Hurricane Rita was going to blow in a few hours later and I was shutting down the hatch. My four sons helped and I was about through when I walked in on them in the garage. They looked guilty. Figures.
I was hurrying so I didn’t ask why they had a life jacket, rope and a new 8’ x 10’ vinyl tarp. I should’ve done a mental stop, drop and roll, but there were just bigger fish to fry. Besides, the next day I’d find out during the peak of the hurricane.
Ever since they were little, Blake, the oldest, has come up with ideas for his younger brothers to try. Jared, the second born would usually pass on the idea, but instead encourage Todd, the third son, to try some scattered brain idea.
Sometimes Todd volunteered. Sometimes they talked him into it. Sometimes he was blackmailed into some wild, half-baked scheme, most of which (surprise, surprise) dealt with some sort of danger or peril.
Regardless how outlandish, or in this case, hazardous it might be, Todd usually tried their brain cramp scams.
Blake had an idea — a homemade parachute, powered by hurricane winds, to make Todd go airborne! Continue reading Catching Wind….in a Hurricane!
It’ll be dark in an hour. I jump in the pickup and start driving aimlessly in the country. After a sweltering hot day, it’s cool. With both windows rolled down, it feels like heaven on earth air conditioning.
Smells of a freshly cut grass, honey suckle patches on fence rows and the scent of distant rain clouds permeate the air. Red dust flies up behind the truck. It envelops the branches of the trees looking like a Picasso painting in the rearview mirror.
A little further down a pickup pulling a trailer is in a field being loaded with hay bales from last week’s cutting. Just past that is a house where a boy rides his bike in a big circle over and over. He finally gathers his courage to take another shot to go airborne off the ramp he made from two 5-gallon buckets and a stiff piece of plywood.
It’s the South. It’s the country. It’s rural living. It’s a culture where most folks like a slower pace of life, and not being crowded in at the gills by neighbors. Continue reading Dirt Road Drive
I used to work in the mental health field as a Licensed Professional Counselor. With that said, I’ve talked to a lot of people who suffer from depression and, in fact, have been depressed before myself. To say it is difficult is a vast understatement. Statistics show that 10.4% of all physician office visits have depression indicated on the medical record. With that in mind, here’s my best shot to describe depression –
Depression is having cold feet in the summer, and sweating under your coat in winter.
You used to raise your hands to praise to God, but now, getting them high enough to scratch your ear is hard.
You smile, shine your package, wrap your heart under brightly colored wrapping paper, but the contents are broken, crushed, spilling out.
You don’t know why. Not really.
Hope despairs. Continue reading The Talons of Depression
I just wanted a smoothie, that’s all! A simple smoothie, in and out, no big deal.
Last week two college girls were working the Smoothie King counter. After staring mindlessly at the order board, I finally asked what the best tasting, healthiest smoothie was.
She immediately said her favorite smoothie was loaded with vitamins, fruit and called the Pre-Mama.
She was right! It was great!
Friday two college guys were working. They were polar opposites. One was huge and tall; the other short and small, leprochaun size really. I wanted to catch the hyper little guy and demand he take me to his hidden a pot of gold!
A lady was ordering in front of me. The big guy taking her order had on a T-shirt at least a size too small, plus he had no, absolutely zero, enthusiasm. Undertakers at funerals have more enthusiasm! Continue reading Mama of King Smoothie
It started with well meaning insults. I called him Fat Lard — he asked when my baby was due. It wouldn’t have mattered much except we were at work having cake and ice cream for a co-worker’s birthday.
I fell for it when he asked if I was losing weight. “I don’t think so”, I said suspiciously wiping ice cream from the corner of my mouth. “I don’t think so either!!” he proudly rebuffed. That made the guy sitting between us laugh so hard ice cream came out his nose.
Another co-worker, a skinny, hard belly, in shape little snot, talked about how we ought to come build fence with him over the weekend so we’d lose weight. He smiled as big as a con man at a senior citizen’s home when he proclaimed he wouldn’t even charge us a gym fee. We both ignored the loudmouth and chalked up his demeanor and hard stomach to a bad case of pin worms. Continue reading Lunch Time Workout
I bought a bust on clearance at Hobby Lobby. At 90% off I snatched the last one up like a large mouth bass after a Carolina rig.
It wasn’t until I got home that I realized my new purchase was damaged at the shoulder. In fact, it had a really big hole in it. At first I started to leave it like it was because looking straight at it, you couldn’t see anything wrong. But turn it ever so slightly, and there was the gaping hole.
With a little bit of plastic cement and some poor, ragged patchwork, the hole was fixed, even though it’s obvious it’s been repaired. After a couple of coats of spray paint, it was all the same color and not as blaringly obvious.
Now it’s on my desk in our home office. The pleasant, gently smiling woman looks like all is good, but on close examination, there’s “patchwork” hidden in plain sight. Continue reading People Patchwork
My nemesis, Verti, has got to go! I’m tired of her magical spell. She’s not nice. In fact, she’s downright cruel. She keeps things stirred up and puts her own twisted spin on everything. She’s really mixed up!!
It started with a headache for a couple of days, which in and of itself is unusual for me. But then it turned into light headedness. I guess it’s obvious I may be light in the head …. but this isn’t a ditz light-headed … it’s a someone is playing spin the bottle in my brain light-headed!
I was at work walking in the plant and some sneaky rascal started moving the concrete floor! The world was spinning like a county fair Tilt-A-Whirl!
Continue reading Verti Has To Go!
While pushing a grocery buggy with a squeaky, lop-sided wheel through the store, a happy dance suddenly rises from the marrow of my bones. Blue Bell’s on sale!
Feeling tears of joy well up in my eyes, I stand hopelessly in front of the double glass doors completely mesmerized by the gold and brown rim half gallons of ice cream. Salivating like Pavlov’s dog, I narrow in on Southern Blackberry Cobbler, but just before I reach for it, I see Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough out of my peripheral vision, and there’s Moo-Llennium Crunch above that!
Those made me second guess myself, and fight, and I mean fight, to walk away from it all like a good boy should. But like a fly caught in a spider’s web, both feet stick to the floor as people pass me on both sides of the aisle. Continue reading Blue Bell Blues
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
It takes someone with a golden heart and an iron will to work at Hospice. My friend, Linda, is one of those people.
Hospice workers try to guard their emotions so they don’t burn out and can help the next person, the next day. Some people still get through the protective wall though and profoundly touch the heart.
For Linda, one such person was an older lady who was quite lucid at the time, but only had a couple of months to live. Every day she went to see her. They would sit and visit, and Linda did all the things she could to help care for her new, dying friend.
No one should feel alone when they die, and the lady’s family was scattered across the country and not able to be with her. Linda was, however, and she began preparing her for the final goodbye. Continue reading Baby Girl