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When She Was Young

When she was young, she used to dream of living in a mansion, a castle, being a princess, or an heiress, at least.

There would be silk curtains in lilac-her favorite color. Fresh flowers on a dark wooden table inside the spacious dining room.

She would lay in the sun by the pool in her back yard, relaxing, getting that perfect tan. A garden of her favorite perennials would grow around the winding sidewalk that wound from the gate to the steps leading to a slate porch outside the entryway.

At night, lights would glimmer over the pool and line the winding staircase that lead to the bedroom with the best view of the ocean. The music of a violin whispers up from the parlor below.

Dreams, is it not strange how our dreams and wishes change as we age? The prince riding up on white stallion to reach down and lift you up beside him, whisking you away to the wonderful castle with palms and turrets. He carries you in his arms to that lilac scented room and holds a flower out to you as you reach for it.

Then, one day, we find we have grown up, we notice the world around us, how it has its own beauty and charm. We see that the simple things, small, yet delicate are often more appealing than the opulent dreams you once held.

Wild flowers replace the sculpted garden, a path through the deep forest takes your breath away as you peek at the azure sky above you. You no longer dream of the wealthy, handsome prince, nor hear the gallop of his horses drawing a carriage. Smiling, you raise and twirl around, as you see him out in the field, guiding the brown mare up the wooded trail toward the cabin.

You smile as you remember how your dream has changed. How you love cuddling up in an afghan on the floor of the cabin as he plays his newest guitar melody for you in front of the rock fireplace. Dreams…

When we are young, we have not yet experienced life’s choices or possibilities. We can only dream. We remember the stories read to us at bedtime, the books we read, curled up on the couch on a rainy

day. But as we grow, we are made aware that there are many dreams to choose from, many beautiful places, many choices await us.

Your castle has turned into a cabin, our garden into a forest. Beauty has taken on a new meaning- it is more a feeling, than a vision. To close your eyes and hear the strum of his guitar is much more romantic than the prince you once dreamed of hiring a musician to play tunes for you by moonlight.

When she was young, when YOU were young, the future was knitted from strands of starlight shimmering through the palms to the tune of ocean waves and nautical wind, There’s nothing wrong with that, you laughed, its simply that his hair blowing in the winds of the forest, the moonlight glowing through the windows of your cabin as he played the song he wrote for you, somehow soothed your soul more now that you were grown. You think of all the dreams you had ever entertained,

and looked up at him as you realized, this was real, it was life, it was good. When she was young, just as when when YOU were young, your daughter would entertain the same dreams.

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Black Widow

Black Widow ( a rap tune fro my “son” Beni-hana, who has kept my son alive through his work ┬áin the rap music gene)

Find the time, shout it out for me,

‘black widow, waiting patiently

knowin’ now -he’s livin’ in your soul’

we dont hide, here on the north side

time rolls on, nothing really maters now

all the pain, killed my soul somehow

my man, you have kept his dream alive

looking down-from the other side

you shout my anger-feel my violent rage

you dont hide-its on your front page

we dont sit -on this mountain side

rivers flow, we’re gonna stand and fight

keep it up, shout it out for me

it aint right-not like its supposed to be

this black widow -spins her deadly nest

can’t kill love-to hell with the rest

im waiting-im waiting

silent in my pain

black widow, waiting in the rain

keep it up-tear it down

im still here…break it down!

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A New Kind of New Years Resolution

29720269A New Years Resolution for the Technology Generation

It seems that everywhere we go, half the people we pass are on the phone, using Apps like Facebook, or watching ‘You Tube” perhaps laughing at jokes on the web, We are not really interacting with the people we are with- we are simply with them. We see it in restaurants, parks where people are taking in the scenery ( or used to), at the grocery store- just about everywhere we go. I have had so many older people say to me that they are “alone, even in a crowd” nowadays. “I wish they’d put those things away!”, they often sigh.

I admit to having been caught up in messaging, checking on the kids,, answering phone calls, seeing if a sick friend is doing better, all while I am out with friends. It’s a sign of the times. Almost everyone does it, the young people , more so than the older of us, but anyone with an “i phone” is likely to get a message or phone call while they with others and, it is only natural to answer it.
It is great to be able to call and tell a friend that “you will be late”, or find out that your loved one arrived safely at their destination. Having lived in both worlds, I greatly appreciate being able to stay in touch with my family, and for them to be able to call me if they need me. It is fun to play the games or look at jokes, but, lets face it, relationships are so much more important that spending your time in a room or restaurant with a group of friends, each in his or her own little world. We must learn to put a limit on how much of these modern conveniences are going to talk the place of talking to your sister who has met you at the mall, or visiting a sick loved on in the hospital. Enough is enough.

I have not had a “Happy Holiday Season” in the last decade, but that it not the subject tonight. No matter who we have lost, moved away from, or how deep within our thought we are, it is vital that we open our hearts, our thoughts, and even our worries to those that we find ourselves with.

I have raised my family now, and savor the chance to be with my children or grandchildren. It doesn’t matter if we are at home on the couch, going to the store, or taking a hike, our time with other people is important. It allows us to share, to hug, to laugh to love. True, we can do a lot of these things on our “i phones” in this day and time, but who wants to go out to eat only to watch people talk on their “i phones” when the whole purpose of meeting was to spend time together?

When I go on a walk, I want to observe nature, listen to the birds sing, smile as a squirrel scuttles up a tree. I want to show my grandchildren the caterpillar climbing a plant, a butterfly gathering nectar, a flock of birds flying over head. I want to tell my son that I appreciate him fixing my car. I want to hug my daughter, and tell her ‘thank you’ for taking the time out of her busy schedule to meet me. When I get home, I am sure my husband or parents want to hear about my day, compliment me on my new outfit or gently touch my shoulder and say, “I’ve missed you today,” We are missing so much of the meaning of life when we fail to do these things.

I think it is time , that we as a people, old and young, remember that there is a time for the technologies that all of us enjoy and a time to put them down and think of those around us, to remember the days when communication was largely done in person. I think it is time that we all value the personal side of relationships. How can we get to know a potential friend, welcome a new employee, even meet a possible mate if we cannot disconnect ourselves from technology long enough to take advantage of these simple pleasures that have brought us all to the place we are today.

It is a fact that technology will be a part of our future, and it can be a tool used to comfort those waiting on us, check on our loved ones, or make an appointment. We can use these advances to our advantage, or we can allow them to separate us from those we love and those who need us to look into their eyes and express our kindness and caring.

Let’s make a New Years Resolution this year that we will spend more time without our technological devises safely within arms reach than we do clinging to them like an oxygen tank on a sinking ship. God gave us the gift of speech. He gave us the gift of knowledge to invent technologies. But He also gave us each other. The ability to form relationships cannot truly take place without eye-to-eye contact. There is an old saying that reminds us that “the eyes are the window to the soul.”

Make a mental note of how much you enjoy the company of others, the conversations you have, a game of cards, singing or listening to music together. Fifty years ago, having a television was an amazing leap in technology, families found themselves crowded around them, listening and laughing together. Before that, our grandparents huddled by the radio listening to the news of World War II.

What did we do before that? We read, we had conversations, discussions, we laughed together, we watched the antics of children. We worked without interruption. We managed just fine without our modern technologies. It is important that the things we make a part of our lives, do not become more important that the people we live with, love and help. Though very few of us would want to give these technologies up, we must find a place for them within our lives-not allow them to take over our lives.

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Autumn Haiku

Asters dance as bees reap

Autumn’s last gift to the Gods

Of honey-of hope.

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School Memories from my Childhood

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School Memories from my Childhood

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I would like to honor my fifth grade teacher for making so many positive influences in my life. What could have been a terrible for a rather lonely only child was made into one of my best years by this lady. She got a students mom, who was an art teacher, to come in and give us lessons. She taught us to love and memorize poetry, she spent extra time on music, singing and it’s beauty.

She taught us of our nations history and how fortunate we were to be in the United States and in one of the most beautiful, tranquil places to be found there. (Western North Carolina) I have always love her. My father almost died that year, I had surgery on my foot and was on crutches for two months, yet somehow, that year was one of my best!

She died when my 2nd child was a baby, and to my dismay, the article about her death said simply, “There are no immediate survivors”. I was crushed. All those years, I had lived within few miles of this lady and never told her how much she meant to me. Now, I would never get that chance. Sh died alone (or at least without family) and I could hav possibly made a difference to her, like she did to me.

I would like to pass this lesson on to my readers, Don’t wait to say, “Thank you!” or “I love you.”. Don’t neglect to tell someone when they do something that has influenced you in a positive way. Ms. Blackstock, I hope somewhere in Heaven that you know what a difference you made in my life. You made me feel like the most special person in the world and I am sure that everyone of your students felt the exact same way.

To you, I dedicate a few poems and stories:

September

A road like brown ribbon, A sky that is blue.

A forest of green with that sky peeping through.

Asters, deep purple, a grasshoppers all.

Today it is summer – tomorrow it’s fall!

Halloween

The moon is round as a jack-o-lantern.

The trees are black and bare.

As we go walking with spooky giggles,

Through the chilled, ghostly air.

Who’s shadow is that on the haunted ground?

Who’s hiding behind that tree?

Oh, down the tree comes my bad, black kitten,

And the shadow is only me!

There were holiday poems and songs, songs and stories from all seasons, art lessons centered around the seasons and holidays, She made sure to include different religions and ethnicities in her holiday” poems, never making one more important than the others. Remember, this was in the 1960’s- it was not exactly a time known for teaching equality in such areas.

I believe that I still have my booklet from 5th grade tucked away somewhere. I remember singing the songs in school programs, learning to write stories and poetry myself and dreaming about being a teacher when I grew up. I will copy one song she taught us that we sang ina school program. I speaks clearly of what her goal was in being our teacher.

Let There be Peace on Earth,

Let there be peace on earth,

and let it begin with me.

Let there be peace on earth,

The peace that was meant to be.

With God as our Father, brothers all are we.

let me walk with my brothers, in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me, let this be the moment now.

With every step I take, let this be my solemn vow.

To take each moment,

and live each moment,

with pace eternally.

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.

(A child would then step forward sing the song as a solo-it was very moving.

I believe that the most important lesson that I learned from Ms. Blackstock is that we never know how we may influence people or who we may have a profound effect upon. We should always try to make an influence that we have on a child (or adult) be a positive one. Let it be a building block towards what that person may become and, especially, to always let them smile when they remember us, even if they can’t remember our name.

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When You Are All Grown

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I have loved being a mom for 40 years-

Six kids I have loved, , one so wrongly stolen.

Each time one of you has left my home

to go out into the world, a piece of my heart-

my “Mother’s Heart” has cried.

To have my little ones, love them,

see their eyes light up when they see me

was like a gift from Heaven to me.

To see you leave saw a piece of me wither away.

I wanted you to grow up and have a happy life,

butt it happened so fast-or not at all.

I want to feel you cuddled in my arms,

Hear your gentle breath as you sleep beside me.

No one told me that those difficult days with

noisy, messy, sleepless little ones would be missed,

That one day, you would be grown and I would be alone,

That your little laugh, your toddler smile would disappear.

I miss each of you, whether you grew up and moved on

or God took you when I needed you so much more.

Don’t forget that moms love hugs from grown kids too.

That they never get tired of hearing, “I love you.”

Forgive me when I’m sad because you have gone

even a short distance away. Minutes lost-tears gained.

One day, you will know how I feel and only then

will you see that your children grow so very fast,

But the need for their love, their smiles, their hugs,

never leaves, but only grows as you get older.

Share with me now, what I shared with you then.

Everything I have, my heart and soul, my love.

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