To Brighten Your Day


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By the time you get to read this, many of you will be in the grip of winter, knee deep in snow and ice, along with cold and freezing temperatures. Cars won’t start and when they do, you have to clean the ice off the windshield before trying to drive on ice packed roads along with your neighbors. Fender benders and cars in the ditch and tow trucks are all a part of the winters norm. especially if you live in Upper New York State as I did.

I lived there for ten years when I first arrived in this country on March 13, 1967. The first night, it snowed 13 inches of heavy wet snow leaving me to wonder just what I had let myself and my family in for. I had never ever seen that much snow in my life and it probably totalled the sum amount of snow in my previous 31 years.  Over the next ten years, we grew used to winter but never really liked it. We learned how to drive in it and how to winterize the car so it would start in the mornings. We even had a snowmobile and ice skating and skiing were all a part of the norm.

Circumstances changed and I found myself in Texas in 1977 and have been here ever since. Compared to the New York State winter cold, the Texas summers, although a little on the warm side,  are much easier to handle, at least for me. The coldest I have ever been outside was on the ski slopes where the windchill at the top of the mountain was 51 degrees below zero. That was cold, so cold in fact that I took off my skis and walked back down the mountain. On the other hand, the hottest temperature I have been out in was 108 degrees in Dallas while playing in a soccer tournament. Needless to say, it was hard to get eleven players out on the pitch and players were begging to get subbed. I can’t remember if we won or lost and most of us didn’t really care.

So, I thought it nice just to brighten your day especially if you are in the grip of winter, to show you a couple of cheery pictures that I took way back in October when the sun was warm and the flowers were waving their lovely heads and saying, “Look at me”.

Enjoy.

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Written 10/25/2017

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Things Have Changed…


Jeff Price-24

I noticed just the other day
that things are different in how I play
in the way I used to spend my life
not counting when I had a wife
for they tend to tell a man
of the things that they have planned
for him to do day to day
even though he would rather play
and do the things that he would like
but he does her things to avoid a strife
no what I mean is that I have changed
where I used to do the same
old things from day to day
like go outside and work in the yard
rake the leaves and toil very hard
and be tired at the end of the day
but feeling good in a tired sort of way
and now I like to sit and write
and spend my days inside despite
that things outside are not the same
with Richie gone myself I blame
and working outside sharing the space
even though he has run his race
I miss that little doggie friend
and always will until the end
and so I spend more time inside
until the memories do decline
and then outside I will go
to do the work I used to do.

Written 10/20/2017

 

Working on the Shed…


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The rain has gone and the frost has gone
soon I will be able to carry on
with my project outside fixing the shed
replacing the trim board around the bed
where the joists and the flooring are attached
covered by this board and carefully packed
to hold the flooring together and sound
for thirty more years as it comes around.

 

I actually have the boards in place
and removed the siding to see the space
where the insulation was supposed to be
alas the rats have made history
of the original stuff that I installed
which I need to replace with another roll
this is the part of the job that I dislike
it makes me itch and break out in hives
so long pants and long sleeves and wear a mask
with gloves on my hands to lessen the task
and work as quickly as I can
the fastest insulator in the land.

 

with the stuff installed and the siding in place
another project complete in my space
I still have other things to do
like clearing the frozen vegetation too
and to fix the fence where it leans with age
next on the list on my written page
I like to do these sort of things
a lifetime of training flying by on wings
of time as it marches towards the end
let’s fix the fence while I still can.

Written 12/9/2017

Thoughts


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It’s been awhile since I last wrote
or to my many readers spoke
of things that happen day to day
as I travel on my way
life is no longer the same
no worldly goods do I seek to claim
content to live with what I have got
on my little half acre lot
my little piece of American pie
with dreams that drift up to the sky
although too old for them to succeed
my mind still active tries to heed
the dreams that still my heart exclaims
as the years run out on all of my claims
to lead s different sort of life
maybe even include a wife
more acres of land to call my own
more years to enjoy what I have sown
ideas that need a more youthful life
not an old body filled with strife
of many years in this world
struggling to help it all unfurl
and what is the purpose at the end
what words of wisdom can I send
to those that I will leave behind
who buys my house what will they find
the ponds the garden the sheds all there
waiting for their tender care
to carry on where I left off
or to start anew at the thinking trough
and fill in the ponds and landscape anew
because they want a different view
with grass and flowers and an open space
each to their own there’s to replace
I do not really even care
what happens when I am no longer there
as my time on this earth will have been run
and for the most it has been fun
with ups and downs as we go through life
hoping that there’s not too much strife
and in the end the question remains
as dead is dead to bury or cremate
I think that when my time does come
a wooden box will be my home
returned back to the cold cold ground
with Mother Nature my love unbounds.

Written 10/20/2017

End of the Year…


Father-Time-and-Baby-Time-Shaking-HandsWe are almost at the end of this year
and one year closer to death I fear
of which we are reminded in so many ways
how immortal we are not here to stay
as life can be so fickle and short
no control of the length I have to report
that being healthy does not guarantee
of any form of sickness you will be free
or that at the very end
the Grim Reaper will not be your friend
alas with the passing of time
the body grows old and does decline
and things that were so easy to do
are much more difficult like tying a shoe
or walking the dog or working in the yard
all of these become very hard
as the body grows feeble and the muscles decline
you know you are getting close to the time
when you take that last breath of air
and the Doctor declares you are no longer here
put in a box and into the ground
and life’s full circle has come around.

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Written 12/27/2017

Losing a Friend and Associate…


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Rodney and Keith

Life even at it’s best can be very fragile and fickle as we recently found out. We humans, for all of our own arrogance and self beliefs do not have any control of life itself which can be taken from us in the blink of an eye.

Over this Christmas period, one of our Austin Pond Society Board Members, a young fellow of 35, passed away after a very short illness. Two weeks ago, he and his Partner Rodney who is also a Board Member, attended a Christmas Party at the APS President’s house. Keith was not quite his normal cheerful self putting it down to a bout of the flu which had caused him to miss the last Board meeting.

A week later, his Partner called to inform us that Keith was in the hospital and the day after Christmas, Keith passed away. He will be missed in many ways. He was always cheerful and never had a bad word to say about anyone. He was helpful wherever he could be and very talented as he could manipulate the programs on his computer far better than most. He also had the fastest thumbs I have ever seen on the tiny keyboard of his smartphone. Our sympathies are with his Partner, Rodney that he leaves behind who being the older of the two exclaimed, “It is not fair. It should be the other way around. Keith was supposed to look after me as we grew old together.”

Unfortunately, no one ever said that life was fair.

Rest in Peace Keith. You will be missed. Rodney, you have our condolences.

Written 12/27/2017

Rain


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The sky grows very dark as the storm clouds roll in
it’s going to rain which is very welcome in Texas
as there are long spells without it
and sometimes it rains very hard
and floods the land and the streets
and fills the creeks.

At first the ground is very dry
and the rain soaks in
but as it continues to pour
the ground becomes saturated
no longer absorbing the rain
as it drains.

We can always use the rain
as it rolls over dirt and rocks
and disappears into the ground
into the aquifers of the world
sustaining the life above
supporting all life with love.

Written 9/28/2017