Busy as a Bee

Each year a couple of bee swarms show up at work.  Local beekeepers wanted to start charging to catch a swarm. Forget that.

Yet, employees and bees don’t mix well.  In fact, a couple of folks are deadly allergic to bee stings.  Besides, honey bees are nature’s Cupid and pollinate 75% of plant life, so instead of killing them, I decided to move them myself.  The beekeepers had white suits, mesh hats, gloves and smokers.  I didn’t have any of that, but I’d watched them before, so I’m an “expert”…

The swarm was about eye level on a beam right above a hydraulic unit.

Since I didn’t have beekeeper equipment, I buttoned my collar, cinched down jacket sleeves and put on gloves.  Armed with a cardboard box and a lid, I started toward the clingy, hanging wad of live honey bees. After the first bee accidentally flew into my neck a good ways from the swarm, I pondered the consequences and wished for a meshed beekeeper hood. Continue reading Busy as a Bee

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Where Your Story Starts


I told four of the grandsons, ages 3 to 5, a story before bed time.

I learned a long time ago, the hard way, you don’t tell a scary story to small boys, UNLESS you’re camping and you have to sleep in the same tent with them.  Then, any old ghost, alien or crazy wild flesh-eating bear story will scare the living bejeebers out of them.  Afterwards, you can go soundly to sleep in the tent while in silent terror they stare wide-eyed listening intently for any ghostly rattles, spaceships or bears creeping through the woods.

This wasn’t such a time, so story time was about four boys with names that rhymed with their own. They were just amazed how the names seemed so much like their own. 😉

The story was about a submarine adventure in the Gulf of Mexico. The four boys were looking for sunken pirate treasure.

Instead, they found a sunken K-Mart cargo ship full of copper forks, tambourines and a miniature cannon. Continue reading Where Your Story Starts

Brotherly Love Through Air Soft

The natives were restless. It was the fifth day of no power after a hurricane knocked out power lines throughout East Texas. It would be several days longer before electricity was restored. The only power came from a generator that ran a freezer, fridge and a couple of fans, nothing else.

The boys were getting a war-torn look in their eyes. They were bored.

One of life’s formulas is: Bored teenage boys = dangerous ideas divided by stupid actions.  It’s just a fact of life.

They boys played all the games they knew, even invented new ones, but it was Jared, who was 16 at the time, was the first to cross the “throw down and fight line”.  He ambushed his three brothers from behind with an air soft gun. Continue reading Brotherly Love Through Air Soft

Cobalt Didn’t Listen

~~I was driving and a bluebird flew into my windshield today.  Feathers went everywhere as the little guy toppled lifelessly in the road behind me.  I feel terrible about it.

I think it went down like this:~~

Several months ago, Mr. and Mrs. Bluebird worked daylight to dusk to build a nest.  Mr. Bluebird made sure the structure was strong enough for a brood of growing, rowdy chicks, while Mrs. Bluebird was sensational at finding just the right lining to keep her chicks comfortable.

Once the eggs were laid, Mrs. Bluebird took a two-week sabbatical to sit and keep the eggs warm.

When hatching day finally arrived, each egg started shaking within hours of each other.  From inside the shell, each hatchling broke loose and used all of its energy to escape the hard shell.  After breaking free, each hatching laid wet, exhausted and gasping for air. Continue reading Cobalt Didn’t Listen

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

CPR Trauma

I sat through a First Aid/CPR class with fifteen men I work with.  The instructor asked if anyone had used CPR before.

From the back of the room, I slowly slipped my hand up.  She wheeled on me like a Doberman Pinscher staring at an Oscar Meyer hot dog and commanded, “Tell us about it.”

Suddenly thrust into the limelight in front of co-workers, I started. “Well”, shrugging my shoulders, “Twenty-five years ago I was sitting in a little cafe minding my own business.  It was 3:00 in the afternoon so there was hardly anyone else there except an old man and two elderly ladies.  All of the sudden I heard a commotion and one of the old ladies was trying to hold up the man who had slumped over the table.  She was shaking him yelling, ‘Don’t you die on me! Don’t you die on me!’”

“I ran over and pulled the man out of the chair onto the floor. His eyes were rolled back in his head and he wasn’t breathing, but he had a feint, irregular pulse.  I figured he’d had a heart attack.” Continue reading CPR Trauma

It’s Always Been About The Heart

I, like you, feel deep compassion for the people of Santa Fe, and every other school, movie theatre, club, church and public location that has experienced a mass murder.

What to do? What do we do?

Well meaning people are now looking to, in fact, clamoring for the government to “fix” the problem and solve the dilemma. People are demanding legislation for sentences for “hate crimes”, creating programs to treat mental illness, gun control restrictions and regulating behaviors.

In my simple mind, it’s a paradox. It seems common sense that after planting plum trees, you get plums. You get the fruit of what you plant.

Stay with me.

Continue reading It’s Always Been About The Heart

A Child’s Wisdom

We saw the toddler boy with his parents waiting to board a tour of Mayan ruins in Mexico. That’s not normally where you’d take a toddler on vacation, but he was too little to care. Besides, it was his parent’s vacation.

The toddler was clinging to his parents, no one else. The mother even told a well-meaning worker trying to help them off the bus that he never, ever went to strangers.

Two hours later, standing a distance from the Chichen Izu ruins, the toddler pitter patted away from his parents right up to my wife, Janet. He looked up at her and held up his arms to be picked up.

She simply said, “Awe”, reached down and scooped him up in her arms. The little boy looked at her closely, then laid his head on her shoulder in peaceful contentment. Continue reading A Child’s Wisdom

To Tell The Truth

Over dinner my youngest daughter, Jessica, said she has the STAAR English test, a standardized, mandated test in Texas schools.  She’s nervous about having to write about some randomly assigned topic in just 45 minutes of time.

Long story short, I agreed to do the same. She quickly picked out a random topic: Should you ALWAYS tell the truth?

I was thinking puppy dogs or butterflies, but she picked a hard one.

— The STAAR test begins. The teacher gives instructions, and then turns the 45-minute hour glass over. Alright class, your test starts, NOW! —

Should you ALWAYS tell the truth? Continue reading To Tell The Truth

I Hate You, But Not Really

(This is based on a true story told to me by a Chief Juvenile Probation Officer.)

~~He knelt down on his knees, looked up at Jesus on the cross, and shook his fist. “I hate you”, he said loudly, “I hate you.”  He said it over and over.  Soon he was screaming with every fiber of his being. Louder and louder, with more and more pent-up emotions streaming out of his voice. “I hate you! I HATE you!  I HATE YOU!”~~

The boy had suffered emotional and verbal abuse from his mother since his birth. When his father was around, which wasn’t a lot, it was always the same song, second verse.  He could count on one hand the times a physical beating for some slight or imagined offense hadn’t followed a visit with his father. Continue reading I Hate You, But Not Really

Stories about family, faith, friends and funnies. Pull up a chair. Grab a cup of coffee and laugh, cry, ponder and inspire about ordinary events of this wonderful, ever changing, bubbling pot that we call "every day life".

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