Rings and Wrinkles

“When you split your own wood, it warms your twice!”

I loved taking the maul and lifting it back over my head, bring it down hard enough to make the wood fly in both directions. I split my own firewood for many years, until one day I ended up with two ruptured discs. We had a fireplace insert wood stove that provide a lot of good heat from that wood. It is true what they say, “When you split your own wood, it warms your twice!” After my back surgery, I got smart and purchased a used wood splitter which saved my back and worked very well.

Cutting through the tree trunks with a chainsaw was exciting to me. I never knew what I would fine inside. Narrow rings and wide rings revealed dry years and wet years. Counting the rings gave me an idea how old the tree might be. Sometimes there were hollow rotten spaces, filled with termites or ants, that showed the tree was not in the best of health. Wood is a great renewable resource, when trees are replanted and managed for the future.

Rings left in a tree

Like wrinkles on our faces

Nature’s History Book

How old do you think this oak tree might have been?!

Photos: Dwight L. Roth

The Way to the Top

Some inherit their position with little effort

Entitled and inexperienced leaves little empathy

Social status // production // and the bottom line

It’s their way or the highway…

The way to the top usually starts at the bottom

Hard work providing experience and understanding

Brings success

Today at d’Verse Lisa asked us to write a quadrille of exactly 44 words using the prompt way. Join us at: https://dversepoets.com then click on Mr. Linkey to read more…

George Washington at Valley Forge stamp art: Dwight L. Roth

How Many Bites?

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As we were leaving the ocean, returning to our car, I noticed this huge log lying next to the pathway. It appeared to be two feet in diameter. What caught my eye were the marks on the end of the log. It was not cut down by a chain saw, but rather one bite at a time  with an ax! That would take a real man (a Paul Bunyan type)  to chip away enough to take the tree down. It must have been a rewarding thing for him to see the top of that tree sway, and then come crashing to the ground. Thankfully, trees are one of our renewable resources.

Strong and muscular

The lumber jack swings his ax

Wood chips flying fast


How many bites will it take

Till the tree sways // and “Timber!!”


Photo: Dwight L. Roth


Fresh Starts

EER_0188Each New Beginning
Each new beginning is like a hand in poker
In our new situation
We don’t want the joker!
Sometimes we are happy with the hand we receive
A hand full of Aces and Kings
or a winning full house
Filled with joy, happiness, and wealth.
But most times our new beginnings
are in need of some tweaking…
Some things need to be thrown out
While others we’ll be keeping.
New beginnings require shrewd wisdom
as much as luck.
Wise choices and good company
Keep us from getting stuck
While some new beginnings have been handed to us
Others take plenty of work and lots of effort.
Knowing when to hold
and when to fold is always a real plus.
So // accept the hand your dealt
Don’t keep looking for one better.
It’s not luck…
It’s your choices // that make you a winner
Few new beginnings //come up all Aces


Photo: Dwight L. Roth




Relationships like railings have a central focus

Holding two similar yet different pieces together

When simply laid on the post they will soon fall apart

Some have nails of commitment holding them in place

And salt treatment to help them last twenty years

Many make commitments to stay joined for a lifetime

In time decay occurs around the things that brought them together

If left uncared for those things will not be strong enough

And the relationship will fall apart

I am afraid the song “Love Will Keep Us Together”

Is not enough

For when the decay begins

Love as it used to be goes right out the window

The song should read, “Work will keep us together

Relationships take hard work, compassion, and forgiveness

And most of all God’s grace to keep them together


Photo: Dwight L. Roth





What is your measure of success. A high paying job, a big house, fancy car or perhaps fame and fortune. This may be how society labels success, but true success comes from within, not from others.  Jesus told the rich young man to sell all that he had and come follow him. Sounds a little extreme, but what I believe he is really say is look within and find out who you are and what you can do to make the world a better place. Caring and loving family and friends is true success. Money without relationships is hollow and empty. James Taylor said it right in his song. “Shower the people you love with Love, show them the way that you feel…”


Some succeed by accident

others by default

some by entitlement

But those who truly

make a difference

in this world

work hard

follow their heart

know who they are

do it for themselves

not to please others

knowing that success is

all about what you give

rather than what you can get




Sometimes it’s not in the searching

But in the realization of what is already there


Our struggle to become someone else

The desire to make a difference in the world

Searching for a spouse who matches our list

Thinking fate is out there beyond our reach

When in fact, it is often staring us in the face


Forget the fake façade of unreality TV

Do your best become indispensable

And finally open your eyes

See that person across the desk

Who has been there with you all along

Biding their time

Waiting for you to realize


Sometimes it is not in the searching

But in the awareness of what is already there


Blue Ridge Mountain photo: Dwight L. Roth