Saturday, December 5, 2009

TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES

Sorry about that. We're still in transition mode so I had to go to the older computer to retrieve the poem I mentioned in my last blog. Oh, well. Don't have a lot of time, trying to get a start on our Christmas tree but I did want to add the poem I wrote for my older sister. Hope you enjoy it.

WE LIKE TALKING…
By Patty Lynn

I sat down to write a poem for my sister
To tell her she’s special and I kinda missed her.
It’s been a long time since we’ve seen one another
‘Twas eight years ago, when we still had our mother.

But we visit by phone, share poetry, too,
And I make her laugh when she’s feeling blue.
She called me one evening when she heard a prediction
That doomsday was coming, but I told her that’s fiction.

Although there’s a movie that’s called twenty twelve
Based on some Mayan hist’ry into which some have delved.
The truth is in two years out earth won’t explode.
I said, “Don’t you worry, of CRAP it’s a load!

And if by some chance it will be the end
This is my own outlook I’d be happy to lend:
Our God will appear, so awesome ‘twill be,
Taking all us believers, saying, “just follow me.”

We’ll leave all our worries and cares far behind,
For God’s sweet perfection is all that we’ll find.
And if Revelation’s predictions are true,
In two years or hundreds, in many or few…

We’ll treasure each moment we’re given to spend
By phone or in person, with fam’ly or friend.
We’ll make our arrangements in the Spring and in person
For her to come hear, I know that for certain.

And so, in the meantime, we’ll call and we’ll write,
Make the most of each day, either way is alright!
‘Cause sisters are sisters, they will keep in touch,
We’re grateful we can, we like talking that much.

Friday, November 27, 2009

CAN'T LET THE MONTH GO BY...

I really feel bad that my blogging has taken such a down turn. With work and the holidays and not as many poems to my credit, blogging has been a bit forgotten. When I last posted I said I had gotten a new laptop and was trying to get used to it. Well, I didn't so went back and traded it for a new home computer which I just love. It's pretty slick and the screen is HUGE! Does seem strange to have a rectangular screen. I have to say I do prefer the square monitor.

I've written a poem for my older sister which I will attach here and I'm just finishing up my book which I self-published for my family. It'll be about 26 pages chronicalling the journey through the first two years of my grandsons and will be, as you might have expected, in poem form. I'll post it sometime in December.

Also, I've been composing some new poems for people in my congregation that are going through difficult times, illness, death, etc. As I've mentioned, that is very rewarding. I will be composing a Christmas poem to include in this years holiday letter which I'm hoping to complete by this weekend. Still waiting for the poetic
"spurt" though, but so far no spurts!

Good nite for now. Hope you all had a blessed Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

It's Me Again...

Well, there've been a few changes since my last blog. For one I've gotten a laptop and I'm trying to get used to typing on a level plain. It's that old dog new tricks thing, you know. It is awfully pretty though and has a load of new things. I'm beginning a new creative venture, too. I wrote a 22 verse poem about the last 3 years and the blessing of being an almost daily part of the lives of my grandsons and with the help of my new toy and a fabulous website, I'm putting together a book to give my family for Christmas. My daughter and I began looking through 3 years of pictures and are only half done choosing ones for the book. When they're all fabulous it's almost impossible. When the book is finished I'll share the poem with you.

There's at our church called the Spiritual Care Ministers. Our church is large and its hard to connect with other members. To that end the group coordinator lets us know if someone is going through a difficult time and we send a card or letter for encouragement. Sometimes I've enclosed one of my poems with the card and that has been very rewarding.

It's very late and although abrupt, I must close. Have a lovely tomorrow and don't forget to tell the people in your life that you love them.

Monday, October 12, 2009

OPEN SESAME!

It started innocently enough. We had one remote for our garage door opener and one that was a universal remote. I, of course, got the one that was manufactured with the opener and worked like a charm; Frank, on the other hand, had the other. After a few months of frustration, Frank and I realized that having to be almost touching the garage door to get it to open was a hassle. We'd had enough! Sooooo, me in my infinite wisdom suggested that we invest in a more costly opener with the idea that that would certainly make a difference. It had to work better, right?
Well, Frank purchased a new remote and proceeded to code it to "talk to" the opener and, sure enough, it worked like a charm. No more fiddling with a finicky remote. We had solved the problem, or so we thought.
However,that same day, as I pulled into the driveway after work, I pressed the dependable remote, the good one, the one that came with the opener and...
Nothing! Absolutely nothing. OK, what's the deal? The only solution would have to be to get another one just like the new one Frank had purchased. He'd code that one and we'd be home free, right? Or so we thought.
While listening to the news, we could vaguely make out the sound of a garage door opening up. What was that? We ran to the living room and there it was, our garage was open wide for the whole world to see and neither of us was anywhere near the remote. How could that be?
The next morning we were awakened by the sound of the garage door opening seemingly on its own and we were stumped. Could someone in the neighborhood have an opener coded just like ours? Or, was there a guy in Illinois whose remote controlled our opener? What a conundrum!
Sooo, in true Frank fashion, and by the way it was raining that morning, pouring really, but that was not going to deter Frank. No, he donned his bright green rubber raincoat, put up the hood, and carrying an umbrella, walked the neighborhood with one thing in mind. He was going to find out which house had our same code if it killed him.
After 20 minutes he returned, wet and frustrated. He'd pushed his remote in front of everyone's garage door on this block and the one behind us, but with no success. (I wonder what the neighbors thought) No matter. We had to solve the mystery. His workshop and tools were in the garage and we didn't want to worry that someone could just come in and help themselves.
Then, about noon, as I was at the front door ready to take the dog for a walk, I saw the garage door open and noticed that my next door neighbor was coming into her garage. I ran out and caught her and we both tried her remote in varying spots on her driveway. Sometimes it made our garage door open and sometimes it didn't. It was hit and miss. That nite her husband told Frank that he would re-code his remote and was sure that would correct the problem. Or was it?
The next morning I called American Overhead Door and explained our dilemma. Without a moments hesitation he calmly stated, "Lady, you could re-code the remote a hundred times and it wouldn't make a difference. You see, it's the frequency. You and your neighbor are on the same frequency. You'd have to replace the motherboard but since you tell me that you don't have the magic eye feature with your door, we can't work on your unit. The law specifies that we can't unless your door has that feature."
Well, you know what my next question was, don't you? "So," I said,"what would a new garage door opener and two remotes cost me?" "That'd be $290.00," he said.
$290.00! I couldn't believe it. All we wanted was one remote to work better and after all of this, that simple desire cost us $290.00. Cute, huh? I'm still not convinced that some guy in Illinois was to blame for it all!!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

YOU CALL THIS INSPIRATION?

Earlier this past week I had a moment...a moment of what I guess was an inspiration. I say, "I guess" because to me inspiration is something that strikes you, unexpectedly, and you can't help to use it in some expressive way. Generally, when I think about inspiration it has a positiveness about it but, in this case, it was something relatively negative that I chose to spin in a comedic way. I think that's enough said. I'm sure once you've read my latest offering you'll understand what I mean. All you 60 something out there can identify with this one. Oh, by the way, as a side note, on Tuesday I will be turning 46, but as you all know, I'm dyslexic!

SPOILED
By Patty Lynn

I studied my arms and my stomach today.
I try not to do that ‘cause it spoils my day.
And speaking of spoiling, I think that’s the scoop;
We’re not aging, we’re spoiling. Boy, I’m thrown for a loop!

I watch ripe tomatoes hang too long in the sun.
What happens? Why, wrinkles, their smoothness is gone!
That’s just how my skin looks, not smooth any more.
It’s looser and hangy. Will it soon touch the floor?

We can blame it on time and gravity, too.
But to find a solution for me and for you
Would take a real breakthrough to keep our skin taut.
That anti-age answer’s what everyone wants.

My answer is simple and quite element’ry,
A miracle really, the idea of the cent’ry.
It’d take a designer who’d make some adjustments.
The size would increase some and may be called nonsense.

But imagine this with me, a container so big
It’d lock in our “freshness” no more spoiling, ya’ dig?
So c’mon let’s all call ‘em, those Tupperware folks,
‘Cause “locking in freshness” is the slogan they boast.

At night we’d all crawl in containers, not beds,
While dreams of “fresh faces” would dance in our heads.
We’d wake in the morning re-freshed from our sleep,
No bags and no wrinkles, no lines running deep.

Ok, wishful thinking, but a thought none-the-less,
A desire to preserve life’s not so bad, don’t you guess?
I guess we can only accept what’s our fate,
Make the best of each day, don’t set there and wait…

For the signs that you’re older. That’s the least of your worry.
Take your time, savor life, don’t be in a hurry…
You may miss the joy that a child can bring,
Or the lilt of a songbird that’s decided to sing.

Though I wish I looked younger, I’m glad to be me,
Hanging flesh and deep wrinkles, I’m who I must be.
So I won’t put on night cream all over my face
In hopes that my wrinkles might somehow erase.

Just like that tomato, I’ll natur’lly spoil
And sing loud and clear, “I like bein’ a goil!”
Guess aging’s like spoiling, it’s a part of the game.
My face and my bod, well, they won’t be the same.

Let’s face it we’re aging, that’s right, we grow old,
And if we’re real lucky,
We’ll stop short of mold!

Friday, September 25, 2009

UNEMPLOYMENT - ECONOMIC BAIN

I thought alot about this topic, convinced I couldn't say anything more on the subject but...given a little prompting, I guess I felt that maybe I could. Maybe if I spoke from the perspective of the unemployed (or the laid-off husband or laid-off son's wife & mother, respectively), maybe that would be a good place to start.

I, too, was searching for a job this year although my situation differed from the typical laid-off and unemployed situation. My job search was the result of not having worked in about 2 years, being in my sixties, and now hoping to find something, and part time while you're at it. We talked about the age discrimination I experience, etc. Regardless, whatever the individual scenario, unemployed is unemployed. The double whammy is being thrust in to that position because you were laid off. A month or so ago I started this attached poem and never really got back to it, but today, as I was trying to weed out things on my computer that were easily deletable, I ran across it, and finished it. Here it is...

TOMORROW, MAKE IT YOURS!
By Patty Lynn

It’s hard to feel you’re valuable
When you’re laid off from work.
You’ve executed duties…
And never, ever shirked.

Your boss could always count on…
The things you’d say and do.
Just when you think that all’s secure,
He gives the “slip” to you.

You know, the pink one we all dread
That says, “so long, you’re through.”
But how you take it’s more like this,
“We have no use for you.”

Oh, it’s explained that, “money’s tight”
And “we must cut things back.”
It may be true but now your check
Is gone, and that’s a fact.

Besides there’s lots of folks
Who’re paddling in your boat,
And what about another job
These odds are just a joke!

You curse and wail and think “poor me,”
But then you’ve got to stop.
‘Cause though you’re on the bottom now
You’ve got to see the top.

The goal in site, nowhere but up,
So set your sights and climb.
Complaining never changed a thing.
Don’t waste your precious time!

And don’t forget to pray a bit,
Y‘could use the help, that’s sure.
Be diligent and purposeful.
It’s unemployment’s cure.

‘Tis always darkest ‘fore the dawn
Or so the quoters say,
But whether dark or twilight time,
Tomorrow’s a new day.

And you do know that you have worth;
With confidence you’ll win!
So when you land that job you want,
Remember where you’ve been.

Tomorrow is new day, true,
Go open up new doors.
Be self-assured, you’ll make it through,
Tomorrow, make it yours!

Monday, September 14, 2009

A MUSICAL FAREWELL

Last Friday evening I, along with certain members of my family made our way down to SPATS, a cute little bar/eatery on College Avenue here in Appleton. Throughout the summer my brother-in-law, Jim, and his friend, Roger, have been entertaining almost every other Friday outside on the Spatio, weather permitting.

Last Friday, however, was their last "gig" of the summer, so, as always, we enjoyed the weather and the music and lest I forget, the good food. I met Jim 30 years ago when he was playing at the old Red Ox, sitting behind the piano playing and singing. We formed a friendship, the two of us, and the more I got to know Jim, the better I liked him. So much so, that I decided he should meet my sister. He wasn't too keen on a fix up idea, you know, the line that can scare off any guy, "she's got a great personality!" Well, despite his misgivings I did fix him up with my sister and 30 years and two children later, it proved to be a great match.

The attached poem is just a little tribute to his summer's on the Spatio and just how much we enjoyed those Fridays.

FRIDAY NIGHTS
By Patty Lynn

Tonight we went to listen to…
Our Jimmy play and sing.
The dusky temps, the company,
The best September brings!

And everyone has come to hear
The Swan Song of these two,
Jim’s keyboard, Roger’s soulful licks,
Familiar tunes, a few.

For Fall is fast approaching now
Soon trees will gorgeous be,
In hues of yellow, orange and red,
Far as the eye can see.

Then Autumn’s here, crisp breezes blow,
Dried leaves lie on the ground,
And if you listen, carefully,
You’ll hear October’s Song.

For now the boys both bid adieu
To all of us who come…
For merriment and music, too,
Good times for everyone.

So Winter you best hurry up,
And Spring, come on, let’s go.
Next Summer we’ll be back to see…
The Jim and Roger Show!!!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

HERE COMES THE INEVITABLE

I recently bought myself a little notebook, just in case the spirit would move me to write a little ditty or wax on about something that I have an opinion about or some other words of great depth and meaning. A simple purchase, really, but there's something to be said about proximity. A little book and pen on the table next to my favorite chair; the only thing that it doesn't come with, is a little voice calling me to the blank page. I'd pay some real money for that!

Anyway, with the gloomy, damp and rainy day we had today, I was, of course, aware that we're living on borrowed time, so to speak, at least in regards to the Fall soon to be upon us. And then, dare I say it, WINTER. I say this every year but as we get older the Spring and Summer seem so dreadfully short and the cold and damp of Winter seems increasingly longer. Soooo, that "inspired" me to write this poem. Perhaps you'll find that there are some familiar sentiments and that you, too, are thinking about.

THE CHANGING SEASONS
By Patty Lynn

Tonight was like so many nights.
I sat with blanket warm,
My aching bones reminding me
The cold was going to come.

And soon to follow Winter, too,
I’m chilled by just the thought.
I can’t afford to catch a cold,
Past seasons sure have taught…

That fluids and some exercise
Can ward off germs and such.
I get a cold, infrequently,
Bed-ridden? Not so much.

So though I know this, too, shall pass,
As Winter snow to Spring.
I dread it still, the cold and damp,
And chills that Winter brings.

But though I love the autumn
And hate the part that’s after,
I feel the same but in reverse,
For Winter’s a disaster.

Guess I’m resigned the seasons come
No matter my complaining.
With Winter comes the ice and snow.
With Spring must come the raining.

It’s best to concentrate on this:
The BEAUTY of each season.
For whether cold or rainy wet,
The Father has his reasons.

Besides, the freezing temperatures
Help me enjoy the warm.
Regardless of what time of year,
A storm is still a storm.

Guess you could say each season has
Some days that are just bummers.
But even though that may be true,
O’er Winter, I’d choose Summer!

Monday, August 24, 2009

THEY CALL IT WRITER'S BLOCK

Well, I guess we've talked about this subject before. And, yes, I have contributed some to this blog of late but certainly not so prolifically as I did in the past. Recently I had to renew my domain, pattylynnonline.com, and that was rather an important milestone, I've been doing this blog for over a year! That's quite a feat, really, but my elation over that accomplishment makes me regret that I started out this blog with multiple poems in each blog. Had I shared one poem or prose for each one, my poems would have lasted much longer and I wouldn't be faced with the reality of those times when I'm not inspired to write ANYTHING. My other regret is the fact that initially the poems I shared I had compiled over a 10-20 years span of writings and so I didn't have to create new ones for quite some time. In all honesty I am equally proud of all the new ones I have composed over the last year.
I didn't know I had it in me and yet, I wish I could sit down and write something worthwhile every day. Realistically, that's not possible for me but tonite I forced myself to create the attached, sort of a "come on already" push to myself to start writing again. Hope it makes you smile.

AN ODE TO “THEY”
by Patty Lynn

A day or two, a week or more,
Seems no ideas come.
This is the longest writer’s block
I wish they’d free me from.

Whoever they are, they must think…
They’ve got me, got me good,
But I’ll show them, I’m trying here,
I’m just misunderstood.

I’m not a famous poet, no,
For fame I do not crave.
I’m just a little blogger, me…
Who wants to be your fave.

For many months I’ve written poems,
Some silly, deep, some tragic.
Regardless they’re cathartic, these,
For me a kind of magic.

It’s such a challenge just to tell
A story that’s all rhymy.
For me a thrill, a lot like this:
A coin found in the briny.

And like a coin all gold and bright
The finished poem is too,
A treasure I helped to create.
I hope enjoyed by you.

So listen “they” I’ll show you that…
A poem, I now will write.
I’ll even finish it, I will,
Before bedtime tonight!

I’ll turn a phrase and then I’ll laugh…
At you, “they”, yes I will.
You can’t win this, it’s mine to win,
I am a poet still.

Now granted this is not my best
My work’s been better, true,
But I have written, that’s the point,
So I bid you, adieu!!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

I borrowed part of a lyric from an old Dean Martin song for the name of tonite's blog. That was even a memory, a memory of a time when the airwaves were full of singable songs and wonderful artists. If we try to find any of this music on the radio today, the Station calls it THE OLDIES. Pretty soon that's how we'll be referred to. What I've done tonite has actually surprised me because the subject matter of this blog was just going to be a little prose about a memory and wasn't meant to be a lengthy epistle, just a few thoughts that weren't going to be in poem form about:

RECOLLECTIONS OF GRANDMA’S HOUSE
By Patty Lynn

Tonight as I was watching television I looked up at the screen during the commercial, no less, and had a memory flash. Pictured there was a white old- fashioned house with sunlight that caused dappled shadows to filter through the trees and I couldn’t help but recollect a memory from my childhood. I lovingly recalled the times that my mom and dad would drive me to my Grandma’s house in the summer to spend time with my favorite Grandma, the one I called Nana. As a side note, I thought it would be so great to have my grandsons call me Nana, but it never stuck. Instead, I’m Grandma, Grandma Pat or, on some occasions, I’m known only as Gram. Now maybe those will morph in to Nana someday but as of now I’m Grandma. What’s in a name anyway? It’s just great being a Grandma. But I digress.

My grandma, Nana, lived in a quaint little Wisconsin town called Jefferson which, at the time (1953ish), had a population of about 5000 people. That is only significant in comparison to the town I lived in, which was considerably larger (Milwaukee). I couldn’t wait to get to Nana’s house. She was always doing things like baking and cooking things with delicious smells and her house had so many nooks and crannies to investigate. Her house had a barn-shaped roof with two stories and I loved the way the inside steps led up to the second level. It had a balcony with a railing and when you reached the top, you could look down the stairs or go into one of three rooms. It had that smell, you know, that grandparents-house-smell, and each room seemed like a trip back in time.

One of the upstairs rooms was Nana’s sewing room. No wallpaper or paint, just a cardboard-like wall board, a bed, Nana’s sewing machine and a closet off the main room where Nana stored all her sewing materials. She loved to make aprons, really pretty aprons, ginghams, ones with hand embroidery and ones with rick-rack. I loved just saying “rick- rack” but for those of you who don’t know what rick-rack is, it’s a kind of trim that created a wiggly line on many of her aprons. She’d put it on the bottom or a couple of rows on a pocket and it came in hundreds of colors. Besides her sewing goodies this room had the “coolest” real, candlestick phone, chrome and black with a cotton cord. I thought it was the neatest thing I had ever seen. Not many people had a phone like this one, considered “old-fashioned” even at that time. You couldn’t use it to make calls out, because it had no dial. You see, when this phone was installed, you’d have to pick up the receiver and an operator would ask what number you wished to call and she made the connection. Now, it could only be used as an extension. It was heavy, too, not like the reproductions you see today. I liked to pick it up and pretend I was making a call or talking to someone. I guess I thought it might have been a reminder of the time my grandpa, who I called Papa, first began working for the telephone company. He worked there his whole life. He was devastated when he was forced to take retirement at age 65. He just gave up.

The room next door was the room that had been my mom’s room when she was growing up. It had a modified four-poster bed in dark wood with a beautiful hobnail bedspread. There was a matching dresser and what was called a vanity. It had a tall mirror in the middle that had hinged sides to give you a better angle when you were looking at your reflection. There was an opening in the middle with a chair so you could sit and brush your hair before bed. At the time my mother was a girl, you were expected to brush your hair at least a hundred times before you went to bed to promote healthy, shiny locks. On either side of the chair were two sets of drawers to keep your powder, your brush and comb set, bobby pins, pretty hair combs, and stockings. I loved to sit on the chair and imagine I was a girl back in my mother’s day, primping and preening, getting ready for the “Big Dance” or the School Prom. On the wall was a pair of framed silhouettes that my mom had made in school. For those of you not sure of what that is, it’s the profile of a person, usually, done in black paint that was applied to the underside of a piece of clear glass. In this case it was a man and a woman, full figures. These were particularly intricate and I marveled at my mother artistry.

The final upstairs room was Papa’s room and just stepping into it, you got the feeling of him. What I mean by that is, it was simple, masculine, no frills, practical, just like Papa. He did have a monogrammed brush, mirror and comb set but I could never visualize him using it. My Papa was a very stern Welshman, almost devoid of any real emotion. I remember his black, bushy eyebrows that always seemed to be in a continual scowl. I often wondered how my Nana had ever been attracted to Papa because they were the polar opposites of each other. Nana was sweet, kind, soft-spoken but with a darling way about her. Papa, well Papa, was Papa, just like his bedroom, rather stoic and not much of a participator in life and certainly not demonstrative. My mother told me once that her dad had never told her he loved her in all the years she was growing up. I can’t imagine that and it was obvious she was hurt by that, but it was the way it was. No wonder my mom gravitated toward a guy like my Dad, outgoing, loving, verbal and an incredible sense of humor.

The lower level of my grandparents house had some pretty interesting things as well. There was a living room that they called the parlor, the room you in which you received your guests and in it was a full counsel radio with a mantel clock on top that struck on every hour. The only place you can see a radio like this is in an antique store. Adjacent to that was the sitting room. I never quite knew what that was but I just loved Nana’s beautiful china cabinet. In had rounded glass sides and housed both the “good” china and some special things, paperweights for one. She had a substantial collection and as a child I marveled at how these detailed flowers and lacy patterns could be created inside these clear, glass globes. I often wonder what happened to those treasures. I do so wish that some of these mementos could have been kept. When my grandparents passed away my mom had an estate auction. I would have loved to have been there and been able to say, “No, don’t put that up for auction. I want it.” But, as life goes, I was in bed trying to salvage a pregnancy that, as it turns out, could not be saved.

Besides the living room and sitting room, Nana had a lovely dining room with a hutch in which she stored the best silverware and fancy glasses. This silverware was real silver and had to be painstakingly polished. What we had at home was called silverware too but was stainless steel and required no polishing. There were times I remember helping my grandmother with the polishing but it wasn’t very enjoyable. I suppose in the days when most women stayed home and the fathers went off to work, there was plenty to do, like polishing the silverware. Those moms of old had plenty to do besides taking care of the children. Nothing was speedy. No Pledge Wipes, and Swiffer mops for those ladies. We’ve got it pretty easy.

And now, I’ve saved my favorite place for last, the pantry. I had never seen such a thing and to my youngster eyes, it was amazing. It was long and narrow and was filled with the best things. Stored there were the ingredients for everything from cookies and cakes, to kuchen and bread. What’s more, the pantry was also used to store those delicacies. I loved to spend time opening drawers and cupboards, just looking at everything, smelling it all, and, of course, stealing a sweet or two. Gosh, I loved that pantry! I thought it was fantastic a veritable wonderland of all things yummy. I’ve never seen another one to this day. To get to the pantry you had to go through Nana’s kitchen and that was pretty unique, too. Nana had what I called a hang-on-the-wall sink, one side was the basin and the other was the drainer. No dishwasher here. Pretty inconvenient by today’s standards and the sink was where my Papa shaved in the morning. It had a mirrored medicine cabinet above it where he could see his reflection and hanging from the sink was his towel and his leather strap. That was there so he could sharpen his single-edged razor. It was a different world back then.

Some of the summer’s I spent with my Nana, she tried to strike up a friendship with one of the neighbor’s kid, a girl about my age. I don’t remember much about her but I do remember that she, like I, was a plain, rather plump girl. She had red hair and her name was Nancy. It’s pretty hard to entertain a kid when you’re long passed the child-rearing age, but my Nana sure did try. I remember the one day she took me out to meet her friend, Fuzzy, who had a farm. What a character! She and my Nana were good friends and Nana got all of her eggs from Fuzzy. These were actually plucked (no pun intended) from the chickens in her hen house. I don’t remember actually being in the hen house but I do remember seeing a real cow in the barn, up close! What a shock! I’d never seen a cow except in pictures or through the car window on the way to Nana’s house, in a field, quite a ways off. Gosh, those cows were BIG! I couldn’t believe it.

I do have one unfortunate memory of one of the summer’s I spent a few days with my Nana. I say this because no sooner had mom and dad dropped me off at my Grandmother’s house than I was sitting on the porch in her porch swing, but I wanted to call home and tell my parents that I was “…Bored! Can you come and get me. It’s so quiet. Maybe a car or two goes by the house once an hour, but come on. I can’t stand it. Nothing happens here.”

That commercial, that thing that prompted all these memories, seen now from the perspective of a 60 something Grandma myself, was a reminder of how incredible those times were. And the quiet, slow paced days are ones I wish I could relive. It’s too bad the old adage is true: “so soon old, so late smart.” The days I feel are passing by so rapidly and what I’ve learned from being a Grandma is simply this, we must savor every moment, every memory, every person in your life, for we never know when our time will come, or how many days we have left. My grandma, my Nana, was the best Grandma any child could ever have and the home she shared with Papa was a magical place, a place of quiet peace and lots of love. I only hope I can be the kind of Grandma to my grandchildren that my Nana was to me.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

SISTERS BY MARRIAGE

Those of you who know me, know that my sister, Jill, and I are very close. I'm so blest to live in the same city as she does and the frosting on the cake is that Jill's husband, Jim, and my husband, Frank, get along very well. So it's safe to say that the four of us are best friends as well as relatives.

In addition to this, I've been fortunate to have another sister, a sister by accident you could say, in my husband's sister who everyone calls, Lolly. Where it was an added bonus for me to have another sister, I was the only sister Lolly ever had. As the years have gone by I have grown to love and respect this sweet, selfless person both for the person she is as well as the incredible way she cared for her parents until they left this world.

As those of you who have followed this blog know, my husband's father died less than two years ago and my mother-in-law passed just a week or so ago. We've all taken the loss of my husband's mom pretty hard but none so hard as the person who lived with and cared for both her parents through their the failing health 24/7. That's a level of dedication, commitment and love that is beyond words and so as I worry about how his mom's death is effecting my husband, I am most concerned and prayerful for my other "sister," Lolly. And so, as is so often the case, I wrote my "sis" a poem just especially for her.


TOGETHER WE'LL GET THROUGH
by Patty Lynn

I've been so blest to gain in you
A sister and a friend,
A special gift, a tender heart,
I'll cherish to the end.

I wish so I could be with you
At this traumatic time,
Somehow I'd find the words to say,
Not eloquent, but mine.

'Cause sisters stick together,
They share the ups and downs
And all the in between stuff,
Make smiles out of frowns.

But even love cannot erase
The sorrow in your heart.
For now the one thing I can do
Is try to be a part...

Of what you're feeling with this loss,
Provide a shoulder's strength,
Just listen or just cry a bit
Or sob today at length.

For you have lost you Mother/friend
I know that kind of fear...
To face the world without her there
And wish that she were near.

For you've been taking care of her
But when those duties cease,
An emptiness of purpose leaves
Replaced with quiet, peace.

I know you'll find that silent house
Too much for you to bear,
But give it time and family
And always be aware...

Of how you're loved and cared about
And wished a healed heart.
And then, with time, you'll come to see
A new direction start.

So please remember I'll be there
To listen, cry and guide,
And with me comes the Lord above,
We'll both be at your side.

So take the time you need to grieve
And know I'm here for you.
Your sister and your confidant
Together we'll get through.

Monday, August 3, 2009

WHEN A LOVED ONE DIES

First let me apologize for it being so long since I contributed to my blog. It hasn't been on the top of my priority list as my husband's mom has been quite ill and the diagnosis was not good. We knew that and yet you always pray for a miracle and in this case that what it would have taken. Laura, mom, was a sweet and kind woman, quiet with a cute laugh and a good sense of humor. It was tough seeing her decline so quickly but I guess in some ways that was a blessing. No painful lingering illness, rather a diagnosis and a swift passing about a month later.

Cancer is such an insidious disease. It is no respecter of persons and almost no one can escape its grasp. She had lost her husband slightly less than 2 years ago and she remained in her home with her wonderful daughter who has been an inspiration to all around her, selflessly taking care of both her parents until their deaths. Her funeral is tomorrow and the following day will be the interment in Wisconsin Rapids where she will be laid to rest next to her husband.

And that is how we all think of this, Laura being whole again and walking at the side of Frank, her husband, both of them visiting with their relatives that have gone on before and watching us all as we mourn their loss, selfishly wishing they were still here. And it is selfish, really, to want to keep them here when what they will find is perfection and contentment. We might be a bit jealous, too, for this earthly life is anything but perfect. The closest we can come to perfection is the birth of a baby and the purity of their countenance as they enter the world they will ultimately leave. We love you, Laura,and we will miss you but we do know you are indeed in a better place.

OUR REUNION
By Patty

Our dear, sweet Laura, with the Lord,
Your family misses you.
You’ve touched our hearts and so our lives
With years we’d say, “Too few!”

So selfish we who sorrow now
Consumed with sadness deep.
Far better if we understand
You’ve wakened from your sleep…

And now we know you walk with Pop
Through heaven’s verdant fields,
Content at last to be with God,
Our heartache to this yields.

We’ll miss your sweetness, loving heart,
The mem’ry of your laugh,
Your kindness and your caring, too,
Will be your epitaph.

So fortunate your family
To have you for a while,
Each moment we remember you
Will bring a heartfelt smile.

We’ll try our best, though sad our hearts,
To live our lives without you.
But rest assured in Jesus’ arms,
We’ll always think about you.

And so we have to say goodbye,
On this our earthly plain,
Full knowing that the day will come
When we will meet again.

And please give Pop a kiss from us,
For we send all our love…
Until our fam’ly reunites
Together up above.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

MEMORIES ARE MADE OF THIS

Some of you who meet the age requirement remember an old song with this title. I don't recall the group that recorded it but I do remember a few lines. Anyway, that title came to mind as I thought back on today, an exceptionally lovely day. The weather was perfect, just enough sun, a few clouds, even some that might have had rain in mind, but that never happened. Instead, the temperature was perfect and there was such a nice breeze. We spent the majority of the day with my sister and her husband out at their place. Her dear friend, Cheryl, and Cheryl's husband Jim, recently returned to our neck of the woods for about a 3 week visit. They moved away to Australia a few years ago and are sorely missed. I think they do a bit of missing, too, so they try to come back for an extended visit once a year and we try to get together and catch up. Today was "their" party in that my sister invited some of their mutual friends and, of course, their children and Frank and I out to their place in the country for some good food and precious time sitting around the fire pit.

One couple brought along their 3 month old grand daughter and I was in heaven. I was asked if I wanted to hold her and, of course, I hated that! All kidding aside, I relished holding a little one again and I guess I haven't lost my touch as after a bit of rocking and butt patting, she was sound asleep in my arms. It was heaven. I reflected back to my two dear grandsons and how I had loved to be part of their lives from day one and how hard it is to believe that they will soon turn three years old. Where has all that time gone? I love them so, sometimes it's hard to put it all into words. The other evening my daughter called to tell me that Gavin and Ian wanted to call up Grandma so after a brief hand off of the phone, I had those adorable voices on the other end of the line saying, "I luv oo Grawma!" Whether it's Gavin or Ian I'm a blubbering mess. It touches me so deeply.

Sometimes I imagine them being 6, 12, teenagers, grownups, and when I do I imagine them finding my poetry and being surprised that their ol' Gramma did such a thing. So many of those poems are about them and I imagine, too, that they remember some of the days we spent together, playing, coloring, pretending, having "parties" with make-believe treats, or just being together. Who knows what the next 20 years have in store or even if I'll be around to share their lives with them. I sure hope I'm around, and for a very long time, watching them learn and grow. Anyway, as you know, I haven't written many poems lately. Just a writer's slump? I don't know. But yesterday I did write one and here it is.


FROM A GRATEFUL GRAM
by Patty Lynn

It seems like only yesterday
I saw you come to be,
Such tiny little babies
Who now are almost three!

I rocked you, held you, told you that...
You made my world complete.
Now, you, the children of my child,
There's nothing quite as sweet!

Each day I spend with both of you's
More than the day before,
Your tiny hand stretched out to mine,
Love seeps through ev'ry pore!

For I am left so humbled by...
Your trust and by your love.
Each night before I go to bed
I thank the Lord above...

Who made you two and blest my life,
More precious with you in it.
What greater gift than you two boys,
I savor ev'ry minute!

So I have written down my thoughts
For you to read someday.
Perhaps you'll be surprised to learn...
Your Grandma felt this way.

But, hopefully, you'll always know
How much I loved you two.
I tried to tell you ev'ry day
Those three words, "I love you."

There's nothing I can think of
More wonderful than you!
Instead of just one grandson,
I, happily, have two!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

WHAT'S THE ANSWER TO CANCER?

It may sound poetic, this title of mine, but believe me, I wish there was an answer, a cure, for the dreaded cancer that seems to affect so many. I was talking to my sister tonight and she had a valid point, so many advances have been made in the last 50 years, our years, and yet, with those "improvements" has come what seems to be a correlation with the frequency of cancer. Now, I know, this sounds like, "back in the olden days, when life was simpler", but it sure does seem that today cancer is part of everybody's life. A sister, a mother, a cousin, a girlfriend, the guy next door, nobody is immune. And every time you hear the news there's something else that they say causes cancer. "Don't reuse bottled water bottles, don't let them sit in your car, don't reheat food in plastic containers, artificial sweetner is bad for you, so is soda, and food that's not organic, and there are not enough regulations for packaging food, or safety checks on items coming into our country from China, don't use a teflon pan if the coating has been scratched, etc. etc. etc". Is there anything we can trust? Does everything in our world cause cancer?

I don't have any of the answers but I sure do have a lot of questions. Have all the things we've invented to make life better, more efficient, easier, been the source of all the cancer we now suffer with in such great numbers? Who regulates dietary supplements? How do you know if vitamins from Sam's Club are as safe and effective as those from pricy health food stores? Do immunizations set the stage for cancer suseptability? Is there a relationship with these preventative shots and Autism like so many think? And while we're at it, why can't we come up with a preventative for cancer, or AIDS or Altzeimers, or... So many questions but no answers! I hope you'll all join me tonite and pray for those that are suffering from any of these horrible diseases, their families,their friends and while you're praying, ask God's help in assisting the scientists who we all hope will find a cure someday. Pray also for those you know who still smoke. It's a hard addiction to break but it is one thing we know has caused much of the lung cancer in our society.

In closing, let me just say that I hope you are all in good health and if you are not, that you are improving with each day whether you are suffering with a cold or the flu or something more serious. Who ever said, "if you have your health, you have everything" was right. Whatever your affliction, remember God always answers prayer and He will see you through.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ENOUGH ALREADY!!!

At the risk of offending the throngs of Michael Jackson fans, I've just got to say, enough already! Don't get me wrong. I appreciate his talent as an entertainer. He showed promise when he was very young (too young in my opinion to be performing, going on the road, and thrust into a world that was anything but a normal childhood). But over the last 40+ years it was hard for me to separate the entertainer from the "weirdo" he became. Now I'm not going to say anything about the accusations about his proclivity for children. Everyone has their own opinion on that one, but this week-long memorials/tributes/retrospectives/photo galleries/past interviews and finally, the funeral that has dominated the airwaves, come on. I'm speechless watching people, self-proclaimed fans, cry and wail and tell us how he changed their lives and "I don't know what I'll do without him!" Yikes!

Have I mentioned, he was an entertainer? What's wrong with people? Perhaps it was another case of doctors enamored with celebrity prescribing drugs they had no business writing scrips for, or staff that just looked the other way. Maybe it was a guy who, like Elvis, thought he was immortal and that he would live forever no matter what poor choices he made, so that common sense and medicinal side effects were never explored. I don't know. Elvis didn't seem to have much of a grasp of reality either, and he died too young and unnecessarily, too.

And then there's the price tag for this Staples Center ceremony. Who's going to pay for that? How likely do you think it is that the Jackson family will feel that it's their responsibility? Personally, I don't think that's going to fly. But, I could be wrong. I guess we'll see how this all unfolds, and unfolds and unfolds...This is going to be a long, drawn out affair and will take us through the muck and mire of Wills (how many are there?) and DNA tests, and guardianships and debts and making Neverland Ranch a tourist attraction, etc, etc. etc. I'm sure we'll see everything from his white sequined glove to small vials of Michael Jackson's sweat hit good ol' EBAY. This is not the end. Quite the contrary. This weirdness will only continue, rest assured.

At the core of this blog is the fact that I have never felt the emotional fervor of being a FAN. There were artists that I liked and those I didn't. I bought a few records over the years, even picked up a "movie magazine" or two (that's sorta like US magazine for you youngsters.) I didn't see a live concert and scream and cry and toss my undergarments up on stage. I didn't drive cross-country to be at Woodstock or even make plans to go to the Lakefront in Milwaukee for Summerfest, when I lived in Milwaukee. I didn't when I was young and the couple of live performances that I've attended in the past few years for Josh Groban and James Taylor, left me convinced it's a lot more comfortable and I could see better by watching these entertainers on TV. I mention this so that the last statement doesn't make you think I'm an old fuddy-duddy. I felt the same way when I was young (which could've made me a young fuddy-duddy at that time, but you generally don't hear young and fuddy-duddy in proximity to one another).

So, in closing, let me just say that even though by writing this blog I am only adding one more recollection of MJ to the overtaxed pile, I do it because I hope I speak for many of you out there who have had these same feelings about all the hoopla but didn't want to spent a half-hour of your time, spouting off about it. Leave that to the silly bloggers!

Friday, July 3, 2009

SELF HELP

I guess we all know what Self Help means. There are so many books on so many subjects but they boil down to suggesting the means, acquiring the tools to just help ourselves through. I often look back to 1981 when I took the bull by the horns, went to the Weight Loss Clinic here in my home town and decided that the battle of the bulge was not going to win. This was a new concept in weight loss and when I think about it now, I don't know how I ever did it. Basically the program was a 500 calorie a day diet and drinking 8 glasses of water. Even then I had a hard time losing but after 5 1/2 months, I had lost 55 pounds. Success was mine. I was never going to gain it back again...and I didn't for 8 years. But then it was ailing parents and drastic changes in schedule and...well,it all sounds like excuses but here I am still wearing the size 16 I've been for most of my adult life. But, boy, the body sure shifts that size 16 around as it ages. Anyway, tonight I tried my hand at another poem on the subject.

UPON THE SHELF
By Patty Lynn

I’ve thought about the prospect
Of watching ev’ry bite
Of counting points and calories
From morning until night.

I’ve asked myself some questions
‘bout what I’d like to see
Of course, I’d want the end result
To be a better me.

But what about the process
The dedication, too,
The key would be, consistency
But, gosh, it makes me blue…

To think about the length of time
T’would take to reach that goal.
I’m sure not getting younger
This quest would take it’s toll.

No easy task is this one
I know, “no pain, no gain”
But this seems so impossible
Then there’s the mental strain,

And then there comes sweat equity,
I really hate that part,
Although I know that it would be
The best thing for my heart.

But then you add post-menopause
When losing's quite a trick.
Yes, that’s the time your waist and head
Are generally THICK!

I guess I must admit that I
Am hardly my best ally.
I’m sure that I will fail at this
And so I’d rather not try.

So till I can be positive
And learn to help myself
Those diet books will still remain
In dust upon the shelf.

Monday, June 29, 2009

WHAT'S GOOD ABOUT THE STATE OF THE ECONOMY?

The subject of the hour certainly seems to be the economy, more specifically, the negative ramifications on everyone. So many are out of work, wondering how to cope and just pay their bills. With job loss comes the loss of medical insurance and with it a fear that if you get sick or a member of your family does, it might require a costly hospital visit. Then there's the worry over making the mortgage payment and the cost of filling up the car to get to work or to get to an interview in hopes of finding work. And that's is just the short list. I have never experienced anything like this and can't imagine what those old enough to remember the Great Depression are feeling at the time. It's a scary, unpredictable time, I'm sure everyone will agree. But worry doesn't really change the situation and if it becomes all consuming, it can become immobilizing.

Now I could say what someone once said to me when I was worried, "just tell yourself not to be," but that bit of advice isn't much good. It's hard not to worry, but when it becomes overwhelming, it can truly only make things worse. I remember about 10 years ago when I was going through a very difficult time, fraught with questions, wondering if there was anything I could do in the face of nothing but sadness and worry, someone placed in my hands a book called Be Anxious for Nothing. Needless to say, the title promised at least some answers and I was in dire need of those. Simply summed up, this book took me on a journey, not a new journey for me, but one of which I needed to be reminded. Isn't it just like God to place me in the company of someone who had a book like this to help me see my way clear of my present difficulty? And isn't it just like God to answer my anxiety with a book that I needed to read?

I don't know about you but periodically I need to be reminded of God's presence in my life, reminded that I don't have all the answers, but He does. Does that happen to you once and an while? We're so surprised when things like this happen in our lives but we should remember that He is ALWAYS with us, watching, loving, caring, answering, and things like this don't just happen. "Out of adversity oft times good things come." Someone said that once; I don't know who but it's so true and maybe, if we can get passed our worry about the economy and it's negative effect on us, we might actually see something positive come out of that, too.

Just ponder for a moment, pre-recession, when the majority of American families were made up of working parents, at least two cars, (maybe a boat and a snowmobile, too) and over committed kids with an excessive wardrobe they'd grow out of before they could all be worn. Dinners together were rare, and crazy schedules made it unrealistic to plan any time for family activities, especially at home. Leisure time was almost non-existent so we'd plan a once-a-year vacation that was way over-the-top expensive to make up for the time we didn't have on a weekly basis. If there was extra time, we used it for shopping trips, dinners out, classes at the gym and seeing the latest movie releases.

But then, money got tight and we had to limit a lot of that. Maybe mom or dad lost their job and the other parent had to stay home with the kids saving money for daycare. Meals at home cost substantially less so families actually sat around the dinner table together. Movie night became a rented good family flick with everyone sharing a big bowl of popcorn. See where I'm going with this?

Maybe, just maybe, what will come out of this stressed out economy will be closer family relationships, a better understanding of what is involved with "keeping a home," and first-hand experience with being frugal. It's not as simple as that, to be sure, and it's hard not to worry but I think God has this whole thing figured out. Maybe we'd do better to be "anxious for nothing" while we're thanking God for His blessings, His love and His care. What better way to face life's worries than to give them to Him.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

HOW WE SEE OURSELVES

Whenever I hear this phrase I immediately remember my mother-in-law saying goodbye after a visit. She didn't visit more than once-a-year so when her summer visit was over she'd say,"Goodbye until we see ourselves!" A unique way to put it, don't you think? Well, the deeper issue is one that effects us all, how we see ourselves and how others see us. There are some who say they don't care what others think about them but, frankly, when I hear that said, I don't believe it for a second. Self image has a lot to do with self-confidence in my belief and that was something I took very seriously with raising my children. The world contributes its share of
superficial self image, it's interpretation of beauty and how we can achieve it. The "perfect" body proportions (whether you're male or female), the right clothes, the right hair style, the use of makeup for women, and the list of exterior perfections goes on and on and what do we have to show for it. In my opinion: anorexia, bulimia, over spending to follow the current fashion trends,
criticism of others, cliques, and a general unkindness toward those that "don't measure up."

The person who coined the expression that "beauty is only skin deep" really said a mouthful. Equally wise was the one that goes, "it's what's on the inside that counts!" But so often these things fall by the wayside. It's easy to miss this in today's society when we're surrounded by medias constant visuals on TV, in movies and in magazines. Pretty soon we start thinking that this is the true measure of beauty.

That brings back another memory from the past. It was an episode of Twilight Zone. All the charters were hideous in their appearance and the camera, that is, the viewer's perspective, gave the impression that we were the "patient" that all these ugly doctors and nurses were hovering over. Their comments were concerned about "us" as they looked down at us and each one was more appalled by "our" appearance. As the audience, the feeling was that they were looking at a plastic surgery gone wrong and as the audience we couldn't help think, "if these homely on-lookers think that "we"are grotesque, then "we" must look even worse than they do. It really was a fascinating and creative story and we sat there waiting until the very end when the "patient" (we) were revealed. I don't know if everybody else was shocked, but I sure was. When the camera changed position and we finally got a look there was an absolutely gorgeous women. I know at my house there was a collective "huh?" But what a dramatic way to prove that beauty does lie in the eye of the beholder and "perfection", well, you get the picture.

I've always hated the word perfection because as a Christian this was only applicable when one was referring to God. We can't begin to achieve perfection. We can, however, do our best to be the best reflection of His perfection by working on the "inside" of who we are. Don't get me wrong. I believe in looking my best, I advocate cleanliness, and I have been known to have my hair done and my nails polished. But, mostly I advocate being the best human being I can be by taking good care of my "self" and caring for my fellowman and woman. And I always believe that part of that is doing my very best at whatever it is I'm doing. I believe that we know in our heart when we have done a good job and furthermore, we can't depend on someone else's evaluation of what we've done to determine our feeling of success. And that's where confidence comes from.

How we see ourselves is key to how we move forward in our lives and accomplishments. When you look at yourself in the mirror is the person looking back someone you admire or "just another pretty face?"

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I CAN'T HELP YOU

Those of you who know me, know that the past few years have been difficult due to some pretty significant health issues. Really, prior to ten years ago, the only surgeries I'd ever had were my two C-sections. But I sure have made up for it. Tallying this list is always such fun. Let's see, there's the feet with corrective surgery and bunion removal, gall bladder, 3 rotator cuff repairs, 2 complete knee replacements and, oh yes, the grand daddy of them all, the back surgery of '04. Now that was really significant! It was only after realizing that my double laminectomy and fusion was not particularly successful that I continued to do research about the long term prognosis and...well, it ain't pretty. When you're in agony and somebody says they can help you with surgery, you respond with a barely audible, "ok." And that becomes the beginning of the end. Unfortunately, it's not the end that you'd hoped.

After you're screwed (literally) and caged and fused, then they tell you that the problem that precipitated the destruction of the discs and, by the way, you have a little scoliosis to boot, will only move up the spine and...once a fusion has been performed you can never have another fusion and your discs will continue to disintegrate as you get older. Oh, yeah. That's the kind of news you love to hear. But you exercise and stretch for your back 7 days a week for 5 years, walk daily and work on posture and moving around rather than to stay seated for long periods of time and live on pain pills in order to enjoy a moderately normal life. Granted you do have to sleep in a recliner each night, longing to lay in a bed, and the heating pad is never too far away but it's not a bad life.

So, you see this infomercial about a new technique called Spinal Decompression Therapy and it does look promising. You are literally stretched on a regular basis, there's no surgery, and this technique boasts great results. So you call the local number on the screen and find out that this clinic has a Chiropractic Neurologist who runs the place and monitors patients. You are told to have any exray films or MRIs sent to the doctor before your appointment and you make all those calls to assure that the doctor has a visual reference and you wait in the waiting room for a brief 5 minutes or so. Then they call your name and you anxiously follow the doctor to his office.

You're optimistic and can't wait to get started. He's a huge man, easily 6 ft 6 inches but has a calm demeanor and a gentle voice. You sit to the side of his desk as he carefully takes out the MRI you had taken within 6 months from the day of your surgery 5 years ago and...you watch his face as he looks intently at your picture. Then comes the moment of truth. The doctor says,
"Wow, they really butchered you! Ouch!! I'm sorry. I'm afraid I can't help you." And you sit there for a moment in shocked silence. You extend your hand to his massive one and thank him for...nothing. It's not his fault that he can't take the chance that decompressing your spine might
dislodge a screw or a post or a spacer. But you can't help but wonder as you walk out the waiting room door, "Is that really true? Do I have to figure that this problem can't be remedied and in all likelihood the problem with my back will only get worse?"

I'm still reeling from this, albeit, brief conversation and the thought that there are no options. But I have to move on. Rather I have to look at things in a positive light, that is, I can still exercise daily and walk and my two new knees are fabulous and...the rest is in God's hands. That daily exercise and walking is underscored with prayer and I can't help but think He's got it all figured out. Unlike the doctor, God CAN help me as he does with everything in my life.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

HOTTER THAN BLAZES!

I know, I know. What an obvious subject for tonight's blog. But, really, are you frickin' kidding me??? Now, I look forward to summer as much as the other guy and, yes, it did seem like we were having April weather at the beginning of June. Every other person you talked to was complaining that it didn't seem like summer would ever come. Well, it came alright, in spades! The last couple of days (and plenty more coming in the next few weeks) we're having the dead of August heat and the dreaded humidity. Yikes!!!

It's always amazing to me when the weather man says we haven't had a day like this since and follows with a reference to...1931. I'm always sceptical about those stats. Are they actual statistics or do they make those things up to somehow show us that days like these happened before, so we don't ponder the real cause...what we have done to our atmosphere. Don't you think that maybe, just maybe, the gas emissions from our cars, chemicals with which we have contaminated our waterways, general disregard for our planet over the last century or two (and the list goes on) don't you think that's been part of our strange climate changes? I didn't see Al Gore's documentary on global warning and I'm no scientific expert, but it does give one pause.
Don't you think?

All I know is today, the second day of the beginning of summer, I could barely make it around the block with my dog at 7:30 a.m. when I thought it would be the coolest time in the day to get my morning constitutional. I was dead wrong. It might have been comparatively cooler than the ninety degrees we ended with, but I could hardly put one foot in front of the other as my dog and I rounded the last corner. It was so oppressive that my husband said that when he came home he could see that there was a garbage man who had gotten out of his truck and was sitting in the ditch! " Those trucks do not have AC," my husband said when I had a bewildered look on my face. "I guess the poor guy was somewhat delirious. There was quite a group around him making sure he was alright."

Oh, yeah. It was hot, alright. I understand why they make it a point to tell people to make sure their animals aren't out for too long and that they have plenty of water. And then, of course, we have to be aware of the elderly and the fact that they are going to have more difficulty just breathing in this heat. I know about that one because, as I've said in one of my earlier Blogs, "I is one!" So take refuge in the air conditioned house or workplace or church or whatever. What ever has to be done outside, it can wait till the weather is more conducive to outdoor activities.
After all, it's hotter than blazes, haites, or H-E double hockey sticks out there!

Monday, June 22, 2009

CELL PHONE MADNESS!!!!

How typical. Someone comes up with new technology making it possible to have a way to reach home or the police or the towing company right from the comfort of your car and we become an obsessed people. Obsessed? Yes, obsessed. We have so misused this safety tool to reach someone, anyone, any time of the night or day. For what?
To talk...and talk...and talk...to such a degree that now we need legislation to forbid the use of cellphones while driving in our cars 'cause, it can cause us to be distracted and therefore inattentive drivers who are responsible for a large percentage of car accidents. Duh!!!

And if that's not enough, the talk, talk, talking I mean, now we have to TEXT. My gosh! Stop the madness!!! We are drowning in debt, many have lost their jobs and we're shopping for more minutes and features that our phones are now daily planners, computers to receive email, maps, television programs, and we can't forget, phones that are cameras. We complain that our privacy is being invaded and yet all these gizmos are only making it easier to have our identities stolen and worse,to ruin someone's reputation by taking suggestive photos and posting it to...the UNIVERSE.

Is it me or does some of this foolishness and being caught up in it, seem as though, if we only used common sense, so much of this would be eradicated by just sensible use of this technology? I know,I know. I sound like the "old folks" I regarded as such when I was younger. But I can't say, "these youngsters today..." I can't because we're all a part of the problem. When I got a cellphone about 12 or 13 years ago, I was single and I thought, "what if I was in my car on the highway and my car broke down, what would I do?" A cellphone was a way to holler for help and that was it. Now, I have a cellphone with no text, no camera, no daily planner, etc. I have it for my long distance because it's cheaper than having long distance put on my land line. And, I must confess, I do occasionally make a call from my car, while driving. I, too, use it for more than emergencies and shouldn't be making calls from my car. So now I've vented. But I hope I've made some of you think about the monster that interrupts "live" conversations,has the potential to cause a car accident, has made texting "zombies" out of our teens and is so much a constant in our lives they have to post signs at the pharmacy that say,"Out of respect for our customers, please complete your cellphone conversations before coming up to the counter." Duh!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

PAY IT FORWARD

Believe it or not, the ol' gal is back. No real poetic inspiration just the inspiration of life. Hopefully, there will be another poem soon as there is Father's Day and a Graduation or two coming up and that might be motive enough, who knows?

This last Saturday my husband and I were doing our usual Saturday errands, first stop, Fleet Farm. Boy, do we know how to have a good time, or what? Anyway, we were turning into the parking lot off of Wisconsin Avenue when we both noticed a woman lying on the curb, her bike down, and favoring her knee. I had my husband stop our van and I got out and asked her if she was hurt. She said that she was and that a car coming out of the parking lot had pulled ahead never noticing her, so close she lost her balance and fell. She was shaken and angry not only at the incident having happened but particularly at the woman in the car who never stopped to check on her or help her. It is amazing that something like this could happen and nobody, not even the one responsible, had stopped to help her.

Well, I helped her up, got her into our van while my husband put her bike in the back. She was quite a ways from where she lived and in no shape to be riding her bike back to her downtown apartment. The only complication was that last Saturday was the Flag Day Parade and downtown was closed off and it was difficult for us to find a place to park and walk her and her bike back home. But we managed. Once she got home we suggested she put a cold pack on her knee and she assured us she would. When the adventure was over we knew all was right with the world, or at least our little corner of it. She was very appreciative and we were glad we were there to help.

The following day, Sunday, I went on a long overdue shopping trip to one of our smaller malls. I had put it off long enough and besides, I had a 30 percent off coupon!!! I just took my time and spent about an hour and a half just putzing and looking and finally buying. The weather was beautiful when I went in to the store so I wasn't prepared for the deluge that was taking place outside. Of course, my umbrella was in the car, so I thought I'd wait in a covered area until it let up a bit. As I stood there I noticed this big white luxury car pull up and man got out with one of those big golf umbrellas. He opened it and walked around to the passenger side, opened the door and extended his arm to help his wife who used a cane. He was so patient and caring not to let a single drop touch her head. As she walked toward me I smiled and she said, "I sure wasn't expecting this. This rain seemed to come from nowhere." I agreed. Then I said, "Yeah, and my umbrella's in my car". Hearing this she turned around and called back to her husband to give me the umbrella to use to get to my car. I objected and told her it was alright, but she insisted. So, I used the kind couple's umbrella and he followed behind in his car (after he made sure I was in my car and protected) and retrieved the borrowed umbrella. All the while I watched that sweet man with his wife, I thought how fortunate she was and how I,too, had a husband like that. And, as they say, with kindness we must pay it forward. God made sure of that!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I GUESS IT'S OFFICIAL

This seemed a choice for this blog. Not to say I'll never blog again, but it's getting increasingly more difficult to find the time and the inspiration. The last poem I shared with you, written for a dear friend's mother's funeral, was my last poem. There may be some that I haven't posted from my past poetic offerings, but I just haven't been "moved" to write a poem. I miss it, that passion and drive to sculpt a picture out of words and rhymes, to be somewhat profound while making something rhyme. It's a puzzle, really, where thoughts evolve and pieces fit together and when it's done it has a meter and lilt. This is all reminiscent of the years I spent as a singer, so many opportunities, an instrument that was God-given and would always perform what I asked of it, soft and mysterious, strong and powerful, whatever I asked. And then TIME had it's way with it, the instrument falters and I have difficulties just praising the Lord with it now. There is some solace in knowing that God listens and loves it despite all its shortcomings. But I miss it.

I am still hoping that this is just a poetic "slump" and I will be drawn to the page and challenge of creating in words, conveying a thought, comforting a loved one, so many possibilities. If you have the time, say a little prayer for me. I miss my poetic creativity. Pray it will return.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A FRIEND IN NEED...

Yesterday was the celebration of the life of the mother of one of my dearest friends.
Anyone who had the pleasure of meeting her could only say, "she was quite a gal!" She was in her eighties but you never would have known it. She had gotten more frail in the last couple of years but she still remained active and involved in her church and various organizations. She had just returned from a vacation with two of her daughters, to one of her favorite places, New Orleans. It seemed to everyone almost incomprehensible that she was gone as she had passed so suddenly. Fortunately she had no lingering illness, no pain, and no real slowing down in her active life. So when my dear friend called to tell me that her mom was gone, I did the only thing I could have done; I wrote a poem. I had written one similar to this when my own mother had passed, similar in that it is written as if her mom had written it. So, here it is.

A HEART FILLED WITH LOVE
By Patty Lynn

It’s time for celebration; my life on earth is o’er.
I’m f’nally in the Father’s arms, my happiness is more…
Than earthly words can e’er express, but you all need to know…
That though you miss me, I’m complete, my blessings overflow!
For Heaven is the place I’ve come to be here at His side.
I’m happy, healthy, I am His, and in Him, I abide.
The music here’s beyond belief, the angel choirs and all,
I wish you all could hear the strains, I can’t but be enthralled!
It’s Heavenly, that’s all that I can say about this place,
And then there is the fact that I can look into HIS face!
Remember how we wanted so to understand life’s questions,
And even wished that God would grant some possible suggestions?
Well, now the answers are all there, but here it doesn’t matter.
In fact, those things that bothered us are simply idle chatter.
I’m here with all the ones I loved, the ones that went before.
They all were there to greet me, they opened Heaven’s door.
It’s so Divine to take their hands, embracing them again,
I’m filled to overflowing, a lifetime it has been!
You all cannot imagine what perfection really is,
Or how it feels to understand, that you are truly HIS.
Please live each day as if it is the last one you will see,
You never know when He will call you here to heaven, with me.
I’ll watch you all as you adjust, I know you’ll miss me, dears,
But please take comfort, all of you, and don’t shed any tears.
An earthly life for you will be a lifetime in the making,
A journey long that’s sometimes glad but can leave your heart aching.
But Heaven holds eternity and only happiness.
God’s love consumes each moment here, my heart and soul to bless.
Remember me, but don’t be sad, I love you all, still do,
And every day and every way I’ll be a part of you.
For those we love are never gone, their love lives deep inside us,
And memories of loved ones dear can often serve to guide us…
Through times when life’s perplexing us or when we’ve lost our way,
In times of joy and happiness, their memory holds sway.
No matter what, I’m there with you; I’m not so very far.
Look high above the dark night sky; you’ll see my flickering star.
As you look up, I’m looking down, I’m watching, listening, too.
My heavenly heart is filled with love for every one of you!

Psalms 23:6 …and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord, forever.

Written in celebration of the heart & life of Phyllis Stevenson

Sunday, May 3, 2009

STILL IN A SLUMP

It's another late nite, 10:30 p.m., and I thought I'd share a poem I wrote a number of years ago for a girlfriend from work who wanted me to compose an "original" poem rather than just buy a card. One thing that made this pair unique (at least uniquie to the circles in which I travel) was that they were avid motorcyclists so I included a reference to their other passions.

As you can see, the "new poem train" still hasn't left the station but I am making an effort. This Wednesday or Thursday I will share a poem I wrote this weekend upon learning that the mother of one of my dearest friends had died suddenly, but I prefer to wait until my friend receives the poem prior to the funeral. Anyway, it becomes exceedingly more difficult to find poems that I have written in the past as I have shared most of those with you. What I've saved for last are these poems, like the one I just mentioned, that are written for a commemoration of some kind, a holiday, an event. So, please bare with me as I look through that group to find some that may speak to all of you if only to jog the memory of an event or a person that you're remembering, too.

Engaging Hearts
By Patty Lynn

When two hearts meet and fall in love, a miracle takes place.
He takes her hand and she takes his, his lips press to her face,
Then magically they murmur low, “I’ll love you to the end”
And in those words they’re promising to be a heart’s best friend.

For friendship like the one you share makes lasting dreams come true,
And those of us who love you both want all that’s best for you!
Our treasured friends, your happiness is why we celebrate
And why we all look forward to just when you set the date…
To join your hands and lives as one, committing from the start…
Your love and your devotion, from Two, to make One heart.

So as you ride your Harley into the sunset bright
We know your future’s headed down a road that’s true and right.
Remember that a miracle has brought you two together,
And happily-ever-aftering starts now…
And goes forever.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

WOW! I'M GETTING WAY BEHIND!

I just can't believe that I haven't posted anything since April 17th. Guess you can tell that I don't have as much time as I used to. I was all set to post a couple of poems about 4 this afternoon when I had some special visitors and for these particular folks I always drop what I'm doing. As you've probably figured out by now, those special visitors were my two darling grandsons. They are so precious and watching them grow from such tiny pre-mees to these talkative darling children has been my greatest joy. Anyway, I ran across these two poems in my old file of poems that go way back.

The first one was actually commissioned by the church we belonged to at the time to be an addition to the church bulletin on the Sunday we were celebrating Confirmation.
I don't recall the year but it really doesn't matter. It was an honor to add my little poetic thoughts on this milestone in the lives of these eighth graders.

GROWN IN HIM
By Patty Lynn

When you were just a baby
Your parents brought you to…
The holy house of Jesus,
And there they baptized you.

You were too small to choose Him,
But Jesus took your hand,
‘Til you alone could make Him yours,
‘Til you alone could stand.

And then you grew in knowledge,
Learned of His ways so true,
And how He died to make you clean,
His blood was shed for you!

Today you stand before Him,
Your hand stretched out to His,
You know His hand’s protection,
What loving really is.

And so as you confirm your faith,
We pray your life remain…
Filled with His Holy Spirit,
Abiding love your gain!

The second poem was one that was written for a program at one of our local hospitals, called "Where the Rainbow Ends". The program was designed to introduce children to the hospital experience so that if or when they had to spend time in a hospital for treatment, it wouldn't seem so scary. These field trips by local schools used the characters from the Wizard of Oz to greet the children and take them on a tour of the facility. I was asked to write a little poem that could be incorportated into the handouts the children were given so that they could take them home and share what they learned with their parents. In addition, each child received a coloring book with the Oz characters.

WHERE THE RAINBOW ENDS
By Patty Lynn

Where the rainbow ends is a pot of gold
Filled with riches yet untold.
For it opens doors to fairylands
Where explorers walk o’re shifting sands.
These kingdoms lie both near and far,
Your own backyard, beyond a star.
So join me now where the rainbow ends.
Come follow me, bring all your friends.
For the riches lie with each book;
Just sit right down and take a look!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

COMPOSING ON THE SPOT

Last nite I just sat here looking at the scene and hoping for some inspiration. Well, as the attached poem will attest, it did'nt come. So I tried something I've only tried once or twice before, just writing a line and hoping for the best allowing thoughts to flow freely. If there was any inspiration to be had it was in the particular rhyme pattern. I had just gone back to a blog I shared last September called Penelope Pickel and I really liked the flow of that meter. From there I determined that I would try my hand at that form again. So I won't bore you anymore with the whole background thing. It's not my best, that's for sure, but it was an experiment.

COLDLY COMPOSING
by Patty Lynn

As I sit here a-staring, at the screen I'm preparing
To write a new poem for you all.
I'm sure it'll be, just fantastic, you'll see,
On my brilliance I'll just have to call.

Do you think this is easy, writing something to please me?
I'm a harsh little critic, it's true.
Must be careful to choose well, my words should be just swell,
I'm writing for me and for you.

An idea, I need one, when it's chosen 'twill be fun
To spin a poetic new tale.
Shall I write 'bout a person, from people we learn some,
Or maybe 'bout a dolphin or whale?

I'm trying so hard to be clever.
Gotta be the best poem that I've ever...
Composed on the spot, with the best that I've got.
It must be my finest endeavor!

Should it be short or long, set to music, a song?
The ideas, they just aren't a-coming.
The harder I try, why this just makes me cry,
Now my fingers are annoyingly strumming.

This is crazy, it's late, it's this dry spell I hate,
Wanting so much to start my composing.
Whether this, whether that, my thoughts are so flat.
What I should be is quietly reposing.

I’ve tried, yes, I have, but this poem is so bad,
Not the masterpiece I was expecting.
So I’ll quit while ahead, ‘twas here I was led,
Guess the best thing’s to stop, I’m suspecting.

Now the moral of my story’s don’t hope to claim glory,
When composing without at least planning.
As you stare at the page, an impossible gauge
For your poem is all set for the banning.

Yes, it’s best to retire with no thoughts that inspire,
Go to bed, get some rest for tomorrow.
Perhaps rested I’ll find, a renewal of mind
That brings triumph and joy ‘stead of sorrow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

NONE OF US WANTS TO BE FORGOTTEN

THOUGHTS TO PONDER. . .

I bought my first home in Appleton in 1996. It was a peculiar transaction from the standpoint that I not only purchased the dwelling, I bought the contents as well. The circumstances of the sale were precipitated by the death of the owner, a local dentist who had been the sole caregiver of his dear wife, who was stricken with Alzheimer’s. He had been able to manage her care for 5 years of this devastating illness, but when his beloved wife got out of the house on several occasions and began wandering the neighborhood, he knew he could no longer care for her at home. It was a difficult and heart-rending decision, I’m sure, fraught with anguish and personal disappointment, but he finally realized he was just not able. It eventually took its toll on the dear man, and two weeks following her admission to a nursing facility, he keeled over and died. I tell this story because, unfortunately, stories like this happen every day, some similar, some different, but always a sad commentary on the ravages of aging.

Amongst the contents belonging to the dentist and his wife was a large collection of books. One day, while perusing through some of them, I stumbled on the piece below, clipped out of some newspaper. Safely tucked away between the pages of one of the volumes, were these poignant words. I share them here as I feel they need sharing. A wise man once said, "To live life we must always be present in that life." I take that to mean that life needs to be savored, every minute, every hour, every day. Who knows how many days will get. How important it is to make the most of each one. At no time is it more important than at the point at which our elderly family member or friend needs us to be present, even when it may be difficult. . . for it will be OUR turn only too soon.


TIME TO REPAY
By Del Reynolds

With His hands and feet nailed to the cross, blood streaming down His face, with needle-like thorns piercing His head, and with thoughts of His trusted followers and disciples betraying Him, He raised His head and eyes to heaven and said---
FATHER, FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO.
I wonder how many elderly people in Nursing Homes can truthfully say: Father, forgive them for they know not what they do ---
As they sit quietly and wait patiently, day after day, for the faces of children they love, children they sacrificed for, perhaps for twenty years or more---children they loved
ABOVE ALL ELSE. . . and now they wait for them as they waited during the wee hours of the night when they were teenagers . . . just to be SURE that they were SAFE AND HAPPY.
Forgive them for they know not what they do? Can this really be said? My insincere friends, let me warn you---
You DO KNOW what you are doing to your Father or Mother or loved one as they sit there waiting, longing to see your face, if even for five minutes.
Yes, even five minutes if that’s all you have to give would be something towards the years they spent for YOUR safety and well being. If you go to see them even for a short time, even once a month. . . they’ll remember they are valued, loved, AND. . . God Himself will reward you. . . seven times seventy!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

OUR DAY TO DAY HABITS

Last night, about 9:05 pm, I was saying our nightly prayer with my husband and thinking how I was going to miss our usual 9-10 o'clock time together...again. As you all know by now, our lives and our habits have recently changed with the welcome addition of a new job for my husband. Getting up at 4:30 am each morning necessitates going to bed an hour earlier, so we pray, share a goodnight kiss and he goes off to bed. Sometimes I check my email, write a poem or even watch TV for another hour. Last night I used my hour by watching a program and then writing a new poem about our routine, you know, rise, work, supper, TV and bed. Not exciting, to be sure, but accurate. The practical side of life, the day to day habits, that we settle into, determined by our jobs, obligations, etc. As I was reflecting on all this, I wrote the poem below. It's a bit different than my usual fare in that it employs the use of the relaxed form of in' instead of ing. You'll see what I mean as you read along. The poem is genuine and down-to-earth, much the way we are. I hope you enjoy reading it and I hope you can see yourself in it's lines. Even the most mundane things can be engaging. Can you relate????

MUNDANE RITUALS
By Patty Lynn

I’m watchin’TV all alone in the night,
Too tired to think, but this doesn’t seem right.
“A waste” some may say, my daze, like a sponge.
But don’t you dare judge me, ‘s not for everyone…
This single “activity”(a strange choice of words)
We all fly together, like the best of the birds.
Workin’ hard in the day, makin’ supper for two,
Catchin’ one or two programs, and when the day's through…
Headin’ right straight to bed, pull the covers up tight,
Recallin’ the day in my prayers, thoughts take flight.
Will tonite be the night that sleep will come easy?
For sleep is the only thing to appease me,
For there’s nothin’ that frustrates like sleep that won’t come,
And I wouldn’t wish that on no one, not one.
Now these thoughts may not be an int’resting topic,
But here, all alone, I really can’t stop it.
Cathartic it is, ponderin’ the mundane,
Besides, to withhold it would drive me insane!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure not complainin
Though it’s not too excitin’, this is all that I’m sayin’:
You work hard, watch TV, get real tired and dozy,
Make your way to your bed, add some covers, you’re cozy.
Don’t think on too much or your mind will defeat it,
Only then will sleep come – now should I repeat it????

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

AND NO POEMS ARE FORTHCOMING...

I quarter to ten on a Tuesday nite and though I feel like blogging, I can't for the life of me think of something poetic. I guess the reality is that I'm having some difficulty adjusting to the schedule for my husband's new job. By the way, he really likes it and from all that he can gather, they like him,too. You see it's hospital hours and though the old 1st, 2nd and 3rd shifts do still exist, they are a different configuration of hours. He's primarily working 1st & 2nd shift and the shifts may vary even within a given week. So, he either works 6 am to 2:30 pm or 2 pm to 10:30 pm. He's only been working the first shift last week and this week and that may continue next week, but he goes to bed at 9 pm and gets up at 4:30 am. Well, what can I say but that it will require some getting used to. I'm not complaining, heaven knows, he and I are most grateful that he was able to find a job in his field in this economy. But I kinda miss the guy, don't see him in the morning and when he works the second shift, I won't see him but briefly in the morning and then I won't see him at night. I, too, have to get a few hours of sleep a nite and waiting up will make it much too late. (Could this subject matter be more boring?) I'm putting myself to sleep!! I mean it. I've got to get to bed. Nighty night, all. Hopefully the next time I blog it'll be a more interesting topic.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A WORD OF COMFORT

Tonight's blog is simply one of the poems that I wrote for my dear sister when she was going through some serious health issues. I tried to write a poem each week while she was in treatment as I felt in a time when I felt powerless, that I was "doing" something. My sister and I are so close, so tied together, that when either of us is hurting the other almost "feels" the other's pain. I'm happy that those health concerns are behind her now and I'm merely sharing this "prayer" in hopes that it may touch those who read it. If perchance you are going through difficult times right now or you know someone who is, this may be a comfort for you. If not, may it serve as a reminder that when we feel "power-less", God is even more "power-full". He is ready and willing to see us through, no matter what it is.

A PRAYER
By Patty Lynn

Oh, Lord, the God of miracles
My Savior and my friend,
I thought I’d take some time today
My heartfelt thanks to send.

I’m blessed, Lord, by your presence,
In ev’ry passing day,
A loved one’s kiss, a baby’s smile,
Your Word that points the way.

Relationships so rich, Lord,
My world’s a better place.
And thank you for the trials that come,
For strength, as each I face.

Some people say that miracles
Are few and far between,
But if they’d take the time to look,
At everything, I mean…

They’d see the world’s a wondrous place
Where miracles abound.
They’d see your hand in all that’s there,
In ev’ry sight and sound,

The changing of the seasons,
The plants that sprout and grow,
Spring’s gentle breeze, Fall’s vibrant leaves,
Fresh, newly-fallen snow.

And what is more miraculous
Than babies, Lord, I ask you?
But if there is a greater one
I wouldn’t put it past you!

For you are able to create…
The miracles around us,
The smallest bug, the tallest tree,
Each day they just surround us.

But, Lord, there’s something so profound
A gift you’ve given me,
That when I look into her eyes,
It’s You, Lord, that I see…

My sister, Lord, is such a source
Of joy and happiness.
I know I don’t deserve her
She simply is the best!

You know she’s struggling daily
With just so many things,
Her faith is strong and well she knows
The comfort that You bring.

So please, Oh God of Miracles,
Reach down your healing hand
Caress her face, embrace her heart,
And help her, Lord, to stand…

When she feels weak and frightened, too
Be there to raise her up.
And when she thirsts for answers,
Be there to fill her cup.

She’s oh, so precious, kind and true,
Unique in every way,
I love her and I wish I could
Wipe all her hurts away…

But only You can do that, Lord,
I lay her at your feet,
A miracle’s the answer, Lord,
Yes, that’s just what she needs.

So as I ponder all these things,
The blessings You bestow,
I thank and praise You, gracious Lord,
Just wanted You to know.

In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

DO YOU MISS ME YET????

Last Wednesday my sister and her husband left on vacation. They had planned it for months and I know they got a really good deal because "I know my sister!" She is by far the best bargain hunter I know and planning this trip to the Napa Valley was no exception. I don't know the rate they got on flights and rooms and events, I just know they would have to be fabulous. These two have taken some really nice vacations and I admire their "you only live once" philosophy.

My kids, too, have taken some wonderful trips and cruises and have gone to places my husband and I could only dream about. The last vacation we planned was a belated honeymoon on a Royal Caribbean Cruise. That was back in 2004. We decided to enjoy our night in New York where the ship would be boarded from the next day by getting a lovely hotel and tickets to a Broadway Show, The Producers, I think it was, although it wasn't the original cast. We'd planned and arranged and got ourselves so pumped about "our cruise" and couldn't wait to go. Well, the day before we were to fly out of Appleton to New York City, I was trying something on in a fitting room and the garment fell on the floor and ... I bent down. In that benign moment I heard a very peculiar sound coming from my back!


I don't know how I got home but I did and my husband rushed me to the emergency room and from there to the neurosurgeon's office and I was having back surgery when I should have been enjoying sultry breezes, white sands & blue sky. I had a trip alright, just not the kind anyone plans on taking. And so it goes...

These days with lost jobs and lay offs and whacks to retirement savings, we sit back and count our blessings and hope that if all goes well, we'll be going on a vacation in a year or so when we two with new jobs (thank you, God) have accrued some vacation time. Then we, too, can plan an excursion to someplace, maybe even someplace exotic and WARM! Spending Wisconsin winters in a warm climate eludes us at this point but a trip, a week or ten days, to a warm place would be nice. I hope so, and I really mean that, I have the hope that that will actually happen. Then I'll be able to call my sister as she called me today and say, "do you miss me yet?" And I really do miss her. She and her husband are our dearest friends and that truly is a blessing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

COULD IT BE WE'RE FINALLY DONE WITH SNOW?

It's almost April and this morning greeted the Midwest with another blanket of snow. Thank goodness it's in the 40's and by this time of the day, most of that blanket has melted. March definitely has been "in like a lion, out...like a lion!" Yes, just another reason to observe that our weather patterns are changing and our environment needs some TLC after years of little or no regard for the effects of our fuel and our need for "convenience".

I'm not about to (at least, not in this blog) get on my soap box about our country's wastefulness and wanton disregard. I'll reserve that for another time. My thoughts now are of the season of rebirth, shoots appearing, buds on the trees turning into leaves, gardening and...well, I could go on forever, but I don't have forever. The clock is ticking and who knows how many moments of Spring anticipation we have left. I'm not being morose, here. It's just that we never know when we've enjoyed our last Spring (or Summer or Fall or Winter) for that matter. We're told to live each day as if it's our last. That's good advice. We not only need to enjoy every moment we're given, we need to savor it. More importantly, we need to savor every person in our life. We need to tell them we love and appreciate them, for it is the people in our lives that are our dearest treasure. Never let a day go by without telling your loved ones that they are LOVED, for we never know when they will no longer be here and that missed moment is gone forever. Happy Spring, everybody! And if you didn't live today like it was your last, the day's not over yet.

Spring's the Thing
By Patty Lynn

Spring is a season,
A “spring” is the thing
Without which your mattress
A backache would bring.

We “spring” into action,
Put a “spring” in our step,
Spring showers bring colds
And occasionally, Strep!

Spring follows the Winter
And meets with elation
As cold bids adieu…
Spring’s anticipation
Finds all of us happy!
It’s finally here,
No snow for a while,
‘Til the end of the year.

We know Spring brings Summer
And Summer brings Fall,
But for now, Spring’s the Thing,
The “Best” season of all!!!!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

THE JOURNEY

My husband and I have been doing a nightly devotion since the first of the year and really enjoying it. We've been using a publication called, Portals of Prayer, and it's been amazing how the devotional thoughts have mirrored things that we're thinking and feeling and experiencing. Tonite was no exception. The title was, God Will Make a Way, and it talks about our journey through this life and the changes that have to be made and the adjustments that requires. It uses the example of the angel coming to Mary to tell this ordinary, small town girl that she would give birth to the Son of God. Talk about dealing with changes. God uses angels a lot in the Bible and that's what's made the subject of my short little poem for tonight so surprising. I don't know why I was thinking about angels, specifically our Guardian Angels, but I wrote this poem long before we had our devotion.

ANGEL ON MY SHOULDER
By Patty Lynn

There’s an angel on my shoulder,
Watching over me.
Whether good or bad she sees me
And always “sees” me through.

Sometimes she’s disappointed
In the choices that I make.
Oft times she even whispers,
“That will be a big mistake!”

And when I am in trouble,
She gives me confidence,
To rise above my problems,
And to use some common sense.

Although I cannot see her,
I know she’s always there.
A Guardian will do that,
Will give her tender care.

I’m grateful for her presence.
God’s sent her, just for me.
Life’s full of circumstances,
Where things aren’t clear to see.

So I have faith, believing,
The journey’s mine to make,
And with my Guardian Angel,
I’ll live, for Heaven’s sake!