Category Archives: life

Catching Wind….in a Hurricane!

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!

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Today’s Firefly Moments

It’s not about lifetimes. It’s about moments.

No one intends to forget the taste of life known during their early years. Yet as the earth rotates and circles the sun, life gets busy, rushed, stressful.  We tend to brush aside today for what seems more important, making it to the next paycheck, planning for retirement or just getting through today.

It’s easy to lose sight of the road we’re rolling over now and focus on the mile marker of the next destination.  In hindsight, it’s a tragedy to bypass today for tomorrow, assuming tomorrow actually comes.

When life’s sun begins to set in the Western sky, human nature ponders more moments of the day. Moments tend to become more precious.  The mind begins to wander, wondering what was forgotten, downplayed or just missed altogether in the past.  Life goes so fast.

No one on their deathbed asks for their 401(k) statement, primps in the mirror, or looks just one more time at a problematic carpet stain in the hallway.  We want people. People we share life with. People we love. Continue reading Today’s Firefly Moments

They Said

No doubt her hands were shaking when she wrote her suicide note.  Her heart was in a million pieces, pieces that apparently no one noticed, or maybe, cared to notice.

She tried to write her last words, words that would explain, words that will tell all and clarify her actions. She wanted to describe her feelings, and try to explain why she did what she was about to do.

Her heart spilled out of the pen onto the paper as she wrote her last words.  She tied a rope to a ceiling beam in her apartment, stood in a chair, tied the other end around her neck and kicked the chair aside.

They Said story

The police found her several days later when a neighbor became concerned.  Her suicide note explained nothing, yet said it all.  Her note contained two words…….“They said”.

Tragically, this true story happened in California and no one ever discovered who, how or what they said.  One thing, however, was certain, they said it.

The tongue, and the pen, can wield amazing power to make people laugh or be encouraged. Words can cause one to believe and hope, yet words can bring devastation, heartache and despair.

Words can be of instruction, construction or destruction.

There’s the power of life and death in words.  They can heal, or they can kill.

Look for opportunities to shut up. Converse wisely.  Talk gently. Speak life.

Too bad that’s not what “they said”.

They Said story

Carl, The Species Confused Cat!

Carl knows better. I don’t know how he knows, but he knows.  Carl and I have a working relationship, but most of the work’s on my part.  Even how Carl got here was an arm-twisting escapade (read here.)  He does nothing, absolutely nothing!!

Really, the worthless feline folly should be dragging up mice, gophers or little dead snakes.  He doesn’t.  Half the time the flea bag is asleep flat on his back by the garage door. The other half he sits under a shade tree near the barbed wire fence watching the neighbor’s horses.

It’s a one-sided relationship! He can be totally out of sight, but if he hears his stainless steel feed bowl slide on the floor or the crinkle of the cat food bag, he comes running like he’s Lion King and I’m two days late.

I could live with it if every once in a while if he would do something for us, his “people”, as Carl likes to think, that would justify his meager existence.  As it is, I’m going to have to renegotiate a month to month deal, maybe charge him cat rent, something.

Trouble is, Carl doesn’t know his place!  In his messed up wheel of fortune mind, he’s Cat Sajack and I’m Vanna White! Continue reading Carl, The Species Confused Cat!

Dirt Road Drive

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

The Wassup Moving Company

Sometimes you have to look twice to believe your eyes!  I stopped at a red light on the loop around town right behind a pickup moving furniture, mattresses specifically.

Common sense plays a major role in hauling furniture, especially to lay mattresses down and strap them so they don’t blow out the back of a truck.

Not the Einsteins I was behind!  They had a twin size box spring standing on its end in the middle of the truck bed with one mattress catty-cornered to the right side and a queen size mattress upright on its side on the left.  No straps, ties, rope, nothing to hold it down.

OK, that’s not entirely accurate, because sitting behind the truck at the red light, I noticed little puffs of smoke coming from the pick up bed……and pair of legs… and brand new white tennis shoes hanging over the left fender well!

Using the theory of, of….well I don’t know what theory they were using, but the guy sitting in the back of the truck was a human tie down!  The smoke came from a cigarillo he was puffing on!

I can almost hear the master mind driver saying in a mafia voice, “Listen here, kid! I do the thinking around here! Ya got that!?”  Continue reading The Wassup Moving Company

To Who Knows Where

A few weeks back I was leaning on the rail of a cruise ship sailing the inside straits of Alaska.  Miles away were large, looming mountains on the Alaska coast.

It wasn’t the land that was intriguing though, it was the hundreds of birds on both sides of the ship. They were a species of seagull and they were everywhere!  Some sat on the water riding out the waves.

Most, however, flew about a foot above the water and didn’t miss a flap of the wing.  Occasionally, one would scoop down to pick up some tasty morsel of food flying at break neck speed.

To Who Knows Where

There were so many over the water, yet it seemed they flew with organization, almost marching band style.  They were like a symphony of different instruments playing different notes that make no sense alone, but all together play beautiful music.  The birds darted and dodged, skillfully avoiding mid-air collisions, moving in groups in their beautiful, living maze of feathered music. Continue reading To Who Knows Where

I’m Kind of HIS Father

Dear Mom,

I hope this letter finds you doing well.  In your last letter, you asked me to describe more about Jesus to you.  I’ll do my best:

As you know, I am his father, at least in name.  His existence has literally nothing to do with me. He would have been here, one way or the other.  I know that.  Really, I’m just lucky, blessed that I get to be where I am.

The angel told me what happened, and part of what would be.  I knew then my part in His life was an honor and privilege.

Some people frown at me, particularly some of the high and mighty people around here. They look down their noses at Mary and I and sometimes say cruel things.  We just keep going.

I want to react, to fight back and tell them how the camel eats the grapevine.  Instead, Mary quietly reminds me to relish today.  After all, the end is the prize, not the present.

Continue reading I’m Kind of HIS Father

Super Glue Stitches

When my youngest son, Clark, was in high school, he got a gash in the top of his head from a basketball tournament.  Clark shaved part of his head so we could look closer.  Butterfly stitches wouldn’t stick, so I pinched the skin together while one of Clark’s friends dripped Super Glue on the cut.  Worked well too, a lot better than the first time….

….the first time Clark was 7 years old.  I coached his baseball team and was working with the outfielders to catch pop flies.  It almost dark and I told the boys no more but Clark begged for one more pop fly.  Since he was my son, I went against my better judgment and threw one more pop fly, high, really high.  Clark had perfect big leaguer form, stuck up his glove, and the ball hit him squarely in the mouth.

The week before he pulled his first front tooth and had big open gap when he smiled.  The ball smashed the open gap and pushed the next tooth through his upper lip.

Blood poured.

Another player’s dad, a doctor, took a look. It needed a stitch, maybe two.  Off the record, he said if it was his son he would avoid the ER trauma and just super glue it together. Continue reading Super Glue Stitches

Mama of King Smoothie

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