Archive for July 2015

And may my words pour like rain

Sometimes I sit and stare

At the blank page before me there

I think, What shall I write today?

Do I have anything worthy to say?

Something forming or stirring in my brain

I can express in whatever, clever way

An idea I’ve not yet used, or just a nudging thought this day

God, let the words now come and flow

Upon my page and pour, like rain

And if it be, please let them find

A receptive heart or open mind

And may they be just what one needs

To lift one’s spirit, encourage, hope or strength

And my words not found in vain.

____________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015


Posted July 27, 2015 by Joyce in Faith, Inspirational Poems, My Writings, Poems, poetry

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Memories of vacations past

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It was the morning of July 5th, 2005. My husband, and I with our daughter, husband and children headed north out of Colorado towards Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming.  It was not my first trip to Yellowstone. I had gone on earlier trips there as a child and years later with our youngest girl.

The beautiful red mesas, buttes, and plateaus of Wyoming merged with the vistas of the serene Grand Teton Mountains as we entered Yellowstone. The sun disappeared as dusk settled over the mountains. We all watched for wildlife and enjoyed the scenic drive through steep terrain and thick forests.

Suddenly, my eyes caught sight of a beautiful animal standing still behind the brush. Too soon, it was gone from view. It looked like a gray wolf with its gray and white fur coat. Yet, from that distance I couldn’t be certain it was a wolf, or a coyote.

After checking into our cabins and getting a good night’s sleep, we got up early to go sight-seeing.

We headed first for the Norris geysers and Old Faithful. The strong sulfuric geysers smelled like burned hard-boiled eggs.

We stood, fascinated at the effect created by the boiling, bubbling pockets in the earth. Steam, heat and odor spewed forth from belching, gray puddles.

In the next three days, we explored the park, the sights of waterfalls, gorges, forests, lakes, rivers, went horseback riding, and hiked trails.

Amazed at the mammoth brown bodies and girth of the grazing bison, my grandson sat up on a mound of dirt  in front of our cabins watching them intently. They watched him just as intently looking too dangerously close.

One morning we headed across the park to the east side towards Roosevelt Lodge for breakfast and stopped to photograph the lush, green pastures and landscape. That night we enjoyed an old-fashioned cowboy style cook out and wagon ride through sage brush, prairies and pastures. Wildlife of all kinds roamed freely about undaunted to our encroachment on their habitat.

On the way back down to Canyon Village that night sitting contentedly in a wet marsh just a ways further was a big male moose. Parking the SUV on the side of the road, we all jumped out. My excited husband was once again ready with the camcorder and ran down the road towards the marsh. The moose got up and sauntered out of the marsh, up into the hills all the while unaware that my husband had captured his essence on tape.

A trip to the wolf and grizzly bear game preserve on the northwest side of the park was another place we visited while on this trip. The preserve had several different species of bears, mountain lions, snakes and other game set back into a natural area where they were treated and cared for as if in a royal zoo.

It was 6:00 a.m. and our last morning there when we drove south, watching the wildlife grazing for food when we spotted it. There, coming towards us was a huge male grizzly bear off the side of the road. The sun was just coming up over the horizon. What an amazing sight to see this beautiful creature foraging for his early morning breakfast. The large humped back bear sniffed the air as if sensing our presence parked, about fifteen feet away, snapping pictures and taping his every move and turn.

“This way, over here. Now! That’s it. That’s good. Great! We got him.” My husband said as he was sticking halfway out through the sun roof aiming his camcorder. The bear stopped and stared back as if daring us to come closer. We had no way of predicting his movement or reaction to our being there. My son-in-law was prepared with his foot to the pedal if we needed to get away in a hurry.

Before leaving the park that day we had photographed and videotaped grizzly bears, black bears, a moose, elk, wolves, coyote, fox, otters, bald eagles, and bison.

We reluctantly headed south out of the park through the Grand Tetons, thankful and felt blessed to see what our country and national parks has preserved and maintained for over one hundred years.

Although a big fire in 1988 destroyed much of the park’s trees and forests, it has since revived itself with new growth, and regeneration. Old burnt down trees lay beside the new seedlings and saplings reminding us that nature can restore it and compensate for its loss. It is a vivid illustration of rebirth.

The bears, bison and wildlife still remain one of the biggest attractions for tourists. But, because of the confrontations and attacks by bison and bears the rules were changed to protect visitors to the park. They aren’t allowed to feed peanuts to the bears like we did when I was a child as we hung out of car windows to get a good picture of them, luring them ever closer with the peanuts.

________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

Stepping back in time

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It has been forty-nine years ago today when we stood at the altar of our church in Kansas City, Mo., at the young, tender age of nineteen. We said our vows, declaring our love, promising to cherish and keep sacred what we hold dear. A merging of two lives, one man, and one woman joined together in holy matrimony in a union that God created, ordained and blessed.

We have been not only blessed to have two wonderful girls and four grandchildren, but have had the blessing, support and encouragement throughout our marriage from family and friends. With a tenacious spirit and determination we hung onto  hope to not give up when things got difficult. It was our faith and belief in a living Savior that kept us strong, believing for the impossible when there didn’t seem to be a way through those rough times.

Yes, I believe in God’s plan of marriage between one man and one woman, and it is in that kind of union blessed by Him that it not only will last and endure, but one where there is always hope. It is in that hope that assures us a new day, a new dawn when clouds are there upon our rising. The sun does come out, and we have the favor of God who loves us so much He does not give up on us when we screw things up. He does not bring us through the bad times only to give up on us just to throw it all away. I am so happy to have the best of those years today.

______________

Joyce E. Johnson (2015)

The things I once did

I remember the hop, skip and jump

between the ends of a jump rope with childhood friends

and practicing the hurdles and running a relay

was the thing I did inside the gym.

Our coach yelled, “Go!”, and we set out to win.

All of the walking and bicycling back then

was enough to stay fit and trim,

and when I put away my hula hoop

to go dancing to a new kind of ‘hop’

 I was thirteen and moved about

and around on a polished wooden floor

to music of the sixties and  ‘be-bop’ tunes.

But, as I got older the pains, creaks and cramps

wore down my knees, and I’d had enough.

Whatever my fears, dreading the outcome

I succumbed to a ‘procedure’ providing the way

to find relief and walk again

without the pain from arthritic knees.

Now, I look forward to the things I can do,

even though I’m no longer a child of ten

with jacks and jump ropes and hula hoops.

I can walk and bicycle, dance, or prance,

and feel like a filly let loose at the gate.

The world is my arena and I sport ‘new’ knees.

_________________

Joyce E. Johnson © 2015

Footnotes:  I had my second ‘total knee replacement’ surgery done on June 30th. The first one (left knee) was done almost four years ago. The second one (right knee) done on June 30th is I think going well, as I am in the middle of my therapy, so I’m taking some time off to recuperate and recover before getting back to my usual posting and writing routine.


Posted July 7, 2015 by Joyce in My Writings, Poems, poetry

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