Friday, December 18, 2015

CHRISTMAS IS ALMOST HERE!

Years ago I was more guilty of this than I am now, you know, the rush, rush, rush of getting everything done, making a Christmas List (checking it twice and three times) buying the gifts, getting out the greeting cards, finding time to wrap everything, and baking.  It was worse back in the days when I had the Christmas Eve festivities at my house.  Yikes! All the preparations were enough to make you crazy.  But it wasn't that long ago, and I remember.  Nowadays, we're fortunate to have family close and "the kids" do all the preparing and have the festivities at their houses.  I'm a lucky Mom, that's for sure.

But tonight I wanted to remember those days and write a poem that reminds us all of the real meaning for Christmas and how God's gift of His Son way back in Bethlehem is what we can so easily lose sight of in the whole scheme of things.  I hope it reminds you all of what Christmas is all about.

CHRISTMAS LOVE
By Patty Lynn

It’s a week before Christmas and all through the house
We both are relaxing, just me and my spouse.
The tree lights are sparkling, the stockings are hung,
The cards are already, with the lick of a tongue.

The gifts are all purchased, selected online,
From jewelry to toys, to clothing and wine.
What’s more, they’re all wrapped, boy, am on the ball!
Now it’s time to start baking…but the clock on the wall…

Says, “Hey, listen, it’s midnite, it’s bedtime, you Silly,
After all, you’ve been racing around willy-nilly.
Just stop for a minute, look at all that you’ve done.
C’mon get some rest now, you’ve accomplished a ton!”

Besides, there’s tomorrow, another day dawns.
Right now my bed's calling, I’m responding with yawns.
When I get up tomorrow I promise I’ll be
Relaxed and less frantic, I’ve a week more I see…

To do all my baking, read cards, do some calling,
With personal wishes, those visits enthralling.
For it’s easy to get all caught up in preparing
And forget that the season’s a time meant for sharing.

It doesn’t revolve ‘round the presents, the baking,
But rather that Baby, God’s love for the taking.
It’s easy to get all caught up in the doing,
Forgetting what happened that gave hearts renewing.

We’ve just got to stop, take a moment to ponder
The true meaning of Christmas, lest it’s meaning we squander.
No matter your project, God gives enough time
To do what’s important whether yours, whether mine.

This holiday season, cherish loved ones and say,
“God’s gift of His Son’s why we have Christmas day.
All else doesn’t matter if we have only this,”

Then close with, “I love you” and seal with a kiss.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

CHANGES

I ran across a great article that I just had to share with all of you.  I'm sure for some of you, it will really hit home.  Here goes.

Someone was once asked, " How old would you be if you didn't know how old you were?"  What a great question.  One mental youngster said it this way:

I have become a little older since I saw you last, and a few changes have come into my life since then. Frankly, I have become quite a frivolous old gal.  I am seeing five gentlemen every day.

As soon as I wake up, Will Power helps me get out of bed.  Then I go to see John.  Then Charlie Horse comes along and when he is here, he takes a lot of my time and attention.  When he leaves Arthur Ritis shows up and stays the rest of the day.  He doesn't like to stay in one place very long, so he takes me from joint to joint.  After such a busy day, I'm really tired and glad to bed with Ben Gay.
What a life!

P.S.  The preacher came to call the other day.  He said at my age I should be thinking about the hereafter.  I told him, "Oh, I do that all the time, Preacher.  No matter where I am--in the living room, upstairs, in the kitchen, or down in the basement--I ask myself, "What am I here after?"

We joke about getting old because we don't really think we want to get there, but face it, a long life is a blessing from God.  Just remember, each day is one that the Lord has made.  Let's celebrate it.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

IT FINALLY HAPPENED

I'm almost in a state of unbelief but I finally wrote a poem, I mean my usual way.  I didn't have to force myself, didn't have to tell myself that I'd better, it just came.  That may not sound like a big deal, but it really is.  So here it is:

HALFWAY
By Patty Lynn

When I was younger, yes, I thought
At seventy you’re old.
A cane, gray hair, corrective shoes,
Like aging cheese, you’d mold.

I thought old people all were deaf,
Their eyesight…almost blind.
Young men would walk you ‘cross the street.
You’d tell them, “You’re so kind.”

And then one day I woke to find
That I had reached that day,
The day when I was seventy
About that let me say…

This aging thing, it’s not so bad
Sure slowing down’s a part.
But that’s okay, I savor now,
I feel more from the heart.

That comes in handy since I’m now
A Grandma, best job ever.
I love them so and don’t ya’ know,
They think that I’m real clever.

But truth be told it’s living long
With memories by the score
That they find fascinating, cool.
They even long for more…

For often I share how things were
When I was little, too,
Before computers, tablets, phones,
And how I made it through…

Without the gadgets that they love
And toys sophisticated.
How days were spent, much quieter,
Yet we were stimulated.

I wouldn’t trade those bygone days
That made who I am,
Nor would I go back if I could
And live it all again.

Those 70 years, I lived them well,
They brought me here today,
And I’m so glad I’m where I am.
Perhaps, I’m just halfway!



Thursday, October 22, 2015

LOOKING "BACK"

Forgive me the play on words but when you've suffered for as long as I have with what is commonly called a bad back, you try to find a little humor in it, or at least I do. You see I've been dealing with this malady for over 20 years before and following a surgery. Talk to anyone who's had back problems and you will hear a common theme summed up in "I wish I'd never had back surgery!"  So it's safe to say that things only got worse after the surgery and I've tried many different approaches to alleviate the pain.

In my younger days it was chiropractic, various physical therapy regimens, steroid shots and acupuncture.  But for the past 10 years I've been on a closely monitored medication plan and for the most part that's given me a good quality of life. However, it's caught up with me.  By that I mean as is the case with aging, osteoarthritis, degenerative disc disease, stenosis and scoliosis, time is not my friend.  And that staggering list only becomes more staggering and as is happening now, the pain has continued to intensify and the pain meds can't cover the increased pain.  It's not safe to add more milligrams to the current medications because in doing so, my organs could be compromised.

So, I knew I must look elsewhere to find alternatives to the pain meds and still decrease my pain.
Fortunately, my daughter had found a solution to her shoulder problems with something called, Prolotherapy.  This involves multiple injections with a dextrose solution in the afflicted area to promote inflammation and thus cause the body to heal itself.   This is a simplified version of the process and is only one of the injected solutions available.  Oft times, when necessary, plasma or even stem cells can also be injected.  If I were younger, this process could cause true healing and correction of the problem, but in my case the hope is that prolotherapy will stablize my spine.  I liken it to the difference between a house that's built on sand (my spine) and one that's built on a foundation of cement block.

I've had one treatment so far and have been told that improvement you can feel comes after 2-4 treatments.  So we'll wait and see.  I'm very optimistic and I would like to ask that you pray for me. I know the power of prayer and how much is out of our control.  Only God and only Him.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

THE TRAUMA OF MY 70TH YEAR

Sounds pretty dramatic, doesn't it?  Well, it was.  Yes, the day (Oct.6th) has come and gone and I survived but it wasn't easy.  I don't know why that number was so hard to believe, but I just couldn't wrap my head around it.  I've said this before, "I'm young enough to remember that when I was young, someone who was 70, was OLD!"  And really my family was so gracious and made sure they wished me a Happy Birthday on the day, some even sang the song so, by no means, was I forgotten.

My sister had everyone over for cake and ice cream the Sunday before my birthday and, as always, we all had a great time.  My niece's birthday was the 10th so it was kind of a two-fer and that took a little of the sting out of my milestone.  And then on Monday my daughter called and said she and her husband and two boys wanted to take my husband and me out for a nice lunch to Fratello's on the following Sunday.  I thought that was really nice and yet couldn't figure out why everyone was making such a fuss over my 70th.

When we arrived at the restaurant, my daughter greeted us at the door and said to follow her into the bar area for a drink before lunch.  Well, I had the surprise of my life when I rounded the corner only to find a room full of friends and family shouting "Surprise!!"  And I indeed was surprised.  My daughter and my sister had gone all out, linens on the tables, flower arrangements down the center of each table, photo displays that left me weepy as they stirred up all kind of memories.  My brother-in-law, Jim, had done a photo montage on his laptop and John took photos of the festivities. There was a printed menu for everyone to choose from and the food was delicious.  What a spectacular affair!!!

I was so touched by this outpouring of love and the thoughtfulness that went into the party.  It will be a memory I'll treasure always.




Sunday, October 4, 2015

ANNIVERSARY WISHES

I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who follows my blog, I'm stuck!  I haven't written a poem since the one I wrote for my dear friend's retirement party and that took me 3 weeks.  But, as they say, "necessity is the mother of invention," and my daughter and son-in-law's 13th anniversary prompted me to write a poem for that occasion.  Unfortunately, their anniversary falls two days after their twin son's birthdays which shifts the focus to their boys. So they get lost in the shuffle.  It's not my best work but it forced me to write again and for that I'm thankful.  At least I assured myself that I could still do it.

THAT LOVE…

I know you both feel cheated
Because the scale is tipped…
Toward two boys and their birthdays.
But I say we should flip…

The emphasis to both of you,
The reason for it all.
For without you, there wouldn’t be…
Those birthdays, anyhow.

So in the midst of hecticness
And bickering of boys,
Just don’t forget the love you share,
Remember through the noise…

That long before the twins were born,
You know, those quieter days,
When there was just the two of you,
A clear path, not a maze…

Led you to find each other,
I know God intervened,
For you were meant to be as one,
Though life is not serene,

It will be, as the boys grow up,
Though that seems far away.
Just find the time and not neglect
Your love from day to day.

From that comes strength, that’s at the core
That’s at the heart of you.
It must be tended every day.

That love will see you through.

Monday, June 22, 2015

IT'S BEEN A CRAZY DAY

Last Saturday began as any other. Had a cup of coffee or more accurately, three, and my english muffin. My husband left about 7:30 to take the dog for his morning walk and informed me that when he returned he planned on trimming the front bushes. I went into panic mode. Why? Well, he's willing but like most men, he approaches such a task with gusto rather than artistry. Now, these boxwoods are my babies, lush and healthy and are positioned right under the front windows of our house. They are the prettiest boxwoods I have ever seen and grew nearly 30% since last spring. They really needed trimming!

My husband had begun the trimming yesterday and before I knew it he took that hedge trimmer went right from the bottom to the top and shaved them. I mean, it's the difference between...I'll explain. Imagine a guy walking into a barbershop with a beautiful head of hair and telling the barber to give him a trim, you know, "just a little off the sides" and he walked out with a crew cut. So when he said he was going to finish up the bushes, I brushed my teeth, washed my face, threw myself together and dashed out to supervise.

When he returned, I was ready to go and he began the...TRIMMING. Yikes!! My bushes were starting to look like big green boxes. Having sensed his frustration, I asked if I could take over the shaping. He handed me the trimmer and I was off. I will say this, it's not as easy as you might think and to get the hang of using a hedge trimmer, never having used one before, is a bit challenging. I rounded off the first bush and went on to the second, figuring when I was done I'd go back and perfect the trimming so each one looked identical.

I was feeling pretty confident by now as I began trimming the last bush, and from this point, I'm a little foggy.  All I knew was something bit me! OUCH!  Gosh, my index finger hurt and, holy cow, it's bleeding like gang-busters!  I went into the house to put on a band-aid and when we both took a good look at it, we agreed that the best thing to do was to go to the clinic and have the doctor on call sew it up.  It took 10 stitches to close it and a splint to keep the finger from bending.  Want to know the good thing that came out of this?  The doctor on call was a real peach, empathetic, sweet and very capable.  We weren't happy with the doctor we had been seeing and asked if she would take both Frank and I as patients.  What she said was, "I'm not really taking new patients but I'll make an exception with you two, because you're so nice." Yay!!

So I've got a finger (on my left hand) that's chewed up pretty good, a metal splint, and a new doctor. We're thrilled (about the new doctor not the stitches.)  I get the stitches out in ten days and believe me, it could've been much worse.


OH, WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE!

“Oh, what a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I had realized it sooner.”

This simple but all-encompassing statement really sums up what I have been feeling lately. One would think that these all too familiar sentiments expressed by generation after generation would not seem like such a personal realization when they hit, but they do. The problem is they are never really understood until they are yours. I can only say that I’m glad I recognized these feelings now at ALMOST seventy (assuming that I have at least another fifteen or twenty years ahead of me) than to have them occur to me when I woke up on my 85th birthday.

Why is it that we allow life and projects and worries and anxieties to consume us? Why is it that it takes us till the sunset of our lives to be overwhelmed with the beauty of a sunrise? Why am I just now truly listening to the songs of the birds in the morning, paying attention to the smell of the dew on the grass and the crispness of the cool air that surrounds me on my morning walk?

I guess the most obvious answer is that in retirement I have the time, but I can’t help but think, “I’ve missed out on so much.”

OH, WHAT A WONDERFUL LIFE
by Patty Lynn

How is it that it took till now for me to realize
The wonder of each bud, each tree, the blueness of the skies?
How is it that the world’s so sweet, a fact I’ve missed so long,
The grass so green, the sun so bright, the robin’s pretty song?

God's mighty hand and purpose seen in every single thing
From blade of grass to speckled breast of baby birds that sing
Forever has and ever will enrich the world we live in,
For Nature is the Father’s gift, since time has ever been.

I now awake with joyful heart and sheer anticipation
Of what’s in store for me each day, for me a revelation.
A mile or so from starting point and then back home again
The years I wasn’t able to, eternity it’s been.

God, thank you for this privilege, to walk in your creation,
To see the world anew again, and feel each new sensation.
Improvement of my chronic pain, no more the stop and start
Has left me feeling blessed indeed, with gratitude of heart.

A gift like this, I was convinced, would never ever be
For as we age we lose so much, at least it seemed to me.
I am ashamed I doubted God, the truth is He can do
What seems to us impossible, with ease He pulls us through.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A FEW WORDS THIS MEMORIAL DAY

My husband and I spent most of ths Memorial Day with some of his family members, meeting up with them in Wisconsin Rapids.  His sister came with many silk flower arrangements to adorn the family markers for both of his parents and his grandparents. I don't have many opportunities to see them and visit, so this was good time to do that too.  We were tired by the time we arrived home (driving 174 miles) but we were so glad we did. That's a lot of miles to drive in one day, but it was important that we go. I had hoped to post this poem last night but as it was almost midnight and I was falling asleep at the computer, I opted to post a day later.

MEMORIAL
By Patty Lynn

A few words dedicated to all who serve or have served
in our country’s armed forces.

M is for the MEN who died, protecting you and me.
E is for ETERNAL our gratitude will be.
M is for the MEMORY of those who stood up tall.
O is for the ONES who fought for freedom, peace for all.
R is how REPEATEDLY they’ve sacrificed so much.
I is for INSPIRING, INCREDIBLE and such.
A is for ASTOUNDING, how much they’ve freely given.
L is LOVE of country, their motive their decision.

These words do not capture the magnitude of the contribution
our service men and women have made to our country’s peace,
but they are heartfelt and sincere. On this and every Memorial Day,
let each one of us take the time to contemplate just what those
that serve have done and continue to do to maintain the freedom that
we all enjoy.





Saturday, May 23, 2015

IN CASE YOU THOUGHT I FELL OFF THE FACE OF THE EARTH...

I haven't posted in some time as I've had some specialty and personal poems to write.  Those are not for the masses (I bet you didn't know you were the masses.) Now it's officially summer for me and I'm back at it.

For those of you who celebrated with me when I told you that with persistence and determination I was able to walk at the mall, I'm happy and thrilled to tell you that I am now able to walk outside in my neighborhood.  That was something that I thought I could never do as we don't have sidewalks out where I live.  All my unsuccessful attempts had me convinced that with my back issues, walking on an uneven surface was an impossibility.  Well, all my prayers and the consistency of 5 days a week walking in the mall since last November has allowed me to fulfill my wildest dream, walking outside with the sun and the blue sky and the birds (their songs are so fantastic!) Praise the Lord!

As a result of this success, I have a new lease on life and a new perspective on regular exercise.  I can say I feel better than I have felt in a long time and that high lasts until about 4 p.m. in the afternoon. Then I hit a wall but I'm sure that being almost 70 with chronic back pain, that's to be expected. Anyway, I'm looking forward to summer, spending time with my husband and my grandchildren, and getting things organized around the house, basement and office.

Tonight's offering is a new poetic form for me.  I'm sure as you read through it, you'll see what I mean.  I hope you enjoy the read.

WITH OLDER EYES
By Patty Lynn

Today I really took it in, the beauty of this day,
The sky so blue, in azure hue, God’s wonderful display.

And yet to me a miracle, the way each spring it goes,
The trees so bare, without a care, emerge in all their “clothes.”

The grass now lush in vibrant green short weeks ago was brown,
But with a little sun and rain, can change each city, town…

From drab and lifeless into this, a carpet dense and rich.
The birds return as if they yearn to sing in perfect pitch.

The morning air so crisp and rare surrounds my every step.
I almost missed a spider’s kiss, so intricate his web.

How is it that when young was I, these things I never saw,
But as I look through older eyes observe these things with awe?

Just what’s to blame, can you explain, how I ignored it all?
I wish I could go back again for I cannot recall…

The beauty of those days gone by, those springs that now are past.
So blessed am I that now I spy God’s handiwork at last.

How sad it is that we become what some may call, “late smart.”
Through much life lived the Father gives the gift of sight with “heart.”

We cannot dwell on what was missed but rather concentrate
On cherishing each moment given, God’s riches contemplate.



Saturday, January 24, 2015

A REAL GOOD LAUGH

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that sometimes life can leave you depressed but I maintain that in many cases it's best to laugh instead.  I'd have to say that for me that's especially true about what I describe as the ravages of time.  C'mon, isn't it comical what time has done to our bodies?

Now I know there are some folks who have exercised regularly and have eaten right their entire lives but that, I confess, has not been me. Consequently, I consider myself a prime example of the effect on a body that has sustained those ravages .  But don't get me wrong, this is not true confessions nor a sad little tale of poor me.  Rather it's a comical look at how gravity changes us physically, along with my philosophy which is that it's always better to laugh than to cry.

For those of you who have the battle of the bulge conquered well...this is not for you.  It may be, however, a means by which you can see what the rest of us are going through even if you can't identify with it.

Regardless of how this issue effects you personally, I think you will get a good laugh out of this one, at least that's my hope.

DING DONG THE WITCH IS DEAD
By Patty Lynn

When I disrobe to take a shower
I typically won’t peek…
At my reflection in the mirror,
There’s nothing there I seek.

I’d like to say I celebrate
My naked body there,
But truth be told, as I grow old,
Can’t bring myself to stare.

But if I do, why, I’m transfixed,
I just can’t look away.
I can’t believe what time can do.
We’re changing every day.

It really doesn’t matter though,
That’s me that’s looking back.
No more do I define myself
By all the things I lack.

And so I look objectively
At sagging-ness of face.
There are no “apples” on my cheeks,
With bones, they’ve been replaced.

And with that comes some jowls, oh joy,
That hang below those cheeks,
A chicken neck and drooping breasts
That once were perky peaks.

I could go on but, “Why?” I ask,
The rest is much the same.
I smile at what occurs to me,
(I know that time’s to blame.)

But what I see reminds me of
A quote that’s from a movie.
And when I tell you, you will laugh.
It really is a doozy.

Remember in the Wiz of Oz
How the witch came to an end
When Dorothy poured some water on…
The witch’s ugly head?

That came to mind as I stood there
With drooping...everything,
Held back a laugh, and said out loud,
"My goodness, me, I'm melting!"



Saturday, January 10, 2015

THE NEW YEAR

I've been working on this poem for sometime but tonight I finally finished and it's ready to share.  I'm still trying to remember that I now have to write 2015 not 2014.

I guess you could say I've been in a contemplative mood, anticipating a new year, new beginnings and, in all honesty, used this poem as a forum for my concerns with the effect technology is having on our families, especially our kids.  I'm sure you'll know what I mean when you read this.

Also, I haven't been doing much in the way of  writing poetry and I'm not sure why, but perhaps this will start my wheels turning again.  I've been thinking about doing another book so I guess I better get on the stick.  But I digress...

IT’S UP TO YOU

The holidays are over.
A new year has begun.
We made so many memories,
With families had fun.

But now it’s time to think ahead
And contemplate tomorrow.
Will this year be the best one yet,
More happiness than sorrow?

It’s up to you to choose to be
A person God is proud of,
Whose true devotion never wanes?
With faith that’s strong, not sort of.

But, as they say, “Life happens”
And sometimes God’s put last.
Our days become so busy.
And go by awfully fast.

We often make excuses
For prayers that don’t get said,
“We’re just too tired for things like that
Before we go to bed.”

And, “Mealtime is so rushed for us.
No time to eat and talk.”
And if you make your kids sit still,
You know they’ll surely balk.

For in their eyes the Iphone’s it.
Besides they’d rather text …
With all their friends, not family.
They’ve got to know what’s next.

So step up, parents, take a stand,                                                     .
Don’t worry if they fret.
If you don’t put an end to this
You’ll be full of regret.

Not only will you lose your kids
To techno this or that,
You’ll find they’ve lost respect for you
And that’s hard to combat.

So set your sights on making this,
Your very best beginning,
A new year where you come to God
And ask for help in living…

The kind of life that puts God first,
That leads by an example,
That shows your kids God’s love through you;
His portion’s always ample.

Remember that you’re meant to be
A parent not a friend…
That guides with loving discipline.
They'll know they can depend…

On you no matter what they face
And you can bet they’ll test
But what they’ll find are parents who
Are heads above the rest.

I’ll say again, it’s up to you.
This new year’s a blank slate.
Remember, make the most of it.
Don’t leave it up to fate.