The Robin


Jan looked out the kitchen window. The room was silent, set aside the perk of her coffee being made. Without opening her back door, she could tell by the slow trickle of movement there was a gentle breeze. Warm, she suspected; after all this was two days before the holiday, July 4th.

A small-curved smile spread over her face as bouncing memories came rushing back to the holidays when she was a young girl. Daddy would work a few hours over-time so we could have our very own picture show in our backyard.

We three kids would hurry and gobble our dinner and mama would say as she always said,” slow down children, there ain’t no fire to go to”. Jan smiled bigger as she heard her mama’s voice in her head.

We each took turns saying the magic words, may I be excused? With a nod from papa’s head, we would pick up our plates and glasses and place them in the sink carefully, so as they wouldn’t break; that would upset mama dearly, and it could ruin our night of fun.

We then quickly walked to our bedrooms. One by one we took turns in the bathroom, brushing our teeth, putting our PJ’s on and then brushing our hair. Outside the door, soft knocks would be heard. Voices followed,” are you about finished in there”?

When we were all done and our sheets were pulled back we would walk in line back to the kitchen and announce to both mama and papa we were ready for bed. Papa would look up from his evening paper, and give us each the one, all over look.

With his approval we went out back and sat on the old, squeaky porch swing. We would move our legs back and forth making that old swing go as fast as we could without getting caught by our parents.

Soon mama would come out of the door, letting the screen door slam. I always thought that was a way of hers to let us know if we were doing anything wrong, we better straighten up because papa would be coming close behind.

We forced the swing to stop and we each sat with our hands in our laps and waited. We heard the latch and our breathing began to race as we knew it was now time for the fun to begin.

Papa came through the door holding a brown paper bag. It reminded me much of the bags we used to carry our lunches in; except this was bigger. Papa would look at mama and the two of them would smile pretty at each other.

I always thought  my parents were the best ever. They never fought and from  what I heard other people say; my parents were still in that beginning stage of being in love. I didn’t know what love was; but when I found out, I hoped it was as grand as mama and papa’s.

Papa would look at us three and say,” alright kids, are you ready? get your behinds off that swing and get out in the yard. Way out there now, we don’t want any accidents”. We would jump off and clap our hands racing off the porch.

Papa would follow, opening the brown bag and handing us each a small box. It was a red, white and blue box. It had many different colors all over it. We would hold it for a quick second and then quickly tear off the little top.

Out would come the prettiest, most silver in color, long sparklers. Mama came over to where we were then and she asked for each of our empty boxes. Papa would pull out his lighter from his pocket, and one by one he would light a sparkler for each of us. He repeated this until all the sparklers were burnt.

We would twirl and pretend we had magic  in our hands. We would write our names in the sky. I imagine the neighbors could hear our giggles next door, but if they did, no one complained.

When we had nothing left to light, papa would tell us to get back upon the porch and reminded us to not step foot back on to the grass. Mama had went back inside and brought out a much bigger bag. She handed it to papa and he gently pulled out the grand finales.

Big sparklers that stuck straight up in the ground. Fireworks that looked like the tents Indians lived in. I remember there was a firework that looked like a little wagon. When papa lit the driver, the wagon would move on its own.

We kids would clap each time new colors bounced in the sky. Excitement over whelmed us and we wanted to see more and more. When it was all done and we knew we could go back in the grass, we would run to papa and grab him around the waist, telling him how much we loved him and how much we loved the picture show.

I look out my window and I then look down at the walker holding me up. Where had the time gone? When did the years get faster and faster. I saw a Robin sitting on a leafy branch. Another Robin came and sat beside him.

It reminded me of my man, Sam. Sam and I had been married almost 54 years. We would still be together if  a heart attack had not come and taken him away from me. It wasn’t much after that my own health started to fail me.

The kids were all grown and had moved in all directions. Life sure wasn’t the same anymore. It sure had quieted down. It sort of lost its meaning. Is this what getting old is all about?

The noise of the coffee perking had quieted. I walked as good as I could and poured me a nice, big cup. Sitting it down, I turned once again and looked out the window. The breeze was stirring. The leaves were green with life. The Robins were gone. A gentle tear streamed down my cheek. I picked up my coffee and went to the table and sat down.

robin bird

Life’s Good


Life’s Good

Walking down the street

A bounce in both my feet

Air is feeling good

Just like I knew it would

Life is looking up

I look your way, waz up

Smiling ear to ear

Got all my happy gear

Gonna be a great day

Things just going my way.

Written by,

Terry Shepherd

5.12.2015

 

 

Secret Santa/ The Daily Post


https://dailypost.wordpress.com

Secret Santa

You get to choose one gift — no price restrictions — for any person you want. The caveat? You have to give it anonymously. What gift would you give, and to whom?

 

I’d heard the name before. It seemed like it was mentioned when I walked in the stores. I  glanced in the direction of where the people were pointing and there they were. Two parents and seven kids.

Dad looked like he had not changed clothes for a good month. His skin was stained from something. It had a dark look to it. Mom was wearing something from years ago. A skirt, a little too tight, hung down to her shoes. An off-white blouse which buttoned down the front but it looked from where I stood that a couple of buttons were missing.

A baby was crying and Mom was trying to soothe the child’s cry. A few of the kids were dancing around the cart as if they were at the peak of their day. Dad was talking and pointing to the prices. Mom had her calculator out, and I am sure she was doing a run on the numbers to keep to their food budget.

I noticed one of the kids shoes flopped up and down as each step was taken. I pulled my jacket closer to me as I realized not one of those family members had any kind of warmth wrapped around them.

I listened to the gossip but instead of getting my jollies, I stood off to the side and sneaked down an aisle close to the family. I stayed back but I was close enough to hear what was being said. The more I heard, the more my heart broke.

It was evident to me that this family was trying the best that they could. I could tell by words and actions that they loved their children dearly. From the talk of the husband he worked in some mine and it wasn’t mainly from a lack of bath, it was staining from his job.

I saw the kids hair was combed but I could clearly see each head needed a good scrub. I followed them until they were ready to check-out and as soon as they walked out the door, I took something from my purse and tucked it deep inside my pocket.

The father was putting the empty cart back into the cart rack so I took this time to walk up to the car. I walked to the side where mom sat ; she was holding the baby feeding it. She looked at me and smiled. I smiled back.

The kids in the back were waving as if they were looking at Santa Claus. They warmed my heart. I asked if it was alright if I spoke to her husband and she looked a tiny concerned. I told her with my smile that it was alright.

I walked over to where the husband was sitting. He had started the family car and then he rolled down his car window and asked if he could help me, was I lost. I said, ” No, I am not lost, but I am one of your guardian angels.”

I pulled out the papers and looked at them for a brief second. I placed the papers in his hand. He began to cry and question why. I said, ” It is Christmas. I want to help you.” His wife leaned over and grabbed my hand shaking it over and over. The kids were in the back two seats screaming with joy.

I wished them all a Merry Christmas and turned and left, walking back to my car. I didn’t need that Christmas bonus near as bad as they did.

poverty poem

The Past & Today


The Past & Today


I don’t know or remember if I have written about this topic and tonight I am too lazy to go way back in my posts to see. I realize it is warm everywhere; well it must be because for the second time it is quite warm here in Warsaw, Indiana.

I have just been lazing today. Is that a real word? If not, it is now a Terry word. Took AJ for several walks. Showed my neighbor’s trailer. Almost had the…

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The Past & Today


I don’t know or remember if I have written about this topic and tonight I am too lazy to go way back in my posts to see. I realize it is warm everywhere; well it must be because for the second time it is quite warm here in Warsaw, Indiana.

I have just been lazing today. Is that a real word? If not, it is now a Terry word. Took AJ for several walks. Showed my neighbor’s trailer. Almost had the cash in his hand but the younger generation with the parents said, no, too small. I know the neighbor was disappointed, but I tried to boost his hopes back up. He may have alternatives if he doesn’t sell it by the end of the month.

So I did crap, but yet I stayed busy. I love watching the Waltons, and of course this was on tonight. It was a rather serious show. Christmas and the family being all together.

This hits a sensitive  spot with me as each year I struggle with my emotions wondering who and who won’t be here Will there be arguing or no arguing. Will everyone bring something or should I make extra.  When I was young family was  just expected to attend. No questions, no doubts. Family was very important in earlier days. Now people have to work weekends, don’t get the benefits they used to get and life can suck at holidays, no doubt.

But I had to giggle throughout the show. Our culture today has been brainwashed that Christmas is all about gifts. I won’t even bring Jesus Christ into it tonight. I don’t want another post where there could be comments I don’t want to read. So just keeping on the gift giving.

Me, as a child, always got that big gift I dreamed about and I am sure I bugged my parents to death since Halloween was over. We had good Christmas mornings. We were blessed. We weren’t given the world. There weren’t gifts staggering from the tree to the hallway. We didn’t get it, but the important thing was we didn’t expect it.

Today’s world is about money. Spend big and spend what you don’t have. Not everyone, so don’t take offense, but let’s face it. If most weren’t living this way at Christmas, the sales departments would go down and another idea would be born.

I have worked with organizations where the goal is to help the less fortunate. It is truly a bigger gift than receiving when you hand a mama a bag of toys and as you wish her a Merry Christmas tears run down her face from joy.

They don’t get tons of things but what is important to them is that their kids get something under the tree. I know, I know, the system is abused. I have dealt with that too. It can tend to cause your hair to turn grey as you pick out the needles in the hay that have went to every program there is getting triple what they should; sometimes leaving the deserving short on gifts.

But all in all, we hope and pray it is fair in the end and no one suffers. Do children suffer today if they don’t get lots of gifts? I have to admit when my kids were small we did go all out. We saved and spent little on birthday’s to give more on Christmas. For me, it was more for me than for the kids. I enjoyed seeing them scream in delight, jump up and down with joy.

They may have been disappointed more because they learned to expect big times on Christmas, but if we didn’t produce so much, I think they would have been sad but would have adjusted quickly, knowing they were going to Grandma’s later that day.

Today, I would change some things. There would be less gifts and more talk about what Christmas is all about. I know I brought it up, but I wasn’t as strong in my faith then as I am now.

But laughing through the Waltons because I can see how times have changed so much. They were working hard on making sure the entire family was together and they spent sometimes days or weeks making that one special gift for each other. Some saved their pennies for months to buy something.

Today if we don’t have the money we charge. If we can’t get what they ask for we carry guilt. In the Walton days it was different. I giggled because the family got one gift a piece. I stopped giggling and started tearing up when the entire family was together, holding hands and giving thanks all around the table. When they all repeated Amen, the smiles remained and they ate together and had a wonderful Christmas.

christmas tree

Dahlia, My Book is Here


Dahlia, My Book is Here

Dahlia front coverDahlia back coverI am so proud and happy to announce that my book is now available for sale. It is now on Create Space and will be out within a week on Amazon.

I stand here proud as I have completed the one task that I have wanted to do for so  many years. I wanted to leave my children a legacy. A slice of who I am and what I represent in life; and now I have finished it.

I want to thank Diane Stephenson for the…

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Dahlia, My Book is Here


Dahlia front coverDahlia back coverI am so proud and happy to announce that my book is now available for sale. It is now on Create Space and will be out within a week on Amazon.

I stand here proud as I have completed the one task that I have wanted to do for so  many years. I wanted to leave my children a legacy. A slice of who I am and what I represent in life; and now I have finished it.

I want to thank Diane Stephenson for the many hours and time she spent helping me with my project. In the Acknowledgements I thanked each of you, my blogging friends.

I just had to let you be the first to know about this exciting news in my life. Now on with my other two books I am writing on. Thank-you for all of your support.

My Little Angel


My Little Angel


Tip toe down the stairs, she stops. She looks and she listens. Tears start to form and drip softly down her cheeks. Her finger goes in her mouth. She says nothing. Too scared to move.

She hears a groan coming from the floor. This forces her little feet to take a new step. Step by step she makes it down to solid floor. Cautiously, tenderly, she moves closer to where the sound was coming from.

She…

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