The Holocaust Happened!

 

© Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed.
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Knuckles of uniformed SS troops
Knocking
Voices hushed, hidden behind doors,
Talking
Feet of frantic ones shuffling, slowly
Walking
Spirits of bravery waning, yet still
Balking
Train cars swallowing up entire families
Shocking
Gassed bodies at death camps ghastly
Gawking
Nazi soldiers crazed, hatefully defiant,
Mocking
Dead body after dead body after dead body

 

Clocking Holocaust time at . . .

Auschwitz-Birkenau
Belzec
Bergen-Belsen
Bogdanovka
Buchenwald
Chelmno
Dachau
Gross-Rosen
Herzogenbusch
Janowska
Jasenovac
Kaiserwald
Majdanek
Maly Trostenets
Mauthausen-Gusen
Neuengamme
Ravensbrück
Sachsenhausen
Sajmište
Salaspils
Sobibór
Stutthof
Theresienstadt
Triblinka
Uckermark
Warsaw

Holocaust Day, Jan. 27th: the day of remembrance.

Take the Ball and Run with It

 

A little old lady was the chosen speaker at a convention composed of writers, composers and other artists. Retired now, she had been a pioneer architect, having built stunning monuments across the nation. Her motto that a house or building needs to be more than a shelter out of the rain gained her increased respect and praise throughout the years.

Giving advice to her listeners, she advised them to remain true to their creative form of energy. “I set myself a creed,” she said, “a measuring rod, a goal to work for. That goal is this: I want everybody to be better for having lived in my house.”

Translated to individuals everywhere, anyone could make that very same statement. “I want somebody to be better for having read my poem,” says the poet. Or “I want someone to be better for having read my novel.” Or a composer, “I want somebody to be better for having heard my music.”

We can continue this into our lives also. What are you building? A house? Work so that it will make someone better for having lived in a house you built. Are you a seamstress? Work so that garment will make someone better for having worn it. A schoolteacher? Teach so your students will be better off for having been taught by you. A neighbor? Don’t we all have neighbors? Live so your neighbor will be better off for having had you as a neighbor.

Take the ball and run with it in your life, attributes and endeavors. I hope my efforts here will help someone have a better life. People are watching you, did you know? If your actions help just one person have a better day, a better life, you have not lived in vain. Have a nice day and a blessed forever.

But I Could Catch the Biggest Bull Frogs

© Jeanne E Webster All rights reserved

Thank you, Lord, for Mom and Dad,
My angelic grandma I loved so.
Abundant sustenance all my life,
Safe environments in which to grow.

I respected my brothers and sisters,
Though we fought like cats and dogs.
We played and wrestled and got dirty
…I could catch the biggest bull frogs.

You gave me a sound body and mind;
I learned well to read and write.
Mostly I behaved quite proper;
A few wrongs but tried to do right.

Summer time we got rounded up
One year for that Bible school;
Met this gentle young man, Jesus,
Who taught me the Golden Rule.

He’s led me down life’s pathway,
Soothed my heart and hell-bound soul.
Cleaned me up one side and another;
Dug me out of that dark, deep hole.

The loving heart you gave me, Lord,
I used for lost sisters and brothers
That forgiving spirit was harder to bear;
But you said we should love one another.

Oh, the wisdom in that there Bible,
The tools for us to use in our lives.
I’m finding new ones most every day,
‘especially joys from just being alive.

A thankful heart and loving spirit
Is my offering, Lord, back to you.
Reflecting a happier way of life,
And a heart that’s tried and so true.

Summer Dawdlings

© Jeanne E Webster. All Rights Reserved.

“Summertime…and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high.”

I’ve always liked that song, mainly for taking me back to memorable  summer vacations spent at my grandparent’s home in Massachusetts. Those lazy, hazy days of summer were the happiest times of my childhood.

Small town life in the mid-1940s was kid safe; one could play outside unsupervised from sunup to sundown with no problems. We’d stuff a peanut butter sandwich in our pocket after breakfast, and off we’d scamper on our all-day carefree adventures.

Our youthful bantam legs struggled as they carried us up that steep knoll to the top of Walnut Hill, then braked as down, down, down we coasted to the placid waters of Lake Mattawa.

Dawdling around the lake edges for a while, we’d skim stones across the water, search for baby fish, and wade into the warm clear waters to extract pretty rocks or other treasures not too far out into the lake.

After resting from our arduous one mile trek, we’d wander through the adjacent pine trees and head for Uncle Brad’s house. to play with our cousins.  We had an unwritten privilege of fishing rights to his pond, and after we had dug up worms and crawlers, we’d grab some of his many fishing poles and scamper down to the stagnant, bubble-gurgling pond. We were delighted to snaggle luminous bluegills and sunfish, and catfish and brilliant yellow pike were always in bountiful supply.

Tiring from catching such “huge” fish, we’d retreat to Aunt Winnie’s back porch and eat our sandwiches and partake of her home-made lemonade especially set out for our disposal.

It was our habit to linger a while after our repast and visit the hen houses, barnyard and outbuildings of their chicken farm. What merriment was had while playing in the granary, jumping on top of the loose corn and smelling the aromas of earth’s harvest offerings!

Next we’d ramble on south a couple of miles towards Aunt Judy’s house and spend the rest of the day interacting with her eleven kids. We’d play hide-and-seek, cowboys and Indians, cops and robbers, and with adult supervision, we could play croquet. We had no store-bought toys; we merely used our imaginations, which in all reality, was pure delight… pretty much.

Once one of my cousins dared me to pick some poison ivy and rub it on my arms and legs. So I double-dared him to do it too. Well…the next day he had poison ivy all over his body, and I had nary a blister. To this day I’m not allergic to the ivy!

Aunt Judy filled our tummies with her family’s supper fixings before we headed back to Gramp and Gram’s home. If the sun was still halfway up the western sky, we’d stop off at the churchyard and wander out back to the cemetery to pick the delicious wild strawberries there. They were so tiny but, oh, so succulent!

Summertime…heaven-sent days for earth-bound children, quickly spent and forever gone. Oh, to be a kid again!?

Memorial Day Tribute

May we forever honor those who lived and died to keep our country free.

WOMEN'S WINDOW

flag1

© 2014 Jeanne E Webster. All rights reserved and observed

.

As I raised our flag this Memorial day,
That grand red, white and blue,
I thought of all those who had died
For our country, so free and true.
~
Their precious blood, sweat and nerve
Permeate each golden grain of sand
And inhabit every leaf and grass:
Walk softly on this sacred land.
~
The wind still resonates their cries
Do you hear them calling out?
From sea to shining seas they sound
Over every hill and dale they shout:
~
“Oh, say can you see
By the dawn’s early light,
The glorious red, white and blue?
It’s still there! It’s within sight!”
~
We’ll hold dear your sacred trust
Endowed to us and our followers too;
Your sacrifices were not in vain!
Our hearts reiterate with tribute to you!

Photo: flickr

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Looking for Me?

 

Jeanne E Webster-All Rights Reserved

Welcome to my house. It’s getting old and shabby, I know. It’s not a big house, only five feet and two inches. The roof is a medium brown and grey tweed, blending well with the olive tinted exterior. What really pops are the two deep-blue windows which reflect the distinctive characteristics of the tenant…ME!

Come on in and let’s get acquainted.

Howdy! It‘s nice to meet you. By the way, I just love your house. Really cool roof color. Don’t mind my house; it needs a new coat of paint. But I won’t be needing it much longer.

Did you know we are made of three separate parts? Yep, we have a body, mind and spirit. We’ve already compared and sized up the bodily component. Voila, ready or not, here we are! Our houses have a way of standing out, don’t they?

It’ll be harder for you to see my inner person, my mind and spirit, mainly because they are intangible. So sit down for a spell and listen up; you just might learn a thing or two about me. Maybe I’ll learn more about myself too.

A mind is a strange thing. Mysterious and eerie, like a jet plane flying so high in the sky, one cannot see it, only hear it. Sometimes it’s occluded by clouds. We’ll never figure out all the dynamics of our minds, because they are quite intricate organs. I strive daily to know my inner self. Even the Bible advises us to “know thyself”. Easier said than done, right?

My mind is a tool that helps me survive, to understand the world around me. I have learned responsibility and a moral sense of right and wrong. I have free will rights to anything I want to do, but along with this free will comes a conscience, an entity I can’t see or hold, yet it is there as certainly as my physical aspects.

I’ve heard the still small voice of my Creator that bids me love others as He loves me, forgive others as He forgives my sins, and to tell the “good news” to the world. My mind knows His voice and my body obeys His directions.

My spirit is that essence within me that searches the recessed corners of many rooms in my house, making sure that all is well. It’s that “finger to finger” touch Michelangelo portrayed in his fresco of Adam reaching out for God. I find it a vital exercise for my physical and mental health to reach up and touch God’s hand every day.

Hopefully you have gotten to know me better, and I look forward to peeking inside you one day.

Let’s end with an exercise that involves all three aspects of the inner person…prayer. Pray always, earnestly and fervently.

“Take the time to reach up for God; He’s reaching down for you. “
~Marijohn Wilkin
Shalom.

From Viet Nam and Back

© Jeanne E Webster

Life is filled with many wonders, some shrouded in golden ecstasy while others forever etched with tears from tortured souls. It is an arduous and exhilarating labor, long and short, hopeful and hopeless, fulfilling and fleeting, and promising and forsaking.

Life begins with a scream and ends with a moan, loves one day and hates the next, promises the world with one hand and waves goodbye with the other.

Somewhere in-between these dynamics, babies are born and people die, lovers marry and the disillusioned divorce, families build up and discord knocks down, adults fight and children hurt. Such is life.

Mature life begins with shy smiles, cuddling looks, love oozing from the seams of passion, pure innocence in all its meant-to-be fashion.

Babies are snuggling from the breast, prideful glances exchanged, cooing and oh-so-gentle touches of love, and brief bliss and fulfillment. Home was security until a thing called war bombed the soul out of young hearts just beginning their walk down the aisle of life.

The eruption of a foolhardy war blasted on the idyllic scene and in a few short years, family units deteriorate into shambles, love turns to hate, children tremble in frightening anguish. Parents divorce, bitterly forging a sword of despair and unforgiveness into once solid family trees—forever.

Like animated ghosts of the past, fathers and mothers trod wearily along what’s left of life, separated by wounds too deep to heal and too long ago to remember.  Children are resilient but deeply hurt nonetheless. They reach adulthood and marry, clinging dearly to high hopes, bearing young and slowly beginning their family trees. But all too soon they realize that. . .

“Life begins with a scream and ends with a moan, loves one day and hates the next, promises the world with one hand and waves goodbye with the other.”

A story told by an angel on the wing, carrying heavenward life’s shattered things.