Category Archives: life

To See The Way

A college student in an electric wheel chair was moving up the sidewalk beside our local university.

She controlled her chair with one hand while tapping a cane back and forth in front of her with the other.  She was partially paralyzed, and on top of it, blind! Yet there she was, out in public, on her own, making her way from place to place!  Amazing!!

I respect her immensely for doing what seems impossible to me!

She reminds me of a blind friend named Randy I knew in college.  Randy was 7 or 8 years older than me and had lost his sight his senior year of high school when he caught a rare virus. Continue reading To See The Way

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Playhouse to Lighthouse

The tenth grandchild is coming in October! Can’t wait! Grandkids are great!

Last year I built a swing set for the grandkids, then a fire truck (you can read that here).

The boys had something, but JJ, daughters, daughter-in-laws, and even granddaughters said they wanted something for the girls, specifically, a playhouse. Playhouse foundation

~Challenge accepted.~

I drew up plans for a little 10’ x 10’ playhouse, bought the materials and started work.

It’s insulated, with lights, porch lights and a plug for a heater or fan powered by an extension cord.

Like everything that comes from your hands though, I know where I messed up.  I see my mistakes, things others, besides building professionals, may miss.                     img_0633

But I see them.

I shake it off.  Remind myself that the goal isn’t perfection, even if I want it.  Demanding perfection, whether in a playhouse or a child’s life and behavior, destroys the goal. Continue reading Playhouse to Lighthouse

You Come From Good Stock

Three months ago. Saturday. 8:04 AM. Work rings. Never good. Answer phone.

“Dee’s mom called. His wife is a nurse and woke up and heard him gurgling. She called 9-1-1 and started CPR. They don’t know how long he was without oxygen. He’s at the ER now, but non-responsive.”

My heart sunk. We’d worked together 23 years. Dee’s a quality guy. I knew then I’d never see him again, not the same.  At minimal, brain damage from oxygen deprivation would forever change him.

~~Something awakened Dee’s wife, Alanda, at 6:15 AM.  She heard Dee gurgling from fluid filling his lungs. She flipped on the light, called 9-1-1 and started CPR.

Alanda saved Dee’s life. He’d crossed death’s doorway, but at the threshold, Alanda grabbed the tip of his little toe toenail and began pulling him back.

Five minutes later paramedics arrived. They took over CPR and used an AED.

One electrical shock to the heart. Two. Continue reading You Come From Good Stock

Life Changes

One of the most consistent things in life is that it changes.

Change constantly swirls around the atmosphere of life in the spiritual, emotional and physical spheres.

Change allows sunshine, and rain, to fall below.

It’s not all bad, not all good.

It is, however, inevitable.

Yet change, maybe just for me, is usually difficult and often seems unkind, unremitting. Continue reading Life Changes

Brahm’s Lullaby

In college I worked one summer at a funeral home.  Morbid? Maybe, but I wanted to be around the death process to understand, not fear it.

Sometimes though things, places, events — they change you, change the way you think, change the way you see and feel life.   That summer changed me, one night in particular.

I had two jobs that college summer.  As soon as I finished my maintenance job, I’d shower, put on my suit and rush to the 2nd job at the funeral home.

It was a visitation that night, just one body, with few visitors expected.  The funeral home owner told me he and his family were leaving town for a short trip, threw me the keys and told me to lock up after everyone left that night.

No one was there, so I went into the state room and was shocked to see the tiny casket.  Inside was a beautiful, eight month old baby girl.  Continue reading Brahm’s Lullaby

Coffee House Blues

I have one vice, coffee.

Coffee is God’s special gift!  On the sixth day God made man, but decided he needed help, so God topped creation with an exclamation point, a woman!

But God leaned back tapping His chin thinking just one more something special was needed, so He made the coffee bean.  He sat back and said, “It is good!”  I’m pretty sure that’s how it reads in Genesis.

Anytime, anyplace, anywhere, anyway, coffee is good!

Granted, it’s probably not the best thing for lunch, but occasionally I drive through the local coffee shop window for a cup of life nectar as a lunch substitute.

The tall, skinny guy taking my order had dark hair curling from under his toboggan.  He had a piercing through his eye brow and a tongue stud that clicked when he talked.  He wore a “Save the Whales” t-shirt that was too tight and a big wide belt that had holes riveted all the way around it. Continue reading Coffee House Blues

Swinging Pendulum

There is something beautiful about clocks, but they seem to move so fast.

It’s true time speeds up with age, or maybe, we just speed up busyness and slow down awareness.  I don’t know.

An early childhood memory is sitting still watching a wall clock and realizing that if you stare straight, stare straight and concentrate, you can see the minute hand move each second in the tiniest of tiny movements.

Not intentionally, I sit now staring at a clock deep in thought.  Slowly an awareness of time dawns. Continue reading Swinging Pendulum

Catching Men With Fish

Saturday week ago we were on family vacation at Surfside Beach, Texas.  We rented a 5 bedroom beach house that sleeps 30.  That’s a lot, but if everyone was there, 28 would be piled in … at least until the next grandchild is born in October.

On the verge of cocky, we guys planned a fish fry (fish we hadn’t yet caught) Saturday night for the 18 of us there.  Thank goodness it wasn’t on the keepers I caught.  Gandhi ate more than that!

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We fished off the jetties the first day, and my sons locked into a dozen or so speckled sea trout.  They just quietly grinned like cats at a dairy farm every time I reeled in a small fish.

In the end though, we had more than enough fish.

We ate and ate, but cooked way too much. (That’s what you get when five men cook a meal.) Continue reading Catching Men With Fish

Why Me?

I was making my way to a book store downtown in my own little world, absorbed in my own thoughts, with no desire to interact with anyone other than get through and get gone.

A man came out of God-Tel, a local homeless mission, up the sidewalk from me.  He started walking towards me and I dutifully moved to the right so we would cross in the socially acceptable manner.

He walked with no sense of purpose, and his steps had no urgency.  I glanced at him to give the slight nod of the head that men give each other that says, “I see you. I recognize you and respect your presence, but I have no intention of talking to you”.

Instead of making the acceptable brief, expressionless eye contact and responding in kind with the same nod back, he looked away toward the street.

Not giving eye contact raised a red alert alarm, so I steadied my gaze on him as he ambled toward me. Continue reading Why Me?

There Go I

I once had a chicken with a small injury on its tail.  I caught it, doctored it, then made a terrible mistake.  I released it back into the large coop with the 15 or so other birds.

The next day the chicken was in a corner of the pen, alive, but barely.  Its tail feathers and many on its back were gone and the small injury was now a gaping wound.

I stared in disbelief as one by one the other chickens went by and pecked the wounded bird.  As if its spirit had been broken in 24 hours, it sat facing the corner of the pen cowering down in a defensive posture.

It didn’t even move when pecked, except when it winced in pain when another chicken hit the wound directly. RabBits 9

I did what I should have done the day before and separated it in a small protected pen, but it was to late, the chicken died shortly afterwards. Continue reading There Go I