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!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

WHAT A WONDERFUL GIFT!

Today gave birth to a wonderful blessing, an answer to the prayer that we have hoped for since my husband was permanently laid-off this past December. He was offered a very good position as a certified Pharmacy Technician at Theda Clark Hospital. As I shared with you soon after he lost his job, it was quite a blow and we were worried and anxious. Yet, we were hopeful that he would find employment but with the economy as it is and so many in the same position, it looked rather bleak.

I was so proud of him as he made finding a job his "job" spending long hours a day looking online, going to Workforce Development, scanning the Sunday paper and getting discouraged as the weeks turned into months. But he was very smart. He had let his certification for his Pharmacy Technician career lapse since he was working in an unrelated field so he thought it would be a good idea to go back to course work in order to regain it. He studied on his own for two months and then this past February he went down to Milwaukee and took the certification exam. He passed with flying colors and that went a long way to show that he was dedicated, his knowledge was current and he was ready to go.

I'm so proud of him and he's on cloud nine. It's hard for a man to be out of work for a long time like that and this past weekend I could tell it was taking a toll on him. We have both prayed a prayer of thanks individually and together for we know how blessed we are for this opportunity. I hope you believe in "Divine Intervention". I know we do.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

WE'RE NEVER PREPARED

This past Friday my son-in-law's grandfather, passed away suddenly. This was a man in his 90's who led a healthy life and up until a year ago played 18 holes of golf and often went out for lunch and dinner with friends. Then he suffered a stroke and from that time on he retreated, ashamed that he could no longer do the things he used to do and embarrassed by the fact that he needed a cane to get around. His quality of life was irreversibly gone. Now requiring help at home, he just gave up.

Then last week, he had a heart attack but, surprisingly, he rallied and was set to go home on Friday. In fact, his cardiologist told my son-in-law, " He's doing well. I expect him to go home tomorrow". Well, that "tomorrow" was Friday and instead he had another heart attack, this time a fatal one. I know people always say, "It's a blessing" but, you know, it was. His life was anything like it had been before his stroke and for him, what was left was a mere existence, not a life to be lived. My son-in-law had visited his grandpa the day before his passing and when he got the news, his response was, "I was going to see him today... at home." As it turned out, his grandpa was "seeing" him, looking down from heaven, finally whole and happy that he was going to be missed. Isn't that what we all hope for, a quick passing and life eternal with God? I'm sure he did, too, and his prayers were answered!

WE, TOO, CAN LIVE!
By Patty Lynn

When someone who has lived so long
Is taken suddenly,
We can’t begin to understand,
Just why this had to be.

It’s times like these, out of control,
That each one must admit…
We don’t have all the answers,
And this life isn’t it.

For when we leave this world behind,
And heaven opens wide,
Our earthly needs no more exist,
For God is by our side.

And tho we’re missed by those we loved,
The Love of God is such,
No words could e’er describe it,
No other love’s as much…

As that which now surrounds him,
At last he understands,
What he was promised, long ago,
Is sung by angel bands.

And so he takes his rightful place,
He’s young & whole, it’s true!
Yes, he’s a brand-new home in heaven,
Like that prepared for you.

At last he’s where we long to be,
He’s looking from above.
He’s happy there, knows that we care,
Asks God to send His Love…

And Comfort in our sorrow,
Peace only He can give,
Strength through this earthly pale,
Until we, too, can LIVE!

In Loving Memory

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SPECIAL MEMORIES

Guess I'm on a sort of memory kick. You know, as we grow older we cling to our memories and just remembering them can be a comfort. For whatever reason I got to thinking about one of my favorite books as a child. The golden books were very popular back then and they were always easy to spot on the bookshelf because they all had a metallic gold binding. One of my favorite stories was the story of the Little Red Hen. No matter how many times I heard it, I always fell in love with it all over again. It's simple really. The Little Red Hen wanted to make some bread but in order to do that she had to start by planting the seeds, tending them and watching them grow, harvesting the wheat, grinding it into flour, and finally baking the bread. Through the entire process she asked her friends for help but they were always too busy. You remember the story don't you? Well, I wrote a little poem that tells the story in poetic form as I remember it. Hopefully, it'll bring the memory of this story and it's lesson back for you, too.

THE LITTLE RED HEN
By Patty Lynn

When I was just a little girl
The world was sweeter then.
My mama read to me each night
My fav’rite book, Red Hen.

It told of how she asked her friends
For help along the way,
From planting seeds to harvesting,
Until that special day…

That she combined ingredients
To make a loaf of bread.
How then her friends were int'rested
In helping Little Red.

And when the bread was baked & sliced
Her friends thought they would eat,
But Little Red would not allow…
Her friends to take a seat…

And sample her delicious bread
She’d worked so hard to make.
Where were her friends when she began?
Nowhere, for heaven’s sake!

So Little Red sat down alone
And savored every bite
Because of all the work it took,
Her bread tasted just right.

I loved the story mama read
To put me down to sleep,
Though I was young and didn’t know
The lesson it would teach.

But looking back from here I see
The message loud and clear:
If you want to enjoy the end,
Then make the effort, dear!

Monday, March 16, 2009

UNEXPECTED MEMORIES

Yesterday my husband and I went down to the basement to look through some of the boxes that were never unpacked after our last move. It really wasn't something we put off, it was more like seeing all the things that cluttered our previous residence and feeling that it wasn't necessary to find a place for all the things. I think as we get older we require less "stuff" and plainer and more streamlined seems a better way to go. Anyway, it gave me a chance to "unearth" some treasured memories and the kind of melancholy that that brings.

For instance, I found some old pictures of my mom done in sepia tone. They were so soft looking and she was so much younger. It's a reality check when you see what time can do. I also found the Christmas present I gave her in 1969. I had graduated from college and was sent to a teaching position in Lancaster, California.
I was making $5000 gross for 11 months and money was very tight. But I managed to find this lovely heart-shaped locket and put a picture of myself and my younger sister in it and engraved the back with "With all my Heart" love Patty. I knew my mother was not a necklace person so I had the jeweler attach the locket to a pin.
I was so excited to give it to her and she seemed genuinely thrilled with the gift.
I wore it today on my suit jacket and glanced down on it a number of times and that sweet memory came rushing back. What would we be without our memories.

And speaking of memory, how's yours been lately? Mine used to be as sharp as a tack.
Now it's more like a dull eraser on the end of an old pencil. But seriously, I used to remember every lyric to approximately 600 songs, every singer, just about any movie star and at least one picture they appeared in. Now...not so much. What's up with that? That is the scary part of getting older. We're all so afraid of what they used to call "hardening of the arteries". I remember telling my mom that she shouldn't worry if she forgets some things, that I forget things all the time, but this is different. I'm not saying I'm scared, at least, not yet, but I do wish I could remember things better.

In closing let me just say that it's great to be alive, to be independent and relatively healthy, to have a roof over my head, a wonderful family and husband and friends like you to just share with and vent to. Good nite and sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

AGE DEFYING FEATS...

Decided to do another poem that concerns aging (wow, that's unusual). But seriously, how about that title, Age Defying. I wish. If only that were a possibility, defying age. Dream on. I used to get irritated about all the commercials about food, food, food. When you're trying to lose weight or maintain or, at least, make healthy choices, you don't need a steady diet (forgive the pun) of fattening food commercials with people eating all the "naughties" parading in front of you.

Now, however, I find myself more irritated with cosmetic commercials promising that you can"erase" wrinkles, build new skin or take those bags away. Did you notice that the afters are all under 30. Come on, already. How stupid and easily duped do these product companies think we are? And the prices for these products. Oh, my gosh!!! Well, sometimes it's much too much. I really do believe in good eating habits, healthy exercise and wearing make up to downplay your flaws and emphasize your assets. Oh, and absolutely, choosing clothes that are current and are styles that suit your body.

Now that I've vented, let me say that aging should be accepted as the natural progression of life. There's something to be said for aging gracefully. I will say that I was guilty of thinking it would be, shall I say, a more exterior than interior change, however. I knew I had the appropriate arsenal of skin care, makeup and hair product expertise to flatter my outside but I wasn't prepared for the physical maladies of the aging process. Still there are many benefits of aging that I never thought of like the knowledge that comes with experience and, certainly, the absolute best part (which I'm sure you all know by now) being a grandmother.

So, all of this is just to say, I love to analyze things and aging is no different. This blog is the perfect venue to ponder, share and analyze many things, none the least of which is AGING, so fasten your seat belts! Here's another look at the inevitable.

THE SKIN I’M IN
By Patty Lynn

I wonder why we never thought
We wouldn’t ever age.
Now, I don’t mean we thought that life
Would never turn a page.

And I don’t mean that we thought that we
Would never have crow’s feet,
Those darling little laugh lines
That never will retreat.

We knew we’d face the telltale signs
That we were growing older.
But aging gets more fright'ning
For gravity’s much bolder!

Your frame begins to shrink a bit
And certain parts, they sag.
No more are some things “perky”.
This really is a drag.

You pass a mirror and catch your face
Reflecting back at you.
“Who is this person?” you may ask.
“Is this what time can do?”

Surprisingly it’s what she said,
My mom was oh, so right!
"You don’t feel diff’rently inside.
The change is day to night!"

I heard her say, “I can’t believe…
Who is that old woman there?
I feel the same from deep inside.
I’m wrinkled with grey hair!”

Oh, yes, I know just what she meant,
But still amazed to see…
My version of my mother’s shock
That's looking back at me!

At least my life does not include
A cane or chair confined,
But given all that aging brings
I’d say, it’s crossed my mind!

So though I wish old Father Time
Would stop his forward spin,
I’m glad to be here, sags and all,
It’s just the skin I’m in!

Monday, March 9, 2009

THE AGE OLD STORY

I chose this name for today's blog because of the two words that are a part of every human being's life journey, age and old. I know I have covered this subject before and, believe me, this won't be the last. My time is much more occupied with a second job now and so I get less time to blog, or be creative or reflective. But, I never seem to run out of thoughts about aging, or never stop aging, however you want to interpret that. Anyway, as I awoke yesterday(and every day for that matter) dealing with the stiffness and general aging aches and pains, I thought I'd put my feelings down in a poem, but, at the risk of sounding "woe is me" about things, I brought my thoughts around to the good side of the aging journey, my two beautiful grandsons, Ian and Gavin. So indulge me, if you will. They are my greatest joy and blessing in my "golden years".

SNAP, CRACKLE & POP
By Patty Lynn

I wake up in the morning
Feeling eighty-five.
I look around, I touch my nose,
“Hey, world, I’m still alive!”

Then I sit up and hit the floor
And I attempt to stand.
I think: “My gosh, why is it true?’
I just don’t understand.

For I’m not in my eighties,
Why do I feel this way?
My bones they creak...snap, crackle, pop.
It’s just another day!

But after I get going,
I loosen up a bit.
I’m capable of moving,
But we’re not talking quick.

I guess I should be thankful…
That I can move at all,
But when my body’s mobile,
What I fear then’s, a fall!

Remember when you stumbled
And fell when you were young?
You’d pop right up, embarrassed,
And kept your momentum?

A fall was simply nothing,
At worst a scraped up knee.
Well, now it’s complicated,
A ser’ous injury.

I used to laugh when folks recalled,
That TV advertisement,
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”
Guess what, to my amazement…

It’s me who needs assistance,
Who’s fallen on my fanny.
Yes, I’m the one who can’t get up,
Who’s now the grey-haired Granny!

But grey-haired me with replaced knees,
Would never choose to be…
A younger version of myself.
That person couldn’t see…

The darling boys who fill my life,
With joy beyond all measure.
Each day, each moment, watching them,
They are my greatest treasure.

So if that means I’m not as spry,
And have a fear of falling,
I’d rather be a grandma, me,
These memories recalling.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

AN APOLOGY IS IN ORDER

First let me begin by making an apology for last night's gloomy blog. Yikes!! I was in a bad mood and it was directly proportional to some concerns I have (as so many do) about the recession and the toll it's taking on our retirement goals. I hadn't written a poem in a while and I wanted to just get a few things off my chest and it sounded like a gripe-fest, starring ME!!

Anyway, I've decided to have a more positive outlook (because being an ol' sad-sack never helped anyone) and think about the good that can come out of this national mess we're in. So, tonight's blog is a bit more upbeat. It's called:

WE WILL MAKE IT THROUGH
By Patty Lynn

I know I was crabby and negative, too
‘Cause sometimes this life gets the better of you.
It’s a shame when it happens, no help it provides,
But sometimes you feel like you’ve got to pick sides.

It’s the ol’ “us and them”, the haves and have nots,
And when you have not, you resent those that gots.
You feel it’s not fair and life should to be easy,
That transitions and changes are meant to be breezy.

But that’s not the way and struggles do come...
Much harder to handle when you are the one…
Who’s just lost your job or maybe your house,
Your savings are dwindling, you just need to grouse…

You’re entitled to, darn it, things are really bad.
At least they are diff’rent, don’t have what you had.
So we tighten our belts, are more thrifty and such,
And it does make a difference, though you don’t have as much.

But the saving and pinching’s a way to contend
With the bills and expenses, they’re sure not pretend!
Remember to pray, God’s there for your asking.
All this is not one thing, it’s real multi-tasking.

To think of it all, a juggling act, this,
But you’ll find that before there was something you missed.
The spending, the going, the getaways planned
Were a kind of removal, do you understand?

Now home becomes solace and the family’s united.
Some may make the point, it’s a trifle short-sighted,
But we know the truth is we’re closer than ever.
No country recession our family will sever.

It’s best to be thankful for we have each other,
Each father and mother, each sister and brother.
Let the storms of this life reek havoc and plunder.
Our family and faith can’t be torn asunder.

United we stand, divided we fall,
Take a breath and then look at the good of it all.
There’s many who stand at this crossroad like you.
With love, prayer and patience, we will make it through!!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

THERE'S A FREEZE!!!

Oh, yeah. There's a freeze, alright!!! The temperature is freezing, we're freezing when we're out in it, and businesses are putting a "freeze" on hiring. Now that's not the kind of news those of us with no job likes to hear. We're being frozen out, getting the cold shoulder, as it were, and the whole world is a pretty cold place, right now. See the theme? Well, FREEZE is a good word for what's happening in this recession, depression, or whatever ession this is. The only thing we want to freeze, is our investments. "Hang in there, don't worry, it'll swing the other way."
Maybe it will, but we don't have the luxury of time or, for that matter, money. For those who can wait it out, go ahead, hang in there. But with the way our retirement money is goooooing, we won't have anything left when the up-swing comes. Well,that's it for now. I have no desire for a popscicle, ice cream or a snow cone, that's for sure!!!

Stay warm.