Tag Archives: Memories

And That’s Why the Cows were Out

Recently, I lost one of my closest friends to cancer; she was just a few years older than me and she fought a very brave battle for as long as she could. It was tough battle complicated by other health issues, that left her very weak and tired. I tried to be there for her but I will always feel that I should have done more. Because of her strong faith in Jesus, she was not afraid of death. She knew without a doubt that she was going to heaven. So, in the wee hours of Thursday morning, August 31, 2017 my friend Cindy B. passed away.

A certain scripture soon came to mind from John 14:2-3 where Jesus is speaking to his disciples, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go there to prepare a place for you? And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will also come back and take you to be with me so that you may be where I am.” So, in my heart I know, that very early Thursday morning, Jesus came by to take my friend Cindy B. to live in her new glorious home in heaven with the Lord Jesus.

Now memories of her flood my mind along with the image of her smile, the sound of her voice and her laughter. Also came to mind are favorite stories and special moments we have shared over the years of an enduring friendship. One story came to mind which I have decided to share. It is a peculiar tale that I have always remembered.

 Cindy and I had been friends for a long time: we had met at Hope Baptist Church in 1988 shortly after I had moved to the Mankato area to attend Mankato State University. Little did I know then that Cindy and I would be lifelong friends.  And we were more than friends, we also were sisters in Christ while attending the same church for years as we both continued to grow in our faith. Over the years we would sometimes go on little adventures. Cindy would say something like, “I want to get out of Mankato for a day.”

And being the agreeable friend that I was, I would respond, “Sure, where should we go?”

And so, began our little Sunday trips to Fairibault just to eat at the Golden Calf Corral.  They had a baked potato and salad buffet that we both enjoyed.  On one such bright Sunday after church, we once again headed to Fairibault. As we drove along the scenic country Highway 60, we suddenly became aware of cattle roaming about on both sides of the road. They clearly had escaped their fenced pasture.

Cindy was instantly worried, “Oh no, what should we do?”

“About the cows?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“Cindy,” I responded, “I don’t know how to herd them back into the pen. And I certainly can’t do that alone.  I don’t even know where the fence may be broken or how to fix it. When the farmer sees his cattle out he will take care of them.”

This did nothing to subside Cindy’s concern about the wandering animals who continued to walk along the road and into some nearby fields munching away on tall blades of grass, “Well, at least we should tell the farmer.”

“As soon as the farmer looks out the window or comes outside to do chores, he will see that his cows are out and will herd them back into their pen.”

“We should still tell the farmer.”

“Ok, Cindy,” I answered with a hint of exasperation in my voice, “we’ll find the nearest farmhouse and tell the farmer.”

A few moments later, we found a nearby farm but it appeared that no one was home because there seemed to be no vehicles. Now Cindy was more worried than ever about the cattle and I tried my best to reassure her, “As soon as the farmer and his family are home, they will see that their cows are out and they will get them back into their own pasture.”

Thinking that was the end of our conversation about the wandering cows, I stepped on the accelerator and prepared to continue our day adventure to Fairbault.

However…

Cindy still wasn’t convinced, “We should leave them a note.”

Incredulous, I asked her, “Are you kidding me? It is obvious the cows are out. They are wandering all over the place. The farmer will see that the minute he comes home.”

“We should still leave a note.”

I protested, “Cindy, I feel really stupid leaving the farmer a note telling him that his cows are out when it is perfectly obvious that the cows are out.”

And suddenly right then, I knew Cindy was not going to change her mind. She was so worried about the wandering cows that she felt something needed to be done. So, I drove up the long driveway and proceeded to knock on the farmer’s door just in case they were home after all. No answer. I returned to the car and somehow, we found some paper and pen.

 And so, I wrote, “Dear farmer, I am so sorry to tell you that your cows are out. I just thought you should know.” We managed to find tape in the car too and so I taped the note to their door.

We then continued to Fairibault where we enjoyed a lunch and some sweet fellowship.  On the way back, we passed the same farm and this time, the cows were safely in their own pasture.  Cindy gazed out the window looking at the peaceful scene, “I don’t why I got so worried about those cows and made you write that note.”

I smiled and shrugged, “I don’t know why either.”  And we continued our journey home.

But now, many years later I do know why. That day was to serve as a sweet memory firmly planted in my mind and heart. I often think of special memories and friendships as gifts from heaven. Again, I remembered a scripture in which Jesus spoke in Matthew 6:19-21, “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. Instead lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moth nor rust destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

 My memory of that day is an everlasting reminder of the unique and special friendship that Cindy and I had shared. And our continuing friendship is a treasure waiting in heaven. So, I now know that having that special memory of Cindy is the reason why the cows were out on that one bright Sunday so long ago.

 

Missing My Mom

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Her smiling face and her voice laced with gentle laughter

 Quiet moments resting in her favorite chair.

 Long walks around the fields to the hidden pond

 Just to hear frogs croak and melodious birdsong.

 Clanging sounds and sweet aromas drifting from the kitchen

 With sourdough bread and pineapple ham baking in the oven

 Busy hands and nimble fingers moving in rhythm

 Crocheting a doll, slippers or perhaps a colorful afghan

 Grand Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations

 With the house full of joyful and elated loved ones.

 Keeping us all together on a thundering, stormy night

 To lessen our cries, our fear and overwhelming fright.

 On a cold wintry day, building a fire in the fireplace

 So we can rest in its’ warm, and comforting embrace.

 Long, peaceful visits on a quiet summer eve

 Such sweet memories that will never leave.

Happy NEW YEAR 2017

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New dreams, opportunities, and possibilities

Every day dawn’s a new beginning

Willing to wait and live by God’s love, mercy, and grace.

Yesterday is gone but lessons and memories remain.

Each bright morning is a treasured gift; each starlit evening a cherished blessing

Already looking forward in solid and steadfast faith

Ready to continue this life journey on the path of hope and grace.

MEMORIES OF DAD

Me and My Dad

Merry blue eyes and laughter

Ever loving and caring father

Moments of quiet conversations

Of his life experiences and wisdom.

Retelling lighthearted stories of his youth

In fond remembrance of what he used to do.

Eager with friends and family to celebrate

Sharing his smile and love during the holidays.

Overworked in the fields and at the mine:

Filled with family duty to provide.

Days camping near a Hatfiield lake;

And fishing at a favorite place.

Determined to live and remain strong;

No longer on earth but alive in heaven.

Writing 201 Day 6: Face, Found Poetry, and Chiasmus

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 Hidden Face

In fear of being singled out,

Teased and hurt all over again,

She keeps herself safely hidden.

She felt the need to hide her face

As if in some buried disgrace.

For in memory she is still haunted

With visions of being ridiculed and taunted

During her long ago school days

Where she would fall in a familiar maze

Of classrooms, corridors, and hallways.

She often fretted and wondered

Which unkind classmate was around the next corner?

So, even today she fears that same stabbing rejection

Although longing deeply for one true friend,

She remains ever quiet; hardly speaking.

How she has learned to hide her pain

With her solemn and non-committal facial expression;

In the midst of a crowd, she cleverly blends in.

She walks around town with

Her covered head tilted down,

Never looking up, never seeing

The sweet beauty of day or the warmth of the sun.

She misses the rainbow’s arching arm

In the quiet calm after a thundering storm.

She misses the watchful eagle

Sitting high on its rocky pinnacle

And his sudden majestic dive

As he soars through the sky.

He glides over the crystal blue river

Spying a fish swimming like a quiver.

Fear and lack of self-assurance prevent

 Others from seeing her true consonance;

The unique person she is meant to be and her

True personality ever so carefully

 Buried and shielded, so mysteriously.

But oh how she desires and longs to be

A courageous and different person, so free.

But that old foe, Fear, keeps her hemmed within

A deep darkness but soon a light does penetrate in

As one fine noon day, she decides s to be brave

Determining she had a new path; a new trail to blaze.

For it had occurred to her that she indeed had the ultimate choice;

She could remain always sheltered or make known her own voice.

As finally it dawned as she was quiet and reflective

To start thinking differently; a new perspective.

She realized that in the heart of the matter

It was she who kept herself so silently sheltered;

There was no one else but

Just her own timid self

Allowing her being to be trapped

By old recollections of her past

Which robbed her of joy for today

As deep inside, her spirit withered away.

 So she promised with a hint of trepidation,

But also with a note of celebration,

 “I’ll try, I’ll try today!

 to let my face be seen; not hidden.

Oh yes, my hidden face will be seen today.”

Writing 201 Day 5 Map, Ode, and Metaphor

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Ode to a Journey to Wyoming

One day I awoke to prepare once again

To go on journey to visit my friend.

I have traveled this same route several years ago

But the adventure of going on a trip never grows old.

 twice I have endeavored on this solo journey of

Traveling from Minnesota to the land of Wyoming.

The familiar towns and landmarks along the way

Are dear old companions who greet me and wave

While silently proclaiming, “Yes we are still here;

So glad to see you travel our way this year.”

I passed through several small towns and by farmsteads too

And oh my, Lake Heron is a splendid sea of blue.

I drove by several state parks along the way

And note, “I must visit there on another day.”

The morning was full of bright, illuminating sunshine

As I drove along the interstate crossing the first state line.

Onward I drove with my intent eyes peering into the horizon

As I joyfully anticipated revisiting my high school friend.

And lo, how we both know that we don’t visit enough

As times can be hard and cost of travel just too much.

With the consistent rain through the summer months,

The ground has remained emerald green; deep and lush.

For usually, the further I journeyed westward from home,

The atmosphere became more and more arid while I drove.

But on this trek the land remained moist and green much longer

And I chose to enjoy this and not ponder and wonder.

So forward I drove and gladly journeyed

Into the horizon; a vast green and blue sea.

Near the end of the day my traveling was done

As I paused beneath the vaulted ceiling of a glowing sun.

While it slid down settling in the distant west,

I knew it was time for a long night rest.

I opted to stay at on a hilltop of green sloped wonder

In a motel overlooking the winding Missouri River.

For the wide flowing blue stream curved this way and that

With an iron scalloped bridge uniting one land mass to the next.

Next morning arrived and soon I was on the road

Anticipating new places to see and sights to behold.

“I can’t help it,” I chided myself with a frown,

“I must visit once again that old ghost town.”

Soon I found the right off-ramp and pulled in

And found myself wandering the old streets again.

I strolled past the old schoolhouse and the church too

Wondering what life was like back in say…1882.

I drove on nearing the Wyoming border

And noticed the rugged mountains coming closer.

After another long day’s drive,

To my friend’s house, I finally arrived.

I was there for a week, treasuring each day;

And we embarked on a few adventures along the way.

Such a sweet time to spend with a dear friend,

That my heart ached with sadness at the week’s end.

Turning around I started the long journey home

Thankful for friendship which nourished my soul.

So now, ode to a Journey I took to Wyoming,

I have a new treasure of memories inside of me.

Poetry 201 Assignment 8: Drawer, Ode and Apostrophe

 

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I am running a bit late but here is my assignment 8. Today I needed to write about a drawer in my house as if it were speaking to me. I needed to include apostrophes which, as I understand, are expressions and exclamations which can allude to a range of emotions. So after much thought I gave it a try and here is my latest poetic creation from the heart of my memories and my silly imagination. I hope you enjoy reading this and perhaps you will to go find your very own memory drawer.

Ode to a Drawer of Memories

As I pondered what to write about and which drawer should I peek in and see,

My eyes became glued to a certain small dresser that seemed to speak and beckon me:

“I am the most interesting drawer you’ll find for deep inside I keep many memories.

And they are not just your memories as you will soon see

That you will discover and find hiding inside of me.

Come, be brave and take a look now; Come and you shall see.”

So I wandered over while knocking over a pile of books

And yes I dared to even chance to indulge a hesitant look.

The first find was my baby book kept inside of a fading pink box

And inside it were cards, photos and many notes written by mom.

“Look on this page! You were born at 6:55 pm

And your mother thought you were such a precious gem.

Here it says you only weighed four pounds;

You may have been little but you sure could make a loud sound.”

You were baptized in February The following year

And both your grandmothers thought you were such a dear.

Oh look here, your mother thought you looked like your dad.

Hey! Perhaps instead of lass, you should have been a lad?

You lived in a town called Friendship at the age of two

And soon you had a sister to always love you.

Of course that was followed by a few more;

A brother, another sister and together that made four.”

Laying down the baby book I dug further to explore

Wondering what else was hiding in my memory drawer.

I found a red Webster’s New World Dictionary copyrighted in 1990,

“You don’t even remember having that; I can tell, I can see.”

I then found several colorful art prints;

One still kept in a frame but the other wasn’t.

One picture of a girl pushing her sister in an old buggy

And the other of two girls sitting on a bench like young ladies.

“You remember that day you found these treasured items

In that store downtown; in the Arts and Crafts Emporium.

Ah! I see the glint in your eye, you enjoyed visiting that place.

It is a shame another business took that space.”

Going deeper into the drawer, I found an old pair of glasses tinted in light rose,

“I can see in your eyes that you remember wearing those

As well as the painful headache you had one night

Because the prescription in them was not right.”

Going still further I discovered crayon drawings and sheets of construction paper,

“Pink, white, or purple, which was your favorite color?

Do you remember how you tried to color so fine

And stay so meticulously inside the lines?”

Next was a cassette tape of children’s hymns,

“You tried so hard to sing but often were out of tune.

Remember coaxing the children to sing, God is so Good;

A favorite melody from your own childhood?

And you still have your old boom box that you bought with pride

Which is in your kitchen now sitting up high.

Speaking of music, remember how your grandmother was pleased

To see you play her piano but not always striking the right keys?

She was as delighted as she could be

To hear you strum, Consider the Lilies.

Lastly I found some pens and other odds and ends,

“When did all this cluttering begin? And when will it end?”

So tired now, I quietly closed my overwhelming memory drawer,

“Please come back for I am not done! I have so much more.”

What a late night of mixed and blessed memories was in store

All due to this assigned poem and my memory drawer.