Saturday, July 5, 2014

We Gaze At The Same Silver Moon...



And The Same Big Sky Above...




As Our Soldiers In A Land Far Away...


this photo came to me via an e-mail



Long to see the faces

of the one's they Love!


~


Back Home...


Old Oak Trees...

 

Dressed up in yellow ribbons


~



Door Frames...



Adorned with Love!


~


As We Pray and We Wait...

We Fly Our Flag...



And We Celebrate

This Great Land!




H a p p y   I n d e p e n d e n c e   D a y!








Sunday, June 15, 2014

HE CRIED







I MISS MY DAD...  





  







When I was a little girl, I would stand by the door 
when it was time for my dad to arrive home from work...

all bubbly with excitement to greet him...

Me and Dad!


He'd pick me up

and give me a big kiss on the cheek

such a wonderful moment...

the best!



He was a hard working man; a wonderful provider for his family and a great example of what hard work really was. Knowing the value of a dollar, never squandering a cent, he always reminded us to save. He was a child during the great depression and knew first hand how difficult times can become.  I don't remember him sitting down much.  He would come home from work, and work some more...in his amazing vegetable garden, in the yard, in and around the house. He could and did repair and build anything... a jack of all trades, he took great care of us! 

He served his country in the navy and fought in WWII.

He had the gift of discernment...to see through a facade and tell it like it is...he was a very truthful man.

He was a Golden Gloves Boxing Champion ~ As a result, he could be intimidating to some...(perhaps the reason I didn't have many dates)???!!! 

My dad had a sense of humor...a silly one! He made us laugh quite often with antics, jokes, made up names, etc. He was most humorous when he wasn't really trying! ;)

Mom and Dad
He was a moral man and loved his family dearly and was "in love" with his wife, my mom with his whole heart and soul all the days of their life!

Mom and Dad
He loved God and had a great deal of wisdom (although I didn't always see it as wisdom until I matured a bit). He was one of my biggest cheerleaders in life; my mom was the other.



Yes, he was tough; he was strong and his "love language" was one of works mostly. I suppose I don't have as many soft and sugary moments to tell about my dad as I do about my mom. She was the soft place to land - he was our protector and defender...a place of security, with a sensitive heart hidden just beneath the surface.  He had layers...depth!

Despite the fact that my dad is now home with his heavenly father, I still miss him! But...someday, I'll arrive home and he will be waiting by the door for me...

Daddy's kiss
He will pick me up and give me a big kiss on the cheek.  I will feel the security of the moment and the joy of being re-united with my dad. 


At his memorial, the pastor said "I believe Jim is tending to the most beautiful garden he's ever laid eyes on right now, and I also believe that if Jim could tell you one thing, he'd say....'you've got to come here'!!!" 


YES...I believe it too!                        



I wrote this poem after he had major heart surgery...his life was saved...


He Cried


He was a strong man,                      
Never shed a tear,                         
Solid as a rock
Carried no fear...

He was a tough guy,
A hard working man,
Showed his love by the work of his hands...

Not a man of flowery words,
Nor of many words at all,
But as far as I was concerned,
He was ten feet tall!


I was sure he could carry the world on his shoulders,
Sometimes I think he even tried,
Never a doubt in my mind,
That because of this strong man,
Life would be just fine...


Every day after work, I’d greet him at the door,
He’d pick me up and kiss me on the cheek,
There was nothing in the world I wanted more,
Than this moment of the day – so sweet.


Years later…
One day after work…
He laid down to rest,
He said he felt a “funny” pain deep inside his chest...
We knew this was bad when he didn’t fight,
And the ambulance rushed him off that night.

His heart was opened by surgery,
And then it began to melt,
With words of kindness and expressions of love,
He finally told us how he felt!

The feisty fighter had a soft side,
He showed that side to mom and me,
In a three way hug that lasted a long time,
And his tear filled words “I love my family”!

The feelings trapped inside began to flow,
In words now, not just deeds,
The size of his heart began to grow,
His spirit was set free!


I’m grateful for the tears and expressions we shared,
They mean more than one could know,
I always knew how much he cared,
But I’m glad he found the words to show.


He was a strong man
And he made it clear,
That a strong man’s
Not afraid to shed a tear...


He was a strong man
With a gentle side,
The gift he gave me etched precious in my mind...

Was the day my daddy cried.


(written by Lorraine Brown/ copyright 2007)


H A P P Y   F A T H E R' S   DAY!

"Be kind to thy father, for when thou wert young, Who loved thee so fondly as he? He caught the first accents that fell from thy tongue, And joined in thy innocent glee." -- Margaret Courtney ..














Wednesday, June 4, 2014

DO WHAT YOU LOVE!






DO YOU EVER WISH YOU HAD A CERTAIN TALENT 
SOMEONE ELSE HAS?


I ADMIT I WISH I HAD A BEAUTIFUL SINGING VOICE.  


WHAT DO YOU WISH YOU COULD DO? 








RATHER THAN WISHING...
 
                                 
 PERHAPS WE MIGHT THINK ABOUT WHAT WE DO WELL 
OR WHAT WE LOVE DOING...



YOU HAVE A TALENT OR TALENTS
UNIQUE TO YOU!  


WE ALL DO!



BACK DURING THE OLYMPICS, I WAS REMINDED OF THE FACT THAT THERE ARE DIFFERENT TALENTS (or gifts) GIVEN TO DIFFERENT PEOPLE.  SOME CAN SKI OR SNOWBOARD OR SKATE OR EVEN CURL ( I was so inspired, for a brief moment, I actually thought this might be one I could handle).  This sport made me want to get up off the couch and grab a broom and start practicing.  Yet, just like all sports, curling takes precision and endurance.  I don't have the "gift of curling"  - nor do I have the desire --- My arms get tired just trying to hold the "curling iron" long enough to get my hair the way I like it!  ~  Na!  I won't  be competing anytime soon  ;) 

Most of us would probably agree that the Olympics are entertaining and inspirational (I can feel their joy when I watch them do what they do best)...and certain competition in the right context can help push us to the next level...improve upon our talents... 

yet...


In the "day to day" world -


Life itself is not a Competition


Life IS a Community!



What we do, who we are,
what gives us joy...


Is all in the sharing...


sharing the love

of something you do

 with others...


spreading the joy...




Encouraging one another
to use our unique gifts...


C E L E B R A T I O N!



When I create, I feel God's pleasure!  When I realize it is from him and give Him the glory for the gift, I feel even more joy! 

My purpose on this earth is not just to create...not just to write...not just to cook...not just to design...but to glorify the one who knitted me together and who made these gifts my own. He is the designer; the artist; the master of all trades!
   

P R A I S E!


As I feel His pleasure, I'm compelled to run more quickly to Him...to quicken my steps toward the heartbeat of God...to be in His presence...abiding in Him. 


C O M M U N I T Y!  


As I follow in His footsteps the crescendo builds until that final, beautiful, powerful symbol hits the final chord!  A symphony of the best compilation of Love, Grace, Life Abundant, Joy Everlasting and Complete Fellowship with The One ...
who knows me through and through.   


G R A T I T U D E!



It is not religion I seek...it is a person...The person of God who created me for a relationship with Him through His only son who took my place on the cross to make this all possible. I desire to give Him the glory for all things and my place is in Him! 



C O N T E N T M E N T!



Let me be like a soft, flexible wineskin

emptied, cleansed and pliable...

ready to be filled with his grace,

swelling

with the truth and the love and the  grace

 to pour forth ...



I N S P I R A T I O N! 



Run towards the prize of the upward call in Christ Jesus!

Hear the beating of His heart...

Listen to that still small voice...

Feel His Pleasure as you use your gifts to inspire others ~ 

and see what else...



 He leads you to do ~ to be!




Life is filled with possibilities!



"Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, 
who does not change like shifting shadows."    
(James 1:17)







Sunday, May 25, 2014

N   E   V   E   R       F   O   R   G   E   T !



"Greater love hath no man than this,

that a man lay down his life for his friends." 

(John 15:13)





Stars shine and stripes remind

The stars shine bright...

In the darkness of a foxhole,    
                                                        
Or in the glow of celebratory light…

By the fireworks we ignite.

Some forget just what happened

in the dead of night,

As the stripes remind us of their wounds,

And blood shed for freedom’s sake,

Today, as well as yesterday…

Make no mistake

Of the sacrifice they make,

While children play,

And music serenades,

As the marching band

Leads our parade...

Let us not forget,

Let us not delay,

Our gratitude to those

Whose coffins lay...

Draped in our flag while taps play.

Let's not hesitate to give thanks

And to celebrate...

The freedoms won by our strong and brave

Of every race and every age...

May we never forget the sacrifice they made.

We salute them now...as we bow

Our heads for grace,

And we take our place...

At the bountiful table

Preserved for us by a remembered face...

No greater love for freedom's sake!
(written by Lorraine Brown/copyright 06/28/10)



Giving thanks this Memorial Day
 for all those who have served
and sacrificed! 



G o d   B l e s s   A m e r i c a! 


and because of our freedom, we can enjoy the simple pleasures in life...
something as simple as a slice of

                                                               Patriotic Pie 
                                                                                               (click for recipe)




Friday, May 9, 2014

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY!







My mom had a recipe book

she had written (by hand)...









A collection of her favorite recipes which she intended for me to have. Over the years, it disappeared…perhaps during one of our moves. I looked tirelessly for it, hoping it would pop up, but it didn’t.

Recently, I was telling my cousin Diane about it and she mentioned that my mother had sent her a few hand written recipes.  She said she still had them and said that she was going to photocopy them and mail me the originals. A couple of days later, they arrived... I was extremely touched by the thoughtfulness and love of my dear cousin...



Cousin Diane's note to me



As I opened the envelope, I sat with tear-filled eyes, holding my mother’s recipe cards in my hands, and feeling like a part of her was still with me. 


I held the paper she held

I studied the crafting of each letter in her penmanship…in the way she swirled her capital L; the way she blended the letters together in an artistic script, unique to her as she formed each word with pen on paper, in an articulate manner…such that when I read her words, I can hear her voice…the cadence in which she spoke; the tone; the softness; the upbeat and joyful spirit in which she communicated; the humor she interjected. I can see her smile when I read her sassy; witty side notes which bring back the memory of that sparkle in her eyes …that little sense of mischief…playfulness that she never failed to entertain us with.



Mom's comments on the back of one of her recipe cards!




(As you can see below, she "no likie" sage...
and apparently, I was one of the 5 little piggies)  :) ...





There is a little spot of something here at the top of the card...

it looks like a drop of an ingredient or a little bit of gravy…



The smudge just confirms that this recipe was used and enjoyed throughout the years…and passed along now to me and to others.

 Oh, how I wish I could smell the gravy on this note!


My heart is warmed by the thought of times spent in the kitchen together while I measured ingredients and placed them side by side for my mom to incorporate into her wonderful creations. I can see her stirring, whipping, rolling dough, forming meatballs, sautéing onions and garlic for spaghetti sauce, placing roasts in the oven, removing the stew meat from the pressure cooker, frying bacon and eggs and measuring coffee into her percolator.  I recall the comforting mornings of waking up smelling the wonderful aroma of that coffee and oh, yes, the bacon sizzling and wafting throughout house, waking me from my morning slumber…......no alarm clock needed! 

These notes... 

represent even more depth of meaning to me because toward the end of my mother's life, a stroke robbed her of her words…she could no longer speak, but she would smile and clap her hands every time I went to visit…a huge blessing that she always recognized me!  She would light up when I entered the room, wiggling her toes, clapping her hands and smiling and laughing , her entire body filled with excitement!

I’m reminded by her written word of how full of life she was….and I have tangible pieces of conversations here to hold in my hands; to press to my heart; to cherish…


and to taste

as I savor each morsel of her recipes…

for food…and for life!


In her words ...  



;) 

Her hands…

Held me tenderly the moment I arrived,                                                      

Nourished me and nurtured me,
 
As she welcomed me to life…

Her hands…

Bathed; clothed and fed me;

Held my little hand and led me;

Taught me how to write….

Turned the pages of the books she read to me each night,

Folded as she prayed

And clapped for my school plays;                   

Her hands…

Like magic, turned patterns into clothes

And knitted slipper socks;

They softly styled waves into my curly locks,

Felt my forehead for a fever and rubbed Vick's onto my chest,

And wiped my nose and held me close and softly caressed….

When I skinned a knee,

They bandaged me

And carried me back home,
                                     
And never left my side…

I never felt alone;

Her hands

Cooked my favorite foods,                 

And baked my favorite pies,

And when I was hurt or sad
 
They wiped the tears from my eyes;

Her hands drew pretty pictures,

In fact they crafted art,

And they touched me with a mother’s love

As they held this child's heart!
                                                              
Now I look down at my hands

And I'm amazed to see...

Her hands

Seem to have re-appeared,

As they live on....

In me!   

(written by Lorraine Brown, copyright 2011)                                                 


H A P P Y   M O T H E R' S   DAY!


Other Poems of Remembrance
You May Also Like:                 A Tribute To Mom          Looking Back At Me



 The legacy she leaves behind,

Is one of kindness and delight,

She loved the life she lived,

And she lived it right!

So when I see a shadow,

Dancing in the wind,

I remember momma's spirit,

And the joyful life she lived!

(excerpt from "Annie's Shadow"; written by Lorraine Brown)




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