Heaven

In whispered words of aging time,

The question asked in word or rhyme.

“I have lived my life and rightly given

Where my Lord is this place called heaven?”

 

No answer on this wilting bed.

In sorrow I must shake my head.

For I alone cannot decide my fate,

I fear for heaven I am too late.

 

My heart cries out in agonizing sorrow.

“Have mercy Lord until tomorrow.

I promise I will make do my best

I know that then I will pass the test.”

 

Silence echoes back my cries.

Tears form and weep from my eyes.

I fear that I have failed my task.

One more chance is all that I ask.

 

Whispered words brush my ear.

“Child of mine do not despair!”

“There is no reason for you to grieve.

All that I asked was that you believed.”

 

 

“I believe!” I cry with all my might.

“In the one who died and gave me the right

For a life and love that’s everlasting

In this wondrous place called heaven.”

 

I see the cross shining bright,

Surrounded by heaven’s glorious light.

The angels are singing in sweet harmony.

Heaven’s door beckons me.

 

I cry “My Lord, take me away

To this beautiful everlasting place!

I wait to take your loving hand

And walk with you in heaven’s land!”

 

“My child it is not yet time for you.”

“There is still more work for you to do.”

These whispered words soothe my saddened heart.

“But soon my child we will not part.”

 

I wake in morning’s beginning light.

My fear is gone, my future bright.

For I know that for me his life was given.

And soon, I will see this place called heaven.

SKV

 

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.–JOHN 3:16

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Snow Poems

Snow Deadline

He marked a line in the snow and said,

“Cross this line and you’re dead.”

And then a snowball whizzed by my head

That’s when the snowball war began.

As I stood in front of our fort of ice

A snowball hit me square between the eyes

And I yelled out a word not so nice.

I brushed off the snow and ran.

“There’s a dead line in the snow out there.”

I said. “Cross it and we’re icicles they swear.”

Someone yelled” We’ll freeze their under wear!”

We laughed and proceeded to make a plan.

That day will go down in snow war history

When we in all our snowball glory

Crossed the snow dead line and took the enemy.

And then… we built a snowman.

 

Winter Tedium

Two Words of the day . Winter tedium.100_6354

 

 

 Tedium means monotony, boredom, routine,dreariness. Add to that the word  winter and you have one long cold boring season.  With this long winter in Montana I find I hear that word alot in every conversation that I come across. “I am so bored.” “I hate this dreariness.” “This winter has been so long and monotonous.”

I welcome the tedium of winter as  much as I welcome the flowers of spring and the heat of summer and the colorful leaves of fall. It means that I have lived another season and enjoyed the life God has given me. Yes life is a gift and it can be tedious but it also can be exciting. Nowadays people want excitement all the time in their lives. It’s pushed on you through social media. you see it on road signs, even hear it from friends and relatives. “There has to be more than this in life.” I hear that alot. Or “Isn’t life supposed to be exciting.” No. Life isn’t supposed to be exciting. You can’t expect life to give you something exciting to do every day. You have to do that for yourself. You are the one that needs to make your life what it is. It can be exciting or boring and humdrum. You can sit around feeling sorry for yourself and wonder why you are bored or you can get up off your “tedium” and make your life exciting.

The cold and snow can sometimes put a damper on that excitement everyone craves. And the monotony of one cold day after another can cause even the sanest person to go a little cabin fever crazy. But winter can be exciting. Ask any kid that wants to sled down a snow covered slope. Ask any skier that can’t wait for the snow pack to increase. Ask an ice skater waiting for the rink or the pond to freeze over. The tedium of winter can only be made exciting  if you want it to be.

I myself love the winter tedium.  It gives me time to read a good book in front of warm fire.  Or watch a good movie with my hubby and munch on popcorn.(or fall asleep) I can write a novel or a poem and not worry about mowing the lawn or watering the garden(both of which I love to do also). I plan my garden in the middle of winter and even in winter tedium I can imagine the plants sprouting and the delicious veggies. I also love to sew and craft. And make presents for all  family for Christmas and birthdays.  Board games come in handy if you are bored.  Sometimes it’s just great to cover up with a wam blanket and take a winter nap. Of course if napping isn’t your thing, you can always play on your tablet or ipad or i phone or computer or any of the latest new gadgets.

And if inside  gets to be a “bore” dress warmly, go outside and catch a snowflake on your tongue. Or shovel the walk for a not so physically able neighbor. Have a snowball fight  or make a snowman. Have a sledding party or warm yourself and melt marshmallows by a fire pit. Yes, I have melted marshmallows in the middle of a cold icy winter. Take a walk in the icy coldness and feel rejuvenated. It also makes you appreciate the warmth indoors and realize life isn’t so bad.

Winter doesn’t have to be tedious. It just takes a little of your imagination to make the cold monotony turn  into something warm and exciting.

Promise of Redemption

 

A promise kept so very long ago
A baby boy would soon be born
And give the world unending hope
On that very first Christmas morn.

Wrapped in swaddling clothes 
In a manger made of wood and hay
God gave us his one and only son
 For us on that Christmas Day.

The lights that twinkled in the night
Were from the stars above
Angels told of Heaven’s abounding grace
And God’s unfailing love.

As shepherds watched their flocks
On that dark starry night
Angels touched their harps of shining gold
And sang of Heaven’s glorious light.

Let us not let our hearts forget the gift of amazing love
Given on that first Christmas Day.
Let us not forget the enduring Promise of  Redemption
That began in a manger filled with hay.

Have a wonderful and blessed Christmas!

A Montana Tail

Chester came to us by way of adoption. By this I mean he sat on the road by our house in Wyoming watching me feed our old cat Leo and than one morning ,  he came over to our front door step and sat there and looked  up at me.  ” Hey lady I am adopting you.” He seemed to meow as I walked out our door to feed Leo.  And than he sauntered over and started eating out of the same food bowl as Leo.  And that is how Chester adopted us. He became part of the family and strangely enough Leo’s favorite buddy. They would sit for hours on our back deck, discussing the world in general, in cat talk I suppose. I sometimes wondered if our old cat Leo wasn’t schooling Chester on how to be a good cat and the best way to tease our dog Oscar. It was as if  the whole thing had been planned by the two cats because a year later, Leo our old cat left us  to go to cat heaven.

Chester traveled to Montana with us when we moved. He rode in his cage in the camper of our truck, all 350 miles, meowing at the top of his lungs.

” Let me ouuuuuut…..now!” he seemed to say.

 We tried to ignore it, but the more we ignored him the louder he got. Add to that the various stops at rest areas to let him do his duty. Chester was not a cat to be reckoned with so at each stop we  had a wild west cat rodeo in full view of other travelers. We dared not let him off the leash we had him on, because I am sure we would never have caught up with him as he high tailed it back to Wyoming.  Some  travelers chuckled and some were sympathetic, telling us stories of their travels with cat companions.  Needless to say Chester was as glad as we were when we finally reached our place in Montana.

Everyone kept telling us that Chester wouldn’t stay around in Montana.  They thought he just might go back to his old home in Wyoming. I ‘ve heard about animals doing that so I kept a close eye on Chester. But he didn’t stray.  He seemed to know that this was his new forever home with us. He was a little put out at first and each time I picked him up to pet him he hissed a bit. But soon he and I were sitting on the front patio watching the lazy clouds float by in the blue Montana sky. I was glad that Chester had decided to make Montana his home.

During the following year Chester became King of the Hay Bales. That was my Dad’s name for him. We had a large round bale haystack across the road from our house and Chester from day one decided that would be his home away from home.  On day two , he cleared that  stack out in five minutes flat. I saw  cats literally jumping off the bales and heading east.  And on the morning of day three, I looked out my front living room window and figured that Chester was now the King. He sat perched on the top bale surveying his kingdom and as I looked  a bit closer I could have sworn he had a Cheshire cat grin on his face.  All that was missing was his crown of gold! He seemed to own everything from our house back,which included about a hundred acres of grass and rocks. And of course the haystacks by the corrals.

Chester had his share of fights in Montana, and it didn’t surprise me, when I fed him one morning , to see a large scratch on his nose and a chunk of hair missing above his eye. There was also a rip in one ear. I mentioned this to my Dad later and he proceeded to tell me about Chester …King of the Hay Bales and his many fights to defend his position. Over the years he acquired the battle scars of a true warrior cat.

Chester had been declawed and neutered.We didn’t do that to him. We found him that way. We tried to keep Chester in the house as a house cat but Chester had his own agenda and apparently it didn’t include laying  by the window, getting fat, in the house surveying his kingdom. Chester was out to take over the farm kingdom. Even if it did mean he would have to acquire the scars of battle. I was worried that Chester would have the disadvantage but according to my Dad, Chester was one great fighter.He had apparently been carrying on a daily war with the neutered cat gang across the corral, my sister’s barn cats.

 “They scrap and roll about each morning out by the hay bales as I feed the cows,” my dad chuckled. ” They look like one of those old-time spinning wheels. All you can see is Chester’s long tail going round and round in a hissing, growling ball of yellow and gray or black fur and dust!”

Chester pretty much fought with the only two neutered cats on the place.  The tomcats ignored him because they were too busy chasing other (female) cats. The lady cats had nothing to do with him because as you guessed it, he just wasn’t handsome enough. 

 There was one cat Chester didn’t even mess with after the  first encounter. Gramma Cat! No one messed with Gramma cat. She had been on the farm so long, she had become a cat matriarch. Nobody and I mean no body messed with Gramma Cat. She chased dogs down the road  and beat up every stray cat that came on the place. She was one  tough cookie. But she and Chester seemed to have come to an agreement after she beat Chester up.  Gramma Cat had her territory which didn’t include the haystack and as long as Chester didn’t cross into her territory than everything was fine. Of course she could cross into Chester’s territory anytime and sit on the haystack.  Chester just let her be.

Chester pretty much made himself at home in Montana and so did I. He became  my cat appointed guardian. Because everywhere I went there was Chester waiting and watching and ready to walk home with me. And if I took a little too long visiting my Mom and Dad, across the yard, he would let me know by jumping up on the fence, where he perched until I went home.  If I left him behind there he was running along meowing and crying “Waiiiit…..wait for meeeeee!” And he even had my Dad and I looking all over the farm for a crying baby a couple of times. Because that is exactly what Chester sounded like when he was yowling.

Chester had his share of escapades in Montana. I am sure he encountered an eagle one day.  I was working in our house when we first moved in and I heard a cat yowling like crazy outside.  It sounded like a huge cat fight was going on. The only thing was it sounded like it was coming from over the roof of our house. Soon I heard a clunk on the roof in front of our house. I ran outside and found Chester crawling out from a small trench we had  dug, in front of the house, to bury our water line. And his tail seemed to be broken. I looked up just in time to see a golden eagle fly over. About that time Chester gave one great yowl and shot off for the shed. Chester went into hiding for a couple of days. He was the kind of cat that when he was hurt he would hole up somewhere for a few days and then he would come out and let me baby him. But he wasn’t a cat to be babied, too long. He was too tough for that. So soon he was back to his normal activity but his tail dragged around behind him for about a week. And of course no one touched it at all!

 After we had been in Montana for about three years Chester began to go on walk abouts. We had acquired two more cats from my dad and I think Chester figured  he was no longer needed and it was time for him to roam.  Or maybe he just realized there was a bigger world to conquer past the farm kingdom. What ever it was I would often come from town and see Chester down by the canal about a mile away chasing mice.  Or I would see him running across the field by the train tracks two miles away. I know some of the neighbors let him visit because they told me about a big yellow tabby that they fed every once in a while. And I know this is unbelievable, but I swear there was a house just three miles down the road that had all kinds of Chester look alike kittens running around.  Maybe he wasn’t neutered after all…

Chester always came home once a week to see me. And as the days, weeks and years progressed I could see that time was taking a toll on my Chester. He seemed to move a little slower and he was a little grayer around his temples. He didn’t have any new battle scars so I figured he was probably just lazing around enjoying life. He still loved to cuddle on my lap each time he saw me and he had acquired a soft spot for our little girl cat, I named Spit.  Often I would see them out in the field playing and jumping and wrestling. A few times he even took Spit on walk abouts with him. Six months later Spit had kittens. None of them looked like Chester but he used to come home and play with them as they started moving around.  And then he was off again.

Chester had  this strange way of getting from the canal to our house in record time when I saw him down there playing as I came home from town. Each time I passed him playing in the field down by the road or canal, I would stop and yell at him, “Go home Chester.” And by the time I pulled up to the house in the car, he would be sitting on the front step looking as if he had been there all along waiting for me. Either Chester was a pretty fast  running cat or he had discovered a black hole to time travel through.

 As the years passed Chester’s walk abouts became longer and longer and his visits became few and far between. In the fall of 2014 my King of the hay Bales came and visited me one last time. I knew that Chester was getting old and tired and he was moving slower. I had fixed him a house to stay in years earlier but he wasn’t a homebody. He was a nomad and a free spirit. There was no way I could keep Chester home when he had the taste of freedom. On that fall day I knew I would never see Chester again. He stayed on my lap for the longest time as we watched the leaves fall from the trees. I petted him softly as he purred quietly on my lap. “You’re not coming back to me this time are you, old man?” I asked as unbidden tears came to my eyes. Chester just looked up at me and purred loudly as if to say.” It’s my time.”  We sat for a little longer in silence and then Chester jumped off my lap and  slowly started his trek over the hill. I watched him go. Just as he topped the hill, he stopped and turned and looked at me as if to say goodbye. I whispered “Goodbye old friend.” And then he was gone.

Chester never came home again. I am sure he is in cat heaven somewhere going on a walk about or playing with Leo. Heck they might be sitting on a deck somewhere discussing cat life. Sometimes I look out at the top of the hill expecting Chester to come bounding over it or I look out my front window expecting to see King Chester sitting there surveying his kingdom on the round bale stack. And though he isn’t there his memory is and I know in my heart The King of the Hay Bales is sitting somewhere on a  haystack, surveying his kingdom and grinning that Cheshire cat grin.

 

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