For Henrietta


A diminutive woman of no more than five feet tall, I would guess.  Up to my chest, no less.  Frail you might think at first glance.  Ha, ha!  Don’t let her size fool you.  She was capable of growing ten feet tall in no more than a minute.  Soon, she could stand higher than skyscrapers in clouds of blue.

I never saw my mother-in-law afraid of anything.  Hardly, I guess.  Every winter, together with the love of her life, she visited the sunsets of Phoenix where the weather was warm and the pool water aqua clear.  My little family of four helped to rent both of them a car that first year.

It had been a long time since my father-in-law drove off the farm of Michigan where cherry’s bloomed in pink and cobs of corn turned yellow.  Behind the wheel he might have been a bit nervous in lanes of congestion with hazes of grey.  I sat in the back with “Hank,” where she bit her lip till it nearly bled.  Still, not a word came out of her pursed lips.  Instead, she folded her shaking hands.  What was in her mind?  Probably a lot of love together with more of hopefulness.

We made it to their winter apartment with relieved smiles on faces strained.  Windows opened in December to screens of black wire looking at fields of cotton just plucked.  So different from where they had just come or what they were used to.  Home.  Such a big change for them.  Seats on a sunken sofa while drinking sweating bottles of cool water. Lots of open mouths chatting with babies on laps.  Kisses and hugs.  Happiness to see “Grandma” smelling flower sweet, nearly white hair with skin-so-soft.  “Grandpa” too, dressed in pressed trousers with matching plaid cap on top of shakers of pepper and salt.  Love was in the air.

Today is special you see because my mother-in-law would have been 91 years old.  I lost her nearly three years ago this summer.  Together with her beloved husband of 67 years and her nine children, I sing “Happy Birthday” to her with love in my heart.

For you, Henrietta, from all of us here.  Missing, Hank…..

There Were Sounds in the Night


The skies were angry last night.  Winds whistled through swaying trees.  In the darkness the sound of small quakes could be heard together with the padding of drums.  Slow at first then faster.  Softer then louder.  A vastness that shook like throw rugs my mother used to jar outside a back door.  Dust bunnies blowing away in the breeze…..

Listening, my eyes were closed to everything.  A world full of black nothingness.  Suddenly, a sense of hearing bloomed as if for the first time.  An awakening in a world others would consider silent at that hour.

My husband’s back lay close beside.  Even breaths.  First in…then out.  Soothing to me.  The flat of my hand felt his warmth through the cool of fresh, crisp sheets.

An electric clock atop our nightstand.  A snapshot within my mind.  Glowing hands in fluorescent moved with every second.  More sounds to my ears.  Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock.  Each second turning into minutes turning into foreverness.

Doodle dog slept near the end of our bed.  I heard him roll over.  A silver metal loop on his collar made a clinking sound against its matching buckle.  He sighed, breathing out through the black of his nose with the pink spot on top.  He slept.  More silence from him then.

Humming…the sound of a motor, followed by breaths of swirling fresh.   An air-conditioner installed on our outside wall had kicked in.  From the stark cement basement below the sound of wafting breezes could be heard.  Pushing up…blowing cooler to our floor above. Maple stained in cinnamon colors with bronze, grated vents directing the flow.  Summer relief was felt.

A car drove by the front of our house.  Not a truck or a motorcycle, but a car.  It was small and went very slowly.  The sound of it told me so.  Smooth of four tires on a frame of metal. Small of crunch on bleached, chip-sealed street.  Not long before it was gone.

In the adjoining bathroom, sounds of a dripping faucet.  How long has this been going on?  Never heard or noticed it before.  Small drops barely plopping to the bottom of a speckled sink colored in toast.  Droplets falling in slow motion with an echo heard upon landing. So long before the next one fell, it seemed.  Soon, seconds were counted together with our friendly electric nightstand clock.   Anxiety began to build.

In the woods out back, sounds of wind picked up again.  A dog howled.  Or was it a coyote?  We have them here you know.  The skies became angrier than earlier.  Thunder rumbled, flashing with lighting in the distance.  My eyes opened at the crack of it.  Rain pounded into the patio and beat into flower beds with all of Heaven’s vengeance.  Once my vision adjusted to surrounding shadows, no other sounds were heard again.

Sleepiness finally came.

Stormy-Night

 

 

Thankfulness


A long, over-due gesture of sincere appreciation and gratitude to Brian, for nominating me for the The Versatile Blogger Award together with the Sunshine Award. Brian has a wonderful blog at http://fozzyfitness.wordpress.com.  We have one thing in common that I know of, Scotland.  My great-great-grandfather was born in that country of castles and green.  All alone at the age of 13, he boarded a ship to cross the Atlantic, hoping for a better life in America.  Brian lived in Scotland before embarking on a colorful life full of ideas to write about.  Please visit his most prestigious blog where you will discover a treasure chest filled with words to devour.

Thank you for your patience, Brian.  I did not forget your kindness nor your support.

versatileblogger11

sunshine-award1

The rules of acceptance for the above awards are as follows:

1)  Thank the person who has nominated you.

2)  Place the award badges on your blog page.

3)  Answer the ten questions listed below.

4)  Pay it forward!  Nominate ten deserving bloggers for the same awards.  🙂

Ten Delightful Questions for Me to Answer…..                           

1)  What is my favorite food?  Today?  Is chocolate a “food?”

2)  Who is my favorite actor? Oh, there are so many.  It’s a tie between Gene Hackman and Liam Neeson.  A little rough around the edges with kind souls.

3)  What is my favorite television show?  I like both, “Mad Men” and “Ray Donovan.”  Although at opposite ends of the spectrum, both have excellent writing with terrific actors.

4)  What is my favorite “Tear Jerker?”  The Notebook, by Nicholas Sparks.

5)  Tea or Coffee?  It’s summer.  Iced green tea for me.

6)  What is my favorite sport?  I live in St. Louis, home to the St. Louis Cardinals Baseball Team.   No doubt about my answer!

7)  What is my lucky number? 18, depending on the day.

8)  What is my favorite holiday?  Christmas, no question.

9)  Twitter or Facebook? Hmmm…”I plead the fifth.”

10)  What is my favorite Christmas movie?  “It’s a Wonderful Life.”  Can’t go against tradition….

I did my best to see if the following blogs were “Award Free,” but it was hard to tell in some cases.  Please do not feel obligated to accept.  A show of appreciation and continued support is thanks in itself.

The Ten Deserving Bloggers Nominated Are:

http://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/

http://christiangrandfather.wordpress.com/

http://silentdugood.wordpress.com/

http://charlypriest.wordpress.com/

http://bythemightymumford.wordpress.com/

http://newcreationsministries.wordpress.com/

https://passiondew.wordpress.com/

http://forgottenmeadows.wordpress.com/

http://musingsfromatangledmind.com/

http://irenedesign2011.com/

 

 

Painted Dreams


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Bluebird so pretty to me

Flapping wings to and fro

Near spruce of blue

Bursting through grasses of green

 

Viewed at feeders 

Where small seeds of yellow

And bigger ones in shells of dark

Spill from rounds falling to ground

 

Squirrels so bushy in shades of fuzzy brown

Scurry and scamper to nibble

Leftovers from beaks of black

Before grey Morning Doves stop by

 

Bluebird so pretty to me

Flapping wings to and fro

What a sight to see

Strokes of orange breast below royal feathered backs

 

Soaring high against a sky of powdered baby-blue

Past branches and trunks of mottled bark

Where wildflowers grow scattered here and there

In rainbow colors everywhere

 

Suddenly flying wings disappear

Behold a grove of crayon pines

Hidden between needles never seen

Lies a secret shelter

 

Flapping wings of color have stopped

 A  nest made of twigs and printed paper

Woven in scented tree abandoned

Bluebird so pretty to me gone for now

 

Wishing to see soaring feathers of royal blue again

Splashes of orange breast floating on fluffy white

Clasping hands closing eyes so tight

Praying my painted dreams come true tonight

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My Story of “The Little Prince”


There once was a princely babe born in the early afternoon hours of July.  The day was Arizona hot with coyotes racing into shady caves.  There, they lapped cool sandy water hidden near boulders under bats of black hanging sleepily.

The baby prince was beautifully big, with skin of olive and aquamarine eyes.  Unusual eyes, the color of the sea with waves of speckled sand.  When the infant wailed, he tossed his newborn head.  Curly locks, damp and downy to the touch framed his face.  They were silky soft, reminiscent of newborn ducklings paddling behind feathered mothers in ponds of blue.

As the calendar marched on, the prince grew to become wiser than his months and years, combined.  Far beyond any of his peers, he made everyone laugh with smiles and giggles that lit up rooms without bulbs in lamps.

Shortly after moving to the Midwest, winter came followed by an early spring.  Nature was curious that year.  A toddler of only three, the prince napped in flannels, cuddling his favorite blankie tucked beneath his chin.

Within days and weeks the little prince grew up very, very fast.  “Chronic Conditions” swept up his family’s innocence.  While wee friends played on swings or bounced balls in blacktopped streets, the little prince handed bottles of insulin to his mama, helped to measure food on a tiny scale, or watch his bigger-little brother prick his finger, squeezing a sliver of blood on a tiny shred of paper.

Before long, the prince who had grown to a nearly big four, learned how to climb a step stool in order to reach the dark green phone on the wall.  There, he was taught to push three very important numbers, 9-1-1.  Early one morning, three men in white took his sleeping brother away on a small bed that grew taller on wheels.  The bed with his brother on top went into the back of a truck with spinning red LOUD on the roof.  The prince felt little again.

That same winter, the prince woke from his bed.  “Mama, I cannot breathe,” he coughed and choked and said.  Off to the hospital where the word a.s.t.h.m.a. was spelled out.  Together with diabetes, they shared the same house.

Yes, the little prince was very, very smart.  Quickly, he learned how to use separate inhalers for different reasons.  He wasn’t afraid of the clear green mask that covered most of his face.  After putting it away, his chest didn’t hurt nor was it tight.  Now, he could breathe air out as well as breathe air in!

As the prince grew up to be a man, his life was good, his life was bad.  He felt happy, he felt sad.  He went to school to get his degree.  He bought a house and started to see.  A job, a career, what else was there for him to be?   He did not know, he did not care.  He only knew there had to be something more for him, you see.  One thing was always true, his family loved him through and through.  Still, something was missing on the path he chose. Perhaps he had taken the wrong fork in the road?

I suppose you have probably guessed the little prince above is, “My Youngest Son, My Biggest Boy,” http://wp.me/p41md8-X9   As parents, we are always here for him.  We talk or listen, shut our mouths or offer suggestions.  It’s hard to take a step back, watch him fall or feel his pain.  Much easier to view his success, see him shoot for the stars while jumping for all the rest.

This past year, things seem to have come full circle for my youngest son.  He’s picked himself up to tackle the world.  There’s been a change in him.  I’ve seen a new smile on his face with a light that shines from in to out.  And, those eyes of his?  The waves of aquamarine seas are rolling again where the speckles play with the sun.

Last evening while having dinner with a friend my cell phone rang.  Not a call, but a text for me.  Oh, let me see!  Putting the spoon of silver down to wipe my mouth with cotton white, I lifted my phone to press a glowing screen.  Bright letters on a mat of black.

Two simple words to last the whole of a lifetime.  “I’m engaged!”

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Congratulations to my youngest son together with his beautiful Bride-to-Be. 

Let me be the first to say, “Welcome to our family!”

The End

 

 

For Parents and Caregivers: Five Common Characteristics of Sex Offenders


Together, let’s speak for little voices who are silenced by brainwashing or fear. Believe in what you see or feel, the goosebumps prickling at the back of your neck together with the inner instincts gnawing in the pit of  your stomach. When something does not appear quite right there is usually a reason. Do not be afraid to make an anonymous telephone call to Child Protective Services or to the Police.

Save a child today.

Purposefully Scarred

Link to "Five Common Characteristics of Child Sexual Offenders: Eliminating the Edge" Link to “Five Common Characteristics of Child Sexual Offenders: Eliminating the Edge”

Boz Tchividjian – a former child abuse chief prosecutor and the founder/director of GRACE – expounds upon five of the most common characteristics of child predators (linked above):

1. Offenders may have many victims.

2. Offenders can be the most unsuspected people.

3. Offenders are not strangers.

4. Offenders often prey upon trusting and vulnerable young people.

5. Offenders minimize their criminal actions [i.e. victimize themselves].

For more from Boz Tchividjian, read “7 Ways to Welcome Abuse Survivors in Our Churches”

Related Posts:

The Sexual Predator’s Greatest Asset

Maureen’s Story: “I Married a Sex Offender”

Resources for Talking with Your Kids About Local Sex Offenders

How to React to Local Sex Offenders

Boz Tchividjian

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‘Alarming’ Rise: 29 Million Americans With Diabetes


See an Endocrinologist who may be able to delay or prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes when combined with a healthy lifestyle together with oral medication. Everyone’s body is different, but aren’t you worth a try? Don’t waste your life away. Prevent diabetes today.

James' World 2

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More than 29 million American adults have diabetes, and a quarter of them don’t even know it, a new report shows.

That’s up from 26 million in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, and represents more than 9 percent of the population.

And another 86 million — a third of the adult population — are headed down the road to diabetes, with blood sugar levels high enough to mark them as pre-diabetic.

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The Dominoe Effect


Five important Fathers in my life.  Thinking of them today makes me ponder for a moment or two.  Maybe three or four or more.  Probably the latter.  In life, I have been blessed by all of them you see.  How good they have been to me!

Gazing at my husband across the room, he dozes in his favorite, soft lemon colored La-Z-Boy chair.  Tired from travelling, eyelids open and close…awake and asleep.  Like a baby doll swaddled at dusk from my mother’s treasured collection.  A generous gift from my father.  I wrote of it in a post entitled, Cabinet Full of Heart. https://kimgosselinblog.com/2014/02/14/a-cabinet-full-of-heart/

Thirty years ago the Dominoe Effect began for us.  From the spring sunset shores of Lake Michigan to an eastern blue bay where ships were being built, spots of white on plastic black began to fall…one by one.  Love took hold.  Silently, God blew kisses turning four into six.  Suddenly there were eight of us.  Tiny hearts began to beat.  Shallow breaths whispered until babes in arms were held.

Nearly twenty-five years went by before once again, God answered prayers.  Where two shall become one.  Soul mates…man and wife.  Not long afterward, tiny trembles were felt.  Teeny spots on dominoes teetered and tumbled.  A new generation of angel wings with sparkling fairy dust flew in.  This time, blush pink.

As in all things, the past was in God’s control.  Our first two fathers never could have imagined the future we now call today.  How wonderful to see far-away gazes upon faces viewing the next generation…their creation.  Twinkles in blue eyes of four, crinkles at corners.  Old sighting new.  Happiness…yet hints of a mask hiding them at times.  Missing those in Heaven….Many years spent with wives who would so relish great-grandchildren’s giggles in ringlets or blue smelling sleepiness.

Within the last year our two fathers are indirectly responsible for our family growing to an almost official eleven.  I will thank them on this Father’s Day together with my sixth Father, God in Heaven.  How ironic to think that two very different fathers who were born many years ago while living miles apart, blessed me with the marriage to my husband?  In turn, we were gifted with two wonderful sons.  Five fathers in all…..

My sons, as fathers?  Of course, much hope and prayer went into my fatherhood dreams for them.  God must have listened to me.  Silently, while  watching how they interact with their children or babies now, I am in awe.  Simple things that mean so much throughout little one’s journeys in life are often met with patience and smiles.  I am so proud of them.

My sons, they already know

Whatever they do or say

Is remembered one day

Time to play or ride a bike

Push a swing or read a book

Dance or hide behind a tree

Little ones look up to them

For a child who grabs their hand

Holds so tight, won’t let go

Daddies are all and everything