Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Pear Tree For A Legacy?

More than 30 years ago my Dad transplanted a pear tree in the back yard. He was big on organic gardening, planting trees, bushes, nurturing them to watch them flourish. Ten years after we moved from Hickory Valley, Tennessee, he drove the110 miles back to dig up a fig bush he'd left behind. It now grows near the house in the backyard. The pear tree stands 30 yards away..

Daddy lived long enough to enjoy the figs, but passed away in the summer of 1980, years before the pear tree produced. I remember him fertilizing around it and wondering if his toil was for naught.

In the fall of 2011 during my weekly visit to Mom's, I gathered three large bags of the delicious fruit. Mom also called in friends and neighbors to share in the bounty. Still, innumerable pears hung from the tree and dozens were scattered beneath it.

After gathering the fruit that day, I set the heavy sacks on the table, then turned to my mother and asked,. "Do you think Daddy ever considered he might be leaving a legacy behind when he planted the pear tree? I wonder what he'd say if he knew people from miles around wree coming with baskets to gather his pears."

She shrugged. "I don't know, but it has really produced the fruit this year.

"A gift that keeps on giving," to use the cliche'. My dad was a giver. He would be pleased to know he shared pears with his small community. Who can count the jars of preserves that have been made from that one tree?

This gave me food (or fruit) for thought. Does everyone leave a legacy behind? Whether we know it or not, something we say, or some act of kindness we show to another, could become a legacy. Who knows what kind word or deed will change another's life?

My fifth-grade teacher did not live long enough to learn she'd planted a dream in my heart when she announced to the class, "One day, Laurie will become an author."I never forgot her words, but thought it was an elusive. Even so, I hid them in my heart while I married, worked at a toilsome job, and raised a child. It took a few decades before I acted on her words. But I finally did.

My desire is for the words I write to become my legacy. My prayer is the something I've written will influence and encourage my readers in a positive way. The best compliment I could receive would be to hear a reader say, "Thank you. Your story helped me through a difficult time."

And I am blessed to have already heard those words from readers.
An update on the tree: The following year, 2012, was another bumper crop for the pears.  In August, before they ripened, we put Mom in an assisted living home. Nevertheless neighbors and friends were invited to gather the pears when they came in, in October and November..

The mystery to me was, the next year the tree produced nothing. It was as if an unseen hand had watched over the tree throughout the years, providing those pears for Mom and the community. But when Mom went to assisted living, that same hand let the pear tree rest because she no longer needed them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

One Of Those Days!

Hi fellow Bloggers,

Did you ever have one of those days when everything went wrong? Yesterday started out with computer glitches. Between error messages and freeze ups, I didn't manage to accomplish a thing online until after 2 p.m.

It ran smoothly for a couple hours, then the computer gremlins attacked again. Page freezes, "Page not Found" etc. flashed on my screen. I shut down to prepare supper, praying the computer would be refreshed after its nap.

It worked fine and I edited away until my hubby (Terry) interrupted me with, "Have you seen the cell phone?"

It was 8 o'clock Monday night and I hadn't seen it since Sunday afternoon. Terry couldn't remember the last time he used it--when or where. So, I dialed the cell phone from our cordless. It didn't ring. Instead a woman's voice spat, "Your message has been forwarded to your mailbox."

Arrrrgh! I strangled the phone hoping that insolent woman would at least cough from the clench. We turned the house upside down to perform a thorough search for the missing phone. We dug between cushions, rammed our arms down inside the sofa and Lazy-Boy, moved and lifted anything that might be covering it--even looked under the bed.

When all the above proved futile, Terry walked out to the carport to search the pickup and car. I dialed the cordless three more times (to no avail) from the open door, listening for a "Brrrrinnnggg!" Nothing. Meanwhile, our black kitten, Sassy, slipped past my ankles and into formidable darkness.

Since our quest to find the cell phone proved futile, we stopped for the night. "We'll search again tomorrow," Then I said. I turned to Terry. "I just realized Sassy sneaked out when we opened the back door." I turned on the carport light, walked out and called, "Here, kitty-kitty!"

She ran toward me. "Great!" and right between my feet. Oops! I called again. The little black devil appeared out of nowhere in the darkness, 10 feet away. I crept closer planning to reach down and nab her. When I tried, Sassy streaked off again. This went on for 10 minutes. I tired and gave it up.

An hour passed. Hubby decided to give it a try. He turned on the porch light and yelled, "Sassy!" She streaked past the steps. He yelled louder, "Sas-s-s-sy! You'd better come here, young lady, if you know what's good for you." She zoomed past him again and into outer darkness. He yelled, "Just stay out, then!" and slammed the back door.

Terry waited until 10 p.m. to open the back door again. This time Sassy was ready to seek the warmth of indoors. She zipped between his feet and straight to the kitchen begging for milk.

Terry got up from his Lazy-boy in front of the TV and walked past me at the computer. He yawned. "I'm going to bed. The TV is still on. I can't find the remote.

By this time, I was ready to scream. I searched the sofa and chairs, anywhere a remote could wedge. Finally I turned the TV off manually. Argggh! I resorted to manual labor! LOL.

Then it struck me to lift the two sofa cushions where they met in the middle of the couch. Yep, there it lay, just as pretty as you please. We had a remote, and a kitten, but still no cell phone.

I finished up and went to bed, praying tomorrow would be better. Sometime during the early hours I remembered that Terry had taken a Sunday afternoon nap in the spare bedroom. Could it be....? Nah! Surely not.

When I got up this morning, I checked the spare bedroom. Guess what I found lying on the headboard shelf? Yesssirrreee! The long lost cell phone.

Isn't it funny how one incident led to another, all tied together? (Well, everything but the computer glitches.) Searching for the cell phone caused Sassy to escape into the night, and due to us ransacking the den, the lost phone was also the reason the remote control fell beneath the sofa cushions.

That was my Monday. How was yours?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Writers, Be Cautious!

Hello Writers,

We, as a group are voraciously targeted by scammers who promise the moon if we will submit our precious manuscripts. Maybe because we writers are so eager to see our name in the lights, so to speak, we fall for these traps.

Thank God, I did my homework before submitting my first full length, "Journey To Forgiveness." But I did fall for the Poetry.Com scam a couple years prior. They oogled, ahhed and salivated over my poem, flattering my wonderful accomplishment. Then...then they asked for the right to publish this wonderful piece of work in a "beautifully-bound book along with 200 other poems" and sell the book back to ME (unlimited copies) for "ONLY $39.99 EACH!

I left with a deflated ego, feeling pretty stupid, but thankfully, I sent them NO money. What I wondered was: Who REALLY won the $1,000 they offered in the poetry contest? Or did anyone win?

That said, I just found an interesting site titled, "Agents From Hell." Very informative and enlightening. It could save a lot of heartache. The link listed below contains several links if you would like to check those out, too.

We writers work too hard to be taken in by grasping, scammers. Let's band together and stay smart. Do your homework before submitting that manuscript you've poured heart and soul into. You will be glad you did.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Until the Storm Passes Over

Last night as I drifted off to sleep, a storm raged outside my window. I awoke around midnight to a roaring wind that ripped through the trees on the west side of our house. The blasts pounded the exterior until I wondered if we would sail through the air like the ill-fated Hindenburg.

At times like these I realize my helplessness and run straight into the arms of The One who really is in control. I asked God to send His angels to cover our house, to steady it on its foundation. When the power faltered and and we were without light, fear rose again. I silently prayed to the God who is Light, and whose power never falters.

Lines from the beautiful old hymn, Master, The Tempest is Raging, hummed through my mind as I lay in pitch darkness, waiting for the storm to pass.

Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea, or billows or wind or whatever it be. No demon can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies. They all shall sweetly obey Thy will, peace be still, peace be still.

At 2. a.m a calm settled over our little piece of the world. Hubby and I fell into a peaceful sleep and awoke to another glorious day, the only damage a few fallen limbs which miraculously missed the house. We rejoiced and praised the One who brought us through the storm once again.

When thou passesth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior. Isaiah 43:2-3

Friday, January 7, 2011

Musings For A New Year

Hello, Dear Friends. What does the New Year mean to you? Sweeping out the old and scooping in the new? Time to re-set goals for the next twelve months? Maybe, it's a season of re-evaluation, a time to pause and contemplate on what you value most or where you will expend your time and energy in 2011.

As a writer, all these questions have threatened to obstruct my muse since January 1. So please, bear with me in hopes that writing down these concerns will help release them.

What do I REALLY want? This should be, "What does God want me to do?" Do my desires coincide with His plan for my life? Do I trust Him enough to believe He wants only the best for me?

You've probably heard the saying, "If you want to see God laugh, make plans." Or, "The best-laid plans of mice and men..." How many times has this proven true? We plan our day/week, satisfied we have everything under control. Then, out of the blue something "throws a cog in the wheel." A family member falls sick, a friend needs your emotional support, or an unexpected emergency raises its ugly head.

My burning desire? To write and publish stories that will not only inspire the reader, but bring laughter along with emotional healing. In the midst of serious soul-searching and a disturbing lack of focus, I ask, "Where do I go from here?" Will an ongoing hermetic lifestyle make me neglect those who love and need me?

Balance is the keyword, but not easy to obtain. My "all or nothing" personality becomes absorbed in creating plots and characters--sometimes to the exclusion of everything around me. Like a woman possessed, I write on and on, fearing the muse will escape flee me if I stop to breathe.

I will strive for balance this year, but will also sail for territory yet unexplored. I have no idea where this journey will take me. But by keeping God at the helm of the ship, no matter how rough the waters, I know I will safely reach the shore.

What are your thoughts, goals, and desires for 2011? Stop and evaluate. Then ask God to guide you every step of the way.