My Favorite Place|NaPoWriMo Day Twelve

Following a stone pathway
down to a small brook gurgling
past a small cottage,
she sat down on a big log
by the brook, glancing
around her.

The smoke of burning pinion
from adobe chimneys
wafted through the air,
reminiscent of her favorite
place in autumn.

She loved the air here
any time of year,
but especially when
sunlight fell
mystical and gentle,
in air spicy and cozy.

In autumn,
giant cottonwoods clustered
along streams,
arroyos, and
the centuries old plaza,
       dropped~~
                     ~~fluttering~~
                                            ~~leaves~~
   to land in colorful crunchy piles.

The old woman’s wrinkled face
cracked
in a thousand directions
  as she smiled brightly, realizing
  she was
      in her
                favorite place
      in her
                favorite season,
    autumn…

Taos, New Mexico,
truly, land of enchantment!

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/12/15

The ABC Poem or Abecedarian Poetry–NaPoWriMo Day 10

Today’s challenge is to write an abecedarian poem – a poem with a structure derived from the alphabet. There are a couple of ways of doing this. You could write a poem of 26 words, in which each word begins with a successive letter of the alphabet. You could write a poem of 26 lines, where each line begins with a successive letter. Or finally, if you’d prefer to narrow your focus, perhaps you could write a poem which focuses on a few letters, using words that repeat them.

My attempt at this is a bit crude, but hopefully it still expresses some of my deepest held beliefs and hopes for this world.


The ABC Poem

Always
Be kind,
Caring for others.

Dare to be different,
Experience life,
Fearing nothing while young.

Go where you can, see the world,
Here and yon,
Imagine a life of peace,
Joy and love.

Keep all your promises, and
Love without limits, you’re sure to
Make friends as you go if you do.

Never lie or deceive, and
O’er all your days,
Pray and believe in God, hope, and love.

Quiet is good for the heart and the soul.
Remember, be grateful, and
Sing every day.
Take time to be holy, and
Understand one another.

Voice all your cares,
Worship all day, God will meet you right there.

Xpress through prayer, to
Your God up above, your care for each man, let’s
Zap all the hatred from our hearts and this world.

©Elaine Wood-Lane
4/10/15

Money and Henry the Rooster–NaPoWriMo Day 7

Money. Simple money.
Figures on a bank app
show we have enough.
Enough to pay our bills,
buy our food, and even,
fortunately, and thank God,
enough to share with others.

Are we rich? No.
Put us on an American class scale
and we’d tilt the scales to
middle middle class.
Not rich.
Not poor.
But somewhere in the middle.
Richer than I ever thought I’d
be on that scale, for sure.

However, money isn’t valuable.
See this rooster?

Henry the Rooster is valuable.
He has been in our family
since I was 3 years old when I
first saw him on the shelf at the
Gold Bond Stamp store.

It was my parents’ 30th anniversary
and my sister, Judy, and I were
looking for a gift for our parents.
She found useful things like
pretty drinking glasses with gold rims.
I found Henry. Henry was meant
for Mother and Daddy to celebrate
their 30 years as wife and husband.
I was sure of it and rather stubbornly
stomped my foot over him
in the Stamp Store.

Judy acquiesced to her stubborn
baby sister and we went home
that day with drinking glasses
and Henry.

My parents made much of him,
said he was just perfect.
He was then placed,
and lived for years, in a place of
honor and safety on top
of our icebox.

I grew up.
My parents grew very old, and
then slipped away to heaven.
Through it all, Henry
remained at his post loyally,
never getting broken,
always there to gaily
remind us of the great love
of two people who married,
had five children,
and stayed together until
death parted them after
66 years of marriage.

If my house caught fire today,
Would I grab jewelry?
Money? Stocks?
Photo albums? Heck no!

No, I would grab,
Henry the Rooster,
and Buddy, my little dog,
the two most valuable
possessions in my whole house.

One reminds me of my past.
One holds me steadfastly
in my present, so that
someday we’ll all be
together in the future:

Henry the now antique Rooster,
Buddy my Chihuahua, Alan my husband,
and me, the richest woman on earth
because all of my valued possessions
remind me of LOVE, the most valuable
thing on earth.

© Elaine Wood-Lane
4/7/15

Let Us Love One Another and Then…Let’s Eat Chocolate!!

This felt like me today for sure! I didn’t fall, but I felt like I had been run over by a mack truck this morning. I hurt, I felt mean, and I was jittery as that squirrel on Hoodwinked with coffee. I took my husband to work because I needed the car for a lunch date and when I got back home, I realized that I hadn’t taken my medicine last night! I don’t know why I do that sometimes! I only take five kinds of medicine, but they’re for fibromyalgia, hypertension, and estrogen replacement. If I don’t take them, even for one night, the repercussions are immediate and painful.

The moment I realized I hadn’t taken my medicine, I went and took the medicines I could that wouldn’t knock me out (I thought), and ate some breakfast. I returned to reading a book. I was supposed to be at my former workplace at 11:00 so I had a couple of hours to get ready and drive over there. I woke up at 11:20!! I hurriedly threw on some clothes and hit the road. At a red light, I texted my friend to let her know I was running late. I was a mess! Trying to wake up, fight anxiety, and get all the way across town. I still was hurting some, but by golly, I wasn’t going to let it get me down!

One of the reasons I visit my former workplace is that I love so many of my former coworkers. I’m not talking about, “hey, I love ya man” love. I’m talking, I really care and love these people deeply. They’re some of my best friends I’ve made here in Colorado Springs. They’re really good people and some of them lately have been going through some really tough challenges of all kinds. I can’t do as much for people as I did in the past because of the weakness, fatigue and pain of fibromyalgia. I hate that aspect of not feeling well. However, God has shown me that I’m not helpless or worthless. I can still pray, encourage and support my friends. I can go to them, listen to them, and hug them. (My specialty is hugs. I know that sounds goofy, but I feel like I can transmit my love best by hugs.) So, I went to lunch with one of my friends and we had a great time, even if I was late! I got to see some of my favorite people, give hugs, share love, and so…today became a good day!

It became even better when I came home and found out that one of my fellow bloggers here on WordPress, https://sailingpenguin.wordpress.com/, had nominated me for the Creative Blogger award!! (Tomorrow I will be nominating some of the blogs I follow and truly appreciate for this award as well!)

I feel so honored that she liked my blog enough to nominate me for this award and to bring more attention to my blog. It made my day! Thanks so much Nicky, for the nomination! I truly appreciate it.

So, now I will hush. I’ve talked too long, a frequent problem I have and for which I apologize. I just wanted to remind all my friends, family and readers that, even if a day starts out really rough, if we hurt physically, emotionally, or mentally, if we pray and keep our faith, spend time with people we love and who love us, and share hugs (even better), our day can improve exponentially! NOW I NEED CHOCOLATE!!

Peace and love, always,

Elaine

Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him. 1 John 4:7-9

MILO

I want the whole world to know I am now a Grandmama!!

Milo was born yesterday afternoon, 1/24/15, at 4:04 in the afternoon in Aurora, IL. He weighed 7 pounds and 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. Mama, Papa, and baby are all doing well, although little Milo did put his mother through a long and arduous labor.

Grandmama Lane, who had anxiously been “nesting” at home and awaiting news of progress of the labor and delivery yesterday, had this to say when she finally received the call that her grandson had been born, “Oh! It’s a boy!! Is he ok? Is Erin ok? I’m SO excited!” and then proceeded to do the happy dance right in the middle of the living room floor and in front of God and everybody. Grandpapa Lane was quoted as saying, “So it’s a boy! Are Erin and the baby both doing well? Oh, good grief, Dee, quit that!! You’re going to hurt yourself!!” Needless to say, Grandmama and Grandpapa Lane are very proud of the new addition to the family!

Of course, being the sentimental poet that I am, had to write a poem after I slept long through the night to recover from my happy dancing.

MILO

Milo,
one new little human.
Another branch on
a large family tree
that has been battered,
riven, grafted, and
survived to put on
new branches and
leaves of love.

Milo,
a four letter word
attached to a precious,
new little boy
who made me a
grandmother.

Milo,
a new sweet,
tender spot of love
that instantly grew
in my heart forever.

Milo,
a little boy who
I hope will call me,
“Grandmama,”
in that sweet little
boy way that
melts hearts.

Milo,
a new son who
gave my son a
completely new
gentle, mature, proud,
tone of voice instantly.

Milo,
I can’t wait to
meet you and
hold your little
body in the same
arms I held your
dad in when he
was brand new too.

Milo,
a name that will
always equal
LOVE to
all of us.

Milo,
we thank God
for the blessing
of you.

©D. Elaine Wood-Lane
1/24/15

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Missing Mother

It has been 14 years today since Mother passed away and I still miss her. Actually, the longer time goes on and the older I get, the more I understand her better and miss her. I wish I could apologize for some of the things I thought and said to her.

She was older than all my friends’ moms and a lot more outspoken than most and that embarrassed me dreadfully as a shy, quiet little girl. Now, I realize she loved her family fiercely and wasn’t afraid to be herself. She did talk a lot and revealed confidences that I wished to keep secret, but now I can see how insignificant most of my secrets were and why she ended up telling them. For that matter, I find myself doing the same thing sometimes with my sons. I have started to recognize, over the last five years or so, a look my sons and daughter-in-law get when they wished I would just hush! ;-). How many times, over the years with Mother, did I have the same expression and thought towards her? And this towards the woman who literally risked her life to have me when she was 45 years old?! I’m ashamed of myself, I am!

Mother was a lively, passionate, possessive, protective, loving wife and mother. She did so many good things for me over the years and I wasn’t grateful enough then. Now I am grateful beyond measure and I can’t tell her face to face. I only hope that she knows somehow anyway or that I get to tell her in heaven someday. I’m grateful for Mother’s spunk and fierce love. Honestly, if I were more like her, that would please me greatly! So…if you still have your mother and you love and appreciate her, please don’t wait too long to let her know. Mother knew I loved her, but I wish I had been more understanding and grateful for her when I had her here.

Merry Christmas!

Luke 2:1-14

The Birth of Jesus
​At that time the Roman emperor, Augustus, decreed that a census should be taken throughout the Roman Empire. (This was the first census taken when Quirinius was governor of Syria.) All returned to their own ancestral towns to register for this census. And because Joseph was a descendant of King David, he had to go to Bethlehem in Judea, David’s ancient home. He traveled there from the village of Nazareth in Galilee. He took with him Mary, his fiancée, who was now obviously pregnant.

And while they were there, the time came for her baby to be born. She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger, because there was no lodging available for them.

The Shepherds and Angels
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in highest heaven,
and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.” (NLT)

This is what we have to celebrate tonight, tomorrow, and every day of the year! The Savior was born in a humble stable, safely, amazingly, miraculously, of the virgin, Mary. He was God in human form and came for one simple reason: God loves us all. God loves YOU. He loves me. He loves the sinner, the saint, and everyone in between. He loves us all! Now THAT is truly something to celebrate, right?!

May God bless you and keep you safe. Merry Christmas! dewl 12/24/14

Red Yarn

Red is the soft yarn,
Full of possibilities,
Warm cozy yarn love.

 

Life is full of possibilities every single day. We see and are given many beautiful gifts every moment, but often miss them because we are so focused on the past or the future or the pain of the present moment. When I look at a pretty, colorful skein of yarn, I see beauty and possibilities for creating and crafting a gift of love.

Embrace every moment in life. Look at the beauty around you that God has blessed you with. See the endless possibilities God has given you to show and give love.

Luk 6:38
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

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Things I Love–A Poem

Longhorn-in-Texas-Bluebonnets-1

I love springtime anywhere,
but I think the longhorn cattle
in the Texas bluebonnets
love it even more.

I love music by
young people.
They rearrange notes
that come out
fresh and young,
sounding like hope.

I love Oikos
apple pie yogurt.
It’s health and home
in every bite.

I love new babies
and their sweet smell,
freshly minted in heaven.
(Do you think angels
dust them with that
right before birth?)

I love a baby
sinking into me
in the rocking chair,
while I hum a lullaby
until we both sleep.

I love poetry,
writing words,
feelings out loud,
to share my heart–
so someone can
feel it beating.

I love Alan’s kiss
hello each morning,
and my kiss
goodnight to him
right before sleep.

I love all
of my sons and daughters,
those of my flesh
and those of my soul.
I pray for them all
each day.

Most of all,
I love God.
I’m thankful
He still listens, because…
I talk to Him,
ALL. THE. TIME.

If I were God,
I’d break up with me
for so much talking,
but He assures me
He loves our talks
and would be heartbroken
if I stopped talking to Him
and telling Him what I love.

God is so lovely,
Isn’t He?
He IS love, completely.

He loved me first.
So I love and love,
and hope to be,
more love,
so someday, when I die,
all that will be left of me
is a sunbeam of love,
shining on the floor.

©Elaine Wood-Lane      4/16/14

How Well We Know the Ones We Love

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About a week ago I bought a little app for jigsaw puzzles. The neat thing about it is that you can use your own photos to make any puzzle you want. You can make them as complicated (550 pieces) or as simple (42 pieces) as you want.

I started out with some of the puzzles the app offered and then started on some art work I had saved before moving on to family photos like this one. Of the five people in this photo, only two of us remain on this earth, my sister Judy on the far left and myself on the far right. The other three people, from the left, are Mother, Daddy, and my oldest sister Betty.

I have to admit, it felt a little odd putting this particular puzzle together. I thought, “piece of cake, right?” I know these people. I’ve looked at this picture many times.

I started with the edges as is my usual habit. Then I started the middle. I came to a point where I had a woman’s mouth. Was it Betty’s? Was it Mother’s…or even mine? I looked closer at the tiny piece on the screen and suddenly knew, without a doubt, it was Mother. Tears sprang to my eyes as I remembered the last time I heard her speak and breathe, moments before she passed away in my arms. Hers was the first voice I ever heard, the voice who could yell me home a block away, and the voice I remembered singing hymns in church. Those lips kissed away booboos and heartbreaks.

Next came a set of twinkly, mischievous blue eyes. Well! Those could belong to any of us, but that particular twinkle was all Betty when she laughed. We were all happy in this moment. It was Daddy and Mother’s 65th wedding anniversary and Daddy was joking and teasing as only he could. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but we all laughed just as the camera snapped our picture.

What’s my point? It is this. Even when those we love pass to heaven before us, we still love them, still know them well, and they are and always will be part of us. We may not be able to ring them up on the phone or feel their loving arms around us, but they are just as much with us as our beating hearts within us.

Close your eyes and picture your spouse’s eyes, your father’s hands, or hear your children’s screams of laughter. That’s how well we know the ones we love and it’s forever.