “Arthur,” flare wicked bad.

I had to swallow a…


The only hands I have, a nod to Robert Frost

Image by Please Don’t sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

The only hands I have on my farm are mine
I ran out of time, onions did not go in
no lovely Ebenezer Whites this year
for the pickled zuks that are arriving
by the ton, and berries turning blue
need attending too.

As do teeth and eyes and heart
so off to the docs I must stride
so much windshield time
so long a ride

I live 40 minutes from there
wherever there is
east, west, north, or south
then turn right and go ten miles more

Dead tired from that drive to self care
and back, from discovering a…


A poem of fractured lyrics and phrases

CCO from

there is spilt milk for which we are not to cry
as big boys and girls know —
don’t cry eye eye-they don’t cry

cry me a river, why don’t ya
cry cry cry, cry baby
cry wolf, cry crocodile tears
communicate those fears

break down and cry
when foul play is a foot
grab a beer to cry into

or would you rather
whimper for crying out loud
or weep and wail
over your epic fail
sobbing brings on
ugly tears, gnashing
rending, lamenting

but if I cry alone
in the wilderness
did it count
if no one is about
to empathize or criticize…

Bird Calls

Mother Nature can be such a Bitch

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels

Eight years on the farm and something new everyday!

I was awakened four days ago by a screaming bird. Loud, unceasing, screeches through two cups of coffee. Continued screaming through two hours of mowing. Four long days, this painful sound filled the air from dawn to dusk. It was difficult to endure.

I first thought it was the Blue Jays that enjoy the large pines on the property. But I saw them happily chasing chickadees away from the berry bushes. I determined the noise was coming from one very pissed off hawk. I didn’t see it for the first two days. …

Carolyn F. Chryst, Ph.D.

Has had an eclectic life — Waitress, Actress, Zoo Curator, Story Teller, Poet, Exhibit Designer, Writer, Farmer and Educator.

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