Saturday, December 29, 2012

Note about Rose and Claire's photo

First of all, the interesting thing about sisters Rose and Claire is that they married brothers (not their own brothers, of course.)

The photo shown in my post about them did not have a caption.  But what I tried to add was that it was taken in 1958 before I was born.  What strikes me about the photo is that the sisters and brothers looked much more similar in 1958 (left to right:  Clarence and Claire, Rose and Elsmer, with the girls' parents seated in front).

I decided to post this poem now because during the holiday season I tend to think about family members I miss...  those far away and those who are gone.  
With love to my own siblings, who all live out of town.  :)

Similar But Opposites

Similar But Opposites
A grand-daughter’s memories
By Janet Sobczyk, 2011ⓒ

My sweet Grandmother Rose
had a sister named Claire.
They both worked as nurses.
They both were good bakers.
They both raised small fam'lies.
They both were religious.
But they were opposites
in very many ways.

Rose was short and quite stout.
Claire was petite and thin.

Rose’s hair turned light grey.
Claire’s was dyed a soft red.

Rose was rather quiet.
Claire enjoyed telling jokes.

Rose baked delicious rolls.
Claire baked cookies galore.

Rose never learned to drive.
Claire had an orange Mustang.

Rose lived in a small town.
Claire moved to a city.

Rose married glib salesman Elsmer.
Claire married laborer Clarence.

Elsmer and Clarence were brothers
and opposites in many ways.

Elsmer was tall and round.
Clarence was thin and stooped.

Elsmer was a big talker.
Clarence was very quiet.

Elsmer enjoyed good health.
Clarence suffered back pain.

Rose and Elsmer had a boy and girl.
Claire and Clarence had only one girl.

Rose and Elsmer had six grandchildren.
Claire and Clarence had just one grandson.

Rose passed away before Elsmer.
Claire was a widow many years.

Life was hard for Rose and Claire.
They both had crosses to bear.
They both taught me so much,
like baking and loving,
praying and forgiving.
They remain in my heart.
 I sorely miss Rose and Claire.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Birthday, Jesus!

This one was made by Carolyn a few years ago.

When my kids were little I started a family tradition of making a cake for Jesus as dessert for Christmas dinner. We light the candles and sing the song and the kids blow.  No wishes, just smiles.  It's a good way to end an exciting day of presents and feasting... with a little reminder about the "reason for the season."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Tree Goes on a Diet

When Tom and I first got married we bought a big, white pine for our first tree.  He loved the soft needles and scent.  I enjoyed decorating it.  So every year, that's the type of tree we got... for 16 years. 

As time went on I tired of hunting for the perfect tree, wrestling it into the stand, and vacuuming up dry needles.  So I surprised Tom with an artificial tree.  It was so easy to assemble, the kids could do it, which was a great help.  That tree graced our Christmas day photos for ten years.  But the top branch (the angel's perch) broke.  And that tree, though it's never changed, had seemed to outgrow our living room.  Maybe it's because the kids are growing up and their long legs take up more room. 

So this year I asked for a new, thinner Christmas tree.  When Tom brought it home, I was amazed at how much smaller the box was and couldn't wait to see it assembled.  Seeing how much different it looks made me think of different human body shapes, which inspired this poem.

Our old "fat" tree

 Christmas Tree Goes on a Diet 

by Janet Sobczyk, 2012ⓒ

There it stands, dressed in green
but bedecked 
with red and white,
or blue and gold.

One year we even tried
new colors:
purple and pink
for this Advent time.

But white lights always seem
the best choice
no matter which
color scheme we choose.

With carols in the air
and eggnog
for sweet sipping
we add the garland.

Soon presents grace the skirt
with color
which children shake
and want to open.

This tree's so full and fat
and tall that
it barely fits
the room anymore.

For next year we must find

a thin one
to grace our home
with its own new style.

We bring it to our house
in a box
wanting to know
will it look just right?

We put it together
the first time
then we stand back
to admire the job.

Our new tree is so tall
and so thin
we all have room
to enjoy the view.

It almost seems that our
dear old tree
has gone on a 
holiday diet!

Our new "thin" tree

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Advent Virtues

Advent started last Sunday and I wanted to share these 4-line poems about virtues.
I wrote these in the summertime, but they seem to fit during Advent when we are
"preparing the way of the Lord."

The tea light candle holder in the middle of our Advent Wreath
 is wooden and has angels carved around the sides.
 It was a gift from friends in Germany and I like to light it
 on Christmas Day as a reminder of the angels heralding Christ's birth.
Virtues by Janet Sobczyk, 2012ⓒ

Loyal and true,
with strength of conviction,
steadfast all through,
our life's greatest mission.

not uptight,
easily shares,
is always fair.

It's an elusive thing
that may come and go,
lighting up a face.
It  can be contagious!

A thoughtful gift,
a kind gesture,
a gentle word,
can melt a heart.

"God, grant me patience"
is a dangerous prayer
because He may send
 trials to test it. Beware!

It's more than a stillness,
or absence of conflict.
It wraps around our hearts
like an angel's embrace.

The tongue needs a bridle,
the mind needs a map,
the heart needs compassion,
to keep on the right track.