North Pole Days of Our Lives

(Radio Announcer Voice)  People see Santa Claus once a year, Thanksgiving to Christmas.  The view of his life and who he is, is so slanted.

If people truly knew the soap opera life Santa lives the rest of the year, they would clamor to charge him with breaking and entering into their homes on Christmas Eve.  Instead, they see him as a benevolent hero delivering government subsidized free presents to nice children everywhere.  And so today, we continue with another compelling episode of — (pause for dramatic effect) — North Pole Days of Our Lives!!

Santa rolled over wearing nothing but a pair of over-sized boxers that the tooth fairy had given him.  He looked at the clock.  11:12 AM.   He’d slept in, again, and knew Mrs. Claus wouldn’t be happy about that.

Besides, Santa knew he snored all night because he didn’t use his Cpap machine for his sleep apnea.  Worse yet, he had binged on left over eggnog and cookies the night before, which gives him severe flatulence.

He looked at Mrs. Clause’s side of the bed. Nice. Neat. Not slept in.

There on her pillow was a Hawaiian colored envelope with his name on it, not the official candy cane striped stationary authorized by the North Pole Post Office.   His chubby fingers trembled as he struggled to open the letter.

He took a deep breath and began to read:

Dear Santa, Continue reading North Pole Days of Our Lives

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Wanna Be Santa

Saturday was the annual Christmas parade down town.  We found an open curb on the brick street to sit on for a front row view.  It was about 6:30 PM, so it was dark, but well-lit with street lamps.  Directly across the street a pickup sat in a driveway with the tailgate down.   Several adults, all apparently related, were sitting on the tailgate, in lawn chairs around the back of the truck and on the curb ready for a bird’s eye view of the parade that would be starting soon.

FRM-74146-CA

About 10 minutes before the first lighted float crawled by, an “unofficial” Santa slowly walked up that side of the street.  He looked the part too — real white beard, red suite, black belt and boots, big belly.  The “official” Santa always rides the last parade float, so this guy wasn’t the “real” Santa!  He was a wanna be Santa, but he was convincing, even for a certified Santaologist.

To the poster child of cuteness little girl sitting on the tailgate, it didn’t matter one iota.  To her, this man dressed like Santa was totally, completely and absolutely, the real deal! Continue reading Wanna Be Santa

Climb The Mountain

Shake the desert sand out of your shoes. Get the pebble out of the toe. There’s a mountain to conquer.

It’s not too big or tall, not too steep or too rocky to be settled. It can be done. No matter what the circumstances, it can be conquered. There is a way.  The size of the mountain is not as much of a limit as how we think about it.

There’s always fresh challenges, additional issues, new problems. There’s always something different that starts to make the mountains look the same.

I want the green, lush valley of rest, where gentle breezes and bubbling brooks wind their way through the trees and flowers.  I want the easy path instead of a hard climb, the gentle road, not of the stony trail, but that’s not how it usually goes.

Climb anyway. Continue reading Climb The Mountain

No Logical Answer

True story — It was Thanksgiving Day and he got up ready for a day of family, feasting and football, but something was bugging him.  He couldn’t get a co-worker who had been in the hospital and hadn’t worked for a month off his mind.

A crazy idea kept bouncing like a rubber ball in his head.  He kept feeling like he was supposed to buy bags of groceries, including a turkey and all the trimmings, for the man and his family.

He dismissed it several times, but couldn’t shake the thought.  A little later, the man’s wife needed something at the last-minute from the grocery store, so he loaded up two of his young sons to go with him.

At the store the thought was stronger than ever, so he grabbed a buggy and started filling it with canned goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, a turkey, milk, flour, eggs, the whole works.  When his sons asked why he was getting so much, he told them they were about to give the food to someone. Continue reading No Logical Answer

What Words Cannot Say

I put the rose from his garden in his rigamortis hand.  It didn’t look natural.  A snap of the stem to shorten it, then working it under his cold fingers and folded hands made it presentable.

Yes, that’s better.

I slipped a note I had hurriedly written, almost as an afterthought, and slipped it inside his suit jacket, hidden from the world, never to be read by anyone, not even the one it was written to. Continue reading What Words Cannot Say

Catching Wind….in a Hurricane!

Hurricane Rita was going to blow in a few hours later and I was shutting down the hatch.  My four sons helped and I was about through when I walked in on them in the garage.  They looked guilty. Figures.

I was hurrying so I didn’t ask why they had a life jacket, rope and a new 8’ x 10’ vinyl tarp.  I should’ve done a mental stop, drop and roll, but there were just bigger fish to fry.  Besides, the next day I’d find out during the peak of the hurricane.

Ever since they were little, Blake, the oldest, has come up with ideas for his younger brothers to try.  Jared, the second born would usually pass on the idea, but instead encourage Todd, the third son, to try some scattered brain idea.

Sometimes Todd volunteered. Sometimes they talked him into it. Sometimes he was blackmailed into some wild, half-baked scheme, most of which (surprise, surprise) dealt with some sort of danger or peril.

Regardless how outlandish, or in this case, hazardous it might be, Todd usually tried their brain cramp scams.

Blake had an idea — a homemade parachute, powered by hurricane winds, to make Todd go airborne! Continue reading Catching Wind….in a Hurricane!

Thank You Isn’t Enough

Sometimes it’s best to hold firm and decline a gift of disproportionate value and, in fact, it’s down right selfish to accept it.  At first, I thought this was one of those times, so I thanked the man I knew from work and politely declined.

“I can’t accept this. This needs to go to your kids and passed on in your family!”

He squared his shoulders and looked me straight in the eye, “Yes, you normally do, but in this case, I want YOU to have it.”

He was holding a small maroon pin which he was awarded for serving in the Army.  He explained the pin’s significance which represented where he fought and served.  The pin’s actual value is minimal, but the sentimental, sacrifice and emotional value is priceless!

Again, I told him I just couldn’t accept it.

“You don’t understand”, he said, “You have to take it!” Continue reading Thank You Isn’t Enough

A Rocking Chair of Life

She remembered an incident that happened years before and burst into laughter.  Instinctively, her hand went to the rocking chair beside her.  The blade of reality cut as she returned to the present.

She took a deep breath, closed her eyes to regain her composure, and settled quietly back into the rhythmic rocking of her chair.

For years she sat each evening with her husband rocking at sunset.  Sometimes they talked non-stop; sometimes they sat quietly.  Sometimes they even bickered back and forth like two school children, but there was never a doubt that they were on each other’s team.  In fact, they were each other’s biggest fan.

The years since he retired were some of the best and enjoyable evenings of all. Each knew, however, that the sunsets they watched from their front porch rockers were similar to themselves.

Even so, when he was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer six months earlier, it seemed like a short time was cut shorter, for it was all too quick, too sudden, too complete.  Continue reading A Rocking Chair of Life

Bobo

Three balls for $2 or nine for $5 — man after man, boy after boy, redneck after redneck, stepped up from a large semi-circle of spectators around the dunking booth at the Brazoria County Fair, Texas.

Sitting in the dunking booth surrounded by carnival rides and loud music, the little clown face painted man was easily heard above it all.  “Ayayayayayaya!“, Bobo hollered into a microphone.  He had no shortage of insults for anyone who dared pick up a ball trying to drop him in the water.

They’re only prize was to see Bobo drop in the water, but he and his worker were making money hand over fist.  His abrasive voice rang out over loud speakers and like flies to a spider web, one by one he lured guys in to plop down their money.  As soon they stepped in his web, Bobo started. His constant chattering, challenges and chastising made you laugh hysterically at times, wince at others.

The nature of young men is to battle, in one shape or fashion, to show their dominance, and Bobo capitalized on this — all the way to the bank.  Everyone knew what was in store as some overconfident ego filled guy stepped up like a gladiator to throw a ball.  In most cases, the gladiator walked away humiliated.  For spectators like me, it was hilarious. Continue reading Bobo

Just Six Inches Away

When it goes right, home repairs and DIY work is fun. On the other hand, Bessie hold the barn door closed when it goes wrong!!

I updated a bathroom. There wasn’t exactly pressure to get it done quickly, but with four teenage girls in the house at the time, taking one of three bathrooms out of commission makes day-to-day life a bit more hectic, and when they’re all doing their hair at once,  dangerous!

Each phase of the potty house renovation was down on paper, (that’s notebook paper, in case you’re wondering).  I pulled up the commode first, and other than an unexpected splash of water in my mouth when moving it, it was easy as pie, or easy as….well, never mind.

The floor and wall tiles came off with a little elbow grease, and all was going as planned.  Yay for a bathroom paper plan!

Continue reading Just Six Inches Away

Stories about family, faith, friends and funnies. Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of coffee and laugh, cry, ponder and inspire about ordinary events of this wonderful, ever changing, bubbling pot that we call "every day life".

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