The Thoughts and Poetry of Glenn Ervin

Friday, July 6, 2012


We had a great 4th of July. My daughter, son-in-law, and the girls came up and we all met at the other grands' house for a barbecue and a lot of fun. The hospitality of Terry and Leslie Tritsch ("Papaw" and "Mamoo")  always puts us at ease and makes us feel right at home, and Sis. Taylor ("Bickey") is ever a joy just to be around. Add to this getting to see my daughter and getting to dine upon the cuisine of my grill master son-in-law...well, like I said, it was a great 4th of July.
My contribution to all of the good times was to stay in the Tritsch's comfortable den, with my shoes off, and keep the girls entertained. Ok, we watched Loony Tunes and it kept us all entertained, but that's where the idea for this post came from. In one episode Porky Pig was being pestered by Daffy Duck. Try as he might, poor Porky just couldn't get away from Daffy. He'd open a door, and there would stand Daffy. He got on a plane, and Daffy was the pilot. He parachuted out of the plane, and Daffy was his parachute. On and on it went until my five-year-old granddaughter, Jordan, furrowed her brow, looked at me and said, "Papa, I would hurt that duck."
That got me to thinking about the "ducks" in my own life. You know, the ones you can't ever seem to get in the proverbial row. And then there are the "ducks" that, like Daffy tormenting Porky, appear as things that constantly pester, harass, interrupt, and worry us to the point of frustration. Bills, car repairs, sicknesses, deadlines...they're all "ducks." If we could get our hands on these things, like Jordan said, we would hurt them. Instead, they always seem to hurt us, don't they?
The Bible tells us that we are to cast our cares upon the Lord, because He cares for us. I've decided that my prayer time should include a time of "duck hunting." I'm sure I can come up with a flock or two to send His way. How about you?

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I was talking with my five-year-old middle granddaughter Jordan not long ago, and, as usually is the case in any conversation with Jordan, our dialogue took an interesting turn. Jordan wanted to talk about zommies. Now, it was around the Halloween season and with all of the current fascination that is focused on zombies, vampires, werewolves and the like, I wasn't too surprised at her topic of conversation and readily pursued it.
"What are zommies?" I wanted to know. "they're munsters" Jordan informed me. "Well, what do zommies do?" "They eat your brain" she answered matter-of-factly, then hastened to add, "but they're not real."
I decided to press the issue just a little farther, you know, just to see where it would go. After all, it isn't every day that one gets to discuss zommies. "You know," I continued, "When I was a little boy we used to eat pig brains mixed in scrambled eggs. Would you like to try some pig brains?" She was riding in the back seat, so I couldn't see the look on her face, but I sure heard it in her voice when she replied, "Papa...that's distusting!" Bear in mind that we had just been talking about zommies eating brains, but even at five she was able to discern between a fictional zommie and actually having pork brains and eggs for breakfast.
You know, Jordan, when I think about it...well I guess pork brains are kind of distusting at that. I think I'll stick with the make believe zommies myself.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Vicky

Today, November 14, 2011 is a milestone of sorts for my wife Vicky. She turned 50. I know that she's probably going to be a bit uncomfortable with me posting this and I know that it is considered impolite to discuss a lady's age, but I beg forgiveness on both counts.
Of all of the influences in my life, and there have been many, Vicky has been the greatest of them all. The woman is amazing.
Though we don't remember each other from the first grade, the yearbook shows that we were in the same class in Myrtle, MS. I was there for only a short time before moving to New Albany which probably explains this, or it could be that as a first grade boy I just wasn't all that memorable.
Whatever the case, my "official" meeting with Vicky McDonald took place in a GED class in New Albany, MS in 1978. I was there trying to correct the mistake I had made by dropping out of school. Vicky was there trying to graduate early so she could go ahead and start college. I thought that she was one of the prettiest, most lady like girls I had ever seen, so I gathered my nerve and asked her out. She turned me down.
Vicky told me that she liked me, but that she did not date guys who did not go to church. This did not set well with me and I decided to just leave her alone. I found that I could not leave her alone. I began attending the Myrtle Church of the Lord Jesus Christ so I could see this girl, and she began to tell me more about a Jesus that I thought I knew but never really had. I received the Holy Ghost on July 14, 1978.
Vicky and I were married on December 1, 1978 and God blessed our little home 11 months later on November 1, 1979 with a baby girl we named Jennifer Beth.
The one thing that has most inspired me about this wonderful lady is that she is not a "settler." If she believes that things can be better, she works to make them better. The phrase, "good enough" has never felt right in her mouth and she rarely, if ever, uses it. I've seen her rise to the top anywhere she's ever been, though there have been a couple of places that she just didn't bother staying with long enough to waste her time.
I won't go into all of the times when she's encouraged me, believed in me, and kept me going when I'd just rather have quit. I've seen her do so much with so little. I've seen her work to rise above her situation rather than to accept it and complain about it. I watched her earn her Bachelors degree in education, then go on to earn her Masters, all while balancing the life of a working wife and mother. I've held her hand at her very lowest and stood beside her on her mountain tops. She's stayed by my side through heart surgery as well as heartache. She's the mother that has encouraged, nay, insisted that our daughter not only reach for but work for her dreams. She's the Nana that is all-consumed with loving our granddaughters. I've never had a better friend or someone who was more a part of my very soul than this lady. I love her with all of my heart.
Happy birthday Vicky. You have changed my life just by living yours. Thank you for sharing it with me.

All my love, Glenn

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Guess I Really Haven't Lost Her at All

I lost my mother 6 years ago tomorrow, November 4, 2005. After typing that sentence, I looked at it and realized that, well...that’s wrong. Mom may have died 6 years ago, but I have never really lost her.
Helen Louise Stanton-Ervin (and after my dad died, she remarried and became Louise Loden) was born at home in Baldwin, MS on April 16, 1930. She was born the middle child of 6 children in a family of sharecroppers who were doing the best they could to survive during the ravages of The Great Depression.
Life was simple. Life was hard. Mom once asked me what I knew about the Amish. I told her that they were simple, hard-working people with no cars, no electricity or other modern conveniences. I went on to explain that they took care of their own, they raised what they needed in gardens and on farms, and that their main mode of transportation was the horse and buggy. When I finished Mom exclaimed, “Well I’ll be...I was raised Amish and didn’t know it!”
Mom grew up and married a charming young man from Bolivar, TN named James Franklin Ervin. I describe him here as “charming” because mom was fond of saying that she thought he had angel’s wings when she met him (I’ll leave that debate alone right there so that I may continue with my story.)
In April of 1961, just two days before her 31st birthday, she gave birth to her first child, a boy whom she and her husband named James Glenn Ervin. (In contrast, my daughter just recently turned 32 and has a 7-year-old, a five-year-old, and a year and a half old.) Four years later she brought my brother, Danny Joe Ervin, into the world.
It would be an understatement to say that this woman loved her boys. She was the kind of mother who poured her life into her children; she gave it her all. My mother was and is the strongest woman I have ever known.
My dad was a good man, but alcohol held him in a vice-like grip from which he was never able to break free. Not to the very day he tragically died with his brother in a house fire. Mom was the glue that held our family together. It has been said that if the father is the backbone of the family, then the mother is the heart. Whoever said that was talking about my mother.
Mom, who became “Mamaw Lou” to many who knew and loved her, lost her battle with cancer on November 4, 2005. She died at home in New Albany, MS with her family around her bedside. Her last words to me were, “I love you.” I’m glad to have heard her say it, but the statement was unnecessary. I already knew that my mother loved me. Not once in my entire life had I ever doubted it.
Mom taught me some very important principles about living that are still with me to this day:
She taught me the importance of having fun, where to find it, and if it couldn’t be found then how to make it up (she taught me to use my imagination.)
She taught me that hard times had to be faced and dealt with, not run away from.
She taught me faithfulness.
She instilled within me a lifelong love of books.
She taught me self-sacrifice.
She was the first person to tell me about Jesus and the story of Calvary.
And so, so much more. I still miss her to this day. Always will. She is still the first person I want to call when I get sick. It has taken years to stop reaching for the phone to call and check on her (or just to say goodnight) at 9:00 PM.
Yes, Mom is still here. She’s in the way I love my wife, cherish my daughter and play with my grandchildren. She’s in the color of my hair (I once told Mom that I got my white hair from her, to which she replied that she in fact got her white hair from me.) She’s in whatever is in my heart that is tender and easily touched. She’s in my faith in the Savior that I have come to know and love.
No, I guess I really haven’t lost her at all.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In Their Own Words

I received a card in the mail today from a group that calls itself Mississippians for Healthy Families based out of Jackson, MS. This card contains several reasons from the perspective of this group, as to why people should vote against Initiative 26.

While I could spend a lot of time debunking their reasons not to protect human life on a government level, I would like to focus on just one statement that these folks put in their own literature, it says:

“Sadly, not everyone is ready to be a parent - Initiative 26 would mean more children growing up without the love or support they need.”

I had to read that again to make sure that’s what this group really said. In this one statement:

1. They call an expectant mother a parent. Being a parent means that you have a child. They know and admit that it is children who are killed by abortion.
2. They say that more what? Children would grow up without the love or support they need.

Abortion kills children. Little boys and little girls. The only difference between them and the boys and girls who blow out a single candle on a birthday cake is that their lives are snuffed out before they get to have a birthday.

So the answer to making sure that children grow up with all of the love and support they need is to kill the ones that are unwanted by their parents? Really? Excuse me, but somebody failed to talk about the people on waiting lists for years just to be able to adopt a little boy or girl. There is no such thing as an unwanted child.

Don’t be fooled by these hypocrites. They know that abortion kills children. If you are in favor of recognizing life as life, and truly believe that our Constitution guarantees Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, then please, vote yes for Initiative 26 on November 8.

Monday, October 31, 2011

First Princess

Tomorrow, November 1, is my daughter's birthday. Thinking of the day she was born makes me miss her more than ever.
I am fond of saying that of all of the things I've done wrong, Jennifer is one thing that I got right. Some may ask, "Do you think that your daughter is perfect?" The short answer? "Yes."
I wrote the following poem just a few months before Eliana was born. I'd been thinking about how much I doted on Rachel and Jordan and called them my princesses, and it occured to me that with all of the attention I was giving the girls I might be neglecting Jennifer, my first princess. The following poem was written for her. (Happy birthday baby girl.)

First Princess

Once my only princess, all lace and pretty curls
I had no way of knowing then, you’d have three little girls
The games we played, the memories made, are now with grandkids done
But not to worry princess, for you were my first one
Without you, there’d be no songs of crows out in the yard
No Cinderella slippers, no children’s handmade cards
A fairy tale is just a book, but children make it live
And because you were my princess, I have all these things to give
I love to watch your children play, but it’s really you I see
I thought that I was teaching you, but you were teaching me
Your little girls love Papa now, but I was first your dad
And I know how to treat a princess, because of the one I had
Little boys are wonderful, and in this world they have their place
But little girls are special, for they teach a man’s heart grace
There’s nothing like a princess, to make a dad feel like a king
And I can grow old happy now, for I’ve had everything
I’ve had music in my soul, and I’ve had singing in my heart
I’ve had little hands to hold, I’ve driven monsters from the dark
I now have two more little girls, and soon, another one
They’ll all be Papa’s princess, because you were my first one.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Friend of Sinners

 Pastor Raymond Bishop once said of Jesus, "They called Him the friend of sinners...and I'm so glad He is."
That quote has stayed with me down through the years, and was the inspiration for the following poem:

Friend of Sinners
(Matthew 11:19)

Not everybody called Him Lord, and some still don’t today.
Not everyone saw any more than a baby on the hay.
Born among the losers and a stranger to the winners,
They looked at their Messiah and they called Him “friend of sinners.”

What kind of king could He have been? He wore no royal crown.
Breaking bread with publicans, He sought the common ground.
What kind of God would warm His hands over common people’s cinders?
Religion labeled Him a fraud and called Him “friend of sinners.”

He came two thousand years ago to seek that which was lost
And since then untold multitudes have knelt at Calvary’s cross.
Some have served Him all their lives while some are just beginners,
And I for one thank God He came to be the “friend of sinners.”