1000 Pieces

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We have had this puzzle hanging on the wall in our house for the past thirty-seven years.

In 1981 my mother-in-law came from Alberta, Canada to spend Christmas with us in North Carolina. While she was with us, we put this 1000 piece puzzle of canal boats together. I decided to try to preserve it by mounting it on a piece of poster board and coating it with a couple coats of clear finish.

The summer before I had to cut down a black walnut tree that was growing against the back of my garage. I borrowed a truck and took the trunk to a local saw mill where it was cut into eight twelve inch boards.  I saved all the bark edge trimming boards as well and used it to make several items. The frame for this picture was made from that tree.

Christmas together

Carefully placing pieces

Each piece a mem’ry

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

Lillian, at d’Verse, asked us to take a look around our house and see what is hanging on the walls. Then we were to choose something and write a poem about why it was significant. This puzzle has been through two moves and is still holding together and hanging on our wall after all these years!

Join us at: https://dversepoets.com

 

 

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The Greatest Gift

Christmas Love

Advent Painting - Piercing the Darkness (2)

Christmas is not about
Angels
Christmas is not about
Wise men
Mary and Joseph
Baby
In a manger, cold
Not about Santa
Coming
Nor gifts or presents
Wrapped tight
Not shining bright lights
At night
Christmas is our sign
His love
Permeating Love
Filling
A universal void
Our hearts
Filled by the great I AM

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Christmas Colors

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Maple glows bright red

Doesn’t know December’s here

All other trees bare

Red lights in forest window

Nature celebrates Christmas

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Red Maple Photo taken today: Dwight L. Roth

 

Haikai Tanka for Frank Tassone’s challenge using Christmas as our prompt. One Red maple still has its leaves clinging to its branches. Seems very unusual to see this at this time of year. Shot this photo today to use as my theme.

Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/12/22/haikai-challenge-66-12-22-18-christmas-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

 

 

Happy Lights

Susans Christmas lights

Some people seem to never get enough of Christmas. They love to decorate and put up lights everywhere. I took this photo in my neighborhood on my way home this evening. My neighbors up the street really get a lot of happiness from decorating and from knowing others love to drive by and see them as well. Of course, there are always a few Grinches who think they have gone to extreme. What do you think!??

Christmas lights shining

Bringing joy and happiness

For me… I believe

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Photo: Dwight L. Roth

A Christmas Carol

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One of my stories, A Christmas Carol, has been included in the Old Mountain Press’s new anthology of poetry and flash fiction. It is entitled Tis the Season, and is available on Amazon Kindle as seen below. Tom Davis is the editor and has several of his own books on Kindle as well. This is my story.

A Christmas Carol
Dwight L. Roth

Each Christmas, we listened to A Christmas Carol on the big floor model record player that sat between the two windows in the living room. An album of several large vinyl records waited patiently on the shelf for our arrival each year.
My Aunt Janet and Uncle Loren lived in a big two-story brick house on Main Street in Allensville. We stayed with them each Christmas, when we traveled four hours to be with our family.
As we all gathered around the record player, Uncle Loren pulled out the first shiny black record and carefully placed it on the turntable. The scratch of the needle against the vinyl came through the speakers as we waited for the story to start.
It was a magical time… a fantasy world, as I listened to the story unfold. Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Ghost Marley, and Tiny Tim all came alive in my mind as the ghosts came and went. We sat mesmerized, letting the tale unfold all the way to the final transformation of Scrooge into a generous caring man.
The radiators clanked as the steam passed through. The colored lights in the windows were filled with liquid that bubbled, adding to the hypnotic spell cast by the story. No one said a word until the needle scratched its way into the speaker as the last record ended.
It was a great time to be alive.

Click on the picture or link to it on Amazon search.

Advent of Innocence

Advent Painting - Piercing the Darkness

Advent of Innocence
Today is the first Sunday of Advent in the Christian Faith. Emmanuel, God with us, was the prophesy of the promised Messiah. A time when God himself would take on the human embodiment to show us what it would be like to live and love in a life contradictory to the norms and darkness of the day. It is interesting to me that the Messiah came to us in the innocence of a tiny baby. The future life and sacrifice of Jesus brought forgiveness, grace, and peace to all who choose to believe.

The Word made flesh
Advent of innocence brings
Light piercing darkness

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Painting: Dwight L. Roth

Shared with the Frank Tassone Haikai Challenge. Join us at: https://frankjtassone.com/2018/12/02/haikai-challenge-63-12-2-18-advent-and-or-hanukkah-haiku-senryu-haibun-tanka-haiga-renga/

Christmas Visitors

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Christmas is all about visitors. Mary and Joseph, the baby Jesus, Shepherds, Wise Men all visitors in the Christmas story. These were my beautiful visitors on this Christmas day.

Dressed in royal red

Black and white adorned she comes

All looking for food

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Male Cardinal

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Female Hairy Woodpecker

 

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

No Room

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The Inn Keeper is not the villain in this story as so often portrayed. When you examine the story more closely you will see the stable was actually the best choice given the circumstances.  I attempted to write my poem in defense of the Inn Keeper at Bethlehem. See if you agree! Here is my Christmas Poem…

No Room at the Inn

Travelers came knocking on the door of the inn

After traveling all day tired, hungry, and thirsty

The donkey needed fed and they needed a bed

A full inn afforded them nowhere to lay their heads

Pregnant Mary needed a place to deliver

Water broke and waves were coming on strong

No time to look elsewhere for a private home

The inn was no place for a delivery room

Travelers standing around gawking at the sight

Of a new born baby coming ready or not in the night

The kind Inn Keeper suggested, “Perhaps the stable…

A private place to deliver away from prying eyes?”

The animals provided warmth from their exhales

He did what he could to make them comfortable

Brought water and a blanket as Mary screamed in pain

He was not the villain in this story as portrayed

Rather a compassionate keeper avoiding gossip’s scandal

Why do we think they should have been entitled

Unknown travelers from afar, they had no reservations.

Thankful for a private spot it all came about

A child was born in private who would soon

In the course of time change the world

A Savior who is Christ the Lord!

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Photo of the Manger: Dwight L. Roth

Manger set from Ten Thousand Villages

 

Chocolate Drops and Hard Tack

This is the prose piece I wrote that was included in the Old Mountain Press winter anthology called Celebrating the Holidays.

Chocolate Drops and Hardtack
Growing up in a preacher’s family meant that I got in on all the background preparations that went on at Christmas. This was especially true when getting ready for our annual Christmas program.
We lived in a poor coal mining community of Southwestern Pennsylvania. The Christmas program created a special time for everyone, especially the children. They knew that after the program ended everyone got a special treat to take home.
A week prior to the program my father shopped for all the goodies that went into, the Christmas boxes. He came home with a variety of candy, English walnuts, and Brazil nuts. We all participated in the job of sorting the candies and filling one hundred boxes.
The small cardboard boxes came flattened and needed to be pushed into a rectangular shape and closed on one end. The long narrow side had a string inserted so it could be carried like a miniature suitcase. On the outside were colorful pictures of Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus, the Shepherds, and the Wise Men. The boxes were about the size of an Animal Crackers box of the past.
On Saturday we all gathered around our big dining room table and began filling the boxes. Into each box we put a couple of chocolate drops, some colorful hardtack, English walnuts, Brazil nuts and Hershey Kisses. We folded and locked the flaps together and carefully packed them into several large cardboard boxes.
As the program commenced, the atmosphere grew tense with excitement. Parents watched their little ones recite their piece, all dressed up in housecoats and holding shepherd staffs. When the program ended, my father announced that we had one last thing to do. Several adults passed out a box of candy, a big red apple, and a big navel orange to everyone.
The service ended and we all went home with a treat and a smile.

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Printed in the Old Mountain Press winter anthology 2017

Note that all anthology titles  are now in Kindle format visit http://www.oldmp.com/e-book/#anthologies