She got her walker and went outside to work in her garden. She stood on her porch, and a picture she did portray. Frazzled straw hat. Cotton dress that was too big. Old work shoes, Grey tattered sweater. She looked around before stepping down on the squeaky steps. This place sure has gone to hell since Arnie and her had got married. They raised their family here, five kids in all. Arnie had passed on a couple years back. She sure did miss him. He brought the sparkle to her eyes when he walked through that kitchen door. The place was starting to show its wear and tear, but it was still home. Her kids were great. At least one of them dropped by on a day or two every week. Sometimes they would bring the youngins over on a Sunday for a mid day meal. Those were great times. She stepped carefully down the steps and walked towards the shed. She opened the door to the musty smell of dirt. Grabbed her gloves and weeding tool. She went to the garden and smiled as she surveyed the progress of her works, she had done with her own two hand. She looked up and said a thank you to God for giving her such a good life and many blessings.


IT PAYS TO FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVEHe was a determined old cuss. He had always been used to getting his own way. When his wife was alive, he would pout thinking that would work, but his wife learned quickly to ignore him, but he never gave up trying. When he was a child, his parents tried everything to teach him. They sent him to his room without supper. They made him do more chores in the barn. They paddled his bottom. Nothing worked. When he got an idea in his head he didn’t give up. His kids are grown, living in other states, his wife has passed on. The community bus was loading him, taking him back to his assisted living home. He had just been presented news from the specialist, telling him his time would be soon over. He had been given a terminal illness diagnosis and was told to go home and take it easy. The bus helped him inside his door and he could hear the rumble of the bus taking off. He sat in his most comfortable chair and pondered on the news he had been given. He wasn’t going to stand by and just sit here and die. He would fight this. He always fought everything, so why stop now. Doctors weren’t always right. He dialed the on staff nurse, and asked her to come down to speak to him. She came after lunch and they had a talk. He was taking down notes of everything she said. The next morning he got a ride on the bus to head to the grocery store. When he went in he got his list he had made and followed the directions to the letter. Today, five years later, due to his not giving up, and the call of a helpful nurse, he is stronger and healthier than he had ever been. He may have not won the battle for ever, but he has won the battle of stomach cancer now for five years………..terry shepherd



A phone call, an email, a card. Such little things make a huge difference in people’s lives. Many live alone, sometimes seeing no one. Maybe a knock at their door, with a delivery of a meal. Too quiet and too tired to eat. Feed it to a dog. Get a blanket and lie down for a spell. Legs are cold, feet are blue. Not much movement in this old body. A youthful girl worked hard all her life. Worked the fields. Used every muscle given to her. Worked with her hands later in life. Sewing with her fingers, making bandages for soldiers. Working from dawn to dusk. Got married. Married a lad she met at the factory. Marriage taught her to put her needs a side, taught her to never say no to her man. Learned to stoke the fire. Cook, scale a fish, knead the bread, heat the water, give a bath, soothe the ill. Plow the field. Hang the clothes. Busy all day long, tired at the end of the day. Not a tired like now, but a good tired, she thought. Ready to lay her head down, a sleep that was sound. Now restless, sleep off and on all day. Too tired to bathe, too tired to cook. Long hair a mess. Haven’t changed clothes. This is not what we should expect at the end of our days. Make a point to make a phone call, send an email, or send a card. Make a visit. These people helped us do what we do today….terry shepherd



Confusion, sadness, anger, tears. Feelings of an inner soul asking for a different answer. Doctors see so many in a day, you walk away wondering if they heard your concern or felt your pain. Drug stores smiling, asking how they may help. You laugh inside, realizing there is no help, just ways of diverting time. Heart is sinking, hoping tomorrow brings a reason to smile. To laugh, to turn back time, to turn around, to daydream for a day. This is a wish we all want at one point in our lives. Moving through the day, remembering of another time and realizing you are reliving a part of your past that you wish you could bury forever. What are we to learn from the challenges that we are given? Why must we sometimes have to endure pain? Isn’t there a way to go around it, to encircle it looking in from the outside? We are to grow strong from this experience, to cherish each moment, to smile and reflect on the good times. To appreciate each person that crosses our paths in life. When our time has come and we lay down for the final time, a smile rest softly across our lips. A better place I can see ahead, arms are outwardly stretching towards me, softly waving for me to come. I look one last time at the loving people standing near, and a tear slides down my cheek, realizing the broken hearts that are being left behind. I must go, I whisper, but we shall see each other again…terry shepherd



Life is a learning experience, involving teaching of mind, patience, understanding. Life is also learning about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses. Learning about people. Who you can trust with your deepest thoughts, who you can’t. Life is a building of character. Dealing with issues of all sorts. The breaking of your heart, a loss of a parent or child. The loss of a job or security. You have your parents training from chldhood, and you intertwine that with your learnings as an adult. By the time you are middle aged, you know the heart breaks, you know friends can and will come and go. You know the feeling of loss of loved ones, but you are much more able to deal with them now. Although we grieve, we now understand……terry shepherd



Poor little thing. Looks so lonely. Abandoned on the road side. Left for dead. I saw him walking ever so slowly, head hanging low, toungue hanging out, drooping to one side. The hair so matted and unkempt, I am surprised that he could see where he was walking. He laid down on the side of the road. His eyes looked weary and tired. I was riding my bicycle and I could see him getting clearer and clearer as I came up on him. He raised his head and gave me a look that said, please, don’t let me die out here. I am hungry, I am tired. I have been walking for miles and I don’t know where I am at. I stopped. Cautiously I got off my bike, and I saw one wag of his tail. He must be friendly. I wasn’t sure. He lay there and I stood there. I put the kick stand down and walked slowly towards him. He managed to sit up and tears ran down my eyes, as he handed me his paw, letting me know he was greatful for my company. My heart felt a pang instantly as I fell in love with this fella. I had to help him. I wanted to help him. I checked him out as best I could. He let me walk around him not trying to move or bite. I was lucky that I was riding my old fashioned Schwinn because it had double baskets on the back. I went back to my bike and got the snack that I was saving for myself and my sweater. I walked over to him and he knew instantly that I had food. He sat up straighter and I saw his tag wave back and forth. I let him eat my snack and when he was done he lay his head in my lap. I scooped him up and wrapped him in my sweater and put him in the basket on my bike. He snuggled for a few moments making himself comfy, and we rode home, together, my buddy and me…….terry shepherd



She had wondered all day not knowing where she was but knew she was going home. Things had changed. More buildings, some torn down, more lights. The sky was growing dusk as the sun was beginning its journey beneath the trees. She had been walking what seemed like for hours and she was starting to feel a chill underneath her grey sweater. She should have dressed warmer she thought. She didn’t remember it being this cold in October. As she sat on the bench, resting her weary legs, she looked around her noticing leaves drifting to no where, gently landing on the ground. She remembered the beautiful colors and how as a child she would spin around with arms wide open trying to catch as many leaves as she could before she fell to the ground from spinning. Oh, she had wonderful memories of her childhood. She could remember mama baking bread and when she burst open the front door of their tiny house, the smell of that bread made her mouth water so. The crackling of the heat pipes gave her a feeling of comfort, and a knowing she was safe in her home. She remembered her first kiss, with the boy who lived down the street. How he had told her he had admired her from day one. She married that boy, and they had a long, happy life together growing their family. Those memories of her youth made her smile even though she couldn’t quite remember what day it was and what direction she needed to go. She took a crumpled napkin out of her purse and inside was a roll that she had been saving. It was crusty now, but it would get her by until she got home. She sat there eating her roll and feeding a few birds that stopped by. Just as she was getting to rise up to carry on her journey, a police officer gently tapped her on her shoulder, asking if she was Mrs. Miller. She stated that she was and she was on her way home. The officer told her that her home was at the CountrySide nursing home and that they were missing her so much, that they had asked him if he would bring her home. He put his arm under her arm and guided her to his car and helped her in the back seat. He told her they would be so pleased and relieved that she was coming home, but she knew where her real home was and she would go tomorrow,,, terry shepherd


Birds and Spring

Sitting outside on the step a bright flicker caught the corner of my eye. I heard a tiny chirp. Looking up towards the sun, holding a hand over my eye, protecting the glare, I saw a beautiful cardinal. It looked at me as if she were announcing to me, it is the right time for me to be here. I have arrived. Be joyous and smile as spring is near. I looked towards the left of me and saw leaves and heard their rustling as they skidded across the street, letting me know, that they are a reminder that winter is still here. Clouds in the sky mixed with a color of hazy blue. The air is still chilly and the weather announcer has said the snow word for this week. I don’t care. The animals tell me the truth. Spring is near. I got up and walked into the house and a shiver ran down my spine from the chill in the air, but there is promise of a new beginning coming my way. I smiled. terry shepherd



When people say What goes around comes around, i don’t believe it means only for people who hurt you. i used to make fun of my old parents, i thought they were old, lol, for the tv programs they watched and some of the things they did. the reasons they gave i thought were stupid. tonite i sit here and i am watching the lawerence welk show. i know , old foggie stuff, but it is relaxing to me. someone told me recently that i look just like my dad, which was a great compliment to me, cuz i always thought my dad was handsome. it is funny how writing this is making me teary eyed. i miss my daddy so much, but on to the story. so it seems, that what goes around comes around also reflects on your genes and age, cuz i m turning into my parents…….terry shepherd



Christmas is past, new years too. valentines day has come and gone. now we are thinking spring. golfing, john deer. garden seeds, flower seeds. riding bikes, taking walks. putting shorts on and hiding sweat shirts. watching sprigs of green, dealing with allergies. swim suits, tanning lotion, sun glasses, and even kids out of school. motor cycles, mopeds, car windows down, washing cars. beaches, vacations, parties, over nights. waking up to fresh air coming in your bedroom windows. doesn’t it just make you want to jump up and down? thanking god you are alive and able to enjoy another day, week, and tomorrow? i close my eyes, and ask god to help me not complain about petty things, to give me strength to deal with today’s challenges, and to praise his name for loving me for all that i am not…terry shepherd