Tag Archives: life

Finish the Race

Paula Ratcliffe of Great Britain set the women’s marathon world record in 2002, broke it in 2003, and was the odds on favorite to win the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

She started strong and was in the lead, but the 95 degree heat began to weigh heavily on her.  At mile 22 of the 26.2 mile race, she suddenly stopped and sat down on a curb. She couldn’t finish.  She put her head in her hands and began sobbing uncontrollably.

She was officially classified as DNF – Did Not Finish. A small Japanese woman crossed the finish line first for the gold, a Kenyan won silver, and an elated American finished third for bronze.

I remember the race vividly, not because of those who won at the top, but those who won at the bottom. Continue reading Finish the Race

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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

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

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

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!

#Bring Back Rotary Phones

I know it’s unrealistic, politically incorrect, and uncool, but I loathe cell phones.  Lucky people live where there’s no cell service!

Maybe it’d be OK if it was JUST a phone, but it’s a camera, recorder, computer and alarm clock.  There’s more technology in a smart phone than all the systems added together used to send the first man to the moon!  And whoever heard of microchips? Chips are supposed to be made by Lays, not drain the living life out you!

Plus, Europe says it causes cancer!  And then you pay a ton of money for unlimited talk, text and gigabytes of data.  Nobody should be bit by a giga!

Maybe it’s just me?  Maybe if I grew up not knowing anything but internet and cell service, I would fully appreciate cell phones?

Nope!

In my old-fashioned, decrepit way of thinking, cell phones are like Congress: you get a lot of talk, end up paying a lot and get virtually no return on investment!  (Virtually…see how I snuck in tech word there?  No wait, it’s virtual. Nevermind.) Continue reading #Bring Back Rotary Phones

Maybe For One

We sat in assigned seats.  She sat next to me.  I didn’t understand why she would keep her arms crossed, as if holding herself, and rock back and forth while looking down at her desk or staring at the blackboard.  Back and forth she rocked, back and forth.

We were in second grade.  I understand child abuse now, but then, I didn’t even know what it was.

Looking back, she did. Continue reading Maybe For One