The Candle Pair

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Thanksgiving Day drew near at hand,
soon appeared a candle pair.
Placed on the kitchen mantle bar
with Mother’s love and care.

It was one small token, ritual nod
to signal the holidays in,
with anticipation of memories
both new and relived again.

What a time of gathering close,
just to be in the presence of
the present warmth of site and smell,
and the sound of a family’s love.

Each past year gone to memory,
it wasn’t always an easy road.
Still we gave thanks for what provision
Our good Lord had bestowed.

Gratefulness filled our hearts,
love and laughter filled the air.
‘Twas simply enough decoration
combined with the candle pair.

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Springtime Mountain High

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Cottonwood “snow” falling from the sky,
“Road Work Ahead”, so I drive on by.
River’s up, pine pollen drifts down,
It’s springtime mountain high.

Wildflowers appearing all over the hills.
Birds singing giddy with springtime trills.
Dandelions flourishing, thunderstorms nourishing,
The evening still brings chills.

It’s the end of May, still need a hard freeze.
Never fails to come, never says, “Please”!
Don’t plant your garden, or veggies too,
The warm temps are just a tease.

Spring is messy, allergies running high,
All kinds of things falling from the sky.
Don’t ever move here, it’s pretty bad.
It’s springtime mountain high.924F3730-F320-411C-A8E1-49393D0C5E1F

Potch and Betty – A Love Story

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A story was in the making, of true love meant to last.
Let’s start at the beginning, sixty years in the past .

Earl was in his senior year at Nott Terrace High,
when at a dance he spotted a girl who caught his eye.

His friend, Jimmy, said, “Go ask her if she’ll go out with you.
Don’t bother with your nickname ‘Potch’, just plain ‘Earl’ will do.”

It wasn’t just by chance that they lived three blocks apart.
‘Twas one more confirmation to follow his smitten heart.

Betty was a beauty, her father loved her so.
He didn’t want to share her, and hoped that Earl would go.

Earl didn’t go, even dared to think, would she grow old with me?
Could she be the one who’d share his life in the town of Schenectady?

For three long years they dated, then Christmas time drew near.
A tiny box, a golden ring, and then a gentle tear.

Earl stared and dared to ask, “Would you grow old with me?
Will you be the one who’ll share my life in the town of Schenectady?”

Betty finished high school, and they settled on a date.
November first, of ‘forty-seven they’d become each other’s mate.

That crisp and pretty Saturday dawned in New York State.
World War II had ended two years before this date.

Earl worked the morning shift at the local bakery.
This would be his wedding dayin the town of Schenectady.

At nine o’clock he walked toward home to begin another life.
When this day was over he would have a lovely wife.

Earl walked and dared to think, she’s going to grow old with me!
She’s the one who’ll share my life in the town of Schenectady.

When he arrived at his parents’ house he joined the neighbor boys
for a football game out in the street. He was part of the fun and noise.

“You’d better get cleaned up!” called his mother from the door.
Betty found out later, and scolded Earl some more.

What a day in Schenectady, a parade had come to town.
The Freedom Train was passing through, and through the land renown.

City trucks shined and hummed, boy scout troops marched too.
Schenectady was proud to say, “We helped fight World War II!”

Locomotives made here in town, and General Patton tanks.
This Freedom Train came calling with a special show of “thanks.”

But the parade blocked the side street in front of the church that day.
Betty and Earl advised their friends to arrive in the earliest way.

The police gave Betty an escort. She was, of course, the bride.
But Earl and his best-man brother were left to their own device.

There was no cause for worry for it was meant to be.
A parade wouldn’t stop the wedding in the town of Schenectady.

Two blocks from the church was the Two Guys Department Store.
Earl secured a parking spot. He couldn’t have asked for more.

In dress shoes and tuxedos they ran the rest of the way
to a fence at the rear of the church; they hoped it wouldn’t sway!

Earl and his brother swung up and over the top,
and with a huge sigh of relief dropped into the parking lot.

Pastor had been on the lookout to alleviate everyone’s fear.
He gave a shout and holler, and exclaimed, “They’re both here!”

This then was the moment she would grow old with me,
when she sweetly said “I do” at the church in Schenectady.

The wedding party in single file walked out onto State Street
where the parade crowds gathered. Boy, would they get a peak!

Bride and groom all gussied up, were teased and bumped along,
headed to the photographer, and singin’ their love song.

Betty in her wedding dress, Earl, the obvious groom.
Some hollered out to Earl, “Buddy, you’ve met your doom!”

“Don’t you know you’ll follow her all the days of your life?”
Earl just nodded with a smile. He now had his lovely wife.

Off they went on their honeymoon in Earl’s brother’s car.
A Chevrolet convertible that was sure to get them far.

Schenectady to Montreal is just over two hundred miles.
They spent the night in Saratoga Springs, and it brought many smiles.

The cabin that they rented had hot water but no heat.
Betty’s fur coat came in handy, a warm weight upon the sheets.

Up the road to Montreal, their final destination.
Canadian guards let them pass through though the car had no registration!

Next day they were headed home, the sleet and rain fell down.
But it didn’t cloud two happy hearts on the road to their home town.

Betty turned to Earl and said, “I’m growing old with thee,
I’ll be the one to share your life…………wherever you may

Driveway Farewell

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The house that I grew up in, Dad still lives in all alone.
It’s where they say your heart is, the place you called your home.
I often go to see him, to spend the day, and sometimes night.
A visit I anticipate with much love and plain delight.

It’s hard to express the feelings when I spend a day with Dad.
It embraces past and present, and for all we ever had.
He’s the remnant to our mother, his bride and dear loved wife.
He’s the pillar of our family, strong and true through all his life.

I sit beside his favorite chair where he spends most of his day,
And soak up his presence in lots of little ways.
We watch TV with lots of news; I’ll tell a long, long story.
We reminisce and share some jokes and always give God his glory.

There’s business we take care of, buying bananas and cuttin’ hair,
Sweep the patio and garage, and switching up the chairs.
I can’t recall when he’s meant more or I’ve treasured him so much.
He says the same about his Lord in whom he fully trusts.

All too soon the day winds down, it’s time for me to go.
I back the car down the driveway with a wave and kiss to blow.
There he sits in his scooter chair, hand raised and a smile of love.
This live snapshot of my father, a gift from heaven above.

If that were our last goodbye, that picture will stay with me.
A hand raised high that needs no words stamped in my memory.

Remember me at the end of the day, the love of our family, too.
Remember my life and the faith we shared, and I’ll be thinking of you.

Giving Thanks

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(written early ’80s)

Gray November, bleak and cold.
Windy, barren, gone is the gold
and yellow and orange of autumn past.
Winter sneaks in, her spell is cast.
Stark branches poke the sky.
Fragile snowflakes might flutter by.

November brings a heritage grand.
Thanksgiving Day within this great land.
A gray and dreary season, but a time to recall
the past year’s fruits reaped by all.

‘Tis the month our forefathers enjoyed
the blessings from the labors that were employed.
First, good seed was carefully sown,
then it yielded the product, fully grown.
The storehouse was full from the harvest great.
It was a thankful time – to celebrate.

It was the autumn of 1621.
A three day festival was begun.
Neighboring Indians came to the feast.
Invited by Bradford, and there was peace.
Gratitude and thankfulness was on hand
for the bountiful season off the land.

Prayers were sent to God above
for his undying mercy and guidance and love.

Are we so thankful as in that day,
when through the year good fortune comes our way?
For it’s not only the harvest that we are blessed,
but with families, loved ones and good health we possess.

Do we treasure this land of the free
where those same forefathers rejoiced to be?
Sure, times are hard for most everyone,
and the future appears bleak for months to come.
It’s easy to criticize, fear and condemn
the statues and principles for which we stand.

Recall the pilgrims and their courage to survive.
Always thanking God, they knew He’d provide.
Despite the condition we’ve found ourselves in,
a grateful heart must surely win
over depression, foreboding and deep despair.
Thanks for what we do have should be our prayer.

Entering the holiday season this year,
we’re caught up in festivities and bringing good cheer.
We’re plummeted along with the holiday craze.
Before we know it we’re caught in a maze
of shopping and buying and making plans,
and just getting by any way we can.

The reason for celebrating seems lost along the way,
as it might be this Thanksgiving Day.
Before holiday momentum speeds out of control,
let us remember the blessings we hold.

Friend of My Heart

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I wrote this poem for my sister many, many years ago, and had forgotten all about it, until she sent it back to me recently. 

True to me, kind to me,
never deceiving.
Cheering me, helping me,
ever believing.

Sad for me, glad for me,
never apart.
Dear to me, near to me,
friend of my heart.

Clear-hearted, strong-hearted,
all the way through.
Uplifting and tender,
wonderful you.

Fair to me, square to me,
life’s dearest part.
Best to me, blest to me,
friend of my heart.

1963o

 

Make Believe

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When daddys build a playhouse
magic is in the air.
Laboring love by sweat of brow,
anticipation everywhere.

The night the walls went up on mine,
helping hands were found.
Cords, saws and two by fours,
nails and screws all around.

I watched with sister and brothers too,
excitement in my heart.
For what Dad wrought with skillful hands
would soon become a part
of every day, and every play
a world of make-believe.
A piece of childhood memories
that in my life would weave
the innocent and poignant spell
of playing fun at life,
when at the end of every day
things always turned out right.

What is it about a playhouse
that weaves such fantasy?
Undaunted by real-life fears
you’re whatever you wish to be.

Sister was “Judy” and I was “Midge”,
both mommies to our dolls.
Pretending to be all grown up
even though we were still so small.

We’d mimic the good and the bad,
dreamed up adventures too,
of real life in the ’60’s.
Every day brought something new.

Little brothers were invited in
and sometimes they were not.
They merely wanted to bug us
and we called them little “snots.”

We’d either play ’til shadows fell
or when Mother called us in.
Then it was time for our dinner
as real life picked up again.

Night fell on the playhouse,
babies had been put to sleep
Mom took over the worrying
and our memories we would keep.

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