Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Merry Christmas 2017

Not much has happened here this year
That is, if you don’t count the cheer
Of children having children as we
Raise for each another beer.

If you would put aside six sons
And wives of four with their young ones
Then, sure, there’s nothing to report,
No reason for Post Office runs.

If you likewise would miss the five
The grandkids! Oh, so much alive:
Sarah, David, Bevy, Millie,
Hazel too, all full of drive,

Then one could say there’s no news here,
Unless you count our Mikey dear
Who, born just at the start of spring,
Undimmed our hearts and made them clear.

’Twas Burnie and Amanda who
Awaited and then welcomed too
This newborn number six grandchild
As thanks were given, as was due.

He’s crawling now, about to walk
While sisters squeal in glee and stalk
Him pretty much where’er he goes.
And listen! He’s about to talk!

But else, the year was dull, in all,
If you don’t count two days in fall
When in September came a pair
A day apart—O what a ball!

Our Ada came the twenty-eighth,
And next day Ezra too—same weight!
Though born of different parents, these
Twin cousins, cause to celebrate!
(To John, Alissa came the one,
To Pete and Allison the son,
Who make the total eight in all
Grandchildren, now that’s quite a run!)

And since they’re on the Eastern coast
We traveled there so we could toast
In person these two sweeties, these
Two babes who tempt our hearts to boast.

But we dare not; for we know well
The grace of God these children spell
And more so does another Child
Whose birth we yearly wish to tell

Who saved us all from Satan’s pow’r
As carolers declare this hour—
They move along from house to house
To warm our hearts with Christmas show’r.

So join them, friends, and let’s be glad
For this year, even were it sad,
Still holds a reason to rejoice:
Eternal Good drives out the bad!

Let all the earth rejoice today
For there is much good news to say:
That makes all fam’ly news seem small
Our Savior brings us life for aye!

God rest ye merry, this Christmas 2017 and always – the scattered Eckardt family (Fritz, Carol, Burnie, Amanda, Bevy, Millie, Mikey, Andy, Kristy, Sarah, David, Peter, Allison, Ezra, Johnny, Alissa, Hazel, Ada, Joey, Michael)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Merry Christmas 2016

Since the fam’lies
have all gone their ways
Except for the folks whose hair grays;
I declare with delight
That because of this plight
I am free from reports of those days

What I offer instead I have made us
Is a colorful map I have laid up
Where you match up the town
To which each has now flown
And from which
they occasionally raid us.

But beyond this map there is another
Showing where God became
our dear Brother
And was Bethlehem-born
on a mid-winter’s morn
To a lovely and low virgin mother.

There’s no arrow that points that direction
Nor a star any more for reflection
But a heavenly word
That proclaims him as Lord
And still offers eternal election.

God rest ye merry, this Christmas 2016 and always 
– the scattered Eckardt family

(in Moline, Ill., Oregon, Ill., Alexandria, Va., Warrensburg, Mo., 
Terre Haute, Ind., Pittsfield, Ill., and back home in Kewanee, Ill.)

Friday, December 18, 2015

Merry Christmas 2015

I take to writing poetry
When Christmastime is near
Lest perchance 
my words should be
More cumbersome to hear.

So this is how I choose to write
To tell you of events,
Of days of sadness and delight,
And of accomplishments.

In January’s 
birthday bash
Our David turned to five,
And Sarah, seven, 
so I asked,
Could these be more alive?

And Millie was 
a half year old
By February’s snow
A month before 
her sister Bevy’s
Happy birthday two.

Our March son found 
a different niche—
A better job for Joe,
And Burnie also 
made a switch
That’s two sons’ new mojo.

And April 
doth our hearts enthrall
Because of Easter Day
For Christ is ris’n 
and gives us all
New life to sing and say Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

We gathered in the month of May
At last the hour was here
For Peter’s ordination day
That filled our hearts with cheer.

And June was also glorified
For Peter, you’ll agree,
When Allison became his bride
And joined our fam’ly tree.

And in July we traveled up
To north Wisconsin’s wood
While fishing, swimming filled our cup
With memories of good.

In August, Grandma passed away;
We sorrowed and we wept,
But know that there shall come a day
Christ’s promise will be kept.

September brought 
a baby girl

T’Alissa and to John:
Our Hazel is a little pearl,
A joy to dote upon.

Expectant mother Allison
Then lost her little child:
October’s days did sadly run,
And we were there meanwhile.

We still gave thanks, November, though,
As Christian people do,
For in all things we always know
That God is good, ’tis true.

December brings to E I U
The end for Michael, grad,
So next, the days of hoping that                                                                        
He’ll find work to be had.

So now’s the time 
for Christmas lights   
To brighten all our days
And bring an end to all our nights
And yours as well, we pray.

God rest you merry, this Christmas 2015 and always. + Burnell (Fritz) and Carol Eckardt

Pictures, in order:
1 Holy Family; 2 Sarah, David (children of Andy and Kristy); 3 Bevy, Amanda, Burnie, Millie; 4 Michael (youngest), Peter (3rd), Burnie (oldest), Johnny (4th), Joey (5th), Andy (2nd); 5 Kristy (Andy), Allison (Peter), Carol (Fritz), Alissa (Johnny), Amanda (Burnie); 6 Fritz, Peter, Carol; 7 Peter, Allison; 8 Nancy B Eckardt (1921-2015);  9 Johnny, Alissa, Hazel 10 Wise men and star

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

'Tis the nights before Christmas, in Kewanee town
Soon the fam’ will be stirring, with nary a frown;
The gifts will be opened in most of a day,
Though longer, perhaps, and the reason I’ll say:
Where once there were children all snug in their beds;
Their children have children: we count thirteen heads;
And mamma wears no 'kerchief, nor I any cap,
We can’t get to bed, there’s a dog in our lap.
Where out on the lawn there was once such a clatter,
Of sons throwing footballs, or pitcher and batter,
Away they all live, but come home in a flash,
At this time of year for a great Christmas bash.
The lights on the tree and the wrappings below
Give a luster of warmth to the people who’ve grown.
More rapid than eagles my coursers they came,
Always happy they’re here, I can call them by name:
"Now, Burnie, Amanda! (with Bevy and Millie!)
Now Andy and Kristy! (with Sarah and David!)
And Pete! John, Alissa! and Joey and Michael!
Now dash back home! dash back home! dash back home all!"
Their eyes—how they twinkle! Their dimples, how merry!
Their cheeks are like roses, their noses like cherries!
They sing when at church of the Word become flesh
And at home they’ll all smile in the glow of the crèche.
While giving their presents, their joy will increase
In Him who is heaven’s great Gift, heaven’s Peace.
Then spring to their cars, to their kin give a whistle,
And away they’ll all fly like the down of a thistle.
But they’ll hear me exclaim,
ere they drive out of sight—
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

God rest ye merry, this Christmas 2014 and always – the Eckardt family

We welcome Millie (born in August) and congratulate Peter, M.Div. (graduated in May, now grad student) and Alissa, R.N. (graduated in December)!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Greetings for Christmas 2013

There once was a limerick writer
Who married a girl to delight her
      And she bore him six sons
      Who grew up all at once
With a story to tell, a good-nighter.

Soon Burnell drives to school in his Chevy
While Amanda is with baby Bevy
      He’ll be training to lead
      At a Wal-Mart in need;
Where he’s hired as a de-partment heavy.
And in Oregon Ill there are four:
Andy, Kristy, and two children more:
Sarah’s six-fest will find
David two years behind,
Spreading laughter and giggles galore.

Then there’s Peter who’s at semin-ary.
Like his father before him? Yes, very.
      At the very same place
      Learning of the same grace
Of the Lord Jesus Christ born of Mary.

Then there’s John, with Alissa, at Whiteman—
In Missouri, he works for Stealth Fightmen—
      Oops, I gave it away!
      It’s a secret, ok?;
Well, not really, but really all right, man.

Worker Joe is now into construction
Making diagrams for the production
            Of farm buildings, we’re told
            And although it’s not gold,
It’s a pretty good bang for the buck, son.

On the jazz trumpet Michael plays well,
And at Eastern they do think he’s swell,
            In his junior year now,
            He expects to learn how
All the talent he offers will sell.

And they all will be coming for Christmas,
Turning this empty house to an isthmus,
            Where the kids run and play
            On our festival day
As the fam’ly rejoices in blissness.

For you’ve all heard the angelic chorus,
Praising Christ who was humbly born for us,
            To redeem us from sin
            And make room in the inn
(In the church, and in heaven, all glorious).

Oh rejoice with this limerick writer!
For what binds us together the tighter
            Is that we can rejoice
            Upon hearing the voice:
Christ is born! For no light could be brighter!

God rest ye merry, this Christmas 2013 and always 
– the Eckardt family

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

There once was a fam’ly in colors,
For each couple a color that matched,
So together they stood
And the picture was good.
Not one from the other detached.

The dad’s getting weary of poems,
And so, we are told, are his friends;
So he’s making it short
So that none will retort
That the poems don’t seem to have ends.

So here is your greeting for this year:
Let your hearts be aglow with the news
Of the Christ and his birth,
And of gladness and mirth
And the mercy and life that ensues.

You see? that was short, unencumbered,
And simple, and right to the point.
If you want to know more,
Go to church (it’s next door)
And holler us out, at our joint!

Blue – Burnie and Amanda (and baby on the way!)
Red – Andy and Kristy, Sarah and David
Tan – Peter
Maroon – John and Alissa
Also maroon – Joey (with the beard)
Grey – Michael
Green – mom and dad

God rest ye merry,
this Christmas 2012 and always –
the Eckardt family
Brown –  Reggie

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Christmas Greetings!

  ♪♫ Oh, there’s no one inside, it’s frightful, 
  But the calm is so delightful,
  And the boys are all now full grown: 
  Let them go, let them go, let them go!

  Now a year’s passed us by since weddings, 
  Of Burnell and John who gave rings
  To Amanda, Alissa trothed: 
  Let them go, let them go, let them go!

            Andy’s fam’ly’s now Kristy Ann
            And the grandchildren! Yes, they are grand!
            And when Sarah and David come,
            All the old home’s brightly warmed!

  Now that Joey and Michael both flew 
  Off to school at Eastern Ill.— U.
  There’s only we two at home; 
  Let them go, let them go, let them go!

Far away, for theology;
Peter’s gone for a year: Germany;
He’ll return in July, that’s when
Everyone’s home once again!

  And the rest’ll be here for Christmas 
 When we’ll fill again our house-nest;
 Happy times till they’re on their way— 
 Let them go, let them go, let them go!  

 God rest ye merry* this Christmas 2011 and always!

 The Eckardt family

 *Our annual tagline from the carol “God Rest ye Merry, Gentlemen” is a paraphrase of the  tidings to Bethlehemshepherds (the “gentlemen”) from the angel: “Fear not (“God rest ye merry”), for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.”