Category Archives: country

Brotherly Love Through Air Soft

The natives were restless. It was the fifth day of no power after a hurricane knocked out power lines throughout East Texas. It would be several days longer before electricity was restored. The only power came from a generator that ran a freezer, fridge and a couple of fans, nothing else.

The boys were getting a war-torn look in their eyes. They were bored.

One of life’s formulas is: Bored teenage boys = dangerous ideas divided by stupid actions.  It’s just a fact of life.

They boys played all the games they knew, even invented new ones, but it was Jared, who was 16 at the time, was the first to cross the “throw down and fight line”.  He ambushed his three brothers from behind with an air soft gun. Continue reading Brotherly Love Through Air Soft

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Long Night at the Camp

My sons snookered me!

“Come camp with us on my father-in-law’s 800 acre island on the Gulf Coast bay, Dad”, my oldest son, Blake, told me.

“The island’s great!  He runs cows on it and it has several fresh water ponds, and salt water canals surround the island. I’m taking my boat and there are ducks, dove, quail, wild hogs, gators and coons galore. We’ll catch flounder, reds, trout, drum, maybe even a shark or two. Come on! It’ll be fun!”

They drove down together that morning, and like a moth to the flame, I made the two-hour drive right after work.

I should’ve thought.  I should’ve asked.  I should’ve brought my own gear regardless of what they told me.

I didn’t. Continue reading Long Night at the Camp

It’s All Good

The alarm goes off at 5:05 AM. It made enough noise and took the perfect amount of time to rouse from a deep sleep. A pull of the blanket over the head won’t make sleep return. Besides, a nagging conscience says get up and exercise.

By 5:25 AM I’m hitting the road. At the same time the day before, I walked with my daughter, Jessica, while she walked the neighbor’s dog.

Today though, the dog will be walked in the afternoon. And besides, today Jessica wouldn’t wake except for a five-alarm fire and Janet’s allergies would go ballistic in the midst of the pine pollen blizzard.

The first steps are always the hardest, especially walking by yourself. It’s a battle of wills as the body objects to the mind’s intentions. After a quarter-mile, the body submits. After a mile, body and mind are in harmony.

Continue reading It’s All Good

Baby Coon Precious

A car skid to a stand-still on the dirt road in front of my house some years back. Through the woods, I could see and hear three young men.

It wasn’t ordinary, and they were interested in something on the edge of my land.  I armed myself, told my oldest three sons to wait where they were, fired up the truck and drove to where they were.

There were three college guys looking up a tree on the edge of the barbed wire fence on the property line.  Way up at the top of a large pine tree was a huge mama raccoon looking down at the guys.  About ten feet up, four baby coons were sitting on a tree limb. Continue reading Baby Coon Precious

You Can’t Take It With You

The rumble of a Harley pulled up on the other side of  me at the gas station pump.  I was watching the money side spin a lot faster than the gallons, and glanced across the gas pump at the biker.  He wore overalls, which were unbuttoned on the sides, boots, a black sleeveless Harley t-shirt, sunglasses and a skull cap.

For whatever reason, a gallon or so later I looked back at his motorcycle and noticed the trailer he was pulling. It was literally a LOL moment!

His motorcycle trailer was made out of a full-sized casket!  It was meticulously welded to a trailer frame, and both the casket trailer and his motorcycle were color coordinated in matching blue paint!

I complimented the uniqueness of his trailer and he beamed a satisfied smile.  When I asked if I could take a picture though, he came alive! (No pun intended.)  Continue reading You Can’t Take It With You

Texas High School Football

An East Texas high school football team has a dynasty going. They’ve now won 6 state championships in the last 10 years. I followed them this season, not for the team, but for the entertainment of the local radio broadcasters!

State football championship games are all played at AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play, just before Christmas weekend. Local radio stations from across Texas come to broadcast their local teams on live radio, and now with the internet, the broadcasts are streamed on line.

I heard most of the game live as the radio announcers called the state championship game in their deep East Texas vernacular!

To help hear the accent, imagine yourself listening to someone who has two wadded up, dry paper towels stuck inside each cheek when they speak. Then, slooooooow doooown theiiiir woooords a taaad. That’s how it sounds.  Continue reading Texas High School Football

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

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

Tire Store Epitome

A front end alignment appointment at 8 AM on Saturday seemed straight forward, but trucks, cars and mobile equipment were everywhere. Inside, about fifteen men were waiting. Interestingly, all were wearing boots, jeans and a plaid or denim shirt, except for the tire shop owner who was dressed up because he had on a Magellan fishing shirt. That’s not an endorsement or condemnation of anyone, just a local clothing colloquialism.

When a middle-aged man walked in wearing designer shorts, spotless, name brand tennis shoes and a lime green dress shirt with a fuzzy vest over it, he stood out like a leprechaun at a slam dunk basketball competition. Even more so, his overly bronze face and legs looked more like a tanning bed accident rather than nature’s sunshine reward and he seemed, I don’t know, awkward. Each black and silver hair was perfectly in place and not one of them moved, even in the wind.

Continue reading Tire Store Epitome

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