Pages

A Cold Winter's Day


Winter at 18 degrees in West Texas today, a cold front moved in yesterday bringing rain that froze as it hit the ground, creating chaos on the highways, and hundreds of accidents.  Our law firm had planned to be open until noon, thankfully saner heads prevailed and they decided not to open.  The roads are slick with ice and there is almost no traffic on the usually busy highway out here. I am content to snuggle with the furkids and watch winter from the window. 

The good thing about living here is knowing that it will begin to warm up by Friday and by Sunday we will be back in the 50's for the week ahead.  I can handle a few days of winter cold each year, it serves to remind me of why I don't live in South Dakota, even though it is still my home and always will be.  I wish it would snow a lot more,  since I don't have to be out and about in it, but the frosted ice on everything looks pretty too.  My poor little globe willow isn't so thrilled about the ice coat though, bending its slender branches to the ground.  It is sturdy though, and will come thru just fine.

We didn't plan to go out partying for New Years Eve, we are long past the years of finding that fun. Instead, we will be curled up under lap quilts with cats a cocoa to see the new year in on TV... and then head sleepily off to bed. :-)

My parting thought for this year, is as always... "I survived another one, hallelujah!"  One foot in front of the other, one day at a time, we journey into the next to see what it will be.  I wish you all love and laughter and blessings in abundance, remember to love each other as we travel on together.  I thank you for your friendship here, on Facebook, and in the bigger world of "real life" too, in getting to know and care about so many wonderful people my life has truly blessed beyond measure!  Happy New Year!

In Memory of My Dad - A Repost from 2011

On this morning five years ago, on a cold winter day in Dakota, my Dad departed this world and went to Heaven, I miss him every day.  Please go and read this post I wrote in 2011, it's an important reminder about making time for what's important.

"Do It Now!"

The End is Near


Today is December 30th, and the end is indeed near... the end of this year anyway.  Some of you that are a bit older like me may remember scenes similar to the one above, the doomsday prophesiers proclaiming that the end of the world was near.  In fact the group of people of which I was a member back in the early seventies believed that the world was going to change drastically by the year 2000.  We see now that things really haven't changed much.  Still, the way that life plays out sometimes leaves me wondering about the direction it is headed.  
 
I have always been eager to wrap up the year, get it over with, pack it away, and move on.  There was always hope for the next year to be the best one ever.  I've had a lot of lousy years, and a few truly great ones... like the year I met Papa Bear!  The ones since then have been filled with so much love and laughter, more than I ever believed could ever happen in my life, but they haven't been easy.  We aren't kids anymore, we work hard at our jobs and we get tired out; our bodies keep finding more ways to act out and wear out.  It's a never-ending struggle to deal with it all, and  to keep up with the ever-increasing costs of everything.  We look at the future and it's sometimes scary.
 
Yes, the end is near - at least for this year, and like Tiggy in her box down below, I'm poking my head out cautiously when it comes to the new year.  I know the pitfalls that could be waiting for us, but I also hold out hope that it could be the best year ever waiting to unfold.  I pray that 2015 brings us continued health, strength and courage, a few delightful surprises, and some wonderful memories in the making... and I pray it brings the same to you.  
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are eager and end.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!

Two Shoes Tuesday #111 - Eager or End

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 30th writing themes to choose from are eager and end. 

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for Dec. 30th

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 30th writing themes to choose from are eager and end. 

A Christmas Long Ago

Christmas is a magical time in the eyes of children, and although Johnny Mac was old now, with children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren of his own, he could still remember Christmas as a little boy back on his Grandfather's farm in Missouri.  How excited he had been when his grandfather told him to get his heavy coat and gloves so that he could go along with him to cut down a Christmas tree.  Together they had scoured the woods looking for the perfect cedar tree to bring home for the big living room of the old farm house.  At last Johnny's grandfather had pointed out one that he thought was just right, and he told little Johnny to look underneath the branches at the base of the tree to see if he would be able to reach it with the chainsaw.  Just as Johnny got down on his hands and knees to examine the tree trunk, all the snow from the branches above came falling down on top of him, covering him in a thick blanket of white.  Johnny squealed as the cold snow slid down the collar of his jacket.  From up above he heard his grandfather's deep voice booming with laughter as he shook the branches.  Johnny laughed too, as he scrambled to his feet and brushed off the snow; and in no time at all the tall cedar tree had been cut down and loaded in the back of the old pickup truck, and they were headed for home.   
 
Fifty-five years later, Johnny Mac still remembered that trip to the woods, the sound of his grandfather's laughter, and the twinkle in his grandfather's eyes on Christmas Eve when Johnny unwrapped the big box with his name on it to find the electric train set that his grandfather had gotten from the owner of a local grocery store in exchange for fresh butter and eggs from the farm.  Times were hard back then and there wasn't extra cash for presents, and while the train wasn't brand new - having belonged to the store owner's son until he tired of it, it was still bright and shiny in it's original box, and to Johnny it was the very best Christmas present ever.
 
Thinking back on those days of long ago, Johnny Mac sighed, realizing that Christmas back then was all about the love behind the gifts, and not about their price, and he wished things were still like that now.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are sparkle and snow.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!

Two Shoes Tuesday #110 - Sparkle or Snow

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 23rd writing themes to choose from are sparkle and snow. 

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for Dec. 23rd

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 23rd writing themes to choose from are sparkle and snow. 

Cool Cat and Other Cold Thoughts

(photo source)
Cold is not my favorite word, I have to admit that I don't like the cold very much.  I don't think that "cool cat" up there does either, though it looks mighty spiffy dressed up in that pink hat and scarf! (Maybe that's what he/she is so unhappy about! :-)  Cold weather makes me ache, and when I get chilled it takes me forever to warm up again.

My father's funeral was held on an icy-cold day in South Dakota in early January 2010.  My mother's funeral fifteen years earlier, in January 1995, was so bitterly cold that internment at the cemetery following the church service was very brief.  The cold is what stands out in my memory of those times, overshadowing memories of winter fun as a child.  I hope I never have to return to Dakota in the winter again.

But not all things connected with cold are bad. I need my tall glass of iced-tea every morning to jump-start the day. I enjoy a glass of cold milk with warm chocolate chip cookies, and I love ice-cream year around, with pistachio being my new favorite. Papa Bear loves ice-cream even more than I do, and would be perfectly happy to have a big bowl of it nightly. :-) 

Toby, my one-year-old kitty, loves ice-cubes... for playing hockey on the kitchen floor!  Papa Bear started it, dropping an ice cube as he was retrieving some from our freezer drawer one day.  Ever-curious Toby quickly discovered that melting ice is slippery and flies around the kitchen floor with the slightest touch.  Now, as soon as he hears the freezer drawer open, he hurls himself across the room to stand ready for a complimentary ice cube.  (I slip n' slide across the floor pretty well too, due to wet puddles left by Toby's hockey game!)

I have one more version of cold to share with you... my mother's most excellent Apricot Slush mix that is stored in the freezer but never freezes beyond slush consistency due to the alcohol content.  I've given it for Christmas gifts and taken it to many office parties in old days, and it's always a great hit... and deceptively potent!  Try some this holiday season, it's good stuff! :-)  (If you prefer it less sweet, use club soda as the mixer, I do.)
~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I'm linking up with Brenda at BYG Adventures
where the word we are Pondering this week is "cold" 

 photo image13_zps64a48e1e.png

The Midnight Star

"Silent night, holy night... all is calm, all is bright..."  Lizette sat quietly in the back of the church on Christmas Eve listening to the beautiful carols, wanting so badly to believe in the miracle these songs proclaimed.  She slipped out unnoticed before the service ended, tears streaming down her face.  "Where is this miracle, this Savior?" she thought as she trudged down the snowy sidewalk and up the stairs to her small apartment.  "I sure haven't seen any evidence of His love in my life," she mumbled.  
 
Lizette's life hadn't been easy.  Her father had disappeared shortly after she was born, and her mother had worked two jobs to make ends meet.  Lizette had grown up taking care of the house and her younger brother, and rarely had time to play like her school friends did, nor was there extra money for "frivolous" things like going to the movies or the mall. When her mother was home, she was usually out-of-sorts  and prone to criticizing, and Lizette was often aware that her breath smelled like alcohol. 
 
Lizette's brother had gone off and joined the Army when he graduated. When he returned from the war he was different, obviously struggling with the experience and she couldn't get him to listen when she begged him to get some help.  He committed suicide less than a year after he returned home; it broke Lizette's heart.  Her mother's drinking escalated to the point where she was no longer able to hold a job, and spent more time in hospitals and rehab centers than she did at home. She was angry and bitter, and had little time for Lizette, once saying in a drunken rage that she wished Lizette had died instead.  Lizette didn't go to visit her after that.
 
Christmas Eve found Lizette alone, having recently broken up with an on-again, off-again boyfriend. Deep down she knew the relationship was never going to go anywhere, but at least he had been someone to keep her warm at night.  Too depressed to stay up any longer, Lizette crawled into bed and cried herself to sleep.
 
Fast asleep, Lizette dreamed that her brother was there sitting on the side of her bed, talking with her just like he used to before he went off to the war.  He looked well and wonderful, smiling that amazing smile that melted her heart from the time he was very small.  In the dream they talked about his life and her life, and their mother's, and he told Lizette that he was at peace know, that he had made amends for the sorrows that had resulted from his actions as a soldier, and for choosing to take his life.  He told her that it was the wrong choice, and he regretted it, but that he had been forgiven.  Lizette could see the calmness in his face and voice and knew that what he was saying was true.
 
Lizette's brother then told her that their mother was not well physically, that her body had been badly damaged from all the years of drinking, and that she would soon be departing her earthly life.  He urged Lizette to go and see her, to make up with each other before it was too late.  Lizette could never refuse her brother anything, so she promised that she would.
 
The rest of the dream seemed more hazy, and Lizette had a hard time remembering it clearly later.  Her brother had told her something about a wonderful opportunity that was going to come her way which would take her to a new place where she would make new friends and meet someone special.  He told her that he saw her surrounded with laughing children, but she wasn't clear if they were children of her own of a classroom of some kind. 
 
The last thing she remembered of the dream was him bending down to kiss her check and whisper in her ear that God loved her dearly and she should watch for a sign that the Christ child was going fill her heart with such joy that she would shine, and everyone she encountered would notice.  He told her that all she needed to do was to believe... and then he faded away.
 
Lizette cried out to him in her dream, begging him not to go, and woke up in doing so.  Opening her eyes, she could see her brother was nowhere in the room and she realized that she had been dreaming, but it seemed so real, so very real. She touched her face where he had kissed her, and wanted to believe that he had been there.  Just then she noticed the bright light shining through her bedroom window. Slipping out of bed, she crossed the floor and peered out the window.  High up in the sky she saw the most brilliant star she had ever seen.  The little stars around it seemed like tiny pinpoints of light by comparison. She stood there in awe, gazing at the beautiful star shining so brightly, and suddenly she realized what night this was, and what had occurred on this night so very long ago.  This was her sign! It was Christmas, and this was the Christmas star, guiding her to the light of Jesus, guiding her home.
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are midnight and mystery.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!

Two Shoes Tuesday #109 - Midnight or Mystery

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 16th writing themes to choose from are midnight and mystery. 

Two Shoes Tuesday Word Prompts for Dec. 16th

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 16th writing themes to choose from are midnight and mystery. 

Two Shoes Tuesday #108 - Calm or Candle

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 9th writing themes to choose from are calm and candle. 

Two Shoes Tuesday Prompts for Dec. 8th

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 8th writing themes to choose from are calm and candle. 

The Sacred Place

Photo Source

Dolores pulled on her snow boots and heavy winter coat.  She wrapped a long wool scarf around her neck and pulled her knit hat down firmly over her ears.  Tugging on an old pair of gloves, she took her cane in hand and shuffled out the door and down the well-worn path leading to the woods behind her house.  

At the edge of the woods sat an old bench that had been there for years and years, as long as Dolores could remember.  Slowly she lowered herself onto the bench, breathing heavily from the effort of walking the short distance. She didn't get around as well as she used to, and it frustrated her to no end.  Still she came here to this sacred spot as often as she could, it was a place she loved to be.

Dolores was first drawn to this spot as a young child.  She had been out playing in the yard and thought she saw movement at the edge of the trees, then she heard laughter.  Moving closer she had been amazed to see a beautiful woman standing there, surrounded by a glowing light.  Unafraid, Dolores had approached the woman who was smiling directly at her.  As she drew next to her, Dolores noted that she did not see the woman's feet beneath her long flowing gown, she appeared to be floating in the air just above the ground. 

With the curiosity of a child, Dolores spoke first, "Who are you, what is your name?"  The woman responded that her name was Sophia and that she was Dolores' guardian angel. 

"You're an angel?" asked Dolores, amazed.  "You are my angel? Where are your wings?"

Sophia smiled and said that she didn't really need wings, that she was able to move about freely by just floating on the air.  She demonstrated by rising up to a nearby tree branch and retrieving a beautiful pinecone, which she handed to Dolores. 

"Can I do that, can I float?" Dolores asked with great excitement.

Sophia laughed and Dolores recognized the beautiful laughter she had heard earlier. 

"Were you laughing at me before?" she demanded.

Sophia nodded and said that she had been enjoying watching Dolores trying to convince a squirrel to approach her so that she could feed him from her hand.  Dolores agreed that it was difficult to gain the squirrel's trust.

Dolores and Sophia visited for what seemed like a long time that afternoon, and the memory had remained fresh in Dolores' mind ever since, as if it had just happened yesterday.  They had shared many visits in the years since then.  It seemed that whenever Dolores needed to sort things out in her mind, all she had to do was go sit on the old bench next to the woods, and Sophia was sure to appear and talk with her. 

Dolores had tried to tell her friends about Sophia, her very own guardian angel, when she was small,  but they had laughed and didn't believe her.  She told her mother too, who commented on her vivid imagination.  After that she just kept her visits with Sophia to herself;  it didn't matter what anyone else thought, she knew that her angel was very real.

Dolores had remained at the farm all her life, leaving only for a few years of college so she could become a teacher.  When she married Joe her parents decided to retire in town and had left the farm to Joe and Dolores as a wedding gift.
 
Joe had departed for the Spirit World a few years back, but Sophia had assured Dolores that he was just fine there with all her beloved cats and dogs who had crossed the Rainbow Bridge in years gone by, waiting for her when it was her turn to come.

The snow began to fall softly as Dolores sat on the bench, dusting her coat and gloves with a sprinkling of white.  Dolores smiled with the same sense of delight she had felt as a child witnessing the first snowfall of the year.  Then she heard the sound of laughter, and there was Sophia sitting right beside her!  Sophia put her arms around Dolores and held her close; her glowing light filled Dolores with warmth. 

"It's time now," Sophia said gently.  "Time for you to come home with me, Joe is waiting for you." 
 

Dolores smiled with excitement, just as she had on that day long ago when she first met Sophia.

The next day her family found her, having gone looking for her when she didn't respond to their phone calls.  They found her there on the bench, frozen in the snow, with the most peaceful, beautiful smile on her face that anyone could imagine. 
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are sacred and store.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!

I am also linking up with Book Musing Mondays
at Mary-andering Creatively this week!
It's a brand new blog hop, drop by and check it out!

Two Shoes Tuesday #107 - Sacred or Store

Two Shoes Tuesdsay
 
Welcome to Two Shoes Tuesday...  a place for those who love to write!

There are two word prompts to choose from... you can use whichever one inspires you. You are not required to include them both. You do not have to include the prompt word, but please use it as the theme for your post. You are welcome to write a post for each prompt word, if you like. Posts unrelated to either word prompt will be deleted from the link list.

Your contribution must be in the form of an original poem, essay, or short story (fiction or non-fiction), and it must be a new piece - not something drawn from your other writings or archives.

Your link must go directly to your post for Two Shoes Tuesday, and somewhere in the post you must provide a link to Two Shoes Tuesday.  It doesn't need to be big or fancy, just a text or logo link at the end of your post will be fine. You can add a link anytime through next Monday. 

Please take some time to visit as many of the other TST participants as possible during the week, we all love feedback on our efforts!  Feel free to email me at jts.2000@yahoo.com if you have any questions.
 
The December 2nd writing themes to choose from are sacred and store.