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from this site:
Flowers on Highway 12
A poem from the children to their parents on their 50th Wedding Anniversary
The recipients of this poem have kindly given their permission for their story to be told on this site. (Requested privacy is always respected).
OPTION (not recommended): SKIP REQUEST AND GO STRAIGHT TO POEM
Q1: What is your Name? A1: Sue Jones
Q2: What is your Email Address? A2: (withheld for privacy)
Q3: Who do you want the poem written for ?
A3: My parents - Syl and Margie Ziegler
Q4: Why do you want the poem written ?
A4: My parents are celebrating their 50th Wedding Anniversary this coming Sunday (April 29, 2001) and us children would like to honor them. Their actually 50th Wedding Anniversary Date was April 5, 2001.
I would write a poem but unfortunately I don't have that kind of talent. I have tried writing something for this special occasion but just can't seem to pull it together. I guess I'm too critical of my writing ability.
I would like the poem to be written from their children (not just me).
Q5: What are the key messages you would like the poem to send ?
A5: They reared 7 children - Steve, Jeanne, Dale, Jerry, Sue, Betty, and Karen. There are 15 grandchildren.
We grew up on the farm that my Dad was born and raised on in Middleton, Wisconsin. We grew up with very strong German backgrounds on both sides of the family.
My Dad milked cows in the early years (up to 1960 when my his knees and back finally couldn't take it anymore) and raised crops. After that he raised calves, pigs, chickens, and cash crops.
My parents had a very deep love for their children--sharing and taking care of us children right into adulthood. They have helped us with remodeling our homes to actually helping some of us build brand new homes. They have a lot of faithfulness and have passed on their Christian values and taught us that God has a plan for each of us. Us children learned what it was like to earn a day's pay while working very hard.
They are always there to lend a hand, give advice, or provide a shoulder to cry on. In other words, my parents were always there, no matter what and still are.
Q6: Do you have any funny, sad, happy, embarrassing or otherwise memorable moments that you would like to share ?
A6: Some very special memories:
We always said prayers before and after meals and at bedtime. We always went to church on Sundays and holy days.
Every nice Sunday afternoon my Dad would take his 7 children out into the huge front lawn and play softball while my Mom took a well deserved nap. People driving by would always wave and of course we would bat a few balls across the road and then decide who would risk their life to go get it. We always had the best time.
In the very cold (brrrrrr) Wisconsin winters we used to build these 8 foot snowman with the help of a farm tractor with a loader in front. My Dad would also pile snow banks so high that us kids would play king of the hill. He would also pull us on sleds behind the tractor (what fun we had).
We had two wonderful dogs at different times in our childhood, Penny Whooper and Pal. There were always lots of cats and bunnies on the farm too. We remember taking baby animals into the house to bottle feed them.
For a very very short time we had this mean pony named "Princess" that threw almost anybody off of her. A mean-tempered pony to say the least but it was the challenge to try and ride her. We still talk about her.
Since my parents live on a very busy highway, my mother's garden was viewed by hundreds of people a day. She was often called the "lady with the flowers on Highway 12" because of her beautiful display of flowers. My mother also used to can tomatoes and other vegetable produce and grew the best strawberries. My mother makes the best apple pie around.
My Dad is a very hard worker and to this day, even though he is a retired farmer, he keeps his hand in helping his son Jerry on his farm. My Dad is in his glory when he gets in that tractor or combine and gets in the field. The old saying that "you can take the boy off the farm but you can't take the farm out of the boy" rings true with this man. He is the honorable farmer and man I know.
Q7: Do you have any other comments or thoughts ?
A7: As you can read, my (along with my siblings) memories, had a very good childhood. I can't think of better parents to have and only wish that other children could have grown up like we did. We didn't have a lot of money or material goods but we didn't need it. The love and caring shared by our parents is all we ever really needed and it sustains us to this day and will when they are gone.
I'm sorry that I reached you so late but I just found your website last night.
I hope you will be able to get a poem together on such short notice. If not, I will understand and keep you in mind for future celebrations.
From what I have read, you do a wonderful job.
Q8: What style of poem would you prefer ? (Happy, sad, romantic etc.)
A8: Happy and romantic (like my parent's life together).
Q9: Choose either the economy, standard, unique, deluxe or combo package. A9: Deluxe
Memories are made up of magic,
they're made up of all tinsel and lace,
a memory here of a wonderful time,
a memory there of a wonderful place.
And that's how we remember our childhood,
such a great place and such a great time.
So please sit back, and let us look back,
and I hope you enjoy this wonderful rhyme.
We grew up in Middleton, Wisconsin,
where the winters can take your breath away,
but memories of eight foot snowmen,
soon melt on the breeze of a Summer's day.
The "Lady with the flowers on Highway Twelve",
gardened well and her time was wisely spent,
thousands got to know her beautiful displays,
can you smell again that heavenly scent ?
I remember our softball games,
we played while Mom had a deserved nap,
you encouraged us from our early years,
we'd hit the ball, you'd cheer and clap.
We've always loved our animals,
some were hand reared and bottle fed,
they say that you can lead a horse to water,
but boy ! Princess wasn't that easily led !
I remember the canned tomatoes,
and making jam by the pound,
you've always grown the best strawberries,
and Mom, you make the best apple pie around.
Dad milked his cows in his early years,
bent over on a cold concrete floor,
I guess there were too many early mornings,
because his knees and back said "no more" !
You can take the man off the farm,
but you can't take the farm out of the man,
and Dad is happiest when he's combining,
and loves it when Jerry's harvest is to plan !
We've discovered the power of prayer,
and the wonder of working so very hard,
there have been times it has been a battle,
and at times we've fought for every yard.
But you've always been there for us,
to lend a shoulder, a hand or to give advice,
I've never met anybody so honorable,
so adored and even as half as nice.
Because we had such a very, very good childhood,
I think that as parents you've been the best,
we have been surrounded by your love,
and with that love we've been truly blessed.
You've helped us to build our houses,
and like all of the greatest ever teams,
you've cemented those homes with your love,
and shared your excitement for our dreams.
You two possess a very deep love,
for one another and for all of us seven,
a love that was born in the Cosmos,
a love that could only be made in Heaven.
You've put your faith in the Lord,
and you've passed that faith rightly on,
you've shown us the Lord's light,
and for us all it has brightly shone.
And your love and your wonderful care,
will always keep the winter chills away,
we are rich beyond our wildest dreams,
what more can there be left to say ?
We love you both so very much,
today, tomorrow and for evermore,
we just wanted to say THANK YOU,
and that's what these words are for.
Because the seven flowers on Highway Twelve,
have grown up now and sown their seed,
because they were tended with so much love,
and that's all that they will ever, ever need.
Copyright Allen Jesson :) 2002
With much love to both of
you--Steve, Jeanne, Dale, Jerry, Sue, Betty, and Karen.
I was just overcome with emotion when I read your poem. You turned this
around so fast it is truly incredible. You have captured the essence of my
parent's life and how us kids fit into their 50 years of marriage. You
seemed to take almost all the info I provided to you and used it in the
poem--truly amazing. You have a talent that is wonderful and God given. I
will be showing this poem to a lot of people I know long after the party and
recommending your wonderful service.
I have read the poem aloud many times and finally on the 6th time, I didn't
cry as much. I think I may be able to read this at my parent's 50th wedding
anniversary party without crying (big maybe). I know my parents will be
moved by the poem and so will my siblings.
I have only 1 verse in the poem where there possibly could be a change. I
have excerpted that and made a change. I just didn't care for the "plopping"
sound verse. It just didn't sound right to me. Anyway, here is my change:
"I remember the canned tomatoes,
and making jam by the pound
you've always grown the best strawberries,
and Mom, you make the best apple pie around."
Also, please add to the end of the poem "With much love to both of
you--Steve, Jeanne, Dale, Jerry, Sue, Betty, and Karen.
As to the paper of my choice, I will select the single rose as roses were a
big part of my parent's wedding day. My mother carried a bouquet of a single
orchid surrounded by red roses. Truly beautiful.
I would like the poem autographed and I would like to receive the original
handwritten draft. I want to see how you pulled this together.
I will let you know next week about publishing the poem, name, and my story
on your web-site.
Thank you so much and I will be anxiously awaiting the finally product. I
will let you know how the party and the poem reading went.
P.S. I especially loved in the last verse how you tied in my Mom's love for
flowers, sown seeds, seven kids, and growing up on Highway Twelve--WOW--a
lot to include in one verse.
Footnote (after the party);
Sorry I didn't get back to you last week. I had not had a chance to get
online until tonight to respond to your e-mail.
The party was great. It was a beautiful day and the entire family really
enjoyed the day. I was disappointed that I could not read the poem myself. I
unfortunately had a bad case of laryngitis from a cold/sinus infection so I
asked my oldest niece Amanda to read the poem and she did a beautiful job. I
think the poem was very well received by my parents. Later in the day when
they got back to their house they were able to read it again and really
absorb the poem.
My siblings were surprised that someone like you could write a poem like
that and not know the people involved. They were impressed and they all want
copies of the poem. Once I receive the final poem from you and since your
poem is copyrighted, can I get your permission to color copy the poem for
each of my siblings as a remembrance of our parent's 50th Wedding
Anniversary Party? (Yes, Ok, Ed :)
I asked my folks if it was ok for you to post their poem on your website and
they said that was fine with them. I will look forward to seeing it on your
Once again, you did such a great job and I have already told others about
your services and website. I will be in touch in the future for you to do a
poem for my grandmother who will be 92 in September.
Thanks again for your wonderful talent and keep up the great work!!
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