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Merry Christmas to all and may this be a great and blessed day for all.  Here we are again, it’s Christmas and a lot has happened since Christmas was here last.  There is much to be thankful for and  some tears shed as well during this past year and now as we near the new year we can only hope and pray for the best as we brace for all possibilities.

It is a beautiful, quiet Christmas morning here in eastern NC at 8:30 am.  It’s chilly and gray outside, a wintry morning for sure, just right for Christmas morning.  I was up early firing up the kerosene heaters and getting the coffee started in our new coffee pot, a gift to ourselves since our old pot started  to fail.

Thanks to Walmart and their offers we were able to have a nice Christmas and with work picking up some we may actually be able to pay for it.  Time will tell.  The world of construction has not been all that great these past 5 or 6 years and we have had to do without a lot but God has provided in some amazing and mysterious ways and these hard times have taught us some valuable lessons on faith.

I am so blessed this Christmas to have been able to bless my wife and young 15 year old daughter with lap top computers.  They have waited patiently for a long time for this moment to come and to have finally been able to pull it off is an amazing feeling.  Truly it is better to give than to receive.  To see the surprise and glee as the awareness sets in that it really is true.  Now they are both at the kitchen bar working on them and setting them up.

My Christmas blessings are having a new grand son and having my wife here with me still.  I almost lost her on Saturday morning,  October 13th, when her car was tee boned on the passenger side by a tractor trailer.  The car was destroyed as it rolled over three or four times after being slammed into full force.  She was trapped in the car, upside down and unconscious with a serious head injury, bleeding everywhere but thanks to those around was rescued and air-lifted to the nearest trauma center 60 miles away.  All I can do is thank God over and over again.  She was hurt but thankfully not killed, everyone who saw the car said it was a miracle that she is alive.  All the rescue workers who put her in the helicopter that day thought it was curtains for her and were pleasantly surprised later the hear she survived.  To think, our grandson was born September 10th and I almost lost her a month later.  I love him so and am so so glad that my wife gets to be here with him.  My best Christmas ever!!!!

She is recovering well now from all her injuries and we are able to have a wonderful holiday because of that. We know a lot of families this year have suffered tragedies that have forever altered their lives.  We understand this completely as each Christmas for the past 24 years, since we lost our son Ryan we see the empty spot his sweet little blond head should occupy and how the loss has  grown over the years.  Now he would be 30 years old.  I can only imagine what could have been, and I do, and shed tears over it even after all these years.  The loss never goes away, it just grows and we adjust, trusting God each day with it all because we truly believe that He knows best sometimes allows very painful, hard to deal with experiences in the lives of His children.

Still I praise Him and celebrate the birth of His Son Jesus each year and I give gifts to honor the giving of gifts to the Christ child each year.  I love God. I love Jesus and I love my family, friends and people all around.  May God Bless You All!!!  MERRY CHRISTMAS 2012

love and peace, to all and comfort to all those who mourn this year, you are in my heart and in my prayers. asa

photo by: asa

Happy July

Happy July, and Happy Independance Day 2012!.  Wow! Nine months without one single blog entry. My journal is the same way, not many entries over the past 8 months or so. More there than here though. I hope I can turn that around soon because I miss writing and I need to write. I love to write. What I love to do most in life is writing, listening to and playing music and reading, collecting and selling books. Now if I could find a way to make those things my mainstays in life. At this point the income I get from writing, playing music and selling books is very limited. My main source of income right now is electrical work and I have made some money scraping metal when ever that come available. So in the past five years I went from being a professional with a real job to where I am now. I used to believe that I had it all worked out. My future looked bright. Then the economic tide started to change. I went from being a man who always had work and a decent income for an electrician in eastern NC, to a man always searching for (and often not finding) ways to make some sort of income. Some say the economic crisis is passing but not here in my house or in my county. I’m writing this while I wait for a call for some work for today and possibly tomorrow and I have another load of scarp the take to the scrap yard. Other than that all I have is faith and it’s been sorely tested these past years, but God has held me together.

I suppose depression has played a big part in my struggle to write. So many different hurts in my life and they have all found a way to come to the surface over these past few years. As I started off with the beachcomber idea as a part of the internet business venture that my wife has been involved in I never knew what all I would dredge up. I was thinking of finding books and other treasures to sell as a part of her networking not digging up long buried wounds and sorrows of the past. I guess being striped of my job and all its so called importance reduced me back to what I really am, and that has been hard to face.

The one thing good about all the time I have missed from work is the fact that  I have become part of a band over the past year or so and have made some good friends and had some fun practicing and playing music out in several different venues.  I hope we can continue to grow and will get the chance to play some more gigs soon.  Music and friend ship have been one of the best medicines for dealing with hardship and depression.   Better than therapy.

So now I want to get back into more of my creativity and productivity and I am at least going to try.  I don’t care that Homer Simpson said that “trying was the first step towards failure.”  I am going to try in spite of old Homer.   I am  explore some music and poetry ideas I have had for a while now to try and expand myself.  I only hope work will not get in the way. I want to try and not get too busy but I definitely need to be busy enough to get some money. I finally have a few jobs lined up in a row. It has been a while since that has happened. It is hard work but I am thankful to have it. I just wish I could do something easier and without so much traveling. I am going to try and maintain my blog, my book store and my You-Tube account better and hopefully start to make some serious changes in my life as I approach 50 years old in just a few months.

http://www.youtube.com/user/ncbeachcombers?feature=mhee

These are my videos that I have posted for fun and to test the whole video thing out. I have a lot to learn but it is fun. So I will try and I will press on and I will try and not let my physical struggles get in the way of my muse. Being in the shape I’m in and doing electrical work is very hard and exhausting. I am glad to be posting something, finally after so long and I hope to post more soon and write some more poetry.

asa

Peter Pan Inn Kopak Inn Hurricane Glass

 

Peter Pan Inn Restuarant 1

 

There was nothing like a 1970s vacation.  Especially one at the Peter Pan Inn.  It was every kids dream to go to a resort hotel and  have new experiences.  There was always a pool and game room and plenty of new halls to explore.  Especially enticing was the hotel restaurant which was know for it’s corn fritters, corn meal balls, fried and dusted with powdered sugar.  People waited in line to get in but the collection of Victorian antiques and other gaudy furnishings made waiting a feast for the eyes.  The Peter Pan Inn was known for it’s restaurant, which featured five dining rooms during its hey-day and was popular during the 70s.  but it all came to an end around Christmas 1983.

It remained closed for quite sometime before becoming the The Cracked Claw at Peter Pan Inn in the 1990s.  A lot of the dining space has been replaced by off track betting facilities but many of the old artifacts remain and you can still find corn fritters on the menu.  I’m sure many still go there just to catch a glimpse of the past.  The older I get the more I like glimpses into the past and the more past there is to glimpse back at.  I’m not sure if I like that so much, the getting older part that is.  Oh, it has it’s benefits I’m sure but getting older is not for the weak.

I have an original 1970s vintage drinking glass from the Peter Pan Inn restaurant and it is an neat collectors item.  Anyone who remembers those good old vacations of the 1960s and 70s and beyond will get a kick out of this treasure.  Like mugs, unique drinking glasses are another fun addition to the kitchen or the curio cabinet.  Special places from the past create wonderful memories and it is nice when an artifact of some by gone era finds it’s way into ones hands.

(The pictures of the dining room are from the internet, they are post cards that seem to be from different eras, I’m not sure about that, the one of the glass is from me, it’s the glass I have.)

And, in closing, as The Peter Pan Restaurant came to an end so does my relationship with the glass.  My wife Deborah and I have been cleaning out lately and now she has put the Peter Pan glass up for sale on Ebay so just if you want to buy it  just click on the picture and you can see her add.  It’s cool.  See ya soon, asa

 

Peter Pan Inn Restuarant 2

Love and Loss

Love and loss.  To have loved and lost is better than never having loved at all.  This is a true statement but one that pains the heart all the same.  I remember losing my first love Julie when her and her family moved away when I was 14.  I was heartbroken.  I said sad goodbyes to several other dear childhood friends who moved away also during my years in Norfolk Va.  I grew up in a Navy town and that is the way it is in Navy towns.  Not to mention the loss of many favorite pets over the years, to love animals is to suffer pain for they live such a short life.  Many are the losses suffered in the living of life, possessions, homes, and cars have a tendency to slip away.  Relationships change, children move away, relatives get old and move on and it all hurts deeply but we move on, continuing to live in the face of our pain.  Some loss is beyond comprehension.  The ability to endure comes from elsewhere, and the courage to go on is a gift from God.

In 1988 my wife and I suffered such a loss when we lost our oldest son Ryan.  He was five and it was just two days before his sixth birthday.  It was our darkest day.  Our precious little boy suffered  severe disabilities from a head injury he suffered in the past and finally he lost the fight.  He had been in and out of the hospital many times since his injury and he suffered so much.  It broke our hearts.  We suffered so much right alongside him and prayed and hoped and believed with all our hearts that he would recover and have a better life experience.  However, that was not to be here on this earth.  We never expected our prayers to be answered in such a way but they were and it took a long, long time to accept.  It is still hard sometimes.  Especially knowing what could have been and what my whole family has missed out on these past many years.  We have hope and faith and believe that we will all be reunited someday in the future but for now it is only a dream.

Loss for me is defined most powerfully by the loss of my son.  It is the measuring stick that I measure all suffering and loss by.   I know he is well and whole and enjoying life now but I still love him and miss him terribly, and always will.  I wrote this poem and posted it originally last year on the 22nd anniversary of the day Ryan was lost.  All the losses I have suffered have hurt in varying degrees but nothing compares with the loss of my son.  I know many have suffered this kind of loss and I am sorry for that.  My youngest son Nathan is a Marine so my family and I share the pain and fear of losing a child all over again along with so many other service members families who are deployed overseas right now.  I pray every day for my son Nate and all others deployed and their families.  So I share this here in response to the Gooseberry Garden Poetry blog invitation and I hope it blesses someone.  Thanks.

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“Birthday Party In Heaven”

 

It was a day of dark sadness

and also a day of misplaced joy

we were so broken hearted

the day we lost our little boy.

However the angels

up in heaven were singing

a song of jubilation

for their heartfelt prayers

had finally been answered

and they were granted

their grand celebration

of you our broken wounded

little five year old boy

who suffered so much

during your time on earth

but those angels in heaven

sure knew your worth

they couldn’t stand

to see you suffer any more

they insisted that you

not have to suffer any more

they so desperately

wanted you to have

a much bigger better day

so they begged and pleaded

with the king on the throne

and He agreed with them

and brought you home

and to your fair glory

on top of our deep pain

in spite of the agony

and raw viciousness

that broke our young hearts

and fused our reeling brains

we shed crocodile tears

while you left us here

to go and get ready

for the biggest event

of your entire life

where there were so

many, many, many presents

that they needed a big, big tent.

But we were left to bear

our great pain and deep sorrow

they get to have you today

while we have to wait

for that long off tomorrow

that left behind the long ago

yesterday that lives in our hearts

this day twenty two years ago at

9: 05 am Sunday August 1988

you had to go to the party

no, no you could not be late

and since your sixth birthday

was just two days away

you had to go right then

you knew you could not stay

so that was it and off you went

to your most important day

dear sweet precious Ryan

our beautiful little boy

you know that you

our fabulous little joy

was heaven sent

and taken back again

in the blink of an eye

suddenly all that was left

were the tears that we cry

and it was then

in that moment that we knew

just how much we really love you.

When the Lord came, reached out

His hand and closed the book

we did not even get a chance

for one last kiss nor one last look

of our dear sweet precious little lamb

so go in peace our dear son

may your journey be light

and may you be well fed

may the sun shine always

on you shoulders

may you always be well read

and may the blessings of the king

fall upon your table and

reign down upon your head

like precious wine and ointment

and priceless broken bread.

asa

photos; internet

Chains

chains 1

 

Cast off the artificial feelings

of the body and the mind

induced by frivolous delicacy’s

that numb the pain but leave behind

scars and wounds, lessons of sorrows

that litter the path of yesterday

and wait for us in our tomorrows

walking in the valley of tears

searching, for the Lord of the Valleys

full of agony ravaged by fear

dreams of freedom overflow in feelings

too hard to face, too easy to run

disgraced, away from the ones

who can help find the path of conviction

free from the addiction

of instant gratifications

false elation, spiritual frustration

that is no substitute for love

thirsty and hungry, desperate inside

looking for the answers

where dreams have died

and hope is gone, all is lost

and at the highest price

the ultimate cost, is paid

salvation comes when pain surrounds

and sorrows drown your soul

foundation laid, rebuild anew

the life shattered and crushed

by the viciousness of life

in a world filled with cruelty

and left to fate, rising

above the bitterness and the hate

facing the pain with arms wide open

letting the tears of truth wash away

all the lies of self hatred

and cleanse the wounds inflicted

by the chains that bind

the broken hearts of the ones

trapped in the world of the addicted.

asa

chains 2

photos; internet

God please help!

 

how did it ever, ever

get to be this way

what could anyone,

anywhere possibly say

to a child who has to

pick his crumbs from

out of the dirt

while wars rage on

and billions are spent

in the business of hurt

we lock our possessions

up so very tight

and send the homeless poor

out into the night

to fend for themselves

in a world full of hate

where living and dying

are all left to fate

as prophets of doom

say that all is well

while all that is sacred

is condemned into hell

in a hand basket on

a bright sunny

Sunday afternoon

where lies are the truth

and truth is banished

and put away,

saved, I suppose

for some far off rainy day

when all hope is lost

and we finally

count the cost

asa

different 2

images; internet

Tradition

Do you think you know me?

Do I think you really care?

Am I not just another notch

on your super spiritual gun?

Scoring Holy ego points

using God’s own Son, crying

Freedom, freedom in the Spirit

While men reign in total control.

Whipping up an emotional frenzy

Junkies high on too much spirit juice

pushing hard making things happen

but never wanting to let loose

of what’s real and what’s

so desperately needed.

So many broken hearted ones,

who simply come to heal and pray.

Yet they are the very ones

that you all manipulate away.

They only came to hear God say

I love you my dear child,

I am so very fond of you

don’t run, please, please stay.

But it is so, so hard to love those

who you cannot control, Isn’t it?

Yet there is so much that needs to be done

to help these broken ones get whole.

Have you ever walked in their shoes,

have you felt the depths of untold pain?

Have you ever seen the blood

as it drips crimson from our veins?

Well, He sees and He knows,

and He draws very near

to these humble broken souls.

His spirit of compassion is on the rise

to the religious spirits total demise.

I know many of you cast away

the shattered, ravaged hearts

of the ones He sends your way.

For often I have heard it said

from those who are completely undone,

that when they came for acceptance

all they got was shunned,

over and over again by the ones

who are supposed to be there

to guide them.

asa

versatile  a

 

awards from Jingle, thank you Jingle