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!

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!

Advertisements

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

Slave, What Is Your Name?

(A reblog of an accidentally deleted post from 2-4-19)

Movie.

Gladiator.

Scene.

Maximus had been taken into slavery and became a Gladiator. He is ultimately taken to Rome to fight in the great Coliseum and wins the hearts of the blood thirsty mob for his valor and fighting skill.

The evil emperor, Commodus, thought Maximus was dead and forgotten. He goes to the Coliseum floor before the throngs to meet the great Gladiator, Maximus, whose face is always covered by his helmet. The ensuing conversation moves me to my core…

Commodus: “Why doesn’t the hero reveal himself and tell us his real name? You do have a name?”

Maximus: “My name is Gladiator.” (Turns and starts to walk away.)

“How dare you show your back to me! Slave! You will remove your helmet and tell me your name!”

Maximus takes off his helmet, turns and faces the evil Commodus.  In quiet, determined words, he tells his name, his TRUE identity:

“My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius. Commander of the armies of the north. General of the Felix legions. Loyal servant to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son. Husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life, or the next.”

Utterly shocked to find Maximus alive, Commodus’ words falter. His troops draw swords to slay the Gladiators, but the Coliseum erupts in unison, “Live, live, live…”

The devious, scheming Commodus realizes he is politically and ethically trapped in the eyes of Rome, at least for the moment, so he reluctantly turns his thumb up to show the gladiator will live to fight another day.

Commodus walks from the arena while the Coliseum explodes in cheers, not for the evil emperor, but the gladiator slave as the chant begins…”Maximus, Maximus, Maximus!” Continue reading Slave, What Is Your Name?

Nightmare on Tahoe Street 😂

We jumped at the chance to help take care of three grandkids while their mom and dad did duties at a church camp retreat! It’s what grandparents do.

We jump in and help, you know? All for one, and one for all! Do it for the team!

Oh, did I mention it was at Lake Tahoe? In a cabin setting? Second story waterfront view? Alright. Well, SURE!  Happy, happy, happy to fly from Texas to help!!

Our job was to help entertain the three munchkins, ages 6, 4, and 2, even though they all answer “and a half” when asked their age.

Life is odd like that. By the time you’re my age, you round down. In fact, birthdays are now Pretend To Have Ten Fewer Candles on the Cake Day!  Besides, it saves the environment from candle pollution and the smoke detector doesn’t go off!

Anyway, at the retreat center, Janet and I discovered there was no adjoining door between the rooms. In fact, there were three queen size beds in our room….with only one bed in Mommy and Daddy’s room.

Uh, huh! That’s just stinkin’ parental brilliance right there! Why didn’t I think of that as a young parent?!
Continue reading Nightmare on Tahoe Street 😂

Pharisee and Believer Recipes

Pharisee Recipe

Pour two cups of pride into a large mixing bowl while forgetting all the bad things you’ve done.

Add cup and half of good works to a cup of following church norms. Extra flavor occurs when family activities are sacrificed to accommodate church commitments.

Carefully compare yourself to others who’ve done worse things, then generously sprinkle in bowl when you need to feel good about yourself.

Smile continuously at those like you, but shake your head in “pity and concern” for those in need of God.  Demonstrate disdain for particularly sinful people, and keep your distance unless, of course, on a church mission trip.

Carefully sift from consciousness all personal weaknesses, struggles, failures, sin and wrongs against others.  Hide sifted mixture in large Tupperware container in back of your memory pantry.  Use multiple containers, when necessary, and cover with black trash bags to insure no one accidentally sees your Tupperware.
Continue reading Pharisee and Believer Recipes

Taste an Apple

The callousness of day-to-day activities seem to dwarf moments in life that make it real, alive and special.

If life were an onion, the outer shell is work, chores and all the necessary tasks of living.  The outer, crusty shell of the onion can easily overwhelm the core and inner layers where the best and most treasured memories, events and times are held.

Peel life back layer by layer, day by day, and most days aren’t really appreciated, truly experienced, or even remembered, at least by me. It’s an observation, not a condemnation.

Nature itself seems to place our mind on auto pilot to mindlessly glide through the events of the day.  Continue reading Taste an Apple

Black and White Color

Sometimes it’s impossible to see past today.  Sometimes, not.

During a little boy’s one year birthday party at a gymnasium, his kind-hearted, gracious, 76 year great-grandmother was chasing the toddler as he carried a basketball.  He would throw it; she would retrieve it, just so he could throw again.

After a few minutes, he tired of the game and toddled off to something else on the other end where all the activity was.

Alone on the end of the basketball court, she picked up the basketball again and I assumed was about to put away.  Instead, she bounced it several times while walking in her black dress pants, blouse and square heel black dress shoes.  On the third bounce, the ball hit her shoe and rolled along the court toward the basketball goal.

As she walked toward the ball, something seemed very familiar in the way she reached down to pick it up. Continue reading Black and White Color