Category Archives: story

Miniature Rose Surprise

A retired elderly couple, probably in their late 70’s, was making their way into Wal-Mart as I pulled into a parking spot.  They were dressed like they had just come from church and were in no hurry to get anywhere fast.

By the time I got in the front door, the elderly woman was bent over a display table just inside the door admiring a red heart flower pot with miniature red roses growing in it.  She was short, well dressed and had her blue-gray hair fixed up for her Sunday best.

He was a tall man with a relaxed, easy-going expression.  He was quite dignified and had an air about him that he was a thoughtful, well-educated man.

Still looking at the flowers, she said to him, “Aren’t these pretty! They never had anything like this until the last few years.”  Continue reading Miniature Rose Surprise

Advertisements

You Can’t Take It With You

The rumble of a Harley pulled up on the other side of  me at the gas station pump.  I was watching the money side spin a lot faster than the gallons, and glanced across the gas pump at the biker.  He wore overalls, which were unbuttoned on the sides, boots, a black sleeveless Harley t-shirt, sunglasses and a skull cap.

For whatever reason, a gallon or so later I looked back at his motorcycle and noticed the trailer he was pulling. It was literally a LOL moment!

His motorcycle trailer was made out of a full-sized casket!  It was meticulously welded to a trailer frame, and both the casket trailer and his motorcycle were color coordinated in matching blue paint!

I complimented the uniqueness of his trailer and he beamed a satisfied smile.  When I asked if I could take a picture though, he came alive! (No pun intended.)  Continue reading You Can’t Take It With You

The Sky Cried

Some things you never forget, like the day the sky cried in our neck of the woods. Fifteen years ago today, the Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated above the skies of East Texas. That Saturday started like every other normal day, but sometimes, normal days become extraordinary, memorable or catastrophic.

I had a group of employees in a First Aid/CPR class that started at 6:00 AM at the local hospital. After everything settled in, I went to the office to catch up on paperwork.

At 9:00 AM, the entire office began to shake violently and there was a steady roar outside.

Continue reading The Sky Cried

Baby Girl

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

Totally Jealous

It takes all kinds to make the world go round, but some make the trip around more entertaining.

At the gym during lunch time, there was a new guy working out, kinda. Most folks just work out to be healthy and go their own way. Not the new guy.  No siree. Not at all!

He was in the locker room when I got there talking to someone in the next section over. He acted as if he was the right hand mercenary for a mafia Godfather, but I’m not sure he’d be over 5’2” even with a pair of stiletto high heels on!  (OK, so I know what stiletto high heels are — I have four daughters.) Continue reading Totally Jealous

Texas High School Football

An East Texas high school football team has a dynasty going. They’ve now won 6 state championships in the last 10 years. I followed them this season, not for the team, but for the entertainment of the local radio broadcasters!

State football championship games are all played at AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys play, just before Christmas weekend. Local radio stations from across Texas come to broadcast their local teams on live radio, and now with the internet, the broadcasts are streamed on line.

I heard most of the game live as the radio announcers called the state championship game in their deep East Texas vernacular!

To help hear the accent, imagine yourself listening to someone who has two wadded up, dry paper towels stuck inside each cheek when they speak. Then, slooooooow doooown theiiiir woooords a taaad. That’s how it sounds.  Continue reading Texas High School Football

Turning the Tables on Telemarketers

One of the things that used to just drive me crazy was telemarketers calling in the middle of a relaxed evening. Not anymore! Now, I LOVE telemarketers! One unsuspecting telemarketer can make the week!!

Telemarketers today are the old door to door salesmen of years gone by. And as for either one, it doesn’t matter what they are selling, soliciting or surveying, this dog ain’t biting that ham bone!

It’s probably not right, but my goal when telemarketers call and disturb a quiet, peaceful evening is to tie up as much of their time as humanly possible. Their uninvited call becomes my entertainment.

The key, and this is important, the key is to make a telemarketer think you are sincere, but not very smart.  I have a get out of jail free card on the not very smart part, but the sincere part has to be done in some other voice, like a backwards redneck with a severe southern drawl.

My telemarketer call record was a couple of 15-minute phone calls. My first 15-minute call I convinced the poor woman I’d taken pain medication, so I mumbled and acted confused the entire time. She kept asking if she could put me down for a donation to an environmental group, but I was able to turn the tables on her and started thanking her repeatedly for offering to help me financially. I just kept talking non-stop, in slurred speech, about how I was 83 years old, just had surgery, didn’t have any food and my great grandkids needed new shoes for school.

The more I talked, the more uncomfortable she got. She kept trying to interrupt and explain that she was asking for money, not giving it away. Every time she would start to say it I would just mumble over and over, “Oh tank ya, Jesus! Tank ya!” That was a fifteen minute call.

Last Spring a telemarketer number popped up on caller ID, so I used an idea I read about. Before they could say a word, I answered by half speaking, have secretly whispering, “John! I got rid of the body, but there’s blood everywhere!!”

There was nothing but silence on the other end.

“John?! John!! That better be you on the phone!!”  Then all I heard was a dial tone.

Janet was sitting on the couch and looked at me mortified saying the police would be showing up any minute. They never came. I’m assuming the telemarketer was afraid because their number was on caller ID. (Said with an evil Dr. Jekyll laugh of, “Bru,who,hahahahaha!”)

Continue reading Turning the Tables on Telemarketers

And Then It Went Silent

It was before calls could be identified, so it was next to impossible to trace. He called the 1-800 crisis line number in the middle of the night, and it was my night on call to cover the phone.

He went into great detail telling me he wanted someone to know everything he was thinking before he put a bullet in his head to end it all. Continue reading And Then It Went Silent

Eating Out Where They’re Out to Lunch

After my daughter’s out of town volleyball games, Janet and I look for out-of-the-way places to eat in rural East Texas. Sometimes though…

…sometimes, we should turn around. Like, what if the door doesn’t have a closing time? What kind of place closes just, whenever? It reminds me of the Hotel California — you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.  Hint, hint, hint. There’s no closing time on the door. Yikes!

Inside we stood wondering what to do, but it was a country cafe so we seated ourselves.  We saw another couple we know from volleyball who had the same bright idea. We spoke and discovered they had been there a while but hadn’t ordered yet.  (There’s another clue.) Continue reading Eating Out Where They’re Out to Lunch

Horror Stuck on Me!

Yesterday I talked to a man who passes out cold when he gets a shot.  He can watch other people get a shot, like his kids, but point the needle his way… KABOOM!  He’s gone!  Out like a light! To top it off, he says he always has a nightmare about it that night, which in turn, wakes him up for hours. So the shot knocks him out, but results in a nightmare that keeps him awake.  Hmm.  It’d be fun to jump out from behind a bush one day with a hypodermic needle just to see what would happen!

Everyone has something that creeps them out. You usually just don’t know what it is.  Unfortunately, this is the month everyone seems to face some kind of fear. There’s even a Halloween horror movie marathon running the whole month on cable. Non-stop horror movies is not my cup of tea! Continue reading Horror Stuck on Me!