Mel Anderson has been a Cedar Crest resident since 2007 and a poet for just about the same amount of time.
“I didn’t write until I came to Cedar Crest, but I saw that every so often someone would have a poem published in our newsletter. I wrote one about the Chapel, they published it, and people said they liked it, so I just kept going,” Mel said.
Mel is a very active member of the Cedar Crest community. He participates in many of the activities Cedar Crest offers and he served as president of the Cedar Crest Resident’s Council for three years.
At 82, Mel is not content to sit in a rocking chair. He participates in Cedar Crest’s exercise class and swims a quarter mile three times a week.
Before moving to Cedar Crest, Mel and his late wife resided in Beloit. He is a U.S. Army veteran and served in the Signal Corps in Germany and France during the Korean War. After returning from his service, he worked for local manufacturing companies before going into real estate, a career that spanned 40 years.
Mel has three children, eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
A smile is a special thing,
an expression we all know.
God gives us the smile
but we must make it glow.
There are no limits for a smile,
certainly no time or place.
Try it on a moody stranger
and watch a scowl leave his face.
It may seem at a gathering
there is nothing else but gloom.
A person walks in with a smile
and lights up the entire room.
Sometimes a talk may get testy
because of something we might say.
Then someone will flash a grin
and all the tension goes away.
So let’s try to be pleasant
and smile as we make our way.
It may be the only bright spot
in someone else’s day.
Some say life is like a card game
and God sits in the dealers place.
He deals out the cards with trials
each and every one of us must face.
Sometimes the card you draw is kind
and your life is quiet and serene.
You’d like it to go on forever
‘cause you feel like a king or queen.
Other times the card calls for testing
and you may know pain or sorrow.
That’s when you can call on the dealer
to help you face every tomorrow.
You may wish to challenge the dealer
but you surely must know he is Lord.
He has only our interest at heart
and plays us like fine music, hitting each chord.
So remember to count your blessings
and no matter how you have felt.
God gave only what you could handle
and you’re playing the hand you were dealt.
I have a little canine friend
who’s fluffy and so white.
Some people say she’s just a dog
but I don’t think they’re right.
Angie brought her home one day
which I didn’t think was smart.
Muffy cocked her head and looked at me
and climbed into my heart.
Now we live at Cedar Crest where
there is room to romp and play.
Muffy loves the halls and lawns
where she makes friends along her way.
Sometimes I’m sad and lonely
then I look across the room.
Muffy cocks her head and looks at me
and takes away the gloom.
If I try to feed her dog food
she elevates her nose.
Thus she dines on steak, chicken,
pork chops and cheerios.
O’ the time has passed
and now she’s up in years.
The thought she may be leaving me
is the greatest of my fears.
I know the day will come
when we two must part.
I will always cherish the moment
she climbed into my heart.
Come stroll the aisles of Cedar Crest
and gaze at pictures on the walls.
You’ll find a beauty you may have missed
as you hurried through the halls.
Foreign scenes and local scenes
and more you’re sure to see,
the Grand Canal at Venice
to the bridge at Tiffany.
Birds, birds, lots of birds
you’ll find flitting all around.
They’re in flight, landing
or pecking on the ground.
Oh, the mighty, stately castles
dominate the high terrain
in countries maybe Germany, France,
Italy, England or even Spain.
There’s a stone house on Shake Rag Street
where once the Badgers dwelled.
Their wives waved them home for lunch
where tasty pasties smelled.
There are lily pads on quiet ponds
sheltered by autumn tinted trees.
Lilies wave their fragile heads
agitated by a cooling breeze.
Country lanes curve through the woods
and snake into the hills.
They make you want to roam their paths
and seek out the hidden thrills.
Quaint shops and sidewalk cafes
line the narrow streets
enticing you to pause or enter
to try their tempting treats.
Grand homes with balconies, patios
and atriums we see along the way.
They remind you of New Orleans
Paris, Madrid, maybe Monterey.
Boats are bobbing at anchor
or dragged upon the shore,
waiting for the tide or fishermen
to free them from land once more.
There are flowers in profusion
in all the colors known.
Lilies, tulips, roses, hollyhocks,
almost all the kinds are shown.
Lovers oaring on a quiet lagoon,
children playing in the sand.
All this for us to enjoy
captured by the artist’s hand.
So you can walk the aisles of Cedar Crest
and gaze upon the walls.
You’ll travel the world over
and never leave these halls.
Nurses are a special group
Something seems to set them apart.
God must have given an extra portion
of that gift called loving heart.
They slip into your room
in the quiet of the night.
Seriously they take their charge
to see that everything is right.
The response is quick and sure
when the patient hits the call.
You can hear the padding of
their feet as they hurry in the hall.
Any kind of help you need
you’ll find them by your side.
Whether walking or a shower
they do their work with pride.
A nurse’s mission is to get you well.
Their goal is tender loving care.
They’re happy to see you go home
then they know they’ve done their share.
Next time you see a nurse
and you see them apply their care.
Please give a special thank you
that God has placed them there.
The nurses are great in all they do
yet they prick and poke to get a needle in.
I have learned to love all the nurses,
but sooner or later they all get under my skin.
Prayer is very special to me.
It is a big part of my life.
It sees me through my happiness,
joy, my trials, and all strife.
God I’m sure is always with me
whether sleeping or awake.
With prayer I feel his comfort
regardless of the path I take.
Sometimes I am sad or lonely
yet I know he is in the room.
Just the feel of knowing that
helps take away the gloom.
If something is bothering me
and I feel that life’s not fair.
I can always set things straight
by going to God in prayer.
If you have a pressing problem
and I say I’ll put you in prayer
when I go to my knees at bedtime
you can be sure you’re included there.
Prayer with me is not a sometime thing
it is in my thoughts constantly.
And I know that prayers are answered
at least they are for me.
The snow is gently falling
the landscape is turning white.
Winter has come to Wisconsin.
The snow has turned drab to bright.
Mother earth is sleeping quietly
under this blanket of snow so deep.
It will slumber till nature’s alarm clock
bids it wake from its annual sleep.
The squirrels are running all around
they seem puzzled as they stop and stall.
They’re trying to find the acorns
they buried in the ground last fall.
The snow birds are gone now
to escape the feel of a wintry kiss.
The rest of us stay here and endure
but to enjoy splendor they will miss.
The children are pulling sleds and saucers
up to the top of the tallest hill.
Then they feel the sense of gliding
as they taste winter’s greatest thrill.
This is the time of year to take
a solitary walk in the wood.
You can really commune with nature
as no other time you could.
You can travel the world over.
Many things you can get to know.
But it is hard to match Wisconsin
under a blanket of new fallen snow.