Childhood

brown wooden armchair on brown wooden floor
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CHILDHOOD

Chair in the corner of the dining room,

and Daddy sitting in it, and only the orange glow from the ashes,

and gray puffs of smoke,

gave any signal of human presence.

Otherwise it was just the darkness and a chair in the corner,

otherwise it was just daddy in the dark and all alone.

I watched the firelight from the cigarette, as a child,

and wondered why the night was so black,

and why Daddy was so alone, and why voices rang out in the night.

I thought of Mama in the next room sleeping,

and I wondered why I was so small, and why Mama and Daddy never laughed.

And I felt like the night, cold,

and like Daddy,

and like Mama.

so all alone.

Copyright 2019, Jenny W. Andrews

 

My poetry book “Life at the End of the Rainbow” is currently available at Amazon/Kindle. I would love to hear any feedback about my poetry. Thanks.

-Jenny

 

What’s Essential?

 

woman sitting on bench
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Six weeks later, liquor stores are still open.

Churches are still closed.

Lines wrap around the liquor store’s sidewalk, shoppers maybe two feet apart , wait to purchase spirits.

Churches are still closed.

Liquor stores have been classified as essential by the powers and principalities that control this world.

Churches are still closed.

Only God Himself can save me.

 

 

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2020

End of the Road

dead end road sign
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Will this isolation ever end?

Will this emptiness ever be filled?

Will the distance ever be bridged?

Will there ever be laughter again?

Or has the damage already been done?

Or is it too late to go back and start over again?

 

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2020

 

Dancing in the Rain

 

woman holding umbrella dancing in the middle of the road near cars and buildings
Photo by Alex Qian on Pexels.com

“It isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain-” Vivian Greene

Yesterday marks one month since I taught in my classroom. In my community, restaurants have been reduced to only take-out service, other businesses have been closed indefinitely. The plan is for us to get back to normal by April 30th; some speculate it might not be until May 15th.

The media outlets have overdosed on the worst possible case scenario stories with emphasis on the problem rather than a solution. Is there a solution other than locking down the entire world? Surely, scientists with their wisdom can come up with a solution. Surely.

While I am teaching online now, I prefer to be out of my house and in the classroom.

Social distancing/social isolation is not emotionally, mentally or spiritually healthy. People need actual interaction with others.

Curious fact alert:  In my community, the liquor stores are open with lines out the door, but houses of worship  are closed.  Seriously? Who came up with this plan? Obviously someone who did not have their thinking caps on. Standing in line at the liquor store a few feet from each other?  Ha! Ha! Ha!

That’s a great recipe there for disaster-alcohol use while in social isolation.

No one thought this through-did they?

What could possibly go wrong?

I’ve tried to keep my spirits up. I am a positive soul and I  focus on solutions rather than problems. I’ve tried to share positive and uplifting messages here on my blog.

I like this quote “life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain” because it focuses not on the storm but on what can be done in the midst of the storm.

In the midst of the storm that we are all in right now I ask what can we do. Can we adjust our thoughts toward learning something positive about ourselves? Have we learned to persevere in the face of discomfort and fear? Have we learned to slow down and take a closer look at our lives and decide to make changes that we hadn’t previously considered? Have we learned to find joy in the little things?

For me, I have revisited my art work and I have started to edit that novel I kept telling myself  that I didn’t have enough time to work on. Well, time is all I have had these past few weeks. I have taken the time to organize family photos and clean out my closets.

In the midst of this storm I have decided to focus on the joy of painting, the joy of writing, the joy of early morning and watching the birds flying into the blue skies and landing on the branches of  the old oak trees.

I’ve decided not to give into the panic; I’ve made a conscious effort to focus on the future.

I cannot change what is happening around me but I can control my reaction to it.

I prefer dancing in the rain to complaining about the storm.

Jenny W. Andrews, Copyright 2020

 

 

Sisters Forever

100_0073_0227_0001This is a photo of my sister Sylvia and I in the Republic of Ireland in 2008. This photo brings back warm memories; it also brings back a few bitter memories, as well.

Family has a way of lifting us up as well as tearing us down.

Family is complicated. We never can completely burn those bridges or completely sever those ties that bind us to those with whom we share blood and history.

In our current world, everyone is worried about Covid-19 and the potential of death. Truth is that we all must face death one day. If not now, one day, surely each of us will face it.

In looking at this photo, I remember laughter and I remember tears.  I remember stories. I remember inconvenient and unpleasant truths.

In this photo, frozen in time are two sisters born twenty-four years apart who could never quite make that connection as we had hoped our meeting in the Republic of Ireland would have.

Too many differences, too many obstacles, too many years between us.

I look at this photo and wonder how my sister is doing so, so far away from me.

Truth is I pray for her with my whole heart. I pray that she is kept safe from Covid-19 and that she is happy somewhere out there.

I remember seeing an ancient stone bridge in County Kerry. I think of that bridge sometimes and how it was there in that isolated mountainous distance. I think of how it represents in my mind’s eye what my sister and I had tried to accomplish. We had tried to bridge that gap between us. In the end, she and I were like the mountain peaks, impossible to reach.

 

Jenny W. Andrews, Copyright, 2020

 

 

Sunflowers and Hope

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Years ago, I used watercolor to paint this sunflower.

Now that I am at home all the time I have decided to revisit the stacks of artwork I have around my house.

Who knows? I might be a Van Gogh. Well, maybe not a Van Gogh. But, with all the time on my hands I might well be able to perfect my artistic skills and at least. . .I don’t think I will ever be Van Gogh, but I am having fun with returning to my artwork.

I guess with staying home I have decided to make the best of a bad situation and develop my creative skills in both art and writing. I have also found some great websites on how to learn to speak French. I have a notebook that I am taking my French notes in and I am listening to websites in French and reading in French as much as possible.

I am looking ahead to when I can go to France and visit Monet’s garden. I love flowers and Monet’s garden is absolutely exquisite. I have only seen it in photos, but I plan to go as soon as possible. I will take my sketch pad and spend several days just enjoying France.

All this we are going through right now will eventually pass.

There is always tomorrow; there is always hope.

There will always be sunflowers.

Go out tomorrow morning and draw one.

That’s what I plan to do.

 

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2020

Island Plans: Looking to the Future

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This morning, I sat down under an oak tree in my back yard and watched a squirrel skitter high up in the branches to its nest. A green lizard puffed himself up and dashed along the length of the fence before disappearing on the other side. My beagle ran across the yard and burrowed his nose into the rich dark earth in search of something that must have burrowed itself there.

Warm sunshine,  birds in song, and the absolute calmness of this Sunday morning reminded me of thankfulness. I am thankful for another day to sit under this oak tree, to listen to the birds, to watch squirrels and lizards and my beagle playing in the beauty of the morning.

I drew this picture with water color pencils and thought about an island with flowers and calm blue water. I reminded myself that it is necessary to the happiness of my soul to be forward thinking, to plan for my future, to not give into momentary despair and fear.

I refuse to listen to the news anymore. I refuse to be paralyze by the incessant bombardment of the worst case scenarios. I will change those things that I have power to change. I will ask Jesus to hold my hand; his is the only hand I need. I will let go of those things I am powerless to change.

Yes, I will stick my  head in the sand (well, not literally). Let me rethink that-I will stick my toes in the sand on  a beautiful island. I have a few years yet before retirement, but I am planning for it.

I have even drawn this picture. I want to have lots and lots of flowers around it. I want a hacienda style house with telavera tile throughout the kitchen. I want a massive flower garden with Calla lilies, roses, irises, sunflowers, and fruit trees and a vegetable garden.

Here’s looking towards the future and thankfulness to my Lord Jesus Christ through whom all things are possible.

Jenny W. Andrews Copyright 2020