Friday, January 1, 2021

Editor's Corner

By Mary E. Adair

January 2021

“We will open the book.
Its pages are blank. We are going to
put words on them ourselves.
The book is called Opportunity and
its first chapter is New Year's Day.”

– Edith Lovejoy Pierce.

Welcome to an exciting issue! Not only does it end our year which starts in February, but we have a new poet, we have an update from a former columnist, and more than a dozen poems to peruse. And we are looking forward to the New Year, trusting that it will be happier and open new avenues for everyone.

First let's meet the new author, Lucy Hennessy. If that name rings a bell it could be because she is one of Phillip Hennessy's daughters. Her poem "There Was A Life" is thoughtful and hopeful. Be sure to click her byline and see her bio. Her father Phillip has a new poem, "Virus" which echoes his experiences in the U.K. He just received news that another of his poems from pencilstubs is being made into a Song...."When you're Lost, in the Dark" by a group in South Africa.

Coincidentally, the poem by Diane Lynch aka Spirit0662, employs titles of Hennessy's poetry to cleverly form her poem, "You Must Have Known." Walt Perryman, our poet from your editor's section of western Texas, has three poems: "Christmas Eve," "A West Texas Tumbleweed Christmas," and "About New Year's Eve."

Bruce Clifford submitted three also, one is for song lyrics, "I Don't Even Know." The other two are "Spreader" and "A New Day." Bud Lemire, who suffered and recovered from a bout of Covid, composed "On The Ventilator" for a friend who is, then added a lovely poem "Snow Was Falling." His salute to 2021 is upbeat for himself and others in "A New Year."

The poem "You Say" by yours truly, was dashed off in exasperation and was initially shared on Facebook, but another verse kept sounding in the brain, so it had to be added. If you saw the first verse, check out the second.

"Two Plastic Pans" and "Winter Branches" were received from John I. Blair. His column "View from My Back Steps" is on a subject not in your editor's realm of knowledge and may emlighten many readers.

Marilyn Carnell shares her plans for celebrating New Year's Day in her column "Sifoddling Along" with certain reservations. Mattie Lennon, in "Irish Eyes" clues us in on a famous murder incident in Ireland, that is couched in mystery, rumors, and perhaps finally the truth.

Judy Kroll's column "On Trek" asks a question then supplies her solution in her quiet, considerate way. Thomas F. O'Neill (author of "Introspective") explains how he began teaching in China, and admits to his surprise that it has become his preferred way of life.

Melinda Cohenour continues on the genealogy of husband Rod Cohenour's family, with more info than she has space to share for this issue. Finding so much material to formulate into just one column of "Armchair Genealogy" has proven impossible but she says "stay tuned." "Cooking with Rod" steps up with traditional menu's and adds an inspired new dish recently concocted that promises to be a favorite.

Bethany Davies Whitaker, former regular columnist with Pencil Stubs Online, signs in to add her wrap up of 2020. Always insightful amd compassionate, her words may chime with your own hopes for next year. The plus for your editor is that Bethany is one of her four great-granddaughters.

My heart is filled with gratitude to Mike Craner, Webmaster and co-founder of this eZine, for his original suggestion that we "try putting it online." His ingenuity and consideration has been and continues to be a blessing.

And yes, that is me behind the mask.

We will see you in February!

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.

Armchair Genealogy

By Melinda Cohenour

The Cohenour Line

Chapter 2

      Research continues in connection with my husband’s Cohenour line. The earliest ancestor to have used any form of the surname that has evolved into COHENOUR (as we prefer) was Basthli Sebastian Gachnouwer, born in 1543 in Goch, Kleve, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. From Wikipedia, we learn Goch is an archaic name, originally spelled either Gog or the Dutch form, Gogh. “It is a town in the district of Kleve, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is situated close to the border with the Siebengewald in Netherlands, about 7 miles south of Kleve and 17 miles southeast of Nijmegen.”

Further, “Goch is at least 750 years old: the earliest mention of Goch is in a document dated 1259. It was a part of the duchy of Cleves. During World War II, the city was completely destroyed by Allied bombers during Operation Veritable.” All of this leading up to the family belief that the Gochenour-Cohenour name (in all its many permutations) derives from its earliest ancestor residing in this ancient town. One of the oft-repeated tales about how the surname evolved is that “Goch” referred to “Hill” and that Gochen were people who lived on the hill, and that Gochenour were people who had lived on the hill but were now Gone From The Hill. We find that Goch in German; however, refers to a bog, a fen, a marsh, or similar low-lying body of water. Goch, the ancient village, was close to Kleves (originally Cleves) where the duchy of Cleves held sway. The ancient castle there is the Schwanenburg Castle. Wikipedia informs us: “The Schwanenburg Castle, where the dukes of Cleves resided, was founded on a steep hill. It is located at the northern terminus of the Kermisdahl where it joins with the Spoykanal, which was previously an important transportation link to the Rhine. The old castle has a massive tower, the Schwanenturm 180 feet (55 m) high, that is associated in legend with the Knight of the Swan, immortalized in Richard Wagner's Lohengrin.

Medieval Kleve grew together from four parts – the Schwanenburg Castle, the village below the castle, the first city of Kleve on Heideberg Hill, and the Neustadt ("New City"), dating from the 14th century. In 1242 Kleve received city rights. The Duchy of Cleves, which roughly covered today's districts of Kleve, Wesel and Duisburg, was united with the Duchy of Mark in 1368, was made a duchy itself in 1417, then united with the neighboring duchies of Jülich and Berg in 1521, when John III, Duke of Cleves, married Mary, heiress of Jülich-Berg-Ravenburg. Kleve's most famous native is Anne of Cleves (1515–1557), daughter of John III, Duke of Cleves and (briefly) wife of Henry VIII of England. Several local businesses are named after her, including the Anne von Kleve Galerie.”

      All this makes me wonder if the early Gochenour folks lived upon another hill, similar to and nearby the one that housed the Schwanenburg Castle?

      This column, though, is devoted to tracking the line of descent from Basthli Sebastian Gachenouwer to my dear husband, Roderick William Cohenour. It has not been an easy task as the documents (if they exist at all) are not accessible through Ancestry or any other typical website. It has been an arduous task to seek out family histories and your author is forever grateful for the work that has gone before by family researchers. In our following reports, we shall delve into the stories that highlight this proud line of Cohenours from Goch, Germany in 1543 to California, United States in 1945. This, then, is the result of our initial attempts to verify the direct line ancestors.

First Generation: 10th Great-Grandfather
      Basthli Sebastian Gachnouwer, born 1543, date of death unknown, 10th great grandfather of my husband. Sebastian married Adelheit Heidi Huber (b. 1538) in Goch. Their known children were Anna, Sebastian II, and Jorg (George) Gachnouwer (1569-1610).

Second Generation: 9th Great-Grandfather
      Jorg (George) Gachnouwer (1569-1610) wed Maria Weber on 13 Jul 1589 in Fischenthal, Zürich, Switzerland. This couple had a son named JACOB (also called Hans Jagli) GACHNOUWER whose date of birth is not known but whose baptism was recorded 28 Jul 1605 in Fischenthal, Zürich, Switzerland.

Third Generation: 8th Great-Grandfather
      (Hans) Jacob (Jagli) Gachnouwer (abt 1605-1685) married Margaretha Peter on 26 May 1624 in Zürich, Switzerland, born 1601 in Stralegg (which, presumably gives rise to her complicated naming in most of the family history volumes as Elsbeth Margretha Petter der Stralegg (Petter from Stralegg). Jacob was the first of the family to convert to Anabaptism (later Mennonite), after his marriage. His wife’s family was one of the early converts. Jacob would pay a high price for his faith, stripped of all belongings, his children removed, his wife exiled, while he spent years in a dank prison as punishment for his religious beliefs.

Fourth Generation: 7th Great-Grandfather
      Jacob and Margaretha’s son Heinrich Peter Der Stralegg Gachnauwer (baptized 30 Apr 1631) was but one of their children to be removed from the home and placed with “responsible community members” while their father languished in prison. It is known Heinrich wed, but the name of his wife is lost to posterity. The following notes have been recorded for Heinrich:
NOTES: Birth recorded in Fischenthal Church Register April 30, 1631; Heinrich, Jacob Gachnouwer "on the hill" and Margaretha Peter, Anabaptists, had a son baptized. Sponsors; Heinrich Schoch, "Weibel", said to be a low public official and Adelheit Zuppinger, who is Joe Furrer's legitimate wife.

Heinrich Gachnauwer who was baptized on April 30, 1631 in the parish of Fischenthal is the only family member known to have survived the slaughters that took place in Alsace, France, about 1670-1680. He relocated in the city of Heidelberg, Germany.

In the Palatine Mennonite Census lists, Heinrich is listed with eight children in 1685. the list of his children has not been found, but this record is based on a list project by Dwayne Coughenour, San Antonio, TX.

1643 Heinrich, about twelve years old, was placed as an apprentice with a tailor, Fred Issler, who was to received payment of 50 Taler from the State, plus a gratuity to his wife, for three years during his Father's imprisonment in Othenbach Convent Prison.

Fifth Generation: 6th Great-Grandfather
      Joseph Gochnauer, Sr. (sometimes Christian is added as his second given name), the son of Heinrich, born somewhere between 1698 and 1704, depending upon the resource) is the Immigrant Ancestor of our line. His identification is made difficult as it appears Heinrich named two sons Joseph with birth and death dates either obscured or researchers have created a duplicate record. At this point, your author has not clarified that fact. Thus, we shall use the data that appears factual. Joseph married at least two times and, perhaps, three although the documentation for that third marriage will need to be researched more completely. Wed to Elsbeth (Elizabeth) Naff (Neff), they named a son Joseph Christian Gochnauer II.

Sixth Generation: 5th Great-Grandfather
      Joseph Christian Gochnauer II (1726-1763) married Mary Magdalena Neff in January of 1757. They had three children, the eldest being Henry Neff Cohenour. Family legend indicates this Joseph was killed by an Indian’s arrow while working his fields.

Seventh Generation: 4th Great-Grandfather
      Henry Neff Gochnauer (1754-1787) was born and met his death in Hempfield, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Henry also spelled his name Coghenour, the earliest mutation in the surname that would morph into Cohenour. He and wife, Magdalena Fulwiler, were married in 1783, just four short years prior to Henry’s death. They had three children, the eldest son being John born 25 Aug 1784. (Their daughter Elizabeth Coghenour married Jacob Neff, one of several of these two families’ intermarriages.)

Eighth Generation: 3rd Great-Grandfather
      On 14 Nov 1805, John Kochenauer (also often spelled Cohenour) married Dorothea Ellen Lorentz at the First Reformed Church, Hempfield Township, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This couple had ten children, the third in line named Jacob Neff Cohenour.

Ninth Generation: 2nd Great-Grandfather
      Jacob Neff married three times, the third wife, Sarah Jane Layton, was widowed within months of giving birth to their first surviving child, Elmer Layton Cohenour. Sarah’s husband died 15 Nov 1868. Little Elmer Layton Cohenour had been born 5 Mar 1868. Sarah had not long to live. By the time Elmer was three years old, his mother had also passed, leaving the care and custody of Elmer to her sister, Clementine.

Tenth Generation: Great-Grandfather
      Elmer Layton Cohenour married Martha Jane Lauterbach (Louderback) 30 Oct 1890 in Fairbury, Jefferson County, Nebraska. This couple would have three daughters and two sons, the first in line being Leo Bertram Cohenour, my husband’s Grandfather.

Eleventh Generation: Grandfather
      Leo Bertram Cohenour served in World War I as a Lieutenant, J. G. in the Navy. He was a physician and surgeon. He married Anneffiel Ethel Ann Warner 2 Aug 1917. They had two sons, the second William Edward Cohenour.

Twelfth Generation: Father
      William Edward Cohenour served in the Navy as a surgeon and physician during World War II. He married Suzanne Cecilia Miller on 10 Sep 1944 in Denver, Colorado. There were four children born to this marriage: Roderick William, Christopher Kent, Suzette Cecilia, and Patricia Ann (Patti). Dr. Cohenour continued his practice until his death 10 March 1982.

      Future columns will update the research into this family line, clarify where possible the multiple marriages and numerous children reported by various sources, and – most importantly – provide some of the stories that make this Cohenour family’s history so colorful.

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

Cooking with Rod

By Rod Cohenour

As we come to the end of an extraordinarily difficult year, we need to reevaluate and refocus on the things most important to us. For me that's family, friends, good health, peace, harmony, and - of course, good food!

We have put forth a recipe for a traditional New Year's good luck dish and, additionally we've provided a link to our column for New Year 2018 so you can pick and choose from the array of recipes provided. Also, the wife and I conspired to create a palate-pleasing dish that makes that leftover turkey into a warming, comforting chowder with a spicy twist.

Our menu for New Year's Day includes a glazed spiral ham, golden mashed potatoes, baked yams with cinnamon and brown sugar, Hoppin'John, Pineapple-Cranberry-Pecan Dressing, broccoli-cauliflower-carrot blend, Cornbread, and hot crusty dinner rolls.

It is our sincere desire to see our world break from the disastrous events that have haunted 2020 and to find our loved ones (friends and family) free to enjoy a year filled with health, wealth and joyous camaraderie.

May your New Year's feast fulfill the portent of better things to come. Bon appetit~!

Southwest Turkey Corn Chowder


  • 3 cups roasted turkey, diced
  • 2 (15 oz) cans corn, drained or use 3 cups fresh or frozen kernels
  • 6-8 stalks celery, de--string then chop in small moons, reserve leaves for garnish
  • 8 oz baby carrots, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Bell Pepper, de-seeded, diced
  • 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter
  • 32 oz. Chicken broth
  • 1 can green chiles (7 oz)
  • 1 can (10.5 oz) green chile enchilada sauce
  • 1 can (26 oz family size) cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 8 oz grated cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3 cups rice, uncooked
  • 2 cups water


    1. Dice roasted turkey and set aside.
    2. Drain corn and set aside.
    3. Prep vegetables (celery, carrots, onion, and Bell Pepper). Melt butter in large stewpot, when melted add veggies. Saute over medium low heat until onion is transparent but not carmelizing.
    4. Add chicken broth, cover, and let simmer but do not boil or scorch.
    5. In large bowl, whisk together cream of chicken soup, milk, green chiles, and green chile enchilada sauce. Add dash of ground black pepper.
    6. Fold in grated cheddar cheese.
    7. Add turkey, corn kernels, soup mixture to the simmering vegetables. Stir well to fully incorporate. Let this simmer but stir often to prevent scorching.
    8. Add rice and water (NOTE: may need more or less to ensure enough liquid for rice, basmati types call for ratio of 2 to 1 liquid to rice. Instant rice requires equal amounts rice and liquid. Both methods result in a thick steamed rice mixture.)
    9. When rice is TENDER (cooked but Not mushy), check thickness of the chowder. If too thick, add a bit of milk to achieve your desired thickness.
    Serve hot. You may garnish with grated cheddar cheese, celery or cilantro leaves, chopped green onions (stalks and bulbs) or even a dollop of sour cream. A hot pan of cornbread with tableside butter is a fabulous accompaniment.

Hoppin' John

Hoppin' John

For peas:

  • 1 Tbsp corn oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 Tbsp butter (or oleo or margarine)
  • 3 cups ham chunks, fully cooked
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, de--string and cut in half moons
  • 1 small or medium Bell Pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or about 1 Tbsp from jar
  • 1 lb. Pkg. dried blackeyed peas, picked over, rinsed thoroughly and drained
  • 32 oz chicken broth
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • Dash salt or Mrs. Dash (prefer blend used with poultry)
  • 2 tsp chile powder

For Rice:

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 med. can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 med. can stewed tomatoes with bell pepper and onions
  • 1 sm. can tomatoes with chiles (Rotel type)


    1. Prepare peas. Pick over to remove stones, grit etc. Rinse several times in colander. When clean and drained, put in stewpot and cover with water plus one inch. Bring to boil. Boil one minute. Remove from heat, cover and allow to sit overnight.
    2. Next day. Drain and rinse peas. Set aside in colander to drain fully.
    3. Prep onion, celery, and Bell Pepper. Set aside. Add butter and oil to stewpot and heat until butter is melted. Add ham chunks and let brown then stir and brown all sides. Remove ham, set aside.
    4. Add diced veggies back into stewpot, stir with wooden spoon to loosen ham brownings. Add more butter if necessary. Saute veggies in pan with pot liquor and butter, stirring almost continually until onion is translucent, 3-5 minutes.
    5. Add peas, ham, and chicken broth to veggies in stewpot. Add minced garlic, black pepper, chile powder, and Mrs. Dash or pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat immediately, let simmer until peas are tender, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add water or broth as necessary as liquid tends to evaporate.
    6. Meanwhile, prepare rice. Place rice and water in small stewpot. Cook per directions on rice packaging. When steamed and fluffy, add fire roasted tomatoes, stewed tomatoes and Rotel. Stir well. Cook gently until tomatoes are heated through.
    7. Serve peas with ham over spicy tomato rice mixture.

Tomato Rice


This dish is a traditional New Year recipe. Its ingredients are said to ensure blessings throughout the coming NEW YEAR. Ham foretells sufficient food, peas bring good luck, tomatoes bring health, and Hoppin'John should be served with golden cornbread which symbolizes "gold in hand".

New Year 2018 column link:
Cooking with Rod, New Year 2018

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Irish Eyes

By Mattie Lennon

Songs, Stories and a Murder

How did you get over Christmas? I suppose we are not too bad on this island. We have the vaccine now.

It’s thirty years since, Jim Sheridan’s tale of murder, rural codes and the Irish hunger for land was premiered in the Savoy Cinema, Dublin. It became an instant classic on its release, mainly due to outstanding performances by Richard Harris as 'Bull' McCabe and Brenda Fricker as his wife.

But what is the story behind "The Field"?

John B Keane wrote a stage play of the same name in the early sixties. The first professional production, in 1965, was directed by Barry Cassin and starring Ray McAnally as The Bull McCabe.

What inspired the talented Keane to write it?

Dan Foley and Moss Moore were neighbours and friends in Reamore, which is about 15 miles from Listowel. Dan Foley erected a boundary fence along the strip of land between his land and Moore’s. Moore claimed that the fence was on his land and he moved it. Foley moved it back. Moore brought a court case which was to be heard in a Tralee courtroom in December 1958. It was alleged that Foley had said that there would only be one man around for the case.

Where the body was found.

On Thursday, November 6, 1958, Moore disappeared after a night playing cards in a neighbour’s house. Locals reported to Gardaí that Moore had been murdered, not missing. Nine days later his body was found by a stream overgrown with rushes only 35 yards from his house. He had been strangled. Dan Foley was prime suspect. He wasn’t ever charged but was convicted in the court of local opinion. He was Boycotted, bombed and shot at.

John B. wrote "The Field" which is about an obsessive hunger for land.

He drew inspiration y from an unsolved murder of Moss Moore and the character of “The Bull” he based, largely, on Dan Foley.

Ray McAnally the first “Bull” suggested that it be made into a film. Twenty years after the first stage performance following protracted negotiations between John B. and Jim Sheridan (It lasted up to fifteen minutes at the counter in John B’s) a deal was struck and the rest, as they say . . .

It would appear that the great playwright was convinced that Foley was the killer but his son Billy is not so sure. He has produced a documentary entitled The Real Field which was shown by RTE after Christmas. Billy went through the cold case with as much diligence as is possible after more than three score years.

“People still talk about it,” says Billy “I was always interested in the murder case because I felt there was so many loose ends. I was never sure who did it. Everyone said it was Dan Foley. I wasn't completely convinced.”

Billy himself does the narration and he is ideally suited for it. His uncle Eamonn was deemed to have one of the three best speaking voices of the twentieth century; the other two being Dylan Thomas and Richard Burton. Billy says, “There’s elements of a whodunit in the documentary, but it’s the tragedy that takes over. It has always nagged away at me.”

Billy Keane at the site of the disputed land.

Billy concluded that, “Foley can well have been an innocent man.” Dan Foley’s nephew, a contributor to the documentary, implied that someday he would be in a position to name the person whom, his uncle Dan believed, killed Moss Moore.

Look out for "The Real Field." It’s an eye-opener. "The Real Field"

John Hoban, that Castlebar man of many parts who, in his own words, has been, “All over the world and a few other places” has brought out his fifth solo recording, Fad Saol, a double album: the first CD consists of original, covers and traditional songs accompanied by 12-string guitar and mandocello. John has composed words and music of 7 of the 11 tracks on this disc. The second CD is traditional, original, instrumental fiddle music accompanied by mandocello, banjo and mandolin. John has composed 13 of the 15 tracks on this one. The recording captures the quality and energy of a live performance. John says, “It’s taken me 40 years to get to really sound like myself.” He has played music all his life in the Troubadour tradition. He chose to learn his music with care over many years from some of the world’s most respected master musicians. He is an accomplished player of fiddle, banjo, whistles, mandocello, guitar, kora, in addition to being a singer and composer of wonderful songs and music. John is a musical legend at home and abroad

We are back in Kerry. If you listened to Frances Kennedy’s CD Live and Kicking you are aware of her versatility and you will be delighted to hear that she has brought out another one, We Are All Related. This time all proceeds go to Kerry Parents and Friends Association. Details from:

We had the League of Decency, in Ireland, in the 1970s. And aren’t you glad that you didn’t live out in “Island of Saints and scholars” in the 1930s when we had Eamon DeValera’s “Vice Act.”

Happy 2021 and I’ll see you in February.

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

View from My Back Steps

By John I. Blair

What Is A Drey?

This is the time of year when things that have been going on in treetops during the summer and early autumn become visible as leaves fall. Among the most interesting of those things are the big bundles of leaves snagged snugly in branch crotches high up in the bigger trees. These, I learned some years ago, are called “dreys.” They are the homes of squirrels who don’t have holes to nest in. Which in these parts, where the tree population is dominated by hardwoods like oaks and pecans, is most of the squirrels.

Dreys are usually built of twigs, dry leaves, and grass, although they may include a variety of other materials. They are sometimes referred to as "drey nests" to distinguish them from squirrel "cavity nests" that are also termed "dens" and may be in cavities ranging from hollow trees to the attic of your house. (If you get a squirrel nest in your attic, that is grounds for immediate eviction before the squirrels in question have damaged wiring or insulation or even your ceiling.)

A favored height for a tree drey is at least 30 to 45 feet above ground level. Evidently the height and location are determined by the need to compromise between defense against tree-climbing predators like cats and raccoons and the need for the drey to be supported by branches strong enough not to break off in wind or ice storms. The smallest tree around my house that has a drey is a mulberry across the street that’s only 25 feet tall. That drey is on the small side and may be the product of a first-year, amateur builder. The tallest tree with a drey is a red oak at the side of my front yard that supports two dreys, one of them quite small and likely abandoned before completion, the other quite large and sturdy and about 40 feet up – likely higher than any housecat and possibly most raccoons might be willing to climb.

In North America, dreys begin as a collection of small, gnawed-off branches bearing green leaves. Harvesting these branches well before autumn (when the leaves would naturally fall) allows the leaves, though they turn brown, to hang on tightly through the winter, which is important. A finished drey is a hollow sphere, about a foot or more in diameter, with the branches and other rough materials loosely woven on the outside and an inner surface lined with a variety of finer materials, such as grass, moss, leaves, shredded bark or pine needles.

One drey I personally examined, after it fell to the ground during a storm, was lined with fur from my long-haired dog, gathered by some industrious squirrel from areas where my dog napped outdoors. That must have been an especially cozy nest!

There may be one or occasionally two entrance/exit holes in a drey, usually close to the bottom and angled toward the trunk, which keeps rain out. A second hole can also be used for an escape route if the squirrel has a predator coming through the front door. Incomplete or flat dreys that are sometimes seen may be hot-weather sleeping platforms or, as mentioned above, abandoned efforts built by very young, inexperienced squirrels.

Drey construction materials and sizes differ according to squirrel species and region. Eastern gray squirrels, for example, tend to use the leaves, bark and twigs of deciduous trees such as beech, elm, and oak. Southern flying squirrels will often employ fungal growths, deciduous leaves, bark and twigs in their nests, while northern flying squirrels often use shredded cedar bark (among other types of bark), lichens, mosses, leaves and twigs in their dreys. In the Pacific Northwest, the northern flying squirrel employs a common local lichen as the primary material.

Squirrels sometimes occupy a vacant drey that was previously constructed by another squirrel, often of a different species. Dreys must protect against the environment, and require constant upkeep to remain water and predator-resistant. Squirrels often build more than one in a season, with the second as a reserve nest in case the primary drey is disturbed by predators or overrun by fleas or lice. Some particularly well-built dreys have been observed in use for more than a decade by multiple generations of squirrels, although the average drey may be used only a year or two before being abandoned. Remnants of abandoned but well-built dreys may be visible for years.

Male and female squirrels may share the same drey for short times during a breeding season, and during cold winter spells squirrels may share a drey to stay warm. However, females nest alone when pregnant. In North America, squirrels produce broods of about three "pups" twice a year. After leaving the drey, a young squirrel is termed a "juvenile" for its first year of life. The June broods are sometimes born in dreys, but January broods are usually born and raised in tree cavities, if available, which are much safer. Drey broods are about 40% less likely to survive than tree cavity broods, so long as the cavity entrance hole is no wider than about four inches, which can keep out hungry raccoons. I have no statistics on survival rates for my own yard, which has cats, raccoons, and possums, plus occasional large hawks and owls, as potential predators. But despite these hazards, my local squirrel population consistently runs about five to ten adults and juveniles each summer, assisted no doubt by the ample supply of sunflower seeds I keep available in and beneath six tube feeders, plus acorns, pecans, elm seeds, hackberry seeds, and cherry laurel berries in large quantity.

It’s difficult to predict which of numerous potential trees my local squirrels will choose for building dreys. For years they used the big elm trees in the yard just east of mine but one of those is now gone and the survivor has gotten sparse with age and bad health. It hasn’t sported a drey in about 10 years. Also for a long time dreys were regularly built in one or both of the slash pines in a yard behind mine. That always seemed a strange choice since it required hauling in deciduous leaves and twigs from trees some distance away, but the pine needles may have provided a good supply of “hooks” to attach the dreys to, plus more shelter from winter weather.

For the past three or so years, the tree of preference for dreys here has been the fine young oak (previously mentioned) at the side of my front yard. There the attraction may be the profusion of leaves plus loads of acorns for convenient food; and that tree has achieved the necessary height after growing rapidly for 40 years without much competition. What surprises me is that the very tall oak in my back yard (planted by me 45+ years ago), which is upwards of 90 feet tall, never seems to have dreys in it. I’m still trying to figure this out.

Dreys have been a part of our northern hemisphere environment for millions of years and of our human environment for tens of thousands of years. Most of us, I think, never even notice them, much less get curious about them. We should!

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Sifoddling Along


      By Marilyn Carnell

      Finally, 2020 is over. We can only hope that things will improve a great deal this year. It surely will because 2020 was the worst year in my long life. In order to do my part to insure good luck, I will be eating black eyed peas at least once. This old Southern custom seems to be about the only thing I can control these days.

      The traditional way is to cook up some “Hoppin’ John” – a mixture of peas and rice seasoned with a ham hock, salt and pepper. I am not fond of that, so I read about “Texas” or “Cowboy” Caviar that I like much better. It is a salad or salsa that is easy to make and keeps well. This recipe is very flexible. Use whatever is in your cupboard that looks good.

      My recipe is as follows:
      2 cans black eyed peas, drained
      1 can whole kernel corn or 2 cups frozen corn
      1 can pinto beans
      1 large green pepper, diced fine
      1 red onion, diced fine
      1 cup celery, diced fine
      Minced Jalapeno (if desired)
      Minced garlic to taste
      Salt and pepper to taste
      Cilantro for garnish
      ½ cup olive oil
      ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
      1 tsp. sugar
      1 tsp. salt
      Dash pepper
      ¼ tsp garlic powder
      1 tsp. mustard
      Mix thoroughly and pour over vegetables. Serve with Corn chips or “Scoops”

      Other old New Year’s customs come to mind with the help of Vance Randolph’s book “Ozark Magic and Folklore” published in 1947.

  • An unexpected visitor signifies that many others will come to the house during the year.
  • If the visitor is a man, it means good luck.
  • If the first is a woman, prospects are not as good.
  • If a group of people, it is a good omen
  • Some believe that what you do on January 1 will indicate what one will do all year. (Some who drank too much would wait until midnight of January 2 before taking a sip.)
  • Washing clothes on New Year’s Day will mean hard work all year long
  • Opening the windows for a while on New Year’s Day will let out bad luck and let in good luck.
  • One old timer said, “On New Year’s you just eat black-eyed peas, with a dime under your plate, an’ wear a pair of red garters, an’ you’ll have good luck the whole year.”

      I will follow the advice about eating black-eyed peas, I might even put a dime under my plate, but I’m not so sure about the red garters.

Happy New Year.

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On Trek

By Judith Kroll

Seeking answers From the Universe?

How does the universe share with us love?

When the sun sets in the evening, do you hear an alarm before it starts? Whistles blowing? Drum rolls from the heavens? No, the new painting comes daily, SILENTLY. We have all seen a beautiful sunset, and we all know when to expect it. The choice is ours to look for it or not. It is always available to anyone.

Silence is the key. If it works for the universe to show us love, and help us understand through the beauty that is manifested for our enjoyment, and for us to KNOW..we are loved, that the universe has our back!

How many of us has awakened from an awesome night of sleep, only to see the white, silent snow covering our little section of the earth? What a blessing for so many reasons.

In the spring, little flower heads pop up. The laugh of children, the antics of our fur babies? We can sit in silence and see, hear, taste, smell and feel so many awesome universal treasures, letting us know we are loved!!

Feel the love daily, from our planet. Even though man has scarred it up, it still shows us deep love. Know it. Own it.
Judith 12-17-2020

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By Thomas F. O'Neill

They say when you get old, time goes by with a blink of an eye but for the noticeably young time moves at a snail’s pace. I am witnessing firsthand how fast time is moving especially here in China. It wasn’t that long ago May 2009 to be exact that I was invited to be a guest teacher for one semester. Now 11 years later I’m still in China and the semesters are racing by very quickly.

I get easily attached to my students especially the ones who participate in class, they make my classes more enjoyable with their unique brand of humor. Some of my students even comment that they wish my classes would continue when the semester comes to an end.

I enjoy entertaining my students with humorous stories about some of my experiences in life. When they ask me how old I am I tell them I am incredibly old with a youthful personality. A Buddhist student once said, “Mr. Tom you are an old soul that returns to teach and enjoy life with others.” The Buddhists have such a unique perspective on life and the subject of Buddhism intrigues me.

I like to tell my students that when you are enjoying life, time moves by quickly and that is certainly true for me. I suppose that is why I do not have any plans on moving back to the United States. But it is not that difficult to stay in touch with people due to the internet. I can post photos and videos on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. I can also have video conference calls on Zoom, Skype, and Facebook to anywhere in the world. I enjoy staying in touch and reading about the happenings in the area I grew up (Shenandoah, PA) because a part of me never left my hometown.

I tell my students the world is a much smaller place now especially with our modern technology. Computers, cell phones, satellite television, and especially our internet technology are bringing the world closer together in ways our ancestors never would have imagined. The evolving technology has no end in sight, and it will only make our lives a bit easier as time progresses.

China’s culture here is progressing rapidly as well and my stay here is something, I value because of the beautiful people I encounter. I particularly enjoy the children here and I never find myself getting bored when they are around. I like playing games with them and they have a knack for making me laugh. I find that the Chinese children here are very trusting and open towards me.

Something that has always disturbed me is the people who harm young children. It happens everywhere because of people who are deeply disturbed, and parents must protect their children from predators.

I never watch Chinese television here even though you can pick up loads of western channels on satellite television. I get most of my news online by reading various newspapers and watching news programs via the internet. I like to recap some of the global events in my class and the students are always ready for questions and comments.

My students’ readiness to voice their opinions in my classes is something I enjoy. There are times when I disagree with their comments, especially, when their perceptions of America are based on what they see in popular western films.

One of my students felt that all Americans walk around with concealed weapons. I told him some Americans do but most do not.

The western media along with western music and movies greatly influence the Chinese culture. It also influences their perception of what America stands for. They see America as a land of immense wealth and greed. The sad thing about that is many here in China are ignorant of the millions of Americans struggling below the poverty line. The great divide between the haves and the have-nots is becoming wider in America. I tell my students that both the United States and China have an immense disparity between those who have plenty and those who have far less.

I am deeply troubled by the poverty in China and the US and perhaps because I witnessed it firsthand. I also have deep empathy for those who are impoverished but seeing homeless children is most disturbing of all. No innocent child should have to live on the street. It is so painful for me to see homeless children and some of them are forced to beg on the streets to all hours of the night out of despair and hunger. I tell my students that there are plenty of homeless in America too and some with serious mental health issues.

You can judge a nation by how well it reaches-out to the unseen the so-called downtrodden. They are the ones with the least influence, but some Americans will complain that the U.S. is using hard-earned tax dollars to help the down and out.

Those same people who complain about Government entitlements, derogatorily, call it ‘Socialism.’ Helping the homeless however is not ‘Socialism’ it’s just doing the common decent thing when common decency is called for. I suppose America and China both need to do a far better job in caring for the less fortunate.

One thing I enjoy doing here is visiting an elementary school near my apartment. I get various invitations to go there and when I visit the school the first thing the Chinese teacher does is hand me a cup of tea. It’s a sign of respect and hospitality and the children stand up and bow when they see me enter the room. Then they show their excitement for my being there. Some yell “Hello, Mr. Tom” and they practice their English with me. They keep me entertained and they bring out the child in me.

The children here are also more disciplined than I was at their age and I enjoy the time I spend with them. I wish now I worked as hard as they do when I was a child especially when it came to my studies. The Chinese students are not smarter than American students they are simply better disciplined and far better prepared for their future academic challenges. China’s emphasis on education will enhance China’s overall wellbeing because education is vital for any nation to compete within the global economy.

Always with love from Suzhou, China
Thomas F O’Neill
    Phone: (800) 272-6464
    WeChat: Thomas_F_ONeill
    U.S. Voice mail: (410) 925-9334
    China Mobile: 011 (86) 13405757231
    Skype: thomas_f_oneill

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Altogether Beautiful

By Bethany Davies Whitaker


The year that everyone will tell their future children about and remember for generations, or maybe it’s the year we all just want to forget. I remember being so excited about this year last December. A new decade! A fresh start! Not to mention, we were going back into the ‘20s again, so I was looking forward to throwing a fancy Great Gatsby party at some point. The first two months went seemingly well, right? Only the occasional bump in our news feeds.

Then, March hit, and it seemed as though the entire world seemingly came crashing down at the same time. Personally, the first week or two, I just tried to ignore everything. In a fight or flight situation, I will 99.9% of the time go with flight. But, after a few weeks and the realization that things weren’t changing or getting better, the fear and anxiety set in. To combat it, I started looking for positivity and light anywhere I could find it. One of my very first posts about how I was feeling was to tell others to check on their people and to be a helper. This became even more important as this year dragged on and everyone was separated by distance. This became the first lesson in a year that forced us to slow down. I have the tendency to rush through life and to be on my phone too much. But, this year taught me that the most important things in my life are my connections with those I love, and that even if someone seems to be doing well, still check on them. You never know what’s going on in their life.

In the middle of March, I wrote, ‘Even when the world around us is falling apart, we can still be a light to those around us. We can still give a little joy and hope when there seems to be none. It's okay to be scared and you don't have to be ashamed for that. But, choose to see the good and share that with the world because that's how we're going to keep holding on and sticking together.’ This became my mantra for the rest of the year. It was the one thing I could hold onto. My second lesson came quickly and it was similar to the first. It was finding peace amidst the chaos. Right before my office closed down for about a month, I took an early morning walk to see the sunrise on the harbor because I knew it would be a while before I got to do it again. I was gifted with the most spectacular colors. I’ve always been drawn to sunrise and sunset, but this one almost brought me to my knees. There had been so much pent up anxiety, and the calm waters, surrounded by pink and purple skies, immediately grounded my anxious thoughts. It reminded me that when the world is falling apart, its people come together the most, and when it seemed like pain and darkness were winning, there was God doing His best work in us and the world surrounding.

As we’re entering a new year, I’ve seen a lot of people say that they want to just erase this year from their memories. There is definitely personal tragedy and turmoil that I wish I could forget too, but there are so many other memories that I want to remember for the rest of my life. Zoom calls with new friends. Getting our new dining room table and finishing up our board game room. Getting out into nature whenever I could. Planning a surprise party for my husband and seeing his face light up. Seeing my baby sister run in her State Cross Country Championship. A week in Alabama seeing family and friends. Focusing on my mental health, and making sure everyone else was too. When all of the news and talk were on the dark things, it was those little in between moments that made this year worth fighting for. In an all-around heavy year, these were the things that brought me joy and light. I’m sure, that if you think back, you’ll find these moments too. I’m starting to realize that I don’t want to forget this year after all. I want to solidify it in my memory and always hold onto the lessons it taught me. I hope you do too.

This new year may also be difficult, but if we hold onto the things that 2020 taught us, I think we can all make it through anything this life has to throw at us. Like a forest after a fire, life is returning, and after the heaviest of storms, the sky is beginning to clear.

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Photo Below: with husband Blake during Alabama trip.



You Say

By Mary E. Adair

You say that it is Christmas Eve?
I say that’s quite hard to believe.
Was only yesterday it seems
That Halloween was causing screams.
And now tomorrow is Christmas Day
And I just put up the tree yesterday
I don’t have Covid; am I getting too old?
Is my grasp on time too hard to hold?
Nay, it must be that being isolated
Just means events need not be slated
For no visits are planned
No miles must be spanned
And orders are ambling on their way
And won’t be delivered by Christmas Day
Why must I celebrate any date
Alone I view TV from early to late
No one to share a laugh or tear,
Oh please, God, give us a happy new year.

Now you say it's New Year's Eve.
Who am I who can't believe
I recall last year's glad greetingss
Bells and fireworks and cosy meetings
Child-like I viewed it as a gift
Yet so many received short shrift
Searching my thoughts, there's still hope
Whatever's ahead, we'll surely cope
Lift heavy heads. wipe away tears
Can't allow ourselves to harbor fears
We cannot know with certainty
Any new year's filled with destiny
Remember to pray, hold on tight,
And we'll somehow make it thru the night
New lives begin with every day
Which will be famous in their way
I shall be steadfast, watch time fly,
And remember those in the sweet by and by.

©12/31/2020 Mary E Adair

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About New Year's Eve

 By Walt Perryman

This morning this is what I am thinking,
About New Year’s Eve if you’re drinking.
I’m going to celebrate this Happy New Years,
And chances are that I will drink a few beers.
But I won’t go anywhere and drink and drive,
Because, next year I would like to still be alive!
Therefore, I do not want to press my luck,
And drink too much and wreck my truck!
I do not want the cops to give me a test to fail.
And I don’t want to wake up laying in jail!
A designated driver or taxi is the safe way to go,
Of course, this is something you already know.
I wish a Happy New Years to every one of you,
But if you drink, I hope you think this way too.

©December 31, 2020

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A New Year

By Bud Lemire

A New Year will start, but what will become
Of the people who listened, and those who were dumb
A vaccine on the way, what will it do?
Hopefully it will help, to start things anew

A new President will lead us, which will be great
There's hope for a future, we can truly appreciate
A New Year will start, we can make it our own
It can only get better, than the one we have known

For me, the best days are on the Island I love
Taking pictures of nature, and the clouds up above
So peaceful out there, and healing as well
Crossing the bridge, is like being under a spell

I wish for good health, I'll watch what I eat
I'll occasionally divulge, into something that's sweet
I'll exercise as much as I can, every day
I'll be thankful I can breathe, I'll be okay

As the New Year's bells ring, I'll remember this word
The New Year of “Peace,” like the well know white bird
I'll fly into the New Year, wearing a smile
Each moment I capture, I'll put in a file

Dec 16, 2020 Bud Lemire

Author Note:

I'm wishing everyone a Happy New Year. As we leave 2020
behind, there is hope for 2021 in many ways. A vaccine
for Covid, a New President and Vice President, whom I
think will do a great job. It won't be easy. I'll try my
best to live even healthier than before. I'll appreciate
each day I am alive and enjoy it as much as I can.


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Christmas Eve

 By Walt Perryman

It's Christmas Eve and all throughout Texas,
Everyone’s talking on cell phones and sending texts.
Instead of visiting someone to talk and celebrate,
We use our cell phones and Facebook to communicate.
We send Christmas cards to our address book,
Even if we know they probably won’t even look.
Santa no longer needs any reindeer or a sleigh,
All he has to do now days is to log-on to E-bay.
I wonder if at Christmas, Jesus has a tear in his eye,
The way we celebrate Christmas but forgotten why?
So, I am going to kneel down beside my bed,
And instead of logging on, say this prayer instead.
“Jesus, please forgive me for celebrating like I do,
And help me remember that Christmas is for YOU.”

©2020 Walt Perryman

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I Don't Even Know

By Bruce Clifford 

I’m not sure what you’re going through
You’re too distant to be in my point of view
I’m not sure what you’re all about
Are you lost, lonely down and out?

I’m not sure if you have voices in your head
There’s no way to know if you’re amongst the living or the dead
I’m not sure if you’re walking in your sleep
Are you consumed when walking in the streets?

I don’t even know your name
I don’t know your story
I don’t know your fame

I don’t even know your name
I don’t know your friends
I don’t know your game

I’m not sure what you’re going through
You’re so silent like a lonely recluse
I’m not sure if you could ever let it out
Are you hidden amongst the circus clowns

I’m not sure if you have visions in your eyes
It’s too uncertain to know if you could ever decide
I’m not sure if you know how to believe
Are you crying when nobody can see

I don’t even know your name
I don’t know your story
I don’t know your fame

I don’t even know your name
I don’t know your friends
I don’t know your game

I don’t even know

©12/4/2020 Bruce Clifford

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Winter Branches

 By John I. Blair

As I gaze out the window
I see an ever-changing screen
Of stems and branches,

Plums, oaks, holly, ivy,
All dark against
The bright December sky.

If I were skilled
With brush and paint,
Pencil, chalk,

I’d sketch a picture
I could frame to show
Anyone who cared.

But I’m not so blessed;
So instead I talk these lines
That fail to catch

What I am staring at in awe
This afternoon at half-past two,
Twelve days before the solstice.

Oh that words were hues,
Movements, vivid marks
As well as meanings!

Then I could share with you
This latticework of limbs,
This mystery of brown on blue.

©2020 John I. Blair, 12/9/2020

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There Was A Life

By Lucy Hennessy

There was a life we used to know,
A life we all lived not long ago..
Where freedom ruled and people chose,
life was theirs to compose.
Things we wanted to have or to do,
so easily decided; It was all up to you.
Opportunity and adventure was there aplenty.
But all that changed in 2020.

No longer could we go and do whatever we chose,
life as we knew it shut down and froze.
Loved ones were told not to come near.
We all stayed home through worry and fear.
Outside was contagious, We must all stay safe.
Remain in our houses and keep a safe space.
In our households we struggled With these new ways,
Isolated from what we’ve known, and loved, Always.

Life as we knew it wasn’t the same,
Confined to our homes trying to stay sane.
Amongst all the madness the fear, the unknown.
People secluded, worried, alone.
There was some light, the world less polluted.
The front liners praised, the brave, saluted.
Households indoors, together united,
with life’s simple pleasures finally appreciated.

Things taken for granted were suddenly recognised.
Stopping. And breathing, getting reenergised.
One hell of a year has taken hold of us all,
but the future is still ours. It can still be magical.
When normal resides and life can resume,
just take it slow. Don’t let it consume.
When families, finally, can reunite,
don’t take them for granted. Hold them extra tight.
Don’t let lockdown be in vain,
Remember its lessons. And love life again. ??

©December 6, 2020 Lucy Hennessy

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Snow Was Falling

By Bud Lemire

Snow was falling, in the city
Many thought, it looked pretty
One young woman thought a Snow Angel would be nice
Others knew that following, would be ice

Watch the elderly, so they won't slip
They could easily, break their hip
Ice Skaters love it, and love to skate
Shanty town hoped, they had the right bait

Let's make a snowman, big and tall
And a snow fort, with a big wall
Let's make some tunnels, in the snow
I'm King Of The Hill, and you must go

Memories of going down the hill at the park
Watch that tree, or you'll leave a mark
Those were the days that we recall
As we watch and see all the snow fall

A snowball almost hit me in the face
Good thing I ducked into another place
Oh yes, the days of the snowfall are so pretty
As they fell quietly and peacefully, upon the City

Dec 30, 2020 Bud Lemire

Author Note:

I wrote this as the snow fell. Living in a place
where it snows during the Winter months, can
be enjoyable, but it also comes with more work.
But when you have grown up in such a place.
You come to accept it and enjoy the beauty and
the fun of having it snow. Of course you also
have so many great memories.


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A New Day

By Bruce Clifford

A new day is so far away
And you say it’s time to get away
And we say maybe another day
A new day is too hard to say

A new way is out of reach
And you say we were meant to teach
And I say words not meant to preach
A new way is out of reach

Are you with me now
Or are you spacing out
Are you with me now
Can we live without the dream

A new day is so far away
And you say we were meant to stay
And we say all the words gone astray
A new day is too hard to say

A reason to find internal peace
And a season we were supposed to reach
And we think of all we were meant to teach
A new day, a new day

Are you with me now
Or are you spacing out
Are you with me now
Can we live without the dream

A new day is so far away
And you say it’s time to get away
And we say maybe another day
A new day is too hard to say

©12/1/2020 Bruce Clifford

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 By Phillip Hennessy

So, here we are, in Isolation
a Future forlorn, such Desperation
Together no more, Divided we Fall
the Virus has Won, devoured us All

Must stay at home, Not allowed out
illegal to Sing, illegal to Shout
Break the Rules, you go to Jail
Precautions all taken, to no Avail

Must comply, Must wear a mask
or others will Die, so little to ask
we'll Never be back to Normal, again
Freedoms have Gone, it seems so insane

No Loyalties now, it's Each for his Own
they'll Track and Trace you, on your phone
Wherever you go, Whatever you need
Permission required for Every deed

Get Used to it now, for this is Forever
No back to Normal, that will be Never
how different Life, will be from Before
this Virus is with us, Forever more

©December 2020 Phillip Hennessy

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A West Texas Tumbleweed Christmas

By Walt Perryman

I am dreaming of a tumbleweed Christmas this year,
The way they roll across the road and we drive in fear.
I love to have a tumbleweed instead of a Christmas tree,
Except when I hang the lights and the stickers stick me.
I think It is a good thing that Santa Clauses sleigh flies,
Or else, Rudolf would get tumbleweeds in his eyes.
I love it when tumbleweeds are stacked high on the fences,
That is when tumbleweeds heighten my Christmas senses.
Next time you see the tumbleweeds, tumbling along,
Try reading the Bible so you can learn right from wrong.
Because my poem is not about getting stuck by a thorn.
A tumbleweed Christmas is about when Jesus was born!

©2020 Walt Perryman

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Two Plastic Pans

 By John I. Blair

Two plastic water pans
Sit on my patio
Day in, day out.

They reflect the world
In one-inch depths,
Slake the need of birds,
Squirrels, coons, possums.

Depending on the light
They can be shallow pools
Or infinite mirages.

Just now I looked
And saw the noon sky,
Interlacing branches,
Wispy clouds.

At night, with glow
Produced by flood lamp
Or a waxing moon,
They may be merely water,

Something to drink,
To soothe tired paws
On winter wanderings.

©2020 John I. Blair, 12/29/2020

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On The Ventilator

 By Bud Lemire

I tried my best not to get it, it could be fatal for me
Yet somehow it found me, now I'm caught in anxiety
That damn virus, breathing for me was hard
I tell you I did everything, I kept up my guard

Because of my health, it would be a trip through Hell
Here I am, on a ventilator, not doing very well
A tube down my throat, to help me breathe each day
Drugged up to help me sleep and heal, is the only way

Panic attacks come on, and I'm scared of where my future lies
In a room packed with so many, where the Covid patient dies
I wish they would take this tube out, but the time is not yet here
So when I am awake, I live each moment in fear

It's early December 2020, and I'm scared and alone
I just want to get better, and spend Christmas in my home
I know that healing takes time, especially for me and what I got
I tried so hard to avoid this Covid, but it's exactly what I caught

When I am awake, I text and reach out to my friends
I need to see their replies, in case my life ends
I'll grasp at anybody, I just hate being alone
I just want to spend my Christmas, in my home

Dec 03, 2020 Bud Lemire

Author Note:

I know someone very dear to me on the ventilator. It is
something I would not wish on anyone. It's to help them
breathe. The fear they must be going through, is so very
dark. Panic attacks, and so many thoughts of what could
happen. In a large room with others who have Covid. And
seeing them die all around in the same room. Wondering
and thinking “will I be next?” What keeps my friend going,
is the hope that it will get better, and be able to spend
Christmas at home.


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You Must Have Known

By Diane Lynch

You must have seen, you must have known
My love, you sent those words times three
Three times you saw how I would feel
In the songs you sang while you were here

Third Time Lucky seems so clear
Along with remembering The Love is Here
Your words so soft I heard that day
As I sat watching while you played

As I remembered my secret fear
The fear of something's wrong is near
What wasn't right, what wasn't clear
Nothing I decided, it's just not real

Will I ever know, know how you feel
This is not the way to heal
Hold On I thought, these Words I knew
I can Believe, I believe in you

How I needed just to Breathe
To Trust I thought, this is me
What I Wanted, how I Feared
Our love is needed to be real

Could I have seen, could I have known
That this is how The Journey runs
Just Imagine, I would say
That Joining Hearts will be One Day

It's 6 0 3 and God Only Knows
How Precious you are to me
For I am a Dreamer who truly glows
Forever in my heart is where you'll be

Making Love with Music is what I'm shown
We Are, if I’m not lost in the unknown
But Stay in Today is what you say
For having doubts, It Doesn't Pay

When Did our love turn this way
Does this remind you of Judy Kay
The turns, the tortures of every day
How I need to hear you play

Hear your words, feel your love
Your voice is like a great white dove
An Abundance of you, will be Enough
To see me through this time that's tough

©10/13/05 Diane Lynch
aka Spirit0662
(Highlighted words are titles of songs and poems by Phil Hennessy aka Phillipo)

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By Bruce Clifford

You drove around town
You’re a spreader
Moving all around
You’re a spreader
You’re a spreader

Nothing gets in your way
Every careless mistake
You’ve got nothing to say
I don’t remember your name

There’s always an excuse
Not a care in the world
You’ll get by

You took off and ran
You’re a spreader
The sh*t hit the fan
You’re a spreader
You’re a spreader

Never getting a break
The memories you shake
Free from the give and take
A reminder of today

Super spreader gifts in your goodie bags
The air from your bounce house drifts alone in the wind and sags

You drove around town
You’re a spreader
Moving all around
You’re a spreader
You’re a spreader

©12/12/2020 Bruce Clifford

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