Saturday, April 30, 2011


This is an encore blog post…just ‘cause I feel like it...and it is spring!

And because CZECHING MY ROOTS is the half-price discount book-of-the-month for MAY which you may order through my e-mail address on the header. Instead of $17.95, it is discounted to $9 plus $3 S/H!

This excerpt is from the Introduction to my published autobiography, CZECHING MY ROOTS. When each new springtime rolls around, I thank God for so generously blessing me with my multi-generational life:

“Time passes so quickly. The stages of life focus in and fade out as the spotlight shines on changing dramas and new characters. How enriching are all our experiences, both difficult and joyful, if we learn to savor each moment as we live it!”

The concluding poem, STAGE OF GENERATIONS, I wrote at the end of this post sums it all up….

What’s in The Trunk?

My husband and I were the trunk of our family tree and our four sons, Richard, Clifford, Gary and Jeff, are the branches. Our grandchildren and the children they will have and the generations to come are the spreading branches.

Suddenly, so it seems, I find myself “the matriarch” in chronological age and the only remaining part of the trunk of my family tree.

Some of our branches are offspring from our own biological trunk—authentic Chinese Czechers—our sons and some of our grandchildren. But we have also enthusiastically welcomed the grafting of some new branches into our tree by extended family relationships—marriage, blended families and adoption. I embrace grafted branches just as warmly as branches sprouting from our original trunk. We treasure them equally because they were lovingly chosen. They enrich our family tree and bear wonderful varieties of fruit that our original tree could not have produced.

Our trunk is unique because it is made up of two people from two geographically and culturally separate root systems. My husband, Ted, was from the continent of Asia, from the ancient historic land of China. My heritage is from the continent of Europe, from what is now The Czech Republic. We met and married on still another continent, North America, to which my forefathers came to seek a better life.

Soon we who are part of the present main trunk will be the roots of those who come after us. Some of our branches have already become trunks in their own right and their young, extended branches before long will mature into trunks too. An entire human forest will spring up around our main trunk!

Although my generation calls itself the main trunk at present, we are the offspring and descendants of the branch systems of the past generation, in fact, of all generations that have gone before. I believe all of us are here in the plan of God and in His foreordained continuity stream of life, and our posterity will be part of God’s unfolding plan.

The Christian heritage passed to my husband and me from each of our grandparents, who spoke different languages and grew up far apart on this planet, was no coincidence. Ted and I believed it was appointed by God. We, in turn, have the joy and obligation and privilege to pass this treasure on to our children and to our children’s children as a Christian legacy throughout what remains of human history.


I have roots and also branches.

I am part of what has been

and what is yet to be.

In between is me:

the trunk of the family tree.

Through me pass

generations from antiquity

who have determined

what I have become.

They are my history.

They have molded me.

From me new branches spring.

They are my posterity.

Some choice I have

to assist and incline them

toward the best

of what they might become.

Still, they are free

to grow and change

within the range

of their heredity and opportunity

and God’s special plan

arranged from Eternity.

For me, the trunk between,

I pray that I might be

a planting strong against

the inevitable storms

yet bending with the wind

passing on the best

from roots unseen

but giving branches room

to stretch and reach

upward to new heights

because I fulfilled

with the help of God

my trunk destiny.

Unfortunately, neither my husband nor I could trace our roots back very far. Both of us regret that we didn't ask our parents and grandparents more questions about their early lives and what they remembered of their roots. It is pointless to feel guilty—children rarely care about their roots when they see their more exciting futures stretching out seemingly open-end ahead of them. It rarely seems to matter to youth where they came from. They are usually concerned only with where they are going after school tomorrow.

In your youth, you view daily events up close, as through a microscope. Usually it takes the seasoning of life, the more mature years, before you think about and value your roots. Eventually you begin to see your life in a broader panorama, on a wider screen than you did in your youth. You can see further when you’ve climbed some of the higher hills of life and experienced the valleys between. You have the advantage of looking back over your shoulder to see where you've come from and forward to where you are going.

I embarked upon this creative and nostalgic adventure of writing my story in order to leave a heritage. God handed me the baton in life’s race only for my lifetime. Now I am responsible to pass it on to the next generation.

The words of a song by Jon Mohr express it well for me:

“Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses,

Let us run the race, not only for the prize;

But, as those who’ve gone before us,

Let us leave for those behind us

The heritage of faithfulness passed on through godly lives.

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.

May the fire of our devotion light their way.

May the footprints that we leave lead them to believe,

And the lives we live inspire them to obey.

Oh, may all who come behind us find us faithful.”

Our descendants may not fully appreciate this historical saga now, just as we would not have valued it when we were younger. But it will be available when they, too, reach the summit of some of life’s hills and long to search for and find the gold of the past.

Time passes so quickly. The stages of life focus in and fade out as the spotlight shines on changing dramas and new characters. How enriching are all our experiences, both difficult and joyful, if we learn to savor each moment as we live it!


I've greeted many mornings like this one:

fresh, spring mornings, year after year.

They may appear the same

because nature’s garments never go out of style

but I am not the same as I was

in those bygone springtimes.

As a child

I walked on tiptoe, wide-eyed in wonder

as if I were the first to discover nature.

Everything was new to me

although ancient as time and creation.

In my youth

nature seemed to be a setting for the private stage

on which my emotions played the leading parts.

I could hardly wait to turn another page

in the thrilling script of my life.

Then, at summer’s noonday,

I saw spring approach again

with hushed and measured steps

taking off her verdant cloak and laying it down

under the sun in my garden

so that my own son*

still bundled in winter wear

could poke at the peeping crocus in the soft soil

and laugh at the chirping robin

with anticipation in his new eyes

to see his pristine world.

Soon, ah, too soon, at prime of life

I watch my grandson* stomping his toddler feet

bouncing innocently in my tulip bed

bubbling with unsullied delight

over his chaste, new world.

And now, in life's autumn time,

I still welcome spring’s approach

with open arms and eager heart.

Generations focus in, fade out—

and what of me?

I see at last life’s harmony

in perfect panorama:


the world a splendid stage

the changing season-scenes

both neophyte players and the pros

some hiding behind gilded masks

others garbed in tattered costumes

or flaunting sequined velvet.

The stages of life may alternate

between dim, shadowy scenery

and klieg-lighted brilliance.

But over all

producing and directing

perfectly orchestrating

the ever-cycling dramas of my life



* I’m blessed by God that I’ve experienced these words in plural and gender inclusive and multigenerational = children, grandchildren, and now I’m super-abundantly blessed with great-grandchildren!

“The Lord has dealt bountifully with me” (Ps.116:7); “The Lord satisfies your years with good things” (Ps. 103:5; “May you see your children’s children…” (Ps. 128:6).

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