Category Archives: Vacation

Stopped Counting

Time  . . .

My inner clock doesn’t seem to match up

with the world’s clock


It’s not off just by a few seconds

or minutes

but as if my inner clock

has stopped counting altogether.

Quantifying and calculating life is

so foreign?

I completely don’t know how I was able to

live, breath, love

by the rules of

1 tic

2 toc

3 tic

4 toc

echoes the old grandfather clock.



I am not content to live between the pendulum swings.

I don’t want my life to be counted and measured

by this alien number system that says it is 11:17 AM





the mouse ran up the clock.




No Earthly Power

It is more powerful than Pharoah’s soldiers

It is more powerful than the false god worship of Baal

It is more powerful than the Roman’s aqueducts

It is more powerful than European conquests’ vessels

It is more powerful than the Hover Dam

It is more powerful than anything in or yet to be in the universe

1 Hydrogen

and 2 Oxygen


water and life as we know it.

I learned about elements and the Periodic Table in Chemistry,

but this. . .

This was something new entirely,

this is power unlike anything I have ever seen felt before.

With the raging roar vibrating in my ears and to my very core,

I think know no earthly power could create such a monstrous force,

no matter what the scientists say.

No earthly power,

my God’s power.

He, and he alone,

created the molecules to forge such a force.

But the basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created, people have always been able to see what their eyes as such can’t see: eternal power, for instance, and the mystery of his divine being.

Romans 1:20 (MSG)



Niagara Falls on a recent vacation



Uncle Jerry’s


Slushy, slushy snow sticks to my black dress boots

I walk in the footprints of the persons who have arrived before me

Little elementary boys running ahead of mothers carrying casseroles.

Puffy coats bundle up elderly ladies shuffle in from the cold

Christmas pins and red and green sweaters are like tickets to enter

The soft glow of lamps and Christmas tree lights reflect out onto the shoveled snow

I stomp off the cold fairy dust of winter onto the rugs and shrug off my coat

I drop off my coat to the jacket day care on one of the many wooden furniture made with love and care

Already hearing the laughing bellowing out from the basement

A smile adorns my face as I take the steep steps slowly down

Hugs and ‘look at how have you grown’ are pasted around

Packed together like Santa’s elves in the workshop in mid December we gather

Sisters, cousins, nieces chit chat in their respected corners

Brothers, uncles, nephews are heard hearty laughing

Kids are running around and jumping on the spare bed

Another family enters and everyone calls out again in various ‘how you’ve been?’

The host of tonight’s festivities gives a great whistle and asks one of the men to lead us in prayer

Heads bow and we breath as one focusing on the prayer that is quietly spoken into the big, big room


A call out to relatives who are elderly or with small children to go first

A line soon begins to form and snakes through the spare bedroom and out into the open room with boisterous conversations with their neighbor

My family is not a quiet family

I tag along with my Grandma and ask what is good to eat

My plate full I find a place to squeeze into a seat at the table to listen to the hilarious stories to be shared

Famous casseroles and pies melt in my tummy

Chuckles and jolly fun echos across the walls

It feels like the house is going to explode from how much love and cheer is packed into this home

My sister and I get a tap on the shoulder just like we knew we would every year at this time

My great uncle asks us to pass out the gourmet chocolates he buys for each family

A box of wrapped chocolate is past out with a smile and ‘thank you’ in return

The minute hand on the clock above the doorway seems to spin by too fast

Another tradition is soon to follow as another whistle is let out

Children and parents circle around a closet with a sheet across it

A fishing pole is handed over with a clamp on where the hook is suppose to be

The time old tradition of ‘fishing’ for presents on Christmas Eve at my great uncle Jerry’s

Toddlers are first and their mothers have to help them ‘reel it in’

They tear off the Christmas wrapping paper and find match-box cars or dolls

The ages creep up to the oldest which me and my sister and few cousins are of

Uncle Jerry asks who is next and his wife says and he answers back ‘She’s still doing this?’ and with a laugh ‘You can still get presents ’til you have kids.’

To me it’s more about the tradition and the memories than getting the present

I go out and show my grandparents what I got and talk for a little bit

Then comes my favorite part

This is what makes Christmas Eve my favorite holiday

This is what makes Christmas, Christmas

Another whistle is rung out and the voices become quiet after the dull roar it was a few moments ago

I lay in my mother’s lap on the floor next to my grandma’s chair

And my grandma begins to read

She reads why we are all gathered here

She reads why we are all saved

She reads why we are all so sure in the future

She reads what her father and mother instilled in their seven children

She reads the Bible

She reads Luke chapter two

She reads of a child’s birth that is unlike any other

And for those few minutes she becomes more than my grandma reading verses that we all know

She becomes someone who is leading by example of my Lord and savior’s thoughts of a Christian

Tears fill my eyes

Just soft quiet tears

I don’t brush them away because I know everyone else has them

And as the story finishes for the night, there is a moment of silence hushed over the families

Then the next part of the tradition begins,

My uncle begins to say, ‘This book has been in our family for a hundred years. It is torn and tattered, but the words still remain the same. This book was given to my father in 1915.’

And my great uncle begins to read ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas’

Even if I was to read it now, I would still hear his voice reading it to me

‘Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.’

And all the relatives who remember the recently passed away lively Aunt, in her honor act like they are ‘throwing up’ the sash

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Soon families begin to leave because the readings of the old, old books are what makes Christmas, Christmas and now are on to the other side of the family’s relatives

My family and I included

After good-byes and setting up the next monthly get-to-together we grab our dish to pass and hike up the steep stairs once more

I put back on my boots that now are in a puddle of melted fairy dust, snow

Wind rushes in, chilling the warm mud room as I open the door

I walk in the footsteps of persons who have gone out before

Slushy, slushy snow sticks to my black dress boots

I quietly say to myself, “This is what makes Christmas, Christmas.”



Grandpa Bedel 1

Picture of my Great Grandpa before I was born who used to be the host of the gathering!

In the Water

In the water

Out of the water

In the water

Out of the water

Haven’t moved an inch

But my thoughts

Of course they have.


The footprints in the sand behind me

mean something

but so many metaphors can be said.

How footprints wash away,

How you leave an imprint

on rocks-turned-sand hundreds of years old

How the sand turns a different color when you step on it

How the water washes up sand and then takes it back out again.


So many metaphors,

I’ll just stay with,

standing in the water

now I’m not

standing in the water

now I’m not.

water in and out

The Water Falls

Everything is perfect

Everything is fine

Everything is lovely

The wind is softly blowing

The water is cooling

The birds are quietly chirping

The river I’m wading through

is not gushing

or heavy current

Just peaceful

But without notice

there is a drop-off

Rapids appear

The water that was once calm

rushes and spills downward


The water falls

But once the water reaches the bottom

It is stirred, but now beings to sooth

As if nothing ever happened

Sometimes our lives are like this

Everything is perfect

Everything is fine

Everything is lovely

and then something huge changes in our lives

Our reality begins to toss and turn

and we start to get mixed up which way is up

and swim the wrong direction

Then we hit the water

and have a sense of clarity

We have a new understanding

and a hard learned life lesson

But nothing truly changes

The water streams along

and the rapids begin to go unnoticed

and soon forgotten

until the next rapids come.

A picture taken on my recent vacation

A picture taken on my recent vacation

His Creation

During my vacation (which quite a few poems will be written about) the words of Mary Shelley in Frankenstein were ringing in my ears. In different passages of her book she warns, “If the study to which you apply yourself has a tendency to weaken your affections and to destroy your taste for those simple pleasure . . . then that study is . . . not befitting the human mind”. Now none of us are going to construct a man of dead bodies, but the busyness of our job, family, calendar, even our thoughts can keep us from enjoying simple pleasures. We don’t need to go on vacation to experience them, but vacation can be a good awakener.

Also during my time away I had the pleasure of reading Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451. One of the many lines that stuck out was this: ““Bet I know something else you don’t. There’s dew on the grass in the morning.” He suddenly couldn’t remember if he had known this or not, and it made him quite irritable.” To me it is astonishing to think that someone doesn’t know that there is dew on the ground in the morning.

I don’t want to lose connection with God’s creation like that. Then I realized, I already have. Yes, I know there is dew; except I don’t find simple pleasure in sunsets, the sound of waves lapping at the beach, chirping of insects at night, the beauty of trees. I could just blame it on me being more of an ‘idea-person’ and not a nature-person, but it is so much more than that. I mean, I was on vacation – with basically all the time in the world – and I took no pleasure or time in watching the sun sink beneath the clouds over the crystal clear calm water. God created the sunsets to cast colors over the sky and take time to set when He could have just made it be hidden for night. And I don’t enjoy that.

So I forced myself to enjoy it. I would stand there looking at the waves, the beach, the trees, the land in the distance across the water, any and all of the beauteous works of God’s creation; putting ideas, processes, and poems to the nature.

Now I never want to leave. I have found my God again, in His creation.

Beautiful sunset on the water on my vacation!

Beautiful sunset on the water on my vacation!


Hi, if you’ve been wondering why I didn’t post all week – 2 weeks ago, it is because I went on a cruise! This wasn’t my first cruise (nor do I wish it to be my last!) and I had a wonderful time! I’m mainly going to talk about seeing Mayan ruins in Belize, because that’s the only excursion I went on. This is my second time going to Belize, I first went back in 2012. Belize is south of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico and east of Guatemala. My tour was a mile and a half from Guatemala, which is where the read dot is on the map below. belize ruin pic map These ruins is the best Mayan ruins I’ve been to, but Coba in Mexico had more of a cultural tour. The place is called Xunantunich, which was a Mayan city in the late classical period of the civilization. The city is about 800 feet above sea level, and the tallest ruin I climbed is about 130 feet above that. On this tour I didn’t learn as much about their culture as I said before, but the ruins are breathtaking! Below are some pictures that I took and some information about them.

This is the ruin I climbed and it’s 130 feet tall, my ears popped slightly nearing the top. The first few steps are quite tall, especially since the Mayan are small people, think about them building this! Cruise 2015 36 After some twists and turns, I climbed up to this platform (from where this picture is taken) and the sun was just bearing down on me, it was hot! Then, I looked up and saw this and . . . wow! Of course this is refurbished by the excavators, but it’s still amazing. The picture is a carving of the Mayan gods.

Cruise 2015 44

Here’s another picture to see how steep it is. I don’t have a picture of what comes next, but I felt like I was in a Scooby-Doo temple Cartoon or in an Indiana Jones movie. The space I had to walk on was just under 2 feet wide, which may seem like  a lot, but when you’re at this height with no guard rail it isn’t. The stones are slippery and smoothed over, but still easy to trip on, and it’s twisty turny. Once I get half way to the top, the ruin becomes enclosed, which means lots and lots of bugs!

cruise 2015 95

I get to the top and look out and see . . .  just beautiful green everywhere. cruise 2015 108

Here’s the view of other ruins from the top.

Cruise 2015 48

Here’s a video that puts it all into view. You don’t need sound because no one is talking, just breathtaking landscape.

Leaving you with a nice sunset picture from the boat!

Cruise 2015 55