Saturday, May 31, 2014

Hermitage Recreation Maps of the trails I am writing about in the next few days. 
First published last summer.
 My fine city of Hermitage does offer much recreation. The granddaddy of the options is our beautiful Buhl Farm Park, that I have referenced many times before(like yesterday with the concert and fifty cent hot dog). I live near the park, so it is by far my favorite. The park provides swimming, tennis, fishing as well as the trails. The committee also organizes days, like the Great Outdoors Event, a few weeks ago, Clean Up day in the spring and Winter Festival, as well as their jewel of a day, Buhl Day on Labor Day. I love the park.
We also have the Rodney White Park for trails. The tennis courts are on the school property, but opened to the residents. The trail for Rodney White Park meanders around the back of the high school grounds. Some of it feels like walking through someone's backyard. It is short, but shaded most of the way. Double backing would help with the mileage. In the summer, walking a dog with a black coat, makes this trail ideal. As you can see from these pictures, the feeling of being in the woods overwhelms, with red berries, not quite sweet from sunshine yesterday, but still good.
A playground for the kids has that soft foam. I appreciated this when my girls were young if it had rained. No mud when the weather cleared. A gazebo for picnics or next month, my book signing, sits in the middle. Public bathrooms are clean.
Other exercise seekers can always walk or run the track. Before the trail was finalized, I met some mothers a few times on the track for walking. Walking in circles did little for me, when I had luscious Buhl Park out my front door. 

I do enjoy the Rodney White Trail this year. Great for when time crunch raises its ugly head and the heat is on. Rodney White competed in the Olympics a few years back in archery. The park is named in his honor, one of the Hickory High School graduates' accomplishments.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Love Affair

The weather this last week is what we in Western Pennsylvania wait for all winter. Last night, I walked my dog after a busy day of being off. I glanced at my phone, nine twenty three and still vermillion at the western border of the sky. Above me, pale blue with few twinkling stars reminded me of how great our lingering sunsets are.
I love to walk. Last year I started a series on places to walk in Hermitage and surrounding areas. The next few days, I will repost those stories, as well as writing about some new ones.
I see pictures from Cape Cod and Connecticut. I loved our summers when we lived in New Hampshire and Connecticut. Still, my complaint when we lived there, the sunsets came too early. Last night kept my realization that I live in the best place. I have truly come to love my home.
I always treasured Buhl Farm Park. We really have a gem there. I would dare say no other public park compares. So sit back and read my posts, enjoy. Then get off that seat, take a walk, and create.
My novel, now, Last Free Exit, feels like an unruly child. I fret over the direction it should take. I write some, then my alarm sounds for me to take my shower. I have to write to get insight. I know, too, when I finally finish the first draft, I will trim and weed the words and scenes. I had an original deadline of June to be finished, with all the revision and editing, but alas like so much of my life, the time table gets upset by weather, health and just plain exhaustion. In the meantime, I wrote a lot of poetry. Always fertile, just not the way I plan.
Another positive yesterday, I finally met my cousin, Kori Turner, the owner of the quilt shop in Fowler. She looks like a Thompson, my Grandmother Evans' Thompson family, flaxen blonde hair, blue eyes and a bit of a round face. I was close to Christina's house (my character from Country, a Gables and Gingerbread story).  Like the first time you meet anyone, I kept the camera at bay. Some of the Amish belief that a bit of your soul leaves with a picture may have placed a shyness over me. I warned her, I will call next time to get some pictures. We exchanged cards.
Today, I connected with Mercer County authors Facebook page. I look forward to again, making new friends. I listened to the magical morning sounds today, first the birds, then the quiet beginnings of neighbors' days. Now, the raspy smooth voice of Southside Johnny with La Bamba's Big Horns, Grapefruit Moon wraps around my writing. My love affair with mornings, sunshine and life continues.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

I like to use my own pictures so to commemorate my nursing and wedding thirty two year anniversary I chose this picture of a rainbow in the sky near my house. On the way to my nursing school graduation I saw a double rainbow. I always took that as a sign of double blessing, since I married the man of my life the next day. May 28 and 29, 1982.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

I'm sharing this link from a writer I read. Surely reform is needed everywhere. Our eyes need to be ever opened.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Prodigal Mom

Prodigal Mom
Mollie Lyon
In the waiting we know the prodigal father,
eyes on the horizon
skirts raised, ready to run
his eyes ever expecting his son.

What of the prodigal mother?
We hear no mention of her.
In the kitchen with a chore,
Never knowing for sure.

Did she stew about decisions made
without her knowledge?
A bitter or praying maid
in that kitchen looking out the ledge?

She, too, waiting, fattening a calf.
With each meal made
praying or despising her better half?
Wishing her son were here in the shade?

Her attitude influenced the elder son;
did she embitter him when they should have had fun?
Did she want to escape like a dove
when she should have embraced love?

What of this mother not known
how did she feel with her son flown?
How do all mothers react?
With tenderness and tact?

                                                                When life is such silt,
full of burden and guilt
when she had to wait
blaming herself or her mate?

Mothers are different
in ways that they parent.
But this woman
What did she do with her man?

Where did she stand
as the son returned?
Which son did she choose?
Which did she refuse?

Or did she embrace both
as that father would
if the elder boy allowed,
only if they could.

We're not told
maybe mom is gone or old.
How are you, Mom?
Are your words life or should they be dumb?

Friday, May 23, 2014


I was encouraged earlier this week as my pageviews were up to almost sixty. They seemed to be growing. I thought I need to get back to the blog for the reasons I wrote here before: the discipline, the dead lines, the reaching out to people. Then back down to five pageviews, yet I hadn't posted anything since Wednesday.
I use a lot of energy fighting depression. I wrote a poem today, but so personally deep, I'd rather not share, yet. I wonder at my restless soul and how much this affects my daughters. Reconciling the dreams and reality and how hard one must work for dreams. Did I expect fairy tale endings and like Once Upon a Time (a TV show about fairy tale characters in modern day world), do the endings never come? I feel even my chapters don't end nicely. Yes, I used the word nicely.
I wonder often about the difference between content and resignation. I desire to be content in all circumstances, yet what really does that mean? Do I turn a blind eye at what could be better? Or is that resignation, that nothing can change? I mull this over. One answer seems to be whether one has joy. I don't mean a giddy happiness with no thought of tomorrow.
My mother in her last four years of life found that contentment. By world's standards, her belongings reduced to one room, it would seem the lowest point of her life. Sometimes she would wonder where certain things went, but she didn't seem to dwell on that. She showed concern for the workers at the home. She never bemoaned if it had been awhile since a visit from us. In her last months, she would wake from a sound sleep, a little confused and think I was my sister. She missed her children, but she didn't complain.
Mom remained kind, even at her sickest. In the hospital, lab technicians would dig in her arms for veins. Finally, after two or three people would try, the last one with success, she would thank them. Anyone coming into her hospital room received appreciation. She had found joy and she shared it.
Surprise filled the employees' faces.
I try to learn this lesson from my mom. Maybe when our resources are diminished, our joy increases. Or maybe it is the old age reminding us to end well. We don't have that many tomorrows to make a positive impression. Mom did it. Visitors were amazed that they felt better after they stopped to see my mom. She showed interest in them. It was not the usual nursing home visit people envision.
Engagement in others brings joy. I have tried to tell my daughters that from an early age as they said, "No one likes me." I would answer, "Be their friend. Ask them questions." Everyone likes to talk about themselves, if they think someone cares.
The girls are in service industry jobs. I see their caring from a distance. I hear about their friendliness from customers. They have learned to reach out to others. I guess something has been passed on.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Can't Believe It's Been Three Years

Another post from three years ago:
 So, I don't want to give credence anymore to Harold Camping, but the
Rapture is our blessed hope(Titus 2:13) and it saddens me to see it being tarnished this way. Christians should live each day as it is our last, in fact, everyone should. The Rapture is real, it is going to happen and everyday brings us closer to the Glorious Day(Casting Crowns popular song at present).
I've heard the argument that Paul thought it was going to happen in his day, before he died and of course it didn't. I still think if you had been to the "Third Heaven", (2 Corinthians 12) you would want this world to end.
I think our best answer to the end of the world topic is 2 Peter 3. And really the whole Bible. We need to live each day ready for being called home, whether by the last trump or our individual death. Someday, our world is going to end.
I do wonder that like the first coming of Jesus, when so many were looking for a savior, a deliverer, even outside the Jewish culture, and it came to a head. Like it had to be within that time frame, so are the prophecies, predictions of the end of the world at present. Back then they were searching everywhere for the Messiah, except in the lowly manager. In the last days, there will be no missing the second coming, but some will miss the Rapture, excusing it for something else. Why? Because Christ is not coming then, He is calling us home.
Christians be ready. Speak boldly of our Jesus and His love for all. He wants none to perish, but acceptance of Him is what is necessary. Yeah, seems intolerant, but let the Holy Spirit lead to those who are ready to accept this message.
My favorite Chris Rice song says it all for me,"Run the Earth, Watch the Sky."


This post is from three years ago. Still we say, "Perhaps today."
 Yes, this whole Rapture talk had me looking to the clouds often the last few days. Yet, I love clouds and look to the sky often. The majestic towers of those white puffiness fascinate me. Nothing is better than as a child laying back on the soft grass and gazing at those formations and making up stories.
So this ties in with the travel stories. The best cloud watching I ever did was in Missouri. Dad found a campground, we had made and ate supper, the redding up was done(I've been longing to use redding up). Mom and I sat at the picnic table naming all the numerous characters in the clouds. They just seemed to roll past us, waiting for our story about each one, then another would come along. The colors, and shapes were so vivid. The evening delightful.
Years later in a card, my mother wrote about this evening, "Remember those clouds in Missouri?" Such a bonding evening that the memory lasted for years.

Wordless Wednesday

Who remembers May 21, 2011? The world was to end.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

I'm looking at Teddy's Law Facebook page and not much to repost. Please like it on Facebook and/or Twitter. They want to make laws stronger to detect child abuse before it is too late. I encourage all to report child abuse. That is the purpose of the post on Tuesdays.
That Teddy's story touched me caught me by surprise. Every story of a child being abused disturbs me, but for some reason when I first heard Teddy's on WKBN, I felt different. When he died, a spot in my heart cried. Realization that I had known his mother from working at a client's house mobilized me to do something.
If we all can observe a tiny bit closer, a life may be better or saved. Teddy's Law would help open more doors to saving lives. A dad's love story for his son, Sean was kept from his son, by the mother who condoned the abuse and she is now serving time. He wants to do everything for Teddy's memory to prevent further abuse.
I hope my writing on Tuesdays about this can help, too.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Spring walk around Lake Julia

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Legacy of Generations

My post from last year's Mother's Day:

Many of us have to depend on others memories for our stories of great grandparents. I never knew any of my great grandparents. I'm so thankful of Becky, my dad's cousin, writing a few stories about Rebekah Hart Thompson. We stare at old tintypes and black and white photos, trying to make some connection. I have a picture of David's Grandmother Lyon on my dresser as a young girl, around eight, I would think. She looks so spunky in that image with adult relatives, staring at the camera.
I know she had red hair and a temper to go with it, although, by the time I met her, as the red faded to a pure white, her temper had been tamed. I saw some of that indignation at the oldest great grandchild's wedding as Grandma knew Ray was to help in the ceremony. He had grown a beard for some local centennial, leaving him unrecognizable to her. She fumed through the whole ceremony at the impostor, her chin set and eyes steely. When Ray came up to her, she hardly acknowledged him, till he greeted her with, "Grandma."
As we journeyed to Emporium on Saturday, I thought how I want to write all the stories of our ancestors. The peace of the mountains poured into me. I thought of the lumbering business, in which, those many years ago, Jesse Skillman, Grandma's father, endeavored. My mother-in-law's father rode the rails, as a brakeman. The Nickler's, the Metz's, the Skillman's and Lyon's all have stories so worth telling.
I wondered, too, at the love story in the house we stayed at this weekend. My mother-in-law helping her husband with his coat. He doesn't want to be long without Ellen. They have lived in the house for sixty three years, will be married sixty seven this June. Dad's memory, destroyed by dementia, still knows his wife, yet all he forgets irritates her at times.
Their great granddaughter, Cassandra, wrote a beautiful tribute for her Grandma Ellen for Mother's Day. I dared anyone to read it without a tissue. I was already weepy this weekend. Cassandra is not the oldest great grandchild, but she is eighteen and privileged to spend almost every Sunday worshiping with her family and Sunday dinner, the old fashioned kind, at Great Grandma's.
In a few weeks at the Alumni Banquet, she will be a fourth generation to graduate from Cameron County High School. I remember when her aunt did it, twenty five years ago. Four generations, still living, all in the same town. She will have double, because, even though Grandpa Lyle doesn't know her or what the big dinner will be about, he will be there, along with her great grandma, two grandparents and parents, who beat the odds of early marriage by staying together.
Cassandra called her Grandma Ellen, an angel. I know blessings abound in this family because we are family, honoring God, family and country. Stories of love, endurance and hard work from the mountains that they call hills.
post from last year's Mother's Day:

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Random Thoughts

I do miss writing here. I felt professional. I will pop in at times with some of my musings. Today is one of them.
Random or maybe not so random thoughts fill me as I'm doing more than just working. When I was asked to work a little more, my breath shuts off. I didn't want to feel obligated to the people. I don't want to see them abandoned, either. Oh, don't tug at my heartstrings.
A day off yesterday filled with life. Book sale at nine in the morning at the Community Library. I fear as I gaze over the fiction paper back shelf, my book will be there for fifty cents. I survey all the books and wonder about being reduced to a sale, which before I loved. I ponder why do we write? A charity sale strengthens the library and reading. I don't see my novel.
The library opened at ten. I build my legs taking the stairs, because of the rain, I think I won't walk that day. I stride over to the computer and look up Summer Triangle. It is there and it is out in circulation. That feels better than seeing on the shelf of new fiction or Local Author. I plead, "Write a review on Amazon," in my heart to the unknown reader.
I love reading, so I sit with my daughter's stuffed book pack, while she roamed the library. In my morning hurry, I had forgotten my reading glasses. Reading became less pleasurable, but still enlightening. I remember how much I love The Vindicator, Youngstown's  morning paper.
I make a lunch at home, eat it and find keeping my eyes open near impossible. I lay down for a forty minute nap. Then I dive into dishes and cleaning the kitchen. I think how Jesus healed Peter's mother-in-law. He took her hand and as she got up, the fever left her-Mark 1: 30-31. And then she prepared them supper. I have to get up to shake off the depression that lingers and grips our house at times. The sun came out, too.
Harrison and I took two walks in that many days, getting back in shape. This morning, I thought of poetry and story. We have enough teaching and preaching. As a writer, I need to reach hearts and feelings. I believe that is why the poetry flowed into me to flow into you. Also, Anita and Matt, in their blogs.
So I leave you with my bit of prose from my walk, "We found the shade of the pines, the only trees offering shade in early spring. The dancing sunlight over the soft brown carpet is the stained glass of the natural cathedral." Rest and fill your heart with Jesus.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Teddy's Law Tuesday

Today, I see is also National Teachers Day. Thanks to the many great, inspiring teachers now and in the past. They have such an impact on young lives. In their jobs, they face more difficulty than ever before.
Let's pray for teachers that their eyes may be opened to abuse and neglect their students may be facing. Pray for their wisdom and discernment. Pray for their words to be points of light.
My friend is a teacher in one of our poorest communities in the Shenango Valley. She said last week this has been the toughest year with discipline and behaviors, even the veterans of twenty plus years state they have never seen such a "bad" year. She also noted that they don't pray together this year. In years past, several teachers took their Wednesday lunch break to fast and pray. They are thinking they may need to reinstate this.
I assume most of my readers believe in prayer, but for the sake of those who do not hold those views, I write this. Prayer mostly changes us. Our attitudes improve when we are in the presence of God. That positive attitude changes the atmosphere where we are. If a group is of like mind, greater is that change. So also a negative mindset affects the environment.
That is why we ask for prayer. We're not always bargaining with God- leave that to soap operas. I do believe God listens and wants to hear our thoughts a loud. So pray for teachers as a group. Pray for yourself for wisdom in observing children around you. If you don't believe in prayer, the thought that is planted in your head will make you aware of what you need to do.
Now, to my praying friends. Pray because you know it works.

Friday, May 2, 2014

They Will Come

They Will Come
Mollie Lyon
A plus B doesn't always equal C
and C, not necessarily followed by D.
Sometimes it can be I or E.

God doesn't have to follow the rules
He made us with free will
to make our plans
 leaving them in our hands

Depression rushed in
like a freight train careening,
pushing all else off the track.
After the wreck, don't look back

Don't even glance.
Pull on ahead
Waiting for another chance,
you are not dead.

Mistakes are life
or so it seems.
Causing strife
But Christ redeems

This is not what I had this morning in bed
I wish those words would come back to my head.

I like the big band sounds of Grapefruit Moon
I find I think in poetry often
with those smooth horns in the background.

Iggy's uncle will have that on.
A tribute to the Jersey shore sound

Another dreary morning,
with a broken lamp.
Why am I up so early,
staring at dead blooms and tight buds?

Bits of green and dull color
still cool, but a bit warmer
Spring is slow.
Slow in coming

So I feel with God's promises,
but like spring and summer,
they will come.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lives Slip

Lives Slip
Mollie Lyon
Lives slip silently by.
Who knows what's
behind that hollow eye,
in dark recesses
lie past successes.
Gray heads bent
troubles for a time lent.
We can't see them now
under that vacant brow.
A sketchy obituary
read in the paper
tells some of the story,
but then it's late to know.
We can't reach in.
Sometimes we can't begin.
No one around to tell the story
and we find out too late
the story trapped
behind a precious one's fate.