I’VE MOVED SOME OF MY BLOG ENTRIES!!

Dear Reader/Follower,

If a search engine should direct you to JC Fredlund’s Artistry (aka JC Eberharts Artistry) and you are unable to locate the blog entry you came here to read, you can find that particular blog entry, at one of two of my other blogs here:

http://www.pittycitydogblog.com or
http://www.inhonor.wordpress.com

I apologize sincerely for any inconvenience this may have caused you.

Sincerely and With Warm Regards,
JC Fredlund, LADC

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Aside

Ode to a Small Town: My Heart Will Always Live There

JC in the old abandoned quarry in Kasota, MN. 1961

JC by the old abandoned quarry in Kasota, MN. 1961

It’s so funny, the way that the heart remembers. I was a little girl of about four years the first time I recall traveling to my Gra’ma’s house in Kasota, Minnesota. Daddy would turn right at the corner by Jim Klein’s Garage (at the bottom of the hill entering Kasota) and my heart would skip a beat. There, up ahead, I could see the black-oil covered railroad track crossing that led to Gra’ma’s, and my little sister and I would scream with excitement and delight. As we drove from the make-shift blacktop road onto the gravel road immediately preceding the old railroad crossing, the scent of wildflowers filled our nostrils and I was certain we’d all just died and gone to heaven! Up and over the railroad tracks with a very sharp turn to the left we’d go, then down Gra’ma’s long gravel driveway.

Before very long, Mama, my sister and I were living on Gra’ma’s property where we were surrounded by lilacs, sumac bushes, Vogt’s enormous horse pasture and the bull pasture, too. My little sister and I would spend endless hours, days and then months playing in that horse and bull pasture. The Vogt girls would sometimes give us a ride on “King” one of their horses, and we’d build imaginery forts in an old abandoned quarry that was located a little ways away in the bull pasture.

I sometimes crossed the railroad tracks to visit a dear little elderly man who seemed to enjoy cooking food for me. Mr. Rollings was a kind and warm person, who, just before leaving their little house across the tracks, gave me a card in which he’d written, “To the little girl who never forgot”. I miss him to this very day. My little sister and I loved to pick wildflowers and take them to the Old Rest Home that sat kitty-corner from the Rybus home. (Sadly, the old rest home is no longer standing.) All of the elderly folks who lived there would always smile happily when they’d see us come in.

I began walking to the old Kasota School (no longer standing) that stood across the street from the Old Kasota Post Office when I entered Kindergarten. The school was massive in size, but my kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Kruse, made it’s interior a warm, and happy place. Upon entering the first grade at John Ireland School in St. Peter, MN, it became necessary for me to ride the school bus. I would wait for the bus in front of the Old Kasota School most mornings, except when the winter weather grew very blustery and cold. On those frigid mornings, Mr. and Mrs. Barklow (who ran the post office) would always let my little sister and I wait inside by one of the post office windows for our bus. There were many kind people living in our little town.

I frequently return to Kasota just to visit and to reminisce. So much of my heart remains there. It was the ideal place for children to experience their childhood and to develop wonderful imaginations. Although I very much love my life today in Lakeville, Minnesota, I know that the very special small town of Kasota will always draw me back into it’s heartwarming, nostalgic embrace – even if only for a few minutes at a time.

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Grandparents: The Best Gift of ALL

The snowflakes were falling, one-by-one; no two alike in their intricate shapes and sizes.  Large, billowy soft, and no doubt slippery beneath the feet, they rapidly accumulated everywhere.  Gazing out the window of our fireplace warmed living-room, we shared in a mutual sympathy for the slow moving travelers as each one continued to ever so cautiously trudge forth amid the end-of-day traffic.  The growing darkness served to intensify their already treacherous journeys.

Grandma and grandpa had arrived at our home earlier that day to once again share in the children’s excitement over the decorating of the Christmas tree.  That process had always been a very special family one.  We had nearly completed the adorning of our majestically tall tree when our attention had been diverted by the lovely, whiteness of the new fallen snow outside; a snowfall that had arrived as if just in time to enhance our Christmas spirit.

Christmas TreeWe turned our attention back to the tree and placed the large, shiny silver star atop.  As we turned on the lights and  stood back marveling at the beauty before us, the “oohs” and “aahs” of the children could be heard.  Sharing in their Christmas joy, we grown-ups exchanged glances that conveyed the joy and gratitude from deep within our hearts at being blest, once again, with sharing this heartwarming occasion.

Suddenly, amidst the silence, a tiny voice could be heard singing a familiar tune.  There sat our five year old daughter, huddled close to the tree, singing “Silent Night”.  Inspired by her Christmas spirit, we all joined-in and sang along.  It seemed as though Grandma and Grandpa especially enjoyed the nostalgia of sharing the familiar carols of their many Christmas’ in years gone-by.   Singing the carols together had become a treasured family tradition.  As I sang along, my thoughts were carried back to the many years past when we’d sung those same, beautiful Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve.

Voices tiring at last, the children asked Grandpa to again recite Charles Dickens, “A Christmas Carol” for them.  Smiling, he gathered both children in his outstretched arms and beside him in the overstuffed chair they now shared.  This year, I, too, sat down to listen.  I soon found myself totally captived by his uniquely appealing story-telling voice.  My gaze became fixed upon that very special man.  The silver-greying of his hair, seemed somehow more apparent than ever before as the aged ring of his voice carried a noticeable, weary tone that hadn’t seemed to penetrate my consciousness before.  Had I just never taken the time before to listen and to observe him so closely?  Could it have been the deep surge of sentiment filling my heart as the children and I were so visibly captivated by his every word?

I wondered silently as my gaze became focused upon Grandma who sat across the room, deeply engrossed in her crocheting.  She was completely unaware of my gaze having become fixed upon her hands.  Those tender, loving hands that had grown wrinkled with age and the countless years of hard work she’d toiled away at in order to bless our family with the home we all, now shared.  I noticed her tired hands endeavoring to use that familiar old crotchet hook as adeptly as she once had.  Those lovely hands that, despite the wear and tear of the years, still managed to crotchet some of the most magnificent creations I’d ever seen.  I watched silently as my heart overflowed with love for her.

Filled with a warm, deep sense of gratitude, I became fully aware of the privilege of that evening together – the privilege of having them there with us.  For once again, they were filling their irreplaceable role in that very priceless, family moment.  Realizing the endless amounts of love they have bestowed upon two generations of children at this time each year brought a tear of joy to my eye; and I was reminded of how their presence there with us, was, truly, the best gift of all.

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Through a Child’s Eye

Driving down the narrow, winding road my heart leapt as I approached the old town hall I’d remembered so well.  I had finally ventured back to the little town where I’d grown up so long ago.

I had intended for so many years to return there.  It has always possessed some of the most cherished memories of my life and had for some time aroused a sentimental curiosity within me.  Yet I reminded myself that to enter the past is impossible as the old saying, “you can never go back home” echoed through the corners of my mind.

As I rounded the corner by the old town hall I slowly drove past house after house.  I was disillusioned by what I saw.  I wondered how this could possibly be the same small town in which I’d grown-up.   The roads all seemed so much narrower now than I had remembered and the houses had aged beyond belief.  Despite a vague familiarity nothing looked quite the same to me.  I experienced a strange, deep surge of sadness.

Driving on, I felt certain that the old house in which I’d grown up would surely not disappoint me.  How well I remembered it’s beauty.  As a child I’d always loved to think of it as my huge white castle.  It was surrounded by a wonderland of Catalpa Trees, lilac bushes, apple orchards and hundreds of lovely flowers.  A perfect setting for a child to imagine her very own wonderland.  It had always been a place which radiated love and tranquility and I’d always known happiness there.  It was almost as if all those beautiful memories had, for years, been beckoning my brief return.

Turning into the long, narrow, gravel driveway, I slowly passed what I had remembered as a beautiful garden.  It had flourished under the tender loving care which my grandfather had labored many long, hard hours to provide.  There, now before me, stood only an enormous field of tall, unkempt weeds.

I thought to myself how grateful I was that my grandfather would never have to bear the heartbreak that seeing this would have brought him.  I visualized him there, pushing his old hand tiller, the sun beating mercilessly down on his back.  I looked farther ahead expecting to see the picturesque apple orchards, but they, too, were gone.  Everything looked so painfully desolate.

Driving on, my eyes fell upon the house which has, for so long held so many of the wonderful memories of my childhood.  Shocked, I saw before me a decrepit old house.  It was no longer the towering white “castle” that I’d hoped to find.  It obviously had been neglected and allowed to weather with the years.  It appeared to be crying out for the care that it had once known.  There were no blossoming Catalpa trees nor billowy lilac bushes standing majectically around it.   Only brownish, sun-dried grass which desperately thirsted for water.

I stopped my car and sat silently engulfed in sadness.  My heart cried out to that dear old place that I had loved so well.  I knew then that I should never have ventured back.  As I felt a tear emerging, a sound caught my attention.  I looked up to see a little girl of about five come running out of the house slamming the old porch door behind her.  I wondered how she could appear so happy in that old run-down place.

As I was just about to drive away, she ran toward my car.  As I paused to roll down my window, she very cheerfully announced “Hello!  I’m Snow White and this is my cottage where I live with my seven dwarfs!  Would youu like to play with us?”  I smiled but shook my head ‘no’.  As she turned and scurried away it became apparent to me that she was every bit as happy there as I’d once been.  I pondered over her words, “this is my cottage.”  They reminded me so vividly of the way in which I had referred to that place as my “castle” when I’d been her age. 

As I paused to watch her happily at play, my heart was suddenly warmed by what I saw.  It was then that I realized that that dear old place had not really lost it’s beauty at all.  The old cliche “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” ran through my mind.  I had seen reflected in the little girl’s eyes every bit of the beauty that I had once known there.   I wondered whether perhaps she, too, would one day return there just as I had.  I somehow hoped that she wouldn’t.

Driving away, I dried the tear that I’d felt emerging earlier, no longer a tear of sorrow.  For, the little girl I’d met had unknowingly transformed my sadness into a very peaceful kind of understanding and acceptance.

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Aside

“Old Click-itty – Clack”

Mt.CoalTrain2
Click-itty– clack, click-itty-clack                                                

as the able train chugs down the track,

I gaze out it’s window

green trees and blue sky

as they’re ever so quickly

whisked on by.

The train car rocks gently

from side – to – side,

then jerks in staccato’

drawing the eye;

returns to the rhythm

as we roll down the track,

the soothing sweet music

carries me back . . .

Two tiny girls, how we loved those old trains,

sleek, steel dinosaurs

rattled my brain;

the cry of their whistle

echoed into the night

as though they were bidding

Pat and Jeanie, “good night”.

The engine’s smoke billowing

up into the sky

 brushing the clouds

 as they floated on by;

 our ears to the ties

  little sister and I

  could predict by vibration

  another soon would roar by.

Off in the distance

we could hear it’s approach

til louder and louder

went thundering by

our bedroom walls trembled

but we didn’t cry.

 

Haunting howl of it’s whistle

faded into the night

after two tiny passengers

boarded it’s flight

in their bed, went along,

while all snuggled in tight;

rode the nightly dream journey

on old Click-itty-clack

as it carried two sisters

to dreamland, and back.

How we loved the sweet music

chugging down the track . . .

that magical rhythm

still takes me back

to our countless night journeys

on the sweet, soothing sound,

of Old Click-itty – Clack.

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 1974 – 2014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Aside

The Monkey Won

 

˜by JC Eberhart, Jun 30, 2008

My emotions around losing my father to the disease of addiction when I was eight years old.   He died injecting Sterno into his veins.

A candle that flickered

then nearly dimmed

I’ve carried through the years

my heart, within.

In sorrow I stood

at my own heart’s door

watching you leave

cut to the core.

I’ve anguished long hours

into the night

struggling to recall

your face in my sight.

Oh, daddy of daddys,

where did you go?

How I’ve longed for your touch

I still love you so.

It never mattered

what you did to me

I’d have died for you daddy

couldn’t you see?

Without you my life

ceased to be

For you were the very

life force in me.

Some say it’s night terrors

I still struggle through . . .

in my dimly lit bed

I’m afraid of you.

It makes no sense

for you’re no longer here

Yet I’d give my right arm

to have you near.

You don’t understand

. . . . . . and neither do I

 

when you went away

how I’d cry and cry.

I have few memories

to connect to the pain

But, sometimes mid nightmares

I cry again.

The agony of losing you

was worse you see

than anything you ever

did to me.

They say you were mean

beyond belief

you cut-out my heart

Oh, beloved thief.

I know so well

that when you attacked

it wasn’t YOU daddy

but that monkey on your back.

That monkey who stole

you away from me

so that the rest of my life

without you, I’d be.

After all these years daddy,

my aching for you goes on

for it still breaks my heart

that the monkey won.

I’d have slain the monkey for you

but you couldn’t see

when Patty was one

and I was just three.

There was no dark monster

I wouldn’t have fought

if back into your arms

we could’ve been brought.

But the dragons I know

you tried to slay

eventually won

and then took you away.

 

 

You’d entered a no man’s land

your drug induced hell

it stole the life from you

with it’s wicked spell.

You were not to be ours . . .

anymore . . .

To this little girl’s heart

I closed the door.

No more did I dare to love

for love equaled pain

I couldn’t let that ever

happen again.

In dreams of you daddy

I still call out your name

I still waken to find

a world of fatherless pain.

 

 

 

 

(Copyright 2014 by JC Fredlund) Copyright 2008 – JeanieandDaddy1-512014 by JC Fredlund (JC Eberhart, Past Pen Name): ©JC Fredlund and JC Fredlund’s Artistry Blog, 1974 – 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to JC Fredlund and the link to http://www.JCFredlund.wordpress.com blog is included with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Aside

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