Rising from the Ashes

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Rise from the ashes of your personal destruction gathering strength and renewal!  There is something about the phoenix rising that attracts me every time I see it. It is a striking image of hope amid despair… strength from tragedy…and the power of renewal as we press on with life. when the world around us would love to see us crash and burn!

This is a painting I completed today showing my interpretation of the Phoenix Rising From the Ashes! I hoped to create a striking image that would force one to look at it and think about its message!  This is larger than most of the painting I do measuring three feet wide and six feet tall. I really love the way it all came together!

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As you can see the canvas was too tall for my easel, so I sat it on my car ramps and propped it against the easel instead.

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth & Ruth Roth

Flight of the Bumble Bee

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My backyard flowers add a great splash of color to my garden. The humming birds and the bumble bees love them. I spent some time watching this bumble bee move from flower to flower working the Zinnias. He was a wonder to watch, and so I offer this to you as bee poetry in motion in a garden of color! No further words needed. Enjoy!

 

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

Photos unedited straight out of the camera!!

 

The Wind’s Tongue

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The Wind’s Tongue

The dry wind’s tongue

Licks harshly at the sagebrush

Flicking tumbleweed

Across the deserted highway

Licking rocks smooth

Chasing rattlesnakes into their dens

The wet tongue of the wind

Laps at the lighthouse door

Drooling on windows

Eating the dunes

Like a kid’s melting ice cream cone

Lapping at every side

Tasting the sprinkles

As it spews out each mouthful

Into the ocean once again

The cold wind’s tongue

Sharp and cutting at 20 below

Seeking every inch of exposed flesh

Nail embedded kisses on our cheeks

Licking warm windows

Leaving growing crystals

As it laps up and down the glass

The warm wind tongue

Licks gently at our skin

Caressing on hot days

Half naked bodies

Enjoying  sand and surf

Cool kisses at sunset

Watching waves roll in

Dragon tongue of the wind

Miles long

Indiscriminate lashings

Destroying everything in its path

Forked twisted tongue

Rising like the devil himself

Trying to lay us low

Only making us stronger

Building resilience and strength

Rising from the rubble

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Evil Masquerade

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Watching the chaos in Charlottesville, VA yesterday made me stop once again and realize how evil keeps rearing its ugly head all around us. Are we teaching our children to love others as God loves them or are we teaching them to pick and choose who they love and who is their neighbor. It is so easy to get sucked into the emotions of the day. Our media thrives on the sensational. Do we take what we hear as truth or do we evaluate and discern the real story. When we feed ourselves only on what we think we never get to hear other views. It is easy to see how hate groups like the KKK and the White Nationalists can gather a following. Teach your children well for the values you teach them will determine their future.

Evil Masquerade
Ignorance hiding behind swastikas and masks
Spouting hate and destruction
Claiming supremacy of their race
Whites only no one else included
An outdated way of thinking
Throwback to the sixties
Anything can happen
When hiding behind a mask
Of fear driving hate
Claiming Christianity
Anything but
Thinking only of one’s self
Refusing to see the good in others
All who are different rejected
Crawling out of their holes from the past
Creeping like an evil cancer
That keeps coming back to bring demise
Unfazed by the Chemo of Love
Failing to believe the sacrifice
Of the cross which they so freely burn
Superseding the God
They claim is on their side
So distorted one cannot see
The reflection of love
The Alpha and Omega of it all
Grace that covers hate and bigotry
The God who welcomes all
The God with no need for images or masks

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

Publishing the Past Pt.3

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Ellis Island was the entry point for many of our ancestors who emigrated to America to begin a new life in the New World.  The came from different countries with different languages and different cultures.  I thought this would be a good theme for this stamp art that I worked on this afternoon. I am sure news from their relatives back in the Old World was very exciting to receive. I am including another story from my father in law’s collection telling of a day trip on a steamboat up the Hudson River with his Aunt Mary.

  Aunt Mary Takes Me to Newburg, New York

I think I was twelve years old when a big offer came to me. My Aunt Mary, who was a single lady and might have been forty or so, asked me to accompany her on a one day excursion to New York. What a thing to look forward to. I had traveled a hundred or one hundred and fifty miles from home only two or three times. Aunt Mary usually gave us Christmas presents every year even though my parents didn’t every year. But, this was special!!

On Friday evening, Father took me to her house at 357 E. Ross Street, in Lancaster. I went to bed early, but could not sleep. At five or six AM, Aunt Mary called me to get up, so I quickly dressed. We walked in the semi-darkness about ten blocks to the railroad station.

Soon we were on the train called the Twentieth Century Limited and we rode to New York. We arrived at New York Central Station, a place built of marble that could easily have been a cathedral.

We took the bus to the docks and got on a river boat. I believe it may have been a sternwheeler. Its name was the Peter Stuyvesant. (He was a famous Dutchman in NYC.)

It was a bright sunny day in the middle of the summer, but a chilly west wind blew across the Hudson Valley, as we started up the river. There were three or four hundred people on board, and because it was uncomfortably cold on the shady west side, everyone sat on the starboard side to eat their lunch and watch the big city pass by.

This was an immense weight on one side and this four decker vessel listed greatly. One had to walk up hill to cross over to the port side. The scenery beyond the city was beautiful as we traveled northward two or two and half hours and docked at Newburgh.

Aunt Mary boat

We walked around a bit and then went to a pharmacy where Aunt Mary bought me a banana split, something I never saw before! It was a great treat.

       Soon we again boarded the river cruiser heading back down the Hudson to New York City.  I walked all over it. I even went to the place where you could watch the engines working.

Around supper time we were back in New York City. We found a restaurant and Aunt Mary ordered a mutton supper for me. We walked to Central Station and waited for our train.

We rode through the dark night arriving in Lancaster around 11 PM. Aunt Mary decided we could walk home in the dark. Part way home she began to run because she thought someone was following us, but I could not see anyone behind us. We walked the rest of the way at a normal pace and nothing else frightened us.

I will never forget that trip and I appreciate Aunt Mary for taking me.

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Stamp Art of Ellis Island: Dwight L. Roth

Photo found on amazon.com

 

Masks

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The idea of our age masking who we really are is something I identify with every morning when I look in the mirror!  It appears that the person in the mirror is only a mask of who I was and who I am. One of the beautiful things about blogging is the stimulation I receive from reading the poetry of others. The idea for this poem came as a spinoff of a poem I read yesterday on Roger Moore Poetry blog. Check out his blog as well.   rogermoorepoet

Growing old

Growing old is the mask

That comes upon

My forty year old mind

Scary at times

When I stop to look in the mirror

Growing old is that mask

Covering my seventy year old brain

Hiding memories

Of words just spoken

Leaving me a world of repetition

Full of questions

Growing old is the mask

Covering my sixteen year old body

Memories still fresh

Body now old and sagging

No hair left for a ducktail

Brylcream long gone

Growing old is the mask

Of fat and wrinkles

Covering my thirty year old body

Leaving me unrecognizable

When looking in yesterday’s mirror

Wondering who is looking back at me

Growing old is the mask

Given me so grandchildren

Will not confuse me with their father

Just chips off the old potato

Growing old is simply

Changing masks every ten years

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

 

 

Books

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Books

Book covers husks of seeds

Contain life and inspiration

Lying in dust waiting

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For the right time

The right conditions

To germinate

Ideas growing in fertile minds

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Sprouting information

Inspiration and hope

Even after two thousand years

Fruit of wisdom and knowledge

Bringing light to the mind

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As husks laid bare

Revealing life and direction

Producing new seeds of hope

In the mind of the reader

Assuring all is not lost

Seeds for the future

When the time is right

For minds to be enlightened

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Photos: Dwight L. Roth

 

 

Publishing the Past – Pt.2

Paul and David

This past week I shared my self-published transcription of the book, Childhood Memories …Growing up in Ephrata, Pennsylvania. It was suggested that I share a few more of my father-in-law’s stories from the 1930s.  From time to time I will publish some of his stories that I think you might enjoy. Here are a couple more for you to enjoy.

My First Day at School
For many months I looked forward to going to school. My Aunt Lydia who came to stay with us after my mother died found a Grade one reader somewhere and taught me to read 2 or 3 pages. I could say the alphabet and print my name.
The school I would attend was called Wood Corner School, but it was not in a woods. It was beside a gravel road seven eighths of a mile from our house and next to a large barn with a manure pile beside the fence.
The playground was three sided and rather small. The school building was of brick with a slate roof and a bell tower. It had a big front porch and two cloak rooms and a dingy basement. It had double desks, a big black heater, a piano, and oiled boards on the floor which were worn and splintery some places. My first teacher was a young lady named Esther Markley who went to the Brethren Church and wore a covering.
Well, the first day finally came. It was the last Monday in August in 1933. I was ready on time and began walking along the highway with my new lunch kettle. as we called it. Nearly right away our old retired neighbor, Sam Nissley, came by and offered me a ride. I got into the car and a quarter of a mile up the road, I remembered that I did not have my reader, so he turned around and brought me home, but my aunt said, “No, you don’t need that book.” So Sam drove me to school.
Something I had never done in my life was ride a teeter-totter. We called them see-saws. And, all four of them were occupied by the other excited children. No decent person called us “kids” in those days. Soon the high see-saw became vacant and I climbed on. Some boy jumped on the other end and up I flew and immediately I slid down to the middle in a split second. I slid down to the middle because I didn’t hold on. What a surprise and an embarrassment.
Then the bell rang and everyone rushed to line up at the door, and then to their seats. The teacher sat at the piano and asked what number we should sing. My little hand shot up and I called out, one hundred forty-four. She said, “No, we don’t have that many songs in our book. Surprise again. I assumed they had the Church and Sunday School Hymnal just like we did at Indiantown Church. The song I wanted to sing was special to me because they sang it at my Mother’s funeral just four months before. It was, “I’m Going Home to Die No More.”
There were ten pupils in grade one and a few could only speak Pennsylvania Dutch. They had a hard time but I didn’t. I liked school and it was special to me. I think there were forty or forty-four pupils in the eight grades that year.

Dr. Fake was our Doctor

I think his name was Warren Fake. Some people liked him and some thought he was a fake doctor, but he was handy. He made lots of house calls, as was common then.

As a child I had asthma and hay fever. It always grew worse in mid-summer, and lasted until the end of fall. There were no medications. Someone recommended to my parents that they give me Swiss Tea to drink. So sometimes they gave me tea when I went to bed, but it never made a bit of difference, so eventually we dropped that idea.

The doctor discovered I had enlarged adenoids. So, Dr. Fake recommended that I have my tonsils and adenoids removed before I began grade one. He would do it in his office. In those days it was popular for most doctors to operate on small children in this way.

Father and Aunt Lydia took me to Dr. Fake’s office early one morning. I remember going back into a back room and they put me onto a high table. They put a thing over my nose and mouth and told me to start counting as they pumped in the ether. When I woke up I was in a dark room with my Aunt. I had a very sore throat.

All this was done, but I had no relief from my asthma. During grades one through three, I was quarantined at least three times. But so were most families in our school, and throughout the state. Neither I, nor any of my brothers and sisters were allowed to leave the house, to attend school or church, or any public gathering, during a quarantine.

First, I got chicken pox.  I stayed in bed about five days, but I think I had to miss ten days of school.

The next year, it was measles, and I missed another ten days. When David had the measles, he became deathly sick, and my parents were alarmed.

The following year, I came down with scarlet fever and I was very sick. It seemed as though I was in bed for three weeks. I lost weight and felt weak when I stood up.

My parents told me that when I was a small child, I had the whooping cough and the mumps, but I cannot remember.

Antibiotics today are a real blessing to the parents of this generation, but most people do not realize it.

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Photo from the family album

All stories are (c) copywrited and require permission to reproduce parts or all of

them.  They may be reblogged on your wordpress site if you desire.

Dwight L. Roth

Grain of Sand

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When I think of the vastness of the universe, I wonder at my own insignificance. We all ask the question, “Why am I here?” What Is my Purpose?” “Is there life after death?”  Unanswerable questions run through our mind as we live our life. As a person of faith, I believe God is the creator who gives me purpose and a reason to live and serve others. This poem looks at, not only our insignificance in the greater scheme of things. but  at the purpose for which we were created and exist.

Grain of Sand

Am I just a grain of sand

On the beach of the cosmos

Glinting now and then in the sunlight

As the waters of life wash over me

Am I just a grain of sand

Cemented together by heat and pressure

Metamorphic marble creating the beauty

Contrasting with all others around me

Am I just a grain of sand

Covering surrounding and preserving

Things to be uncovered in eons to come

Sedimentary fossils of the past perfectly saved

Am I just a grain of sand

Identity lost along with others

Melted and spewed out by volcanic forces

Life so intense all individuality gone

Ending in translucent crystal of beauty

Am I just a grain of sand

Crushed and pulverized in the milieu

Gathered wet and smooth on the potter’s wheel

Molded and shaped into a whole

Much greater than myself

Only to be fired transformed hardened

Into a useful creation

Made for a purpose

Defined and fixed

By the Potter’s hand

Only to be broken in time

And returned to dust

While my spirit

Lives on into eternity

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Publishing the Past

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 Childhood Stories … Growing up in Ephrata, Pennsylvania

By Paul H. White

The past couple of months I have been transcribing stories written by my wife’s father. He grew up in Ephrata, Pennsylvania in the 1930s. When he was sixty-five he decided to write stories he remembered from his childhood. His mother died when he was almost five years old. His father later remarried and he tells of the adjustments he had to make, getting used to a new step-mother. Most of his stories were short and rarely more than a page and a half. He hand typed forty- six stories and made copies for each of his four children.  He is now 89 years old and living in an Alzheimer’s unit in Edmonton, Alberta.  I felt these stories should be kept for grandchildren and beyond, so I decided to transcribe them to digital format and get them printed into books for our family.

Below is an example of one of his stories.

Selling Beans

When I was twelve or thirteen years old, and David was ten or eleven, Father and Mother decided a little extra income could be made selling extra things from the garden and field.

So on Thursday evenings we would get things ready to take to Ephrata. There would be beans, carrots, potatoes, flowers and whatever else was in season. The next morning we would ride with Father when he left for work at 7:30 AM. We had a 1932 Chevy. We would remove the back seat and put in our big six wheeler express wagon with green racks. Then we’d load the produce and drive three miles to where Father had a garage he rented, where he kept his car while he was at work.

Now it was up to David and me to go from house to house in all directions and knock or ring the bell telling what we were selling. We had a peck Measure and a half-peck measure to use to sell potatoes and beans, etc. Usually we could sell everything by 2:00 PM or so.  Then we would walk the three miles through Lincoln to our home in Weidmansville.

One week we had mainly green beans to sell, and everybody said they already had too many beans, so consequently we hardly sold anything from 8:00 to 12:00 noon. I said to David, “We will go up the hill to Spring Garden Street and if we don’t sell any beans we will go home right after lunch, especially since it was such a hot day.

We knocked on many doors, but no one pitied us so we started down the hill toward the garage. We had an idea that it would be fun to coast the whole way down on the sidewalk. I sat on the back corner with one foot out in case I needed to brake. I held the wagon tongue tightly to guide us. David somehow perched on the other back corner. The wagon was still loaded with boxes of green beans. The sidewalk was clear. Soon we gained more speed than expected. Suddenly we approached a driveway we didn’t know about. It had a one inch step up in the concrete. Without warning the front of the wagon jumped into the air, and the front wheels turned sharply to the left. There was a crash, rattle and BANG! We rammed the corner of the two foot high cement wall around someone’s yard. The beans scattered in seven or eight hundred different directions. The metal peck measure kept rolling in a straight line down the hill telling all the neighbors something strange was happening. David and I picked ourselves up from the cement. David told me quietly, “I can’t find my shoe.”  I began picking up the beans. Some boys came and asked David what he was looking for. “My shoe,” he told them. One said, “I saw something land on the street, beyond the parked car.” Sure enough, there was his shoe on the street.

So we returned to the garage, where the car was parked, with the crashed wagon and the bruised beans. We left it there and walked home.

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If you wish to read more of my books I have published on Amazon Kindle click on the Amazon Kindle site below:

https://www.amazon.com/Dwight-Roth/e/B017HW5AHG/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1