Thursday, December 22, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

This may very well be my last post of 2011 as the Christmas preparations are nearing completion and I want to allow for some relaxing before the family get-togethers on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  My family is trying two new ideas this year to see if this might become a new tradition.

We'll all go to the 5:30 pm service at church and then head over to my daughter's house for canapes and other yummy snacks.Then it will be time for the children to get their gifts, only the children.  That way the evening is theirs and we can all enjoy seeing them play with their new toys. 

The following Christmas Day we'll get together for a casual lunch and the adults will exchange their gifts.  We also are trying a name exchange so that this year you have one person for whom you must get a gift.  You can get a gift for anyone you want and they you, but you must buy a gift for your chosen name.  The idea has met with some opposition but we're going to try it this way and see what the consensus is for future Christmas celebrations.  I'm anxious to see how this new method goes. How will you know if you never try.

Today I remembered one of my Appleton friends with a gift and a poem.  I have included it here:

FOREVER TETHERED
by Pat Severin

Friendship comes in many forms.
Some casual won't weather storms.

Some may come from days gone by
And some they make us ask, "ah, why?"

Some we wish had warning labels
Because they use, then turn the tables.

But if you're lucky you might find
A friend, as you, with a like mind...

Whose faith's important and who prays,
Can see God's hand in many ways.

That friendship is the kind that lasts.
It's good today as in the past.

A treasure, blessing, precious, too
And likewise sees the same in you.

So, dearest friend, this Christmastime
I'm proud that you're a friend of mine.

I know we're linked for now and ever.
Friends who'll be forever tethered.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

CHRISTMAS PREPARATIONS

Like many of you I'm getting ready for Christmas.  Made a batch of candy yesterday and am making Chex Mix today.  Tomorrow may be the day for Christmas cut-out cookies, not sure.  I'm really enjoying all the prep this year, a perk that comes from the leisure of being retired.  Also, the fact that my husband is willing, ready and able to help me is the real key ingredient and he knows that I really appreciate it.

I have done my traditional Christmas letter this year, always a joy to review the events of the past year. Haven't received many cards so far this year but I think fewer and fewer people send cards out.  Along with my Christmas letter I included the following poem.  I hope you enjoy it and consider it my Merry Christmas to you all.

FOR YOU AND ALL THE EARTH
by Patty Lynn

"Oh, Christmas is for children,"
Or so the saying goes.
Such happy faces, sounds of glee,
Ol' Santa's bright, red nose!

But also it's the time we spend
With family and friends
The candles flickering, tree so bright
The cards we like to send.

But what about the Christmas Child
Born on that star-lit night?
The awe-struck shepherds, overwhelmed,
To see that wondrous sight!

Why is it we can put aside
What we should ne'er forget?
How is it we're consumed instead
About what we'll regret.

For isn't it of worldly things
That we all should be wary?
And buying this and buying that's
Not what makes Christmas merry?

It's not the tinsel, wreath or tree
The presents wrapped in splendor
Nor carols by the fireside
It is the Babe so tender.

For yes, indeed that tiny Babe
Born just to set men free
God's grace and love was born that night
That birth for you and me.

So as you shop and food prepare
Your family expecting
Remember why we celebrate
Make sure you're not rejecting...

The reason for this holiday
Your Savior's humble birth
God's Son was born that holy night
For you and all the earth.

Friday, November 18, 2011

I'M FINE, HOW ARE YOU?

Today's blog concerns itself with that old greeting, "How are you?"  We hear it many times during the course of a day and will respond with this blog's title, I'm fine, how are you?"  Why is it that we utter this predictable response?  I believe it's because we realize that responding with a laundry list of our less than positive ailments or issues, well, no one really wants to know, and if they're sincerely interested, then what do they say?  More importantly, what good does it do?  Complaining never does any good.

I usually advocate honesty in all one's dealings, but in this case, it's best to answer with the canned response that we're "fine."  Besides, concentrating on the negative never does anybody good, ourself included.   And that is the lead in to this blog entry entitled...


COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT
by Patty Lynn

So many with their greeting
Add this, "so how've you been?"
Though tempted you say, "oh, I'm fine,
How've you been lately, friend?"

And he responds, "oh, I've been fine.
Twas nice to see you, friend."
And so it goes, for we all know,
Complaining's where it ends.

For no one really wants to hear
Your laundry list of woes,
The aches and pains that bother you
From head down to your toes.

Besides complaining does no good,
Won't change the situation.
But fortunately there's one whose glad
To hear each aggravation?

Your Lord above who loves you so
Is always poised and ready
To hear from you, no matter what,
His care is strong and steady.

He knows exactly how you've been,
Is glad to hear your voice,
He can effect improvement, too.
He's always your best choice...

To share your triumphs, sorrows, too,
Your trials and tribulations.
He understands just how you feel
In every situation.

Take comfort, He knows everything,
Today and, yes, tomorrow.
He's always there, to always care,
Through happiness and sorrow.

Friday, November 4, 2011

A SMILE MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE

I actually had written two new poems back in September when I husband and I went to Door County for our wonderful Honeycrisp Apples, but the days keep getting away from me. So today I thought I'd share one of them with you.

The inspiration for this poetic contribution is Bradford Thompson, my Dad. He was a guy who could always find the humor in this unpredictable life of ours. A day didn't go by without a good laugh, sometimes even at his own expense.

He's been gone some 20+ years but I still think of him often. He had many health issues which started with a heart-attack at 42. But I'm sure if you could ask him he'd say he didn't have it too bad. I attribute that to his acute sense of humor and I'm happy to say he passed that on to me. If you're feeling down today, feeling that the last thing in the world you want to do is smile, do it anyway. You'll be surprised by the way just turning up the corners of your mouth can effect you. Try it.

A GOOD LAUGH
by Patty Lynn

You've heard it said that laughter is
A medicine of sorts.
"It cures you when you're feeling down,"
This saying, it purports.

I'd have to say that I agree.
A good laugh is, well, cleansing.
It clears your head, puts cares to bed.
Aids worried hearts in mending.

My dad's the one who proved to me
The value of some laughter.
He'd make a joke and pretty soon
Your laughs would fill the rafters.

He'd not diminish how you felt,
He'd listen, empathize,
But had a way of wiping 'way
The tears that filled your eyes.

He truly could reverse your frown
Replace it with a smile.
For staying stuck, in worries rut,
Was surely not his style.

His recipe for happiness:
God's love, a smile, add prayer,
And don't forget, you're not alone
'Cause He is always there.

So take a tip from dear ol' dad.
Life's much too short to gripe.
Treasure your day in every way
You'll make each burden light...

If only you depend on Him
He's there to lift your sorrow.
A smile today assures that you...
Can conquer your tomorrow!

Monday, September 19, 2011

SOMETIMES A POEM CAN WRITE ITSELF

I chose the title of this blog as this was the case with this poem.  The subject was not weighing heavy on my mind; it was somewhere in the back recesses as I do believe this scenario plays itself out in more homes than we think.
With unemployment at an all time high, I'm sure there are those who are caught in this self-medicating trap on both sides of the issue.  Those who have jobs are being asked to do the work of two so as to keep expenses down and often those who can't find a job are feeling undervalued and hopeless as the months tick away with no prospects.

With that being said I submit the following:

DELUSION
by Patty Lynn

You may think you need alcohol
At night when day is done,
To rest, unwind, you know, relax,
The work day's battle done.

Besides you like the way you feel,
The kids are unaware,
OK, they see their dear ol' dad,
With glass in hand, who cares...

You're certain they don't know the truth,
That dad, he just can't cope.
You're sure they think that it's ice tea,
At least, that's what you hope.

But mister, you delude yourself,
And someday you may see
This same behavior in your kids,
No matter he or she.

For kids will always imitate
Your habits, good or bad.
Their love is unconditional
For mother and for dad.

So heed my words, there's much at stake,
Not just a drink or two,
And God awaits your fervent prayer
For help to see you through.

It won't be easy, that's for sure,
But family's what matters,
And with commitment and God's help
This habit's left in tatters.

And pretty soon you'll be on track
With God's strength and your own.
Delusions gone, you're seeing clear,
Restoring happy home.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

THE BIG "C"

As I'm sure many of you can say, everyone's life is touched in some shape or form by cancer. This insidious disease permeates every walk of life, every personal connection and every family at some time. Recently, one of my neighbors was stricken with ovarian cancer and is in the throws of chemotherapy, the half way point, she tells me.
As some of you know, my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer a few years ago. As I felt with my sister, I wished to be able to "do" something for my neighbor, feeling so helpless, so yesterday I wrote a little poem for her and included it in a card with a gift certificate attached. She was touched by my words and I felt I had done "something." I have attached it here:

HIS PLAN
by Patty Lynn

You think you've got life figured out
And know what to expect,
And then it happens - can it be?
"C'mon now, I object...

To things that throw me for a loop,
Invade my normalcy.
I never thought I'd have to face
What's happening to me!"

But through such things God teaches us
Control is only His,
And though it's hard to understand,
His plan is what this is.

So take to heart how much He cares,
You'll never be alone.
He's watching and He's loving you
Atop His heavenly throne.

And those of us who love you here
Are caring deeply too.
We're here to help, to help you through
Our hearts stretched out to you.

You who have lent a helping hand
To others for so long,
Please take ours now,
And see just how...
Our love can make you strong.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

KIDS SAY THE DARNEDEST THINGS

Initially this was going to be the title of today's blog but as I began writing the poem, it didn't seem to be as appropriate as I originally thought.   As a side note, I am baffled at how long it took me to compose. For whatever reason, I spent longer writing and re-writing this poem than any other one before. What's funny is that this poem is as straight out of real life as I get. As you read it I think you'll understand just why it will always be one of my most treasured memories.   When KIDS SAY THE DARNEDEST THINGS, they have the ability to catch us so off-guard that they instantly reach the deepest part of our hearts.

WE'RE YOUR BOYS
by Patty Lynn

Now, in the car last week we talked
My twin grandsons and me,
About how we're a family.
My hope was that they'd see...

What is so hard to understand,
The simplest family tree,
That their grown mom was once a child,
And grandma's child is she.

They know we're all "connected"
And try to comprehend
That someday they'll get married
'Cause that's what God intends.

They know that they will grow up,
I said someday they'd find
A girl to be with always
Who'd love them all the time.

Imagine my heart melting
When one twin said to me,
"I'm going to marry you, Gram.
We both will. Wait and see."

I said that I would love that,
Two husbands, lucky me.
But I just wasn't ready,
Could not the next foresee.

The words with which they followed,
These cherished two, my joys,
Were what to them was logic:
"Well, Grandma, we're your boys."

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON

I used to think this statement was a "cop-out" but I've changed my mind. As for me, I think it's more faith-based in it's origins. I believe God is in control and that all that happens to us is part of His plan. Whether it's good or bad, God has a purpose.

Never have I felt that to be more true than with my meeting my husband, Frank. We met late in life, at a time I surely didn't think I would find someone to share my later years. In a recent conversation, my older sister and I were saying how fortunate we were to have such caring husbands. She felt it was doubly wonderful I was able to find someone like that late in life and coined the phrase, SO LUCKY, SO LATE, and the following poem was born.

SO LUCKY, SO LATE
by Patty Lynn

Things happen for a reason,
Or so the saying goes,
Some folks agree, agree with me,
Some others say, "who knows?"

For me, I'd say, it's really so
But I'll let you decide.
Just come with me as I recall
My late life's crazy ride.

When one has surely past her prime,
Is 50 plus and then some.
How fortunate to find "that guy"
Within those years, well, ten some.

I know that it's so hard to meet
The "perfect guy" for you.
It's hard at really any age.
Even at twenty-two!

But I, for one, was blest to find
The guy that's right for me,
Whose helpful, kind and sensitive,
A willing listener, he.

I know I've beaten all the odds
For finding Mr. Right.
But I'm just glad I've found my man.
I'm holding on real tight.

So if you still are looking
And hunting's got you down.
I'm telling you it's possible.
So smile now, don't you frown.

Yes, I can say it's possible
And when you do, it's great.
For I'm the living proof, you see,
So lucky though so late!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

YESTERDAY'S FIASCO

It's nothing new, I guess.  I'm sure it's happened to you, too.  You spend hours composing something, saving it (at least you thought you did).  And, in this case, I go to post it on my blog and it's disappeared.  Angry?  Frustrated? Oh,yeah, I was those things and more!  That's happened to me before but it was the result of my not remembering to save it.  What can I say?  It is what it is and now I've attached a similar epistle to this blog entry.  This time it's been saved in a Word document so I know it will reach you.  I hope some of these sentiments might be ones that will make you think, remind you or perhaps, be words you need to hear right now.

WHOSE IN CONTROL
by Patty Lynn

 Life has a way of showing us that there are many things that are not within our control.

            We're caught "off guard" when difficulties come...

And all we want are answers, some clarity.

We look everywhere for those answers...but the questions at the forefront of it all are:

            "Why? Why me?  Why now?"

                        "Now, what do I do," we ask.

But answers to those questions don't come...

So we get busy, gathering information, trying to find the right path, the next path.

We pursue every avenue, look at every possibility...

It's what we must do in our attempt to solve the issues at hand...and then...if we're lucky,

            It dawns on us: "There's something missing from all this searching, and planning, and

questioning"...or better put, Someone.

That Someone, your God, is the only real answer...the only one who is in control!

 That might sound like so much religious Mumbo, Jumbo, but it is THE TRUTH.

            He told us so when He said: "I am the Way, the TRUTH, and the Life."

But these were not just some antiquated words from a time long ago.

True, they were spoken a long time ago, but, these old words were relevant then and...

            They are just as relevant today...because your God, the God who made you, spoke these words...

                        Through His Son, the Son He sent to redeem you, " a lost and condemned creature." 

That's what He called you, you know...

            But He didn't leave it at that...

 He unbelievably loved you so much that He put His own Son through the death and pain and suffering

 that You deserved...

            Suffering way bigger than what you're suffering now...yes, way bigger!

And if He did that, heaped that kind of pain and sorrow on His own beloved Son

So that you could be His Child, so that Jesus, His only Son, could be your brother...

            What more does He have to do...

                        To convince you...

                                    That He is in control?

Jesus is there waiting for you to trust Him, to call upon His name in prayer...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

THE REST OF THE STORY...

The new format of Blogger has changed dramatically.  As a result, I lost a great deal of the preface for this poem.  I saved it twice and yet it is MIA.  So, with my apologies, I submit the poem that should have been attached to the previous blog.

SERENITY AND LIMITATIONS
by Patty Lynn

Serenity is what we seek,
Serenity in life.
A happiness and attitude
That gets us through our strife.

That's hard to find and yet we know
All's for a greater plan.
The "why" just isn't clear to us,
For we are merely man.

So when we're facing trials and tests
We often ask Him why.
We pray to understand it all,
But we get no reply.

"It should be simple, not complex.
And what would warrant this?
Do I deserve this sentence, God?
I'm facing the abyss."

But what He asks is faith and trust,
Though ours is failing fast.
I never thought that suffering
Would be the kind that lasts.

Just take this pill and you'll be fine.
Now isn't that the way?
How come it's taking oh, so long?
I'm praying every day!

Could this be my reality,
And could this be my lot?
How can this be, Lord, this is me.
Is this the best you've got?

And how can I go on like this.
What can you do to help?
I know that I'm not capable
To deal with this myself.

Now, could the answer simply be
I must depend on you?
That if I want serenity
I need acceptance too?

There is so much outside of me
That I cannot control.
God grant to accept that's true
Frustration takes its toll.

I turn it over, Lord to you,
The changes I can't make.
But for the others help me to...
Change those, for Jesus' sake.

But most important make me wise
So I can tell the difference,
For all of this I need your help.
I yearn for your assistance.

Serenity's allusive, Lord, 
Without these lessons learned.
Remind me each and everyday,
Your care and love's not earned.

So when I take upon myself
To solve my life's frustrations,
Grant courage to accept the fact
That I have limitations.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference."

LIMITATIONS OR ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES?

I think we all can identify times in our life when we wished we were in control of everything.  Whether it's health issues, career frustrations and the ever-present unexpected, we may think it's within our power to
"take the bull by the horns" and "fix" it all.  Let me tell you that the older you get and the more life experience you possess, you're not capable to fix it all.  If you're a person of faith you concede that God holds all the cards and without recognizing that, you're destined to hit a brick wall, the reality that you are not the controller you think you are.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

THE END IS ONLY THE BEGINNING

About six months ago I was told about a college friend who, like so many, was waging a battle with cancer. Even though I had had no contact with him since college, I remembered him to have a sweet demeanor and that the two of us had been in a group called The Sound Majority Singers. It was meant to be similar to the Christy Minstrels, a popular singing group in the sixties. We had a ball and I recalled that he had played the base fiddle. I remember, too, that he was quite handsome and someone I thought would make an enviable boyfriend but thought he was way out of my league.

Now many years later he was experiencing a recurrence of a cancer he had had before and I was told that his wife and family were chronicling his battle on a website called CaringBridge. Some of you may have heard of this website but it was new to me.

As the diary of sorts went on, I saw how truly faith-filled he and his family were and their strength was awe-inspiring. Today the last post indicated that my friend was in his final hours of life and I wrote this poem which I will send to the family when my friend's life on earth has passed. I pray for a painless and quiet end leading to the jubilation in heaven upon his arrival.

AT HEAVEN'S GATE

When God the Father called him home
It left an empty place,
For no one else was quite like him.
We miss his gentle face...

His countenance, the way he thought,
The joy he brought to others.
We miss him as a husband, dad,
A grandpa, friend and brother.

But most of all we miss his strength,
Just how his faith stood strong.
He never wavered, fought the fight,
Although his battle long.

With family and friends beside,
The days he spent were rich.
The fabric of a life well lead
With love in every stitch.

And though we bid a sad farewell,
We know he healthy stands
Before the Lord he loved so much
And joins the heavenly bands...

In songs of thankfulness and praise.
T'was worth his earthly wait.
He knows so well we'll meet again,
Right there at heaven's gate.

Monday, May 16, 2011

SO WONDROUS IS A BABY!

I feel a bit remiss as I have never taken pen to paper and composed a poem about Addison.  As some of you know, my niece, Laura, my sister's oldest child, had a baby on September 11, 2010.  It had been a difficult pregnancy fraught with gestational diabetes and checking blood sugar levels almost constantly, but as my niece would attest, it's all worth it in the end.  She and her husband, Jason, named her Addison and prepared this lovely purple and white bedroom fit for the princess she is.  My sister and I were privileged to help with some of the decorative touches waiting for the arrival of this beautiful child.

I did write a poem for my niece that was really composed for her, as she is so precious to me, and I wanted her to be "in the spotlight" after her daughter arrived and all the attention centered around the baby.  She and her husband have had numerous professional pictures of this new little one, the first batch when she was just a few weeks old and again at six months.  Of course, I've gotten snapshots that mom or grandma have taken but the last professional batch was added to the "gallery" of photos I have in my entry hall.  I passed it again, as I do often, and it just hit me.  I had never written a poem for Addison.  She is such a beautiful baby and in the attached I have tried to capture that and so much more.

ADDISON'S FACE
by Patty Lynn

Sweet darling. dear, our Addison;
The image of your mother.
We love you so, each of us know
There'll never be another...

Who'll fill our hearts just like you do,
Bring happy smiles and tears.
A privilege to watch you grow
Throughout the coming years.

For time it passes by so quick.
We'll blink and you'll be walking.
Before we know it we'll soon see...
Your babbling turn to talking!

Your mom and dad, so proud they are.
You are their precious one.
And grandma, grandpa, think your grand,
So joyful when you come...

To spend the day or stay the night.
They treasure every minute.
Some day we hope you'll understand
Life's better with you in it.

You entertain but ask a lot
And gladly we obey.
No, we don't mind, our hearts are full.
With us you have your way.

For now you'll have to be content
To be loved and adored.
You needn't "do" just "be," that's all.
With you we're never bored.

Yes, since the day that you were born
Our world's a better place.
A glimpse of Heaven here on Earth...
It's there in Addison's face.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

LIFE IS A JOURNEY

Toward the end of April on one of our trips to Memphis, my daughter and I made a connection in Detroit with the express purpose of reconnecting with my sister, Janice.  She is twelve years older than I and her health has been failing over the last ten years.  Although she had wanted to come for a long weekend visit with me here in Appleton, it became clear that such a trip wouldn't be something realistic.  Her husband is 80 now and though he is in remarkable health,  I believed it was too much for him, as well. 

This became our best opportunity so we planned our "reunion" to coordinate with one of my Memphis trips.
This was the first time I had seen her home and it was apparent how much care she truly needed.  She's confined to one of those electric scooters but is thankful for the mobility it gives her.  The pain she deals with on a day to day basis is monumental and without her wonderful husband,  her only alternative would be a nursing home.

The visit was incredible and we reminisced and shared stories and just had an exceptional time in each other's company.  This probably will be the last time I will see her but we do keep in contact about once a week in calls and letters.  We share our love of composing poetry and, of course, share a mom and dad, which forged a bond that really didn't exist much as children.  She left home at 18 when I was six.  Regardless, we are sisters and this visit was one I HAD to make.

THE TRIP
by Patty Lynn

I took a trip just recently,
Quite overdue it was,
To see my sister far away.
The reason? Just because.

Yes, it had been so many years
Since we had seen each other.
In fact, as I recall it now,
The funeral of our mother.

How is it that the years fly by
And we keep getting older?
The summer's heat intolerable,
And winter's seem much colder?

The obvious answer's clear to me.
It takes no rocket science.
We'd like to cheat Ol' Father Time,
But find him non-compliant!

Both wrinkled "girls," no pretence here.
We are "mature" we'd say.
We know that we're the same inside
Though time has had it's way.

It's true, indeed, time marches on.
My sis and I agree.
But what a visit we both had,
The older "her" and "me!"

We're thankful that two sisters took...
The chance to reconnect.
For if we hadn't we'd both have...
A lifetime of regret.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

A NEW DAY

I'm waiting for my daughter to pick me up as we are heading to the airport for the monthly trip to Memphis.
For those of you who don't know, my daughter is being treated for MGD which stands for Mybomian Gland Dysfunction.  This is difficult to treat and the most common way of treating it is really only effective if you have a mild case.  Hers is not.  They don't really know the cause but believe it to be associated with roseca, a redness in the skin on the face.  She's been after some kind of relief going on 14 months and the treatment in Memphis is one that statistics have shown to be effective in keeping the symptoms at bay.  It's a horrible thing to live with as it involves the eyes and feels like the eyes are dry, scratchy, and oft times feels like the tears that wash over the eye every time one blinks is acid-like in its intense burning.  She's gotten some relief but not as much as we'd hoped for by this time (6 months-6 treatments).  Hopefully, once the glands are shut down by this dr's technique, she should be able to maintain and only need 2-3 times a year.  She's been so brave and strong through all of this, stronger than I would be, but she's had just about enough.

The reason I have told you about all of this is that I would like to ask you all to pray for her success with this treatment.  The power of prayer is a wonderful thing and one can not have too many prayers sent on their behalf.  So on this Easter Sunday, the celebration of our Savior's resurrection, please take a moment and remember my daughter in your prayers.  It would mean so much.  Thank you in advance for your kindness.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

TURN ABOUT IS FAIR PLAY

Just a quick entry this evening as I wanted to share with you what happened this morning.  One could say it was a comical event, and is was, but seeing as I had just shared the poem about my sister "losing" her glasses only to find them on her face, I thought you all would get a kick out of my Sunday morning faux pas.

It seems, at least for me, that no matter how much time I leave to get ready to walk out the door for church, I always end up rushing.  Well, today was no exception.  As I teach Sunday School I had my usual number of things to take, so much so that I didn't even take my purse with me. 

So I rushed to the closet, got on my coat, buttoned it up as it was cold and raining, put my props behind the car seat and proceeded to church.  My husband was kind enough to let me off in the front where there's an overhang so I wouldn't get wet.  I got out, shut the car door and chased up the stairs to the coat room where I hung up my coat.  It was at that moment that I realized something was missing.  You guessed it.  I had left my glasses which I wear all the time on my chest of drawers at home.  Now I'm not blind without my specs and since I didn't need to read anything I was okay, but I did stop for a moment and contemplate how fitting this event was as today's story was "Jesus Healing the Blind Man."

MIRACLES DO HAPPEN!!

     This past Friday I experienced something soooo wonderful I have to share it with you.  If you're a follower of my blog you probably know that I had back surgery in 2004 to supposedly correct problems in my lower back.  Well, as anyone who has had back surgery will attest, having back surgery is kind of a crap shoot.  More people are made worse from it than are helped but you get into a painful situation and you'll try anything to get some relief.  That's my story, too. 
     I was hopeful but as they tell you AFTER the operation, the condition that afflicted your lower back just moves up your spine.  Another similar operation can never be done again and "Oh, we're sorry but we can't help you.  Instead, we'll send you to a pain management specialist who we're hopeful will help you."  That guy puts you through a series of procedures that don't help at all and you're left with living on pain medication for the rest of your life.  The condition worsens and the dosage increases until there's nothing else available to relieve the pain.  Surprisingly, I'm not complaining about all this.  It is what it is and you do the best you can.
     The reason I'm going on about this is because last Friday for about 2 glorious hours, I was pain free, walking tall and feeling like a "new" person.  It had been so long since I had felt this way, I couldn't even believe it.  It was a MIRACLE!!!  It was short-lived but it was wonderful and I spent most of the time in mental prayers of thankfulness.  The following is about the occurrence.  I hope you enjoy it.

MY MIRACLE
by Patty Lynn

Today I had a miracle,
To me at least it was.
A span of time that I felt great,
Deserving of applause.

I stood real straight and walked so tall
So long since that was true.
I had an outlook fabulous.
Those moments, they're so few.

I don't recall just what I did
Or if I did at all.
My hope was that I'd stay that way,
The pain hard to recall.

I do know that the sun was out
And temps were milder still.
I prayed that my euphoria
Would never go downhill.

But sure enough the feeling passed.
The aches and pains returned.
They had to since this miracle
Was one I hadn't earned.

That's not to say that miracles
Are ever what we we're due.
God giveth and He taketh 'way
The gifts for me or you.

But just the same I so enjoyed
My moment so sublime.
Perhaps it will return again
To thrill me one more time.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

WE ALL HAVE BEEN THERE!

Last night in my weekly phone call to my oldest sister, she shared a funny "real life" story with me. It doesn't require any set up as it has happened to anyone who uses glasses, all the time or occasionally for reading. Soooo, I submit the following. If you can't relate, you don't wear glasses, ever.

MY FRUSTRATION
by Patty Lynn

The other day I got so mad!
I couldn't find my glasses.
That's happened oh, so many times.
Each time my memory flashes...

To places, yes, the same ol' haunts
I'd looked those times before.
Eye level to the highest shelf
And even on the floor.

My temperature began to climb
The harder that I searched,
Expecting that I'd find my specs
You know, I'd see them perched...

Upon my bed or the TV
Or even in the frig.
My mind was playing tricks on me.
In short, I flipped my lid.

I screamed, I cried, I hollered, too.
My hubby'd had enough.
He took a studied look at me.
His voice got pretty gruff!

He said, "now get that box up there.
The one your sister sent."
(I didn't understand his tone
Or what he really meant.)

The box it had a mirrored lid.
I often used to see...
My makeup to enhance my looks,
To be a better me.

I opened it and saw my face,
How clear and sharp my eyes,
Revealed the place,
Upon my face...
My embarrassing surprise!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A LAUGHABLE ERROR

Not long ago my sister forwarded a cute story that was entitled, MISCOMMUNICATION, about an incident in an office that left everyone in stitches.  I was no exception but in my case I thought the story was worthy of a poem.  So, as I so often do, I put pen to paper and the poem below is the result.  Hope you all get a good laugh out of it.  One can never have too many of those.

PEN IS STUCK
by Patty Lynn

The office scene was buzzing
Or laughing, to be clear.
It was the most hilarious...
Event there'd been all year.

A simple situation.
T'was commonplace, for sure.
Our copier stopped working;
There was no simple cure.

So someone, in his wisdom,
Decided he would try...
To remedy the problem.
He took his pen, no lie.

He thought the pen would fix it
Would solve the paper jam.
And then, with sheer abandon,
Stuck in his pen then...damn!

I told him that he'd have to...
Attach a little note,
Went back to do my business.
Didn't see the note he wrote.

I called down to the Help Desk,
Reported what occurred.
I figured that what's done is done,
Needn't be another word.

But soon I heard some laughing
The Help Desk tech cracked up.
Without a space t'ween N and I
The note read, "Penis Stuck!"

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I STUMBLED OVER IT

This may seem like a funny title for a blog, but it's the truth. I was looking for a list I compiled a while back that had some ideas for poems. You guessed it. I couldn't find it (so what else is new). Anyway, what I did find was a poem I started but never finished and I thought it had some merit, so I finished it and decided to share it. I can't help myself. Sometimes I'm a rhyming machine. Hope you enjoy it.

LIKE PULLING TEETH
by Patty Lynn

Now I have often started out
Without a theme or clue,
Remembering a time or place
From memories old or new.

I get a line, it suits me fine,
To rhyme it spurs me on.
Before you know it I've composed,
Concluding with a calm.

For I'm content with what I wrote,
Surprised at my creation.
It may be good, it may be bad,
Depression or elation.

'Cause either way I've come to write
And that fulfillment brings.
It takes some creativity,
Like Puppet Master's strings...

To pull out words and thoughts that rhyme,
Not easy, that's for sure.
Sometimes a poem's like pulling teeth,
The thoughts can get obscure.

But either way I love the task.
It gives such satisfaction...
To tell a story and in rhyme's
My favorite distraction.

I don't expect you all to know
Just why I need to do it.
It just enough that you enjoy
The poem when I debut it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

DON'T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ

If you're like me this is a warning we're all familiar with.  You can't believe everything you hear, see or read.  Sometimes what we read, for instance, with advertisers and their claims about their product and the incredible things it does, we must be wary as their main objective is to get us to buy what they're peddling.  Recently, someone sent me a forward that was a joke of sorts regarding the properties of some shampoos.
The take on it was so cute it just screamed for a poem, so here it is:

THE WARNING

My shampoo has a warning
I never thought much of,
I love the way my hair feels,
A feeling I just love.

I never saw a link up,
Why it's shampoo, come on.
Could there be something to it,
That I should think upon?

It says, " For extra volume...
And body" it's the one.
Besides it made my hair look...
As shiny as the sun.

But then I started thinking,
More volume, could it be...
The reason why I've noticed
My clothes seem tight to me?

'Cause after all when showering,
Shampoo runs down my back
I rub and scrub all over
"More volume," there's no lack...

Of soap suds, yes, I'm sure of it,
Just why I've gained some weight.
I'm changing my shampoo to Dawn,
And I won't hesitate.

That bottle says that "it dissolves
The fat hard to remove,"
Now that might be a baseless claim,
But one I'd love to prove.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS!

If you're over 50 you remember Art Linkletter and the TV program with the same title as this blog.  This show was hysterical.  Art would ask the kids probative questions and their answers were always so genuine you couldn't help but wish the rest of the world was as authentic.  Talk about transperancy!

This past week my grandson, Gavin, who was observing the irratic, annoying and, yes, naughty behavior of his brother, felt it necessary to chime in with his take on how his brother's acting out should be punished.  The following poem pretty much fills you in on the rest.

ARE YOU THINKIN' WHAT I'M THINKIN'?
by Patty Lynn

Now, I'm a mom of four year olds
Twin boys, can you relate?
If you are not a mom of twins,
You'd better hesitate!

It's different with twins, you see,
Same age--there's just no let up.
They push my buttons all day long.
Some mornings I can't get up...

And face demands--I want to scream,
The "mom" "hey, mom," of it!
My patience's wearing thin, I fear,
Exploding bomb of it!!

But there are times I have to laugh,
To hear the things they say.
They come up with the darndest things.
One quote can make my day.

Like take, for instance, Thursday night,
One twin, exasperating!
Annoying me, his brother, too.
It wasn't worth debating.

Then there he stood, the fed up twin,
Who looked at me and said,
(No moments hesitation, he.
I thought that I'd drop dead.)

"Hey, mom, are you," the twin began,
"Ah, thinkin' what I'm thinkin'?"
Then I replied, "Well, I don't know,
Just what is it you're thinkin'?"

"I'm thinkin' that my brother's due
A time out, a severe one."
(I knew exactly what he meant,
His look was a sincere one.)

"Just sitting in the corner, no."
This needs a serious measure
To really get across the point,
To show him our displeasure.

The dreaded spot, the place of fear,
"The downstairs powder room."
And with the door shut," he'd insist,
"Don't let him out too soon."

For that brief moment he was king,
Imposing consequences,
Not he who felt the penalty
And sting of his offenses.

Aligned with me he could impose
To him, his other half,
A punishment that fit the crime.
All I could do was laugh!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

MY THANKS ARE DUE

As you know, my sister, Janice, hasn't been well.  She's in a wheelchair, cannot walk and has a bad heart and lungs.  Needless to say, she requires a great deal of help just making it through the day, not being able to do much on her own.  I think I've used the word fragile to describe her state and that's a pretty good adjective.  That's why all the health troubles of late have been so difficult to treat.

Anyway, she is blessed to have a husband who meets all of her daily needs.  Without him she would have to be in nursing home.  He, fortunately, has not many health problems, something that is rare in an 80 year old.  So I felt it was high time that I write a poem of thanks to him.  I hope he likes it.

A MAN OF DEEDS
by Patty Lynn

There are the guys who stick with you
When things are fun and easy,
Who love the limelight, love applause,
When you're on top, believe me.

Now guys like that, I'd have to say,
Why they're "a dime a dozen."
And some would say, "good for a ride,"
I'd say they're "good for nothin'."

But there are some, but just a few,
Who'd stay, no matter what.
They're there "in sickness and in health"
Not walk or say, "enough!!"

These guys are tops, the best there is,
Make other guys look bad.
The gals that get 'em know their worth.
They've got 'em and they're glad.

And so poetically I'll send
A special thanks your way,
For all you do for my dear Sis,
For every single day...

You take good care, when things get tough.
You're there to meet her needs.
Some guys may talk a good, good game,
But you're a man of deeds.

So please accept my gratitude
For all the things you've done.
My Sister is a lucky gal.
Her guy is number one!

Monday, February 21, 2011

THE GAMES OUR MINDS PLAY

I've told you all about my sister's failing health so it shouldn't come as a surprise that when I couldn't reach her for 2 days, I was in a panic.  The phone rang and rang, I couldn't leave a message and that had happened once before so I was sure something terrible had happened.  You know us worriers we always imagine the worst. Well, I am a worrier.  In fact, the first published poem I wrote was called, I'M A WORRY-WART.  That was in grade school and now some 50+ years later, the story's pretty much the same. So here it is, a poetic account of my life last week.

IMAGINING THE WORST
by Patty Lynn

I tried to reach you yesterday
And, yes, the day before.
No message on your telephone.
It rang and rang some more.

So I got worried, yes I did,
Was just beside myself.
Anxiety, such nervousness,
Was some of what I felt.

Then finally I called your girls,
Left messages to call,
And I kept trying you again.
Again, I hit a wall.

You'd had a run of lousy health,
Improve, relapse, improve.
Predictably that took its toll
And skewed my attitude.

I know that I should not expect...
The worst, I know it's wrong,
But after all the latest scares,
My psyche wasn't strong.

Long story short, I finally heard...
Your voice, said you were fine.
I thought the worst, but truth be told,
The worst of it...was mine.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A GENTLE REMINDER

My last post was one of a similar nature but this one gets a bit more specific.  As you know if you've been following my blog, my older sister has had some very serious health issues and I've tried to keep her "keepin' on" as she recuperates.  I'm sure you can imagine how difficult it is being confined to a wheelchair.  Additionally, she's not getting out much and then it's usually to see the doctor. It's an understatement that her spirits aren't particularly high these days.  As she says, "my world is very small."

So, I wanted to write a poem that would say that I understand that it's hard to keep motivated when you feel defeated but also one that would encourage and remind her of God's unfailing love and presence.  She's such a wonderful poet and my hope is that she will continue her writing.  That can be very therapeutic.  So often the mere writing of the words can help put life in perspective.

The attached is the last poem I wrote for her.  Perhaps it'll be a reminder for all of us.

GOD'S PRESENCE
by Patty

To hear your voice and know you're well's a treasure in my life,
But hearing how depressed you feel, it cuts me like a knife.
I know it's hard, so difficult, to a live a life with limits,
But it's a LIFE and I can say, mine's better with you in it.

Please don't give up and close the door on what is such a blessing,
Creative you, who writes so well, this gift that you're possessing.
The words you choose convey escape and that is something special.
Your flights of fancy, fairies too, they put us under your spell.

Escape for us, escape for you, devoid of limitation,
A glen where you're a child again, for all, a mind's vacation.
When you confess that you're depressed it scares me, reminiscent...
Of wasted days our mother spent, our love was not sufficient.

I know it's hard when functions go, yes, I know how you feel,
But though a future dark you see, just pray and He'll reveal...
His love and care, His strength, just trust. His promises are true.
The Son who died and rose again, he died and rose for YOU!

So when engulfed in sorrow's grasp, ahead looks bleak and bare,
Remember that God knows your worth. Remember that He's there.
And though you can't lay eyes on him, He's always by your side.
Things of this earth may pass away but God's love will abide.

Don't even think of giving up. He won't give up on you.
He made you special, gave you life. He promised and it's true.
"You are my own, my precious child, your time's not now, you see,
I love you so and when it's time, I'll call you here with me."

And so, dear sister, know you're loved by many, not just me.
Please muster up your strength, desire, God's "presence" you will see.
This poem I write for you to know that life is better still,
                   When you believe,
                           God knows your need,
                                  He loves you, always will.

Friday, February 4, 2011

ON GOD'S INSISTENCE

I thought a bit about composing a poem today, even had an idea and a title.  But then something interesting happened.  A first line came and then another and pretty soon I'd written the poem I've attached here.  What can I deduce from that?  Well, the only thing I can come up with is that God had a different idea.  Now this might sound weird but, for me, it's the only explanation.

There have been a few things happening in my life lately, things that needed this kind of a reminder.  The reminder?  That life and what happens in it are totally out of our control.  Oh, we search out the answers, educate ourselves to make the best decision possible, talk it out with friends and relatives, and then, as always, God's the one in control.  I hope that these words remind you, too.

CHALLENGES
by Patty Lynn

Perhaps you're feeling tired
From the struggles of life's fray.
You've won so many battles
And kept a few at bay.

But now you face a new one.
This one's the biggest yet.
Your tight rope's even higher.
You need a safety net.

So what is the solution?
Control's out of your hands.
Oh, what will be the outcome?
Will it be as you'd planned?

"Oh, you of little faith," He said.
"You never had control.
Your life is what I planned for you,
Down to your very soul.

When you are facing challenges,
When troubles seem to weigh,
I'm here to give your weakness strength,
If all you'll do is pray.

Come meekly, I'll deliver.
It's what I promised you.
You know, I'm called the Savior.
My promises are true.

The power of prayer's your map, my child,
When you have lost your way.
Don't listen to that "other voice, "
Be careful, don't obey...

For that will be a slippery slope,
With pitfalls, sticks and stones,
But if you do, just ask for help.
My child, you're not alone.

First, come to me when obstacles
Are standing in your way.
I'll make you strong, I'm what you need,
If only you will pray."

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

UP AND TAKING NOURISHMENT

This little phrase holds a special memory for me.  It's the response my paternal grandmother would give whenever anyone asked her how she was doing.  Cute, true, and an all encompassing assessment that was more than most of us give.  Well, it was a bit of an inspiration as I attempted another poem for my older sister whose dealing with a hospitalization and some unanswered questions, right now.  I just got off the phone with her and I'm happy to report she's scheduled to go home tomorrow, with oxygen.  I'd like to say that all the tests yielded a definitive conclusion to all she's been experiencing lately. But, alas, none have been forthcoming.  She does have some breathing issues and recently was diagnosed with COPD. That stands for Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.  Also they've discovered some blockage in her heart.  Having had a staph infection in the past, she's not a candidate for any surgery so all she can do is to take blood thinners to keep the pressure of blood flowing through her heart to a minimum.  The attached was a little spirit lifter I wrote to let her know she's cared for.

AH, MEDICINE
by Patty Lynn

Now when it comes to medicine
We're at a disadvantage,
For doctors hold the cards, you see,
We pray they don't mismanage.

The tests, the pills, technology,
Our fate is in their hands,
To diagnose, evaluate,
Design our treatment plans.

Sometimes we're just like guinea pigs,
Test subjects for their folly.
We're poked and prodded endlessly,
Left anything but jolly.

But still we must succumb to this,
If answers can be found.
Besides they get it right, sometimes,
Effect a turnaround.

And we begin to feel again
The way we used to feel.
We're up and taking nourishment,
Delighted by a meal...

Of meat, potatoes, vegetables,
Now don't forget dessert.
No more down in the dumps are we.
We're smiling and alert.

For now please focus on the prize,
Not illness, feeling low.
Instead, though it's predictable,
It's home you want to go.

That's where you find contented days,
Familiarity's gift
Of solace only home can bring
And spirits find their lift.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

A GOOD LAUGH CAN MAKE A BAD SITUATION BEARABLE

Well, here it is, the beginning of a new year.  2010 really flew by and, hopefully, I'll do some more writing and be able to post more often (at least we can hope.)  Though our Christmas was wonderful, I can't say the same for my older sister.  She was so looking forward to her daughter, husband and grandchildren coming for a week long visit from Georgia but unfortunately they were all sick. They came regardless but in her weakened condition she got the bug and for her it wasn't a simple cold.  She ended up in the hospital with a bronchial infection which complicated her COPD and, though he really shouldn't have, her doctor let her go home early so she could spend at least a day or two with her family.  The doctor insisted that she come back to the hospital after they left, which she did, but they sent her home too early for the second time.  She ended up with clots in her lung and various other difficulties and she again is in the hospital.  They are having a hard time figuring out exactly what she has and believe me, her spirits are in the basement.  In a recent conversation she told me that the nurses recommended moving as much as possible and since she's wheelchair bound, they suggested doing the best she could to move her arms and legs. 
So in an effort to put a smile on her face, I wrote the following:

CHAIR DANCING
by Patty Severin

I know you're sick and tired,
'Cause sick's a yucky place,
But everything's much better
With a smile upon your face.

So I'm bound and determined
To shed a little light
On the Power of Positive Thinking
To make you feel alright.

When you awaken, darlin',
Just give a little smile.
Yes, force it if you have to,
And in a little while...

You'll find you'll gain perspective.
Your life is not that bad.
Beside, you did awaken,
And that should make you glad.

The nurses are supportive.
They say you've got to move.
So put the music on, babe,
And get into the groove.

It might be just chair dancing
But dancing, nonetheless.
Imagine that you're twirling
In the most bedazzled dress!

'Cause your imagination
Can make the difference, dear.
The benefits - outstanding!
I want to make that clear.

Remember that you're cared for
And nurtured from above.
And those who live below,
We also send our love.

Your illness is a hurdle,
So typical on earth.
We'll help you jump above it;
We all regard your worth.

So try to keep on smiling
And keep on dancing, too.
Send up your prayers and all your cares,
God wants the best for you.