Friday, January 29, 2016

Texas Monthly Magazine guidelines for picking the 40 best small-town cafes: "Our guidelines were strict. By “small town,” we meant a burg with no more than 25,000 souls. Unpretentiousness in an eatery was paramount, and on our score sheets points were awarded for a cluster of elements that, taken together, we took to calling the Real Deal Factor: family ownership, big-haired waitresses, plastic flowers, police officers or truckers at the counter, chicken livers or gizzards on the menu, a pie case."

Hello and welcome as we embrace today, Friday, January 29, 2016. The wife left this past Wednesday to go and help with her brother, our dear Bro. Milton, as he nears the end of his sojourn here on the planet. Wednesday morning I broke the 100 number on my fasted blood sugar. (98) I filed that away for future reference. The wife is gone. Turns out I was out on the road most of the day. I mentioned last week that fried chicken gizzards was the 10th most searched word string that landed people on my blog. I just happened to be in the neighborhood of this fried chicken joint where I typically obtain a dozen of the golden delights. I like going there. The people know me. I may only see them every two to three months but I'm the only one that has ever ordered chicken gizzards that I know of. At least while I was there. They have a buffet but they never take those that have been under the lamp for me. They fry me up a brand new batch. I dutifully wait. They scoop them up, put into a little cardboard tray and then into a brown paper bag along with a fresh, hot yeast roll. That bag soaks up quite a bit of the excess grease, therefore, I give them extra credit for helping me stay healthy. You see how that all unfolded. The wife is gone. I got a reasonable number. I happen to be in the area. The next thing I knew I was driving down the road popping those steaming hot gizzards and letting them jump around in my mouth until they got cool enough to bite down on. Were they good? Wrong company but the right slogan: They were truly finger lick'n good! (In fact, that's about the only way to keep the steering wheel clean, finger lick'n, but I guess you got it the first time.)

I hope you realize by now that I am prone to some slight exaggeration from time to time. Or maybe hyperbole would be the better word for it. Wait. How about embellishment? One author, Phillip Pullman, expressed his viewpoint, "After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world." Those of us who know the Lord God of heaven through His one and only Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, would most likely make that relationship number one in our lives. However, I would not discount the value of storytelling. Past and present they reflect much that makes up the fabric of my life. Many times they are not made up stories. They reflect real life events. I've found those typically are the best ones. While visiting on our cellphones I told one from my past to our youngest son the other day. It was from over fifty years ago. He thought it was hilarious. And, we do know that Jesus Himself used stories, (parables), to illustrate points. Some have said they were earthly stories with a heavenly meaning. His stories were intended to stimulate the heart and thoughts of those who heard them. Typically, His listeners got His point even though they often refused to accept His message. As for me, well, I battle the blank page everyday. It's my own little struggle. I am well aware that I do not always pay attention to all the rules in putting my prose on the page. Here's another author's quote that I like, Norton Justor: "A slavish concern for the composition of words is the sign of a bankrupt intellect. Be gone, odious wasp! You smell of decayed syllables." No one will ever accuse me of being slavish about composition.

I do thank those of you who keep up with my ramblings each day. I also appreciate the feedback when something has been of special interest or perhaps even a blessing to someone. It's obvious I do this because I want to but I can assure you that when folks tell me they have been encouraged or they have enjoyed a smile, well, that keeps the motivation in motion. The other day I received a message from someone who had somehow deleted the email I send out each day. They asked if I would please forward another copy of that day's blog. Thanks for asking. It has been a busy week for me. I read something in one of the British newspapers the other day that got my attention. The article was about the dire circumstances surrounding health services and retirement benefits for the aging British population. Here's the teaser that caught my eye: Plan on working until you are 80. Hello? It made me wonder so I Googled '80 is the new' and low and behold I found several articles from here in our own country where someone was saying that 80 is the new 60 in terms of when to retire. My achy bones didn't really want to hear that and my response was to think of that song made popular on the old Hee Haw TV show, "Gloom, despair, and agony on me ... Deep, dark depression, excessive misery ... If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no luck at all ... Gloom, despair, and agony on me" Meanwhile, we do our best to soldier on. Have yourself a wonderful Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday and I'll do my best to return to this particular scene of the crime come next Monday morning. May God bless. Amen. ....More later.

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