Just a "Few"...

Just "a few" photos from our days with our children and grands
in St. Louis.


That's all, folks.

Bonus Hour

A clean washrag
warmed with water
gently laid on her eye
(matted by disuse and time)
softened and removed
the obstruction.
both eyes sprang open
fixing their sight on my face;
holding my eyes
by their power.
A bonus hour
(rare and unheralded)
replete with emotions,
wordless communication,
and irrepressible joy.
As quiet the hour’s coming
was its ending;
its afterglow
timelessly pulsating
in my heart.
        7/16/2016 - rlg

Faces of Friendship

A friend called this morning to ask me if I could "use some peas".
Her husband had picked the last bunch (or is it "mess") of them.
Edible in their pods, these peas have about 1 calorie per pod!
Friendship wears MANY faces.
Free, fresh vegetables is one of them.
(As you can see, I left with more than peas!)
I am blessed.


I'm well aware of the awkwardness and discomfort my amateur attempts at poetry may create.  However, with someone in the U.S. developing Alzheimer's disease every 66 seconds and 1 of 3 seniors dying of Alzheimer's or another dementia, there are realities that must be reckoned with!  Hear then THIS reality.

multiple falls
dutifully recorded
curtly reported
verbally impaired
mental skills questionable
pain variably
till she no longer walked but
was lifted
and shifted
then bed's exclusivity
claimed her
her pain (and ours)
still variably
(rlg, 7/4/2016)

Someone whom I invited to try out this poem said, "That is beautiful and so sad.  (((Hugs)))"
To that, I responded:  "I need to make it less sad.  I'm not sad."
I'm trying to figure out how to do that (make it less sad).
And I also confess that sometimes I AM sad.

Garden Walks and Garden Work

Other people's garden (seen on a Garden Walk)
 The LORD will guide you continually, 
giving you water when you are dry 
and restoring your strength. 
You will be like a well-watered garden, like an ever-flowing spring.  
Isaiah 58:11
Roadside garden
 The past few days have been filled with gardens...
Other peoples' gardens,
roadside gardens,
One of our gardens
 our own garden,
A public garden
and public gardens.
Garden WALKS and garden WORK.
This evening, reflecting on their beauty,
I am thankful for God's promise to His People in Isaiah--
one that I am experiencing in personal ways lately.
Water when I am dry.
Strength restored.
I AM like a well-watered garden!
(By the way, I am NOT unaware there was/is a "condition" to this promise--
"Work" as it may be thought of.
Read about it in the verse preceding the one I wrote out above...) 
I'm ALSO aware that I am not the first person to walk or work in a garden!
(Think Eden!)

More re. Pilgrim's Inn

There were just enough great lines in this book
to keep me reading till then end.
Lines like these...
  • There were times nowadays when Lucilla uttered aloud the sentiments that she thought she was only thinking.  This was obviously one of those times.
  • "I'll help you wash up," said Nadine, with that too-bright willingness of the guest who is weary of domesticity and hopes to goodness her noble offer will be refused.
  • Lucilla's chronic difficulty in realizing that her children were not only grown-up, but elderly, was further increased in the case of her son George by the fact that he never had fully grown up.
  • ...though they were back in the old grooves they were back there without the old ardor.
  • She was a good and affectionate mother-in-law, provided the women her sons had taken to wife did not attempt to manage them...
  • She always refused to be hurried.  Hurry was so aging.
  •  "We work under orders but not under our own steam."  (Hillary re. responsibilities as a priest)
  • Increasingly, as he got older, he enjoyed things.
  • And if his rheumatism keeps him awake most of the night he won't mind much, for it'll give him the opportunity of a few more wakeful hours in which to praise God.
  • There's nothing like good slashing personal criticism for begetting humility.  A conceited man never yet made a good artist.  How could he?  Satisfied, you stick where you are.
  • That was the bet thing about old age; it didn't leave you with much upon which to congratulate yourself.
  • It's queer, but after people are dead, you find that you understand them better.
  • No one has the right to seek ease of conscience at the expense of another's happiness; that's selfish, too.
  • I only know that here and now, today, the happiness of those we live with is what matters.
  • The readiness is all.  (Quoting Hamlet, I believe)
  • The more she cared for people the more did she see their faults and labor for their removal with the perseverance of someone with a piece of emery paper rubbing away at the rust on a bright sword.
  • They (the young) must build, of course, but relying upon the judgement of the old.

Not So Sure

After several of my blogger friends cited this author as one of their favorites,
I put a request in for Pilgrim's Inn from the main library and awaited its arrival at our local branch.
I struggled to finish it -- almost didn't!
(Lately, I've not been OCD'd about finishing books that I started if they didn't hold my interest.)
This one didn't.  For many reasons.
Maybe the biggest was the print and layout.
This edition was published in 1948 (the year of my birth, incidentally).
 This (above) was a typical page.  
If I were editing it today, I'd find a way to break up the print.
More white space, etc.
The setting and medieval references in it were confusing to me also.
This is a reflection on ME - not the book.
I soldiered through it to the end, though,
because there WERE some great lines in it
as indicated by the page numbers I jotted down on a paper I used to mark my place.
 I think I'll post a few of them another time.
I found many thought-provoking and insightful enough to revisit them...
I'm not so sure that I'll read another of her books.
If  you've read Elizabeth Goudge, what is YOUR favorite title?

I wish

"I wish I was as good in person as I can be in writing,"
 I wrote earlier this morning to my daughters. 
It's true.
What's up with that?

More and/or Less

Is it just me, or has this been an unusually good season for roses?
This morning, the dawning of my 30th day of living the Fast-5 lifestyle, I finished the compilation of Thirty Days of More and Less.  My intention, being a wee bit obsessive/compulsive, was to wait until the first of next month and begin posting these one day at a time on my facebook page.  I may still do that, but I also faced the reality that the future - even next month - is not guaranteed to any of us.  And so without further ado, here they are:

More action; less talk.
More silence; less noise.
More veggies; less dessert.
More smiles; less frowns.
More reading; less television.
More exercise; less sitting.
More flowers; less weeds.
More complimenting; less criticism.
More saving; less spending.
More initiative; less boredom.
More prayer; less worry.
More others; less self.
More truth; less falsehood.
More faith; less doubt.
More concern; less indifference.
More blessing; less cursing.
More gratitude; less complaint.
More giving; less grabbing.
More talking; less texting.
More water; less soda.
More flexibility; less rigidity.
More compassion; less scorn.
More facts; less fiction.
More knowledge; less ignorance.
More humility; less pride.
More cooperation; less competitiveness.
More kindness; less rudeness.
More patience; less impulsiveness.
More industriousness; less laziness.
More Jesus; less me.
(rlg, 6/16/2016)

Writing a Song a Week #3

Writing a Song a Week #3
♪ I wait for the Lord; my soul waits and in his word I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning ♪ (Psalm 130:5-6)