A Little Favor

The last thing I wanted was a diversion.  It’d been a long day.

Sure enough, diversion.

As I drove out, he was walking the opposite direction into a cold, 20 mph wind with light drizzling rain.

“Stop. Turn around and give him a ride” was the quiet, still message inside.

My internal response was, “Aww man!”

A quarter mile down the road, I felt bad, so a U-turn and a quarter mile back, I pulled up beside the tall, slender man.

He was probably 55 to 60 years old, carrying a plastic grocery bag in each hand.  His clothes were old and worn, but clean and well cared for.

His head was ducked down, leaning into the frigid wind, and his arms remained close to his sides to try to stay warm while carrying milk in one bag and can goods in the other.

He looked up with a tired, worn expression, but when I asked through my truck window if he wanted a ride, his eyes lit up instantly. Continue reading A Little Favor

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    Déjà Vu

She was out of place at the convenience store Subway.  I saw her sit down at a tall bar stool table inside.

She wasn’t eating, but had a small Styrofoam cup of coffee that she wasn’t drinking.

Her silver blue hair was perfect, in every way, and she was wearing her Sunday best dress complete with a little pearl necklace and old fashioned black, block heel dress shoes.

She was tall and slender, and her glasses seemed to be part of her face, like they’d been there for years. Continue reading     Déjà Vu

HEART OF HOPE (2) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story

“Daddy, they called! They have a heart!!”

(Read Part 1 here)

A new heart!  Renewed hope!!  A chance for Shelby to live a full life!!  It’s exactly what we hoped and prayed for!

But wait!  Wait…

For one to live, someone doesn’t.

Somewhere, a family’s tears flow. Someplace, loved ones grieve. Somebody is hurting, mourning a tragic loss.

Their hope, it’s gone.

Yet, in the deepest of deep grief, they share. They share life through their loss.

To someone else, some unknown person to them … to Shelby … they pass along a heart, the very beat of life. Continue reading HEART OF HOPE (2) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story

HEART OF HOPE (1) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story

Phone rings.  3:42 AM.  Never a good call at that time.

I listen, shocked.  Adrenaline rushes.  My fingers tremble on my shirt buttons.

Twelve minutes later in the ER, several people explain that Shelby, my 20 year old daughter, has an enlarged heart that’s only working at 15% capacity.

I can’t get to her.  People everywhere, beside her, in the way. I can’t reach her, and she’s slipping away.

It’s almost ten minutes before I can bend over to see her in the bed, pale.  So pale.  Shallow breathing.  Hands and fingers, blue and cold.

I speak softly, fully understanding I may not ever get to again. “Hey Sweetheart.”

Her eyelids flutter before opening her blue eyes that are there, but slipping.

I see the recognition as she whispers, “Daddy, I don’t want to die.” Continue reading HEART OF HOPE (1) – My Daughter’s Transplant Story

Dad, Does Insurance Cover an Ambulance

I didn’t recognize the number and almost didn’t answer. “Hello.”

It was my third son, Todd, who has an adventurous spirit.  “Hey, Dad. Whatchu up to?”

“Just watching a soccer game on TV”, I said.  “I thought you were in San Antonio playing in the college club soccer tournament this weekend?”

“Yeah, I am.”

“Y’all doing alright?”

“Yes sir. We won the first one, lost the second, and tied right now.”

Todd pressed on. “Hey, does our insurance cover ambulance rides?”

“Yeah. Why do you ask?”

“I was talking to some guys and I didn’t know.”

“Yeah, any time there’s an accident, it’s covered.” I was getting confused. “Where are you?”

“I’m at our game.”

“Are you finished, or about to start?,”

“No, the game’s going on now.”

“Well Todd, why aren’t you playing?”

“I was, but I was making a steal and slid to clear the ball out of bounds.  The guy from the other team fell on me and when he did, there was a loud pop in my neck.”

“Oh man!! Are you hurt?  Need to go to the doctor?”

Todd matter of factly said, “These guys think I do.”

“What guys?”

“The paramedics.” Continue reading Dad, Does Insurance Cover an Ambulance

I Went to a Football Game

I went to a football game, alone. It was second half of our local 13,000 student Stephen F. Austin State University football game.  It was Parent’s Weekend, so literally half the people left after the 2nd quarter.

It was a stifling hot Texas evening, so I sat at the top of the stadium where there was virtually no one, but the team flags blew in the breeze. That breeze was nice!

I participated, without involvement. Was part of the crowd, yet not crowded. With people, but all by myself.

Plus, high in the stands you can see plays develop.

Perfect! Continue reading I Went to a Football Game

Whisker Windfall

This Labor Day was the twentieth anniversary since I grew a goatee. Haven’t seen the ugly under those hair follicles in this century!

Several weeks ago Janet and I traveled, and in Keystone, South Dakota, I shaved.

I was shocked! Without hair on my face, everything looked different!

At least my receding hair line, even if it’s in a steady retreat, is a gradual reveal.  It’s like a slow descent plane landing.  But shaving cold turkey and going lickety-split from whiskers to clean shaven after twenty years, well that’s an engine failure crash landing!

I felt like I needed to introduce myself to the guy staring back at me in the mirror! Who is this stranger?

The worst part, however, was somehow, sometime in last twenty years, someone snuck another chin under the original! It doesn’t look like a double chin with facial hair, right?

But now, my face looks pregnant! Nine months. With twins! Continue reading Whisker Windfall

Writer’s Block

The weakest ink lasts longer than the strongest memory.

Sometimes the ink flows.

But sometimes it’s stuck in the pen.

Full, but nonetheless, dry.

 

Thoughts crash in thunderous explosions,

Yet it’s all thunder, no rain.

Ideas, memories, laughter, pain,

They come, they go,

Enter, leave,

Flicker, fail.

Nothing sticks, nothing lasts.

Writers Block

Like Alzheimer’s,

Random, continuous thoughts flow,

But nothing connects in logical sequence.

Before a memory is expressed,

The wind catches it’s seed, without root,

And no effort or concentration can make a difference,

As neurotic puffs wisp away the thought to oblivion,

Never to be seen, nor known, again.

 

And so it is today.

The pen remains silent.

Still.

Dry.

Maybe tomorrow ink will flow.

Maybe.

 

Writers Block

Throw Momma From The ‘Plane’

Last week we flew to Rapid City, South Dakota to start a six state vacation tour. There’s always a variety of people on airline flights.  I catch myself evaluating everyone, particularly the men, just in case I have to fight.

Don’t call me paranoid. Call me, I don’t know, prudent. Maybe paranoid.  Mainly, prudent.

This flight though, I was more worried about a flight attendant than anything else! At first, I wasn’t completely sure if he was a she, or she was a he. It was she.

I’m figuring she could’ve retired in 1972, but has held on to working as long as she can. The airline must have great benefits! Hair styling, Botox and charm school, however, aren’t among them.

Her gruff, don’t make me slap you, matter of fact, I smoke three packs of cigarettes a day for lifer voice seemed disturbingly familiar. She even looked familiar, but patting my chin with my finger, I couldn’t figure out from where…

Then my mind started churning….a movie, maybe?

That’s it! That’s who the stewardess looks like!  She looked like mama from the 1987 movie, Throw Momma From the Train!  It was uncanny!!  Twilight Zone music started playing it was so eerie!! Continue reading Throw Momma From The ‘Plane’

To See The Way

A college student in an electric wheel chair was moving up the sidewalk beside our local university.

She controlled her chair with one hand while tapping a cane back and forth in front of her with the other.  She was partially paralyzed, and on top of it, blind! Yet there she was, out in public, on her own, making her way from place to place!  Amazing!!

I respect her immensely for doing what seems impossible to me!

She reminds me of a blind friend named Randy I knew in college.  Randy was 7 or 8 years older than me and had lost his sight his senior year of high school when he caught a rare virus. Continue reading To See The Way

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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