Some of the best characters are real live people….and so it was at lunch time. While eating lunch in a grocery store “deli”, an old gentleman was sitting at a table staring down the aisles. He looked tired, but content.
We exchanged head nods when I sat at the table near him, which in body language means, “I see you. I acknowledge you. I’m going sit here, but we won’t talk and ruin this quiet.”
Two minutes later, a heavy set man in his late 50’s walked by and spoke to the elderly gentleman who he obviously knew.
“Hey! You gettin’ yourself a lunch here?”
The old man responded, “No. My wife’s shopping so I’m waiting.”
“Well”, the big man said, “I’s gonna get me a lunch, but the line’s long right now. I’m not real hungry anyway. I microwaved a chicken pot pie for breakfast. You’re lookin’ like you’re feelin’ better”. Continue reading Fish Story
“What’s da smell?”, the truck driver asked.
Our shipping guy was making a copy for the driver about to deliver an 18 wheeler load of lumber to Tulsa and answered, “It’s Scentsy! Vanilla Bean Buttercream with a bit of French Lavender!”
Amused, I looked up and commented how it smelled more like a Hallmark store than a sawmill shipping office.
“I know!! My wife is selling this stuff. I’m advertising for her! You need to buy a little bit for your Mrs. so when you come home all smellin’ and stinky like, it’ll take your bad smell away.” Winking he added, “It’ll give some class where you stay at!”
The big truck driver looked really uncomfortable. He started shifting side to side, looped one thumb through a strap of his blue jean overalls, and started rubbing his head with his other hand. Continue reading What’s That Smell?
I sat through a First Aid/CPR class with fifteen men I work with. The instructor asked if anyone had used CPR before.
From the back of the room, I slowly slipped my hand up. She wheeled on me like a Doberman Pinscher staring at an Oscar Meyer hot dog and commanded, “Tell us about it.”
Suddenly thrust into the limelight in front of co-workers, I started. “Well”, shrugging my shoulders, “Twenty-five years ago I was sitting in a little cafe minding my own business. It was 3:00 in the afternoon so there was hardly anyone else there except an old man and two elderly ladies. All of the sudden I heard a commotion and one of the old ladies was trying to hold up the man who had slumped over the table. She was shaking him yelling, ‘Don’t you die on me! Don’t you die on me!’”
“I ran over and pulled the man out of the chair onto the floor. His eyes were rolled back in his head and he wasn’t breathing, but he had a feint, irregular pulse. I figured he’d had a heart attack.” Continue reading CPR Trauma
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
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
Two questionable characters were loitering in front on the grocery store bench. I did what all concealed handgun licensed carriers do. I slipped a small pistol in my pocket before going in.
About the time I was in front of the bench, one of the men said, “Hey brother! Why don’t you hire me?”
That’s not the first time I’ve heard that line, so I knew at some time or another he had worked or interviewed for a job with me. I looked at the man who spoke and said, “I’m sorry. I recognize your face, but your name is slipping me.” Continue reading Rock Bottom Hope
It was a first, a symphony! I was told high school band concerts don’t count, but a local community symphony does! They played classical French pieces the entire performance, and for these little Texas ears, it wasn’t bad!
And did you know a symphony has a huge array of fiddle players? They dress kind of funny for fiddle players, but they were good! And then there was the soft accent of woodwinds, the perfect mixture of big brass sound, all punctuated with occasional drums for just the right bon appetite (That’s French for, for…it’s French for something really good!?) Continue reading John Wayne Symphony
The remnants of Hurricane Harvey are still dumping Mother Nature’s tears on my home town of Angleton. Houston, an hour north, is getting deluged with rain. Creeks, rivers and bayous are overflowing, and every drop of rain on top of that is making life hard on family, friends and strangers. Having grown up in the area, this is beyond hard. These are some of the most stressful, difficult, trying days one can imagine!
People are leaving their homes for higher ground, but then they are stranded, including Continue reading Hurricane Heros
Mango, my black mouth curr dog, has a staring problem. It’s hard to be stared at. It’s even worse when it’s a longer than average, full fledged, laser stare, the kind where every move you make is calculated and the pupils of the eyes follow you, anticipating every move you make. It gives a shiver down my spine!! A stare like that from a person or stranger can start a fight, and one like that in a dark alley is why there are concealed handgun laws.
On the other hand, even if it’s a stare full of hope, love and adoration, after the initial amusement, it can get almost spooky, to the point you want to close the curtains and hide.
Mango puts his paws up on the backyard window sill and stands there staring inside the Continue reading Dog Day Stares
It’s one of the most popular burger places across from Stanford University in Palo Alto. I stepped in the long line to order and a woman with an 11-year old boy got in line behind me. She warned her son several times to be patient, yet she was a tad bit irritated herself. A mother-son verbal conflict arose, complete with that’s not fair versus a you don’t always get what you want speech.
At first, I just listened. The boy was on verge of a chaotic meltdown, and honestly, I thought she should make good on her promise to take him straight home if his impatience continued.
But then… Continue reading Help Me See The Invisible