Several years ago on a cruise ship, Janet and I met a hard-working young lady named Lenora.
She was cleaning tables and carrying away dirty dishes when we sat down for breakfast.
Lenora was from Ukraine. Janet’s been to Ukraine before, so someone who knew exactly where her country was, much less having been there before, seemed a genuine treat for Lenora.
Quick observation — most people vacationing on cruises don’t really see the people working on the ship. It’s like the workers are simply working movable fixtures, walking robots, not real people at all, as if invisible.
Continue reading Lenora →
This Labor Day was the twentieth anniversary since I grew a goatee. Haven’t seen the ugly under those hair follicles in this century!
Several weeks ago Janet and I traveled, and in Keystone, South Dakota, I shaved.
I was shocked! Without hair on my face, everything looked different!
At least my receding hair line, even if it’s in a steady retreat, is a gradual reveal. It’s like a slow descent plane landing. But shaving cold turkey and going lickety-split from whiskers to clean shaven after twenty years, well that’s an engine failure crash landing!
I felt like I needed to introduce myself to the guy staring back at me in the mirror! Who is this stranger?
The worst part, however, was somehow, sometime in last twenty years, someone snuck another chin under the original! It doesn’t look like a double chin with facial hair, right?
But now, my face looks pregnant! Nine months. With twins! Continue reading Whisker Windfall →
A college student in an electric wheel chair was moving up the sidewalk beside our local university.
She controlled her chair with one hand while tapping a cane back and forth in front of her with the other. She was partially paralyzed, and on top of it, blind! Yet there she was, out in public, on her own, making her way from place to place! Amazing!!
I respect her immensely for doing what seems impossible to me!
She reminds me of a blind friend named Randy I knew in college. Randy was 7 or 8 years older than me and had lost his sight his senior year of high school when he caught a rare virus. Continue reading To See The Way →
One of the most consistent things in life is that it changes.
Change constantly swirls around the atmosphere of life in the spiritual, emotional and physical spheres.
Change allows sunshine, and rain, to fall below.
It’s not all bad, not all good.
It is, however, inevitable.
Yet change, maybe just for me, is usually difficult and often seems unkind, unremitting. Continue reading Life Changes →
Saturday week ago we were on family vacation at Surfside Beach, Texas. We rented a 5 bedroom beach house that sleeps 30. That’s a lot, but if everyone was there, 28 would be piled in … at least until the next grandchild is born in October.
On the verge of cocky, we guys planned a fish fry (fish we hadn’t yet caught) Saturday night for the 18 of us there. Thank goodness it wasn’t on the keepers I caught. Gandhi ate more than that!
We fished off the jetties the first day, and my sons locked into a dozen or so speckled sea trout. They just quietly grinned like cats at a dairy farm every time I reeled in a small fish.
In the end though, we had more than enough fish.
We ate and ate, but cooked way too much. (That’s what you get when five men cook a meal.) Continue reading Catching Men With Fish →
I had a car full — all four daughters and wondering wonder why I never remembered ear plugs for a road trip.
There was a noise lull, which is usually a sign something’s about to happen. I was obliviously enjoying the semi-peaceful, kinda quiet moment, when a screeching, high-pitched voice shrieks, “Yella one!!!” Then she hit me in the arm, frogged me right in the muscle!
Being the strong, hard as a rock muscles, manly man that I am, I whimpered, “Ouuuuuuch!”
Wincing in pain I rubbed the muscle while bent over the steering wheel like an assignation victim.
“What did ya do that for!?” Continue reading Yella One! →
We jumped at the chance to help take care of three grandkids while their mom and dad did duties at a church camp retreat! It’s what grandparents do.
We jump in and help, you know? All for one, and one for all! Do it for the team!
Oh, did I mention it was at Lake Tahoe? In a cabin setting? Second story waterfront view? Alright. Well, SURE! Happy, happy, happy to fly from Texas to help!!
Our job was to help entertain the three munchkins, ages 6, 4, and 2, even though they all answer “and a half” when asked their age.
Life is odd like that. By the time you’re my age, you round down. In fact, birthdays are now Pretend To Have Ten Fewer Candles on the Cake Day! Besides, it saves the environment from candle pollution and the smoke detector doesn’t go off!
Anyway, at the retreat center, Janet and I discovered there was no adjoining door between the rooms. In fact, there were three queen size beds in our room….with only one bed in Mommy and Daddy’s room.
Uh, huh! That’s just stinkin’ parental brilliance right there! Why didn’t I think of that as a young parent?!
Continue reading Nightmare on Tahoe Street 😂 →
The road is icy and what little moonlight there is hides behind deep, dark clouds and ominous sky. It’s midnight, and although the temperature is below freezing, the harsh, rushing north wind makes it seem colder by the minute.
The wipers swipe the windshield, back and forth, back and forth. Part rain, part snow, part sleet strikes the glass as if it were an all out assault. The heater blows on high, and even with a coat, gloves and extra socks, nothing keeps up with the bone chilling cold outside.
Like an impending doom, the cold surrounds the body and car trying to overtake both driver and machine to remove all heat, and movement, from both. Continue reading Down The Road →
It’ll be dark in an hour. I jump in the pickup and start driving aimlessly in the country. After a sweltering hot day, it’s cool. With both windows rolled down, it feels like heaven on earth air conditioning.
Smells of a freshly cut grass, honey suckle patches on fence rows and the scent of distant rain clouds permeate the air. Red dust flies up behind the truck. It envelops the branches of the trees looking like a Picasso painting in the rearview mirror.
A little further down a pickup pulling a trailer is in a field being loaded with hay bales from last week’s cutting. Just past that is a house where a boy rides his bike in a big circle over and over. He finally gathers his courage to take another shot to go airborne off the ramp he made from two 5-gallon buckets and a stiff piece of plywood.
It’s the South. It’s the country. It’s rural living. It’s a culture where most folks like a slower pace of life, and not being crowded in at the gills by neighbors. Continue reading Dirt Road Drive →
Sometimes you have to look twice to believe your eyes! I stopped at a red light on the loop around town right behind a pickup moving furniture, mattresses specifically.
Common sense plays a major role in hauling furniture, especially to lay mattresses down and strap them so they don’t blow out the back of a truck.
Not the Einsteins I was behind! They had a twin size box spring standing on its end in the middle of the truck bed with one mattress catty-cornered to the right side and a queen size mattress upright on its side on the left. No straps, ties, rope, nothing to hold it down.
OK, that’s not entirely accurate, because sitting behind the truck at the red light, I noticed little puffs of smoke coming from the pick up bed……and pair of legs… and brand new white tennis shoes hanging over the left fender well!
Using the theory of, of….well I don’t know what theory they were using, but the guy sitting in the back of the truck was a human tie down! The smoke came from a cigarillo he was puffing on!
I can almost hear the master mind driver saying in a mafia voice, “Listen here, kid! I do the thinking around here! Ya got that!?” Continue reading The Wassup Moving Company →