FATHERS’ DAY

MY DAD

On Mothers’ Day I think of all the practical things my mother taught me from baking a pie to sewing a dress, and practicing piano and violin after I chose to learn these instruments. She taught me to follow through whatever I started.

On Fathers’ Day I am thankful that my dad never said to me, “You can’t do that, you’re a girl.” He might say I don’t think you’re tall enough or strong enough, but he’d let me give it a try. I cannot count the number of cows I tried to milk by hand – we lived on a dairy farm. I was never truly successful. My hands weren’t strong enough. Over the years I got better, but after I quit, Dad would sit down and finish my job in three or four minutes. He seldom criticized anything I did, but once in a while, he said firmly, “Stop.” I did.

Dad taught me to drive a standard shift on an old cut down car we used like a tractor. I think I was just tall enough to see through the steering wheel and reach the pedals at the same time. I was probably 13 or 14 years old. When he thought I was capable I remember driving to a field to get a piece of equipment he needed for the next day. I remember the day, when I was 16 or 17, he let me take our big Buick to the church, about a mile down a county road. Mom didn’t approve, pointing out that I didn’t have a license. Dad said, “She’ll be fine.”

Now I watch my son as Dad to my two grandsons. I am proud of him. He, too, lets them, encourages them to try new things. He and their mother give the boys lots of leeway to do their thing, but when Dad says they need to stop, or change what they are doing, he uses a voice that doesn’t allow them to ignore him. The boys are growing to be thoughtful human beings that are a joy to have around.

 

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MY DAD AND MOM

I think my son learned a lot from my Dad and Mom about love and building character with firmness and gentleness.

 

 

 

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MEMORY LANE

IMAG0149The past two or three weeks I have been making a trip down memory lane. In the 1960s, ‘70s, and even ‘80s, I had taken hundreds of pictures of our family vacations and special days. All those pictures were on slides, but I had no slide projector on which to view them. My daughter loaned me her machine to digitalize them.

What did I find?—a few hundred lovely landscapes which I couldn’t identify. I tossed them in a paper bag to be thrown away.

There were slides of the first Christmas my husband and I spent together after we met. I had made us matching shirts as a gift. In the photos, I could see we were both in love, although I’d probably have denied it if asked at the time. There were pictures of our mobile home in Interlaken, New York, where we lived while he attended Cornell and I taught in the elementary school; Richard’s graduation from college while I was in maternity clothes; our home in New Brunswick, New Jersey where he studied to become a minister and another graduation. Throughout those years were many pictures of our young son’s birthdays, our first church with him as the pastor, and our daughter who came on the scene as a toddler, and more pictures with her adoring brother.

Now the slides are digital and available. I must say that it is hard to believe I actually looked like those slides. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” That is true for my memory!

SMILE

I wrote about homeless and refugees a few months ago. Their plight reminds me daily how fortunate I am to have a roof over my head, food on the table, and family who care for me.

Verses from the Gospel of Matthew (25:35+) continue to haunt me: “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’ He will answer: “When you did it for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.”

We must not leave it to our government to care for the individuals in our country, or those in other countries with which we should share. As the gospel indicates, it is up to each of us to care for those we meet, see, friend or stranger. For a stranger perhaps the person needs nothing more than a smile and a kind hello—just recognition that he or she is an individual, a presence, and not an anonymous  unseen ghost.

Each one of us can do something to make another’s life a tiny bit more pleasant for the day. It never hurts to smile. The exercise relaxes your face! These daffodils smile and put a smile on my face too.1-IMG_3152b

Spring is on the way!

I’m feeling righteous because I spent an hour removing all the dead plants from my garden to reveal the daffodils, day lilies and I’m not exactly sure what else is growing..

I’m feeling righteous because I spent an hour removing all the dead plants from my garden to reveal the daffodils, day lilies and I’m not exactly sure what else is growing out there.

We have been waiting for weeks wishing for the snow to disappear. It is gone now, but the weather persons said we may get another dose of white later this week.

Actually, I think it was Tuesday was the perfect day to work outside. It was sunny and spring warm.  Today I was determined, so even though it was just 40 and the wind was blowing in spurts, I persevered.

God gives us Spring each year. I revel in the new green of all shades that magically appear from the earth.

Now a poem:

SPRING BLESSING

GREETING

 

May this arc of the orb

bring passion, brightness,

stunning Aa ha as you

rediscover another star

in your orbit.

 

May your thermometer sprout

new hopes and wishes,

re-bloom your fantasies,

restore technicolor eyes,

as you absorb your world’s population.

 

Richard E. Lake

14 March 2012

We have been waiting for weeks wishing for the snow to disappear. It is gone now, but the weather persons said we may get another dose of white later this week.

Actually, I think it was Tuesday was the perfect day to work outside. It was sunny and spring warm.  Today I was determined, so even though it was just 40 and the wind was blowing in spurts, I persevered.

God gives us Spring each year. I revel in the new green of all shades that magically appear from the earth.

Now a poem:

SPRING BLESSING

GREETING

 

May this arc of the orb

bring passion, brightness,

stunning Aa ha=s@ as you

rediscover another star

in your orbit.

 

May your thermometer sprout

new hopes and wishes,

re-bloom your fantasies,

restore technicolor eyes,

as you absorb your world=s population.

 

Richard E. Lake

14 March 2012

 

A BIG BLACK CAT

After Van Gogh (pictures above) died last spring, I did not have a cat. I didn’t want one right away. But as spring began to come around the corner, I decided I wanted company in my home.

Three weeks ago I went to a cat shelter and looked at dozens of cats. Two black cats took my eye. Then I went off to Florida on a vacation. Last Saturday, after I had come home, I went back to the shelter to visit the black cats. The first one didn’t seem interested in me. Then I looked at Coco in her cage. At first, she seemed noncommittal, but I didn’t leave. It was then she came to the front of the cage and demanded attention–rubbing, petting. The director suggested I sit with her in a large empty dog cage. She continued to be loving and attentive.

My daughter, who was with me, declared that I may not have chosen her, but Coco had chosen me. We have now had a week together to get to know one another.

I have learned she will sleep in the bedroom with me, but decide that it is time to rise about 3:00 or 4:00 a.m. when I want to get a few more hours in bed. The past two nights, I’ve gotten up, she’s has left the bedroom, I shut the door and get back in bed.

Coco is a nibbler when it comes to eating, and messy when it comes to drinking. I’ve not seen her do it, but I believe she plays with the water. Now her dishes are on a place mat. Coco has definitely made me her person. I do as commanded.

The first cat I had as a small child had followed my mother home, at least that is the way she told the story, was a large black cat. It did everything I wished. I could dress him in doll clothes and feed him with a doll’s bottle. That trick saved his life when he had pneumonia after being trapped in a cold creek.

The first cat my husband and I had was nearly black, a charcoal tiger. He loved snow and following my husband by leaping from one footprint to the next. When we returned from living overseas, we were joined by Himself and Herself, two mostly black kittens, who were with us for fourteen years.

Black cats are part of my past and present.

 

MORE POEMS

I was away for some days. While I had good intentions of posting while away, I didn’t. We all know what road is paved with them.

I believe today’s poem was written after my husband and I visited the Washington Cathedral in our country’s capital city.

 

CATHEDRAL MEDITATION

Stillness in shadow,
hints of purple glow;
Solid granite grey
holds, anchors spirit;
Lines flow parallel skyward,
tracks for hope;
Glossy soft light beams
from worn path in stone;
Solo sounds caress reds,
blues of sky tones,
Smooth melody accompanies
thoughts to questions;
Single notes embrace
sketchy creed, as
Fragile faith is nourished
in chapel solitude.

Richard E. Lake