Gathering of The Clan


Coast to coast they come
to the Heartland
Flyover Zone

The gene pool arrives!
Gammy and grandpo hosting
kids and grandkids
a family of American Eagles
and eaglets

Generations in turn
learning to fly
and flying away
but coming back
the family farm
a hundred thirty years and counting

Eagles, eaglets
dreams coming true
Priests, professors, designers and politicians
(Now there’s a nest plumb full!)

Risking, reflecting,
investing in people
and things eternal
the stuff of life
and life abundant

Oh yes scrapes and tears
winds and rains and
Thunder storms
But after the storms
Sun coming out
Fresh air, birds singing, flowers blooming
food growing on the farm
people, helping people grow

Food for the farmer
and a hundred fifty five others
the system setting them free
to think and do a thousand things
limited only by their imaginations

So songs ring out
Prayers of thanksgiving given
around the table they gather
the Warfel/Perry clan

Praise God from whom all blessing flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him Praise Him above ye heavenly host
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Amen…*

Selah, Lin Christmas 2014
*Old Hundredth L.M.


Gathering of The Clan2022-09-03T14:52:46-04:00

Mothers of Distinction


I discovered my wife
in mother mode
was a person of distinction
For a start
how could she do it?
Deliver a baby
But she did
Five times

Her love grew
for each one
and also for me
How could that be
that love can expand so
and do it again and again

At each stage
suckling to cup
baby food to burger
cooing and gurgling
to standing on a stage, reciting
first toddling steps
to running races
first day of school
to graduation exercises
mother mode was supreme
is supreme

So if we define love
as an accurate understanding
and an adequate supply
of another person’s need(s)
we see the depths
of Mothers of Distinction

52 years later
5 children, 6 grandchildren later
sons in law
daughters in law

How can we say thanks?
ah, we’re back to love
the greatest of all
said Jesus

Lin to Kay, January 2015


Mothers of Distinction2022-09-03T14:52:46-04:00

Planting the Flag


A feller born this day
74 years ago
has a lifetime of
planting the flag!
I’ve seen him do it
time and again
courage is the backbone of leadership
and he’s got it!

School district train wreck
finances askew
teachers on the walk
somebody needs courage
plant a flag
draw a line in the sand
know how to add, subtract

Pause, look down,
soil is precious
somebody needs to plant a flag
we’re not doing it right
Here’s a better way!

Plant a flag, John, plant a flag!
So happy birthday,
Him Who Plants a Flag!
Well done!

Lin 2/2015
John Walter Fisher


Planting the Flag2022-09-03T14:52:47-04:00

Gentlemen Farmers


There really is
a ‘farm community’
but it’s bigger than one might think
It stretches over farmers
no matter where their land

Soldiers have their trenches
where many a battle is fought
and those who lay the pipes and cables
and those who dig the footings
all are part of the soil

With farmers it is food
enabled by the soil
don’t you dare call it dirt
it’s mysterious and fascinating
we’re discovering more and more

Growing, producing food
is a noble call for certain
after air and water we need it
all the days of our lives

Of course there are ways of doing business
and here again come farmers
with ‘gentlemen’s agreements’
Their word their bond
a gift to all who work with them

Come trouble and they join together
putting their own work on hold
to help their neighbors
through thick and thin
amazing to behold
how they help each other

Gentlemen, and farmers
honoring each other and their families
teams in motion
working, praying, sustaining
themselves and multitudes of others

Selah, Lin March 2015
American farmers: 1 feeds 155
I believe…in miracles…


Gentlemen Farmers2022-09-03T14:52:47-04:00

Me ‘n Grandpa


Chores done, early morning,
Me ‘n Grandpa are in the house
Basement, actually
Shiverin’ cold out in the barn
‘cept for the cow’s warm teats
But the huge coal furnace
wafted warmth all over the basement
toasting us before and after the shower

Sunday morning, routine as usual
Grandpa puttin on his blue suit
suspendered pants, but with a belt
uniform for church
Grandma all ready
colorful dress, perfume
ker choo!
My nose didn’t like perfume!
In the car
me drivin’

11 years old
but experienced
at 4 and 5 I earned my wings
settin’ on Grandpa’s lap
steering tractors and the big truck

By 7 I reached the pedals
Big guy now! Well, sorta!
But never a cause for worry
Grandpa gave me the reins

So by 11, no big deal,
my drivin’ two miles to church!
Inside, the stained glass windows impressed-
what could those have cost?
Neighbor Salsbury paid the price’
for us to enjoy the art
the big pendulum clock, ticked away,
counting the seconds in that hour.

Assigned seats
I could find in the dark
eyes shut!
I knew where everyone parked
can still see their faces
Good, solid folk, farmin’ mostly
a banker and university folk exceptions

After church the Sunday dinner
Grandma at her best!
Fried chicken, mashed potatoes n gravy
corn and green beans and fruit from jars

Then the nap.
Me ‘n Grandpa on the floor
living room thick carpet
snoozing away for a little bit
waking to do the chores

Yup! Me ‘n Grandpa
living high
what a life!

Lin, remembering Sunday on the farm. Decembers past


Me ‘n Grandpa2022-09-03T14:52:48-04:00

Homeward Bound


Some days are giant magnets
pulling so hard
they snap!
And we go!

Emotions ride hard and high
about Christmas, family
and being together
Mom’s and kids and grandkids
tender dads, kisses and hugs
caring that was born and grows

So highways and byways
trains and planes and even ships
take folks in and deliver
People pouring home

Take snapshots of drivers
purposed, driven
to make it home for Christmas!

Bathed by music, church programs
food and presents folks are blessed and blessings
in their Christmas garb and doings
It is a time for sharing

Staggering to try to capture
put our arms and minds around
the greatest need mankind had and has
God made it simple.

A baby came
Lowly shepherds witnessed
Princely nobles came, gave
connection, click enter, God and mankind

Dwelling among us He spoke
His words endure
sifting and sorting all of life and living
poking, enticing, showing the way
to personal and mutual abundance:
“I have come that you might have life…abundantly”
Creation yielding, creation sustained

Peace on earth
and goodwill to men…

“Hosanna, hosanna
the whole world is singing
the hope of all ages is born
Though sometimes it may seem
this old world’s in control
He’s still King of Kings
and Lord of Lords!”*

Merry Christmas! Lin 2014
*Gloria and Bill Gaither, Ron Huff, 1975


Homeward Bound2022-09-03T14:52:50-04:00



Turn the name, upside down,
and it is, of course, rightfully so:
She carries us, in part,
as an egg.
A funny fish attaches
and human is created afresh
Each and every single one
And so we grow
hidden away
protected and nourished
and grow
and grow
some fateful day
it’s time
A tiny human emerges
sucks in air and breathes
then sucks in food
from mom
Held and nurtured
in every way
mom and child together
Up on two little legs
junior hangs on to…mom’s leg
hides behind…mom’s leg
Little arms reach for the sky
and mom picks him or her up
Oh, do they ever…
play ‘pick up’! 
Two days later
it’s ‘Pick up from school!’
Two days more,
and she watches
junior at the wheel
driving off to college
And a thousand prayers later
she watches
junior drive off…to a honeymoon
Wow!  Mom!  Grandma!
Selah 9/2014
Great is Thy Faithfulness




More than a brother and a sister
they come to share
burdens and joys
and their hands
They lift and carry
cook and drive
working with us side by side
Two by fours
with those basic parts
something more, better, more quickly
This week two million pounds of corn
harvested, transported
Early morning coffee, breakfast
lunches brought to the fields
dinners late together
around the family table
Ah, it can be good,
when friends work together
two twos becoming four
Well done!
You did it!
Enjoy the rain rest!
Lin, Harvest 2014, Lin and Kay, Bruce and Linda


Mama Sabine Manyonga


Sister, and mama, beloved
Angelic on earth
welcomed home for sure!
She graced while she was here
A presence, wherever
she was, lighting the room
with kindness and caring
Tender, to all, she engaged
with her smile and happy disposition
How did she do it?
suffering herself?
Somewhere back in the Congo
she gave herself to Jesus
and he lifted her mightily
as a nun, as a nurse
she loved
and people responded
Especially to the little ones
and to the weak ones
her love reached out
and she was loved right back
Joy walked with her
Within moments, one knew
this lady was special!
Somehow her spirit engaged, connected
and a bond was formed
She saw into a person, a gift
she used with compassion
so people sought her out
trusted her, confided in her
We lost; heaven won
for now
Selah, Lin 4/2013
Sister Sabine Manyonga, May 3, 1967-April 4, 2013
Job 1:21
Job 19:25:27
2 Timothy 4:6-22 

Mama Sabine Manyonga2022-09-03T14:53:10-04:00

Chapter 22


Another door closes
as Sonia’s hands pull
family treasures enclosed
trucked here and there and
Glancing back on decades
of goings…and comings
Places flit across the minds eye
Oregon, Illinois
New York
lines reach out to places
as far away as France
Home is where the heart is
and heart begins with mom
She can make a home
wherever she is, in ‘now’
A train station?  Airport?
A little circle is drawn
surrounding mom
and that’s the temporary home
A room at Hampton Inns?
She can make it home
for just as long as she is there…
On the farm, upstairs
but really all over the farm
her presence draws the lines
and around her we gather
‘come home’
to be with her.
Indiana?  Oregon?
No matter!
If she is there
so are we!
Moving on
with mom…
Selah, Lin 3/2013 

Chapter 222022-09-03T14:53:11-04:00

Grandad’s Island


Put together over years
the island was a refuge
the world whirling, swirling
in chaotic ways
power and money soaring and sinking
the island was a place
where perspective rested and grew
Every shelf, every wall,
every cupboard and every drawer
spoke smoothly of the couple
whose lives were tapestry to see
Grandma lived there.
Colors, patterns,
art and memories
reflected times and places
Grandma was a home maker.
The nook where he devoured
the Trib and WSJ
the local paper here
and hometown paper Kentucky,
the plain steel office desk
and common office chair
where he raced through computations
checking, correcting the IRS
Reading (devouring) facts and figures
The love seat couch in the den
where movies were watched together
Small wonder, the island became
so precious at the last
when a worn out body settled down
to ‘put in time’
do final things….
So fitting the island was
where he passed
quickly and without pain
from this life to the next
The island now has waves
of distribution to the family
Week by week, items leave
Room by room the island empties
sometime soon to some new owner
Nothing is the same.
Yet it is.
The prairie seasons changing
winter will melt into spring
and new life will come
as always
New islands are forming
east coast to west coast
new tapestries of life are being woven
every day, the threads that bind us
can become stronger
We are left to consider
what it all means
how we shall then live
Will we invest ourselves in people
and in things eternal?
Grandad’s Island
Selah, Lin 1/2013 

Grandad’s Island2022-09-03T14:53:12-04:00

Tucked In


Little moments come our way
like tucking in a little one
lovingly smoothing a blanket
to cover them just so
The early risers do the same
to the sleeping loved one snuggled
with pillow and blanket for a little more
A kiss, a careful adjusting,
perhaps a gentle pat
and murmured words
“I love you”
On the other end of life
an undertaker steps up front
to pull a silken quilt up
covering a face a final time
then closing the lid
turning a sealing crank
Some words are spoken
some songs are sung
the preacher puts one hand on
almost patting the casket
raises the other hand high
calling on God to comfort those here
receive the loved one there
Solemn men step forward
transfer the casket to the hearse
family and friends que in their cars
the last ride begins
The Old Bailey waits
quietly watching, receiving
Earth is open
the casket eases down
The black silk soil tumbles in
Little moments come our way
like tucking in a little one
lovingly smoothing a blanket
to cover them just so
Lin, 1/2013  Farmer Bill Maxwell, RIP 

Tucked In2022-09-03T14:53:12-04:00

Sure Hands


In every nook and cranny
a particular pair of hands
turn a house into a home
You can guess whose hands!
I’ve watched them in the kitchen
hands on fine china
confident, touching with memories
of her mom or Gammy
toweling that precious bowl
The same hands wield a knife
chopping or shaping something just so
Ah, yes, they can stir a pot!
Or whip some cream
or roll out a crust for an awesome pie!
I’ve them in the sewing room
guiding a seam, making a garment
with love sewn in stitch by stitch
Those hands smooth a fabric
just so, to make it right,
for ironing or marking or cutting cloth.
I’ve seen them hold a slippery babe
lathered with soap the little crittur,
all wiggles,
but safe in mother’s hands
Sure hands, are they,
reaching out for my hand
linking us in communion, oneness,
in our walk down life’s highways
The spiritual claims, quite rightly,
“He’s got the whole world, in His hands,
Okay, but I’m thinkin’, one fine picture
of sure hands,
belong, quite rightly,
to the Lady of the House!
Lin, 11/2012
to Kay, 50 years down life’s highway together 

Sure Hands2022-09-03T14:53:13-04:00

Hangin’ in There


The Great Teacher
has his lines and sayings
His students know them well
so too, his family
‘Read the problem!’
Good advice.
‘You may find this helpful, along life’s highway’….
‘If yer gonna be a bear, be a grizzley!”
“Do it the easy way!”
But one comes to mind nowadays:
“I’m hangin’ in there!’
A lifetime of being prepared,
I mean really prepared.
Did his homework, superlatively…
Smart, focused, passionate, compassionate…
He’d walk quickly into his classroom,
push himself hard
let his students know he’d maintain hyperspeed
the goal, the exam, the goal:
“75 and alive!”
Life has its challenges,
and he knew it.
Most significant person in his life?
His mother, plus his wife.
Granny Perry was a saint
in every way I can think of
deserving respect
what a lady!
Shirl, or “S”
held her own
quite a lady too!
A baby girl
filled out his ticket
“Oddie”, or “Kayper”
his pride and joy
forever and a day
So now we arrive
at “Hangin’ in there!’
The best that he can do.
A very worn body
has slowed him down
put him in a chair
He’s still thinking
soaking up
newspapers, magazines,
and nightly Fox
Still calculating
keeping tabs
accounting, don’t you know!
Visitors come
each one cherished
they come and lift his spirits
Gone, they’re mixed with memories
‘along life’s highways’
Somewhere along the line
a wise person said it well:
“Invest yourself in people,
and in things eternal’.
Indeed he has, and does!
His family, his students, his friends…
Granny’s God, his God
each person  benefited
from his investment, in us. 

Hangin’ in There2022-09-03T14:53:14-04:00

Morning After


Everything is different.
Everything, except one, is the same.
One is gone.
A very special one:
“B” is for Barney.
Professor Perry
Colonel Perry
A pillar knocked over
like a domino
a long chain of events to follow.
Bring the family home
Put all else on hold
Do the mundane things
while numb
Lots of tears and hugs
Everything’s different
Everything’s the same…
The sun came up
just as it did when my step dad died
mom and I watching from the hospital hallway
The grass the trees, the fields of September
were for some moments put on hold
Our world paused
Our known ones remembered, reflected
Who was this man?
Whom did he touch
in life changing ways?
They came, to honor and remember
Many sent cards, many with notes
LIfe turned a corner
with Grandad’s passing
Everything’s different
Everything’s the same
Harry got a driver permit
Libby started school…again
Evie went for horseback riding
Keller ran and ran
Sam discovered lots more things
Joe remarked on it all
The grownups hit their sidewalks
pounding along life’s highways
The friends went back to their lives
as we are bound to do
Kay and I are now
the ‘older generation’
So soon!
Up to us
to have perspective
be there at important times
Encouraging as Grandad did
a thousand times ten thousand.
Amazing (not) how his best lines
fit right in with Scripture!
A last day sharing
with his teacher grandson
he laid it out:
“If I could get my students
to believe in me,
they could believe in themselves.”
I know what he meant.
His reputation was know, established in living stone:
His word was truth. 
If the top teacher in the nation
said it
You could put it in the bank.
He said: “75 and stay alive!”
“All my students pass the exam”.
He wasn’t asking for perfection.
He knew mistakes would be made.
But the appropriate goal
was pass the exam.
Jesus said: “Come unto me,
you who are burdened and heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.”
and “Believe in me,
and you shall have life abundantly.”
So the students had their gateway exam
leading to profession
All of us need to address the question
the gateway to eternal life
“Who do you say I am?” said Jesus….
Lin 10/2012
Professor Kenneth W. Perry, 1919-8 Sep 2012 

Morning After2022-09-03T14:53:14-04:00

Life: A Brownie with Ice Cream Laced with Chocolate


Professor Ken Perry knew how to live life
and live it abundantly
“If you’re gonna be a bear,
be a grizzly!” he told his students.
And so he lived.
Focusing was his forte
riding on passion…
and compassion.
So judge him on the outcomes:
Students who passed The Test!
Therein he set the standard:
raised the bar so high!
#1 and # 2 of 65,000 takers…
three times!
#1 or #2 a number of times…
Students in the top 10%…
Students who praised him…
for decades after the class, after The Test.
“75 and stay alive!”
“Let the Institute take you by the hand and walk you through the problem!”
“Read the problem!” (RTP)
“Don’t fight the problem!” (DFTP)
“Always question your answer!”
So he worked and lived
excelling in accounting
But out of the University eye
he excelled in another area:
Teaching nuclear warfare in the Army!
Colonel Perry did.
He could teach a two hour class
or a 48 hour class on the topic
to Army officers!
So he worked and lived
excelling with his family:
a daughter and five grandchildren.
Kings’ Island with the grandkids
he was ridin’ on “The Beast”
Sharing the thrill of a giant coaster
or sharing on a timid ride
to break a new one in.
Graduation brought a reward
a cruise in the Carribean!
What a blast they had!
Some eighty cruises shared with Shirley
a hundred eighty countries
On many of them dancing –
what a time they had!
So life was a brownie with ice cream
chocolate swirl on top
and now he’s off to heaven!
Lin, grandad, not RIP, but Joy Unspeakable in Heaven
Kenneth W. Perry 

Life: A Brownie with Ice Cream Laced with Chocolate2022-09-03T14:53:14-04:00

If You’re Gonna Be a Bear


Set yourself in your favorite chair
snuggle down and close your eyes
In your mind’s eye
picture these slides
through a very long life…
A small house in a small Kentucky town
dogs and chickens, a cow and a garden
Family noises, kids darting here and there
the neighborhood like one big house
A small boy running
chasing, being chased
laughing with his buddy Ray
Older siblings, younger siblings
big families the norm
Next slide, school.
The little boy is sitting down front
close to the teacher’s desk
close to the blackboard
so he can see
(poor folks didn’t get glasses)
Teacher’s pet, earned
recognized as bright all along
Next slide, high school.
Football.  Strategy and the game
Focus the energy, the strength
give it your all
Block!  Tackle!  Run run run!
Quick and tricky is so much fun!
Next slide, drug store.
Friends come by
“Wanna come with us?
Goin’ over to Eastern,
to try out for the team.”
Eastern Kentucky College
Tryouts, football field,
standing and a watching.
Coach sez : “Here!
(pitches Ken the football)
Run past those two guys!
Give it a try!”
He did.  He won…
a scholarship to the college!
Next slide
a pretty coed.
Shirley Kimball
Cute as cute could be.
Down the diploma aisle

Next slide, Lieutenant Perry, U.S. Army
“Take this test and we’ll test your mettle.”
Bingo! Top of the class!
Off to learn artillery!
Next stop Fort Knox and tanks:
Figure out rockets trajectory
do the math
We want rockets on tanks to hit their targets
Invasion in Europe is in the plans.
So he did.  They did.
and then down for a marriage license!

Next slide a little girl
cute as a button
daddy’s pride and joy
Kayper!  Bright and bubbling!
Next slide, a tiny grocery
Athens, Ohio
Grad school classes
just for fun
A master’s degree in the making
Major shift!  Next slide:
down to Berea, Kentucky
Berea College
Ken Perry, teacher!
A tiny little dwelling home
Major shift!
Illinois!  Getting a ph. d.
Growing a legend program
the best
Accountancy, University of Illinois
“If you’re gonna be a bear…
be a grizzly!”
Give it all you’ve got.”
“If I can get my students
to believe in me,
I can get them to believe in themselves.”
They needed to think:
“This professor is awesome!”
“If Professor Perry thinks I can do it
I think I can! I’m gonna give it all I’ve got!”
So for a very full semester
he rode ’em hard.
Picture a herd of mustangs running
flat out
big cloud of dust behind
heading for the goal
“Read the problem!”
“Don’t fight the problem!”
“Always question your answer!”
“Let the Institute take you by the hand and walk you through the problem!”
They did.  They passed.
All along the way
“If you’re gonna be a bear”…
At 93, Kenneth Wibur Perry passed
soared one last time
his life here completed,
oh, did he ever pass!
Selah,  Lin 9/2012 

If You’re Gonna Be a Bear2022-09-03T14:53:15-04:00

Letting Go


A plethora of thoughts
‘letting go’, surrounded
Pictures race across my mind
Of a little one
hangin’ on to mama’s leg
a shelter in the time of storm
Of a proud papa
kissing his daughter
giving her to her husband
Of airport scenes
parting folks
kisses and hugs
and reluctant goodbyes
Of dad, hand on the bicycle seat,
running alongside the precious one
letting go
Of mom and dad
in the doorway
watching a teenager, alone,
driving away to college
Toughest of all life’s lessons
is holding the hand
of a loved one slipping away
final breaths coming
a chapter closing
Letting go happens so often
apostrophes in life
we know keep coming
long rows of candles
one being lit
another being snuffed
all in a context
of The Light of The World.
Lin 7/2012 

Letting Go2022-09-03T14:53:16-04:00



The theme was mostly:
“We went with him”.
as we traveled along life’s highways
He certainly covered a lot of miles
And he always led the pack!
Like icing on our cakes
he flavored our lives in stories
take this one:
Finishing up a tour of duty
at an army camp in Kansas
a friend from Champaign asked if he
could catch a ride back home.
“Sure”, said Ken. “I like to get movin’ early”.
Three hundred miles down the road,
the friend asked if they might stop for breakfast!
He and grandma took cruises
sometimes taking grandchildren
Rewards for graduations!
Once he offered me a trip
join him to the Antarctic!
We did!
Guess who was first off the boat
first feet to hit the beach
Leading the pack as usual!
Oh, how he loved strategy for the journey
whatever it might be…
From his home to office, or doctor
quickest route?
In and out of the Assembly Hall
or the stadium
Seats chosen with purpose
quick in; quick out…
The final journey was in slow time
beginning with pushing a grocery cart
zipping around the store
then with his walker
keep pushing!
Know the limit, and be right there!
His counsel was much sought
and highly valued by us all
He gave it to us straight
but only if we asked.
What a treasure!
So many of his guiding principles
were in harmony with the Scriptures:
“If you’re gonna be a bear,
be a grizzly!”
(Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord!)
“If I can get my students to believe in me,
I can get them to believe in themselves!”
Most thought he was the very best, bar none.
“So if the very best professor, who knows this stuff so well,
believes I can do, I think I can!”
How like Jesus, who taught to believe in Him,
and through him have life, and abundantly.
So he ran the race
passing the tests
boosting his students to pass theirs
Well done
Thou good and faith full servant
Kenneth Wilbur Perry
Selah, Lin 9/2012 


Little One


Indeed they are precious!
The little ones have been molded
Shaped to look like us
just smaller?
I don’t think so!
Each one, every one
is unique!
A combination, perhaps,
of mom and dad
and brothers and sisters
grandmas and grandpas
aunts and uncles…
the list goes on.
Maybe they’re like
a huge bouquet
all buds
yet to be unfolded
What a blessing
purest joy
to be a part, play a part
in witnessing the unfolding
How they breathe
How they move
Learn to look at us
smile, frown
laugh, cry
Squeeze our neck
nestle in
relax and sleep in our arms
Wrap tightly around our leg
Run with us
Play hide and seek
Walk with us, hand in hand
Run to greet us
Leap with abandon into our arms
Sit tightly beside us
in nervous times and place
Ride high upon our shoulders
King or Queen of the world!
Seek us out
above all others
when trouble comes their way
Around the world
we can watch them, study them
So many things in common
Maybe what we have is love
played out, lived out
right before our eyes….
Selah, Lin 9/2012
Harry, Libby, Keller, Evie, Sam and Joe 

Little One2022-09-03T14:53:17-04:00

Grandpa’s Hands


High on my office shelf
sits a sculpture done in love
Albrecht Durer’s Betende Hande
a labor of love by a brother
for his brother who loved
Just this evening I came in
weary from a day of labor
hands smudged with grease and dirt
from a day of farming
Warm water flooded my cold hands
as I rubbed and soaped them slowly
rinsed, I dried them, and I paused,
I have my grandpa’s hands!
Not so surprising, really,
as fifty years of farming
have ever shaped and molded
young boy hands to older farmer
Tanned, marked with scars,
big strong hands from exercise
decades shaped and strengthened
Happy to have
all my fingers!
The bones grown bigger
they say that happens
my grip grown stronger
I can pull a wrench, lift a boulder,
shape and cut metal
My sister says
I AM grandpa Warfel
I’ve become him!
Well, I like that!
He was my hero,
my daddy sub
First memory is
sittin on his lap, driving a little tractor
(big then, small now!)
He and I had lots of races
he could run quite fast
(though now I know, only yards)
together we worked, side by side,
he coached me all along
We fed cows and milked them,
pulled weeds and built fences
Painted barns and fence post tops
Pleated rope from baling twine
Sat side by side in church
over on the far north side
Big Ben ticking away an hour
We chowed down grandma’s cooking
ate fresh veggies from the garden
butchered cows and pigs and chickens
Oh, a thousand, ten thousand things!
And now I have my grandpa’s hands!
Selah, Lin  10/2012
Grandpa in the mirror, age 71
Alfred Warfel, 1884-1954
Profile on the book cover…Grandpa looks like his Grandpa! 

Grandpa’s Hands2022-09-03T14:53:18-04:00



Twas a half century ago, this month,
I met a young woman,
who became my wife come December.

My life turned a corner
a big one
and I surrendered to her
and she to me

Ah, not 100 per cent at once!
Actually, I’m still working on it
but we’ve come a long way
Fifty years worth of trying
and getting better

Some forty years ago
I turned another corner
went forward, actually
and gave my life to Jesus
I surrendered again
Ah, not 100% at once
Actually, I’m still working on it
but I think I’ve come a long way
and getting better

Two thousand years ago
God came to earth in human form
the Son surrendered all
enduring all the evil the world could muster
he forgave
and proved His Godness
rising from the grave

Not the way of earth, surrender.
Conquer is our game
Conquer things, and conquer people

A little bit of heaven’s revealed
when surrender rules the day
Picture a very small child
sleeping in mom’s or dad’s arms
nestled in, sleeping peacefully
safe and secure from all alarms

Other places God reveals
the peace that passes understanding
and we sense a greatness
a Creator
just a glimpse

Selah, Lin 4/12



The Quiet Man


Hours I spent with him
some in heavy waters
some in lighter moments
He became a brother
He was almost always there
passionate in his being
so much so

He came to one board meeting
straight from being
a patient in the hospital…
Always alert, listening with energy
sometimes eyes a twinkling
I would catch that look
and know
something was cooking, coming

Often a humorous arrow
flaming to the heart
and laughter would fill the room
How many votes?
A thousand or two?
Thought through issues
discussed from different angles
But in the end agreement
a team player

Bodies wear out in time
so we come, with sadness
to final moments
but remembering
the precious gift of life

We pause to give thanks
for those who were givers
going extra mile after mile
to do their part
share the loads
of living free

Freedom on earth’s constrained
by ten thousand things and more
but, passed, freedom is complete

From a humble dwelling here
to a mansion, with streets of gold
Paul Quinlan
Mansion builder, gold winner
now complete

5/1 Lin


The Quiet Man2022-09-03T14:53:28-04:00

B is for Blankie


A little guy I know
has to have his B
to feel the world is right
With it he can sleep
let the world go away

A common thing
this blankie time
for little ones round the world
Something about a softness
a shield
to sense the world’s in place

Late winter, early spring,
last year’s corn stubble does its thing
capturing the blowing snow
trapped, it is a blankie, a “B”
protecting winter wheat

Often falling silently in the night
it piles like feathers over the fields
gently tucking in the rich black soil
something about a softness
a shield
to sense the world’s in place

The corn stubble, so stiff and strong
mellows with the moisture
freezing, thawing, soaking in
the melting snow
the blanket comes and is pulled back
over and over again

Soon enough machines will roar
and till the earth to plant
but just now rest
sleep well
all is well, all is well

Lin, late winter snow blanket 2/2012
Joe Warfel and his “B”
I remember tiny Harry, with his blankie pulled up over his face, only two little hands showing gripping the top edge of his blankie….
Not to mention his mom…, and her blankie! Or Kate!


B is for Blankie2022-09-03T14:53:30-04:00

Little Angels


“Except ye come as…”
begins a well known statement
about the kingdom of heaven

We get little packages
in the most personal of ways
results of brief encounters
resulting in new life, birth

The little ones grow quickly
we count them weeks at first
then months
then oh so soon, in years

They grow in our hearts
in places we didn’t know we had
but become stamped so firmly
we savor moments with them always

From their first recognition
to first ‘their heads nestled in our necks’
to riding on our shoulders
to racing some short distance

They trust us
so beautifully
sleeping in our arms
on our laps while we read together

What gifts they are
our task is to ponder
and learn
and be
like them, tender in special ways….

Selah Lin, 3/2012
to Sam and Joe and Libby and Harry and Evie and Keller, Malia and more!


Little Angels2022-09-03T14:53:31-04:00

First Light


It’s a magic moment
in my day
when I see the eastern sky
first light is beckoning
every day is different

Night time clouds
darken areas
but one knows the sun is coming
Rather we are spinning towards it
our earth rolling around
it will be our turn

To think, to do
a thousand things or two
eating, reading, planning,
on the move
blended with quiet moments

Just this moment I’m captured
watching the sun come up, holding
Evie, newborn grandchild,
while her mom is busy in the kitchen
Evie and I watch, but have to turn
as the sun gets brighter and brighter still

The sun in the sky
grandchild in my arms
what a special memory!
Now she’s nine
a young lady
blue eyed with long blonde hair
playing the violin

First light a reminder
that I am still here
and have a purpose
however small
to take the gifts I have been given
investing myself in people
and things eternal

The Light came into the world
and it is not the same
because He lived, and lives
His example Living Words
that need to be
in me.
Small, small me.


Lin sunrise, 2/2012


First Light2022-09-03T14:53:32-04:00

Dashes and Marathons


What a gathering!
Folks up to their tasks
so different!
Some primed and
“Ready! Set! Bang!”
and others, standing at ready,
going to run the marathon….

From 20’s to 80’s in ages
growing up in eras so different
music and styles far apart
yet here they were
captured for a moment
at a Farm Bureau directors meeting

A heartfelt prayer by the octagenarian
appreciative of those who keep us safe
and have, each generation
Grounded in faith
ever so full of thanksgiving
a tender moment

Young Ag leaders
jumping in, eyes flashing
energy pouring at eight in the evening!
Facing the present and future firing
thinking solutions, actions, wow!

Those in between solid
carrying their loads with grace
making mountains, climbing mountains
families growing, getting taller
school and church and a million things
swirling around those folks
and they’re moving steadily forward

Over all, in all, and out in front, tomorrows
the faithfulness of the Creator is
the I Am has been there
and is here
the future is still in God’s hands

These hands around the table
are the hands that bathe the children
drive the tractors
type on the computers
pull the wrenches
lift the loads and carry
Indeed, move with the earth

The moment passes
and the folks hit the roads to home
doing the dashes
and the marathons
making the world
our world
a better place….

Selah, Lin 2/2012
Champaign County Farm Bureau


Dashes and Marathons2022-09-03T14:53:32-04:00

Time Was*


Time was
there was a treasure
buried in a field
One wise fellow
sold all he had
and bought the field
and so bought the treasure

A special farmer story
the wise ones know
and then invest themselves
in the treasured fields

Gerald Compton did that
I know
His family
his faith
his farming
his friends

His time here
went into those fields
I’m thinking he was a treasure
invested in us all

In his passing
those fields pass to us
to walk in the footprints he made
to carry on
savoring knowing him
and being known by him

Some might picture
a red carpet rolled out in welcome
We might see emerald green
Corn, soybeans,
waving in a summer breeze
Wheat fields, hay fields
so beautiful
all leading to a smiling welcome
“Well done, thou good and faith full servant.”

Selah, January, 2911
Matthew 13:34
*For Gerald Compton, Gentleman


Time Was*2022-09-03T14:53:33-04:00



For some folks
wave after wave of memories
wash upon our lives
Indeed, I’m getting older!

Sometimes gentle
from childhood times…
I remember my step dad
lugging me up to bed
I was nine
and car travel made me sleepy
Good guy that he was
his strong arms scooped me up
and he carried me up the stairs
tucked me in

Many were the times
Sunday dinner finished
we sat at table and talked
debated, taking sides,
then half time
changed sides
and began again!

We spent a lot of time
our heads under a hood
looking at car engines
changing plugs and points
and other things
or lying on our backs
repairing u joints
or a hundred other things beneath

Special times were building
we lived in a good old house
frame solid, but needing change
to hold a growing family
We always talked when working….

Along life’s highway I grew up
bounded out of college, married,
and started my career
24/7 at first
not knowing any better
He got tired
went home to rest
and I went on
day and night
His forte was patience
with me

We plowed and tilled and planted
tended and then came harvest
sun up to sun down and longer
we brought the harvest home

Bumps and bruises
we both got
and sometimes a cut
we repaired, went on
task oriented
clear objectives
gulp down learning
do it better
keep up with the neighbors!
We were friends

Old age came to him
in Parkinson’s
the strong arms lost their strength
the legs wouldn’t function
bit by bit
his body failed him
then failure captured his mind

Finally, one long night,
I sat with him from midnight on
pneumonia squeezing his lungs
each breath so hard
I held his hand
patted him
and talked a lot of memories
The eyes closed
he labored on
then stopped
was still
except for a heart still beating
On and on it went
I called a nurse
Kind, she held his other hand
then he was gone

I hear him laughing
I hear him talking, debating
I remember our wrestling
So many things…

I attest the words:
“Well done,
thou good and faithful servant,
welcome home…forever.”

Lin, 1/2012
Master Sargeant Charles Joseph Clementz
Step dad



Walking with a Friend


One of life’s desserts
is walking with a friend.
Priceless those times
whether in silence
just being together
or in conversation
probing life’s mysteries
sharing joys
sharing pains
sharing being.

Maybe it’s a little bit of heaven
pared down to a pair
Outside oneself
feelings extended
but safe
Like a snapshot
capturing a moment

The name of a friend
can bring a smile
a warm
and they grow more precious
time passing

And maybe that makes heaven
all the more sought
the idea that forever
and ever
and ever
there’ll be no more separation

With God
with friends

Lin 07/09


Walking with a Friend2022-09-03T14:53:35-04:00

The Friendly Tidal Waves


they come, come fall
when the harvest is ripe
to the task, oriented

The friends arrive
and set to the task
harvest, 2011

Wave after wave
they work
running the big machines
pouring grain into trucks
and into bins
food for the many
fuel for some
and fiber for others

The farm population swells
ever so briefly
as corn fields signal
breezes waving the tall summer bronzed stalks
slipping away the kernels
against the coming winter

Long days in the fields
machines laboring hour after hour
the men and women cling to their tasks
until the last fruits are captured

O dark thirty finds the folks
gathered at harvest tables
bowls of food passing
events of the day shared
feet under the tables
true friends
sharing the fuel for tomorrow
and tomorrow

Sun up ‘til sun down
field after field
yielding the fruits of labors
challenges met and conquered
moving on

The day comes for parting hugs
and quiet comes to the farm
Peace, after the hurried days
the season past

The planting and the harvest
and again the soil, the sun, the rain, the farmers have communed
Nature, and nature’s God again have blessed
hunger pushed back another year

The friendly tidal waves
have been here
and the golden sun sets again
slipping away towards winter

When peace, like a river,
attends our way
and we reflect
it has been good…

Selah, lin, harvest 2011
to Bruce and Linda Koe, who ride the friendly tidal waves


The Friendly Tidal Waves2022-09-03T14:53:37-04:00



Isn’t life just a series
of graduating from here to there?
Grandson Keller graduated today
from the lawnmowing tractor to a big one

John Deere Diesel
One hundred horses!
Big scoop on the front
that can lift and push

Twist goes the key to start
and a soft and low roar commences
down goes the clutch pedal
and into fifth gear goes a lever
give here a little ‘rabbit’
and ease out on the clutch
We’re moving!
Raise the scoop a bit
and wiggle the bucket back and forth
Wow! This is fun!

Around the farm we go
Keller and grandpa cruising,
then stopping to load her up
with a giant pile of branches
Back to the brush pile
and let the scoop unload
Back up, and here we go again!

A cool graduation, this,
from a little mower to a big tractor
but one of a thousand graduations….

Just maybe, at the end of life,
there is a final graduation?
We can be promoted, again,
from ‘here…earth…, to there…heaven!
Then we’ve truly arrived
for ever and evermore!

Here we get little tastes, little glories,
we celebrate with pleasure
We’re seeing through a glass darkly
but then it will be face to face!

Selah, Lin 8/2011

PS: Of course I am riding with him, and we are going slowly, carefully! Keller will be twelve in December.



Surrounded by One


I lay abed one morning
wife snuggled at my side
thinking about her world
Indeed I am surrounded

Each room in our house,
is her expression in fact
In shape, in color, in texture,
her art, laid out for all to drink

Take the laundry, sewing room,
where she cuts and sews and fashions
curtains, clothes, and more
each inch is her design, her choice

The windows look upon
her gardens, her flowers, her shrubs, her trees
but wait! That’s another book! Back, I say, inside,
Through the door and into the bedroom
ours for forty years

The bed, the spread, the pillow cases,
the floors, the walls, the ceiling,
are her, expressed in
shape, in color, texture

The bath? Of course we share it
maybe 90/10, but that’s okay!
I’m a farmer, don’t you know,
my world is ‘outcomes based’
and what comes out, is finely treasured

I’ll skip the other bedrooms
suffice to say they’re hers
to move on down the stairs

Kitchen? The pine wood floor
the cabinet doors, the sink, the fridge
each knife, each spoon, each cup
knows her hands upon them

Living room, family room, dining room, office
Every inch, every place, her hands have been there too.
You doubt I am surrounded?

All that is on the outside
inside it’s just the same
She has me all surrounded

Her heart is big enough
for me, for parents, for our children
and then for all they hold dear

We get some chances
to drink in pieces
to glimpse a fine designer,

Indeed we are surrounded
if we stop to see
to touch
to feel

Pause, this day,
to think about it
I think you’ll see it too
How love can be
through a person
how we can be surrounded

Praise God
from whom all blessings flow…

Lin 2.10


Surrounded by One2022-09-03T14:53:56-04:00

Men of Distinction


The media seldom notice
but amongst the men of power, renown,
there comes along, now and then,
some fellows, men of distinction

Casper Weinberger comes to mind.
A man of chosen words
moving daily on the world stage
comportment solid, reassuring

I met a local man last night
who had a common thing with Casper
He retired to care for his wife
Stepped away from career,
to care
To live in service for the one he loved
who, in serious illness, needed help

It would be good to have a category
for men and women who do that
who live in service to the one they love
when that person faces decline and death

Now, seven decades aged,
I see that more and more
It happens, but often not noticed,
those of distinction just do it
They rise to the occasion
as if on angel wings

How can we help them
through this time?
By holding up their arms
when they are weary
by giving hugs of encouragement
by caring with them
as they serve in care….

Lin 12/10
“And He will raise you up, on eagle’s wings,
bear you on the breath of dawn.” John Groban PZ


Men of Distinction2022-09-03T14:53:57-04:00

Who Gives This Woman…


A certain honor is given
to the father of the bride
He’s been there along the way
birth, teething, walking and running
Little arms around his neck
riding high on his shoulders

Along the way she grew
and suddenly became a woman
so quickly, it happened

Comes a day
grand as grand can be
folks in their finest gather round
to witness vows being taken
Relatives, friends, friends of friends
associates of various ilk
watch the procession
of bride and groom
and particular people.

Mother has been seated
sealing the aisle for good
Slowly, one step at a time
the decked out attendants come
take their places
and now the bride, with her dad, dad, daddy!

I’m frightened!
Hold me tight!
Never let me go!

The little girl is there
in a thousand memories held
Slowly down the aisle they come
daughter holding dad’s arm light

And then the question comes:
Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”
He knows the words to be spoken.
What am I doing? Giving my precious daughter away?
Will he love her and protect her
even better than I?

“Her mother and I”, spoken at last,
and he lifts her vail
gives her a kiss
then sits with his bride.

Memories swirl
just yesterday
they were married the same
Her dad gave her
with the very words
then they were husband and wife, one

In the beginning
God created
then set his couple free
Given minds, bodies, spirits,
an earth sculpted to His design
heaven was part of earth

The freedom twisted, became
less than heaven
there we remain, to live
one foot here, and one foot there
free, but captives in a way

The rains came
with thunder, with lightning
and so they do today
All nature points us heavenward
to help us know ourselves
and taste a bit of God, the Father

Maybe we should change our lines
and have the mother of the groom
give him away as well!
“His Father and I”,
the groom’s mom might say?
Oh my!
They might all cry ‘We do!’
Four voices as one!
The congregation too?
That’s a thought!

Settle down, dad.
Step back further.
Say your lines,
let go.
The preacher nails it very well:
“Whom God has joined together,
let no man put asunder!”

Lin, to my friend John 10/10


Who Gives This Woman…2022-09-03T14:53:57-04:00

Colored Glasses


A lot of folks
put on their glasses
wear them most every waking minute
Some choose dark ones
against the sun
some choose tints
for style, I suppose
I dunno

By far the best
in my book at least
are the ‘rose colored glasses’
that friends use on each other
photo shop, is nothing new!
It’s been used on me
on you
for many years

No blemishes there
no loss of hair, or muss
no shapes that mar
or take away
from love in action
“I see you”
said a chief to a general
way out west one day
The men knew each other’s souls
and respected each other down deep

A mother strokes her child
a father swoops them up
and holds them strong
‘family colored glasses’
are wondrous things

What are we seeing
and how do we see folks?
Ah, a major choice of focus
My wish for you, and you, and you
is for ‘love colored glasses’
touching souls
in beauty

Lin 7/10
Penned for a teacher, who has ‘love colored glasses’


Colored Glasses2022-09-03T14:53:58-04:00

Loving Kindness


Lots of ways to approach this
in one word or two
a whole string of meanings
and all movers and shakers

I saw it just yesterday
when my wife, the daughter
jumped up to get her dad a spoon
She could think his thoughts
and sense his problem
and she moved immediately in lovingkindness

I saw it just yesterday
when my wife, the mom
whipped up an awesome cake
She could think his thoughts, our son
and connected with him and his family
she moved immediately in lovingkindness

I see it so many days
when my wife, the person
is moving as His hands
within the impulses of lovingkindness

It is a life unfolding
in serving others
sensing their needs
filling their cups
with lovingkindness

Hugs, kisses, pats
listening, listening, listening
and knowing
wisely silent, wisely sharing
She’s a little bit of heaven
to those of us who know her

Bless her, Father God,
as she goes upon her way
your way
coloring the earth so beautifully
with lovingkindness

Lin 03/10
Constance June Perry Warfel (kay)


Loving Kindness2022-09-03T14:53:58-04:00

In The Room With Lynne


Alone but not really,
my room flies along
Sixty miles an hour
floating along the road

Sun shining
breezes blowing
view of fields and byways passing
My journey takes me northward

Minnesota in my radio
music mends my spirits
Bach, Mendelsonn, more
fill my car with sound

I’m prone to sing along
operatic melodies flowing
sometimes I help direct
in a stumbling humbling way

Then the piece is over
silence fills the room
a voice is saying something
commenting on the music
on the master
on the times and places

Lynne Warfel’s in the room
her voice assured, knowing
so very much ’bout music
and it’s good

Names like Rachmaninoff,
oh so many names
from ages past
their music stands the test of time
their scores are still the living
breathing music
that carries us, sends us
closer to… something

What was it inside them,
these masters and creating
that put the melodies,
the counter music
molded it together
caused instruments to be created
and bringing it all together,
creating voice and instrument
creating mind and memory
creating wind and string and sound
creating spirit and ear
laying it out note by note
compounding it, soaring on
across the years, the ages
to me?

A thing called love?
A thing called anger? Passion?
Yes, light and dark
Exalting and depressing
all found in the music

And all in the room with Lynne

Selah, Lin 3/10
Lynne Warfel


In The Room With Lynne2022-09-03T14:53:58-04:00

In The Trenches


Picture a handful of men
heads together
listening intently
sifting and sorting
bringing to bear
life experience, commitment

Commitment to the Lord
Savior, Immanuel
commitment to serve
together, they pondered
they prayed

People with problems
hurting, needing help
mundane things like money
making things work
important things like structures
whose in charge,
what’s the plan
Should we build it

Men in the trenches
not by demand
but drawn by love
stepping out
spending time
doing the work of leading

Men under fire
often a hidden sort
subtle, but there
a ‘prowling to and fro’ enemy
Ugly war
A fight for men’s souls

So the men gathered
talked and prayed, decided
to keep reaching out
keep reaching up
loving each other and those
in need

Even learned a meaning:
Love is
an accurate estimate
and an adequate supply
of another person’s need….

So they did it
for their time
and time, indeed, marches on
No two hundred year old saints
the wise doctor said
so we too are passing

Ralph, Gilbert, now Dave
Good men
great men
headed towards heaven
now arrived
leaving their marks on us

Selah, Lin 12/09 Elders at Large
Ralph Norton
Gilbert Hollis
David Baker


In The Trenches2022-09-03T14:53:59-04:00



Life brings precious gifts
for which there are no price tags
One of them is, surely,
‘clicking’, with another person

Happened to me last week,
far from the farm and home
On the shore of Puget Sound
I sat down next to a fellow

He was well groomed and poised
Might say,
“Comfortable in his own skin”
Conversation began
in a casual way
and then just sort of ‘took off.
We bonded.
Ideas flowed and clicked
about the world around us
Two men, one black, one white,
but inside, becoming brothers

Christianity’s like that
giving links
the core in loving Jesus
Histories can be different
but the today
the going forward
can make a bond that holds

How do we assess
How do we address
the slings and arrows of today
and plan our today, tomorrow lives?
I submit
Begin with Jesus

Study him
Meditate on him
Ponder long and hard
Focus on his words, his actions
Take another step
digging deeper
in mankind’s history, and the Jews
It will come together
but not completely, nor perfectly
Indeed we are on earth
and it’s not heaven
So the story’s not all written

It is for us, for you, for me,
to do our part
as best we can
Love God
and fellow man


Lin, post Seattle, Rev. Wayne Perryman, 08/09





Sometimes we see long lists
names and more names
line after line
page after page
Then it happens
The particular letters
that label one person, known
and treasured

We know
‘the rest of the story’
therein lies value
like treasure buried
in a field
causing the discoverer
to sell all they own
to buy the field
buy the treasure

Love is like that
a husband for a wife
a wife for a husband
a parent for a child
a child for a parent
brothers, sisters and more
who order their lives
build on firm foundations

All in the context
of the Creator
who caused
takes home…forever

Lin 03/09



Salts of the Earth


I have caught a flavor
of some of creation
I’ve found it in people
who I know

Some are close
for many years
my learning grows from them
I’ve watched them
can you see
in many different places

I’ve seen them laugh
I’ve seen them cry
I’ve seen them study hard
I’ve seen them ponder
and sometimes not know
sometimes ‘click’ out loud

Some are moments
along the way
Serendipity, you might say
I’d like to give a taste of both

My farming family
Hank and Ad
Ida and Alfred and more
Don and Dorothy
Jake and Lilly
Lou and Arlie for a few
Then there’s mentors
folks I’d copy
like Stan and Marie
Bob and Dee
Dale and Virginia too
Kenny and Lorna Mae

Fold in church
loving folks
like Ralph and Georgia
Paul and Jessie
Bill and Virginia
Dick and Ruth
Carl and June
Herschal and Wilma
Ken and Taschia
Jim and Lydia
Gary and Carolyn
Dick and Marge
Al and Margaret
and so many many more

Salting the earth
with their values
flavoring, oh so richly
the meaning of life and living

In it all
above it all
I can sense a Hand is moving
something I can only glimpse
I can see it
then I can’t
I can smell it
then it’s gone
I feel it oh so strong
and then
where is it?

My thinking grows
with reading, watching, listening
with loving spouse
I sense it coming together
and yet it’s ‘out there’
I can’t quite capture

‘It is through a glass dimly’
even though I’m gaining

Meanwhile I’ll savor
the salt of the earth
In them, I will pleasure

And I will sing:
“God is moving
by his Spirit
moving through all the earth
Signs and wonders
when God moveth
Move of God, in me”*


“All over the world
God’s Spirit is moving
All over the world
as the prophets said it would be
All over the world
there’s a mighty revelation
of the Glory of the world
as the waters cover the sea.”*

Lin 02/09
*authors unknown


Salts of the Earth2022-09-03T14:54:00-04:00



A little girl of 6
smiles and frowns
party gowns and frilly things
A thousand million things
flying around her world

Once was a toddler
looking up
giving hugs that warmed some hearts
Still she leaps
and hugs some folks
some day she’ll knock them down!

Her mind is growing quickly
she likes
she doesn’t
She sings and dances
she reads and listens
and yes she talks!
Her laughter is so beautiful
Oh, so many ways
she fills the days with good
with blessing

Taller and taller she seems to grow
in no time passing mom
What child is this
born in love
nurtured in love
living in love and grace

Evelyn, Grace,
Happy Birthday!

Love, Grandpa
September 28, 2008





She Knows

This place…
From ceiling color
to spider web
from every crack or scratch
on every floor
From every wall where pictures hang
Every window
Every door

She knows this place…

These people
From parents who begat her
Held her, marveled at her birth
and loved her ever more deeply
through the years
To husband, lover
friend companion
To each child born
Sought and welcomed
Loved in turn forever
From topmost hair
to their toes
She knows them

Wherever she is
becomes the home
and she will know it better
begin to mold, to shape, to color
as only she can do

Wherever she is
her people know
shelter and love
are under her wings

Yes, change will come
to people and places
but the God born woman
shows us Him
moves us closer
ever closer, to see
He knows
as she knows
these people, these places…

Lin 03/08





A family gathers round
a bed with crisp white sheets
the patient lies quietly, eyes closed
simply breathing

Someone holds her hand
warmth passes between them

The hand that has touched
since our life began
now squeezes ours
“I’m here”, the message sings

Our hand caresses her brow
smooths the gray hairs back
the moments pass so quickly
yet, time seems to slow to a stop

“Mom”, we say again and again.
“I love you, mom.”
Is all we can say.
Our hearts get stuck
high in our throats.

A nurse comes in
to offer help
whatever can be done
to aid in comfort
for mom and us
“Blessed art those”
comes to mind,
for those who try to help.

How did all the years
go past with blurring speed?
We’d like a few more good ones
We’d like to spend more time
just being together
But life is slipping slowly
away as we can see
We know
mom is passing
nothing can be done

So we hold her hand
and stroke her brow
and speak of special times
hoping, praying
she can hear
and somehow
our voice will help
as she slips to heaven’s door

Selah, Lin 1/08



Jan’s Garden


Dreams come in flowers
of differing shapes and sizes
colors and textures,
to become paintings and murals
that speak to us all

Room settings at Jan’s
found out of doors
speak imaginations
worked into being

While God created flowers
Jan puts them together
in most pleasing ways
to ‘talk’ to us with pleasure
to color our days

She challenges limits
and pushes still farther
to sculpt from the prairie
a garden so grand
it’s tops in the land!

Here’s hoping she’ll rest
now Garden Walk’s done
savor and study
the favor she’s won!

The dreams became real
and now move about
in memories and photos
of the thousand who came
who saw
who exclaimed:
“Wow!” “Beautiful”
over and over again

May the gentle rains
give you ease from your watering
May the summer sun
ease up to moderate
and may you enjoy for a long time
your day in your garden
Garden Walk, 2005

Best to you, Lin 06/05


Jan’s Garden2022-09-03T14:54:03-04:00



Birth and death are linked just so
often it seems, as an older family member passes
a new one is born

I’ve been touched by death along the way
Grandpa Warfel, on a hospital bed
my sister and I had been brought
so his final wishes could be spoken
In my mind’s eye, still
at age 13 then,
I picture clearly I laid my head on his chest
as he spoke what he wanted to say
I could feel his heart beating
and knew he hadn’t long

Grandma, then grandpa Hinton
were next to go, although
they always seemed far away
I didn’t see them much
and wasn’t close at all to them
So I remember their funerals
but both in a surreal kind of way

Then came Grandma Warfel, 96
passing in her sleep one night
Having visited with childhood friends the day before
laughing, remembering, she slipped away
Her simple wisdom remains in me
in so many different expressions

Then came Papaw, my step dad,
so much like my biological father, I’m told.
Neat guy! So bright! Great vocabulary!
Fun! We worked together learning farming
until illness pulled him away, slowly declining
Parkinson’s. A tough one.
I sat with him through the night
pneumonia challenging each breath
stopped, but his heart kept beating!
I quickly stepped across the hall
where my exhausted mom was sleeping
and we stood by his side
as a nurse listened to his heart
two long minutes, and it stopped.
I stepped out into the hallway
and looked out a window south
to watch the sun rising, beautifully…

Next came mom
and once again in the middle of the night
My sister and I were at her side, holding her hand
systems had been failing
and she spoke no more
but I talked with her of happy times
until her last breath came
and she moved from this earthly body
to the heaven she was certain

Grandma Perry was next to go
again our family was there
injured in an accident
we spoke to her of special times
and then she stopped breathing
released from pain, and suffering
Death came quickly to her.

With all these passings
I was aware
at funerals, were small children
and expectant mothers
The seasons of life laid clearly out
the generations represented

Life is precious
and days are counted into years
we, not knowing, must do our best
to act justly
love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God*

Lin, 9/2011 *Micah 6:8



The Quiet After


An office sits quietly
the desk chair empty
for 74 years
the door would close
and confidential matters passed
between client and counselor

Documents streamed from typewriters
and then from word processors
putting down in black and white
lives coming, passing
deeds and contracts and taxes
forms filled out and witnessed
to wit

Ah, it was good
to be a part
to share with a gentleman
and be encouraged
man to man affection, respect
passed along with the papers

Of all the things he did
land seemed a special attraction
In many senses he was a farmer
of the law
and, too, all the things
that come together
to have a crop, and sell it

Now we have the quiet after
reflecting on his life
of near a century
In peace he passed
as in life
he worked out peace
for us

Bud Hatch, 7/2011


The Quiet After2022-09-03T14:54:03-04:00

Two Becoming One


Passion and peace
can so melt together
a little glimpse of heaven can be had

When the created come together
as the creator did purpose
with His blessing
and the blessing of the family
the blessing of community
the blessing of the church
and the blessing of society
youthful passion can certainly soar

The mysteries of creation
‘Male and female He created them.
In His own image He created them.
And it was good.’
in discovery, giving to each other
create moments of passion blessed

From those unions
a child is given
and love that knew no bounds
grows, stretches, grows again with the child

the child is grown
and meets another
and the magic, the mystery
brings a grandchild

The child brings moments
a little head relaxing
melting into our neck
secure, at peace
and perfect rest
The grandchild does the same
and we remember

Decades pass
the two more and more
Paul and Jessie
Dick and Ruth
Al and Margaret
Lin and Kay
and a new peace is born

She can take his hand
or rest her head in his shoulder
as can he
they can be at peace together
Fifty golden years together
two becoming one
and ‘God saw all He had made
and it was very good….’*

Lin 3/11
*Genesis 1:31


Two Becoming One2022-09-03T14:54:04-04:00

A Songbook Closed


It happened just yesterday
a voice was stilled
a hush settled over us instantly

This season of concerts
of music swathing us
wrapping us in emotions and hope
lifting us up higher and higher
has that moment, when,
the concert finished
the songbooks are closed
so often the soloist folds the book to her heart
and there’s just a moment
stillness reigns

The creation of the piece
the discipline, practice of the performers,
the presentation, the gift to those who come
(Oh Come Let Us Adore Him)
the fleeting bonding of performer and listener
all have come together in time

But then it is over
Seconds pass, but just a few
and then comes the applause
people on their feet
Thundering, rolling waves of applause –
Well done! Bravo! Yes!

Folks go home…

Some sixty four years ago,
a baby girl was gifted to loving parents
The song that was in her was shared
a thousand times a thousand and again
She loved, and was loved

What a spirit she had
and what a voice in singing!
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
there’s just something about that Name.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
like the fragrance, after the rain.”…

Clairvoyant, at times?
She blessed us in many ways.

Now the voice is stilled
living in our memories only
But I hear the applause
First timidly
then louder and louder
wave after wave
and I hear a voice
“Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
“Well done.”

Yes, the concert here is over,
the songbook here closed,
The temporary finished
The eternal has begun!

Rest in peace, Rise in glory,
Debbie Savage

12/20/2010 Lin


A Songbook Closed2022-09-03T14:54:04-04:00

The Accountant and the Romantic


The Accountant and the Romantic
are nestled into one
the one I happily call my wife!
Ah, yes, she is an enigma
who chases hard a penny
to make her numbers perfect
and yes, she loves love stories
roses on a trellis, a swinging garden gate
a man and woman deeply in love
finding each other in some night

At first I thought it odd
that an accountant could be so tender
but then I met her dad
got to know him deeply
from trips together near and far
(three weeks in the Antarctic far!)
As we plumbed each other
I found the tender heart
expressed in care for students
long outside the classroom
A love for his mom
that was gripping
a love for his wife
a love for his daughter
indeed, a tender man
and indeed, an impeccable accountant

I note the common thinking
of putting folks in boxes
neatly defined, contained
in ways we understand them
But if you can I wish you
would step upon the cardboard walls
to know the world outside
as perhaps God can see us
in His image
God created
put his stamp upon us
set us here for moments
created a forever
where we can dwell with Him

To Kay, 45 years and counting
Love, Lin


The Accountant and the Romantic2022-09-03T14:54:05-04:00

Kernel Richard Burwash


We have a local fellow
steeped in farming for sure
Blue shirt and blue jeans
he’s mingled with country clubbers

Through and through
an honest fellow
what you see
is what you get
a gift, is he,
in many ways
to me, to thee
and our community

Nine decades now
his hands on the plow
he’s preached to sidewalk pounders
about the vagaries of growing
the crops and animals
that feed the nation
freeing most to other work

One moment shines
for fifty years
he sires a sweet corn feat
“Champaign Rotary Sweet Corn Roast”
is him there is no doubt
He sets aside an acre
researches best genetics
plants and tends the very best corn
than picks it, cooks it, shares it free
to Rotary, church and friends

Peak genetics, peak in growing
picked at peak of sweetness
ears spend a day
soaking in cold water
then are slipped in baskets
Twelve big bags of charcoal
white with heat perfection
steam the kernels half an hour
then are spilled in a pile

Fun to see
a line of folks
buttered, salted ears of corn held tight
chomping down
“Mmmmm. Ahhhhh.
Boy that is good!”
“Well done, Dick!”
“Thank you Richard!”
“Three cheers for Burwash!”
And two hundred people
raise their voices
“Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!”

Intelligence in action
compassion for every one
Maybe there should be a title
Could it be “Kernel”?
In that elevated sense
of the very best

Richard Burwash, Kernel
Gift giver extraordinaire

Champaign Rotary Corn Roast 2010

Lin 07/10


Kernel Richard Burwash2022-09-03T14:54:05-04:00

Loving You


Emotions flow up and down
swirling our days
and relationships
One is very special.

A little one
can easily say
“I love you mommy!”
“I love you daddy!”
and be as sincere as possible
But the depth and height and breadth are short
captured by the numbered birthdays

Adolescence takes some steps
bouncing here and there
between a great big ‘self
and discovering others
with hormones being thrown in
Then “I love you” may get said
to someone of opposite sex
but again, though sincere,
the measuring stick is short.

In college years
our subject moves out
into the partway world
Not at home
but not on own
tethered still, by needs
Hormones roar
demanding attention
so we may find each other
And liking that
along the way
may venture forth the words again
“I love you.”

Three little words
that can carry two worlds
yours and mine
to mist away the other worlds
A hand holds a hand
two people hug
and hold
And the world goes away
for a precious moment

The Good Book puts it this way:
“The two shall become one” There you have it.
Linked forever, come what may

The rhythms come
day after day
big things and little shared
happiness, sadness, neither spared
they walk together now
once again saying
“I love you”

Passing days
are many brush strokes
of a painting being done
two framed on one
the canvas measured
as lifetimes are
we start to see a picture

Children coming
parents going
life is always changing ah so busy!
hurry now!
time is slipping by
Grandma and grandpa
together in evening
watching little ones play

there is a knowing
a seeing deeper
and still they are wont to say
“I love you.”
But now the screen is great and huge
flooded with pictures past
I loved you then
I love you now
I’m loving you tomorrow

Some day
I want to say
“I love you’
my final words before I pass
What I held tight
for many years
will fly away
to heaven

I will have known
in tiny bits
heaven here on earth
because of you
and your saying to me
living to me
giving to me
“I love you.”

Happy Anniversary – 46 years and counting!

Lin 12/08


Loving You2022-09-03T14:54:05-04:00

















What stories could be woven
with ladies with whom you share
there’s probably 50 more
who are somewhere ‘out there’

Someday at a sitdown
pencil and paper handy
your story would be glorious
if you would let it go
Your ‘book’, I’d buy,
to get your take
listen to your story
of those around you





Constance June Perry Warfel


Forty five years now,
And counting
Kayper has stood the tests:
High prices; low prices
Too hot; too cold
No electricity; no water
Too much rain; not enough

She has been a rib
Close to my heart
All of the way
Morning, noon, and night
Day after day
Year after year

From coed to gammy
Her counsel’s always firm
In her yes
And in her no
Honesty, integrity, have been her mark
Hard to think
Nigh impossible
To ponder life without her

While shaping my life
She has fostered others
Giving them life
Birthing, feeding, caring

We turn to her
For a listening ear and heart
Trusting in her judgment

Like a rock
Yet surprising
Both shielding us
And leading us
Through her living example

Best of friends
And so much more
Farm wife
(now `Gammy’)
Reflecting her mother
Grandmothers too!
She is a prize
And precious!

We raise our thanks
That she is ours
And we are hers!

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
For don’t you know
God made her so



Constance June Perry Warfel2022-09-03T14:54:05-04:00

Fallen Runner


Fallen runner
Race done
Race won

So many touches
So many people
Along the way….

Young agents trained
Peer fellowship shared

Looming large
And larger still
Thru it all
Thru it all
He learned to trust in Jesus
Learned to trust in God
Walking his faith

Ah, Ben and Judy
One now fallen
Race done
Race won

Selah, Lin 02/08


Fallen Runner2022-09-03T14:54:05-04:00

A Lady Passing


We can’t help it
don’t even want to try
Our eyes fill with tears
and, when we’re in the right places,
we simply cry.

Emotions need to get out
we’re really not made to keep them
in the right places
at the right times
we need to share them

A tightness in the throat
something is gripping us
and tears welling up
then falling like rain
is how we’re made
how we need to be

“In His own image he made them,
male and female He made them’…
So a part of God
is in each one of us
Mysteries do abound
and mothers were there
from the beginning

The ability to conceive a child
carry them in secret
birth them into a crying world
nurture them until they stand
until they walk away some day
Then rejoice in their parenting
while caring for parents

In a mother’s arms
in a mother’s heart
we live as long as she,
right there, intimately
breathes, touches

Someday, we know,
she’ll slip away from earth
but remain
in the arms of our memories
in the heart of our hearts

Rest in peace

In Remembrance of June Lincicome, mom
March 28, 2008


A Lady Passing2022-09-03T14:54:11-04:00



An extraordinary thing
happened along my way
I caught another glimpse of God
This is how it happened:

I sat in church
my beloved close beside me
I watched a family
two rows in front
sitting close together
father, mother, young son at ease
the father put his arm
around his beloved’s shoulders
(again, a common sort of thing in church)
and then the son
aged six or so
reached high for him
and put his little arm around his mom too

Permission shone
to all who saw
to all who drank it in

Permission is a God blessed gift
precious beyond measure

God the father
Awesome God
stretches us so greatly
can be intimidating
(and maybe should be)

Then Jesus comes along
but in a gentle way
extends his nail scarred hands to us
It’s up to us to take them
-sense permission here?-
to join Him or walk our way

If we do
a journey’s born
another pathway taken
doors begin to open
to places not before seen

We can come into His house
call upon His name
and worship Him
Our eyes begin to see
more clearly
Our ears begin to listen
more deeply
Understanding grows
Permission flows
communion is shared

Permission to come to God

Lin 07/06

To Matt, Annie, Israel and Noah



In Remembrance*


In remembrance of Him
I tore a piece from the loaf
an emblem of a will
greater than sorrow
greater than sin

In remembrance of Him
I lifted a cup to my lips
an emblem of life
poured out for us…, for me

Not my will, but thine, He said
then submitted himself to die

In remembrance of Sharon
words of love were spoken
recognition of a life invested
caring for Christ
caring for others

In peace, she slipped from this life
to a place prepared for her
promised, by a waiting Savior

Her will, at last, became perfectly His
and she is in His presence, forever

Grace like Rain, by Todd Agnew

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
that saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I’m found
was blind, but now I see clearly

Hallelujah, grace like rain, falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains, are washed away, washed away

Twas grace that taught, my heart to fear
and grace my fears relieved
how precious did that grace appear
the hour I first believed

Hallelujah, grace like rain, falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains, are washed away, washed away

*In remembrance of Sharon Garrett


In Remembrance*2022-09-03T14:54:12-04:00

Living Love


I know a piece of love
I’ve read of it in books
Other people know about it
books tell their stories

I know a piece of love
I’ve seen some people wear it
they move in gracious ways
blessing those around them

I know a piece of love
I’ve heard the songs proclaim it
men, women, using words
that circle round about it

It seems that love can build
each age bricks and mortar
strange walls go up
strong, yet allowing passing through
All through life a building
marriage, children, grandchildren
caring for parents
Just when one reaches the top
looking back we see
creation is speaking through the times

For God so loved the world
that he gave his only son
that whoever believes in him
shall not perish
but have eternal life*

Lin 04/09

*John 3:16


Living Love2022-09-03T14:54:12-04:00



Words can wear such differing clothes
Some are mountain top experiences
One leaps to mind, for those who love Him,
Another word has grown as I have
that would be the title ‘Lady’

Sure, she can be a queen
but the word is much larger, not confined
held captive by parentage, nobility
and, Sure,
“In the beginning, He created them.
Male and female he created them.
In His own image, He created them.”

Lady brings together
and often, mother

Seems men are sort of simple
although they have their ways
Gentleman is welcomed too,
but Lady deserves a pause, reflection
for what she brings to us

She softens the world
sculpting away sharp edges
her hands, her touches,
her knowing looks
smiles and frowns
and questioning expressions
link us to still waters
green pastures

And then,
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
she has a baby!

Lift your glass with me
to give a toast to those
who rise so high and stay there:

Lin 10/2011



Hand in Hand


Lots of memories
as a little lad
my hand captured in mom’s
No doubt, no hesitation
I was ‘in good hands’…

City streets
streaming traffic
mom and I on the curb
Her hand tight on mine
I was her prize
but you know what?
She was mine…too!
I just hadn’t thought about it yet

Years in passing
teen years came
and a girl became a girl
Beautiful smile
energetic lass
could run and throw and catch
but a switch was thrown
and things were different
one day I held her hand
others giggled
she smiled

Days rushed past
a surprise coke date
a lady become someone special
very special
and more special
offered her hand to mine
as long as life shall last

The proffered hand
unfettered, free
has value off the scale
mothers hand, fathers hand,
lover forever’s hand
The hand of God, hovering over us

And along came Jesus, man
a hand to children
to friends
to all who come to Him
reaching out
becoming closer than a brother
becoming father and mother
walking with us
holding our hand, always

Albrecht Durer’s sculpted hands
betende hande
symbol of giving, done
May our hands, my hands,
do as well

Take my hand?

Lin 1/2011


Hand in Hand2022-09-03T14:54:13-04:00

Dancing with the Wind


Doctors have their ways
to lead down strange paths
Where our minds work on ice
slipping and sliding on slippery slopes

Awake, but not really,
connecting dots is hard
needles come and go
tv’s show their paths
moving in very private places

Nurses pay us tention
knowing what to do
and when
and why
and where
and then
Doctors pop in and out
Stars of stage and screens
Skills hard to imagine
in their hands and brains
Tools hard to imagine
extend their reach
harm us less
and speed the way to recovery

All in all
mysteries abound
that healing can occur
in ways undreamed til now
and yet there’s more to come

But for now
we’ll say our thanks
and do our best
to do as doctors say
Life is precious
we know
even more
we know

Lin, to Andy, post op 03/08


Dancing with the Wind2022-09-03T14:54:14-04:00



a thousand little pictures
of people growing up
Smiles and frowns
The pictures slip on past
some, hopefully captured
in still frames on some paper

Who knows?
Some day they might be captured on pages of the months
riding atop some 35 squares the month and year somewhere

Captured better
in a mother’s heart on pages written well
Sculpted like the little ones in mind and body, spirit too Forever in each other
molding the meaning of life
Happy New Year, mom!

Grandpa W.



Riding on the Wings


Riding on the wings of prayer
can make some tough trips smoother
Somehow things go better
riding on the wings of prayer

I know it’s so, you see,
as I recently did
Drove fourteen hundred miles
smoother than you can believe

Concern, big time,
was in the seat beside me
A big thing, concern
about a daughter being challenged
‘Auto-immune disease’
the doctors call it
and indeed it is a challenge
a lot of “I don’t know’ in there

Mile after mile, I went
wide awake and alert
hour after hour, I went
moving with the traffic

Now, I’m a farmer,
so I drive a lot
most of it 5 miles per
So thruway speeds
are exhilarating
and the scenery constantly changing
not like a half mile field.

As time goes by
sleepy is normal
so my feet go up
and I quick nap
especially after lunch

Not so, riding on wings
prayer lifting me up
I’m wide awake and alert!

But wait, there’s more!
Indeed, God answers prayer!
At journey’s end
He is there and we realize
He was there, all of the time!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
and thanksgiving to those who pray
lifting us up, so we can
ride on the wings of prayer.

Selah, Lin 5/10


Riding on the Wings2022-09-03T14:54:17-04:00

Tall, Tall Cotton


Once a year
a strange thing happens
Men wear gowns
as well as women

Cued they come to take their seats
Strange hats with tassels
gowns all pressed just so
The end of a journey, they sit

Dignitaries gather
up high on a stage
Folks with titles
Offices gained
they look upon the graduates
they look upon the families and friends

Tall, tall cotton graduation day
graduation ceremonies
Lifetime memories marking

Time was,
I wore the gowns
but I came back
to do it again, and again

Maybe 40 more or so
I’ve been there
now on the officer side
Chairman of the Board
I shake their hands
“Well done!” I say.
Four hundred at a clip.

Of all these times
one stands out
with very special meaning.

There is a young lady
I watched grow up
along with siblings three
Actually, I remember her parents getting married
It’s been a while ago….

Beautiful child
beautiful young lady
but that’s not half the story

Inside, she transcends
beyond the thousands I’ve seen
She is tall, tall cotton

Now I’m a farmer
to be sure
Growing crops for 50 years
I know what happens
to grow a crop
the things that come together
to get to that point
when the growing crop
is splendid
just before the harvest
Thinking, planning, doing,
working hard and tending
sticking with it, thick or thin
and then, sometimes,
it happens:
Tall, tall cotton

Came together
a thousand things
Blessing and my work
A joy to be noted
the special crop
the abundant harvest done

So she came, Suzanna,
across the stage that evening
Yes, beautiful young lady, outside,
but oh the measure inside
Tall, tall cotton
crossing the stage
shaking the hands proffered
Diploma signed, sealed, now delivered
“Well done!”
Hugs to follow soon.

For just that moment
I got to share
with that field of tall, tall cotton
I’ll remember, cherish
the graduate
who moved the bar so high
so few will ever reach it

Selah, Lin 5/10


Tall, Tall Cotton2022-09-03T14:54:17-04:00

Through her eyes…


They are blue
my lover’s eyes
and known to melt me, meld me
in numerous ways:

Her mind is keen
perception fine
in measuring situations
knowing people
in intuitive ways
she often knows them better
than straight line me
who tends to be
the last to sense some subtleties

Her judgment solid
time and again
she is the rock so firm
in sticking to
what she knows as ‘right’
matching knowledge with action

She knows me
knows each child
and spouse and grandchild too
carries burdens
for all of us
in wishing us the best

From only child
to mother of five
and grandmother now to six
her love surrounds
encourages on
each and all of us.

Some forty years and more
she’s held my hand (and me)
advising, helping, sharing, loving
how blessed can one man be?
Indeed I know,
God loves me so,
because, just look,
He gave her to me…

Kay, Kayper, Constance Lin, 08/05


Through her eyes…2022-09-03T14:54:18-04:00

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