Archive for February, 2014

WHY SPRING SHOULD COME EARLY THIS YEAR…

Monday, February 24th, 2014

If the groundhogs predicted an early spring, then who are we to refute their forecasting expertise? Anyway, with endless snowstorms and shoveling, no one can dispute that winter is being booted out of town. We want to see crocuses and daffodils, not the white stuff that ends up in unattractive (downright ugly) vestigial mountains of unwanted remains.

Ah, Spring! The incredible scents, sounds and visions of rebirth! The promises of the sun’s warmth, the days getting really long and dawn coming earlier and earlier…the grass getting greener and luscious enough to place a blanket upon it and lie down for a tan.

Spring…a season when it’s so much easier to be happy and plan special outings with the family and friends…a time to think about special vacations and reunions! It is so much easier to be spontaneous when we’re not wondering if it will snow as the weatherman (woman) predicted, and/or how much accumulation we will have to look forward to…

Remember the song lyrics that tell us “it might as well be spring”? After a long and hard winter, the mind and body are geared up for an early spring. We feel it, taste it and long for it. The very thought of it makes old people young and young people more and more dreamy and impulsive. And the middle-aged folks…it breaks their focus a little and distracts them with memories of their youth they thought they had forgotten.

As for me, it makes me want to write a poem or read one of the poems I wrote several years ago. Why don’t I share it with you, my friends? After you read it, I kind of think you might be longing for spring like me. Have a great week, all of you!

WHEN SPRING APPEARS

Just what does God bring
With the advent of spring?
Does a cardinal appear
At this time of the year?

As a bright crocus cascades
Its pretty gold head,
Isn’t it enough to entice us
To jump out of bed?

The air is so sweet
With freshness so rare,
It seems to erase
Every problem and care.

An American beauty
Arrives in full view.
Her soft petals show us
What God’s love can do.

Yes, our God creates splendor
That makes our hearts sing,
But the melody reaches
Its crescendo in spring.

Cheryl Madeleine Lodico
from “Poems of Joy and Praise To God”

A TRIBUTE TO RALPH WAITE, THE QUINTESSENTIAL FATHER FIGURE ON “THE WALTONS”

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The death of Ralph Waite, quintessential father figure on “The Waltons,” brought back some of the pain of my own father’s death since he, like my dad, exemplified the wonderful qualities of a loving father. I probably watched over the years every episode of this inspirational show, where a lesson about life was to be learned each week. Like most great fathers, Ralph Waite, as the patriarch of the Walton family, (after the death of Grandpa Walton on the show), helped his children on the program find their own answers to their problems rather than lecturing them or telling them what was right or wrong.

He was loving, compassionate, kind, loyal, giving and so much more! In whatever role Ralph Waite played, (and he was on many television shows and movies over the years), his kind and warm personality always shone through.

Ralph Waite was a consummate actor, but those who knew him personally as well as loyal viewers like me, could see that he was a very special, memorable human being as well. I am so grateful for the promise of the Resurrection, where we will one day meet again with family, friends and other special people who come into our lives. My heartfelt condolences to his family and close friends.

RESTORING OUR FAITH IN HUMANKIND

Friday, February 7th, 2014

A cold, icy winter, such as the one we are now experiencing, sometimes makes us forget about the many blessings that come right along with the snow and sleet. When the temperature takes a nosedive, often we forget about the kindness of, not only family and friends, but absolute strangers as well! I experienced a couple of those blessings during the last few days. Let me tell you about them.

The combination of snow and ice yesterday was a nightmare. Since my husband has been feeling a little under the weather lately, I wouldn’t let him do the shoveling. So there I was, looking at the treacherous mixture of ice and snow in front of me and wondering where to start. Like any procrastinator, I put it off until afternoon, where I assumed it would get warmer. But it didn’t! The temperature remained stubbornly the same. By two-thirty I had to get out there, ready or not.

I worked for less than a half hour (although it seemed like hours) to shovel the first set of steps, the large area between the first few steps and the final one, and, of course, the area in front of the house, where a path had to be dug out of the snow covered with layers of ice. I felt like the “Ancient Mariner” after he killed the albatross and was stuck in the land of ice and snow. Was I, too, abandoned by friends, family and neighbors as I hacked away at the ice and then proceeded to dig it up and throw it onto my front lawn, where it was drifting and transforming itself into an interesting sculpture of sorts?

Even though my property is not huge, it was still exhausting to chop, shovel in layers and empty the ice and snow combination from the shovel, but I continued to do it, taking small breaks in between. Finally, there was a small section left, which I just didn’t feel capable of doing at that point. I convinced myself that I wouldn’t get a summons for just a few feet of ice and snow when a kind gentleman about my age walked up to me and told me he couldn’t watch me struggling anymore and gallantly insisted upon completing the shoveling. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse!

“I was waiting to pick up my grandson at the school across the street,” he said. “I’m glad I could help.”

He finished in about five minutes and returned my shovel as I thanked him for his help. It may not seem like a big deal to someone else, but a stranger’s kindness when least expected meant a great deal to me, and it is something I shall always remember.

Today I also was surprised by a stranger’s kindness when I walked towards my son’s car and didn’t see a patch of ice right in front of me. A gentleman who had just exited the school across the street saw that I was about to step on the ice mound and offered his help in getting me to the door of the van, which gave my step-son a chance to guide my husband to the other car door. Between my son and the helpful stranger, both my husband and I got into the car without falling.

Yes, challenging times often bring out the best in people. Please be careful when walking upon this hazardous ice and wet snow. Take your time and accept help if you need it. Until the next time,

Cheryl