by John C. Westervelt


     At my house, all is still inside and outside as the sun begins to rise. Standing before a white lathered face with a razor in my right hand and my mind in neutral, I hear the lingering whistle of a slow moving train on tracks a mile and a quarter to the north. Slowly, my mind turns on with boyhood memories of Rock Island trains and tracks while visiting my grandmother in Hugo, Oklahoma in the 1930s.

Later, when I step outside to fetch my newspaper, sounds of music played by the high school band, marching on the football field a mile to the west, float to my ear.

Sitting on the south porch after breakfast, I breathe deeply, relishing the coolness in my lungs. The sun has been moving south, so it now shines under the eve onto my navy blue corduroys where its warmth takes away the chill.

I watch backpack-laden children meander down the sidewalk toward the schoolhouse.

The blossoms on my roses are now twice the size of those of the summertime.

Encouraged by the sun, newly planted pansies send down deep roots, so they can show off their purple, white, yellow, and brown faces all winter.

The squirrels forage for acorns dropped by the oak tree and search out a spot to bury their winter snack.

The Bermuda grass has turned gray-green, and the lawnmower has been put away.

On this fall day, my gratitude to God overflows.


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