Tuesday, April 18, 2017

"No, my friend, I am not drunk. It is that I have been to the dentist and I need not go again for six months. It is a beautiful thought." ~ Agatha Christie, from her book,The Patriotic Murders (Hercule Poirot)

It's Tuesday, April 18, 2017, and I am here and you are wherever you happen to be. I know. Duh? Stating the obvious is a way to try and get this day cranked up and to tell the truth, I could use some cranking up. I have to give credit where credit is due. The dental office I use is persistent. I'm late for my 6-month check-up. In and around the date I should have been there they were texting up a storm in sending reminders. I messaged them that I would let them know when I am available. That stopped it for a while. This past Sunday morning, Resurrection Day, I'm sitting in my classroom waiting to get started and I receive a text. It is from my dental office. I kid you not. They said I am now really late for my check-up and that I should immediately make arrangements to rectify this lapse. I'm not sure they used those exact words but it was something like that. I sent them a response: Thanks. Here's the deal. If I go for my check-up, it will cost around $125.00. That's not too bad. BUT, oh no, that's not the way they operate. Letting them examine your teeth is like the mechanic you ask to check for any problems on your vehicle. That, according to the way I heard it growing up, is like saying sickem to a dog. I know when I ran the computer network for a large oil company it included a huge number of oil change centers, the emphasis was on getting as much revenue as possible per ticket. That's exactly what they do at my dental office. Here's how it typically goes: I think I've found something you really need to think about. I usually say I will, maybe, next time. And, they say, I wouldn't wait if I were you, and I say, you are not me. Here's the $125, see you in six months. I leave with my stack of estimate papers with them all shaking their heads. It makes me feel really bad. For about 10 seconds. Or something like that.

Please don't report me to the dental hygienist association. I actually don't want to have them picketing my premises. Last Friday when I was driving over to Louisiana I ran up behind several log hauling or pulpwood trucks. Some of them had logs so long they were actually nearly touching the highway as they hung off the back. Fully loaded, these trucks nearly come off the highway in the front. Most of them, regardless of how new or old, show plenty of wear and tear, with dents all over the cab and cracked windows. Sure, folks get weary behind these slow-moving giants. But, at the same time, it caused me to think about how grueling that work is and how it takes a toll on those involved. I can say that because some of the fellows I grew up with actually went into that business. It's a very tough way to make a living. I could have easily ended up doing something like that. But, God had a different plan for my life and I am thankful for His grace and mercy. I've got plenty of wear and tear during my three score and ten plus, but, no telling how much more had I ended up sawing logs. Some of those same guys used to tell me how they would have to be sent to the asylum if they worked in an office like me. I always thought working in the office was in some ways like being in an asylum. That's a joke. Not so fast. Maybe it isn't. That might explain a lot. I'll get back to you on that one.

On my way out of Hornbeck, Louisiana, I stopped by Beckom Cemetery to visit the graves of our kin. I had not been out there for a while. I know the real person is not in the grave. "Now we are confident and are pleased rather to be absent out of the body, and to be at home with the Lord." (2nd Corinthians 5:8, from the Berean Literal Bible) However, it is where a marker recognizes their time here on earth. I tried to visit each grave of those who were connected to our family. Granny and Paw Paw Mac alongside their infant daughter Seawillow Beal. Their daughter, our Aunt Jean. Granny Mac's mother, Grandmother Curtis. Granny's sister Aunt Mary and her husband, Uncle Claude. Uncle Red who had been married to our Aunt Helen. My dad Cecil, my brother Jimmy, my brother Donald, my brother-in-law Kenneth, our baby sister, Kayla, our nephew Andy. There were just too many memories to wrap my heart and mind around. I left that place in tears, climbed into my old truck, and as I was leaving I clicked on the satellite radio. I had left it on the Bluegrass channel. As they say, if I'm lyin then I'm dyin, but it was as if the windows of heaven opened because there it was, Roy and Dale, singing, "Happy trails to you until we meet again." I thanked the Lord for having them sing that song for me and continued on my journey. Have a blessed rest of the day. Amen. ....More later.

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