Category Archives: Hope

Cabbage Pot Love

They were young newlyweds, but he was already wise enough to be quiet.

She grew up a daddy’s girl, a tomboy in every way. She could fish, feed cows, bail hay, but at the time, she couldn’t make toast in a toaster to save her life!

She decided to make her groom a special supper of some of his favorite foods, including cabbage.  She’d never eaten cabbage before, much less cooked it.  Nonetheless, she wanted to be a “good wife” and learn how.

In life, hindsight is always 20/20.  Looking back now she laughs saying she should’ve asked a few questions, read a recipe, something!  But then again, how hard could it be to cook cabbage? Continue reading Cabbage Pot Love

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In Shadows of the Moon

The full moon shines brightly tonight as it catches rays from the sun and reflects light back to this dark side of the earth.

The moon looks warm, even as the temperature drops trying to chase the warmth of life away.

The circle light bulb in the sky is comforting, peaceful, with shadows on the surface.  I strain, squinting to see the shadows.  It’s too bright to see with eyes wide open, too dark with eyes half closed and somewhere in between, there’s a sweet spot to see the moon shadows.

When shadows come into focus, there are shapes, places, people, even thoughts written in clouds on the blackboard of night. Continue reading In Shadows of the Moon

Tinnitus

It’s the craziest thing! Ringing in the ears that won’t go away. Tinnitus. That’s what they call it. A better name would be itsdrivingmealittlebitcrazyitus!

Only 10 to 20% of people have it, so the other 80 to 90% think it’s odd. Granted, it does sound weird; ringing in the ears that doesn’t go away.

I remember as a kid listening to ringing in the dead of the night when everything else was asleep. I didn’t know it wasn’t “normal”.  I thought everybody heard ringing. I even asked my dad as a little boy what the ringing in the middle of the night was. He looked confused, and said I must be hearing the refrigerator, or a mouse was telling me secrets. That was funny, but not an answer.

It wasn’t until college when I read a Dr. Gott column that described tinnitus and incessant ringing in the ears.  What a relief, in a way, to know it was actually a medical condition. At least it wasn’t from a brain implant from aliens who kidnapped me while asleep and performed tests so they could come back and take over the world! Continue reading Tinnitus

Fly Well

The knot is tied. The balloons won’t come apart. Each is similar, yet unique, different, but the same.

They have the same amount of helium, at least at a glance, but you never know about balloons. They were filled with flight giving helium about the same time, but sometimes a balloon leaks unexpectedly. Its smooth surface becomes slack and loose.  It doesn’t bounce or move like a newly filled balloon. Instead of rising to the ceiling, it begins to float around a room mid-air, eventually dropping even further until finally it rests on the floor.

Turn a full helium balloon loose outside and it flies freely, climbing higher and higher! They are easy to see at first, but become smaller as they rise to wherever the winds blow until they finally look like tiny dots before disappearing from sight.

In some ways, two balloons tied together go farther, climb higher, move faster. They catch more wind together than individually. In the long run though one, or both, go flat. Maybe one is accidentally punctured by a tree branch. Maybe the weather changes and cold air causes the balloons to move less freely. Maybe they just sail along until they simply wear out.

Continue reading Fly Well

Riding Shotgun

As a boy I couldn’t wait to get up before the crack of dawn.  My Dad and I had a spot we fished about an hour’s drive away and the best time to get there was at dawn’s early light.

He had snacks and peanut butter sandwiches ready.  I’d ride shotgun in the old pickup held together by rust and bondo. About the time the sun rose, we’d get to the lake.

Crappie, that’s what we were fishing for, and when they were spawning, we were certain to catch them.

Carefully hooking a live minnow in the back with a big gold rim hook, we’d drop 4 or 5 cane poles and couple of rod and reels.

Looking back, I realize I’d bait the first line I dropped in, but after that, Dad patiently rigged up the rest so I could fish right away. Continue reading Riding Shotgun

Fires of Life

Janet and I have eleven children between the two of us, and the count’s at 9 on grandchildren. We’re thinking there’s plenty more to come, especially since 5 of the kids aren’t married yet.

We bought a place last year that was right for family and grandchildren.  I built a standard wooden swing set from a hardware kit.  Easy peasy. But it needed more!

We looked at playground ideas and my imagination ran as wild as an East Texas roadrunner.

Then a blast from the past popped up on Pinterest, a firetruck.  I grew up around that!  My dad was a volunteer fireman for years, and two of those years I was the official “mascot” of the fire department. That’s pretty cool for an elementary age kid!

I knew about an old fire truck which had been sitting in a field rusting the last 22 years. I got permission and scavenged pieces and parts.  Continue reading Fires of Life

Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba

Jared, my second son, was diagnosed as severely deaf in one ear and profoundly deaf in the other when he was two years old. He grew up with multiple ear infections, hearing aids and speech therapy. He could, and did, what every other kid did, but it was harder for him, like soccer, for instance.

Jared would be on a dead run dribbling the ball down field while simultaneously adjusting his hearing aid so it wouldn’t fall off.  When the whistle blew, he kept playing until other players stopped.

Crowded rooms with multiple conversations made focusing on a single voice or sound impossible. Jared never complained, and despite everything, even learned how to play the guitar. Amazing!

When he was twelve, Jared had a cochlear implant. The surgery wasn’t covered by insurance, so a home equity loan, negotiated cash prices with the hospital, surgeon, anesthesiologist and provider for the device put the price tag just below $50,000.

Part of his skull was drilled out behind his ear and a computer device the size of a quarter was implanted in the crevice behind his ear. A wire implanted in his skull runs into the cochlea where it stimulates the auditory nerve going to the brain.

His only disappointment? He couldn’t head a soccer ball anymore because it might knock the implant loose.  Otherwise, everything was a plus and the possibilities were all butterflies and roses. Continue reading Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba,Ba

Help Wanted

The man sat on the bench in front of the Wal-Mart checkout lanes.  I thought he was waiting on someone, but he wasn’t.  He was just sitting and watching for a minute.

He was obviously a working man, about 65ish, and had a day-old shave.  He was a bit chubby, but not flat out fat.  He had draped a couple of plastic bags of items he just bought over his blue jeans.  He wore work cowboy boots and a free blood donation T-shirt.

His face was confident, like he knew he could pretty much handle anything that happened on the outside.  His eyes, however, looked like his heart had been, or maybe still was, wounded.  His eyes looked like muddy, shallow puddles instead of a deep, free flowing fresh water wells.

He got up and started for the exit limping with a distinct, weathered limp. Who knows why, but I suspect his limp was from a rugged injury such as a car accident, oilfield work injury, or getting his leg pinned against a chute while dealing with cows. Continue reading Help Wanted

No More Angel Tears

When the heart’s tap root hits pain, angels cry. Do you feel it?  Do you feel them, something, somewhere, swirling, moving, circling the soul as the root draws up pain watering the heart making it swarthy and bruised?

Some people, some personalities cannot get away from the pain. It’s not that they don’t deal with their own. They do. It’s that some can’t get away from other’s pain.

Sometimes out of the blue it can hit you, in the store, watching TV, hearing a story, understanding what has happened.  The person’s pain, both shown, and even more intense, the hidden pain, grabs hold with a dry ice-cold grip burning the very beats of one’s own heart.

It can’t be explained with words, for words don’t express it. Letters can’t convey it, and the alphabet becomes nothing more than scissors on the tongue.  You can’t get out what has gone in. Continue reading No More Angel Tears

10% Thankful

When Jesus healed ten people, only one returned to Him to say thank you. (Luke 17:11-19)  Jesus even asked where the other nine were. They were all blessed. They were all miraculously healed. They all gained life over a slow excruciating death, yet only one even bothered to come back and say thank you.

That’s horrible! It’s wrong on so many levels!  But then I cringe when I realize I’m not in the 10% of people who are truly grateful.  I don’t always go back and say thank you. I’m ashamed of that.

I once read it’s impossible for an ungrateful person to truly be happy.  Makes sense! A lot of sense! Continue reading 10% Thankful