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.