Thursday, December 27, 2018


You know, as we get older and older we're fraught with aches and pains almost on a regular basis. It's no picnic but it is what it is and it got me to thinking. You run into somebody you know and what's the first thing they ask after the hello, "How are you?" It's a polite inquiry. Some do really care about you and that little question is sincere, some are just being polite.

My husband and I walk the Fox River Mall every Monday through Friday, starting out at Penneys (in the catalog department) and going to the other end (Sears)and back. Everytime we walk through Penneys if we pass a clerk we're greeted with, you guessed it, "Hi, how are you?"

For the most part people expect you to say, "Fine, how are you?" And there you have it. Nobody wants to hear, "I'm finding this walk really painful and I can't wait to sit down and take a pain pill or when I got up this morning I was so stiff I could hardly put one foot in front of the other." And in asking how they feel, we don't want to know their details either.

My point is that life is too short to spend any time complaining. It doesn't change anything anyway. That old adage, "Grin and bear it" is a good one.
So put a smile on your face and be thankful to be alive. God is so good.
Celebrate that He cares for you. Things could certainly be worse.

by Patty Lynn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So when you're asked, "So how you?"
Though maybe you think, "Crappy!"
Just smile on through, that's what you do,
Say, "I'm just fine and happy!"

THE MELTDOWN - Written November of 2012

The other day when I was spending the afternoon with my grandsons, I experienced, first hand, the dreaded meltdown.  It was relatively unexpected as I had just picked them up from school.  I was sitting on the couch with Ian who was really showing his excitement.  You see, his first pair of tie shoes had arrived in the mail & he could hardly contain himself.  As the most independent of the twins, Ian always wants to master something new. He makes this perfectly clear reiterating his own personal mantra, "I want to do it myself!"  I get a kick out of this as his mom was the same way, never wanting any help either.  So I suppose we can conclude that independence begets independence.

This darling little cuss informed me from the beginning of this episode that he didn't need any help from me and that he knew how to tie his shoes himself.
As he struggled to make the two loops, his method not mine, I offered to take the other shoe and step by step walk him through the process.  I was told in no uncertain terms that my help was NOT needed but as he attempted to put one loop through the wrong little hole, well, you know what ensued.  He pulled and the bow he expected fell apart did he.

After inconsolable crying and flailing about saying that he should just know how to do it, no practicing required and so on and so on and so on, I told him he would have to calm down if he was going to make any progress and to let me know when he was done. I then suggested having a snack and watching a program and forgetting about tying his shoes for now and sure enough, he got into Grandma's applesauce and the storm was successfully quieted.  The following is a poetic attempt at telling Ian's story.

by Patty Lynn

"It takes some time to learn new things."

That's what his Grandma said.

But wanting so to tie his shoes,

Her grandson cried instead.

The boy was inconsolable.

He couldn't catch his breath.

His Grandma couldn't calm him down,

His sadness had such depth.

The instant skill of tying shoes,

He thought he just should know.

To try and fail, no option this,

And practicing, NO GO.

So Grandma said, "Let's have a snack,>

Forget the shoes for now.

I'll sit with you while you calm down.

Then I will teach you how."

Reluctantly, the boy agreed

And in a little while,

He ate his snack and calmed right down,

And then said with a smile,

"I'll watch you, Gram, and do the same.

"I'll watch you, yes, I will.

I understand I have to LEARN

To tie my shoes with skill.

"I'll practice 'til I get it down

And someday soon I'll be

An expert who can tie my shoes.

That Velcro's not for me!


You might recall that last year about this time I told you of our generous neighbor across the street who continues to shovel us out whenever it snows.  Additionally, he was there this summer helping us with our 15 bags of mulch when he thought we could use his help.  And he was so right!
We haven't had a lot of snow yet this season but we know we can depend on our snow to be removed.  That's one worry we can check off our list.  We always remember his family at Christmas and I include a poem as well.  Thi is this year's offering:

By Pat

The two of us feel blessed to live exactly where we do
And doubly blessed we’ve come know a family like yours, too.
Who’s always there to lend a hand whenever one is needed,
Who doesn’t wait for us to ask or come because we’ve pleaded,

Who helps us out, who understands that age, at best, is limiting
And we, as years continue on, find strength, at best, diminishing.
But you’re the kind of neighbors who step in when jobs get tough
Are willing and so able that you’re there when it’s too rough…

For older couples who may try but sometimes don’t succeed
To do the things that must be done, you understand our need.
You see us keeping on our tasks, we do the best we can,
Though sometimes, all our efforts can’t complete what we began.

That’s why we’re blessed because we know God placed your family
With loving hearts right where He did, you help so willingly.
It means the world to us to know that we can count on you
To help us out when needs arise, we know that you’ll come through.

And so we send these words your way, composed for you alone.
Our true appreciation this, our THANK YOU in a poem.
We pray the year ahead will bring your family happiness
And may you always know that we with you are ever blessed.


Tonight's blog concerns itself with my two beloved grandchildren, Gavin and Ian.  Because they are so special, I decided to get them something special, something personal to them and me.  I got each a chain bearing something that spoke to each one and said something different but would be something that each could look at a be reminded about the moment that I gave this gift to them. 
Gavin's was I the shape of a shield and the words on the back spoke about being brave and confident because God is always there to spur us on to accomplish great things.  Ian's was a soccer ball and around it were the words  "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me".  They seemed truly happy with their gifts and in addition, I wrote each one a poem:

My Sweet Ian

You may think this is kinda weird, “Why’s Grandma writing this?”
Well, Ian, this is just for you, my special boy, this Christmas.
I wanted you to know my heart, just how much love I have…
Within my heart, since you were born, for that’s when it began.

But you are growing up now and my love’s growing too,
So I just want to tell you how my love has changed for you.
A pre-teen or young adult is what they call you now,
That darling baby, active boy, replaced by YOU, somehow.

But I accept you’re growing up, though I sure miss my baby,
That tiny one is gone for good, no ifs, no ands, not maybe.
Yes, I can tell you more about the love I have and why,
You’re such a special, “young adult” these traits to you apply:

I’m proud of how you dig right in, stick with it till it’s mastered,
You don’t give up, you work real hard, until your question’s answered.
Most people think that you’re the guy whose only “thing” is soccer,
But I know you have other things you stay with till they’re conquered.

I see your talent growing, too, as you approach piano.
That instrument will serve you well, your interest’s deep, not shallow.
I love the love you have for it, the way you try new things
And as you do you’ll feel the joy that music really brings.

This little poem from me to you is meant to let you know
That you’re my special, unique boy, my love forever grows.
Remember that your Jesus, too, is watching from above
And seeing how you learn and grow and giving you His Love.

This gift to you, it honors, sure, your soccer in the center
But read the words around the ball remembering when you enter…
A game or something new that comes or something new you’re trying,
God’s strength will help you to succeed if with Him you’re relying.

My Dearest Gavin

This Christmas is the perfect time to tell you how I feel,
Although you’re thinking, “Sure, I know, her love for me is real,
Real big, real true, it never stops, she tells me all the time.”
That’s true I do but can’t compare to God’s love that’s divine!

But this time you’re a young adult or pre-teen, some would say,
So my love’s for the boy you were, a boy that’s on his way
To be the man you will become, a special man, I know,
My love will be a lot like you, for it will grow and grow.

I love you for so many things that make you so unique,
The way your special mind works, your creativity,
The way you soak up all you read on subjects that appeal,
I love to hear you tell me all the special things you feel.

I love the way you play your drums, your talent is amazing!
I’m well aware you have a gift, I hear it when you’re playing.
And you’ll stick with it, doing well, for many years to come.
The more you do your talent will be felt by everyone.

And so I wanted to create this poem to tell you some
Of all the things about you, dear…you’re unlike anyone!
Please read the words on the enclosed, words picked for you from me,
And if you need reminding, please read them and you’ll see…

That God and I believe in you, will love you for forever,
And since we do, you’ll always know to us you are a treasure.
There’s no one who is quite like you and always please remember
That this is why I wrote these words this Christmas, this December.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Two Christmas Poems for the Price of One

This year for Christmas I decided to do Christmas cards.  I haven't done cards for a long time as until last year I'd send out a letter and a poem for the occasion.  Last year I started sending ecards to those whose emails I had but they have gotten mixed reviews.  I do like sending ecards for birthdays and anniversaries as the cost of the "store bought" variety is getting insanely expensive.  Seems such a waste since the reality is that the recipient opens it, reads it, says, "Awww" and discards it. Such a waste.
Well, this year I received so many "free" cards from organizations I've contributed to one or twice and had a stockpile of at least 75.  So I wrote a poem and enclosed it in the cards and sent them on to friends and family.  Tonight's first offering is the poem that I enclosed in my sent cards and the other I wrote today and wished this was the poem I had sent with my cards.  Hope you like them and

By Patty Lynn

The candles are glowing and outside it's snowing.
It looks like an old Christmas card!
The scenes taking shape, what more would it take,
Perhaps, a few deer in the yard?

The church in the distance adds its touch of Christmas
With a steeple that's lit by the moon.
As this scene comes together it's hard to remember
The dog days, those hot days of June.

The kids squeal with glee as you light up the tree
And they eye all the presents and bows.
Will their wishes be granted, would the toys that they wanted...
Be in there or will there be…CLOTHES!

All this is so typical and just so predictable
But something is missing from this.
Have you retold the story of the Babe who brought Glory
Or have you’ve been sadly remiss?

How long since you told that story of old,
Giving children and loved ones the key?
For it's His birth, you see, that saved you and me.
He loves unconditionally!!

So as you prepare for the customs you share,
Remember the “real" reason why
We celebrate Christmas, God's love & forgiveness
Came down with that Babe to supply.

By Patty Lynn

Thanksgiving now is over, I mean the eating part;
I hope we'll still be grateful, all year & from the heart.
But does it all continue, throughout the year, I mean?
Do we look into our loved one's eyes or look down at our screen?

Technology's a marvel, the things we now can do,
But if the cost for humankind is ignoring me & you,
Is the whole thing really worth it, if we sacrifice each other?
Is looking down and “far away" really worth the loss, I wonder?

But this was not the reason for my poem tonight, not this,
No, rather I was going to say, it's Christmas time, resist...
The spending, if it's way too much, the eating overdone,
But rather let's enjoy it all, with loved ones, everyone

And most of all remember that Christ came at Christmas time,
Was lowly born to save the world for Heaven all sublime.
He didn't have a fanfare to announce His regal birth,
This baby had an angel choir to proclaim it to the earth.

I wish that I had heard their song, the choir that filled the sky,
And if I saw His precious face, I know that I would cry
Because each baby that I see elicits tears from me,
But seeing Him, the Bethlehem Babe, a torrent you might see.

I know a gift as that would be a gift for all the ages,
But keep in mind that awesome gift is one that still amazes,
For every Christmas that you spend with family & friends
It celebrates the Baby’s birth, the gift that never ends.

The Savior of the world was born that we might live forever,
Not on the earth but evermore with Him, our greatest treasure.
And all He asks is merely this, believe His promise true,
He came, He died, and rose again, all this for love of you!