Thursday, September 17, 2020

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT - SEPTEMBER 2020

Leigh Cash


Leigh began delivering meals for WCCOA when her sons started going to school during the day. A stay-at-home mom at the time, she was looking for another way to help others since her sons weren’t needing her as much. The smiles she gets from the seniors she delivers to makes her day and fills her heart with such joy!

Now, Leigh’s oldest son is attending BGSU and the other is a sophomore at Perrysburg High School. Leigh enjoys spending time her family on her parent’s boat, knitting and crocheting, reading and making dinners with her husband. 

Thank you, Leigh, for your service to the Wood County Committee on Aging!



 Amy Lanning


Amy first realized what great joy she found in spending time with seniors during her senior year of high school. At that time, her church youth group visited residents at a nearby nursing home. Amy was fascinated to hear their childhood stories and about their experiences over the decades. At that time, Amy would have loved a career in the field of Gerontology, but figured a degree in the medical field was the only option and she had no interest in that line of work. Fast forward 30-some years to October 2016 when Amy stopped by the Senior Center in search of an evening volunteer opportunity. Since then Amy has been helping with Tuesday night dinners at the Wood County Senior Center. She has really missed seeing the clients and staff since the centers closed, so she has since started volunteering on a Home Delivered Meal Route in the meantime.

Amy grew up in Rollersville, Ohio and graduated from Gibsonburg High School. She went on to study English (professional writing) and Radio/TV broadcasting at Capital University in Columbus.  Amy was a news producer at WTOL-TV in Toledo until 2003 when she started working at BGSU, where Amy is still employed. She has worked in the Counseling Center, the Athletic Department and now in the School of Earth, Environment and Society.

Amy is a mom to Noah, age 24, who is presently a doctoral student in philosophy at Syracuse University; Sasha, age 23, a recent graduate of Southern Illinois University with a degree in exercise science; and Asa, a 2020 BGHS graduate, now attending OSU to pursue a degree in computer engineering. Amy volunteers at the monthly food pantry at First United Methodist Church. She is a member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, where she volunteers as a worship cantor, vocal quartet member, scripture reader, Stephen Minister, and several other capacities including homebound communion and Wednesday Night Live. She enjoys singing, pie baking, gardening, watching college football and basketball, and bike rides on the Slippery Elm Trail.

Thank you, Amy, for your service to the Wood County Committee on Aging!

Friday, August 28, 2020

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT - AUGUST 2020

 



Bob Bachman


After Bob’s wife passed away in 2014, one of the regular attendees of WCCOA lunches in Grand Rapids suggested that he join for a meal. At that time, Grand Rapids was not yet a regular site, but served meals a few days a week. After being hassled for several months, he decided to give it a try. He was glad he did and realized it was one less meal he had to cook! He enjoyed playing Bingo, and when the regular caller was unable to be there one day, he volunteered and is still the Bingo caller today! Once the Grand Rapids Area Senior Center became “official” in 2019, Bob also started assisting with other duties.

Bob is a retired “jack of all trades and master of none”. He worked in a factory, was a State Highway Patrolman, a township maintenance man, and a farmer. Today, he lives with his dog and some steers, helps his son farm when he needs it and attends church regularly. Bob enjoys time on his boat, attending his grandchildren’s activities, shooting, playing bingo, and being involved in several organizations.

Thank you, Bob, for your service to the Wood County Committee on Aging!



Larry & Sandy Batoki



Larry & Sandy read about home delivered meals and decided they wanted to get involved. They were familiar with the senior center at the time, having lunches there on several occasions. Sandy is the driver while Larry is the “face” that most clients see. He has formed many meaningful relationships with the clients over the years.

Larry & Sandy have performed musically for several birthday lunches and Breakfast with Santa events at the Wood County Senior Center. They also hold a Catholic Service and music at Wood Haven Health Care and have enjoyed their time there.

Larry and Sandy met in a co-ed curling class at BGSU in 1969. They both went on to graduate with special education degrees. Larry taught Junior High in Toledo for 30 years and retired in 2003. Sandy spent two years teaching business classes at a high school in Toledo, then moved on to secretary work for several local companies. She eventually retired from Penta Career Center in 2008 after 18 years there.

Sandy’s hobbies include reading, flower gardening and crocheting. Larry enjoys playing his guitar, singing and entertaining. Over the years, he has also built three gazebo structures and the front and back porches on their property.

Thank you, Larry & Sandy, for your service to the Wood County Committee on Aging!


Thursday, July 23, 2020

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT - JULY 2020



Jim Barnhart



For years, Jim’s mother received meals at home and she always enjoyed seeing and talking to the volunteers. About 18 years ago, his mother-in-law told him the Rossford Area Senior Center was looking for volunteers to deliver meals. At the time, he was living in Rossford, but working in Toledo. His company was very supportive and allowed him the extra time for lunch to travel back and forth.

While delivering meals, Jim values the importance of spending a little time visiting with clients and checking in on how they are doing. For this reason, he is always “the first to leave the center and last to get back”.

Jim is a retired Architectural Draftsman and has been married to his wife Christine for 55 years. Jim has two children and seven grandchildren. He enjoys playing golf and Pickleball, and trying any kind of art such as watercolor, wax painting and fused glass. Over the years Jim has enjoyed remodeling homes, helping his kids and grandkids with their projects, and volunteering for church functions.

Thank you, Jim, for your service to the Wood County Committee on Aging!

 


Judy Jackson May


Judy discovered the senior center when she began bringing her mother to congregate meals on occasion, before her mother passed away. At that time, she was not aware of all of the great activities in which her mother could have been engaged. Judy then decided it might be nice to take after her sister Constance and volunteer for WCCOA.

Judy has been a public school educator for over 35 years. Following in her mother’s footsteps, Judy began as a speech language pathologist. She then became a low incidence special education teacher, and then a principal. Following that she moved to higher education at BGSU. Judy has three beautiful daughters. Her granddaughter recently began volunteering for the senior center as well! Judy’s hobbies include spending time with her family, reading and working in her yard.

Thank you, Judy, for your service to the Wood County Committee on Aging!


Tuesday, June 30, 2020

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT - JUNE 2020


This month we begin our Volunteer Spotlight, a monthly recognition of randomly selected volunteers. We are so excited to bring well-deserved attention to those who dedicate their time to WCCOA and to the older adults of Wood County! 

Read this month's Volunteer Spotlight below. 


Sue Hart-Douglas


Sue has given many years of volunteer service in several capacities for WCCOA! Sue came to us in 2013 when she became a WCCOA Governing Board member in hopes of learning more about the services we had to offer for the seniors in Wood County. She served as a governing board member for a total of six years, participated in our volunteer friendly visitor program last year, and has volunteered to deliver meals for the agency for four years.

Sue is a mother and grandmother from Walbridge, Ohio, where she has served as a city council member for 11 years. She was a telephone operator and supervisor for Ohio Bell in her younger years and, as a second career, was a Registered Nurse and RN Case Manager for 23 years. Sue enjoys reading mysteries and fiction as well as attending book clubs at the Walbridge Branch Library.

Thank you, Sue, for seven years of service to the Wood County Committee on Aging!

 


Mary Hansen


Mary retired early at 61 years old and wanted to do something worthwhile with her spare time. She stopped by the Wood County Senior Center in Bowling Green to check out the quarterly rummage sale and found out that there were many volunteer opportunities including delivering meals. Mary has been volunteering for our home delivered meal program ever since!

Mary was extremely shy when she was young and did not like to talk so much that she almost flunked first grade because she refused to read aloud or answer questions. After graduating high school, she was a live-in babysitter for three children, then moved to factory work before she got married at the age of 24. Mary faced many challenges but chose to rise above the tough situation she was in. While working two jobs to support herself and her son, Mary went to college part time and graduated in 2005 at the age of 50.

Mary enjoys crocheting (she is pictured with some of her crocheted items), knitting, reading, completing puzzles, singing, photography, art, and playing BINGO and cards.

Thank you, Mary, for your service to the Wood County Committee on Aging!


Friday, May 8, 2020

14th Annual Poetry Contest Winner & Entries

This year marked WCCOA's 14th Annual Poetry Contest. Twenty-five poems on the theme of "Persistence" were submitted by Wood County residents 50 years of age and older. In this blog post, you will find the announcement and picture of this year's winner, a note from the judge about the winning poem, and all of the poems that were submitted. Thank you to all who submitted poems this year. We enjoyed reading everyone's work and we hope you will, too!


Congratulations to our 14th Annual Poetry Contest Winner, Carol Kinsey! 



A note from our judge, a BGSU Professor in the Writing Department, on the winning poem: 


"This poem reads as a calm, steady, compassionate voice for challenging times. The author demonstrates, with sophistication and grace, the tenderness and courage needed to persist in the face of a terrible truth each of us must encounter as we age: we – as well as those we hold most dear – are simultaneously living and dying. The poet recognizes that illness may deplete the bodies of our loved ones and time can dull the brilliance of treasured memories. And yet, simultaneously, the speaker remains in the present, choosing to celebrate and savor the moments they are fortunate to enjoy but not promised indefinitely. Through the quiet incantatory lines of this poem, we observe the author transform the everyday practice of joining one’s partner in bed into the embodied act of prayer in time of uncertainty and fear, of sowing a seed in the mind so there may be sustenance in seasons to come."





Cancer Time Love 

By: Carol Kinsey

Winning Poem!


I came to bed the other night

you were already sleeping

making little deeply-asleep noises.

I usually crawl under the covers

turning away from you

but tonight, this night

I turn toward you

put my arm quietly across your chest

not wanting to wake you.

Wanting to be near

be dear

but not wake you.

I may not always remember this exact moment

but I will know there were times

I quietly slipped into bed along side you

touched you softly

without you knowing

but felt by both or us.

Other nights will come

taking us closer and closer to a time

when there will be no more nights to come.





A Christmas Morn Walk

By: Larry E. Slaughterbeck

Honorable Mention


No matter how fast our lives are moving;

Sometimes it is good to feel life plainly,

As on a Christmas morning walk.

A wintry wind moved gently among the branches,

The trees now asleep as I walked

On one of the shortest days of the year.

The quiet morning air was filled with snowflakes;

The sounds of the holiday season,

From a distant church’s bell tower.

A blue jay flew among the low lying bushes,

High in the sky, three skeins of honking geese

Flew at an angle.

A brisk north wind encouraged me to

Pull down my stocking cap.





Persistence Until the Bitter End

By: Mary Gambill

People's Choice Award


Her struggles were real,

So she tried to stay strong,

So her body would heal,

But the battle raged on.


Her pain it prevailed,

She got very frail,

She walked with a cain,

To help with the pain.


The Kemo was rough,

She tried to stay tough,

All she could say,

Is enough is enough.


The pain got so bad,

She could no longer fight,

Her body was broken,

Words were left unspoken.


She lost a tough battle,

The journey was long,

She pushed very hard,

To try to live on.


Now she soars like an Eagle,

High up in the sky,

Looking down on her family,

Saying please do not cry.




The Hope of Bowling Green

By: Rev. Larry Swaisgood


This poem is built on facts gleaned from a book in the Wood County Library entitled "Images of America: Bowling Green", By Fredrick N. Honneffer, Arcadia Publishing


Long ago glass factories came to Bowling Green.

   Beautiful bottles and jars could be seen.

On a hot day in August it was lost in a fire.

   Eighteen businesses burned and it looked quite dire.


With resilience, the folks who took quite a beating

   trusted that BG would still keep on eating.

Twas 1914 when Heinz Catsup was starting.

   People were eating and people were farting.


Twas the largest catsup factory in all the world.

   The smell of tomatoes, in the wind was hurled.

In nineteen three-six came a family named Cain.

   Their potato chips were loved past Maumee and Wayne.


When Cain’s factory shut down from the second world war

    The residence of BG settled the score.

Their stomachs empowered their brains with a dream.

   They rescued their city by eating ice cream.


Our city was practically bathing in milk.

   Both Miller’s and Harmon’s ice cream was silk.

The University Dairy Barn - on old Ridge Street

   Sent college students walking to taste a great treat.


Today, it’s the Dairy Queen and pizza galore.

  The city is famous for it’s eating folklore.

So when trouble creeps in … you can bet very soon

   BG’s solution is the fork and the spoon!





Just Manage the Challenge

By: Marty Hogle


To persevere is such a challenge

When daily tasks are hard to manage

From dawn to dusk we must aspire

To reach our goal and climb still higher

To reach each goal and surpass the prior

Much perseverance it will require

To set our goals low is one way out

But to achieve our best is what life is about

To leave this world better, a legacy to all

With perseverance we can then walk tall

Through the good times and even the rough

We will show everyone we are really quite tough

In crucial times we gainfully learn

And reach higher goals for which we yearn

So always set goals and then persevere

You will win the race and expel all fear

To achieve the best you must first take the test

You can surpass your limits and pass the rest

If you persevere you are sure to win it

For your energy will have no limit

There is a time to enter and a time to win

Just persevere and you will end with a grin

When you accept each challenge and give it your best

You will gain satisfaction and perhaps beat the rest

Persevere always to experience the feeling of job well done

Your race in life you will have won





Round N’ Round

By: Marilyn Fearnside


Meant to be read clockwise



                                                              Dizzying to look up

     Dizzying to look down                    Who cares?                                      The lens blinks

     Who cares?                                       I must explore                                 What’s that?

     The end is near                                How? Where                                    Shadows flicker

     How? Where?                                  Laughing, singing                           Who’s there?

     Laughing, singing                            Hanging Up-side-down                   Hesitant, hiding

     Hanging up-side down                                                                             Holding each breath


Follow me                                                                                                              Come, carry me

Emulate?                                                                                                                Why not?

Fall in line                                                                                                              Catch me – Ha!

Imitate?                                                                                                                  Who needs you anyhow?

Disillusioned, pensive                                                                                            Defiant, strong

Letting go                                                                                                               Head held high


     Climbing, clawing                                                                                    Scraping, fighting

     Is this success?                                                                                         Sez who?

     Deadlines, pressure                                                                                  Studying…my

     Too much stress?                                                                                     Why should I?

     Slipping, sliding                                                                                       Anger, yearning

     Holding on                                                                                               Emotions swirling


                            Limbs intertwined                                    The creation

                            Vows that bind                                         When? How

                            A need to know                                        Relationships

                            Forevermore?                                           What now?

                            Experimenting, fondling                          Confusion, uncertainty

                            Searching for more                                  Questioning all






The Ups and Downs of the Wood County Fair

By: Rev. Larry Swaisgood


This poem is built on facts gleaned from a book in the Wood County Library entitled "Images of America: Bowling Green" By Fredrick N. Honneffer, Arcadia Publishing


A county fair started in 1851

   With the simple agenda of just having fun

But not all went well for this state wide attraction.

 With each joyous addition – came a cloudy subtraction.


In ’81 the fair was on Conneaut and Fairview.

  There was so much excitement and fun things to do

But while children on rides were joyously screaming

  Mary Bach’s blood … on the floor was streaming.


Her husband, named Carl, used a dull corn cutter

   to murder poor Mary … without even a stutter.

Twas two years later with the fair in full scope

   On the courthouse yard, that Carl hung from a rope.


In 1927, the fair moved to Poe.

   Thousands of people were drawn there to go.

The smells of what animals dropped in a pile

    Was ignored for the chance to be eating in style.


French fries just cooked and dripping with oil

   Were eaten by farmers after hours of toil.

Politicians and tractors made lots of noise.

   They ruined our sleep with devious ploys.


The Wood County Fair continues each year

  As strange tattooed men haul in their gear

The rides are all tested and promises given

   But grandmas have doubts how the kiddies are livin.


As each year passes, more enter the gate

  They’re all undeterred by the thought of their fate.

As Ferris Wheels lift them … up to the sky

   they always come down from the joy – and deny

that this fun brings a danger that is ever so scary.

   When you enter those gates, don’t forget Mary.




Is Perseverance A Must Or Bust

By: Marty Hogle


A time to win and a time to lose

A time to accept and a time to choose

A time of remorse and a time of glee

A time to persevere and a time to flee.

Do you know when you are given that choice

Will you continue on when you should quiet your voice?

Will you persevere when it is wise to stop?

Will you recognize when you have reached the top?

Will you persevere when it will hurt another?

Or to have the last word is that your druther?

Make sure that it is good your perseverance will gain

Don’t persevere an argument, it will end in vain

Perseverance when the goal is personal acclaim

Will never bring humbleness, honor, or fame

Persevere in all things positive and just

If you persevere in malice you will lose trust

May you persevere with deeds both kind and good

Never utter words of prejudice or commit acts that would

Persevere to make our environment a better place

Where everyone can live in peace and grace

You see perseverance can bring both results bad and good

We must only persevere in things that we should

Goals to achieve our good for all

A medical breakthrough or a safety recall

We may then persevere in things large and small.

A must or a bust, we hold the ball; it is our call.





Shadows

By: Marilyn Fearnside


I have no Dreamkeeper to lead the way.

Once the mountains echoed with our voices,

Now there is barely a whimper on the wind.

Once each new family shared the stories of the past,

The victories and defeats, the laughter and pain.

Keeping the ancestors alive with the telling.

The story tellers are no more,

Memories fade and twist with time,

And we are left with only bits and pieces of our past.


The spirits are taking me on a journey through this wasteland.

The faded pictures and yellowed papers are my roadmaps,

Helping me find the shadows from the past.

My Great Uncle’s poem, my Grandmother’s postcards,

Family letters, all add shape and form to the shadows.

Yet they are only hints at the lives lived before

So, I continue my search, hoping to learn more.


Some say it’s foolish, the past is gone

With no relevance to now.

But I know that wisdom is passed down through the ages

If only we take the time to listen and have the heart to hear.

Great deeds and hidden skeletons are welcomed alike,

For each have their lessons to impart


I know that long before my birth,

Events shaped who I would become

I am formed from those shadows and

Each left their indelible print on my DNA.

I search my meager papers and try to understand.

What led them to follow their chosen paths?

What brought them to their designated place?

Who are these elusive shadows that haunt my thoughts?


For it is in this search that my answers lie,

As to exactly who am I.





Don’t Give Up

By: Willis Beck


Don’t give up, it’s not your style.

    Things may look bad, but for only a while.

Keep on keeping on, you will get there

    To the place you’ve always wanted, if only you dare!


The name of the game is called resistance,

    The way it’s played is with persistence.

The path ahead may look full of dread,

    Keep a clear mind and push ahead.


You’ve been here before, you’ve seen this same game.

   You’ve seen this same scheme with a different name.

You know how to steer with your hands on the wheel

   Eyes straight ahead, this is no big deal.


Within a short while you will hear them call

   You are the one with control of the ball.

They tried to stop you along the way

   But your cool head pushed through the play.


You’ll want to smile, you’ll want to gloat

   Display all the flags upon your boat.

Keep your face steady, your body keep straight,

   You’ve earned this victory now approach the gate.


There will be temptations along the way,

   You may want to give up for maybe a day.

Don’t you do it, choose a plan that is quick.

   You’ll find out later it was only a trick.


As long as good health will continue,

   Keep on keeping on, with all that is in you.

Keep yourself fit, praise God, study history.

   You’ll reach the promised land, that’s no mystery!





Chautauqua on the Bay

By: Larry E. Slaughterbeck


The landscape we grow up in,

Will it always be part of who we are…?

And in our travels, particularly those into

Beauty, bring us clarity?

Will Little Traverse Bay share

The beauty of a perfect summer day?

Will the breezes from the bay carry

An operatic singer arias?

Will the hue of the sky and water

Be captured by an artist on canvas?

Will it be a day that inspired

A young Hemingway

To return a century earlier?





Change

By: Patti Brown


I can run but I can’t hide.

Words have the power to confuse my trusting mind.

Lies, corruption, chaos talk loud and clear.

Faces frozen with fear and uncertainty.

Interrupted sleep shrink my power.

My faith has been shaken.

I will search for the light consumed by darkness.

Time will move quickly.

Change is coming, the truth will be revealed.

I will embrace the light determined to survive and thrive.

My purpose will be known.

   




The Discipline of Coping

By: Rev. Larry Swaisgood


Wood County has much of the world’s finest dirt

     but because of spring rain, some may lose their shirt.

It seems part of God’s master design

    that life doesn’t improve just cause we whine.


All our nation is fighting over bad politics.

   Do any elected - have any ethics?

Even our past-time of baseball is tainted

   The winners are cheaters and we’ve all been baited.


Our churches are splitting o’er the marriage of gay

   The power is shifting and the small children pay

What can we do … when all that we trust

   and everything sacred becomes a big bust?


After a season of bitter remorse

   we pray out to God to reset our course.

While the crazy take laws into their hands;

   take guns into school or shout their demands

The Bible instructs us to wait on the Lord

    After seasons of suffering comes our reward (Matthew 5:11-12 & Revelation 2:10)

Those who have faith … have a great way of coping

   We trust and obey and cast off all mopeing.





Reality

By: Patti Brown


The baby ducks struggle to cross a busy intersection.

Witnessing this brought tears to my eyes.

I sometimes feel like a baby duck struggling to survive.

Aging is not for sissies.

Accepting reality can be challenging.

We all deserve our own love and affection before we run out of time.





Birthing the Future

By: Carol Kinsey


Blythe

daughter of Carol

granddaughter of Betty and Dolly

More women before not known

each in our own time pulled by the

rich blood-red thread of mother spirit.

Now

ancient talk of new life coming

retold this time with you as holy vessel.

Life floats in your peaceful water

awaiting that first glimpse.

Once again you will surrender to the most potent spell

and I, the one who birthed you, will bear down as you push

my body remembering and unable not to take part.

Fresh souls emerge – the child and the mother

both more than they ever were.

I see how this calling lives in you

leaves me breathless.

Take my love with you now

and into the time beyond my knowing.

Even then, we will meet in memories

and smile.




Write A Poem On Persistence

By: Colleen Kim


The assignment was to write a poem

   on persistence

which turns out to be rather hard

but I’ll keep trying my best

   and thinking of words

so I might win a fifty dollar gift card.





The Journey

By: Mike Carr


Met a young man in a hurry.

He was standing in line

directly behind

An elderly couple counting out their last dime.

He said “why are they so slow?,

I’ve got places to go.

They move like lead

I’d rather be dead!”

I said, “I know where you are,

but I’ve traveled far.

Is your journey a race to be won?

These lives are far from done!

Time teaches more than gold.

You won’t always be young,

and they weren’t always old.

He said, I really don’t care,

about those with gray hair.

They had their day,

Now get out of the way”

I said, “Celebrate the Journey!

your family and friends,

will always need you,

and you will always need them.

Do you foresee them here?

What is it that you hold dear?

Youth isn’t all that is sold!

We must start NOW to break the mold!

You won’t always be young

and they weren’t always old!”


CELEBRATE THE JOURNEY!

A life worth living

Our worth is in giving,

Live it, with every breath of your lungs!

And what is foretold

Harmony of the young and the old.

This is how the journey is won!

Remember, they weren’t always old

You won’t always be young.

There weren’t always old

you won’t always be young.

They weren’t always old…

And you won’t always be young!!

The young man looked at me and said, “I’m going to go call my grandparents”

-as he walked slowly away…

I looked towards a brilliant sunset.





Persistence

By: Ted L. Scherff


I keep on trying

to no avail.

I keep on trying

and all I do is fail.

But I haven’t failed

if I keep on.

Persistence is the energy

until the attempts are done.





Persistence

By: Colleen Kim


A lifetime struggling to fulfill my conditioning;

A lifetime of sadness, anger, and despair;

Coming into my own I find, relinquishing;

Now, a lifetime to declare freedom from conditioning.





Persistence in the Face of Life As Usual

By: Barbara Brunner


Sometimes Life as Usual gets so crazy it’s impossible to endure. Messy. Ugly. Painful. Annoying,

Hurtful. Aggravating. Harmful. Sad. Lonely. Intolerable.

There are as many ways to endure the problems as there are problems to endure.

Where to find the Persistence? Tenacity? Perseverance? Stamina? The Energy to go on? 

What is the Antithesis? Peace. Love, Hope. Joy. Faith. Wisdom. Blessings. Truth. Power. Kindness.

Gentleness. Goodness.

Love wraps His arms around me when I can no longer handle what Life as Usual throws at me. 

I close my eyes and close myself to my surroundings and immediately find myself on my Abba Father’s lap. It is here that I find my God’s great Peace. Solace. Comfort. Quiet. Sanity. Acceptance. Love.

Then, after resting there for a while, my Joy. Relief. Strength. Purpose return, and I climb down and return to Life as Usual.

His Love and Touch have once again sustained me. This is where I receive the Fortitude to keep on keeping on. This Love Fills me. Fulfills me. Refreshes me. Heals me. Renews me. Restores me. It never ends. It never runs out. It is always readily available, to anyone who reaches out for it. 

Life as Usual can be exhausting. Yet I have discovered the Solution. The Answer. The Source of all that is needed to Endure. To Persist. To Persevere.  Available to all.

Life is Hard – guaranteed.   Solutions are many and varied – optional. Drugs. Alcohol. Work. Sports.

Isolation. Depression. And God.  We don’t get to choose what Life as Usual throws at us.  We do get to choose how we endure what Life as Usual throws at us.  I’ve made my choice, and it is good.





Keep on Keepin’ On

By: Vernagaye Sullivan


Putting one foot in front of the other

I pace the days looking for joy,

seeking a rainbow through storms of tears;

light to invade the heart of this mother;

asking what else I might employ.


 “Just keep on, keepin’ on!” said she.

Strange words to soothe my grief.

Yet wisdom resides there.

For in living life yet to be,

deep pain may find blessed relief.




A Rose

By: Carolee Isaacson


May this rose be a reminder As you do your daily tasks

Remember that your smiles and encouragement

Bring more healing than one could ask.


May this rose be a symbol Of the friendship that has grown

As you guided and coaxed me back to health

And taught me to care for myself on my own.


May this rose be a message

Conveying gratefulness that I cannot daily share.

Thank you for your kind and honest words

As well as your not-always-tender nudges but always gentle care.




Much Love

By: Judy Kline


It was with much love

            Jesus came to the earth

He came to us through a miraculous birth


Through pursuing love

            He has power to forgive

If we will just ask Him and then for Him live


Through His steadfast love

            He came to show the way

To live for Him now and each coming new day


With persistent love

            Jesus loves you and me

If we fail Him He still loves so tenderly


With enduring love

            To the cross He would go

To conquer for us our ever present foe


So with much great love

            He died and took our place

He did it for us – the whole human race


He rose from the dead

            With new life from above

It was all because of this much needed love




Do You Know My Friend Percy Vere

By: Marty Hogle

  

When I was just a young child, my mother said to me

You will have many friends and some you can not see

Your dearest friend you will only hear, his name is Percy Vere.

He will always be near and will help you conquer fear

Some things in your life may seem hard to reach

But these difficult challenges were meant to teach

When you enter a race and you feel defeat

Just call on Percy, he will push your feet

When it is time to take that difficult test

Just count on Percy he will help you do your best

When you want to gain but everyone else is ahead

Just rely on Percy and you will win instead

If you start to act the part of a “defeat glutton”

Find Percy nearby and press your “can do” button

When things seem impossible and far to hard

Just pull out Percy Vere’s “keep on” magic card

It is easier to meet each difficult challenge with a friend

And with Percy Vere you know he is there until the end

He will encourage you to reach for a star

To better yourself and raise your bar

No job will ever seem to great with Percy as your mate

With Percy Vere your achievements will mount.

By listening to him there will be too many to count

Listen always to Percy’s strong voice

He will always advise you to make the best choice

Everyone can have Percy Vere as a friend

He will push you through life from beginning to end





A Soldier’s Dream

By: George Leslie


Written in Japan, October 1953 for Jan

Jan & George were married for 60 years, 1956-2016


To you alone I send my love.

With thy help of him above.

When he becomes willing, for us some day,

To become as one, if hard we pray.

Then we’ll take the vows of holy matrimony.

It will be like our first love only.

To us that day may seem quite distant.

But rest assured he’ll be our assistant.

When that marriage license we take out.

It’ll seem as though this world has turned about.

Then up that isle we shall walk.

It makes no difference how people may talk.

Then over that threshold I’ll carry you.

I shall be extremely happy, as I do.

You see my darling, only you I adore

A thousand times more, than ever before.