Friday, October 13, 2017

YOU'LL NEVER GUESS

A week ago today I turned the ripe old age of 72, yay!!!  In truth I still can't wrap my head around it, just because I'm young enough to remember in my younger days, 72 seemed really old.  But as a wise women once said, " It is what it is." And that's the truth.  We can't change it so we might as well embrace it.  Besides I'm still around watching my children raise their children and I get to enjoy the best role I've ever had, Grandma.

But I still try to keep up appearances. I don't do the nightly regimen of wrinkle creams and age spot lighteners hoping to still grasp the skin of my youth but, I have always been of a mind never to leave the house without wearing at least some makeup.

I have always spent a lot of time on my eyebrows and, for whatever reason, I just wasn't born with tails on my eyebrows. Only recently have I noticed that the front portion of my eyebrows is balding!  Consequently, I spend between 15 -25 minutes reconstructing the whole of my eyebrows, trying to make tiny hairlike strokes, so as to not look like I have 2 caterpillars crossing from one side of my forehead to the other.

Which brings me to tonight's blog and the birthday surprise?

UNEXPECTED
By Patty Lynn


I know you’ve heard the phrase that goes “the gift that keeps on giving,”
But that was never truer than my gift, and I’m not kidding.
I never could have guessed this gift, it caught me unawares,
And while I just wait for it, I’ve got to say, I'm scared.

What could it be you wonder, I hope you’re sitting down,
For when I tell you what it is your jaw will hit the ground.
But I think that I’ll wait a bit to tell you what it is.
Just to imagine such a thing, one passing thought I’d give.

So there before me was my gift, I can’t believe my eyes.
I never thought I’d get this gift, this utter, grand surprise!
I’m sure, like me, you’d stare and stare then read the short description…
And ask yourself, if this could be, now was it fact or fiction?

But though you’re in a state of shock you think that it’s terrific,?
(I hear you thinking to yourself, “Hey, Pat, please be specific.”)
I’m wond’ring if my eyes deceive, I really can’t believe it.
I see it there in black and white, but I still can’t conc…

That something I had entertained, if only for an instant,
Was staring there right back at me, my shock, it was insistent.
What is this that you’ve opened here, come on now, Pat just tell us,
Enough now, stop your teasing, from all this drama spell us.

OK, I’ll tell you what it is because you’d never guess it
I do so love a “guessing game,” OK, I must confess it.
Yes, I’ll tell you about my gift, it simply is terrific.
A gift that was particular, for “ME”;  it was specific.

You might not know my eyebrows are a problem ‘cuz they’re thinning,
So trying to construct each one I start from the beginning,
First shaping, tracing, filling in, with hairline strokes to finish.
The time to do this, it’s a lot, try 15, 20 minutes.

And so my gift gives back my time, it’s EYEBROWS that are permanent,
Done by an artist who is skilled, I’m thrilled in the affirmative!
Her work speaks for itself, can’t wait to be a client
I’m anxious to lie still and be just quietly compliant.





            

Saturday, October 7, 2017

TURNING BACK THE CLOCK

Some time ago when I was going through my weed-out, throw-out, organize phase I came across some old videotapes of shows and performances I did as far back as 27-29 years ago. Videotapes being obsolete, I asked my brother-in-law, Jim, to record them all on a thumb drive when he found the time.  Today he brought those he had finished and my husband and I had a ball watching a portion of them.  What a Hoot!

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed seeing the younger me doing all the things I did then, singing like I can't any longer, wearing the "fabulous" polyester everything, sequin bejeweled, shoulder-padded performing outfits and having an absolutely fantastic time doing it. It would have been so easy to become depressed over how I looked and sounded then as compared to now, but rather I thoroughly loved the experience and I realized that it was a gift to be able to relive those years.

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE
By Patty Lynn


You see an object, have a thought, it sparks a memory.
You ponder it and then it leaves but for a moment see…
Just how the past has shaped the now, the person you’ve become,
Sometimes it lingers, and sometimes not, but often leaves you crumbs…

Of how you were and how you looked, for nothing stays the same.
And whether lasting or abrupt, a trip down memory lane.
That’s what I’d call the trip I took today as I could see…
Some people, places, things I did that shaped & molded me.

Let me explain just how I took this trip not many can.
I watched recordings of myself made over quite a span.
These were performance videos of me in different settings,
From church shows to the theatre, loved how the years were shedding.

Amazing how your body changes in twenty-seven years,
The waist expands, the wrinkles come, the worst of aging fears.
But that’s exactly what I found when watching on the screen…
A ME from all those years ago, what’s happened in-between...

T’was obvious but matters not, in truth an education.
You see how much you’ve changed and yet there’s no point in fixation.
Time marches on and we can’t change the changes that will come,

But living in that skin again, I’ve got to say was fun.



Monday, October 2, 2017

TAKING A LOT MORE TIME THAN I THOUGHT

Today I made the second investment in this project that, as the title suggests, is taking more time than I thought it would.  Over the past 6 years, I've been the story lady or more specifically Grandma Goodstory for the 3 & 4-year-olds at Sunday School at the church.  But I did decide that last year was my last year and now I'm putting together all the written stories, props, object lesson materials, puppets and their costumes, etc. so that those who fulfill the duties of telling the stories would have some materials to refer to in the process of preparing the Bible Story Lessons.  In addition, over the 6 year period, I did 120 poster size illustrations for the class and had them laminated so they would last.  That's all well and good but now I have to number them with a corresponding key so that someone can find what they might need.  What a job, daunting, to say the least!  So I'm hoping that in a few more Sundays I may have them arranged in such a way that someone could find what story cards go with what story, have them numbered and keyed, and they can be a good teaching tool.  Wish me luck, or should I say, pray for me.


 AHH…SUNDAY!
By Patty Lynn

Now wasn’t it supposed to be that Sunday was for rest
Assuming that you gave & gave to work, your very best?
It didn’t matter if you had a job outside the home,
Or if you were retired, or married, widowed or alone…

You had a list of things you did at home or at the office,
Or if you were called “self-employed” or answered to some bosses.
The point is you’re a doer, you accept, there’s nothing to it.
While others need directions and a roadmap, you just do it.

So every week you’ve got a lot of things you must complete.
There really is no let-up, you accomplish and it’s sweet!
But then here comes the weekend and for many that means fun,
A movie or a game of pool, “Hey, drinks for everyone!”

At least that’s how we hope it goes when we put in our time.
The week is jam-packed, full of tasks, indeed, an uphill climb.
But Saturday’s reserved for home, some catch-up things to do,
And then the “Day of Rest” is here, it’s Sunday, just for you.

But when you take on way too much, agree to give away...
Your time and talent to design an ease-of-handling way,
Then you can bet your Sunday’s shot and many more besides…
‘Cause it takes time to make it right, you just can’t let it slide.

But when you’re done, although you’re spent, you reap a great reward.
That’s when you say that it was worth the effort that you poured...
Into the time it took to make a system they can use,
For when you give yourself, your time, you get more than you lose.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

THE VISIT

As my previous post indicated, my sister-in-law was coming to spend a week with us last Monday through Friday and I was baking and cooking ahead to prepare. Well, unfortunately, she was suffering with ? for the entire time she was here, something similar to the same whatever she had dealt with two times before.  I felt so helpless not knowing what I could do to make her more comfortable and hopeful that each morning she'd awaken and tell us she felt better than the day before. But it never happened. So she went home Friday and should have an appointment set to see a ENT specialist.  Please keep her in your prayers that she gets some answers and finally some relief.


THE TRIP
By Patty Lynn

I baked and baked and baked some more to offer tasty treats,
T’was in anticipation of Frank’s sister oh, so, sweet.
But much to our deep sorrow she was really awfully sick.
We wished that she felt better and yet she made the trip…

A six hour drive, that took its toll, so arduous, demanding
That her arrival at its best, I’d call it a crash landing.
The coughing she endured each day and, yes, throughout the night,
Prevented her from getting sleep, though valiant was her fight…

Against the constant tickle, I mean it wouldn’t stop.
No matter what she took or did, was plagued with that ‘ol cough!
Her regular physician has urged her to procure
A specialist, an ENT, in hopes that he can cure...

This troublesome and what has been a serial affliction…
That she has dealt with now three times, that’s ready for eviction!
To say the least, this “thing” it is a horrible infection.
I only hope this doctor’s smart and has a clear direction!

She left this morning, headed home, another six hour trip.
We’ll miss her but we hope that she can see this Doc real quick…
And finally end her suffering for once and, yes, for all.
We both look forward to the day when we receive her call...

To tell us that she’s feeling good, her suffering has past,
That “bug” is gone, yes, gone for good, and she is cured at last.
Now maybe we can’t really think this bug is gone for good,
But if this Doc is on the ball he’ll do just what he should.

An then she’ll be among the throng who normally get sick.
A head cold here, a flu bug there, so which one would you pick?
For no one likes the thought of any ailing, that’s for sure.
But after this a simple cold is nothing to endure!


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

GOSH, THE HOUSE SMELLS GOOD!

Tonight's blog was an easy one as for the past few days I've been baking a whole series of first-time recipes and having a great time.  Some of them have come from email cookbooks and some, I've got to say, from good ol' Facebook. Regardless of whence they came, they sounded good and have proven to be just that and that... was the inspiration for this blog.

BAKING UP A STORM
By Patty Lynn

I don’t know what’s got into me, I’m baking up a storm,
I’ve come across these recipes, I’m dying to perform.
With flour, sugar, eggs and oh, the chemistry’s compelling.
The more I bake, I just can’t take the lusciousness I’m smelling!

This time of year I’m prompted by the apples and the pumpkin,
The cinnamon and cloves combine, the taste is really sumpthin’.
From applesauce to Apple pie, dessert breads by the score,
Bread pudding, crisps, that just can’t miss, such sweet things they’ll adore.

Zucchini is a real surprise, an addition that’s incredible.
You can make it like spaghetti or instead of bread, quite edible.
And oh, how that reduces carbs and calories too boot!
I tried it for some bread sticks, a fantastic substitute!

And yesterday I made a bread with sweet potatoes mashed
That got some rave reviews and oohs and ahs, quite unabashed.
Next I’ll make this recipe for healthy breakfast “muffins.”
They’re small & made in cupcake tins, if good, there’s no discussion.

They’re filled with turkey sausage and an egg, so each has protein.
If we can keep our figures & stay healthy, I say, “Go team!”
But soon I’ll have a house guest who I know loves CC cookies
I’m sure that you have figured out that’s chocolate chipper goodies.

So I will absolutely make a batch to feed the craving,
And if the baking that I’ve done succeeds, there’ll be some raving.
But bottom line I’ve had a ball just trying out these recipes
And hopefully I’ll find that some will grow to be my specialties.





Monday, August 28, 2017

OUR LAST DOG

I don't like to think about it often but the truth is Cooper is the last family pet we'll have.  Reality says that all the training, daily walking, cost of vet bills and food...all these have lead us to the inevitable decision that our sweet Cooper will be our last dog.
He's getting up there just like we are.  He'll be 12 in November and it's obvious that he too is slowing down.  His muzzle is completely white and we've noticed that the hair on his head is going the same way.  As much as we'll miss having him around, that welcoming excitement when we arrive home and the tail wag that goes with it, we know that having another dog with the above-mentioned responsibilities, would be foolish.  We won't miss the incessant barking at anything or any one that walks past our house but, I suppose when it's gone, we might even miss that.  So tonight's blog is dedicated to our sweet little:

COOPER BOY
By Patty Lynn

I saw a photo yesterday of such a darling pup.
The feelings that came over me, such thoughts they conjured up…
Of that day many years ago when we first laid our eyes…
On our sweet puppy, rescued one, who much to our surprise…

Was just exactly right for us on that auspicious day,
Just 8 weeks old, adorable, such problems on the way.
We didn’t know what lie ahead, the vet was baffled, too,
But once he diagnosed it, we knew just what to do.

We’d never heard of MANGE before, but serious was his lot.
We did what needed to be done and simple, it was not.
With drugs and special baths he spent so many, many weeks.
But in the end, we conquered it, his cure at last complete.

And as he's grown and changed, he’s made an imprint on our lives,
A boy who loves to please, to EAT…and not just to survive.
His appetite, insatiable, if we fed constantly,
He’d eat it all and still want more, he’d eat incessantly!

So now we closely monitor this boy who loves to eat.
He still begs for his special treats and takes them gently, sweet,
But as his age is showing now, he started to gain weight,
So what we give is measured, he can’t eat how much he ate.

It’s true our Cooper’s getting old, November, one year more.
Though he’ll be twelve, in human years he’s really eighty-four.
He’s moving slower than he was but still loves chasing rabbits.
He takes off fast and catches some but limping back’s his habit.

We realize the day will come he’ll be no longer with us
And we’ll reflect on all he was and how much joy he gave us.
But I, for one, hope it’s not soon, for we must face this truth...
That Cooper’s our last family dog, we cannot capture youth.

By that I mean we know too well, expenses, care & feeding...-
Would be too much to do again, who knows what we’ll be needing.
We know our lives won’t be same without a dog to share it,)
The love they give is precious, unconditional, to cherish.

But though we’ll mourn the loss of him, he’ll always, ever be
That little boy who barked too much who smiled with his teeth.
Our lives are so much richer every hour, every minute…
Because a little dog we called our Cooper Boy was in it!










Wednesday, August 23, 2017

TIME FLIES WHEN YOU WISH IT WON'T

Today I was a bit melancholy, maybe because my two grandsons went to San Francisco for a week with their family and I haven't seen them for a week, I don't know.  I guess I've been wrestling with the fact that they will be starting school shortly and they're going into 5th grade and... it's really hitting me hard that the time has just flown by so quickly.

It seems like yesterday I stood there when they were delivered, watching them take their first breath, being with them Monday through Fridays helping with their care, watching them take their first steps...I could go on and on. But, it's gone by so fast...in a blink.


BLINKING
By Patty Lynn


Time marches on, please make it stop, slow down so I can rest.
This pace is more than I can stand, it’s making me depressed.
Those babies that I loved to hold & rock & feed & sing to,
I ask them where those babies are, that memory’s what I cling to…

But they respond, “Oh, Grandma, please, we are your babies, please.
You know we can’t stop growing up, we know you like to tease.”
It’s true I’m only teasing when I wonder where they went,
But truth be told, I wish I could relive the time I spent…

With both of them, the days, the years that seem so far away,
From being there the moment they were born, that special day,
And all the days I witnessed all those firsts, ‘cause I was there…
To hold and rock and sing and sway and lend a hand, to care.

And now they’re getting ready to be students in fifth grade.
I marvel at how far they’ve come but still I wish they’d stayed…
Those tiny boys who needed me to tie their little shoes,
Just losing that and so much more leaves me to sing the blues.

I know you’re thinking to yourself, “Get over it, why don’t you?
They’re growing up and need you less, those days cannot continue.”
I know they can’t, but it’s just hard accepting that, you know?
It’s bad enough accepting I’ve got less “get up & go!”

I guess it’s good that they were born eleven years ago,
‘Cause if I had to be that Gram, well, really I don't know…
If I could do what I did then and be there every day…
And help my daughter, like I did, I’d have to say, “No, way.”

Yes, getting older, changing, too, not limited to them.
I, too, am getting older, don’t look like I did back then.
Those wrinkles, I have earned them, though wishful is my thinking,
It just seems that those boys grew up when I must have been blinking.


Sunday, August 13, 2017

A CHILDHOOD PERSPECTIVE

Tonight's blog was prompted by massage, you heard right, massage.  My neighbor is dealing with an obscure health issue, called torticollis, that affects everything in her daily life. It came on suddenly and seems to be ganglion of tense nerves that affect the muscles at the base of the neck. This causes her head to drop to the left.  I've been giving her a massage followed by a Celluma treatment (the explanation of which would take too much time to explain here) twice a week and it really has made a difference. After the half hour treatment, I then follow with another massage.

Now, what does all that have to do with tonight's blog?  I guess I'd have to say, everything.  All that massaging had me looking at my hands, such as they are, and remembering:

MY MOTHER’S HANDS
By Patty Lynn

When I was just a little girl I thought my mother’s hands
Were hands that I admired so, in fact, were something grand.
The stand-up veins I loved to trace, so easy to depress…
Left me to hope that someday mine would be like hers, I guess.

And as so happens, time brought change and mother’s hands changed too,
Continued to show signs of age, her knuckles gnarled, askew.
Through grown-up eyes I realized those hands, they told a tale…
Of all those years of mother’s toil, hard work by hands once frail.

Her hands showed some arthritis, though, not rheumatoid, at least.
Her knuckles and her finger joints with swelling had increased...
In what might be described as a deformity of sorts.
Mom’s working woman’s hands, they showed that evidence, of course.

The admiration that I felt when I was but a child
Was now replaced with deepened awe for I had reconciled...
The reason for those gnarled hands was what she daily showed...
In every task she chose to do, her love on us bestowed.

Though gone from us she leaves behind her love, her legacy.
My childhood admiration of her hands has clarity.
For love is shown in many ways, in words and deeds alike,
And when we leave this world behind, the love we’ve shown abides.





Friday, August 4, 2017

YOU'RE NOT GETTING OLDER - YOU'RE GETTING BETTER!

This blog was actually something that's been on my mind for some time.  Believe me, I'm not complaining about getting older and the subject of retirement.  I merely wish that I had been given a reality check when I first embarked on the then upcoming foray into the sixties, aging in retirement and well, lots of things.  This particular blog I hope will make you think, laugh and think again.  It's just that when you see those ads for senior living, golf courses, condos, cruises, etc. I think we get the wrong impression of how things will be.  So humor me.  It's the way it is for some of us. I hope yours is different.

THE LIE
By Patty Lynn

You know, like many other folks, I couldn’t wait to be...
Retired, that held such allure, I bet you’re just like me.
Just think of it, it sounded great to stop the work-a-day,
The life of going to your job, the 9 to 5-ing way.

You wouldn’t punch a time clock and no rushing out the door,
No skipping breakfast, rushing kids & mishaps on the floor.
And just imagine you’ll be on “vacation” every day.
Your time is yours to pick & choose, to spend your time your way.

The thought of your retirement is such a glorious one.
You spent your work life earning this and when that time is done,
Retirement life, it comes at last, euphoria takes over.
The time you’ve longed for, here it is, you think that “you’re in clover!”

And then that day comes, you’re retired, it’s finally arrived.
The years of working crazy hours, it’s this, for which you strived.
Days of leisure, sleeping in, schedules open-ended,
And time, you’ve waited, oh, so long, each moment seems extended.

It’s grand, it’s great, it’s glorious, this time of life, the sixties.
You’re free at last and life is good, you’re feeling…almost frisky!
But then it hits you, that’s not it, frisky’s wishful thinking.
That bod of yours is slowing down, retirement dreams are...shrinking.

It’s still your time, this time you’ve earned, but here’s what you must face,
The “extra” time you thought you’d have, amounts to but a trace.
And that’s the biggest fallacy, the myth of time’s all wrong.
You still run out of time because your tasks take twice as long!

My motive here is not to take retirement dreams and dash them.
I know the truth from whence I speak, and so I must news-flash them.
And so as you look forward to the years in your retirement,
It’s best to know what lies ahead and face it with empowerment.



Monday, July 31, 2017

THOUGHT IT WAS TIME FOR A BLOG

Starting about a year ago I decided that it was time to weed out and organize, especially my basement where I have boxes upon boxes, some of which I haven't touched since we moved into this house, ten years ago.  Yikes!!! Well, I knew there were things I wanted to keep and things, well, that needed to go. And so, it began.  Going through box after box and deciding what "needed" to be saved and what didn't.  Besides, I didn't want some health event to happen and have to move it all somewhere else and not know exactly what was in the supposed keepsake boxes.  And clothes, don't get me started on the clothes.  I went through them all the boxes and the clothes and the items decent enough to go to charity, let's just say, the charity got a lot!  I took at least 50 good sized boxes and 10 van loads there. So tonight I thought I should dedicate my latest poem to that endeavor.  Here it is:


STUFF
By Patty Lynn

I started getting organized about a year ago
Because we all accumulate, I knew much had to go.
I started with the basement & I realized, at last,
Unnecessary, much of it, just “stuff” that I’d amassed.

So I went through each box I had, each shelf, each rack of clothing
And thus began the task ahead, some fear of it and loathing...
That I had kept what seemed to me important at the time,
But actually just took up space, no reason & no rhyme.

I had my work cut out for me, purge sentimental things?
But how could I, they’re pulling at my heartstrings?
With every card and every picture drawn in childhood scrawl,
The memories came flooding back as I would thus recall…

The times when I, a fledgling Mom, was new at child rearing…
Then I'd snap back and realize I’d best get back to clearing.
As you can tell this wasn’t such an easy job for me.
I was consumed with doing this, now done, I’ve come to see…

If you throw keepsakes in a box, your memories of your past,
And they’re not organized, preserved, they’re never going to last.
Besides it’s smart to pick and choose, you can’t keep everything.
And since mine’s labeled and pared down, I can find anything!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

NEW FRIENDS

     Yesterday I met with a group of gals who love writing as much as I do, and let me say, it was really wonderful.  Each of us brought something different to the table, literally.  We sat at a table in the back of a local restaurant.  Do I need to tell you what happens when a bunch of women get together?  True to form and especially because we had a lot in common, we had no trouble keeping the conversation going.  And what made it even more interesting was the fact that we were different in not only our writing styles, but also in the specific type of writing we enjoyed.
     Some were in the midst of book writing, some were into poetry and we all dabbled in the blogosphere. Since I have had Poetically Speaking since 2008, I was a good resource for how to begin and how to get noticed.  One of the women was busy finishing the second book of a trilogy she's both writing and self-publishing and brought a copy of Book One, entitled LEGS, for us to see. She also shared the expense of self-publishing.  Later, she treated us all to an excerpt from the book.
     As we all shared some of our writing, I read my poem, Penelope Pickle.  You may recall that that was the poem I wanted to turn into a children's book.  All the gals were very encouraging and the reaction was good.
     One of the gals does have a blog which is both personal, almost diary-like but uses her personal story to create a devotion of sorts.  We suggested a domain name for her blog so as to get it into the hands of prospective readers.  Our plans are to meet once-a-month and to have accomplished additional steps in our own writing process to share the next time we meet.
     Tonight's blog post is a poetic look at the day's activities.


WRITER’S CLUB
By Patty Lynn

Today I met a group of gals I never knew before,
Our love of writing joined us all, that love was underscored...
As some of us were poets while other gals loved prose.
No matter how you cut it that cake, we each love to compose.

And so we got acquainted, each sharing things we wrote,
Some wrote of things remembered, and certainly of note,
While others were devotional, profound in observation,
Still others wrote for children just ripe for illustration.

We spoke of agents, blogs and books, self-publishing, what joy,
And why a publisher is best, if we each had our choice.
For some, like me, it spurred us on to keep the process going,

Encouraging each one of us to keep the juices flowing.

For even though some hadn’t met until we met today,
Our love of writing drew us close in a very special way.
Though different in our backgrounds, we found this common ground.
A writer’s club was born today, four gals I’m glad I’ve found.

Friday, July 14, 2017

IDIOM NUMBER ONE

This week I found myself teaching someone the idiom, LIP SERVICE.  Why? The person's first language wasn't English and they had never heard the word before.  Why did it come up?  Well, this person was complaining, complaining that no one follows through or keeps their word.  So I explained that that might be an example of LIP SERVICE.  I'm sure this all is extremely fascinating but whether it is or isn't, it prompted tonight's blog.

LIP-SERVICE
By Patty Lynn

I taught a common idiom to one who’d never heard…
It used in any way at all, they’d never heard the word.
I tried explaining idioms, but I was not successful,
It fact, the more I talked of it, the more they found it stressful.

I took a breath and simplified, I asked if this was known,
The old expression, TALK IS CHEAP, now that was in the zone.
And then I took that moment to stress just what it meant
To merely make the promises but not have the intent…

To follow through, to do the job, to mean just what you say.
So often that’s the way it goes, especially today.
It seems your word is not your bond, the way it used to be,
And though I think it should be so, I seldom ever see…

That someone really is on time, the work’s done partially,
And since this has become the norm, the problem lies with me…
Because, well, I expect too much and this is what I’m told,
“Don’t fuss, relax, it will get done, don’t worry and don’t scold.”

No, I won’t preach, I won’t bemoan that some don’t keep their word,
And merely say they’ll do something and their intent is blurred.
For me a promise is just that, my words have got a purpose,
But whether I agree or not, I’ve just explained LIP SERVICE. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

GUESS YOU CAN CALL ME DEBBIE DOWNER

I've known I was going to write this poem for a long time, but I have to admit, I've put it off as long as I could. Why? I guess I thought if I didn't write it, I didn't have to face the fact that this means so much to me.  But I have to face it, IT DOES! So, as my good friend says, "It is what it is."


IN MOURNING
By Patty Lynn

I’ve figured out the reason, just why I’m feeling glum,
The loss that I am mourning is not a common one.
I mean not everybody feels this deep, abiding loss,
Nor understands just how it feels or even come across…

An innate gift like mine, it’s true, a blessing undeserved,
A blessing like no other one that suddenly occurred.
And I was sure I’d always have this gift of mine forever.
I wasn’t owed, still God bestowed, this gift, my greatest treasure.

You see, I loved, yes, loved to sing, it mattered not the song,
From background music on TV where I would sing along…
To starring roles in musicals or hymns on Sunday morn,
Regardless, singing was “the thing” for which I had been born.

I know too well what has been said, “If it’s not used you lose it,”
I searched the past with heart downcast but found I’d not abused it.
Why then, I said, has this transpired, where is the voice I’ve longed for?
What have I done, why punish me, what is it that I’m wronged for?

No one can grasp the depth of this, my voice was my catharsis;
No matter what went wrong for me, just singing helped, regardless.
It’s true that in my younger days, I’d sing at different venues,
The chances, they were plentiful, these choices on my menu.

But my life changed, as years went by, performing less important.
I had the joy of Grandma-hood, so singing time was shortened,
Replaced with singing nursery rhymes and quiet lullabies,
My audience were baby boys, my payoff coos and sighs

I’m not complaining, no I’m not, I’d do it all again,
I only wish the voice I had was like it was back then.
No volume now, and if I sing I sound more like a man.
An octave lower than it was when all of this began.

And when I hear a singer who, like me, is older, too,
Whose voice maintains the same rich sound they’ve had their whole life through,
I can’t but help to mourn the loss of how my voice once was.
The joy it gave, the loss of which such sorrow it has caused.



Monday, June 12, 2017

PREPARE TO BE IMPRESSED

Tonight's post title seemed the perfect one as it concerns just how impressed I was when I attended my grandson's drum recital on Sunday.  I didn't know what to expect and, to a certain degree, I did expect to see a wide range of students, those who had been studying for a while, those who had a couple of years under their belt and, as with my grandson, those who had taken the drums for about a year.  Now it goes without saying that the drums are not particularly melodious and similarly not relaxing in nature and what began the program didn't disappoint.  In fact, when the first couple of kids began playing their 2-3 selections I had a hard time differentiating when one song started that the next song began.  But I am a supportive Grandma so there I was listening to the drummers one by one until my grandson performed.  So I heard a variety of abilities and as I said my grandson had only been taking lessons this past school year so I didn't expect much.  Until he began having an interest in the drums, I didn't realize how complicated it could be.  It's not just keeping a beat with a symbol now and then, it can get really intricate and when keeping rhythm in a couple drums at a time and differing rhythms at that, it's quite a feat.  So, without further adieu, here's tonight's poetic offering so I can share this experience with you as well.

THE DRUMMER BOY
By Patty Lynn

Today was something special and, boy, was I impressed,
My grandson's drum recital, I, frankly, never guessed…
That he would knock my socks off in quite the way he did.
He’s only taken lessons less than a year, this kid.

I wasn’t quite expecting that he would play so well.
His songs were complicated and, yet, as I could tell,
They took a lot of practice, and dedication, too.
His teacher is a good one & knows just what to do…

To motivate his students, to make them learn the ropes.
That’s why my grandson studies, ‘cause He has such high hopes…
Of being in a rock band and getting really good.
It’s obvious he loves them, and plays them as he should…

To be the kind of drummer that lends a steady beat,
Enhancing mood and message, to make the song complete.
He has an innate talent to sense just what to do.
I know he understands the fact the beat provides the glue...

That binds the song together and makes you tap your feet.
He holds the key to rhythm, the listener feels the beat,
That is, if there’s a drummer who really knows his stuff,
Whose playing is engaging and never is too much.

And though I wax poetic because that boy is mine,
Just try to understand that his playing, it was fine!
My grandsons just a ten-year-old, a ten-year-old, that’s all.
It might seem that I’m biased, but I say, “Not at all!”

He’s only taken lessons less than a single year!
That’s why I was so blown away, to me it was so clear…
That he’s got something special, a talent, that’s for sure.
My hope is with that talent, his interest will endure.

Monday, June 5, 2017

I'VE FINALLY DONE IT!

Recently I've been lamenting that I haven't written any new poetry lately and have had nothing that even inspired me to write.  When I looked at my blog list prior to this entry, I was shocked.  I haven't written a blog post since March!!  Talk about your writer's block.

So, after the day I had Sunday and the mishaps that ensued, something finally prompted me to write.
Perhaps, you will find something in this post that will be similar to something that's happened to you or perhaps it's just a funny accounting of something that's happened to me.  Either way, my hope is that you will laugh a little, think a little or just read it and find value in it.  Poetry is like that.  Here it is.

WEEDS, BEWARE!
By Patty Lynn

It’s hard for me to realize, accept the fact, the truth,
That I have limitations and I’m not as in youth.
You may think that it’s obvious, am I the last to know?
T’would seem I am ‘cause aging tends to wield a heavy blow.

In fact, I’d say it’s just like that, you don’t see it’s a challenge
And then one day you’re gardening and “poof” you lose your balance.
You’re standing upright and you reach a bit to pull a weed
Then there you are you’re toppling spread-eagle, yes, indeed!

That’s how it was just yesterday, so glad to tend the garden
I reached to grab that darn ol’ weed, I mean I barely started
And there I was, leaves in my hair, mud on my jeans & shirt
I guess I’m glad that if I fell, at least it was soft dirt.

So there I was disheartened, sure, I checked for injuries
Then had to face the task at hand, to get up gingerly
Now to the young a simple task but to us older folks
To us it’s monumental this, and even fear evokes.

Why fear you ask, well, I’ll tell you, this motions far from simple
I have no kneecaps so you see, now that’s a brand new wrinkle
You’ve got to sit, then to your knees, then push-off to a stand
Then right yourself, keep balancing, at least, that’s what I planned.

But, as they say, things often don’t end up the way we hoped
Although I gave it all I had, my “standing” was revoked.
That’s right, I fell back down again, took out part of the hosta.
I wanted to sit there and cry, you know, it really stops ya’.

I took a moment, analyzed, thought out where I went wrong
Proceeded, then, with new found strength and then, before too long…
I made it up, I stood my ground, and, yes, the worse for wear.
My spirits broken just a bit but, “Weeds, you best beware!”

Friday, March 10, 2017

IT'S BEEN AN EDUCATION

     For those of you who know me, you're aware that my husband had a complicated and involved laminectomy and fusion of his lower back on January 9th of this new year.  You also know that I haven't posted to this blog in almost a month.  That's been due to the change in our household, that is, my new role as "chief cook and bottle washer."  But, of course, that's a light-hearted way of describing my new and exclusive role as caregiver and cleaning lady and shopper and chef...and the list goes on.  But, as they say, pay back's a b----.  By that I mean, I've had my share and then some of surgeries in our 15 years of marriage and, to say the least, it was my turn.  I confided in many of you my concern with being able to do what I knew I would be the case, and the situation was as I expected.
     He's making progress daily and has begun "helping" with anything that he's able to do but we're a long way from normal.  He is determined, motivated and dedicated to everything that his doctor and physical therapist has laid out and if anyone's going to have a favorable outcome, my husband's the one.  I'm very proud of him and all he's done and continues to do to aid in his healing.  With God's help, I'm convinced he will finally get the result he's hoped for.
     I guess this is my way of explaining why my posts have been few and far between but tonight's an exception.  I felt I had to write a poem about the past two months (it was 2 months yesterday) and give a poetic accounting of it all.

THE REALIZATION
By Patty Lynn

I knew he did a lot to help, a lot to keep things running,
A husband who is rare, indeed, his contributions stunning.
For I was blessed, I knew I was, and never took for granted
The rarity I had at home, some couldn’t understand it.

My husband there along with me, we kept the household going,
But he did things apart from me, without my even knowing.
The garbage magically was gone, a new bag in its place.
Recyclables were emptied, too, it’s like they were erased.

From vacuuming to clean-up, the deal we figured out…
Was I would cook, but clean-up was what he was all about.
And that’s the way we handled things, each one would do his part;
Yes, each of us performed our tasks, each doing it with heart.

And then his surgery took place in early January.
I thought that I prepared myself but truth be told was wary…
Of how it all would be for me, if I could just plain do it,
The things I do and all of his, I couldn’t just refuse it.

And so the morning after he had had the operation,
The things I could, I did ahead, again had admiration…
For all the things he used to do but now they fell to me.
With every task the truth was clear, I certainly could see…

That I depended on his help in everything each day.
I prayed that I could take it on, that God would find a way…
To give me strength to do the job, to maximize my part,
To care for him and do what needed doing from the start.

Now two months past, he’s healing well, and trying to contribute.
Improvement, though it’s slow, he’d say, his progress has continued…
To show he’s better every day, his confidence is showing.
There’s something to be said for that, and how he feels in knowing…

That this was what he had to do, so many things were tried.
They worked but only for a while, the long-term was denied.
Unless a change in structure and relief of nerves so pinched,
The final judgement’s yet to be, but he was so convinced…

That this was it, the only way, so now what’s left is this:
Determination, exercise, and a man who never quits! 
Each day I see that he will do whatever is required. 
That's why it is that I believe he'll get what he desires.                                                   


Saturday, February 18, 2017

AL JARREAU'S PASSING

TWO PEOPLE IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME

This past week saw the unfortunate passing of Jazz great, Al Jarreau, just a few days after he had announced his retirement.   Situations like these are always sad, particularly when we associate anyone’s foray into retirement as a long awaited time of relaxation and freedom. 

There certainly have been a lot celebrities that have died lately some have hit us harder than others, usually because we associated them with a memory they had a part in, a movie, song, even a phrase that stuck with us, etc.  But when Al Jarreau death was made public recently, it hit me harder than just another celebrity’s death.

This event brought back memories of my seventeenth year when as I had just graduated from high school and told myself that what I really wanted to do with my life was to try my hand at becoming a professional singer. I knew my chances were slim but I told myself that if I never tried, I would always regret it. So, knowing that the first step was getting a demo made, I looked through the telephone book (some of you know what that is) to find a recording studio, find out the costs and someone willing to help me make it.

Now, I’m sure I made a number of calls that day but that part’s a bit hazy. What I do remember is making a call to the Dave Kennedy Recording Studio and actually speaking to Dave himself.  I explained my situation to him and found him to be open and willing to make my request a reality.  I did tell him that I didn’t want to waste his time or my money if I didn’t have “what it takes.” Dave understood where I was coming from and offered a way for him to give me an objective opinion of my talent prior to jumping in head first to the time and expense to make a demo.

Much to my surprise, he told me that his group had a gig that evening at the Y and said if I wanted to sing a couple of numbers with the band, he’d give me his honest opinion as to whether the expense of making a demo was worth my while.  I remember being blown away that even though he didn’t know me, he was willing to let me sing with his group but knew it was an important step in determining whether or not to move forward.

You’d think I would have been nervous that night, a man and group I knew nothing about and singing a song or two with them, but I remember not being worried at all.  After they were done with their set, Dave gave me his stamp of approval and laid out how he could bring the cost down for me.  He told me that if I had to hire studio musicians and pay an hourly fee to rent the studio, it would be “big bucks” and given that I was a recent high school graduate, he knew I would have a difficult time footing the bill for such endeavor.

His solution was to use something called “Music minus One,” in essence a record that had a full-orchestra accompaniment minus the voice.  He explained that we could go in the studio and the orchestra accompaniment would be playing in a set of headphones and I could add my voice which he would record.  That was a great idea and one I whole-heartedly went for.  I’d have a full orchestral sound with minimal cost, something that I could readily handle financially.

 A few days later, after hours and hours of practice, I went into the studio and recorded one ballad and two up-tempo numbers.  He also provided me with a list of Recording Companies so that I could start submitting my demos as soon as they were made.  I was beside myself when Dave called a few weeks later to tell me my demos were finished and I made an appointment to come to the studio to pick them up.  We sat down in his office and he explained that demos were not like regular records, they weren’t made to play more than a couple times.  If they were, the quality would suffer as the grooves would widen with each playing.

During our meeting, Dave was called away unexpectedly but he said he’d be right back.
It was maybe 10 to 15 minutes later when he returned obviously upset with what had just transpired and I asked him what had happened.  It was then he said he was kicking himself because he had arranged for a talent agent to come to his studio to hear a young Milwaukee singer who he felt had exceptional talent, someone Dave had told the agent he needed to hear.  The audition with this record company’s talent agent was all set to begin when Dave told the agent, “Wait till you hear him.  He’s another Johnny Mathis!”  That’s when the agent said, “I don’t want to hear anybody who’s like someone else.  I’m looking for someone whose talent is unique!”  The young man wasn’t even given the chance to sing because of what Dave had said.

I‘m not sure if I asked what the young man’s name was or whether Dave volunteered it, but the young man’s name was Al Jarreau.  For many years I would periodically think of him and wonder what became of him, whether or not he pursued a singing career or not or if that time in Dave’s studio was the end of his career.  Then one day in the 80’s I read that a guy named Al Jarreau had recorded the theme song for a new TV show called Moonlighting, starring Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd.  I loved that show and in learning that Al Jarreau did the theme song I felt, in some small way, that I knew him.  Silly, I know, since we had ultimately only been in the same place at the same time but never met.  In the years that followed, his name and records came up occasionally but as he was primarily a jazz personality, I didn’t hear him often.

So that’s my Al Jarreau story.  Still, a death is always sad and his life was cut short.  He was only 76, four years older than I’ll be this year and that always hits me hard because I feel like I’ve got so many years ahead and things I want to do. 

That’s probably what he thought.