All posts by Jeff Rab

Hi! I'm Jeff and live in East Texas. My wife and I have eleven children between us. Yes, that’s right, 11 kids! With a growing number of grandchildren, there's always something going on, always something to do, always something to see, always a story to tell! I write about faith, family, friends and the funnies of ordinary life looking for the most commonplace, even mundane slivers of time that often have the most profound meaning!

Flea Market Flea Bag

Seven years ago, my oldest daughter wanted a little pet.  An inside cat was out of the question.  So was a dog. At least until I had a momentary lapse of sanity.

We went to a flea market to look around. If I’d known how things were about to play out, I would’ve walked right by the old woman sitting under a shade tree selling puppies.

She was selling little breeds. Without hesitation, all four daughters zeroed in like heat seeking missiles to a cage with four puppies, half Chihuahua, half Japanese Chin.

Half Chihuahuas!  God made Chihuahuas as a practical joke on rats. They’re noisy, obnoxious, cranky little animals that on their best day look genetically defective.

These, however, looked like the furry Japanese Chin part. Before I knew it, the heat seeking missiles exploded.  Shawnna was holding the runt of the litter, all nine weeks old, in the palm of her hand talking to it like it was a little baby.

I’m convinced now the old lady selling them set the hook right then. I just didn’t know it right then. Continue reading Flea Market Flea Bag

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Stand Up, Warrior!

He fell face down in the dirt. The field was plowed a week before and the small clods crumbled between his fingers with dry chaff and stems of the previous crop.

He couldn’t get up. This Valley of Elah, of sorts, was too much, too hard.  The mountain was too high, the valley too low.

His energy was drained, resistance exhausted, and he was so weary of well doing.

Dirt on his forehead began to clear from the sweat of his brow while dirt below his eyes washed clean from tears. Continue reading Stand Up, Warrior!

#Bring Back Rotary Phones

I know it’s unrealistic, politically incorrect, and uncool, but I loathe cell phones.  Lucky people live where there’s no cell service!

Maybe it’d be OK if it was JUST a phone, but it’s a camera, recorder, computer and alarm clock.  There’s more technology in a smart phone than all the systems added together used to send the first man to the moon!  And whoever heard of microchips? Chips are supposed to be made by Lays, not drain the living life out you!

Plus, Europe says it causes cancer!  And then you pay a ton of money for unlimited talk, text and gigabytes of data.  Nobody should be bit by a giga!

Maybe it’s just me?  Maybe if I grew up not knowing anything but internet and cell service, I would fully appreciate cell phones?

Nope!

In my old-fashioned, decrepit way of thinking, cell phones are like Congress: you get a lot of talk, end up paying a lot and get virtually no return on investment!  (Virtually…see how I snuck in tech word there?  No wait, it’s virtual. Nevermind.) Continue reading #Bring Back Rotary Phones

Maybe For One

We sat in assigned seats.  She sat next to me.  I didn’t understand why she would keep her arms crossed, as if holding herself, and rock back and forth while looking down at her desk or staring at the blackboard.  Back and forth she rocked, back and forth.

We were in second grade.  I understand child abuse now, but then, I didn’t even know what it was.

Looking back, she did. Continue reading Maybe For One

High Risk, High Reward

There was a long line for the first interview.  It was person after person in rapid succession.  I wrote “high risk, high reward” on his application because everything pointed to him striking out as an employee, but IF he made it he would be a home run.

A few days later I was getting pretty desperate and went back through applications. There he was.  After a bit of head scratching, I called and left a message.  Within minutes he called back as excited as an elementary boy alone in a candy store.

He was 15 minutes early to the second interview the next day, which is a good sign, but hyperactive as that same elementary kid who ate ALL the candy!

I asked him to tell me about himself.  A gun fired and the race started.  Without breathing, he told me he had graduated from high school seven years ago and everything about himself except which was his favorite tooth. Continue reading High Risk, High Reward

Yella One!

I had a car full — all four daughters and wondering wonder why I never remembered ear plugs for a road trip.

There was a noise lull, which is usually a sign something’s about to happen.  I was obliviously enjoying the semi-peaceful, kinda quiet moment, when a screeching, high-pitched voice shrieks, “Yella one!!!”  Then she hit me in the arm, frogged me right in the muscle!

Being the strong, hard as a rock muscles, manly man that I am, I whimpered, “Ouuuuuuch!”

Wincing in pain I rubbed the muscle while bent over the steering wheel like an assignation victim.

“What did ya do that for!?” Continue reading Yella One!

Broken Picture Frames

I like broken people, the ones whose frames are scratched, dented and their corners don’t match up well.  I like people who have discolored pictures, broken glass, torn canvases. Somehow troubles, pain, turmoil, and suffering tends to create genuineness.

There’s something about pain and trouble that acts like a cleansing fire burning out the impurities of life. Those who emerge from hard times are tempered, refined, and often, real.  It’s not that anyone wants a broken frame or cracked glass, but life breaks and shatters us anyway.  Continue reading Broken Picture Frames

Chartreuse Peace

At the dead-end is where the fish start. The drive, in and of itself, is a mental detox.

It starts on a smooth, asphalt State road that make the tires sing a steady hum. A few miles later it becomes a seal coated Farm to Market road where the tires rumble a deep bass song at 55 miles per hour.

Four more miles and it changes to an oil top County Road. The potholes sound a boom each time a tire drops in at 35 mph. Three miles farther is a ninety degree turn and the oil top turns to gravel. At 20 to 25 mph, the tires grind gravel and sound like wheat being pulverized into flour.

At each road change, travel slows a little while the steering wheel more aggressively shakes in unison as the tires ripple over a washboard section. Continue reading Chartreuse Peace

I Very, Very Happy

A man at work was diagnosed with cancer in a salivary gland.  After extensive testing, the course of treatment was surgery to remove the gland followed by radiation. He was to be back at work in four to five weeks.  Unfortunately, the cancer had metastasized and spread into his jaw bone.  A 2 hour surgery turned into 14.

When he woke, he had a new jaw on one side constructed from grafted bone from his femur.  The cancer had not spread to his brain, thank goodness.  Instead of localized radiation though, he began six weeks of intensive chemotherapy.  He caught pneumonia because his resistance was down and struggled daily, but after being off work over four months, returned, cancer free. Continue reading I Very, Very Happy

Writer’s Block

Sometimes words unexpectedly flow, but then they’ll shut off like moisture in a desert, or is that dessert?   Either way, writer’s block.

What to write? Come on brain! Just do it pen! This blank paper needs to be stained with ink!

Lean forward. Lean back. Headache. Aspirin. No ideas.

Words usually talk to me.  Not today.  Nothing.  Just flat brain waves.

Silence, so I talk to the words. Fingers began moving almost involuntarily over the keys punching out my aggravation. I start scolding words for their impetuous, defiant resistance.

You sorry words need to get yourself together! There’s no need for you to give me the silent treatment! Uh, uh. Not at all.  And some of you little words are just getting way too big for your britches!!  Continue reading Writer’s Block