Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I'VE LEARNED SOME MORE

As promised, here's another poem of observations that I wanted to share with you.  I would imagine that I could go on forever sharing all the things that I learned over the last 69 years but for now I'll call this the second installment in the I'VE LEARNED series.

I’VE LEARNED (Part Two)
By Patty Lynn

I’ve learned that life is twice as sweet
With someone dear to share it.
I’ve learned a smile upon your face
Will help you grin and bear it.

I’ve learned that if you’re blessed with friends
Your life is blessed indeed,
And there’s no better feeling than…
To help someone in need.

I’ve learned to give forgiveness,
Even when it’s hard to grant,
Is better than to hold a grudge
And tell yourself you can’t.

I’ve learned no matter what your age
There’s much that you can do…
To make the world a better place
And love will see you through.

I’ve learned that pets can open up
The tightest closed off heart.
Their love is unconditional,
Complete, not just in part.

I’ve learned we all have something that…
We’re dealing with each day.
So be supportive, lend a hand,
And always, always pray…

For patience, understanding, too,
And sensitivity.
Be empathetic, show you care
With authenticity.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

GETTING OLD IS...GREAT!!!

Lest you think I've lost my marbles with tonight's blog, let me explain.  I might be late for the party but I finally get it, getting old has a lot of great things about it.  Some of us (me) are a little dense and it takes us a while to understand that there are more things to appreciate about aging than things to complain about.  After all, complaining never helped anyone and no one wants to hear your laundry list of aches and pains, anyway.

I can't say just how many poems I'm planning to write or the dates you can expect them but what I can say is that I'm going to begin a series on aging and this is the first installment.

I’M SO THERE!
By Patty Lynn

I used to think that growing old
Was something to be feared,
That every age spot, wrinkle, crease,
Was nothing short of weird.

‘Cause as those things were taking place,
I didn’t look like me,
That sagging skin, those jowls, too,
Results of gravity…

Showed me those creams and formulas
I tried to no avail,
Gave me false hope,
            Made me a dope,
Confined to aging jail.

But then one day I saw myself
As through a child’s eyes,
And what I saw as they saw me?
Was Grandma, loving, wise.

They loved my squishy tummy,
The warmth of my embrace,
The way I whispered, “I love you,”
And kissed their precious face.

I realized through their real eyes,
Though I saw imperfections,
The opposite was what they saw
There in the mirror’s reflection.

Thank goodness that it’s not too late
For me to learn the truth:
With aging comes great privilege,
So never envy youth.

Yes, being young has certain perks
But they just can’t compare
With being GRANDMA every day…
            With wrinkles?

I’m so there!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I'VE LEARNED...

I've just decided to make a continuing series entitled I've Learned.  That way as I reflect on this long life of mine I can share what I've learned and remind you of some of the same things you've discovered as well.  I haven't any schedule in mind but you will hear from me on this again. So tonight I'll begin with my first installment of I've Learned.

I’VE LEARNED…
By Patty Lynn

I’ve learned we underestimate the power of a smile
That’s given unabashedly, not just once in a while.

I’ve learned that life is way too short so please don’t waste a minute.
And time that’s spent with little ones is better with them in it.

I’ve learned that age makes for a life that’s gained a bit of insight,
That sleep can be elusive whether 9 o’clock or midnight.

I’ve learned we never ever stop discovering new things.
We never know just what’s ahead or what tomorrow brings.

I’ve learned that if your heart forgives you’ll finally be free,
For if resentment’s harbored its effects hurt only me.

I’ve learned that prayer and praise should be a part of every day,
That conversations with the Lord should never be one way.

I’ve learned I must be still if I’m to know the Lord’s direction,
And if I’m open I will feel His urging toward perfection.

I’ve learned that aging is a fact so why not just embrace it?
There’s nothing you can really do, stop trying to erase it.

I’ve learned that it’s important, this list of what I’ve Learned,
And to accept that with each year, another page is turned.

So in the future I will do a list like this again.
I’ll ponder long and ponder hard, but I don’t know just when.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

SMILE

I had my 69th birthday this week and I've got to say it wasn't traumatic, imagine that. Since I've adopted my daily mantra, "This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it," my age and the aging process hasn't gotten me down, really. It's amazing that when you don't think about all the trivial things like wrinkles and spreading waistlines and age in general, you can concentrate on what is really important. The world takes on a brighter glow and so do you. Besides those silly aging things don't matter to your friends (they're in the same boat), hopefully your husband (he's in the same boat, too) and they certainly don't matter to your grandchildren. The term GRANDMA congers up a round, squishy lady with grey hair and glasses anyway, so I fit the description. And speaking of grandchildren, they make up such an incredible part of life it makes no sense to spend my time thinking about the things that don't matter anyway. As we say in our family, "That doesn't even register on the Matter-Meter!"

Although my actual birthday was this past Monday and my niece's birthday was on Friday, my sister had everyone over for a birthday celebration at her house last Sunday complete with vegetable lasagna, garlic bread and various and sundry other treats, not to mention birthday cake and ice cream. We all had a great time playing games like Old Maid and enjoying her lovely backyard. The weather was perfect and just to be with family made my 69th a real pleasure. I am so blessed and that was the source of my reflection.  I am not deserving of all these blessings but I am eternally grateful that I have them.

There might be a few pangs next year, my 70th, but I'm not thinking about that now.   Besides I don't feel old under my skin, so let it come.  I'm in my 70th year now, anyway (think about it, you're not 1 until you finished your 1st year) so, basically I'm in my 70th year right now.  Life is good and the aches and pains that go with it are just the way it is.  You can't improve it by complaining about it and really, no one wants to listen to that stuff anyway.

Come on, you years, keep on coming.  I want to be around for my grandchildren's graduation from high school and college and I'll be dag-burned if I'm not going to have a front row seat as they walk down the aisle.  Life is short so I intend to make the most of it.  How about you????

Friday, September 12, 2014

CAN I GET BACK ON THE HORSE AGAIN?

"This is the day the Lord has made.  I will rejoice and be glad in it."

I had to begin this blog with these words.  You've heard those same ones from me before but as I've said, they bare repeating...daily.  They've helped me a lot.

With the sad things that have permeated this summer for our family I've found it difficult...or shall I say, impossible to write.  It's hard to find the words, the rhymes, the purpose in it all.  You feel like you've been punched in the stomach, not able to catch your breath. These aren't excuses just the fact of the matter. I'm only writing tonight because it's been so long and I thought it was high time.

Today the cold crept up on me (and everyone else) and so, of course, became the consistent theme of every conversation.  At the bank, the store, waiting outside the school for my grandchildren, it didn't matter where you were, that was the subject at hand.  It would've been nice for it to have been gradual, but it wasn't.  I'm not complaining, just grousing a little bit.  It's what we do.  But for us in the arthritis club, well, let's just say we felt the effects of the sudden temperature change more acutely.  It won't stay like this from this point on, at least that's what I tell myself. We're sure to get a few more warmer days before we're in full-fledged Fall/Winter...right? &nbsWhatever we get weather-wise, it's what we're supposed to get.  (I hope you appreciate these deep thoughts and conclusions.)

Seriously, the season change has more positives than negatives.  For me one is the incredible color of the leaves in Autumn.  I always imagine God holding His perfect paint brush and delicately painting every leaf. What follows?  Yes, it's Winter with it's cold winds, icicles, and often a blanket of white snow but as much I wish Winter would have a low no more than 32 degrees and Summer a high of no more than 75, I'm glad we have 4 distinct seasons in Wisconsin and more often than not, a white Christmas.  There's nothing like it, wouldn't you agree?

So, when you feel the the negatives closing in remember the biblical quote above, say it daily, believe it and rely on it. You'll be surprised how those few words can turn your outlook around.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

BEYOND BELIEF

The subject matter of my last blog was so inconceivable to me that the thought of that situation ever reappearing in my circle of friends and family seemed certainly remote. And yet this past week I was proved wrong. A young woman who's path and mine had crossed many times over the years faced the loss of a child, a baby, and I was brought to my knees.

In this instance, having carried her baby to almost full-term, the child was delivered still-born. With the recent loss my niece and her husband sustained still fresh in my heart, I set pen to paper again hoping to find some poetic words to reflect my sympathy.  This is the result.

If you or someone you know is going through something similar and this poem expresses your feelings, please feel free to use it.  All I ask is that you include my by-line.

A PLACE OF PEACE
By Patty Lynn

We take for granted birth will be
A day of celebration,
Then in an instant joy is gone,
Replaced by devastation.

How can a child so innocent
Have really passed away?
I have no answers and what’s more,
I don’t know what to say.

All I can do is send you love
And pray God comforts you,
Gives strength to bear, grants tender care,
And somehow gets you through.

And with my love these simple words
To let you know I care.
I’m sorry for your aching heart.
You’re in my heart and prayers.

Remember that it truly is
The darkest ‘fore the dawn,
And given time and healing, too,
This sorrow won’t be gone…

But may you find God’s steadfast love,
A haven from your grief.
And there with Him surrounding you,
You find a place of peace.



Friday, July 4, 2014

THE UNTHINKABLE


Back in January I wrote a poem entitled TICKLED BLUE to share with you all the birth of our newest family member. My niece gave birth to her second child, a boy this time, and we all were so thrilled. As with her first, we all were there in the hospital just after he was born, so special to share those incredible first moments. But Wednesday a week ago the unthinkable happened, this little darling baby boy stopped breathing. At this point there are no answers as to the cause, he had no symptoms, and it was completely unexpected.

This past Tuesday we attended his funeral. I hope you never have to see a baby in a casket. He was just five and a half months old. His was a short life but one that touched us all. We'll remember his sweet face, adorable smile and darling chuckle. We can't begin to know why God took our little Jacob. All we can do is trust and pray that God will comfort his parents and sister and the family that loved him so much.



JACOB, OUR GIFT
By Patty Lynn

Precious Jacob, little one, today we say goodbye.
Your life on earth so short, dear child, all we can do is cry.
For reasons are not clear to us, just why you had to go.
Our love for you was limitless, a love that overflowed.

There are no words, no deeds that can alleviate our pain
And though you had to go from us our love for you remains.
For no one ever will replace your spot within our hearts.
Love made you and that love remains and never will depart.

But though it’s hard to think of you away from us today,
We know full well you’re there in heaven and so our thoughts give way…
To images of you with Him, our Savior, gentle, kind,
Who sweetly whispers, “I love you,” grants us brief peace of mind.

Our grief is such that we won’t be the same as we once were.
We look at all of this through tears, and everything’s a blur.
We can’t imagine life the same, for same will never be.
A life without you, to go on ’s impossible to see.

Dear Jacob, we have loved you so, the thought of life without you…
Is inconceivable to us, though Savior, we won’t doubt you.
For you have promised that we’ll be united once again
To hold our darling boy once more and tell him he has been…

Our special boy, beyond this life, our love has never waned.
Mere words cannot describe its depth, our love is unrestrained…
For you and for the joy you brought in your short time among us.
We cherish this, remembering you, although this has undone us.

For we are left without you here, we’ll miss you every day
And when at night we try to sleep to God above we’ll pray,
“Please give us strength to bare this life without our Jacob near.
You gave our gift but for a while, your reasons are not clear.

Our hearts are aching for this loss, we don’t know what to do.
Grant healing, Lord, for sadness grows, bring comfort, Lord, in You.
We pray that You will help us find contentment once again.
It seems impossible right now and we don’t know just when.

Lord, fill our hearts with memories of all the time we had,
And tell him he was ever loved by sister, mom and dad,
His grandma, grandpa, family, too, within their hearts he’ll stay.
For every moment spent with him,

Thank you, Dear Lord, we pray.”

Friday, June 13, 2014

MEMORIAL DAY

I'm a bit late with this blog entry but this poem didn't come easy and I had to work on it intermittently all week.  This past Memorial Day was spent with my husband's family visiting the grave sights of some of his relatives, Mom and Dad, grandparents, etc. For me it was especially nice because it's been a while since I've seen his sister, his aunt, his brother, and cousins.  We all met in Wisconsin Rapids where many of his family have lived for quite a while.  It was a lovely day made more so by seeing family.

RIGHT THERE IN HIS EMBRACE – MEMORIAL DAY 2014
By Patty Lynn

Today was spent remembering the loved ones we have lost.
We’d wish forever they could stay for death’s too high a cost,
But life goes on, we must accept all things will someday end.
With time and prayer, God’s comfort, care will help our poor hearts mend.

It sounds so simple to accept death’s harsh reality,
But how, when there’s an empty space that’s filled with only me?
They say with time you miss them less; I can’t believe that’s true.
Though years go by and we grow old, their memory’s ever new.

Their life so intertwined with ours, the special times we shared,
No wonder we still feel the grief, if only they’d been spared.
A life without them’s hard to face, what we would give to have…
Another day to say again, “I love you Mom and Dad.”

And others, too, who touched our lives, would seeing them be good,
To only lose them once again that devastation would…
Be even harder than it was the first time and for them…
Would mean they’d leave their Heavenly Home, their joy by us condemned.

No matter when, the end of life is difficult to face.
But there is comfort this to bear, if we could but embrace…
Our Lord who promises to us, a Heaven He’s prepared.
We need not wonder, worry, too and we need not be scared.

For God He keeps his promises for now and evermore
Our loved ones are at home in Him, so much He has in store…
For them, for us, He grants us this, perfection all our days.
Eternal life is promised, true, right there in His embrace.

It’s hard recalling those we loved for sorrow’s wall is steep.
I pray for comfort and His care although my loss is deep.
My loved one’s gone, my pain is real, but God helps me replace it,
With recollections, memories sweet, with these I now can face it.


Friday, May 16, 2014

THE LOSS OF A PARENT...

Tonight's blog concerns itself with what is almost unbearable and yet inevitable, the death of a parent. I've dealt with this having lost both my parents, the last one, my Mom, having passed some twelve years now.  Just saying those words seems so hard and sticks in my mind as if it were yesterday.  Can it really be that long ago?

My mother was such an incredible person and though her last years were fraught with the ravages of depression, I, to this day, miss her and wish that I could pick up the phone and hear her voice.  Whenever I was given a assignment in school to write a paper on someone I admired, while others chose celebrities or presidents from history, I would write about my mother.

She herself was a consummate writer and, should she have chosen to do so, I'm sure she could have been a professional writer.  She had a way with words and observation with an insight that was remarkable.  She was really exceptional at many things, the utmost being her love, support and kindness.

I'm drawn to these reflections as on Tuesday my neighbor lost her mother and I wanted to send her something more than just a card off the rack at Walgreens.  That's what prompted tonight's poem.

FOREVER IN YOUR HEART
By Pat Severin

At such a time of sorrow, hurt,
With crying that won’t cease,
I know a life without your Mom
Leaves you with only grief.

And yet you know she was a gift
To you and all she knew,
With love, encouragement, support;
Your years with her too few.

I know it’s hard to watch the change
The health declines, the aging.
Yes, time can be an awful thief,
No matter how we’re waging…

Against it’s horrible effects
On those we love so dearly.
It’s just not fair, more time we wish
To speak of love more clearly.

But heaven beckons those we love,
For us it is contention,
But God decides the time and place,
And offers no extension.

He’s there to take her withered hand
And make it young again,
To fill her heart with love divine,
A love’s that’s never been…

Restricted by our time and space.
Yet memories remain…
Of time she shared and lived and loved,
That earthly time engrained.

She’s happy now, so filled with joy.
Keep this as your reflection.
Eternal life can’t be described,
Who can define perfection?

I write these words for you, dear friend,
May comfort they impart.
She’s left this earth but she’ll live on…
Forever in your heart.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

MY OWN VERSION

This is my first blog using my new computer. Yay!!!  I've got to say there's some drawbacks having a new more current Office program.  Amazing what companies consider more efficient ways of doing things.  For me it's something new to get used to but I'm getting it, slowly but surely.

Today's blog is my attempt at a similar story to the Fly Guy books that both my grandsons enjoy reading so much.  The whole series is about the adventures of a boy named Buzz who adopts a fly because he sees in him the makings of a friend. What really wins him over is the fact that the boy believes the fly is really smart because, afterall, he can say his name, BUZZzzzzz!

Sometimes it's just the two of them and their adventures, sometimes it involves other characters but my favorite concept was when Fly Guy Meets Fly Girl. So I took off with that idea and embellished it. Believing that my grandsons would like the story even better if it could have something to do with them, I created a scerario which had the two flies hanging around their house watching their whole family at play.  My grandsons won't hear the story until tomorrow so you have a sneak peek.

FLY GUY MEETS FLY GIRL
by Patty Lynn


When Little Fly Guy met Little Fly Girl
He grabbed both her arms and gave her a whirl.
He said, “Never did I ever hope that I’d find
A little Fly Girl who would have a like mind.”

They both loved to fly, eat things that were old…
And spoiled, disgusting and covered with mold.
What fun they both had as they flew here and there,
In the day and the night, they hadn’t a care.

Then all of a sudden their flying was halted
For Fly Girl had spotted a chocolate malted.
She said, “Let’s fly down there and have us a taste.
Come one, now, let’s hurry, there’s not time to waste.

The malt was delicious but Fly Guy was done.
“What should we do now, hey, isn’t this fun?”
Little Fly Girl agreed then flew really fast
To a family with children who were having a blast.

The boys loved their swing set and climbing the wall
And flinging the Frisbee and throwing the ball.
The Dad picked up sticks to prepare for the mowing.
The Mom brought some drinks to keep them all going.

The Mom called, “Hey, Gavin, best flips I have seen!”
As he jumped and he flipped on the huge trampoline.
Then his brother named Ian soon joined in the flips
As both of their parent enjoyed all their tricks.

Fly Girl said, “I love it, to watch them have fun.
Of all of my favorites, this fam’s number one.
Oh, look, there’s their doggie, they all call him, Archie.
He loves to chase balls, to the neighbors he’s barky.

Sometimes if I’m hungry, I lunch on their snacks.
They swat and they yell, I go then come back.
But mostly I watch them, this family’s so nice.
The Dad says, “I love you,” to the boys and his wife.

If I was a human I’d be just like them,
Like if we got married, afterall we're good friends.
And we would have children, two girls or two boys,
If we buzzed together we’d make such a noise.

“Know what, now I’m hungry, let’s see what we find,
With me in the front and you there behind.
My family left crumbs we can nibble and chew.
Today’s great adventure,
I’m afraid it’s all through.”




Saturday, April 19, 2014

YOU'VE GOT TO HAVE A SENSE OF HUMOR

Just a brief blog tonight.  I am really beat from all the standing and fixing for tomorrow's family Easter dinner. Also had to get the Easter baskets all set to hide for the little ones to find.  Was attempting to watch a movie but kept falling asleep so thought I'd best get the latest poem posted to the ol' blog.  I do want to wish all of you a very happy and joyful Easter.  Joy, indeed, is what Easter is all about for on that Easter Sunday so many years ago the final act of  Jesus' life here on earth was His resurrection. The salvation that He bought for us as a result of  that act assures us of Heaven. We are truly a blessed people.

As I pondered The Fall of a week or so ago I couldn't help but find the humor in it.  Hope you get a laugh out of it as well.

POOR ME
By Patty Lynn

When someone says they FELL real hard
Describing love in bloom,
And then that feeling grows until
For others there’s no room…

A love like that is envied, too.
We all would wish the same,
That cupid’s arrow sought us out
And then called out our name.

This kind of FALL is positive,
A pleasant word, I pose.
But TAKE A FALL, that’s something else,
Brings with it only woes.

That kind of fall I know too well.
I’ve lived it and it’s maddening.
You’d think my body’s squishiness
Would guarantee soft landing.

Without fair warning I fall down.
The last one was a doozy.
I hit my head (on the garage)
And sat up rather woozy.

Then off I went to the ER,
Was questioned till I lost it.
“How would you rate your pain, my dear?”
Each I and T they crossed it!

“Your cut requires a stitch or two,
But really we don’t do that.
We’ll close it up with super glue,
In essence we’ll just glue that.”

“You’re good as new, now off you go.”
Was what they said when finished.
I smiled; I tried to feel like new
My heart just wasn’t in it.

The next day things had gotten worse.
The swelling was horrendous.
Although my cut was sealed up,
My pride could not be mended.

You see, so many years ago,
My mother fell a lot.
Of all the legacies I’d get,
How come this one I got?

And so it is, another fall,
Though I can’t say, “Poor me.”
For many more are bound to come,
Just like my Mom before me.





Tuesday, April 15, 2014

THE MYSTERY IS SOLVED

I'm sure I've shared with you my frustration with the Google fiasco regarding changing everything. They had made it impossible for me to meet their criteria so that I could continue to do a yearly renewal of this blog. Hours upon hours taking me around in circles and even frustrating my husband whose help I enlisted to see if maybe I was missing something. And then my computer savvy son-in-law came around and asked if he could make heads or tails of the confusing supposed HELP pages and, of course, I said his help would be much appreciated.

He immediately agreed that the directions and requirements for the new renewal procedure were beyond difficult to understand and anything but efficient.  So he tried this and tried that and was sent around in some of the same circles I had encountered.  But he was much braver than I had been.  I was afraid of trying some out-there paths always dreading that I would screw things up even more. But he's young and much more adept than I and after about 20 minutes figured it out. Hallelujah!!!! So now I'm good to go and I don't have to lose sleep about my 6 year blog disappearing anytime soon.  Thank you, Will. I couldn't (Lord knows, I tried) have done it without you!!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

IF IT'S NOT ONE THING IT'S YOUR MOTHER

I'm sure I'm not alone when it comes to experiencing certain situations or someone says something or you do and you think, "That sounds/feels like mom."  I actually feel like I'm in her skin, so to speak. Sometimes it's a little sweet remembrance but there are times when, like this past Monday, I wish we weren't so much alike.

What you may not know about my mother was that she often fell, sometimes breaking something, a wrist or on one occasion both wrists two weeks apart and her final fall which led to a broken hip. Sometimes she sustained serious head injuries which were no laughing matter.  Well, I haven't broken anything but I have had my share of falls in the last few of years which have me reminiscing about my mom's illustrious past.

This past Monday I was in my daughter's fenced in backyard keeping a eye on the boys and their sweet dog, Archie.  Every once and a while I'd make sure I knew exactly where Archie was because sometimes he gets himself in to trouble and I wanted to get ahead of it.  We'd been out there about 20 minutes and I could see Archie making a beeline for the brush pile next to the garage and I knew if he got into it he'd be covered in burrs.  For most dogs with simple coats that wouldn't be that big a deal but this little guy has a double coat, soft, dense hair next to his skin and longer, courser hair over that. As I called his name and seeing that he was completely ignoring me, I rushed over and tripped over some of the bigger, thicker branches and I went flying.

Let's put it this way, if the side of the garage hadn't been there I might still be propelling forward. That may be a slight exaggeration but you get the picture.  I hit the outside wall of the garage with a lot of force and as I sat there in the middle of the brush pile bleeding from a cut above one eyebrow and above my upper lip, I was thinking what I always think at a moment like that, "How am I going to get up?"  You see when you get your knees replaced they remove the kneecaps and don't reattach them making it impossible to get up on your own.  So, though your seven year old grandsons think they can help Grandma get to her feet, in reality you need two adults.  Fortunately, one of my daughter's neighbors heard the boys crying and my daughter appropriately talking in a louder voice than usual, and came over to see what he could do.  His timing was perfect and after a trip to the ER for stitches, the old gal, though somewhat worse for wear and pretty shaken up, was back on her feet and on the road to recovery.

The next day the bruising really developed and I looked like...like I face-planted into the side of a garage. My lip is still pretty swollen (from the side I look like a turtle) and the deep purple bruises occupying the whole right side of my face are a lovely shade of blue and green.  I can get the stitches wet tomorrow(Yay!) and I hope most of the bruising and lumps and bumps will be mostly gone before Sunday.  I teach the 3 & 4 year olds and I don't want to scare them.

As I said in the title, if it's not one thing it's your Mother.  Thanks, Mom, for your falling legacy.

Friday, March 28, 2014

GOD'S NOT DEAD

A week ago today my sister, husband and I went to see a movie with this same title.  The movie was very good and had it not been suggested by a friend on Facebook we might have missed it entirely.  This movie, starring Kevin Sorbo and Dean Cain, was what the industry calls in limited release. What that means is that they're not expecting big numbers (after all it has a religious message) they will show it on one day, four different times, and that's it.  As it turned out this was a box office surprise hit and the numbers were well over what they predicted.

The story of the movie was about a young man, a freshman in college, signing up for a Philosophy class as part of him major's requirement only to discover that the professor was an atheist.  On the very first day of class this professor asked that every student take out a piece of paper, write GOD IS DEAD on it and sign their name.  He told them in so doing they would get off on the right foot for the remainder of the class.
However, there was one young man who said he couldn't do it.  He said, "I'm a christian and I can't do that." This angered the professor but he decided to give the student an opportunity. He would allow him to put together an argument to prove the existence of God and told him he could have a forum in the class to prove his point.

It was a daunting challenge and initially the professor had strong arguments to refute the student's premise. During the final class the argument became very heated and the student finally asked, "What happened to you?"  It was then that the professor said that at the age of 12 years old his mother got very sick and he had prayed and prayed that God would spare her and from that moment on he stopped believing in God."  It was then that the student said, "If God doesn't exist why did he pray for his mother's life?"

Now that's a very brief synopsis of this film but it had a number of subplots and details that I'm leaving out.  I just wanted you to know that this limited release film had much to say to the people of this world.  It was very good and if it comes around again or comes out on DVD, it's well worth your time.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I HATE TECHNOLOGY!!!!

Now that might sound a bit dramatic, but it got your attention, didn't it? Really after the week I've had with Google's "changes," that would be an appropriate statement.  You see Google just changed everything, I'm sure for the better (in a sarcastic tone) but it sent me into a tailspin.  I started this blog in 2008 and each year I must renew my domain, pattylynnonline.com, and pay the renewal fee.  Well, when Google made it's changes, I was told that I had to create a Gmail account, have access to my Google Apps account and make sure all my payment information was updated in my Wallet.  My immediate response could been summed up like this, "Whaaaaa?"

I fooled around with this for approximately 6 hours and was no further ahead when I was done except I had, with numerous attempts, created a Gmail account.  Hooray for me! My wonderful son-in-law showed me where my Apps were as well as my where my Wallet was and it took him all of 5 minutes.  I still have to "ensure I have access to the Google Apps Admin Console" in order to renew my domain in September or lose six years of blogs.  I have not figured that out yet but you can bet I won't spend 6+ hours on it.  If I can't figure it out I'll enlist the help of my son-in-law again.

In other words, something that was so simple has now become so complicated in an effort to make things frustra..., ridicu...,easy. That was this past week but there's been something bothering me lately separate from this situation; it's how technology is stealing us.

What do I mean by that?  I mean, example: what I see at the grade school when I pick up my grandchildren. There's always about 10 adults waiting to pick up their children or grandchildren and everyone is staring down at their high-tech phones, reading messages, writing texts, checking the weather, etc., no eye contact with the rest of the world, locked in to their little tech world, no small talk, complete nothingness.  It's the same thing in a store, people silently engrossed in their phones or they're talking on their cellphones, walking through the store, talking loudly and totally oblivious to the world around them.

Those of us of a certain age can hardly believe this phenomenon or news reports that include crazy accidents like falling into a fountain because someone was walking and texting and not looking where they're going, falling off a subway platform doing the same thing.  Not to mention the auto accidents that occur when someone is texting while they're driving. Are you kidding me?

And now we're giving sophisticated technology to our young children. What will be the ramifications from that be?  Not to say they aren't educational, they are.  They improve hand/eye coordination, problem solving skills, and the like.  But if those things are accessible to our young kids, we must limit their use.

One seldom mentioned issue with these tablets, for instance, is they become a status symbol, a item to flaunt and brag about to the other kids, because every kid wants one, why wouldn't they? But some families either don't have the funds for this kind of expensive gift or they've decided that they don't want their kid to have this kind of exposure.  Monitoring your child's use is key because with that in hand some are able to have access to the internet and you know what a can of worms that can be.

In short, or in the case of this blog, in long, I don't hate technology I just hate what it has done.  In many cases interpersonal relations are sacrificed because these tools suck us in and have the potential to be addictive.  We've all heard the Candy Crush stories on the news, how adults are so addicted to this game which has a free side to the game and a one side that you have to pay for.  On that part of the site many have gotten into some really bad territory, spending way more money than they should to the point of declaring bankruptcy.

The old adage is: everything in moderation.  Can those of us who desire and can afford these things walk that fine line?  It's getting harder and harder but TECHNOLOGY is here to stay and further advancements are inevitable.  Just be wary, and careful and wise about this.  Can you even imagine a world without cellphones, and computers and satellite radio?  Funny, I can.  I lived it and that world was pretty terrific.


TECHNOLOGY
by Patty Lynn

Some people love computers,
Their I-phone, kindle, too,
That MP3 that plays their songs,
Each day it gets them through.

Don't get me wrong I would be lost
Without my stand-alone,
But all the others leaves me weak
It's them that I bemoan.

There's just one thing I'd like to say
To those of you tech-savvy,
"Your welcome to your gadgets and
I hope they make you happy."

They're said to be devices that...
Help us stay in touch.
But I would say we're duped, my friend.
On this I will not budge.

For me I hate what they have done.
Technology's responsible.
It's stolen all our face to face,
And should be help accountable.

Gone are the days when folks would share
A handshake or embrace,
When you'd drop by to say hello.
I think it's a disgrace!

My number one is screening calls,
That practice is deplorable.
When every time you call you get...
A voicemail, why it's horrible.

What's happened to phone etiquette,
Your manners on the phone?
Not leaving someone on the line
I'm here to pick a bone...

You call a business and you get,
"One moment, please, I'll check."
And you are left just hanging there...
Five minutes, "What the heck!"

A simple check-in on that call
To say your working on it.
It let's the caller know you care.
The problem why it's chronic!

How often when you're shopping
Are you subjected to...
A person talking on their phone
So loud, as if to you...

But really they're ignoring what
Is simple courtesy?
It's disrespectful, very rude.
Is this our legacy?

To think we call this progress,
Efficiency of sorts.
Nobody cares, they're unaware,
And what is our recourse?

The titans of Tech industry
Would never think of going...
Back to the way it was before.
Advancements keep it growing.

My thought is that it lies with us
To educate our children,
For they're a gift, so precious, sweet,
A privilege we're given.

Technology is here, but if...
We do not watch how much,
The face to face will go and then...
We'll lose the human touch.

So mark my words when you look down
And stare there at your screen,
That child that interrupts you can
Your human heart redeem.




Thursday, February 20, 2014

THE THINGS WE TAKE FOR GRANTED

A few years back as many of you know, I had my knees replaced.  They had gotten to the point where there wasn't any other choice but still it was pretty scary.  And I'm pleased to say that I had an exceptional result with them both.  I had a wonderful doctor, a very good physical therapist and I did everything that I was told to insure that I would have the best outcome possible.  You could say I was the poster child for knee replacements and I often was asked to talk to people who were considering such a complicated surgery.

As time went by, at least a year before I tried kneeling figuring that, like everything else, I'd healed enough so that should come back, too.  My doctor moved out of the area after my second knee was done (was it something I said?) so I didn't have the advantage of having my surgeon available to discuss this with so I thought, well, give it a little more time and all will be well.  Even my physical therapist was under the impression that sewing the original knee cap over the appliance was standard in knee replacement surgery.  So, as you've probably guessed by now, that wasn't the case and you'd be surprised how living without a kneecap effects your life.

As with so many things, I turn to humor and writing poetry to add a little levity to even the most difficult situations.  Hope you enjoy this one.

MY KNEES PLEASE
by Patty Lynn

I guess I took for granted
What really was important,
A part of me without, you see,
For granted doesn't warrant.

You see some seven years ago
My doctor said, "They're failing.
Your knees will be unbearable
And you will soon be wailing.

The pain will overtake your life.
You'll have discomfort walking.
The time is now, I mean, and how.
You're xray, well it's shocking!"

So what was I suppose to do?
I didn't have a choice.
The doctor seemed so positive.
And still that little voice...

Inside me wondered, "Was this right.
Was surgery the answer?"
I had real faith in who he was,
This Doc, I thought, a master.

Besides he told me that I was,
The perfect age for knees.
"They last some twenty years, you see.
The surgery's a breeze."

So on I went to have my knees
Replaced, I think they call it,
But had I known what I know now
I'd say, "You better stall it."

Don't get me wrong I'd have to say
The knees are a success.
But I've a bone that I must pick,
An issue I'd address...

For no one told me when replaced,
"Your knees won't have a kneecap,
And you can't kneel anymore.
Hope you don't have a mishap!"

A mishap, oh, a fall you mean.
I get it, 'cause I've fallen.
Without your kneecaps you are stuck
And there you lie, you're callin'...

For anyone who'll help you up,
Can lift you to your feet.
You can't turn over anymore
And then get to your knees!

Without your kneecaps now I know
How much to have them meant.
You feel so helpless 'cause you are.
It feels like you're cement!

So falling is a nightmare, yes,
Dread every time I do it.
But know what I will always miss?
A tub, to get into it...

And take a warm relaxing bath
Reclining there and soaking.
I'd close my eyes and sip some wine.
Sounds heavenly, no joking.

I'll let you think on that a bit.
The getting in, well, possible.
But getting out now that's a trick.
I'd say mission impossible.

And so, as I look back on it,
The knees had to be done.
But all in all, I'd have to say
No kneecaps, that's no fun.


Monday, February 17, 2014

JUST AS I PROMISED

Tonight's blog is as I promised, a poem about the inevitable, growing older.  It's not a topic to be discussed, questioned or debated, because getting older is inevitable.  It happens to everybody, like it or not, but whether you do it gracefully or will do anything to slow it down, it happens.  For me, aging is new territory.  Now that may seem like a strange thing to say but what I mean is until recently (within the last 5-8 years or so) I was just getting older each year. Then suddenly it became obvious that parts of me were wearing out, my flesh was being distributed differently, there was pain involved in doing the same daily activities.  When those things began to happen, I became aware that I was aging. 

The analogy I would make is the sell by and use by date on food.  There's a time factor and past that time the food expires.  Now, I'm not trying to sound morbid, like I think I'm getting close to my expiration date.  I don't know when that day will come but when it does I'll, well...expire.  That is a little funny, don't you think so?

Anyway, bear with me and my aging poems.  They say (whoever they are) that it's best to write about what you know and this subject is one with which I am imminently aware.  I'm sure there will be many to come.

I'VE FALLEN & I CAN'T GET UP
by Patty Lynn

"I've fallen and I can't get up,"
We've laughed at that commercial.
'Cause poking fun at aging, well,
Those laughs are universal.

"Can't find my keys, where did I park?"
"What was I going to say...?
Old people are hilarious
Until time goes astray...

And suddenly you find yourself
Befuddled and forgetting.
The simplest things are difficult,
To say the least, upsetting.

As time creeps up and, boy, it creeps,
You simply have to face it,
And though you wish control was yours,
There's nothing that will chase it...

Away from you, it's there to stay.
You simply have to own it.
Controls not yours, you're not at fault,
And, no, you haven't blown it.

The point is we grow older.
We all do, that's the truth,
And though we wish we could go back,
We can't rekindle youth.

Besides we'd likely do the same
With choices that we'd make.
And we'd end up just where we are.
That's really no mistake.

Old people made us laugh when we
Were young and had no clue.
Youth thinks its funny till the time
Old people are, well...you.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

TIME'S REALITY

I've really missed this, times when the poems I write just flow with very little prompting.  It's been a long dry spell so though it's late and some things got put on hold today, I just went with it.

I've never counted how many of my poems center around aging but I'm sure it would be quite a few.  I guess the only explanation (if one is needed) is I've never been more aware of the process of aging before. It was merely another year older made up of many and varied highs and lows, family, plans, projects, activities and, of course, the anticipation of  RETIREMENT.  Why all caps?  Because that was always the goal, unspecified time and more time in general.  Oh, and that was the best part, TIME.  I could do what I wanted to do and have oodles of hours with which to do it.

That last part is my favorite, oodles of time LOL.  Yes, I said LOL.  I'm hip, I know the lingo. And why did those oodles make me laugh?  Because, surprise, you still run out of time!  Why?  Because everything takes longer to accomplish, you take longer so you don't get anymore done than you did when you were working.  Ah, cruel fate, but true.  Don't get me wrong, retirement is great, just different than I expected.  If you're there, that is, retired, what I've said is no news to you but if you aren't there yet you still have all of this to look forward to.

So to make a long story...longer, the next few poems will most likely be about the time-worn subject of AGING.  Tonight's offering is one of those poems that I merely began...what followed was a poem that took on a mind of it's own with two titles.

HOW MUCH SAND IS LEFT? or
The Power of a Smile
by Patty Lynn

Lest this come off as negative, a melancholy tale,
I must confess that more or less, it looks behind the veil...
Of that unspoken, often broken place some can't abide,
For aging brings for some a sting from which they run and hide.

This 'place' that I refer to, this broken place I mention
Is one that some won't talk about or even call attention...
To the truth we face each morning, yes, the face that's there before us
Especially the women folk who often sing in chorus:

"Those tiny lines and wrinkles are now longer, wider, deeper.
The lids above my eyes are such, they sag above my peepers...
So much so that I find that it's more difficult to see.
My laugh lines, why, they're craters now, where can the laughter be?"

You say you're not complaining but merely stating fact?
I'd say I've got some news for you, though lacking in some tact.
This all sounds superficial, on vanity you touch...
Forgo beauty's obsession and do not dwell so much...

On what you see as damage, are normal signs of aging.
No matter how you nip & tuck, time's war goes right on waging.
Your body needs your tending; make health your main concern.
Keep calories in balance with food that helps the burn.

For gravity it takes its toll on inner and on outer.
So if you're honest, face the facts, you're foolish if a doubter.
Some people age at different rates, some do look younger longer,
But lifestyle plays a part in it; it's not too late to ponder.

They say that you are only this, as old, dear, as you feel,
Which sounds real great when you feel good, but most days aren't ideal.
So heed my words, time marches on and you can choose to be...
An occupant of Sunny Town or suffer the disease...

Of negativity, that black contagion that is spread...
From one complainer to the next until life's joy is dead.
Who know how many days you have, how many grains of sand,
Till God decides to take you home, I hope you understand.

There's just no way for you to know when that day will arrive.
All you can do is make the choice to live each day, to strive...
To be the best that you can be, make all you do worthwhile...
And never underestimate the power of a smile.



Thursday, January 30, 2014

OUR FAMILY'S NEW ADDITION

Earlier this month my niece, Laura, had her second child, a boy this time.  We're all so excited that this sweet baby, Jacob, has been added to the ranks of our family.  Babies are such a miracle and this darling is no exception.  As we did with her first, we visited this sweet family in the hospital only hours after this little life came to be.  There something to be said about holding such a brand new being.  It certainly is a privilege to be there only hours after he took his first breath. 

The older I get I find myself becoming more aware of the circle of life but most acutely at a time like this.  This precious child truly has his whole life before him, immense, vast, with almost limitless possibilities.  But as we live it, that life moves so fast and at such frenetic pace that while we're in it we miss so much, ponder so little.  It's only as we grow older that we look back and wish we could have been more in the moment at the time we were making those memories.  I think that's one of the reasons we cherish our grandchildren so.

As grandparents we have the time, the patience, and the perspective so many of us lacked at the time we were making our way, pursuing a career, creating a home and raising our children.  All I know is that babies are a miracle and I'm so glad we've added yet another one to our family tree.

TICKLED BLUE
by Patty Lynn

Our family's getting bigger.
We're tickled pink, that's true,
But since a recent birth took place,
I'd say we're tickled blue.

He had a date, all pre-arranged,
Expected to arrive.
Though Jacob grew impatient,
His Mom took it in stride.

Now he was big, 8 pounds plus 12,
A stress on his poor mom,
But she is quite a gal and she
Remained composed and calm.

I've got to say, as there he lay
Within my arms I thought,
If only such a moment could
Repeatedly be caught...

Not by a camera's photograph,
But isolated time
That I could call up when I'd want
Experience this sublime...

This feeling of this miracle,
This tiny life entwined
With my old life, so much life lived
The two of us combined.

For babies are a jewel rare,
A treasure hard described.
Mere words inadequate they are
Not possible, I've tried.

Our family is blessed, indeed,
This angel, our addition.
This Jacob boy, we'll so enjoy
Forever my suspicion.

Soon he'll grow up before our eyes
Miraculous he'll be,
Not just a baby anymore.
This wonder we'll all see.

Before too long a toddler he.
Then off to school will go.
Time flies so fast, wish childhood lasts,
And growing up was slow.

Why can't the clock adjust its speed
So we could ponder all
The moments that fly quickly by,
Sweet memories to recall?

But it must be that life goes on,
The seasons of our lives,
Only a few remembered then
And we will be deprived...

Of recollections, detailed ones,
As memories can fade.
I'm thankful for ones I'll have.
This time I wouldn't trade.

So welcome, darling, to this world.
Your whole life lies before you.
We're tickled blue of ours you're part.
Sweet Jacob, we adore you.



Wednesday, January 29, 2014

CHRISTMAS REMEMBERED

I'm almost embarrassed to share my latest poem.  It's late alright.  I started this one a few days after Christmas and came back to it several times. The writing of it was, as they say, "like pulling teeth."  And that's a good analogy as every word seemed as though I was pulling it out with resistance, not easy like some I've written and I don't know why.  I often go through a slump in the cold winter weather but this one was/is particularly bad.

Our Christmas' are wonderful, truly home-spun, family oriented, festive and all around memorable.  Maybe that's because we all genuinely like each other no matter each core family or in-laws or just plain extended family.  This past Christmas was no exception.  It was held at the home of my son, his lovely wife and daughter, Bella.  This is a relatively new home for them, purchased this past summer and it is really a show place.  We all had a great time which I hope this poem represents, so please humor my late, latest poem.

ANOTHER FAMILY CHRISTMAS
by Patty Lynn

Our Christmas celebration is lovely every year
When everyone's together and smiling ear to ear.
Now some of us are oldsters, there's youngsters, in-betweens;
Some of us get all dressed up and some, they come in jeans.

Our family goes to church to hear the Christmas story told...
Of Mary, Joseph and the Babe, a tale that's never old.
We sing the hymns we've sung for years, the carols tried and true.
Our family grows each year, it seems, we barely fit the pew.

And then we all collect our things, go home to get our presents,
Then gather at the hosting house, which one, it makes no difference,
For there the grownups grab a wine, exchange a hug or two.
The children on the other hand, see they've got work to do.

They spy the gifts now piled high and have no use for food.
So anxious they must clear the way, "unwrap...oh, yes we should!"
We've tried to end the chaos there, approach the gifts relaxed,
But curbing wild excitement, that challenge has us taxed!

The children feel like they'll just burst, how can we say, "please wait!"
Don't ask them if they'd like some pie or cookies on a plate.
Stand back and watch as paper, bows and nametags all take flight.
The smiles and squeals, the oos and ahhs, make this a special night.

And grown-ups, too, enjoy the gifts selected for each other.
'Tis better to have given, dear, than get," would say my mother.
Our family chooses from the heart gifts thoughtful, lovely too.
Your gifts for me are chosen well, and likewise mine for you.

Ol' Christmas Eve is over now, the extra food divided.
We've returned home, so hence this poem, safe journey God provided.
Another year of Christmas cheer with love and laughs and song.
Although we'll do it come next year, a year seems awfully long.

Monday, January 6, 2014

ANOTHER YEAR HAS COME AND GONE

My husband and I began having a devotion each night about five years ago and it's been wonderful to have this special time together.  A recent one suggested that you speak these words each morning before starting your day: "This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it."  At first it seemed a little strange to say them like that, out loud I mean, but after a couple of days it's became easier. 

It's still not a habit so I forget occasionally but when I do remember, it's amazing how it makes me feel. It throws the words out in the universe, out to God, and it becomes a promise of sorts.  Because I know I am one who often worries and has been known to anticipate the worst instead of the best, this is a good exercise.  It forces me to be positive and really, aren't we better off when we live life to the fullest, give love (we get so much in return,) show that love in all our dealings with one another?  What's gained from closing ourselves off, uttering an ugly word to someone, complaining about our woes and just being unpleasant? 

It's a new year, a clean slate.  What better time to make changes in ourselves for the better.  Perhaps this little exercise will spur you on to make 2014 your best year yet. Each day is one that the Lord has made.  What better thanks can we give Him but to rejoice and be glad?  Try it.  Just see what happens.