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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Sunday, July 31, 2005


It has been so hot of late that I am starting to look forward to getting into the cooler temps of fall that seem much too slow in coming. In fact, all the seasons seem to move slowly once they get here, even though we have more summer than anything else in our part of the country. It’s much easier to work outside in the winter but nothing grows to have to dig up, prune, cutback or harvest. If I were in charge of the season speeds things would probably get messed up really bad so they are better left to their own speed – slow.

The seasons of our lives change slowly as well, going quite unnoticed except when looking back to the "used to be" and "used to could", but these changes are just as sure as summer turning to fall. The changing of the weather seasons prompt questions such as: Is there something I should have done or didn't complete this season and still need to do or will it have to wait till next year?

At times even the daily chores of yesterday or last night come to mind and I don't remember if they were completed. One of these might be - Did I put the cat out last night? This one usually doesn't occur to me since we don't have a cat.

As a matter of fact, we don't even have a dog, but if we did, that last question would have been very meaningful to such a canine. Especially since the dog, which we don't have, really doesn't care that much for the cat we don't have either. We do have some fish that merrily swim all day in their little tank. The fish don't seem to care or even recognize whether we have a dog or cat or even a water buffalo. The latter would be too big to stay inside anyway.

These fish seem to have no stress at all in their lives, and probably won't have unless the cat we don't have was dipping it's paw in the tank in an effort to make lunch of these baby sardines. So not having a cat eases the stress the fish would have had otherwise. The dog we don't have is probably glad about the cat as well.

How would one detect stress in their fish anyway, since they don't communicate very well? You can't even give them an affectionate pat, something the dog I don't have would have been glad to receive. It's just as well about the dog because I would have named it something weird - like maybe "Phydough".

I have no idea if this whole soliloquy is a digression, regression or even a transgression. Is it still digression if you never return to the original subject? In this case it is, since I am about to.

The changing and advancing seasons and years of our lives tend to leave us weaker in the physical, mental and even emotional areas, but the spiritual can gain strength up until the death of this outward body. I recall an early mentor that could hardly walk and was nearly blind, but he was a mighty prayer warrior in the Kingdom of God. May we be such spiritual giants as well.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

elucidation 2

For a long ago Christmas - the date is relative since (a) I don't remember when and (b) they were given to me by relatives - I asked for, and received, several books on etymology - the study of words (and phrases) and their origins and changes over the years.

Said books still leave me with many questions, the least of which might be the one that follows: Are there other banalities besides the banal ones? You have the ones insipid, vapid, jejune or merely inane, but do they really measure up to the unadulterated totality of the true banality? My readings thus far have supplied a lot of answers, but how does one identify the questions to which they correspond?

Then the piazza of my mind starts sinking into a quagmire of picayune verbosity - much like right now. The things I have learned seem to only widen and deepen the boundaries of my un-knowledge (I do not like the word ignorance). Two of the things that I have managed to learn: 1- Not many people spell out the whole word "etcetera". 2- Almost all of them use it at the end of a sentence.

Switching from words to phrases in the form of written and verbal generalities, the books became no help at all. But I have figured out that a person cannot generalize at all except in a vague or indefinite sort of way. It doesn't seem that there can be a definite generalization, because with the addition of a positive element (the definite), some of the vagueness would be lost and the whole of the generalization would start to deflate like a cheap inner tube.

Yet I'm not sure you can have a random or vague generalization either, because there has to be a subject involved or else nobody would know what you were generalizing about. If a person were generalizing about generalizations, both of these negatives would combine and possibly become a positive and where is the vagueness in all that?

Then maybe we shouldn't generalize at all, but speak of things in a broad, varied and miscellaneous sense. All this is sounding more than vaguely political and I’m not at all sure that I would vote for that.

Friday, July 29, 2005


Over the course of the summer I have been de-weeding, de-grassing and de-brambling my garden and blueberry patch. This has been done in medium to short time segments because of the heat and because I dislike sweating – I’m not saying that I don’t do it, I just don’t like to.

As I finish one segment of a bed or part of the patch and look back over the previously cleared area, I realize that these unwanted plant forms are not getting the message and are starting to grow back. It would appear necessary to go back over the area for farther convincing that they are unwelcome.

Even worse, on one corner of the garden, the more serious problem of briars has raised its ugly head - figuratively speaking - it was actually just a thorny stem with leaves. Briars and brambles differ in as much as one is more determined than the other. Exactly which one is that is somewhat up for grabs, as the brambles are the faster spreading with the briars deeper in their root growth. Could it be possible that these thorny growths are direct descendants of those that Adam had to contend with after he was booted out of the Garden of Eden?

When the above ground portion of either of these pain causers is pulled off, the plant will re-sprout from any portion of the root left in the ground. This reminds me a lot of what the Bible calls sin - we can clean up the outside all we want, but it takes God to deal with the “root” problem.

Then there are the grasses and weeds. The seeds of these are most often grown nearby but can be brought in by birds or blown in by the wind - probably an ill and foreboding one. They sprout, grow as fast as they can and try to produce seed before I notice them.

The case for not noticing them was particularly strong this season since it has either been hot or rainy, plus I have been somewhat distracted by personal and family things. But notice them I did and removed their ornery carcasses and placed them in a heap to dry in the sun. By contending with them now, my contention with their offspring will be somewhat lessened next year - hopefully.

Since I am now retired, some might think there is no excitement in my life, but such is not the case. There are several fire ant beds in my yard and should my atwitter-ness ever diminish, I can always go stand in one of these, or more exciting still would be to sit on one. This brings much excitement to the ants as well, plus it makes about as much sense as some of the things I've seen others do for a thrill.

Almost as exciting as this - though not as long lasting - is being slapped in the face by a bramble during it's removal process. The bramble and weed wars continue - stay tuned for more exciting news from the front!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Let down?

A good friend of mine wrote this and I found it very descriptive of the subject. ec

Always put God first, He'll never let you down. He may let you know you're not preferred, and your spiritual lapse has been noticed, and your self-centered split personality needs adjustment, and people you trust don't trust you, and people you don't trust seem to always depend on you, and then again, you might just have to find out on your own.

It's better if He let's you know, ahead of time, so you can foretell your catastrophes, but then, you might just take all the credit for being insightful. Not good - so put God first, and He'll never let you down. Even when it feels like He did, and when it looks like He did, and everybody tells you He did, and you think deep in your heart that maybe He did - He didn't.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005


As I walked along one day
I felt the pain begin,
Between my insole and my foot,
I sensed a rock within.

I cast my eyes around me there,
T'was no convenient place,
To loose my shoe and get it out
And get back to my pace.

On I walked the more in pain,
The rock began to grow,
But knowing nature just a bit
I knew this was not so.

The more I walked, the more it grew,
In size and in the hurt,
Still I could find no place to sit,
So I sat down in the dirt.

Off came the shoe, out came the rock
And I held it in my hand.
I was amazed it was so small,
Just like a grain of sand.

Then I thought just how much like
Our Christian walk this is,
It’s not the boulders, but the sand
That causes us to fizz.

We're troubled by the small things
That we allow to build,
The little this and the tiny that,
Until our soul is filled,

With many problems, toil and strife,
Trouble and discord,
That could all be washed away
If we'd take it to the Lord.

Still we tend to stumble on
Through the heartache and the pain,
Maybe feeling that through all this
Our sainthood we could gain.

It is according to God's will
That we should all have peace
And so it states in the Word of God
That our prayers should never cease.

For through our prayer and constant faith
Those troubles melt away
Cause as we use the Word of God
Our problems cannot stay.

Then we are free, just as at first
To live and tell God's story,
And we can have a peaceful life
And joy that's full of glory.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005


It has been over three years now since I retired but at the time of this writing, it had been somewhat over two months since the grand day and what I had expected to happen had not - until that day. But even that didn't come from the direction that I had thought it would.

Considering the fact that I really enjoyed by job - as much as one could enjoy semi-manual labor - that was the element I thought I would miss. The scenario in my mind showed me driving along the highway one day and upon passing some of my ex-workmates at labor, a wistfulness would beset me to the effect of wishing I was still there working with them. This has not happened.

The fact that this longing had not pounced upon my consciousness was somewhat of a mystery to me. Today the mystery was solved. While driving to complete a minor errand, I passed through some of the territory in which I had helped maintain the outside telephone facilities and a real nostalgia leaped upon my mental and emotional faculties.

I found myself soaking in and pining for more of the scenery of God's creations in the areas through which I had passed everyday. Then I realized that even though I had passed landmarks of brick, stone and concrete in my daily routine of work, the points of interest my mind reveled in was the trees, bushes and flowers.

Now I have some of these natural growths around my house, but the multiplicity and variety of them was my source of enjoyment and therefore the cause of the emptiness. In my mind's eye I can still see certain gnarled or odd growing trees and bushes and I checked these out and off while passing. I even took note of areas where kudzu was determinedly striving to cover over everything in sight and honeysuckle trying to imitate that same growth pattern - at least the climbing part.

Best of all was the flowers. It was as though I subconsciously remembered where the most and best blooms of spring and summer resided. Then as I traveled those routes, my visual senses sat on the very edge of expectation until one of these sites cascaded into view. My eyes would then feast on the glorious blossoms, great or small, storing them all for later perusal. A lot of these I can still call to mind.

These earth bound natural growths were like old friends, except I didn't verbally greet them, at least not too much. I probably need get out a little more to renew old tree acquaintances and see what God has been doing with them. Just the thought of how He sets the natural times and seasons in motion is a source of amazement to me. Why did God do it? Because He knew we would need these things for our emotional, mental and even physical health.

Monday, July 25, 2005

recipes 3

Some recipes for various food items have passed through my life, been tried out, and discarded for differing reasons. Others have been prepared and enjoyed, yet customized to better suit the individual taste of the preparer, and possibly those in close culinary contact with them. One of these is called "cherry delight" or "cherries in the snow".

This delightful dish is prepared using angel food cake, an icing/filling made with cream cheese and other white, semi-natural ingredients and canned cherry pie filling. Preparation involves slicing and placing a half-inch layer of the cake slices in a large (9 X 13), rectangular Tupperware container. This is covered over with the icing/filling to permeate and overspread every crevice and opening. Then another layer of cake, with that covered over with the spreadable white stuff as well.

This leaves the dessert's surface smooth and white, much like fresh, new fallen snow. Upon this pristine coating is placed the contrasting red pie filling. The resultant delicacy is a treat for the eyes as well as the palate.

So what did I find wrong with the cherry stuff? Not much, seeing as it was enjoyed by our family and others of our acquaintance for several years. One fault I did find was with the cherries, in that they contained enough artificial red coloring to choke a small aquatic animal - like maybe an agouti.

This information, combined with the ready availability of blueberries, naturally colored, grown in my very own backyard, picked by my very own hands, brought about a modification in this wonderful recipe. The cake and "snow" is still prepared the same, but now the topping is blueberries.

Not just raw blueberries, but the combination of the berries, a small amount of sugar and enough cornstarch to somewhat thicken the mix. This is heated to bring out the juice and to activate the cornstarch, then placed on the "snow". I have even eaten leftover "blueberries in the snow" for breakfast - though usually when alone - for this is a very intimate meal.

Speaking of desserts, I had a rather traumatic experience in that arena not long ago. We had some of the family over for a meal and Carolyn had prepared "Texas brownies" for dessert - regular brownies topped with melted marshmallows and chocolate icing. Then as an afterthought, we also fixed homemade vanilla ice cream. Now as you may have already figured out, one of these can be topped off with the other one of these. Therein lies the trauma - how does a person consume these delights together and have the amounts of both come out even?

It was not pretty - first, there was some brownie left over and more ice cream had to be added, then ice cream was there when the brownie was gone and another brownie was placed. Even now, looking back, I don't know exactly how much of each was devoured, but the action was regretted because the satiation brought with it some gastric distress.

Could it be that we are our own worst enemy? Not true though, because we have a powerful enemy in the spiritual world, yet he is a defeated foe because the Word says "...the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" and this makes me glad.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

recipes 2

It's not that I claim to be a great chef, or even a reasonably good cook, but I can boil water and can prepare a few specialty items. Not the least of these is the banana pudding I make from scratch ingredients - this as opposed to throwing one together with instant pudding. But before I commence the description thereof, let me launch into a semi-serious tirade against instant pudding mix and anything made with this stuff.

Why do I not like instant pudding? First, there is the picture on the package. It just seems to me that crystal dessert dishes and this instant stuff do not go together, they shouldn't even be mentioned in the same sentence, the very idea offends my sensibilities. Why can't they show it in a Tony the tiger bowl - or why can't we eat it in Tupperware, because at least you wouldn't get that annoying "clink" of the spoon as you eat.

The second thing that bothers me about this concoction is the ingredients. The lead item on the package is sugar and it's all down hill from there. Why would it contain both natural and artificial flavors? Is this some kind of weird political correctness? Then there is a potpourri of chemicals, two to thicken the stuff, one to keep it from foaming and a preservative that they are ashamed to name because they only give the letters for it. On top of all this, they added three artificial colors, and my inquisitive mind wonders what unappetizing color it was before their addition.

The third thing I find objectionable is the consistency of the pudding itself. Unless you mix these dry ingredients with low-fat whey or yak milk, you always have the same taste and texture - just too perfect - and no lumps! And I ask, where's the adventure in that - or the mystery - and where is the romance?

Whereas in homemade pudding there's always the mystery and adventure of discovering a lump and possibly even more than one!! Think of the romance when you and your loved one chance upon lumps as you savor your non-artificial pudding together. One can almost see the glow in the room as the two of you tenderly discuss the contents and texture of these delectable morsels. Those instant mixes can never measure up to that standard!

Feeling somewhat better at having got that off my chest, let's continue with the banana pudding description. After having made my very own natural pudding out of natural stuff from my very own Tupperware containers and frig, the construction begins.

First a layer of Nilla vanilla wafers is carefully placed, side-by-side, on the bottom of a large, slightly rectangular, oven dish. Followed by a layer of pudding, smoothed out to fill all the in-between spaces. Then an individually placed layer of one-quarter inch thick slices of ripe banana. One must be careful in choosing the exact ripeness for the recipe, if it's too ripe, it's only good for homemade banana ice cream (but that's another recipe). Also if the banana is too green, the only thing it's good for is to teach a person patience while they wait for it to ripen.

Over these banana slices another layer of pudding is poured and spread to fill every betwixt space. Then another layer of wafers and pudding, and banana slices and pudding. This continues until your contents are within one half inch of the top of the bowl, then the beaten egg whites (with other natural ingredients) are spread over the top and the pudding is placed in the oven to brown the meringue. The finished product will just make you thick!

In another vein, the best recipe for disaster is to simply leave God out of the mix. ec

Saturday, July 23, 2005

recipes 1

While rummaging through some old thoughts, I came across some interesting muses about sweet things I have tasted. Even though time had blurred some of the minute details, all the main parts were still there.

Dusting these memories off, I noticed that my first candy of recollection was the still existent candy corn. Though it was wonderful then, it is by-passed by me now because of the almost total content of sugar, artificial color, with just an itsy-bitsy bit of flavor.

Then there was the near total fascination with the culinary delight of my Mom's rice pudding when I was a young lad. When I was grown, this taste memory returned to taunt me, but after wasting much rice and pudding ingredients, I was still unable to recapture the flavor. Could this delectable fantasy have been so enhanced by time and memory that it was now realistically unreachable?

Then there was the chocolate éclair!! When I was still in school, my Mom worked Saturdays at Bate's Cake Shop. This small bakery - long since torn down - used to stand on what I would call the Northeast corner of Eve St and Walton Way in Augusta.

The cakes, with one or two exceptions, were not particularly cherished by my taste buds. Some of the cookies and the coconut macaroons were OK, but not real show stoppers. The one item in the whole shop that made my salivary system go atwitter was the aforementioned custard filled pastry with chocolate spread on top.

There was nothing special about the pastry shell or even the chocolate on top, but the rich, deep yellow, filling stands in my taste bud's hall of fame, unequaled to this present day.

The head baker, nephew of the owners, who later became the owner of the shop, carefully guarded the custard recipe, as well as several others. And as far as I know, when he passed away, the recipes died with him.

Another meaning of the word "recipe" is "a way to achieve something". In view of this meaning, I see many recipes in the Bible. One of my favorites is for the peace of God found in Philippians 4:6-7. The wonderful thing about a great recipe is that when followed exactly, anyone can achieve the desired results every time!

Friday, July 22, 2005

fishing car

This missive is to give "the rest of the story" on the 1952 Dodge car referred to in my previously sent literary hiccup. After the rollover, my brother-in-law called for a wrecker to right and pull his auto back up the embankment. Because of the narrowness of the road and the position of the car, it took two of these emergency vehicles to return his carrier of people and luggage to the roadway.

It was then towed to a nearby service station where a "mush for brains" worker cranked the engine without checking the oil, a substance that had most totally drained from the vehicle. This was a very normal thing for oil to do, considering the unusual position of the car for a length of time (upside down), and also taking into consideration the fact that gravity works all the time, even way back then.

This running without oil had a very deleterious effect on the engine and it had to be replaced. Had oil been added before the cranking, it would probably have been OK other than a little smoke at first. The car was repaired and driven all the way to the far Northwest of the US, where it served the family well for several more years. If any bodywork was done, it was minor in nature - cars were made of thicker metal back then.

When I graduated from high school, I went out to visit this same sister and family for a while - they were living in Great Falls, Montana. My brother-in-law was still in the military and serving as an army recruiter for that area. The aforementioned car was still serviceable and I drove it some while I was there.

It did have an irregular problem as you never knew if it was going to crank - defective starter - consequently the prudent thing to do when turning off this vehicle was to either park on a hill or carry several people with you to push start it. That not withstanding, they just don't make them like that anymore - maybe that's good and maybe not.

I'm so glad we have a joy always available to us all that's rugged, in evidence even in tough situations and it works every time if we know the proper starting procedure – this found in God’s Word.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


To the best of my remembrance, the year was 1955, our family was still living on Hickman Road in Augusta, and my brother and I were going fishing! This would have put my age somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 and my brother’s at 11. It wasn't that we had never been fishing before, but this time it was with a full-grown adult type person that actually caught full-grown adult sized fish.

My fishing experience to that point was with homemade cane poles that we had cut ourselves and had mostly caught small bream. If you are familiar with fish hook sizes, you know that the larger the number, the smaller the hook. One of our favorite tactics to catch the small, bait stealing fish was to use a size 14 hook, which I think was as small as they came. If the earthworm was about 3 inches in length, we would use about one eighth of it at a time, and fish an hour on one worm. The one downfall of our method was if the bream was over three fingers in width and length, it could straighten the hook.

I once caught a minnow that was too small for more serious fishermen to fish with. But with this big trip we could leave the small time stuff and enter the world of bringing home fish big enough to see in a photograph - yes, we did have cameras back then.

The full-grown adult had not consented to take us after much pleading - he had actually invited us! This person was my brother-in-law, who was in the military, and had stopped by for a visit with us while changing duty stations. So while my sister and her young family stayed at our house, we were going on the biggest adventure of our lives!

The moment finally came, we had loaded up serious fishing gear in the back seat, along with my brother and a large minnow bucket filled with small baitfish and headed out. It was a very pleasant day and from my front passenger seat of honor, I was lost in the full throes of anticipation of catching the largest fish I'd ever seen.

Our destination was located just above Augusta at the power plant, where the canal forked away from the Savannah River. Our route brought us past the Augusta water plant and at this point it narrowed to a one-lane dirt road that was not maintained very well. This narrow passageway was bordered on the left side by the canal just a few feet below the roadway and on the right by a sheer drop off of about 20 feet.

Our passage went well for about half of this last leg of the trip, but suddenly the second worst thing that could have happened - happened! Our host and driver eased just a bit to the right to dodge a large pothole, and the edge caved away, leaving nothing but air to support the right front tire. Air is a very poor support for an auto and a very predictable but unexpected thing happened - the 1952 Dodge with all its residents and contents, tumbled sideways down the embankment.

Now I don't remember exactly how many times the car rolled over, but I believe it was at least one and a half and it stopped upside down. The reason I stated this was the second worst thing that could have happened was because the aforementioned canal was on the other side of this narrow road, and you can imagine what could have happened there.

Just as we stopped rolling over, my brother let out a yell from the back seat because he was imagining we had landed in the canal, since the minnow bucket with all it's liquid contents and finned residents had emptied itself on him. We all came out with a bruise or two but nothing serious. When looked back on, this was one of those times in which some might see just luck or happenstance, but I can see the protection of the hand of God.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


From age 12 until I graduated high school, I was involved in home newspaper delivery of the morning paper, The Augusta Chronicle. My waking hour was 4 am, 7 days a week and 365 days a year unless I was extremely ill, even near death - which incidentally happened only once - or was at camp, then Dad would fill in. A lot of the things I have learned about people and high finance were first observed in the day-to-day operations of that route.

The Newspapers were dropped for us at a group of stores on the corner of Milledge and Broad. Our particular spot was in front of a local 5 and 10-cent store that had a permanent awning that enabled us to keep the papers dry while preparing them for delivery. This preparation varied with the size of the newspaper and involved a certain amount of rudimentary origami - a word we had never heard back then - we just called it "blocking" or "folding" the papers. This was accomplished by folding the paper over and tucking it back into itself to enable it to be tossed into a yard without coming apart, although an occasional one would. The larger papers were simply folded and held that way by a rubber band.

The newspapers always came in bundles with old scrap papers on top and bottom, held together with loops of wire. This wire was attached by machine with the ends tightly wrapped, but with a little practice these could be undone by hand or if the papers were fairly small, they could be bent enough to remove the loop intact.

We always tried to hold down the complaints of the storeowners and keep our prep area on the sidewalk clean. The main things to be disposed of was the scrap paper and the wire. We did this in what we considered a proper manner, by tightly rolling the excess paper, wrapping the wire around this and tossing it on the roof of the five and dime, since we had not a waste bin. Other carriers used this same staging area for the afternoon paper and they were much more careless in their disposal methods, sometimes just tossing loops of wire out into the parking lot.

Sunday morning was always our largest paper and it was quite a task to get the entire bulk of them from the prep area to the first delivery point. This was made even more difficult by a three block long hill between those two locations.

One fateful Sunday morning I had loaded my oversized bicycle basket to capacity, a bag with about the same number of papers was placed on top of that, and another bag full was hung around my neck, and I slowly started to push my bike across the parking lot in the pre-dawn darkness.

Just before reaching the street, my leading foot stepped into an unseen loop of carelessly discarded wire with the trailing foot stepping forward into the same mechanical enclosure. The next step caused this loop to flip up, ensnaring both feet at the ankles, stopping their progress immediately. The continued forward momentum of the bike, without support and balance, caused the whole ensemble to come crashing down, scattering the carefully packed papers over a wide area.

You might say that I was not a happy person for at least a half-hour or so but toughed it out and went on with my deliveries. The Word speaks of gaining patience through tribulation and I believe I gained a small amount that day.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

no mo

Although it has been a long time now, it seems like just last week when I sat in slight to mild devastation, sipping the steeped results of the very last tea bag of its kind in my possession. This bag and contents was sold to me by the company of Celestial Seasonings - their Ceylon Apricot Ginger flavor - and had been my faithful companion for several years - I speak of the flavor and not this particular tea bag.

Years ago my body rejected the brewed liquid results of the ground coffee bean, leaving a miniscule void, later filled and more by hot tea of several types and flavors. The type that is the subject of this missive was discovered during an experimental searching phase and pleasantly surprised the taste buds of this searcher. It became the centerpiece of my whole congregation of tea boxes with their small packets of flavordom.

Some tea blends have come into my life and have been discarded as distasteful. The most notable being the Earl Grey blend, which ranks on my taste scale only slightly higher than hog spit. Not that I have sampled that salivary excretion, it's just the most unsavory thing I could think of at the moment. My apologies to the appreciators of this type tea, but my taste buds rebel in a crescendo of revulsion if I even pass by boxes of it on the grocery shelf. That feeling does seem to be lessening somewhat with time.

At first I had no trouble acquiring this aforementioned favorite tea, then it was only at a few stores, then none at all in this area. My daughter found and acquired some for me in Tennessee, but they eventually ran out. Then the only source was to order directly from the producing company and this is the last bag of the case I received from them. Calling back to order again, I discovered that it had been discontinued and none was left. I had been saving the last bag for several months, but with its use, that day was the day of no mo.

This little twinge of loss only serves to remind me of the constancy of the supplies of good things that come from my Heavenly Father. This never ending source is available to all as we choose to follow His Word, and that makes me glad!

Monday, July 18, 2005


At times in my Christian walk I have been very unimpressed with myself. Not with the talents or the mind God has given me, but the way I use or don't use these and react or fail to react in given situations. Afterward I have felt so unworthy, unreliable, useless and unnecessary, searching subconsciously for a scriptural reference to remain in this murky condition - because I deserve it - and wallow in pity because of my self proclaimed good-for-nothingness.

Almost unbelievably finding no weapon to use in my mission of self-flagellation and/or condemnation, I search deeper still through my stored mental files of the Bible for other avenues of punishment. Finding only love and forgiveness of a complete and perfect nature, my mind struggles to understand something beyond human comparative reasoning. How could One that I have failed so miserably at times still love me, be willing to forgive and even desire the very best for me?

So which of the many choices do I choose? Do I continue to wear the painful thorns of guilty remembrance in a band around my head? Will I walk barefoot up that long hill paved with the broken glass of unworthiness when something good happens to me? Will I allow my hands to be affixed to the solid wood of do-nothingness because someone else seems to have more talent? Will my feet be immobilized by not knowing which way to go? Will I choose that my heart be thrust through by the hopelessness I see all around?

The light of love sends the answer ringing back through time - NO!! Someone else suffered so we wouldn't have to - died to give us the choice of life, forgiveness and freedom - but will I choose to continue to walk in those or will I be hindered or side tracked by my own thoughts and feelings - unwilling to forgive myself? Jesus loves us enough to set us free, not only spiritually but mentally, emotionally and even physically - and that in a continuing fashion - IF WE SO CHOOSE!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

ring tennis

Back to yesteryear Hickman Road. My next older sister and I used to play games in the backyard with most any material we could find. One such that caused us much enjoyment was played using spare boards to form a seesaw affair except we would jump on this contraption - we just called it jumping jacks.

My sister, being a little older and outweighing me, would jump on her end and send me high into the air. Gravity being what it is, I always came back down and tried to land on my end of the board. If I succeeded, she would bounce up as well, but not nearly so high. The hilarity began when one of us would miss our end of the board, or better yet, land with one foot on the board and the other on the ground. The next jump from the other side would send this foot higher than it was meant to go, flipping the foot owner backwards. Seldom ever any injuries, but we both usually wound up on the ground, because we were laughing so hard . . . .I guess you had to be there.

Somewhere along in that space of time we came into possession of a ring used to play a game called ring tennis, I had not seen one before, nor have I seen one since. It was about as big around as a normal sized Frisbee and looked like a small white tire or a very large skinny doughnut.

We threw and caught it much like a Frisbee, but we soon tired of that because of a lack of challenge. We then modified our game by adding a half broomstick and made it a rule that the ring could only be thrown or caught therewith. The stick thrown ring had a much greater velocity and catching it was also somewhat of a developed skill. We were the best stick ring tennis players ever since we never knew anyone else who played the game and it never caught on nationally, or statewide, or even city wide - just our back yard wide.

There may have been some boredom available back then, but I really don't remember taking ownership of any. Without the availability of TV, we were always finding interesting things to do - climbing trees, building forts, letting a caterpillar crawl up your arm just to feel the tickle or even following an ant trail to see where it went.

We didn't have any idea that we were supposed to grow up getting into trouble and cause our parents to have headaches – or heartaches. In fact, if we made my father uncomfortable, he felt that it was his duty to at least make us the same - except different. The discomfort he applied to our sitter downers lasted for a while, made us mentally recount our many sins and put a determination in our mind not to have a repeat performance.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


The great day of pavement finally arrived to our long ago home address on Hickman Road. Fascination became intertwined with awe and amazement as we beheld the workings of the large machinery and workmen transforming our lowly dirt road to one of asphalt with cement curbs.

When the process was finally finished, we were elated by the smoothness of the "down the hill" bike ride. Before, one had to be ever vigilant to dodge the holes and ruts, but now it could be a relaxed, care free ride with the wind blowing through my hair - yes, I had hair back then.

The pavement also opened up the possibility of another mode of kid transportation that had not been feasible before - SKATES!! With some of my hard earned paper route profits, I purchased a pair of the best street skates available at the time, or at least I thought so.

For those younger than I, (most seem to be, anymore) let me describe these instruments of bipedal transportation. The whole skate (body and wheels) was made of metal with a leather strap for holding the ankle in place. Clamps held the front of the shoe in place and had to be periodically readjusted for tightness with the use of a skate key.

In neighborhoods back then, there was always someone better at one particular thing than anyone else - - able to run faster, jump higher or even to be the best knuckle cracker. A neighbor friend of mine, even though he was about a year younger than I, had the distinction of being the fastest skater on our block.

He had previous experience and I was just a beginner, but my competitive nature caused me to set the mental goal of one day beating him in a head-to-head race. Several humiliating defeats occurred before my time finally came.

"The race" happened on Beaufort Drive, a short street intersecting with Hickman Road that was paved at the same time. The signal was given and we were off! His quicker, more experienced pace handed him the immediate lead but my slightly longer legs and stride whittled away the difference until we were neck-in-neck. In an all out effort I finally had just barely edged him out when a very bad and unexpected thing happened.

I don't know whether I forgot to tighten the front skate clamp or if it just worked loose with the massive effort, but one shoe came loose from the clamp and sent me head over tea kettle onto the surface of the newly paved road. All the expected bruises resulted, but also a new phenomenon happened - asphalt rash!

Now I am not normally averse to new experiences, but this one was very unpleasant indeed and stayed around much longer than the same type injury that came from a similar sudden stop on a dirt surface. The condition I found myself in taught me that "rash" decisions result in "abrasive" situations.

Friday, July 15, 2005

fading reality

Does reality ever cease to be reality? The greatest of realities, even known and recognized worldwide, will, with the passing of those that remember, fade from knowledge unless they are recorded in some way - even if only crudely painted on the walls of caves.

Gone is the reality of Og, being eaten by a very large predator, because his mate Oola had neither the wherewithal nor time to record his passing - she was busy killing pre-historic hogs and bringing home the bacon. Whereas Umga, though consumed by the very same oversized animal, had his story painted on the walls of every cave around, because his family had more resources, personnel and nothing better to do.

Gone also is the reality of the lives of some western settlers, some having neither their birth nor death recorded, whose lives were snuffed by the serious end of early American arrows and leaving no survivors to tell or record their ill-fated journey. Most that did have survivors had their remains marked only by a crude wooden cross, driven into the ground and that eventually wiped away by time and weather.

Tis grateful I am that there is a reality that will never fade, with its greatness and the results thereof being recorded by multitudes daily. But the greatest of these recordings is simply written on the fleshly pages of the human heart, changing a useless and even hurtful life into a beneficial one and changing for the better whole family histories for generations to come. Is Jesus changing history through you?

Thursday, July 14, 2005


On another long ago day, when the Hickman Road of my youth was still paved with dirt, many guidance systems were tried and found to be faulty. One of the physical ones still stands out in my mind even after all these years. It concerned the complexities of remaining upright on a bicycle while still moving and steering in the general direction you desired to go.

My bike riding came somewhat late in life - age 11, I think - not necessarily due to a lack of coordination or dumbness on my part, but the absence of a proper sized vehicle on which to learn. I finally inherited a two-wheeler from my sister, a boy's bike, but about two sizes too big. Determination finally won out and I somewhat mastered the skills necessary for locomotion.

The basics behind me, I went on to the finer points of riding. Two of these I remember were the hook-slide stop (pretty easy on dirt) and the running start. The latter was accomplished by running beside the bike while holding the handlebars, then taking a flying leap with the goal in mind of landing with your sitter-downer on the seat and not on the crossbar, as this last experience tended to be rather painful.

Then there was the art of riding with no hands, this was intended to show the neighborhood kids that you were absolutely fearless. But this act of bravery got to be rather old hat when all of them learned to do the same.

While descending the hill on the road of my home turf one day – on my pedal powered straddle buggy – another system of bike guidance burst into my consciousness. It came to my mind so fast that I had no time to weigh out possibilities that it might have severe repercussions, it just seemed so brilliant and I knew it would make me the name on every lip in the neighborhood.

The plan was to remove my feet from the pedals - where they should be - and place them on the handlebars - where they should not be - thereby guiding my swiftly moving conveyance and being held in great awe and esteem by all the kids closely watching this activity.

Looking back, this daring plot may have worked if my hands were still on the handles when my feet left the pedals. Instead, I tried it from the "no hands" position and one foot touched before the other - causing the plan and my upright, forward moving condition to come to an almost immediate halt. This resulted in me winding up on the surface of the road in a somewhat prone, knotted up position, intertwined with various bike parts, bruised and with a bad case of dirt rash. I vowed never to try that method of guidance again.

If our way of life guidance is anything other than God's way, it will all fall apart just as surely as my failed plan, will hurt much worse, and will last a LOT longer.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

real reality

The scenery we pass along the highway as we drive from one place to another is reality, even though it doesn't seem nearly so real as the interior of the vehicle in which we are being transported. The reason being is that we are personally experiencing the one with more sensory perceptions than we are the other.

Is something real only because we perceive it to be? Is there reality we cannot perceive? I know there is reality that's harder for some to grasp than others, maybe even totally out of reach. Some would blur the lines between fantasy and reality, or even reverse the two altogether in their minds, and cannot understand why others can't see it their way. They keep away from doing a reality check cause they don't know where to cash it - or afraid it will bounce.

Jesus Christ is a reality that many have difficulty perceiving and/or understanding - at least enough to accept Him. There are many things I don't totally understand, but accept because they work as the instructions state they are supposed to. Total understanding is not a prerequisite for enjoying the benefits of a Christ led life.

The reality through which we must pass daily may be soiled and dirty, but God offers the vehicle of His love and grace, by which we can be safely transported, and our daily, unstained passage can be a witness to those that see.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005


Years ago, in southern rural areas, nobody that possessed normal intelligence had grass growing around their house. Every sprig of any green growth - except shade trees - was meticulously hoed down and scraped away and the remaining bare ground was carefully raked.

This was not only considered neat, but also served to detect the slithering passage of those creatures that are created without shoulders. It was entirely undesirable to tread upon one of these cold-blooded presences during a necessary nightly journey in a dark house.

So what insanity dictated that we should all have immaculately trimmed green lawns with zero weeds and perfectly manicured shrubbery and flowers or else we are considered a lowlife redneck. If erosion is a main concern, a good healthy weed will hold the topsoil in place very well.

It has to be a huge plot cooked up by grass seed companies in cahoots with fertilizer and chemical plants. Then there are the lawn machinery suppliers with equipment for every imaginable job in the yard, which costs and arm and a leg, leaving only one with which to run your mower, trimmer, edger, etc, ad infinitum.

What's wrong with an au natural landscape? Let things grow where and when they want to, and since nature abhors a vacuum, it will fill up with all sorts of plants whose seeds have been carried in by the winds of passage. But, alas, my beloved spouse doesn't share these natural sentiments, so I will continue mowing - - at least twice a year, whether it needs it or not.

Monday, July 11, 2005


Is there really a real, concrete, substantial, tangible, substantive, actual, genuine, authentic reality?

If others and myself constructed a large pizza crust with finest dough and most virgin of olive oils, then topped it with the best ingredients to be found - - most luscious of sauces, scattered and smothered with a variety of choice cheeses and meats, plus other items suited to taste, spiced just right - - then placed with loving hands into a specially prepared oven - - would it cease to be reality if I were to be called away and unable to enjoy the culinary delights thereof?

But then what if I had tasted and enjoyed this savory masterpiece, would I not share the experience with kin, those of my acquaintance and possibly even strangers? What if they didn't believe in the pizza, said that it didn't happen, or that it couldn't be all that I said it was - - and they didn't understand how it could change their ideas about other things they feed on or that this could become a standard by which they would measure these other items. Would it then cease to be a reality?

Through Jesus Christ we are offered the finest of the tasty delights of spiritual food, yet we pick around the edges because of a lack of knowledge or feelings of unworthiness or the fear of a high bill to pay at the end. Why not partake to the full of God's best and then simply share with others the descriptions of the delights contained therein, and by this create a hunger for the things of God in those through whose lives we pass.

Sunday, July 10, 2005


A writer can simply be a person who commits thoughts to writing. A block is, among other things, an obstruction, obstacle, hindrance or interference.

So what is writer's block and why does it strike normal people? Then maybe it's not limited to just the normal because it seems to have struck me as well on an occasion or two. But what is normal anyway except a word to describe what most people are not.

Checking writer's block on the web I found 138,000 references. From this I concluded that the ailment is a fairly common occurrence, whether writing for fun or money.

I remember that writing letters (snail mail) was once a very arduous task because of the amount of time involved. First there was a rough draft, then the corrected rough, the corrected, corrected rough and then maybe the final. Then there was the great and wonderful thought that occurred later that needed to be added in the middle and writing by hand was very time consuming.

The desire is to be as error free as possible as well as understandable. This desire toward semi-perfection stands in the way of many things said, done or in this case, written. Yes, there are standards of silliness and I stretch toward the highest of these.

I wonder if someone could get thinkers block?

I've known a few that would have benefited from a case of talker's block. Of course the real benefit might be to the hearers.

It might help me pinch less than an inch if I got eater's block - at least for a short while.

Some that I have worked with in past years seem to have shoveler's block. Some even seemed to be unaware as to whether they had one of these instruments of excavation on their truck. Their knowledge as to how to use this implement has evidently been hindered or interfered with in some way. Plus they seem to have no interest in clearing away this lack or hindrance in their knowledge.

Prayer's block is a serious enough spiritual ailment, but it also brings about receiver's block (ask not - receive not). It's very easy to cure since we are much loved by our Heavenly Father. We can pray about anything, anytime or anywhere - just do it!

Saturday, July 09, 2005


The goal of at least one eastern religion is to achieve a life of abstract nothingness. Nothing is a thing that I've had a little of, but never just totally that. The nothings I have known only played very short roles, and these wedged between the somethings that were happening at that particular time.

Of course, when “something” is present, nothing can't hang around very long. "Something" has to be a special agent, second in command right below "anything", with it's sole purpose to stamp out or thwart the plans of nothing, so that it has no place to do what it wants.

A person can't really do nothing, cause there's the breathing thing. It's extremely hard to say nothing, what with body language and all. Even harder to feel nothing, cause after a while your feet, knees or your sitter-downer would get sore – or cramped – from just not moving. The normal person can't hear the nothing because there are so many opportunistic something noises just demanding to be heard.

Even if nothingness was achievable, where would one look to perceive the nothing and what would one sit on to enjoy it? And what kind of chips would one eat while participating in this endeavor?

Not counting the financial arena, which we all may be familiar with, I wonder if it's possible to have deficit nothing - so that you would have to add several somethings and maybe a few anythings to come up to a full nothing? I think I have seen some folks so far into deficit smiling that they would have to grin for a week to come up with a straight face.

Our spiritual nothingness multiplied by all our human efforts still comes up to a nothing future without Jesus.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Thoughts from a weird mind – mine.

We all take different routes to the same procrastinations and jump to conclusions to and from differing heights.

Wonder which is worse - yucky, ooky, icky, or barfy and how do these relate back to the old standby - gross?

Angst is such a cool word it's a shame it couldn't mean something good - instead of something the Bible says we shouldn't have.

Scripture says that life is but a vapor - maybe that explains why some people are just a little foggy.

We need some form of microbe that would consume Styrofoam - probably not much food value there, but the little critters wouldn't have to worry about drowning.

Sign said: "Bury those habits before they bury you - hypnosis works"! Could this solution be worse than the problem? Wonder what happened to old fashioned will power?

People don't repine anymore, they just grumble, murmur and complain.

Once just plain silly, I've matured into an easily amused person.

What does it mean to be possumistic and how could these meanings apply to me? 1- Nocturnal - not me at all, since I get sleepy around 9PM. 2- Arboreal (inhabiting or frequenting trees) - somewhat me, in as much as I probably fell out of one on my head years ago. 3- Omnivorous - that one hit me dead center. 4- Always grinning - no explanation necessary.

Alligators and allegations both have teeth and can be rather biting and/or incisive - so much so that it's hard to decide whether to see a lawyer or a surgeon for reparations.

I cannot excuse the weird things I do (or write) by saying that I'm going through my second childhood - because I have yet to leave my first.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


The season was winter and the time was the mid-1940's, my family lived in a small rural house in the northeastern corner of the state of Mississippi. We received a package in the mail from my uncle in the Army that caused great wonderment in my mind and is my first remembrance of Christmas being different from other days of the year.

This package may have contained other items, but I only recall three: A steel cased AM radio, army olive drab in color, an army blanket (which I still have) and a box of candy.

This box was populated by several kinds of confections, but the only one I remember was candy corn - this was the first time I had seen, tasted or even heard of this wonderful, multi-colored tidbit. My relationship with candy corn has dimmed somewhat over the years, due to other candies passing through my life and the calorie concerns of the present, but I still remember the feeling.

The first gift I remember receiving personally was a rubber car with wheels that actually rolled, must have been the Christmas of 1947, and it came to me from my first grade teacher. That car and I traveled many feet of self-made dirt toads together.

The next Christmas we had moved to Cleveland Tennessee and I remember receiving a wind-up toy bulldozer. It didn't last long because I was so fascinated by it's movement that I took it apart to see what made it go, and couldn't get it back together. This much to the frustration of my older brother, since it was his hard earned money that made the purchase.

Memory fails to identify many gifts after that and I just remember the excitement and happiness of the season. Somewhere over the years the concept of giving started overriding the receiving part and the most important part of receiving became the inner joy received when causing someone else happiness.

These joys increased after having children of my own, and seem to be even greater with grandchildren.

Thanks be to God who supplied the greatest gift of all, forgiveness through the birth, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus and the opportunity to be part of His family for eternity.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

old sayings

The old saying goes: "You can't fit a square peg into a round hole". Yet under certain conditions this can be done. One way would be if the round hole was large enough - of course there would be the open spaces on the four sides of the peg. The second way would be the reverse of the first - square hole, round peg.

Another way would be to use a large hammer to dislodge and/or displace portions of the hole and/or peg as it was driven in. The difficulty of this method would be dependent upon the material from which the hole and/or peg was crafted, and the size of the hammer involved.

For example, if the hole was metallic and the peg wood, the peg would be modified as it was driven in. Then the reverse - if the hole was wood or other malleable material and the peg steel, the hole would be modified and portions of the element displaced by the force of the blows administered.

The force necessary to fill the hole - whether round or square - would most likely damage one or both parts of the process and necessitate repairs to all items involved. Material (glue, sandpaper, caulk, plastic wood, sawdust and/or wood slivers) and time would be required for this operation.

Considering all this, it seems to me that the proper size and shape peg should be used in conjunction with that same size and shape hole, and all the extra effort and work could be avoided.

Another extra work avoider would be to not use holes and pegs at all, since this construction method is mostly outdated, instead use nails, screws or construction glue.

The long ago person that came up with that old saying must have been at least a few feathers short of a whole duck - not to mention those that expound upon it at great length.

Another old adage says: "There's more than one way to skin a cat". Now I'm not tempted to verify the truth of these words, but somehow I just can't imagine there being but one basic way - maybe they were speaking of slight variations - the which I will not go into for the sake of any cat lovers out there.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

kudzu 2

Being so inspired after the writing of "kudzu", I felt compelled to write a sequel.

Since we last left our maybe could happen resistant strain of kudzu, it has in imagination overgrown two counties and four small towns. Since this plant couldn't be controlled, we finally have proposed a treaty with it - without opposition it was called "The Kudzu Treaty".

Upon ratification we would agree to cede this plant a state, if it would agree not to grow outside its borders. After much debate, the area was finally agreed on, and even though I voted for the state of confusion, ignorance finally won out.

This kudzu nation would inspire many stories, but none so touching as "A Kudzu Christmas". "Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse - but outside the house was a different story altogether.

The adult mutant ninja kudzu had waited until all the lights were out and slowly, soundlessly started to grow toward the house. Reaching the porch, it paused only momentarily before creeping over the bright decorations. Gaining the second story bedroom window, Bertha, the lead vine, was about to cross over when she perceived that this was where tiny Tina Tirell lay peacefully sleeping.

Her highly developed kudzu senses caused her to stop and think of her own young vines back at home. She was startled to realize that she cared about these other beings and made the decision then and there to never again envelope another house, no matter what it's occupants and done to their clan. She ordered the other vines to immediately ungrow and leave the premises.

Bertha knew she would be in severe trouble with the head vines and would probably lose her tendrils, but she no longer cared, it just felt good to “do the right thing". The least we humans could do would be to follow this kudzu example.

And if one doesn’t know what is right, there is this special Book I have studied some . . .

Monday, July 04, 2005


It was a dreary fall day not too many years ago, with intermittent light rain but as per usual, I didn't take the time to feel gloomy. Leaves were falling from the tall trees looking like miniature helicopters or tiny hang gliders. They covered the ground in a multi-colored blanket of yellows and browns.

The trees in this area are about mid-process of being denuded of leaves, to show we are deep into the fall season. Then I noticed something disturbing to me - - a patch of kudzu, about an acre in size, was still green and growing.

If this vine is vegetation of which you are unaware, I hope that this will always be the case. In the other parts of my area of travel and work, this vining plant has been killed back by the cold and all leaves are brown.

Could this kudzu be a mutant form that just shrugs off the cold and continues to grow on through the winter? If so this could be very bad news for this area and even the whole world. During the normal growing season, kudzu will grow about a foot per day and if left unchecked, will grow around, over or through any obstacle, changing the color of the entire landscape to bright green.

Very little, even harsh chemical plant killers, can control kudzu, except the cold. Now the alarming possibilities of a resistant variety of mutant ninja kudzu rears its ugly head. Growth rates could be phenomenal - 6 or 7 or more feet per day - able to cover a house in a night and a town in a week.

In my imagination I can see that our efforts at controlling it's growth might even be humorous to the plant, even though I don't know how it would express this humor, since maleficent vocal laughter wouldn't be possible.

Not desiring to be the least bit offensive to the plant - lest it follow me home and grow all through my house - I walked over and gently stroked it's leaves with the back of my hand, allowing it to record my scent and to be on better terms if it ever came to my neighborhood.

Communication is usually the way for people (and things?) to get along - - - if I could only speak (or sign?) kudzu - - - maybe it's on the internet - - - mreddie

Sunday, July 03, 2005


Our household furnishings include two molded plastic step stools - same make and style - made by the same company. Both with one step on the front and the second step is the top of the stool. The blue one has been with us many years while the beige is a more recent acquisition - except for one other difference they could have been made in the exact same mold.

The new "improved" version has solid plastic sides and back, whereas the older has openings in all three places. The fill-in modifications were probably brought on by some sort of litigation - so with minor retooling, the newer, safer (?) stool was born.

Unfortunately, we humans can't be retooled and physically made into an improved version, nor do we need to be - even though some researchers are striving to do almost that exact thing. Being "fearfully and wonderfully made", our deficiencies mostly come from the care we give, or the lack thereof, to what God has given us.

It seems strange to me that we humans sometimes go around empty, dirty and all broke up inside because of our own actions - then blame it all on the only one who can fill, clean and fix us.

I look forward to being with God and having a new body. Then after communing with Jesus, I think I would like to run in a flat-out sprint continually for a month (if time is even measured) – I am limited to speed walking due to my back. Then I’d like to fly about that long with the wind blowing through my hair (I know I'll have a lot) – I now have very little hair except around the edges.

Then I would like to sing God's praises in the song of the redeemed – loud, long, in perfect pitch and without the voice limitations that are now present. mreddie

Saturday, July 02, 2005

next park

On another day not so long ago, the next park of our summer youth trip to Florida was to the other half of Universal, called Islands of Adventure. Because of stopped up sinus and generally not feeling well, I was self-appointed to sit with the "stuff" - back packs, ponchos, pocketbooks, etc - while the rest of our group rides the rides.

Given this time of mental reflection, I was almost taken aback by the amounts and varieties of flowers, plants and trees all around. Today's park seems to have much more exotic and tropical growth than the other. Many of the flowers must only grow in Florida because I had never seen most that were planted there. In one location there were at least four types of palm trees - from small to the very tall.

The palms reminded me of a story my uncle from Florida told about the palm tree he tried to get rid of in his yard. He kept pouring salt on and around it, thinking - as would I - that this would kill the tree. As it turns out, one thing palms really love is a saline condition in which to thrive. Different steps had to be taken to do away with the unwanted tree.

I doubt any of the park's palms were of the coconut variety as that would be an accident looking for a place to happen. I can almost see the headlines: "Universal's customer casualty was callously conked by careening, cascading coconuts".

Whoever has charge of the park's vegetation is certainly doing a bang up job - of course God did better by creating them all to begin with.

Later, as I sat at lunch, a fairly large bird - brown, but possibly in the grackle or crow family - lit on a trash can not six feet away, looking for food and not at all bothered by the multitude of humans passing nearby. I continue in near perpetual amazement and awe at God's creations. mreddie

Friday, July 01, 2005

the park

On another day, in another place and during another season, I noticed that the absolutely beautiful music was coming from a speaker made to look like a rock and was hidden in a bed of multi-colored plants - mostly caladiums. The flowerbed was located in a tree filled park on the shore of a man made lake and that was in the middle of Universal Studios Park in Florida.

I was serving as one of the chaperones on our church's summer youth trip. The day was dreary and it had been raining lightly all day. I had accidentally gotten separated from all parties shortly after entering the park, but as much as I enjoy company, I do not consider being alone a bad thing either.

Having attended the attractions that interested me, I wound up in this park inside the park and just meandered around enjoying the trees and flowers that were therein contained.

Many of these trees and flowers I had seen before, but earlier in the day I viewed what looked like a climbing palm. The fronds looked like a palm, but it had attached itself to the wall of a building and was climbing said wall - already to the height of about 20 feet.

Back to the park in a park - standing in the drizzle but separated from the wetness by my trusty poncho - I was communing with the Maker of all beauty. As my eyes and soul consumed these creations, I noticed two birds - in the grackle or blackbird family - sitting in a tree and they looked to be observing and discussing all the happenings below them.

Looking across the lake, I saw streams of colorful ponchos going back and forth and wondered if this was not what the birds were watching. I also wondered whether anyone else in the whole place even noticed the natural beauty planted in and around the park. I found the awesome plant display to be comforting, uplifting and recharging to my emotional batteries. mreddie