I have a friend of my family who grew up in my home community in Pennsylvania. When my two brothers and I visited there a couple of years ago, we drove past the farm where her grandfather once lived, and was passed down through the generations. It was still in good condition, although the trees had grown quite large over time. The little white barn and tile silo were still there. On the hill above the farm, sat a little brethren church. Tombstones in the cemetery contained the names of many of her friends and family members. I took a few photos while we were there.
We had a few warmer days the past two weeks that allowed me to paint, so I decided to paint the farm picture and send it to her in Virginia. I had two good shots, one close and one far away. Not being able to decide which one to paint, I decided to paint them both at the same time. This was the first I tried painting two at once. They are on 11 x 14 canvas board. I hope she will enjoy them.
Years ago these two cute little girls were the best of friends. They did not think about race or color, just that they really enjoyed each other’s company. Makes me wonder why it is so hard for adults to to the same. We need to work on Dr. King’s dream and make it become a reality.
When I retired from teaching elementary school, in 1998, I still had fifteen years until I could fully retire. I ran my own Home Repair business for two and a half years, and then taught a building construction class with the Community College for another two and a half years.
It was the winter of 2005, and my class of ten students dwindled down to six, after the first week. We were partnering with Habitat for Humanity, giving them hands on experience in actually building houses. The snow that came that first week caused a few to drop out. As a result, the class was canceled. It was discouraging to me to be left without an income until another class could be scheduled.
My friend Bunky ran a vinyl siding business. He heard that my class was canceled, and called asking if I would come and fill in for a couple of weeks as sales manager for the warehouse. He had just fired his whole warehouse staff “for selling siding out the back door!” I knew nothing about vinyl siding and just a little about the computer, but I agreed to do what I could. This was Saturday. I went in on Sunday afternoon to learn how to do invoices on the computer, and started work the next day! It was very unsettling to attempt to run the warehouse by myself, but I learned all about it. That was on Valentines Day, 2005, and I continued to work for him for the next six years, until I retired in 2011!
Snowfall takes its toll
Students not ready to work
Friends help each other
Photo: Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse, Lillian asked to think of a time in our life when we had a New Beginning! She asked us to write a Haibun consisting of up to three short paragraphs followed by a traditional Haiku.
I saw this sign in an old cabin when we visited friends in the mountains a few years ago. It made me smile. It could also apply to our parents. We can’t pick our family members, but we can learn to respect and love them.
My sister was five years older than me. I always looked up to her because she was smart and well liked by all of her teachers. She took time to read to me some of the stories she was reading, and brought me left over pizza from her dates. I am sure I was an aggravation to her from time to time, but we have always maintained a good relationship, even when we disagreed over the years.
My father-in-law turned 90 a few years ago and his family and long time friends gathered in his care facility to celebrate. He enjoyed it all very much, especially the cake and ice cream. It was a wonderful time that we will long remember, although he only remembered for the moment. Some might wonder why go all out if he won’t remember that it happened. I believe that although he was not able to remember, the effects on his well being lasted much longer. The goal for someone in Alzheimer’s is to create moments that make them feel alive now, and tomorrow they will still feel better, even if they do not know why. Time with loved ones is never wasted.
Ninety years of connections
Winter closing in
Chocolate cake enjoyed
A very special moment
Birch trees pushing buds
Photos; Dwight L. Roth
Today at d’Verse we are celebrating birthdays. Kim asked write about a special birthday we remembered. I don’t remember any special birthday parties that I had as a child. I decided to write about our last birthday party for my father-in-law who lived at Lifestyles Care Facility in Edmonton, AB. It was a great day for all.
Racism, hate, and discrimination are all learned from the example of adults who show these attitudes. Children don’t think about skin color or ethnic roots. They just see one another as God sees us, full of love and acceptance. Perhaps adults could learn a lesson from their children.
When I was young the world was small
A circle of family and friends // was all
As my world expanded my eyes were opened
To a much bigger world // harsh, cruel, and broken
Full of people who use you for personal gain
Not so concerned about your personal pain
Success and survival brought joy and heartaches
And part-time friends who left in the home stretch
Through years filled with life’s interactions
Family and friends brought more satisfaction
And into a small small world I withdrew
Valuing people who cared and really knew
The importance of family // the joy of dear friends
A wonderful bond that never ends
This week I passed 5000 followers on Word Press. Seems like an impossible dream for me. I thought it was really something when I reached a hundred followers. Then it was three, then five and now five thousand followers!
I am most grateful to all of you for your friendship, inspiration, and kind support. I learned to know so many people from all over the world who appreciate poetry and enjoy my photos and art work. You have been most generous with your likes and comments.
Here are a few thoughts on creating a successful blog:
* Write your blog because it makes you feel good.
* Be authentic in your writing… share your life and imaginations.
* Colorful photos are a great eye-catcher and compliment your work.
* Don’t try to imitate or copy someone else’s style of writing.
* Keep posts short and crisp. Say what you say and stop!
* Present a variety of subjects that are unique and interesting.
* Join a group of bloggers who enjoy what you do.
*Most importantly practice networking:
-Put likes, comments, and follows on other people’s blogs.
-Always respond when someone takes time to comment on
your work. Thank yous are important!
-Develop personal life interactions with some of your bloggers.
-Plan to spend a lot of time each day on your blog.
*As followers, increase you won’t be able to read everyone’s blog who follows you, but it is important to check in with them from time to time.
Have fun and see the world through others! Thank you for being a part of my life!
P.S. … and I am still using the Free Word Press Blog!
On Good Friday Christians reflect on the death of Christ on the cross, and what his sacrifice means for us. The human side of Jesus suffered unspeakable physical pain. Some say that God will give you strength in your time of need. But it is my experience that when that time comes, it is very difficult to feel that presence. Even Jesus cried out on the cross, wondering why God had forsaken him in his darkest hour. Pain and rejection seem to be Siamese Twins! It is very hard to have your whole world collapse and not feel rejected. This is why it is so important to have persons who will walk with you and help you regain your perspective once more, understanding that God loves you even when you don’t feel it.
Dark night of the soul
Feelings rejection’s pain
Forsaken // alone
Stretched out on life’s cruel cross
Has God turned his face from us?
In His pain he cried
“My God, my God, why have
you forsaken me!?”
Feeling rejection’s pain
In that dark night of the soul
In this time of uncertainty we soon find out who we really are as people. Some go into a tail spin and become fearful of every little thing. Others try in vain to stock up hoards of stuff to satisfy their manic tendencies. Some believe God is in control and all will work out in time for our good. For many, happiness is gone; replaced with anxiety. I am sure we all experience some of these tendencies. How we approach a crisis is much the same as we approach our every day life. Happiness is like the weather; sunny one day and raining the next. Joy goes to the core of our being and sustains us through the bad weather that will come in our lives. Remember what is important in life.
Happiness and Joy
Happiness is a little bird
Perched on the rail
Right within my grasp
Only to fly away
I reach out to take hold of it.
Joy is the blood
Pumping through my veins
A constant rhythm of rejuvenation
Not something to be possessed
Rather something to be
Joy is what keeps my soul alive
I posted this back in December, but feel it might be helpful to post it again.