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

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© 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.

OH GOD!

© Jeanne E Webster- All Rights Reserved

Scene 1

Mary and Joseph lost track of their son, Jesus, a mere 12 year-old, on the way home from their temple visit in Jerusalem. Frantically searching for three days, they found him back in the temple in deep discourse with the rabbis. Quite distraught, they inquired why he had gone off on his own.

“…I must be about my Father’s business.” LUKE 2:49

Scene 2

While attending a wedding in Cana of Galilee, Jesus’ mother asked him to provide the guests with more wine before the barrel ran dry. “…mine hour is not yet come.” JOHN 2:4

Scene 3

Many years later, a Passover meal has been prepared in an upper room for Jesus and his disciples. Women possibly were present to facilitate the meal, including his mother. She had perhaps bid him “Shalom, my son” as he left the upper room, heading towards his destiny awaiting him in the garden of Gethsemane and later at Golgotha.
Did she remember his words as a child? “…I must be about my Father’s business.” Did she know to some extent what might lie ahead for her son? “…MINE HOUR IS NOT YET COME.” Is this his hour? Mary’s heart and spirit must have shuddered as she trudged home that evening.

Scene 4

A few hours later Jesus was standing before the high priest, arrested after being betrayed by Judas. His hour had come. LUKE 22:15-22, JOHN 18:1-14

Agonizing hours later, amongst the crowds, Mary catches a glimpse of a man struggling to carry a wooden beam that is strapped to his shoulders. This is surely a criminal off to his death on the hill called Golgotha. Surely.  No…wait!  THAT IS MY SON!

He is drenched with blood and sweat, glistening in the hot sun as it streaks down his brow, the remainder of his body one dark red mass. She frantically pushes and shoves those that separate them, but he is still far off. The din from the masses is deafening.

“Crucify him! Crucify him!” “We want Barabbas!”

Scene 5

Breathless and exhausted, Mary scrambles up the hill to the cross that holds her son with a mere three nails. Grabbing the cross to catch her balance, she looks up, trying to make eye contact with her son, one last time. HIS HOUR HAS COME!

The brutal leather-thronged whip has done its god-forsaken work on his head, shoulders and back. A torn mass of bleeding arteries and shredded muscles hang limply from that rugged cross. “Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother…” JOHN 19:25

Scene 6

The trial was over, the long agonizing walk to Golgotha concluded, the torture of an innocent man, the Son of God, was almost finished. The King of the Jews had been dethroned. Naked, stripped of all his glory and lifted up for all to see, Jesus looked down, searching. Through blood streaked eyes and excruciating pain, he saw his mother standing by. When Jesus therefore saw her, He said “Woman, behold your Son!” JOHN 19:26

For a few moments, close your eyes and envision this event: a dying son gasping for a glimpse of his mother…a mother in tears and overwhelming heartbreak, peering through the snarled, bloodied hair of her son, trying desperately to make eye contact.

“It is finished.” Bowing his head he gave up the ghost. John 19:30
(jew)

Annie, Quit Digging!

WOMEN'S WINDOW

annie

©2016 Jeanne E Webster – All Rights Reserved

Welcome home, Annie. 

Annie came to live with us three years ago, adopted from the local Humane Society as Sweet Pea.  She is a Jack Russell/Rat terrier mix, resulting in an incessant digging dog.  Thankfully she has not picked up the trait too strongly.  Supervising play time in the yard helps curb the habit. Her cell mate, Josey, “barked” her way to our house a few months later, after we decided Annie needed company.  (Josey’s story is in the previous post)

House rules for our girls are: no getting on the furniture whether we are home or not, no potty inside the house, no sniffing out the kitchen garbage can, no fighting over treats or toys, no begging from company, no re-con efforts while we are at the dining table, no digging for moles, mice, snakes, or any other living creatures in…

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