Brenda's 40th Birthday Poem
(January 11, 2008)

How quickly by the years do fly
To make us older you and I
The year was 1968
January 11th was the date
The nurse told me I had a son
But of a son’s characteristics you had none

There was something about you right from the start
And you soon worked your way right into our hearts
The siblings worked with you and soon you were able
At 7 months of age to walk under the table

Well they couldn’t leave well enough alone
But they taught you to talk and this set the tone
The word became flesh and we called her Brenda by
And the world you live in was never the same

Hubert Humphrey was known as a great talker too
But he couldn’t hold a candle to you
Traveling, every word on every sign was read
And the Gettysburg Address bounced around in our

Every state, capital, and every President were
mentioned by name
And even each word on the dash board was also fair

Not very interested in boys until 6 college men
Moved in right next door, it was different then
A spark of interest raised its head
But she soon was more interested in her work instead

FMC helped you continue with more and more learning
Degrees from UCF and Rice helped increase your

You have served the Lord through years 2 score
By helping your fellow man and what’s more
You have lived a life in God’s appointed way
And continue to do so to this very day

Not only do I, and your mother too, wish you a happy
birthday today.
And pray the Lord be with you all of your way.

Whenever, wherever, God leads in the years left to you
May your Father in heaven love you as we do.
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Page 8  
Over The Back Yard Fence
(June, 2008)

Fences are built of strings of wire ;
some of metal and some of wood
in various places where they think they
Reasons for fences some old and some new  
Some to keep things in and some to keep
them out too.

Some for beauty and some to grow vines
For some like to see the ivy twine
Some feel more secure and some closed in
But of all the reasons I think mine will win

For neighbor and I like to lean on a post
And solve the worlds problems better than  
whether for beauty of service when I go
To visit with neighbor over the fence.

Written by Bob Blanshan in honor of the
memory of Richard Hagen and of the times
we met over the back yard fence.

To Tom Avery
(Read at Tom Avery's Memorial Service, 2008)

Tom, the Lord is with you
You need not go alone
As you make the journey
To your eternal home

You have run well, now it's over
And you have run the race
Now you know it was all worth while
As you look upon His face.

We'll miss you, but we'll have you
in our memory
Wait for us we coming
Again your face to see.

You can show us heaven's glories
Since you have gone ahead
And we'll see unfolding Bible stories
That we've so often read

So Tom, goodbye for a while
Together we'll soon be
And enter in with you
Into God's eternity.