Category Archives: Family

Dancing in the Dark

At the Rec Center of the local university, a guy wearing sun glasses was making odd, random movements while music played over the loud speakers.  He was near the swimming area and sand volleyball pits, and the closer I got, the more I wondered if he was drunk.  At best, I figured he had some sort of muscle coordination problem, plus he had what looked like a goofy grin on his face.

Every step closer though it became clear I was wrong, way wrong.  He was blind. Continue reading Dancing in the Dark

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Carl, The Cat!

My daughters wanted a cat several years ago. I put my foot down. Absolutely not! No cat! Zero! Zilch! None! Ever!

They kept on. I said no, no, no! They kept on. I said no kitten, no way!

They kept on. It was like verbal water boarding, so finally, I agreed to go look, but that’s all! Just look! Understand? No cat, period. Just looking!

We adopted Carl the next day.

Continue reading Carl, The Cat!

The Sun’s Hope

The green grass fades while the blue sky darkens to shades of gray.  A magnificent array of red, orange and yellow spatter the clouds with peace, contentment, hope.  A single bird flies across the sky, as if it were homeless this evening, searching, seeking, wanting a place to safely land and call its own. Yet the bird flies on with something, something unknown to man, on its mind.

The wind turns to a soft breeze as the cool, gentle breath of nature begins to blow through heaven’s air conditioner vents.

The front porch rockers face the west and glide back and forth as the sun shoots off its version of fireworks in the clouds, as if to say goodbye, and goodnight, until tomorrow’s morning light. Continue reading The Sun’s Hope

The Old White Truck

It’s official! The old 96 GMC pickup has been driven solo by all eight of my kids!

My Dad would be proud! Or maybe, just maybe, the floors of heaven opened up for just a minute so he could see Jessica, the last of my Mohicans, drive the truck he bought new before he died. In that case, it’s safe to say he IS proud!

Me too!

It’s a wonder the ole white beast truck has survived at all! Clocking in at just under 200,000 miles, it has seen better days, but it’s still a solid truck. It’s just good to have solid metal surrounding a teenage driver, ya know? Even with no radio, air conditioning, fan blower and a tailgate that won’t open without a pair of pliers, the old fellow just putts along. And besides, who needs air conditioning in Texas anyway??

Continue reading The Old White Truck

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

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