Thursday, May 26, 2011

Favorite Kid Books

Inspired by my brother-in-law's blog entry, I too will list my favorite kid books.

1.  Well, the first group that come to mind are favorites, not only becasue they are great books and they elicit fond memories of good times with my youngest, Danny; but they are also the books I shared with my grandbaby Arna when we had her for 2 weeks recently.  They are Raffi books that serve as lyrics, too, for fun kid songs.  So you sing / read Baby Beluga, The Wheels on the Bus, Shake Your Sillies Out, and Down by the Bay.  You must supply your own jiggles, squeals, and hand motions.

2. Right near the top of the list is The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton.  In the one-room schoolhouse, my teacher, Aunt Luella, read that book at the first of every new school year (along with a story about a woman in a vinegar jar).  As much pain as she caused my self-esteem, the reading of this book always brought back fond memories about a little house out in the country surrounded by sun and green, a focal point of happy family life.  As the city grows and spreads, it encroaches and finally overcomes the little house with its black and busy life.  The house is redeemed and transported again to a beautiful countryside, with an organic garden no doubt.  I bought a copy as an adult with the feigned intent to just read it to my kids. 

3.  I love Irish veterinarian James Herriot's grown up books of his interesting life sticking his arm to the armpit in cow's behinds, but his Only One Woof is a delight, and any dog story is precious.

4.  Tony Johnston and Tomie dePaola"s book titled The Quilt Story found a home on my burgeoning bookshelves, well . . . because it said quilt in the title.  But it is a great little story of treasures passed down through generations, along with the stories and the connection that seem to stay in the threads.

5.  I have a gazillion I could write about, but for now the last ones are by Thomas Locker.  He has several books that are just good story telling; but what makes these such keepers is the masterful artwork that covers each page.  He paints like the grand masters of old and infuses the richness of color and line to simple moral tales.  The art is as much the story as the words.  Some titles are Sailing with the Wind, Where the River Begins, The Boy Who Held Back the Sea.

There are many more gems, so I'll be back.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Especially for You

I sing a song of love
especially for my mom and dad,
thanking you for love and prayers,
and blessings that I've had.
Though at times I took for granted--
I should have given more--
I really do appreciate you raising me in the Lord.

The words we seem to share
don't really say what's on my heart.
The kisses and embraces
could only be a start;
though I'm grown and married,
your home's still a home to me.
I only hope to honor you
and to make you proud of me.

I love you more today because I see
the wisdom of the Lord
when He gave you charge of me.
I wasn't always yielded,
but you loved me just the same.
I hope you see the fruit of tears
you prayed in Jesus' name.

~Lilly Green (released in 1977 on Myrrh Records)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Adventures of Mother Hood

We’ve been tracking her, but she remains at large. What makes her so difficult to nab is that she doesn’t have one identifying skill or MO.  Her crimes are varied, her operations covert. She’s extremely brilliant to have avoided detection for so long.

My first contact with her was when she was spotted as the driver of the getaway car – a brown full-size Dodge van.  It was hardly the vehicle of choice for a quick retreat, but she put that baby through its paces.  She flew down the road.

 At the supermarket, we almost lost her.  She must have ducked inside for cover.  We had the place surrounded, but she caught us unawares.  With superhuman strength, she charged straight at us through the doors, shielding herself with a cart full of canned goods – perfect for deflecting bullets.  Since she had a hostage on the front of the cart, we couldn’t attempt a hit.  She piled into the van, and once again we were in hot pursuit.  Almost immediately, the news came over the radio that, in addition to all her other crimes, she apparently had made quite a steal at the market. 

I lost her that day at a soccer field.  The place was filled with screaming fans, so she probably hid in the crowd.  I eventually called off the search and headed back to the station. 

Periodically, I’ve gotten bits and pieces of information linking her to some major crimes in the area.  I know she was into laundering in a big way.  She must have been making a lot of bread.

 Having her still at large is frustrating.  It’s not only humiliating for the department, but as far as I can tell, she is really cleaning up.  Her operation must be huge by now, but she maneuvers largely undetected.  She’s one smart cookie.

I’ve been devising a trap, though, and I think I’ve come up with a foolproof plan.   It’s been said she has a lover – a kind of father figure.  She adores him, and that could make her vulnerable.  If we’re able to pick him up, maybe we could trump up a charge, hold him for a day or two, and see if she surfaces.  It’s a long shot, but it’s worth a try to get such a dangerous criminal off the streets.  Maybe I can finally put Mother Hood away for good.

It's pretty, standing on the San Andreas Fault. :-)