Guest Writer and Photographer-Michelle's Tribute to a Beloved Grandmother; Nature Photographer and Great Bird Pics

Guest Writer Michelle Honors a Beloved Grandparent; Some Excellent Nature Pics by a Guest Photographer

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Children's Letters to God

  • Dear God,
    Instead of letting people die and having to make new ones, why don't you just keep the ones you have now?
  • Dear God,
    Who draws the lines around the countries?
  • Dear God,
    Went to this wedding and they kissed right in church. Is that okay?
  • Dear God,
    Thank you for my baby brother, but what I prayed for was a puppy.
  • Dear God,
    It rained for our whole vacation and is my father mad! He said some things about you that people are not supposed to say, but I hope you will not hurt him in any way.
    Your Friend (but I am not going to tell you who I am)
  • Dear God,
    Please send me a pony. I never asked for anything before. You can look it up.
  • Dear God,
    If we come back as something, please don't let me be Jennifer Horton, because I hate her.
  • Dear God,
    I want to be just like my daddy when I get big, but not with so much hair all over.
  • Dear God,
    I think the stapler is one of your greatest inventions.
  • Dear God,
    I think about you sometimes, even when I'm not praying.
  • Dear God,
    I bet it is very hard for you to love all the people in the world. There are only four people in our family and I can never do it.
  • Dear God,
    Of all the people who worked for you, I like Noah and David the best.
  • Dear God,
    My brothers told me about being born, but it doesn't sound right. They are just kidding, aren't they?
  • Dear God,
    If you watch me in church Sunday, I'll show you my new shoes.
  • Dear God,
    We read Thomas Edison made light. But in Sunday School, we learned that you did it. So I bet he stole your idea.
  • Dear God,
    I do not think anybody could be a better God. Well, I just want you to know that I am not just saying this because you are God already.
  • Dear God,
    I didn't think orange went with purple until I saw the sunset you made on Tuesday. That was cool!
  • Dear God,
    Maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother.

  •  Posted by Hello

    Guest Photographer Regales With Beautiful Pictures

    Bird and Flower picture montage


    More Gardens and Bird posts HERE
     Posted by Hello


    My memories of childhood are very unclear. I can't say for sure if I didn't know my grandmother's name for quite some time or if I just submerged it because I didn't like it. How do you tell your grandmother you don't like her name? Later, I came to realize you don't choose your own name in most cases, so she really had no control. Besides, I think she liked it. Regardless, to me she was always Grandma.

    I spent two weeks of every summer in her house, for as far back as I can remember. Mostly, I think I looked forward to those times – an adventure, because I never knew for sure what was in store. There were times I distinctly remember I didn't want to go, but once I got there, it was fine. (Especially those times when I reconnected with friends my own age in that area.)

    Walnuts and a Quote from the Piece

    My grandmother introduced me to the local Grange, and a similar group for women. When I joined Toastmasters in 2001, I already knew who they were and what they were about; perhaps it was my grandmother who introduced me to them. I remember her as a good speaker, and remember attending at least one function where she stood and spoke to a large group. She taught me about cleaning house (not that I kept that knowledge very long) and snuck in snippets of right and wrong. (And
    yes, I did get those things at home, too, but who believes their parents?)

    She was an energetic woman with firm convictions. I always thought of her as physically old (she was much older than my parents and they were "ancient" in my young eyes) but never truly "old" in the slow, run-down sense of the word. She stood up for her beliefs and she went against popular opinion when she thought it was wrong.

    She would go to great lengths to bond with me, although I didn't recognize that then for what it was. For instance, I had a fondness (unusual in a girl, I think) for reptiles, insects, pond life, and spiders. One summer, while helping her clean her basement, I found the greatest spider in the whole world. It was big, bigger than any I'd seen, and very beautiful. Trouble was, it was in hiding down there. Had a nice home in a pipe in the wall and whenever I'd try to get a
    look, whoosh! back in the pipe it'd go.

    I was so disappointed I couldn't see this beauty closer, or shine a light on it to see it more clearly. Grandma to the rescue! She helped me think of ways to coax that spider out of its hole. Did we know it was a black widow? Of course we did. Did it matter? Of course! That was why I wanted to see the spider closer. However, nothing we tried seemed to work. Then Grandma got the idea of all ideas . . . and brought the vacuum cleaner down there. It was a small model, with only
    a hose attachment. She sucked that spider right out of its pipe.

    Taking the vacuum up to the daylight and emptying out the bag, we found that the spider was quite dead. It's the thought that counts?

    All these years, I've never forgotten my grandmother's efforts on my behalf that day. As I grew older, I realized what a wonder it really was, because I found she didn't like spiders.

    I remember she stocked fish in her rock pond fountain every summer. I don't recall what kind they were, but I know she did it just for me; in the winter that pond was dry. I remember she and I sharing an attic bedroom and how she'd fall asleep while reading. In a bit, she'd wake up enough to tuck her bookmark in, put the book down and turn out her light. I remember being scared to sleep in that room alone because of the eerie door leading to the rest of the attic, where it was dusty and dim. Anything could come out of that door if she wasn't there to protect me!

    I remember being allowed to do things I couldn't do at home, like stay up that little bit later.

    She almost always had a little dog, too; a Min Pin (Miniature Pinscher, like a tiny Doberman) or Miniature Poodle, usually. I think even in her RV years she had a dog to travel with. Sometimes a boyfriend, too. She stopped by our house several times. Once, she collected all our walnuts. A few months later we received walnut-chocolate bars in the mail. They had melted into one large bar
    after sitting in our mailbox all day in 90 degree heat.

    She was someone who was always there throughout my life, a solid rock on my shoreline, even though after I grew up I didn't see her every year or even very often. I always knew she was out there, somewhere.

    Early Sunday morning, Grandma died. I'm told she went quietly, with relatives in attendance: a son, my dad, telling her it was okay for her to go, and a grandson with his fiancee. She was 93.

    The walnuts will be falling soon. I'll miss you, Grandma.

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