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!

Coffee Kindness

We had a blood drive at work recently.  A co-worker is an avid donor and has donated blood, not just platelets or plasma, but whole blood, 126 times now!  That’s 126 pints, 63 quarts, 15.75 gallons of his blood to help others! That’s incredible!

I’ve always asked why, but he just says he doesn’t do anything for anyone else and this is a way he can do his part, but it’s always seemed there was something more.  The other day we talked about the blood drive and he shared the something more.  Normally he’s a stoic, private guy, whose emotions swing little one way or the other, so it was a privilege to hear his story. Continue reading Coffee Kindness

In Respect Of Our Home

Last year I boycotted the NFL. Didn’t watch a single game, not even the Super Bowl.  Last week I watched 30 minutes, maybe, of the NFL. It wasn’t until I turned the news on Sunday that I realized what went down with the flag and national anthem this week.

I love football, but far more than that, I love the United States. To me, the flag and national anthem are not a team’s fight song played by the band.  They are symbols of freedom, sacrifice, a dream, a hope, an idea that people have God given rights in freedom. Free, though, is never free. Freedom costs dearly, for the price is measured in blood. Continue reading In Respect Of Our Home

Calf Roping Little Brother

I’d never heard this story from my four sons until a few years ago, but here’s the true talking points of an ever changing set of “official facts”, depending on who you talk to. The bottom line was they were playing Cowboys and wanted to rope calves. Since we didn’t have calves, they told Clark, who is the youngest and only four years old at the time, that they would give him candy if he would run wild while they chased him down and roped him. “It’ll be fun Clark”, they told him, “It’ll be fun”.

Most of the time when mischief was involved, there was a common thread of how it went down. Blake, the oldest, was the mastermind. Jared, the second born, did it. Todd, the third, got blamed. This time, however, they were all in it together. They envisioned themselves as a hard riding, straight shooting, rough and ready band of true blue cowboys…at least in their imaginations. But in reality, they were a barefooted, t-shirt and shorts, backyard, band of boys 12 years and younger. Continue reading Calf Roping Little Brother

Beelzebub’s Workers

It’s pretty much the same every time. “Daddy, there’s a boy I want you to meet.  Can he come over?”  It starts with a 30 to 40 minute interrogation about who he is, who are his friends, where’s he go, how do you know him, what do his parents do, does he have a prison record, etc.  I usually get his height and weight too, just in case I have to dig a shallow grave in the woods.

If he makes it through that hurdle, then I’ll get, “Well, Daddy” – blink, blink and a puppy dog expression – “Can he come over?”   I put my hand on my forehead, not to be dramatic, but because a major headache is setting in, and I blurt out a foolish, half hearted, “Ahhhh!  Yeeeees. He can come over.”  And with that, another one of Beelzebub’s workers has an appointment to “hang out” with one of my daughters. Continue reading Beelzebub’s Workers

A Short Time To Live

Two and half months ago a lightening strike at work crashed our computer server and immediately brought us to our knees. Within an hour a couple of computer geeks who work for the IT Company we contract with showed up. One started on the main frame and one, Joe, began checking individual computers. I walked in my office to see Joe at my desk.  Joe glanced up and asked if I was having problems. I told him I’d spilled a cup of coffee on the tower and it’s acted funny ever since.  Slightly amused, he retorted that my computer was just low on gasoline and after he filled it up and left he wanted me to plug it back in.

I stood fumbling through some paperwork while Joe kept hacking and coughing. Half joking, half serious, I told Joe if he’d lay off the cigarettes his cough would go away. Without looking up from the keyboard he casually said, “Not this time. I found out last week I have stage 4 lung cancer. It only goes downhill from here.” Continue reading A Short Time To Live

First Massage

It was way, way out of my comfort zone, and certainly NOT my idea! We were on a beach in Cozumel and a lady approached Janet with a brochure about a massage. Janet was all in on that conversation, so I wandered over to the water’s edge looking for any little fish I could spot.

A few minutes later I wandered back and she had booked one – a one hour couple’s massage. Ouch! The lady who made the sale stood staring at me looking like her children wouldn’t have shoes if I refused. Continue reading First Massage

Sail On Texas Navy!

It’s a unique part of being human — tragedy, hardship, loss and pain tend to bring people together.  It seems like it would be prosperity, success, everything going good that brings people together.  Not so, at least, not usually.

Case in point is Hurricane Harvey.  For those not directly affected, this may be a meaningless example, or at least, not as poignant. But for those who have experienced it, even if only a part, it is a horrible time for so many people.  At the same time, it’s somehow refreshing, like a root of hope has blossomed. Continue reading Sail On Texas Navy!

Hurricane Heros

The remnants of Hurricane Harvey are still dumping Mother Nature’s tears on my home town of Angleton.  Houston, an hour north, is getting deluged with rain. Creeks, rivers and bayous are overflowing, and every drop of rain on top of that is making life hard on family, friends and strangers.  Having grown up in the area, this is beyond hard. These are some of the most stressful, difficult, trying days one can imagine!

People are leaving their homes for higher ground, but then they are stranded, including Continue reading Hurricane Heros

Rookie Snorkel Vision

Some asthma as a kid along with a few bad respiratory infections as an adult and wala, it’s the perfect potion for a phobia fear! I hate, hate, hate not being able to freely breathe. Even with that, it never crossed my mind that snorkeling entailed semi-restricted breathing through a tube, and that maybe, just maybe, I ought to think twice about putting a mask over my eyes and nose so you can only breathe through the tube just above water.

Even on the boat ride out to a volcano rim off the Hawaii island of Maui, it never occurred to me that breathing is restricted in snorkeling. Continue reading Rookie Snorkel Vision