Tuesday, April 29, 2014

In the night

Last night, as sleep eluded me, I began to type out some thoughts that were coming to me.  I hesitate to share what I've written because it's really beyond my own experience.  However, without further explanation, I do feel that there's a reason, and so here are a few words that came in the night.

Lord, help us to find You
When loss makes our way rocky,
When it would be easy to stumble
And fall.

Lord, help us to find You
When grief makes today dark,
When we can’t see a way forward
At all.

Lord, help us to find You
When pain would cause us to close our hearts,
When we would even resist comfort
And choose despair.

Lord, help us to find You
When sorrow would swallow us up,
When anger would overwhelm
And suffocate.

Help us to find You
When we are powerless against this onslaught,
When we feel naked and vulnerable and alone
And lost.

Lord, there’s so much we don’t understand,
But we believe that finding You will be the answer,
And we pray that You will give to us all that we’re needing;
Be near.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Today's "Pause & Ponder"

The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth learning to his lips.

Prov. 16:23

Thursday, April 24, 2014


"I think that I shall never see 
A poem as lovely as a tree."

So begins a poem written by Joyce Kilmer in 1913.  

Often in our traveling the past few months, I have found myself being drawn to and impressed by trees.  I once commented to Janet, "Look at that tree!  There's poetry in it!"  And then I thought of this poem.  And I believe that it's true.  

I won't share any more of the poem in this blog entry.  Perhaps later.  You may look it up if you like.  However, I would like to present you with a challenge, preferably before you read Kilmer's poem.  I would like for you to write a poem.

One of my favorite units to teach, when teaching was my profession, was poetry.  I enjoy poetry myself, and I loved watching young people realize that they were poets.  Often the best poetry ever written during that unit was at the very beginning before I ever taught any of the "rules" of poetry composition.  As a teacher, I wrote poetry that modeled the rules of various styles of poetry and asked my students to give each style a try as well.  However, the poetry that I write for myself follows no rules.  They're just feelings written in non-paragraph form.  It's comfortable and true even if it's not technically "correct."  

So, before you say that you're not a poet, I'd like you to give it a shot.  I'm going to post some of my tree pictures and ask you to pick one and write a poem about it.  You don't have to share your poem with me or anybody else.  (Although if you go to the trouble of writing it, I would really love to see it!) Just write it.

And if, after writing one, you enjoyed the experience, pick another tree.  Write another poem.  Find your own tree and write about it.  

And if you choose not to share your poem with me, I'd still love to know that you wrote one.  Or even attempted.  I'll welcome every comment, poem and tree picture that you're willing to share.

Here are a few of my trees.

Tree #1

Tree #2

Tree #3

Tree #4

Tree #5

Tree #6

Tree #7

Tree #8

Tree #9

Tree #10

Tree #11

Tree #12

Tree #13

Tree #14

Tree #15

Tree #16

I really did trim the trees to include in this entry.  (Pun intended)
I have A LOT of pictures of trees! 

More tree entries to follow.  Much to everyone's delight, I'm sure!
In the meantime, enjoy your POETREE!

May Gospel Meeting Schedule

Sundays - April 27, May 4 & 11
Lyons Senior Center Building
165 N. Jefferson St.
4:00 pm

Thursdays - May 1, 8 & 15
Crystal Community Building
7:30 pm

Thanks for coming!

It was great to have you!  Come again when you can!

Spring at the Woods'

Dad and Fred talk gardening

Mom and Florence chat and enjoy the invigorating spring air.

Stoll's Restaurant on the Lake

One of our good friends, Fred W., was on the crew that designed, engineered and managed the project of creating this lake and surrounding recreation area.  Its purpose was to prevent flooding, and using it for recreation made it cost-effective.  Fred & Florence, Mom & Dad and Janet & I enjoyed immensely our buffet supper at a window table overlooking the lake with a driving tour of the park afterward.

In the restaurant parking lot

 Looking back across the lake at the restaurant

I love this tree!

High waters

No, you can't see the water anymore.  It has receded.  But can you see the large piles of corn stalk residue that has been left behind?  Our camera ran out of batteries before we could document this as we would have wished, but perhaps you can get a little idea of what it looked like closer up.  It didn't smell too great, I can tell you!

One last stop on our way out of town

The old railroad station that now operates as a museum

The guy who originally marketed this hotel must have been a genius.  
"Come drink this water that smells like rotten eggs and is named after the god of the underworld.  It will be good for you.  And also possibly do unpleasant things to your digestive system."  
It really drew the crowds.

Some HEAVY equipment

The Dome

First, a few shots of the short stretch between the car and the entrance to the Dome

Beautiful sky

Dad & Mom

Loved this tree!

When you get inside, your eyes are immediately drawn upward.

Under the dome

Mom and I make ourselves comfy on one of the big chairs scattered around the large central area.

In case you were wondering what our feet looked like, Dad didn't want to keep anyone in the dark!

How fun would it be to have a balcony room?!

A fancy chandelier

Enjoying ice cream outside on the wrap-around porch

This flowering tree was directly in front of my chair, and so I kept taking pictures of it the whole time we sat there.

Waiting for riders