Thursday, January 29, 2009

IF WE ONLY KNEW

Sometimes I think there would be a value in owning a crystal ball, having a forward glance at just what the future holds. But, would that really be a good thing? God created us and this world and only HE knows what our life holds, what decisions we'll make, what the outcome of our life will be. This He keeps to himself and rightly so. He gives us the ability to make our own choices, good or bad, and tells us that He's there for us no matter what, loving us in spite of ourselves and offers salvation if we believe in Him. He also tells us that Heaven will be our eternal home so, in essence, we do know the future. However, this life, the good, the bad, and the ugly is what we make it. All He advises is that we live each day as if it's our last, so we're always ready to go HOME with Him in heaven.

Health, too, plays a big part in how our latter years are spent. All we can do is try to lead a healthy life with prudence about food and exercise and hope that we will have a relatively healthy life because of it. But still, we may have ailments and aches and pains that were inherited from a long lost branch of our family tree.
As I spoke of in my last BLOG, "if you have your health, you have everything." I have a relative that has many health issues to deal with and as I thought about her and her situation recently, this poem was the result.

TIME & CHOICES
By Patty Lynn

She spends her days alone, I fear,
And longs for youth again,
For though she may not be alone
The one who’s there’s no friend,
But rather just another one,
A body who’s not part…
Of all her conversations and…
Her sadly beating heart.

Now bound to spend the days ahead
Within a chair with wheels,
She cannot shed her constant thoughts...
Of days she wore high heels,
And makeup ‘dorned her pretty face,
That greeted all with smiles,
And if she entered all eyes fell,
Could see her feminine wiles.

Her voice, so sweet, and sweeter still
Attention constant seemed.
T’was glamorous the life she led,
Besides she had her dreams,
That oft times kept her company
And painted life as though...
It was much better than it was,
That life she misses so.

But time and choices took their toll
And robbed her visage there.
So now she’s left with memories,
Confined in that ol’ chair.
She wishes that she could go back
And change so many things.
But would she really alter much
To see just what that brings?

It’s sad to think of wasted lives,
And sadder still the ones...
That find their choices limited,
And must accept what comes,
Who wish life gave a second chance,
That she could try once more.
But sadly if she had the chance,
Would she do as before?

She’ll never know and so she must...
Take life the way it comes,
Resigned to conversations brief,
And the twiddling of her thumbs.
She watches television,
Till wee hours of the night.
Although her body’s tired,
E’en sleep’s a constant fight.

Wish I could help her with her war
Against the villain, time,
But I, too, have my enemies,
For failing health’s a crime...
Against the very best of us,
For we just can’t escape it,
And if we could I’m sure we would...
Find some way to scotch tape it,
This body with it’s ailing parts,
Some days we’d like to give it up,
Imagining our "used to be",
In youth, when we could live it up!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

IF YOU HAVE YOUR HEALTH...

We've all heard the phrase that starts out, "if you have your health.... We know that the rest of it is, "you have everything"! Trouble is we don't believe it until we get past middle age and our ol' bods start falling apart. So for all you "mature" readers out there who relate (admit it, you find yourself saying this all too familiar phrase to yourself several times a day), here's a little poetic license with this worn out (like your bodies) thought for the day.

IF YOU HAVE YOUR HEALTH…
By Patty Lynn

They say that if you have your health,
You have the world, it’s true.
I know to this I can relate,
Do these words speak to you?

For bodies age and flesh, it sags,
And faces map the years,
As beauty fades, so memories,
And brings me close to tears.

Where did it go, this life of mine,
A tummy flat and tight?
It seems I blinked and poof it went.
I think ‘twas overnight!

I know that I must face the facts,
With glasses magnified,
In youth we think this won’t be us,
And now we’re horrified!

No longer young, invincible,
No help was needed then.
But now we’re left with just a shell
Of us, from way back when.

Our habits make it obvious
We turn into our mothers,
And yet, for some, it’s clear to see,
How much they’re like our fathers.

The apple falls not very far
From where the tree once stood,
And everyone will older be,
And outcomes can be good.

If only you take care of it,
Your body and your soul,
Make love and life priorities,
Now, that’s a noble goal!

For having health is quite a gift,
One thing that needs our tending,
And, too, beyond our earthly life
Is God’s love never-ending.

Make Him a part, or better yet,
The first and foremost, He,
And you’ll find youth and perfect “health”
For all eternity!!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

MAN'S BEST FRIEND

We've often referred to dogs by this expression but does it really tell the story of our relationships with our pets? And are dogs our only "friends" in the animal kingdom? Hardly. To everyone and their pet, their bond is special. Animals, they say, give us unconditional love and I would have to agree. They love us whether we've had a good day or bad, whether we're in a good mood or a lousy one, whether we pay attention to them or not. Wouldn't it be nice if human relationships were like this?

If you've ever lost a pet and gone through the agonizing trials of failing health and having to put your pet down, you know it is indescribably difficult and heart rending. We had such a time with our last dog, Harley, and those of you who are dog or cat or whatever owners know, it's a terrible thing to go through. Even when it's evaluating "quality of life" issues, it's hard, very hard. A close friend of mine went through this recently and it got me to thinking, "I'd never written a poem of comfort for such a situation". And so today I offer this poem in hopes that it can give some level of comfort and understanding.

REGRETFULLY PASSED
By Patty Lynn

They’re one of the family,
They burrow right in,
Right into your heart,
Seems they’ve just always been…
A part of each day,
For they’re part of your world
All cuddly and soft,
Around you they’re curled…
Till you can’t see where one ends
And the other begins.
Imagine them gone?
The idea spins…
Almost out of control,
Push it out of your mind,
No, don’t let it be…
In a place you can find.

That puppy so sweet,
So dependant on you,
Keep from thinking of when…
Your time is all through.
The years you’ve both had,
What a memory, this
Of that one special face
And a sloppy ol’ kiss.
A tail that expressed
Just how happy he felt
Just the mere thought of it
Why it makes your heart melt!

We block out the day
When we must say goodbye,
When decisions are hard,
Wiping tears from each eye,
As we peacefully watch
As they sleepily go,
And they leave quietly
Not ever to know…
That the end is now here
And their spirit is free…

Bounding through verdant meadows,
Not a leash will there be,
No restrictions, no rules,
Just a perfect fair day
As this part of your family
Scampers away.
And you whisper, “Goodbye,
You’re free, free at last!”
Our time, treasured much,
Has regretfully, passed.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

AND NOW I IS ONE!!!!

This may seem like a strange title for tonight's blog entry, but once I explain, it'll make more sense. Many years ago when my children were approximately two and four, I wrote a poem for my mom and dad that they eventually framed. I ran across it recently and thought about how life moves forward, we blink and suddenly our roles are shifted.

My parents were wonderful grandparents to my two children, little ones who had the good fortune to have their grandma and grandpa living in the same city. They were both born in Milwaukee and when we moved to Appleton due a job change, my parents soon took up residence here as well. This was such a privilege for my two and, as it turned out, their move afforded my sister and me the proximity to care for them in their old age.

As I looked at this old poem and the portraits of my two children that I had done to accompany the poem, I thought, "now I can really relate to how my mom and dad must have felt about their two grandchildren". Words can't come close to describe the depth of love I feel for my grandchildren, so I can truly imagine how they must have felt. That's the thought that prompted the title of tonight's Blog, once I had parents that became grandparents when I had children, "and now, I is one!"

GRANDMAS AND GRANDPAS
By Patty Lynn

I once had a nightmare, a terrible fright
As I lay a sleeping, alone in the night.
I dreamt that this world took a turn for the worse…
For we were beset by a horrible curse,
A curse just so awful, the world felt forsaken;
A child’s greatest blessing was so heartlessly taken!
And what, you may ask, was this blessing so great,
That the thought of just losing it, nearly shook me awake?
Why, Grandmas and Grandpas, those special folks who…
Make caring and sharing a habit with you!

Just think of it, try it, a day without them…
Would be, don’t deny it, so hollow and then…
Just put your mind to it, deeply, I mean,
And you’ll see just how barren your whole life would seem…
Without Grandma’s patience, without Grandpa’s games,
Loving welcomes that tell you, they’re glad that you came,
No planting a garden, no rocking to sleep,
No tender embraces to make life complete.

So ponder this well, dear children of mine,
More precious a blessing you never will find!
This gift God has given, remember its worth,
No greater a treasure is there on this earth,
There’s nothing quite like them, they’re one of a kind,
Their love is so special, you’re first on their mind.
Don’t take them for granted, though they’ll always be there,
These two are like jewels, so precious, so rare.
That’s Grandmas and Grandpas, those special folks who…
Make caring and sharing a habit with you.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY...

Although tired at the end of a very long day, I couldn't miss this night to BLOG.
This day, January 20th, 2009, was the inauguration of Barack Obama (yes, he is the first African-American to hold this office)but for me, it means a palpable growth as a country. And though prejudice and bigotry will, unfortunately, always be a part of our world, today is a day of triumph over much that is unjust & unequal, and at this one shining moment, there is a hope that hatred will one day be eradicated. I know that is unrealistic but what I say to that is: "let me have my dream, for some dreams do come true". But instead of philosophising about it all, I'll share a little poem that came to me today called:

THE U.S.A.OF WE
By Patty Lynn

Today’s the day we’ve waited for,
The day the pres-elect,
Takes office there in Washington.
The WORLD feels the effect!

For this is more than USA,
So much needs to be changed,
And Martin Luther King looks down,
His “dream” now has a name.

Barack has such a diff’rent sound,
But diff’rent’s what WE need,
And he is fin’lly what we sought,
Someone we could BELIEVE!

The tasks ahead are daunting ones,
The cure not quickly had,
But if WE pull together,
We’ll straighten out the bad.

Today his speech, a moving one,
Has called US all to do…
Our very best, no matter small,
And this means ME and YOU!

Because the weight is not all his,
WE all must do OUR part,
Persistence for the goal ahead,
And add a little HEART.

So join with ME to celebrate
This day in history,
WE stand united, EVERYONE,
The U.S.A. of WE!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL

This past summer our "very young" next-door neighbor celebrated his 40th birthday. His lovely wife with the help of some of the other neighbors planned a surprise party and, really pulled it off. My husband and I were among the few who were the more mature guests and so, I gave him a poem befitting the occasion. Ah, to be 40 again! Oh, well, I digress. Anyway, since my last blog entry concerned my being disenchanted with The Golden Years, I thought it appropriate to share his poem with you. Here it is:

They Say…
By Patty Lynn

They say, it’s something special,
The Big Four O, they say,
But we’ve been on the other side,
And we both say, “No way!”

Though it may be a milestone,
It starts “the olden years”.
Your waist expands, your hair migrates,
Guess what, it’s in your ears!

Your body starts objecting some,
You’re stiff when you arise,
Your reading needs a longer arm…
To focus with your eyes.

They say that 40 really is…
Age 30, now-a-days,
But let us tell you, that’s not true,
In, oh, so many ways!

But lest we both sound negative,
The truth is that we’re jealous,
And we’d go backwards, if we could,
Though older folks would tell us…

The scary stuff ‘bout growing old,
The truth is - you’re embarking…
On what experience has taught.
Age 40’s only marking…

A time to savor, see things clear,
Perhaps, age 40’s half,
But let us say, it’s not that bad,
Besides, you have to laugh…

‘Cause even with the negatives,
There’s so much that is great,
Because with age comes wisdom,
You just appreciate…

The moments, that in younger years,
Would often pass you by.
Be sure you take a second look,
Don’t let those moments fly.

So, though, this poem began in jest
Wish we could wear your shoes,
So, happy, happy, 40th,
Don’t ever sing the blues!

The years that lie ahead, you see,
Are really what you make them.
Be sure you laugh more than you cry.
For granted, never take them.

The riches of the seeds you’ve sown,
They far outweigh the aching.
So take the time - and savor each,
They’re there for just the taking!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

AH! THE GOLDEN YEARS (lol)

Yes, the Golden Years!!! Who perpetuated this idea, or shall I say, this misconception? Who ever it is, I'd like to seriously sit down with him and give him a piece of my mind (that's assuming I have any piece I could spare). Today was one of those days, an everything-pretty-much-stinks-and-I-need-to-vent kind of day.

You know the drill, someone greets you with "Hi, how are you?" and you respond with,
"Can't complain", when what you really would like to say is, "It's a pretty crappy day; sit down and let me unload on you." But no one really says that and even if they did, the receiving end would want to high-tail it out of there, fast!

In my case the only one that I can say that to and who won't run the other direction, is my sister. Now when it comes to sisters, I believe I have the best thing going. My sister and I are so close we can vent, complain, advise, etc. and it's OK. Today was one of those days. She needed to unload and so did I, perfect timing. We've both been having some health issues and they've left us feeling a little picked on, frankly. We're not complainers for the most part, but today we gave each other permission to let it all hang out, and I think we both felt better for it.

The great thing is, though, that when you have a bad day, it gives you the perspective you need to appreciate all the good days you have. It's sort of like "if you never cried, you couldn't really appreciate a good laugh". And believe me, we know how to laugh. Our Dad had a wonderful sense of humor and he passed that on to us. It sure has gotten us through some tough times.

So, with no preconcieved idea that I am a wise oracle, the BLOG LESSONS for today are: 1. The Golden Years are a crock 2. It's OK to vent on a bad day, just make sure you have a willing ear 3. Count yourself truly blessed if you have a willing ear and 4. Try to find the humor in even the crappiest situations. You can view these as words of wisdom, or not, but they sure work for me!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

HE'S ALMOST HERE!

If you live in a vacuum you are not aware of what happens on January 20th. On the other hand, if you are living, breathing and actively participating in this world of ours, you are expecting a great deal on that date as Barack Obama takes office as the President of the United States.

We are all hanging our hat on this man to be instrumental in making changes in our government to hopefully remedy all the things that need fixing. The problem is that these changes will not be instantaneous and there are many in Washington that will not support all that our President wants to do, so we must be realistic. I hope all of you are employing prayer at this monumental happening, not only supporting the promising solutions of Barack but for him. He will need guidance, patience, and a pretty thick skin. Do your part and include our country, our new president, and the soldiers and their families, just to name a few things. They all need our prayers and support.

A POSSIBLE ESCAPE
By Patty Lynn

The day is inching closer.
A new man takes the seat.
A democratic president,
We hope just can’t be beat!

Yes, miracles can happen,
But God’s the one in charge.
So if the problems can be solved,
It’s His game, by and large.

Let’s not believe Barack alone…
Can fix our world of ills.
It’s going to be a bumpy ride,
With roller coaster thrills.

He says he’ll call the Chiefs of Staff,
To end the Iraq war.
But what about Afghanistan?
Hey, troops, another tour?

Do I sound rather cynical?
That’s ‘cause I’m realistic,
And recognize our pres-elect’s
A man and not a mystic.

Our country has a laundry list
Of problems that need fixing.
The president can stir the pot,
But many do the mixing.

So watch and wait and pray a bit
And see how it takes shape,
And hope this darn recession has…
A possible escape.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

WHAT I LEARNED FROM A TWO YEAR OLD

It's no secret that children often end up as the teachers in this world. We do our best to teach them, but somehow it often is these little ones that show us the way.
This week as I, once again, enjoyed my two beautiful grandsons, I had an "Ah, Ha" moment. Ian, the more diminutive of the two, loves life to follow certain patterns and consequently has built in self-talk when it comes to exactly when Grandma or Grandpa should be at his house.

Since I always meet him and his brother at their car when they come home from school, my daughter tells me that he will have a conversation with himself the whole way home. It goes something like this: "Gwamma, yes (as he shakes his head affirmingly)Papa, no" (Grandpa usually comes in the afternoon after nap time). This is what he repeats over and over on the way home in the car.

But his self-talk also includes what he will say when he takes a tumble or bumps his head and it's not severe enough to get some loving comfort from Mom or Grandma. He will quietly repeat to himself what he has heard us say to him when we are holding him or kissing a boo-boo. He will murmur low, "It's aw-wight, it's ok" over and over to himself. .It occured to me that he is truly being self-assured, and this little poem came about as a result.

SELF-ASSURED
By Patty Lynn

You’ve heard the term, the attribute,
“Why, he’s so self-assured.”
It means that you are confident,
A shy demeanor cured.

We’ve heard it used on resumes,
We hope our boss will notice,
And Dale Carnegie, it’s said,
Has done much to promote this.

But what is this in practice?
I’ll tell you ‘cause I know.
A little boy has taught me this,
There’s much that he could show.

This little boy is 2 years old,
And when he’s hurt or sad,
He, to himself, assures himself,
That things are not so bad.

Says, “It’s aw-wight” and “It’s okay”,
I hear him whisper low,
Because he’s heard those same sweet words
From us who love him so.

That’s truly an example
Of what that one word means.
This tiny soul assures himself,
And that’s what this word means.

As always children teach us well,
Though we think we’re the teachers.
What can I say but children are…
The wisest of God’s creatures!

Monday, January 5, 2009

THE WIND OF CHANGE

Ever since the election machine was set in motion, the word for 2009 has been CHANGE.
That's certainly a good motto since it's apparent that we do need to change the way our country does its "business". Granted this time of year, beginning a new one, is, at the very least, reflective of the past and it's "mistakes". If we go on the principle that we learn from our mistakes, taking stock and making some adjustments will, hopefully, yield a better result.

That's it for my deep thought for today except...What about the eternal battle of the bulge. We wage that war every year and yet, more often than not, we succumb to defeat. If there are any out there who don't know what I mean, please raise your hands. I thought so. So it is safe to say that at least one or two of you have had a similar experience and have learned that valuable lesson which is: If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, and try again. Though this is a serious matter, I thought I'd have some fun and pump out this little ditty. It isn't so humorous as it is, well, what we have to be reminded of every new year.



A CHANGE FOR ALL OF YOU
By Patty Severin

Are you a diet maniac,
When the New Year comes around?
Compulsive with your exercise,
When your body’s looking ROUND?

Hey, could it be your body needs…
A healthier approach,
That’s prompted by a balanced plan
That’s way beyond reproach?

No matter if you’d like a fix
That’s fast and easy, too.
The truth is it’ll take some time
Re-educating you!

For diets and equipment can’t…
Be only temporary.
A life change is the thing you need.
So, friend, you best be wary…

Of advertiser’s gadgetry
That promises the moon.
Be sensible and stay the course.
You’ll sing a diff’rent tune.

Because you’ve changed you habits and…
The secret’s really true:
With inside change comes outside change,
A change for all of you!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

AHHH! CHILDREN

When I first began this blog back in September, it seemed like a natural place to share my poetry. I've written so many poems over the years I got to November and seldom had to write anything new. I'd get inspired here or prompted there by something in the news (like the election) or something would pop into my mind and I'd have to write a poem about it. This blog still is my writing venue and I get so much pleasure out of sharing my poetry and thoughts with you all, that I have continued on sharing my work.

And now a new year is upon us. And there is no great reservoir of things to pool from, but I will forge ahead with new thoughts and new poems that perhaps I need to write more than you need to hear. But forge ahead I will.

Today as I was thinking of a blog entry, I hearkened back to where much of my poetry began, with thoughts of and about children. I'm sure you've all gathered that I love children and feel they teach us so much more than we teach them. I seems as I grow older I feel more enlightened, particularly by the whole growing and learning process that children go through, that WE went through but were too busy working toward becoming a grown-up to realize. Ooooo! Now that's a bit deep!!

Anyway, I will always write about children because that's where my heart is and this little one came as the result of a gift one of my grandson's received on his first birthday, his beloved teddy bear.


TEDDY BEAR
By Patty Lynn

Teddy bear, my Betty Bear,
Sitting on the floor,
If I had more than five of you,
I couldn’t love you more.

You are so very beautiful,
You’ll be my bestest friend.
We’ll have such lovely tea parties.
Our “talks” will never end.

You’ll have to meet Sweet Monkey
And Daniel Dew, my Duck.
I put him in my boot one day,
And Daniel Duck got stuck!

I laughed so hard that I fell down…
And landed on my dolly.
Oh, yeah, you’ll have to meet her, too.
I call my dolly Molly.

It’s so much fun when I pretend,
My animals and me.
And now with you sweet Betty Bear,
Good times there’s bound to be!

Friday, January 2, 2009

OBSERVATIONS TO START OUT THE NEW YEAR

Some of my observations may seem obvious, I know, but indulge me. It happens every year at this time. After being wooed to spend beyond our means for the latter part of 2008, we are now inundated with programs covering the subject of overspending and racking up the dollars on our credit cards. Wouldn't you think that in this economy, particularly, people would be more conscientious about spending within their means? What happened to one gift per child? Making cut out Christmas cookies with the little ones? Stringing popcorn and cranberries? And generally focusing on family and being together? My husband lost his job in December this year. I HAD to cut back and although I wished I could send on a gift to my friends, I couldn't, and it was OK. Now, I didn't like it much, but after it sank in, I adjusted.

And while on the subject of observations: At the beginning of each new year we are bombarded with all the diet and exercise gimmicks. We've spent two months having advertisers hit us hard with FOOD FOOD FOOD! Food to go out and eat, food to order and have delivered and finally food to serve during the holidays. Now that we've embibed, we have to partake of the latest gadget to get the best abs, or have the diet food delivered to our door, or join the gym that offers the best membership rates. There are even gyms that cater to the clandestine exerciser, too ashamed to be seen in exercise gear, so they can come at 2 o'clock in the morning!

And my final observation is totally unrelated. This one concerns what adults do when they're uncomfortable, embarrassed, self-concious or any similar feeling. WE LAUGH. Sometime when you think of it, just observe others around you or yourself perhaps. As little children we can run home to Mama when someone makes fun of us or hurts our feelings, but as we grow up we have to keep our real reactions to these negative situations to ourselves. But some of us, most of us, laugh and have some comment while we're doing it, usually self-depricating. You might even catch yourself doing it. I know I have. It seems an ODD response since the situation is anything but funny. They do say that "laughter is the best medicine". Sooooo, maybe what we're doing is self-medicating. Something to think about.