Sunday, November 30, 2008

CBS THIS MORNING

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.

MY HERO
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

THE BLESSING OF FRIENDS

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.

FRIENDSHIP
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

AND SPEAKING OF BLESSINGS...

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

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?

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

GOD'S IN CONTROL

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.


RELY UPON HIS GRACE
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

DON'T EVER DOUBT THE POWER OF ENCOURAGEMENT

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.


IT’S ALWAYS DARKEST ‘FORE THE DAWN
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

LAUGH OFTEN, LOVE MUCH

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.


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

SISTERHOOD - A TRIBUTE

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

STARTED LATE, FINISHED EARLY

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.

IT’S LATE AT NIGHT
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

WINTER'S OFFICIALLY HERE!

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 :

ODE TO THE COMMON COLD
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

TOO MUCH TO DO, SO LITTLE TIME!

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

FROM A CUTE EXPRESSION A SONG IS BORN

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.

IT THROWS ME A THOUGHT
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!

BRIDGE

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

WHAT A FASCINATING CAREER CHANGE

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.

MY CHALLENGE, MY MUSE
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

PROCRASTINATION!

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?

THE PROCRASTINATOR
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

AS YOU, I WONDER WHAT WILL HAPPEN

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

A SHORT BIT OF MUSING

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

SUCH A LOVELY COUPLE OF DAYS!

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:

UNSEASONABLE
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

WHAT IF....

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:

THE WORLDS WORST INTERVIEW
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

THE RESULT OF SOME INSPIRATION

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.

A TALE OF THREE ANGELS
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.