Old Ladies Get to Sit in Rocking Chairs and Sing Hymns

Exif JPEG

Old ladies get to sit in rocking chairs and sing hymns. I just figured that out. I can almost hear some readers asking, “Why would you think that?” My answer: Because I’m sitting here right now in the early morning, rocking contentedly and singing one of my favorite hymns:

“Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.
Oh what a foretaste of glory divine.
Heir of salvation, purchase of God.
Born of His Spirit, washed in His blood.”

It’s one of my favorite ways to start my day — this rocking and singing and reading God’s Word. I have some of my best chats with the Father in this old rocking chair. And a few days ago it suddenly hit me that I was doing exactly what other women of God have done for generations — particularly in their senior years.

I remember vividly staying overnight with my grandparents on my dad’s side of the family and waking every morning to the sound of my grandmother Daisy singing hyms quietly as she sat rocking in the living room. The bed where I slept was positioned so that I could see far enough into the living room to see her sitting there with a cup of coffee and enjoying that quiet time wiht the songs about the  Lord on her lips.

But it was my great-grandmother on my mon’s side of the family who made the greatest impression on me. He name was Rosie, and she was a little woman, but strong and sturdy inside and out. She was a strong Spirit-filled Christian. She prayed in tongues, twirled and danced before the Lord in church services and generally lived her life as something of a fanatic for Jesus. She and her husband farmed, but even after she became a widow, she planed her own huge garden every year, tilled it, harvested it, and walked down hot, dusty country roads to take the bounty to other families.

She was also a no-nonsense person with great common sense. Grandma Rosie never sat waiting for her cup of coffee to get cool enough to drink. She simply poured some into her saucer so it cooled instantly, and she slurped it from that saucer.

She really believed what she read in God’s Word. She trusted the Lord for good health all her life and never even saw a doctor until she broke her arm when she was in her nineties.

Grandma Rosie had a rocking chair as well. A place where she rested and prayed and worshiped the Lord in her own heart. And I’ve often thought she must have spent at least a few hours sitting in that chair praying for her children and grandchildren.

The most important thing to me about her rocking chair is that I now sit in it every single day. It isn’t just a family heirloom to me. It means so much more. I know for sure that the generations of believers who have gone before us have prayed for us and opened doors to God’s involvement in our lives in more ways than we will ever know until we meet those people in Heaven. Their faithfulness in times of struggle and their prayers of faith on our behalf have helped forge who we are and what we’ve accomplished.

Every time I sit in this rocker, I think of my Grandma Rosie, and my heart overflows with gratitude for her and her life. But even more, my heart overflows with gratitude and worship to the Lord for all He’s done for me — and all He’s still doing.

This quiet time in my rocking hair with the Word is unique.The Lord draws close to me — or perhaps I should say I draw close to Him, for He’s always as close as I’ll allow Him to be. But I’m very aware of His closeness as I sit here meditating on His Word and the words of faith that flow with the melody of the hymns I sing.

Am I an “old lady”? I don’t feel like one at all. I’m only 71. But I’ve decided that just for this one purpose — having he right to sit rocking and singing to the Lord for a while each day  — I think I do want to be an “old lady.” Because it’s true: old ladies get to sit in rocking chairs and sing hymns.

“This is my story; this is my song:
Praising my Savior all the day long.
This is my story; this is my song:
Praising my Savior all the day long.”

 


Hymn lyrics by Fanny J. Crosby

 

 


 

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Oooops, NaPoWriMo Slipped Up On Me

APRIL 1ST -- Alexas_Fotos -- PX
Alexas_Foto@ Pixabay.com

 

A Poet Must Do What a Poet Must Do

I’m not ready for NaPoWriMo.
I should create some kind of verse.
And I’d better get onto it pronto:
It’s already April the first.

A poem with some kind of meaning
Is not always easy to write.
So I’ll just have to settle for something
That’s simple, perhaps even trite.

A jingle with sing-songy wording,
A love poem packed with cliches,
A limerick rolling with laughter —
One a day for the next thirty days!

Well, I can’t sit here just ruminating.
I’m a poet, and my duty’s clear:
NaPoWriMo has issued the challenge,
So I’ll start with this poem right here.

 


For the sake of full disclosure, I will say right now that I do not have any plans to write a new poem every day during the month of April. My work schedule will simply not allow for that amount of added writing this month. But I was feeling giddy about 1:00 this morning, and I figured I’d at least write one little ditty to kick off NaPoWriMo, 2019.


 

The Foot Test

In honor of this month of love, I thought I’d close it out with a jewel from my poetry archives — a piece I wrote several years ago for a NAPOWRIMO challenge to write a poem about love without using any of the hearts, flowers, cupids, or cliches normally attached to the sentiment. I had totally forgotten about writing this piece until I was wandering idly through my archives this week and spotted it. So for those of you who are looking for a way to determine whether what you’re experiencing is true love or not, maybe this little poem can be of help.


FEET, CLKER.COM 2 - credits

I know is this old world, it’s sad, but true:
Emotional relationships can fail.
And marriages, though formerly ’til death,
Now change as fast as color on the nails.

But I’m convinced our troth will still endure.
I’m sure of you as you are sure of me.
I know because we’re comfortable together
When on the same footstool we prop our feet.

What better test of faithfulness and trust,
Than doffing shoes and bravely baring toes.
Our feet look comfy, happy, and complete,
And for commitment’s sake we hold our nose.

 

~~~
photo: clker.com

 

 


 

Nursery Nonsense Continues

Haven’t posted anything new in a while, and today I decided to make myself write. Unfortunately, when I sat down to the keyboard, the only thing that would stick in my mind were the first-line words of a centuries old nursery rhyme. Well, why not, I thought. And here’s the slightly embarrassing result. But it was sort of fun.

HEY DIDDLE ILLUSTRATION -- GUTENBURG PROJECT

The Gutenberg Project – http://www.gutenberg.org/

 

Nursery Nonsense Continues

“Hey, diddle, diddle,
The cat and the fiddle;
The cow jumped over the moon.”
I remember it well
This nursery rhyme swell,
And its sing-songy poetry tune.

But I’ve scratched at my head
Wondering, when all that’s said,
What on earth can it possibly mean?
Doggy barks in dismay;
Dish and spoon run away,
But no value or sense can I glean.

Well, hey, diddle, diddle,
It matters so little
That no reason comes in this rhyme.
For centuries now
It has cheered us somehow,
And will do so through eons of time.

 

 


 

Anthropology 101

{I took a little jaunt through my short story archives today and went waaaaaaaay back. When I got to this one, I stopped and read it again. I have to say I still love it as much as I did when I wrote it —- and that’s a lot.  Hope you get a chuckle out of it.}

 

JUNGLE ISLAND 2

My marriage to an anthropologist was educational – and short. Herman loved his work and was really quite vain about it. He honestly believed that there was no people group that he could not figure out and eventually befriend – even when scores of others in his field had failed.

For years, he had been studying one particular tribe of natives on a tiny island in the Pacific that most ship’s captains refused as a port of call. The tribe was said to be cannibalistic, but my Herman just knew that he could convert them after explaining how much he had studied them in order to become their friend.

On looking back, I suppose that I should have put my foot down and refused when he insisted we honeymoon on the island. But he was so certain that he could convince the natives to help him with his research. So, as usual in our relationship, I acquiesced. My friends and family scolded me for my attitude. They said Herman should be treating me like a goddess rather than just ordering me around and dragging me off to some God-forsaken island to begin our marriage.

When we booked passage on the ship, we had to pay for a skiff as well because the captain told us that he would anchor far offshore, and we would have to go the rest of the way on our own. When we left the ship, he reminded us again what fools he considered us. But Herman insisted that he had everything under control.

We hadn’t been on the island more than an hour before the tribe captured us. They were quite large – both men and women – and exceedingly dark in coloring. They bound Herman immediately and tied him to a large pole at one end of their village. I was shaking like a leaf as they approached me, but they just looked at me with wide eyes and smiles, while making the most excited conversation with each other. I could understand only a very small part of what they said – mainly by their actions.

Then four of them brought a huge carrier – sort of a chair supported between two long poles and carried by the natives. One of the men – seemingly the chief – took my hand and escorted me to the chair.They then carried me ceremonially into the center of the village and escorted me to an elevated area on which sat a throne – all inlaid with gold. I sat, still quaking inside, but almost too overcome by my curiosity to concentrate on being afraid.

Next they placed a crown of the most exquisite jewels on my head and then bowed down to the ground in front of me. Finally, I spoke and asked in my own language for an explanation. One young man came forward and spoke to me in my native tongue to explain.

Evidently my golden blond hair was a sign to them. They had been expecting the goddess of their tribe to come to them in person for many years, and the sign of her true identity was that her head would shine like the sun. So I’m to be worshiped and given every one of my heart’s desires forever. I suppose one might say that, in a way, it’s thanks to Herman that I’m being treated like a goddess.

Of course, they prepared a huge feast in celebration of my arrival, and I guess everyone would have to admit that Herman truly did give his all for the cause of getting to know this tribe of people better. Naturally, I declined any food.

I certainly miss Herman, but I have to admit that what worries me more is what will happen when my roots start to grow out.

 

 

 


 

Feel Like You Could Use a Good Laugh???

Hey, if you’re like I am, you’re probably feeling like you need some time out from all the serious social and political problems that are thronging the media and airways right now. Let me introduce you to this wonderful speaker (if you don’t already know her) with some of the funniest (and true) stories to tell.

I have literally almost rolled in the floor listening to some of these stories. Some are just good wholesome chuckles, but others — well, all I can say is hold onto your belly, and be sure you’re not trying to drink anything while she’s talking. You just might spit it out on whoever’s watching with you.

I’m posting two video links, but there are scores of others in the YouTube list.

Enjoy:

 

 

 

 


 

Must Have List for Snowed-In Days

man at door deep snow

 

We are in the midst of a white-out. What was originally supposed to be a wintry mix for just a little while this evening suddenly became a terrific snowstorm about 1:30 this afternoon. Lots of snow and even more vicious wind. We have not been able to see much of anything at all through the blowing snow for hours. I had to be out in it for the first two hours, but, thankfully, I am now snuggled in at home, and my car is snuggled in as well (translate that ‘wedged like a sardine into my over-full garage’).

I couldn’t get back out to take my own pictures because the snow is blowing so very hard onto my front porch and back porch that I get hit with biting snow and ice if I even open my doors. And, yes, I did say both the front and back because the wind keeps changing directions. It blows from one direction for a couple minutes and then swirls around the other way. But tomorrow I might have a couple pictures for you.

In the meantime I got to thinking about the items I find to be most important to me if I know I’m going to be snowed in. I made a list, and I thought some of you might like to share your own list as well. So if you have a list of the 10 most necessary items (to you personally) when you’re going to be snowed in, share it with us in the “Comments” section below — or share a link to your own site where you’ve posted your list.

Here’s my 10 most vital things when I’m snowed in:

  1. Plenty of good books
  2. My keyboard so I can play music
  3. My computer so I can write
  4. My watercolor paints and paper
  5. Plenty of bottled water
  6. Plenty of coffee
  7. Plenty of peanut butter
  8. Plenty of chocolate
  9. Plenty of bread
  10. Plenty of toilet paper

That should hold me for a few days.  🙂

 

 

 


 

Weekly Smile 1/14/19

Taking part in Trent’s Weekly Smile again this week. If you’d like to join in, just hop over to the link and get the simple instructions for participating.

My smile this week comes from a little poem I heard during the Christmas holidays. I had forgotten about it for a few days, but this week it popped back into my mind, and I found myself grinning every time I recited it. Just couldn’t help it. So, of course, now that I’ve told you about it, I’m sure you’ll want to hear it. I wish I knew the author so I could give credit, but unfortunately, when I heard it, there was no reference to its originator.

snowball in hands -- pub dom -- pxMY SNOWBALL

I made a little snowball,
Cute as it could be.
So I took it for a pet
And let it sleep with me.

I made it some pajamas
And a pillow for its head.
But when I woke, it had run away;
But first it wet the bed!

 

 

 


 

Once Upon A Time: A Story In Any Language

More than three years ago, I did a post discussing how so many of our stories have characteristics and qualities that are both generic and universal. That fact is so true that we’ve even cultivated phrasing and syntax patterns that fit specific themes and plots.  The whole concept is fascinating to me. (Naturally it would be, considering that I’m not only a writer, but also a creative writing teacher.) 

So I decided to experiment a little with writing a story using nonsense terms instead of normal nouns and verbs. — to demonstrate the fact that any avid reader would be able to understand the story with very little trouble. The reason readers will understand is that the pattern, plot, and emotional tone all fit a specific type of fiction. The experiment was fun, and I often use it in my writing classes as an example to my students that many times it isn’t just choosing the right word that matters. It’s also how we put those words together that makes the whole piece a good story.

I decided to share the experiment again on this site. Hope you enjoy it.


DRAGON - PUB DOM TOTALLY -- Friedrich-Johann-Justin-Bertuch_Mythical-Creature-Dragon - TALL
Public Domain — Artist: Friedrich-Johann-Justin-Bertuch 

`
THE BONDO DELAFOR

The young delafor wandered through the cogem, wishing he could find a delafora to be his rhuba. He’d heard the fonders tell of bondo delafors who had won the hands of delaforas by zonering the terrible goganbulls. He knew the goganbulls were threatening the cogem, and many delafors were terrizon of them. He didn’t know if he were bondo enough to zoner a goganbull or not, but he hoped he’d have a chance.

One day the great kinba of the cogem announced that a goganbull had been spotted just outside the cogem. The great kinba porsayed that he would give the most beautiful delafora to the delafor who zonered that goganbull.

So the young delafor raced to his stetsa, hopped on, and took off to find the goganbull and zoner it. When he found the goganbull, it was maxma!  It was so maxma that the young delafor’s stetsa reared up, threw the delafor off, and ran away. Now the only thing the delafor had was his pontier. So he looked the goganbull in the eye, stood up straight and tall and shumed toward him. Keeping eye contact, he shumed all the way to within two feet of him. The goganbull gloamed and hot smeltz came from his buzzle.

But the young delafor rememberd the beautiful delafora who was porsayed by the great kinba. The delafor wanted that delafora for his rhuba very badly. So he aimed his pontier and shumed the last two feet toward the goganbull; then he flumed his pontier right into the goganbulls corva. With one horrible gloam, the goganbull fell over, and black smoke roold from his buzzle. Then all was quiet.

The young delafor took his pontier and whapped off the goganbull’s henda and carried it back to the great kinba. That day the young delafor won the most beautiful delafora in the cogem to be his very own rhuba. And they both lived schnookumy ever after.

TE  FUND

 

~~~

 


 

The Beast

I dragged this story out of my archives this morning. I had totally forgotten about writing it more than two years ago, and I enjoyed it so much myself I decided to give it another exposure on this site.


 

BULL SILLHOUETTE EDITED -NEGATIVEThe sun was low in the sky and to my back. I lay on the ground, looking up at the clouds and turning them into all sorts of things. One looked very much like a turtle. One like a smiley face, since it had two holes where the blue peaked through, giving it eyes, and another opening that really did look surprisingly like a grin on a child’s face. One of the clouds looked a little like an old school teacher I’d had who wore her hair piled high on her head in a beehive style. Boy, did that thought give way to pondering where time has gone.

Suddenly, I heard a branch crack behind me. Now, I’m not normally skittish, but this cracking sound was loud enough that I knew it must have been more than just the normal activity of birds or squirrels in the bushes. And, since I was in my own back yard, with a fence around the perimeter, there shouldn’t have been any other creatures – human or otherwise – setting foot beyond that fence uninvited. I didn’t welcome that sound.

I didn’t sit up immediately, but sort of rolled my head to look toward my left first – and saw nothing out of the ordinary. Then I rolled my head toward the right side, and on the ground beside me I saw the shadow of a huge head – not human – but obviously belonging to a beast of a different sort. My heartbeat went into double time, but I just lay there sort of frozen. As I watched, fighting down panic as well as I could, the shadow moved, coming forward and revealing the shoulder area, two legs, and an enormous frame.

I thought about praying, but the words stuck in my throat. I suppose I did manage a silent cry for help, but my primary thought was how to manage rising from my vulnerable position without seeming a threat to said beast and prompting a vicious attack on my person. I contemplated what I had available as a weapon. Well, there was a broken branch or two close by that had blown from a few surrounding trees during a recent windstorm. I glanced again to my left to see if I might be able to reach out for one without actually moving the rest of my body.

As I did so, I felt rather than saw the beast move closer to me. Frantically, I scanned the area to my left, but found no branches big enough to provide weaponry. Just small twigs and several old leaves. Not even a big rock. Finally, I decided that I couldn’t just lie there any longer. If I did so, I was obviously going to be dead meat, and just maybe my jumping up quickly would be enough to throw off the beast’s attention and give me time to start running.

Okay. I squeezed my eyes shut and psyched myself to do it, but just as I opened my eyes, the huge shadow suddenly loomed right over my head, and I knew it was hopeless to try to escape. I could hear it breathing in my ear. Then I really did decide to pray, because if this were to be my home-going, I wanted to be ready. I squeezed my eyes shut again, bracing myself for the impact of the attack, when to my greater shock, something sloppy wet took hold of my right ear. The next thing I knew something else cold and wet nudged me in the side of my neck. And then my face was being slathered with slobber from my chin to my temple. What was it doing? Tasting me to see if I merited being eaten?

I put my hand up to try to cover my face, and when I did, this little furry body just sort of threw itself at my hand and started whining and wriggling, trying to get my hand away. Well, the body attacking mine was so much smaller than I had anticipated that I decided I could open my eyes and chance a look. So I opened one eye and squinted between my fingers, which I still had pressed against my face, and what I saw brought me into a sitting position roaring with laughter.

The little yellow lab puppy who was pouncing me and trying to give me a bath in his saliva couldn’t have been more than three or four months old. So this was the beast I’d seen in shadow form? Surely I wasn’t foolish enough to have made a mistake like that. But upon making the effort to sit upright fully and look around me in all directions, I realized that, sure enough, this little pup and I were the sole occupants of my huge back yard. He was little enough he could have squeezed under the fence if he’d had a mind to. And on further reflection, I realized that considering how low in the sky the sun had been, if it had been shining just right on that little fellow’s body, he would have thrown a shadow many times larger than his real size.

I grabbed the little guy and took him onto my lap, giving him a few good scratches behind the ears and a thorough belly rub. While doing so, I thought about how so many of the problems in my life had looked bigger than life and had threatened to destroy me. But, in truth, when I had finally decided to stand up to them and look them square in the eye and recognize them for exactly what they were and nothing more, I had forced them to show their true identity. And when all was said and done, they were always smaller than I was, and I had eventually defeated every one of them.

I determined to make a lasting mental note of my experience that day and to remember the lesson I’d learned from that little fellow with the monster shadow: Never judge a problem – or a puppy – by its fearsome shadow.

~

 

 

~~~

In Love With Love?

I was rambling through my archives today and came across this poem. Thought I’d give it a fresh airing — just ’cause I like it.


AMOEBA MAN UNDER LOVE WEIGHT

Oh, I wish I were in love.
How I love to be in love!
It’s so great to be in love —
Until you’re dumped.

Oh, but love is so exciting,
With emotions all igniting,
In the favored one delighting —
‘Til you’re dumped.

I believed in sweet romance,
Loving arms in which to dance,
Titillated by a glance —
Then I got dumped.

Now, I’m not so sure of love,
It’s so hard real love to prove,
And if I don’t fall in love —
I can’t get dumped!


Perhaps I should let my faithful readers know that this poem is not based on a true story. Actually it grew out of a brief experience I had today when I turned on the car radio and heard a song from my high school days. It took me instantly back to a restaurant where I was enjoying some time with a guy I “thought” I was semi-in-love with. Our relationship never did develop into anything serious, and for a short time, I was unhappy. However, by 5 years later, I was thanking God that I never got into anything more serious with him than a mere friendship. I do pity his wife a good deal. But as I thought about that experience, I just sat down to write a poem about how we tend to fall in love with love sometimes, and — well — this is what I ended up with.

 

~~~