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

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Pecan Denial

Denial is a hard thing, so I’ll admit it. The squirrel won.

All I wanted were a few pecans.  I wouldn’t’ve been greedy.  The squirrel could’ve had several pecans after I picked up several bushels, but instead, the squirrel got greedy.  The impudent little creature!

Ever since moving, the pecan tree outside the back door has been growing pecans, and a lot of them!  Mmmmm.  I’ve been thinking about harvest day and fresh pecans, frozen pecans, and slap a cardiologist, pecan pie!!

Plus, they’re free in my backyard….unless you get technical and count mortgage interest, closing costs, property taxes, house insurance….but let’s not get technical.  They’re free!  I just love that word, free.  Say it over and over and it puts a smile on your face – free, Free, FREE!  See what I mean? Continue reading Pecan Denial

Sometimes

Something woke me up at 3:41 AM this morning. Sometimes it’s insomnia, but not today.

Sometimes you wake up slowly and realize you’re stretching, feeling the freedom of every muscle movement. Sometimes you wake feeling completely rested, healthy and whole. Sometimes you know something woke you, but not sure what, and your mind begins a gentle wander wondering about chicken spaghetti, Snicker Doodles and peaches.

Sometimes you think the dog may have fleas because you hear it scratching in its crate. Sometimes you think of people and see their smiles and hear their voices and hope they’re sound asleep, or like you, completely rested. Sometimes you hear a noise and question how in the world you ever missed the ceiling fan’s sound as the quiet electric motor swirls the air. Continue reading Sometimes

Rock Bottom Hope

Two questionable characters were loitering in front on the grocery store bench. I did what all concealed handgun licensed carriers do.  I slipped a small pistol in my pocket before going in.

About the time I was in front of the bench, one of the men said, “Hey brother! Why don’t you hire me?”

That’s not the first time I’ve heard that line, so I knew at some time or another he had worked or interviewed for a job with me. I looked at the man who spoke and said, “I’m sorry. I recognize your face, but your name is slipping me.” Continue reading Rock Bottom Hope

We All Is

It’s odd, but when the mood for pancakes strikes, Whataburger, the hamburger place of Texas, is where I go. On Christmas Eve morning, the mood struck.

When I walked through the Whataburger doors, the woman behind the counter immediately greeted me.  She was probably 45 years old, fairly small, and a little rough around the edges.  She was the only one there wearing a Santa hat which covered all but the ends of her short corn rows on the side of her head.  She spoke with a semi-deep smoker’s voice and was missing four, maybe five, of her top front teeth.  She whole heartedly welcomed me, took my order and started pouring coffee. Continue reading We All Is

Christmas Calories

Sugar – it’s worse than cocaine! The onward swooning of sugar’s allure is woefully tempting!  And the Christmas holidays are filled with every sort of the granulated, powdered, refined, and liquified versions of the cane plant.

Sure, I could lame blame it on something like my lack of self-control, but what fun is there in that?  Instead, I cast fault on everyone else’s need for an ever-growing fix of sugar.

Truth be told, the ideal world would have none of it. Instead, we’d just reach for a blueberry or celery stick, or maybe just suck on a prune for an hour or so for relief. (No prune relief pun intended).  Continue reading Christmas Calories

Dear Emmitt

Dear Emmitt,

Stillborn — that’s what the doctor said, but to your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and extended family, you very much lived!  Thank you so much for entering our lives, even if ever so briefly. It is sweet, yet bitter, to miss and love you so much at the same time. Goodbye seems impossible before hello.

Your mother knows you better than anyone. She loved…no, she loves you dearly, Emmitt! You made her really sick those first few months. She was miserable in the mornings, and certain smells, like baking brownies, made her really nauseous. By the third trimester though, she was talking about how much you moved and how hard you kicked. We knew you were there because sometimes your mommy would let us put a hand on her tummy and feel you move. You would roll and stretch big, then give a hard kick just for good measure! I think you got all that energy from your daddy.

Continue reading Dear Emmitt

It’ll Be Alright

Problems knock on everyone’s door. If not today, tomorrow. Troubles come. Troubles go. Some work out. Some don’t. Some people crater in the storm, some thrive, others just survive. Eventually the valleys, tunnels, the dark roads all reach an end, and in the end, there’s relief.

Still, it may seem impossible to get through. The mountains look too high. The valleys are too dark and deep. The water is over your head and you’re quickly losing strength. Energy fades. Determination wanes. Encouragement leaves. Continue reading It’ll Be Alright

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

The In-Between Seconds

In the brevity of a moment there are seconds, when noticed, that mysteriously blink.  Those blinks are where the essence of life is lived.  It is in the mystique of those brief seconds when everything can, and does, change.  Although those seconds may be understood, they are never adequately explained.

It’s the seconds between a baby in the womb, and the first breath of life.  It’s the seconds between a mindless, carefree drive in the car, and an explosion of the air bag. Continue reading The In-Between Seconds

Stories of family, friends, faith and funnies by Jeff Rab

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