Posts Tagged family

Simpler Times

This is a melancholy sort of poem but, just so y’all know, I’m not sad. In fact I’m very much at peace and have great hope for the future. I do, however, often look longingly at the way things used to be. I think we all tend to do that. I hope you enjoy the poem.

Those Times Ago 

 

Eyes closed, I smiled and imagined

A full moon hanging low in the sky

Looking like a shiny pearl button

On a dandy cowboy’s shirt

 

Sequin stars glittered

On a blouse of blue-black silk

While in the distance cattle lowed

And coyotes yipped and howled

 

When I opened my eyes

It all faded to cold hard truth

The hot dry grass on my neck

And burning tears I wouldn’t let fall

 

City traffic whirred nearby

Distant sirens pierced the night

A neighbor screamed angrily

At her laughing children

 

I gazed up at the dingy sky

Closed my eyes and tried to recall

Those times so long ago

When hope still lived within me

 

Times when stars twinkled

The man in the moon smiled

And parents, tired from their day

Murmured and chuckled softly

 

just us kids 2 (2) quoteGliding in the old wooden swing on the porch

Smiling, looking forward to tomorrow

While in the moon-shadow of a tree

Children tittered secret laughter

 

I wondered when the world had changed

And wished we could go back

To when life was simple; those times ago

When hope was more than just a word

 

Copyright © 2011 C. Mashburn

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My Mother’s Faith

For most of her life, my mother prayed that her sons and daughter would be taught be still coverby the Lord and ultimately serve Him. And for many years, I have held to the words Paul wrote in Philippians 3:13: Brothers, I do not consider myself having taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.

I’m convinced my mother’s faith, along with mine, combined to bring us both to a place of peace. As our love for God continues to grow, we continue to dwell in His peace. I encourage you to never give up. No matter what your circumstance, always know God has a plan for your life, and He will not forsake you or leave you.

All your sons will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children’s peace. Isaiah 54:13

Amazon is currently selling hard cover copies of my first book of encouragements, “BE STILL“, for the ridiculously low price of $9.07. If you don’t have a copy, now’s the time to get one! The hardcover would make a great gift for someone else or a keepsake for you!

My second book of encouragements, “JUST A MAN“, is also available on Amazon.

You can check out all my books at my website, CHARLESLMASHBURN.COM

 

 

 

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Who’d A Thunk It?

IMG_20171016_150100797_HDRDay number 25,202 started like most of the last 1000 or so; about three cups of coffee and some sweet cakes—always have to have something sweet with my coffee—been doing that every morning for about 35 or so years. That said, I then read our morning devotional, and Sherry and I talked about God and our many blessings for a bit. We’ve been doing that for almost 24 years now. After that, I did a four-minute plank, then Mom called and we talked about God, which is mostly what we talk about in our weekly chats. And then, I put on my shoes and was about to walk out the door and take a quick five-mile walk, when son, Bill called. We talked for a good while—we always do—but I had to smile after we hung up. I told Sherry I knew it was my birthday, because Bill let me talk quite a bit. We laughed, because she knows when Bill calls, he usually does most of the talking. Not that I’m complaining, mind you. I love to listen to him and get the low down on what him and his boys are up to. When Trevor and Nathan were playing football in high school, Bill would call on Saturday or Sunday and literally give me a play by play of Friday night’s game. Being so far away was hard—never getting to see the boys play ball—but Bill’s account of the games took away some of the pain. So, anyway, after we talked, I went for that five-mile walk, then came back and fixed me and Sherry a PB&J on some of my grilled homemade jalapeno bread. (Don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it.) Now—it’s straight up noon—I’m going to run to the store, then come back and mow & trim the yard. Probably take it easy the rest of the day, then go out for a celebratory dinner this evening. Early evening, of course. I mean, after all, I’m 25,202.5 days old, ya know. Who’d a thunk I’d last this long?

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No Place Was Home

I discovered too late—it seems only moments ago—that there is a troubling downside to the wandering life I’ve led, where no place was truly home. A life that—in the end—leaves one feeling very much alone and truly homeless. For a tree cannot grow strong branches—branches being the friendships we develop in our lives—when it is constantly removing and leaving them behind. A tree, in fact, cannot be strong when it is constantly uprooted and asked to grow and flourish in a new place. Limbs die, and though they are replaced with new growth, the new ones seem never to be strong, easily broken, and in truth, receive not enough nurturing or care to ever survive. Which is of no consequence when the tree is surely to be moved again. Even the roots—the things that are family—grow weak from the constant transplanting. And so… the oft-moved tree is destined to be alone, supported and kept alive by the tap-root, which is self, and is enough to nourish existence, but in the end merely allows survival, not fruitful life.

neighbor's tree (2) quote

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The Good Times

just us kids 2

We weren’t poor when I was a kid. We didn’t have a lot, but we always had enough. There were bad times and good times, but we were happy for the most part. I give Mom credit for that.

These days, when I lift her up and put her on the pedestal where I feel she belongs, she complains she doesn’t deserve it. She has the nerve to tell me she doesn’t think she was that good a mom. Say what! I can’t believe she doesn’t know how great she was, and still is. She says she made mistakes! Well, duh! Didn’t everyone?

What Mom doesn’t realize is we don’t remember the mistakes. What we remember is how much she loved us. Not because of all the big things she did, or the way she sacrificed and did without, so we could have the things we needed and wanted. She probably didn’t think we noticed when she worked extra shifts to get us those things.

But more than those things, we remember the little things. Like popcorn and soda pop. Not often, but every now and then, she’d buy a six-pack of soda pop—usually Barq’s in a variety of flavors, so we could all have our favorite—then she’d make a big batch of popcorn. Mind you, this was before microwaves, so popcorn was done in the big pan on the stove. We loved watching her shake that pan, the lid clanging and the corn sputtering against the lid.

When the corn was popped, we’d sit on the floor, munching happily, drinking soda pop, and watching whatever happened to be on television.

Those are the times we remember. Just little things, special times, and wonderful memories.

Yep. You’re the best, Mom!

 

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Family Reunion

boy and watermelonWe’re in north central Alabama this morning to attend a Henderson family reunion. My paternal grandmother was a Henderson, and I vaguely remember attending the reunion when I was six or seven years old. The main reason I remember it is we stopped somewhere on our way from Texas and bought a huge watermelon. Dad said it weighed fifty pounds, but he was always pulling my leg, so… who knows? He put it on the floor right in front of me—I loved watermelon—and I rode the rest of the way with my feet on the gigantic melon and a grin just as big on my skinny little face.

I wonder if folks will remember me if I walk in carrying a fifty pound watermelon? Well… the fact is, I’m not a skinny little boy anymore, and they might think I have a fifty pound watermelon under my shirt!

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Cousins

And, here it is, the real deal hanging in our new living room! And, it’s only fitting that the smaller pictures to the right of the clock are of Ma and Pa, my maternal grandparents. They were a huge part of our lives when we were young.

This painting, “Joy Ride”, by David Uhl—brother to our precious friend, Paula (Polly) Uhl Snyder, spoke to me the moment I saw it.

Joy Ride by David Uhl 1

Memories of my childhood with my cousins roared to life in my mind, especially some of those with my best friend/cousin, Eddy Madden. The joy we shared—all my cousins—as one big family when we were growing up is etched in my memory and never fails to make me smile—and often laugh—when I recall the times we spent together. How lucky were we to grow up in a simple time where simple things—just being together—could live in our minds and hearts forever.

Joy Ride by David Uhl

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Little Brothers and Others

brothers quote

That’s why I like the Internet. It has brought many of us closer, and though things still aren’t the same as they were back in the good ol’ days, it beats the way it was before the Internet came along.

It’s also true with friends—some I’ve yet to meet in person. The Internet has caused my family to not only grow closer, but to grow larger, and I like it!

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You Made Good Time!

Too often, we are so intent on getting where we’re going, we don’t enjoy the trip. We put ourselves on automatic pilot, set the cruise control and just drive. Why are we in such a hurry? We should be enjoying things along the way.

Remember back in the day; we’d arrive at our destination after a long trip, and invariably, someone (Uncle Sid comes to mind) would say, “You made good time!”

I have no fear of death because I am confident what lies beyond is eternity with God. The thing is, I may not be afraid to die, but I’m not in any hurry to do so. 

you made good time 3

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Let’s Face It

The world has changed a bit. Some things have changed for the good, and some for the not so good. It’s always been that way; a steady moving on kind of thing that occasionally slows, but never stops. You can’t stop progress, ya know. Read the rest of this entry »

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