Sunday, March 31, 2013

I am feeling that Old Man Winter is almost through for the year. Yesterday my crocuses were blooming and today is Easter. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed! He has conquered sin and death. His stripes are we healed and his death paid the sacrifice for those sins. His blood covers them and makes our adoption as children of God complete and eternal. Amen.

He died. He died, for me he died.
Jesus my Lord was crucified,
Crucified on Calvary's hill.
He died and yet he liveth still.
Christ came to Earth fully aware
Of sin's burden he was to bear.
His great love made him bear the pain
That each soul salvation might gain.
He bore the cross, the nails, the thorn.
He bore the torment and the scorn.
He bore it all and even died
That I could in Heaven abide.
He took my sins, its rot and stench
To the cross and sin's debt he'd quench.
Believers can know peace and rest
Away from sins that would infest.
He gave up great mansions above;
Yielding hi life, his will, his love,
For our salvation, he gave all.
Will you yield to his loving call?

I pulled this from my archives. I hope that you enjoy it. I enjoyed rereading it.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

I have a good friend who is a union steward and thinks that the union is the beginning and end to all things. (Except that they have supported President Obama.) At one time, the union was a good thing when the union thought of each individual and the preservation of them and their families. Now, the union is thinking of the preservation of the union, on the backs of the individual and their families. The union is the important part of this new equation not the worker. The leaders use their power over the worker to wield power over the government.
The leaders live much like the rich owners that they rail against. Their interest is now on collecting the dues to fill the union's coffers and the power that the monies can wield.
When unions formed, there were no laws regulating the treatment of the person by the owners and bosses. Now their are laws that regulate that interaction.

Unions were once a blessing to all working men.
Now they have become their bane.
Once they prevented the exploitation of children
and supported worker's claims.
The unions once cared for their hard working members
and were small and local led.
Unions fought for "right" if anyone remembers,
but most of that is now dead.
Unions fought for the betterment of all mankind
not just for "their" workers' rights
to their leaders, members have a trust to remind
why they've risen to their heights.
Unions once worked hard for those they represented
but now not so very much.
Money and power are goals they've substituted
without a redeeming touch.
Unions take dues, bettering themselves as a whole
with leaders living like kings
They impoverish their workers counting each soul
for each, cash register rings.
Now unions are taking much more than they deserve.
It' all a part of a plan
to build empires on the backs of workers they "serve"
whether a woman or man.
Unions collect dues to push political views
stealing from hard working folk.
The unions get richer taking the worker's dues
and are a bad tasting joke.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Even into boring lives some rain (And an occasional snow flake or two) must fall. There was no snow yesterday until I posted, then we had about an inch or so fall and woke to a head cold. Sneezing, and a runny nose.
I went to the chiropractor. He showed me a neck x-ray with arthritis (which I knew). He adjusted my neck because it had lost some of its natural curve. I do know that it is sore even with the ice pack.
The bank at Indian Head Pa. was robbed again yesterday and although I haven't watched the news, it's being said that this robber was captured. I feel really sorry for the tellers to have been robbed not once but twice.

Poetry's an art and a talent
important words, rightly bought and spent.
Some artists work with clay, paint, or stone.,
but a writer uses words alone.
Writers write in order to express
what other souls might try to repress.
I write stories, tales, and words that rhyme.
I love to write and write and write anytime,
writing of people, places, or things.
I make tales gallop or give them wings,
make them roll trippingly off the tongue,
about someone old or someone young
I'll write about the living or dead
or create someone out of my head.
Strength of a pen is mighty indeed
bringing to light corruption or greed.
Each writer will shape words to their will
sharing their thoughts with infinite skill,
sharing plots of love and tenderness.
Writing words that will curse or bless.
Writing takes lots of effort and time
Whether writing stories, tales, or rhyme.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

I finally went to a chiropractor yesterday. I have been having pain in my upper arm since my fall when I saved the cake. X-rays and some stretching until he decides what he needs to do. I came home and had a miserable sinus headache and have been sneezing like crazy.
The chiropractor is the son of a woman with whom I used to work. The last time I saw him, he was table top tall. It feels odd having someone you remember so young taking care of you, but I guess it is time to pass on the torch to the younger generation
Although the weather men called for snow, I didn't see any when I looked out. Oh yes. What a wonderful feeling. No need to shovel snow. This morning I can sing cheerfully with the birds.
The following is some free verse writing. I am still trying to loosen up. Last evening on the T. V. was a poetry reading contest held in Harrisburg at the Governor's mansion. I started to watch it and fell asleep because of the dignitaries introducing themselves. As Tom Selleck said in Three Men and a Baby "What a crock." An evening for high school students and the politicians try to hog the spotlight.

The sun slides through the clouds
setting in the western sky.
The light's curtain falls.
Darkness settles like a blanket
covering hill and vale.
Fog creeps in; soft, silent, silver veils.
Stars begin to peek
Out of the darkening skies..
Pale white, the moon appears
as the sun's afterthought.
Lesser and greater taking turns
playing I the heavens.
Up in the East and down in the West,
changing from hour to hour,
light into dark and then back to light,
infinite carousel.
Constantly in motion
over mountains and seas,
over rivers and streams.
Bright eyed and pale eyed,
viewing the world below..
Rising and setting,
partners on opposite sides of a floor,
dancing in never ending ballet.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

I decided yesterday while I was shoveling snow, when I heard the birds singing cheerfully "I will not complain about the snow." If they can sing in the cold and snow, the least I can do is to keep my mouth shut. So I will. No more snow complaints unless it reaches my knees.
I am working on my writings. Some days I do get stressed, not so much about how much I write, but deciding when and where to use the thoughts in what I am writing. The "novel" that I am writing some times blocks my poetry from flowing and vice versa.
Nothing much happened yesterday. I lead a boring life. I think that is another reason for a vacation.

I can hear the birds cheerfully sing
All the while the world's cold and blowing,.
And though shoveling snow is my bane
I'm doing it again and again
The birds are singing a cheerful song
Not just daybreak, but the whole day long.
My shoveling' an intermittent task.
A question arose for me to ask,
Why can the birds still sing in the snow?
Why do their songs continue to grow?
The Creator has made them cheerful
And their singing gave me an earful,
Saying "Why complain? God made it all.
That's what we say in our singing call."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I heard the pitter and patter of little feet once more yesterday. You got it, we had more snow. About six inches of the nasty white stuff before I went to bed. And of course my back hurts again this morning after shoveling. Doesn't Spring know it's supposed to be here already? Oh well, we get what we get.
I am still growing my beard, although I have no desire nor intention of playing Santa for the New Jersey company. I want to see how long it takes for my beard to fill in. I cannot contemplate working seven days a week for nearly ten hours a day. I do believe that I have found some people who are crazier than me.
I think it would be cool to rent myself and possibly a few more men to do private parties. (And only the ones where Santa gets to keep his clothing on.) Kids parties, family parties, and the occasional rent out to scare bad kids into behaving.
I once told a kid who was misbehaving for his mom, "You do know that Santa brings coal to kids who don't behave? I was once so bad, Santa burned the coal before he gave it to me. I had only ashes to play with." The kid's eyes got big and clung to his mom's legs. I wonder if I scarred that kid for life? I can only hope so.

Darkness creeps into my room, silently with extreme stealth,
Comforting as mother's womb, sleep comes with refreshing health.
It tiptoes across the floor, inching closer to my bed
Always moving, claiming more, to where I'm resting my head.
Snuggled beneath my blankets warm, I feel safe from winter's storm.
Darkness flows like silent streams. It soothes with soft caress.
As my head fills with dreams, my room fills with darkness.
It sings silent songs and lulls as I'm drifting off to sleep.
Dreams come and my vision dulls, when darkness settles deep.

Monday, March 25, 2013

My birthday is the same day as one of the women of our church and both we feel fortunate if we get through the service without someone mentioning it to the congregation. We did this year. She in quiet wished me a happy birthday and I did the same to her. We were talking afterward the service and she said that she saw me fanning myself because I was hot and she said that she was sitting in her pew and was cold. That week, my daughter and I while shopping, saw this thickly woven sweater in black. The price was right, the size looked right, and the color was black so she could wear it with whatever she chose.
Placing it in a gift bag with a card that read, "Have a warm and happy birthday, your secret friends" and placed it in the vestibule where she could find it.
Yesterday, she came over to talk to someone behind me before church. She was wearing the sweater and I said, "That's a nice looking sweater. I'll bet it's warm." I know that it didn't register until later. The sweater did look smart on her. It fit her well and did indeed look warm. She asked my daughter and I if we had anything to do with her sweater. I couldn't lie and said partially. Later at the change of services to go to Sunday school, she brought a "Thank you note addressed to "My secret friends."
Yesterday was the tenth anniversary of my wife death and the seventh anniversary of my mother's passing. It is hard to believe that much time has passed.

In the recesses of my mind, your memories reside.
Sometimes the thoughts are hard to find. Time has locked them inside.
The years have dulled those memories. Sometimes, tears fill my eyes.
Sights or sounds are often the keys, to make memories arise.
Cancer claimed her, took her away, so many years ago.
I miss her to this very day. It's hard to let her go.
She comes to visit at odd times, plucking strings of my heart.
Sometimes I share her in my rhymes when those memories start.
At those times, memories escape and I will open up.
I push aside memories drape and drink deep from its cup.

You meant so much to me, memories are so precious.
Frustrated, I can't be free from this loving truss.
Memories bind me still. They at times bind me fast.
What is that strong appeal that some memories last?
Tender thoughts stir the mind. The years of love survive.
It's the way love's defined; keeps memories alive.
Thoughts of your touch remain, filling my heart and soul.
My longing is in vain, never again to be mad whole.

Two short ones for the price of one today.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

With Easter fast approaching (and another snow storm I am told) I thought I might write and reflect on the things that occurred at the first Easter. Jesus was arrested after the high priests and elders found Judas to betray Jesus with a kiss. They had him brought to the house of Caiaphas the High Priest and held a trial. This trial was held at night and was against all Jewish tradition. They found "false witnesses" so that they might take Christ before Pilate in the morning.
They were wise enough to wait until morning and not wake Pilate. Pilate hated the Jews over whom he ruled. He wanted to reject their request to have Jesus killed and said " I find no fault in him at all" and probably would have released Christ except for the priests using threats against Pilate. They cried out, "If you let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend; whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar." This threat tipped the scales. Pilate released Barabbas and ordered Jesus to be scourged and then crucified.
Scourging always preceded the crucifixion and the flogging alone was a horrible form of punishment. The body was stripped naked, tied to a post, and then was beaten with a multiple stranded whip with bones, rocks, and pieces of metal attached to its tips. The flogging actually cut and tore the skin and muscles from the  person and left the flesh hanging in tattered shreds.
Jesus was made to carry the cross piece of the cross from which he would be hung. Josephus calls crucifixion "the most pitiable of all forms of death," while Cicero says, "the most cruel and most frightful means of execution."
Christ was mocked by the soldiers, pressing a plaited crown of thorns onto his head, dressing him in purple, spitting and hitting him all the while. As Christ staggered under the burden of his cross and was made to walk to Golgotha the Roman guards surrounded him. The crowds pressed close to spit and snatch clumps of hair from his head and beard. He was so disfigured by the beatings and the trauma to his face, he was almost unrecognizable.
  Long spikes would have been driven through the flesh of Christ's wrists (a very tender spot indeed with the vast array of nerves found there) and through the tender tops of the feet. Crucifixion was a slow death, usually taking several days for the condemned person to die. Death by crucifixion was caused by blood loss and the pooling of blood in the lower extremities which causes heart failure and suffocation. The legs were eventually broken to hasten death, but God in his mercy allowed Jesus to die before that was necessary and Jewish tradition did not allow bodies to remain hanging over night. Also it was the Passover preparation day and the importance of the day hastened the removal of Christ's body and the preparation for burial.
The magnitude of the suffering and pain that Christ suffered is little portrayed by my short description of the facts. Jesus bore the scourging, the humiliation, the death on the cross to do his Father's will and become the last and final sin offering for all of mankind.
No rhymes today, this is too important for anything more.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

I must have been tired. I slept in today. Maybe thinking about all the work that would have been necessary if I had been crazy enough to play Santa wore me out. I retired not to work such long hours and they wanted me to work ten and one half hours six days a week and just  a little less on Sunday. Who in their right mind could do that for six or seven weeks. (Although the thought of traveling to New Jersey was very enticing.)
Cold, cold, and more cold- Calgon take me away. I don't know if it is true cabin fever, because I do get out of the house, but I am weary of the drudgery and sameness of my every day routine. I am thinking vacation, even for a few days. Something different. So that is why I wrote these lines.

I want to escape, a vacation I guess.
I want to be free from everyday mess.
I need to break out of the daily routine,
Nothing unusual, crazy, or obscene.
I feel stretched thin, strained almost torn, and pulled taut,
Needing to find a different relaxing spot
Or maybe new friends to walk and talk with me
Someone to understand my words, don't you see.
Someone with whom I can share my inner thoughts
My emotions, desires, and other whatnots.
I need an escape, (Sometimes I want to scream.)
Even if it is just an escape in a dream.
I need to step out of my normal ways,
My normal travels, my normal length of days.
Breaking the monotonous things that I do
Things that have been sticking to me like old glue.
I need release before I'm permanently shaped.
Barnacles slow a ship's speed, I need mine scraped.

Friday, March 22, 2013

I responded to an ad in the Tribune Review yesterday. It was for Character-Santa. The ad was looking for a natural bearded man. (It didn't say man, but I assumed, although my brother I have seen a woman who would fit the bill.) This person was wanted for a local mall for a six to seven week promotion. Will train. Must love children.
Now that I am retired, I was looking for something to keep me busy with some more of my free time; something different, something part time or casual. This was definitely different and I like people, so I called the number that was given.
I reached a woman in New Jersey and talked to her about the particular. She explained that I would be under contract. The promotional would be over Christmas and I would be the Santa Clause for Westmoreland Mall.
Cool, it was local. I asked how log do I have to grow a full beard" (I have a goatee now.) She said it was for the Christmas season. When I asked for further details, she shared that I would be expected to work from ten A. M. until nine P. M. with two meal breaks of thirty minutes and two restroom breaks of fifteen minutes,
I asked about the salary, the contract would give me $7.500.00 for those six o seven weeks and they would bring me to New Jersey for training, but here's the kicker: I would have to work seven days a week (There was a slight reduction in hours on Sunday, thank God.) I am to send a photograph via email in three weeks when my beard is fuller. SEVEN DAYS A WEEK! That's just nuts. She said it was if a child came back, the child would expect to see the same Santa there to greet them. I can see that point, but seven days a week. That is one reason that I retired, too many hours. This sounded as though all I needed was a ball and chain like the road gangs.
I may still send her a photo after I see how much growth I have by that time, but am I going to play Santa. Sorry children only someone VERY good will sit on my lap this year.
The following has nothing to do with Santa.

The wind plays in the sails and in the rigging as well
Singing songs as onward we sail
Waves keeping beat slapping the hull
Gulls leading the singing with loud and raucous voice
Sail on silvery soul seeking harbor safe
Set your anchor deep away from the storm
Anchored in the lee away from the winds
Moonlight dances on the deck silver shoes on her feet
Rocking to the sound of waves splashing on the hull
Salty sea air fills the nostrils the splashing rain cools
Clouds cover the moon's face darkness pours like molasses
Lights begin to glow from the berths below.
The ship gently rocks while the storm rages overhead.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's happened again. The wintry white stuff has returned. My lawn and the roadway is covered with about an inch of that vile frozen water. Punxsutawney Phil just lost Credence. He may be replaced by Al Roker. Wouldn't that look cute, dragging Al out of the stump next February second?
It may just be cabin fever or it may be itchy feet, but I feel I need to break form my routine. I need to escape on a vacation or just a small trip. I think that would improve my outlook (or at least stop the winter blues.)
I want the sunshine and the Spring. I need the snow to be gone. I want green grass, crocuses, even the weed coltsfoot, anything but white. What is the perfect Spring day. That was another of our prompts to write about.

The sun slowly rises, sharing her warming smile to a cool sky of blue.
She promises a day of life and joy to treasure as she sparkles the dew.
Then winter's icy grip starts to soften and the wind blows gentle and mild.
It's time for Spring to arrive and for the world to be reconciled.
Beginning anew, green starts to show as the ice and snow disappear.
Birds sing melodies awakening the beauty, as clouds from the skies clear.
Sunshine tenderly caresses the earth, its embrace more lasting and warm,
Chasing away the frozen memories of the harshness of past winter's storm.
New and tender shoots rise from the soil. Fresh buds appear on the tree limbs' tips.
Purple, white, and yellow crocuses explode as winter's dreary clothes unzips.
The warming earth exudes a scent with the promises of bright sun filled days.
Warm friendly breezes play Spring time's harp on long golden strings of sunshine's rays.
In brief showers, a multi hued arch of rainbow bridges earth to sky.
Northward bound, geese in ragged vee shaped formation overhead fly.
Coltsfoot in bloom weave brightly hued carpets. Their yellow echo the sun.
This perfectly pleasant day has shared its secret with me. Spring has begun.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Monday, while visiting my dad in the personal care home, it had started to sleet and the ice pellets that were falling came down heavy and fast. In about one half an hour, there was about one half an inch of the ice pellets on the road and the roads were treacherous.
There are six hills that have curves at the bottom. When it is slippery, I couldn't keep the speed up for fear I would slide off the road. That makes the hill harder to climb. Without the extra inertia behind my car, reaching the top of those hills without losing traction and the wheels slipping is much more difficult. I made it back home, but the drive was scary.
My daughter and I spent some time yesterday with a few people from the writing group. They are fun people to be able to visit and to be able to share ideas and to work on my own.
I spent much of the day when we returned doing some research into the background for the next part of the novel I am attempting to write.
One of the prompts that our coordinator suggested to write about was "if you had to choose a different birth date, what would you choose?" I wrote the following.

What date would I choose if I had to choose another date for my birthday?
It certainly wouldn't be any date that would be near a holiday.
It wouldn't be January or February. Those months are too cold.
What month would I select that would feel correct to be another year old?
July or August, not. They are too hot, but picnics and swimming are fine.
April's too rainy. May, kind of ungainly. I'm glad those months are not mine.
October's too scary. November's winter, just barely. They're not for me.
June is for weddings. December's for sleddings and making Christmas merry.
September's in the running but March is stunning, one I already own.
March causes me strife, losing my mother and wife, where have those years flown.
March is good enough, though the weather's still rough and I can change any second.
What can I say? March is my birthday and of that month I've grown quite fond.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I was sitting in church on Sunday morning , when I glanced down the pew and a friend's little girl gave me the warmest and most innocent smile. It was uplifting to my heart. It got me thinking about my own children, my own youth, and all other children of the world, of how completely free from the taint of evils and sin a child can be and how quickly the evils of the world tries to change it.
The Garden of Eden must have been so much more innocent and perfect. There was a beautiful world where God actually walked with Adam and Eve. There was nothing between other than the innocence and the personal will of man, but that all changed with one act of disobedience.
Freewill is not in itself innocence. It can be defiance and disobedience. How quickly the innocence can be lost.

The innocence of a child's smile. So unbelievably precious.
Beautiful, tender, and fragile when it's on faces precocious.
Sweet smile that will cause hearts to melt, a smile so virtuous and pure.
Freely it's given and heartfelt; sweetly quiet, shy, and demure.
Smiling child completely disarms, blessedly naïve to the world.
Smiles brilliantly imbued with charms whether the smiles are boyed or girled.
Not having the concept of sins, their smiles go merrily on.
When do smiles torn into just grins and when is their innocence gone?

Monday, March 18, 2013

My daughter stored the after-Christmas snowmen decorations and put up the Easter ones. Eggs, crosses, a few bunnies, and a frog in a bunny suit. (She collects frogs.) Of course we missed a few snowmen and they are here on my desk staring at me and wanting to visit their old friends in the plastic storage tubs.
I did less writing yesterday for my novel and some more time doing some research to get the fictional plot to correspond to the facts of history. The actions of the characters may be untrue and just suppositions, but the character and the history of each person must be correct. (And my sinus headache made real creative thinking a little more difficult for me.) I did find some facts that I will be able to incorporate into my story, even though it hasn't been penned yet.
While I was driving home from mailing out my granddaughter's Easter dresses, I was surprised by the extraordinary beauty of a scene I have seen quite often; fog, mountains, sky, and the snow trails of a near by ski resort.

As I drove along the top of a hill, in the distance I could see
Periwinkle blue mountains with thick fog coverlet at their feet.
The blues of the mountains intense against the skies of gray, so impressed me
I slowed my speed, scarcely taking my eyes off the view. It was so neat.
The paths of snow from the ski trails, white on the periwinkle mountains,
Brightly sliding down among trees, like white lava from a volcano.
The beauty of its scenery, majestic. Its image still remains.
The purple enhanced by the white snow above and the thick fog below.
Nature's beauty always thrills me, whether in colors bright or hues dark.
God's palette is unending. His brush is delicate and yet so bold.
He has gloriously painted lush fields, thick forests and deserts stark.
He even paints winter's black and white in interesting shades of cold.
What a marvelous Creator, who's made the world and taught the birds to sing.
A mighty being who has shaped humans with skill and tenderness.
For all eternity, He remains a strong and omnipotent king.
He's clothed the fish in scales and given animals hides and hair to dress.
With mighty hands he's spread the clouds and hung stars, suns, and moons in the skies;
Making grass and trees, oceans and seas. winds that blow, and rivers that flow;
Shaping hills and mountains, springs and fountains allowing the foolish and wise
Seeing all He's created in beauty and strength, so Him men might know.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

I bought Easter dresses for my granddaughters. I shop for dresses twice a year; Easter and Christmas. It gives me so much pleasure and allows their parents to be free of the searching at busy holiday times and with the girls growing, I am not sure how well they will like Grandpa's choices. I mailed them out yesterday.
The changing weather gave me a sinus headache and I still feel the fullness today. I hope it goes away. There is little worse than sitting in church with a headache and trying to concentrate on the words the minister is trying to share.

She glides upon the shadows of a world not meant to be.
My joy's replaced by sorrow. Love no longer visits me.
Silenced songs no longer heard. Love's sweet melody is stilled.
That soft song has been interred. Will my heart ever be healed?
In dreams on gossamer wings, she sails to familiar port
Touching the dearest things, her smile flavors each small ort.
She floats in memory's stream, drifting to mind as I sleep
And visits me while I dream, just ghosts of things I cannot keep.
She comes and stirs my heart, succoring me in the night,
Just before she can depart, she fills my dreams with delight.
Those memories linger still in the recesses of my mind
And I pray they ever will, if the ages remain kind.

I was an automaton the first year after my wife's death. I went about my business, but didn't know the world was still around me. She did visit me in my dreams and I had a difficult time when I woke trying to figure out whether to believe she was alive and I dreamed of her death or was dead and the dream was that she still lived.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

I met with several people from my writer's group yesterday. I made a contract to write five hundred words a day as well as a poem. (The poem is for my blog) The five hundred words are written to be a novel without editing. (Novel idea?)
I had the most wonderful prank played on me yesterday. I am not sure if it was someone that the prankster had call me or something that the actually did. The prankster must feel that I have too much free time on my hands now that I have retired.
I got a call saying that I had filled out the survey for Wal-Mart and it indicated that I was interests in employment at their store. The thing that makes me question whether it was actually a call from the department store giant was the call was from a cell phone and the voiced on the other end kept breaking up. (Not cracking up).
Kudos to the prankster, because I didn't complete the Wal-Mart survey and I am enjoying my retirement.

I enjoy food, tasty and hot. I like to eat, sour or sweet,
On a plate or out of a pot. Food's smells makes me want to eat.
Noshing snacks really hits the spot; whether chicken, fish, eggs or meat.
I enjoy eating a whole lot. I eat sloppily or neat.
Whether the food is home made or bought. If I chose to diet, I'd cheat.
I try new recipes, self taught. I like chips, dips, crackers of wheat.
I like eating food warm or not. Whatever it is, it's a treat.
Wild game, if it's caught or shot, when it's fried it's a meal complete.
Eating only, I am not a sot. At a buffet, the foods compete.
Feed me. I will let nothing rot. Just feed me again I repeat.

I'm not really a glutton, but I do enjoy eating different foods; new flavors, new recipes, or even tossing ingredients together to make my own concoctions.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Yesterday, I took my car into the garage for the third time. The "check engine" light was coming on. The first time they said it was "sludge on a sensor". The second it was an overdue oil change. This time it was a solenoid. We'll see. I hope that it's fixed.
Someone said something that made me think of passion and lost intimacies. It stirred memories of my wife.. I wrote the following.

I am a passionate soul. Wanting passion. Needing passion.
I's starving to be made whole desiring to claim my portion,
Wanting to hold someone close and to have love in my arms,
Finding passion, I suppose, to succumb to another's charms.
To be drawn by winsome smile, to confuse love with flirting.
Would I yield to hold awhile. Not tasting love would be hurting
To my ego, soul, and heart. I'm passionate because I care.
Come to me. Let passion start. To my eyes you would be most fair.
I want to know tenderness. I want someone here at my side.
I need to feel your caress. Hugged again in arms open wide.
Intimacy is a need. Intimacy I need to know.
Show it, I'll follow your lead, so intimate love will grow.

It is a yearning deep inside of us all. It was said, "to love and to have lost is better than not having loved at all." That may be true, but the sorrow of having lost a love is difficult to bear at times.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

I said about how dreary it was the day before yesterday with the rain. I should have kept my mouth shut. Now we have snow and cold. It is windy as well. I am getting weary of the cold and snow. I think Phil misjudged this one.
What do you think of the weather channel naming the winter storms like they do the hurricanes? I am still up in the air about that, but it is more irritating to keep hearing about the storm's name repeated time after time.
I wrote the following yesterday in the afternoon while the sun was still out making the snow more bearable.

The sun shines brightly on the snow outside of my bedroom window.
Blowing wind let's me know it's cold. This snow and cold is getting old.
I hope that winter is soon through. It sticks to ev'ry thing like glue.

Snowing again. It's a blurricane. It feels like I live north in Nain.
I've seen enough winter's beauty. From its icy grip I want free.
I'm weary when it lingers still. Sun's interludes are a thrill.
The sun's interludes grow longer and it seems the cold grows stronger.

Reluctant to loosen its grip, it keeps its wintry cold to nip.
It forces us to stay inside. If we go out we slip and slide.
Snow, please go. Please stop. Go away. I want Springtime without away.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I met with some of the people from my writing group yesterday. In the project of writing a novel in a month, one of the stipulations was that we meet and write for two hours in the presence of others to show that we are dedicated and serious about writing. I actually write more at home, but it is nice to have support and that helps us not to lose heart.
The weather yesterday caused me to write the following.

Hanging heavily, sodden, leaden sky
obscuring the sun, reflected in puddles that lie,
The water fills depressions, as depression fills the soul.
Thick gray, scrub-water clouds come oozing across the knoll.
They seem to cast their shadows in my heart.
Gloomy weather maybe beautiful painted as art,
but it weighs heavily on my mind and I carry its weight.
Soggy mess seems to chill and make a sorry state.
Sun! burst through these heavy veiled clouds and shine.
Put forth your bright warming rays. Light the world and all will be fine.
The weather affects my mood, the outside affects my inside.
Sun make me happy. I want the rain to subside.
I decide to write and make my own sun.
As I lift my pen, the parting of the clouds has begun.
Transported to another world by my paper and my pen.
A warm and sandy beach is transformed from a soggy fen.
Time has slipped away. Day has become night,
but in lands of paper and pen, it still remains light.
When you read my words, you can visit me in my wonderland
where I can turn thick slimy mud into golden sand.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Some days it seems hard to think what to share. I lead such a boring life. Putting those thoughts into words without boring you takes time and effort. The last thing I want to do is bore anyone. (Yawn)
I ordered some name cards on line last evening. I had a good deal from Vista-print getting five hundred cards for $10.00 (Plus tax, etc.. It was $13.09 total which included shipping.)
The reason I even mention it is that I listed my occupation as an author, poet, and writer. I actually severed the strings to my nursing past. (I did just renew my license though.) Strings are easily retied if necessary, but burning bridges take much longer to rebuild.
I think today, I will share some of my thoughts for the memories of my life growing up and the stories that I hope to write one day. I want my children to have them written down, so they are not lost to the later generations. My grandfather Beck was good at writing things down, but the things he wrote were prices, payments, and business dealings. There is one diary that he kept when he was courting my grandmother. It lists the date, the weather, and what was happening.
What I want to share is a tale about my dad.

When physicians first started decrying the use of salt and hypertension, the advertisements in the media soon followed suit. There were ads for all sorts of food stuffs that promoted their salt-free product in magazines, coupons, and of course on the television.
Shredded Wheat's first television advertisement said that they didn't use salt in their cereal. Dad got all of his information from the television and decided that since the company stopped putting salt in their cereal, (And that's not what the ad said, but Dad heard that the had STOPPED putting salt in the Shredded Wheat.) he would add some before he ate their cereal.
Any morning that he ate Shredded Wheat, the salt shaker was there beside his bowl.

Monday, March 11, 2013

I had a good day yesterday, going to church, eating out a restaurant, and visiting my dad. For the problems that he has had, he is doing well. He has had five strokes, the last one was a heat stroke. The last one he was on a ventilator for five days and had a catheter in every orifice of his body. It is a blessing that he still has a mind that functions and can talk.
I am still cleaning and took some of the books that I have collected to our church. They are books that deal with religious matters. I found them at the local Good Will store. I used some for reference and though I would have time to read them now that I have retired, but my shelf space is getting overly stocked and I can always retrieve them to read if they are in the church library.
The robins have been back and the singing of the birds yesterday gave me the inspiration for the following.

Can you hear the singing,
songs that start at sun's first rays?
Soft melodies intriguing
with repeats and replays.
Some are soft and sweet.
Raucous others fill the air
often their songs compete
with songs soft and fair.
Winter chick-a-dees trill.
Spring robins give their call
Summer's singing of whippoor-will
Autumn geese honk ahead of winter's icy squall.
The harmony of voices
thrill the heart and fill the soul.
What glorious choices
at each part or the whole.
Singing, winging it the trees,
making songs as they fly.
Harmonizing with the breeze
songs from an endless supply.
Birds of the forest
greet the waking sun,
breaking into chorus.
The morning has begun.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

I signed on to write a novel in a month.; no editing, just writing the thoughts as I go. I pledged to write six days a week and a minimum of five hundred words a day. I also pledged to write a poem per day. The poetry always came easily, but with the other writing and me trying to write a little more free style, it has become a little more intense. Now even the fly buzzing around in my room annoys me and I have to hunt him down.
The new steel liner to my chimney is finally in. It was a hard job. (I'm glad I hired someone else to do it.) He had problems but it is in.
I am back, attempting to write a bit more freely. Another writer suggested I read T. S. Elliot and W.B. Yeats for inspiration. Well, I did and this is what I got fro reading them.

If you and I should start to share
laying our souls bare.
Deep, deep, deeper still,
giving all that I can.
You would be the person for me
and I would be the man.
Open your heart and let me in.
Dear one, is this where we begin?
Caring, sharing, daring
to go where we have not gone before.
Each of us into the other;
asking, yielding, wanting more.

If you and I were meant to share,
and to sail unknown waters?
Would I take the step to where
we join is spirit and soul..
but would we ever find
that we have a kindred mind?

If at each step we take,
it would grow easier, the next to take;
on. on, onward still,
'til I find myself lost in you
empty of my self
where only you will show?
Are you all that I need
or is it only greed?
Is it what I want?
Are you all that I seek?
I ask for nothing more;
To hold, caress, and to kiss your cheek.

My arms have been empty
for way too long,
to love you simply
sharing all that I am.
You are the love for me
and I would be your man.
And I would be your man.

Well this is it, T. S. Elliot or W. B. Yeats, I don't think you have to worry.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I am another year older today and I am no longer a Spring chicken. I think I am on the far side of Summer and even part of the way through Fall. My kids took me out to eat last evening to celebrate it. They have warned me, I have to be nice to them because they have to decide on my nursing home.
Yesterday's meeting of the Beanery Writer's Group was another great part of the day. I love the times together, the critiques, the suggestions and the shared help for each other all to make us better in our writing skills.
I have been reading Honey for a child's heart". One of the reasons for using books in a family life says, "Take all of the words available in the human vocabulary and read them from the dictionary and you have only a list of words. But with the creativity and imagination God has given human beings, let these words flow together in the right order and they give wings to the spirit. Every child ought to know the pleasure of words so well chosen that they awaken sensibility, great emotions and understanding of truth. This is the magic of words-a touch of the supernatural, communication which ministers to the spirit, a gift of God."
It goes on to Quote Proverbs, "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver."  (Proverb 25:11)
The author goes on to say, "The right word in the right place is a magnificent gift. Somehow a limited, poverty-stricken vocabulary works toward equally limited use of ideas and imagination. On the other hand, the provocative use of the right words, of a growing vocabulary gives us adequate material with which to clothe our thoughts and leads to a richer world of expression."
This is the thoughts I will leave with you today. Why should I try to improve on what has been so aptly noted and well written.

Friday, March 8, 2013

I don't have much to say today. I think I am recuperating from the shoveling of the heavy snow.
Today is the writer's group meeting. I am looking forward to going, sharing and having an enjoyable afternoon. The people that I have met are very nice, laugh easily, and are fun to be around. We do share our writing and then critique them. I hope that it will make a better writer out of me.
We're in the middle of a project of writing a novel in a month, pledging to write a certain number of words per day for one month without going back, revising, or editing.
So I am falling back on some things that I have written in the past to share. The following is in tribute to the heritage of my son-in-law. His family's roots are in the Amish community.

The Amish are folk who call themselves "Plain."
Hard working, the proud things they disdain.
Black buggies drawn by chestnut horse
Reins held tightly to steer a true course.
Men wear yellow straw and black felt hats.
Girls in their bonnets, long hair in plaits.
Breakfast comes early, the chores need done.
Out to work 'ere the rising of the sun.
They use hands and pails to milk their cows
And work their fields with horse drawn plows.
They gather their crops to fill the barn
While women make quilts and knit with yarn.
Horse drawn wagon, piled high with sweet hay.
Out in the yard, children laugh and play.
Men folk gather when the dinner bell rings,
Sip lemonade on the backyard swings.
Scrapple, souse, schnitzel, and shoe fly pie
Gravy on potatoes fluffy and high.
From the smokehouse comes hams sliced thick.
Bread from the oven and grace is said quick.
Vegetables from cold cellar store,
Jellies, jams, and relishes galore,
Egg noodles, chicken fried crisp and brown.
Cold buttermilk to wash it all down.
Desserts are served; cookies, cakes, and pies.
Men leaning back with satisfied sighs.
Back to work until the sky grows dark
Then off to sleep in rooms plain and stark.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The snow has come and after shoveling for an hour with my daughter, it is gone. There was seven to twelve inches of winter's treasure in the drive. The snow plow drivers always do their best and try to pack more of the white winter blessings into my driveway.
I do want to say, the drivers of the snow plows did do a great job. The roads were passable all day long and were actually bare by the afternoon. The following poem is written about the storm and hopefully, it is the last poem about snow that I write this year.

It was the marching of a million little feet,
All around me I hear their footpads falling.
Softly prowling, their footsteps; stealthy and discreet.
Hiding in the bushes, whispering and calling.
It is dark. I am alone. I hear them surround.
They come closer, invading nearby lands.
In ever mounting  numbers they gather around.
They move ever forward to clutch me with outstretched hands,
Steadily forward, I'm pressed on every side.
Battle surrounds me. I am blind and see naught.
Resistance is futile. There's no place to hide.
I am covered by their unrelenting onslaught,
The war rages on, pieces swirl around my head.
The battlefield is littered with bodies laid low.
Each day I am forced to clean up the combat's dead.
I wish this winter war would end, I hate the snow.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Can we say SNOW, boys and girls? Yes we can. There is about three plus inches out there now and more to come. I am thankful I am not out east. eighteen to twenty-four inches I don't want in my vocabulary. I usually go out as soon as I am finished typing my blog, but today I don't think so. I may just stay inside where it is warm and wait for it to melt.
I am praying that this snowy mess is all cleaned up by Friday. That is out next writer's group meeting. I look forward to seeing the other writers and kibitzing with them. One of the prompts to get us to write was, "Bragging About Cardinal Sins..."
Now, I don't know about you, but with me, if I want to put my cardinal sins on display, I will rent a float in the Macy's Day Parade or I'll claim to be shooting red birds out of my bedroom windows. I did write the following ditty. I hope it makes you smile.

If you really want to know my cardinal sin,
You would have to dig hard. It's buried deep within.
What is it? I'm sure you would like to know,
Have me pry it out, display it, where it will show.
There are seven deadly sins. Which would I decide?
Will I choose gluttony's sin or will I choose pride?
Would I choose envy as sin or would it be greed?
Is my sin a sin that allows anger to breed?
Is my sin a sin that's cut from lust's bawdy cloth.
Or lazy couch-potato choice that leads to sloth?
Sometimes I think that I've tasted all, to some extent.
As an imperfect man, toward sin, I'm often bent.
I think to have me share my sin would just be mean.
I've been enticed by all, but I'm now I'm in between.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

We are expecting a large snow storm again. Oh joy! Between my back and my shoulder, I am not sure that I want to shovel any more. I may just stay inside until the snow melts. As long as there is smoke coming out of the chimney, don't send in rescue personnel. I have food, water, and wood.
I am reluctant to share thoughts of my wife's death and my thoughts about missing her, but certain things that happen or that are said jar memories of her and so I write about it.
I am not afraid to share them, but when my children read them, they automatically think I am lonely. I am a little lonely at times, but that is life. I am reaching out by joining the writer's group and who knows, I might meet a rich beautiful widow.
But this is what I have been thinking and writing about over the past few days and these thoughts are what is tumbling out. One of them is written below. This is one I started earlier, found , and completed.

She glides upon the shadow of a world not meant to be.
My joy's replaced by sorrow. Love no longer lives with me.
Silent songs no longer heard and love's melody is stilled/
That sweet song has been interred. Will my heart never be healed?
In dreams of gossamer wings, she sails to familiar port,
Touching the dearest things, her smile flavors each small ort.
She floats in memory's stream, drifting to mind as I sleep
And watches me as I dream, just ghosts of things I can't keep.
When she comes and stirs my heart, she calls to me in the night.
Just before she can depart, she fills my thoughts with delight.
Her memories linger still in recesses of my mind.
I pray that they ever will, if the ages remain kind.

Monday, March 4, 2013

I am still tired. Between the urinary tract infection, the adverse reaction to the antibiotic, and shoveling snow, I feel drained. I'm not my perky self yet. I've been trying to lose weight, but with more inactivity and not feeling well, I think of low calorie things to eat. It doesn't always work. So I wrote the following.

I enjoy food, tasty and hot.
I like to eat sour and sweet.
On a plate or out of a pot,
Food makes me want to eat.
Noshing snacks hit the spot;
Chicken, fish, eggs, or meat,
I like to eat...a lot.
I eat sloppy or neat
Whether home made or bought.
If a diet, I'd cheat
With recipes self-taught;
Chips, dips, crackers of wheat.
I like food warm or not.
It all makes a nice treat.
Wild game, caught or shot
Deep fried, makes meals complete.
Food only, I'm no sot.
At buffets, foods compete,
Feed me let nothing rot.
Just feed me, my entreat.

That's it just a rhyme and I'm all done for the day.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Is anyone wanting to have fried ground hog yet. Punxsutawney Phil, you are such a tease. I am getting tired of the snow. I am glad that my heart was given a good report and able to shovel it out of my drive and off my walks. I just think I need a break. Can any one say Puerto Rico? Just kidding. Although I would like to do some traveling this summer. Where? I don't know.
This may sound odd, but I would like to return to Iceland someday for a visit. The country is so absolutely rugged and beautiful, waterfalls, mountains, glaciers. Me who dislikes snow and I want to go to Iceland, strange? I am, so you don't need to remark about that.
However, if you like or dislike what I am writing, you can comment on it and let me know what you are thinking. (Not that it will change my writing, but it will make us both feel better.)

It was the marching of a million little feet,
All around me. I could hear their footsteps falling.
Softly prowling, their footpads; stealthy and discreet.
Hiding in the bushes, whispering and calling.
It is dark. I am alone. I hear them surround.
They come ever closer invading nearby lands.
In ever mounting numbers, gathering around.
They move ever forward to grasp with outstretched hands.
Steadily onward, they press on every side.
I am covered by their unrelenting onslaught.
Resistance is futile. There is no place to hide.
Battle swirls at my feet. I am blind and see naught.
The war rages. It now dances around my head
The battlefield is littered with their bodies, laid low.
Each day I go to clean up the battlefield's dead.
I wish winter's war would end. I hate the snow.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

I'm home and I'm back into the same old routine. Shoveling snow and hauling in wood for the wood burner. The snow part was especially wonderful. I had three days of clearing to do. It wasn't too bad, only about an hour's worth of work.
I am so thankful that my chest pains weren't from my heart. I'd have to wait until Spring melt to open my driveway.
The people at Frick hospital were wonderful and accommodating as usual. The feeling of family has always been there. Each and every person with whom I came in contact was pleasant and friendly.
I have been to hospitals where you can smile at approaching staff and they actually look at the floor to keep from returning a smile.
My testing was done is a very expedient time and I was discharged by lunch time.
And yes, I am back to rhyming and counting.

A bout of chest pain made me think of my mortality
I didn't think it was my heart, but one can never tell.
At my doctor's advice, I was seen as an emergency.
The chest pain was a crushing feeling and it hurt like...well.
It all started with an urinary tract infection.
I called my doctor. He phoned in a prescription for me.
The problem was with his antibiotic selection.
I had an adverse reaction and it made me worry.
A crushing feeling across my chest; tightness, pressure, pain.
My doctor, sent me to be seen noting side effects.
Although my tests were negative, they had me remain
To be monitored overnight, watching for defects.
During the night my blood pressure dropped with the Nitro-paste.
I pulled it off and I slept. I had tests in the morning.
Stress test, echo-cardiogram all done, no time to waste.
All my testing negative. Just an allergy warning.

Friday, March 1, 2013

I am sorry that I am posting later than I normally do, but I was sidelined. I had an urinary tract infection. I called my doctor and was put on an antibiotic named Cipro. The first dose on Tuesday evening was okay and my symptoms started to clear. The second dose was even better on Wednesday morning. Wednesday night's dose, I developed chest pain. I didn't think too much about it. The pain went away and I went to bed. About an hour after the Thursday morning dose I had chest pains again. I called my doctor and at his advice I went to the emergency room. All my emergency room testing was coming back negative, but the kept me as an observation patient to run more tests this A. M. I had a stress test and an echo cardiogram. I passed and they chased me out of the hospital.
I had to read the possible side effects to connect the chest pain and the Cipro and that's what the doctors finally agreed, it was from the Cipro.
I don't think I'll write much else for now. I hear my bed calling and I need a nap. Hospitals are not conducive to sleep.