Help One

He walked in front of me.  He was on a mission.  So was I.

Shopping in a grocery store is easy. Little list. Grab it. Go.

He was quick too, except his handful of items needed a shopping cart.

Two 5-gallon containers of peanut oil, five boxes of fish seasoning, eggs and four bags of cornmeal.

His clean overalls said he had already cleaned a ton of catfish from either trot lines or baited holes.  And now he was about to have a party, a fish fry, and he was fidgeting to get the fryer started.

There was still one thing in his basket that didn’t make any sense to me.  He handed the little deli bag to the cashier who asked if he had two, or three, fried chicken tenders. Continue reading Help One

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A Thought To Remember

One of my sons, Todd, told me a story that still lingers several years later.

He had several jobs at once in college, but quit them all to work in a college intern. He continued to work, however, for a gentleman in his 80’s he’d met a couple of years before.  The man was in great shape, but hired Todd to do heavy labor work around his farm.

As Todd got to know the man and his wife, he really liked them, a lot.

Unfortunately, she had Alzheimer’s, and was getting progressively worse in the short time he’d known them.

One day sitting in the gentleman’s pickup, he told Todd he would need him to work more to help look after the place.

Staring out the front windshield, he spoke quietly, as if thinking out loud. He said his wife’s memory lapses were becoming longer, and more frequent.

Occasionally, she would snap out of it and be back to herself instead of the confused, absent minded stranger.  He was was forced to move her to a nursing home for proper care. Continue reading A Thought To Remember

Welcome to the Bee Box

It started as a wild hair.  I moved a swarm of bees at work to keep them away from some employees who are deathly allergic.

Besides, bees are important to the environment, so you don’t want to kill them.  I learned along the way how to get a swarm to relocate them.  At first, it was a fiasco, but after moving a few over a couple of years, I got better.

Not to be a braggart, although it’s bragging, but not a prideful bragging, just an accomplishment bragging….OK, so I’m tooting my horn with a fog horn beecause I did it beeuatifully!

And, (brag, brag) I’ve only been stung once a couple of years ago when one got under my hard hat.  That bee kamikazed its stinger right in the bald spot!  Yeah. It hurt! Big red lump on the bald spot for a week!

The wild hair (no pun intended) has turned into an interest.  I bought a bee box from a feed store and waited. Patiently. Continue reading Welcome to the Bee Box

Everybody Wins

It’s our large family tradition. Easter egg hunts for the children AND adults.

The kids go first, eggs with candy, bubbles, little toys, and more candy.

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Then the adults hunt. We had 13 adults hunt this year because 5 of our adult gang couldn’t make it.  Janet and I sat back and enjoyed watching the 13 go after it.

Fun, fun!

It’s basically the same each year, but with new twists thrown in.  The twist this year was games made up of random teams.

The first-place team in points from the Egg Toss, Egg Spoon Race and Rabbit Race (tow sack races) got a first-place head start hunting eggs, followed by the second-place team, then the lowly third-place team. Continue reading Everybody Wins

Picture Perfect Jesus

It was a brainchild for a number of years.  He imagined an art exhibit with nothing but Jesus pictures.

But who would come? And where would he get all the pictures?

He began collecting.  Originals, copies, professional, homemade, any and all works that in some form or fashion displayed Jesus.

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He had almost 40.  All different and unique, but it wasn’t enough, so he threw a wider net.  His congregation caught a vision to celebrate together, and at the same time, reach out to the community on Easter weekend.

Members, friends, families began to offer and loan their works of Jesus art for a museum quality exhibit.

57400177_10210499102793473_5777072540329443328_n Continue reading Picture Perfect Jesus

Little Rascal Soccer

Anticipation was high. All the mother’s anxiety was higher.

Water bottles? Check.  Halftime orange slices? Check.  After game snacks and juice boxes? Check.

Spectators set up lawn chairs battling for the best open places on the sidelines. This would be an epic contest, one replayed on family home movies for years to come.

Coaches were nervous. After all, their reputations were on the line. If their teams didn’t perform, well it would be obvious to everyone, and most importantly themselves, that they were failures as coaches, maybe even failures at life, like, forever!

The referee wanted to take control of the game of four-year olds in 4 vs. 4 game that doesn’t require World Cup refs.  It didn’t matter.  His nervous habit of rubbing his acne took the air out of his mystique. Plus, he was only thirteen, 5 feet tall and maybe 97 pounds.

The players weren’t stressed a bit.  Although two players had to go potty before the game. Probably just nervous energy.

Continue reading Little Rascal Soccer

Dance On

She smiled, flashed her big brown eyes open wide in anticipation, before scooting over and asking what I knew she would ask.

“Daddy, will you dance with me?”

Dancing. It terrifies me. On the other hand, I don’t mind looking like a fool on the dance floor because other than a slow dance, I know that’s how I’ll look.

Now my oldest daughter, Shawnna, who was 14 years old at the time, was asking to dance with me at her basketball fund-raiser in the school cafeteria.

There’s only one answer. “Absolutely!”

There were lots of girls there, only a handful of guys, and even fewer fathers.  If you lined all the other males up and rated them from first to last on the dance floor, I would by far be last, dead last.  I didn’t, no wait, I still don’t know how to two-step.

Shawnna is a very kind, observant daughter and knew I would dance, but also knew I didn’t like dancing because quite frankly, I don’t know how.  As if our roles reversed, she smiled, took my hand and said, “Come with me. I’ll teach you.” Continue reading Dance On

Grocery Store Delimma

My first career was in public mental health, including the part where people are committed to state psychiatric hospitals.  I met a lot of super nice people during this time from law enforcement to medical personnel to social workers to the clients themselves.  Truly, everyone needs a little help from a friend at times.  That’s life.

Many I knew on a first name basis because they were in and out of the clinic, and most became friends on a professional basis.  Even when they were struggling, you couldn’t help but like them!  One was an older lady who was intelligent, charming and graceful.

She quit her meds though and shortly thereafter, her family brought her in.  It was bad enough she had to go to the state hospital for her own safety.

After she got out of the hospital, she was back to her charming self.

We always got along well, but after the commitment, she decided she didn’t like me anymore. Not one, single, BIT! Continue reading Grocery Store Delimma

Flea Market Flea Bag

Seven years ago, my oldest daughter wanted a little pet.  An inside cat was out of the question.  So was a dog. At least until I had a momentary lapse of sanity.

We went to a flea market to look around. If I’d known how things were about to play out, I would’ve walked right by the old woman sitting under a shade tree selling puppies.

She was selling little breeds. Without hesitation, all four daughters zeroed in like heat seeking missiles to a cage with four puppies, half Chihuahua, half Japanese Chin.

Half Chihuahuas!  God made Chihuahuas as a practical joke on rats. They’re noisy, obnoxious, cranky little animals that on their best day look genetically defective.

These, however, looked like the furry Japanese Chin part. Before I knew it, the heat seeking missiles exploded.  Shawnna was holding the runt of the litter, all nine weeks old, in the palm of her hand talking to it like it was a little baby.

I’m convinced now the old lady selling them set the hook right then. I just didn’t know it right then. Continue reading Flea Market Flea Bag

Stand Up, Warrior!

He fell face down in the dirt. The field was plowed a week before and the small clods crumbled between his fingers with dry chaff and stems of the previous crop.

He couldn’t get up. This Valley of Elah, of sorts, was too much, too hard.  The mountain was too high, the valley too low.

His energy was drained, resistance exhausted, and he was so weary of well doing.

Dirt on his forehead began to clear from the sweat of his brow while dirt below his eyes washed clean from tears. Continue reading Stand Up, Warrior!

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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