One year follows another . . .


I could give all to Time except—except

What I myself have held. But why declare

The things forbidden that while the Customs slept

I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There,

And what I would not part with I have kept.

– Robert Frost


1601515_10202499335858755_1615335160_nLooking out from 73 magical years. Who would have thought so many would pass so soon? On December 27, 1941 I was born to Mittie Geneva Robertson and Donald Roy Spaulding. At the time we were living in Missoula, Montana at 926 Poplar Street—a house on a shady street in a quiet neighborhood, although now it isn’t far from the freeway. It may have been an apartment house. At any rate, I was named for my mother’s good friend, Mona–although, it may very well have been that it was Mona’s husband that was the good friend, for it was he that, so the story goes, loved to bath the baby: me. And, eventually, I came to understand that my mother did truly like men far more than she liked women; that is not to say that she was indiscreet, only to say that she didn’t like women so much. Probably lucky for me that both her children were girls.

Since I’m talking about my mother, it’s interesting to me, as I write this, and have inspected a copy of my birth certificate, that my mother recorded Mittie as  her first name; to my knowledge that name was always her middle name, and it was passed on to her as namesake to her aunt Mittie—her mother’s sister. Oh, my mother was a complicated lady. She changed her names, or interchanged them, with regularity–Born Roberta (twin to Robert), legally changed to Mittie Geneva (or Geneva Mittie) (Twin to Marion Gene (or Gene Marion)); she was called Geneva, Gen, Neve, Neva, and, finally, went back to Geneva again. And why not? Every change accompanied a life transition and, perhaps, also a personality variation. My mother, as I said, was complex. I don’t believe life ever offered her an opportunity to express all of herself at any one time.

I suppose it’s fitting to begin the narrative, when you look back from 73 years of life, by speaking of your mother. There is no one more important. It seems that is as true from the perspective of 73 years as it must have been at birth.  Born to any other I would not be who I am; although it must be said that I am quite different from my mother, yet I am the same.

When my mother died, she recognized me as her own mother. Oh, she had dementia from a stroke, but some inner light recognized the same flame burning in me. If insights have tails, I have my foot on that one finally, and it isn’t going to escape my consciousness anytime soon: we walk in the footsteps of the past.

My mother also said, near on to the time she passed, that she had more friends dead than she had alive. Now I am where I can almost say that: most of the two generations before me, the people who peopled my childhood, are gone; and many, many of my contemporaries—cousins, friends—are also gone. So forgive me if I sometimes seem to be speaking as an oracle from a mountain top: that’s how it seems to me as well. In truth, I have a truth or two to tell. But whoever listens to an oracle? These days, whoever even listens to a poet?

Nevertheless, as Robert Frost reminds me, I have transversed 72 years safely, never going on the straight path but always on the diagonal, and I have kept what I could not part with. Many of those people and things are no longer people and things I can touch, see, or hear; but they are with me still. They have come—and gone—at a high price.

And I am here. Facing year 73. Looking forward, but not forgetting. I have plans for year 73. Also for 74, 75 . . . and so on. In fact, in many ways, my life has just begun.

Mona L Spaulding Baisch





The year of the book has begun! My books!

Generally speaking, I do my annual planning in the  fall. That’s when I assess where I’ve been and where I’m going, figuratively speaking. I think it has something to do about a lifetime of looking forward to the start of the school year. For me, there’s nothing nicer than a new box of crayons; I still buy them when school supplies hit the shelves.

My eBook projects have been in the works for awhile–a long while. 2015 is going to be the year of the book. My books! My annual planning says it’s so!


Leona-96pix-800x1280The pièce de résistance  will be my children’s book, Leona the Part-Time Fairy.

This book has been a labor–of love, of course, but also of several years.

It’s a story that has taken on a life of its own and become more than one book. 2015 will see the completion of the second book in the series.

Deciding how to bring this book to market has been an interesting process. There are so many things to consider:

Traditional vs. ePublishing – both paths are circuitous. There are potential pitfalls, advantages and disadvantages. Once that decision has been made, the fun begins.

There is more one needs to know about either publishing decision than can actually possibly be learned without actual experience. I can certainly understand why an author needs an agent and a publisher.

It’s a question of does one want to write, or publish, or market books. There are three distinct processes involved in getting a book onto the shelf–or in the iPad. Four, if you separate the edit process from the writing process.

I won’t belabor my choices, except to say that I plan to ePublish. Leona the Part-Time Fairy will hit the eBookstands after the first of the year.


In order to launch this first book, I had to understand the various ePublishing platforms. To that end, I have put up three eBooks. All three are available now as Kindle books and can be found at Click on a picture and you will be magically transported.


They are experimental and short, but they have served my purpose. Interestingly enough, the two real kitties have become fictional characters (in my mind), and their exploits will go on as a chapter book series for kids.

FreddyCat and Bugs (our cats: one an exotic Sphynx housecat, the other a stray alleycat) have agreed to partner-up in a series of FreddyCat books.

The original eBooks are photographic picture books.




These two cats couldn’t be more different. That, of course, is the beginning of a great story.

FreddyCat Finds A Friend and Hi! I’m Bugs are introductions to the chapter book series.







The third of these experimental books isn’t intended as a children’s book at all–though many children will enjoy it.

Rembering When is a 55 page book of photography that features decrepit, old automobiles, farm equipment, and miscellaneous technological advances from yesteryear. It’s incredibly interesting to look back–and not so many years–to see where we’ve come from in terms of our daily lives.

What fun I expect to have in 2015!  It’s true! It’s true! Everything happens quicky–even things that take a very long time!

Mona L S Baisch

ROSS ROAD IRIS – 2015 season

The West Park iris garden--most historic varieties--looking toward the house.

The West Park iris garden–most historic varieties–looking toward the house.





Not every minute of every day is spent reading and writing–at least not here on Ross Road. There are very large gardens, mostly iris. The 2015 season begins in January.


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