Monday, December 25, 2017

That First Christmas, & Every Christmas

For the light
a Star shining bright
over the new born King
a babe in a manger
nestled in hay
Mary,  his mother and
foster father,  Joseph standing 
near - gazing so tenderly, lovingly 
at their son , and Savior
It is his birthday we commemorate, 
yet it is he who brings the gifts; 
Hope and healing , comfort and
consolation, tender mercy 
and unconditional love

Happy Birthday, Jesus ! 

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Prayer


Who were the pilgrims giving thanks to , one might ask today 
Was it to the wind ? Tall trees ? Birds flying high in the sky ?
Who were the pilgrims giving thanks to that first Thanksgiving Day 
for their safe journey across the sea,  and the blessing they shared -
In this modern, fast paced, busy, buying, bundling world we live in 
some may have forgotten, or don’t know the pilgrims  prayer of thanksgiving 
was to God in Heaven; the Creator. And I’d like to think,  not only for
that moment of safety and calm, but for the struggle that got them there,
and for the promise of His guidance the rest of the way. That if they
trusted in Him, abided in Him all would be well.
We are all on a journey, maybe not to a distant land, but perhaps
one laden with challenges and change that requires us to grow
and persevere ; to have hope, and believe . Then like the pilgrims so
long ago, to give thanks and praise to God for guiding us through


Monday, September 4, 2017

Are There Balloons in Heaven ?

Today would be my brother Walt's 63rd birthday, but I wonder how old would he be in Heaven?  Is he ageless ? Or forever young ?  Does he look like the carefree, happy  fellow from days of his youth , or like the mature,  handsome man he was when departing this life at age 55 ?

Is he celebrating this day with saints and angels , and grandparents and aunts and uncles and dear family friends gathered together in the celestial realm ?  Are there balloons and presents , or are such things only for this earthly plain ?

Is he looking through Heaven's window ? and smiling to see his beloved Mother and Dad , and all those who love him still,   remembering   him, recalling the joy he brought into their life .  I have a feeling the answer is yes;  not only smiling , but loving us back.

I think Heaven is lit up a little brighter today, and the angelic choir in joyous harmony as they sing Happy Birthday to my brother. And the gift he receives is the perfect gift(s) of the Holy Spirit-
Wisdom, Understanding, Knowledge, Counsel, Fortitude, Piety, Fear of the Lord .   Like David of old, I picture Walt dancing for joy.



Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The 2017 Solar Eclipse - a Personal Observation

August 21, 2017

It was a remarkable day  - words like awesome, incredible, magnificent were uttered .  Folks traveled via train and plane; some caravanned crowded highways and byways,  driving hundreds of miles with  motor home, motorcycle or van to reach the best location to witness Totality;  the Great American Solar Eclipse .   Many more stayed  home with their  extra special eclipse glasses  close at hand, ready to gaze up at the sun.

The last total solar eclipse spanning the US from coast to coast was June 8, 1918. President Woodrow Wilson was president, World War I was still engaged and the first U.S. case of what was to become the Flu Pandemic of 1918 had already been confirmed in Kansas .  In other  headlines were stories about a US Naval boat, Cycups disappearing in the Bermuda Triangle, the Russian Bolshevik party being renamed the Communist party,  debates about prohibition , and whether women should have the right to vote (President Wilson was opposed).  I'm sure Americans in 1918 , not unlike Americans today got caught up in  the excitement of such an extrodinary event because it was so extraordinary ;
it was also a unifying national event that gave relief from the strife and angst reported daily in the news.

Scientists will study the 2017 eclipse  event for years to come . And for  many of us , we'll  recall  exactly where we were  when we wore those special shades to stare up at the sky watching the
 Eclipse of the sun , and how for a brief time on that amazing day no angry words were
spoken , no unruly dissension ,  people gathered and talked together without contempt for one
another , or their differing  opinions ; political adversaries stopped being adversarial and Cable
news commentators weren't riling people up with their pointed propaganda.

Something special happened in our country, and we  were all part of it; Every creed, color, race and nationality. Young and old. Rich, and the not so rich. On the day of the Great American Solar Eclipse , citizens from sea to shining sea were filled with a joyful anticipation and excitement. We became lighthearted and happy.  We were having fun.


    *   A special thank you to Josie Chapin, Phyllis  Christy,  Lauri Cooney,  Bill and Joyce  Eltz,        
 Brian Frazier, Norma  Sawdy, and the Seattle Seahawks for sharing their 'Eclipse' day photos







Thursday, August 3, 2017

My Grandpa Cooney , President of Fish & Game & More

He washed his hands with Borax soap, soothed his sore muscles with BenGay, drank one cup of Sanka in the morning  (with  a bowl of Wheaties ), and  one Schlitz beer  after dinner each evening . He liked raspberries , and  smoked a pipe .  He wasn't a man of great wealth or prestige , but to me my Grandpa Cooney was everything good and grand . He was loving , caring and fun to be around . I felt secure and safe when I was with him , and special.  Grandpa called me his , "Little Brown eyed sweetheart , and I never doubted I wasn't .

Grandpa was an upholsterer by trade . When I was still a baby , some of my earliest outtings was my mother taking me  to visit Grandpa at his  upholstery  shop on S. Main St. in Council Bluffs.   No matter how busy he was , he'd stop what he was doing to spend time with me. Some might accuse me of being bias when I tell them Grandpa was the finest upholsterer in the Mid West, but I don't think
so .  I say ,  if you saw his work , you'd agree, too!

Tender memories of Grandpa leaving for work in the morning, and me pressing my face against the bedroom  window to wave goodbye as he backed out the long gravel driveway give me a happy feeling  as I remember him smiling, and waving back.  Through the years  Grandma delighted in reminiscing , telling others  how I'd wait for Cecil to get home from work , and run to take  him his bedroom slippers the moment he sat down in the  Morris chair.

A few days ago, a  letter from my cousin,  Lynn  arrived in the mail , he enclosed a long ago newspaper article from the Council Bluffs Nonpareil about Grandpa Cooney being elected president of  the Council Bluffs Fish and Game club.  Seeing the picture of Grandpa and reading the article about him being named president of the Fish and  Game  warmed my heart, and made me wish I could reach out and give him a hug .

Besides Fish and Game , Grandpa  was also very active with Scouting and served as Scout commissioner and Scoutmaster.  While serving as a Boy Scout worker ,  those who knew him well always said  his strongest desire was to get Boy Scouts to work up to Eagle Scouts. Something he proudly saw all three of his sons do, including my Dad.

My Grandpa was 65  when he passed away in 1962.  I was 11.  Many years have come and gone since then, and while memories fade and dim lightly  over time , one thing doesn't change , and is not forgotten ;  a grandfathers love for his granddaughter , and her love for him.


 * Cecil E. Cooney , my grandfather
In celebration of his birthday, August 3