Thursday, September 29, 2016

Is It Just Me
When summer makes its departure and autumn begins its journey, do you think that the sky takes on a different color. Much of the time, summer skies have a skim milk color, a see through white with a bluish cast. Even when it is blue, the sun seems to warm it. The clouds are either white or stormy black and float across the heavens in a myriad of shapes: fluffy fleeced gamboling sheep, wispy feather dusters, or flat, like they were spread out with a palette knife. The storm clouds are massive and wear black capes or cloaks of greenish gray.
When autumn comes, the heavens seem more cerulean or cobalt, deeper and richer hues than summer’s sun washed skies. It almost seems as if they are laying out road maps for the Canadian geese and the swans that will be winging their way high overhead. I always love to hear their honking, although it does leave me feeling a bit sad and lonesome. If I am outside, I always pause and watch their v-shaped formations wing their way to warmer climes.
The rain clouds today caused me to think of the heavy gray veils that spread over my house. The winds that pushed them into place and their color reminded me that it was definitely fall. The sounds of the wind and the hues of the clouds somehow seem different than the breezes and clouds of summer. They aren’t actually any more menacing than those of summer, but seem to be the harbingers of frost and snow that are sure to follow.

I shouldn’t complain or worry about the chill. Without the frost, I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the wonderful displays of autumn leaves in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania as the foliage changes from summer’s green and explodes into orange, crimson, yellow, and gold.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016


Autumn Chill
The bright sunny days of summer have somehow almost completely slipped away, yielding to slightly cooler days and even chillier nights. An extra blanket feels more comfortable when the window is cracked open in an otherwise stuffy bedroom. I haven’t yet decided to bring out the flannel sheets, but perhaps soon. Yesterday, I washed and dried my king sized, hand sewn patchwork quilt. It is in the tumbling block pattern and the material is of old double knit fabric. Almost every diamond shaped piece has a family story attached to it. Someone’s skirt, pants, shirt or blouse is recognizable by its color or the print pattern. Each block inspires a page in a book of memories.
The apples on the trees in the back yard need picked yet. I really don’t want to make applesauce, apple butter, or apple schnitz, but I’ve offered them to my kids and I have no takers. I may have to gather them in store the better ones and pare, slice and freeze some. It seems every time I try to downsize, I am compelled to collect and store something. Who says that a person can’t take something with them to the grave? I’m sure that I’ll find a way.
I have one room in my house that I say is decorated in the early depression style. There are old tools and enamel pots and pans hanging on the walls that are too good to throw away, but not the best or easiest to use for cooking or for work. I have several old photographs interspaced to keep that room from looking like a hoarder’s hideaway.
I have my firewood stacked and waiting to be hauled in and burned, but the chill hasn’t deepened enough yet. Soon the leaves will turn and it will be time to fry sausage for the Ohiopyle Volunteer Fire Department’s Sausage and Buckwheat Festival. This year it will be held October, 14, 15, and 16. This will be the fortieth year I’ve helped, working my way up from dishwasher, to cake fryer, and finally to frying sausage.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Rights Without Responsibility
Through all of the generations of American history, her children have been blessed with inalienable rights. These rights that have been translated from the words and ideas found in the Bible and have been incorporated in the Constitution of the United States. Those rights and freedoms have been termed as God given rights, not rights that have conditions hung on them by mankind or governments.
Inalienable means something that is not transferable and that cannot be rightfully taken away and yet the government is ever increasingly attempting to whittle away at our Constitutional inalienable, God given rights. One of the reasons that they are doing this is many Americans over the years have accepted those rights and have not accepted the responsibilities that go along with those freedoms. They have accepted payoffs allowing the government to insidiously steal those rights from us. Like the Native Americans who sold the land that God gave them for a few trinkets: blankets, knives, axes, beads, pots, and mirrors, we are trading away our blessings for public housing, public welfare, and public perception instead of standing firm.

With rights comes responsibility which is more often than not in today’s society shirked. How can those rights be protected without our nation having a secure border, a national culture, a national language, or a strong military? How can we have safe zones when we are unwilling to protest them and keep them safe? How can we have our streets and homes as a refuge to raise our families when we constantly deride those who try to protect them and are at our beck and call when needed? How can we have a strong military when the government weakens them by cutting their salaries and limits their ability by imposing extreme laws of engagement? How can a government that continues to tax its citizens turn around and give that money to our enemies or line their own pockets by subterfuge or outright stealing? How can the younger generation hold out their hands for more and more free things and trading away the freedoms that allow them to speak, travel, and choose their life path, and yet not be willing to accept the responsibility to make the system better and to keep those freedoms intact?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Yesterday was the last day of summer and the first day of autumn. Those thoughts inspired me to write the following.

Made & Fade
Springtime pries green from winter’s frigid grip.
Snowy winter’s memories grow cold.
White blankets fade, expose brown patches,
Create crystal freshets and lush carpets.
Blossoms scent the path to summer seasons:
Picnics, fireworks, and pools entice.

The last day of summer
Teases with a sunny smile,
The gentle touch of warming breeze,
And the lingering fragrance of new-mown grass
Still linger as pleasantries of passing days.

Daylight grows shorter
The nighttime becomes cooler.
Morning’s dew changes to light hoary frost
Hints of seasons to come.

Foliage dulls and changes hues:
Green to reds, yellows and oranges.
Trees blaze in autumn garments.

Frost thickens, leaves stop holding hands
Then brown and brittle, they fall to earth.


Snow clad branches remain. Summer memories fade and grow cold.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

End Times
For years, I have heard people of the church saying, “The end times are near” and I have always thought that the United States would somehow be a bastion of freedom for the world until the end of times, but I believe America is farther down the line than I ever could have imagined. Our politicians have lost all common sense and have tried to legislate morality while allowing the morals of our country to decline to the point that the good things are now bad and vice versa.
Isaiah says, “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Isaiah 5:20. It seems each day, I see more and more of this coming to fruition. There are misinterpretation of laws, judgments passed down by the courts, rules in our schools, and a moving away from biblical principles in our churches. I see America leaning on man’s “wisdom” and a shunning of God’s laws and wisdom. I see the educated elite striving for broad mindedness until they have become close to flat-headedness.
What has sent me down this road was the unveiling of the “Arch of Baal” in New York City. The worship of Baal, Bel, and Moloch were an ancient “religion” that included the sacrifice of children by the thousands and the lowest forms of debauchery imaginable. It was wanton depravity and libidinousness to the nth degree. This is the form of creature carnality and corruptness these “Enlightened ones” have erected and brought into a country founded on Christian principles.

Some folks in New York City complained about seeing a cross of melted and twisted beams found in the rubble at the site of the destroyed twin towers have now erected this heinous edifice to Baal with plans of creating statues of this god and placing them at the entrance of the arch. God help us. His judgment and punishment cannot be far off. With all of the floods, droughts, and earthquakes, I believe God is no longer blessing America and we are about to taste His wrath.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ashamed
Recently, I have been very concerned and upset with the candidates running for the Presidency of the United States of America. I have clashed heads with my friends because I find one candidate more repulsive than the other. I have wasted time sharing my views that have been turned aside by the concerns of the world and not focused on prayer.
I know that God is in control and whether or not I like it, He will choose the next President of America. God has raised up rulers and removed them. He has raised up countries and has laid waste to them. Proverbs 8:15 says, “By me kings reign, and princes decree justice.
In Daniel 2:21 the Bible says, “And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:
All throughout the Word of God, the LORD shows the reasons for placing some rulers or keeping rulers in office. Sometimes it is to bless those who call on His name and sometimes it is to punish those who have Ignored Him. My time and energy has been focused on something I in my own strength can’t change. I have been ignoring my responsibility of praying for God’s will to be done and haven’t been concerned about my friends and neighbors need to understand their need to have an intimate knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. I need to share God in His love sent His Son to earth to carry each of our sins to the cross and to bear the pain and agony of the punishment for the sins we’ve committed.
Let this be my message to you, if I am less vocal and seemingly less concerned with the outcome of the election, it will be true; It will be replaced with concern about and prayers for my friends.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Smells
At our writers meeting at the Mt. Pleasant Public library, our first fifteen minutes or so, The leader of our group, Dr. Fred Adams usually will share some knowledge to make our writing better or to think in different ways as we write. Tonight, he spoke about one of the five senses that is often overlooked in the story lines. That is the sense of smell: aromas, scents, odors, or fragrances.
We shared thoughts on smells remind us of the different seasons, good smells, bad smells, and smells that conjure up images in our minds when we catch a whiff of them. We talked of unusual smells that we often overlook. The scent of rain when it hits a hot pavement or dusty a field, wood smoke or coal smoke, or the smell of hot brakes, diesel fumes, or car exhausts,
The talk about smells took a nostalgic turn when we mentioned the scent of the alcohol based ink from school and the mimeograph or the ditto machines, churning out the purple inked copies of schoolwork, tests, or information to take home to our parents. And in the same time era, the white mucilage based paste that made the tongue seem to go numb when it was tasted. I reminded them of the ozone smell of the “bumper cars” at the amusement parks and someone else shared the same smell from the old streetcars.
We were reminded of the smells of damp basements, dry dusty attics, and some of the foodstuffs as it cooked our homes. One gal even said she liked to smell snowflakes. Odors we didn’t like were newly laid asphalt, burned flesh, and garbage trucks in the summer.
We shared of how the smells of when we enter a doctor’s office or the hospital now, has changed from an pungent aroma of alcohol, antiseptic and medication to an area of almost no smell at all.

This season of autumn elicited scented thoughts of leaves, wet or burning, or turkeys roasting in the ovens, the spicy aromas of apple and pumpkin pies baking, and the mouthwatering aromas of soups simmering and waiting for families to come in out of the cold.