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Archive for February, 2009

Charlotte to the Rescue

Charlotte and I went to visit Margaret and Ray,
They lived in the Metroplex.
I came down with the flu in the worst way,
It was serious because my body demanded sleep.

We needed to be back in Odessa,
I had to report to work early next day.
Charlotte said, “Don’t worry, I’ll drive the car.
You just tilt back and hit the hay.”

We owned a little Austin.
Of course, it had a stick shift.
She had never driven that I could remember,
But she was full of confidence.

“Don’t you remember,” she smiled,
“That long Sunday afternoon?
We went to that deserted road,
And I drove the wheels off your Mainline Ford.”

Sam Young

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Yesterday Dad and I attended the final M. D. Anderson radiation therapy evaluation. The highlight of the visit was viewing his lung scans, and comparing his pre-radiation and post-radiation scans. Dr. Chronowski pointed out some scar tissue in the most recent scan, but the tumor was obviously not in the picture. “That’s amazing,” Dad said. Yes, indeed, it was an amazing picture, and I wish that I could have posted it here for everyone to rejoice over. Although Dad’s cancer status remains at Stage 3A, he is definitely healthier than when he arrived three months ago.

Dad reflected on the M. D. Anderson team that coordinated and administered his cancer treatment. “Their goodness, their kindness,” Dad said, “makes me cry when I think of it. I don’t think I’ll ever get over how sweet, how good they were to me.”

Dad and I are packed, and ready to head north this morning. We’ll be praising God the Father all the way . . . great things He hath done.

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Ninnekah Tales

When discharged from the army
I was reluctant to join the dating scene,
I believed myself to be quite normal,
Mother begged to disagree

Mother kept herself busy
Searching for a potential mate,
When she said, “Look what I’ve discovered,”
I would back up fast—that wouldn’t be my fate.

She remarked “What about that girl in the choir?
The one with all the dark hair?”
I hadn’t noticed— “Does she have a name?”
“I think it’s Charlotte. I’ll inquire.”

We were introduced that very day,
Her name was Charlotte, Charlotte Ginn;
I liked her hair, her creamy-looking skin.
Mother opened her heart and took her in.

We didn’t start like wildfire
Her mother thought she could do better,
The future was too dim for some to see,
But in a year we would be married and living in “Big D.”

Sam Young

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Blood Oranges Are Hard-Core Good

034Turning the corner in the produce section last week, I spied a large pile of blood oranges. Ahhh . . . the blood oranges are in season, and they’re on sale for 99 cents a pound. Happiness!

Everything about the red-pigmented-oranges makes me happy. They’re sweet with a berry-like taste, have few seeds, and are high in vitamin C. The pigment is called anthocyanin, and is a powerful antioxidant. One pound equals three oranges and about one cup of juice.

I’ve returned to the grocery store several times since that initial buy, and can hardly believe that the pile is still threatening to avalanche the bin. Maybe Katy people don’t know about these tastiest of oranges?

Blood oranges in Europe have been around for some time, and are quite popular. I read recently that people in the United States who appreciate the visual appeal and outstanding flavor of the orange with a gory name are considered “hard-core fruit fans.” Ok, I confess—I’m a hard-core fan of blood oranges.

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Punch Bowl

Some memories I fear to recall,
Some memories I dread to put on paper,
The story revealed below must be told,
Perhaps, it will weaken war’s glamour.

I recall a narrow mountain road
With a foot of snow on the ground;
It was midwinter and twenty below.
Romero was cautious, he drove our ammo truck slow.

We struggled up and around a steep curve,
The sight revealed was hard to fathom.
Why were they stacking thse six foot logs
So neatly on the side of the mountain?

Then understanding, we felt crushed,
We became pale, we lost our last meal,
Devastated was the word, we could hardly contend
These six foot frozen logs were our buddies, our men.

Regardless of surprise, regardless of shock,
Duty must always prevail,
Every soldier must complete his mission
If this “police action” is not to fail.

Sam Young

(These words were written to honor the men of Easy and Fox companies in the winter of 1952 and 1953, 2nd Battalion, 5th Regimental Combat Team.)

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At precisely eight o’clock yesterday morning, Dad gave me a questioning look. “Yes,” I said in answer to his arched eyebrows, “you can talk now.” Dad commenced humming, as Dr. Lewin had instructed him to do, in order to ease into his new voice. Since last August, he had talked in a whispery voice; over the last 24 hours he had maintained absolute silence, while recovering from his laryngeal injection augmentation.

“I’m a little afraid to talk,” Dad said tentatively, “because I might not be doing it right.”

“You sound just like the doctor said that you would,” I observed. “Remember it’s going to take a week before your voice smooths out.”

“Hand me the bell song,” Dad said.

Then, in his new voice, gravelly and yet somewhat squeaky, Dad slowly began to read:

There’s a land beyond the river,
That we call the sweet forever,
And we only reach that shore by faith’s decree;
One by one we’ll gain the portals,
There to dwell with the immortals,
When they ring the golden bells for you and me.”

His voice, with a growing warmth and confidence, fairly rang out the refrain:

Don’t you hear the bells now ringing?
Don’t you hear the angels singing?
‘Tis the glory hallelujah Jubilee.
In that far off sweet forever,
Just beyond the shining river,
When they ring the golden bells for you and me.”

“I can hear Grandpa singing that song as he walked along to town. I love that we sang it at his funeral,” Dad said.

“Now I love it, too,” I responded, “because I heard you recite it with your beautiful, new voice.”

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Oklahoma Friends

The Way

I’ve made some friends in Choctaw County
There is a couple that I hold high
One has gone to Heaven—we know it’s God’s plan
The other lives life in The Way

They own a beautful ranch out west of town
Hard workers in all aspects of life
And when I see Rick Warren on TV
Vision of Leeoma and Joe, come to me

Sam Young

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