Sunday, February 1, 2015

Editor's Corner


By Mary E. Adair


Welcome to Volumn 18 of Pencil Stubs Online! We continue bringing you varied and interesting material you can read at your leisure and in whichever format you prefer. The ezine can be found at and does not require signing in, and no comments can be added to complement an author. That can be done at the blog version,

 Personally, your editor prefers the ezine with the larger pics and wider reading space, but the blog does show better on phones and tablets. This is the Valentine month, but only a few poems are romantic this issue.

We have one last chapter for awhile by Mark Crocker about Lexi, the feline "who must be obeyed," and a new serialized book by Denise Sebastian, "The Dark Secrets from Within." Allow yourself to be intrigued.

It is exciting to introduce new columnist Nancy Park in "Park's Place." She has experience in many fields, from spiritual to the reality of working in the business world for many years. Judith Kroll aka Featherwind's column "On Trek" poses some things to look at in a different way, while Thomas F. O'Neill, a teacher in China, addresses the tensions American television and music is creating among the youth in China.

 Mattie Lennon ("Irish Eyes") bends our ears with an Irish tale filled with humor, though somewhat dark. Mattie, himself, sent your editor a link for the hit adult cartoon "Tea with the Dead" which he wrote about in an earlier column. This link includes Mattie as one of the Voices of the deceased, in one segment. Both laughter and tears were invoked while viewing. Congrats, Mattie.

Bud Lemire shows five poems this month: "Our Journey Has Many Paths," "Crock Pot," "Heart Filled with Love," "Ideas, Truths, & Experiences," and "Life's Hard Choices." Bruce Clifford sent along "I Never Met A Girl," "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead," and "These Are The Moments."

Wendy Shepard-Kalan composed "Reunited" in memory of her nephew San Shepard. Her words convey the sorrow of loss and the blessing of memories. John I. Blair expresses some cold philosophy in "January John." His column "Always Looking - People Who Made A Difference XXVI" features the significance of the life of author Nathaniel Bowditch.

 A bow to Mike Craner whose expertise and patience allows this little ezine to present over 400 different authors over the last seventeen years, bringing their compositions of story, poetry, articles, and ongoing columns.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.
This issue appears in the ezine at and also in the blog with the capability of adding comments at the latter.

Always Looking – People Who Made A Difference XXVI

By John I. Blair

Nathaniel Bowditch

Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), a self-taught astronomer, navigator, and business executive, was one of America's first scientists. His reputation is based on two books; the New American Practical Navigator – a manual for sailors that is still in print – and his translation of French mathematician Pierre Laplace's Méchanique Céleste (celestial mechanics).

 Born in Salem, Massachusetts, Nathaniel was the fourth child of a cooper (barrel maker) and shipmaster. At age 10 he went to work beside his father at a cooperage. In 1785, age 12, Nathaniel was apprenticed to ship chandlers (providers of necessary supplies to sailing ships). Living in the house of Jonathan Hodges, he was allowed to use his master's library. During the day he learned about the equipment and supplies needed to outfit sailing ships and heard stories of exotic ports and people. In the evenings he studied in the library.

Salem's sea-going merchants generated wealth that supported scientific development and instrument making. In these fields Bowditch was encouraged by three local Harvard-trained scholars: Nathan Read, an apothecary, nail factory owner, and early steam engine and paddlewheel boat inventor; John Prince, the liberal pastor of the First Congregational Church of Salem and the inventor of an air pump; and William Bentley, pastor of the Second Congregational Church. Bentley encouraged Bowditch to study Latin and, from his 4,000 book library, lent him books, including Isaac Newton's Principia Mathematica. In 1791 the Philosophical Library Society, at the urging of Bentley and Prince, granted 18-year old Bowditch borrowing privileges. With these resources he continued his readings in mathematics and natural philosophy, mastered Euclid’s writings on mathematics and geometry, and learned French by translating the New Testament with the help of a dictionary. He also constructed his own astronomical and surveying instruments.

 In 1794 Bowditch assisted Reverend Bentley and shipmaster John Gibaut in a land survey of Salem. Gibaut was so impressed with the young man's thoroughness and accuracy that he invited Bowditch to sign on as clerk on his next voyage to the East Indies. In preparation, Bowditch took up the study of sea journals and navigation techniques. Between 1795 and 1803, Bowditch sailed to the East Indies five times. He used his free time on board studying sailing charts and navigation, taking lunar measurements, and filling notebooks with observations. The first time he signed on as a clerk and second mate; by the last voyage he was master and part-owner of the ship. After selling his goods from the last voyage, he had enough capital to retire from the sea.

 Practical sailing experience combined with astronomy scholarship made Bowditch one of the best navigators in America. Newburyport publisher Edmund March Blunt commissioned him to update and revise his The American Coast Pilot, 1796. Bowditch used a 15-month stretch of shore time, 1797-98, to check the data and recalculate the tables. Building on his work on The American Coast Pilot, in 1802 Bowditch compiled The New American Practical Navigator. As secretary and inspector of voyage journals for the East India Marine Society of Salem, he had access to additional information on voyages, routes, and foreign ports. The New American Practical Navigator contained instruction in navigation, surveying directions, data on winds, directions on how to calculate high tides, notes on currents, a dictionary of sea terms, an explanation of rigging, model contracts, a model ship's journal or log, statistics on marine insurance, information on bills of exchange, and lists of responsibilities for ship owners, masters, factors, and agents. This comprehensiveness soon won it wide usage and the title of "the seaman's bible." It went through ten editions before Bowditch died.

Clipper Ships similar to those in Bowditch's lifetime.
 In 1799 Bowditch was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and was its president from 1829-1838. In 1818 he was elected to the Edinburgh and London Royal Societies. He later joined the Irish Royal Academy, the Royal Astronomical Society of London, the Royal Academies of Palermo and Berlin, and the British Association.

 Beginning in 1812 Bowditch worked on an English translation of Pierre Laplace's Traité de mécanique céleste and he wrote scientific articles on spherical trigonometry, magnetic compass variations, the earth's oblateness, celestial table corrections, and the behavior of twin pendulums. These articles appeared in the Memoirs of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. In addition, he wrote a number of extended book reviews for the North American Review. He self-published his four-volume translation of Laplace, 1829-39, using one-third of his life savings. Complimentary copies were sent to libraries and scientists around the world. The books contained three pages of annotations for every two in the original. His protégé and editorial assistant on the project, Benjamin Pierce, went on to become a Harvard professor and America's leading mathematician. The translation trained the next generation of American astronomers.
Bowditch House in Salem

 In 1823, at the age of 50, Bowditch moved to Boston to become the actuary of the Massachusetts Hospital Life Insurance Company. He joined the Church on the Green led by the Unitarian minister, Alexander Young, and attended the Sunday evening salons at the home of his friend, Harvard professor George Ticknor. There he mixed with many of Boston's intellectuals, including William Prescott and Daniel Webster.  After his wife’s death in 1834, Nathaniel slowed down, taking more time to read poetry, history and biography. He died at 65 and was buried beside his wife under Trinity Church in Boston. Later they were reburied in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Bowditch close up and Statue

 Bowditch attended church all his life. He was reticent about his religious beliefs, particularly those that might not be universally shared. Rev. Young said, "In his religious views, Dr. Bowditch was, from examination and conviction, a firm and decided Unitarian. But he had no taste for the polemics or peculiarities of any sect, and did not love to dwell on the distinctive and dividing points of Christian doctrine. His religion was rather an inward sentiment, flowing out into the life, and revealing itself in his character and actions."

 When asked about his religious beliefs Bowditch answered, "Of what importance are my opinions to anyone? I do not wish to be made a show of. As to creeds of faith, I have always been of the sentiment of the poet (Alexander Pope, “Essay on Man”),—'For modes of faith let graceless zealots fight; His can't be wrong, whose life is in the right.'"

 Bowditch's grave marker shown at bottom of page.

 Adapted from the article in Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography at  Researched and compiled by John I. Blair

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On Trek



By Judith Kroll

My Trek

I was in a discussion on the internet, that I found quite interesting. Of course, I had to examine the ins and outs of the discussion within myself.
There was talk about pictures of Jesus, and how he looks, and people claiming he should have brown eyes and some say blue and or green. From his birthplace, he should be brown eyed, people said.

Now, I got to thinking how to answer that. I love to watch the TV show, ¨Ghost inside my child¨. It is all about reincarnation of little children who remember who they were in a past life.

When they come back as another person, they have different parents. In one picture they were brown eyed, and in the new life they are green or blue eyed. Some were of different races. Some were once in China and now the United states etc. Mendel's peas don't seem to matter anymore once one passes on.

When we return to spirit form, it really doesn't matter, we can be blue eyed one day and green another. I did notice that when a medium talks to those who have passed, they come to the reader in the same form they left, either brown or blue eyed, tall, bushy hair etc, so that those left here on earth having the reading, can recognize the person.

 So, if Jesus comes as a blond to someone, we should believe them, because it was their visitation!  I have come to the conclusion that everything is temporary, even our looks.

When I return to spirit, I am going to be taller.


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Park's Place



By Nancy Park

The "Resolution"

       It's a "new year" ..that phrase seems to precipitate ambitions of one sort or another in order to rededicate ourselves in some area of our life. This trait we seem to share, leads us into what appears to be a conscious inner inspection of different areas of our life journey. For some, it's about health and wellness, for others it may be a more deeply sought clarity of their experience here. All wonderful aspirations. Personally, I find this to be a fascinating practice, which speaks to our continued evolvement, our openness to being perhaps more positive, more compassionate, more caring of ourselves and our world around us. I admit this capability intrigues me and I am in awe at our willingness to look within.

       It makes sense when we strive to live a healthier life - of course, to be able to have this experience in the best possible way. It speaks to the human condition for us to commit to being more compassionate, more aware of others, our environment, and expressing that through acts we undertake towards that end.

       Perhaps we are mindful of how we judge others and seek to become more accepting. Some may wish to further themselves, strive to learn something new, to expand their knowledge.

       Others may choose to dedicate their time here completely in the service of others. Something often deemed the ultimate in humility.

       Many opt to dedicate their lives to their religious beliefs - forgoing a life others live for one of poverty and caring for the less fortunate among us.

       We are often taught by our caregivers/parents/teachers what has become an expected social norm, a method of what life is, and/or should be and guidelines as to who we should be, who we should strive to be, and the need to work towards acceptance by others as a hallmark of whether we 'got' it right. A 'script' for lack of a better some degree, it serves a purpose - but included should be "now go find your bliss".

That said ~ what if...

       Consider that it's possible, in 'reality', (what is instead of what we are taught) that life's journey need not come with expectations. Zero guidelines. Zero judgments. Free your thinking. No 'religion'. Fearlessly look at how you move through life. Maybe it's a "one time" shot... maybe not - would it matter then, the journey you courageously chose? Would you be willing to lose relationships in order to freely chose your own path? Would you make selfless choices if you did not believe, as we've all been taught, there is a reward at life's end, for doing so? Who decides if the answers to these questions are right or wrong for you?

       Our 'caregivers' (parents/priests/rabbis, teachers etc.) pass along to us their knowledge, their experiences, the 'rote' of information that has been decided over time what is acceptable - but in the end, given their best efforts regardless of any underlying intentions, it really is not their journey.

       Whose "journey" is it? Should we be brave enough to live our lives constantly in question of what it means to us? Are we able to face convention and live a constant truth to ourselves regardless of consequences?

       What "script" are you following? Are we brave enough to take from what's been offered to us and incorporate only what serves us?

       Are we "eternal"? 'Eternal' as we have been taught, as a never ending cycle of lives - each with perhaps its own set of experiences - or is this a one time shot? Would you choose differently? Why?

       Do we have "souls"? If so - is that not just the essence of your energy? Is it that energy that is eternal?

       Or is that just another 'script'?

       So much of what we've been exposed to we blindly accept as our truth - are we being who we truly are?

       I cannot think of a more important resolution than each person finding their own truth, whatever that may or may not be. The importance of freely and consciously choosing the path you wish to follow, conventional or not, without hesitation, remorse, self judgment, expectation of heavenly rewards, fear of recrimination, completely open in each moment to whatever your 'bliss' is.

       People expect, don't be afraid to disappoint them.

       If they really 'love' you, they will remain part of your journey. Be willing to let them go.

       You can't get it 'wrong'.

       Maybe we've all journeyed together before, learning life lessons from one another - maybe really doesn't matter, unless it matters to you - if you choose to believe we all have what is referred to as 'soul bonds' with one another, and that serves your journey in the highest way - then it's true for you. If not, that's ok too.

       Maybe we are here just this one time - if so, make it count...

       When your life gets "rocky" ask yourself if you are where you are suppose to be.

       I am a big fan of observation. I've gleaned alot within my life, from observing the experiences of others - and I admit a bit of gratitude for having done so. Yet that only has meaning if I choose to give it. I have found it reassuring to witness that others experience the same ups and downs, greater and lesser, as I and yet I admire their ability to persevere, and in so witnessing, I have to say it inspires me. I've also witnessed unnecessary suffering, of those who accept the views of others as to how they should live their life, that brings me great sadness. We all deserve nothing less than joy.

 It's "New Year" - Resolutions:
Be brave.
Be true to yourself.
Question always.
Believe in your inherent goodness no matter what anyone says.
Know you cannot get it wrong.
If it serves you to be kind ~ be kind.
If it serves you to be compassionate ~ be compassionate.
If it serves you to be generous ~ be generous.
Love yourself, care for your body, mind and essence.
Do/practice what lifts you.

Happy New You!


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Irish Eyes



By Mattie Lennon

Matt Toomey and His Jennet(s)

Matt Toomey was a deserted husband before it was fashionable; it’s a state that many a man would desire but it’s not possible to make a living out of it. So, Matt was a higgler, who in the early part of the twentieth century sold eggs, herrings a and such like from a jennet’s cart around Kylebeg, Lacken, Balliinastockan, and further afield.  Matt was illiterate. It’s not politically correct to say that; I should say he had learning difficulties. But I’ve said it now and I know you won’t tell anyone.

Anyway recession struck and Matt ‘s business went downhill. Now, when I say recession struck I must explain that in Matt’s case there was a contributory factor. Matt always prided himself on the freshness of his eggs. Well, he bought twelve dozen of eggs, for what seemed to be a good price, from a man called Grace in Dunlavin. Twelve dozen that’s . . e h . . .one hundred and forty four eggs. But what Matt didn’t know was that Mr Grace only had one hen. So, some of the eggs were slightly past what would now be called the “best-before date.” Matt’s customers were not impressed.

Anyway he asked, Tom, a friend of his who worked in Dublin if he could get him a job in the big smoke. The friend agreed and told Matt that he would write to him when he had a job secured. Matt reminded him that he couldn’t read and he pointed out between expletives that he certainly wouldn’t ask any of the !$%&* neighbours to read it.  “Who read the last letter you got”? asked Tom and Matt told him that he had never got a letter. “well then” said Tom with a great deal of sense, “when you get a letter you’ll know it’s from me.”   “But” says Matt “I won’t know what’s in it.”  "Oh you’ll know all right” says Tom “because there’ll be nothing in it only ‘come on to your work, Matt Toomey.’ ”

  Matt waited and he waited but no letter came. Income down to almost zero; drastic action had to be taken. He sold his Jennet, locked the door of his little cottage, made his way to Sallins and boarded the train for Queenstown in the County Cork having decided to go to America. Matt boarded the liner in Queenstown. And yes I know what you are thinking. You think you’re ahead of me, that the year was 1912 and the ship was the Titanic and that Kylebeg man Matt Toomey drowned in the North Atlantic.

Well, you’re wrong. It was 1911 and the ship was the Caronia.  The Corinia was a steel hulled ship but Matt didn’t know that. So he tapped the timber paneling (the wainscoting) and asked a fellow passenger “is there nothing between me and Eternity only that bit of a board from here to New York?” The other passenger, who must have been a bit of a go-boy, answered in the affirmative and, although the ship hadn’t left the Quay Matt said, “Head her for the ditch there; I’m getting off.” Which he did.  

He got on the train for home but it wasn’t long until a thought struck him; America was out. No sign of a job in Dublin. There was nothing for it but to go home and try to rebuild his higgling business. But he had sold his jennet. It was Fair-day in Portarlington so he broke his journey and bought another jennet. ( He would later tell people that he bought a jennet in the County Portarlington.) He spent the night in Portarlington.  

The next day was Sunday the day of the 1911 All Ireland football final at Jones’s Road. Cork was playing Antrim (Cork won by the way ;the score was Cork ; 6 goals and 6 points and Antrim 1 goal and 2 points. There were 11000 at the match. I remember it well! ) Anyway when he went to board the train for the remainder of his journey it was packed. He would manage to squeeze in but there was certainly no room for the jennet.  Matt hit on a plan; he tied the jennet to the back of the rear carriage of the train.

Matt was a man, like myself, who wasn’t used to being in the company of enthusiastic sports supporters but he settled into his journey. As the train picked up speed he asked a Cork supporter who had all the appearances of a seasoned traveller “what speed are we doing now”?

 “about sixty miles an hour, boy, I’d say” says the Corkman.

 “ be Gob” says Matt “The jennet is fairly tipping it now.”

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By Thomas F. O'Neill

         I've become well aware of the growing tensions between China and the US over accusations of cyberbullying. My students have also been bringing the topic up in my Cultural Diversity classes here in Suzhou, China. I told them the finger pointing between the two superpowers has been going on for quite some time.

         The US and China are accusing one another of various instances of cyber-attacks.

         The Chinese Government has just recently implemented highly intrusive cybersecurity regulations on US companies that are doing business in China. The Chinese Government stated the new rules are designed to strengthen their National Security.

         The new regulations are basically forcing technology sellers to create backdoors for the Chinese government. The new rules forces foreign companies to adopt Chinese encryption algorithms and disclose sensitive intellectual property. The US chamber of commerce and other groups are calling these new cybersecurity regulations highly intrusive.

         The new rules now being implemented would also force foreign companies to reveal their source codes. These source codes are usually tightly guarded series of commands that create computer programs. The source codes used for most computing and networking equipment will have to be turned over to China’s government officials.

         The new regulations come at a time of heightened tension between the USA and China over cybersecurity. In May of last year, Beijing denounced US charges against Chinese army officers accused of economic cyber-espionage.

         It has also been alleged that the US National Security Agency has been spying on the Chinese firm Huawei which has Chinese military contracts.

         Members of the US Senate have accused China of hacking into the Senate’s computer data bases. China has also been accused of hacking into the computers of airlines and military contractors.

         Microsoft, Cisco, and other American high-tech firms are being faced with increased pressure from China to abide by the new rules before their new products can be sold or purchased in China.

         The Chinese Government considers its reliance on foreign high-technology as its greatest National Security weakness. Particularly, after former National Security Contractor, Edward Snowden, revealed that the US spy agencies planted codes in American-made software to snoop on overseas targets.

         Such stringent regulations on China’s part will hurt China in the long run because many companies doing business in China will not be willing to reveal the source codes for their Intellectual property, especially, to the Chinese government.

         The Chinese Government seems to be implementing these new cybersecurity regulations out of shear fear and paranoia. Such fear, real or imagined, is being placed before their country’s economic self-interests.

         These new rules are also coming at a time when the US economy is picking up and the Chinese economy is slowing down. Both countries, China and the US, will be negatively affected economically by these new stringent rules.

         China’s reliance on high tech foreign technology may appear to be a weakness on their part but in terms of a strong global economy it’s a strength.

         What the overall impact these new rules will have on China and on its overall economy? that is a hard question to answer but time will tell …….
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    U.S. voice mail: (800) 272-6464
    China Cell: 011-86-15114565945
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill
    Other articles, short stories, and commentaries by Thomas F. O'Neill can be found on his award winning blog, Link:

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By Wendy Shepard-Kalan

A loved ones life is done
As a flame dies out like the setting sun
He is not far, an angelic sign
My eyes shut I see him shine.
In heavenly prayer
I find him there.
Hoping my thoughts are heard
My heart in each word
Missing such a sweet smile
Just for awhile
Reunited when God calls my name
No more will I feel this pain.
You loved every day
Still, though you went away.
Inside a soul glows bright
I see it in the stars at night
You live on in our hearts
There we will never part.
Sam, hold on tight
To the love which burns bright.
Reunited when God calls my name,
And out goes my flame.

 ©Jan 26, 2015 Wendy Shepard-Kalan
In memory of my beloved Nephew Sam Shepard
April 2, 1996-August 29th, 2014

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The Crock Pot

By Bud Lemire

You may think it's crock
But I love my slow cooking pot
It's just like me
Getting it done slowly
I always thought “Take your time and do it well”
This pot takes hours, and I love the smell
Chicken soup or a beef or pork roast
Looks so good that I just have to post 
Carrots, onions, celery, add for a great taste
None of these foods ever go to waste
The soup isn't salty, the flavor is great
I burnt my tongue, because it's hard to wait 
There's a load of things you can make
A slow cooker in the time it will take
Just put it on low
And let it go 
Your stomach will be happy when it is done
When you are filled up, and had so much fun
You did it yourself, at such a slow pace
The end results will put a smile on your face
©Jan 7, 2015 Bud Lemire
                     Author Note:

I got this Crock Pot aka Slow Cooker for Christmas
from my sister Nancy and her husband Harold. I
decided to venture into trying things at a slow pace.
Chicken soup was great! Beef & Pork roast was
fantastic! Back to Chicken soup, and it tasted
wonderful. Who knows where this will take me.
I shall explore other foods as well. It may be a
load of Crock, but it sure does taste great.

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Our Journey Has Many Paths

By Bud Lemire
In another lifetime you will know
What it is that makes me glow
For now is not the time for you
To understand the things I do 
Just accept me for what I say
Even though you don't believe the same way
Our journey and experiences aren't the same
We need to realize there's nobody to blame 
Our life's path are different in many a way
But neither of us are wrong in what we say
Just because one speaks the truth as they know it
Doesn't mean the other has to believe it one bit 
But show respect for what you've never known
With the experiences on their path that was shown
Open your mind to know there are other ways too
To travel life's path, than the way that you do 
It is their truth, when they speak it so
Their journey is all that they really know
There are many experiences in life that we make
Just as our journey has many paths, which one will you take?
©Jan 29, 2015 Bud Lemire
                       Author Note:
The path that is right for you. It resonates with your soul.
It feels right to you. There are many paths, and they all
lead to the same place (Heaven, the Other Side, the Afterlife,
The World of Souls). Your path is not the only way. As in life,
there are many roads to take to get to where you are going.
Your experiences though, are your own. Not everyone is
going to have the same experiences. But it is your Soul's
Journey to have them and be who you are. .

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Ideas, Truths, & Experiences

By Bud Lemire

Don't put ideas in my head
I heard exactly what you said
Your thoughts are not for me
My truth is my way to be 
Maybe that is what you believe
It's what and how you receive
It's not what I have learned
I prefer not to get ripped or burned 
What I have come to know
Is what has enriched my soul
What I have come to know isn't the same for you
It's my truth and what has helped me through 
I'm not telling you what to believe, it's what I do
And my way of thinking, may not be for you
You can't put me down for something that you don't know
Because of a place where it had taken my soul
 Respect for each other is a two way street
Possibly halfway is where we could meet
Just know that my experiences are what I know
And that they have helped me to grow
Yours most likely did the same for you
In your lifetime, it has helped you through 
Your ideas may not be what I want in my head
Yet I can still acknowledge what you said
Remember what I know is not what you do
Your experiences in your life are true for you
©Jan 6, 2015 Bud Lemire
                     Author Note:
The ideas we have may not be for someone else,
our truths are what we alone have experienced.
Not everyone will have the same truths, for we do
not think like one another. Isn't that what makes us
so unique from one another. Just think if we were the
same, we'd be clones and would know all about each
other. Our experiences are all different from one
another, and it makes for a wonderful time of sharing,
whether we believe what the other is saying or not. I
only know the truth is what I experienced. That's the
idea of this poem.

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January John

By John I. Blair
Another gloomy January day,
All gray, and May so far away.
(Yes I know I’ve sung this song before.)

 Just getting up’s a chore;
But there are birds and cats to feed,
Places to go and things to see.

I’ll brew a steaming mug of tea,
Hug it to my chest,
Soaking up the heat, 

Wishing I could pour it on my feet
(But knowing socks are best),
Then off to do my needful deeds.

©2015 John I. Blair

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Life's Hard Choices

By Bud Lemire
Life's choices are sometimes hard to make
Which one will it be, which one will you take
It's like choosing between a rock and a hard place
Which makes life so much harder for you to face 
What do you do in a case like this
When it's life threatening and you can't dismiss
It's easier for someone not in your shoes
But when it's you, it's always bad news 
Life gives us faith, so we can believe
In the right choices, in all we receive
To know our choices will turn out right
Because God has embraced us in his light 
Loved ones guide us on the other side and here
Taking away our doubts, and diminishing our fear
Prayers and thoughts, give us the hope that we need
Then we are guided to where they will lead 
Nobody truly knows what you've been through
How could they know, they sure aren't you
Believe in yourself, and call the Angels near
When you're making hard choices, so all will be clear
©Jan 19, 2015 Bud Lemire
                       Author Note:

The hard choices we make in life aren't always easy.
They make us think, and many times we still aren't
sure. Yet, when we believe and have faith that we
will choose the right choice, or learn from the choices
we make. Of course when it is life threatening, it is
much harder. Draw the Angels near, and know that God
and your family friends here and in his kingdom will help
you through your hard choices. Listen, feel, and know
that your hard choices will soften. Easier coming from me,

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I Never Met a Girl

You came into my life when I was feeling lost
Your kindness took my soul and melted all the frost
I never met a girl as beautiful as you
I thought you never existed, but now I know this isn’t true

These are not lines I am saying
This comes straight from my heart
I never met a girl
Who’s made me feel this way from the start

You came into my life when I was feeling blue 
Your kindness talked me down from a ledge without a view
I never met a girl as beautiful as you
I thought eyes like yours never existed, but now I know that they do

I thought an angel like you could only live in dreams
In fairy tale, movies and make in believe
I never met a girl as beautiful as you
Even before ever looking into your eyes I knew you would be true

©1/14/15 Bruce Clifford

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I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

I’ll sleep when I’m dead
This is what she said
Then she jumped on the boat leaving me behind
Thank god I know this is not her time

I’ll sleep when I’m dead
When the sun turns a fiery red
For now she’s taking pictures and is wide awake
A map of the world is what it takes
I’ll sleep when I’m dead

It’s a mystery how the world spins on in time
Even when I’m fast asleep as the sun comes up she’s still alive

I’ll sleep when I’m dead
This is how she lives her life instead
She doesn’t need a reason to rest her lovely head
If you ask her why she’ll tell you 
I’ll sleep when I’m dead

I’ll sleep when I’m dead
Her heart burns bright instead
Now she’s taking pictures of memories for all to see
She puts a smile on my face even though I know she hardly sleeps

It’s a mystery how the world spins on in time
Even when I’m fast asleep as the sun comes up she’s still alive

I’ll sleep when I’m dead 
When the sun turns a fiery red
For now she’s taking pictures of the sea
Wide awake is the state she has to be
I’ll sleep when I’m dead

©1/1/15 Bruce Clifford

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Heart Filled With Love

You can Always rise above
When your heart is filled with love
No matter what each day will bring
Why, it can bring you anything

Love can help you through
Anything that comes to you
Love is the most powerful human quality
If you call on it, then you will see

It's your strength in times of need
To guide you were it will lead
Keeping you standing when you feel weak
To let you focus on all you seek

A heart that is filled with love
Helps you to rise far above
All things that get in your way
Love will guide you through each day

When it comes to anything
Whatever your life will bring
Seek within and you will know
Love is found there in the soul
It will help you through your stress
And calm you because love's the best

©Jan 6, 2015 Bud Lemire

Author Note:

When you use love in everything you do,
you are rising above and using the better
part of the human quality. It is powerful
and can help you through anything you
are going through. Embrace it, and let
it guide you into a better life, always

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These Are The Moments

Mystical magical memories hidden in the air
Fading frosted visions when nobody really cared
Leaving all those memories and the random facts behind
These are the moments we thought we would never find

Take me to the promised land
Take me to your dream
Show me all your memories
Never let me be

Take me to the vision shack
Take me to the stream
Show me all your secrets
Tell me what they mean

Mystical magical memories lying in the wait
Removing all my senses while waiting at the gate
Leaving all those fly by nights and empty thoughtless minds
These are the moments we thought we would never find

Take me to the promised land
Take me to your dream
Show me all your memories
Never let me be

Take me to the vision shack
Take me to the stream
Show me all your secrets
Tell me what they mean

These are the moments
These moments have arrived

©1/1/15 Bruce Clifford

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Lexi - Chapter 9

By Mark Crocker

Whiskers and Ears

      If you don’t know who I am my name is “she who must be obeyed” or if you are human I am called rather laughingly “Lexi May” or just “Lexi”. But if you are human and reading this just call me by my real name which is “she who must be obeyed”.

      Last time I talked about my whiskers and how they help my sight. Before I start to explain how my whiskers help my hearing I want to go over some key points about my whiskers and things you must never ever do to our whiskers. One about thing is never cut or trim our whiskers. This would be like making you temporarily blind or deaf. True they do grow and whiskers do fall out from time to time. But they never fall out all at once. Even when we are unwell our whiskers don’t fall out as we need them.

      If I was give a choice between losing my eye sight, hearing or whiskers my whiskers would be the last thing I would want to lose. Remember my whiskers can and do help me at night and when there is no light at all. Without my whiskers I would find it harder to get around. I would be almost blind without them and I would be almost deaf without them. I can’t stress enough how important my whiskers are. And not just to me but all chosen ones.

      It does not matter how dirty and messy they get. It does not matter if they get nasty chewing gum on them. But if we are not well or they get something toxic or nasty on them you can help us clean them. Yes soapy warm water and lots of rinsing well do. That is if you can hold on to us and you can manager to hold us still.

      But never ever cut off our whiskers. I can’t stress that enough.

       Now you might have noticed that as we chosen ones get older our whiskers get longer and look very grand. This is as you have guessed a sign of age but also one of health. However and thankfully our whiskers don’t get so long that they are a bother and hindrance to us. Having whiskers that are too long would be a real bother to us as keeping them clean would be a nightmare and they would get in the way. Thankfully when they get too long or too old they fall out and get replaced by younger whiskers.

      I mean it would never do for use chosen ones to have whiskers longer than our bodies. Just think about the nightmare of cleaning whiskers that are longer than my body and not to mention how we would look with whiskers so long that they look silly. And on top of all that it would be sensory overload. I mean they would be vibrating at the slightest thing and that would drive us chosen ones crazy. And the last thing you would want is a crazy chosen one on your hands.

      As I started last time and I am reiterating right now is that our whiskers are ultra important to us. You see our whiskers are just the right size for us. Not to long and not to short. They do the job we need and that job is helping us get around in the world.

       Now we are going to talk about whiskers and how they work with our hearing.

       As I have said over and over again almost to the point of boring you to death is that our hearing is so far beyond yours that we can hear your heart beat and the heart beat of things that we hurt.

      So how can whiskers play apart in helping us chosen ones with our hearing?

      If you go back to what I was saying last time you will notice a very brief mention of us being able to detect the wind movement of your voice when you speak.

      This may sound like a useless ability but it’s not. Look at it this way.

       Let’s say for some reason I can no longer hear. My whiskers are able to detect when you speak whether I turn my head and look at you depends on whether I want to communicate with you on not. However as we get older our whiskers are not as flexible as they use to be and they don’t vibrate as much.

      Right now I am five and half of your years and my whiskers are still very flexible but as I get old they won’t be as flexible as they are right now. But then my bones won’t be as rubbery as they are now and I won’t be chasing around like I do. But that’s all part of getting old and being a wise old sage chosen one is what I plan to be.

       Now let’s look at my ears and how my ears are set up on my head.

      I am going to get a little detailed here so if it gets boring either skip ahead or get over it and read on. I have two ears that on the backside are convex and covered in fine fur. The skin is almost visible underneath. There is a very good reason for this and it has very little to do with hearing. The reason I have such light and fine fur on the backs of my ears is to do with helping me cool down. You see I don’t sweat. And no I don’t perspire either.

      So my ears help with cooling me down when I get hot.

      Now let’s move to the inside of my ears. The inside of my ears are concaved and have no fur but instead have fine hair that protects the bare skin on the inside of my ears.

      The shape of the inside of my ears helps me in a number of ways and not just helping with sound and my hearing. Look closer at the inside of my ears and you will notice that I have a long of long thick hair almost like whiskers that protects my ears from things falling in. They are about the thickness of my whiskers but far shorter. You will also notice that the inside of my ears has very little fur and what fur there is, is very fine indeed. You will also notice lumps and bumps in my ears and the further down you look you will see less fur until there is none.

      I can also move my ears and make them scan the air around me listening for sounds. I can turn them from facing forward to just over ninety degrees. This gives me just over one hundred and eighty five degrees of good hearing. The other one hundred and seventy five degrees I can hear very well but no where as good as I can towards the front.

      Now listen up and I will explain things in a little more detail. Each ear can swivel independently turning from the front to over ninety degrees. Now being able to swivel my ears like I can is very useful for us chosen ones. It helps us with being able to tell how far away something is and in what direction it is in.

      Let me explain unless you know something about triangulation. Let’s say that there is a mouse off to my left side. By listening careful for the mousse heart beat I can tell where it is and how far away. You see sound traveling from my left side with reach my left ear before it reaches my right ear. Knowing the difference in time from one ear to the other tells me where the mouse is. Also by working out the angle from my right ear I can work out how far away the mouse is.

      Being a chosen one I can do this so fast that I really don’t think about it. You could say it is something I do on an instinctual level. However it is something we are not born with but something we have to learn. Often times when you see a very young chosen one play hunting what they are doing is learning how to judge where something is by the time of the sound hitting one ear before hitting the other. And to be honest it’s funny to watch as to start with they often miss and look so silly when they do.

       Now let’s say the mouse is moving or trying to run away. Again by using the sound of the mouse and its heartbeat I can tell how fast it is moving and in which direction. Yes I know I have hardly mentioned how my whiskers help my hearing and I will get to that soon. I can use my hearing for other things other than hunting.

      Let’s say I can’t see. As you know if you have read my previous thoughts titled “my whiskers” you will know that I can use my whiskers to find my way around when it’s totally dark. Now my hearing can help me much in the same way as my whiskers do when it’s totally dark. This is done by how the sound changes as I pass something.

       I want you to try something. Go outside and walk fast and listen to the sound things make as you walk by. You will hear a sound as you pass by. Ok so that did not work to well. What you need to do is do that again with your eyes closed and listen harder.

      So it’s hard for you to be able to listen to sounds as you pass by them. But they are there trust me when I tell you its so. If you listen hard you can hear the sound as the object gets closer and then as it gets further away. Now if you know the speed you are traveling at and how long it takes for the sound to get to you from where the object is you can work out how far away it is.

       Now factor in that the air coming towards you from that object vibrates the air and then add in whiskers that vibrate when air hits them you should be able tell you how fast you are moving what size the object is and what angle the object is to you.

      But you don’t have whiskers so you can’t do that.

      The thing is that the air currents coming off the object makes my whiskers vibrate and I can give a much more accurate direction of where the object is. Now lets say I can’t see anymore. I become totally blind. Well, my whiskers help my hearing and makes it almost like I can see. Think of it this way. Around you the air is always moving. It moves when the wind blows, it moves when you walk, it moves when you talk. The air is never still and knowing that the air is never still come into play when I talk about and explain how my whiskers and hearing work together.

      You still don’t get how my whiskers and ears work together?

      Ok let me explain it another way. When one of us chosen ones goes hunting we use sight, sound and smell to hunt with. As we move though the world low to the ground hunting we focus on our prey. With our eye sight fixed on the target we are blind to the world around us and unaware of anything that might be hunting us. But by using our hearing we can hear if anything is trying to creep up on us. Now this is when our whiskers come into play in a big way.

       Now let’s say It’s me out hunting. Remember a few moments ago I said that the air is always moving. Well let’s say I focused in a nice juicy mouse that I am going to have for dinner. All I can see is the mouse sitting there munching on something with its ear listening for anything such as me that is out to eat it. At this point I am wide open to be eaten myself and this is where my whiskers really come into play. There I am crouched down ready to pounce on the mouse suddenly my whiskers start vibrating. Now I could turn my head and look, but that would mean that I would lose sight of the mouse and I won’t have my mid afternoon snack. So I turn my ears and listen without taking my eyes off that nice juicy mouse. Now by listening I can get a rough idea of the size of the thing behind me, how fast it is moving and if its getting dangerously close to me.

      Now as I am down wind from the mouse so it won’t smell me I can’t smell what’s behind me. But then I don’t need to as I have my ears and whiskers giving input into what is behind me. Did you read how I just used my whiskers to tell what was behind me? Almost like seeing and hearing all at once. By using my ears and whiskers together I get a very detailed picture of what is around me. Now if you think I am making this up you need to go online and do some research much as my human does. When I have finished explaining about my whiskers I am going to add some links to help you better understand our whiskers and how important they are to us.

      Let’s go over the facts about my hearing and my whiskers.
  • My whiskers vibrate to help me track sounds.
  • My whiskers work with my hearing so that I can know how far something is away from me.
  • My whiskers can tell me if something is sneaking up behind me and therefore a danger to me.
  • My whiskers can tell me how fast I am moving by how much they vibrate.
  • My whiskers can tell me how fast something is moving again by how much they vibrate.

      I am going to take a break from writing for a while as it plays nasty tunes on my claws. I will return to writing in a few months. Until then Take care of your chosen one.
She who must be obeyed. Meow .

      Oh, if you have any questions feel free to contact me at
Handy Links: cat-whiskers-7-facts
why cats have whiskers

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The Dark Secrets from Within

Chapter 1

The room was plain and white.  It had a cold blank feeling to it like a canvas waiting for an artist to create their masterpiece.  No light except a small floor lamp next to the gray steel grey chair.  A woman with no idea of who she is walks into the room. She sits in the chair looking around in wonder, but yet she has a knot growing within her.  To her right she sees a glimpse of color flash on the wall.  She turns to see herself enjoying a day at work.  I am a computer programmer and teacher.  Today it is snowing so hard it feels as if I am walking through a shower of goose down.  My husband is waiting for me.  He has decided to bring me lunch and drive me back across the street to the office. It was an amazing day.  I feel as if nothing can ruin my elated mood. 

I’m sitting at my desk discussing the day's issues with my friend and the phone rings.  It is an unknown number.  This usually means someone is calling about my kiddos.  I answer the phone, “Mirror Lake Agency, this is Diane.” 

“Yes, Mrs. Halls this is Amy with Child Protective Services.” She paused and my heart began to race.  “Diane I am here with David and need to speak with you.  When can you be home?” 

I had a lump in my throat and a knot in my stomach.  I thought for sure I would drop the phone.

“Amy, may I ask what this is concerning?” I replied. 

“Yes, David has disclosed information about your husband.”  

I immediately become defensive.  David had been trying to get out of the house for a year and I figured this was another ploy. 

“What has he said?  He has been attempting these pranks for some time.” 

“I cannot say on the phone but it is of a sexual nature.” 

My heart seemed to stop.  My mind said NO, but my gut knew it to be true. 

“Amy, he will say almost anything to get out.” 

“We realize that Diane. That is why we also interviewed your other two children.  Jake is also stating similar incidences.” 

Jake had been in a catatonic state for months.  It took everything I had to not yell at this woman on the other end of the phone. 

“Who was with you when you asked my children these questions?” I barked at her. 

She replied, “The school officer and Jake's teacher.” 

I did not know the officer so I needed to talk to Jake's teacher.  My kids are not like other kids.  You can lead them to say almost anything.  I had to be sure. 

“Diane we need you to come home.  We cannot leave the boys with your husband.” 

“I will call Jake’s teacher and then I will be on my way.” 

My feelings were nonexistent.  It felt surreal as if I were watching a movie and I was the main character.  Every emotion fear, anger, disbelief were pulsing through me.  I phoned the teacher and found that Jake was lucid and aware when he answered the questions.  I sank deeper into a hole of sticky molasses holding me in slow motion.  I turned to my friend who had been listening.
“Diane do you need a ride?” she asked. 

“David is saying sexual abuse.  What have I done?  I brought him into our lives.  It canbe be true.  It just can't be.  I have to go!” 

I got up grabbed my bag and walked to my bosses office.  In one motion I opened his door and told him I had to go and why. 

The next few minutes felt like an eternity in a realm of disbelief.  Is it true?  I got to the elevator and called my mom. She picked up, but I could not breathe.   It felt like the entire Empire state building was on my chest.  I told her what happened through sobs. 

I got in my car and drove home.  Im not sure how I got here, but I made it.  There are three cars in the driveway and people standing at one. My husband, an officer and a women.  I can only assume that is Amy.  I park the care.  All I can do is think what have I done.  I compose myself and climb out of my car. 

By this time everyone had walked down to my car. 

My husband was stating he had no clue where David had come up with these allocations.  The only thing he had done was help him learn to masturbate. 

I wanted to yell at him, but I knew if I said anything I would lose my composure.  It all feels so wrong.  This is not me.  It can't be me Amy started to say something, but after that everything just blended together. 

What was I going to do?  What could I do?  I could not think.  I want to crawl in a corner and hide.  I wish I was magical so that I could wish it away, but I have to face it.  This living nightmare is just beginning. 

She sits in the chair watching as her life unfolds once again.  Reliving each moment as it happened.  

On the other wall another painting of her life begins. 

I have been waiting for Troy, my husband, to get home.  I cooked dinner and have all of it set at the little table in our little kitchen.  When we got this place I was excited because the kitchen was so small.  A person only has to stand in the center to cook or clean.  On one end of the room there was enough room for a very small table for two.  Some people would call it a shoebox apartment, but I think it's perfect for two almost three. 

I put dinner on the table when I felt the first twinge of pain.  It feels like my insides want out.  My mind began to race she is too early.  Brittany is not due for another month.  She can’t come now I’m not ready. 

I started timing the contractions.  Five minutes apart.  She is coming.  My husband isn't here what should I do.   

I picked up the phone, “Mom, I think it’s time.  The pains are about five minutes apart.” 

“Sweetheart, how long have you been timing?” Mom asked. 

“An hour, they have been consistent for about a half hour.  Troy is at work.” I replied. 

“I will pick you up and take you, Sweety.  I will have dad pick up Troy.” 

It took mom about five minutes to get here. 

“How are the contractions?” she asks. 

“same, no change” I replied. 

We drove for fifteen minutes to the hospital.  Troy opened my door.  i guess dad drove fast and got there first. We walked into the hospital.  It was bright and cheery entrance.  Baby pictures hung all over the walls.  Plants of red, blues and pinks littered the waiting room. This did not feel like a hospital.  It almost feels like a luxurious hotel. 

They showed me to my room and hooked me up to a bunch of noisy machines.  Every contraction the machine to my left would print out this slip of paper with lines. 

“Nurse, what is that paper for?” I asked. 

“Miss, that is your baby's heartbeat.  It is strong.  Do you know what you are having?” 

“Yes, we are having a girl.  Her name is Brittany Lynn.”  I replied. 

I feel like I have been here for an eternity.  I am tired, so tired.  I think I got here at six.  I ti snow eleven. 

“Miss” a deep male voice called out. 


“I'm Dr. Zelous.  I have been monitoring your progress.  It seems as if you have been in the same place for some time.  I think you can do this at home and be more comfortable.  Does that sound like a good idea to you?” he asked. 

“Oh doctor that would be nice.” 

I grab my stuff and head out the door. 

She was watching in excitement.  She remembers this happy time.  The birth is always a new beginning.  Thus begins a new adventure--becoming a mother.  A smile gently appeared on her face as her heart warmed the rest of her soul.   

As she relishes in this amazing joy she notices a flash of color on the other side of the last image.  She turns to see herself in a room with chairs lined up. 

The waiting room was plain like most waiting rooms.  The chairs were a hodgepodge of colors and styles.  No one chair was alike.  Posters of children playing on the walls.   

Across the room was this little boy.  He has dark messy brown hair, big puppy dog brown eyes, and a smile that could melt your heart.  He came over to us.  He had drool coming down his face.  I reached over to the little table between two of the chairs and grabbed a tissue.   

“Young man, may I wipe your face?” I asked. 

The little boy smiled even bigger and shook his head yes.  I wiped his face and he asked me, “ Are you my new mommy?”

“I hope to be.” I replied. 

He grabbed me and gave me the biggest hug.  I felt the warmth of tears forming in my eyes.

I held this boy and wondered what his life has been like.  What had put him in the state's custody?  Child Protective Services told me he was autistic and had some other issues.  All I see is this adorable loving bundle of joy. 

The woman sits back in the chair and wraps her arms around herself and squeezes hard.  Her eyes close and she begins to shiver from the memories of this little brown eyed angel.  Tears flow heavy from her eyes.  This memory had brought back feelings of loss and yet a positive love that is never ending.

On the same screen another scene begins to play out.  I’m standing next to my husband and there is this chubby young thing running around this man.  The boy looks up at me and his big sea blue eyes reached out and grabbed me.  His hair was short, but long on top.  I could not get past those golden curly locks.   

He was amazingly sweet and scrumptious.  I could have just eaten him up.   

As we stood there talking about what was happening in this little cherubs life he ran around the man’s legs.  Slap here, slap there.  The man picks up this bundle and placed him on his shoulder.   

The boy whose name is Tommy began pulling the man's hair.  I thought for a moment, “What are we getting ourselves into?”  The little boy looked at me and smiled.  I was hooked. I didn't care what happened from here I knew he was meant for me.   

We took in this amazing little man and it made five in this amazing family.  God had blessed us. 

The woman watched each screen and each memory flowed into her making her remember and understand what was in the beginning.  Now, she still was not sure who she was, but a warm ember began to form within her soul. 

A glimmer of movement from the screen to the right caught her attention. 

I went home from the hospital hoping to get some sleep, but very disappointed that my baby girl had not come.  Troy opened my door and helped me into our small apartment.  All I could think about was that my next month was to be sitting and doing nothing.  God help me I will go insane. 

Time passed by so slow.  I cleaned a little around the apartment.  I watched TV, but of course nothing was on.  Highway to Heaven was on its seventh rerun.  I am going insane. Two weeks elapsed before I start to crack up. 

I walk to the kitchen to see what my girl desires and a knock at the door stops me in my tracks.  I think to myself, “A VISITOR!”  I race to the door and find my friend Frank had come to visit me.  A person to keep me company.  I was sooo excited.   

“Hey, Frank, How are you?”, I ask. 

“’I'm good, girlfriend, how are you doing?”, he replied. 

“I’m going insane locked up in this house unable to go anywhere.  There is so much that I need to do, but I can't strain myself.” 

“Sucks to be you.  Anything you need?” Frank asks. 

“No, I think we are ok.  Wait, can you drive me to the store?  I need to get some groceries.  Troy has been working hard and has not had time to go.”  I asked. 

“Are you sure you should do this?”, he asked. 

“I won’t strain myself.  You will be there to help me carry or get the items from the shelf.  Right?”, I imply. 

“Yes, I will help you go to the store.” 

“Awesome!  I will get changed and we can go.”  

I rushed into my room and cleaned up.  All I could think was, “I get to get out of here.”  This was a small trip, but after being cooped up in this small apartment I was ready for anything. 

Frank and I drove to the store and got what I could afford and needed.  He carried in all my groceries and stuck around for about another hour. 

“Frank you are the bestest friend a girl could ask for.”  I said.

“Naw, just don't like to see a good girl down.”, He replied. “I got to get going, mom needs me to pick up my brother from work.”   

“Frank, thank you again.” I reached over and gave him the biggest hug I could without falling over.   

Frank had helped me put away the groceries and I am now sitting on the couch exhausted.  I cant wait for this baby girl to come.  It has to be soon.   

Troy walked in the door about an hour after Frank left. 

“How are you feeling, hunny?”, Troy asks. 

“I'm tired, but good.  I got to go on a field trip”, I explained. 

I told Troy about the excitement of my day.  He sat there and laughed at my excitement about grocery shopping.  I looked at him with a serious and painful look.  He stopped laughing and I burst into giggles.  We both laughed until I peed my pants.  That didn't take much in my situation.  

“Hey babe, why don't you get cleaned up and we can walk down to the cafe.” Troy said. 

“I would love to.”, I replied like a child going to the candy store. 

We walked the three blocks down to the cafe and had a lovely dinner.  I was so excited and exhausted at the same time.  I could not settle down.  Troy went to bed and I am sitting here watching nothing on TV.  I am channel surfing trying to find one thing to watch.  I start thinking about the baby and worrying if we will be able to raise her like she should be.  I grabbed my belly and began rubbing it.  I whisper to the baby, “I will love you and watch over you.  I will protect you from all that is bad.  You are my angel that God has given me.  Just know that mommy loves you.”   My little girl began to kick up a storm.   

“Calm down, little girl.”  I replied to my stomach. 

I felt like a wierdo talking to my stomach, but I knew she could hear me.  I turn all the lights out and crawl into bed for a good nights sleep. 

The sun has crept into my room through the small window in my bedroom.  I lay there in bed enjoying the warmth when I realize it's not the sun that has me warm. My mind is racing.  I'm thinking, “This is not happening.”  It’s too early.   

“Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit.”, I start rambling. 

Troy wakes, “What’s wrong?” 

“Nothing.” I reply 

“Oh shit, Oh shit, Oh shit!” I keep rambling. 

“What is wrong?!” Troy asks. 

“Nothing, I’m ok.” I reply 

“Oh shit, oh shit, Oh shit!”, I continue rambling. 

“Diane, what is wrong?”, Troy barks at me. 

“Nothing, except I think my water broke.” I told him. 

Troy jumped out of bed and began to help me up.  I’m thinking this is too soon.  Is this going to be safe for the baby?   

Troy began calling my mom.  We do not have a car and it is early in the morning.  

“Hi mom, her water has broken can you come get us?” Troy asked. 

“Its ok, she has time.  I am stuck in traffic on my way to work.  Call Grandma and see if she can come get you two.” mom replies.

“Thanks mom.  I will keep you informed.” 

Troy hung up with mom and called Grandma.  Grandma said she would be right over.  All I could think was we need to do something.  I am all wet. 

I put on a pair of pants and a pad.  A few minutes later I was all wet.  Ok, so pants are a no go.  I get a skirt on and my shoes.  Instantly there is a gush of water and my shoes are full of water.  Next idea, sandals.  I'm finally dressed when Grandma knocks on the door.  

“Hey, Grandma, how are you?” I ask. 

“I’m good, hunny.  The question is how are you?”, Grandma asks. 

“’I'm fine.  Just all wet.” I giggle. 

“That is normal, sweety.  Lets run to the house and finish up some stuff for Grandpa and then we will run you up to the hospital,”  she says.

“Thanks Grandma.  Do you think we have time?”, I ask. 

“Are you in any pain?”, Grandma asks. 

“No, none at all. Is this normal?”, I reply

“Yes, hun, don't worry. We got time.  When we get to the house call your doctor and see what he wants to do.” 

We get into the car and head over to her house.  I call the doctor and he tells me to come in and we will see what our next steps are.  Grandma finishes up what she needs to do.  She gives me a towel to use for the water.  I think how amazing she is.  She knows just what I need. I love my Grandma.   

Grandma is ready so we all pile into the car and drive to the hospital. 

I'm now in the room and the doctor walks in.   

“Diane, it looks like your water has broken, but you are not in labor.  What we need to do is induce you so that the baby will not have a dry birth.”

“Will this be dangerous?”, I ask. 

“No Diane, it will not.  It will just move things along so that there will not be any complications.” 

“Ok, let's do this.  I cant wait to see my baby girl.”, I excitedly answered.

As I lay here I think about what everyone forgot to tell me about having babies...  First no one told me I had to have an enema.  Oh my goodness, what an experience.  Second, I'm terrified of needles and I have an IV.  Third, they cannot define or explain the pain that a baby can cause.   

It's been four hours since I got to the hospital.  I have had an induction of labor and an epidural.  I'm glad I did not see that needle. My husband almost passed out from the site of it.  They say I'm almost there.  We are heading into the delivery room and I'm terrified.  A little baby girl was coming and I would be responsible for her.  A rush of blinding fear came to me leaving me numb.  Or was that the epidural.   

I look into the mirror on the ceiling and see the doctors head.  My husband is watching and is changing many different shades from white to green.  I wonder if he will make it through this whole exciting journey.  

“Diane, I need you to push.” the doctor said. “And keep pushing until I tell you to stop.” 

“Ok, I will try.”  I wasn't feeling much pain or anything.  It feels like I have gas.  The next thing I hear was a small amazing cry.  

My husband looks like he saw a ghost.   

“What is wrong?!”  I ask. 

“She has a penis!”, my husband replied. 

The doctor held up this amazingly beautiful baby boy.  The wrapped him in blankets and placed him in my arms.  I was in shock.  He was not a she.  Those pictures are never right...

We had talked about boy names, but never decided on just one.  As I looked at my little man he was David Nathaniel.  He has the most amazing ice blue eyes and is as blonde as can be.  He has ten toes and fingers. He is perfect. 

David is just a bundle of joy.  Being a mom is a whole new journey.  Five months have gone by and he is so happy.  I couldn't have asked for a better baby.  Dad is playing with him in the living room and I’m sitting with mom going over plans for Easter Dinner.   

“Diane, there is something wrong with David’s eyes.”  Dad hollered out. 

I ran into the other room.  “What is wrong?”, I replied. 

“He is not seeing the lighter.” he replied.

“What are you talking about, Dad?” 

“I noticed he would not look at me when I was playing with him, so I took my lighter near his face and he did not grab for it.  I think you need to take him into the doctors.” he explained. 

He then took out his lighter and showed me what he did.  David did not see the flicker of the flame from the lighter.  He did not even try to grab it.  He just laid there giggling and enjoying all the attention he was getting. 

A knot of fear began to well in my gut.  What was wrong with my baby boy? 

The woman began to cry as she sat in the room.  She could feel the knot of fear in her stomach.  It grew and grew until she bent over in pain and agony.  She did not want to remember this anymore.  She did not want to know who she was.  The room was still for a moment.  The only movement was the woman in the hard cold chair.

To her right the wall flickered with movement.

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Be sure to watch for the next chapter in March.