Monday, November 29, 2010

Who would have thought? Not me!

 when i turned 50
my husband surprised me
with a trip to ireland

we would celebrate
turning 50 together
in the land
from which his ancestors came

the land of my favorite authors and novels
i chose ardmore
for the first bed and  breakfast
after leaving dublin

i was told  of a trilogy by nora roberts
based on a real family from ardmore

though she's not a favorite
i read the tirlogy before arriving

had to see the pub
 celtic shrines
in the novels

hubby patiently hiked with me
taking pictures

we were on an adventure

but we had begun one at home
as well

i had been hired by a rural school district
near our home town

i would 'batch' it a year
to see if i really did
want to go
back home

then he would move up

3 sick parents
our first grandchild
sealed the deal

but our lives took a different turn

we lost his parents within 14 months
of me being hired

he ended up staying in cincinnati
to earn his pension
and more money

it's been a long 7 years
i've known a loneliness
like i've not experienced
since elementary days

our situation was unique
no one understood it
some even hinted at possible divorce
that was never a consideration

the teacher friends i made at school
were my age
but single all their lives
we could be friends to a point

add to that fibromyalgia
stenosis of the spine

the sum is a woman
who has to catch up
on weekends
what teaching takes out
during the week

while spending time
an every other weekend husband

(who finally lives in our hometown
with me)

in the midst of these 7 years
i had 3 close friends lose their husbands
in their 50s

what if that happened to me
can you imagine the guilt trip?

but the decision was taken out of our hands
when his company
began a phase out of his department

i had to stay here
for health insurance reasons

so where am i going with this?


i desperately needed it

i marveled at the new friends
my daughter made blogging
about her pregnancy
the support she received
awed me

God kept nudging me
to create a blog

i scooted away
He followed and nudged some more

eventually i stopped scooting
and began writing

the world that has opened up to me

sisters in Christ
who fight depression
who deal with chronic illness
or a physical handicap
who have had their worlds turned
upside down
yet have kept and continue to keep
 their faith

thanks to susie
i picked up my camera
found a creative release
that blended well
with writing
while her character strength
has upheld me

nancy makes me laugh
i marvel at her playfulness with words
i never know what to expect
love not knowing

sweet leslie shares the chronic illness walk
with me
we find solace in each other's
her gentle spirit, gift of words,
and experimentation with the camera
uplift me

there is caryjo
who emailed me through
a tough spring
last year
and understands
second time round
can bring
the love of your life

linda who supports me in prayer

we are grandmothers
dealing with life
we relate

then there is retired teacher betsy
who takes me traveling with her
almost daily
her posts restore my mind, heart, and soul
she too is a grandmother
she understands change
her comments continually cheer me

there's the younger emily of imperfect thursdays
who has introduced me
to a free-spirited style
that has shaken this english teacher's
in a good way

bridget whose carnival
challenges me

these are the main ones
though there are others who have commented support
whose blogs i enjoy
whose thoughts
have caused me to think and rethink
whose photos
inspire me
to become better
with a camera

whose words
insprire me
to  stretch my writing horizons
my world is broader, deeper, richer


who would have thought it would come
from the internet?
not me!

yet i'm exceedingly grateful
it did

 different views of a shrine at ardmore

a country road in ireland---
yet another path
i never thought i'd take
but have meandered over
after all

A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another;
as I have loved you,
that ye also love one another.
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples,
if ye have love one to another.
John 13:34, 35

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart,
 and of a good conscience,
and of faith unfeigned.
I Timothy 1:5

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Floral Simplicity and the Monday Prayer

One thing I miss about the city is a grocery store:
 open until at least midnight;
one that has a health food section
stocked well enough
that a visit to Whole Foods isn't necessary,
except once in a long while;
 a freezer section where you could get a headache
making a decision
instead of getting a headache figuring out an alternative;
a produce section that guarantees a good salad
even in November.

Actually there is one like that twenty minutes away on interstate
in a county seat town.
But that turns into a forty minute round trip and on a school night that's a lot.

In the city I'd drive right past several big grocery stores
on my way home from school, but not here.

I see lots of cows, sheep, horses, bales of hay,
but grocery stores? Nah!
However, there is so much more I don't miss about the city,
like not driving past cows, sheep, horses, and bales of hay.

The main reason I miss a big Kroger's or Meyer's or even Walmart
is the readily available bunches of fresh cut flowers
in different sizes and prices.
I would regularly plunk a cellophane wrapped bundle
in my grocery cart.
Once home, I'd arrange a pretty mix in a glass vase for the center of the table
and stick several here and there in my collection of posy vases.

Wa Lah! Floral Simplicity.

The twenty minute away Kroger store supplied me with two bunches of fall flowers
to decorate for Thanksgiving.

Here are pictures of the main vase for the center of the Thanksgiving table.
The photos of the posy vases  I filled will wait for another time.

Instead, I'll show some close ups I did for fun.
I have a limited photo program on my computer and a limited camera, so I can't play as much as I'd like.

But I still have fun.

Now it's time for the Monday prayer.
I've got laundry in the washer and the dryer
and papers to grade before I go to bed.

This prayer goes out to a very special friend.

"When I Need Help in Tough Times"


I cry out to You today and ask You to give me relief from the difficult things
I am facing.
Bring them to a good conclusion as only You can do.
I know You understand all that I am going through,
and You see all I do and what I am up against (Psalm 139:2-3).
You even know my thoughts about my circumstances right now.
Help me to navigate these rough waters so that I can not only survive,
but come through victoriously.


In the day when I cried out, You answered me,
and made me bold with strength in my soul.
Psalm 138:3

From Prayers for Emotional Wholeness: 365 Prayers for Living in Freedom
by Stormie Omartian

Hope you have a blessed week.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Good Tiredness and End of Week Psalm

 i got the seat of honor
next to my youngest grandchild
in the backseat
of my mountaineer

son-in-law drove
daughter rode shot-gun
grandma had precious minutes
with the little man
then distinctly identifying
certain animals
the sounds they make
his nose, eyes, and so on

grandma and grandson giggled
and basked in each other's company

then it was time for daddy
to strap little man
in his stroller

we had arrived at the airport

the time for goodbyes had come

grandma got in the driver's seat
and drove away

they boarded a plane
and flew back to texas

i braved the afternoon crowds at several stores
the most important
whole foods
my pain level is screaming
"eat better!"

i arrived home at 10 pm
left that morning (friday)
at 9:15 am

looooong day

it's 5pm
pj's are still my attire
i finished a new 7-day only check-out
library book
watched the ohio state/michigan game
our team won

now i'm at the computer
remembering my weekly psalm post

am tired
but it's an extremely 'good' tired

hope your weekend is turning out well
and that if you're tired
it's a good tired

Psalm 62
To the Chief Musician; according to Jeduthun
[Ethan, the noted musician, founder of an official musical family]
A Psalm of David.

1) For God alone my soul waits in silence; from Him comes my salvation.

2)He only is my Rock and my Salvation, my Defense and my Fortress,
I shall not be greatly moved.

3)How long will you set upon a man that you may slay him, all of you,
like a leaning wall, like a tottering fence?

4)They only consult to cast him down from his height [to dishonor him];
they delight in lies.
They bless with their mouths, but they curse inwardly.
Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

5) My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him;
for my hope and expectation are from Him.

6) He only is my Rock and my Salvation;
He is my Defense and my Fortress,
I shall not be moved.

7) With God rests my salvation an my glory;
He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness,
and my refuge is in God!

8) Trust in, lean on, rely on, and have confidence in Him at all times,
you people; pour out your hearts before Him.]
God is a refuge for us (a fortress and a high tower).

9) Men of low degree are emptiness
and men of high degree are a lie and a delusion.
In the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.

10) Trust not in and rely confidently not on extortion and oppression,
and do not vainly hope in robbery;
if riches increase, set not your heart on them.

11) God has spoken once, twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God.

12) Also to You, O Lord, belong mercy and loving kindness,
 for You render to every man according to his work.

Thursday late afternoon, after being with his sisters and aunt
for his family's Thanksgiving dinner
our eyes are saying
"Nap, please!"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving blessings

this door opened wide
to three from texas

the six from near-by town
snuck in the back way
total came to six adults 
 five children
ages ranging from 20 months to 11 years
with one nesting in mama
not due to appear until February

the house was full
with laughter and some tears

smells of summer baked beans
(a favorite of the daughter who flies up in winter)
succulent ham
huge tossed salad with red onion slices adding a kick
baked idaho and sweet potatoes
rolls and biscuits
and oh the desserts

the house held up and so did i
it wasn't until everyone left
last night
that i regained consciousness
of my knee pain

isn't is great how pain can be
dumped in the back seat
when children and grandchildren come calling?

much am i thankful for:
at the top are my husband, children, children-in-law,
and the God who continually blesses me

hope your holiday was equally blessed

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010


One day at the lake, when I was taking tree and sky pictures,
this indication of a jet appeared.
I tracked it with my camera until it was heading beyond my camera range.
The blue of the sky is flat, which is not what I'd hoped for, but I still like
the streak across the sky.

We cannot live only for ourselves.
A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men;
and along these fibers,
as sympathetic threads,
our actions run as causes,
and they come back as effects.

Herman Melville (1819 - 1891)

From yet another great author:

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.
I John 2:17

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Little Boy and the Beginning of the Week Prayer

This summer I visited my daughter, son-in-law, and grandson
in Dallas, Texas.
We spent an afternoon at my son-in-law's mother and step-dad's.
They had a generously sized sand box built for their first grandchild.
It probably makes the top five in his list of favorite activities.
He loves his trucks too.

She's my first-born. 
When her brother came along, she showed some jealousy.

Then she too fell for the blond-haired, brown-eyed boy
with the ready smile
and the shy disposition.

A little mother was 'born'
and she's a natural.

She has helped raise many children in her 34 years (soon to be 35).
Now after waiting for life to reach a point
when a child would have a stay-at-home mother,
she had this 'little' guy.

He has a ready smile
and the sweetest disposition.

I've written about him before
as I've also done with my other four grandchildren
who live here in Ohio.

This is a favorite picture of him.  He's quite the quiet observer.
Not much passes his notice.
His eyes speak of deep thoughts.

He's a good and healthy eater--mostly vegetarian,
a lover of all sorts of beans.
Bread is a favorite and as good a treat as any cookie.
He has not had any sugar---any desserts.
Why even go there?
So far he knows not what he's missing.

This is precious to me: my daughter enjoying being this guy's mother
with him basking in the loving attention.

This was at Grandma Kim's and Papa John's (the owners of the sandbox).
I am now putting together a box of toys and books that fit his age.
I'm sorting through all those I have accumulated for the other four
along with the ones I kept from my children's play days.

I am  so looking forward to the 'mess'!

Why this post?
They will arrive in Ohio Monday and will be at my home Wednesday night
for a 'ham' Thanksgiving dinner.

Her brother and his family will be here also.
Five munchkins and six adults
in this tiny home.

The noise will be music to my ears
and joy to my soul.

Please pray for their safe journey through the skies.

Now for the Beginning of the Week Prayer:

From one of Stormie Omartian's book of prayers.

Dear Lord,

Give me a heart so full of Your love and peace
that I only speak words that bring life and not death to the people
and situations I am addressing.
Let the words of my mouth always be wise and fair.
May Your laws and commandments be so engraved on my heart
that goodness and righteousness are the fruit of my lips.
I know that I will always be on solid ground with You,
and I will not get off the path You have for me,
if I live Your way.
Help me to carefully guard the words I speak so that they always glorify You.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue,
and those who love it will eat its fruit.
Proverbs 18:21

At some point I hope to update you on the situation with these six boys
who have been causing trouble.
Our principal is working with us,
 but there are some issues that demand sensitivity and patience.

Meanwhile, please continue to pray for me and the rest of the staff
as we rise to the challenge.

Blessings to you all as you begin the new week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Last Bit of Color and End of Week Psalm

                                      These are actually leaves.  The flowers have been long gone.
                                           The leaves change color in the fall and stay this way
                                                     until the cold comes and stays.
I don't remember what the flowers are called.
 They bloom from early until late summer.
 Thank you for all your comments to my last post
and for your support.
Thursday and Friday were better.

I changed the direction of the seats.
Now my desk is in front of the seats
instead of in the back. 

I have a wonderful first period class.
They moved the furniture
and the big screen for the overhead. 

There is only one place the desk can be
because of other factors,
 so everything else
had to change.

Now the boys are in the middle of the back
 near the heat register.
They are not near my air conditioner (I had to buy it and it stays even if I don't).
They are not near the books
or the bulletin board
so they cannot easily vandalize when I'm not looking.

But most importantly
they are not near me.

Because the seats are spread out by width,
there is a buffer of empty seats around them.
This helps the other students ignore them.

They can no longer directly bother me.
They can even talk amongst themselves
and the rest of us can ignore them.

This is bugging them, because they want to bug us,
especially me.

Will it work in the long run?  I don't know.
I just know Thursday and Friday were better days.

On Friday, I gave out Tootsie Pops to everyone
but them.
Everyone else had been reading the story
and working on the worksheet.
'They' had been talking with each other
and generally goofing off.

After realizing they were not being offered any
 one boy immediately read two paragraphs
and insisted that should warrant a sucker.

I didn't argue; didn't engage.
I simply said that those who had been consistently working
throughout the entire period would get a sucker.

Now, "I'm mean."
I can live with mean.
It's the f work flung at me
I can do without.

Here's the end of the week Psalm.

Psalm 61
To the Chief Musician; on stringed instruments.

1) HEAR MY cry, O God; listen to my prayer.
2) From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed and fainting;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I [yes, a rock that is too high for me].
3) For You have been a shelter and a refuge for me; a strong tower against the adversary.
4) I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever;
 let me find refuge and trust in the shelter of Your wings.
Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
5) For You, O God, have heard my vows'
You have given me the heritage of those who fear, revere, and honor Your name. . .
(The next verses relate directly to David as King)
Last verse:
8) So will I sing praise to Your name forever, paying my vows day by day.

May you have a wonderful weekend.

[A footnote: Folks have been wondering about the grade level of these boys.  It's freshmen or 9th grade as we call it in the U.S.  These boys are 15 and 16.]

Most of the leaves are gone now.  Fall has winter holding onto its tail.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

i can't honestly say i loved teaching today

my outlet

how do i describe my day?

level 8 pain today
using a cane to prevent a fall
when my knee jerks

six freshmen boys
who are driving us all nutty

i've tried
every trick in the book

they don't want to learn
not just in my class
but in anyone's

sending them home
would be a reward
for them
and a respite
for us

we're supposed to want to
save them
teach them
keep them from becoming
and future prison inmates

the system wants to tie
our evaluation
to  how well kids are learning

what if they don't want to learn?
you know the saying:
"you can lead a horse to water,
but you can't make him drink"
i think
we could dunk their heads in
they'd drown
rather than drink

yea, i'm seeing the cup half-empty
right now

i had a new boy
"f.--- you, b ---.!"
at me.
i had taken him in the hall
to quietly talk to him
about doing his work
my voice was not raised
i was not angry

it's called concern
but to him
it was nosiness
being a b    .

two women teachers showed up
within seconds
as i walked back
 into my room
to aforementioned boys
laughing it up
i ignored them
sat down to fill out
 the referral--
i'd sent the cusser
to the office

the five boys
 honed in for
 the kill
they never got close
one teacher took two
another took three
one was absent
one stayed

                                                           i can't honestly say
                                                              i loved teaching

these are the roses we dropped in the water  when we spread my parents' ashes

i'm 56
and i want to call my mom
tell her i need tlc
and go eat her meatloaf

i want the bear hug 
"you look pretty"
from my dad

i'm getting my nails done instead
the appointment's been set

the car will try to veer
into dairy queen's parking lot
for comfort ice cream
milk products
add fuel to the fire of pain
i don't need any more

that was my day

"Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

an imperfect day for imperfect prose on thursdays

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Begin the week prayer

On my way to school, I drive over two bridges that span Seneca Lake.
 I love looking across the lake at what's left of a big farm.
 It's now mostly a wonderful old farmhouse complete with picturesque barn.

It's that time again.  Tomorrow is Monday and a new school week.  We have parent /teacher conferences
 on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.

I'm on the committee that feeds our fellow staff at the high school.  As part of the union we have
to be on at least two committees, and I choose this one every year.  It's fun and satisfying. 
 I'm fixing beef stew with a recipe from a cookbook my sister-in-law P. gave me years ago.
 It's still one of my favorite recipes and it's great for a "helping out" meal after an illness, baby, etc.

Someone else is making a soup.  There will be sandwiches and crackers and rolls to go with the soup
and stew.  The the band director's wife makes awesome deserts as does the choir teacher.  The band director is on the committee, but his wife does the baking part. However, he is great at doing dishes and cleaning up.

We eat in the home-ec room around 3:30.   Conferences are from 4 - 7.  It makes for a long day,
but we have fun too.

So here's the prayer for this Monday:

From one of Stormie Omartian's prayer book:  "When I Need to Be Delivered from Fear"


I lay my fears before You and ask You to set me free from them.
Help me to not be led or motivated by fear,
but rather to sense Your presence in my  life setting me free from all fear.
Thank You that You are my God who gives me strength,
and that You hold me up and help me to stand in courage in the face of fearful things.
Thank You, Lord, that You are far greater than anything I fear.


Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 

Literally taken from my car on my way home from school one day.
 This view will be on my left side tomorrow morning.

Blessings to you all for a wonderful week!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Depression, a great novel, and the weekly Psalm

I'm a bit behind on my end of the week, beginning of the weekend Psalm.  I came home after school yesterday, went over and visited with my neighbor.   Then I came here, fed the cats, gave George his insulin shot, put them to bed, and  went to bed myself..  I slept well and woke up early.

 But I ended up finishing an excellent book by Jon Katz called Rose in a Storm.  I had read Izzy & Lenore by him and was deeply touched by it.   Katz in that book addresses the therapeutic help of animals with a human's depression.  He firmly believes that particular help saved him at one point.  

After my dad died,  the fibromyalgia attacked where severe osteo-arthritis had settled in my knees, putting me temporarily in a wheelchair at worst and using a cane at best.   At one point I questioned my usefulness to anyone. 

It was then that Scruffy took over.  She crawled up on me huddled in the recliner, nestled up by my neck and licked my tears.   Then she lay still with one of her paws on my face as the sobs broke through.

 At that point, I surrendered the grief, the illness, the excruciating pain, and the separation: to God.  My husband was in Cinci and unaware that I had reached such a desperate point.  Weather and work had kept us apart and I had managed to keep the worst of my emotions from emerging over the phone. 

God did answer with a friend who warily reached out over the Internet with a complete change in diet,  a massage therapist who understood fibromyalgia, and a course for me to take that would change my style of living.  She was afraid of offending me, but knew that she was supposed to risk it.  I answered immediately with a resounding, "Yes!"    My body and soul  eventually mended with the help of all she offered.

 My husband, alarmed when I revealed to him how low I had gotten, became especially attuned to my tone of voice over the phone, and knew when I needed more from him.   Considering he almost despises talking on the phone, that says a lot! 

But it was Scruffy who sensed the pit I'd fallen into, and she was the one who first figured out a way to reach me.   I have never felt as deeply about an animal as I do her.

That was more than 3 years ago.  I was changed for the good and have a completely different perspective.
I do still struggle with depression--it's a part of my genetic code.  There are some periods when I know I need to just acknowledge I am depressed and allow myself to cry.  I then can work through it and emerge from the pit much more quickly, having only slid slightly into it. 

At those times, if I try to ignore it, I slide a lot further and it's tougher to emerge.  I have always emerged,  but sometimes 'my hands are bleeding from the digging' (figuratively), and that's really not necessary.  Just like grief, depression affects everyone differently, and an important key, to not letting it overcome you, is to figure out what works for you. 

(I did not expect to go in this direction, today.  If this helps someone, I'd appreciate hearing from you or else I'm going to wonder if I'm a little wacky this morning.  I am not depressed at the present time.)

In this latest book, Katz tells the story of a farm in crisis when a winter storm of unimaginable magnitude hits.  He tells it mostly from Rose's perspective. Rose is the dog.  "He consulted with animal behavior scientists to create his unique and convincing vision of the world as seen through the eyes of a dog." (from the book's flap).

 Sam, the farmer, is already reeling from the death of his wife to cancer when the storm hits.  At one point, Rose literally saves his life by digging him out of the snow.  But she saves him in another way also.
I recommend the book to animal lovers.  But be prepared to not want to put it down once the accident occurs.

Now, I must attend to other tasks: the first one being the Psalm for the week.

I have a book titled The Mother's Topical Bible. I have had it for almost 20 years.  It was originally published by Honor Books. It is divided into categories with the first half dealing with children and family situations.  The second half deals with various emotions and needs that we all experience at some time in our life.  I carry it in my big "school and everything else" bag, so it goes everywhere with me.

Today I will write excerpts from the "Your Personal Needs" section.

When You Need Strength:

The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my god, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and high tower.  Psalm 18:2

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
  Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. 
                                    Psalm 27:1,14

Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord.  Psalm 31:24

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou has given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.  Psalm 71:3

My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.    Psalm 138:3

                                            Blessings to you  all for a wonderful weekend.

            And since this blog is partly about Scruffy, I thought I'd end with more pictures of her.

                                Her collar is that weird pink 'thing' peeking through her skin.
     She stayed with me as I sat at the computer relentlessly working against a deadline
     for renewing the certification of my teacher's license this past summer. 
      She was lot more comfortable in this recliner than I was in the desk chair.
                    She can't resist containers especially if they are empty,
                     but she will lay on top of anything that's in them too.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

How to quiet an auditorium of high school students

How do you quiet an auditorium packed with high school students?

you invite veterans who hold their heads as high as their aged bodies allow
they walk proudly down the aisle with the slightly younger ones
every kid immediately stands--no adult had to prompt them
and remain standing for the "the national anthem"
sung by fellow students in the choir
their voices join together for the "pledge of allegiance"

even the 'bad boys' (principal's name for them-with affection)sit respectfully still
as photos flit across a screen
so many words---tributes to those who have fought for this country
the band plays "america the beautiful" and the two drummers tap gently

more pictures flit across the screen
one of the senors spent hours compiling these pictures
another senior put them together
twelve students from government class planned the entire program

 dressed up they stand proudly
talk strongly---and before our eyes are transformed
into the awesome adult citizens they will be

it never fails---a photo of a german prison camp comes on the screen
and the tears begin--memories of my personal POW---my dad ---
flood my mind and overwhelm my heart---how i miss him--
the man who so well fit the title of what is "the greatest generation"---
at least in my mind

i chide myself for not bringing kleenex as i wipe my eyes
the tears were there waiting before that picture showed up
it happens every year
i can't stand present in such a ceremony and not cry
i'm feeling a little foolish
then the phys ed teacher leans over and whispers
 "i can never get through one of these dry-eyed"
she is one tough woman--born and bred here
considers herself a 'redneck' and "proud of it"
she and i disagree on many subjects
yet today we are sisters

the vet is introduced
he has earned his right to talk to us
but he gives no spiel
instead, as a former educator, he gives us a history lesson

a history lesson in a veteran's day assembly?

yes, a lesson about how vets were perceived after each war
he begins with armistice day after WWI,
touches on the last of the great wars ---WWII
the last one in which the entire country was emersed in support
then Korea
how folks acted like the returning vets had been on a sabatical
or a vacation, so uninvolved was the nation with it

he almost loses it when he gets to the vietnam war
and how america became so divisive that vets were scorned
his voice rises in anger as he speaks of the young vet putting his feet
on american soil for the first time in a california airport
"a boy with head shaven and a robe who didn't know squat from life
walked up and spit on this young vet!
 this happened all across our country!
they didn't ask to go there---their country sent them and they obeyed---
to come back and be called baby killers--and some have never cast that name off"
anyone who might have dozed off,  startles awake at this man's angst
my tears slide down once more

then he reaches the subject of our two wars today--in iraq and afghanistan
his voice begins to get an edge again
as he notes the devisiveness in america once again
he talks about the politicians who say "i support the troops, but not the war"
he deliberately lets his grammar slip
"well they ain't got any idea of what it's like
they ain't been there!
once that soldier's boots hit that sand full of scorpions
HE IS THE WAR---there is no separation!"
absolute silence in that auditorium

his voice warms to praise as he speaks of these kids' generation
"they get it"
they have the respect that many adults lack
and that gives hope for those men and women who will return
those who still are serving and are disheartened by any negativity--
he tells the kids he thinks this generation is different
 because of the involvement of the national guard and the multiple deployments
just about every kid sitting before him has or has had a brother, sister, mother, father,
aunt, uncle, or friend serving in these two wars
some didn't or won't return
 many who do, are not the same ones who left
these kids know first hand the price
with that knowledge comes respect

he has hope and respect for this generation

he finishes and returns to the row of veterans---they rise and salute the flag
then they turn and salute the students
as taps are played by two outstanding student musicians

 that's how to quiet an auditorium of high school students

This post is in loving memory of "Big Roy" and all those like him.  He was captured in the Battle of the Bulge and spent 4 months in a German prison camp.  See my dad--a POW and the man who traveled

This scripture was in the display case in the front hallway: "Greater  love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."  John 15:13

This is part of imperfect prose on thursdays

disclaimer: as an english teacher, i can get bogged down with grammer, so i follow an example of a fellow blogger and write with no caps and little punctuation--if i didn't with a post like this, it would never get published

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cat Playground

 The last weekend that we stayed  at the lake, we took the cats. 
George (the black and white male)needs an insulin shot twice a day for his Type 2 Diabetes,
 so we packed up a litter box, loaded them in their carrier and off we went.
That meant we didn't have to get someone to go and give him his shots. 
Well, they apparently thought they'd landed in the cat version of  Disney World!

They gained access by way of the one loft to the top of the cabinets that run the length of the small kitchen and divide the kitchen and living area.  Here they are on the prowl

             The diabetic one who likes to find a comfy spot and sleep. He's drowsy in this picture.

 The actress.  She's 7 and still has kitten in her combined with drama queen.

 She's not to be messed with though, as he has found out more than once.  She holds her own with
her brother.
                                                       The shy one.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Official end of lake season and Monday prayer

Husband winterized the lake place.  If we want to spend a snowy weekend there, it won't be hard to
de-winterize it and then re-winterize it (I don't think those are words, but oh well).

Our golf car and shed..  The cart has been winterized also.  It's very hilly here,  so golf carts and 4-wheelers are used a lot. The grandkids love the golf cart.
  This is looking back at our fire pit and towards the small stream that runs beside part of our lot.
The wooden deer came with the place and we've left them there.
So many wonderful memories here just sitting and talking with family and friends,
   and at times just the two of us.
The grandkids love the bonfire and the oldest grandson is at the age
 where he can help Grandpa Mike. 
One night, the two of them had a "guy's night out" in a tent over in the clearing. 
The little one demand so much attention because of their age
 that we need to be careful
 that the older two don't get ignored. 

This picture says it best.  Summer in southeastern Ohio is over and fall is pondering whether to let winter in or not.

Here's the Monday Prayer.

Help me to discern the lies of the enemy so that
I don't give any credence to thoughts that are not
in alignment with Your truth.
Help me to examine my thoughts
in light of Your Word at all times.
Enable me to purify my thoughts and my heart
so that evil will not find a place in me.
Adjust my attitude to fit life in Your kingdom.
Overflow my heart with Your love, peace, joy, gentleness, kindness, and mercy
until my attitude is a blessing to all people at all times.

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart.
Psalm 26:2

From a Stormie Omartian Prayer Book.

Blessings to you all for a wonderful week!