A retired elderly couple, probably in their late 70’s, was making their way into Wal-Mart as I pulled into a parking spot. They were dressed like they had just come from church and were in no hurry to get anywhere fast.
By the time I got in the front door, the elderly woman was bent over a display table just inside the door admiring a red heart flower pot with miniature red roses growing in it. She was short, well dressed and had her blue-gray hair fixed up for her Sunday best.
He was a tall man with a relaxed, easy-going expression. He was quite dignified and had an air about him that he was a thoughtful, well-educated man.
Still looking at the flowers, she said to him, “Aren’t these pretty! They never had anything like this until the last few years.” Continue reading Miniature Rose Surprise
In my junior year of college, Aubrey came to the Gulf Coast from Mississippi State for a college internship. He was in every way a young, southern gentleman, a kindhearted fellow with a charisma that shined when he spoke in his slow, southern drawl. On top of it, he was mature beyond his years.
We met at church and Aubrey immediately became a part of our college group. In fact, not knowing a soul from Texas, we became his local social network. He became a friend.
Even under the best of circumstances, things can go bad. For Aubrey, it did. Continue reading Hayride of a Lifetime
The rumble of a Harley pulled up on the other side of me at the gas station pump. I was watching the money side spin a lot faster than the gallons, and glanced across the gas pump at the biker. He wore overalls, which were unbuttoned on the sides, boots, a black sleeveless Harley t-shirt, sunglasses and a skull cap.
For whatever reason, a gallon or so later I looked back at his motorcycle and noticed the trailer he was pulling. It was literally a LOL moment!
His motorcycle trailer was made out of a full-sized casket! It was meticulously welded to a trailer frame, and both the casket trailer and his motorcycle were color coordinated in matching blue paint!
I complimented the uniqueness of his trailer and he beamed a satisfied smile. When I asked if I could take a picture though, he came alive! (No pun intended.) Continue reading You Can’t Take It With You
It takes someone with a golden heart and an iron will to work at Hospice. My friend, Linda, is one of those people.
Hospice workers try to guard their emotions so they don’t burn out and can help the next person, the next day. Some people still get through the protective wall though and profoundly touch the heart.
For Linda, one such person was an older lady who was quite lucid at the time, but only had a couple of months to live. Every day she went to see her. They would sit and visit, and Linda did all the things she could to help care for her new, dying friend.
No one should feel alone when they die, and the lady’s family was scattered across the country and not able to be with her. Linda was, however, and she began preparing her for the final goodbye. Continue reading Baby Girl
Reading a magazine in the dentist waiting room, I saw someone in my peripheral vision pushing a wheelchair. I didn’t look up until I heard the familiar voice of a man facing the receptionist window.
I looked to the wheelchair and locked eyes with a woman staring at me. Even though I haven’t seen her in a couple of years, I instantly recognized her. I smiled and waved, but she flatly stared into my eyes without blinking or a hint of emotion.
She was diagnosed four years ago with early onset dementia. We worked together for over 15 years and she was an extremely responsible, competent individual who rose to every task and challenge ever thrown her way.
But now, she didn’t know me. She was looking right at me, but didn’t see. She was there, but not here; alive, but not living.
Continue reading True Love Through
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
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
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
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
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