Hurricane Rest

As I sit and peck on my iPad, the wind is beginning to blow, and the rain just started playing pitter pat on the windows.  Hurricane Laura makes landfall tonight.

We’re 3 1/2 hours drive from the beach, but hurricanes are non-discriminatory storms, especially the wind.  We’re lucky though. We’re west of the hurricane’s eye, the less destructive side.

Even so, trees will come down. Electricity will flicker, then fail.

Tomorrow afternoon the rain will wane, the wind will pucker out, and everyone will get on with things. Continue reading Hurricane Rest

Like a Verdict

My wife, Janet, had surgery two weeks ago to remove a kidney tumor. The doctor said it’s an 85% chance of being malignant.

The last two weeks have been fast, and slow, lightening quick, yet forever.

Yesterday was the surgery follow up appointment, complete with the pathology report. It was also Janet’s birthday.

Strange, really. You find out about continued life, one way or the other, on a day designated to celebrate life.

The doctor came in quickly, and asked Janet how she was doing.  He sat down.  I asked to record the doctor on my phone so we could listen and rehash as much as we needed to later.

He agreed. I pushed the record button. He asked if I was ready, and took a deep breath…

Continue reading Like a Verdict

5 Course Meal Celebration

Last Friday I took my wife Janet out on the town! A five-course dinner date! I know! Right!?

But we live in the oldest town in Texas, and there’s not a great deal of five star restaurants in Nacogdoches, Texas. So we created our own “fine dining” experience in a mobile, drive around way.

I wrote down twenty restaurants and fast food joints up and down our hometown main drag. Each place was cut to its own little strip, and I put them all in a styrofoam cup that had all 5 courses scribbled on the outside. Janet blindly reached in the cup and pulled the first slip for the first course.

It was Subway. Janet objected. She said Subway had the most expensive drinks in town, so she wanted to go somewhere else. Eventually, she acquiesced, and we ordered one large half and half tea, two straws.

The second course was Bottle Cap Alley for appetizers. A quarter mile drive and we were there, but they didn’t have many choices. Basically, we settled for fried onion rings. Besides, the next course was vegetables, so we could get something healthy then.

The third course drawn, however, was another fast food place, Taco Bueno! My five-course meal deal idea was falling apart.

We had to be creative, but guacamole with fried chips was as close as we could get to vegetables.

The fourth draw for the main course drew a groan from both of us, and then the laughter. Dominos Pizza!

While they made the extra thin crust vegetable pizza, we munched on the chips, guacamole and onion rings. After that, the pizza tasted like saltine crackers with onions and tomato sauce on it.

There’s a bloated, clog up your arteries with grease feeling that was kicking in, but we were committed to a 5 course meal…

Dessert! Should’ve started there! A quick draw from the cup and it was Whataburger, the Texas standard for fast food burgers. It was a no brainer choice!

But ice cream and milkshakes don’t mix with lactose intolerance, and the scrumptious home style cinnamon rolls were 580 calories a piece! We settled on apple pies that were only 200 calories each. Did I mention they were fried?

It was fun though, and totally random! We’ll do it again, but not tonight.

Tonight Janet will be in the hospital.

We’re in Houston. At this very moment, Janet is in surgery to remove cancer from a kidney. She was diagnosed three weeks ago.

I’m scribbling to redirect my emotions, blind my thoughts, dull the heightened awareness that the future has changed.

How much, and to what extent it’s changed, we won’t know until the pathology report comes in next week.

If all goes well, this will be a one and done surgery.

If it goes really, really well, next Friday we’ll be celebrating the 15% chance that the cancer is benign.

That’ll be worth a five course meal for sure!

Somewhere Near You

The small boy was on red alert.  He smelled the peculiar smoke coming from the bathroom where his mom kept a little pipe above the medicine cabinet.

He never knew how long it would last, but he did know it meant trouble.  It was always the same, but always different.

He looked for food.  There were no crackers or candy under her bed where she hid it, but he found a can of beans in the pantry.  He desperately tried to open it before she got out of the bathroom, but his little fingers couldn’t manage to get the manual can opener to work.

He didn’t hear her coming out. It was too late by the time he did.  Angry, she shoved him to the ground and threw the can of beans striking him squarely in his chest.

As he shrunk toward the door, grabbing the can in a frantic backward crawl, she lunged toward him, grabbing, jerking his skinny, little body across the floor.  He was terrified.  The kind afraid where you can’t breathe, can’t move, can’t cry.  The kind where every second felt like a year. Continue reading Somewhere Near You

Dear God

Dear God,

There’s so many things I don’t understand, so I’m writing You hoping You can swoop down and take care of things, at least the questions.

Like, why do kids starve in parts of the world? And why was a child somewhere, probably a lot close than we want to think, abused beyond measure by someone who is supposed to care and love them?

And God, why do you let evil people kill in the name of false gods? And why does it rain like crazy one year, then a drought the next….wouldn’t it be better to just even it out? Continue reading Dear God

Breathe, Just Breathe

I don’t have coronavirus. I can only imagine how it feels, but I do know what lung issues feel like.

It’s not the first rodeo. I’m susceptible.  Asthma as a kid, multiple respiratory infections over a life time, two cases of pneumonia, and almost annual cases of bronchitis make an unwanted, dreaded knowledge base of experience.

It starts as a tickle.  A little irritation, like a little bug gently trots across the trachea.

The tickle soon turns into an avalanche of dry heaves as the lungs begin to tell the tale of problems to be.

The next day the tickle becomes a rattle in the chest.  Each breath may, depending on unknown factors with unpredictable causes, create a series of chest convulsions straining to cough out an internal, hidden enemy lurking in the lungs. Continue reading Breathe, Just Breathe

Corona Church

Life has temporarily changed. Pandemic. The world’s partially shut down because of the Chinese coronavirus.

Like this: we went to church Sunday, online!  We logged in on my iPad to watch Facebook live!  And no one else can see you.  If I’d known that, I wouldn’t have brushed my teeth or clipped my nails!

The first minutes are great, the kid’s part!  I understand that part, kind of a milk of the Word thing, ya know?

So I’m slurping on my spiritual glass of Borden’s watching the children’s minister when all the sudden a little angry face icon 😡 floats up the side of the screen!  That’s rude! It’s the kid’s part of the service for crying out loud!

Then there was another angry face, and another! It was terrible! I felt a self-righteous indignation!

But then I realized I was holding the IPad with my right hand at the bottom with my thumb on the angry face.  Every time I moved, my thumb pushed an angry face! Continue reading Corona Church

Sadie

If an animal can have a kind soul, it’s Sadie. She just has a sensitive spirit!

She’s a Porky, half Pomeranian, half Yorky.  Even as an adult dog, she’s permanent puppy size.  If she’s ever weighed more than 4 pounds, it’s only because her hair was wet!

Her little fox face and big, dark eyes give her the appearance of a harmless, nocturnal creature.

She quickly picks up on feelings, and well knows the regulars to our house.  She also knows children love to hold her like a baby doll, so she’s developed an adept ability to hide.

Yet when someone new comes over, she studies them a while before jumping in the chair beside them just to make the acquaintance. After a time or two of visiting though, she’s content to just sit on her blanket and watch from a distance.

Sadie’s 15 years old now, and it may sound strange to say, but when she was 6 years old she was traumatized.  My wife, Janet, let Sadie and her sister out early one morning.  A minute later, Janet heard an odd, chilling scream, one that sounded like a woman screaming, just outside her back door.

Janet ran outside. On the other side of the driveway, a black panther was running away toward the woods with Sadie’s sister in its mouth. Continue reading Sadie

INFJ Ramblings

Sometimes, like today, my mind turns without mercy, like a racing heartbeat when you sit still, or a mighty rushing wind on a cloudless, sunny day.

Twisting, turning, churning within, earthquakes of never ending thoughts, thoughts about everything, turn into tsunamis.  Raging waters flow uphill, gather speed on the way to the mountain top, then dribble down the backside of the mind’s mountain.

The depths don’t surrender the issues of thought. Those things taught, bought or caught by the mind don’t go away.  They dawdle, swirling in and out of consciousness, but always there.

It’s not what isn’t. It’s what is. Continue reading INFJ Ramblings

The Odds Are

“I think this trip is worthy of one of those Facebook story thingies you do!” one of my sons, Kyle said.  He’s technically a son-in-law, but more so, a son.

Another son, Todd, immediately added, “Yeah, I’m going to read one of your Facebook thingies at your funeral!”

Love was in the air.

My oldest son, Blake, was driving their family mini-van, and my other four sons were piled in seats behind us.

I didn’t know where we were going. In a group text, they asked if I wanted to do something, and then they all quickly chimed in that they were all “in”.

Experience told me to be cautious, especially with their secrecy.  Usually their schemes involve something dangerous, humiliating or involving a wild animal.

Not this time. We were already driving 1 ½ hours to Shreveport, Louisiana when they told me they were taking me to a casino.

I rolled my eyes.

The Odds Are story

I really don’t gamble.  Money equals time worked, and I try not to throw time away.

Once, years ago, I put a quarter in a slot machine and pulled the lever just to say I’d done it. I lost that quarter. I’ve missed it ever since.

On the other hand, I’ve lost money on “risky” companies in the stock market.  At least theoretically there’s a chance in that, as opposed to an acre of the moon I considered buying on line at Christmas for $79. (No joke! You can buy moon land on the internet!)

Continue reading The Odds Are

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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