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                                                                                                                                                                  Woodland Sanctuary, watercolor by Lois Mountz


by Lois Mountz

Just a thicket, some would say,

 thorns, brambles, overgrown trees,

no place to spend the day.

A tree house stronghold it used to be 

where our children felt safe and secure,

in a world away from the rest of the world,

in a world that took them away 

from all the busyness and all the rules 

that tethered their playful desires.  

Just an unsafe ladder and remnants of wood remain 

where imagination ruled the day.

To venture into this overgrown place of the past,

is to find a sanctuary anew

where trails have once again appeared,

with weeds flattened from the doe and her fawn.

A quiet place to spend during the heat of the day

a sun-dappled spot at the edge of the woods

a home for God’s creatures  to quietly lay.


Oh, how each of us, just like the doe, needs a sanctuary

where time would seem to stand still, 

where all the cares of the world

would seem to pass away,

where in seclusion with our loved ones

‘Goodbye’ – we’d never have to say.

Our savior prepares this wonderful place, 

 a   heavenly place, a sanctuary unlike any other

peaceful and still, no cares of the day.

He will keep His promise and lead us there.

. . . . . . . our sanctuary awaits.



Who is this ‘Man of Many Hats’?   It is my dear husband of 54 years who has gone to be with our Lord Jesus.  The pain of his loss is indescribable. As the tears come and go, memories flood my heart and mind.  What I know to be true, that I will never see him again, touch him, hold him, just seems too hard to comprehend.     Such a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. 
Since the closing of our gallery and beginning semi-retirement in our home, there was very little that we didn’t do together.  He had his own interests, enjoyed taking a walk down the road every day, still planted some tomatoes and vegetables, was about to start a new wood carving, still did some picture framing for some of our old customers, and read Reader’s Digest and his bible almost every day.  He loved the old cowboy movies, especially John Wayne, and rarely missed The Price Is Right, Wheel of Fortune, and Jeopardy.  He liked the Indians, and never gave up on the Cavs and Browns.  He was really good at watching several shows at a time, changing channels during most commercials.  Often, he went to sleep with the control in his hands.  
He always embraced those things that I did involving my music and art as well.  He enjoyed our trips to the Adirondacks and Blue Mountain Lake perhaps more than anything else these last few years.  We always came home with great photos to share with everyone since he usually had his camera in hand.  
 Mushrooming had always been his most favorite pastime, but found it too difficult to get through wooded terrain these last years.  Even so, the last two years he has been in better health than the years before, and often told friends how he was having a couple ‘good’ years when asked how he was. 
I will surely miss him as will our children and grandchildren, but we all have been enriched by the years that we have had him.  His life has been a fine example of how to live, love and be loved.  We have been separated – at least for a while- but one day will again be together. 
                                                  A Man of Many Hats – That’s What He Was
               Able to do whatever the task,  Willing to do whatever was asked,
                   For his wife – as a husband, For his daughter, for his son,
                   For grandchildren, for friends, His love saw no end.
                   He wore as a young man, the hat of a farmer,
                   As he woke early to head down the lane,
                   How many cows must he have milked
                   Before the school bus came?
                    He knew what it was like to lift a bale,
And with his asthma, suffered pain.
                    But that was his job,
                    So he didn’t complain.
                     As a teen, with camera in hand,
                     His creativity took root,
                     He double exposed everything in sight.
                     He baked cakes – and decorated them, too.
                      When the walnut tree on the farm came down,
                      He made good use of it.
                      He put on the hat of a woodworker,
                      And used that wood, bit by bit.
                      After dating Lois in high school,
                      His hat as a welder went on.
                      Then after waiting 4 years of her college,
                       The hat of a husband was donned.
                          Six months later, with a new house almost built,
                       The hat of a soldier he had to wear.
                        But this he wore proudly, at home and abroad,
                        For his country he truly cared.
   Best of all, was his hat of faith,
                        Worn through his hours of trials,
                        This he wears now as a halo of faith
                         As he walks with the Lord through heavenly miles.
Ken's dulcimerr 2 copy
Ken’s Horse Dulcimer made from the walnut tree from his home place farm  
Ken's dulcimerr 2 copy

Originally published in August, 2011, following Ken’s Celebration of Life service

Thursday, August 25, 2011

90 Degrees and Rising

Here I sit, on a day in the 90’s,
Remembering the cool days of Spring.
When breezes carried the aroma of flowers,
And promised to end winter’s sting.
The humming of fans, herald summer’s hot days,
As the fiery sun heats with its blaze.
Thirsty plants long for a long summer’s rain,
And ponds evaporate into haze.
I wonder about animals we watched in the winter,
What sanctuary have they found?
Where is a cool spot in all of this heat-
The thicket, the pine grove, a hole in the ground?
The deer we’ve befriended, stay out of sight.
We see rabbits and chipmunks, but that’s about all.
Guess they’re waiting for a break in the weather
Hopefully, long before it is fall.
But the robins I watch – feeding little ones now,
Don’t seem to mind the heat of the day,
In a nest with no shade at all,
They feed their young, no heed to pay.

What a marvelous God designed such a world,

With love such as this, we can’t despair. 


Ken and Lois

For some reason, when my computer ‘died’ in the spring, my ability to work with my google blog also died.  To read my posts there, you can go to ‘A Little Art, A Little Music, A Little Poetry’.  Hopefully, this site will work better for me.  

It is important that I should be able to write at this time, since this week marks one year since I lost my dear husband, Ken.   In looking back, it doesn’t seem possible that it could be a year, but on the other hand, it seems like an eternity since he was sitting, watching TV with me when a stroke hit him.  What a way to end 54 years of our life together.  We had dated 6 years before our marriage, so we were really ‘a couple’, as the young people say today, for 60 years.  We met when we were juniors in Salem High School, Salem, Ohio, and continued to date through my college years at Ohio Wesleyan University in Delaware, OH.  Our son, Steve, and our daughter, Cindy, have given us 9 cherished grandchildren.   

I’ll be writing lots more, and hope to find a way to post some of the songs I have been writing, mostly inspired by our years together.