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 is a draw that is as deep as the call of the wild. Sounds of solitude, quiet, peace echo deep within a person’s heart. There is great treasure there, comfort, peace.
The constant barrage of traffic, TV, cell phones, music, constant stimulation all force quiet from the mind. The noise drives away peace like a drowning man gasping for life giving air, but only taking in a water death.
Sound gathers force, picks up momentum, and wisps its way past silence to leave us in a head pounding, over stimulation of constantly moving, changing, drowning noise.
Somewhere at the end of the noise is a place where silence welcomes one home, like a life long friend who’s always there with open arms, even when there’s no contact. Continue reading Listen to Silence
I know it’s unrealistic, politically incorrect, and uncool, but I loathe cell phones. Lucky people live where there’s no cell service!
Maybe it’d be OK if it was JUST a phone, but it’s a camera, recorder, computer and alarm clock. There’s more technology in a smart phone than all the systems added together used to send the first man to the moon! And whoever heard of microchips? Chips are supposed to be made by Lays, not drain the living life out you!
Plus, Europe says it causes cancer! And then you pay a ton of money for unlimited talk, text and gigabytes of data. Nobody should be bit by a giga!
Maybe it’s just me? Maybe if I grew up not knowing anything but internet and cell service, I would fully appreciate cell phones?
In my old-fashioned, decrepit way of thinking, cell phones are like Congress: you get a lot of talk, end up paying a lot and get virtually no return on investment! (Virtually…see how I snuck in tech word there? No wait, it’s virtual. Nevermind.) Continue reading #Bring Back Rotary Phones
There was a long line for the first interview. It was person after person in rapid succession. I wrote “high risk, high reward” on his application because everything pointed to him striking out as an employee, but IF he made it he would be a home run.
A few days later I was getting pretty desperate and went back through applications. There he was. After a bit of head scratching, I called and left a message. Within minutes he called back as excited as an elementary boy alone in a candy store.
He was 15 minutes early to the second interview the next day, which is a good sign, but hyperactive as that same elementary kid who ate ALL the candy!
I asked him to tell me about himself. A gun fired and the race started. Without breathing, he told me he had graduated from high school seven years ago and everything about himself except which was his favorite tooth. Continue reading High Risk, High Reward
A man at work was diagnosed with cancer in a salivary gland. After extensive testing, the course of treatment was surgery to remove the gland followed by radiation. He was to be back at work in four to five weeks. Unfortunately, the cancer had metastasized and spread into his jaw bone. A 2 hour surgery turned into 14.
When he woke, he had a new jaw on one side constructed from grafted bone from his femur. The cancer had not spread to his brain, thank goodness. Instead of localized radiation though, he began six weeks of intensive chemotherapy. He caught pneumonia because his resistance was down and struggled daily, but after being off work over four months, returned, cancer free. Continue reading I Very, Very Happy
The first time I saw them was when my daughter tugged on my shirt sleeve in church. She nodded slightly to the row over from us or I would not have noticed.
Everyone was seated, and in the middle of a row of college students, one young lady was discretely using sign language to interpret for the young man sitting next to her.
He was a tall, slender guy, maybe twenty years old, with tiny hearing aids perched on each ear which were almost completely covered by his hair.
He watched her hands from the corner of his eye as she interpreted in sign language to him for the rest of the service. She nonchalantly signed the words occasionally moving her fingers in rapid succession to spell out a word or name. Continue reading Signs To See
She was a cute little girl, about 9 years old, with her hair in corn rolls and little rubber bands at the end of each braid. She and her mother were walking up the sidewalk toward the restaurant, but her mother forgot something and stepped back to her car. The girl just stood on the sidewalk.
We were leaving, and quite frankly, I was talking to my brother-in-law as we obliviously walked past the little girl. Turnabout is fair play, because I suspect she didn’t give either of us a moment’s notice either.
She did, however, zero in like a heat seeking missile on my wife, Janet. After passing a few parked car bumpers, we realized Janet was no longer with us. We turned around and Janet was kneeling down looking the little girl eye to eye.
The little girl was mesmerized as Janet spoke to her with a compassionate, peaceful smile on her face. She stared in her eyes soaking up the gentle words and kindness that naturally flow from Janet’s spirit as they talked briefly back and forth. Continue reading You’re Pretty
I shouldn’t have done it. Really. It wasn’t the brightest thing for sure. I rarely ever snap, but this was a clean break! I don’t even know why. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it does.
I ran into a drug store for a bottle of benadryl and started the rat like maze walk up and down every store aisle to find it. At the end of one aisle I almost walked over a little 8 or 9 year old girl who rounded a corner opposite of her mother. The mother apologized for her daughter and pulled her to her side of the aisle.
I smiled and said the customary, “Scuse me” and continued my search. I turned up the next aisle and a big, no … a huge, muscular defensive lineman guy about 24 or 25 years old was halfway up the aisle with his back to me.
All I could see, besides his highly defined arm muscles, was his sweat pants halfway down showing his underwear. They weren’t boxers either. They were whitey tighties that showed the distinct impression of what should’ve been covered up. Knowing the mother and child were one aisle over, I just reacted, nuclear reactor style. Continue reading Pull Up Your Pants
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