Hermit House

It was sad, really. She has no one. Maybe it was a conscience choice a long time ago. Maybe it was a forced decision that she didn’t want. Either way, the results are the same.

She lives alone in a nice neighborhood that we’ve driven through a thousand times. Her hedges are rarely trimmed and there are plants growing in the gutters. The yard is always green, but the grass always looks like it’s half grown, half mowed, somehow suspended in animation just enough to give the yard sort of a kept, but not maintained look.

She has a big sprawling house that is dark and uninviting, almost like where a horror movie could be filmed. In the four plus years of driving through that neighborhood, I’ve never once seen anyone outside, and the garage door is always closed. Occasionally, but not very often, there may be a light on at night somewhere in the house, but it would only be one, if any.

We were driving home through that neighborhood coming home from a symphony at 10:30 PM at night.  Janet, my wife, told me we had just passed an old woman sitting in the grass by a mailbox waving for help. I turned around and there she sat. I left the car running with the headlights on to light the area as we checked on her. Continue reading Hermit House

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Little or Lot Faithful

The lady blurted out to the Walmart Customer Service worker, “I’m the one you called a few minutes ago about the purse!”

I was waiting in line and glanced at her.  The worker asked her to describe the purse.  She did, and was told to wait just a minute while the worker went to the back office.

She was casually dressed in blue jeans, flip flops and a bright, pink Fight Breast Cancer t-shirt.  Her hair was about half an inch long over her entire head.  In fact, I wasn’t sure if she was being treated for cancer, or just wearing her hair short.  She waited with an anxious, lip chewing expression on her face. A minute later, the Walmart worker came out holding a small red change purse.

Continue reading Little or Lot Faithful

The Waving Man

There used to be an old tire store up Main Street surrounded by properties that have all seen better days.  Years ago it was a full-service gas station built in the late 40s or early 50s out of cinder blocks and mortar.

For the most part, however, the old building was insignificant.  If it hadn’t been for the man outside, I would’ve never even noticed the place.

Years ago the tire store was painted white, but oil, grease and dirt make a dark entourage at the base of the walls up to a chalky, white at the top.  The concrete around it was patchy and dark, stained with layers on layers of grease, dripped motor oil and a host of other dried automotive blood.  Continue reading The Waving Man

Income Tax Blues

I hate, Hate, HATE taxes!

And thanks to more government regulations, some tax 1099 Forms that have a REMIC/WHFIT didn’t have to be mailed out until March 15. They don’t extend the tax deadline for the average Joe though. (Joe…though….see what I did there? Made a rhyme!! 😉 )

It’s not that I mind paying my fair share (another rhyme!) as long as the fair share is spent wisely.  But by the time the bureaucrats in government finish inflating the arm and leg paid in taxes, the fair share will only be enough for a government contractor to buy a hammer and box of nails!  Or maybe pay some healthy, able bodied man to stay home and draw housing, food stamps, Medicaid, welfare and a free cell phone each month while I work.  Whichever you prefer, Uncle Sam. You decide. Continue reading Income Tax Blues

Verti Has To Go!

My nemesis, Verti, has got to go!  I’m tired of her magical spell. She’s not nice. In fact, she’s downright cruel. She keeps things stirred up and puts her own twisted spin on everything. She’s really mixed up!!

It started with a headache for a couple of days, which in and of itself is unusual for me.  But then it turned into light headedness.  I guess it’s obvious I may be light in the head …. but this isn’t a ditz light-headed … it’s a someone is playing spin the bottle in my brain light-headed!

I was at work walking in the plant and some sneaky rascal started moving the concrete floor! The world was spinning like a county fair Tilt-A-Whirl!

Continue reading Verti Has To Go!

Is It Really Worth That?

He whizzed by in the gas station heading to the drive through car wash around back. If I hadn’t stopped, he would’ve hit me. He didn’t even notice. His mind was on his cell phone call, not driving. I ended up waiting in line right behind him.

He got out of his truck while in line to unscrew his radio antennae. On his back window was a bumper sticker with “Coach” and his first name after that.  He was still talking on his phone with great animation. Continue reading Is It Really Worth That?

Extra Mile Integrity

Several years ago, I stopped by a friend’s used car lot at lunch time. I didn’t need anything, just figured I’d stop in and chit chat for a few minutes.

He told me he almost sold his integrity earlier.  He began:

An older man came in early that morning and wanted my friend, Dan, to buy a truck he owned.  The old gentleman didn’t want a trade in, but to sell it outright.  He had a nice, older truck with low mileage that was clean as a whistle.  He’d bought it brand new and maintained it well over the years.

Dan had never seen the old, country gentleman before and the man seemed, well….sad.

Dan asked how much he wanted for his truck.  The man hesitated, almost wincing in embarrassment, and said he hoped to get $3,000 because he had some expenses he needed to take care of.

That’s when Dan said he was tempted! Continue reading Extra Mile Integrity

Long Night at the Camp

My sons snookered me!

“Come camp with us on my father-in-law’s 800 acre island on the Gulf Coast bay, Dad”, my oldest son, Blake, told me.

“The island’s great!  He runs cows on it and it has several fresh water ponds, and salt water canals surround the island. I’m taking my boat and there are ducks, dove, quail, wild hogs, gators and coons galore. We’ll catch flounder, reds, trout, drum, maybe even a shark or two. Come on! It’ll be fun!”

They drove down together that morning, and like a moth to the flame, I made the two-hour drive right after work.

I should’ve thought.  I should’ve asked.  I should’ve brought my own gear regardless of what they told me.

I didn’t. Continue reading Long Night at the Camp

When Did I See You Hungry?

His frail fingers trembled as he took the nickel from the missionary’s hand.  The starving Haitian boy was wearing a pair of ragged shorts, threadbare t-shirt, and shoes that had worn out months before.

During the peak of the famine, homeless children and orphans looked for any way they could to survive.  If they could get a nickel, they could get enough scraps of food to live another day.

So when the missionary was walking on a road in Haiti and came across the sickly orphan boy sitting listlessly on the roadside, he gave the boy a nickel.  Continue reading When Did I See You Hungry?

The Catastrophic Failure of Cats

After God made creation, He had Adam name it all, with a tad bit of direction.

“Adam, what do you want to call this animal?” God asked.

“Brown with two long arms, eats bananas and swings from trees. How about, Monkey?!” Adam proposed.

“That’s great, Adam! How about this one?”

“Uh, grey, big, long trunk….OK. Republican!” Adam said.

“Mmm, that doesn’t really fit” God mused.

“Alright God. Let’s say Elephant then!” Adam answered. Continue reading The Catastrophic Failure of Cats

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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