Now and then
Spring, earth awakens from its
winter slumber. My rose bushes are
covered with petite unfurled leaves. Bulbs have
burst, sending verdant stalks up three inches
above the soil.
Doves have built their nests (of sorts) and laid
their eggs. One egg has already slipped through
loosely woven twigs to land unbroken on the
lawn. Baby calves frolic in greening Uniweep
meadows... I often wonder how the cows sort out
their calves from the multitude, but they seem to.
Spring..... memories nestled deep in my mind
begin to stir. I find myself going forth down the
lane of memory. When I was a little girl, Spring
arrived with Mother¡¯s order of one hundred fluffy,
yellow, peeping chicks. Colorful cotton mate-
rial sacks of cracked corn, wheat and oats were
purchased from the Feed Store and stacked in
the shed, next to the garage. When emptied, the
sacks were laundered, material for blouses for my
sisters and I.
By early April each year, Mother had her veg-
etable garden planted. When harvested in the fall,
the quarts of corn, peas, green beans and toma-
toes filled the shelves along the basement wall.
The strawberries were made into jam and stored
in the basement also.
Mother loved music. I remember hearing her
hum. She hummed when planting her garden,
when gathering eggs from full nests in the hen
house, when watering hollyhocks, that would
grow tall around our back door. Her older brother
and his family lived in Nebraska and sometimes
visited us for a weekend. That¡¯s when music
rocked our house.
They both played guitars but Mother also played
the harmonica and piano. They sang, they yo-
deled. I still get misty eyed when I hear the old
song ¡°crusin down the river¡±. They sang the music
of the deep woods country of Illinois where they
were born. Deep woods, where Cardinals flitted
among the great oak and maple trees and wild
purple violets bloomed in the spring.
I miss her. At times I find myself longing to
travel back in time to Springs far gone. That said,
life¡¯s journey continues forward, giving me more
time to make fun happy memories for my grand-
children and their parents.
Wishing a very special Happy Mother¡¯s Day to all
the Mothers reading the Sunshine Express. -k
(Karen Schafer lives in Grand Junction and writes
about life in Colorado)
The Reading Room
Pg 5 - The Sunshine Express
Treasures From The Inbox
If you get email, you
get stuff. Sometimes
it is spam, sometimes
it is a true gem.
Here is one of those
gems worth sharing:
Later that day, cooking the evening meal,
My man stood beside me, very still.
When I turned, I nearly knocked him down.
¡°Move out of the way,¡± I said with a frown.
He walked away, his tender heart broken.
I didn¡¯t realize how harshly I¡¯d spoken.
While I lay awake later that night in bed,
God¡¯s still small voice came to me and said,
¡°While dealing with a stranger, common courtesy
But the family you love, you seem to abuse.
Go now and look on the kitchen floor;
You¡¯ll find some flowers, there by the door.
Those are the flowers he brought for you.
He picked them himself: pink, yellow and blue.
He stood very quietly not to spoil the surprise;
You never saw the tears that filled his eyes.¡±
By this time, I felt very small,
And now my tears began to fall.
I quietly went and knelt by the bed;
¡°Wake up, my darling, wake up,¡± I said.
¡°Are these the flowers you picked for me?¡±
He smiled, ¡°I found ¡®em, out by the tree.
I picked ¡®em because they¡¯re pretty like you.
I knew you¡¯d like ¡®em, especially the blue.¡±
I said, ¡°Darling, I¡¯m sorry for how I acted today;
and I shouldn¡¯t have yelled at you that way.¡±
He said, ¡°My love, that¡¯s okay.
I still love you anyway.¡±
I said, ¡°My sweetheart, I love you too,
and I do like the flowers, especially the blue.¡±
He had lived his whole life that way, and it
never occurred to him to act any other way.
He told her that if she really wanted to pay
him back, the next time she saw someone who
needed help, she could give that person the
assistance they needed, and Bryan added, ¡°And
think of me.¡±
He waited until she started her car and drove
off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but
he felt good as he headed for home, disappear-
ing into the twilight.
A few miles down the road the lady saw a small
cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat and take
the chill off before she made the last leg of her
trip home. It was a dingy looking restaurant.
Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole
scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came
over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet
hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even be-
ing on her feet for the whole day couldn¡¯t erase.
The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight
months pregnant, but she never let the strain
and aches change her attitude. The old lady
wondered how someone who had so little could
be so giving to a stranger. Then, she remem-
After the lady finished her meal, she paid with
a one hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly
went to get change for her one hundred dollar
bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the
door. She was gone by the time the waitress
came back. The waitress wondered where the
lady could be. Then she noticed something writ-
ten on the napkin. There were tears in her eyes
when she read what the lady wrote: ¡°You don¡¯t
owe me anything. I have been there too. Some-
body once helped me out, the way I¡¯m helping
you. If you really want to pay me back, here is
what you do: Do not let this chain of love end
Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.
Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to
fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made
it through another day. That night when she got
home from work and climbed into bed, she was
thinking about the money and what the lady
had written. How could the lady have known
how much she and her husband needed it?
With the baby due next month, it was going to
She knew how worried her husband was, and as
he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft
kiss and whispered soft and low, ¡°Everything¡¯s
gonna be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson.¡±
What Goes Around Comes Around
He almost didn¡¯t see the old lady stranded on the
side of the road, but even in the dim light of day,
he could see she needed help. So he pulled up in
front of her Mercedes and got out.
Even with the smile on his face, she was worried.
No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so.
Was he going to hurt her? He didn¡¯t look safe. He
looked poor and hungry.
He could see that she was frightened, standing
out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was
that chill only fear can put in you.
He said, ¡°I¡¯m here to help you, ma¡¯am. Why don¡¯t
you wait in the car where it¡¯s warm? By the way,
my name is Bryan Anderson.¡±
Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady,
that was bad enough. Bryan crawled under the
car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning
his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to
change the tire.
As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled
down the window and began to talk to him. She
told him that she was from St. Louis and was
only just passing through. She couldn¡¯t thank him
enough for coming to her aid.
Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady
asked how much she owed him. Any amount would
have been all right with her. She already imagined
all the awful things that could have happened had
he not stopped. Bryan never thought twice about
being paid. This was not a job to him. This was
helping someone in need, and God knows there
were plenty who had given him a hand in the past.
The Family You Love
I bumped into a stranger as he passed me by,
¡°Oh, excuse me please,¡± was my reply.
He said, ¡°Please excuse me too;
I just wasn¡¯t watching for you.¡±
We were very polite, this stranger and I.
We went on our way, and we said good-bye.
But at home, a different story is told,
How we treat our loved ones, young and old.
¡°One word frees us of all the weight
and pain in life. That word is love.¡±