Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Time for Resolutions??

"In the end, the poem is not a thing we see; it is, rather, a light by which we may see--and what we see is life." -Robert Penn Warren

"There is only one difference between a madman and me. The madman thinks he is sane. I know I am mad." -Salvador Dali, painter (1904-1989)

"Neither genius, fame, nor love show the greatness of the soul. Only kindness can do that. "-Jean Baptiste Henri Lacordaire, preacher, journalist and activist (1802-1861)

"To be nobody but myself -- in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else -- means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight, and never stop fighting." -E.E. Cummings, poet (1894-1962)

I never make New Years resolutions. I never lie to myself! I know that most people intend to keep their resolutions. A few people will actually accomplish the keeping of maybe one or two that they make. I only promise to continue to live the best I can and be me! My dear friend Thoi asked me yesterday if I was going to promise to be nice this next year. Wow! I thought I was already being nice. This is me. This is my nice.

With a pat on my hand she told me she would pray for me to promise to be nice next year. Then she prayed over me in Twai and I didn't understand a single word of it. But when she looked me in the eye and added "Now you WILL be nice!!" I agreed that I would! She kept on till I promised to be nice enough to plant more vegetables and less flowers and above all else to share and stick together with friends and family. Do I have to do all that to be nice? I love flowers. I see I'll be adding containers so that I can have both and still be nice. And the friends and Family part; Well I think they all know that I can be nice.. I can also be very UN- NICE if I have to.

Tonight I will gather with friends and I will hope for a Great New Year. I will laugh and make Merry even though I will not make resolutions. I will share in their hopes and dreams and will applaud their attempts at keeping the resolutions they will make. I will be me!

Be safe; Drive carefully; if you are driving leave the drinking to others;

See you next year!

Winter Rainbows

Blanket swaddled
Face pressed against
Icy glass.


Sunlight shooting
beautiful rainbows
from hanging Icicles.

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

Life Breathes Wonder

Squatting lakeside
darting swimmers
at their feet.

Shouldered burdens
over shadow even
family time.

Prayers for Peace
carried in whispers
breath after breath.

Gods coloring book
pages of hope,
peace, beauty.

Just inhale
the wonder!

written By: Patricia Sawyer

Monday, December 22, 2008

A few Christmas Poems

"Christmas gift suggestions:
To your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect." ~ Oren Arnold

"What is Christmas? It is tenderness for the past, courage for the present, hope for the future. It is a fervent wish that every cup may overflow with blessings rich and eternal, and that every path may lead to peace." ~Agnes M. Pharo

"Santa Claus wears a Red Suit, He must be a communist. And a beard and long hair, Must be a pacifist. What's in that pipe that he's smoking?"~ Arlo Guthrie

Two days Left to shop for those of you who haven't finished. I have been a scrooge for most of this season. I do feel a little better today though. I have finished shopping and now only await the savage opening of the gifts I so carefully and beautifully wrapped and the taking down of all the festive Decorations. All three or four of them that I have out. In the mean time, I hope you enjoy my Christmas Poems. Merry Christmas to you All. Please be kind to one another and remember the reason for this season! May God bless you each and all this Christmas!

I Wonder?( A Christmas Quatrain.)

Sweet Christ Child I wonder
If the wise men ever Knew
That party frocks and Cheese balls
Would ever overshadow YOU?

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

Christmas Celebration ~ (a pantoum)

Make Merry!
Put on Your best dress!
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Make Merry!
Kick up your Heels!
Rejoice! Rejoice!
It's Christmas Time!
Kick up Your Heels!
Put on Your best dress!
It's Christmas Time!

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

Oh What a Night~ ( A Christmas Quatrain.)

Shepherds traveled, their only map a star.
The Angels gave a concert from above.
Wise Men came bearing gifts, to the Christ Child.
God's gift to mankind. Born in a manger, sweet gift of Love.

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Count Down to Christmas!

"Christmas is for children. But it is for grownups too. Even if it is a headache, a chore, and nightmare, it is a period of necessary defrosting of chill and hide-bound hearts."
- Lenora Mattingly Weber

"For many of us, sadly, the spirit of Christmas is "hurry". And yet, eventually, the hour comes when the rushing ends and the race against the calendar mercifully comes to a close. It is only now perhaps that we truly recognize the spirit of Christmas. It is not a matter of days or weeks, but of centuries - nearly twenty of them now since that holy night in Bethlehem. Regarded in this manner, the pre - Christmas rush may do us greater service than we realize. With all its temporal confusion, it may just help us to see that by contrast, Christmas itself is eternal."
- Burton Hills

"Oh, for the good old days when people would stop Christmas shopping when they ran out of money." - Author Unknown

Have you hung your stockings and decorated your tree? Does your yard glitter and flash as if a circus is coming to town? Have you shopped till you couldn't stand or maybe until you spent money you didn't have? Do you have your menu planned and the food all bought? Are you ready for Christmas? Are you counting down the days?

I'm not. I do have a tree and I do have a load of gifts under it. I haven't hung any stockings this year. I don't have anything glittery or flashing in my yard. I have a few snowmen and Santa's sitting around inside waiting with me for the final day to come. They are sitting stony faced and silent. I think if they could speak they would join me in saying BAH HUMBUG!

I used to love Christmas. Daddy would put up the silver tree, with it's blue balls and color wheel,
in front of the picture window. Mama would let all of us go into her special living room that night and we'd curl up on her white couch and become entranced by the wonder of Christmas. I remember a certain Christmas when Mary- ( she will say it wasn't her!)- convinced all the rest of us to join her in a quest to catch Santa in the act. We all snuck into the living room and slept on the floor around the tree. It was a bad plan!

We were going to kill her the next morning when we got up to NO CHRISTMAS GIFTS! Lucky for her Daddy came in while Jimmy and Frank had gone after their knives. He called a family meeting right then and told us to all get dressed and come to the dining room in five minutes. We still planned to kill her, but first we had to go for a "family meeting", even more reason for her to get a whipping from the rest of us.

Filing into the dining room we went straight to our own chairs and sat down. I had spotted two bicycles and a Cassette player on my way in but I knew better than to mention them. I hurried to my chair and tried not to grin. Lots of other stuff was scattered around in the Dining room but we were in trouble. Daddy had called a family meeting. Finally Mama and Daddy came in and Mama stuck Martha in her high chair and then sat down herself. Daddy asked us why we had slept under the tree. Mary of course denied that SHE had anything to do with it. Daddy fussed a little bit but not too much and Mama Just sat there grinning at us as if she had known all along we were sleeping under the tree. Finally Daddy said we could check around the dining room and see if by any slim chance Santa had left us anything in there since he couldn't find room under the tree for all of our bodies in the way.

I knew the Bike's weren't mine. They were too small. There was a tiny pink one for Martha. The other one was also small and green. Reuben got that one. Cassette players went to Frank and Jimmy as well as big jugs of BBs and new pocket knives. Trudy got a typewriter and a slew of paper. A new plaid jumper (dress) and a Purse. Mary got a stereo, some low rider jeans and a vest. She and I both got some bodysuits. We also got coats. Mine was orange and hers was beige. I really got a pretty good haul that year. I got two Dolls. A big baby doll and though I asked for a Ken doll, Daddy had decided that I didn't need a man doll. Instead he bought me a Ricky doll. Ken's little brother and no threat to my female dolls.! ( I wish I had a Ricky doll now!! Anyone who reads this and has one send him on to me!)

We all always got pajama's from Grandma Morris and chocolate covered cherries from Aunt Lucy's family. We got fireworks from Uncle Oneal's family. A paper sack with fire crackers and chasers and sparklers for the younger of us. The older ones got Roman candles and Bottle rockets in their sacks and the boys also got cherry bombs. We did have stockings hung but they weren't filled. Our stocking stuff was all in a paper lunch bag. We had a banana and orange and nuts. We had an apple and candy and sometimes we'd have a special surprise hidden in there too.

Christmas was so simple back then. I used to love it so much. Then I grew up and married and had children. Then divorced and Married again and had step-children as well. Can you see me giving my children only two or three gifts? Or giving them things they really needed like a coat of pajamas? I would be scared they would revolt and choke Dave and I while we slept. Actually they have had some pretty slim Christmases. I can't blame them. I'm not really sure when I started being such a scrooge. I could blame a number of things. I think mostly though that It has become such a hassle to shop for everyone and a worry that they want like what ever you buy. Plus we always had to share children with the other parent on Christmas. Most of our day was spent delivering children to other places. I absolutely hated that! I hated that the children had to open their gifts and then leave their stuff here and go spend the day somewhere else.

For Dave and I this will be a simple Christmas year. We have no children at home this year. They all grew up and left us. We have discussed what we might cook for Christmas dinner. We have invitations to eat with other people. We might do that. We might cook soup and grill us a cheese sandwich. We will have some guests that day. Jenny and David will come by and get their gifts and most likely eat a light lunch here on their way to their Uncle's house across town.
Emily will come by with Luke and his two daughters at some point on Christmas day to get her gifts and theirs. They might eat a bite or two if they make it here before they have eaten everywhere else. Cooper left today headed for New Mexico to see his beloved for Christmas. Anthony will be flying in on Friday to get Mason and take him to New Mexico for Christmas.

Hey wait!! I can cook what ever I want? I can sleep late that morning if I want too? I can let each person open their gifts as they come in without trying to get them to all sit down and open them one at the time? This might have possibilities! I might even learn to like this new way of Christmas for me and Dave. We could go fishing! WE could visit friends! We could even eat at the Chinese place!! We could stay in bed and watch movies! The list is endless! It might take us a few years to do all the things we could do. I take back my Bah Humbug! I think I even see a smile on the stony faced Santa's around this house! I Almost LOVE Christmas again! Just wait till I tell Dave we are going fishing on Christmas! Have a wonderful day!!

Monday, December 15, 2008


"The best way to predict the future is to invent it." ~ Alan Kay

"Predicting the future is easy. It's trying to figure out what's going on now that's hard. "
~ Fritz R. S. Dressler

"This is my prediction for the future - whatever hasn't happened will happen and no one will be safe from it." ~ J. B. S. Haldane, 1892 - 1964

Predictions; Prophets; Do those words bring anyone at all to your mind? There are and for all time have been many people who have said they could make predictions. Even I have made a few predictions that have come true. But am I a prophet? Would I sell you a prediction? No I wouldn't. I won't say that Prophets don't exist. I hear people say that all the time. Especially about modern day prophets. I think Prophets really do exist, on the other hand I don't think they tell people what they think or feel very often. Can you imagine being able to see into the future and be able to feel all the pain and strife facing mankind for the next 500 years. I think it would be a terrible burden to carry.

I get what my oldest sister Trudy calls "bad feelings". They usually begin as dreams that play out over not one but several nights. I don't talk about it much because people would think I'm nuts. ~(well, I am Nuts but that's a different story~ Just ask my kids!) My dreams and feelings are hard for me sometimes. I do my best not to say anything about them but many times words leave my mouth and I can't call them back... I can't explain them either. Lucky for most people they don't have to hear my utterances. Trudy seems to be the only one to hear most of them. She and I will usually talk about it again after something I said has happened. So believe me when I say that I think a truly gifted person would feel sorrow and grief by the things they could see.

Michel de Nostradame was born at Saint Remi, France 500 years ago today to a family of "Christianized" Jews. He was taught a wide range of subjects by both his grandfathers. By the time that Michel began his formal education in Avignon, where he learned philosophy, grammar, and rhetoric, he was already well versed in classical literature, history, medicine, astrology and herbal and folk medicine.

Nostradamus first became well known due to his new and unusual and successful treatment of bubonic plague, the Black Death that ravaged France in the early 16th century. His cure consisted of cleanliness and vitamin C. The first step when he entered a village was to have all of the corpses removed. He then prescribed for his patients plenty of fresh air, clean water and bedding, and his "Rose Pills," which consisted of rose petals, rose hips, green cypress, iris, cloves, calamus, and aloes. He did not use leeches to "bleed" his patients though at the time most doctors relied on this useless practice of "Bleeding" a person for almost any ailment. He was successful in battling a disease for which there appeared to be no cure. It is estimated that over one-quarter of the population of Europe was killed by the Black Death during its visits.

In 1537, the plague struck Agen, where Nostradamus was living with his wife and two children. He began to treat his family and neighbors but, was unable to save his family. Distraught and questioning his own abilities, Nostradamus began to wander through Europe aimlessly for the next six years. It was during this time that he claimed to have first became aware of the awakening of his prophetic powers.

When plague broke out in Aix, capital of Provence, for nine months Nostradamus again applied his proven skills to save as many of the people as possible. The grateful city showed its gratitude by giving him a small pension for life.

Ten years after the death of his wife and children, Nostradamus settled in Salon and remarried, finally fathering three daughters and three sons. He had the upper floor of his house transformed into a private study, where he installed his magical equipment: astrolabe, magic mirrors, divining rods, and a brass bowl and tripod, designed after the type used by the great Delphic oracles. In the darkest hours of night he would go to his private study where he would sit before the tripod where the brass bowl filled with water and strong smelling herbs simmered. Much like modern day aroma therapy.

For a few years, Nostradamus struggled with whether he should make his prophecies public. In 1550, he published his first almanac of prophecies -- twelve four-line poems called "quatrains." Each quatrain gave a general prophecy for the coming year. The response that he received to the first almanac encouraged Nostradamus to continue. He produced an almanac every year for the rest of his life.

His most famous work, The Centuries, was begun in 1554. Eventually these prophecies were to consist of ten volumes of 100 quatrains each. Centuries 1 through part of 4 were published in Lyons in 1555. The remainder of 4 and the subsequent Centuries through 7 were published later that same year. The last three were printed in 1558, but the last set was released in limited numbers . The Centuries have remained in print for over 400 years.

In his own time just like today, Nostradamus' quatrains received mixed responses. The combination of French, Provencal, Greek, Latin, and Italian written as riddles, puns, anagrams, and epigrams are complex and demand that the interpreter have knowledge in a wide range of subjects. Many people from the 16th century through modern times have been enthralled by the prophecies and have tried to make sense of them. Some quatrains could fit descriptions of just about any era. Others are more exact, and it is those quatrains that have established the well-earned reputation of Nostradamus as one of the world's greatest prophets.

To the ignorant, closed mind, Nostradamus may be considered a creature of the devil, babbling in cryptic, evil verse. From philosophers, Nostradamus continues to draw both praise and curses. Poets remain confused by the meaning of his wild verses. Interpretation is open to all. Except for those prophecies that were fulfilled in his own time and acknowledged by the prophet himself, no one can give a final interpretation to any of the prophecies that have yet to be fulfilled. This is an area that is open to study by each in their own way.. Maybe that was the intent all along.

According to witnesses, Nostradamus stayed alert to the end of his life, even though he was in great pain caused by arthritis, gout and dropsy. When his assistant wished him goodnight on July 1, 1566, Nostradamus replied, "You will not find me alive at sunrise."
I guess, just as expected, he had predicted his own death.

In his last almanac, Nostradamus had written:
On his return from the Embassy, the King's gift put in place,He will do nothing more. He will be gone to God.Close relatives, friends, brothers by blood (will find him)Completely dead near the bed and the bench.

On the morning of July 2, the assistant escorted family and friends to the study, where Nostradamus had spent the previous night. They found his body on the floor between the bed and a bench that he had placed there for aid in getting out of bed.

His loving wife carried out his last wishes, that he be interred standing upright and that his coffin be enclosed within the walls of the Church of the Cordeliers of Salon. The translation from Latin of the inscription on his tomb reads:

"Here rest the bones of the illustrious Michel Nostradamus, alone of all mortals, judged worthy to record with his near divine pen, under the influence of the stars, the future events of the entire world. He lived sixty-two years, six months and seventeen days. He died at Salon the in year 1566. Let not posterity disturb his rest. Anne Posart Gemelle wishes her husband true happiness."

I guess Nostradamus was the most famous of all prophets who have passed through history. Many people believe that his verses told of many things that have actually come to pass. I am not certain of his prophecies. I do know that if I wanted to sell predictions I would make them vague and open to be claimed as true for many different possibilities. I think modern psychics do that.

I went once to a palm reader with a neighbor. I really wanted to watch the woman at work.
She also lived at the end of the road I live on and had set up living in the back of her shop. I had heard that she was really good. We went into her shop; her kids were sitting in the lobby doing homework and watching television. Cooking smells made my stomach growl as I stood there listening to her question my friend. " You have come about a great sadness!" she said. " It is a loss of love or money." I watched my friends head bobbing up and down. She was hooked. They went through a door and down a hall. I sat down and watched Tv with her kids. They glanced at me and the littlest one even smiled. They didn't speak to me though. I wondered sitting there if they minded other people coming into their home. I wondered if they would laugh at us after we left.

Walking back home I tried to get Vicky to tell me what the woman had told her. She shook her head and refused to tell me anything. Three nights later I saw her coming from the field that now belongs to me, with a shovel. The woman had told her to bury money in the field along with a handkerchief and a candle that had been burned and some other odds and ends. I laughed at my friend and said that she should watch to see if the woman went after the money. I even tried to watch myself. I never saw her go into the field. But I couldn't watch 24 hours a day.

After about a week the Lady closed up shop and moved away with her children and I assume a husband even though I never saw him. I had seen boots in the corner of the lobby, and smelled a mans after shave on the chair I was sitting in. I could have predicted that she had a husband.

Un-able to stand it any longer, I went into the field and looked for dug up places. I even got Vickie to show me where she buried the money. It and the metal can it was buried in were gone. All the other stuff was dumped from the can and buried back in the same spot. Vicky was madder than a wet setting hen. I wasn't mad, I wasn't even surprised. I do think there are people who can see the future. I think there are people who can See what has happened in murder cases and other cases. I do think there are people who can perform rituals or even spells if you wish to call them that. I just don't believe that those people have a sign in front of their home with a big red or blue palm on it. I don't believe they tell you to bury handkerchiefs, safety pins, and money in metal cans in fields behind their house. They might tell you to burn a certain color candle, there being a whole array of candle colors to choose from, each representing something worldly like money or trust.

Do you believe in predictions? Have you really ever even thought about it? I predict only for my own self. I could write a quatrain of predictions though.

Patsy's Predictions~
Beasts ferocious from hunger will feed from a pan
Part of the family will be against the predictor
The great one will spill words that only a few will read
The Yankee child will forget something!

Or in simple English! Today I predict that I will feed the dogs. I will disagree with someone in my house. I will write and Dave will forget something. I can predict these things because I know they will happen. I also predict that someone will read this and say.." That woman is Nuts!"
Have a great day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Today is National Poinsettia Day.

"Mail your packages early so the post office can lose them in time for Christmas. "
~Johnny Carson

"He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree." ~Roy L. Smith

Originally from Mexico and Central America, Poinsettias are the most popular of flower plants during the Christmas season. They are the largest flowering plant crop in the U.S. with sales of over 63 million pots yearly. Many people buy them for their homes, even more are placed on graves and in Offices Churches and public buildings. Native to the warmer southwestern U.S. climates and Mexico, Poinsettias are very susceptible to cold and frost. So, when you bring them home in cold weather, make sure to bring them right home. Don't leave them in your car and go back to your Christmas shopping.

Poinsettias are named after Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first Ambassador to Mexico who brought the plant back to his plantation in the U.S. He grew the plants in his Greenville, S.C plantation and gave them out as gifts to friends. Poinsettia Day is always on December 12th. It was declared in honor of the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett on December 12, 1851.

Poinsettias are not poisonous as many believe. But eating them could give you a stomach ache.
A study at Ohio State University showed that a 50 pound child who ate 500 bracts might have a slight tummy ache. Poinsettia sap that can irritate the skin and cause an upset stomach if consumed in large enough quantities. I would assume that a person could be allergic to them, as with many other plants, they could them have a bad reaction to touching a poinsettia. For nearly eighty years the rumor of Poinsettias being poisonous has continued to circulate because of one unfounded story in 1919: that an Army officer’s two year old child allegedly died after eating a poinsettia leaf. While never proved by medical or scientific fact and later determined to be hearsay, the story has taken on a life of it’s own. But you do not have to fear that your children or pets could die from them.

Poinsettias are easy to keep. They will retain their blooms long after you have taken down the tree and put away the other Christmas decorations. If cared for properly, they will last until Valentines Day or even longer. After bringing them home, keep them in a sunny room.. Ideal temperature range is 60 - 70 degrees. They do not like drafts, And, they do not like being placed near high heat like a furnace vent or fireplace. Water thoroughly, then let the soil dry between watering. Poinsettias are forgiving and a tiny bit flexible. If they begin to dry out, and you see them wilting, water them and they bounce right back. If the leaves turn lighter green, give more sunshine and......they spring right back.

During the summer, you can move your plant outdoors to a sunny location. Plant it directly into the garden ground or into a container. Give it a good trimming, a nice rounded shape is very attractive. Apply general purpose fertilizer every two to three weeks. But be sure to bring the plant indoors before the first frost. Poinsettias can not withstand frost. Check carefully to be sure you did not bring in any unwanted "critters" with your plant.

Did you know that Poinsettias can grow up to 10 feet tall? But, to grow them this big you would need a few years in a tropical climate that does not experience frosts. I can't imagine a ten foot Poinsettia. I would love to see one though! I am told that there are ways to force a poinsettia to bloom. I myself have tried all the different ways and have never succeeded even with my green thumb. They all have to do with light and darkness and mostly with Luck. I think I was short on Luck!

The Aztecs called poinsettias "Cuetlaxochitl." During the 14th - 16th century the sap was used to control fevers and the bracts (modified leaves) were used to make a reddish dye.
Montezuma, the last of the Aztec kings, would have poinsettias brought into what now is Mexico City by caravans because poinsettias could not be grown in the high altitude.

In Mexican folklore, there is a story of a little poor girl who had nothing to bring to church for Christmas. As she sadly walked to church, she picked some weeds by the side of the road. As she entered the church, Her tears fell onto the plants and the ends of the leaves turned into bright, brilliant red flowers.... Flores de Noche Buena or Flowers of the Holy Night.. Poinsettias.

I Love Poinsettias. I don't often buy them, But I think they are beautiful. They can be found now in all ranges of colors from Deep crimson to pale white or even a lemony yellow. I prefer the red. These plants have become a symbol for The Christmas season. The purpose of the day is to enjoy the beauty of this popular holiday plant. So, be sure to give someone you love a poinsettia today December 12, National Poinsettia Day! Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Happy Christmas Card Day!

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful."~ Norman Vincent Peale

"From home to home, and heart to heart, from one place to another. The warmth and joy of Christmas, brings us closer to each other." ~ Emily Matthews

"Bless us Lord, this Christmas, with quietness of mind; Teach us to be patient and always to be kind." ~ Helen Steiner Rice

I sat on the stool in front of her sewing machine and swung my feet. It wasn't fair. I had gotten all excited on the ride over there just thinking about them. Thanksgiving had passed and my birthday had passed, we only had a week left of school. I knew she had some already. I knew where they were. They were in the living room. Right next to her favorite chair. She would have the Metal tray TV table with a red or green swath of cloth and over that a doily made from her own hands. It was most likely right next to her chair so that she could look at them all the time. And there we sat, Jimmy and Frank on the floor and me and Trudy on the stool. Mary was sitting over on the cedar chest, I don't know how that happened. She was awful particular about her cedar chest.

There she lay in the bed with Mama sitting on the edge and Daddy in the rocking chair brought in from the porch. Reuben was sitting on Daddy's lap and Mary was holding Martha. She was saying how this could be the end and right at Christmas too she added. She had given some of them some stuff. I didn't think she would give me anything anyway so I wasn't really listening to her. She did kinda look sick. Mama had brought her some supper and she had sit up and eat a little of that. Maybe that's why she wasn't fussing, maybe she really was sick. I was almost sick myself from having to sit in her room when I wanted to be somewhere else.

Finally I couldn't stand it any longer. I just had to see them. I had waited all the way down there. I jumped up and tip toed over to Daddy. I knew he was easier to fool. I looked at the floor and tried to twist a little as I whispered to him that I had to go to the bathroom.

I knew I was taking a big chance. Grandma wasn't a woman to trifle with. She was particular about telling lies and a bigger NO NO was what she called plundering. I had just told my Daddy a lie and I was also about to be plundering but I couldn't help it. I just had to see her treasure. I just had to see her Beautiful Christmas cards.

Every year she would have them set up the same way. All facing her chair. Sitting on the TV table right by her hand. I had in years passed even seen her reach out and select one and hand it to Mama to read. Touching it so carefully. She loved her Christmas cards and so did I!

"Patsy" Daddy said, " straight there and straight back." I side stepped almost skipping, nodding my head, my bobby pin curls from this mornings Church services bouncing up and down. I was so scared by what I was about to do that I really did have to go to the bathroom. I twisted a little more.. "I really, really have to go!" I whispered not looking at Daddy.
"No plundering, Hurry back!" he said. I dared to look at him then and I thought just for a second that he was smiling.

Opening her bedroom door and stepping into the middle room I almost turned back. I had forgotten that she wouldn't have lights on in the other rooms. I was scared of that big room in the middle of her house anyway. She called it the guest room. I ran through it and opened the bathroom door. Finally I could see a little bit. I had just one more door, but my fear was almost more than I could stand. I hurried and used the toilet just in case. I knew now I had to hurry. I couldn't waste another second.

I slowly pushed the Bathroom door open and stepped into the darkness of the spooky middle room. Closing the bathroom door behind me I hoped that if anyone looked they would only see the closed bathroom door and think me to still be in there. I quietly tip toed to the door that I knew was hiding the things I most wanted a peek at. I prayed with all of my ten year old heart that the door wouldn't squeak. I Looked around the middle room to be sure no one was watching me. I looked back at the bathroom door wishing I could have left it open. The tiny light that Grandma kept on all the time, suddenly seemed much brighter than it had ever been before.

With my hand on the final door I almost turned back. I would get a whipping if I got caught. I had lied to Daddy. I felt bad about that! With a deep breath, I pushed open the door into Her living room. Oh My Lord! There they were right where I knew they would be. They wasn't a light on in here either but the small gas heater she heated with was giving off a rosy glow in this room. I wanted to touch one, But even I wasn't brave enough for that. I stood there what could have only been seconds but it felt like a year. I just stared at the beauty of her Christmas cards. There was one with a red bird on a green branch. He had snowflakes on his feathers. I could almost imagine him shivering in the cold. There was one with a Church that I could have sworn I heard singing coming from. There were so many that year. Seeing the card with the nativity and the wise men reminded me that I better get back to Grandma's room. I would hate to get caught having told my wise Daddy a lie.

I ran across the middle room. Scared now, not of getting caught but just of the dark. I was satisfied that I had gotten away with the lie and the plundering. I had decided to say that I had took longer because I had drank a swallow of water. That sounded good to me at least.

I eased back into the room where everyone else was and no one said a thing. Mama was crocheting. Grandma was laying back in her bed and Daddy was rocking Reuben and watching The Lawrence Welk show on Grandma's tiny Television. It was as if I had never left. We stayed a little while after that then left for home. Daddy and Mama talked on the way home about Grandma and how she was sick but I couldn't listen, I was too busy thinking about the beautiful Christmas Cards. I wished on a star that when I got grown I would get some cards like those for my very own.

Grandma always had beautiful cards from her friends and from her sisters. Her sister Margie always seemed to send the most beautiful ones. She always sat them up on a table in the living room for everyone to see and admire. Or maybe even just so that she could see them and admire them herself. Either way she started me on a habit that I still have. I love Christmas cards. I have never thrown one away. I have boxes full of them that have been sent to me over the years. I used to drag them all out every year and hang them up on the inside of my front door. I still display any that I might get in my living room till after Christmas.

One day many years after the night I crept into the living room to see them, Grandma handed me a card box. I had grown up and even had Anthony by then. I opened the box and couldn't even begin to think of anything to say. The box was full of Christmas cards. Some of them many many years old. I reckon maybe someone did know what I was up to that night when I was ten years old. I still have Grandma's cards. The shivering redbird remains one of my favorites. I will get a few cards this year. Fewer than last year I'll bet. People don't send cards much any more. The Internet has made it to easy to just e-mail a holiday greeting and be done with it.. No stamps to buy.. no trip to the card shop.. No cards to set up on the mantel or on a Grandma's TV table. No beauty to catch a child's eye and bring to them for just a moment the pure wonder of Christmas!

Today is Christmas card day. It is celebrated every year on December 9th to recognize Sir Henry Cole (1818 - 1874) of England. He created and sold the first commercial Christmas Card in 1843. Just a few years ago, sending Christmas cards through the mail was a holiday tradition. People would try to get them out early. Sending cards through the mail is still very popular. The cost and time for writing and sending cards has caused many people to stop sending them. Free Ecards have made it easier to just send them on-line. Animated Christmas Ecards have made sending and receiving them a lot of fun. Today is a good day to send out your Christmas cards and holiday greetings. If you haven't sent them yet today would be a good day to get a start. Have a great day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Remembering Pearl Harbor!

“We, as a nation, cannot wait for the Pearl Harbor of the information age. We must increase our vigilance to tackle this problem before we are hit with a surprise attack.”
~ Fred Thompson

“Today, the US spends less on defense as a percentage of our economy than we did at any time since he Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. For the world's only superpower, that is an invitation to very serious trouble.”
~ Steve Forbes

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day!
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii. This was the beginning of the United State’s involvement in World War II. Pearl Harbor Day, Always on December 7Th, commemorates this attack . The attack began at dawn December 7, 1941. It crippled the U.S. Pacific Fleet. It Also launched the U.S. into World War II.

During the attack at Pearl Harbor, over 2,400 American serviceman and 68 civilians were killed. Five of the eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, and all of our ships were damaged.

On Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day, U.S. flags are to be flown at half staff.

At the time of the attack on Pearl Harbor most Americans were opposed to entering another European war. It took the deadly attack on Pearl Harbor to swing public opinion to support our involvement in the war. The public was unaware of the evidence that we now have that Roosevelt provoked the attack on Pearl Harbor and actually withheld information from the military commanders stationed there, which if furnished to them, would have probably prevented the attack.

The attack sank four U.S. Navy battleships (two of which were raised and returned to service late in the war) and damaged four more. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, and one mine layer, destroyed 188 aircraft, and caused personnel losses of 2,402 killed and 1,282 wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not hit. Japanese losses were minimal, at 29 aircraft and five midget submarines, with 65 servicemen killed or wounded.

Many groups of people , especially those linked with Pearl Harbor survivors or those who died from the attack, participate in special services to remember the loss of that day. Memorial services are held at the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. Other activities include: wreath-laying ceremonies; speeches by those associated with the event; luncheons; media stories on survivors’ memories of the Pearl Harbor attack; and school activities to educate students about the attack on Pearl Harbor in relation to World War II history.

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day is not a federal holiday. Government offices, schools, businesses and other organizations do not close.

The Japanese military had hoped that the attack on Pearl Harbor would prevent the United States from increasing her influence in the Pacific. However, the events in Pearl Harbor actually led to the escalation of World War II. The day after the attack, the United States declared war on Japan and so entered World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt in a speech to Congress stated that the bombing of Pearl Harbor was “a date which will live in infamy”. Shortly afterwards, Germany also declared war on the United States. In the months that followed the attack, the slogan “Remember Pearl Harbor” swept the United States and radio stations repeatedly played a song of the same name.

In 1991, which marked the 50Th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States Congress established the Pearl Harbor Commemorative Medal. This is also known as the Pearl Harbor Survivor's Medal and can be awarded to any veteran of the United States military who were present in or around Pearl Harbor during the attack by the Japanese military. The medal can be awarded to civilians, who were killed or injured in the attack.

Memorials have been built to remember the day. For example, the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor is a marble memorial built over the sunken USS Arizona, which was dedicated in 1962. The memorial remembers all military personnel who were killed in the Pearl Harbor attack. The memorial was designed by architect Alfred Preis, an Austrian-born resident who lived in Honolulu and was placed at a detainment camp after the Pearl Harbor attack as part of the internment policy of Japanese and German Americans at the time.

Another memorial that commemorates Pearl Harbor Day is the USS Utah, a battleship that was attacked and sunk in Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. A memorial to honor the crew of the USS Utah was dedicated on the northwest shore of Ford Island, near the ship's wreck, in 1972. The ship was added to the National Register of Historic Places and declared a National Historic Landmark in 1989. It is also Utah’s official state ship. Memorabilia, books, and movies about the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941 have also been made available to the public over the years.

I have never been to Hawaii so I have never seen the ships resting on the bottom of the ocean there. I used to Square dance with and old gentleman who has been dead for many years now. I heard him talk about the memorials there. He had been to see them. He was a survivor of Pearl Harbor. He said what was really eerie to him was that as he stood there looking down through the sea to the bottom where the ships were resting, He took a moment to bow his head in Prayer and that as he raised his eyes after his prayers and looked around, there were just as many Japanese there as there were Americans. He also said that he wanted to hate them every one but that something inside him wouldn't let him. And that he reckoned they had a right to be there looking same as he did. He added that it wasn't easy to forgive what a man saw in times of war.

I think I am inclined to agree with him even though I have never been to war. I have a dear friend who was in Vietnam and having witnessed a couple of his flashbacks I can only thank God that I have never been to war and continue to pray that No one Else I love ever has to suffer the same memories as he does.

If you know a soldier or a veteran, just shake his hand and say thanks next time you see him. Regardless of what war he is a relic of or what branch of the military he is from.. Just thank him for all that they do to make sure we continue to live with all of our freedoms and rights.
Pray for our servicemen who are away from home this Christmas season! Have a wonderful day!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday~ Time for a Fairy Tale!

“He who exercises no forethought but makes light of his opponents is sure to be captured by them."
~ Sun Tzu

"Once my heart was captured, reason was shown the door, deliberately and with a sort of frantic joy. I accepted everything, I believed everything, without struggle, without suffering, without regret, without false shame. How can one blush for what one adores?" ~ George Sand


There wasn't much to see. A single pink rose bloomed in a pint rum bottle left on the dirty top of the dressing table. One of those ugly brass and glass dressing tables that had been so popular when her Mother was young. Vines hung overgrown in a tangled mass outside of the airless little room's only window. Set high and narrow, along the back wall, the window would be useless even if it were not nailed shut. That was the first thing Lena had checked when she had woken up here two days ago. She had dragged the three legged stool over to the wall and climbed up to the narrow window hoping to at least let in a little bit of fresh air. She hated being cooped up. She had banged on the solid door and screamed at the top of her lungs for the entire first day. Finally stopping when the sun set behind the clouds. She knew that if she were to survive this ordeal she would have to play by her own set of rules. She would have to figure out the game and then figure out how to win it. Today had been long and boring. She had spent most of it trying to remember anything that might give her a clue as to where she was and how she had gotten here.

The room itself was actually pretty nice she thought looking around. It had a twin sized daybed with Black satin sheets and a warm black velvet blanket. There was a television with a dvd player hanging hospital style on the wall and quiet a few of the popular dvd's on a shelf beneath it. Whoever her captor, he had planned well for her stay. There was even a toilet in one corner, behind a beautiful oriental folding screen of pink and purple flowers scattered over black velvet material. Although she had little appetite there was a picnic basket filled with food and bottles of water. She had nibbled on some crackers and fruit this morning, knowing that she had to keep her strength up. If she only knew who her captor was or even why she was here she thought, then she might be able to make an escape plan. Lena had no plans for being a victim, she had grown up in the slums of Atlanta Georgia, She was street smart and tough. At least that's what she kept telling herself as she curled under the blanket and gazing at the tiny bit of daylight coming through the tiny window, drifted off to sleep.

The sound of a door slamming somewhere close by brought Lena leaping to her feet. Checking quickly she found the door to again be locked. " Come back Here!" she screamed, "Why are you doing this? Let me out!" Her desperate cries got no reply. Hating the fear she heard in her own voice she turned back to the room. "Well, well," she said loudly to herself and she hoped to her listening captor, forcing herself to sound calm. "At least I can draw !" Picking up the Sketch book that had replaced the picnic basket on the dressing table, she flopped back onto the bed. "Thanks for nothing!" She yelled. "Moron! Let me out!"

Try as she might Lena just couldn't understand why anyone would hold her as a hostage. She worked a regular job for regular wages. She wasn't exactly a starving artist but she still had to count her money and make every penny count. It was true that she had moved her way up in the world and was engaged to marry what her Mama would have called a Moneyed man next spring. She wondered if Paul had people looking for her. For just a few minutes she even wondered if he had a hand in her being here shut up like this.

She had met Paul and fallen head over heels in love with him when he had bid on some of her art work at a museum auction. Entering it on a dare she had been surprised when it had sold for such a high price. Working at the museum had been a wonderful learning experience for her. She had stayed on there even though Paul insisted that she should move into his mansion and doodle. Wrinkling her brow she again thought of Paul. Would he have people out searching for her? Was he going to be asked for ransom to get her back?

Lena's parents had both been killed in a drug deal gone bad when she was barely fourteen years old. She had spent two years in foster care before she had met Ralph. He had been much more than a social worker to her. He had taught her to survive. He had also taught her that she needed a release from the stress of everyday life. For her the drawing was her way to relax. Ralph had given her a sketch pad that day in his office and told her to draw herself a future. She had been drawing and painting ever since.

She had taken a guides job at the museum and had studied the art that moved through the huge building. Changing at least monthly. Always something new to see something new for her to learn. Working her way up she now helped choose the artist who's work was displayed there. She still saw Ralph and his wife Peggy every year at Christmas. Paul had said he wasn't going with her but she was supposed to have dinner with them next week. She really couldn't understand why Paul wanted her to leave her life so completely behind. She knew it wasn't as exciting as his life filled with money and power had been but still it was her life.

Eleven Marks on the wall; Eleven days Lena had been shut up in a tiny basement room without seeing her captor. Somehow they always managed to slip in and leave her food and water. When she had filled the first sketch pad with pictures of the room and the roses, that appeared fresh, every single day in the rum bottle, a new one had been left for her to fill. She had three sketch pads stacked on the edge of the old dressing table and still she had no idea who would do this to her. She couldn't see a thing outside the horrible little window except for the vine that covered it. Ivy, like the clinging vine that had grown around the base of the apartment buildings in her old neighborhood.

She tried to remember all the people from her old Apartment building. The only person she could think of was Twila. Twila had been her best friend. She knew Twila had a brother but she couldn't even remember his name. It had been one of those hood names anyway. Like shifty or something. He had been a few years older and always in trouble with the law. Just teenage stuff. As her pencil began to draw Twila and her family, Lena found herself wondering if any of them still lived. If she made it out of this alive, she would search for Twila. She knew Paul would tell her to let sleeping dogs lie but she had changed while she had been shut away here in this room. She couldn't run from her past forever. Besides, she had friends back there. She might even have some family and she intended to find out even if Paul didn't like it.

Seventeen Days, Lena said to herself as she drew a mark next to the others beside the door. She wondered why there was no breakfast this morning. She looked at yesterday's rose wilted in the old rum bottle. Trying not to get her hopes up or to let fear take control of her she reached out and gave the door knob a gentle turn. With a click the door swung open. She was facing a huge empty room. She knew where she was. She and Twila had played with their Barbies here on rainy days. The huge old basement was empty now. The washers and dryers moved out with the tenants. The buildings here were all empty. The electricity only on to keep pipes from bursting and flooding the streets. Due to be torn down in the spring as the city built New high-rise apartments for the wealthy in their place.

Grabbing the sketch pads and pencils from the dressing table she ran across the Basement and slowly started to creep up the stairs. She was about halfway to the top when Twila walked down the top three steps. Drunk or on drugs. Lena was afraid but she didn't think Twila would hurt her. Still it had been many years since they had played Barbies and shared secrets here in this old Basement.

"He wouldn't pay for you" she slurred. "A measly ten thousand and your rich man wouldn't pay." Twila plopped down on the step and leaned her wobbly head against the stair rail. "I'm messed up" she mumbled "Shifty told me to get straight. Or not to come home. I thought if your rich man would pay for you... " she muttered to herself as much as to Lena.

"I'll talk to Shifty for you. He'll let you come home. I'll even get you help myself." Lena rambled trying to figure out exactly how she was going to get out of here. Climbing the rest of the stairs she walked right passed Twila and out of the basement. Looking back she knew she had to do something to help her childhood friend. But first, she had to deal with Paul. She wondered how much he might be worth to his wealthy family. She wondered how he would like being shut up in a tiny room for seventeen days. Going back to the steps she sat down next to Twila and leaned her head over on the rail just as Twila was sitting. " I wasn't gonna hurt you" Twila said as she grabbed Lena's hand. " I love you; You were my only friend we used to have so much fun drawing and playing Barbies."
"We are gonna get you the money for some help " Lena said squeezing Twila's hand. But first you have to make one last phone call.

Paul walked into the empty building just as the crazy woman had told him too. He wasn't sorry he hadn't paid for Lena. He had even noticed a few other women At the bash he had held last night. But Now the woman wanted him to come and get Lena back. Well, he didn't mind that either. She was beautiful hanging on his arm. Almost like having a designer purse he thought to himself with a laugh. He hadn't even minded coming alone. He was a strong man and though Lena didn't know it he had Killed a few times. He hadn't even brought a gun. He hadn't thought he would need one. Even if the crazy cracked out woman was here, she would be easy enough to deal with. She had begged him to pay for Lena. He had refused until finally last night the woman had called and told him to come and get Lena this morning. He had followed all of the instructions just as she had told him to. No need to invite trouble.

Down the stairs and Paul could see the tiny Janitor's room in the back corner of the Basement. The door standing open. He suddenly wondered if maybe he should have brought some of the guys along. They could have all had a little fun. He could see the Bed with an old quilt tossed over the mattress. "Damn, " he thought. " she was kept kinda rough." He walked into the tiny room and looked around. A toilet in the back corner and a shelf of some kind on the wall where a deck of cards lay. He was glad she was held in rough circumstances. Might make her listen to him more. This was just the kind of place she grew up in. The kind of place him and his family ruled with their drugs and their strong arm power. "Of course" he added to himself with a chuckle, " Lena doesn't know about any of that. Just like she won't know I wouldn't pay for her."

Paul drew another line down next to the others beside the door. Twenty-seven days. He couldn't believe his father hadn't paid for him. He had tried yelling at the captors threw the door. He had tried to stay awake for hours to catch them leaving him food on the ugly old table in the corner. He had played solitaire till the cards had nearly driven him crazy. He would make his Family pay in so many ways when he got out of here. He wondered how much they had asked for him. Surely more than ten thousand dollars. He had that in a drawer next to his bed. Just in case he wanted something flashy or needed something done in a hurry.He wondered if the maid he had been fooling around with would steal it while he was here. He had showed it to her once when she had asked him what kept Lena with him when he cheated on her. He hadn't thought about Lena since he had been here. He hadn't wondered if she was still alive. He couldn't believe the cracked up caller had tricked him.

Twila felt so good. She was getting out today. Shifty had brought her babies last weekend to see her. She had been so glad to see them. She was lucky to have a loving brother like Shifty. He had raised her Twins for three years, begging her to be a good Mom to them and to break away from the streets. She had forgotten what life was like without the drugs. She couldn't even remember where she had been before being brought here.

She had been in real bad shape when she had woken up in a Motel room with Lena. Her friend from the old neighborhood. She had been shaking and crying begging Lena for a fix. Instead Lena had brought her here. She had a social worker named Ralph. He was old but he was kind and loving. He had encouraged her to find a way to release her stress. He and his wife Peggy had bought her the new clothes she would leave here in and had started her off with a supply of beads. Every color and shape she could imagine. She had made her bracelets while she had been recovering for the last few months. Almost every Nurse and social worker here wore one of her designs on their wrist. Lena had taken a box full of them and brought back a purse filled with money in their place. She had displayed them at the museum and they had sold for real Money. She was so Lucky to still be friends with Lena.

Lena left her meeting with Ralph and Peggy and started to walk through the park. Paul's Father had called her once to say that he was certain Paul wouldn't want to marry her now that she had been held by people unknown for all those days before they had dumped her at a cheap motel and captured him instead. Holding him for thirty-six days, before they accidentally left the door unlocked, allowing him to escape. She had seen him once in the museum with a woman who looked like one of his house maids dangling from his arm like a cheap copy of a designer purse. Lucky for her she had been too busy setting up Twila's newest display of Bracelets to pay him much attention.

Shifty waited at the end of the path that ran through the park. The twins were with their Mama finally. He missed them so much. He hadn't figured the whole thing out yet but he was pretty sure something was up with Lena and Twila and the whole thing about that rich man who had been kidnapped. He was glad though that what ever had happened had set Twila on a new path. "Please Lord" he prayed there in the park, "Let it last." He couldn't believe that Lena was finally back in their lives. He had loved her for so long. It was way back when he was just a teenager that he had known that she held his heart. She wouldn't look at him back then. Now she smiled at him. He watched her hurrying down the path to meet him. He smiled to himself as he realized that now that he had found her again his life was complete. This time not just his heart, but his very soul was captured!

the End!

written by: Patricia Sawyer
12-5 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Another "New" Form?

"At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet."~ Plato

"Poetry is a form of display. The poet bird repeats vowels and consonants in order to widen his tail. Meter and counted syllables make up a peacock tail. The poem is a dance done for some being in the other world." ~Robert Bly

Today while poking around on a poetry sight I discovered yet another few poetry forms. It seems like every day I find another "new" form. I reckon next year and even the next I might discover yet another Obscure form to try and write. It seems like for as many different forms there are there are at least that many different opinions on how to write each one. I was taught in school that a Haiku always has seventeen syllables. But much to my dismay when I started taking a poetry class that is not what today's teachers say. They want them with a maximum of seventeen syllables and hopefully with as few as twelve. It's really hard to say anything in twelve syllables. Believe me you have to make every one count.

One of the forms I found today is called a Pantoum. It is not about counting syllables or counting words. It is about repeating entire lines in a pattern. I must say that there were several different opinions on the best way to write these just as there are about all the different forms. I ~ being new to this type of poetry~ used their basic form and did my best to write a Pantoum~

In a place of standing stones
a mighty beast awakens
Ivory ribcage aglow
fire raging in his belly
a mighty beast awakens
scaled wings flutter
fire rages in his belly
he is Omega the last of his kind
scaled wings flutter
Ivory ribcage aglow
He is Omega the last of his kind
In a place of standing stones.

Written By: Patricia Sawyer


Another fun form is the septolet. It also follows a pattern. Septolet ~ The Septolet is a poem consisting of seven lines containing fourteen words with a break in between the two parts. Both parts deal with the same thought and create a picture. I had heard of this poem before but spent some time today learning more about them. I found that I liked the one I written earlier more than the one I wrote today! Somehow today's felt forced so I won't bother y'all with it.

Winter Wonderland ~ a septolet

Frosty feet
stomp around
wool scarfed

Hot chocolate sippers
soaking fireplace's warmth.

Written By: Patricia Sawyer

I have written Quinzaines before. One of the poetry sights I visit has contests of quinzaines quiet often. They will even give a word list or a book title and you have to write the quinzain from that. This one I thought went along well with the first poem of today. Both on the dragon theme.

Quinzaine~ The English word quinzaine come from the French word qunize, meaning fifteen. A quinzaine is an unrhymed verse of fifteen syllables. These syllables are distributed among three lines so that there are seven syllables in the first line, five in the second line and three in the third line(7/5/3). The first line makes a statement. The next two lines ask a question relating to that statement.

Captured Dragons ~ (a quinzaine)

We're not dragging dragons home!
They're Flying above?
Their fires out?

written by: Patricia Sawyer

~~ This last Quinzaine I wrote for a contest a while back. The word list was from the book Oliver Twist but the instructions did not say the poem had to be about the book. I wrote what I felt from the words. I didn't win but the person holding the contest did comment that she loved my poem. Every word in my poem was in her list. I just didn't use Will as a persons name!

Locket, Pickpocket, Hangs!

Old Sally faces gallows.
Will she eat Jail gruel?
Will monks pray?

written By: Patricia Sawyer

I hope you have enjoyed my poems today. Have a wonderful day!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Never! NEVER! Never!

"Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never; in nothing, great or small, large or petty; never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense." ~ Winston Churchill

"I never think of the future - it comes soon enough." ~Albert Einstein

"There was never a genius without a tincture of madness. " ~ Aristotle

"Never complain. Never explain." ~ Katharine Hepburn

"Men who never get carried away should be." ~ Malcolm Forbes

"There never was a child so lovely but his mother was glad to get him asleep." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

How many times have you said Never? I have said I will never speak to them again. I have said I will never shop there again. Never eat that again. Never trust him or her again. And the list goes on and on. I could go on forever about all the things I have said never about.

I was never going to love any one but I did. I was never going to marry and have children. I was instead, going to be a career woman anywhere other than here and hopefully in a big exciting city. New York maybe or even Charleston, It even had Folly beach. But I definitely, certainly was NEVER staying here.

We all know how that turned out. Married at sixteen and three children and a divorce later I was never ever going to fall in love again. I even promised my children I was never going to marry anyone again. Yet where would me and mine be without him? He was never supposed to come along and make me forget to never love again but along he came with his two children to make our world complete.

I was never going to do so many things that I did anyway. I was never going to say things to my children that My parents said to me. Things like " No EVERYONE is not going away for the week-end because you're not!" or " NO EVERYONE's parents are not letting them get a purple Mohawk because your parents are not!" Then one day I was explaining something to ~(yelling at)~ one of the children and it dawned on me that I sounded just exactly like my own parents had way back then when I was making myself one of those never never promises.

One time when I was little Mama and Daddy had ventured off somewhere with the older children, leaving me, Jimmy, and Reuben with Grandma. He had hit me with a stick and scratched my leg. I was so mad at him. I didn't want a scratch on my leg! I was NEVER, NEVER, NEVER going to forgive him and I was going to be mad with him forever. He hadn't meant to hit me. He was throwing the stick but it had hit the ground and then bounced up and hit my leg but I didn't care right then. Grandma was sitting there holding Reuben and I had a scratch on my leg. I was mad at the world. I ran to her and told her I was never going to forgive Jimmy and I was never going to play with Reuben again and I was never going to be nice to anyone again. Never! And I hoped my leg fell off and NEVER grew Back on!

My Grandma Laughed at me! Man did that set me hot! I stomped around the end of the little white house and went up under the back steps and cried and promised myself I would NEVER forgive Jimmy nor Grandma nor even Reuben and especially Mama and Daddy because they left me there with her and Jimmy. I cried awhile but no body came around the house to check on me. I got worried then that Grandma might have been trying to come but fell down. Or maybe she couldn't come cause Reuben was sick. Or maybe Jimmy threw the stick and it fell and put his eye out!

I ran from under the steps and ran around the house but Grandma was still sitting out in the front yard. Reuben was tottering around close to her. Jimmy was still throwing sticks but had started throwing them at the azalea bushes now. They were not sick or hurt. They were ignoring me. I was Never going to forget that! I turned to run again but Grandma called me to her. She laughed at me again but before I could pull away she said to me " Patsy, Never is a long, long, long, time. Longer than we can imagine. Never say Never because never is like forever; Never, never ends." Than she patted my back and looked at my pitiful excuse for a scratch. It had somehow faded away to just a tiny mark. She sent me for the brush and brushed my hair and soothed my anger just by being who she was. I have always remembered her words. Every time I say I will NEVER do something I think about that day. I try not to say never very often Because everything I ever said Never about came to pass soon enough.
Today's poem is about Grandma's words to me that day. Have a great day. and Never say Never!

Never Say Never!

she said
wrinkled hands
patting my back
her laughter ringing
"Never is a long time
longer when you're angry.
Tomorrow will be soon enough
For anger to end. But don't say
never. For never; never: ever ends!"

written by: Patricia Sawyer

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rosa Louise Parks

"All I was doing was trying to get home from work."~ Rosa Parks

"At the time I was arrested I had no idea it would turn into this. It was just a day like any other day. The only thing that made it significant was that the masses of the people joined in."
~Rosa Parks

On December 1, 1955, a seamstress Rosa Parks changed American history forever when she refused to give her seat to a white man on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus. Mrs. Parks was arrested and tried. She was found guilty of disorderly conduct and that lead directly to the famous Montgomery Bus Boycott. Many meetings were held, some in secret because of the peoples fear of retribution and it was decided that the people of Montgomery would strike. They would not use public transportation. They walked and organized car pools. For over a year this strike lasted until the courts decided that racial segregation on public transportation was unconstitutional.

In addition to her arrest in December of 1955, Parks was fined $14. She refused to pay the fine, and instead appealed to the circuit court.

However, Mrs. Parks was not just the "quiet seamstress" that the media has often portrayed her to be. She was very well educated for a black Lady living in that time. She was a hard working woman who many times said she was just trying to get home. She had given up her seat many times before But that day she was just tired and tired of being treated as a second class citizen. She had already been working with others to promote non-violent change To overcome racism.

In 1943 she became a member of the Montgomery chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), and she served as its secretary until 1956.

After the Bus Boycott, Mrs. Parks lost her job and, with her husband and mother, relocated to Detroit in 1957. In 1965 she joined the staff of U.S. Representative John Conyers of Michigan and worked until her retirement in 1988.

Parks was quiet, soft-spoken, and diplomatic. But she was firm in her belief that enough people will have the courage and dedication to make this country better than it is. Parks met many renowned leaders and has traveled throughout the world receiving honors and awards for her efforts toward racial harmony. Her response to being called "the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement" was very modest. "If people think of me in that way, I just accept the honor and appreciate it," she said.

In 1999 she was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal of Honor, the highest honour a civilian can receive in the United States. Mrs. Parks passed away October 24, 2005, at the age of 92.

I of course was not born when Miss Parks refused to stand. I do remember the racial rights on TV and I was in school before they were integrated. The Black people even Marched on Barnwell, as small as our town was back then. Mama and Grandma Black took us children in the car to see them march in front of the court house. Mama parked across the street from where they marched around and around carrying signs that said "WE SHALL OVER COME" Mama said we were seeing a change in American History. Grandma Just shook her head and said for us to lock the doors. I sat with my face pressed to the glass and wondered why the children were walking in circles and singing holding to their parents hands. I was worried that they would get tired walking around and around that way. Our Police force was there too just standing back. There was no violence. I asked Mama if our Maid Louise was going to quit coming to take care of us and she said "No."

I loved Louise , she would bring us Coke and rock us in her big fluffy lap. We all loved her. Daddy carried her home in the front seat of his car every night. He waited for her to get inside her house just like he did our Grandma. I believe that Daddy and Mama were good employers to their maids. I know they trusted them to keep us kids in line. I only told on one, Ada , once when she spanked me I told Daddy and he spanked me again.

I was in the Sixth grade when Barnwell schools were fully integrated. Daddy told us that we would behave and do our best regardless of what teacher we got or we would answer to him. Being integrated wasn't a problem for me personally. I Made a lot of colorful friends that first Day. I even learned the game strut Miss Lucy that first day. But I think the way Daddy and Mama handled it made it what it was for me. There would be no Tattling on the teacher what ever her or his color and if you got a spanking at school, You would have another one waiting at home.

I think sometimes it must have been hard for My parents to adjust to the changes that happened so rapidly back then. As a child I never asked Daddy what his thoughts on race were.
I can only say that I know my Daddy was a fair man and would have dealt with a person fairly whatever their color. And what ever his own thoughts he made sure that we behaved and learned as much as the school could teach us. I have included a poem I wrote for today.
Have a wonderful day!

Get to the Back of the Bus

Pay your fare.
But don't you Dare
sit across from any
white man, woman or child.
Get up! Get up I say!
Get to the Back of this Bus!
Rosa was tired, a long hard day~
She would not budge, was dragged away.
Was fined fourteen dollars and refused to pay.
"Let the court decide" was heard to say.
They walked for a year, or found another way.
Let the buses sit still! "We will not pay to be
treated this way!" Human rights! Equal rights!
What changes were wrought by a woman just
trying to get home without being made to Stand up.
Tired feet, weary body, But courage enough to Say
I will not get to the back of the bus!

Written By: Patricia Sawyer