Some Stayed, Some Strayed

Orange blossom, San DimasThe wider the span in years becomes

Between childhood and where we are today,

The more we yearn for the simpler times

And wonder what it was that caused us to stray.

Orange blossoms, lemon groves and strawberries

Eventually gave way to smog;

A tight piece of string between two tin cans,

Became smart phones, computers and blogs.

Walking to the beautiful Puddingstone Lake

Was an adventure, never a chore!

Searching as we walked for empty pop bottles,

To cash in at the neighborhood store.

Our clothes never had designer labels,

We shopped at the Goodwill store;

T shirts, Levi’s and black & white Hi-Tops…

You don’t see that anymore!

When my mind takes a ten minute mini-vacation,

I always hear my soul say “Thanks”!

But the memory I know I miss the most,

Was hanging out at the San Dimas water tanks!

“The Little Store”, “The Big Hill”, and Dunnings place,

Are landmarks burned into my mind;

Even if I looked for the rest of my life,

Another San Dimas I never will find!

~ James Ryland

Affairs of the Heart is available for purchase in e-book format.


My New Neighbor

Mom and Dad moved out of the city,
And bought a house way out in the sticks.
I knew I wouldn’t like it there;
I had no friends to play with!
This new place was in the desert-
No grass, no swings, just dirt.
They said that I would like it there,
It would just take a little work.
Within about a month or so,
New families started moving in.
Of course, they lived on different streets;
I thought I’d never get a friend!
Then I saw a moving van
Unloading stuff next door.
They had better have a kid my age,
Or I was going to run away, I swore!
I didn’t see anyone for a couple of days,
Then a car pulled up in the drive.
A Dad got out, and then a Mom,
Please let there be a kid inside!
The rear door slowly swung open,
I could barely see the top of a head.
A kid my age finally got out;
Maybe there’s another one instead.
I’m afraid I was stuck with this one,
It looks like we’d be neighbors for life!
The way this tract is still empty,
She’ll probably end up being my wife!
Yes, my potential best friend was a girl,
And girls have cooties, you know.
They never want to play football,
And everyone knows they can’t throw.
I was in no hurry to meet her,
Girls don’t play army, so they don’t exist.
Then one day I ignored her-
She chased me down and used her fist.
“Don’t be rude, you boy, you!” she screamed,
“I was only trying to be nice!”
I told her that I didn’t like girls,
And that’s when she hit me… twice!
She made me say I was sorry,
(My arm was beginning to go numb!)
She told me to tell her she’s pretty,
And all the boys in the world are dumb!
Since that day when I saw her,
I’d smile and say “Have a nice day!”,
I was always so sweet when I saw her,
Because she demanded it that way!
This story is true, word for word,
I wouldn’t lie about this to you-
That’s how I met your Mother, Kids,
So be nice if you know what’s good for you!

Cobalt Blue Thunder

Climb up here inside,Let me take you for a ride,
In my ’55 Chevy truck.
She’s dressed in Cobalt Blue,
The chrome is all new,
She’s old but I’ve never been stuck.
The big inline six
Just wouldn’t do the trick,
She had to run as good as she looked.
The three on the tree
Just wasn’t me,
But a four on the floor had me hooked.
With air bags instead of springs
She rides like a dream
Without a shake, or a shiver or a squeak.
With a 502 that’s brand new
All chrome and Cobalt Blue,
On the road all you’ll see is a streak
The seat is soft leather and black
And with the small window in the back
We’ll be comfortable when we’re finally alone
So let’s go, if you please,
And cuddle up next to me,
You may never want to go back home!

Cobalt Blue Thunder

The Hardest Part

The hardest part about any love,
Isn’t finding love at first.
Many people believe it is-
But, no, it’s not the worst.
It’s not even learning to live,
The way your new love does,
Or listening to their stories
About all their previous loves.
Some believe it’s the hardest when
Children begin to appear;
Three little children, six sets of rules,
Can bring on so many tears!
Each and every phase of love
Will have its highs and lows;
But without a doubt the hardest part
Is that last good bye and letting go.

Side Note
Be sure the people you love know that you do,
You won’t have a second chance, but you will have regrets. 

The Treehouse

The Treehouse

One hot summer 1964
I was a boy of almost 10,
Spent most of that summer in a treehouse
Built by me and all of my friends.
For boys, it was a mansion,
Towering way up in the sky,
I don’t know how it stayed together,
But I think I do know why.
Each morning we would climb that tree,
Reaching maybe 6 foot high,
We built it inside a kumquat tree,
On wood we didn’t buy.
Carter, Cooney, Watson and I
Learn to love the kumquat fruit.
Studying women in the Playboys we found,
As they showed off their birthday suits!
Then one day the bulldozers came,
And tore down our real estate.
But I’ll always remember that treehouse of ours,
The only one I’d ever make.