A Tale of Two Sisters

Christine Composes

“I feel so privileged to be entrusted with these heirlooms! You can be sure I’ll take good care of them.” Pearl took the box from her cousin’s arms and set it on the table in her hallway.

He  shrugged. “Whatever. I still think we should just toss them. Why dredge up old bones? You’ll find Mom had a lot of them.”

“Maybe.” Pearl smiled sympathetically. His mother, her Aunt Matilda, seemed to specialize in old bones.

“But you’re young yet,” she said. “When I was your age the past was ancient history; I was out to remake the world. Since I’m retired I think more about our past and what we’ve inherited. I’ll try to be discreet, though, when I compile the Family History; if the Aunties wrote anything nasty about anyone I certainly won’t record it. Maybe I should even tear those pages out of the journals?”

“Who cares?…

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Dead Wood

Marveling at the Mundane

Driving past the yard of my old house, I’d swear it wasn’t there.  The old cottonwood trees towering over the house and lawn appear lush and full all spring, summer, and fall.  In the winter, it’s indiscernible among all the bare, lifeless-looking branches.  But, if I crane my neck way back walking underneath those trees to the back door or pull up a lawn chair and gaze into the branches on a lazy afternoon, I see it.  There, and over there, and way up high – dead wood.  Sharp, leafless sticks among healthy, leafy limbs. 

Dead wood spoils my view when I admire those tall stately trees.  It litters the yard with limbs after a strong wind passes through.  And it dents cars unlucky enough to be parked in the driveway when a branch crashes down.  We ignore dead wood to our detriment.


My husband, after another morning spent…

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A Puppy’s 12 Days of Christmas

I thought you might enjoy this variation of the old Christmas song.

Morning Story and Dilbert

On the first day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
The Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the second day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the third day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fourth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the fifth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Five chewed-up stockings
Four broken window candles
Three punctured ornaments
Two leaking bubble lights
And the Santa topper from the Christmas tree.

On the sixth day of Christmas my puppy gave to me
Six yards of soggy ribbon
Five chewed-up stockings

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Another worthwhile poem by Edgar Guest

Swallow in the Wind

by Edgar A. Guest

‘Tis better to have tried in vain
sincerely striving for a goal,
than to have lived upon the plain
an idle and a timid soul.

‘Tis better to have fought and spent
your courage, missing all applause,
than to have lived in smug content
and never ventured for a cause.

For he who tries and fails may be
the founder of a better day;
though never his the victory,
from him shall others learn the way.

From his book A Heap O’ Livin’

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A Book Review: 3D Success – Changing Careers in Mid Life by Linda Wegner

Janice L. Dick

From cover to cover, this book is a success, offering positive insights and suggestions to a specific group of people: those between the ages of 45 and 64 who are considering creating their own businesses or recreating their careers.

The author writes from her personal experience of being thrust into the position of sole wage-earner after nearly thirty years of a support role in vocational ministry. Instead of dissolving in despair, she pulled up her socks and used the hobbies and skills she possessed to launch her own business: Words of Worth.

3D Success – Changing Careers in Mid Life is effectively organized into three parts:

* Discovering Your Passion

* Developing Your Plan

* Defending Your Priorities

Each part broadens into chapters beginning with wise quotes such as “You cannot plow a field by turning it over in your mind (unknown author),” and “The secret of success is doing…

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Learning versus Education

Antiquarian Anabaptist

I found the wooden alphabet block with the letter I wanted and added it to the row that was beginning to spell my name — R O B E R T  G O O D N . . .  I needed one more O.  I carefully rotated each of the blocks I had not used, but could not find another O.  This was a familiar problem; there are just too many O’s in my name.  Now I had to take the blocks I had already used, rotate them one by one to find another O, then find a block with the letter I had taken away.  Finally it is done: R O B E R T  G O O D N O U G H.

I was four years old.  This set of blocks was my favourite toy.  With it I could build fences, walls, barns, houses, towers.  When night…

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Changing Times, Changeless God

Antiquarian Anabaptist

Do we long for the good old days when life was simpler?  Was there really such a time?

One of my forefathers left England 375 years ago because the law required him to attend his local parish church, where he found no spiritual sustenance.  He crossed the ocean to begin a new life in the unsettled wilds of what is now Massachusetts.

Another was born to a well-established family in France — just before the Revolution.  He later served as a swordsman in Napoleon’s army, lost his wife somewhere along the way, then brought his young family to upstate New York 185 years ago.  My mother’s grandparents left Ukraine 140 years ago to settle in Manitoba.

They lived through wars, revolutions, recessions, depressions, droughts, famines, extreme heat, extreme cold, insect plagues and epidemics of influenza, diphtheria, tuberculosis and polio.  There were countless heartaches as young mothers died in childbirth and…

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Songs of Rejoicing

children balloons

by Edgar Guest

Songs of rejoicing,
of love and of cheer,
are the songs that I’m yearning for
year after year.
The songs about children
who laugh in their glee
are the songs worth the singing,
the bright songs for me.

Songs of rejoicing,
of kisses and love,
of faith in the Father,
Who sends from above
the sunbeams to scatter
the gloom and the fear;
these songs worth the singing
the songs of good cheer.

Songs of rejoicing,
oh, sing them again,
the brave songs of courage
appealing to men.
Of hope in the future
of heaven the goal;
those songs of rejoicing
that strengthen the soul.

From his book, Just Folks
©1917 by The Reilly & Britton Company