Friday, April 27, 2012


To save and to stow, or to discard and throw.
Such are the decisions we face,
As departure day is not far away
We must find for all things a place.

Stuff we don’t need we’ll get rid of, indeed.
Clothes we’ve outgrown we’ll donate.
But what about tools? We’d be silly fools
To consider them just extra weight!

This rug’s worn so thin, out to the trash bin.
Take these empty boxes, also.
Worn-out garden shoes, and junk we don’t use
Into the dumpster must go.

But lights for the Yule, and powder to duel
With those Texas ants that attack
We’ll leave here behind, in hopes we’ll not find
More attack ants until we get back.

The bikes must go in. It would be a sin
To leave them behind when we go.
One rides in the truck. The other gets stuck
In the basement, behind and below.

The shed’s cleaned out, but there is some doubt
There’s still room for us to fit in!
Perhaps we’ll just stay, that’s the easier way
Than to try all this stuff to get in.

The simple life – so free of strife –
Is our lifelong goal, it is clear.
It may sound quaint, but simple it ain’t
When departure day draws near!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring Cleaning -- Preparing to Travel

In the recent days I have been reapplying the PoliGlow finish to our eleven-year old RV. The original finish on the Filon (fiberglass) sides was gone several years ago and the exterior looked dull and old. The first time preparation and application of PoliGlow was time consuming. Now each year I simply wash the RV well and reapply two or three light coats of PoliGlow finish and the RV looks like new.

Friday, April 20, 2012


Spring has come to our winter home:
the world is warming,
the buds are bursting with lovely new blooms
and the birds are singing their mating songs.
The "Goodbye Season" has arrived
in our community,
because, each day
– two by two or three by five –
our neighbors are leaving
for destinations further north.
It’s "Goodbye Season!"
But, in a few months,
when the air gets chilly,
the days grow shorter,
and the leaves turn color and fall,
the "Hello Time" will be back.
Not everyone will return, of course
– some goodbyes are permanent –
but there may be new friends
to "Howdy."

Life’s like that, only backwards.
Within our allotted years,
we greet early growth
with a hearty "Hello"
and lament later losses
with a sad and mournful

I wonder,
could there be any new "Howdys"
tucked away
in life’s "Goodbye Season?"

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Butterflies are back.

The Queen Butterflies have returned to our Betony Mistflower bush at our RV site near Elsa, Texas.

Monday, April 2, 2012


MarySue sat on a bicycle tall;
MarySue and bicycle had a great fall.
No men, no horses, just worried friends
And a trip to the doc to see how this ends.

X-rays report no break, just a bruise.
So I prop it up and wear open shoes.
Give it rest for awhile; no walking at all,
And biking’s OK – WHOOPS – unless I fall!


2Apr2012 - mshr

Sunday, April 1, 2012


Yesterday, I helped make a rainbow! Not a real one, mind you. None of us has that kind of divine power! It was the centerpiece of decorations for the up-coming community dinner. Some friends and I created our masterpiece on a styrofoam board, out of crepe paper, tissue paper, glue sticks and staples. It was a time-consuming job, but the red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet result was an attractive imitation of the real thing.

That process of playing creator started me thinking. The rainbow is more than just a brightly colored sky ornament which proclaims the rain has ended. Since Old Testament times, it has been a sign of hope. That seven-colored arc was God’s sign to Noah that the flood was over, once and for all. The folk tradition says that leprechans know where there is a pot of gold to be found at the rainbow’s end. Dorothy, in the Wizard of Oz, sang of a land "somewhere over the rainbow... where troubles melt like lemon drops...." Most of us, when spying that graceful display of celestial colors, smile with the hope that things are going to get better.

So, as we cut and pasted yesterday, I realized that I needed that seven-colored harbinger of hope. Why? Well, for nearly ten years, the little RV park that serves as our winter home has been a refuge of peace and security; an island of tranquility in the midst of the world’s sea of turmoil and trouble. This season, despite the wall that surrounds our peaceful little park, some of the problems of the world have disrupted our peace and quiet.

Last fall, one balmy night, many of us were awakened by an ear-splitting explosion. Fire was immediately visible just outside the park’s surrounding wall. Staff quickly awakened all residents on the endangered side of the park, and we watched as an enormous blaze lit up the night sky. We learned later that a semi-trailer truck had been hijacked, dumped along the tiny country road just outside our park, and torched. We breathed a sigh of relief that no one we knew had been hurt.

During the winter, several stash houses were raided in the small town five miles away where most of us do our grocery shopping. Illegal immigrants, who had paid hefty fees to a guide for help in crossing the border, were then immediately confined to one of many dingy, run-down, over-crowded stash houses by their guides. Sometimes the immigrants are forced to work without pay; others are held while their captors attempt to collect ransom from their families.

This spring, some of us have been awakened night after night by the sound of gunshots fired nearby. Two weeks ago, our neighbors around the corner in our park heard the sound of breaking glass. They went looking for the source of the sound and found a bullet hole in their front window and the bullet lodged in the window blinds. No one was hurt, but many of us were shaken by the proximity of the danger.

Two weeks ago, within a mile, there was an incident of road rage. One driver allegedly cut another driver off in the flow of traffic down our road. The second driver pursued the first, cornered him, and then told a juvenile in his car to shoot him. The second driver was shot in the face with a shotgun. He survived, but is hospitalized in San Antonio.

Three days ago, on our morning walk, we noticed a column of thick gray smoke rising just outside our park’s main gate. A friend went out to investigate and reported that, on a deserted little gravel road, someone had torched a van bearing California license plates. Such disposal of stolen cars is so common that this incident didn’t even make the news!

So, as a result of these invasions of my peace and quiet, I needed a sign of hope; a rainbow for Easter. Our human-crafted replica of God’s heavenly bow now hangs in the gathering room of our park for all to see. It reminds me that Easter is a season of hope, despite the tragedies and insecurities of life. A rainbow, in all its seven-colored glory, declares to us:

"How Our Problems Evaporate."