Oh Come on and Shake a Leg

Do you ever wonder why you start the day off so darn good, and end up feeling like crap and being run over by a 14foot truck by midday? You do? You know what I am talking about then.

Remember when we were in our youthful days? Stay up later by reading past bedtime, and being called to wake-up, WAKE-UP, WAKE-UP!!!!! by a parent, crawling out of bed dead tired, but within a couple of hours we had enough energy to run crazy-wild for hours and even into the night-owl hours?

What in the world happened? Yes, part of it is getting older, as my kids say, old age a coming. I think it is the responsibilities in life that we carry on our young shoulders that helps tire us out.

You know, that first bill you receive in the mail when you finally break away from the apron strings, well they just start coming and coming until we don’t even want to check that darn old mailbox.

Then there is that time when we give up single life because we are so madly in love, we just have to get married, and then the bills get bigger. Oh wait, then the big announcement of a bun in the oven. I swear that oven gets hotter and hotter, especially when baby two or three or who knows, maybe even more start making those seams of our home pop.

Then there is the worry of enough money to pay those hospital bills, food pantry being filled, oh, and the price of diapers and baby food alone, can set bottle rockets off.


I remember when a box of pampers set me on fire as I whipped out the four dollars a week for them. Now they are what, twelve dollars or so, and baby food used to cost me nineteen cents, but how many jars did I have to buy, along with Gerber cookies, banana oatmeal, formulas. Whoo, I am getting tired just thinking about all the things I had to purchase by having a child.

Then, of course, there is raising the child or children. Nurturing, guiding, discipline, worrying, arguing. It is definitely enough to start the graying of naturally once beautiful hair.

Oh my gosh, let’s not even go to that awful place where the growing kids want their driver’s license, and the cost of insurance, and praying they don’t wreck our only car. Then the idea pops like an exploding balloon. Hey mom, dad, can I have my own car?



Then as our bodies weaken from raising our families, we start getting those aches and pains. Oh, the hip, or oh, my elbow, and that familiar saying,”must be gonna rain.” One day we look in the mirror, and we almost pee our pants as we don’t recognize those wrinkles and bushy eyebrows and what’s this? Gray hair has taken over!

If you follow the rest of us older generations, some sort of plague from outer space grabs hold of us and won’t let go. It may be regular visits from arthritis, poor vision, new visits to Botox center, or implants, uplifts, take out, remove, reverse. Admit it, there is a place for any procedure or ache and pain today. All you need is a rich mate or a bank filled with money.

Before you know it, the pitter-patter of little feet yelling, “Gramma, Grampa, I wuv you!”

We love those grandchildren but come on parents, time to come pick them up! We go to bed as soon as the front door is closed, and we sleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows. Wait, it isn’t quite that smooth. That darn water pill is making me have to get up a few more times than I want to.

We look at our partner when we crawl back into bed, waiting for sleep to take over and we think,” Aww, this is the life. I feel safe and secure. I have someone who wants to be with me. I have had a great life. I have beautiful children and grandchildren. Wouldn’t trade it for anything.”Yes, life has many good times and great memories. Along the road, we stumble across pebbles, but we shake a leg, dust off our pants, and we keep moving forward.

You Are a Gift

You Are a Gift

Why do you drift, my friend
Sniffing out other land?
Your God, your father
Hath made you with a plan.

Wandering in foreign fields
Leads to nothing but astray
Pretending for another
Is not the righteous way.

Stay true to your family born
I promise, you won’t be dismayed
For when you’re ripe and old
You’ll see your path you laid.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd

Free to Breathe, Free to Love, Free to Believe

“Why can’t I grandma? I want to do this?”

“I said no, and I mean no. when I was a kid, I wanted to do the same thing. My parents didn’t care if I got hurt or not; they let me, and now you see what that did for me. I have been half a woman all my days. Got a bum knee which no surgery ever helped. I’ll be damned if I let you do the same thing.”

Lily pouted. She held her head low and turned and walked to her bedroom. Throwing herself on her bed, she let the tears roll. All she ever wanted to do was ride horses. She loved horses. She loved petting them, grooming them. They understood her. They weren’t mean like grandma was.

Lily had been born on the farm. A 200 acre of rolling, green hills. Wooden fences lined the property. Inside the fences held the house she lived in. It was the same home that her grandma and grandpa resided in too.

Lily’s parents died in an auto accident several years ago. This led to Lily coming to live with her grandparents. The name on the tall posts out front was Green Hills, a perfect place to ride horses.

Grandpa had been killed about four years back. He  had been trying to tame a new horse, who didn’t want to be messed with. One day, the sun was pouring down. Grandpa was cussing out the stubborn horse, sweat pouring down his face, almost blinding him by the saltiness. He took out his hankie from his shirt  pocket and when he began to wipe his eyes, the horse bucked and kicked grandpa way back. Poor grandpa hit his head on a cement rock and it killed him instantly.

Now grandma and Lily lived in the big, quiet house. There was farm help that tended to the grounds and animals. Every morning Lily would jump out of bed and pull back the white blinds that covered the lace curtains. In her view were the fields of horses.

When you looked over Lily’s room it was filled with statues of horses. It was born within her; her love for these powerful animals. She looked outside this morning too until she saw Melon. Melon was the name of her horse. Everyone said Melon was the same color as the fruit slices, sitting on the kitchen table.

Lily got dressed and quietly but quickly slipped out the side door and raced to the fence holding Melon in. She walked towards him, talking and cooing. Petting him, she pointed towards the ground and Melon lowered himself so that Lily could get on.

Sitting atop, she could see so far. She looked out over the hills, feeling like she was the luckiest gal alive. Melon directed her towards the gates and with his nose nudged the iron latch, releasing them into open country.

A gentle ride was what it started out to be. The sun was getting hot by the moment. The two seemed to be in tune with each other. Neither made a noise. Nature was being enjoyed by both. I swear the two could feel the others love for each other.

When the ride was over Lily promised Melon she would be back as soon as she could. She walked towards the house and noticed several cars out front. She raced in only to find men with uniforms on and a lady came towards Lily. “Is your name Miss Lily?”

Lily nodded yes. “Can we step out onto the porch? I have something important to say.” Lily let the nice lady lead the way. Once on the porch the two sat in the swing. ” I don’t know how else to say it Lily, but you know your grandma was getting old, and she didn’t feel good a lot, right?” Lily nodded once again. ” Well, your grandma was tired. This morning she was real tired and she decided she wanted to go and visit your mom and dad.”

Lily understood immediately and buried her head in the police woman’s lap and cried and cried. After she stopped the lady said that she would take the young lady in a ride in her police car. She said there was someone special who wanted to meet her at the station.

Entering the double doors, the transaction happened so quick, Lily had no time to scream or shout. The children’s Social Services whisked her into another cold car, and the two headed towards a house in the city.

Lily was introduced to the manager and met some of the children. Lily was filled with emotions so big, she didn’t know how to deal with them. She went to the room that would be hers from now on and cried herself to sleep.

Each day was the same from that moment on. Early rise for breakfast, clean-up the kitchen, chores to do, school to attend, come home to more chores, supper and study, then bed.

Lily hated her life. This wasn’t fair. She didn’t want to live here. She willed herself to hate it no matter what others thought. Mean while, outside these four walls, legal meetings were being held. Family members sitting round big, wooden tables, putting things into place, signing papers. Finally, after three months, the work was done. Everyone shook hands and the table cleared.

It was the beginning of Fall. Trees were changing, colors started to pop on the leaves. Lily was thinking about Melon and how the tree leaves resembled his mane. A car drove up the lane. A man and a woman got out. They walked quickly to the front door and knocked.

Lily listened at the door. After hearing some talk that sounded like arguing, a knock came at her door. She was startled and jumped back. The manager motioned for  her to follow her. Once in the living room, the man and woman came to her and wrapped their arms around her.

“You probably don’t remember us Lily. It’s been a long time since we have come to visit your grandma, but we are your distant family. We have come to take you home.”

“Home?, I have no home, this is my home now.”

“No, your home, the farm, where Melon lives. Melon misses you. You see, your grandma made it so we could live in the home and we know how much you must miss being there. You can live with us there and  ride Melon. I read in a journal your grandma wrote in that you desperately wanted to be a professional rider, but grandma was afraid you would get hurt like she did. We want you to have your dream.”

Lily ran to the two and hugged them with all she had. She looked at the manager and said, “Thank-you very much for letting me visit here but I must go home now.” Not giving the woman a chance to reply, Lily packed as fast as she could. Within an hour, she was out of there and back home. Free to breathe, free to love, free to dream.


pink bud 6

The Very Special Gifts for my Birthday

This past Friday was my birthday. I won’t admit to my age because my mind isn’t in alignment with the numbers yet. My daughter-in-law took me to  lunch. We went to Pizza Hut. I always have the buffet and try to only have one slice of pizza along with my heaping salad. My daughter came from out of state for my birthday, and my other son had a cook-out and bonfire planned for me.

Going back in time, three years in fact, my brother had a beautiful Peace Lily delivered to his funeral. I have nurtured it for these three years and enjoyed its company too. Where I lived the past year, was a strain on this special plant. The water and lack of natural light took their toll and at the end of the lease; I had to say goodbye to the plant with a couple of falling tears.

I prayed about this. I know, it sounds silly to pray about a plant; but this plant was a surreal connection to my brother. I could see it, not just vision it. I ask God to please replace the plant and I would dedicate it silently to my brother.

For my birthday, only a month after I had to dissolve Al’s plant, I received the same type of plant from my one son and family. It is beautiful and much, much bigger. It came with one big, white lily opened.

Also on my birthday, along with the many well-wishes on Facebook and from my children, I was leaving my door to go to the elevator, and there in the dead center of the long hallway was something that I knew without a doubt, was a birthday wish from my brother. It was three, heads-up, pennies. You know how I know it was from him? Because each penny was aligned perfect in length and width. It was exactly how he lined up his Hot Wheel cars when he was a child. There was no way, I could miss that as I walked. I picked them up and placed them in a special drawer.

This year, I had an extra special blessing and I thank my children and God for my gifts.


pink tree 15three pennies

The Widow

The Widow

She was a widow
Who looked out her window.
She watched children play
Swinging and sliding away.
She remembered back
To the bicycle rack.
The baby blue bike
That she very much liked.
The toy tea set she owned
And still has though she’s grown.
Her favorite baby dolls too
Who peed and boo- hooed.
Her mama’s big smile
Who read books for awhile.
Her daddy’s soft hands
Who loved her so grand.
Her pretty pink room
And her bright balloons.
She wiped away a small tear
As she new death was too near.
But then she smiled once again
As she went to her memories of when.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd


Terry 2

Let’s Do It Starting Today

The air is filled with scents
New life, a new chance
Bright colors
All enhanced.

Put away yesterday
Look at today
Pray for tomorrow
Set time to play.

We all have issues
Some little, some big
We’ll deal with the majors
Small stuff; send to the pigs.

We just don’t have time
For hurt feelings and more
Let’s live for our happiness
And shove the rest out the door.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd



door slam

MSA (Multiple System Atrophy)

MSA. (Multiple System Atrophy)

You have taken many people
To the heavenly steeple.

Here on earth we ask
For only one task
For you, almighty one
God, Jesus, your son.

Who is the miracle king
Let freedom ring.

Hear us sing
Provide the key.

For them and me.
Heal this disease..

We shall get on bended knee
And praises will go to thee.

Thank you for your gift

Written by,
Terry Shepherd


Innocent Adult

He was innocent
Not as in not guilty
But in the world;
He was a child
In a man’s body
An adult who
Had not argued
With the world.
He was robbed
He was beaten
But in God’s eyes
He was perfect
Just the way
God designed him.

Written by,
Terry Shepherd

Photo by Terry Shepherd



The Autistic Brother

“I want the coke! I don’t want the Pepsi!” Avery yelled with hand motions from the back seat. He had a thing for coke. It wasn’t the way it tasted. He liked the symbol of the coke bottle and he loved the color red.

Avery was born Autistic. He was obsessed with not changing anything in  his life.



He loved red. He had his bedroom decorated in red. He wore red Keds. He had red pajamas. He loved red Kool-aid. He was now nine years old and as long as those around him kept his routine the same; he was fine.

Teaching him new things was a challenge; but could be accomplished with much patience and professional training. He didn’t like school very well. He didn’t have very good social skills.

What he did like was spending time with his older sister; but that was a difficult task to achieve. The parents liked Avery being quiet. If others became involved in his life, wouldn’t that cause an eruption in their day?

There was a strong bond between the sister and brother. Some may even say they could somehow read each others minds. Whatever the travel of thought was, the point is that the sister understood.

Tonya played alone or sometimes was allowed to have her friends over. When times arose where it threw the brother and sister together, the two clung together. She read to him. She sneaked him pieces of her candy. She made faces at him and he would laugh.

When she got  older and began working, she would stop and buy him a coca-cola. He would squeal in delight as he took the bottle from her. When the bottle was emptied, he handed it back to Tonya. Tonya would rinse it out and set it on Avery’s shelf that hung on his bedroom wall.

The parents gradually turned the care of their son over to their daughter, as they became more involved in grown-up games. In fact, for some time now, Tonya was pretty sure Avery considered her his mom.

When the parents divorced, Tanya moved her brother into her apartment. She had hired care takers to come take care of him while she worked and when she arrived home, her evenings were spent with him.

Their lives seemed so perfect. A child born normal, a child born with handicaps. Each interested in the other. Each putting the other first. No one could ask for a better relationship than this one.

Tonya was coming home from work one day when she was hit hard from behind, by a drunk driver. Tonya didn’t make it. She died instantly. The care taker didn’t know what to do, so she called the police.

With a chain reaction, Avery was placed in a Disability group home. He was miserable. He acted out. He bit others. He screamed too much. He refused to eat. He didn’t know how to fix things. All he knew was he wanted his sister.

His refusal to eat sent him to the doctor’s, but even with the professional advice, he wouldn’t eat. In less than a month, he was standing by his sister, both holding hands, and they were  smiling and sharing a coca-cola with the red coke symbol on the bottle.