Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

Sunday, May 22, 2011


Friday was prom night here in our town. There were long lines of boys standing in line at the floral department of the grocery store. Some were already in prom finery, others were still in jeans and tee shirts. They were all trying to act very cool as they picked up corsages for the evening. I am just a little old lady who thought they all looked adorably cute.

Of course I knew it was prom night. My seventeen year old granddaughter, our prom queen, has been planning on this event since she entered high school. Prom is a really big deal. Several couples were invited to the granddaughter's house for a pre-prom paparazzi party. There were fancy snacks and many parents with cameras. The girls were all so beautiful in their lovely gowns, the boys so handsome in their tuxes. I think they actually enjoyed posing for the pictures. I loved seeing these beautiful young people. They were so full of joy and excitement.

After the pictures were all finally taken they piled into a limo and were off to the prom.

The parents all settled into the kitchen to relax and eat when the phone rang. The big limo had broken down half way to the prom. They were stuck beside the road. There was a flurry of discussion about what to do. The parents of one of the boys had a big van that would hold all the kids. They drove it to the stranded prom goers and they all made it the big dance. They had a wonderful time with a more interesting story than they had expected.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Notes From the Other Side

My friend Carol died yesterday. This poem, written by Jane Kenyon, is for Carol as she discovers life on the other side.

Notes from the Other Side

I divested myself of despair
and fear when I came here.

Now there is no more catching
one's own eye in the mirror,

there are no bad books, no plastic,
no insurance premiums, and of course

no illness. Contrition
does not exist, nor gnashing

of teeth. No one howls as the first
clod of earth hits the casket.

The poor we no longer have with us.
Our calm hearts strike only the hour,

and God, as promised, proves
to be mercy clothed in light.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Three Score and Ten

“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years.” Psalm90:10

It is amazing how fast seventy years can fly by. I am now officially old.
I can quit worrying about dying young.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


Yesterday our class at church was discussing compassion and how to teach kindness to children. Of course it takes many lessons for us to become compassionate people, but this example from my childhood is one of my favorite memories.

My mom truly enjoyed doing good deeds for others. Frequently I tagged along on one of her many good works. One day when I was about seven years old I went with mom to visit the patients at Rancho Los Amigos Hospital, a large rehabilitation facility. I didn't like the big wards full of sick people. The ward that scared me most was the one that was full of patients in iron lungs. I couldn’t imagine how anyone could live in one of those big, scary tubes. Mom had given me a Hershey’s chocolate bar as a reward for behaving while she went to see people. I was carrying my candy bar as we walked down the long porch of the hospital. Patients in rocking chairs lined the porch. One of them saw my candy bat and said he sure did love Hershey's Bars. He sure wished he could have some chocolate. My generous mom gave me “the look,” and I knew what I had to do. I gave the old man my candy and walked on with a dejected face. I really had not wanted to give it away. When mom was finished with her visit we walked back out along the porch full of patients. A little lady tapped me on the shoulder. She said she had seen me give away my candy and wanted to thank me for my generosity. To reward my generous act she gave me a whole, unopened Whitman's Sampler. A big box of chocolates just for one candy bar. I looked at it in awe. Being the good church kid that I was I looked at my mom and said, “I have cast my bread upon the waters and it has returned unto me.”

Monday, May 09, 2011

Mother's Day

My daddy would always try to sneak the white boxes from the florist into the house. Mom and I would look at each other and grin. Tomorrow was Mother's Day and we knew what was in those boxes. We pretended not to see what he had and wait for him to go upstairs. As soon as he left we ran to look in the refrigerator to admire our corsages. Mom's was always white because her mom had already gone to heaven. Mine was always red because my mom was alive and well. My dad adored my mom, and I always knew I was special because I was his little girl.

Yesterday I enjoyed a lovely day with my family. My sweet husband does not carry on the tradition of the corsages, but he always buys me a beautiful, sweet card. Most of the family gathered for a backyard cookout. The guys cooked while the women sat on the front porch and sipped mimosas. I have been well blessed to have a father who thought I was a princess and a husband who treats me like queen.

Monday, May 02, 2011


I am discovering muscles today that I haven't noticed in a long time. I spent most of the week end helping my granddaughter paint and clean her new condo. To say she is excited about becoming a homeowner would be a great understatement. She is so thrilled with her first place. I loved being able to help her and to listen to her happy chatter all week end. Today though I am feeling my age. I am achy and tired and grateful that she has to work today so I can rest from a far busier than normal few days. I used to be able to paint, clean and take care of four small children without even thinking about being tired. No more.

I remember the first time I painted our kitchen. It was a beautiful spring day which the meant the kids could play outside. I opened the paint and began applying the paint to the walls. Of course the kids came in and wanted to help. I gave them all brushes and set them to painting with me. Their enthusiasm for home improvement didn't last very long and soon they were off to playing again, running in and out of the house with a gang of neighbor kids. I painted, fixed lunch, settled an assortment of minor squabbles, and had an assortment of neighbor kids as short term assistants. I climbed the ladder, moved the furniture, and finished in time to fix dinner. When my husband returned home from work he admired the paint and asked what was for dinner. It was just another day in the life then. Now it makes me tired to even think about so much activity.

God was very wise to give us children when we were young.