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

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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

Jury Duty Selection

Jury duty is always a welcome relief. Maybe if I was on trial that wouldn’t be the case, but since it was some other poor slob, then all seems fair in love and war. The trouble with jury duty though is if you get selected, then the next few days you’re sitting and taking in facts you probably didn’t know, and in many cases, didn’t care to know.

So when I was number 72 in the jury pool, it didn’t seem much to fret over other than to sit for the selection and voir dire.

When I sat down in assigned seat number 72, number 73 greeted me. He was, and I mean no disrespect at all, an old burned out hippie. His mostly gray hair was pulled back in a short ponytail, not a long flowing horse tail ponytail, but like a dog that had its tail bobbed but still acted like its tail was its best feature ponytail.

Continue reading Jury Duty Selection

The Best Babatism Ever

At church, a boy about seven years old was baptized.  As is custom before a baptism at our church, the media team shows a video of each person talking about their life, why they chose to believe, and why they want to be baptized.

In the boy’s video, he spoke sincerely, and his contagious smile was memorable because he had lost both front teeth. He said several times in the video that he wanted to be “babatized” and talked about how he wanted someone special from out-of-town to “babatize” him.

Turns out, the special person was the boy’s godfather, a young man in his late twenties who could easily pass for a military soldier.  Where we go to church, immersion is the mode of baptism, which means going completely under water from head to toe, or maybe if you’re seven years old, getting dunked.  Continue reading The Best Babatism Ever

What Wind Sees

A cool front came in and all the windows in the house are open.  Ahh! Fresh air from a cool, refreshing breeze!  On days like today, forget Montana, Italy and every other place on the bucket list to visit.  Sitting in the backyard with a hot cup of coffee and the tree leaves rustling is as good as it gets!

Even the puppy dogs are energized with more bounce in their pounce and bite in their bark.  Maybe it’s just the wind’s relief after a frigid cold winter.  Maybe it’s just a change to something new.  Maybe it’s just enjoying the moment.  I don’t know, but sitting here watching invisible air rustle visible leaves makes me envious of the wind.

Somewhere right now the wind is blowing through an early spring potato field and elsewhere, over the top of a sky scraper, an anemometer is turning in circles to measure the wind’s speed. Continue reading What Wind Sees

Blue Bell Blues

While pushing a grocery buggy with a squeaky, lop-sided wheel through the store, a happy dance suddenly rises from the marrow of my bones. Blue Bell’s on sale!

Feeling tears of joy well up in my eyes, I stand hopelessly in front of the double glass doors completely mesmerized by the gold and brown rim half gallons of ice cream.  Salivating like Pavlov’s dog, I narrow in on Southern Blackberry Cobbler, but just before I reach for it, I see Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough out of my peripheral vision, and there’s Moo-Llennium Crunch above that!

Those made me second guess myself, and fight, and I mean fight, to walk away from it all like a good boy should.  But like a fly caught in a spider’s web, both feet stick to the floor as people pass me on both sides of the aisle.  Continue reading Blue Bell Blues

Car Deal Gone Good

The seller dropped the keys in my youngest daughter’s hand, and with a smile, told her he had just filled up the gas tank for her too!

I’ve bought eight, yes eight used cars for each of my eight kids as their first vehicle.  Don’t be impressed. There is a set amount that has been the same for all of them.  They can spend more if they want with money they have saved, or they can spend less and take the extra cash and run.

Continue reading Car Deal Gone Good

It’s All Good

The alarm goes off at 5:05 AM. It made enough noise and took the perfect amount of time to rouse from a deep sleep. A pull of the blanket over the head won’t make sleep return. Besides, a nagging conscience says get up and exercise.

By 5:25 AM I’m hitting the road. At the same time the day before, I walked with my daughter, Jessica, while she walked the neighbor’s dog.

Today though, the dog will be walked in the afternoon. And besides, today Jessica wouldn’t wake except for a five-alarm fire and Janet’s allergies would go ballistic in the midst of the pine pollen blizzard.

The first steps are always the hardest, especially walking by yourself. It’s a battle of wills as the body objects to the mind’s intentions. After a quarter-mile, the body submits. After a mile, body and mind are in harmony.

Continue reading It’s All Good

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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