Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Last night I had every intention of sharing my latest poem with all of you, but I just got on a roll with my musings about the new year to come. Anyway, I thought I'd better stay on point tonight since the subject matter of my latest poem is about the ever popular New Year's Resolutions. Even those of us who don't make resolutions, secretly do make them. They may not share them with anyone, however, for fear of having to "fess up" if they fall flat on their face. Resolutions do serve a purpose though, if only to force us to look at the areas in our lives that need improvement. So here it is. If nothing else this little ditty should make you smile.

By Patty Lynn

With New Year’s Day approaching,
You’d better take a tally…
Of all the things you didn’t do.
Come on, don’t dilly-dally.

The resolutions came and went
And never were fulfilled.
This year you’re gonna have to be…
A trifle more strong willed.

Now you can start by making lists,
Then counting each one off,
But if you make a great big deal,
Then others just might scoff…

At all the ones that don’t get done.
You’ll never hear the end.
So make your goals most quietly,
Besides, then you can bend…

The rules of resolutions.
They’re easier if you do,
But if you keep them to yourself,
They won’t come back to you…

To bite you in the derrière,
Remind you of your failings.
‘Cause no one wants to feel like that;
We’d rather have smooth sailing.

So if you must resolve at all,
Make sure it’s realistic,
And if you make allowances,
Adjusting may just fix it.

A small change here, a tweaking there,
Who cares if it gets done.
‘Cause then next year you’ll try again,
And, oh, won’t that be fun?

Monday, December 29, 2008


It blows my mind that 2008 is almost over and we're going to be turning another page to 2009. It promises to be a historical year complete with a new president, a new party in office and, of course, a horrendous mess that everyone's looking to Barack to remedy. We do, however, have to remind ourselves that he is not the only one making decisions and since he is not a king with absolute power, many in Washington will weigh in on how to solve our world of problems. I certainly do not envy Barack. The only one that has it made is Bush. He gets to walk away, smile and wave goodbye. I'm sure he'll get over his low popularity rating as he spends his considerable retirement wages.

But all of us, we're not so lucky. Many of us are jobless, have gone into foreclosure or are trying to sell our homes for less than we owe on our mortgages, just for cash to live on. Others have had to watch their retirement savings go down the tubes. We've just experienced pretty meager Christmas gift giving, couldn't afford to travel and are not looking forward to another year of the same struggles. But, look what we've gained. Did you hear that right? Gains in this bleak economy? Yes, folks, gains!

Out of this comes a concentration on home, family, loved ones and prayer. Not only is prayer in place for making requests of God, it's there to connect us to God. An invisible email, so to speak. His address always comes up in the send line and we don't need a computer to reach him. He is on speed dial, and we don't need a phone. I believe that prayer is the single most powerful way to affect a change in our lives, and not just in an outcome. By relying on prayer, making it a habit, we connect to God and in so doing, we feel his connection with us.

And don't forget little children. Whether they're ours or someone else's, these little ones are so innocent and removed from all this other stuff. Their smiles and outlook is so devoid of cynicism and worry and depression. They are our best guides through all of this. They're happy with a crayon and a piece of paper and if, as they get older, they are wrapped up in Playstation and Wii, it's because WE over did it. If they don't prize a fresh dollar bill from Grandma and Grandpa, it's because we haven't taught them the value of money.

Instead of concentrating on the negatives of our present difficulties, concentrate on all the blessings we do have. There is no greater place to start than with prayer and children.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


It's hard to believe but Christmas has past and soon we'll be making the change from 2008 to 2009. I don't know about you, but it takes me a good two weeks to write the new year on checks, on correspondence, whatever requires the new year's date. I could blame it on old brain cells but it's been that way since I can't remember when.

But a new year is really a wonderful thing, as much as the old seemed to pass quickly, we have a new one to, hopefully, make our mark (a good mark) on this world we live in. I guess like everyone, I want to take this new year and make a difference in someone's life, connect with friends, make some new ones, ponder all the incredible things my two year grandson are learning, say "I love you" more often,
share my faith, etc. My list goes on and on. The best we can do with this new year is make it better than the last. I know that typically we're suppose to start our resolution list with all our failings and generally that means, for many, losing weight and getting more exercise, and I'm not much different than other people. Those are admirable goals and, yes, I need to do a better job at that, too. It's just that the others I've mentioned are more important to me. You'll have to decide what tops your list and really try to accomplish it. I know I'm going to try to be successful with mine.

I offer the following as a nudge in the right direction, something to ponder and think about as the new year approaches. I found it so reading it again.

by Patty Lynn

Silver bells and carolers and brightly flick’ring trees,
Packages all tied with bows, it seems hard to believe…
That all the preparations, the hustle-bustle game,
Is nothing but a memory, we go back to the same…
Old day-to-day monotony, awake and work and sleep,
Forgetting we’ve a brand new year and promises to keep.

The slate is clean, the year awaits, for us to write our song.
Will it be filled with harmonies or chords that sound all wrong?
Our song is what we make it, our melody’s our own,
From lullabies to symphonies our song is how we’re known.
So if your song’s a rockin’ tune, a rap or rhapsody,
Remember that someone might hum the song you choose to be.

Friday, December 26, 2008


My sister and I have a unique bond and have had it since we were little. There's eight years between us, me being the older. But as the years have gone on, that difference has been almost obliterated, and never so much as when we're being silly. Case in point: yesterday, Christmas Day, when our families got together.

While her husband and mine joined forces with her children for a game of dominoes, we chose to sit on the couch, talk, and make faces at each other to convey our point, for emphasis, or just for fun. When the two of us get together like this, it's a raucously fun time! It's as if we revert to when we were children and the more funny faces that are made, the better. Sometimes we try to out do one another, trying a myriad of facial contortions, and cracking each other up. Sound silly? Well, it is and we love it. Talk about getting in touch with your inner child! We have no problem there.

Anyway, that was the inspiration for this "silly little ditty." Hope it makes you laugh. (If it doesn't, just stand in front of a mirror and make funny faces - works every time).

By Patty Lynn

I love to be a “silly pants”
And laugh a lot with you,
We make such goofy faces,
I haven’t got a clue…

Why what you do’s so funny,
Or why I crack you up.
The mystery eludes me.
I guess it’s just my luck…

That there’s no one besides you,
Who makes me laugh this way…
I must confess, I’ve yucked at less…
What more it there to say…

But you’re a laugh a minute.
I just can’t help but grin.
And if my mood is sagging,
You change the mood I’m in.

‘Cause you can’t be a “sad sack”
When faced with silly faces.
A laugh’s the fix, to get your kicks,
It’ll put you through your paces!

No matter if we're older
And tempered we should be.
I’ll make a face at you and then…
You’ll make one back at me.

So we’ll keep making faces,
Who cares if some object,
‘Cause I ain’t made a face at you…
That you ain’t laughed at yet!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


It's almost midnight and we're just about to turn in after a delightful Christmas Eve with our extended family. This is the first year after many, many years that I didn't host the festivities and it was really nice to be the guests this time. The biggest and most predictable revelation: No clean up!

My son and his lovely wife were our hosts this year and everything was perfect. Their home was done up with lovely decorations complete with a beautiful purple and silver tree with a velvet tree skirt. There was enough delicious food to feed an army and the songs of the season wafted through every room. This was the first year that my grandsons could communicate in words and one was particularly talkative through the first part of the Christmas Eve services and sung along to every hymn. By 8:30 these darlings were ready for Ni-nites and I'm sure were so over stimulated from all the gifts that it was obvious it was time for them to go home. I'm sure they didn't understand why these pretty wrapped packages were being shoved at them that they were instructed to rip apart. But when tomorrow comes they'll have plenty to do.

My husband and I left about 10PM and were not able to just come home and hit the hay, so we exchanged our gifts for each other. That is the most relaxed part of Christmas Eve and in many ways my favorite. But the gift exchange part, though pleasant, is not the reason for the celebration. We remembered the Christ Child once again, God's promise fulfilled and the reality of what that means to us today, December 24, 2008. Soon this year will be a thing of the past and we will again herald the coming of the New Year, a fresh start, a new beginning, maybe some new struggles but it'll be a new year, 2009. My hope is that we cherish each day and live it as though it were our last because we never know when "our last" will come. I pray we have many more years to show our love for one another, to appreciate the little things, to watch little ones grow & learn and to realize the importance of forgiveness. My final wish for all of you and your families is just that you LIVE WELL, LAUGH OFTEN, AND LOVE MUCH!!!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008


As I sit here at 11:15PM thinking to myself, "what are you staying up so late for?"
I have to admit this writing thing is an addiction. Even when I'm tired at the end of the day, I feel like I can't go to bed if I haven't made an entry for a couple of days. I just can't! It's certainly not that I believe the world needs to hear my thoughts because they are so profound. It's really that I NEED to put them down on paper (now that's a strange thought when, in this context, there is no paper involved). Anyway, I was thinking about the way my poetry comes to me and wrote this little poem to express that. Here it is.

by Patty Lynn

Sometimes the words come easy,
Sometimes the words won't come.
Sometimes it takes forever.
Sometimes it's lots of fun!

Regardless, it's a challenge,
A mental calisthenic.
Some thoughts seem like molasses
Or sometimes they're frenetic.

Guess that's the nature of the beast,
No formula for rhyming.
Some think it's scientific,
I think it's just good timing.

I can't predict when juices flow
And poems will be created.
I only know that when they are,
I sometimes feel elated!

Sunday, December 21, 2008


I've probably worn out my coverage of the weather but, are you kidding me with this cold! I don't remember a December with temps so low and winds so high it makes the windchill factor like 30 below. I was real glad that I had no place to go after we'd returned from church. On my agenda was to get all my presents wrapped and ready for transport and I fulfilled my goal, almost. Standing, sitting, standing, it took a toll on my back so I decided the best thing was to wrap everything and put a tag on the bottom with the recipient's name and then put the ribbons on, Monday or Tuesday. As it was, in the aftermath, I had to use a heating pad on my back between the shoulders as I reminisced about the days gone by, when all of this seemed so easy. There was a time like that, wasn't there?

But enough about the weather, the wind, the aches and the pains. It's not interesting to anybody else. Besides, everybody gets to this place sooner or later. What I really wanted to talk about tonight was story of the angel coming to Mary, telling her about what was coming. I can't help but try to put a story like that in contemporary terms and imagine that happening today. Can you imagine, a little (a young) girl from a small town, looking up and seeing an angel? I'd immediately think I had lost my mind and that I was seeing things. This couldn't be happening!
No one sees an actual angel, do they?

Well, here the angel is and begins telling this girl that she's going to give birth and she's probably thinking, hey, wait a minute, I'm a virgin and there is NO WAY I'm having a baby. Now that's screwy enough news, impossible news, impossible event. I am engaged to this guy, Joseph, but Joseph and I have never had...sex. What would people think if I was pregnant, what would they think of me... and, oh my goodness, what will Joseph think? I don't know if I would be as polite as Mary was. The story goes that she says she's perplexed at the things the angel says. I would be, "Are you kidding me?'

But Mary listens to the rest of this announcement and learns that she has found favor in God's eyes and this baby is going to be a miracle, the long awaited Savior. That was a lot to swallow. Being regarded as special, so special that God had chosen me to carry His Son. Now that I can't imagine. Mary on the other hand listens attentively and finally realizes a very important lesson. Granted, from the beginning, this whole thing is unimaginable but it does teach us an incredible lesson, 1) God keeps His promises and 2) there is nothing so impossible that God can't do it.

At this Christmas time, we reflect on the first Christmas in Bethlehem. We again visit the manger and see the baby Jesus and those of faith see God's miracle of becoming human, for us and for what was to come. It is said, "Faith is believing without seeing", and it is. But everyday there are events that prove God's ability to do the impossible. It's hard enough trying to put the myself in Mary's shoes much less having an angel be the messenger with this extraordinary story of God's plan. But I believe it happened. And what's more, impossible things happen everyday and that confirms for me that God is at work in the here and now.

May your here and now be blessed with faith and love and the revelation that with God, nothing is impossible!

Friday, December 19, 2008


Today amid the house cleaning and box getting (each present needs the right box so that the next step, the wrapping, can get off to a good start), the doorbell rang and I was handed a beautiful Christmas centerpiece for my table. It was picture perfect even including gorgeous red roses that looked dew-kissed and a gold candle in the middle with a hurricane around it that said Peace. The card told me that my dear friends in the Milwaukee area were thinking of us and wishing us a Merry Christmas. Actually, I was brought to tears, first at the lovely gesture and then because with the recent job loss, I wasn't able to reciprocate. I immediately called her and we had a great visit, catching up on things and reiterating what we have said many times, "I love you and I'm blessed to have you in my life!"

This brought home what we both knew, it's not about presents, it's about love and the enrichment of friendship. What a gift! Many never experience the bond of true friendship and I feel so blessed to have the special friends that I have. My hope for all of you this holiday season is that you will reflect on the friendships in your life and if there are some you've lost contact with, that you rekindle the friendship you once had.

By Patty Lynn

There are friends who are friends for a moment
And some that, it’s true, you lose sight of,
There are friends from your past,
That you so thought would last,
With some effort, you know, that they might’ve.

But then there are friends who you know will…
Not fade for a lifetime no matter,
Who you see not as often,
But when you start talkin’,
It’s anything but useless chatter.

That’s the friend that is there for the good times,
And the bad and the lousy and crabby.
If a month should go by,
You needn’t ask why.
Settle in,‘cause it’s sure to be gabby!

I’ve a friend who’s like that, that I treasure,
Who I’m proud just to say that she’s mine.
For a friendship like this,
So many have missed.
For me, it’s a once in a lifetime!

Though we’re older, I’m sure that we’re wiser…
Than the day when met long ago.
Through THICK and through thin,
Our friendship has been…
What only a few ever know.

So remember that friendship is precious,
Must be tended and cared for by you.
Now it can last forever,
If you promise to never…
Take for granted its value so true.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


As I'm sure you can tell, I'm anticipating Christmas but not so much the big storm they're predicting. Our weather, in general, seems to be record breaking no matter what season we're talking about. Despite the warning (If you don't have to go out, stay in) the fact remains that some of us have to be out in it, snowstorm or not. I'm not looking forward to it, certainly, as it does seem that people's good judgement goes out the window in the winter weather. Tonite, on my way home from work with oncoming traffic as well as my lane facing a green lite, somebody decided to make a left hand turn right in front of my car. Had I not been watching, that would have ended up as just another accident.

Though the weather seems to always be a topic for conversation, what I'm really thinking about as we get out there and finish our Christmas shopping, is the impersonalness of it all. Do you wish everyone, a clerk, a smiling face approaching you, or whomever, a Merry Christmas? I do, but it is usually met with surprise and oft times a look of confusion. What ever happened to that? Well, on that topic I wrote the following. I hope it makes you think and maybe, just maybe, makes you think of sharing a little Christmas cheer.

By Patty Lynn

You know, I find it int’resting,
This festive time of year,
That Merry Christmas greetings are
So seldom what you hear.

Most folks are darting here and there,
Intent on bargain finds,
And clerks seem so disinterested.
Good cheer’s not on their minds.

I know that I recall a time
When it was automatic,
That people smiled and wished you well,
And days were not so frantic!

Our thoughts were more of hearth & home,
Not price tags so impressive,
That in the Christmas aftermath
Your thoughts became depressive…

Because your plastic was maxed out
And bills were mounting fast.
Instead we made some memories,
The kind that really last!

We sat around the Christmas tree
Recalling famly faces.
We laughed that “some assembly” meant…
We’d be put in our places.

Each cookie was the homemade kind,
Not ones you buy in stores.
We’d raise a cup of real eggnog,
I’d clink my cup to yours.

Then afterwards we’d sing some carols,
No matter if in tune.
We sang our hearts out anyway.
The end came way too soon.

Yes, Christmas time in days gone by
Was different from today.
If only we could all return…
To the Old Fashioned Way.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


This past Monday I brought a nativity scene over to my daughter's to introduce my two year old grandsons to the Christmas Story. What makes these characters unique is that they're depicted as children. I brought them over to the twin's table where all the art activities happen and emphasized that this was something SPECIAL. As I took out each figure from the bag, I made sure that they understood how special the baby was and explained that the mama, Mary, and the daddy, Joseph, loved their little baby, Jesus, very much. The shepherd and the three kings knew that this baby was really special, too, and came to visit him. They're are very young and to go into more detail would have been confusing but they certainly could understand the terms,
mama, daddy and baby. One twin in particular loves playing with the figures and saying who they are and, for whatever reason, believes the black wise man looks like his Papa. Now Papa is blond and fair but that doesn't matter. He's Papa and he occasionally gets a kiss, too.

This got me to thinking about the Christmas Story from a little one's perspective and so I wrote the following poem. The child in the poem is older than 2 but I think hearing the story and a child's reaction to it, gives us a better insight into the impact this historical and miraculous story can have on a little one, as well as for ourselves.

By Patty Lynn

Baby Jesus, you’re so small
And yet I have been told
That you did really big, big things
When you were grown up old.

I ‘member Grandma told me that…
You didn’t have a bed,
And so your mama, carefully,
Laid down your little head…

Into a manger made for cows,
But it was soft and clean.
She said you were the cutest boy
Your Mom had ever seen!

And shepherds saw some angels white,
All singing in the sky.
At first they felt real scared inside,
Until they knew just why!

And fancy kings in golden coats
Came from so very far,
To visit you because they saw
A bright and shiny star!

I wish I could have been there,
To see you as a baby.
If Mary said it was alright
I’d come real close and maybe…

I’d pick you up so carefully
And whisper “I Love You.”
I may not understand it all
But I believe it’s true…

That you grew up, became a man,
And died for everyone,
And someday I’ll see you for real
We’ll both have lots of fun!

I’ll see my Grandma once again.
I loved her soft, soft face.
Mom says they’ll be no wrinkles there,
She says you can erase!

The same way you erase my sins,
I know sometimes I’m bad,
But I know you forgive me,
And that you don’t get mad.

Mom tells me that she loves me
And that you love me, too.
I wish I was in Bethlehem
And I could visit you.

I love to hear the story of
Your birthday, long ago,
I know that’s why there’s Christmas,
So everyone will know…

That, Baby Jesus, you were born,
So soft and pink and small,
To be our bestest present,
The greatest gift of all!

Monday, December 15, 2008


As we get closer and closer to Christmas it is happily stated to be "just around the corner!" Yes, the big day is coming soon and although my children are all grown up and my grandchildren too young to understand it all, it truly is an exciting time of year. Today was unbelievably cold with wind chill factors quoted as 30 degrees below zero. I'd much rather have a white Christmas than a cold one but complaining won't change it. So, as I thought about Christmas through the eyes of a child, this little ditty came to mind. Hope you all enjoy it and it brings back memories of your youth in days gone by.

By Patty Lynn

T’was the night before Christmas…
“You boys go to sleep!”
Mom said with a smile.
“Don’t anyone peek!”

It took all we had
Just to stay in our beds,
As visions of presents
Danced in our heads.

“Tomorrow’s the day,”
I said to my brother,
Who whispered to me,
“I think I hear mother!”

So we laid very still
Pretending to sleep,
Neither one of us stirring,
Our secret to keep.

Then fin’lly we thought
The coast was all clear,
As I whispered again,
“Christmas day’s almost here!”

We did try to sleep
But we just couldn’t do it,
And a couple of times
We both almost blew it!

My brother’d dose off
And then I would wake him.
When closer to morning,
I’d grab and I’d shake him…

‘Till the day had arrived
Must have been before sun up.
We ran down the stairs
To find everything done up…

In garland and tinsel
And bright twinkling lights.
Mom & Dad put the tree up!
Must’ve done it last night.

And then we began
To examine the tags,
On all of the presents,
The boxes and bags.

Our Mom & Dad followed.
They sure looked worn out,
Both yawning and stretching,
But excited, no doubt.

‘Cause this was the moment
We’d all waited for,
Tearing open the presents,
Wrappings covered the floor.

You know, I think something
Became very clear.
This Christmas was different,
That even last year.

Seemed that I had discovered
Something crazy, but true,
Hmmm… it’s more fun to give
Than receive things from you.

Christmas time is just great
For my brother and me.
But the best part of all
Is the family, the tree…

And a day spent together.
There’s so much to do,
Boy, I sure am tired,
How about you???

Saturday, December 13, 2008

My dad passed away in January of 1991 after a myriad of medical problems, problems that plagued him for many years. When he was gone, we never expected my mom to live for very long, primarily since they had been married for so many years and like so many, didn't really have an identity separate from one another.

Surprisingly, mom lived another ten years and not pleasant years, for the most part, having had a long battle with manic depression. All the drugs and therapies were ineffective and she would suffer long years, sometimes, with the depressive lows of this insidious illness. This was the pattern of her depression, short highs and long lows. I'm convinced that the only way we, as a family, could deal with this, was with the strength of our faith and the fact that my sister and I were there every day, caring for her and leaning on each other.

Our constant prayer was that when it was time for her to leave us it would be during one of her highs, when she was, by her description, "feeling good!" Without going into any detail, suffice it to say, our prayers were answered. She died in her sleep, at home, and with all of us able to say our final goodbyes. We couldn't have asked for more.

This, by the way, is not a sad accounting of events, though it is sad to lose a parent at any time in our lives, but rather a memory of a loving family and the matriarch who will always be remembered for the wonderful person, mother and grandmother she was. The first Christmas that we spent without her I wrote a poem written as if penned by her hand.

By Patty Lynn

It’s Christmas time in Heaven, your dad and I are fine,
No, that’s an understatement, we’d have to say, Divine!
Please don’t be sad this Christmas, because I can’t be there.
I live within your hearts, you see, that bond we’ll always share.

I wish I had the words to tell the wonder of this place,
But words are insufficient when I look into God's face.
The ravages of age are gone, I feel so Heavenly,
And thank you all for making life the best that it could be.

I’m fin’lly here with daddy, I missed him so, you know,
And now I have Eternity and daddy’s hand to hold.
Yes, we’ll be watching each of you as day to day you strive…
To live your lives in Jesus name. In Him may you abide.

And when it’s time for you to come, we’ll both be waiting here...
To greet you as you reach the gate, so please, don’t shed a tear.
Remember all the moments when we laughed and sometimes cried.
You made my earthly life complete, despite a bumpy ride.

I know the last few years were rough; I took a lot from you,
But love like yours was Heaven sent; now I send mine to you.
So when you hear the church bells chime proclaiming Jesus’ birth,
Remember me but fleetingly; I’m no more of the earth.

I’m here in raiment sparkling white with daddy by my side.
I live a most Eternal life, in Him I’m glorified!
I send you all my wishes for health and happiness.
You are my precious children, how could I wish for less.

It’s Christmas time in Heaven, God bless you evryone.
My journey there is over, a heavely home I've won.
Live evry day as if your last, stay confident and strong…
Until at last we meet again to sing a Christmas Song.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Today was particularly cold, considering it's not officially Winter yet. Oh, it'll get much colder but right now, this is cold enough, thank you! At least, we didn't get more snow and I'm thankful for that. But the piles of shoveled snow is reaching a level we didn't reach last year till winter was almost over. I'll never forget the snow piles of last year! Or should I say, the ice piles. I remember my car coming in contact with an ice pile masquerading as a snow pile. I believe that was a $750 repair job!!

Oh, well, that's sour grapes and it's not last year, it's this year and there's no point in grousing about the weather. It's Wisconsin, after all, and it's to be expected. And while we're on the subject of Winter and the cold and the snow, here's a little offering that puts a positive spin on the whole thing.

By Patty Lynn

When cold winds blow and children play
In snowsuits red and hats of grey,
It seems a wonderland to me
As snowflakes cling to yonder tree!

And all the world is draped in white,
God’s blanket is for my delight.
And up above the night sky shines
As critters romp among the pines.

‘Twas not so long ago, I paused,
With rosy skin the sunshine caused.
Can summer’s warmth compete with this?
Tis nothing like ol’ Winter’s kiss.

Monday, December 8, 2008


I chose this title since, like so many others, we face tomorrow without a job. My husband came home this morning just an hour after he had left for work with a piece of paper in his hand. I could tell by the look on his face that whatever it was, it wasn't good...and it wasn't. Laid off! How many times in the last year have we heard those dreaded words, from friends, at church, from family members, or on the news? Countless!! And every time we do, we think, "Oh, I'm sure glad it's not us!" In fact, secretly, we're hoping that it never will be. We whisper to ourselves ever so quietly, " Will we be next?" Well, we are next, it seems, and the real question isn't "Why, us" but rather, "Why not us?"

The prospect of looking for a job after 50 is certainly nothing one would choose and with so many out of work, it becomes almost impossible to find something. But, we'll get through it and, perhaps, we'll be fortunate and my husband will find something that he suits him and that he enjoys. That's how we have to think. No use in being pessimistic. It's pretty lousy timing, though, right before Christmas, but, when is it good timing? We can't lose sight of what we really have going for us. Faith and...PRAYER!

I truly believe in the power of prayer, not as a magic potion but as a direct line to our Heavenly Father. And He's really going to hear an awfully lot from us. I firmly believe that God has things occur in our lives for a reason and there is a REASON that this happened to us. I also know that we're going to be alright in the end. That belief, that conviction, can so easily wane. It's much easier to throw in the towel and think, "why me?". But we have to remember that God will take care of us and bring us through whatever trial we're dealing with. He asks us to stop flailing about wondering what to do and asking how will we make it. He simply says, "Be still and know that I am God!"

Dear Father,

Help us to be "still" and take comfort in your words. Help us to trust and know that You are God and you are in control, not us. When our conviction waivers, bolster it up. When we get discouraged, infuse your courage into us. Remind us that you've got it all figured out. AMEN

Sunday, December 7, 2008


For me, the anticipation began early this year. Maybe it's because my two grandchildren are now two years old and will really "get" Christmas. I have purchased a pre-Christmas gift for them with the nativity figures as little children. I hope I can tell them the story of the first Christmas simple enough so that they can understand it to a degree and exciting enough to hold their interest. I really hope that Christmas may be the anticipation of the birth of the baby Jesus and the songs of Christmas and not only Santa Claus and presents. It's hard for children to keep from focusing in on the present part but my hope is that nobody overdoes it with the present part.

Today we got the tree decorated, the garland on the fireplace and the Christmas cards labeled and stamped, all ready for the post office. So now the momentum has begun. I have a few more gifts to purchase and, of course, there's the wrapping. I love that part. My kids think it's really funny the way I spend so much time making each gift special with just the right paper and the hand made bow. " People just tear it apart!" Well, that's true. But, as I like to say, "it's all in the presentation." So as Christmas time is near, I'll offer this little Christmas poem called:

By Patty Lynn

Merry Christmas, Praise the King,
Who came to all the earth.
A child, a babe, at Christmastime,
Let’s celebrate His birth.

No matter how the years may pass,
When Christmas time comes near,
We see the star, the angels sing
And loved ones gather near.

It’s new again, God’s gift to us,
Salvation in a child,
The chosen one, of Mary born,
So tender, meek and mild.

Within that manger we still find
The meaning of the season.
Through all the chaos, gifts and trees
Remember, He’s the reason…

For giving gifts to all we love
As He our gift would be
Without the pomp and circumstance,
But humble born that we…

May Heaven have when life is done,
He gave unselfishly…
The gift of grace, we never earned
And yet, that gift was free!

And so as Christmas time draws near,
Don’t find yourself remiss,
Keep Jesus in your Christmas heart.
God’s Son was born for this.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


After two days this week with a substantial snowfall, it looks like another repeat performance is on its way. Yay!!! Guess it doesn't matter if your muscles are sore from shoveling or achy because "thars a storm a comin'." Take your pick. But if it wasn't that, there'd be something else to complain about. We're just a complainin' people. Anyway, that gives me a perfect opportunity to share a little children's poem I wrote a number of years ago when my now grown children were little ones.

But before I do that, I have to tell you about the cutest darn thing that occured this afternoon. As I've mentioned before, I have two grandchildren, twin boys, who were two at the end of September. This Christmas is the first Christmas that they have experienced. They're old enough now and when the tree went up today they were enraptured. This tree that looked like it belonged outside was somehow inside and it had lights and colorful garland on it with a silver star at the top. My daughter went out and bought some very colorful PLASTIC ornaments and, for them, each one was more beautiful than the next! As each took an ornament to hang on the tree we oohed and ahhed and said how beautiful they were and how PRETTY they looked.
They picked up the enthusiasm they heard and responded with "pri-ee, pri-ee!!! Then they removed the one they just hung and decided to put it somewhere else on the tree and repeated the same excitement all over again. One of the twins, Gavin, put all the ornaments he had in a pile on top of one another till the branch sagged under the weight. With each addition, he clapped for himself and we followed suit.

All I can say about that is, that it was the cutest and most adorable thing I had ever seen. You do have to realize, though, that not a day goes by that they don't do something so cute and adorable that I can hardly stand it. But those are the moments I just with I could record and go back and play again. I can't wait till they learn all about the Child child and his birthday that we celebrate. Our family's Christmas will be so wonderful this year with these little ones reminding us of the Child of Bethlehem.

So now that I've covered that, here's the poem I promised:

By Patty Lynn

Blistery, blustery, blizzardy day,
Snowing and blowing our snowman away.
Oh how I wish, really wish he could stay,
But it’s such a blistery, blustery, day.

We made him last Sunday, my sister and me.
Set him to stand ‘neath our sycamore tree,
An old hat of daddy’s, a scarf from Aunt Fay,
Oh, stop, you ol’ blistery, blustery day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Here it is, December, barely, and we're expecting our second winter storm and lots and lots of SNOW. Nothing unusual, just winter in Wisconsin, but as we all get older, we tend to wish that it would be over soon. And, of course, it'll take till mid-April, no matter how much we complain.

In truth, I don't think it's the snow or ice that we mind; it's the COLD, brrrrrrr! Those stereotypes of the old grandpa, half bent over with his hand on his hip uttering, "Oh, my achin' back or hip or knee or....!" is not so far from reality. The high pressure or the low pressure of the weather leaves us, well, ACHIN'! Guess that's where the whole snowbird thing came from, leave the cold and head for sunny California or Florida for the winter months. Then, return in the Spring. A great plan, wouldn't you agree? I'm sure there are many, myself included, that thought about doing just that and then that ol' word, RECESSION, reared its ugly head and made any plans like that disappear.

But it is what it is and we certainly can't change it by wishing it were so. Better to think of this time as precursor to Christmas. During this time, this Advent time, it's best for us to prepare for the birth of the Child and you know how much fun it is getting ready for a baby. Remember, as wonderful as babies are, this babe was the most wonderful, most awesome baby of all!

I've decided to have a little fun, the poetic kind, and share this silly little poem I wrote about winter and its woes. Hope it puts a little smile on your lips (though perhaps a bit blue from the cold) and a little warmth in your heart.

Winter Blues
By Patty Lynn

Is Springtime approaching?
Please say that it’s so.
I’m tired of this ice,
And abominable snow!

I realize pleading
Dramatic it be,
But my old bones are aching.
The cold gets to me.

And all I can think of
Is changing my clothes…
To ones that are comfy,
Right down to my toes.

And wrapping myself,
In a blanket that’s warm.
T’would comfort, envelop,
Til after the storm…

Of chilly Ol’ Winter,
Who’ll never relent
Until evry ounce
Of my energy’s spent…

Complaining and grousing
About Winter’s climate.
At least when a phrase comes,
I feel I must rhyme it!!!!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008


This morning, before church, my husband and I were enjoying our coffee and watching one of our favorite programs on CBS, simply called SUNDAY MORNING. It's chockful of a variety of stories, some current events, some movie reviews, some celebrity and art noteworthy coverage and often special people are highlighted for their unique contributions to the world in which we live. This is all packed into an hour and a half and we aren't able to watch it in it's entirety or we'd be late for church. This last portion we especially enjoy because those who have made the most significant impact are so often ordinary people.

One gentleman on this morning's program had served as an athletic coach for inner city young men for ten years. After working with these boys for that length of time, he became more determined to offer them the opportunity to be in an educational evironment where they would daily gain self-respect, have the tools to excel and ultimately be regarded as special human beings. This, he believed, would set the stage for a college education and success in their adult lives. He opened a school two years ago for this purpose and though he wasn't college educated himself, was able to do this with the help of an educator who believed in him.

To these boys, their former coach was a HERO, someone who went above and beyond for them
even though the path wasn't easy. By his example, these young men could see that anything worth doing is worth fighting for, no matter what the odds. That is the true meaning of the word, HERO, having perseverance, determination, and never giving up. For me, my sister is my hero. She has faced some pretty formidable struggles and it is her strength and her faith that inspired me to write the following.

By Patty Lynn

A hero is a person, who keeps on keeping on,
Who perseveres, no matter what, won’t rest till day is done.
That hero stands up straight and tall, and faces what’s in store,
She may be down and see the clouds but musters something more.

She counts her blessings, gives God thanks, when most of us would falter.
She KNOWS her sorrows all belong up there upon God’s altar…
Where she’s reminded Jesus lay, a MAN with suff’rings many,
Asked that His father take His cup but knew there wasn’t any…

Chance that He could ever change the promise He’d fulfill,
To grant us life eternally, that was the Father’s will.
And with that gift of Grace and Life comes challenges and pain,
For life is seldom free from strife. That’s how we learn and gain…

The strength and the tenacity that heroes all possess.
They see the clouds, they face the rain, and still find happiness.
So here I close applauding you, my hero you remain.Inspiring me to always see the sunshine through the rain!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I've been talking of late about the blessings in this life. I suppose it's a direct result of this time of year. And maybe, that's okay. Whatever's the reason to spark some reflection, what does it matter. The difficulty is in the time so many of us wish we had to enjoy and savor so many of those blessings. I feel that way about friends.

I am blessed to have a number of special, enviable and remarkable friends in my life and so often the days fly by and there is no opportunity to connect with them and they with me. The beauty is that in every case, no matter how long there has been between visits, when we finally do get together, it's as if no time has passed at all. It saddens me that I don't see them or call them as often as I should, but what I find sadder still is that there are those who never experience that kind of friendship. This next poem is a tribute of sorts to those incredible women that bless my life.

By Patty Lynn

There are friends who are friends for a moment,
And some that, it’s true, you lose sight of.
There are friends from your past,
That you so thought would last,
With some effort, you know, that they might’ve.

But then there are friends who you know will…
Not fade for a lifetime, no matter,
Who you see not as often,
But when you start talkin’,
It’s anything but useless chatter.

That’s the friend that is there for the good times,
And the bad and the lousy and crabby.
If a month should go by,
You needn’t ask why.
Settle in,‘cause it’s sure to get gabby!

I’ve a friend who’s like that, that I treasure,
Who I’m proud just to say that she’s mine.
For a friendship like this,
So many have missed.
For me, it’s a once in a lifetime!

Though we’re older, I’m sure that we’re wiser…
Than the day when met long ago.
Through THICK and through thin,
Our friendship has been…
What only a few ever know.

So remember that friendship is precious,
Must be tended and cared for by you.
Now it can last forever,
If you promise to never…Take for granted its value so true.

Friday, November 28, 2008


Well, Turkey Day is over for another year. I hope you had a wonderful day filled with the people in your life that rank high on your blessings list. Mine certainly was. But with the preparation that comes with feeding 13, there was that unfortunate stress element that I am particularly subject to (I know, that's poor sentence structure). I guess it's the perfectionist complex that will always be a part of me, but I know I have to work on that. Funny, I thought I was much more relaxed this year BUT my sister pointed out that that was NOT the case. I need to be made aware of that character flaw. You know, good intentions and all that. Regardless, the meal got rave reviews and everyone left, fat and happy.

It was a lot of work, though, and perhaps next year dinner out might be the choice. We'll have to see. I thoroughly enjoyed everyone's company and it was my sister's idea to go around the room and have everyone share what they were thankful for. Most of the evening I had one of my most prized blessings sitting on my lap, one of my beautiful, twin grandchildren. No one can quite prepare you for what an effect grandchildren have on you. I know I wasn't prepared and I won't burden you with what would be a feeble attempt to put it into words. The operative word is "feeble". Suffice it to say, it's priceless!

So, as far as blessings are concerned, I was surrounded by them yesterday and their presence surrounds me everyday of my life, for my family is the source of so much joy. As we look forward to Christmas soon to come, try not to let preparation or shopping or present wrapping or card sending or cleaning, keep you from savoring every aspect of this blessed season. In truth, none of this other stuff matters. It's the joy of the Savior's birth and the gathering of your family that take center stage. Be sure to tell them how much they mean to you and how much you love them. That is only second to "the greatest gift of all". God bless and keep you all.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I couldn't let this evening pass without taking a moment out to talk about Thanksgiving, not Thanksgiving, the day, thanks giving, as in giving thanks. We live in a time of great uncertainty and day after day we're deluged with more grim news about our economy, unemployment, bailouts, misappropriation of other people's money, dishonesty in our political figures, and the list goes on and on. Is it possible to struggle through the muck and mire of all this and find something to be thankful for or must we continue to ride the slow train to hopelessness? I believe it's a conscious choice to rise above all this and see the world through the eyes of the redeemed. Wow! That's pretty heady stuff, isn't it? But isn't it true? God never said it was going to be easy, this earthly life and all it's trials and tribulations. So where is the hope?

With complete conviction and a certainty that far outweighs the unknowns, I can say that my life is a blessing and all the things that make up that life are far more wonderful that I deserve. Every night before I go to sleep I run through this litany of blessings, my husband, my children, my extended family, my grandchildren, incredible friends, my church, my poetry, music, my health, pets, etc. I could go on forever! God has been so good to me and that completely overshadows the things in this life that could potentially keep me from appreciating all those gifts. Sure I worry. I shouldn't, but I do, but when it comes right down to it, I'm a very blessed woman. I have a God who loves me, a Savior who redeemed me, and the assurance of heaven. What more is there to say?

May you take a moment, in the midst of all the chaos that so often surrounds the preparation of your thanksgiving day meal, and reflect on what you are truly thankful for. I think, if you do that, setting a day aside to be thankful may not seem enough in the great scheme of things. And as you sit down to share that meal with family and friends, take the hands of those around you and say a prayer of thanksgiving. It doesn't have to be long or eloquent. It can be as simple as two little words, spoken from the heart, "thank you!"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


As I continue through this theme of tribute, I feel it's important to say that if there's anyone in your life that is going through a difficult time, be sure to let them know that they are loved and cared for. That's your department as a good friend or sister or brother. But don't forget to remind them that God is the one in control and He wants us to come to Him in prayer and ask for help. Prayer is so powerful. It's our reconnect to the one who was and is and always will be.

By Patty Lynn

So here it is, the second step,
In your recovery.
And difficult as it may seem,
It’s just where you should be!

Decisions will be hard to make,
Fraught with anxieties.
But God will help you make the choice,
Your future’s what He sees.

He knows there’s much you’ve left to do,
Your days are in His hands.
But just remember He is yours,
He sees and understands.

The road we travel through this life
Has many twists and turns.
To know exactly what’s in store,
For that each poor heart yearns.

So, God instead, designs our path,
Knows what’s to be expected,
Which leaves us to depend on Him.
His will must be accepted.

Yes, God’s the one, who is in charge,
His judgment, we must trust.
All happens for a reason, dear,
Your trusting is a MUST.

So as His gentle hands reach down
And cup our wondering face,
Nothing’s to fear,
While He is near,
Rely upon His Grace.

Monday, November 24, 2008


Continuing the theme, A Tribute to Sisterhood, I'd like to share this poem I wrote to my sister during a time when she needed to hear how God is truly there through good times and bad, happy times and sad ones, and only just a breath away. When we're down, for whatever reason, we have to be reminded of God's unfailing love for us. That reminder often comes in the words of a friend or a sister or even, sometimes a stranger. God has many spokesmen and women who He sends our way at the exact moment we need to hear words of love and comfort. We should never under-estimate the power of our words of care and concern. You never know when they'll be God's perfect timing.

By Patty Lynn

It seems that when the journey’s long,
And all of it’s uncertain,
We have those moments when our smiles…
Get hidden by a curtain…
And there behind it we can grieve
And let our doubting show.
It’s only human to have fears
And wish that we could know…
The reason why these trials come
To test our very core.
Will we be able to survive
Or is there even more?

“It’s always darkest ‘fore the dawn,”
Or so the saying goes.
God tests us just to make us strong,
Take it from one who knows…
That strength is not an easy find.
It comes with faith and trust.
Believing God will get us through,
Now that, my dear’s, a must!

So when your spirit’s sinking low
And everything seems bleak,
There’s only One who’ll raise you up,
Just One that you should seek.
Your loving Savior’s always there
To pick you up again.
He’ll make your broken spirit whole,
As only Jesus can.

When trials get the best of you
Remember that you’re loved…
By ME, your friends and family
And by dear God above.
I wish that I could take it all,
And I your cross could bear,
But He, who truly bore the Cross
Confirms that life’s not fair.

I know that He has plans for you.
Someday you’ll understand.
He’s standing there beside you, dear,
Reach out and take His hand!
Trust in His tender loving care,
His mercy and His grace.
For only He loves constantly
And can your fears erase.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I'm sure you've heard this phrase before but as far as it pertains to my sister and me, we live it. We're always acting goofy, still making faces to get the other to laugh, and generally finding the humor in everything. No where is that more true but when we find ourselves in difficult times. It's then that it's even more important to laugh. Here's another poem I wrote to my sister to remind her how much she's loved and just how many times we made it through the trials, together.

By Patty Lynn

There just aren’t words enough to say
How much I love you, dear,
How every day is better still,
Whenever you are near.

You’ve heard it said that life’s too short,
And, dear, I quite agree.
The two of us, through thick and thin,
Have found that love’s the key.

A love that cares and understands,
Inspired by God above,
Add lots of laughter, joyful tears,
Now that’s a special love!

Just how would we have made it through
Without the love we’ve shared?
Can you imagine how we’d be
If neither of us cared?

I know my life is richer still,
Each day, each hour, each minute,
Because no matter, good or bad,
It’s better with you in it.

So sister, dear, remember this,
You’re stuck with me forever.
Whatever life may send our way.
We’ll conquer it TOGETHER.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


The day of my sister Jill's arrival was the happiest day of my life. I was eight and the news of a baby sister's birth was so overwhelmingly joyful, I remember getting on my bike, riding to the dead end street a block away, and singing at the top of my lungs. That day changed my life forever!

As the "older" sister with a working mom and dad, I became the stand-in mom, a role I relished. As the years went by, the connection between us only grew stronger and I felt privileged to be her mentor, her confidant. Approaching middle age we dealt with marriages, divorces and remarriages, child rebellions and readjusted expectations, but, through it all, the bond between us made us inseparable.

When our aging parents needed the care they had so lovingly given us, we were able to handle all the demands of that and our own lives. How? We could handle it because we had our foundation of faith and each other to lean on. Even when we lost our precious parents, the loss was bearable because we shared our sorrow. I shudder to think what life would have been without my sister. She is truly the "best friend" and sister could have.

A number of years ago, my sister dealt with some daunting health issues and during that ordeal I wrote a number of poems to her, to reinforce how deeply I love her and how, no matter what, I was there for her. The next few offerings will be some of those poems, a tribute to one of my life's greatest gifts, my sister.

Your Friends You Pick…
By Patty Lynn

Your friends you pick, but relatives,
Now that’s a diff’rent tune,
You’re stuck with them, they’re stuck with you
A “peach” or a “buffoon”!

But stuck you are since blood is thick
And water’s not the case.
A lifetime’s what you’re looking at,
When you’re staring in that face.

But sometimes you are blest to find...
A diamond shining bright,
A sibling who’s the best there is,
That couldn’t be more RIGHT!

That happened fifty years ago
My sister, you was born,
And from that moment evermore,
Entwined and never torn...

We faced the world, the challenges,
That life put in our way.
Somehow “we” muddled through it all,
And never rued the day…

God made us sisters, made us friends,
Through good times and through bad.
Some people live a lifetime
Not knowing what we have.

And so, I feel compelled to write
A poem for sister's sake,
I’ll say it loud and say it clear,
A sister’s tribute make.

There’s no one who is quite like you.
My sister, and my Friend,
My love for you is paramount,
And will be to the end!!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


I chose the name for this blog entry because I started writing this latest poem at 11PM last night but finished it today, at 4PM. I was determined to complete it but after arriving a the end of verse six, I was sooooo tired that there was no way I'd make it to the end. As you read through this poem, you'll get a glimpse of how I write. It may be nothing more than the desire to write and a phrase and then it flows in a direction and I must follow where the thoughts, text and rhyme take me. I don't know how others write, but for me, it's a matter of wanting to write a poem and letting the poem take on a life of its own. So here it is.

By Patty Lynn

It’s late at night and I should be
In bed and counting sheep.
So why am I creating this,
Especi’ly since talk’s cheap?

I haven’t words of wisdom gold,
Or stunning observations,
Nor quotes direct from Shakespeare
In séance conversations.

I guess it’s a compulsion,
A love of printed text
I start a thought and that becomes…
The basis for what’s next.

It flows, it ebbs, it comes and goes,
Sometimes I’m just plain stuck,
And there are times, I must admit,
Where I have run amuck!

But you’ll forgive me, won’t you please,
I have such good intention.
I do like prose, but if I’d choose,
A poem’s the BEST invention.

‘Cause with a poem, there’s always this,
A challenge is a part…
Of trying to express yourself
Sincerely from the heart…

And at the same time, rhyme your words,
And make it all make sense.
You have a lot of liberties.
There’s past or present tense…

There’s stories true or make believe.
It doesn’t matter which.
There’s recollections serious,
Or ones with humor rich.

Regardless, I am glad I’ve found…
A way to just express…
The thoughts that fill my mind & heart.
A great relief from stress.

For me, it’s like a tonic,
Medicinal for my soul.
I face the challenge of the rhyme!
For me, that is my goal.

So though I should be sound asleep
I’ve got to get this out.
For writing poems & making rhymes
Is what I’m all about!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Do you know why I say that Winter's officially here? Why I've got a wham-doozer of a cold, that's why. You know how that is. The calendar says November and you're all set for the crisp, chilly winds to herald in the cold weather and then...Mother Nature throws a monkey wrench in the mix and we've got two days in a row where the temperature is in the 70s! We smile and say,"Isn't it wonderful?" We've delayed things a bit and we love it. But then, as is always the case with Wisconsin, just as the warmth surprised us, so we are surprised by the first snow on the ground and the first thermometer readings in the 20s!

You know, our old bods can't take it, the sudden change, I mean. And so they rebel, that is,suddenly every other person you meet has a cold. And I am no exception. Darn! It would have been so nice to be an exception, but, alas, NO. My hope is that you are the one in a hundred that didn't come down with the common cold, but if not, here's a humorous poem from a dramatic child's perspective to help you laugh a little. I call it :

By Patty Lynn

I’ve got a cold, a cold in my nose.
I’m sniff’ling and sneezing, I’ll “die”, I suppose.
I’m coughing, my head hurts, I’m really a mess,
I’m feeling just rotten, the “end's soon, I guess.

Oh, don’t call the doctor, I’m sure it’s too late,
He’ll try to convince you I’ll soon feel just “great”.
He’ll give you some syrup that tastes simply awful,
Don’t do it, I beg you, just make me a….waffle…
And sausage and juice, some jam, if you please,
And I’ll try to survive…ahhhahhh…until the next…ahhhchoooooSNEEZE!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Today was one of those days! My list of things, all or which I HAD to do, was ridiculously long. I had no reason to think the entire thing was doable and yet, I was determined. So, we got home from church and the momentum began. Clean the bathrooms, including the floors, sweep the kitchen so that I could use my new steam cleaner on it. ( I must say, this invention is great for hardwood, tile and vinyl! Works like a charm and you just take the pad off and wash it. Fabulous!!!! )

Anyway, that got done. One for my team. Then I began thinking about supper. I'd planned a wonderful meal of salsa meatloaf, baked potato and fresh asparagus. So I prepared the meatloaf, started it in the microwave, and put it in the oven at 350 degrees. Or so I thought. You know how that is. You're doing so many things and no matter how on top of it you are, something goes wrong. Well, as I stood at the kitchen counter cutting up the asparagus, I heard this sizzling sound coming from the oven. I thought to myself, "The meatloaf hasn't been in the oven that long. Why is it sizzling?"

Well, somehow, I don't know how, I must have hit the auto clean or the broiler control and the meatloaf was getting burned to a crisp! I took it out and tried turning off the stove and .... It wouldn't turn off so that I could reset it. We even turned the power off to the entire stove and then plugged it in again and the top element would not turn off. What to do? There was only one solution: Take the meatloaf and potato out of the oven, cook it in the microwave and set the stove to Auto Clean. Three hours and 30 minutes.

I can't tell you the rest of this riveting story because the timed cleaning has a ways to go. Supper was OK, not great, but OK. I'm just hoping that the oven dilemma is over and that once the stove is finished cleaning, I'll be able to use it again without another mishap. One can only hope.

Now I know that this story is hardly worth the effort to share with all of you BUT, it is a little slice of real life, you've got to admit. Exciting no, but in some ways, FUNNY. I had such high hopes for all the things which, by the way, are still on the list, high hopes that they all would be finished today. But, as they say, the well laid plans...

I was going to do my Christmas Letter today, that didn't get done. I was going to write a new poem or two, that didn't get done. I was going to get a letter written to my sister in Michigan,
that didn't get done. I was going to do an entry for my blog, that DID get done. Not a poem, but an entry none the less.

And now, I am done for today. The list will have to be tackled again tomorrow. In the mean time, I have had a chance to ramble on to all of you and perhaps, have you conclude that your
lives are much more interesting than mine OR not.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


In 1999 I met a Texan with an adorable accent and a fascinating way about him. What I mean by that is, he was exceptionally articulate and when we engaged in conversation, it was always stimulating. He was a great communicator and he loved words as much as I do. I used to say of him, "If I had to go into battle with nothing but words, I would want him on my side."

One of the most endearing expressions he used was, "that throws me a thought!" By that he meant, "that gives me an idea". I had never heard such an expression before and on my way home from work, I came up with this song, both words and music. Now, I am not a songwriter, per say, but on occasion, the nature of the poetry I write, lends itself to a further expression.

I have often heard the question asked of lyricists/songwriters, "What comes first, WORDS or MUSIC?" The answer tends to be different from person to person, but in my case, the two came together simultaneously. Of all the songs I've written and, believe me, it's just a handful, I think I love this one the best. One reason may be that it's written like the old standards, ones that band singers sang with a big orchestra behind them. So, here it is.

By Patty Lynn

When I’m lost in your kiss,
I can redefine bliss,
And I know that I’m gonna get caught.
I’m filled with desire, ‘cause you fuel my fire,
And, baby, it throws me a thought!

Your tender embrace…
Would be hard to erase.
I’m a student who needs to be taught.
No time for reflection, just give me direction,
And, baby, it throws me a thought!


And why?
Why do I always sigh,
Whenever you say goodbye?
You take all the sun from the sky, that’s why…

This thing that we’re in,
Wish that we could begin…
To pursue all the things that we ought.
If you’re openhearted, why don’t we get started,
'Cause, baby, it throws me a thought!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Back in 2000 I met a very interesting fellow who had a degree in education, like myself, but unlike myself, made a surprising career change. He left teaching to pursue life as a professional fisherman. He had his own boat and a friend working with him who was his second in command and each and every day went out on the water with the express purpose of catching fish. Now this wasn't some guy with a fishing pole and some worms! We're talking professional fisherman, in Wisconsin, no less. We have what could be nicely referred to as unpredictable weather here in Wisconsin, so that meant rain or shine, snow or ice, breezes or gale force winds. I can't think of anytime he didn't go out on the water.

After a few long conversations and a couple of dinners, I got a real perspective on his love affair with the water. It was almost an addiction of sorts. Having never met anyone quite like him and seeing the hypnotic effect the water had on him, I wrote a poem for him one night when I couldn't sleep.

by Patty Lynn

The lake calls my name and I answer her call.
She's a challenge, my muse, she beckons, I fall...
Enveloped by fog, gently rocked to and fro,
Or tossed by a rage unexpectedly cold...
And vicious, vindictive, was it something I said?
Regardless just why, my soul she had fed,
And the day turns to night, I've survived yet another...
Time in her grasp--it's a thrill like no other!
She's a challenge, my muse, I would have to admit,
But I'd not trade a moment, together we're knit...
Like two lovers entwined, she drains all she can.
Satisfied, she releases a mere shell of a man...
Who can't help but return, she refreshes my spirit,
She calls, I obey the moment I hear it.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


If you're like me you know a procrastinator or two. They have the best of intentions but nothing ever really gets done. They always justify to themselves that there's something else more important that has kept them from finishing the task, but, of course, that didn't get done either!
That was the inspiration for the following. Sound familiar?

by Patty Lynn

There's so much to do,
Oh, where do I start?
The list is so long.
Should I do just a part...
Or push myself forward
Never mind a distraction.
I've got to begin,
Got to really take action!
These things just can't wait.
They must be done NOW
Can I dig in and do it?
Wish I only knew how!

The daylight is dwindling.
I can't see my way.
Perhaps I will do it,
But some other day.
Perhaps it can wait
Yes, I'll start it tomorrow.
Can't beat myself up,
Can't feel sadness and sorrow
'Cause that will not do
I've this list to begin,
And if it gets done
I'm sure I will win...
The approval of many
Who'll be happy I did it.
My thoughts for a penny?
Guess I better get with it.

For it has to be done,
But there's just so much of it,
Too much for just one,
If you'd help me, I'd love it!
So do you think maybe
You could lend me a hand?
I swear, if you'd help me,
That sure would be grand!
You will, oh, that's great.
Can I count on you then?
You say you can help
But you don't know just when.

Then I'm just gonna wait
Till you find your way clear.
You say, you'd be able
In the Spring of next year?
Well, that sounds like a plan.
You and me, why, we'll conquer
This list that I've got
'Cause alone I'd go bonkers.
You're a friend, you're an buddy
A "take charge" kinda guy!
I'm lucky to have you
An honest ally!

This list will just wait
Till the two of us find
A time in the future.
I'm sure you won't mind
Putting off for the moment,
What can wait till tomorrow.
Something else can get bumped
So that we can just borrow...
The time that we need
To complete ev'ry task.
When the timing is right
Why, we'll have a blast!

Guess I'd better get going.
I've enjoyed our brief chat.
We'll connect again soon.
I've just gotta go, STAT!
There are things that need doing
Oh, where do I start...?

Saturday, November 8, 2008


The election is over and we have a new commander in chief. Some of you are thrilled with the choice and some are not, but, regardless, we can only speculate and hope that the president elect will be able to solve a world of ills. Many are jobless, many living in fear that their position will be cut, some have seen their retirement funds go down in value and now wonder if you can ever truly retire.

It's so easy to be negative and cynical, after all, we've seen so many things we took for granted disappear. We've seen the fat cats at the big companies that we're bailing out, get richer and richer and the little people be cheated out of their savings. We've heard scandal after scandal surrounding our politicians and it seems nobody's held accountable. Don't we have the RIGHT to be wary of the future. Does anybody really have our back?

I believe that yes, it would be easy to choose the negative over the positive, to respond with,"Yeah, right. Everything's gonna be fine", or a series of similar sarcastic remarks. But what does that serve? Someone always has our back. God has our back. We may not understand why things happen as they do, but we have to believe God is in charge. "Yeah, right". Yes, right! He is and He always will be. He doesn't expect us to go it alone. On the contrary, He wants us to ask for help and the strength to muster through whatever comes our way.

We're worried and scared and we don't know what to expect anymore. Our world has changed and on a monumental scale. There are those who are experiencing hardship and sorrow that years ago was confined to out-of-the-way places. Now, it's touching US and...what's next? I don't have that answer. The only thing I KNOW is that God offers His grace, His Love and His strength and believing that makes all the difference. I also know He wants us to come to Him in prayer and ask for help.

You know, it's so interesting when you talk to some folks about the power of prayer and they come back with, "I prayed to God for...(fill in the blank) and it didn't happen! He doesn't answer prayer!" The problem with that proof that He doesn't answer is that it doesn't take into account the other answers. Other answers? What I mean by that is that sometimes the answer is NO or Not Now or Not ever. He does reserve the right to determine what's best for us. And sometimes what we think is the best doesn't match what He thinks is best. Imagine that. God knows what's best for us.

Coming back to the election, let me just say that, when the man that was elected takes occupancy of the White House, my hope is that he will fulfill all the promises he made pre-election and that the world we leave behind will be one that we can leave our grandchildren with pride and confidence. We, that is we adults, don't have a lot of time in the great scheme of things, but the changes need to occur and they have a better chance of happening if we remain positive. Negativity is like a virulent cancer. It can spread and spread to the point that it negates anything that has a chance of being positive. In the face of so much, let's rely on God and the positiveness that only He can give.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


I should really go to bed rather than sitting here musing but sometimes I can't help myself. It's been a good day, a full day of activities, projects, errands, cooking, meeting friends for Bible Study and a hour of mindless relaxing watching a TV program. I wonder why I'm so tired but the reality is that when your a bit older, the energy level's just not there.

I checked in with an old friend this morning specifically about the health of her daughter and had a job offer as well. It's not a position that has any interest for me so I turned it down. But, it is nice having the offer. I

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


The last two days in Wisconsin have been absolutely beautiful! Our normal temp should be about a high of 48 degrees so you can imagine how it's been received to have highs in the 70's. Everyone has a smile on their face and no one can keep from beginning every greeting with,"Do you believe this? Isn't the weather just heavenly!"

The term unseasonable is much more popular in this context than it's winter counterpart when we're talking about the weather being unseasonably cold. In Wisconsin we see it all and whether you're talking to a native or a visitor, there's always amazement that it gets HOT in the summer and COLD in the winter. Maybe it's just that we feel we have to complain, although it's counter-productive. It's like the proverbial greeting, "How are you?" Most likely you will respond with the token, "fine" because if you were to go on and on about why you're not fine, first, it wouldn't change a thing and second, no one really wants to know all the negative commentary that is your life.

As I sat here this evening (way too late, I might add) I thought about two seemingly unrelated things, the beautiful weather of the last two days and the historical election of Barack Obama as our President. In so doing I realized that they really are related after all. So, if you will indulge me:

By Patty Lynn

Unseasonably warm, what a wonderful phrase.
To experience the temp of past Aprils or Mays…
At a time when we’re readying for a cold, arctic blast…
That is so much the story of November’s contrast…
To the bright, balmy days that we wish would just linger.
It may be November but for May a dead ringer,
And we don’t object, no, we’ll not complain
Even if all the sunshine’s preempted by rain.
It’s warm and we love it, we know it’s not right,
Like reversing our clocks just to give us more light.

But whether it’s wrong or whether it’s right,
We’ll enjoy every minute, till the sunshine’s bright light…
Won’t warm us or tan us with its beautiful rays.
Guess we’ll have to remember these unusual days…
When the calendar tells us Fall’s over, it’s Winter,
Though briefly this warmth causes logic to splinter.
It’s not making sense, seventy-five in November
But I’m glad for the gift, thank you, God, I’ll remember…
The day of and day after this momentous election,
November ’08 unseasonable perfection.

The truth is unseasonable is okay by me
And so is what happened in our history.
In November ‘08 we elected a man
Who is an exception, who does have a Plan!
He’s young and he’s black, he’s a breath of fresh air,
And no matter your choice, he needs ev’ry prayer…
For all that needs doing, I don’t envy him!
Our country’s in shambles and things do look grim.
So revel in weather that’s unseasonably warm
And expect something NEW, not strictly the norm.

Unusual weather may not be expected
And likewise Obama who just got elected.
He’s definitely different and different is good.
Lord knows, we’ve had problems, much more than we should!
Our previous leaders have damaged our people.
They’re tired and they’re scared and they hope there’s a sequel…
That’s better for them and improved for their children,
A good job, a nice house, a bright future before them!
Forgive me my politics, they’re weather-related.
Besides much more fun when poetically stated!

Monday, November 3, 2008


In my spare time I've been job hunting, hoping to find a little part time job in an office setting, working in a customer service capacity. It's a different world right now, jobs are at a premium and finding something part time is difficult. I'm sure I'm not the only one who is finding it hard. Everyone from people in their teens to people like me, you know, MATURE people, are all out there looking. I was ruminating about all this today and is so often my tendency, I thought about what might be the absolute worst interview! It's finding the humor in things that gets us through and so I composed the following with that in mind.

Imagine a quiet office setting in which the interviewer starts by greeting the candidate and then asks her to tell something about herself, in an effort to get to know her better. This particular person has been looking for some time and has grown increasingly more agitated and frustrated with the whole prospect, has made the mistake of scheduling this interview for the late morning and has consumed more than her share of coffee. Her hand is extended in a reciprocal greeting and then suddenly she starts talking and just doesn't stop. This is the one-sided conversation that follows:

By Patty Lynn

Finding a job’s the most frustrating thing,
You apply and apply and what does it bring?
For me, it’s the feeling that I am too old,
With too much experience, may I be so bold…
As to say, for the record, that when you are young,
Wide-eyed and so innocent, your work life begun,
Here’s what are you told when you’re seen by “the man”
You need some experience, when you get some you can…
Come back and we’ll talk and you’ll maybe be hired.
Well, how can you get some? This just makes me tired.

Yes, sick and so tired, you can’t win for losin’.
Not enough or too much, either way they aren’t choosin’…
To give you a job, though you have something rare.
It’s called a work ethic and it just isn’t fair…
That you can’t show your stuff, they won’t give you a try,
And yet those employers complainingly cry…
That they can’t find a worker that they can depend on,
Someone they can trust…that’s the note I should end on…
Since too young or too old, you can’t catch a break.
Sometimes I would like to give them a shake…

And say, Yes, I am the one and you won’t be sorry.
But, of course, that won’t do but t’would make a good story,
And I wouldn’t get hired; they’d say I was violent,
So I’d best shut my mouth, be quiet and silent…
It makes me relaxed just talking to you.
So nice I can vent, boy, if you only knew…
But enough about me, can you use my fine skills?
I’m sure I could cure all your company’s ills,
I’d organize, document, keep it running so smooth!
If you’d hire me, why, you just couldn’t lose.

I am a bit old, overqualified, too,
But give me a chance, I’d love working for you.
I’ve said way too much at this interview.
Employees like me, there are very few.
I really don’t do this, complaining I mean,
It must be the coffee and all that caffeine.
Forgive me for dumping this all out on you.
I think I’ve come down with a weird strain of flu.
I guess I should go, thanks a lot for your time.
My meter’s expired, have you got a dime?

Sunday, November 2, 2008


A number of years ago, my sister, who loved painting figurines, sent me a set of three figurines depicting three angelic nuns. Each was in a particular pose and when I placed them together for display, to me they told a story. As a result, I thought it appropriate to develop a story around them, in poem form, of course, and this was my story. While it's meant to be lighthearted, it has some real lessons for all of us. I hope it gives you a thought...and a laugh.

By Patty Lynn

There’s a tale of three angels, the gossipy type.
Who’d only tell stories that were juicy and ripe.
Now Heavenly Hannah was the worst of the lot.
She’d pass on the story and embellish the plot…
‘Til she had the attention of Celestial Sadie
Who’d blush, be aghast like a prim, proper lady.
But she’d pump her for more. She’d want the whole story,
“Come on, spit it out, ‘cause here comes Old Glory!”

Now Glory would scold and call it disgraceful…
To gossip and rumor and fill the whole place full…
Of tidbits and snippets, the soap opera kind,
“You both should know better, now just never mind!
Besides He might hear you and wouldn’t think kindly
Of gossipy ladies, and maybe you’ll find He…
Has other ideas of where you should be.
You’d better just stop it and listen to me!”

So Hannah and Sadie both took her advice,
At least for a while, they gave up the spice.
But soon there’d be news and they just had to share it.
To keep silent and stifle, they just couldn’t bare it!
Then Glory would wag her old finger and scold them,
Reminding the two of what she had told them.
“Now rumors and gossip may seem harmless to some
But the words that you speak just might hurt someone."

"Treat everyone ‘round you like you’d like to be.
That rule, why it’s golden, you both need to see…
How words can be kind or sharp as a knife,
And gossip or rumors can damage a life.
Remember you wouldn’t like gossip ‘bout you
And keep all your words to words that are true.
And if they are true but they hurt someone’s feelings,
Then pray for God’s strength in all of your dealings."

"Yes, gossipy angels are no better than
The devil himself, and you know where he stands.
I hope that you'll heed this advice that I give you.
Ask God and He'll help you, just ask, He'll forgive you.
Those folks down on earth hurt each other with gossip
I'd like to think, ladies, that this concept, you've got:
We angels should be the example, you know,
And never engage in the things from "below"!"

And that made some sense to these well-meaning ladies,
To Hannah who embellished and Celestial Sadie.
It hit them how awful their gossipy ways...
Were harmful and hurt, how their sting really stays.
So Hannah and Sadie vowed never to do it.
The thought of it made them remember and rue it.
The two learned their lesson and never again...
Told gossipy stories like they did, way back when.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Well, here it is, October 31th, Halloween! We've had an unseasonably warm day, in the 60's, sun shining, a slight breeze. Not one Ghoul or Goblin will have to spoil their great costume with a jacket. I'm sure the doorbell will start ringing soon and I'll be up and down and up and down answering it and filling bags and pumpkins and pillowcases with tasty tidbits.

This year there was a petition originated by a middle schooler to extend the time by an hour, so our Trick or Treat time will be 4PM to 8PM. We celebrated Halloween by voting early, no long lines for us. OOPS!!

I just had my first customer (I mean, Trick of Treater). Let's see if I can finish this blog entry before the next one.

I ran across this old poem about Halloween so thought it was too appropriate to leave out. It's titled simply:

by Patty Lynn

Halloween, witches scream.
Goblin faces all in green.

Monsters growls, hooting owls,
On tip-toe the werewolf howls.

Gloomy night, what a fright,
Skeletons all dressed in white.

Pumpkins glow, scares me so.
It's Halloween--my own "Creep Show"!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008


This Saturday I received a letter from ULTRA PROCESSING CENTER in Atlanta, Georgia along with a check for $2900. The letter said my name had been picked at random from lists that are shared for Reader's Digest, Publisher's Clearing House, etc. and I was to receive a total prize of $50,000. They stated that because the law stipulates that processing fees must come from the actual winnings, they were sending me this portion of the prize money so that the processing fee could be taken out of the total. I was told to deposit the check into a bank account bearing my name and that when I had deposited the check, I should call the 800 number provided and they would tell me the amount that I should send back to them for the purpose of processing my winnings.

As I had heard of similar scams, I had to check it out to know for sure that I was not actually a wealthy woman (all the time hoping that I was). I, of course, started with the internet, first searching for ULTRA PROCESSING CENTER in Atlanta. As I suspected there was no such place. But, wait, there were other things to check out before I knew FOR SURE that I was not financially loaded. The generator of the check was listed as CLASSIC FOODS, L.P. in Temple, TX, so I checked that as well. Again, no such place existed.

My last hope was the bank that appeared on the check as the supposed holder of the account from which the check came. That was EXTRACTO BANK also in Temple, TX. Now don't laugh (I did) seeing as I knew this was a scam that was trying to extract funds from me. Surprisingly, there were several Extracto Banks in Temple, TX, but at this point, I held no hope of this money being mine.

I then called our local police department to report the letter, and the scam was confirmed. "Ma'am, just shred the check and the letter. This is not legitimate!" But I had one more thing to do. I called the 800 number on the letter and low and behold someone answered, "Ultra Processing Center". This was so great. I was now speaking to the actual processing center as described in my letter. It now was my turn to speak, so I said, " This is Patty and I just received a check and a letter from you congratulating me on winning $50,000. Funny thing is, though, I looked up ULTRA PROCESSING CENTER and wasn't able to find you. I was just...CLICK! And there you have it. A wealthy woman no more. (SIGH)

Did want to let you all know my story. Hopefully, neither you nor someone you know has fallen prey to this kind of thing. And if you ever hear of something like this or you are contacted in much the same way, as nice as it would be to be an instant prize winner, run don't walk to the nearest shredder. It's terrible that there are people like this who will take advantage of the unsuspecting, some of whom might be in very dire straits as so many are lately. Here's my word of caution, BEWARE!


Since all this insanity surrounding our choice for the new commander in chief will soon be over (One more week, yey!!)I will make another stab at some poetic levity.
Tonite was a real record, we only got three calls having to do with the election. I don't know what it'll be like to actually have an uninterrupted meal. I suppose then we'll have to be satisfied to receive the numerous requests for money to support a myriad of charities. They only average 3 a week. Imagine what it would be like if we weren't on the NO CALL list? So here's tonite's poem:

By Patty Lynn

A week from now we’ll go and vote
And choose our candidate.
Obama or McCain, who knows?
Oh, I can hardly wait!

There’ll be so much, so much to do.
Just what will be the first?
For with the state of things, it’s true,
Things couldn’t get much worse.

There’s global warming, Wall Street, too,
Foreclosures by the score,
And unemployment, gasoline,
Oh, don’t forget The War.

Iraq or in Afghanistan,
Just what will “new blood” bring?
I wonder what the plan will be.
Which way will this guy swing?

A speedy close or slow withdrawal
Or sending more to serve?
I know I want to see ‘em home!
That’s what these boys deserve.

But Politics are Politics,
And things aren’t what they seem,
And promises can quickly fade,
If you know what I mean.

Let’s all hope that whoever wins,
He’ll be the best one yet,
Who’s honest, true and capable…
And there’ll be no regret.

Perhaps it sounds like fantasy,
A scrupled President.
But maybe he’s meant what he said
And said just what he meant.

So, all in all, this crazy game,
Election time ’08,
Thank God it’s over in a week.
Oh, I can hardly wait!

Monday, October 27, 2008


So last nite you all indulged me my ranting about the election, and I appreciate it.
Tonite I just had to put pen to paper(or rather keystroke to computer) and put my thoughts about all this election stuff in the form of a poem. After all, it's my favorite means of communication. Hope it makes you think and, of course, laugh a bit. This whole election would be funny if it wasn't so serious.

By Patty Lynn

This election is getting me so sick and tired,
Each candidate tells us that he is no liar,
And yet as I listen to ads on the tube,
It’s hard to decide since each one’s so rude.

The one says the other won’t be a good chief.
They both say they know how to give us relief…
From all of our worries and all of our woes,
They’ll fix our economy with a wand, I suppose.

Yes, it may take some MAGIC; it’s no easy fix,
But at least our G.W. won’t be in the mix.
McCain or Obama they’ll inherit a mess.
Who in their right mind would want all the stress?

For all of the money spent on this campaign,
It’s true that one guy’s hopes were really in vain.
So for all of the hoopla the result is what counts.
Let’s hope there’ll be answers in copious amounts…

And money and jobs, Medicare, Medicaid,
Healthcare for the masses and disaster aid.
An end to dependence on ol’ foreign oil,
And drilling that happens right here on our soil.

Concern for the globe and the warming effect,
Pollution, the ozone, some “future” respect.
I’ll leave and insist that you go out and VOTE.
My poem is now finished and “that’s all she wrote!”

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Although this is a blog called Poetically Speaking, I have to depart from that for a bit and just air my frustrations, hoping you will indulge me. Just for tonite, I'll rename this blog, Politically Speaking.

I am just so sick and tired of this blasted presidential campaign and the constant criticism of one candidate or another. Why can't it merely be, this is what I believe and what I intend to do if elected? I don't pretend to be an expert on the all the issues or completely well-informed about every aspect of each candidate's platform. What I do know is that all this rhetoric about "he voted for this but I voted for that" and "when this came up for a vote, he voted for more taxes for you and yours, but I didn't do that." "I will lower your taxes." "No, I will." Half the time when these things come up for a vote they tack on so many other things, it's amazing anything gets done or goes through.

And then there's the money that the presidential candidates are still raising for their campaigns. All this expensive air time merely to discredit their opponent and insult our intelligence with the He said/He said. When these two candidates get interviewed and are asked some pretty basic questions, every answer is vague or it's spun in such a way as to be nothing more than political-speak. After a while it becomes just a nauseating humming noise in my ears, a dull drone. No wonder people don't trust politicians! Promises, promises, promises and what will really be the end result regardless of who gets into office? It's anybody's guess.

I know, I know, I don't sound like a good citizen. I'm just blowing off some steam. I can assure you that I will vote. I consider it a privilege. All I'm saying is, I'll be darn glad when this campaigning thing is over and we can see what will be done by our new president, whoever he is. As a side note, I don't envy whoever wins the crown! Our country is in such a terrible state that this will not be an easy fix, assuming it is fixable, and the fix, so to speak, will not come quickly.

I may get disenchanted with The Present State of Affairs, I may even worry about it, or, like tonite, blow off some steam about it. But at the end of the day, I realize that I have a lot more to be thankful for than I have to be worried about. I have two beautiful children, a wonderful husband, two unbelievable grandchildren, an extended family that brings me so much joy and friends that are so exceptional, that my blessings far outweigh anything negative in politics or the world, for that matter. God has blessed me with so many wonderful things in my life, the best being His love and grace, and He is my source of comfort and strength. It may be a difficult time in our country's economy but God is the one to trust, the one who's really in charge.