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Poems and Books By Mary...
Through My Open Window

Through my open window, I can hear,
The rustling dance of the cottonwood's leaves,

And the soft, soft whisper of a summertime breeze.
A chorus of birds cheerfully sing a happy song, 

Inviting me to sit and listen, all day long.
Tall green grass and gently rolling hills,
Frame a tiny little brook where the water spills,
Stately oak trees so proudly stand,
And there's a winding little road that borders my land.
God's peace and grace are mine-I know.
He sends me His love through my open window.

Little Cotton Dresses

Little cotton dresses, my mother made for me.
I don't know how she did it.

Not much time or money, were there for her to spend.
She taught herself to cut and pin and match the seams up right.
Each little dress was special, and made me feel so fine.
Dainty prints and solids, calico or plaid,
Some were made of pretty sacks, from chicken feed or flour,
Trimmed with buttons, lace and ruffles, or sometimes just a sash.
The little cotton dresses, my mother made for me
Were really very special, she planned them with her heart,
And little did she know, she had so carefully created,
A very loving memory of something long ago.

My Little Country Church

My little country church is like another home..
The old oak pews are beckoning me, come rest a while.
Early morning sunlight sends a warm and rosy glow,
Through windows stained in rainbow colors,

Reminder of the promise God made so long ago.
Organ music softly plays, all those favorite hymns,
And friendly greetings pass among the crowd.
My troubles seem to gently fade,
My heavy load much lighter grows.
I feel God's presence, ever so distinctly, here,
Even though He's really everywhere.
My little country church is a special place for me.
I can pour out all my needs and fears, with prayer and songs of praise.
In a community of faithful friends, my heart feels light and free.
Many memories are held inside these, oh, so friendly walls.
Children singing, "Jesus Loves Me", weddings, christenings and sad good-byes.
We celebrate Christ's birth, His death upon the tree.
His resurrection on that Easter Day, has set all sinners free.
My life would be so empty if I had never known this place.
My little country church is like another home.

I faintly hear that steeple bell, it's ringing out for you and me.
Come worship, now, and pray-
"Come home!" I seem to hear it say.

Let's read Mary's first children's book-

How Do I Know God Loves Me?

"How do I know God loves me?" I asked my mama one day, in a childlike voice so soft and low.
"Oh, that's easy!" said Mama. "The answer is all around you. Just open your eyes and you'll know."
"Look in our front yard at that beautiful oak tree. It's proof of His great love, for you and for me."
"But no, Mama, don't you remember?" says I with a questioning look her way.
"Remember? Grandpa planted it, long ago, when he was just a boy. He told me so one day."
"Yes, Dear," Mama calmly replied. "Grandpa planted a little tree in this front yard, but it was God's 
blessings of sunshine and rain that made it grow so big and so strong, with cool shade for the 
treehouse you like to play in so long."

"How do I really know God loves me?' I asked my mama one day.
"Oh, Sweetheart. Just look in the mirror. Look at the reflection you see." And

she smiled so sweetly at me.
So we went and looked in the mirror. My answer I hoped to find.
There in the mirror was the freckled-faced girl, with blue eyes and turned up nose,
the one I saw everyday.
"It's just me!" I replied with a shrug and the start of a frown.
"Yes, Dear. It's you," said Mama, as she ruffled up my hair. "You are who you are,

a very special person, made in the image of God.
There's no one else like you anywhere. You have a mind and a soul and God's promise of forgiveness and Heaven."

"How do I really, really know God loves me?" I asked my mama one day.
"Come now little one, let's sit a while and read," said Mama. She took out her Bible, all worn and ragged from wear.
She seemed to know just where to turn, as she opened up that book to share.
"We know God loves us! His words were written in this book, so very long ago."
Mama read me stories about creation and how it took a week to make this world and all its beauty.

She read about great miracles of God-healing people and turning water into wine.
But the story I liked best was the story of the baby Jesus.

Mama said no one else ever loved us that much. 'cause God sent His little son to grow up and die for my sins, and the sins
of everyone else...even the meanest people in the world. And He rose from the dead on that Easter Day, to set all sinners free.
Mama says these stories are true, even though they sound like the greatest fairy tales anyone's ever heard.
And you know how fairy tales end up...They lived happily ever after.
Well, Mama says we will! If we believe in God and the story of Jesus and His love, we will live happily ever after in Heaven. I
like that story better than any story in the world!
And Mama says that the next time I start to wonder if God loves me, we'll read it again, as many times as it takes.

I'm really glad God loves me!

Mary's Memoir:

A Country Girl Grows Up Under the Cottonwood Tree

Parents have no idea what they are getting into when they have children. Four little girls, born to 
Joe and Ruby Kranawetter over the span of five years, were welcomed to the family. Three of them
were good little girls doing all the things you would expect them to do. And then there was Mary.
Little Mary, daughter number three, gave her parents several reasons over the years to scratch their
heads and ask: "What do we do with this headstrong child who seems to have a mind of her own?"

One might think growing up on a farm in the 1940's, '50's and '60's could be very dismal if your daddy
was a share-cropper. Expressions like "just getting by" and "making do" described her living situation,
but were not part of Mary's vocabulary. Parents that taught the value of hard work, sharing and caring
made her life an adventure.


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