All posts by Jeff Rab

Hi! I’m Jeff. I’m originally from the Texas Gulf Coast and now live in East Texas with my wife, Janet. Between the two of us, we have eleven children, yes that’s right, 11 kids! With eleven children, and now a quickly growing multitude of grandchildren, there is always something going on! There is always something to do, always something to see, always a story to tell! I currently work in the area of Human Resources in my “second career”. My first career was in the mental health field as a Licensed Professional Counselor. Both are right in the middle of the wonderful, ever-changing, bubbling, boiling pot of people that are almost always the same, yet so vastly individual and unique! It’s fun! In fact, I wish people watching was a paid profession!! It’s in watching people that the simple moments of life seem to take you by surprise. It’s the day to day events, the activities of seemingly ordinary people with extraordinary qualities, that brings character to our regular routines. The most commonplace, even mundane slivers of the day often have the most profound meaning! Maybe it’s because in those moments, faith, work, character, and people, all intersect in the cross hairs of the scope of life. I would love to get your thoughts and perspective! Feel free to like, comment and follow the blog! Look for the little things today, Jeff

It’ll Be Alright

Problems knock on everyone’s door. If not today, tomorrow. Troubles come. Troubles go. Some work out. Some don’t. Some people crater in the storm, some thrive, others just survive. Eventually the valleys, tunnels, the dark roads all reach an end, and in the end, there’s relief.

Still, it may seem impossible to get through. The mountains look too high. The valleys are too dark and deep. The water is over your head and you’re quickly losing strength. Energy fades. Determination wanes. Encouragement leaves. Continue reading It’ll Be Alright

Advertisements

Turning the Tables on Telemarketers

One of the things that used to just drive me crazy was telemarketers calling in the middle of a relaxed evening. Not anymore! Now, I LOVE telemarketers! One unsuspecting telemarketer can make the week!!

Telemarketers today are the old door to door salesmen of years gone by. And as for either one, it doesn’t matter what they are selling, soliciting or surveying, this dog ain’t biting that ham bone!

It’s probably not right, but my goal when telemarketers call and disturb a quiet, peaceful evening is to tie up as much of their time as humanly possible. Their uninvited call becomes my entertainment.

The key, and this is important, the key is to make a telemarketer think you are sincere, but not very smart.  I have a get out of jail free card on the not very smart part, but the sincere part has to be done in some other voice, like a backwards redneck with a severe southern drawl.

My telemarketer call record was a couple of 15-minute phone calls. My first 15-minute call I convinced the poor woman I’d taken pain medication, so I mumbled and acted confused the entire time. She kept asking if she could put me down for a donation to an environmental group, but I was able to turn the tables on her and started thanking her repeatedly for offering to help me financially. I just kept talking non-stop, in slurred speech, about how I was 83 years old, just had surgery, didn’t have any food and my great grandkids needed new shoes for school.

The more I talked, the more uncomfortable she got. She kept trying to interrupt and explain that she was asking for money, not giving it away. Every time she would start to say it I would just mumble over and over, “Oh tank ya, Jesus! Tank ya!” That was a fifteen minute call.

Last Spring a telemarketer number popped up on caller ID, so I used an idea I read about. Before they could say a word, I answered by half speaking, have secretly whispering, “John! I got rid of the body, but there’s blood everywhere!!”

There was nothing but silence on the other end.

“John?! John!! That better be you on the phone!!”  Then all I heard was a dial tone.

Janet was sitting on the couch and looked at me mortified saying the police would be showing up any minute. They never came. I’m assuming the telemarketer was afraid because their number was on caller ID. (Said with an evil Dr. Jekyll laugh of, “Bru,who,hahahahaha!”)

Continue reading Turning the Tables on Telemarketers

The In-Between Seconds

In the brevity of a moment there are seconds, when noticed, that mysteriously blink.  Those blinks are where the essence of life is lived.  It is in the mystique of those brief seconds when everything can, and does, change.  Although those seconds may be understood, they are never adequately explained.

It’s the seconds between a baby in the womb, and the first breath of life.  It’s the seconds between a mindless, carefree drive in the car, and an explosion of the air bag. Continue reading The In-Between Seconds

Just Say, Amen

Only the singers knew the song. It was alright. With some music and songs, you don’t have to know the words because the heart already knows.

After a few words, a gentle hush fell on the church congregation. The song began to resonate in hearts:

“But right here in this moment, May our strength be renewed, As we recall, what God has done, and how He’s seen us through.” Continue reading Just Say, Amen

John Wayne Symphony

It was a first, a symphony! I was told high school band concerts don’t count, but a local community symphony does! They played classical French pieces the entire performance, and for these little Texas ears, it wasn’t bad!

And did you know a symphony has a huge array of fiddle players? They dress kind of funny for fiddle players, but they were good! And then there was the soft accent of woodwinds, the perfect mixture of big brass sound, all punctuated with occasional drums for just the right bon appetite (That’s French for, for…it’s French for something really good!?) Continue reading John Wayne Symphony

And Then It Went Silent

It was before calls could be identified, so it was next to impossible to trace. He called the 1-800 crisis line number in the middle of the night, and it was my night on call to cover the phone.

He went into great detail telling me he wanted someone to know everything he was thinking before he put a bullet in his head to end it all. Continue reading And Then It Went Silent

At Least For Now

There’s a plot of ground that lays still, quiet.  It’s a special, revered ground, but realistically, only to a few.

It’s a place to remember, a place to forget, a place to laugh, to cry, a place to go back and have conversations and wonder if anyone who sees thinks you’re insane. Continue reading At Least For Now

Happy Hawwoween!

The knock on the door was intense and extra loud.

I figured it was more 10 to 12 year old boys who had been trick or treating by the droves. The last group of 4 boys had been dressed like zombies and the boy closest to me at the door was in character, acting like he was going to bite my arm. I told him to be careful because the last ghoulish little boy who acted like he was going to bite me was buried in the back yard. The boy was simply amused, but the boy farthest from the door stepped back away from me while pushing his open trick or treat bag up for candy. Continue reading Happy Hawwoween!

Eating Out Where They’re Out to Lunch

After my daughter’s out of town volleyball games, Janet and I look for out-of-the-way places to eat in rural East Texas. Sometimes though…

…sometimes, we should turn around. Like, what if the door doesn’t have a closing time? What kind of place closes just, whenever? It reminds me of the Hotel California — you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.  Hint, hint, hint. There’s no closing time on the door. Yikes!

Inside we stood wondering what to do, but it was a country cafe so we seated ourselves.  We saw another couple we know from volleyball who had the same bright idea. We spoke and discovered they had been there a while but hadn’t ordered yet.  (There’s another clue.) Continue reading Eating Out Where They’re Out to Lunch

Hot Dog Eyes

The Houston Astros won their first World Series game last night.  First ever! That kicked up a memory.  I grew up an hour south of Houston and attended countless Astros games back in the day.

I took my two oldest sons, Blake and Jared, to an Astros game in the old Astrodome when they were five and four, respectively. Halfway through the game, I decided to walk the entire circle of the Dome and show them the field from different vantage points.  We meandered through the large crowds and stopped in various places to look at the field and stadium from where we were right then.

We came to a particularly busy spot and I experienced a parent’s worst nightmare. Somehow, I lost Blake.   Continue reading Hot Dog Eyes