Mannheim Steamroller’s Silent Night (Music and Video) A Beautiful Gift

Here is a video of a beautiful piece of music that everyone should listen to.  It is Mannheim Steamroller’s Silent Night.  If you haven’t heard this by now, let me warn you, you will be moved.  It is like the music just evokes the whole feeling of what Christmas is really all about.  It is haunting and it  just wells up inside you.

I first heard this back in the 80’s when the group was just starting to be heard on the radio around Christmastime.  My brother had the Christmas cd, made a cassette tape copy for me, and I  have played it ever since that Christmas every year.  I just recently bought the cd so I could have a better copy, and I absolutely love it.

Another reason this is so beautiful to me is that I remember playing this as I was making wreaths for gifts down in my basement one year.  It was late at night, I was by myself,  and this angelic music started playing. Even though I had heard it many times before, it had a different meaning for me at that very moment.

My mother had passed away that March and I was depressed to say the least, and this music just reminded me of heaven.  The violin here sounds like it is crying and it is so moving throughout, especially at the very end with the sounds of the wind and the baby piano.  It was as if I was a child all over again and I was missing my mommy.  I cried like a baby.  Every time I hear this, I feel that all over again. But it is so beautiful, and the music just fades away into happy soft, sleigh bells that bring back hope.  That’s when I picture my mother happy in heaven and I’m suddenly comforted.

That’s what this music means to me.  But please listen and see what it brings back in memories for you. It is a little slow in the beginning, but it’s perfect because it sets the whole mood.  The violin starts around 2:00.  I hope you enjoy this beautiful gift. 🙂

The Goblins Will Get Ya If Ya Don’t Watch Out! A Poem For Halloween!

Hello all!

I decided I’d post something fun.  Here is another poem my mother would read to us when we were small, and we loved it!  I can still hear her voice as she raised and lowered her voice to fit the parts.  It was funny,but scary.  And of course, I would read it to my children, with much enthusiasm.  It’s the only way.  You’ll see what I mean when you read it.  So Enjoy and share this one.  But remember…be good!

This is by James Whitcomb Riley:

To all the little children: — The happy ones; and sad ones;The sober and the silent ones; the boisterous and glad ones; The good ones — Yes, the good ones, too; and all the lovely bad ones.

Little Orphant Annie
James Whitcomb Riley
Little Orphan Annie’s come to my house to stay.
To wash the cups and saucers up and brush the crumbs away.
To shoo the chickens from the porch and dust the hearth and sweep,
and make the fire and bake the bread to earn her board and keep.
While all us other children, when the supper things is done,
we sit around the kitchen fire and has the mostest fun,
a listening to the witch tales that Annie tells about
and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!
Once there was a little boy who wouldn’t say his prayers,
and when he went to bed at night away up stairs,
his mammy heard him holler and his daddy heard him bawl,
and when they turned the covers down, he wasn’t there at all!
They searched him in the attic room and cubby hole and press
and even up the chimney flu and every wheres, I guess,
but all they ever found of him was just his pants and round-abouts
and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!Once there was a little girl who always laughed and grinned
and made fun of everyone, of all her blood and kin,
and once when there was company and old folks was there,
she mocked them and she shocked them and said, she didn’t care.
And just as she turned on her heels to go and run and hide,
there was two great big black things a standing by her side.
They snatched her through the ceiling fore she knew what shes about,
and the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!
When the night is dark and scary, and the moon is full
and creatures are a flying and the wind goes Whoooooooooo,
you better mind your parents and your teachers fond and dear,
and cherish them that loves ya, and dry the orphans tears
and help the poor and needy ones that cluster all about,
or the goblins will get ya if ya don’t watch out!!!

This Scares Me, Too!

Finally, Some Good News/Ted Williams

Well, I for one am so happy that Ted williams, the homeless man with the golden voice,  gets his second chance.  I hope he makes the best of it and never turns back.  It feels good to finally hear some good news for a change.

For those of you who may not know who I am talking about, or what this miraculous story is about, it’s about a homeless man who was found on the street with a handwritten sign about how God had blessed him with the gift of voice and had fallen on hard times.  He was found panhandling, when someone stopped and asked (as they recorded him) to show what he could do with his voice.  The rest is history.

I just love this story, and he seems so humble and grateful, that I can not stop watching and listening to him.

Then, when they found out he hadn’t seen his mother in 20 years, they set up a meeting for him to see her, and  captured the moment .  It is both sad and happy at the same time.  I want to cry every time I hear him, a 53 year old man, enter that room and continually call out, “Hi Mommy!. Hi Mommy! ”  I just want to hold him. Then as you hear him talking to his mother and tell her about everything that has happened to him, although the cameras are watching and taping and completely surrounding him, you almost get the feeling that he and his mother are the only one’s in the room.  He is concentrating on just her and nothing else. It is definitely a story that will be remembered forever.

Te d Williams. I wish you all the luck  in the world. Thanks for the inspiration and hope.  There still are great stories out there somewhere.  Lets find more.

I Want To Go Back

The Time To Be Happy Is Now

Sometimes the world seems like such a stressed-out place to be, that I wish I could go back in time and be a child all over again.

I want to go back… back to when I was about 5 years old  and living at home.

The feeling of being safe and free from worry.

Thinking back…


back… I can see myself running outside in the crisp,cool air.

I was always outside.

Being small, energetic and young, I can play outside all day and not even tire.

I’m running,  always running.  Out toward the wide open space of the field that is behind my house.

It is early fall, and most likely at dusk.  My cheeks are cold, my nose is cold, but it feels good.

I stop for just a moment and listen… I hear the crows.  I smell the damp earth.  My toes tingle.

Looking back at my house in the distance,  I can see that the light is on in my warm kitchen.

Mom is probably at the sink as supper is being prepared.

What will it be?  A roast perhaps, gravy…and mashed potatoes.  There’s always potatoes.

I feel warm inside.

My family will be there when I get back. Mom, dad ,grandma, my older sister, and 3 younger brothers.

The house will be warm and safe.

But for now, I’m out in all this space by myself ,  yet  somehow, I don’t feel alone.

I couldn’t be with all this beauty.  So much to investigate…rocks, leaves, mud.

I have no schedule.  I don’t care about the time.

I just have to wait for the streetlight to come on, and then I’ll  go home to eat supper.

I’ll be fed and have a warm bath.

I’ll sit by grandma on the couch watching tv and lean on her warm, smooth arm.  I may even fall asleep there.

Someone will pick me up and put me to bed.  Is it dad?  Is it Mom?  I don’t care.

I’ll be tucked in and have my doll with me.

Someone will kiss me and turn off the light.

Then I’ll be in total darkness, but I won’t feel afraid.

I’m free,   I’m loved and I am safe.  That’s all that matters.

Yes, take me back!

I’d give anything  to go back in time and be a child all over again.

Just to experience the freedom from worry again .  The way we were excited in the little things.

To watch the world go by….

I thought it would last forever.

Silly me. 🙂

Mother’s Day 1993

A Mother’s Heart

This is from a journal entry that I wrote after my mother passed away in March of 1993.  As I look back, it seems I did alot of writing to deal with the pain I had been feeling at that time.  It was very therapeutic.  This was the first Mother’s Day after she had passed away and it was hard not going to see her at her house, but instead I had to take a trip to the cemetery.  This is how I remember this day…

Mother’s Day 1993

This morning John,Patrick (2),Caitlin(7 mos) and I, decided we’d visit the cemetery where you live now.  We bought pretty mums for you, yellow like the sun. They were bright and reminded me of you.

It was strange, not picking out a card for you.  I wanted to so badly.  It was so sad. I thought of you often today.  Memories of your smile and your voice went through my mind.

We packed the kids in the van and started off.

I felt strange and I didn’t know what to expect…to see your name on a marker today, instead of your smiling face.  This was going to be very difficult for me,  and I knew it.

On the way, we passed by the exit we would have taken to go to your house.  I would have much preferred the house, but we just sped on.

After about 25 minutes, we pulled into the cemetery grounds.  Although the ride was quiet, it was also nice as it was a beautiful, sunny day.

We went off to the left and went up a small hill…and there it was…your new home.  It was open and trees were set back behind you.  There was no grass as it was a  brand new plot, with the bare earth freshly smoothed over.  John got out to look among the many markers on the just-cleared earth.

We left the kids in the car at first, and I walked alone to your marker…right in the middle of the clearing, next to a woman named “MacNamara”.  I joked to John that  this woman was Irish, also, and that you were probably talking her head off!

It was so beautiful and peaceful with the sun beating down.  The warm breeze and birds singing.  It was so nice, and I swear I felt your presence there.  It was also strange to see  the first new spikes of grass shooting up amongst the dry dirt.  It was actually too hard to imagine it all grassy.  Someday, it will be.

John brought Patrick out of the car while I spoke  to you privately.  Patrick  quickly came running over and said, “Hi Gramma!  I love you!”  I’m sure you smiled.  Then after Patrick walked off with John, something told me to get Caitlin..  I knew you would’ve liked to have seen her. I brought her over and I could almost imagine you saying,”Wow, how big she’s gotten!”

She looks so much like you,  Ma.  It gives me hope and something to go on.

John tied the pretty mums to your marker.  It looked so pretty amongst all those bare markers. It looked as if you had life now.  The only sunny spot on the hill…my mom!

I said what I had to and said we’d be back. “Say hello to everyone up there for me. Guide me in all I do.  I love  you!”

Then we packed everyone up and slowly left for home.  It was an extremely quiet trip back to say the least, but I felt good inside that I had done what I did. It was a Mother’s Day I will remember forever.

I miss you.

I love you.

Happy Mother’s Day!<3

My mom in healthier, happier days with her usual welcoming smile.


I have  always loved Enya and especially this song, and I came across the nicest video (with words) to go along with it.

They say the meaning behind it is that it is in fact, about The Evacuees.  The children in the UK during World War II.  They were sent away from the big cities that were constantly being bombed and sent to live with families in the country sides until the war ended.

My brother had recorded this on a cassette tape when my mother passed away with a collection of other songs.  This song had a different meaning to us. It was ,to us, like saying goodbye and finally, letting her go- until we were all to meet again.

It is a beautiful song, and it can have it’s own personal meaning for whomever listens to it.  Enjoy.

It’s So Hard

Yet another journal entry on when my mom and dad got sick (the 1990’s) and with their passing, how I dealt with all the pain.  As I write this now, I can remember the feelings I had when I wrote this, like it was yesterday.

This is titled, “It’s So Hard”

It was hard when Mom got sick…the medicines,the doctors, the chemotherapy, the tiredness.

It was hard when Mom died…the last day,the funeral, the getting rid of clothes.

It was hard when Dad got sick…the confusion,the forgetting,the oxygen,the pills, the preparing.

It was hard when Dad died…the closure, the silence,the empty house.

It was hard when we had to sell the house where they lived for 30 years…the yard sale,the dividing of goods, the stress.

It was hard having a yard sale to sell all the little things that we thought didn’t matter.  We had to choose pieces of Mom and Dad scattered everywhere.

It was hard to close the door to the house for the last time.  Their spirits were there and I knew it.  I could feel them every time I visited…in plants, in books and music, in sweaters and caps and pieces of furniture.

The coffeepot my dad used everyday.  The decorations…everything…gone.

It was hard to leave the house on that last day.

I stood at the doorway and I whispered into the empty air, ” I’ll miss you, Mom and Dad.  I love you. Please be with me, not here anymore.  Goodbye!”

Then I took one last look and drew in a long breath, then closed and locked the door.

And as I backed my car out of the driveway, I passed Dad’s azaleas, morning glories and lush,green grass.

I knew this would be the last time, so I didn’t dare watch as I drove past the house.  Hold the tears back!

Oh, it’s so hard!

Close the door to the past, and press on into the future.  I remember the saying, “Bury the dead and live.”  It’s so easy to say, but hard to achieve.

I can only hope their spirits are not held prisoner at that house, but with us- their children, and in their belongings we got to keep for memories sake…

In the wicker furniture that was theirs…on my deck.

In their telephone stand… in my hallway.

In their hope chest…in my bedroom…

and in the aging, yellowing pictures in my albums.

They are with us now in spirit and I try to imagine them smiling and watching over us everyday now…

but it’s so hard.

Johnny Gruelle

I was first introduced to Johnny Gruelle as a child through the many Raggedy Ann and Andy Series of books that came out in the 60’s. I received 2 or 3 books once a month, and I couldn’t wait to read all the adventures the pair would have, as well as the mischief they would get into.

My mother would read  these to my sister and I at bedtime, and I loved the stories of fairies and rag dolls and the lessons of goodness and kindness.  I think these stories really made a child “want” to be good-I know it made me want to be!

The illustrations were either very colorful or straight black and white.  Either way, Gruelle was very good at what he did. I know he influenced how I illustrate today.  I have many sketches from my teen years, of fairies with pointed toes, and flowing, silken scarves, floating about in woods and on flowery hillsides, to prove it.

I still have all 12 books today and I would never part from them.  Although they are a little tattered and the pages are a slight yellow hue now, they are worth more than gold to me.  Not only because of the memories they hold, but also because of the lessons they taught. 

I wish there were more author/illustrators like Johnny Gruelle today.  Now that would be….

Johnny Gruelle's illustration of Marcella and Raggedy Ann


…what’s the word….yes, that would be “awesome”!

I Cried For You

Here is another journal entry I found, and of course it is about my mother.  She passed away at  age 54 of cancer in 1993.  It seems I  did a lot of writing so I could deal with all the sadness. I must say, it did help.

This is about memories I had of my mother,  and the changes  she went through as a person through the years that I knew her. 

This is titled “I Cried For You”

*I cried for you again, tonight.

I cried for times past.  The you I remembered from my childhood, sending us off to school, baths on Sundays, the  bedtime stories  from Winnie- the- Pooh and Raggedy Ann.  The summer walks, calling us in from the back door for supper, or when we stayed out late and the street lights came on. For the birthdays and Christmas.

I cried for the you I remembered from my teen years:

The beach lover and the sunbather.  The more independent you- working and going to school for nursing, learning to drive, the friend, and the conversationalist. The artist and painter,and of course, for birthdays and Christmas.

I cried for the you I remembered as I grew into adulthood:

The very, independent woman,the nurse, the advisor, the photographer, gift-giver and lover of people.  The writer and poet, the reader and lover of movies, music and anything country.  The traveler, the santa collector……the sick woman, the disease, the hospital stays and surgeries.  The scared woman, but the strong woman. 

Always a smile and a giggle.  Always ready to share.

I cried for you and the time you had left.  The times I knew you’d miss. The grandchildren you’d never get to see grow older, even graduate.

All the little trinkets and gifts  I knew we’d never receive anymore.

Yes, I cried for you, again-

I still do,

I still will…

and I’ll forever cry for birthdays and Christmas, without you!  




My mom with us in the 60's-I'm on the right


Here is another journal entry I wrote after my mother passed away. This was written because of the depressing feeling I had when my sister and I had to get rid of my mother’s things in her closet one day.  My father could not bear to do it.  This was very hard, and it is something that has to be done, but no one really ever talks about it. To me, it felt like I was wiping out the rest of an existence. So sad.

This is titled  “Abandoned”

Your clothes are still hanging in your closet, untouched, just as you left them.

Worn on trips, to restaurants or just everyday.

They’re just  hanging in the darkness, until they’re put away.

Sweatshirts with names of places visited,

With bright colors , or cute  animals and unique designs, that all say something about you.

Your evening dress up shoes and  assorted flats are strewn about the closet floor.

Waiting to see another day of summer sun, the beach perhaps, or just a walk – but no more.

The quilted bag you proudly carried around with you everywhere, containing all your treasures and trinkets…your valued photo album…

It’s just lying there empty on a chair.

Poetry books sit on dusty shelves waiting to be read again.

The music you loved so much- the many tape cassettes, are all in piles where you left them in a cupboard.

They were once played to visitors who walked in the door to greet you, but will never be played as they used to…anymore.

Your  Santa collection sits in the attic now…collecting dust.

The pretty cat waits for your gentle touch, your comfortable lap.

His eyes seem to ask, “What’s wrong?”

The many poems that won’t be written. The stories that won’t be read to a grandchild. 

The birthdays and special days that won’t be shared.

No more little gifts from you that say, “I love you” or “I’m thinking of you”.

How I wishI could hear your voice on the phone again, late at night, after a visit with you.

“Just wanted to know if you made it home, alright. Love you, too!  Goodnight!”

Oh, well…

Everything you owned says something about you, but now they all seem so lost – abandoned somehow – even us.

Now all these things have a secure place in my memory… and my heart… and on this paper,

To stay forever,

Never to be abandoned ,again!  🙂