Tuesday, February 28, 2017

“Rather than turning the page, it's much easier to just throw the book away.” ― Anthony Liccione, American poet and author

My blood sugar has stabilized from the weekend. You can probably identify with my dilemma. When you work on your taxes and the wife is away, well, you have to snack just to keep your spirits up. It reminds me of that old saying, "When the wife is away the food will not stay." Just joking. What was my big number? What happened at that particular time, stays there. At least I knew it was coming. When I stuck my finger Sunday morning I shaded my eyes and scrunched up my shoulders in anticipation. I did see a small inscription that appeared on the bottom of my little test screen display. It said, "ET call home." The wife is now back and I've turned the page, hopefully with a return to an acceptable level of moderation. It's Tuesday, February 28, 2017, and I'm joking a little to get our day started. A little. There was at least some good news. She did not leave any Blue Bell. I searched all the freezer compartments. (Three different units.) I was working on taxes, so, maybe I was doing inventory. I think it best to leave it at that. I'm sure you have noticed that I do a whole lot of start overs. What's the big deal? So, I'm into new beginnings. That's a good thing. Right? Maybe this day, the one we all are working on, will set a new course. I can't be sure but I may have said exactly the same thing yesterday. I know that repetition is critical, however, that may have to do with what is being repeated. At least I am trying?

I didn't watch this year's Oscars. I didn't watch last year or the year before. There was a time when it was an entertainment program that showcased great talent. Now it is everything but that. It has become a program where people can only say what all of them are programmed to say. Group speak at its worst. Unison. Insufferable people applauding each other for unwatchable films. Sure, I know they have influence. Our culture is built around the concept of celebrity being at the top of the food chain. They proclaim themselves as being beacons of free speech and open dialogue, yet, they instantly ostracize any of their peers who don't say what they think they should say in exactly the way they want it to be said when they want it to be said. No differing viewpoints allowed. Period. Why any self-respecting person would want to take their cues from folks with the most whacked out views on the planet is beyond me. They are intent on imposing their views on everyone by coercion and peer pressure. Seeing some of the follow the leader postings on Facebook proves this is how they expect to advance their agenda. For far too long those of us called the silent majority have been just that, silent. Seeing the threat to our children and to our national interests, it's time for us to stand up for what we believe in.

Speaking of entertainment, we've been watching some recently resurrected TV programs that are filled with great music, comedy, and other types of interesting acts. The Jimmy Dean Show was on between 1963-1966. The show starred the country singer Jimmy Dean, ('Big Bad John'), who later became a successful entrepreneur as the founder of Jimmy Dean Sausage. On any given episode, the guest list was impressive. Molly Bee, Don Adams, Buck Owens, Johnny Cash, Eddy Arnold, Norm Crosby, Vicky Carr, Jerry Vale, Chet Atkins, Floyd Cramer, Rosemary Clooney, The McGuire Sisters, Jack Jones, Connie Smith, Roger Miller, Al Hirt, George Gobel, The Mills Brothers, Pearl Bailey, Jim Reeves, Henny Youngman, Jackie Mason, just to name a few. The list is huge. They had their own regular characters including one of Jim Henson's early puppets, Rowlf the dog. They also had their own ensemble of singers and dancers. It's called variety. The restored TV programs are black and white and they are not that clear but they do what they set out to do, entertain their viewers. Or, at least, they entertain us. But, then again, we are certainly not necessarily a sought after demographic. Not unless you are marketing catheters, reverse mortgages or burial insurance. That's okay. We still enjoy watching. I know. We are missing The Walking Dead. We always have missed that one from the get-go. I guess for us, that would be an example of must-not-see TV. Feel free to have your own preferences, and don't forget to enjoy. Take care, and may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen. ...More later.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Birthday to our baby boy!

Today, Monday, February 27, 2017, we pause to recognize God's provision in giving us our baby buckaroo, Rodney, some 46 years ago today. He and his family typically go to the rodeo each year and it's rodeo time so I thought the cowboy motif would be appropriate. (Both of the photos involved attending the annual Houston Rodeo) We are thankful for him, his wife Mitzi, and their wonderful children, Kyleigh, Lexie, and Brady. Happy Birthday son and may God continue to bless, with love from your mom and dad. We add this cowboy prayer: "May your belly never grumble, your heart never ache, your horse never stumble, and your cinch never break."

Maybe it's that 'two shall become one flesh' deal, but, things for me are never the same when my better half is away from home. I think everyone knows by now that I need lots of supervision. That's not a new development. She helps to keep me, if not on track, at least somewhere on the road instead of being in the ditches. I've helped her, over the years, to develop her own unique head shake. I see her use it often. Someone comes up to her and either tells one on me or they ask her something about what I have done or said. There goes that head along with a particular grimacing smirk. You know what I am talking about. "If that don't beat all, but, all I can say is that after all these years I'm not sure I can do much about it." Just think how things would be if she wasn't around to do what she can to help keep me headed in the right direction. I don't even want to go there, my friend, too scary to even contemplate. However, she will be coming home this morning and the world sent me a note saying everything will then be back in order. I do love and appreciate my girl! In fact, when I wrote that last sentence I could hear in my mind's ear the wonderful harmonies from the Temptations singing their mega hit from 1965, "My Girl."

One of the things Facebook provides is a window into the collective viewpoints of countless special interest groups. Old people are constantly putting up things that pertain to their interests. Threats concerning their medical coverage, pension, and other types of information are daily themes being promulgated. Often the information is not reliable but it does get a lot of response. Another group might be parents with children discussing all the endless array of issues involved in family life. Teenagers are also trying to be heard amongst the many voices crying out. Political viewpoints dominate all age groups covering every conceivable persuasion. Religion. More postings each day than one can imagine, much less absorb. The Trump haters do their thing. The Trump lovers do their thing. The throw them all out group has their message. And, I've not even scratched the surface. For people I know and care about I used to try and help with some fact checking analysis of some of the more outrageous things posted. I've quit doing it because people don't like to be told what they posted has problems, especially factual problems. It's the old saying, "Don't confuse me with the facts." I mention this because it's good to enjoy the things you can while taking the rest of it with a grain of salt. In my opinion, based on the content I see every day, you will end up using a huge number of grains of salt. Just me. Sharing. Thanks for tuning in today and Lord willing I will see you next time. May God bless. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, February 24, 2017

"I hope some animal never bores a hole in my head and lays its eggs in my brain, because later you might think you're having a good idea but it's just eggs hatching." ~ Comedian Jack Handey

Welcome to the widely anticipated, by some, final day leading up to what we typically call the weekend. That would be Friday, of course, and this one defines itself as February 24, 2017. The designation of the weekend is slightly misleading. Saturday actually ends the current week and Sunday begins next week. But, you knew that already. It is still for many, if not most, two connected days away from the workplace. This means the weekend idea translates into leisure time to rest, relax, and get resuscitated for the next workweek. At any rate, it is Friday and I do bid you a hearty hello from my world to yours. I recently saw a very interesting interview with Mark Lowry, the Christian comedian, singer, author, and award-winning songwriter. The interviewer was talking about being able to connect to an audience and how Mark sees his ability to communicate. Mark said that being hyperactive all his life could have been a disability but God allowed him to turn it into a gift. He talked about how that often he doesn't have any idea what he might or might not say because his runaway brain is coming up with new stuff on the fly, even while he or someone else is talking. He said he had learned to go with that and he is humbled in how God has used it to reach out to so many people. He talked about how uncanny it is to be fully absorbed in what someone is saying to you while your brain may have finished a new paragraph at the same time. Instead of trying to manage that, he learned to embrace it, and God has blessed. There's a lesson in there somewhere for you and I. Since my brain tends to work a whole lot slower than what Mark described, I will have to wait until it catches up and gives me some feedback on what it might mean to me. Meanwhile, feel free to make your own application.

If everything goes according to plan, I will be doing a preview run-through of my 2016 federal taxes tomorrow. By design, we typically always pay in each year so it helps to have an idea of how much we will have to fork over. Sorry about the 'fork over' comment, but, when you are talking taxes, things like that tend to come to mind. The work involved in preparing a federal tax return is for lack of a better way to describe it, very taxing. We file a joint return but the better half is on a weekend getaway, therefore, I will have to cover for the both of us. Again, the things you think of. When I said joint return I immediately thought of how people might be drawn to smoking a joint because of the stress involved in this arduous process. Don't get nervous. It was just a thought. Not based on experience, based solely on the use of that word. Maybe I am trying out Mark's approach where I share whatever it is that comes into my mind. For me, that could be a very dangerous approach. But you might as well laugh. Right? Do you know why sharks will not attack a tax collector? Professional courtesy. No wonder Albert Einstein left us with this memorable quote, "The hardest thing to understand in the world is the Income Tax." There's an old one floating around from an unnamed comic that had this sentiment, "While the wages of sin is death, by the time the taxes are all paid, all that is left is a tired feeling." Taxes are a part of living in a free nation. I support that. God supports us paying our taxes. Look it up. He does. At the same time, it is something we can always have a little fun with. Come to think about it, the funny part ends up being very little indeed!

I will not lie. I can easily be talked out of working on that particular project. That is, if something very important happens to come up, what could I do? Let me see. I'll try out some excuses just in case I need them when 'you know who' returns. ~ I really wanted to but my leg went to sleep and I couldn't make it up the stairs. ~ I heard someone had won the lottery and was waiting to see if they were going to call me. ~ I thought I may have smelled gas so I didn't want to turn on the computer, just in case of an electrical spark. ~ I had a bad dream about the IRS and didn't want to risk having a breakdown of some sort. ~ I thought you had told me to break in the new mattress so I decided to stay in bed. ~ I recently opened a fortune cookie and I can't be sure but I think it advised me not to start any new projects. ~ I needed to watch a documentary that would help answer the question once and for all, 'Where is Waldo?' ~ I have a feeling those may not fly but I remember from the Bible one time when David was in a bad situation and needed to find a way out. He fell down on the ground and acted like he was a lunatic. They fell for it and he escaped. (1st Samuel Chapter 21) I'll keep that one in reserve. Enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday. Lord willing, I will see you next time. May God bless. Amen. ....More later.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I'm not even sure if I am ready for today's edition.

I think I hear my song playing.
What a week! And, it's only Thursday. This one claims the block on the calendar marked February 23, 2017. I started off the week as Paw Paw Mac might have said, "All laid up like a bunch of dogs, (Sick on Sunday)." I had to deal with a huge rain storm on Monday which I did have to be out and about in it. On Tuesday we prayed fervently for our mom as she saw the ortho doctor. God was good and she received a good report. However, the prognosis continues to be long, maybe as much as 4-6 more months before complete healing. That's way too long for her but we do thank God for His answering our prayers. On Wednesday I was pretty busy with work. (I think that's how it is supposed to be.) And, we had our mid-week services Wednesday evening. That brings me to today where I've adopted a wait and see for whatever happens next attitude, or something like that. Oh yeah, the wife is leaving me again. Tomorrow. She is going to Louisiana to visit her sister and brother for a mini-reunion. I don't know why but just thinking about it caused that left behind series of books to pop into my head. That was quickly followed by the folk-bluegrass tune resonating in my being, "Man of Constant Sorrow." I think I had better move on before I end up throwing myself a surprise pity party.

You know once you open that gate, pretty soon you are on to "Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song" and there's no turning back. I'm surprised because even though I wrote all of that mostly tongue in cheek, once you get into those thought patterns, bam!, there's that image of that huge ocean liner slithering into the ocean depths with that orchestra playing "Nearer My God to Thee." Okay. I got up, walked around for a minute, and now I am back and ready to realign my train of thought. That other one ended up off the rails, so to speak. But, it was all intended to be just for fun. You know. The use of words to portray images that convey a message. Word pictures do just that. Depending on the mindset of the person reading, word pictures can elicit all kinds of emotions. People looking at the same images interpret them differently. The same thing happens when we process a word picture. I describe. You decide. We all are storytellers, in one way or another. Here's an example from my own life. I'm not sure I ever told this one but when my little brother and I would lay in bed at night I would tell him a sad story to see if I could make him cry. (I typically always was able to do that.) I can't remember if I ever tried to tell one that would make him happy. I actually wasn't being cruel, or, at least I hope I wasn't. I think we were just being kids. I was practicing my storytelling skills. Don't write me and tell me how that explains a lot. Believe me, I'm a whole lot more messed up than that.

No. It's not a slow news day for me, it's just me playing my favorite song, perhaps on that tiny little violin. You know the one I'm talking about. "Rambling Prose."  If you know the tune, sing along with me, "Ramblin' prose, ramblin' prose Why you ramble, no one knows..." Now that I've said all of that I feel so much better I think I will cancel my therapist appointment for this week. That is a joke. I don't have an appointment this week. I'm not sure when it is scheduled. That too is a joke. I will pass on a tip for today. Don't spray Windex on your eyeglasses while they are on your face. I'm not saying I ever tried that one, but, the thought has occurred to me, and having weighed the potential outcomes I believe it not to be the best way to clean your glasses. There's more to the story than that but due to time limitations, I'll have to save it for another episode. I know what some of you are thinking. Whatever medications I am on you either think they need to be reviewed or for some, you might be inclined to want some of them for yourself. At the end of the day, when it's all said and done, wrapping it all up and putting a bow on it, please take it all with a grain of salt. You what? You will pray for me? That's always a good thing. Thank you very much. I'll do the same. For you too. Amen. .... More later.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Yes, Virginia, there are times when even Santa Claus can feel under the weather.

Good morning. Welcome. It's Wednesday, February 22, 2017, and I'm glad that I am beginning to begin feeling mostly like my old self today. That's right. Last Saturday evening when we got home from our trip to Louisiana I fell ill. Me. Mr. Invincible. I really did. I'm not sure how it goes but it was either fever and chills or chills and fever. That combination is characteristic of when I find myself under the weather. I heard all my life about people being sick as a dog. I think I may have, at a minimum, fit that designation. I don't know where it came from. I don't even know what it was. I suppose it could have been food poisoning are some other sudden onset distress, but, whatever it was it knocked me down and took every bit of the strength out of my body. After a long night, I was still pretty wiped out Sunday morning so I didn't go to teach my class. My wife had tried to get me to arrange for someone to cover Saturday evening but I felt like I would surely be ready to go Sunday morning. I wasn't. Fortunately, we had someone who was willing to step up and fill in for me. I'm not sure what people thought at our local fellowship but I understand they were asking about funeral arrangements. I don't miss very often. I did make it to work Monday but I felt like the proverbial person who had been run over by a freight train. The wife and I were talking about the incident and I told her all I could figure out is that I need to be reminded from time to time that I am subject to all the same issues any person might encounter, regardless of what I might think about it. She said she thought I had been pushing too hard for too long. Whatever that means. In case you were wondering, I can do without those kinds of reminders every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Thanks.

Let me be perfectly clear. I was so happy when I experienced the comedian Mark Lowry's favorite Bible verses. "It came to pass." That phrase is found often in both the Old and New Testament. Mark says, to him, that means it didn't come to stay, it came to pass. I sure was glad when that little setback came to pass. And, I have thanked God for His provision in helping me to get up and go again. While I was indisposed I couldn't help but think about those who deal with those kinds of symptoms regularly due to a chronic illness or other maladies. I thought about some we know who are being treated for cancer with their reports about all they are going through, so sad they just break your heart. I think about my 92-year-old mom whose life has changed dramatically after falling and breaking a bone in her hip. She went from being able to be mobile and functional to being mostly immobile, unable to do much, and in pain most of the time. She told me one night this week about her emotional anguish in trying to understand all that has happened to her. She often asks me if I think she will ever regain any of the independence she enjoyed just a few weeks ago. I always tell her that only time will tell. She talks about maybe getting her questions answered when she sees the Lord. Then she reminds me that maybe she won't have any questions at that time. I told her the song says we'll understand it better bye and bye. I added that whether you will have or you won't have questions, we will still understand it better bye and bye. She told me she just doesn't know how anyone makes it if they don't know the Lord. She often signs off with a "Praise the Lord." That's my mom. That's our heritage.

The wife reminds me from time to time that brevity is a virtue, especially when it comes to my daily blogging. I never have denied my verbosity. (I believe that is the recognized word that describes someone who uses more words than necessary.) I suppose on most days I just go with the flow. After all, if anyone thinks it's too long, do what Deputy Barney Fife advised, "Nip it, nip it, in the bud!" I forget sometimes the different ones who do read my blogs each day. Frequently I tell something and someone says, "Yeah, I know, I read that in your blog." Oh my! Occupational hazard, I suppose. Given all of that, it's probably a good time to once again say, "Goodnight Gracie." I do hope that you will have yourself a wonderful rest of the day. Be thankful if you are able to get up and go. I sure am. See you next time and may God be with us all. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Happy Birthday to our Brittany!

I am glad to be able to say hello to one and all on this day, Tuesday, February 21, 2017. Today is another birthday in our family. We are remembering and celebrating the second daughter of three born to our eldest and his wife. She turns 26 today. Happy Birthday to our Brittany. These birthdays are becoming like rings on a tree trunk to me. So many memories over these many years. Happy Birthday Brittany and may God bless is our prayer. Love, MiMi and Poppy

When we think about all the information flying at us from all directions, there's really no way to know if every single thing said or written is true. We hear about it all the time. The President may have made the term 'fake news' popular, but, misinformation, wrong data, and downright untrue materials do find their way into the variety media outlets we all have access to. Just so you know, the President is not the source of truth either. I saw his most recent press conference being fact checked by several different organizations. They found that he had at least 10 statements that were either false or misleading. People say they want to know the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. All of this reminded me of that famous interview between the prisoner, Jesus of Nazareth, and Pilate, the Procurator of Rome. Gospel of John, Chapter 18, Verses 28-40: ~ Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas into the Praetorium, and it was early; and they themselves did not enter into the Praetorium so that they would not be defiled, but might eat the Passover. Therefore Pilate went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?” They answered and said to him, “If this Man were not an evildoer, we would not have delivered Him to you.” So Pilate said to them, “Take Him yourselves, and judge Him according to your law.” The Jews said to him, “We are not permitted to put anyone to death,” to fulfill the word of Jesus which He spoke, signifying by what kind of death He was about to die.Therefore Pilate entered again into the Praetorium, and summoned Jesus and said to Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered, “Are you saying this on your own initiative, or did others tell you about Me?” Pilate answered, “I am not a Jew, am I? Your own nation and the chief priests delivered You to me; what have You done?” Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” Therefore Pilate said to Him, “So You are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say correctly that I am a king. For this I have been born, and for this I have come into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews and said to them, “I find no guilt in Him. “But you have a custom that I release someone for you at the Passover; do you wish then that I release for you the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas.” Now Barabbas was a robber." ~ Sadly, Truth personified stood in front of Pilate, yet, he failed to grasp the reality of His essence. My point? The news media, the President, and all the other outlets notwithstanding, there is a Source of Truth that we can always rely on, God and His Word. Amen.

Why did I share that paragraph? It works like this. I was thinking about the fake news stuff and about the accusations forth and back about truth versus lies, and that passage came to mind. That's how a lot of the stuff that lands on my page happens. You may have thought of something completely different. That's well and good. I connect the dots as best I can and have to deal with my own machinations to the extent that is possible. That's why I get up early and stay late. (Just joking.) Yesterday was the day set aside to honor Presidents who have served our nation. Our founding President George Washington had much to say that continues to inspire us today. Many believe the following to be his greatest quote: "The Constitution is the guide which I never will abandon." That's one our elected leaders would do well to honor every day. And, it's a heritage that we all can be proud of. Now it is time to get on with the rest of the stuff we have to accomplish today. Take care and enjoy. I'll see what comes to mind as I'm thinking about something else and then we all can be surprised at what ends up in tomorrow's edition. May God bless. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, February 20, 2017

No one in the press can figure this President out. Thus far, I don't see that as a problem.

Made another trip over to Louisiana last Saturday to visit mom, dad, and sister Jo who is helping take care of mom. We so much enjoyed our brief visit. And, yes, that included sipping of Community Coffee together. She may have a ways to go, but, I can certainly see the progress she is making and we all are thankful to God for that. Amen.

Here we go again. Welcome to Monday, February 20, 2017, where we continue the journey. I am happy to report that since the incident with the fast food manager last week, I have not been confronted again by anyone accusing me of passing a fake Santa Claus photo card. As you can tell, I haven't given that situation another thought. I did watch most of President Trump's press conference last Thursday. According to insider reports, he came in Thursday morning and told his staff that he thought it would be a good day for a press conference. By now you have probably heard that he lambasted the press over and over again. His desire was to get the facts out to the American people. You know. The ones who elected him. When one reporter complained the President referring over and over again to their stories as being fake was undermining the freedom of the press. The President said if that was a problem he would change what he has been saying, from fake news to very fake news. I thought the information he shared to be very pertinent and very relevant. I read the other day from someone who said the press misunderstands President Trump. Completely. He is not frustrated by their stories because it will not deter him from his objectives. Right now that appears to be doing his best to keep his campaign promises. Really? Strange that a politician would do this. Oh yeah. He's not a politician and I, for one, am glad of that. What say you?

I notice one of the themes of those who teach Santa Claus schools is how people who portray the jolly old elf must do their best to be authentic and genuine. How? By being themselves. I think I understand what they are talking about. The Santa character is distinguished by his love for children. In my opinion, genuine love is hard to manufacture. I don't want to sound trite, but, if someone doesn't truly love kids, well, this would not be the job for them. I'm not saying there are not people who are in the business of being Santa that do it as a job only and they actually do not really and truly love the kids, however, that typically becomes obvious over time. One leading expert who teaches acting said that having people be themselves in whatever role they play is perhaps a whole lot tougher than one might think. I believe I understand their point. You can play Santa or you can become Santa using your genuine love as a way of bringing authentic joy to children of all ages. That would be my approach. Or, at least I think that's what I try to do.

It seems like I'm racking up the wear and tear mileage of late. The old body stays a little on the grumpy side, but, we do our best to follow Paw Paw Mac's advice, "Keep on keeping on." I do start this day with a heart of gratitude to our Great God for allowing me to wake up, get up, and the ability to get going. I do hope you and yours will have a wonderful rest of the day Monday and I'll do my best to catch back up with next time. Until then, may God bless us all is my prayer. Amen. ....more later.

Friday, February 17, 2017

God is good all the time. All the time God is good. And, yes, thank God it's Friday!

Remember when I said I couldn't come up with any complaints to share with my doctor, well, I was wondering if I could get a second opinion on that one. I'm just having a little fun this morning on this Friday, February 17, 2017. The wife likes to talk about how easily I fall asleep. I cannot deny that I sleep well, and, based on the many I know who have trouble sleeping, I give God the glory for the rest I am able to get. There are times, however, when I even scare myself. The other day I came into work and got ready for the day. I left before most of the crew got here to go for my doctor's visit. Traffic in and around our area is nothing short of nightmarish these days. Travel, doctor, lab, stopping for a chicken biscuit and coffee, all of that used up nearly 3 hours for the roundtrip. Finished out the day, hurried home and got ready for Wednesday evening services at our local fellowship. Had a great time at the pot luck supper, led thirty minutes of singing, shared in praying for special needs, and then studied God's Word with these brothers and sisters who are so precious to us. Finished up, came home, took my medicine, sat in the recliner and watched an episode of Duck Dynasty. Switched to a rerun of NCIS and the next thing I knew it was after 9 p.m., the TV was turned off, and I had no clue as to where I was. Went to bed. Went to sleep. I've read about the deep sleep stuff. The rapid eye movement phase, etc. All I can say is whatever sleep cycle I was in, I did not pass go and I did not collect $200. When I woke up early Thursday morning I knew I had been on a long journey somewhere but I have no recollection whatsoever of what happened after my head hit my pillow. That's even abnormal for me, but, I rather think I must have needed it, so, I thank God for its invigorating and refreshing influence in my life.

Speaking about that subject, may I just say how concerned I am for our younger generations that have serious sleeping issues. I hear about it all the time. They come to work sleep deprived. Little kids also experience bouts of sleeplessness. Let me state the obvious. That's not healthy, period. Some of it has to do with the electronic gadgets of every description that demand the time and attention of their users. Some of it has to do with the intensity of the games or the shows people watch before their bedtime. I heard one fellow the other day say he knew the pep pills he was taking to keep him alert during the day was likely causing him not to be able to sleep. However, to him, it was a dead end street, because, he couldn't see himself being able to function without them even if they deprived him of the rest he needs at night. Other issues come from medical conditions. Some have chronic pain. Have I ever been in that kind of situation? Throughout my sojourn, most of the time when I couldn't sleep, it had to do with being tied in knots about a family issue, a work situation, or when God was trying to get my attention. Hey, He can do what He knows is best and that includes keeping me awake to hear what He has to say. To be honest, I hear so much about these sleeping problems, I try not to alter my schedule much at all since it is working so well for me. When I offer my schedule as a potential way of helping others, you guessed it, I am typically laughed off the stage. Sorry. That's about all I have to recommend.

You noticed? You are right. I did not mention the use of coffee as a potential cause of sleeplessness. Let me be clear here. There is room for advice and consultation but I consider the coffee discussion to be meddling. You know. Like the preacher says, "I can tell from your reaction that I've moved from preaching to meddling." I'll leave the coffee subject to the discretion of the consumer, although I have been called a Community Coffee evangelist before. And, if you are in the market for a good Louisiana coffee product, well, try it, you'll like it. That one has been used before? I thought for a minute maybe I had come up with something. Lord willing, tomorrow we will be making a one-day turnaround trip over to Louisiana to see mom and dad. Mom has been through a lot over the past six weeks, but, God has been there with her. I am so thankful our sister JoAnn has been able to come and stay to help dad with mom. She has been a HUGE blessing to us all. I do hope you have enjoyed a good work week. Now it is on to Saturday and then the special time of celebration on Lord's Day Sunday. I do hope everyone remembers to thank God for the life He has provided. See you next time and may God bless us all. Amen. ....More later.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

You can come out now. Everyone else has left the premises.

Quick update on mom. She is now at home. She ate supper at her own table for the first time in a long time. She actually helped dry the supper dishes. The photo is of her and dad. They are doing their version of watching the 10 p.m. local news. Dad does have the remote, so he can change the channel if he needs to. The status? So far, so good. We plan to go Saturday to check on them. Thanks for all the prayers.

I suppose love is still in the air even as we do our best to deal with today, this one being Thursday, February 16, 2017. I read a report in one of the London online papers that talked about a couple observing their 84th Valentines Day together. That teaser headline got my attention. Essentially, they met in 1931, as neighbors, and grew up together. They married in 1945 after he returned from serving in WWII. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2015. I suppose the 84 is calculated from when they were in school together. He says he still remembers the first time he saw her and how he thought what a cute little girl she was. He is now 95 years young and she is 93. They have no children but are cared for by a couple of nieces. That, my friend, is what I call a long term relationship. They had a photo of them kissing but I think we get the picture here. They have been at this a long time and their testimony should be an encouragement to us all. May God bless them is my prayer. Amen.

I had my six-month diabetic check-up yesterday. I was pretty proud of myself. I didn't set off any alarm systems. They didn't have to call security. I wasn't put in restraints. The doctor didn't run away. I call that a reasonably good appointment. Please don't go around quoting those comments because they were written in jest. You know. A joke. I am anxiously awaiting my A1c report. That's the one that reveals over a longer time frame how well I have been behaving myself in terms of controlling my blood sugar. When the doctor asked me how I was doing I thought about an old fellow we used to attend Church with. When anyone asked him how he was doing he would usually give the same answer, "If I kicked, I ought to be." Sure, I have the aches and pains of a 70-year-old caused by naturally occurring arthritis. I would also like to be maybe twenty pounds lighter. But, honestly, I really couldn't come up with anything to complain about. I discussed with him the good results from my recent colonoscopy. I had another talk about the relaxed guidelines for older people with diabetes. (Bottom line, they relax them because after 65, you have a shorter period of life expectancy to worry about.) We talked about my mom's situation. I asked about his family and how they were doing. We talked about the Christmas holidays and the Santa Enterprise. You know, whatever it took to fill in my fifteen-minute allotment. The really good news, I like my doctor, even though I most likely have socks older than he is.

Sometimes I tend to drone on about this pain or that pain. I came away from the medical complex being thankful that I can operate as well as I can. There were folks there waiting to see their doctor, or waiting for lab work, and, well, for lack of a better way to put it, they were pitiful. Very. Some appeared to be elderly but many were not. They were folks with bad injuries or some type of disease. Like I say, if you are able to get up and get going each day, my belief is how, that, in and of itself, is something to thank God for. I had fasted before doing my lab work. No coffee. No food. Just water. On the way back to the office I stopped at the only convenient place, one with the arches, not the fallen ones like mine, the golden ones. One of the Hispanic workers mentioned to her manager that Santa had come into the store. They both laughed. The manager took my order and when I paid I handed her one of our Santa and Mrs. Claus souvenir cards. She was happy to get it but she looked at the card, looked at me, and she said, "That's not you on the card." Not me on the card? Not me on the card? I asked her if she thought I would be going around handing out a Santa card with someone else's photo on it. I tell you. What is this world coming to? Now you know why I need blood pressure medicine. I'm still processing some of what my doctor said. It went something like this. If you are diagnosed with diabetes, say in your 30's, that's typically a long time to concentrate on your numbers. After 65, there are more potential treatment side effects and typically there's not that long span available to work with. See what I mean? Stuff like that causes me to leave with mixed feelings. You know, it's like when you rescue someone on the highway only to find out he is an IRS investigator on his way to your house. I'll let you try to sort some of this out. I obviously need help. Take care and may God bless. Amen. ....More later.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

"If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded." ~ Maya Angelou

Here's another brief update on mom's situation. As of this afternoon, she is supposed to be released and headed for home. There are plenty of unknowns. Is she able to function at home? What about her health? And, what are the options depending on the outcomes experienced? These are all to be determined. One thing we are thankful for. She is much stronger now than when she was released to go home three weeks ago. We are also thankful for dad and his tireless spirit. (People who are around dad forget quickly that he is going on 87.) And, we are thankful our sister JoAnn can be there to help mom and dad deal with this situation. Prayers on behalf of mom and her caregivers are, as always, appreciated.

Welcome to the day after Valentines, here on this Wednesday, February 15, 2017. I think we all know that genuine love is one that cost something. When it comes to the actual day set aside to recognize love, well, they tell us that nearly $20 billion was projected to be spent. My wife gave me one of those beautiful Hallmark cards. I made her one on my computer at home. It did require ink and paper. We did eat out. Therefore, we were active participants to some degree in this economic outlay. Dad sent a box of Valentines candy home with me the other day, and I helped consume some of its contents. That did elicit a response from my better half. "Don't you know you are not supposed to be eating candy?" And this one, "Do you have any willpower whatsoever?" I thought about telling her I didn't want them to go stale but I knew that wouldn't fly. She couldn't have cared less about the missing candy and I very well know she says those things out of love and a concern for me paying attention to my diabetic condition. When I posted a Valentines Day greeting on Facebook to acknowledge my love for her, this is what it said, "My Goal: 'Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her;...' Ephesians 5:25, (New American Standard Translation)" That has kept me busy for a long time and while I don't always meet that test, it's not from a lack of trying, and just so you know, I've learned it is a 24x7 work in progress. Bottom line for me: Just keep at it.

You only have to wait for it because you know it's coming. The feigned outrage loudly proclaimed by those who oppose everything the current administration is doing is now being juxtaposed to the previous similar if not the same views of those now expressing the outrage. Public statements, public votes, and in speeches and correspondence, the archives tell the story of what it means to be a corrupt political animal. I'm not saying party affiliation here. I'm talking about how the system works. How can you tell your constituents in good faith, with tears, how horrible this immigration ban is when you supported and voted for a bill five years ago that would have done the same thing? We can grasp clearly this quote from the late poet, Richard Armour, "Politics, it seems to me, for years, or all too long, has been concerned with right or left instead of right or wrong." I can say Amen to that one! So let the blame game continue because it has always been around. In fact, an anonymous quote puts it all in context, "George Washington is the only president who didn't blame the previous administration for his troubles."

Sorry about the political commentary but I couldn't resist. You read what she said about my willpower. Two of the notes I received regarding me achieving 2500 blogs said they looked forward to reading my next 2500 blogs. Are you kidding me? If that were achievable and it took me the same amount of time as the first 2500, I would be still aiming my old crooked fingers at the keyboard at age 81. Speaking of age, I don't know about you but when President George H. W. was pushed in a wheelchair across the field with wife Barbara tagging along in that little cart to do the coin toss at this year's Superbowl, I thought my heart would nearly burst. Respect, pride, and love for our country all wrapped up together in a two-minute presentation. I suppose that's what happens to us sentimental old coots. I can't remember if I had a tear or not, but, I can assure you there were some waiting in the wings. Oh well, in this case, I cannot deny the allegation or the alligator. I do hope you will have yourself a wonderful rest of the day on this Wednesday. We will be meeting at the place where other like-minded believers meet tonight for a time of food, fellowship, and Bible study. Some ask me why I go to the mid-week services. Simple. I need all the help I can get. And, also, I am the Bible teacher but that doesn't change one iota of what I said about how I need it. Love, politics, and a little preaching. That should do it for today. Take care and may God bless each one. Amen. ...More later.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day, on this Tuesday, February 14, 2017. The first time I saw this young lady I didn't really see her. She was actually sitting at our kitchen table. She and some other young ladies were visiting with my sister since they were all a part of a Gospel singing school at a nearby Church. I didn't really see her. I knew she was there but I didn't focus on any of them. They were all laughing and talking. Later that week, in what I believe to be August of 1962, I was persuaded to go with some other fellows to check out the girls at the singing school. I went. When the singing school concluded for that evening several of the girls crammed into the cab of a pickup truck. Back in the country, we weren't too creative in our approaches, therefore, they left and we chased them in our vehicle. Outside of town they did the unthinkable, they stopped. I walked up to the passenger side of the truck. There she was. Face to face. Suddenly, every bit of the air in my body left. It's a wonder I did not collapse on the spot. I've always called it love at first sight, but, whatever it was, however it is described, I still remember that feeling when I look at her. Yep. Still do. After all these years. Happy Valentines Sweetheart, and always remember, "Baby you're the greatest!"

Neither I or the wife hear as well as we did in our younger years. This can lead to some humorous exchanges. Sometimes getting it right matters, and sometimes it doesn't. I read this little ditty that reminds us all that it is important to hear some things with precise understanding. It seems this fellow who was a widower and aged 82 had gone to the doctor for his check up. A few days later the doctor saw the man on the street and he had this gorgeous young woman on his arm. Several days after that, the doctor was able to speak to the man and he told him he must be doing great. The man responded by telling the doctor that he was only trying to do exactly what the doctor had instructed. The man said he was told to get a hot mamma and be cheerful. The doctor jumped back. "I didn't tell you to do that. I said you had a heart murmur and that you should be careful." We've never had a misheard comment with that kind of impact, however, we've had some real doozies and my guess is that in this particular area, we've only just begun.

Speaking of a love story, mom and dad are amazing. Dad is stubborn and set in his ways. However, he is hopelessly devoted to our mom. He is always thinking of ways to try and make things a little easier for her. Watching them is pretty remarkable. Talk about not hearing! When he spends the day with mom at the hospital, his report is always based on his way of seeing and hearing what it going on. Those have proven to not always be reliable, but, they are always fueled by his tremendous devotion and his optimistic hope for her full recovery. He has told me in the past that he hopes that God will take mom first so that he can take care of her until she goes. Watching him feed mom, fix her coffee just like she likes it, and to make conversation that neither of them fully understands, well, it does represent a treasure for our entire family. Love. And, that love demonstrated by duty which requires time and effort. It might not be the kind of stuff ladies like to watch on the Hallmark channel, but, it is something we all should thank God for. A legacy of love, if you will. Okay. I think I've exhausted the love theme for today except to remind us all of the greatest love ever shown. That would be the love that put our Lord and Savior on the Cross in our place. Now we are talking about love! See you next time and may God bless. Amen. ....More later.

Monday, February 13, 2017

I know. There's not much of a theme, but, then again, what's new about that?

Hello once again and welcome to back-to-work Monday. This one appears to be okay in associating itself with February 13, 2017. Seeing the bumpy start by this new administration does not bother me. (Being redundant here, but keep in mind, I voted for Mr. Trump but I did not support his candidacy.) Washington D.C. suffers from a terminal illness with its main symptoms being its own self-awareness and self-preservation. Part of that is to view everything through the lens of its own making. It's the establishment lens. The mainstream uses it only when it suits their purposes. The many gaffes of President Obama were overlooked because he was their man. Every little misstep in this new start-up is presented to the country as being catastrophic. The patient feels very threatened. I'm willing to see the wheels come off if it will bring even modest change. I think a majority of my fellow citizens see it the same way. A majority. Last time I checked, that meant more than 50%, but, even a casual observer can see where the haters who are the minority own the headlines and for the most part, the airwaves as well. Yet, folks out in the boondocks who were not considered in the past, they continue to support the change they voted for. That's where the majority comes in. In discussing these hiccups being played out on the world stage I mentioned to someone the other day a weekly TV program that we watch. It's 'Larry's Country Diner' on RFD-TV. It's a one-hour program recorded live without all the staging and cue cards that most programs use. At the end of every program, the announcer signs off with these words, "Where the cameras are always rolling," he then invites the audience to help him with these words, "and we don't care!" Sure, I would like to see things work a little more smoothly, perhaps. However, the swamp is fighting back, and while I don't see it being drained, I do see some of it being diluted, therefore, as for the messiness the media interprets as the sky falling, my response to their hysteria is much like that show sign off, "I don't really care." Based on recent polling, that silent majority that finally found their voice during the last presidential election feels the same way.

Given our viewpoints on our nation, we didn't watch one second of the Grammy's. No red carpet, no behind the scenes, and none of their wacko speeches. I'll ask you a question. Why in heaven's name do people allow folks who demonstrate every deviant form of behavior to lecture them and their children on matters of politics and policy? I can't figure that one out. I really can't. It's like those recognizable movie stars who are against guns but have made their fortunes making violent movies. I know everyone has issues with hypocrisy, however, when it is blatantly in your face, it gets very tiresome as the lectures on how everyone else should operate their lives go on and on and on. The leftist agenda may be somewhat in disarray after this most recent election, however, the celebrities, for the most part, are in full court pressure in terms of using every opportunity they have to denounce the current administration and to promote their lifestyle choices. Who are influenced by these people? For the most part: Our children. They are the ones listening to their music, watching their TV shows, and buying tickets to their movies. I've actually seen kids on Facebook being shamed into showing support for this so-called movement. Celebrity influence married to peer pressure, it's a powerful weapon and we might better pay attention. For the good of our children and the future of our nation.

As always, you don't have to be in the dark as to how I see it. Here's a quick update from my trip over to Louisiana to see mom this past Saturday. As I have mentioned before, she has her good days and she has her not-so-good days. Saturday was one of her not-so-good days, however, they did finally give her something to calm her nerves and she slept for the five hours we were there. She was resting peacefully. I so appreciate our middle son, Jimmy, going with me. He did the driving. That was a big help. Mom was glad to see him. While I got to ride along which was better for me, it still didn't pacify Uncle Arthur, (arthritis), who likes to do a number of my hips when I am riding. Maybe I need a more comfortable vehicle. You know. A seat in the car that is comparable to one of those sleep number beds. Oh. That's right. We don't have one of those sleep number beds. Just thinking out loud here. Tomorrow is Valentines Day. One of my nieces posted something on Facebook that brought a smile. It said if your boyfriend writes you a note that says happy valentimes day, well, it's best to drop him, period, end of story. That reminds me. I had better check the spelling on the card I made for you know who. Take care. Be blessed. And, thank God for His provisions. Amen. ....More later.

Friday, February 10, 2017

You've got to be kidding. Displaced by Mickey and Barbie!

Just so you know, I didn't stay up late celebrating the 2500 blogs I've written. I did receive several notes with some very kind and encouraging sentiments. Thanks so much. The wife congratulated me and took special note of the shortness of my first blog. I didn't know she was that much into brevity. Now it's time to get on with it or as they say in the old country across the pond, "One moves on." I'm glad to report there is good news afoot. It's Friday. This one presents itself as February 10, 2017. Not too many years ago the most recognizable fictional character in our nation was Santa Claus. He won that designation year after year. Over the past decade or so, Mickey Mouse and Barbie have muscled their way into the top three. Santa is second on some lists and third on others. Mickey is first on many lists and Barbie is first on some as well. My point? Santa is no longer consistently the most recognizable fictional character. To be honest, I take that somewhat personally. Think about it. Since we are talking fiction here, I wonder how many times folks have awakened and found that Mickey and Barbie showed up with gifts for everyone? Yeah. Typically, those two characters involve the purchasing of their likeness, buying their products, and watching their programs. Santa is a symbol of the gift of giving, the spirit of Christmas, and the joy of a child at Christmastime. I'm not that fond of finishing behind a fake mouse and a plastic doll. Can't the Millennials see how unfair and unjust these rankings are? No. I am not asking for a participation trophy. I just would like for folks to wake up. Before it's too late because I am not going to be a happy camper if I slip to 4th place behind Spiderman or one of those freaky Anime characters. You can quote me on that.

While the facts about those rankings are true, I shared it, hoping to add a little levity to our day. Yes. I am aware of the joke about adding very little levity. I, at least tried, Ollie. (Stan and Ollie, Laural and Hardy) I know many of you get these dated references but I do try to explain them for those who may be part of the younger crowd. I'm just trying to prove that us older folks do know a funny story when we see it. I read about an older couple who came out of the movie theater and spotted a cop writing a ticket. "Why don't you give a senior citizen a break?" The police officer was annoyed and started writing a second ticket for bald tires. The wife took over and called the cop an idiot. This name calling went on for about 20 minutes. The more names the old people used, the more tickets the officer wrote. Finally, the bus pulled up, the old people got on and waved to the confused officer of the law. This was the little story these folks told to let people know how, as retirees, they entertain themselves each day. For those of you with good recall, you will recognize I had previously shared a version of that little story last August. Today it was one that came to my mind and since my mind is the only one I have to work with, I decided to go with it. And, here's another thing to consider, haven't you ever heard of recycling?

I may be the number one encouragement for people learning how to effectively use the skip function. I do try to contribute wherever I can. I have another trip planned for tomorrow over to Louisiana to visit mom. One of these days I will climb into my old pickup and point it in that direction and it will find its way on its own. Mom continues to make progress, albeit, very slow. She had at least one very challenging day this week. However, sometimes when I call her she sounds like she did before this all began with her fall back on December 30, of last year. When she does, it causes me to jump back a little, but, I am very thankful for even a few minutes like that. The other day she asked her primary care why he thought her mental faculties might be slipping. He told her to think about all that she, as a 92-year-old, has been through. She fell and broke a bone in her hip requiring emergency surgery. That required anesthesia which is problematic for someone her age. She then developed pneumonia and had to be treated for that. Her heart has been an issue during this process. After being sent home, she had to be readmitted to the hospital with a urinary tract infection. Now she is in rehab again. The doctor said those events would cause a problem for nearly anyone, regardless of their age. I think that confirms what I continue to report: She is a remarkable woman and we thank God for His working in her life. Take care. Enjoy your Saturday and Lord's Day Sunday, and I'll catch back up with you later. May God bless. Amen. ...More later

Thursday, February 9, 2017

“We have deemed all these words necessary in order to explain that we have been traveling more slowly than was predicted, concision is not a definitive virtue, on occasion one loses out by talking too much, it is true, but how much has also been gained by saying more than was strictly necessary.” ― José Saramago, Author, 'The Stone Raft'

I started to say that I am speechless, but, that would not only be less than accurate, it would be very misleading. Today I come to you for the 2,500th time in this forum. It is being experienced here on this day, Thursday, February 9, 2017. I want to thank everyone who has read my stuff throughout this journey. Also, special thanks to those who have encouraged me in this effort, and, those who have offered their comments and insights regarding something I published. I couldn't really come up with anything profound to share, therefore, I decided to go with the following. It is a repeat of sorts since I've done it before, but, I think it appropriate today. Here is my very first blog, again, for the first time, as it were.

May 9, 2007

Well, it took me over sixty years to get here and as Yogi Berra reportedly said, "You sure can observe a lot just by watching". That observation stuff, however, can be both good and bad especially if you are determined not to revise any of it, that is, if that's possible since reflections and memories over time tend to take on a life of their own as they all become fused together. Some days it's "Wow, I can't believe the life I have enjoyed!", while another day might be, "Hey, I'm not sure I can make one more day!". This is how it works in the so-called real world and we have trouble because the roller coaster ride can start without notice at any time even right smack in the middle of one of those really great days and suddenly you find your heart pounding and breath interrupted by the crashing ride. Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic but with age, maturity, family, more family, relationships, issues, challenges, and chaos all around, it can be quite daunting.

However, I call this blog The View From Here because when it's all said and done, it's the way I see it. You most likely see it differently but that's what blogging is all about. We can speak from our viewpoint, our way of interpreting all the things we have to deal with, and in general, the viewfinder through which we see the world, and especially our world.

One final thought in this opening monologue: I know that without God as the foundation of my life through my identity with His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, there would be little hope in all the ups and downs encountered in this journey called life.

Yes. That's how it all began back in May of 2007. I'm not sure but it wouldn't surprise me if I'm listed somewhere as a mass murderer of keystrokes. During this nearly ten year run, I've sent plenty of them to the happy hunting grounds. I'm still evaluating options going forward but in the meantime, I will continue to continue. So far, I haven't heard the music stop, therefore, I've not yet scrambled to find an empty chair to sit in. I close today's edition by giving thanks to Almighty God with full assurance that any of His Word that I have shared along the way has the power to change a life. That I know to be true, by experience. Until next time, thanks again, and may God bless each one. Amen. ....More later. (for now)

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Conservative thinker, writer, and speaker Evan Sayet: "Anyone who isn't a lockstep leftist is confronted with an uncomfortable choice: think and be accused of bigotry and hate, or avoid it and be welcomed into the arms of the 'progressive' family."

I hear the faint sound of a drumroll in the distance beginning to intensify as I bid you a big ole howdy howdy for the 2,499th time. This is all happening on this day, Wednesday, February 8, 2017. None of us are immune from peer pressure which is nothing more than pressure coming from people within the group you associate or identify with. I read where the Superbowl halftime entertainer is catching all kinds of flack from her peers because she did not use that platform to blast President Trump. You see. They believe in freedoms, but, only if you conform to their ideas. I don't think I've ever seen a more vivid example of Groupthink than these folks on the left. Groupthink is just what you might imagine. It's where people decide as a group and no other independent voice is permitted. I'm not saying there's zero potential for the same kinds of influences in other persuasions and dogmas. However, it is, in my opinion, a ruling mantra within the leftist community. They actually believe they speak for all of America but they don't. The recent election proved that conclusively. A conservative speaker was recently invited to speak at a prominent California university. The left fiercely opposed that individual being allowed to speak. Here's their response: Destroy the campus, burn down businesses, and actually injure law abiding citizens. Why? Because while they support radical ideologies of all kinds, they will not permit a dissenting voice to be heard that stands in opposition to their enlightened viewpoint. They do this while hiding behind the protections provided to them by the blood of people they have disdain for. At the end of it all, they want it their way, or no way. Sad. That's all I can say folks. Sad. Very sad. May God help. Amen.

I know I'm intentionally making somewhat of a big deal out of the build up to tomorrow's 2,500th blog. I haven't even thought about what I might have to say in that milestone episode, therefore, I am somewhat interested in seeing it myself. Hopefully, it's not a type of self-promotion on my part. I know that most of us are full of ourselves and we all have that as a real life situation requiring effort and discipline if we are to control it. (My experience: Only with God's help.) I think I've been pretty consistent in saying throughout these many visits that I fully realize the trio that reflects my greatest obstacle in life: Me, myself, and I. They say one of the prominent characteristics of the Millennial generation is how these young folks blame others for any and all of their real or perceived problems, and that's not the end of it, they whine about it, incessantly. The family God placed me in has dealt with many tragedies, setbacks, and calamitous outcomes over the years. I'm sure these events had an impact on who I am. Yet, I came to realize a long time ago that bad things happen to nearly every family, and often worse things have happened to others. It will be a good day when these young folks come to see themselves in the mirror of life, take stock of who they are, and as a result, they assume personal responsibility for making the best of the life God has given to them. I know. Just a tad preachy today. With good intentions, I might add.

The other day I was out in the field for the company. I was visiting with a young Hispanic worker. He said he didn't watch the Superbowl because he just didn't understand American football. We talked some about the sport he loves, soccer. We talked some about age. I asked how old he thought I was. He said 47. Hispanics are either always overly polite or they don't have a clue about white bearded, white guys. He asked me to guess his age. I said 23. He nearly fell over because that was his exact age. (It was a guess. Only a guess. Let's face it. For the most part, they all look young to me.) He did mention he had heard about the cost of a ticket to the Superbowl. That was incredible to him. (I'm pretty sure some soccer fans have paid huge amounts for a match final.) I will take the forty-seven guess, just in case you were wondering. I would have taken that guess even from a blind person. Yep. His eyes did get big when I told him I was north of three score and ten. (I used the actual number since we were having some trouble communicating with each other.) I know you are waiting for the reason I shared this. Here it comes. When I got ready to leave I did a schoolboy jump up into the truck. The power of 47. It works every time. Enjoy the rest of your day and may our Great God add His blessings to each one. Amen. ....More later.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Copied: Growing up with Siblings. You take the TV remote to the refrigerator with you so they can't change the channel while you are gone.

If I have said it once I've said it at least 2,498 times. That is: Welcome. Today is Tuesday, February 7, 2016. Our Super Bowl viewing experience worked out really well. We watched most of the preliminaries and the first half of the game. We then turned and watched a re-run of NCIS, followed by the series episode of Queen Victoria on PBS. During NCIS commercials we flipped forth and back to the game and saw bits and pieces of the half-time show. The lady performer had said before the game that her desire was to show people who ordinarily wouldn't follower her music how that we are all pretty much the same. The wife and I didn't come away with any changed view of her or her performance. I suppose we didn't fit into whatever demographic she was talking about. After Queen Victoria, we switched back to the game and saw the last seven minutes of what turned out to be a historic come from behind win. I know that by confessing this viewing approach, I have endangered the renewal of my official fan registration card. However, it turned out to be a good evening for us. We watched what we wanted to watch, enjoyed the end to a historic game, and got to see all the post game shenanigans as well. And, yes, I was standing close to the big screen during the overtime. Some of that was from habit, the other was to get away from the distraction of hearing the wife trying to explain to her sister on the phone what was going on. When she asked me what position Tom Brady played, I knew it was time to move.

The place where mom is doing her rehabilitation is not new. You get the impression all of the equipment used is WW2 surplus. However, from the time you go through the front entrance, down through the halls, and into the room where mom is staying, the entire place is reeking of CLEAN. Most of the furniture and other items may be dated, but the place seemed almost sterile. That part of it was most impressive. I've been in places like that with much better facilities but it had that smell and it didn't appear to be that clean. That's just a throw down assessment from my first visit there. We have been so blessed to have wonderful caregivers who have worked with mom since her surgical procedure. I'm not saying every single staff person has been that way, however, the vast majority have been, and that means a lot to mom and to the rest of our family. A lot has been said about her primary care physician who has been her doctor for some 30 years. Many think he might not be the best. My thought is that if you are a doctor who treats folks and they are still functional into their 90's, well, that speaks for something. Could he have a better bedside manner? Perhaps. Could he be more forthcoming with detailed information? Perhaps. The list could go on, but, the bottom line to me is how he has successfully treated mom through numerous serious health challenges, and, she is still here. Just me. Others can draw their own conclusions.

Last Saturday made my 6th trip since mom fell. Many people wonder if I can keep this up. I am thankful for all who have volunteered to cover for me if I decide to stay overnight. It just works best, if, mom is getting reasonably good care, that I can go and come the same day. I'm thankful for the man I work for here at our company. He owns the business and has made it clear that whatever I need to do, just do it. When I told mom what he had said, she said my boss was a true blessing. That he is. As for the travel forth and back, I still believe in my heart of hearts, it's the least that I can do. It does make for a long day and I typically get to bed early when I get home. I could be needed at any time on a moments notice and I am very glad those options are available to me. The driving and riding typically does do a number on my hips. It's that arthritis stuff that many of you know all too well. Other than that and some amount of fatigue, it's not nearly as difficult as some might think. I know in mom's world right now, she has to wonder about her future. She is incapacitated for much of her 24x7 day. This gives her lots of time to dwell on the past, and, she has a lot of that cataloged in her 92.5-year run. This leads to the 'why' questions. I told her the only answer I know of for a believer is a faith answer. Believe Him and what He has said. ".....casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." (1st Peter 5:7) Until next time may God bless each one is my prayer. Amen. ....More later.