The Biggest Battle

(Finally finished this thought from our trip to Gettysburg last April 2, 2018)

Walking through the grounds of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, on a cold day in April, I read inscriptions on monuments about blood-puddled ground, rocks slippery with blood, and bodies of men and horses everywhere, dead or wounded.  Like at Little Round Top, where about 330 men were told “to hold at all hazards”–and they did, even after they ran out of bullets; and the 1st Minnesota, 262 men, fighting until only 47 remained when help arrived; and of course, Pickett’s regiment was wiped out.  I cried often, walking among all the graves.

Beyond this very real history, though, I kept thinking that this horrible battle was nothing compared to Satan’s forces against me and you, right now.  He uses all the canons (government, wars, invaders); snipers from the hills and trees (luxuries, hobbies, laziness), and the screaming hordes with all their rifles and bayonets (TV, News, work, school, tragedies, health).  I sometimes see the fallen around me among spiritual blood and gore, splattered everywhere, and think…do I run?  General Jesus says, “No, stand firm and defend your soul and your right to go to Heaven at all hazards!”  I sigh.  This is where real bravery, commitment, and trust come into play.

Drama East of Cleveland

(This happened last August 7, 2018)

Run heavily up old wooden stairs as fast as you can then

Roll back down them full body banging against walls and stairs then

Flip the lights on and off several times and

Throw a glass punch bowl across the hall into the wall and

Flinch at the loud crashing crushing tinkling sounds of breaking

glass after the loud thud on the wall

Run back up the stairs and jump down while skipping every other stair

Slam a metal bat into the picture window and

scream when the shattering glass sklatters around you

Flip the lights on and off again and run for dear life when the

747 airplane crashes through the roof crushing blasting shrieking roaring….

Over and over and over

The sounds of an impressive triplet set of thunderstorms passing through last night east of Cleveland

Brenda & Tam’s Great Adventure

(This happened on September 5, 2018)

This morning I went to visit Brenda

Brenda and her husband Fred and I chatted over the after-breakfast table (I snagged a couple of bacon slices…sigh)

Fred left to work around the farm, while Brenda and I went for a wild ride in her 4-wheel farm utility vehicle, her two dogs ran around us, baying at the fun

Brenda confidently took the vehicle off the road, onto field edges, through woods on vague paths with tree branches whipping, trying to pull us out

She showed me what oak trees look like, ash trees, maple trees, and her personal big-rock-patches (piles of rocks), and she found an old hickory nut for me

She stopped so I could run a fox-tail weed head through my hands, so soft

We saw butterflies, white, yellow, and then a monarch… and

Brenda took off to hunt for milkweed, the plant that monarchs lay their eggs on

She drove back over the field edges, but no milkweeds, drove slowly down to her mail box, looking intently at all the weeds at the side of the road.

I learned what Stinging Nettle looks like ( I have the dried leaves in tea bags!), still no milkweeds.

She turned around and drove back past the chicken coop, then abruptly stopped

Milkweed on my side!

She got out while I hung out the side of the vehicle to investigate the milkweed (now I know what it looks like)

Found one with a gorgeous monarch caterpillar, about 1 1/2 inches long, stocky, with a variety of colored bands wrapped around its body

We wondered, if we stretched out the caterpillar, if those bands would look more like monarch colors, but we only wondered

We soaked up the beautiful creature into our memories (didn’t have the camera)

Then Brenda drove further looking for possible chrysalises of the teenagers incubating into butterflies but

I was very hungry, lunch time, feeling like the caterpillar–gotta eat

Brenda drove back around to her house, the dogs looking exhausted but satisfied, and we said goodbye as I got into my car, with a smile on my face

I saw a monarch caterpillar.  Me.

A Different Way

Drove to Boardman using State Route 9 to Highway 62 to Greenford to State Route 7 to Highway 224

Drove home the same way

The scenery in reverse

Trees, corn fields, barns, ponds, cattle, farm houses

When ready for the return to Boardman to complete business

I said, “Gotta go a different way.”

He said, “Which way?”

I said, “Highway  30.  Different scenery.”

Drove Lincoln Highway 30 to Lisbon to Freeway 11 north to Highway 224

Trees, corn fields, barns, ponds, cattle, farm houses

But different ones