Sunday, December 1, 2019

Editor's Corner

December 2019

“ “The Christmas tree is a symbol of love, not money. There's a kind of glory to them when they're all lit up that exceeds anything all the money in the world could buy.” —Andy Rooney, Andy Rooney: 60 Years of Wisdom and Wit .

December this year is not only marking the end of the year but the end of the decade and there is some talk of the uniqueness of it beginning on Sunday which it hasn't for over 800 years and we shall not live in this lifetime to see it happen again. Your editor's lifetime has seen many changes, tecnological advances, medical innovations, shopping online -- let's not go there as am just starting to breathe again since Friday.

Our columnists: Mattie Lennon -- "Irish Eyes," Judith Kroll -- "On Trek," Thomas F. O'Neill --"Introspective," Rod Cohenour--"Cooking with Rod," Marilyn Carnell -- "Sifoddling Along," Melinda Cohenour -- "Armchair Genealogy," have been here faithfully, a few of them for the last decade and longer. Salute the columnists!

Poems this issue include two from John I. Blair who has been under the weather "Golden Eyes" and "Confession;" Bruce Clifford also with two "She's Not the Same Girl" and "It's Not Like Me;" three by Linnie Jane Joslin Burks "My Resolution--A New Year--1986," "Warning," and "Two Thoughts on Time;" Bud Lemire's four poems are "My Life's Story," "A Tap on My Shoulder," "I Hear You," and "M&M." "My Mind Doesn't Need A Cane" by yours truly rounds out December's dozen.

In honor of the Christmas holiday, here is another of your editor's poems, one a bit more seasonal.
(Christmas at Noralee's 1997) Ring the bells and make Mary merry,
But please stay out of the cooking sherry!
Open the gifts and enjoy the party!
Laugh a lot and all eat hearty!
There's packages of things for the kitchen,
Even gifts for the garden ditchin'.
Choosing for pets out in the yard,
Seems like that wasn't very hard--
Bought each a bone made out of leather
And when they got it they didn't know whether
To play with it or just should look at,
But finally, they chewed it and really shook it!
Gifts for Grannie and the newest Babe,
Presents beneath the tree were laid.
All gathered 'round with smiling faces,
Yet, so excited none could stay in their places.
Name-calling is welcomed this time of the year
And everyone listens their name to hear.
Unwrapping trinkets, jewelry and such--
How did they know who wanted to touch
The fur of a Teddy Bear, or Pochahontas' hair,
Or the lace on the bonnet for the dolly to wear.
Pleasing others brings a happy smile--
And who cares that the unwrapping took quite awhile.
For Christmas with loved friends and family,
And passing around the gifts from under the tree,
Is contagious joy and pleasure divine,
Whether the gift being viewed is your's or mine--
We're all together to share this day--
And this is the favorite time-honored way
For there's so much love and appreciation
That's unexpressed during the year's aggravation.
But the caring is there, just under the skin,
And it comes to the surface bringing a grin
When the recipient opens ribbons the color of fire
Disclosing inside the special thing they desired,
And thought no one knew how they longed for this one--
So joy of both gifted and giver is part of the fun.
With carols of Christmas ringing in our head,
There's times that words just have to be said--
And now's such a time-- a moment sublime --
For I want all to know, I've had a wonderful time!
©December 1997 Mary E. Adair 
Dedicated to the memory of my sister Noralee Edith (Carroll)Crowson
(December 4, 1936 - March 1, 1998)

Michael Craner, our co-founder and webmaster, and barbeque master extraordinaire, is the key to our well being, our equilibrium, our dreams. Thanks again, Mike!
See you in January!
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.

Refer a friend to this Column
Your Name -
Your Email -
Friend's Name - 
Friends Email - 

Armchair Genealogy


Thankfulness: Treasures in Research


    As we prepare this column, the Thanksgiving Holiday inspired a review of blessings. One of my greatest blessings is the opportunity to get to “know” my ancestors – the folks whose genes became part of ME. And that opportunity has been delivered, in my own circumstance, by the ability to “travel” the world via the Internet. The title of this column is directly tied to the technology that has made Armchair Genealogy research possible.

    Just this month, my annual subscription to Ancestry rolled around. It is no small figure for a senior budget, but in my mind, it is well worth the expense. This is my primary access to the world of genealogy, with literally millions of documents scanned in providing the opportunity to view records often written by or dictated by long buried ancestors whose lives were filled with the trivial and the critical. Through the miracle of modern technology and with a bit of time and strategic thinking, I am enabled to unlock the secrets of those who came before me, those who helped make me who I am.

    In the process of research, many surprises have come my way. Glimpses into the lives of these folks often elicited unexpected tears, or smiles, or even gasps as I found a connection to some famous (or infamous, Heaven help us) personages. This column was triggered by your author’s reflection on the things for which to give Thanks. In the process of recounting the love of family, good food prepared well, decent health (give or take a few annoying issues), friends who have enriched our lives, the fundamentals of personal security (shelter, warmth, utilities), my thoughts centered on the non-essential things which bring joy. Primary on this list was my love of genealogy.

    My family history research has also resulted in making the acquaintance of so many like-minded researchers. Many are family members who generously share their own research. Often the researcher became friend as a result of an inquiry arising from viewing one of my columns or finding a common ancestor on my family tree. Amazingly, in reviewing my records many with whom information has been shared have written back and forth for decades! Also, sadly, many who contributed greatly to my research have gone on to join our ancestors in Heaven.

    Talking about those surprise connections, my most recent “gift” was the discovery that Garth Brooks is a 6th cousin, once removed! Now, my husband and I have been HUGE fans of Garth since hearing his first recording nearly forty years ago. He and his connection to our family is now documented in my tree. This find was not mine but came about through my membership in a family Facebook page devoted to our Creek family lineage. My great-grandmother Flutie Creek (later Alexander, then Kendrick) was the daughter of Absolom Creek whose parents were Jacob Haudenschildt Creek and wife, Virginia Lee Younger Creek. Through this line arises our relationship to both the Younger boys whose exploits after the Civil War became infamous, and their cousins, the Dalton boys. One of my columns was devoted to the string of infamous relatives found through researching these guys, entitled Oh! Those Shady Characters! It was one of my more enjoyable bits of writing for pure fun. Shady Characters

    Researching the Dalton boys, one of those intriguing “coincidences” surfaced. My column back in 2014 explored this unusual find. Titled: My Strange Relationship with Julia Ann Johnson Whiteturkey Gilstrap Lewis Dalton Johnson, the column highlights one of the more interesting ladies to appear in our family. My Strange Relationship.

    Another find came in the course of research into one of my most disappointing brick walls (records documenting the birth in New Jersey of one William “P. R.” Joslin or Joslyn seem to have been burned during the Revolutionary War). My DNA test ties to many other Joslin descendants whose documented trees include the Col. William (of Deerfield) Joslin. An intriguing line in one of the histories of the family regarding the Colonel William Joslin read as follows: "He left Fairfield Township about 1730 and purchased land at the Indian Fields (East Bridgeton). At this place, he married Christiana Garrison, daughter of Jacob Garrison, Jr (1676-1751) who lived nearby. "

    Being the good little clue follower a researcher must become, I began research into the Garrison line. (By the way, DNA also links me to other Garrison descendants, the combination virtually assuring that we descend from this Joslin ancestor.) In that research, I found the parents of Jacob Garrison, Jr. to be Jacob “Old Jacob” Garritsen de Haas (anglicized to Garrison) and wife Christina Cresson and that brought about the connection to my 7th Great-Grandfather (may be 8th if we find P. R.’s father was not the Colonel but one of the Colonel’s sons) Pierre “La Jardiniere” Cresson. Pierre Cresson warrants a column of his own as his contribution to the New World rivaled that of almost any other for the impact felt through the centuries. (Stay tuned, readers, for this is proposed to be my first 2020 column subject!) Pierre acquired his nom de plume “le Jardiniere” by virtue of the breathtaking gardens he designed and executed for the Prince of Orange of Flanders, the Netherlands. (William II, Prince of Orange, was the son of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange, and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels. On 2 May 1641, William married Mary, Princess Royal, who was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, in the Chapel Royal of Whitehall Palace in London. William was fifteen, while Mary was just nine at that time.) Through this ancestor, it appears there are connections to the Post family and another to the DeMarest family. Research must ensue.

    Pierre and family were part of the Huguenot migration to the New World. Likewise, another ancestor, Bartholomew duPuy, was a French Huguenot who made his mark on the New World. His story is one of romance and intrigue and was reported in an Armchair Genealogy column previously. Another jewel of a find! Bartholomew was the head of the personal guards protecting the life of one King Louis XIV of France. Bartholomew duPuy

    One of the most famous of our relatives was Napa Charley Hopper, whose story first inspired my interest in family history. His exploits as the hunter/guide for the Bartleson-Bidwell Party on its trek from Missouri to California triggered historical references in not less than four states! An early contribution to PencilStubs, before I actually committed to do a monthly column: Charles “Napa Charley” Hopper - The Ancestor whose Adventures Sparked my Interest in Genealogy Charles “Napa Charley” Hopper

    No list of treasures in our family tree would be complete without listing both Hugues dePayens (DuPuy) and Charlemagne. These two are without doubt THE most famous of all our ancestors. A tribute to Hugues dePayens was contained in the October 2019 column entitled: An Incredible Lineage: My 23rd Great Grandfather, Hugues dePayenes (DuPuy) Hugues dePayenes (DuPuy). Thus far, no column has been devoted to the connection to Charlemagne; however, that was one discovered decades ago through the inherited research of my grandmother, Carrie Joslin, who was a pen pal of the best-known Joslin family researcher, Edith Wessler. Her treatise on the Joslin (all spellings) family was self-published in 1962 after lengthy correspondence with all known Joslin family historians in that day and age. One of her constant correspondents was my grandmother. Following Mrs. Wessler’s death, her daughter, Carol Wessler Treadway, worked tirelessly to update the many handwritten journals in which Edith Wessler maintained her painstaking records. Carol and I became fast friends, emailing one another frequently through the years until Carol’s untimely death a few years ago. One day the Charlemagne connection must become a column.

    Thus, my love of genealogy has become one of my most treasured blessings. I urge each of you to take the time to talk to your elderly relatives NOW and make notes, take pics, video their remembrances before those stories are lost. There is a wealth of knowledge, family lore, grins, tears, and jubilance to be discovered. And don’t forget to avail yourself of the trove of valuable information to be found on the Internet. Best travels are often taken in the quest for Armchair Genealogy!

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Cooking with Rod


It's that time of year again - Thanksgiving when we all get together to give thanks and share wonderful dishes. One staple for Thanksgiving and Christmas is a tasty dressing to accompany either turkey or ham. One of the things that presents a challenge, especially this time of year is preparing a dressing that can be eaten by anyone. Our beloved Earl is deathly allergic to eggs, in even the most minute portion. He has never been able to enjoy dressing.

This year, we decided to devise a dressing without eggs. It was highly successful and Earl has been raving about it ever since. So for all you folks out there who can't eat dressing, here is a recipe you CAN have and I guarantee you will enjoy it.

Bon appetit~!

Delicious Eggless Dressing

  • 2 pkgs seasoned cornbread stuffing mix
  • 1 pkg seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup margarine, in spoon size additions
  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 1 lg bell pepper
  • 4 stalks celery
  • 3/4 bag Craisins
  • 2 lg seedless oranges
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 Tbsp black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp rubbed sage
  • 2 tsp poultry seasoning
  • about 1/2 cup maple syrup

    1. Prepare diced onion, diced bell pepper, diced celery (try to cut to a similar size for even baking. Add craisins, orange cut into small pieces, and pecan bits. Sprinkle with cinnamon and stir well.
    2. Season bread and cornbread crumbs with sage, pepper, cinnamon, and poultry seasoning. Stir well. Cut in butter and stir well. Add broth and ensure all is lightly moistened. ( I don't like a soggy dressing.) Make sure the seasoning is to your taste by employing the smell test, it should smell pleasantly savory. Add to buttered roasting pan.
    3. Stir in fruits, nuts and veggies. Make sure to blend well. Mixture should be moist, tend to hold together in spoon as stirred, but not be soggy rather have a lightness to the mix.
    4. Add in maple syrup. Stir well. Add more as necessary to achieve the binding essential to roast evenly.
    5. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees until nicely browned on top and cooked through.

Serve hot. Also delicious cold as a leftover.

Melinda's Classic Fruit Salad

(My sweet Melindy started making this fruit salad when still in high school. Back then she used only the whipped cream but a few years ago began adding in the Vanilla yogurt. It gives the dish a slight "tang" that makes you keep wanting more! From the first time the family had her fruit salad, it has been the most requested dish for her to bring for Easter, Thanksgiving or Christmas family meals.)

  • 2 ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2 apples, (small) sliced, peel on
  • 1 seedless orange, sliced
  • 1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
  • 1 cup seedless green grapes, halved
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 can drained fruit cocktail
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1 cup Vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup Cool Whip

    Mix fruit and cinnamon with pecans.
    Fold in yogurt and Cool Whip.
    Chill for a couple hours to let flavors blend.

Depending on the season, I may add in different fruits like plums, pears, fresh peaches and the like. But these are the basic "musts".

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Irish Eyes


Music and Reading for Christmas

Last month I told you about the launch of The very Best Of Billy Keane but I hadn’t read the complete book at the time. Now I have consumed and digested all 64 essays. P. J. Cunningham of Ballpoint Publishers told me, ‘'The collection is a quiver full of arrows that accurately hit Irish life - it is like a first draft of our history from an observer among us. 'The Very Best Of Billy Keane' is a living as well as a reading experience, coming from the pen of a writer who sees extraordinary deeds in the day-to-day living across middle Ireland.'’

P. J. Was on the ball. If Billy is relating his experience in a toilet in Tokyo or a wood in north Kerry the reader feels that he or she is there beside him. He covers everything from advice on not painting a bedroom ceiling yellow to his meeting with the Duchess of Cambridge in Killarney. He complimented her on her dress and invited her to open Listowel Writers Week some time. His essay about the premature passing of his friend Father Pat Moore is a moving piece of literature. The book also includes valuable pieces of philosophy such as, “Worry will get squatter‘s rights in your head unless every moment and live for now.” “Mrs 39” features prominently and I’m not going to tell you why he calls her that, you’ll have to buy the book.

* * * * *

The 2020 Lacken calendar can also now be purchased from the website; along with fridge magnets if you are looking for gift ideas for friends and family near or far for Christmas.

* * * * *

A new album of Veteran singer/songwriter Christy Moore’s songs has just been released. It contains 26 new live recordings gathered under the title of ‘Magic Nights.’ The opening track is ‘Magic Nights in The Lobby Bar’.
A version of John Spillane/Ger Wolf’s classic song recorded at The Opera House, Cork in 2014. . Producer Jimmy Higgins and Sound Engineer David Meade selected these takes from hundreds of gigs. Every gig develops its own atmosphere, every audience being a unique gathering of listeners. In Belfast ‘Burning Times’ is devoted to Lyra McKee, her Young Life so cruelly ended on The Creggan. Christy says, “In Glasgow I responded to a call-out for Spancilhill and what followed was, for me, a very special version of young Michael Considine’s beautiful song. When we played Dreamland in Athy I sang Johnny Cash’s version of ‘Hurt’. I was 18 when I heard him sing in that very same Dancehall. A night I have never forgotten. Albert Reynolds was on the door.”

Jackie Hayden captured it in Hotpress; “Part of the magic of a live Christy Moore concert is the way his persona expands in ways virtually impossible in a studio setting. There is an inevitable bond between the man, his music and his audience that is a wonder to behold.”

* * * * *

Alarm bells not Christmas bells rang out around the world. Rudolf and his team were sick. December 25th was fast approaching. The hopes and dreams of every child in the world were in jeopardy...An ordinary couple from Ireland planned to send their reindeer to help. Could Seamrog, Bridin, Seanog, Colleen. Paidin, Realtin, Norin, Oisin, Neidin and Olive replace Rudolf and his magic team and save Christmas? And so begins this wonderful adventure. Seamrog the Irish Reindeer, by writer and broadcaster, Peter Grogan was launched on 22nd November by national treasure Marty Whelen. This ideal Christmas present is available from;

* * * * *

The following sixteen pieces of psychology were passed on to me but I can’t vouch for their accuracy;
  • 1 “The smarter the person is, the faster the (person) thinks, and the sloppier the (person’s) handwriting.”
  • 2 “…the way we communicate has an influence on our mood.”
  • 3 “The way a person treats restaurant staff reveals a lot about the person’s character.”
  • 4 “Men are not funnier than women.”
  • 5 “Listening to high-frequency music makes you feel calm, relaxed, and happy.”
  • 6 “Doing things that scare you will make you happier.”
  • 7 “The happier we are, the less sleep we require.”
  • 8 “Intelligent people tend to have fewer friends than the average person.”
  • 9 “The smarter the person is, the more selective they become (in choosing friends).”
  • 10 “People look more attractive when they speak about the things they are really interested in.”
  • 11 “When two persons talk to each other and one of them turns their feet slightly away or repeatedly moves one foot in an outward direction, this is a strong sign of disagreement, and that they want to leave.”
  • 12 “Women who have mostly male friends stay in a good mood more often.”
  • 13 “Travel boosts brain health and also decreases risk of heart attack and depression.” “People who try to keep everyone happy often end up feeling the loneliest.”
  • 14 “Shy people talk little about themselves, but they do this in a way that makes other people feel that they know them very well.”
  • 15 “People who have a strong sense of guilt are better at understanding other people’s thoughts and feelings.”

See you next year.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Sifoddling Along



    Recently I read an article about having too many toys being bad for children. It cited a study conducted at the University of Toledo (Ohio) that supported this theory. This was not a problem in my childhood. An excess of toys was hardly possible in the stark years of World War II. So, one could say I did not suffer from excess.

    As I recall, I had three toys – a panda bear, a “soldier” doll and a baby doll. I treasured all of them and the panda has now served three generations and lives in my son’s attic. There were books, of course. Nothing like the plethora available today. My family had the odd habit of reading at the table. It was my father’s choice and the rest of us followed along. My sister remembers that as a baby in a highchair, I insisted on having a comic book to “read” as well.

    When I was six, I acquired another doll. Mrs. Brown, the janitor’s wife made a flour sack doll for every little girl in first grade (I think there were about 8 of us). I treasured mine and nearly loved her to death (photo). The painting shows my naked doll and the one my friend Jane acquired the next year. Jane’s was pristine. Mom bought it when Jane had a sale of belongings before she and her family moved to Kansas City. The reason Jane’s was so well preserved was that she had many toys as she was an only child and grandchild in her family. Her sensible parents had a solution for that. Half of the toys went “on vacation” in the attic until July when a second Christmas was observed. Jane was very generous to share her toys with me and freeing the toys from exile was a great day.

    When I was a little older, I wanted a bicycle. I dreamed of having one like the new blue Schwinn like Jane’s. That was not to be. My parents could afford only a used boy’s bike that had been carelessly repainted. I’m sure I showed my disappointment but came to love that bike. I must have ridden it a million miles.

    I also got a volleyball one year. Hours were spent serving it to the garage roof and “playing” the ball that rolled back to me. It is easy to see that I got plenty of outdoor exercise as a child.

    Not having a number of toys left a lot of time for other activities. We waded in icy cold Testerman Branch, collecting interesting rocks and attempting to build dams so it would be deep enough for swimming. We also clambered up the tall hill in front of our house and climbed the tallest tree (an old Oak) and surveyed our kingdom. We imagined images from the clouds that drifted by and dreamed of things we hoped to do.

    At school, recess was a time of playing “Red Rover” to blow off steam, but a favorite activity was to create “houses” with small pebbles at the foot of a nearby tree. The earth was bare from our constant presence, so we arranged the rocks to outline rooms and used acorn cap “dishes” for tea parties.

    Without a number of material toys, I had a wonderful childhood. After thinking about it a while, I realize I was blessed to have the opportunities and freedom a child of the mid-Twentieth Century had. We were fearless and carefree in a way that is not possible in the scary world we live in today.

    Merry Christmas.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Refer a friend to this Column


Many students in China understand the value of American education. Thousands of Chinese students apply every year to top American schools. The majority of these students also have great respect for their teachers. Because of that reason, I enjoy being in their company.

If we are honest with ourselves, we all want and need to feel valued for who we are and recognized for our contributions and accomplishments, which is especially true for teachers. It’s important for us to know that we have made a difference in someone’s life. If a person takes the time to express his heartfelt appreciation for something we have done, it boosts our spirit, passion and purpose. It builds our self-confidence, self-esteem and self-image. It gives us energy and motivation to work harder and do more.

When you give people a sincere compliment, you are making their world a better place. You are making them feel appreciated and valued. In China, that recognition and feeling of accomplishment is greater than monetary rewards.

I have found that when teachers express approval or gratitude for something students have done, they not only enhance students’ lives, they enrich their own lives. Teachers feel more fulfilled when they have done something to make someone else’s life better.

One of the laws of the universe states that what you give, you get in return.

My students all have dreams to make great monetary gains in life, but I like to remind them that the most precious things cannot be built by hand, bought or sold by man. They can only be experienced through a wondrous soul and shared from one heart to the other.

When you show interest in others by noticing the good things they’ve done, they will be drawn to you like a magnet. It will accelerate the relationship-building process and enhance their overall impression of you. When a teacher accentuates all that is positive within his student, he in turn, accentuate all that is positive within himself.

When you show your appreciation to others, their respect for you will grow and so will your influence as a teacher. Students will absolutely prefer to work harder for the teacher they like and trust and who show an interest in them.

In China, it’s a free form of currency, teachers will do more for recognition than they will for money. If you are in a teaching position, remember that students will work harder and do more if they know they will be recognized for their accomplishments. Show them you care, and they will be loyal to you, and you will see a huge improvement in their academic performance.

It has also been proven that if parents show an interest in their child’s education, their child will also take a greater interest in their schoolwork. If parents lack interest in how their children are performing in school their children will not recognize the value of getting a decent education.

I have found that respect is vital for a student’s overall education. When you truly care and respect others, you will find that others will truly care and respect you. When a teacher takes the extra time to reach a struggling student, it is perceived as an act of kindness.

I once told my students, long after your lesson plans are forgotten, it will be the simple, kind acts of your teachers that you will remember well into your old age and that is perhaps your teacher’s greatest legacy.
    Always with love from Suzhou, China
    Thomas F O’Neill
    U.S. Voice mail: (410) 925-9334
    China Mobile: 011 (86) 13405757231
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    Skype: Thomas_F_ONeill

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Refer a friend to this Column
Your Name -
Your Email -
Friend's Name - 
Friends Email - 

A Christmas Story

On Trek

I was raised a Jehovah's witness, and they don't believe in celebrating much of anything, christmas being one of those holidays. My parents eventually left the jw's, and eventually,  I did.

My husband and I, and our three children went to see my mom and dad, and it was christmas time. Mom decided she wanted some christmas lights in this little tree outdoors in the front yard by the road. We all put up the lights and daddy went into the house to plug it in, and mom and I were outside ready to plug it in on the outside. Dad said ok.

Mom and I smiled at each other, This is kinda epic because of our religious background. It was dark out, and we pictured the lights being so beautiful. We held our breath, and plugged in the tree to the electric.

All the lights went out down the street, in the lights on the tree. Now with our religious background we didn't know what to think. So we just laughed and laughed, and dad laughed.

Soon all the lights came back out. We didn't cause the blackout,, but it gave us a wee bit of shock at the timing of all things. No, we didn't go back to our old religion.. Life is so unpredictable, but it has its memorable moments.


Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

My Resolution--A New Year--1986

I won't look back; God knows the fruitless efforts,
     The wasted hours, the sinning, the regrets;
I'll leave them all with Him who blots the record,
     And mercifully forgives--and then forgets.

I won't look forward; God sees all the future, and
     The road that, short or long, will lead me home,
And He will face with me its every trial,
     And bear with me the burdens that may come.

But, I'll look up--into the face of Jesus,
     For there my heart can rest, my fears are stilled;
There is joy and love, and light for darkness,
     And perfect peace, and every hope fulfilled.

©Jan 1, 1986 Linnie Jane Joslin Burks
at Ogbomosho, Nigeria.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

My Life's Story

In 1960, my life's story began on Earth
It's been quite a journey, beginning with my birth
I lived on South 12th street, until I was three
Then for 39 years, 222 North 14th Street is where I'd be
I lived just a block behind Ernie's Party Store
This is where I'd learn so much more
Growing from a kid into a man
Learning from life's journey, the best I can

Our little friend named Toby, and genealogy,
My introduction to computers, and all it could be,
Pen Pals, letters sent almost everywhere,
Became close friends, they loved to share
The CB Radio, 10-4, you got a copy on me?
Poems that I wrote, for all to see,
My Spiritual Journey, of all that I could be
Awakened inside, and it was flowing free.

A trip to Quebec, to my ancestor's home
The first time away, and I was alone
The passing of my Mom and my Dad
Two brothers too, which was really too bad
A trip on the Greyhound, to Washington State
I found myself a woman, she became my mate
It didn't work for her, it ended in two thousand and four 
Back in Escanaba, I opened a brand new door

I helped Bob the Quadriplegic, for twenty one years
Before that, the Goymeracs, I conquered many fears
I was a dishwasher at Classmates, later it burned down
At a Halloween Party, I played the clown
Into the Harbor Tower, on Mom's birthday in July
Met a friend named Loretta, and then time passed by
Personal Care Services, Community Action Agency
Then a Senior Companion, is what I came to be

Picking wild peas on Aronson Island, by the shore
A life long friend, Basil, who could ask for more
That's my life in a Nutshell, so I shall stop here
Read more, in the life story of Bud Lemire 

 ©Oct 24, 2019 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
Yes, I am working on my Life's story. At least as far
as I can go up to the present. This poem wasn't in
order of the events happening, and not everything is
in it, but much of it will be in the story itself.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

My Mind Doesn't Need A Cane

My mind doesn't need a cane,
Which is all to the good I believe -
Like the runny-nosed child with a hanky
Doesn't have to rely on his sleeve.

The energy that flows through my brain
Doesn't quite make it down to my feet
So things that I think of doing while sitting
Are a challenge when I rise from my seat.

My mind is quite active choosing me tasks
That my body is reluctant to attempt
But the thought is there urging me onward
To chores from which I should be exempt

For instance the chain saw floats in my thoughts
And it would work wonders on all those tree sprouts
But even lifting the case where it resides
Floods my muscles with quivering doubts.

The numerous chores numerically listed
In my mind's columns that remain numberless
Make just lining up tools to attack them
Define the actual state of encumberness

So I send my dreams dancing into the past
To scenes where I could accomplish with ease
The exact difficulties troubling me now
That cannot be done at all, with my knees.

Bodily impairments just appear with age
Is the comfortless answer from my doctor's lips
Easy for him to casually state
While I try to cope with my unstable hips.

Oh where is the fairy godmother of those tales
Who with a wave from her magic wand could cure
Whatever ailment or disillusioned sad fate
One believed they were destined to endure?

Yet, my mind is nimble and finds some answers
To each of my worrisome queries
And counsels me wisely how to do it myself
Without aid from godmothers or fairies.

Slowly and carefully is the pace for me today
Which yesterday teemed with activities
Horseback riding, water skiiing, running for miles,
Are no longer my choice or proclivities.

Now my tendency is to soothe my cabin-fevered mind
With kind, happy forever after family together scenes
That the moguls of Hollywood have conveniently filled,
Or the similar ebooks, with heroes in tuxedos or jeans.

Rather than actually running around to each store
My days are spent fingering computer keys
Browsing the worldwide shopping is so easy
And helps alleviate my desire for activities.

One need not buy when shopping online is the rule
But yearning is awakened that makes it so easy
That one must keep their mind's impulses at bay
Lest the click here to buy makes the banker queasy.

So nimble the mind, so active the thoughts
That fly through time and space and question why -
Are still welcome to explore the life that I live
And hopefully shall, until the day that I die.

©November23, 2019 Mary E. Adair

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

I Hear You

What would you do if suddenly you couldn't hear a thing
And you keep wondering what each new day will bring
Several years would pass by without hearing a sound
You'd have to learn to read lips wherever people are found

Then along comes a tragic illness and an operation so severe
It happens all of a sudden, and sounds then happen to be near
Overwhelming joy, filling your heart with happy tears
All those forgotten sounds, enlightening your ears

Something so miraculous, has happened to you
Something so wondrous, your dreams come true
So much happiness, you just want to dance
Divine intervention has given you a second chance

The Angels are watching over you
They're enjoying everything you do
“Listen closely, and tell us what you hear”
“We have returned full capacity, to your ear”

As you heal some more
And are a lot less sore
Every sound will be like music to you
All the sounds, that you once knew
So many prayers came together for this gift
So that it would touch you and uplift

©Nov 13, 2019 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
Losing any of your senses isn't funny. But when
we have hope, and believe that one day, we may
just see, hear, smell, walk, again.
We must have faith, believe, and know
that Hope is always out there.
And it might just happen.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


I confess
Each time I drag
My tired and aching self
Out to fill the feeders,
Refresh the water basin,

I wonder just how long
 I can continue doing this.

But then I think
Of moonlit nights
And singing mockingbirds,
Investigating wrens,
Bobbing flights
Of chickadees and finches,
Quiet rows of doves on wires,

And I forget the pain,
The years and tears.

All I feel is joy,
All I feel is thankfulness.

©2019 John I. Blair, 11/19/2019

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

It's Not Like Me

It’s not like the sea to throw stones at me
It’s not like the waves to give me away
It’s not like the heart to find a new start
It’s not like the sea to let go of me

Wishing and waiting
Every single day
Each and every way

It’s not like the sky to come between you and I
It’s not like the tide to take us on this ride
It’s not like the heat to leave us out on the street
It’s not like the sea to throw stones at me

Doing the best that I can
Trying hard to understand
Every single day
Each and every way

It’s not like the sea to throw stones at me
It’s not like the waves to give me away
It’s not like the heart to find a new start
It’s not like the sea to let go of me

It’s not like me
Trying hard to be
Every single day
Each and every way

©11/10/19 Bruce Clifford

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

Two Thoughts on Time

Think not on how the morrow
     Come about or why they come.
Know only that they borrow,
     They subtract and leave no sum.

You stand, my friend,
     At the end
And beginning of everything
     Take what fate will bring.

© circa late 1990's Linnie Jane Joslin Burks

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil StubsOnline.


I got an M&M one day, from a friend
My current life I lived in, was about to end
I was going on a journey, far away
It was given to me, on this special day
It wasn't chocolate, it was to keep things cold
Changes in my life, were about to unfold
It was, to keep all my drinks cool
He never, took me for a fool

I was on an adventure, to a foreign place
I traveled alone, and faith is what I'd embrace
I used it, on my trip to Quebec in the year Two Thousand and One
When I returned, that adventure was over and done

I traveled West, and brought it along
It kept things cold, my heartbeat strong
To Washington State, to start anew
It didn't last, then my life there was through

I keep that M&M he gave to me, in the freezer every day
My friend who gave it to me, has since then passed away
Even though it was a cold gift to give
The thought keeps me warm, each day that I live
©Oct 10, 2019 Bud Lemire                        Author Note:
Thank you Bob (Miller)! I'm still using that M&M to keep
some things cold. Every time I do I think of the man who
had a warm heart and a thoughtful and caring soul. I'm
reminded that so many wonderful people come into our
lives and then leave it. Touching us with their presence,
and forever leaving a wonderful memory to cherish what
they gave to us. And I know, he is not far away, and watches
over me and helps to guide me from the Spirit World.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


Golden Eyes

I’ve lived with many cats
Including this one nibbling at my thumb,
Her mottled fur just slightly coarse,
Round belly, rough tongue.

As I hold her, stroking her,
Looking in her golden eyes,
Listening to her chirping purr,
Feeling her softness on my skin,

I’m reminded of every
Golden-eyed, purring,
Pink tongued cat
I’ve ever held and stroked.

This one, no longer young,
Is unique, as she leans
Into my hand and talks to me
In words I understand.

©2019 John I. Blair, 11/27/2019

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.


Sober and sedate
     My fears and tears
My hopes and fate
     Locked tight within me

You may converse now with my mind,
     But don't inquire about my heart
It has retreated long before you
     To some secret place and part.

Hidden safely
     Is the key
That locks my feeling
     Inside of me.

© circa late 1990's Linnie Jane Joslin Burks

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

She's Not The Same Girl

I never thought she would give herself away so easily
I had a different premises in my mind about her as of recently
Now everyone is looking at her
They don’t see the same girl that they knew of
Now everyone is looking at her

I never thought she would let herself go so helplessly
In my mind she was she was not the type to lay it out all on the street
Now everyone is looking at her
They don’t see the same girl that they knew of
Now everyone is looking at her
Everyone is looking at her

She came from a good family
What’s with her now, nobody can believe
She’s not the same girl
She’s not the same girl
She’s not the same girl
Now she’s desperate
Never seen her so desperate
She’s not the same girl
She’s not the same girl

I never thought she would through all caution to the wind
A couple of drinks, then her emotions turned to sin sin sin
Now everyone is talking about her
They never expected to see this
They never thought she was to impulsive to ever resist
Now everyone’s looking at her
Everybody’s talking about her

©11/23/19 Bruce Clifford

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.

A Tap On My Shoulder

She stood there facing me, with her tongue hanging out
As I took in what I saw, it left me with some doubt
Most people would be appalled, and walk away
But something told me, that I should stay
I remember my Mom, worked with those with special needs
As I stood there watching, just to see where this leads
She was looking at DVDs, I was looking at some too
A tap on my shoulder, is what she would do

She would point at the DVD, it was Magnum P. I.
“That was a great series,” would be my reply
She would again tap my shoulder, and she'd point again
“Oh “Star Trek” is my favorite, since I was ten”

She pointed, after a shoulder tap once more
“Gilligan's Island is a classic like the others before”
I looked up to see, that she was walking away
Something inside told me, this was a special day

She found a way to communicate
For some reason, it made me feel great
Was she an Angel, sent to see what I'd do
Could she be a spirit, that I once knew
I ask you this, what would you do?
If this person, came up to you.
©Nov 17, 2019 Bud Lemire
                        Author Note:
At first it surprised me, as I took in her face
Then somewhere deep inside, maybe she needed
someone she could communicate with. I stayed,
and those taps, and her pointing at the DVDs,
told me, that inside this person, is a soul with
a heart. They may not be like us in one way, but in
another way, they are. So please remember this
if someone comes up to you, and looks a bit different.

Click on author's byline for bio and list of other works published by Pencil Stubs Online.