My novel Molding Sharon is now at its own website:
The format to read chapters is much simpler there. I hope this does not inconvenience you too much.
My novel Molding Sharon is now at its own website:
The format to read chapters is much simpler there. I hope this does not inconvenience you too much.
“I am so mad at you! I told you not to sit under that stinky feet playground area with our food! That kid peed all over our food and my coat!”
“How was I supposed to know that would happen?”
“Well, if you ever spent time helping me raise the kids you would know things like that. I am starving! Is there a food place around here that we can eat at while you get my coat dry cleaned?”
“WOW! It has been kind of quiet lately. The people seem to be staying indoors and not coming out of their homes very much. When they do, their faces are weird looking. I can’t see their smiles as they wander up and find me here hidden in the rushes. I loved seeing their smiles as I wiggled by tail to and fro. I miss that. I have been rehearsing my dance and wish they would come out to see me.
My wife took off and flew to a shopping mall nearby to strut her stuff but came back quacking not many are there either. I don’t get it. Then, she took off to the movie theater to find popcorn residuals and found none. Now she is headed out to find some food scraps in a restaurant parking lot. Not sure she will find any. What’s up people?
My pond is getting nasty, I am lonely, and nobody seems to care. I need attention! I want to see children squeal with glee as they find me hidden here. I want to see the mother of those children tell them to speak quietly not to scare me. I need to do my wiggle dance for an audience!
I used to quack people up as they watched me stick me head down in the water to eat. They loved the fact that my tail end would stick up and swim around. I still do that, but nobody laughs! Come out and see me! Walk near my pond and visit my family. Get out of that house and come into nature. I miss you.”
Hello again, dear loved one in Christ. I see in your eyes the same love that I once saw in the eyes of a woman I met while in Haiti. She sold avocadoes alongside her home in a wicker basket. Each day as I walked to the orphanage where I was volunteering she would approach me and show me her wares. I in turn would search for what I considered the best avocado for with our meal that day. My one dollar in payment was a blessing to her. I know this because her joy of seeing me approach each day touched my heart in a way I had never experienced before or have I since. That one dollar represented food for her table. It was worth an hours wages there. Each avocado bought was a means to provide for her loved ones. In her eyes I saw the pains of life lived in a country wherein she had no electric, no running water, and often no food for the table. Yet, I also saw in her a glorious smile and joy for her simple life.
Once as I meandered down the road I had a driver from the establishment to which I was heading stop by and pick me up. Along the road it came to my mind that I had promised to stop and buy three avocadoes that day from the woman by the roadside. As we approached her she saw me in the front seat and began waving her arms in the air begging me to stop. She seemed so sad as we drove by. I ended up walking partly back up the mountain that day to do as I had promised. She ran to me carrying her basket of goods all the while throwing open her arms and hugging me. Her embrace was one of appreciation and love. I took it all in and admired her joy for life. her desire to love her family through her small market. Buying the wares, I then turned to walk to the kitchen in the establishment giving them to the cooks to wash for lunch.
I was in Haiti for about a month that visit. The lady by the roadside never knew my name, nor I hers. But, she left an indelible mark on my heart. I look at this photo and see her. I see someone aged yet full of life. I see the sparkle in her eyes hidden amongst the wrinkles and smile. She edified the true spirit of life. She had gone through so much in her years. Yet, she smiled and always greeted me with open arms. Her passion for life was amazing and I will never forget the little avocado lady. Thank you for allowing me to reflect on her with this photo. I pray you too know someone like her. I am blessed to have been graced with her life in mine.
If I have my choice– soon we will soon be able to see the COVID pandemic come to an end. That we as a human race will be able to once more be with others and worship as we please. That we will be able to see smiles and interact with the shaking of hands and hugs. Group functions will resume with grand gatherings alongside resounding cheers as we experience the things we miss so much. Nursing homes will allow visitors to enter and be with their loved ones. Churches will host weddings and events as in days gone by. Schools will resume a standard schedule and students will be able to see all their peers on a regular basis. Amusement parks will reopen and families will spend time vacationing all the while forming memories for a lifetime. Jobs will flourish, businesses will all be open. I choose to be able to watch the news and not see the numbers going up and listening to how a vaccine is delayed once again. I choose to be able to not watch the news to know the color of my county, the color of your county, to know if we are safe. I dream of that other side of the fence and hope that soon we will all be able to leap over onto the green grass of that old familiar home.
I choose that one day all will hear the factual news of the day. I dream of the news being not of opinion nor of political stances yet of statements that tell the truth and then allow us to discern how we feel about what is occurring. I envision a news telecast not set on gaining records for numbers of viewers but set on telling the truth. I dream of people accepting nothing less. I choose no more snippets taken from a persons statements that do not represent their overall statement being used to glorify a political stance or to raise ratings. I choose the news showing both sides of any case for those involved. One sided news would be abolished. News would be complete and descriptive in truth of all. The goal would be to inform not entertain.
I choose that one day our leadership in Washington D.C. and across this great nation will stop fighting one another based on party lines and do the right thing for all peoples. I dream of a day when they will put an end to blaming each other for what they are all responsible for. I dream of a day when they will treat one another with respect. I dream of a time when all peoples entering the world of politics would treat each member with the respect due to them, including nominated Supreme Court Justices. Hearings of those trying for said position is not one of a political agenda but one of finding a proper judge to represent the Constitution well. I choose a President who works for the people and their ideals, not an agenda. I dream of them stating only truth as the matter warrants. I dream of them speaking kindly of their constituents at all times, even when in the midst of an election. The focus of their speeches would be honest and kind. Finding the good in others would be a goal. Backstabbing and telling us what to think would be a thing of the past.
I choose freedom from major diseases such as cancer and AIDS. I dream of all children being healthy due to advancements in medicine.
I want all people to realize that God knit each one of us in our mother’s wombs and to thusly treat each with the God given respect they deserve. Color of skin would be of no matter in issues of respect or love. Disabilities would be overlooked and all would know their strengths. Differences would be celebrated and commonalities shared. Languages and cultures would be reasons to learn more about one another and not reasons to divide us.
I dream of a world treated with the respect due to nature. There would be no littering or wastefulness of products given to us. We would all share those things responsibly and take part in caring for our Earth. The three R’s would be commonplace. Reduce, reuse, recycle Beaches would once again resound with the call of birds as they reside in the realm God established for them. Humans would share that space wisely and understand that they are in fact guests on their space. Forests would grow tall and provide shade. Children would be taught to respect nature and live alongside it.
I choose a panacea of sorts. I choose a life more similar to days gone by than those of present times. I know I may never witness it here on Earth. Therefore, I choose to worship God and do his will so that one day I will go to Heaven where all the things I would choose will be.
Following the debates I decided to ask God to lead me in what to do with what I had just witnessed. In my dreams I was taken back to when I was still a teacher in a public school system years ago. At that time I was teaching third grade under a principal who treated the special needs students unjustly. Being the teacher of science content I was asked to appoint grades for students who never even attended my classes. The principal at that time had asked the staff on my team to have them attend double reading and extra math classes in place of the science content I covered. The reason was that they would need to pass the Ohio tests on reading that year. I watched as the students protested in their own ways. They would ask to attend my classes and often stand at the doorway and have tantrums. One young man would look at me with his big brown eyes and weep. He wanted to be treated fairly and be in my class. The special needs teacher at that time did nothing to help the cause nor did my team. I was in the fight for them alone. After a time the students were able to come only on days of science experiments. They were to be given a grade based on that. I still fought stating that had not learned the content to back up what the experiments were about. They had not learned the background knowledge. The protests by the students slowed down and I had to give grades based on the content they came for which was quite limited. The year ended with them never being a traditional student in my class. I was called a liar by staff and more. My team members stood with the principal and fought me when I stood up for my students. I became known as a trouble maker and that image followed me the remainder of my career (in my opinion).
Why am I telling you this now? I see parallels between what is happening to our President Donald J. Trump. He is attempting to stand up for all of us. He is fighting for what is right all the while being called a liar and more. I can say that it is tough being one who wants the best for the people you serve. It is tough being one who is talked about as a liar and one who wants to cause problems. I wish that I had gone to a higher authority years ago and helped those students. I didn’t. I am proud of a man who fights and does not back down. He is fighting for US! We need to see him for who he is. He should not be alone in this fight. We need to do all we can to help him and let him know we believe in him. I was not so strong. I was weak. I tried but at a certain point caved in to the side that stood for the wrong things and let them win at a cost. Those students are now adults in the world. I think of them from time to time and can yet see their faces in my mind’s eye as they looked at me to help them. I wonder if our President feels the same way. Our eyes all look to him to do the right thing. I failed those kids. I didn’t have the strength to take on the system. He does. I respect him for that and more.
Tokens photo copied from site
Tokens of my life
The sweetness of candies orange and red lay upon a rock surrounded by mosses grown over time. The sweetness of my youth is but gone.
The greenness of my young adult life. The days of bearing fruit and loving them. The boldness of each new dawn wherein we savored the dew.
God had been a part of my life, but other things began to fill my heart. The one eyed jeweled beast arose and tempted me in many ways.
I began to dry up and wither. Just as a fall leaf fades to hues of browns and yellows I began to deteriorate without my God.
Then, as if on the wing of an Eagle, I once more stood upright and walked by his side.
Woven into the tapestry of my life, I see so many vibrant and subtle ways. With a solid foundation and understanding of his ways I venture on.
As a teacher I led my class in many lessons over decades. Yet, the most difficult to teach were those of the past involving race. As I spoke of how people treated one another the children’s faces would show their wanting to not accept what was being said. Questions would always come about asking why people had slaves and more. During that unit I always had a demonstration wherein part of the class was treated better for no obvious reason. They got extra recess. They ate a treat while the others watched. In no time at all the students on the side without luxuries would begin to vocally rebel and ask me why I was treating them that way. I would then give them a task to do or take away a privilege as to let them know they had not right to ask why but only to do as I asked. Now, my classroom was not typically like this. In fact, I hated demonstrating to the class discrimination but did so annually. The experience of being one who was belittled was powerful to say the least. Lasting only a short time, we moved on into discussion. How did you feel? Of course this depended on the side they had been carefully assigned. Did you like seeing your classmates treated unfairly?
The biggest question came toward the end. What could you have done to change things? This discussion led into our topic of today, PROTEST. The discussion would then venture into varied forms of possibilities. With lessons on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. under our belts many would speak of his ways, peaceful protests. We discussed sit ins, marches, letters to the Editor, and more.
One year, my class actually used their lessons in real life. We had a principal that year who seemed to like using military style marching as a form of discipline. She would have offenders line up and walk and walk the hallways or sidewalks outdoors. This was also used at times as a form of recess. Being told to march one day my students lined up and walked the sidewalk in front of the building over and over. When a parent pulled in to pick up a child that had an appointment, one of my students yelled out, “Take us with you. We’re tired of marching.” Well, when the leader of our school heard of this she mandated they walk even more. Watching out the window I saw my third grade students growing weary. I prayed that they would use the tools learned in the classroom to defend themselves. Then, one of them decided to sit down. Others followed. My entire class sat there unwilling to walk any more.
The principal went out to see what was going on. The aide had come in to tell her that they would not budge. I watched as she went out and told them to get up and walk. They sat still. They didn’t budge. She told them again and again and they did not move. Eventually, she told them to return to the classroom. They did so. Upon entering the room they all went to their seats and sat down.
The principal then asked me to go into the hallway for a chat. She was quite upset and told me that my students would not listen. I never said much of anything. Inside I was so proud of them. They were confronted with an issue and they took a stand.
Years later as I reflect on that day, due to this prompt I have a pride welling up in my for those children. Only eight years old, at the time, they understood the concept of being treated unfairly. They chose to stand up for themselves in a peaceful way. I pray that they are still using that day’s lesson learned so many years ago in their adult lives. I pray that they see with an eye of wisdom what is happening today. I hope that when they protest it is not damaging to others but a peaceful stand against wickedness and oppression.
This morning I see a vision of the fires out west. The redwood trees are scorched yet saved by those who fought the fires. Just as those trees had been through a fire we too as man can survive the tests. Tests come in many forms, many fashions. Some are quite simplistic in form. Others cause us to gnash our teeth and cry out in anger and frustration. Those trees are like life. Some withstood the fires and others did not. The chaff was burned away and new life will spring up. The birds of the air will return and flowers will blossom once again, in time. God has a plan for all to prosper and flourish. Trusting in the Lord takes patience, but his timing is perfect. Be thankful to those who put the fires out. You too can do this within your life. Not the physical fires that burned down homes and forests, but the fires in your community that are ablaze. Fires that consume those things meant for my kingdom. Just as the firefighters went among the trees to save them, so you can go among the people and do the same. Just as I told Peter and Andrew, you will be fishers of men you are also. Take the time to go out among the people and relinquish the fires being set. The anger fueled by varied means is prevalent in today’s world. Take away their fuel, their untruths and speak forth God’s word. Pray for those who are enemies of the word. Uplift those who stand for things unclean. It is time to reap what we sow. It is a time wherein we are harvesting but many of the fields are fallow. They are not even being planted with seed. They are dormant. Good seed is available to be planted. yet the will of man is blocking these things from happening. We must begin to focus on the righteous things in life. The things that follow the word of God; holy, pure, good things. The waters of life are not pure at this moment in time. They are tainted, polluted with things of man. I pray that you will heed the words of the Bible and take part in creating a new way. A way of life that entails the things of God. Be a role model to others. Do not do what is popular with the culture. Do what is right. I love you. Be strong in the winds of this time. I am with you always.