rancherwriterpoet

Poetry, musings, reflections, life

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

I have a birthday coming in three more days. It will be my 82nd. I realize the occasion does not rank much higher on the scale of life than, say, a park bench that just got painted and you ignore the “wet paint” sign, or me remembering, “the dog ate my homework”. 

But it interests me. I am looking forward to this one. Mostly, because I don’t remember my 81st. I am setting aside some time (not to exceed 15 minutes, can’t sit that long) to etch this one in my memory bank so that when I reach my 83rd, I can write another blog and relate whatever happens on my 82nd. It is also the birthday of my spouse, “The Rancherette”, which is the main reason I am writing this. And, also, I must mention it before I forget it. Who knows if I will remember on the actual day. Happy Birthday, “Rancherette!”

Age, as someone once said (and I don’t remember who said it) is a state of mind. It would help to remember if that someone was in their right mind. And that brings me to this point, who discovered Daylight Savings Time? And moreover, why do we still need it? And I don’t know why I even bring it up.

Our resident Labradoodle, Bennie, is an expert of remembering and he is only 9 and ½ months old. He remembers where he left his bully stick. Heck I can’t even remember what I had for dinner last night. I think one’s memory bank is not as full at that age. Also, not overloaded with inane, dare I say, crap?

There I go again, rambling. That’s what us older folks do, ramble!  Did I mention, the “Rancherette” has a birthday on the same day. Different years but same date. Lucky for me, I can remember her birthday, even if I can’t remember if I took out the trash yesterday. The trash pickup service is on Tuesdays so I must do it on Monday evening. Nothing worse than watching the morning news and hear the trash truck loading everyone’s bin except yours. This comes after the “Rancherette” reminds me to take the trash to the street. And besides that, I’m not telling her age, just that we have the same birthday, but not the same year. I will say she is much younger than me. Also, prettier, and smarter and cooks better, too.

The “Rancherette” and I occasionally go out for Chinese food. Some of our greatest moments are when we read the fortune cookie sayings. We have this little game we play. We simply place the phrase, “in between the sheets” to the end of each fortune and laugh ‘til we hurt. That’s what old folks do, laugh ‘til it hurts.

Now that we have a birthday coming, we may just go for Chinese food. Looking forward to reading my fortune cookie. Normally I do not play the lottery, however, the fortune strip in the cookie also has lottery numbers and being our birthday, I might just play. Maybe, I will get lucky.

Andi’s Reunion at the Rainbow Bridge

Today, May 19, 2021, we lost another of our beloved dogs at the old age of almost 14. Andi, short for Andora, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. It was not unexpected, for her health has deteriorated over the past few months. It was the proper and caring thing for us to do, euthanize her. Painful for us but compassionate for Andi.

She had the most endearing spirit of probably any dog I have ever met. Blind in one eye, and limited in the other, deaf to a point where I would have to touch her to wake her up and even then, she came hustling out of her kennel, shaking her booty along with her tail. Sometimes she would wag it so hard, we took to calling her “Miz Wiggles” or “Wigglebutt”. She adored that interacting and it was as if she was laughing with us. I’ll miss that.

Twice a day these retired show dogs, had the wide open spaces of our fenced acre to run free from their pens, dig holes, do what ever crossed their minds and we received the benefit of their performances. Most were hilarious, some not so much.  We still have “hole diggers” and the “Rancherette” continues to refill them almost on a daily basis. But “Andi” was not a digger. She was, shall I say, refined. I’ll miss that. She survived breast cancer surgery in 2016. But even when she was ill, she had that spunk. I’ll miss that.

She lived a wonderful life and as with our other dogs, enjoyed herself romping together with them.  Age has a way of catching up with even the most agile and healthy individuals and our beloved pets are no exception.

Andi, you have gone to meet Apollo, Denali, Mommy Dog (AKA Stella), Prada, Ty, Munchie and Alfie. What a reunion that was today. I know you are in good company. You always searched for Bennie’s Bully Sticks when he left one outside. You beat Grindle to them almost always. Don’t worry, Grindle with take care of them and says thanks. We miss you, “Miz Wiggles”. RIP “Wigglebutt”.

Alfie, Rest in Peace

Alfie, our sweet and precious six years and three days of age Airedale, a wonderful companion to our family crossed the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. Over the past 12 months our canine family has lost several wonderful members and we are so sad each time it occurs. It seems to me however, that there is always one that preps the newest member and instills a desire to take the afflicted one’s place. Our beloved Apollo did that with Alfie before he passed in May. He taught her the ropes of living in the Robertson home. And she took him to heart. She was an admirable friend. She showed that when our little Labradoodle, Bennie, came calling.

Can we come out now?

We were afraid that Alfie, being so much larger, would be perhaps not so friendly. But that was not the case. No matter how much Bennie tugged on her ears, she took it all in stride. Not once did she ever cross the line with Bennie. Bennie is now four months old and growing, weighing in at almost forty pounds. Yet Alfie never so much as growled at him but a very few times. She just took all he dished out. She seemed to enjoy “roughhousing” and he teased her with whatever toy or stuffed animal he had. She always let him have his way.  We were looking forward to Alfie and Bennie having wonderful times ahead. Sadly, it is not to be.

That’s my dinosaur

 In her earlier years we played a game, “go find it”. I would hide treats in the trees and various places without her knowing where and call her to “go find it”. Promptly, she would locate them and devour them on the spot before running to the next tree. 

She wasn’t much of a fetch and bring kind, but she knew how to entertain us with her antics, such as chewing sheetrock, wood, and plastic. (in her puppy stages). She was fascinated with our kennel dogs, one in particular. Sugar, a standard poodle, and Alfie had a love/hate relationship. Alfie would aggravate Sugar through the gate, but always with her tail wagging.

She hated change. Once I replaced her doggie door. She refused to come through it for several hours. Move her food dish across the room, nope, not going to eat from there. She knew when something was moved, and she did not like that. On a different note, BB (before Bennie), she occasionally would look up and see something on TV that caught her eye. She would watch for awhile before turning her attention somewhere else.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-2.png
A little daytime soap opera
Counting stars

The “Rancherette brought her home one day from friends who gave her to us. She was three months old. I caller her the “Hitchhiker” but we did not name her immediately. We waited a few days to watch her demeanor and settled on Alfie. If you remember the television show “Alf”, this was our inspiration. We thought she looked like “Alf”.  I do not know the gender of “Alf”, but I surmised that it was a he, thus she became Alfie. And that was the beginning of a lovable “alien” named Alfie.

Me, neither
I do not like cats

Alfie went prancing across that Rainbow Bridge yesterday. Kidney failure took its toll. It was a sudden shock for us. We knew she was having some issues and the reason we took her to the vet in the first place, but never realized it was that serious. After discussing with the vet we knew she was only going to get much worse and we decided not to put her through that ordeal. It was a difficult decision to make but a correct one.

So, Miss Alfie, AKA, the Hitchhiker, rest in peace, girl. No pain, no suffering, just romping through the grass around the trees Check closely, dear Alfie, there may be a treat sticking out from a tree somewhere maybe even a squirrel on the other side of the Bridge.

Dad’s Day, 2020

June 21 is Father’s Day 2020. I am a father. I have been a father since October 1959. Age is not creeping anymore; it is fast tracking. I have three remarkable children, six wonderful grandchildren and five amazing great-grandchildren and lest I forget a delightful stepdaughter. My fatherly life is full. I am so blessed.
Frank Sinatra sang; “regrets, I’ve had a few”. Have I made mistakes, absolutely! During my lifetime, there have been ups and downs, some periods even went sideways, so, yes, one could say “regrets, I ‘ve had a few.”
Being a father is not necessarily the same as being a “dad”. The first is a biological event; the second is an emotional one. I would never regret being a “father” however, I do regret not always being a “dad”. But then, one cannot go back in time and change the past.
So, to all my family, on this Father’s Day, 2020, I will strive to be more of a “Dad.” Please know that I love all of you and am proud to be your “Dad”, your “Stepdad”,  your “Granddad”, and your “Great Grandad!” To all the Dad’s in our family, I hope this “Dad’s Day” is meaningful to you.

And from an era gone by, this about my “Dad”.

Lewis Stewart was my stepfather, entering my life at the brink of my becoming a teenager. But he was more than a stepfather. He became my “Dad”, not necessarily in name but in every other aspect. He was my “Dad”. He went to his heavenly home on June 7th, 1984. My “Pop” was and still is a loving memory for me. I pay tribute to him in this poem I wrote in 1992.

The March of Age

Silver strands of wispy hair adorn
The head of this old man,
His eyes seem tired and he grows weak,
He does the best he can.

Age has caught the life of him
Whom age could never touch.
At least not him who’s big to me,
Whose hand I reach to clutch.

The years have fast raced on to reach
This one who could not fall.
The yesterdays are now but faint,
This fate must touch us all.

When grown men cry so deep inside
That words can ne’er explain,
There’s reason for the tears we hide,
Redeeming love without refrain.

So, age will search for others now,
Not knowing what it had.
For age does not discriminate,
I know, it caught my Dad.

Pete Robertson
© 1992

Bailey Goes Home

sebastopol Geese.

Three Sebastopol Geese, goslings, arrived via U.S. Postal Service sometime in 2017. Two females and one male, and the “Rancherette” named them according to the information we received when they arrived. She named the male, “Bailey”. The larger female, she named Shia, because she was very shy. The other female was named Indie, for “her” independence. Of course, we had it all wrong. Bailey is shy and is not a male. Oops, he was indeed a male, Indie is very independent; however, she is a he. Indie rules this gaggle of geese. And Shia, well, she is not too shy, more like she is laid back. We have since added to our flock a female named Gweeny and another buff named Dusty. These are the geese on the Fuzzy Chicken Farm.

The sad news is that Bailey went “home” one last time, this past evening. He, the smaller Sebastopol gander, has flown across the rainbow bridge. I am sure there must be a place for geese when they die. Maybe, it is not a rainbow bridge or maybe it is.  If it is a Rainbow Bridge, I can just see Bailey waddling across. You see, Bailey was a pet goose. We receive a lot of joy from our geese and Bailey was no exception. Always slower and more laid back than the others, he would constantly be the one dragging up the rear on their way “home” every evening. We taught them to “go home” when we penned them up for the evening. This was an effort to protect them from predators, such as coyotes. Bailey was always the comical one. He kind of squeaked when he honked, and it was obvious who the culprit was.

Around the Fuzzy Chicken Farm, there is an abundance of animals and birds. It stings when the circle of life ends. The “Rancherette” is constantly incubating baby chicks and there is almost always some that do not make it. It stings. We occasionally lose a larger bird, it stings. It has only been 17 days since our beloved Apollo crossed the Rainbow Bridge. It still stings. As animal lovers, we always dread the day.

Bailey was a sweet bird, never aggressive, even during mating season. I can see the other geese feeling lost today, I am sure that they miss Bailey. I know I do. Go “home” Bailey, one last time.

HEROES…REMEMBERED

Today is an honorable day. Memorial Day! A day we, as Americans, have come to celebrate as the first day of summer. That means we will be off to the beaches, to the mountains, to the lakes, to backyard barbeques and homemade ice cream. This year is different. We will obviously be observing the precautions brought on by the pandemic virus. This adds a completely new dimension to our celebration. We have been beset with guidelines, stay-at-home orders, restricted travels, and anything the politicians can devise. Some for the benefit of the population and others maybe not so much. The scientists also issue their dire warnings. Complications, for sure!

But today, is so much more than a day at the beach. While the world mourns the deaths of those who contracted the disease let us not forget the sacrifices of our Armed Forces.

Allow me to introduce a few of those who perished in the service of our country. Names are selected at random and I have no personal knowledge of many of the brave men and women who served, however I chose Gregory’s name because he was the son of my friends, Scott and Melba Morgan, Atlanta, Ga. Greg’s name is on the Vietnam Memorial, Washington D.C..

ATCHISON, John Calvin    PVT. USMC, Missouri, perished on the USS Arizona, December 7, 1941. Private Atchison served his country in honor and died for his service. I chose his name from the casualty list of the USS Arizona to serve as representative of all those men who perished during WWII.

In 1944 First lieutenant U.S. Army Nurse Aleda E. Lutz of Freeland Michigan was the first U.S. military woman to die in a combat zone during World War II when her hospital plane went down on her 196th rescue mission.  I chose LT Aleda Lutz, to serve as a representative of all those women who perished during WWII.

First Lieutenant William Edward (Buddy) Robertson, Jr. was a member of the 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. He was Killed in Action while fighting the enemy in North Korea on October 3, 1951. He was born in Chillicothe, Hardeman County, Texas. LT Buddy Robertson serves as a reminder of all those who died during the Korean war.

Navy Hospital Corpsman Joshua Dwayne McIntosh 22, of Kingman, Arizona, died June 6th, 2003 while serving in Karbula, Iraq. McIntosh died in Karbala, Iraq, from a non-hostile gunshot wound. He was assigned to the Third Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment, Twentynine Palms, California. Corpsman McIntosh represents those from the middle east conflicts.

SP4 GREGORY SCOTT MORGAN experienced a traumatic event which resulted in loss of life on March 15, 1971. Recorded circumstances attributed to: “Died through non-hostile action, air crash on land”. Incident location: South Vietnam, Gia Dinh province.

If any of these service members are a part of your family, let me say to you, I am proud of their service and I thank them for their allegiance to America. I pray a special prayer for all those Gold Star Families.

There are far more names that I could place on the tribute list, but I think you get the meaning of my post.

And as an additional note, I am aware of the thousands of Covid 19 frontline workers and first responders who have also perished in an untimely manner. I clearly wish to pay tribute to them as well.

So, on your way to the beaches, to the mountains, to the lakes, to backyard barbeques and homemade ice cream, stop for a moment and give thanks for these individuals who rose to the occasion, to give us those opportunities to celebrate. Make this Memorial Day a remembrance of all who sacrificed their lives.

These are my heroes.

       

 

RIP Sweet Apollo

Today, May 18, 2020, was the passing of King Louie’s Dance of Apollo.Apollo Jennie Pete

Our Sweet Apollo crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. He had a welcoming committee, for sure. There was Denali and Prada and Munchie, all friends from his past. And his long- time buddy, B.J. And I am sure he met new friends, as well. He has given us such joy around the Fuzzy Chicken Farm, and it is so difficult to experience this once again.

Apollo was full of energy and had a very loving demeanor. He would have been 14 years old on July 29th. He is a Standard Poodle and the epitome of a canine that loves his family. And his family loved him.

I recall a few of his antics. For one, he loved to go with me to the post office, protecting me, or so he thought. And if he did not go, then he would wait at the front door until I returned. In fact, many times when we left on errands, he would wait there and bark when we did return. Sadly, the past year he was unable to do that.

He loved company. Furiously, he would bark at the doorbell and then he would introduce himself to the guests, especially the female gender. One could see the excitement in his eyes. When they would sit down, he would promptly raise his paw for assurances that they were welcome.

Apollo Begging forgiveness

His had his moments. Another one was him being unable to come into the kitchen. We never scolded him, I would only ask, “Apollo, are you in the kitchen?” at which he would abruptly turn around and depart the area. Or begging for a bite of our sandwich. He had this habit of laying his chin (?) on the footrest of the recliner at which time I would promptly call him “Despicable”. Apollo despicable (2)

Then the “Rancherette” would take up for him and say, “You’re not Despicable.” And of course, he got his bites of a sandwich. There are many stories about Apollo. These are but a few.

But life itself includes those moments when not all is good news.

For several months Apollo’s health has declined. He struggled to catch his breath, mostly because of a heart condition. Arthritis had set in his hips and his both front legs.  It has caught him in his elder years. His heart was giving out and he could no longer walk. So, we did what was necessary to relieve his pain. And it was bittersweet.

I have gone through the happening of having a trusted animal member cross over the Rainbow Bridge too many times in the past. It never gets any easier, but love transcends the life experience, and this is the ultimate life experience. We love all our animals. We want them to live forever. Sadly, they do not. Then, neither do we.

So, Apollo, cross on over that colored bridge. Meet up with your friends, run and bark and spend your days knowing you no longer suffer on this earth. We miss you my friend.

HONEY, I REMEMBERED!

Honey, I remembered!

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10, 11……….12

I remembered that I could count, at least to 12. I promise I did not use Google for any help. So, what do the numbers represent?

Year number one began on May 15, 2009 and was our Wedding day. That was a remarkable day. The first year was a honeymoon that lasted all year and into the next and continues today.

Numbers 1-11 represent the number of years that Jennifer and Pete have been married. Each year was complete and utterly successful. At least to my way of thinking. Each year has been a wonderful sequence of a marriage.

This woman I married has an amazing stamina. She is, of course, the queen of the chicken world. She certainly has the Chicken world of exhibition’s attention. Her office is covered in awards. I am extremely proud of her and her accomplishments. But that’s not why I married her.

She is a super gardener, vegetables in season, flowers in season, indoor plants, tropical and home managed. But, that’s not why I married her.

She is a great cook. She is in the gourmet chef style.She sometimes posts her achievements to the social media world and has them drooling. Cakes, pies, and of course delicacies from the food group. Chocolate being my favorite. But that’s not why I married her.

She has other talents, such as mowing the yard, attending to our retired show dogs, cutting limbs, and I dare not forget the geese. The geese are like her children. But that is a separate issue altogether.

We have our challenges and those continue. Most of our trials have come from health issues. We have faced numerous tests and treatments and she has risen to the occasion. She is a remarkable nurse; however, she has not had the perfect patient. But she has endured. I think it is because she loves me.

We seem to roller coaster our health issues, me then her, her then me. I have been a nurse to her as well. However, I have had a much easier time taking care of her than she of me. She has been a particularly good patient, unlike me.  So, she is a great nurse and a great patient. But, that’s not why I married her.

As I count of the years, I am reminded that love is the key ingredient to a marriage. And that brings me to the year 12.  We start off our next year with uncertainties in the world we know. And while we will adapt to the changes that inevitably will face us, I know that our marriage will survive.

So why did I marry her?  Because, as I said, “love is the key ingredient to a marriage”.

I write this simply to let the world know that God put us together and I thank Him for that. I could not be more blessed at this time in my life. Thank you Jennifer for marrying me.

I love you, Jennifer Robertson, and Happy Anniversary.

One Sunday Morning

Very early on a clear vibrant Sunday morning,
I awaken from a deep sleep at dawn’s first light.
The stillness of the early hour retreats
For the bright morning sun overtakes the night.

I begin my day running through the forest,
Down pathways and under branches covered with moss.
Along the way, I stop to rest and catch my breath.
It is then I see a small piece of wood in the shape of a cross.

As my morning run continues through this scenic wonder,
The pathway begins to narrow and becomes no more than a trail.
I wonder at the colorful landscape that surrounds me
But ahead of me, I catch sight of a rusty nail.

I’m amazed at the stunning beauty that encompasses me.
Countless living creatures, caterpillars, butterflies and moths,
Nature’s storybook in brilliant pictures of living things.
And I glimpse before me an iridescent piece of cloth.

The on-going journey through this vast and pulsating place,
Presents me with a remarkably, priceless event of my own.
For how could anyone predict such picturesque beauty?
And at that moment I set eyes on a small smooth stone.

A piece of wood about 2 inches long, stained by years of exposure,
A rusty nail with orange colored flakes that fall gently when stirred;
A scrap of white linen cloth, crumpled and resting beside the rusty nail;
And a small stone, worn smooth from seasons deferred.

It was then that I understood. Love came to me.
Love was crucified!
Flesh was wounded and nailed to a cross.
Love was hidden!
Flesh was wrapped in white linen cloth.
Love was buried!
Flesh was sealed in a tomb.
Love came alive!
The stone was rolled away.

The Cross

Even during this worldwide calamity, we can take hope that there is peace from the comforter of the universe. This was accomplished through the death, burial and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The following is my interpretation of those events on the first Easter weekend.

Conversation at the Cross

The suffering unfolds at that ultimate place where the condemned are sent for reckoning. Spread across the hill, three crosses are embedded.  Execution awaits by official decree. The crosses prolong the agony.

An angry mob surrounds the three crosses, gawking at those who await their fate. Covert friends intermingle with thrill-seekers. Conflicting points of view become manifest.  Conversation at the cross begins.

Arrogance remains openly defiant, returning verbal assaults to the hostile masses.The anger and pain notwithstanding, he addresses his cursing to Mercy. In response, Mercy beseeches Unseen.

 Seeking Forgiveness counters to Arrogance, “Your foolish outburst has overcome your sanity. You have no decency! No decency!  Judging of our deeds is truthful. Mercy’s condemnation is undeserved.”

Seeking Forgiveness cries out to Mercy, pleading a sympathetic desire for remembrance. Mercy grants his plea for sanctuary. Desiring a perfect destination for both, Mercy presents Himself finally to Unseen.

Conversation at the cross is ended. Apprehension envelops the onlookers. Fear is rampant, anxiety builds, remorse sets in.  Innocence is proclaimed by centurions. Mercy is sacrificed, the Cross-is finished.

Imagine if you were an actual witness to the crucifixion of Christ. 

Witness

Sounds of cursing and anger fill the air.
And yet, He groans quietly.
The burden on His shoulders grows heavy
As He walks, stooped over slightly.

The flesh on His back… lay bare by the whip,
And His feet have swollen as well.
His vision is blurred by sweat mixed with blood.
He stumbled…and He fell.

The soldiers’ authority commands fear.
One man is conscripted for use.
“Carry the beam!” they directed the man.
For the young one is weak from abuse.

The young man moves slowly, climbing the hill.
His condition prevents a fast pace.
People are gathering to witness this scene,
For there’s something peculiar about this place.

I sense something special about this young man.
He seems so confident in His fate.
But others about Him don’t seem to care,
For they scorn Him and verbalize hate.

The instrument of death is placed on the ground.
The young man is secured to the post.
Spikes penetrate His hands… and His feet…
The soldiers stand back and boast.

clouds grow dark and they cover the sun,
Thunder breaks loudly and clear.
The ground begins cracking and groaning,
And the people who’ve gathered begin to fear.

In a loud voice, I hear Him cry out
In a language, I don’t understand.
Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani,*
There’s something unusual about this man…

His death is complete and His body’s removed,
He’s placed in a borrowed tomb.
Grief and sadness overcome His friends
As they endure this period of gloom.

And now! It’s the third day! His body isn’t here!
The story He told, really is true!
He died for atonement, was buried for sin,
Resurrected… for life anew.

I witness this scene as though I were there,
For it’s embedded completely in mind.
How Jesus… suffered and died,
Was raised, giving life for His kind.

Pete Robertson
© 1992

*Mark 15:34 NASB      

 

I hope you have an amazing Easter celebration. May God bless your family during this crisis.                     

 

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