Friday, 23 August 2013

He Cries Sometimes

"One day I looked up and he's pushin' eighty
And there's brown tobacco stains all down his chin
Well to me he's one of the heroes of this country
So why's he dressed up like them old men."

~Guy Clark (Desperados Waiting for a Train)

His barns are all sagging now. They are growing old along side him. They have heaved and twisted, settling with age. They are full of treasures that he has collected and stored throughout the decades. His Maple tree is fringed with red and orange, even though it's just mid August. The year and the evening grow old as we sit in the grass under his Bull Pine. But his woodshed is full. With pleasure he looks in the door knowing that all of it will help to ward off the cold and the wind that will come a-callin' through his plaster walls and single pane windows. Like all the years that have gone on before he cut, split, and stacked his wood with care, but this year he went slowly, sometimes not at all, 'cause he is tired.

His fingers, that worked and toiled all through these years are hard as leather, worn and weathered, but they have kept him alive; him and all those he supported through the years. The Good Lord knows those hands and the sacrifices they have made.

He walks now so that he can see the world spin 'round again. One foot in front of the other he walks down roads he has traveled in various vehicles, he now knows them intimately. And he watches these roads change with the seasons. Walking and living ~ in the sleet and rain, when the sunshines, and when wet snow flakes fall ~ covering his wool shirt and white beard. What dreams, what thoughts, what discoveries do you make, Old Man, on these daily journeys that you partake?

His causeway, being a joy to him, has become a daily haven. He has watched it ice over, become solid, and then recede from the shoreline until it became again a living, moving flow of water.

Tears well up and he cries sometimes. He remembers the past and a few good friends. The heartache and the joy of living. But his bills are paid and he has a lovely wife.

He dreams still ~ wonderful and full of life. But sometimes now he dreams of Heaven and it doesn't seem so far away. He thinks of those he loved; waiting for him there and sometimes he feels he could reach forth his hand. Reaching for a Savior, a brother, a father and mother. But sometimes he loves life and all the beauty he finds here. And he cries.

From my heart to yours, Jen

Friday, 9 August 2013

Blowin' Smoke at the Squirrel Corral

For Bunks and every other boy,
young and old, who has dreamed
the Dream of days long past.
Wild and free,
with boots and hats,
a Colt .45 and a Model 94.

This is your story.

"I did not intend that any of the band should get the drop on me if I could help it."
Wyatt Earp
(reflecting back on the fight at the OK Corral)

We were called in to clean up this town, Pa and me, we meant to do it, too. Now, Pa's a hero from way back, say 'bout '68 or so and he rode with the US Army for a bit so he knew how to shoot. Me, bein' younger an' all wasn't quite the same, but I'd wore out a gun or two myself. So with the likes of John Wayne, the Sacketts, an' the Earp brothers we were willin' to do what it took, even if it meant bein' at the ready day or night. Some mornin' it was first thing, our boots in the corner, still waitin' to be shook out. Never put your boots on without shakin' 'em first. We weren't fearful of rattlers this far north, up here it was things like bits of wood or Lego men. You never could tell.

Anyway, the women folk 'round here were gettin' fearful of all the maurdin' and thievin' that's been goin' on. Especially Ol' Ma there. And you know how she gets once she's on a roll, starts to dreamin' 'bout it all and when that happens you never know where you'll end up.
Anyway, they'd come out of those forested hills, slung low, gray and beady eyed, thinkin' they owned the place. Now the leader there, he was the worst we'd ever seen. Conniving, ruthless, and smart. We never knew if it was 'cause of his handicap or not. But smart he was. Went by the name 'One-eyed Jack'. Legendary 'round these parts. You never could tell if he was lookin' right at you with that eye or not. So it was, Pa an' me waitin' there on the floor knowing this was the day to bring 'im down.

Wanted Dead, not Alive

Then One-eyed Jack was there! Not carin' 'bout us, he'd been shot at before. But he never reckoned on havin' Ol' Pa there. Pa sighted in that ol' rifle and fired a single shot. And when the smoke settled we strung us up another tail.

Like greenhorns we marked our kills.

From my heart to yours, Jen

Friday, 2 August 2013

Blown In On The Wind

"Twilight drops her curtain down,
and pins it with a star."

L. M. Montgomery

As the sun sets in the distant hills it turns my world gold, touching everywhere, even the air is filled with color ~ a live and changing, fleeting beauty. I long for words to paint the wonder around me, yet like so much of God's good earth, living and loving are the only way to capture it.
In all this beauty it is time for one of my last tasks of the day, to take in my laundry~ now crisp
and clean and smelling of the Sunshine that has blown in on the wind.


A hush has fallen over the neighborhood, calm and quiet. The birds sing their lullabies, I listen and pick out each song. The chickadees, the robins, and the catbird. The dove sings his soft, sad song and the goldfinch who sings on the wing. The cardinal sits in high in the Mountain Ash tree, in royal red, he sings his heart out. I await hoping that the wood-thrush will grace my yard this evening and venture forth from his home in the deep wood. And so he does.

"And where the shadows deepest fell,
The wood-thrush rang his silver bell."
Or even better yet spoke John Townsend Trowbridge when he wrote ~
"Like liquid pearls fresh showered from Heaven,
The high notes of the lone Wood-thrush
Fall on the forest's holy bush."

Slowly as the light fades around me my world of color is now shades of gray and white and in the deepest shadows black prevails. The sky its self darkens until the first star appears, a small diamond shining for me. As I relish this time of quiet I remember days long past. When we belonged to Summer and it to us. Open, breezy, dew touched grass, the creak of a swing and a best friend's laugh. In barefeet and blue jeans, You and I, Old Friend of Mine, side by side on an old wood swing in your backyard. Fireflies and shooting stars, but we preferred the thoughts that rambled through our minds, we wove them into dreams and fancies that had blown in on the wind. Promises we made, You and I, to never stray from this where our loyalties lay. But life went on and we went searching, reckless, sad and foolish down different roads that are now far and away. And at the crossroad of our parting we left keys, for your heart and mine.
You and I ~ Blown away in the wind.

And so as the Heavens now fill fast with the distant stars, I am back standing on solid ground in the Cathedral of God's good earth. Born again and growing older surrounded by love and redemption, getting high on Sunshine and Beauty. A wooden laundry basket on my hip filled with crisp, clean Sunshine. The wood-thrush's last hymn is now sung, the notes blown away in the wind. I make a wish for Old Time's Sake, sweeter and softer now, then ever it was back then.

"Oh, LORD, let the day following
be just as beautiful as the one now done."
And wherever you are tonight, Old Friend of Mine, I pray the same for you.