Wednesday, December 29, 2010

All The Way Back

When I was a child out shopping with my father in the busy paced Christmas season, my small steps could never match his giant ones.  For every large stride he took, I had to take three awkaward leaps to keep in step.  It was like a little red bird flying next to an eagle with his massive wing span, there was a great difference in our flight, and like the eagle my father had a great wing span.  When we were finished at the store, and the car was loaded up, he would always push the shopping cart all the way back into the store where it belonged.  I would sit in the car waiting and wondering why he took the time to do such a good deed when he had so many more important things to do.  At the time, I could not comprehend how his example of giving of himself, even in such a small way, would impact my view of the meaning of giving later in life.
Last week marked the beginning of the holiday shopping season.  Once again as an adult, I found myself participating in the pyretic frenzy of shoppers bumping into one another trying to attain our prized merchandise that would make the perfect gift for that special someone.  The chaos of that kind of interaction can steal the cheer right out of the holiday spirit. So when I was leaving the sale, and could not get to my car due to several carts left all in the way, it was at that moment, that I realilzed how in the effort to get everything right, we seem to get it all so wrong!
Every year at this time I become torn between the joy of the spirit of giving, and the drudgery of getting everything done on my Christmas to do list.  Time, like lightening, flashes past me, and I just follow it in vain, like the thunder with an artless thud!  However, if I stop myself in my tracks, and think all the way back when I was a child at Christmas, there are certain memories that come rushing back like a prodigal son longing to be held by the father once more.  None of these thoughts hold any significance to anyone but me.  There are no favorite gifts, new bikes, go go boots, or colored television sets.  There are only precious moments spent with loved ones that repair my vision of what truly matters.  Sometimes we get so caught up in the race reaching for the prize, that we forget the true purpose it held in the beginning.  The holiday season is not about how many presents we can give, but giving in celebration of the priceless gift  of hope God gave us all the way back on the first Christmas in Bethlehem.  In times like these, I often have to be remimnded that the greatest gifts of all are free.
Many years have passed since I was eight years old out shopping with my father.  He has long since passed away, and I have spent many Christmas seasons out shopping on my own.  Sometimes I have waisted too much money, but I realize more and more as I get older that I have never been waisting my time,  for no act of kindness is ever in vain.  The real gifts that I was given growing up stay with me always, and they reflect out to others, like ripples in a pond.  When I recall the memories of my father, it is the times we shared together, and how his integrity etched its place upon my heart that hold true.  Just like our Father in Heaven has given us an eternal hope that our hearts can always hold.
This life is full of many struggles; errands that must be done, and decisions both mundane and colossal to be made.  Through it all, let us not forget what truly matters most.  Sometimes when I am out shopping, and my father is on my mind, as he so often is this time of year, I will finish loading my car with gifts, and take the time to push the cart all the way back to the store where it belongs.  It always fills me with an inner peace, and the sweet vision of my father's smile.  I know I will never be able to fill my father's shoes, but I am certain that I shall always try.

This is an essay I wrote for Christmas "all the way back" in 2007.  I hope that everyone here in the blogosphere had a wonderful Christmas full of the blessings of the heart, and that the new year is one full of happiness and hope.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


At Christmas, all roads lead home.  ~Marjorie Holmes

Growing up my brother and I were raised on one hundred acres of perfect Sanger graze land, just north of Denton, Texas.  At our house there was a majestic view from every window, but the house was completely surrounded by a a fence.  It served its purpose in keeping the cattle away from the porch, yet it seemed to be the place I remained most of my childhood, staying within the fence.
Looking back it seems so strange that we had all that land, but we had to remain most of the time within the confines of those closed gates.  For myself ,I could only call it a loss and go on, but for my brother Vaude it was different.  He had more freedom at a younger age than I, but when he did get it, he went as fast as he could, like a canary that broke out of its cage.  He always was a restless spirit, and peace was just not within this grasp then, and unlike the distance that seperates counties and states, I could not reach him for a very long time.
It wasn't until the last few years that his heart had settled down.  We had not seen each other in over ten years, but he had called me several times, and our talks had become increasingly longer.   I had invited him to stay many times at no avail, yet I never ventured out his way either.  I kept imagining that when we were older, and retired that we would have lots of time to visit one another then, and maybe even live near each other.  I knew that then we could make up for all the time we lost.  Unfortunately, on Christmas day 2002, my brother died of a massive heart attack at the Elks Lodge in Denton.  It is a day that has forever changed me.  I had spent so much time being too busy to get away, that like a fence, I kept myself from going where I should have gone.  I can't have that time back.  I can only learn from it.  I do not ever want to take anything or anyone for granted.
Christmas is a time of hope, celebration, and an opportunity to reach out to others, as God has to us.  I want to take this time to reflect, and look forward, with the thankfulness I should have for all the wonderful people in my life.  My plans with my brother may have been altered, but they were not completely changed, only the destination.  For I know that we will meet again beyond the confines of this world.
God bless you all today, and always.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Bounty of God

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." ~Albert Einstein


Perhaps the gravest, and yet greatest gift God gives us in this life is the ability to decide for ourselves what we will believe, and what path we will choose from the vision set before us.  We all one by one, could step into a Cathedral and peer through the beautiful stained glass windows, and each one see something a bit different.  Some choose the obvious, and clear science of logic, and then go about their way, while others look deeper, into the glass, and into the human heart, not just seeing a mother and child etched upon the glass, but they see a miracle etched upon humanity.  The wonder of the many gifts of God.  Is it a miracle, or is it the science of art? 
I choose the miracle!

I hope everyone at Magpie Tales and everywhere in the blogosphere has a wonderful Christmas Holiday, no matter what your set beliefs is a season of miracles....the spirit of giving is a beautiful thing!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


"Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons."  ~Author Unknown

Somewhere between carelessly sliding down Maynord's hill,
and carefully climbing up the ladder of success,
I forgot how to simply say:

To read more slippery fun click here.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Glimpse of God

It is the vast ocean,
yet one tiny grain of sand.

It is the rain that feeds the river,
yet the tears of just one man.

It is a meteor that lights up the dark,
yet the lights reflection from one creature's eyes.

It is the instinctive migration of geese,
yet one hummingbird in hovered flight.

It is the tall deep forest,
yet one flower that is rare.

It is the undeniable crash of thunder,
yet the wind's testimony that is unseen, but we know it is there.

Monday, December 6, 2010

No Stranger At My Door

You can't run away from trouble. There ain't no place that far. ~Uncle Remus

Trouble rides a fast horse, I once heard a famous cowboy say. 
So I tiptoed like a snowflake, and flew the other way.
I traveled passed missed opportunities, and stumbled over the loss.
Holding regret, like a firearm, with pockets empty from the cost.
I grew weary running, so I turned to hiding behind my own locked doors,
never allowing trouble to dance upon my hardwood  floors.
Yet, all the avoiding, and escaping was at no avail,
for trouble would always find me through my own paper trail.
It is a cold hard lesson, like falling off a horse in the snow.
To learn that dodging all life's troubles also loses some blessing we could know.
Trouble rides a fast horse, I once heard a famous cowboy say.
So now I sit at my own doorstep, and simply welcome all that comes my way.

To read more Magpie Tales prompts click here.

Monday, November 29, 2010

This Life

"What we are is God's gift to us. What we become is our gift to God." ~Eleanor Powell

Gently take hold of me with both hands
and then keep on moving on your race
each breath a new gift
each step you take
becomes the

To read more prize offerings check out lovely Willow's Magpie Tales 


"He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has."  ~Epictetus

You can eat a full bowl of potatoes, or a full plate of sirloin steak.
You can hold a full glass of milk, or drink a full goblet of champagne.
You can play in a full toy box, or own a millionaire's full house.
You can enjoy a full retirement, or save a full bank account.
But if your heart is empty, and their are holes in your soul,
you will remain hungry, and always long for something more.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flowers Do Grow In The Rain

You ask why life has so many tears
why life's road is always rough?...
but with each day and every year
we learn another lesson about love.

Sometimes the path we choose
can seem to be too hard...
but how much more can we loose
with just one more broken heart?

A finished diamond ring
is not beautiful all my itself...
it cannot do a thing
without the polish cutter's help.

Going up mountains and over hills
we are running into walls...
we cannot learn the growing skill
until we learn to fall.

A heart like a flower grows
and reaches for the stars...
but our eyes do not always know
the necessity of lifes scars.

Some flowers along the beaten path
are hidden among the weeds...
the rain showers they must have
are what help the many planted seeds.

Sometimes it takes hitting a valley low
to make us finally look up...
at times only a heartache's blow
can make us feel true love.

You ask why there is so much sorrow
why does life give us so much pain?...
but too much sunshine provides no rainbow,
for flowers do grow in the rain.

Also sharing with Imperfect Prose with lovely Emily at In The Hush of The Moon

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Magician's Tools

He is like a fickle lover, awkwardly gone before morning,
yet smooth like the wrinkled sheets he left behind.
He is a true magician with tricks up a sleeve,
and well crafted illusions between each line.
He raises up youth in a elevation act
dangling upon a string.
Only to let go and drop it
in a disappearing act for all to see.
Pulling moments out of a hat, like rabbits,
that we can never retrieve.
A continuous magic show that you have to see to truly believe.
Yes, time is the great illusionist, and the clock one tool upon a stage,
for God, and man's time and calenders have never been the same.

To read more moments in time....check out lovely Willow's Magpie Tales

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Two Sides of Regret

It is a broken window that has two different views
looking out it is a distant ocean that we can never swim
and looking in it is an endless beach with sand that lingers
forever in the shoes upon our feet

It is a jagged tree that has only two branches
the one we grasp tightly afraid of the fall if we let go
and the other we can only gaze at for it is far beyond our reach

It is a torn map with just one chartered road that leads two ways
to the east it is a place we wish we could forget
and to the west it is a trip to a aged loved one we never took
that we shall always grieve

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Strongest Strand

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.
~Mother Teresa

We stand together an assortment of pearls tightly strung in place
embracing hope's truest strand longing for something greater in the end
but when our clasp together catches on the snags of life we rip apart
scattering in all dirrections yet unlike the pearl that gets lost amongst
the rubble underneath a couch never to be found
man makes his way back
fastening together
thread to stone
hand to hand
one heart
at a

I have always been fascinated by the way that mankind has so many different cultures, traditions and beliefs, and yet, ultimately,we are all truly the same.  We nurture and adore our children ,work in some way to put food on the table, and long to make a difference in our sphere of influence.  We are worlds apart, yet as close knit as jewels on a strand.  Humanity, not matter how diverse, truly is an emblem of the bonds of the heart.

To see more takes on the prompt check out lovely Willow's Magpie Tales

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Power Amongst The Weeds

A whisper is just a whisper that when uttered in a crowd is hard to hear,
yet in the hush of loneliness it's meaning becomes quite clear.
A penny is just a penny that in our pocket humbly sits,
yet if we dropped it from a skyscraper oh the damage it could inflict.
A cardboard box is just a cardboard box that on it's shelf we do place,
yet if it stood in a busy highway so many changes it would make.
A weed is just a weed that among the flowers we regret it grows,
yet they hold the power to make us tend our garden,
for otherwise we sometimes won't.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Where The River Ends

Our lives are like a river
each flowing a certain stream
as we try to go the distance
to the grand destination
we must reach
there are hazardous
twists and bends
that make us sway
and hard rocks and branches
we must cross along the way
yet we must remember
when we reach the final descent
that where  the river ends
is simply where the ocean does begin...

......and there we shall meet again.

For Seth 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Dash

It is not the day we are born
nor the moment of our passing
that leaves a lasting mark.
It is the dash inbetween
the life we have lived
that shapes and touches our hearts.

February 15 1922 - August 11, 1992

Parkes Van Horn

My father was a wonderful man who accompllished many amazing things even though he had led a very difficult childhood.  His mother was sick for many years with MS, and passed away when he was merely 9 years old.  By the time he was 11 he was orphaned, and had to live with who ever would take him in.  He started working at the age of 12 as a door to door salesman.  Dispite all of his hardships he eventually went in the Navy as well as the Army, and served in WWII.  He worked his way through college graduating from Rice University in Houston, TX to become a aeronautics engineer.  He practically raised me and my brother by himself, and we never went without.  There is no way that I could ever attempt to fill his shoes, yet his integrity and example have carried me, and continue to move me forward.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Aunt Matilda's Big Purse

Aunt Matilda had a big purse that appeared to be larger than life.
It was wider than a cavern and taller than a kite.
She carried it on her elbow, or clutched it with her wrist.
And if anyone  tried to take it, they would surely receive a fist.
We joked that if you put your hand in, a rabbit would be pulled out.
For magicly she had everything needed to solve a dillemma without a doubt.
One time she sent me to get her wallet for money for the icecream man,
and when I reached inside, I found a set of pots and pans.
Yes, Aunt Matilda had a big purse that was bigger than us tykes.
It was wider than a cavern, and taller than a kite.

What Remains

God gave us memories that we might have roses in December.  ~J.M. Barrie, Courage, 1922

Time burns her memory like a building on flame and my heart keeps re-entering to salvage what could be lost soft cuddles pushes on the swing thoughts shared all return to view I cradle them out of the wreckage with the tenderness of a mother yet fervour of an explorer certain I will retrieve something new that had been once consumed by time's tarnishing way
one vision at a time relinquished like a photograph taken out from underneath the protective glass yet they still fade tattered at the edges and dust inbetween reflecting the weakness of my memory to capture every moment like a camera but I will carry on with the recovery holding on to each one like a child's hand afraid of loosing them out in the open streets for I am the guardian and sole heir of them all and I will carry them with me in homage.

I turned 47 this year; the age my Mother was when she passed away.  I never realized at that time how young she truly was.  She never saw us kids grow up, attended our graduations, had the pleasure of participating in our weddings, or held her grandchildren in her arms.  Now I am very aware of the blessings that I have to see my grown children, and have the opportunity to watch my grandchildren grow up.  When I look at myself in the mirror I do not see the many wrinkles, or all the grey hairs, that seem to accumulate like dust on a picture frame,  I see the reflection of my mother's smile, and her heart that lives on in my life.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Soul's Tattoo

The stumblings of our youth can leave a lasting mark
reminding us where we have been and directing us where we are
a source of evidence that lingers for all eyes to behold
a roadmap of the past and still a tattoo of the soul.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Glory In Kneeling

There is more strength in letting go of the tears than in all the callus one can hold.
There is more courage in reaching out for help than facing all the demons alone.
There is more power in our silence than all the words we can say.
There is more glory in kneeling in the shadows in prayer
than just standing in the light's way.

Friday, October 15, 2010

A Funeral, Two Soft Giggles, and The Color Orange

One of the most amazing men I have ever known was my son's paternal grandfather, George Thackeray.  He was an intelligent and hardworking man with a heart of gold, but what I loved most about him was his wonderful sense of humor.  He was always telling jokes, being silly, and making you laugh.  He was an utter joy to be around, and I am certain he was the glue that held his family together.  When he passed away back in 1991, it was a deep loss for the whole family.  A wonderful, joyous,and kind soul that we would miss dearly.  His wife whose name is Georgia, remains with us, is also a wonderful soul, and she has always been known for having taste in things that were loud and colorful.  Her favorite color is orange, and she always wears very colorful dresses and likes very big and unusual things.  When we were at the grave side service, the pastor was talking about what George was doing in Heaven.  George had a painting business that supported his family for over 25 years, so the pastor speculated that George could be up in there in Heaven painting a house for Georgia, and then he added probably in her favorite color.  Right about that time, two of my sister-n-laws burst out in soft giggles.  All they could think at the moment was the color ORANGE.  The house would be ORANGE!  You would have to truly know the whole family to understand the beauty of that moment, for it was a sweet legacy of George's wonderful humor that remained here with his family; his spirit was still here with us in our tears and in our laughter as well. 

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Some things when they fall they shatter and seem beyond repair
while others seem to brace the fall but invisibly they are impaired
a heart can see another's fall and then itself break in two
but tears like glistening diamonds will fall and make it new
God bless the heart that is broken for another's pain it has truly felt and seen
but God help the heart that will not break for it is surely broken indeed.

Friday, October 8, 2010

What The Trees Know

The trees know a certain unity that we do not understand.
They face what the wind blows in, and together they shall stand.
When autumn's wind reaches out to them her subtle hand,
the leaves turn hue and fall and still together they do land.
The forest knows a certain hope that lingers in winter's cold.
It is the certainty of spring when new leaves will all unfold.
Yet, in the swelter of summer, at the hand of man alone,
a flicker becomes a flame and takes back what nature has bestowed.
Still, trees know a certain peace that man cannot recall.
For united they will stand, and still together they will fall.

I have always believed that nature has her own sweet knowing that mankind has not quite grasped.  All of creation thrives and co-exists like an elegant dance to a beautiful song.  It is God's other textbook to teach us how to live, yet we take it for granted, awkwardly disregarding the steps.  If we would only take time to listen to the rustling of the leaves in the breeze, it is then that we could hear God's voice, and we to could learn the dance.


Monday, October 4, 2010

The Keepers And The Swift

When I was an older child, I was fascinated by running my fingers swiftly through the flickering seemed as if my fingers, and the flame for a moment were within each others embrace...but I was careful to not linger...all too aware of the sting that could remain.  Some lovers can be that way...fasinated by the warmth of the embrace, yet they will not linger, for they are afraid of getting burned.

We long for the spark of something more
warmth of light enveloping an empty orb
solitude extinguished and kinship ignited
with one touch of the match onto the wick
yet once the flicker transforms into
a steady flame
a mystery smolders in the light
some hearts will hold the flame true
like a sturdy lamp
embracing the beauty's glow
and it's sting
but like the scattering of dry leaves
some lovers swiftly move on
for fear of getting burned.

I recently went with my husband to his 30 year class reunion.  There were many people there with the same old story; they had married, had children, divorced, and started new families with grandchildren as well.  But amongst the many, there were two couples that had been highschool sweethearts, married in highschool, and were still together to this day.  I became completely fascinated by them.  When I had a chance, I asked one of them what their secret was...she simply replied "we were friends from the start and we are friends now."...but there is more that I can add to this observatiion.  When the music started and the DJ invited the couples to come on down, they were the first couples out there, and when the last song played they were still out there dancing their hearts out. You could tell that they embraced life whole heartedly.  I realize now, they are what you call true "keepers of the flame".


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Through The Eyes of The Mother

He stands before the world, and he does not stand much of a chance,
to overcome the adversity of his circumstance.
He is just a prodigal in a world that knows no grace,
for all the world sees when it looks at Tyron is a bad statistic in the human race.
The cop just shook his head when he saw the criminal of the law,
and the preacher over looked him in his holy cause.
The teacher saw a waste of time on her agenda for the day,
and the neighbor clinched his fist at the good for nothing in his way.
The world just saw a statistic to sweep underneath a rug,
so why is it any wonder why Tyron just gave up.
Yet, through the eyes of the mother, there is a different view.
She does not see a statistic,a criminal, nor a fool.
She sees beyond the world's half hearted kind of man.
The kind only a mother would truly understand.
She does not shake her head, nor clinch her angry fist.
She only holds her heart when she looks at him.
She sees half of boy in this half hearted man,
and  she would gladly give all her heart if it would give him half a chance.
She does not look through the eyes of the world, but through the heart's eyes,
where there lies an unconditional love that needs no reasons why.
There are no statistics in this world of the heart and soul.
There is only compassion that freely gives, love,grace,and hope.
How different of a world could we discover,
if we would view everyone through the eyes of the mother.

There is no king who has not had a slave among his ancestors, and no slave who has not had a king among his.

Helen Keller

Friday, September 24, 2010

A Slice of Heaven

It is not the slant of my lips
nor the curve of my hips
it is not the perfume on my wrist
nor the taste of warmth in my kiss
that he cannot ever resist...
it is my pie and warm biscuits
that keep him truly in bliss.

I guess sometimes the way to a man's heart truly is through his stomach! :-)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Like A Forest

This life is like a forest and our world is but a tree
and humanity is a flow of many colors like an abundant growth of leaves
each spread out and grow reaching toward the sky
and when the time is right we break loose and start to fly
but like the changing seasons our flight is soon a fall
we reach out like a weary hand and embrace heaven's call.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


It lingers in the waters at the stillness of the dawn.
It stumbles with the awkward grace of an innocent fawn.
It glides the sky underneath the wings of a snow white dove.
It glimmers from the eyes of a young woman deep in love.
It's fragrance fills the air of a rose garden in the spring.
It is heard from the cathedral as the choir begins to sing.
It roams the hills with wild horses that have ventured afar.
Yet, it cannot be captured until you search inside your heart.

Monday, September 20, 2010

His Name Is Forever

When we are children time is always our friend,
we play hand in hand for hours on end.

One day we grow up and we become distant and lose touch.
We start running through life in a big rush.

Years go by, and one day, he calls and knocks at our door.
We remember, catch up, and plan to do more.

Then we are elderly, and our days become few,
he clings to our side like a friend that is true.

At the moment when we will say farewell to this place,
he does not stop nor leave, but accompanies us to heaven's gates.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Grandma's Way

Memory is a child walking along a seashore.  You never can tell what small pebble it will pick up and store away among its treasured things.  ~Pierce Harris

There once was an old lady with hair a light shade of blue.
Her face was slowly falling and her heart was tried but true.

She loved to feed the alley cats and tell them of her dreams.
She squatted in her lilly garden to plant her plastic queens.

I loved to hear her stories of life and days gone by.
Her voice was soft and wistful that never told a lie.

Her manner was truly graceful as she tied her sheer pink scarf.
Her words were always gentle as she touched you with her heart.

She prayed over my pillow, and cast her faith on high.
She always looked so peaceful when she glanced up at the sky.

Her hands were warm and true when she brushed my tangled hair,
and she always intently listened to all my hopes and cares.

She lived her life truly smiling, day after day.
A rainbow in the storm, that was just her way.

Even though she is gone now, and is beyond my reach,
Grandma will always be the reason I hold on to my dreams.

A tribute to the memory of my Grandma and her wonderful ways.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Colliding of Two Worlds

Man rushes down narrow freeways with common destinations yet diverse dreams
not always aware of the hidden eyes that may reflect from his high beams
the doe enters the clearing and steps onto pavement full of grace
ignorant of the dangers that she may soon face
our worlds like boxes in a closet set together yet worlds apart
they intersect and collide briefly but they both leave a lasting mark.

The Child Speaks

The child will freely stare,
but the adult will merely glance.

The child always goes eagerly out on a limb,
but the adult steps out carefully afraid to fall.

The child asks simply for one reason why,
but the adult preoccupies with the answers to it all.

The child embraces love whole heartedly,
but the adult slowly touches it scared it will
swallow them whole.

The child speaks his mind honestly,
but the adult only says what he cares to show.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A Mighty Weakness

I am a wall I can be made of cement and rise up many yards high,
or I may be made of brick or stone, and reach out across the county side.

Sometimes I am a memorial that represents millions of brave souls,
and other times I am a fortress of protection that tells you where not to go.

But I hold up at my most mighty, and yet at my weakest place,
when I am built with fear, and doubt littered with pride's own waste.

There are walls that protect...

There are walls that remember...

There are walls that divide....

and there are walls that are destructive...

I am all too familiar with the walls a broken heart can build.
My father and brother had a "falling out", and were at odds with each other for years.
They did not speak for long periods of time, and never resolved their hard feelings.
When my father passed away in 1992 my brother was devastated.
He was in a form of grief the rest of his life.
He passed away in 2002.
I have faith, and I am certain that they know peace now.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The Winds of Hardship Blow In All Directions

We are not that different you and I
I can feel it in your gentle sway
you can see it in my weary eyes
like a high flag we must face the wind's blow
with a lumber strength deep in our soul
I might shift and you may bend
but we both stand up to what life blows in
side by side or worlds apart
each soul has hardships and storms at dark
we are not that different you and I
for we all long for acceptance and peaceful skies.

May there be peace on earth for EVERY man,woman, and matter where they live, or what they believe.