Ribbons and Roses

Poetry, Prose and Potpourri

by V. M. Wolter and Joseph A. Zapalac


Book Details

Rekindle the Spirit of Love in Your Heart

Ribbons and Roses is a collection of heartwarming poetry and prose that carry deep emotion and affection that tug at the heart. A sprinkling of God’s Word is scattered throughout, much like the delicate fragrance of potpourri. This heartfelt collection will help readers to revisit time-honored values, to remind them that their lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God, and to encourage them to journal their thoughts and feelings on pages provided as they see God’s plan unfold in their lives.

While writing this book, we were moved to do something to help those less fortunate—the homeless and the hurting. Our publishers at Outskirts Press are joining us in donating 25 cents from each book sold, to organizations that support the homeless and the hurting. By purchasing this book you have contributed 25 cents to worthy causes across the United States. Thank you for participating in this work.

"Father, I pray that You will bless our readers and keep them; that you will make Your face shine upon them, and be gracious to them; that You will lift up Your countenance upon them, and give them peace." Amen.


Book Excerpt


A week before Christmas, Mother started cooking cakes, pies, and, of course, plenty of her cornbread dressing--cooked with the fattest hen.

Daddy and the older boys would butcher the finest hog...our mother usually supervised the sausage making. I can still hear her say, "It needs a little more sage!"

There was lots of ham, bacon, sausage, and lots of relatives and neighbors to share it with. The house was usually full of people from Christmas until after New Year's Day.

The perfect Christmas tree, which Daddy, the older children, and I (the youngest of eight) had walked for hours to find, stood in the old house with its top reaching the tall ceiling. (The time to go choose a Christmas tree is when it's very cold, sleeting, or perhaps snowing a little.)

The decorated three (a beautiful holly tree with red berries or perhaps a cedar tree) was decorated, for the most part. We used a little silver rope for icicles. The last thing to do was to tie big red apples in the tree. We decorated the tree as a family group. Though times were hard--my parents always managed a bushel basket of apples, one of oranges, and one of nuts.

Our stockings were usually hung near the old wood heater. And Santa without fail (nearly always) came through. And always, there in top of our stockings, we found our Christmas present from Santa wrapped in red and green tissue paper.

To this day, seeing red and green tissue paper or holly trees takes me back to those Christmases of long ago.

I remember a few times, our mother worried, "The creeks may rise, and Santa's reindeer won't be able to get across!" When that happened, once or twice, there was always an extra big gift of love and warm family feelings. Mother always say to that.

From the old family Bible, Coyet and Lillie McKey found encouragement and faith to raise eight children through some very hard times. Today the old family Bible (pages like parchment and badly worn) is put away (wrapped in red and green Christmas paper).

My parents and five of those eight children have gone on. But...I wonder, do they still come for Christmas at the old house with the tall ceiling, a warm fire, and beautiful holly trees with the red berries? Do they hear the laughter of small children and do they remember the red and green tissue paper?

I am thankful for loving parents, a good home life, and those red and green Christmas memories.

Contributor: Elsie McKey Overstreet was raised in Lavaca Counjty near the Navidad River, the youngest of eight children. She Graduated head of her class in Vocational Nursing from Del Mar College in Corpus Christi, Texas...now retired. She is a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Her writing comes from a "burning in her heart" and she has a great love for animals.


Cool and crisp in the October morning air,
High in the sky,
wild geese fly southward without a care.
They follow their leader.
Their honks are very shrill.
Fall has returned once again
with its welcome chill.

I stroll about, hands in pockets,
marveling at the change in nature.
Soon my surroundings will be
cloaked with the cover of white,
a crowning touch of winter that drawn near.
With a parting look, I view with sadness
at the last of the geese disappear.

Days grow shorter, nights grow longer.
Winter's breath grows stronger.
I look up in the sky.
I wonder...where do the wild geese fly? (JAZ)


About the Author

V. M. Wolter and Joseph A. Zapalac

Joseph A. Zapalac: Poet and author of Reflections, Memories Past, was raised by his loving Grandparents on a farm in a small rural Texas town. His passion for writing began at an early age and allows him to use a pen and pad as an artist would with brush and canvas. He now resides in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Joseph is joined here by his writing partner, Vada M. Wolter, photographer and writer. She holds an Associate Degree in Biblical Studies and was caregiver to her Mother for four years. She loves being creative whether with a camera or pen. She was born and raised in the same town as Joseph and a former classmate of his.


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