Thursday, December 27, 2007

I've Been Tagged =)

Good heavens, stay out of cyberspace for a few days and see what happens. It would appear that I've been tagged by Candace Salima (See: scroll down to the blog that appeared on December 25, 2007)

Here are the rules as I understand them:

Rules of the Tagging Thingy:

1) Link to the person who tagged you and post the rules on your blog.

2) Share 7 facts about yourself.

3) Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, and include links to their blogs.

4) Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Alrighty then---I think I've adequately tackled rule number 1.

Here's rule number 2---Seven facts about Moi:

1. I am the oldest of four children. (This fact is helpfully pointed out at numerous family gatherings by my beloved siblings. See picture above for a look at the four of us during one of our "gigs.")

2. I once milked a herd of dairy goats. =) No, really. The greatest squirt fights of my life took place in a small barn where my brother and I made the milking chore fun by squirting each other repeatedly. (As I recall, my aim was deadly, much to my brother's dismay) My father---a pharmacist---had picked up on the fact that there was a tremendous need for goat's milk for babies who were allergic to formula. And since we lived on an acreage in the country at the time, and both of my parents thought it would be a way to keep my siblings and I occupied---we bought 6 dairy goats and began quite the adventure.

3. I caught a baseball during an all important 4th of July baseball game, effectively snagging the championship win for my team. I also broke the smallest finger of that hand since I happened to use the wrong hand to catch the ball (I caught it with my right hand instead of with the gloved left hand . . . story of my life but I digress) but I was so elated over actually catching that pop fly, I didn't notice I was wounded until after the cheering died down.

4. I play the guitar and piano by ear. At times this proves difficult since I'm only 5' 2". (A little musician humor) But seriously, I did indeed teach myself to play the guitar at the tender age of 12. I endured several years of piano lessons, but it took everyone a while to catch on that I would imitate the songs my teacher(s) played instead of playing the notes on the pretty paper. My piano teachers all threw their hands in the air, not realizing I was gifted, not mentally challenged. Again, story of my life. =) [See picture above to see my beloved guitar. I might mention that this was our first official paid gig. We had been asked to entertain at a Veteran's banquet. It was unfortunate that one of our numbers happened to be "Blowin' in the Wind." I had no idea it was an anti-war song until my father pointed it out to me later. Sigh . . .)

5. I graduated from BYU-Idaho back when it was known as Ricks College. I was an English major intent on becoming a high school teacher. My original goals were to teach English, French, and drama. Then I tried out for a silly musical entitled, "L'il Abner," and all plans changed. (See the blog written on by moi December 14th)

6. I am the proud mother of 3 sons, and one fantastic daughter-in-law. (Yes, Derek, you're back in good standing. ;) Just don't tell your father he isn't gorgeous.) [For that last statement to make sense, you'll have to click on the link to the best husband in the world competition available in the blog that appeared here on December 14th)

7. I am currently serving as the YW president of our ward. This keeps me humble, busy, worried, grey, did I mention worried?

Okay, there are 7 facts about myself. Now to tag seven random people. I think I'll start with my son Derek:; my cousin, RaNae: ; Shellie of (See, I reward people greatly for posting on my blog. ;) Actually, I'm desperate for seven blogsites to add here and one must admit, this was a random choice. Sorry Shellie. But in way of good news, I love your blogsite. Way cool. Be sure to check it out everyone. Let's see . . . only four to go . . . hmmm . . . Anne of (Sorry Anne . . . again, I'm desperate here.) Stephanie of fame who is a really nice person and also a YW president, and Kerry, also of who will probably never speak to me again for picking her . . . sigh . . . one more . . . Betsy of Alabama featured at this link: I know, this isn't a blogsite, but Betsy is a cool person and I tagged her randomly, so I think it should still count. =)

Bye for now,


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The Message

Yesterday I posted a light-hearted set of lyrics with regard to reindeer and Santa. Today I've decided to post something on the serious side. As the celebrated birth of our Savior draws near, we tend to reflect more on His life, and all that it means in our own.

Earlier this morning, as I continued working on a special gift for a relative, I came across a poem I had written several years ago. It was based on a dream I experienced one night. When I awoke, the images from that dream were fresh in my mind, and I tried to capture what had been impressed in the words of this poem.

It is my hope that this Christmas season, we'll hold the Savior close in our hearts, and share that eternal love with those around us.

Merry Christmas!

The Message

The scene—chaotic, the atmosphere tense,
Everyone seemed filled with fear and suspense.
The moment was coming, preparations began,
For the Honored Guest, the Son of man.

Tables were laid out, row upon row,
Tempers were short if someone was slow.
"Hurry, hurry—there’s no time to waste,
"He could come any minute! We must make great haste!"

And so it continued, voices clamoring loud,
Tension was building throughout the crowd.
"It must be perfect!" was the theme of the day
No allowances were made for those in the way.

The sky grew dark, still no sign of The Guest,
Confusion was great—hadn’t they put forth their best?
Fingers were pointed, blame was heaped high,
‘Til no one could hear The Voice from the sky.

It came as a whisper—felt deep inside,
A sweet burning sensation, barred only by pride.
I looked all around—surely they’d heard,
The soft words that beckoned, but it was absurd!

The angry faces seemed quite unaware
Of the Honored Presence hovering there.
He softly called, His voice a whispered plea,
"Come, my children, wilt thou follow me?"

He repeated it thrice, yet none turned their head,
His voice drew away—contention thriving instead.
"Couldn’t you hear Him?" I shrieked as I ran,
"He was here! The Son of Man!"

"You drove Him away with your anger and pride!"
They just shook their heads and pushed me aside.
"Leave us alone, get out of the way!
"We have much to do to prepare for this day!"

Trembling I woke—it was only a dream,
Was the message real? That remains to be seen.
But as we prepare for His second appearance,
Let our hearts rule actions of perseverance.
For the message of love He longs to impart,
Can only touch those with an open heart.

Cheri J. Crane

Monday, December 17, 2007

Bishop Got Run Over By a Reindeer

In keeping with the spirit of Christmas, I've decided to share the lyrics to a version of a popular Christmas tune. (At least it was a few years ago.) If I remember right, we were putting together a tribute for our outgoing bishopric. The people in charge of this event wanted to keep the program light and they asked me to come up with a humorous ditty to "honor" the outgoing bishop.

So, I borrowed the music from "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," and tada, instant classic. =)

Enjoy, and keep a smile in your heart as the final days of the countdown to Christmas unfold. By the way, Santa's helpers in the picture posted above are two of my sons, Devin (green elf hat) and Kris (red Santa hat).

Bishop Got Run Over By A Reindeer

Chorus: Bishop got run over by a reindeer
Comin' home from the church house Christmas Eve
You may say there's no such thing as Santa
But as for we ward members, we believe.

1st verse: There had been a priesthood meetin'
Uncle Jack was sharin' wit
Suddenly there was a phone call
Bishop hastened to answer it.
Seems there was a tiny crisis
His wife, Susie, was stressfully sick,
She'd caught her hand deep in the chimney
Tryin' to clean it for St. Nick.

2nd verse: Bishop laughed till he was cryin'
At his wife who was forlorn
There were ashes on her features
And some say her dress was torn.
The neighbors thought it was exciting,
As they gathered 'round to see
The situation on the roof-top
Belonging to McBishop and Susie.

3rd verse: Bishop pulled himself together
Grabbed a ladder and commenced
To save his bride from her dilemma
Before she grew indignant and incensed.
He tugged---he pulled---he hollered
But it was to no avail
He tried hard not to snicker
As his wife began to wail.

4th verse: It got late and we were worried
We began to fret and doubt
So we called the fire station
To come pull poor Susie out.
They brought their trucks and ladders
We were all so darned impressed
But the rescue was a failure
And poor Susie remained stressed.

5th verse: Bishop had a revelation,
He asked us all to pray
For a tiny Christmas miracle
Hoping this would save the day.
In the air there was a tinkling
The sound of bells from overhead
It was Santa and his reindeer,
Flyin' by in his nice sled.

6th verse: Santa blinked at the commotion
He flew down for a closer peek
And poor Rudolph in his excitement
Caught poor Bishop in the beak.
Santa snapped his magic fingers,
Susie grinned, her hand was free,
She blew a kiss to Santa
As bishop flew into a tree.

7th verse: This tale has a happy ending
The firemen proved their worth
They rescued Bishop from the pine tree
Despite the snickerings and mirth.

Cheri J. Crane
December 1992

Saturday, December 15, 2007

One More Picture =)

I decided to post one more picture since we're wandering down memory lane this week. This one was taken the night of our wedding reception. And yes, Kennon is wearing the ever popular powder blue tux. (Don't make fun. These items were in style during the early 80's---left overs from the 70's disco era). I chose a hat over a veil because I used to collect hats. It was a fun hobby until I ran out of room. ;) Now they're mainly used as costume material for varied occasions like play productions, etc.

We were married on May 1, 1982----and celebrated our 25th anniversary this past year. Here's to 25 more.

Au Revoir for now,


Friday, December 14, 2007

Blast From the Past

As the final moments of the competition (Best Husband in the World) wind down, I thought some of you might enjoy seeing a picture that was taken the night I met my future husband, Kennon. You might say I caught him during the Sadie Hawkin's Race. I took part in a local production of "Li'l Abner," that summer and portrayed the famed Moonbean McSwine. For the entire story, click on this link:


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Best Husband in the World Competition

So, it turns out that an essay I sent in not too long ago, placed in the finalist category for "Best Husband in the World," a competition sponsored by the talented Candace Salima. You can access this competition by clicking on this link:

Scroll down to the husband essays that were posted a couple of days ago, and if you'd like, you can vote for the top 3. You'll find this option on the side bar on the righthand side of the blog. Feel free to vote for my husband, Kennon. =) [This is a hint] My son, Derek, informed me (you can read his comments on the link posted immediately after the essay) that I should have used the word, "handsome" to describe Kennon instead of gorgeous. My bad. =D Other than that, it pretty well states things as they are.

Happy voting.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Christmas is Coming

So I decided to keep things light this week as Christmas draws ever closer. It seems we all have horrific lists of things to do that keep us hopping throughout the holiday season. It's still my favorite time of year.

With that said, here's a light-hearted stab at the crazy pace this season can often inspire. This ditty can be sung to the original tune of "Christmas is Coming."

Christmas is Coming

Christmas is coming
I think I’m getting fat
All of these Christmas parties
Are taking care of that.

My lights are all a tangle
In a box I lugged upstairs
A few glued mirrors—it’s a disco ball
Retro 70's nightmares.

My tree is leaning sideways
Despite the fish-line strings
I’m hoping it will hang tight—
The joy this season brings.

Christmas is coming
I haven’t signed a card
I’m not sure where I put them
I hope my spouse did not discard.

And still there is the baking
The presents that need wrapped
The house to clean and sparkle
Before my nerves have snapped.

The holiday visitations
The beds to have prepared
The cold that I am fighting
A gift my children shared.

Christmas is coming
It’s almost ‘round the bend
And so am I, I must admit
A holiday dividend.

Cheri J. Crane
December 2007
P.S. The good sport posing in the picture above is my wonderful mother who has taught me the wisdom of finding humor in all things. =)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I flipped through a collection of my poetry this morning, seeking something to post, and came across a poem I wrote in 1994. It touched a chord within and I decided to share.

This time of year as we hurriedly rush about preparing for the holidays, it is my hope that we'll reflect on what really matters. It isn't the gifts we buy or make for loved ones---though I'm sure these items are appreciated. In my opinion, it's the time we can spend with those we love, and the way we treat each other that means the most.

I propose that this year as we stand in line after line, as we drive through crowded roadways, and as we decorate, bake, and prepare for the holiday days ahead---we strive to be more patient with those around us, and watch for opportunities to serve. Sometimes a simple smile can go a long way toward easing someone's day. A pat on the back boosts declining morale, a random act of kindness can make a huge difference to a person who may be silently aching.

I know this has been said and shared countless times, but my challenge to everyone, myself included, is to remember the reason for the season. The best gift we can give to our Savior during this time of year is a change of heart. As we emulate His example, we can truly make this a Christmas to remember.


Magic Eye pictures are 3-D, or so they say
If you look at one long enough, an image will give way.
Filled with excited anticipation, I too, began to stare
All around me were delighted, but I saw nothing there.

"Oh, look at it from over here," someone politely said
Obediently I followed to where this person led.
"Now squint and focus, concentrate, an image will appear,"
I gave myself a headache, then said, "There's nothing here!"

Disgruntled and disgusted, the crowd moved away from me
Convinced that I was hopeless because I could not see.
What they didn't know, and what I didn't say
Was a desire had been born to try to see things their way.

I longed to see that image, I wanted to understand
If someone would show and not explain, but simply take my hand.
One day my wish was granted, a friend sensed my strong desire
And vowed to help me find the image that would inspire.

She sat beside me, took my hand, guiding in a manner kind
Until the image was revealed at last---I was no longer blind!
Delighted, I embraced my friend, pondering a poem I'd heard one day
It mentioned we should walk beside, not merely show the way.

That wisdom is oft forgotten in a hurried world of stress,
Example can speak volumes; words alone digress.

Cheri J. Crane


Friday, November 16, 2007


As the famed turkey-day approaches, I thought it only fair to honor these fine specimens from the poultry realm. A rather large wild flock\herd of them lives over the hill from Bear Lake Valley in an area known as Mink Creek, just north of Preston, Idaho. They are fun to watch, and on occasion, dodge as they parade across the road.

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday, remembering to ponder the many blessings we enjoy.

Turkeys on Parade

Turkeys on the run
Think they're having fun
Dodging pilgrim wannabes
They hide behind the trees.

Turkeys on parade
Are convinced they have it made
When hunting season ends
They try to be your friends.

Turkeys with attitude
Border on being rude
They strut across the road
Rebellion is their code.

Turkeys in the rain
Serve to entertain
When droplets hit their head
They look up---drown---fall dead.

Turkeys on a plate
Face their final fate
With tasteful grace, finesse
They're awfully fun to dress.

Turkeys aren't too smart
But they do their part
Making Thanksgiving Day complete
Their revenge: we overeat.

Cheri J. Crane
November 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Finding serenity

I've noticed lately that finding peace in today's noisy, crazy world is a challenge. Countless sources of stress take their toll as we each strive to hurry forward to accomplish our daily list of things to do. Trials surface without warning, shattering any semblance of tranquility we may have attained. When tribulation tests our soul, the question, "WHY?" clamors for attention.

The answers we sometimes seek don't always come as we would wish. They slip inside our hearts and minds when we least expect a reply. They quietly present themselves in silent moments, and often when we take the time to meditate upon the beauty of this world.

The poem I've selected to share today was written during a challenging time in my life. I was constantly asking "WHY?" and the answer didn't present itself for quite a while. It came after tremendous soul-searching, after taking the time to reflect on the numerous blessings that were still part of my life, despite the heart-rending trial of losing a loved one. I found comfort in places of beauty, tranquility in silent pondering, peace in knowing that despite everything, I was still a beloved daughter of God.

May this poem reflect that journey and offer hope to those who travel a similar path.


The answer was elusive,
Shrouded in dark despair---
Blinded from discovery,
I doubted it was there.

Gradually the quest to know,
Faded into pained desire---
Glowing embers of dying hope,
Gave life to the waning fire.

On occasion it would surface,
The question burning through my soul---
Echoing in muted prayer,
The silence taking its cruel toll.

Faith became a lifeline,
Though bitterness beckoned and sometimes won---
But the battle, far from finished,
Taught me to reach toward the Sun.

And when the shadows at last were vanquished,
An inner peace forcing them to depart---
The answer I'd been seeking,
Came and nestled in my heart.

Cheri J. Crane


Monday, October 29, 2007

Halloween Capers

The picture posted with this particular poem has a story behind it. Recently I was asked to write and share a humorous poem for a local Halloween fundraiser. I decided to have some fun with this and found some wonderful items for a silly costume at a thrift store. The orange wig complete with a black bow was hilarious, as was the bright pink visor with a built-in fan. I loved the checkerboard purse, and it wasn't too hard to round up clothing that clashed horribly.

The fake nose and glasses I've had for quite a while---treasures kept in an airtight container with similar costume assessories.

I've always enjoyed Halloween. As a child, I loved going trick-or-treating. As a teenager, I savored costume parties, and taking my younger siblings trick-or-treating. As a mom, I've had a lot of fun helping my sons with costumes, decorating the house, and handing out the treats.

Holidays, as with anything in life, are what we make them. I'll be forever grateful for a mother who exemplifies the importance of seizing the moment---and finding joy in simple things.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN out there!!!

Halloween Capers

Is a crazy scene
Goblins runnin’ willy nilly
Costumes vary
From weird to scary
They all look kind of silly.

Kids go ‘round
All over town
Beggin’ for sweetly treats
I fill my bowl
3 times it’s full
Emptied by ghouls dressed up in sheets.

I don’t mind sharin’candy
The concept is quite dandy
Treats instead of tricks is the rule
It is considered rude
And no, I’m not a prude
But takin’ treats, then trickin’ isn’t cool.

Toilet paper serves a need
Not to be wrapped at warp speed
Around an unsuspecting house along the way
Eggs are food not missiles
Don’t make me write epistles
To the newspaper editor the very next day.

I don’t mean to complain
But this holiday leaves a stain
Upon my porch each year without fail
Fiery paper covers doggy-do
I try to stamp out with my shoe
Inspiring bad words when I share my tale.

So this year I’m a leavin’
I’ve had my fill of grievin’
Over the unfairness of it all
I’ll not hand out sweets no more
From my own front room door
This holiday’s in need of overhaul.

I might find a tree and hide
With a slingshot aimed at your backside
This is fair warnin’ for all you silly ghouls
I ain’t takin’ it no more
No more candy from the store
My mama didn’t raise up any fools.

Cheri J. Crane

October 2007

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Early Snow

Yesterday we experienced a little snowstorm in our mountain valley. The temperature plummeted as a cutting breeze pushed storm clouds into our midst. We received nearly an inch of snow, enough to cause entertaining moments. Roads were slick, sidewalks became slippery, and a tree went down in a blaze of glory, taking a powerline with it, effectively cutting the power to buildings like the local high school.

To commemorate this grand occasion, I decided to share a poem from the archives. This one was written in 1993. Enjoy.

Ode to Winter '93

We were told to pray for snow, our resources were depleted,
We had to have the white fluffy stuff before winter was completed.
And so we prayed with fervor---some went the extra mile,
Fasting with reverent gusto to make the farmer smile.

Oh, how we rejoiced when the first storm came, "It's snowing!" was the cry,
Celebrations occurred across the land when it was two feet high.
"It's a miracle!" was echoed throughout our noble state,
Little did we realize what was to be our fate.

With previous mild winters, we'd forgotten how to drive
On snow-covered roads with the famed black ice; the challenge: to stay alive.
County snowplows worked overtime, trying to stay ahead of the snow,
These brave plow people used stunning words when it began to blow.

Oh, rapture in our bossoms---we've had a great success,
Everywhere we look, we've achieved a wintry mess!
There will be beaucoup water---in the mountains it is deep,
And into our basements and from our roofs, it has started now to seep!

It's not that we're ungrateful, school children express a thankful sigh,
When the sentence is uttered: "There is no school," from the local KVSI.
Snowmen have abounded, snow machines have buzzed their bliss,
Snow sculptures and skiing are now possible, these things we can't dismiss.

And we will enjoy the water, of this there is no doubt,
But lately from the local ranks, there has come a different shout.
"We've got the winter blues, please send spring upon its way,
"And tell those infernal Mormons they can stop praying any day!"

Cheri J. Crane


Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The Journey

Is it me, or has life taken an interesting turn of late? In our mountain valley we have experienced one heart-rending trial after another. The "refining process" has been evident in a myriad of ways.

A little over ten years ago, our valley was hit extremely hard during another trying time. Six wonderful people: four teenage girls, & the younger brother, as well as the father of one of these close friends were taken in an instant. They died together one dark wintry night in a car accident--and our lives were never the same.

We found ourselves reflecting on the sacrifices and journeys made by pioneer ancestors. We were drawn to a painting by the talented Kelly Price Clark that depicted the horrendous ordeal experienced by the Willie & Martin handcart companies. Angels were shown descending to aid in their survival.

I believe there are times during our mortal journey when the mountain we're being asked to climb is so steep, we can't do it alone. It becomes our Gethsemane---a source of tremendous pain . . . and growth.

The poem I'm sharing today was written ten years ago. It came out of the heartache experienced with the loss of those I mentioned. May it inspire hope to any who may be struggling through an uphill climb.

The Journey

The way was long---the journey cold
No sign of relief was in sight
Together they toiled with their limited strength
Their hearts burdened with sorrow and fright.

"How long must we suffer---how can we endure?"
"Will we survive this dark trek into pain?"
And yet they continued---'til they gave all they had
Exhausted, they persisted to struggle and strain.

And just when they thought they had no more to give
Tears leading to hopeless despair,
When they had done all they possibly could on their own,
Angels descended there.

We all make such journeys during our lives
We all suffer and struggle and strain
And during those moments when we think all is lost,
Our Father is aware of our pain.

Oppressive loads are lightened---new strength is found
Angels hover beside the valiant soul
We're never alone through our darkest trials
God is with us and in control.

Cheri J. Crane


Thursday, October 4, 2007

Hitting the Limit

So I spent a few days earlier this week surviving the latest bug going around. Good times---NOT! Have you ever noticed that when this type of thing happens, life tends to hit one below the belt several times in a row. One thing after another until I did indeed feel as though I had hit my limit, literally. But today, the sun is shining, I'm moving on, and I'm actually upright and not swaying. This is good. To celebrate, I'll share a poem on the lighter side entitled, "Hitting the Limit." I wrote it recently in honor of a successful fishing adventure, as the picture posted with it will attest. Posing in said picture would be two of my sons, and my husband. For all of you fisherpersons out there, this is proof there is hope when the day's "catch" seems less than desired.

Hitting the Limit

Mostly when we go fishing
We find that we are wishing
For the days of yore when fish were actually caught
These days it is a rare thing
To come home with a full string
The fish we eat are mostly what we bought.

We drown worms feeling sorry
That their lives were meant for quarry
I apologize to each one that I skewer
Power bait is added next
Deciding which color\smell is best
It would be easier if the choices were much fewer.

Casting in the right spot
Line tangling in a tight knot
Moss is not our friend when hooks are dangling
Much time is spent in fixing
Lines forever mixing
Cross-overs happen when the wind contributes angling.

One day fate did smile
For just a little while
The reservoir was lowered by the drought
One could now catch fishes
For numerous gourmet dishes
A blessing from a trial had come about.

Our limit we did catch
A fish trip without match
We’d barely cast before reeling in a fish
Worms died a noble death
Fish were caught on their last breath
Truly a fisherman’s paradisal wish.

Pictures prove the story
Of our fishing glory
The menfolk smiled brightly and were preening
There was a bit of pride
And only one downside
Who would be stuck with all the cleaning?

Cheri J. Crane
September 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

Autumn Rain

Last weekend, our family decided to drive up a local canyon to enjoy the beautiful fall colors. This only took a few minutes, since we live near the base of several mountains. On this particular day, it decided to rain. By the time we reached our destination, a place called Maple Canyon, it was pouring.

My husband, oldest son, and brother-in-law, all decided to hop out of the truck anyway. I sat inside the shelter of the truck for a few minutes, debating on whether or not I wanted to get wet. Then I realized something, I was missing out. There were colorful leaves everywhere and I couldn't adequately appreciate what was there, until I moved beyond my comfort zone.

I captured some of the most beautiful pictures that I've ever taken as a result. And something of an analogy. Sometimes we have to push ourselves beyond our comfort zone to see the good and positive things that still exist in this crazy world. It's scary, leaving our fears behind to embrace the moment, but as I'm finding, it's definitely worth the effort.

Autumn Rain

A kaleidoscope of color
Whirling in a blend
Greens, yellows, reds and oranges
Combining without end

Brilliant hues abound
Upon the radiant hills
Beckoning in sunshine
And during cloudburst spills

Rain falls fast and furious
Darkening the sky
Filling empty creek beds
With a quiet lullaby

A farewell toast to summer
As fall moves center stage
Iridescent colors hinting
It’s time to turn the page.

Cheri J. Crane
Sept. 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

Origins of Twang

Today's blog may cause a bit of controversy. I realize some of you are country music fans, and there's nothing wrong with that. I just prefer other styles of music like classical, soft rock, some jazz, and classic hits from groups like: BTO, Journey, Supertramp, etc. Call me a product of the 70's, those glory days when country music was frowned upon. =)

Enough said, without further ado, here is the saga of Cowboy George. (Incidentally, the illustration for this particular poem was sketched by one of my talented sisters, Heather J. Littell.)

Cow-Times on the Open Plains
(Or the Origins of Country Twang)

Cowboy George sat pondering upon his faithful steed—
Blissfully he was aware, cow-herding fulfilled his every need.
He’d named them all, it was his way, each cow was precious to his sight,
He ever strived to please them, morning, noon, and night.

He wrote a poem, the cows were bored, he tried to paint instead—
The cows, they merely turned their backs, the cowboy hung his head.
He read them books, they turned away; he danced, they scoffed and smirked,
No matter what our hero tried, nothing seemed to work.

"Oh, woe is me," he sadly cried, "Oh, woe and woe again!"
The cows’ ears perked, they were impressed, by sounds of nasal twang.
They gathered enraptured at his feet, imploring him to sing,
He beamed at his discovery; he’d invented a wondrous thing.

And so at night, and oft times day, he strummed his wood guitar—
Adding, of course, his nasal voice, to thrill cows near and far.
His fame soon spread, the passion grew, his style was copied and often shared,
Country music had been born, cow relationships were repaired.

The years have passed, changes have come, new styles of music persist—
But bestill our hearts, no need to fear, country twang still lies within our midst.
And so we say, upon reflection, our hearts with great sincerity ring,
"Why didn’t the cows trample George before he thought to sing?!"

Cheri J. Crane

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ode to Decrepit Bodies

A little over ten years ago I climbed a mountain behind my house. I live in a mountain valley (Bear Lake) and it was decreed that our stake YM\YW super summer activity would include climbing Baldy Mountain. (There are no trees on top of this mountain, hence it's name) Since I was serving in YW at the time, and I had a plethora of Mia Maids egging me on, I participated in this wondrous event. Long story short, I struggled making the climb. One leg completely shut down and I climbed the final portion of that mountain sitting down. I turned around, facing away from the mountain, and pulled myself up the rest of the way with my arms.

Not long after this adventure, I formed painful, strange looking lumps on both legs. A local doctor freaked, certain I had a form of bone cancer. Two out of town specialists vetoed that verdict; I was informed that I had lupus. It was explained that this is why I'm a Type 1 diabetic, and why I have a form of rheumatoid arthritis. The lumps on my legs were a result of a major arthritic flare, possibly triggered by my attempt to climb a mountain. Silly me.

I've found in my life that keeping a sense of humor about things is a great survival tool. I often find humor in items most people find less than funny. The poem I'm sharing today is an example of this tendency. (Incidentally, the word in the first verse, 3rd line, it as intended. Clime is my twist on "climate," not the "climb" that led to so much fun.)

Ode to Decrepit Bodies

Life is full of challenges, of this I will admit---
Most of mine are due to my body throwing a major fit.
It doesn't like the environment, it doesn't like the clime---
It doesn't like anything, I've noticed, most of the time!

Now I wouldn't really mind this, my spirit is a sport---
But the way my body's behaving, our time together will be short!
If things don't go quite its way, temper tantrums are often thrown---
If there ever was a doubt about who's boss, I'm surely being shown.

Joints stiffen, lumps appear, my blood sugar drops too low---
As my body makes it clear to me that some things have to go!
No more playing dodge ball, no more riding bikes uphill,
No more climbing mountains, it's against my body's will.

No more running with my boys, no more sitting on hard chairs---
It's really starting to irk me, the way my body's putting on these airs!
It hates the cold, it hates all storms, and loudly it complains---
I could be a forecaster; I always know when it snows and rains.

Somehow I have to reach a truce with this body I've been given---
Even though it's challenging enduring this life-style that we're livin'.
Never fear, I'll persevere when my body gets in the way,
Eventually I'll have my revenge on resurrection day!

Cheri J. Crane

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Wonder in the Land

Time for the lighter side of life. I believe this poem is self-explanatory.

A Wonder in the Land

I have a lot in common with a rabbit from Wonderland---
Constantly I check my watch, hoping others will understand.
The words he exclaimed, I call my own as I strive to not be late,
My world is full of craziness, a total frenzied state.

Life has picked up speed it seems, I'm on an inside track---
Always pushing forward, there is no turning back.
On and on I hurry, glancing at the time,
Wondering if sanity will again be mine.

A day-planner is my life-line, missing an obligation is my dread,
The phrase that haunts me most these days: "OFF WITH THAT WOMAN'S HEAD!"

Cheri J. Crane

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Moments Frozen in Time

I suspect everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing the morning of September 11, 2001. Today as a myriad of memorial services pay homage to those who lost their lives on that day, our hearts may feel a tug as we reflect on the tremendous loss our nation suffered.

On April 19, 2005, another national tragedy took place. Most referred to it as the Oklahoma City Bombing. The explosion that rocked our nation on that day claimed the lives of 168 people, some of them children.

As is often the case, I wrote a poem to purge what I was feeling. The poem below is the result. It seems to also fit what took place on 9-11. I originally entitled it, "Thoughts on April 19, 1995. Today I will rename it as follows:

A Phoenix Will Arise

Can a phoenix arise
From the ashes of darkened skies
Despite the sound of heart-felt cries
That echo across the land?

Can we ever understand
The hatred that exists in man
To cause destruction by his hand
Singeing hearts with fires of hate?

What is to the be the fate
Of those who now grieve and wait
Hoping that it's not too late
For loved ones missing still?

Ever burns the iron will
Of valiant souls who'll endure until
Hope is gone and cries are shrill
When precious life is gone.

There will be another dawn
The strong will learn to carry on
Despite heavy hearts; faces drawn
A phoenix will arise.

Cheri J. Crane

Friday, September 7, 2007

Life's Storms

Lately it seems that numerous storms of all varieties have descended without warning. Here in Bear Lake Valley, we have seen our fair share of weird weather. Bizarre frosts, dust storms, wind strong enough to knock out the power, etc. Just a couple of days ago, my husband called from work to alert me to the fact that our entire area was experiencing a tornado watch. This is a rare occurrence for a mountain valley. Bear Lake Valley came through with flying colors during this particular storm, but in nearby Soda Springs, close to the Monsanto plant where my husband works, a tornado did in fact descend. For more details regarding this, see this link:

There are other storms that descend into our lives, varying trials that challenge our peace of heart and mind. As I've mentioned in other posts, several of my friends and family members have been enduring storms of this nature. This kind of tempest can inspire fear, sorrow, and doubt. And yet, if we truly believe that we are beloved children of a loving Heavenly Father, we would cling to hope, to the knowledge that no matter what we're facing, if we'll utilize faith, we can and will survive.

This is a lesson I am constantly learning. Sometimes I need reminded that sudden squalls stretch us in ways not possible in any other fashion. But while the rain descends and the lightening flashes, fear is prone to surface.

During one such storm, I turned to a favorite form of coping, I began writing out what I was feeling. Still grieving over my father's untimely death, on a day when sorrow took the helm, I sat down to write a pity song. And as often happens, Someone Else had other plans. It became a song of hope.

I later performed this song at a fund-raiser for local education needs. It seemed to touch a chord. I was asked to record it for a collaborated work for Bear Lake Valley. Varied singers from our area joined together to perform songs of a positive nature. The title of my song was used as the title of the cassette: Colors of the Rainbow.

To me, the rainbow is a symbol of hope, an indication that all storms will eventually come to an end, and though we may believe otherwise, we are never alone.

Colors of the Rainbow

1st: Ev'ry so often, storms will come our way,
Sometimes they'll stay forever, sometimes for just a day---
And when the wind is howling and the clouds block out the sun,
And the crackling sound of lightening, strikes fear in everyone,
Hold on tight together as the rain starts pouring down,
For the colors of the rainbow will soon come, shining 'round.

2nd: Ev'ry so often, trials will come our way,
Sometimes they'll stay forever, sometimes for just a day---
And when your heart is breaking and the pain blocks out life's light,
And the hope for a new tomorrow, never seems in sight,
Hold on to one another as the rain starts pouring down,
For the colors of the rainbow will soon come, shining 'round.

Cheri J. Crane

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Reunion Bliss

The last fling with summer pastimes has come and gone. Labor Day weekend often heralds last minute camping trips, hurried visits to local theme parks, and possibly a family reunion of sorts. With that in mind, I will now share a poem I wrote years ago concernng the joy of reunions.

Reunion Bliss

It's reunion time---the whole family rejoices,
Except for my husband, it's not one of his choices.
He seems to feel that they ruin the summer
And when the invitations come, he says it's a bummer!

"If I want to see someone, I'll go to their house,
"I don't like to forced!" He's such a fun spouse.
And when the grand day arrives, how I've sweated and slaved,
Almost as much as he's ranted and raved:

"I am not going! Did you hear me? I'm not!
"I cannot be bribed, nor can I be bought!"
Ignoring his "growl" I just load the car
And hand him the keys, with the door left ajar.

He grudgingly follows, complaining all the way,
Lest I assume he might enjoy the blessed day.
"This is ridiculous, I don't know anyone,"
"I'll sit and waste time, and I'll never have fun."

Violins seem to play as he shares his sad tale,
Even our boys seem impressed with his wail.
Soon we arrive, the boys and food are unloaded,
Relatives approach---has my husband exploded?

Much to my amazement, as it happens each year,
He talks to these people as if they were dear.
"Why Uncle Henry, is it really you?"
"Cousin Leroy, stop by next time through!"

And so it goes, on and on---
Until evening descends and most everyone's gone.
We load up the car and as we pull out leave,
My husband says something I have yet to believe:

"That was really fun! We'll have to come next year!"
There's a tiny little part of me that can't believe he's sincere.
If only I could capture those precious words on tape,
We'd be in terrific reunion-going shape!

Cheri J. Crane

Friday, August 31, 2007

Last night we drove over to beautiful Bear Lake for a picnic. We arrived just ahead of a storm, and as luck would have it, I happened to have my camera with me. The resulting photos reminded me of a poem I had written several years ago. Then, as now, there had been a series of challenging trials, inner storms that inspired new growth. May I remember the lessons of that time.

Withstanding the Elements

The storm gathers
Helpless to stop it
We can only endure its wrath
Gathering courage and comfort
From those around us
Who are veterans
Of the clouds.

Cheri J. Crane

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ode to the Splendor of the Grain Field

As I mentioned in my last blog, numerous friends and family members are currently enduring the Refiner's Fire. Because of this, I waxed a bit on the serious side. This go around, I'm going to post something with a bit of humor, since as we all know, laughter is indeed the best medicine.

Fall is in the air. Harvest time is around the corner, and in this neck of the woods, that means the pipe-moving days are at an end. Here's a little something I wrote in 1993 regarding the joys of moving sprinkler pipe. My 3 young sons & I had been assigned pipe-moving detail on my mother-in-law's 80 acre field. Good times as I recall. Enjoy:

Ode to the Splendor of the Grain Field
Next Summer I Ain't Movin' Nobody's Sprinkler Pipe

It started out as summers do, except for the frosty temps,
But by and large last summer was filled with dreams we all had dreamt.
A little bit of camping, fishing, and the like,
We even took time out for a nifty summer hike.
Then one day it ended, our blissful season cut too short,
"Sprinkler Movin' Time" was announced & I was not a sport.

"I don't do sprinkler pipe, it's really not my thing,
"If I'd wanted to play farmer, I would've accepted a farmer's ring!"
My husband smiled and assured me, there was no need to fear,
"I would never make you lift a pipe, so settle down, my dear,"
"But it is time, our boys have grown, they need this summer chore,
"It will be good for them to earn their school clothes from the store."

And so with pained misgivings, I grudingly gave in,
Sensing I was outnumbered concerning our children's discipline.
My husband had but one request---we take turns with this new delight,
To see that no one would be hurt, and make sure the pipe looked right.
"The night shift will be hardest---I'll handle it," my husband volunteered.
Giving him a suspicious look, I questioned what I'd heard.

"Surely morning would be the worst, with ice and cold and such?"
He told me I was mistaken, to relax, I worried too much.
Reluctant and still not convinced, I decided to give it a fair try,
My sons were too excited, and it was their manhood I would deny.
Agreeing to the deal, I vowed to do my best,
To help my sons succeed in this wondrous, newfound quest.

My first dilemma concerned the truck, my husband's pride and joy,
In my humble opinion, it existed to irritate and annoy.
It loved to kill and sputter when I was behind the wheel,
Causing me to utter vicious things when it refused to be mobile.
And so I'd call it appropriate names for being cantakerous,
Naturally it always started for my husband without a fuss.

The first morning of our adventure dawned chilly, frost hanging in the air
Even with thermals on, we all froze our derriere.
True to form, the truck wouldn't start until I'd threatened its very life,
I was tempted to tell my husband I didn't want to be his wife.
But on we went to persevere in the piece of junk called truck,
Driving through what most would call, disgusting farmyard muck.

Pulling alongside the fence, my sons alighted to the ground,
Excited for this chance to prove their muscles were quite sound.
Our first mistake was assuming this excitement would last long,
They were ready to give up when things went very wrong.
They couldn't turn the valve on, though they obviously strained,
And so I moved to assist, my expression extremely pained.

It wouldn't budge even with my help until I gave it a final tug,
And was hit in the face with a geyser and a device they call a plug.
Now that I was wounded and thoroughly soaked to my poor skin,
I decided to help the boys along and grabbed a grey pipe to begin.
It's good thing women have hidden muscles, items men don't know we possess,
It took every ounce of strength I had to pull us through this mess.

My boys groaned their combined misery as pipe was hoisted into the air,
This pain-filled endeavor nearly inspired me to cave in to despair.
But the pioneer blood within my veins refused to be denied,
We would survive this torture, it was now a thing of pride.
No longer cold, we were glistening from the effort that was needed,
To make sure the pipe was moved to water what was seeded.

Finally the last pipe hooked; I sent one son to turn the valve full blast,
Too late we saw one pipe hadn't sealed, the disaster was unsurpassed.
Water flowing into the air, not through the pipe we'd moved,
I called it names I reserved for the truck for each pipe had to be removed.
Starting over with expressions grim, we retraced every step,
Until at last the water flowed without an intercept.

Rejoicing in a job well-done, we marched through mud up to our knees,
Reaching the truck in record time, my hand gripped the needed keys.
I approached the truck with a manly stride, one both true and sure,
Swaggering up to open its rusted metal door.
Inserting the keys with gusto, I defied it to throw a fit,
And when I turned the ignition on, the truck sensed that I meant it!

It fired up the first time, the gears shifting beneath my hand,
It had learned I was the boss, even though I was not a man.
We headed home much later than we'd intended or designed,
But to our roles as sprinkler movers, we were now resigned.
Breakfast tasted wonderful, though it was closer to afternoon,
And when my husband returned from work, I made sure he sang a different tune.

But after the tongue-lashing, much deserved I must admit,
I assured him I would tough it out, much as I hated it.
I was breaking new ground within, I was tougher than I thought,
And I loved seeing my husband grovel, now that he'd been caught.
He'd known all along the challenge this task would be,
And he spent the remainder of the summer, making it up to me.

Cheri J. Crane

Monday, August 20, 2007

Are The Stars Still There?

This past week has been filled with numerous adventures. Several friends and family members are dealing with tremendous challenges. I suspect it's part of the joy of the latter days. With that in mind, the other night, I went outside to see a meteor shower that was taking place. It reminded me of another time when I had slipped outside to watch the stars. Here is a snippet of a journal entry that describes what took place:

. . . I had been feeling quite discouraged. I think we all experience times like that in our lives, moments when we wonder why life has to be so challenging . . . One night when everyone else in my family had gone to bed, I wandered outside. Sometimes listening to the night sounds brings comfort and so I sat on the porch and listened for a bit. I remember silently praying to understand why I was feeling so down.

A thought came to mind: "There is still beauty in the world." I agreed, but wanted to know why things seemed so bleak. I had been having some challenging health problems and there were several trials taking place with some of my extended family members. As I wondered why everything had to be so difficult, I stood and glanced up at the sky. It was one of those star-filled nights—pinpoints of brilliant light dotting the sky. Again the thought came to mind, "There is still beauty in the world."

As I continued to gaze at the stars, I noticed that clouds were moving in. This is something that has probably occurred millions of times, but for once, I was watching as it happened. Within minutes, every star was covered. I was amazed by how quickly the clouds had shrouded the sky. Another thought came to mind, "Are the stars still there?" With that thought came the peace I had been seeking. Other thoughts came, "Does your Heavenly Father love you? Did your Elder Brother lay His life down for you? Are all of these things true despite the discouragement, despite the challenges, the heartaches, the pains of life? Are the stars still there?"

The lesson I was taught that night has been such a comfort. Every time I start feeling a little down, it comes to mind: "Are the stars still there?"

To make a long story short, a friend thought I should write a song based on that theme—so I did. Here are the lyrics:

Are The Stars Still There?

1st: Dark were my thoughts--all around were storms of heartache and strife
All those tests that sometimes just go with life
Mountains that seemed too steep to climb.
I walked outside--to clear my head and ask my Father, "Why?"
My inner peace had dissolved for a time
Where was the faith that was mine?

Staring at the star-filled sky--my heart revealed its inner cry
"Father, if You're listening help me know the reason why."
A thousand tiny twinkling lights were covered, hidden from
my sight
Grey clouds veiling light that once had shone so bright.
Darkness seemed to fill the night as every star was veiled
from sight
Yet peace crept in my heart and comfort eased the black despair
As the question came, "My child, my child--Are the stars still there?"

Now when dark thoughts come and some nights seem too long
I remember the words of this song
When everything seems to go wrong
The answer to my prayer--the night I struggled with despair
The night my Father heard my silent prayer
And reminded me the stars are always there.

Our Father's love is always there--through layers of grief and care
Hope is shining brightly through the clouds of dark despair
A thousand tiny twinkling lights--though covered, hidden from our sight
Grey clouds veiling light that once had shone so bright.
Though darkness seems to fill the night--And every star is veiled from sight
Peace and love seep through to ease the black despair--
Remember the question--"My child, are the stars still

Cheri J. Crane

Monday, August 13, 2007


All righty then . . . I was going to post a silly poem this morning, then I stumbled onto one I had written a long time ago that is more along the lines of seriousness. (I warned that the mood of these items would vary)

This is a poem I wrote after being told I was through blessing the world with posterity. I'm a Type 1 diabetic, and a few complications had set in with the arrival of son # 3. Let's just say that we were both quite fortunate to survive that adventure. I knew it was a miracle that we had both pulled through, but it still stung, knowing that part of my life was over. I thoroughly enjoyed being a mom, and I had always wanted a large family. Being told I would have to settle for 3 was disappointing. This event occurred about the same time I was called to serve in the YW organization years ago. (Yep, I'm LDS---more commonly known as a Mormon.) Wading through the emotions of that time, I tried to look on the bright side: I was blessed with 3 wonderful sons, and I inherited numerous daughters through an inspired calling.

There are moments in all of our lives, when we have to shift gears and head in a different direction---this was one of those life-changing occasions.

A door had closed firmly, the time had passed
An era laid to rest
But as I glanced down the darkened hall,
Another door beckoned, another test.
Fearing the challenge, yet embracing the chance,
I'm drawn toward this new light--
A portal I would have missed before,
Blinded while the other remained in sight.
Cheri J. Crane

Saturday, August 11, 2007

A bit of poetry

Hi out there in blogdom. This is my first attempt at putting together my own blog site. My brother has helped me with a website for years. You can find it at when it's up and functioning. At the moment we're experiencing technical difficulties that my brother is hoping to resolve in the near future. So it if doesn't pull up, try again later.

Since I started out writing poetry, I thought I would begin by sharing a short one of those. I tend to write all kinds of poetry---differing styles---moods, etc. This one is entitled: The Quandary. As I recall, my inspiration was hitting a cement post at the local bank with a car door, inflicting a bit of damage. Certain my husband would not be amused, I drew up my last will and testament and attached it to the wounded car. It worked---my husband laughed instead of erupting.

The Quandary
The day was long, the hour grim---
Fate had decided to enjoy a whim.
It was my choice how to react---
Throw myself, or remain intact.
Let temper rule, or use control---
What would be my chosen role?
Tears longed to come, and yet it seemed,
A hidden mirth within me beamed.
To laugh or cry, which would it be,
As disaster loomed, surrounding me?
With a defiant twinkle in my eye,
I laughed out loud, then began to cry.
Cheri J. Crane