SUMMER PERCEPTIONS

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER

The earth rotates as God first set it in the sky,

The winds are His, He controls whether we live or die,

He carves the trees into skeletal versions of themselves,

He releases His rain on parched grass and plantings,

He uses His powerful breath to breathe life into all things,

His power is amazing,

His majesty – beyond our comprehension,

His mercy – undeserved,

His love – unconditional,

Our salvation – a truth to sustain us in our darkest hours,

He is God.

He created us.

He lived with us and died for us,

His heart is totally in love with us,

He conquered death and we will too,

His resurrection makes us new,

Submit to Him,

Rely on Him,

Turn to Him in all trouble,

Don’t give up on Him,

For He has already won the war,

We are His and He is ours,

Take His hand and let Him lead,

And His sheep will always feed,

Filling every earthly need,

For our lives His heart did bleed,

Leading us to heaven’s door,

Where we’ll lift Him and adore,

Where our sin will be no more,

Amazing grace do we implore.

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THE MAN MY KIDS CALL DAD

The guy in these pictures has been a part of my life for most of it. He was my high school sweetheart and 58 years ago in September, I married him. A lot has transpired during that time including three great children who have grown into outstanding adults and three grandchildren who are becoming the same. I guess you could call Paul a rebel of sorts. He’s always gone the extra mile in everything he does. He doesn’t conform to the norm, but he is ethical and God fearing in everything he does.

When he owned his own business, he was very fashionable, wearing suit, tie and button down shirt. As he became his own person, he developed his own style. Today you will see him wearing jeans that are worn at the knee and covered with paint.  He wears clean jeans to church, but sometimes you may find a speck of paint on them too. The ties have been replaced with a bolo for special occasions. He’s an artist you see, so paint is part of his calling card.

He could be called a Renaissance man. He comes from a long line of them – inventors, builders, innovators, creative individuals with a quick sense of humor, which has served him well over the years. He still makes me laugh. Our children admired him, respected him, feared him at times, tried to imitate him, loved him to the moon and back. They still talk about times they shared with him as children and memories that linger on forever. They didn’t like his rules especially, but they realized his discipline was peppered with love and they passed that on to their own children.

This man has a lot going on underneath all the hats he’s worn over the years.  He has a masterful brain.  He’s a great problem solver.  He knows how to teach, have compassion, cry when necessary and laughs a lot.  He knows how to tell a great story, complete with body language and hand gestures.  I can almost “read” what he’s saying from a great distance because of it. The Word of God is imprinted in his heart and he is a great evangelizer.  He’s never been known to be shy and during our time together, he’s brought me out of my shell.  He’s an encourager, motivator, inspirer, talented, inventive and he’s the man I love. He is a great example of what a father should be.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN!

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TWO SPECIAL DADS

These wo special fathers left this world much too young, but are not forgotten. My dad was raised by a single mother, along with his three siblings. No one ever speaks about his father, except to say that he abandoned his family when they were all very young. Being raised by only their mother, they suffered through the depression years – had to go to work at an early age – became self-sufficient – but longed for a father image to follow. I belieive they found that hero in their grandfather – their mother’s dad. He was a stern German man of exceptional height for his time. He was close to six feet and even though he appeared to have a stiff upper lip, he taught his grandchildren to be independent and to rely on God in their lives. My dad was a smaller fellow. He was short – about 5″4.” Because he had to find his own way at a very young age, he didn’t enjoy the benefits of being a kid. He had a poor self-image, but he knew a lot about everything. What he didn’t know, he would search for in books. He realized the importance of Christian education and made sure we attended Sunday School and continue through high school. He liked his martinis and beer, but rarely seemed intoxicated after consuming them. He worked as a bartender, to supplement the family income, which may have contributed to his own drinking. He never rose a hand to spank. He didn’t have to. The “look” was all that was necessary. That which wasn’t covered by the look, was carried into verbage that made it clear that he was disappointed in us. He was delegated to tell us about the birds and the bees, because mom was too embarassed. So to prepare himself, he bought a book all about the subject. I wondered if he was trying to find out for himself or if what he learned would be for our benefit. He died at the age of 61 after a long battle with lung cancer.

My Father-in-law was a funeral director. I was so relieved when my husband decided not to follow the family business, but that’s a story for another time. He was on call 24/7 and would often be wakened in the middle of the night to receive the body of someone’s loved one. He had a quiet sense of humor and loved to escape to the lake home on weekends to go fishing. He would spend hours on the lake. Then he would return to the reeality of his profession. He was the perfect man for the job, because he was compassionate, an artist in his own rite, kind and comforting. There were many hours that he would spend just waiting. During those hours, he would spend time working for his church and staying active with the Lutheran high school alumni board. His eyes were sparkling blue and his smile was engaging. When Paul and I were dating, we often used the funeral car for dates, which meant calling in regularly to see if the car needed to return home. Since cell phones weren’t invented yet, this was not an easy task. I never liked riding in that car anyway – even though it was very classy. He died at the age of 56 of a brain aneurysm in his sleep. It was difficult for the entire family to lose the leader of the tribe so very young.

Both of these dads had strong faith and trusted in God’s plan for their lives. Neither of them would have wished to die so young, but apparently God wanted them to come to heaven at that time. Each of these men raised two children each. I think we all turned out pretty good and have inherited a zeal for Christ, which they demonstrated throughout their young lives. We need to treasure the time we have with those we love, because we never know when we won’t have them anymore. I know they’re enjoying the benefits of heaven and that we will meet again.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO MY DAD & MY FATHER-IN-LAW IN HEAVEN!

See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 1 John 3:1 ESV

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THROW BACK THURSDAY – SONS-IN-LAW

This is a rerun of a post I wrote last year on 06/18/21. I don’t always remember to wish my sons=in-law a Happy Fathers Day, but they deserve my gratitude for so many reasons. We have been blessed with two of them who have provided three grandchildren who we love and admire for their accomplishments just as much as we love their dads.

Our first born decided to marry her husband after only a few weeks of dating.  It was a match that suited both of them.  They were both quiet, contemplative, compassionate and followed all the rules.  Since our family is known to be rather outgoing, I was almost afraid we scared him away with our bold and sometimes over confident behavior.  He managed to grow used to us and has proven to be a wonderful dad to our two grandsons and husband to our daughter.

Our third child was more of a free spirit, yet one with solid values and a good Christian base.  The man she chose is funny, hard working, dedicated to his family, willing to help others and did I mention funny.  The blend of their two personalities has created a lovely young woman of eighteen who shares the same strong will as her parents. We call her granddaughter.  This marriage took a little longer to happen, but it has weathered the test of time.

We always hoped that our children would find the same kind of happiness we’ve experienced in our marriage.  They’ve grown up realizing the importance of having a strong male role model along with a faith in God that will sustain them through all trials and obstacles along the way.  We are truly blessed to have these men in our lives.  Each of them has strong family ties.  They have fantastic work ethics.  They love their wives and children.  They are available to help us when they can.  They have become so much a part of our family that we don’t think of them of in-laws.

I’d like to thank God for giving our daughters husbands that fill the bill completely.  They have accepted our family as theirs.  They’ve inherited us along with our daughters.  They know that they are deeply loved and appreciated by us.  Happy Father’s Day to our two additional sons.

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DADS WHO FIX THINGS

Dads are usually good at fixing things.  We often see them tinkering over a broken down lawn mower or under the hood of a car with a handful of tools.  They may not always know what they’re doing, but there is an ingrown ability to get to the root of a problem and try to find a solution. There are some things that just can’t be fixed by a human dad – like a broken heart, the sadness of depression, the longing for inner peace.

Imagine what our Heavenly Father experiences each and every day and night as His children come to Him with their prayers.  “Give me strength, give me wisdom, give me peace, give me joy.”  Gimmee, gimmee, gimmee! Multiply this by billions and it must sound like the annoying sound of a leaking  faucet. God isn’t like us.  He encourages me to come to Him with all my needs and concerns, but as a parent myself, I know it isn’t easy to hear a child’s constant asking over and over again. It’s like that nagging drip, drip, drip that won’t stop.

For God, who is all powerful, all knowing and always present, it’s a piece of cake.  After all He created the world, all that is in it and all the universe with its contents.  He didn’t need a blueprint.  The designed was in place inside of His head before it ever happened. So when we come to Him with our needs and prayers, He’s glad.  He loves us more than we know and has promised to answer our petitions.

He may not always give in to all our hopes and dreams, like an earthly father mightm just to keep his children quiet.  God will takes care of them as He sees fit, with our best interests in mind. He knows what’s best for us and His plan includes salvation and eternal life for us. As we look forward to Father’s Day this week, don’t neglect saying thank you to our Father, God.  He knows us inside out.  He loves us in spite of our human nature.  He is consistent in His discipline as well as His love.  He never falters. He’s always there. He also happens to be the greatest fixer of lost souls.

“But now, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter;
  we are all the work of your hand.”  Isaiah 64:8

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WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A GOOD DAD?

I know opinions about fatherhood have changed drastically over the past 30 or 40 years and I would like to address that today.  Somehow, maybe as a result of the feminist movement, men have been lowered in value and the role of father has diminished tremendously.  In their attempt to get better paying jobs or achieve higher status, women have placed men below the pedestal that they were once placed on.  Maybe (and I know I’ll get a lot of heat for this) in their attempts to achieve equality with men, women have created a nightmare in the scheme of God’s plan for families. Parenting is a partnership, just like the act of marriage.   When even the smallest portion of the job is taken away or lacks respect, the job loses value.

“As a father shows compassion to his children, so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.” Psalm 103:13

The word, “compassion,” probably isn’t used much today, because the average person is more concerned with self than the needs of others.  A father is expected to be the spiritual leader of the family as well, and their needs must come first. Today’s world is geared to narcissistic values and often the ability to serve others gets lost in that.  Fathers have often been depicted as the buffoon in such television shows as “All in the Family” up to “The Simpsons” and beyond.  It isn’t easy being a good dad in today’s world. 

Let’s look at how God fathers His children.  He loves them unconditionally.  He will continue to care about those who have strayed from Him.  He looks at His children’s forgiven hearts rather than their sin, because of death of His Son, Jesus.  He corrects them, He pro He protects them and has set up a blueprint for each of our lives along with His expectations of us. He demands obedience. That’s a tough act to follow, but it gives us a guide for what God expects of dads.  Let’s pray for their continued presence in their children’s lives – even when they have children of their own.

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GOD, THE FATHER OF ALL

THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS

Jesus made a point of using parables (earthly stories with a heavenly meaning) to illustrate His Father’s plan for us in our own lives. In the story of the Prodigal Son, we hear of a man who had two sons. This familiar story demonstrates the kind of love God, our heavenly Father, has for His children. It is unconditional, forgiving, unending and perfect.

Parenting is one of the most difficult occupations out there – and yes, it is a full time job.  You’re responsible for another’s life, for the things they learn and become, for their discipline and social skills, for their behavior, what they eat, how they dress, healing their bruises both physical and emotional and that’s just the first year!

By the time they’re old enough to leave the nest, you’ve had a profound influence of good on your children.  They’ve become outstanding citizens, hard workers and responsible adults – yeh, right. For most of us, parenting is done on a wing and a prayer.  It’s a learn-as-you-go process not only for the kids, but the adults as well.  God gives us lots of examples on raising children, but one that imitates His Fatherly love and compassion comes from one of Jesus’ parables.

The story of the prodigal son tells how an irresponsible young man left home and spent all his inheritance (which his dad gave him in advance) on foolish living.  Within a short time he was begging for food and eating the scraps intended for pigs.  It isn’t a pretty story. How often do we squander the inheritance God has so richly blessed us with?  We take it for granted.  We waste it.  We squander all of it without gratitude.

Most fathers would find the story difficult to swallow. The behavior of the son was that of rebelliousness, The ungrateful son should have been punished for his disastrous recklessness.  God, the Father (the prodigal’s dad in the story) welcomes his wayward son with open arms, just as He does for us. We’ve all sinned and deserve His punishment, but thankfully, His love is way beyond human comprehension and He welcomes us back without a blink or any expectations.

As we look forward to celebrating dads this weekend, let’s remember our heavenly Father.  His love spans the breadth of the world.  His love endures forever.  He never stops loving us, even when we abandon Him. He will always remain at our side, even in the toughest of times, because He is the perfect Father.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY, GOD!!

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FATHER’S WEEK

Father’s Day will be here in a week and I have a lot to say about dads. So I’m beginning with this one. It’s a rerun from several years ago, but I think it applies today, even more than it did back then.

WANTED:  Man who is willing to sacrifice nearly all his working income to the benefit of his children.  One who will set aside time to comfort, tend broken arms, encourage young minds and put his children before himself.  A man who when faced with difficulty at work, will not be deterred in his parenting.  A man who will do all that he can to take care of the physical needs of his children and is the spiritual leader of his house.  A man who will give up his Saturday golf game to teach his son how to fish.  A man who is setting a great example for his daughter as to what a good husband should be.

EXPERIENCE:  None necessary.  This is a job that you learn as you go.  The only real manual is the Bible.  Trial and error will often be your instructors.  If you had a father that led, was involved in the family, gave up much for them and loved them unconditionally, you have more than enough experience knowing what a good father is.  If you believe in God, the Father, you have the perfect exampleto follow.

REQUIREMENTS:  Patience, leadership qualities, perseverance, teaching ability, love, involvement, great work ethic.  One who deserves respect from his family and does everything in his power to earn it.  One who prays daily with his children and teaches them the ways of the Lord.

SALARY:  None, but the rewards and benefits are greater than any job you’ve ever expected.

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GLOWING IN THE DARK

ART & POETRY BY KATHY BOECHER

Each delectable petal weaves and intertwines,

Softly in the moonlight where midnight beams and shines,

The black of night might hide its glow, but light peeks through each petal,

But look beyond the darkness and you’ll soon test its metal.

The flowers in my garden display both day and night,

As stars fill out the heavens, each bloom shines radiant light,

So even when I’m sleeping they grow and prosper there,

And when I rise I wallow in flowers everywhere.

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DUKE OF THE WEST

As I look back at my movie and television watching days, mine used to be filled with romantic comedy and flashy musicals. Occasionally, I’d watch a western, but war movies were definitelynot on the list. My husband and I now live on the same level of our house. Up until his recent hospital stay, he would go upstairs to watch his favorite movies and I would be able to choose my chick flicks for the evening. One of his art studios is also located on the second floor of our old farm house. With the advent of this new arrangement, we are seeing more of each other and having to make adjustments to compromise with each other. Thus John Wayne has made his way into my heart. I always wondered about this guy and his swagger along with acting skills that were never what I thought of as perfection. Lately my opinion is changing. I think we must’ve viewed most of his moviesm but when I think there can’t be another one – another pops up.

Marion Robert Morrison was born on May 26, 1907 and he died on this day, June 11, 1979. He was known by his stage name of John Wayne, and acquired the nickname of Duke. The name was given to him by director John Ford, who directed Wayne in 14 films. They developed a close relationship during that time.

Wayne became popular during the Golden Age of the movies. He started acting in the 1920s during the silent movie era, but became especially popular in the 1930s. He made 142 films during his life. The final film, “The Shootist,” is about an aging gun fighter who is dying of cancer. It seemed to be a self-portrait of sorts, because he actually died of cancer shortly after filming this movie.

So he had quite a career. He made a big name for himself in the greater part of his life. I never used to enjoy his films, but as I said earlier, when you age, you learn to compromise. Especially when your husbnd refuses to watch anything else. RIP, Duke.

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SATURDAY SERENITY

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

Chaos, turbulence, indecisiveness

Stilled with One calming voice.

Turning rolling seas into calm glass,

Raising life from the frozen ground.

One voice calls and all creation listens.

His voice is in the wind, the rain, the sound of a child’s cry.

With His breath He chooses to turn water into frozen steel.

With His tender touch He fashions molten lava into fertile ground.

He lays the boundaries for the oceans and uses His finger to draw their limits.

He tends to the need of every living thing no matter how great or small.

How great is the Lord, God – the King of Creation.

He not only made everything, He made it for you and me.

 

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FRACTURED FRIDAY – MARRIAGE

We ‘ve known each other now for 57 years – more than a life time – a gift from God.  When you pledge your life to another it should be taken seriously, but there needs to be tons of laughter in this partnership or you will soon find plenty of reasons to walk away from it.

There are times when it’s really hard to find the humor – especially in the tough times.  When a thriving business fails with the economy – when you face difficult health issues – when you wonder if you will have enough money to eat – when you can’t find a job that suits you – when things are so upside down that you find very little to laugh about – how do you face these things?

Fortunately I have a husband who still likes to “dance” from his place on the couch to the kitchen to dish up some ice cream.  He beeps when he comes down the steps, because he has to do so backwayrds. He tells jokes that take a while to figure out because they have so many layers to them.  He sings like Donald Duck from time to time and that really cracks me up.  He has a great laugh and his face lights up when  he smiles. I’m not nearly as quick witted as he, but occasionally I can get a good laugh out of him too. I think a sense of humor is really an important part of a good marriage.  I also believe that having God as the head of our house has been the glue which binds us together.  He is the most important element of our life together.

There have been many books written on what it takes to have a good marriage.  There really is not one good answer for that.  We still have spats from time to time, but they usually end pretty fast, since we don’t have the physical energy that we used to have. Spats don’t usually result in anything good either, so we just cut to the apologies.

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WHEN YOU’RE AN ARTIST

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

My husband, Paul, is an artist. He has been painting since he was 11. He made his career as an art director for several ad agencies and owned his own for 12 years. He now paints for himself and has started painting outdoors again. I found one of his sketchbooks the other day and these are a few examples of some of his watercolor plein air paintings.

A grove of trees, a cloud filled sky, a building set in the midst of nature,

Anywhere the road takes you can become the perfect destination for a painting,

When you’re an artist, your paintbrush, your imagination and your skill find it,

When you know all about color and light – shadows and definition,

Your hand responds to the invitation.

You find beauty in all things, because you take the time to enjoy,

to see the details of life – the important things – not the clutter,

You can sort through the garbage and darkness and find it,

When you’re an artist.

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THROW BACK THURSDAY – CONTRITION

The word contrition comes from the Latin word, meaning to crush.  What a vivid description of how we should come to the Lord with our burdens.  We should be crushed by the weight.  Even the smallest of our wrongdoings are like filthy rags to God.  He looks at all sin in the same way – with total disgust and repulsion.

On the other hand, God is also merciful and loving.  He came to earth in human flesh to suffer and die so that we could be free of sin and guilt.  He became our sin bearer and was crushed for our iniquities. This is one of those inconceivable things about God.  We, in our human understanding, would be quicker to judge and much more severe in our sentencing. He then overcame the power of death, by raising from the grave and appearing to many afgterHis resurrection.

God uses certain circumstances in our lives to crush us and even take us down a peg or two.  He does this, not to punish us, but because of His insurmountable love for us.  Everything that happens in this life is another lesson leading us to depend on God in all things. He knew in advance that His Son, Jesus, would be crushed physically – that he would be humiliated and scorned, yet He also knew that those things were necessary for our redemption. What a great love that is.

An artist creating a piece of pottery will often reshape the clay and pound heavily on it at times, and the heat of the kiln only adds to its strength. The finished product will often become a piece of beauty.  All the battering and bruising we received in this life will be replaced with peace and forgiveness in the next. When trouble comes to our lives it is for our benefit, even though we rarely think so.

God also wants us to know that He’s with us every step of the way – even in our darkest hour – He is there.  When we are truly sorry and saddened by our sins, God will forgive and restore us. Will we be contrite today? How about tomorrow? Remenber that you are not alone in any of it.

Psalm 34:18  The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.

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WEDNESDAY WISDOM

Have you checked yours stats lately? How do you rate in the public eye? How many Facebook or Instagram friends do you have? Have we all grown a little crazy about ourselves with social media and blogging? I have to ask myself what the true reality of my purpose is in writing a daily blog. Am I doing it to bring comfort to others, to share God with them, to let them know that God is their best friend and that He loves them so much that He gave the ultimate sacifice? Am I truly doing His work or am I looking for self-gratification?

I think we must examine ourselves daily to see the true motivation behind what we do. As soon as we put ourselves in the driver’s seat and forget the One who is driving, we’re setting ourselves up for disaster. Doing the right thing for the wrong reason is an easy trap to fall into, especially with the way we measure success today. Giving medals for simply participating in something, doesn’t set the right standard. Expecting more pay for actually doing your job shouldn’t be an option. Thinking we are better than others because of what WE do is the lowest form of narcissism. Today, let’s remember who we are – Forgiven, restored, children of the only Almighty King.

Dear Heavenly Father, You are the giver of all things. You alone deserve the glory. I am merely an instrument – a vessel – to carry your message of love to others. Help me remember that. Guide my use of the right words. Be my inspiration in all that I do and lead me in the Way everlasting. Amen!

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IT’S SUMMER, ALREADY?

I live in a part of the country known for its extreme weather changes.  Only a month ago, we were experiencing temps in the 50s and 60s.  When you’re a menopausal woman – or just an old woman for that matter – summer means sweat – lots of it.  I never used to sweat when I was younger.  Now I’m dousing deodorant twice a day and when I work outside, I can say goodbye to any semblance of a hairdo.  Sweat pours out of me like a prize horse after winning the Triple Crown, but I’m not even movingl.

As we go through life, things change.  Our bodies sag, our hearing fails, our teeth need replacing and many times we lose track of the replacements.  Our energy level sinks to a new low.  Our daytime hours include naps.  Our memories fade.  Becoming old isn’t for the faint of heart.

I resist the heat as much as I resist aging.  I’ll undoubtedly spend the day inside or at an air-conditioned place.  I can refresh myself with a nice tall glass of lemonade or water.  By tomorrow it might be back to 60. My air conditioner is totally confused by the weather changes. One day it’s on and the next day not.

When we become uncomfortable in our walk with Christ, we need to take a closer look at Him and realize that He’s the One who brings refreshment to our souls.  No matter how difficult our journey – no matter how others affect our walk – no matter how things get in the way – He is there with living water to satisfy our thirst – to wash our sins away and to bring us closer to Him.  The problems of this life are trivial when you compare them to the glory of what lies ahead.

Stay thirsty, my friends.  His Holy Word will refresh, restore and renew you..

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FULFILLING OUR PURPOSE


Why was I born? Why am I living?
What do I get? What am I giving?
Why do I want a thing, I darent hope for?
What can I hope for? I wish I knew.
Why do I try to draw you near me?
Why do I cry? You never hear me.
I’m a poor fool, but what can I do?
Why was I born to love you?

This haunting tune, written by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II in 1929 became popular as it was sung by torch singer, Helen Morgan.  She draped herself over a grand piano in a club in Chicago and the song became an instant hit. It was the height of prohibition and speakeasies were the fare of the day.  Helen was born in Danville, Illinois in 1900. She never received more than an 8th grade education and grew up in a dysfunctional family.  The lyrics of this song mimicked her own life.  This time of excess led Helen to become an alcoholic and often she performed while under the influence.  She died at the young age of 41 from cirrhosis of the liver.

The words tell a sad story of someone who feels they have no value – no purpose – other than loving someone who doesn’t return those feelings.  It sounds hopeless and daunting when you hear her mourning voice capture the mood of the piece.  The song was redone over the years by Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne, Dorothy Lamour and Judy Garland (who also suffered from depression and self degradation.)

When we look at our lives, we could wonder what place we have in this world.  Are we successful by the world’s standards?  Do we have what it takes to make friends and influence people?  Are we driven to be better than others and to achieve greater things along the way?  Or are we simply satisfied to settle for less?

If the latter is the case, we need to examine ourselves.  Take a good look at what we have to offer the world.  Every gift, every talent, every bit of kindness and love which has been planted into us before we were even born, needs to become the focus of our journey.  What’s your gift?  Find it!  Often the things we loved doing as a child of 10-12 leads to our passion in life. Sometimes we have to search hard before it becomes apparent and when we do, it’s time to give it away.  That’s the beauty of it. The things we hold within us, can serve others.  So why would we cling to those talents and not share them?

Why were you born?  Why are you living? You are more than you think you are, because God made you, and God doesn’t make mistakes.

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WHAT IS YOUR PURPOSE?

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER©

The old flour mill stands as a fortress, beside the rambling Rum River,

An icon, once thriving, once useful – a place where industry grew a small town into a big city,

Now inoperative, surrounded by the ruins of yesterday, but still it stands,

We’re much like these old relics from the past,

We’ve served a useful purpose for a lifetime,

Then become tired, sometimes broken down and beat up,

But still we stand,

This building has been repurposed, despite its unproductivity,

Today a museum – a tribute to those who built it –

and served the community around it,

We also stand as antiques, old fashioned, decrepit, useless.

But we continue to have a purpose,

Life continues, we go on, we see that we still have value to society,

Growing old doesn’t have to mean dying,

We can live on through what we’ve given as a lifetime legacy,

We live with purpose until the very end,

Where we’ll  continue to stand.

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SATURDAY SAILING

ART & POETRY BY PAUL & KATHY BOECHER

Spring has sprung and summer in the midwest is bound to be tomorrow. We’ve been having a pretty good entrance into the season we all look forward to in Minnesota. I recall summers on the lake and sailing regattas on Saturdays. The beautiful white sails would fill with air and race to the finish line in a succession of billowing synthetic fabric. The above painting was done on the lake at Hudson, WI, where sailing is in full bloom right now. The poetry was written a few years ago by me.

Was it only yesterday, I didn’t put the hose away?

The winter months sailed swiftly by, but when they left I did not cry.

The winters in the great Midwest are absolutely not the best.

But finally the cold days passed.  I yearned for spring, but it went fast.

It seems we’ve jumped from cold to hot.  I do not like it – absolutely not.

(I’m beginning to feel like Dr. Seuss.)

The hose still lies where it has lain, for it will now be used again.

To water all the blooms that popped,

 When summer came and spring just stopped.

Posted in Art & Poetry by Paul & Kathy Boecher, inspiration., summer | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

FRACTURED FRIDAY – DIETING

I like the idea of the Swiss Cheese Diet.  If nothing else, everything you eat, would fall right out.  I’ve spent most of my life on a diet.  I didn’t start out fat.  I weighed in at 7 pounds 80 years ago. The truth is I’ve always had a battle with the bulge.  Some say it’s genetic.  Others maintain that you need to have strong will power.  Others say getting fat is a state of mind over matter – if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.  I think it’s more about a love affair with food.  Certain foods remind us of good times, special dates, caring parents, or comfort.

I still relate most of my emotions to food.  When I was six or seven, my sister locked me in the linen closet and the bathroom door was locked.  Since she was just a toddler, she didn’t know how to unlock the door.  My mom was in the kitchen making pork chops and the aroma wafted into my tiny space.  Now when I feel claustrophobic, I relate to that delicious smell. The mind is a terrible thing to waste. Food fills us with comfort. It’s woven into the fabric of our lives.  Unfortunately, some folks can eat all they want and not gain an ounce, while others eat one cookie and put on ten pounds –  OK, a dozen cookies – well, maybe a whole box.

During middle age my father died and my weight dropped quickly. I looked anorexic, so I packed on additional pounds to feel better. Now that I’m a senior citizen, weight shouldn’t be so important..  When you go through a serious illness, you tend to lose weight, so it’s a good idea to have a few extra pounds.  However packing extra weight is like carrying saddle bags around and adds to your inability to walk.

Every day I have new determination to drop some weight.  It lasts for about five seconds. For those going through this same dilemma, my heart goes out to you.  I think the best way to diet is to not think about it.  The more you do, the harder it is. Excuse me, but I have a chocolate eclair in the fridge with my name on it.

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