THE PUZZLE

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Coming home from the store
I am filled with anticipation.
I have a new jigsaw puzzle.
A new challenge has come into my life.
Setting up the card table,
Opening up the colorful box
I begin laying out my prize.
One thousand pieces – what fun!
This won’t take long.
Ah, a straight piece, another and another.
Swiftly I pull them out from the pack.
These two go together, and so do these!
This border will be together in no time.
For days I work on the puzzle.
Slowly the picture begins to emerge.
Every spare moment that I have I hurry to the card table.
Every time I walk by I stop and look for another piece
that will fit.
I know that I am accomplishing my goal.
The time keeps going by.
The card table just isn’t big enough.
I set up another table for the extra pieces.
The puzzle has begun to take over the room.
In fact the puzzle has begun to take over my life.
I am obsessed by the idea that maybe I don’t have all
of the pieces.
Maybe some of them have disappeared..
Maybe someone is hiding them ON PURPOSE.
Maybe I will never get this puzzle done!
Ah, I keep on searching and finding where the pieces
need to go.
They keep falling into place and now I know I am almost done.
Somehow all of the pieces are appearing just when I need them.
What a great picture!
I have completed my puzzle!
It looks terrific!
I look at it for a few minutes, and then I tear it apart.
When it is back in the box, I put it away on a high shelf.
I wonder,
Do you think the store has gotten any new puzzles lately?
Maybe I’ll go look tomorrow.

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THE FARMERS MARKET

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Is it really the “farmers” market
Or does it belong to the customer?
Standing behind the counter in our busy stall,
Sorting out apricots, golden and beckoning,
I watch the people walking by.

Young mothers with strollers, or their babies in back packs,
Older women with teenagers trailing behind them
Women in work suits or long dresses,
Hurrying thru their workaday lunch hour.
Always there are women with canes, or walkers,
Or clinging to the arm of a granddaughter.
Older couples, a little bent, and hair of gray or silver,
Men sent by their wives for a special item.
Single men learning to buy and cook for themselves,
Fathers, brought along to carry the many bags and baskets,
Young women asking for advice.
“How do I cook this, or which one is the best buy?”
Older women, buying varieties they remember from childhood,
The laughter, the smiles, the joyful greetings,
The questions of people who assume I know the answers.
The many customers who just want to talk to the “farmer”.
The pleasure of pleasing the friends stopping at our stall,
And the delight of working with our fellow co-workers.
The abundance, the vivid colors of the many fruits and vegetables.
The heavenly aroma of the bouquets of flowers blazing
Everywhere along the crowded aisle.
The courtesy, the kindnesses of the farmers for their customers.

This is truly “The People’s Market” to me.

THE APPLE

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Today I bought an apple.
It was a bright and shiny apple.
As I sunk my teeth into the firm white flesh,
I thought about how it got here.

First there was God.
Then there was the Farmer,
Then there was the State Horticultural Agent,
Then there was the nursery that grew the young tree,
Then there was the spraying and pesticides agent,
Then there was the picker,
Then there was the trucker to the processing plant,
Then there was the worker who washed
And preserved and boxed the fruit,
Then there was the trucker who hauled it to the store,
Then there were the store employees,
The planners,
The investors,
The bookkeepers,
The warehouse workers,
The stock boys,
The maintenance workers,
The greeters,
The clerks,
The checkers,
The carry out persons,

And now there is Me,
Enjoying the Apple,
Red or green, tart or sweet,
Knowing that we are all working together.

Thank you, God!

I AM FEELING THE URGE TO CREATE.

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I am feeling the urge to create.
I am thinking of the life all around me.
I rise and I rush for a pen, fearful that I might lose the words bubbling in my brain. Writing them down is such an important task for me. It seems like I haven’t had this urgency for a long long time. Heaven knows I have tried but it always seemed to escape me.
Yet here they are.
And I am watching. It used to be that I was “doing” and now I am “watching.” Watching as the children that I bore repeat all of the experiences that I once did. Remembering what it was like when life seemed so full of all of the adventures that I yearned for – remembering what it was like to go to a new place to live, set up house in a different state, look for a new job doing whatever I loved to do.
Listening to people that had been brought up differently than me, that had a way of looking at life that I had never heard of before. Looking for a new library, getting signed up for my new card, and seeing a whole new room of books unknown to me before. Making new friends, finding a friendly neighbor, finding the best bank, best grocery store.
This has been the pattern of my life. Always the urge to see down the road, over the next hill, wondering what life had to offer if I went looking.
And so I did go looking. Lived in so many different places that I have to stretch a long ways back to remember them all.
Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana…the farther I went west the more I loved it. Freedom from the restrictions that bind us all in our state of birth, of growing up around relatives who expected us to live as our families had always lived.
Maybe the restrictions were only in my mind. I don’t know. But the air was bigger and broader and more open wherever I went, and so I traveled and moved, and saw the world in a new and vital way. Each new move was to a new culture and a new life style, and I thrived on it.
And now I am returned to the land of my birth, and I still travel and I still think of all of the places I have been, but somehow I have come full circle. My children have scattered to their own destinies. They have traveled and made their own homes in many different places also. Did I instill this wanderlust in them”? Or is it just the way that Americans are, always looking over the next hill, wanting to be their own person, looking for the end of the rainbow? We seem to be a restless people, not content to rest on our laurels, no matter what our ages.
Looking back, this is where I am right now,and also looking forward to where I’ll be tomorrow. I must never lose the sense of adventure or life will become complacent and dull. There is always another place over the next hill that awaits us all, another group of people to meet who have a new way of looking at things.
We cannot afford to relinquish the past or the future for that is where our understanding lies. We must keep our zest for living to use as a warm and comforting blanket, allowing us to enjoy our days.