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Location: Clearwater, South Carolina, United States

Monday, March 31, 2008

long day

When I arose at 4am on Sunday I knew that it was going to be a very long day. I went to the kitchen, took my meds, some vitamins and ate cereal to crank up my day. Time was taken to read some scripture, aware that I would need every verse and word. Then I gathered up the garment bag containing my suit, shirt and tie, as well as my other bag with shoes, socks and toilet articles.

Out the door at 5:20am, I gave my older bro (OB) a wake-up call – it takes about 30 minutes to get to his place. He was in his car waiting when I arrived and I put my stuff in his trunk and we headed west on I-20. A little over an hour later we met YB (younger bro) and his wife (YBW) at the Waffle House located at exit 130. We loaded their stuff in the trunk and continued on to northeastern MS and uncle AG's funeral.

This trip is over 400 miles from my house and we made it there w/o incident and went first to my older sister’s place. After visiting a while, we changed clothes and drove to the funeral home/chapel in Red Bay, AL – about 10 miles away. I visited with my aunt and other friends and family, the casket was closed and all moved into the chapel for this sad, final service.

Another nephew of uncle AG spoke, then one of his granddaughters gave a very moving eulogy and their one-time pastor spoke the main message. After the congregation was dismissed, we pallbearers moved into position and lifted the flag-draped casket from its carriage into the hearse. The cars then lined up and followed this somber vehicle the 20 or so miles to the cemetery.

We carried the casket out to the gravesite and rolled it onto the framework over the open grave. Then their present pastor spoke a very appropriate and heart-felt message. This ceremony was a military one; due to his WWII service and at this point someone at a distance played “taps” – a sad, lonely and haunting kind of sound that one can hear in their mind a long time.

Then the two-man honor guard ceremoniously removed and folded the flag, presented it to the officer in charge and he presented it to my aunt. We drove back to my older sister’s to change back into traveling clothes, bid her farewell and went by the aunt’s place on the way out. Food had been brought in so we ate a bite while commiserating with the family members there.

We soon said our goodbyes and started out for home about 7:30pm – our time, since it was an hour earlier out there. YB drove first and when we were at about the halfway point, I took over for the rest of the trip. We delivered YB and YBW back to their car at the Waffle House at exit 130 about 1am on Monday morning. We were back to OB’s by 2:10am – I put my stuff in the truck and headed home.

I arrived back home at 2:45am and was one tired puppy. I was grateful for the safe trip and glad we were able to go out and comfort the family somewhat. God is good, all the time! ec

Saturday, March 29, 2008

the vet

Dad’s youngest brother, and my favorite uncle, passed away on Thursday evening about 11 o’clock. He is from the northeastern corner of Mississippi and had lived in that general area all his life, except for the time spent in the army. With his passing the World War II vets are one fewer. I don’t remember much about him when I was younger, since we left that rural area when I was 6 years old.

After I was married and Mom and Dad moved back to that part of the country, I got to know and appreciate this uncle very much through our visits there. This uncle was very reflective with a strong sense of duty and one could learn a lot by just talking with him. My Dad passed away before I really found out a lot about his past or really had an interest in writing but I determined to find out all I could about Dad’s last sibling. It came to me to go there in September 2004 to interview this uncle.

I did this, and with interviews at other times, I found out much of what his life was like before, during and after WWII. Uncle AG was inducted into the army and reported for duty in December of 1943. After training in several locations, he was sent to New Jersey and shipped over to Europe on
August 6th, 1944 and arrived in England on the 14th. A few days later they landed on the beaches of France as replacements for those who were killed in the initial landing.

My uncle was only in France 3 weeks when he got wounded by a mine. They shipped him back to England, cleaned out all they could and let him heal up. After several months they shipped him back to France but not on the front line this time. He guarded prisoners for a while and then was a courier for the rest of the war – and then did this same job until he headed home in December of 1945. I was glad he shared all this with me and I typed it up and gave him and his daughter copies of the transcript – it came out to about 39 pages. I even felt closer to him after that.

It was less than a year from the interviews that he had a stroke and his health had been up and down since then. He even told me many things that happened after the war including some about my Dad. Uncle AG was in his late 80s and we knew that he couldn’t live forever but the visits to that area will never be the same now that he is gone.

My two brothers and I, along with one SIL, are going to the funeral tomorrow – Sunday – and he will be buried in a cemetery near Fulton, MS. Thanks for the example of your life and your service to our country, we will miss you uncle AG. ec

Friday, March 28, 2008

bsy wk 2

Tomorrow became today in the waking up therein and we entered a very event filled day. After we got the day started, there was a doc appointment to get stitches removed from the surgery site where a skin thingy once resided. This went quickly and we had time to go by Sam’s before our next event. We picked up several items – yeah, right – a cart full – and came out much poorer.

Then we went on to our monthly senior’s luncheon and enjoyed the food, fellowship, talking and laughing. This was the kind of social event that one dislikes leaving but we finally did drag ourselves away. Next was our appointment with the back cracker and we were concerned about the strength of the roof since we were early in getting there. We were adjusted as needed and headed home.

Arriving there we unloaded the goodies we purchased and shortly went over to MIL’s because the Spice’s cousin and husband had arrived for a visit. After visiting a while with them, it became time to go to a funeral home visitation for a member of our church family. Why this place is called a funeral home is a mystery to me since no one lives there. We greeted and chatted with many church members and other acquaintances, many of these we had not seen in a some time.

From there we went to a local theater where the Spice was meeting SIL and NWT for a girl’s night out chick flick. After dropping her off I went to eat with some old work mates for our monthly gathering. We had a good time eating and talking as usual and I headed home. I then set out to spruce up the house a bit because the cousin and cousin-in-law were spending the night with us.

They visited with MIL while we went about our previously planned events. This was a day of associating with and enjoying the presence of more people from different areas of our acquaintance in one day than in quite some time – these included, professionals, friends and church members and kinfolks. The Spice arrived shortly from her girl’s night out and a bit after that the cousin and CIL came over from across the pond.

We had a great time talking and cutting up, greeting early morning. We were up a while after they “turned in” but I finally “hit the hay” and left the Spice up still working on her transcription. Upon awaking next morn, I put on a pot of grits – on low because I didn’t know when all would get up. The Spice slept in and I read my scripture and was starting on the news online when our guests arose.

I alerted the Spice and soon b’fast prep was in earnest for the morning meal. My usual duty areas of a traditional breakfast are the grits, bacon and toast – if that is the bread of the meal. This morning was canned biscuits, so the Spice did them and scrambled the eggs. As the prep was complete we called MIL and BIL from across the pond to join us in this morning repast.

We ate, talked and laughed and just had a wonderful time, we had started late anyway and by the time we broke up and our company started talking about heading home to upstate SC it was nearly noon. I picked up GM3 for YD since she was having some of the “joys” of early pregnancy – having to do with keeping food in the proper place. We got to show him off to our company before they left. It was a good day and a half – God is good!! ec

bsy wk

It has been a super busy week but let me look back and tell you about our church’s Easter weekend. Friday evening there was a fun celebration for the children with inflatable bouncy and sliding things – and many other fun things that even included a trackless train. At the close of this the real Easter story was related to the young ones and 64 of them accepted Christ as Savior. This was out of over 468 kids attending the event that were under 12 and registered.

Then on Saturday at the homeless ministry – “Under the Bridge” – 44 of those attending also accepted Christ. On Sunday we had a powerful presentation with the theme of how Christ is relevant in our lives today. At the early service 12 accepted Christ, and for the late service I heard 38 but I think the number is higher than that. This was quite a start to a great but busy week.

I knew that Monday morning had arrived because of the light that was teasing the window shade. Since that window faces the east, I had suspicions that it was the light of the sun. My body has long ago rejected coffee as a wake-up aid and more recently hot tea was also rejected, all I have now to help me get going is the joy that another day has arrived – plus an element of grim determination.

On the morning in question, the waking up process had to be hurried because I was to sit with GM4 and GM6 because their Mom had a doc appointment. They arrived and after many interruptions I finally finished my morning cereal and scripture reading. I hauled them to the basement to play and get them out of the Spice’s hair, since she is the only one in this marriage with hair anymore.

I occupied them with the air hockey game and sat to scan TV a bit, this also was interrupted by helping them don capes for their roles as batman and superman. YD returned and hung around until time to pick up GM3 from K5, since it is just down the road from here. They left about noon.

Then it was outside for me to continue the work on the cement block wall I was constructing to reinforce one of the terrace banks in my veggie garden. While my garden is not that huge, it is on a slope and help is needed to keep the dirt from migrating down the hill. The wall is loose laid – no mortar involved – and is to be two layers high.

I did get the base layer finished and a few blocks on the second course and I discovered in the process that I was not as young as I used to be – working with these cement blocks will inform a person of many things. I came inside and crashed in the floor for a while and finally, after some back stretches, I gathered enough energy to go on my very necessary evening walk. ec

Sunday, March 23, 2008


This writing begins with the last paragraph of my previous endeavor since not all noticed the news. “In other growing news, YD (younger daughter) is pregnant again, this time with twins!! I would appreciate prayers for a safe and healthy delivery. The official due date is Nov. 1, but the doc said that typically twins are two to three weeks early. God is good – all the time!!!!!” If they arrive safely, they will become GM7 and GM8 – or at least GM7a and b, since they are supposed to be identical.

It was another day in the life of this grandpa, as opposed to not life, AKA death. Life after all is a life and death matter because if you are alive, you think about life and death but if you are dead, you pretty much don’t think about anything and it doesn’t matter any more. That would be in the physical part of life, of course, since the soul/spirit would have been departed to its great reward or not reward.

This particular day was Saturday and we gathered at our place for a big family Easter outing. The lineup in attendance was as follows: YD and SSIL with their four young ones – SSIL’s brother and wife with their five young ones – NWT (Niece With Twins) and NWTH with their three little ones – BIL, SIL and the Spice and I finished out the crowd – 10 adults and 12 young ones.

The bash started about 12:30 with young ones playing inside and out, on the trampoline, swings or riding in the electric truck. Soon we had hotdogs, grilled on my slightly malfunctioning grill, with chips, slaw and three different kinds of dessert. Then there was more play and the young ones went to the basement to allow the male parents to go across the pond to hide the eggs in MIL’s front yard.

In a short while the eggs were “hidden”, baskets were handed out and we walked across the dam to start the “finding”. The reason we walked across that way was because a goose is sitting on a nest of eggs on the other side and we didn’t want to disturb her striving for motherhood. It was hard to hold them back at the starting line but we did finally say, “go” – after the smallest ones got a head start.

Then it was a mad scramble to gather the eggs, with adults helping the smaller ones. The eggs were all plastic, some had candy and a few had some folding money inside. They had a great time and we adults enjoyed watching them in this fun event. After wandering back to our side of the pond, more fun was had on the swings, trampoline, electric truck and the toys downstairs.

SSIL’s brother and clan are from Wisconsin and were down for a week’s visit. Our warm weather was a bit of a shock to them, considering the coldness of their home territory at present. It became time for all to depart and although I did miss their antics, happy squeals and smiles, I also enjoyed the quiet. ec

Friday, March 21, 2008

BBH 423

The time has arisen for another Blueberry Hill report. As I walked out the garage door, the first things that caught my notice were the blueberry plants on the north side of the driveway. All are in full bloom and the bees are really working overtime to feed and to pollinate the flowers – the principle is, no bees, no berries. It might be a bit unnerving for some to have bees buzzing around their heads but as I walk among the plants it really doesn’t bother me and I’m grateful for their labors.

On the other side of the drive are the four small paw-paw trees and after close examination one can see just the start of small leaves – brownish in color. Three of them had small blooms starting to open. The one closest to the street had two flowers already open and they are the strangest looking things I have seen in some time. The color was mostly brown with just a hint toward burgundy, petals and all. Only a few insects will pollinate these flowers and I’m not sure we have any of those here.

The two June berry tree leaves are just starting to bud out, as are the couple of cornelian cherries. This latter is the only member of the dogwood family with berries edible for humans. The small, stubborn pecan tree that I moved from the garden to the front yard has no outward signs of even thinking about leaves as yet. The three young hazelnut trees are in the very early stages of budding.

The four fig trees that last years cold snap almost killed on the bedroom end of the house have yet to show any signs of leaves, hopefully they will finally start to prosper this year. The young blueberry bushes on this end are mostly in bloom but are in dire need of more mulch – hope to get to that soon. The problem with that is they have to have the grass and weeds cleaned out first.

The mystery tree down by the pond has almost finished blooming and the remaining “hips” of the flowers are showing signs of swelling – it almost has to be in the pear family. In the rear of the house, the fruiting pear has many flowers and if they all become pears, it will really be loaded. Down the hill on the garage end, the muscadines have yet to put out any growth. Going back up the hill and next to them, the 5 large hazelnut trees are just starting to show signs of leaves.

Next up the hill is the main blueberry patch, which is in full bloom and the bees are really having a picnic with the flowers – these plants also need to be cleaned out and more straw placed. Next to the house, the rugosa rose and thorn-less blackberries have small new green leaves. The largest fig tree has only a few small leaves with several other branches promising more soon.

The fig tree on the other end of the garden is showing no signs of life and is probably still in shock from the severe pruning I gave it. This was because it was trying to grow over into the garden. The garden is ready to till up but about the time it dries out enough, it rains again but it will soon happen.

In other growing news, YD (younger daughter) is pregnant again, this time with twins!! I would appreciate prayers for a safe and healthy delivery. The official due date is Nov. 1, but the doc said that typically twins are two to three weeks early. God is good – all the time!!!!! ec

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


To tell you about this last weekend I have to start with Friday. That morning started with a check-up at the doc’s office but first it involved getting out of bed and achieving awake-dom. But I did get up and started the day in the normal ways and headed out the door to the doc. During this 10-15 minute trip I was enjoying scanning and finding the signs of spring – blossoms and tiny new green leaves.

Within sight of the office building all traffic was stopped for the crossing of a long train. I chose not to get frustrated and did call the doc office to let them know I may be late. Fortunately I had allowed enough time for this delay and when I arrived, I signed in at exactly my appointment time. It was a good check-up on some physical things that are bothersome to me.

I had determined to go through North Augusta and pickup a few items at Wal-Mart. Within two blocks of leaving the parking garage and on another street, behold, yet another train stopped the flow of traffic. This was a semi-permanent delay since a police car was also blocking the street and the traffic was left to find its own path around this inconvenience.

I did get to see parts of the city that I had not seen in a while but having lived most of my life in this area, I detoured and easily found my way back to SC. After several errands, I was back home and getting cleaned up to go to a weekend youth retreat at our church. This is called an “Encounter with the Cross” and started at 5:30pm on Friday and went until 6pm Sunday evening, with the youth and leaders staying in the church gym. Then on Sunday, this group was in charge of the pm service.

This event involved many training sessions punctuated with worship music and periods of prayer. All meals were provided and it was sort of like a lock-in on spiritual steroids. All was great but one of the highlights to me was Sat. night when we all had an “encounter with the cross”. We saw the portion of the “Passion of the Christ” that showed His beating and crucifixion and then we each had communion and went to the cross to pray. Three crosses were set up for this – very moving.

I was the old codger of the group and after the last sessions on Fri. and Sat., I went home and came back next morning – just couldn’t hang with the young energetic ones. The last session of very active prayer and worship on Sun. evening was hard to describe to anyone, especially if they were not Pentecostal and not present. Suffice it to say that the Spirit of the Lord did some amazing things in the lives of those present – ALL of those present, even the old guy.

This carried right over from the gym to the evening worship service at main church – the young ones were “rocking the house”. This is a poor description of our youth weekend because it was amazing beyond these few words, so if you are curious, you can email me at and inquire. Let it be known that God was good – the whole weekend. ec

Sunday, March 16, 2008


The day in question was a busy day in at least a couple of ways. First, I was in the finishing stages of building a couple of corn toss game boards and needed to put the final coat of paint on these. Second, YD brought her crew over because they were having their carpets cleaned. At first only the two youngest were here, so I took them down to the basement and got them interested in playing with the contents of a large chest of toys and/or the air hockey game whilst I finished the painting.

When the painting was done, I immersed myself in keeping them entertained until naptime. YD picked up the kindergartener from school; they all had some lunch and went down for naps. When they awoke, I took the three of them outside. At first they helped me with the pruning of the fig tree by carrying the cut limbs to the burn pile. This got to be too much because they wanted to sword fight with the trimmings. We graduated then to some swinging and/or trampoline jumping.

When they tired of this we went down to the pond to throw some rocks in the water. To make a game out of this I tossed a stick “ship” in the water and we “bombed” it with rocks. The rocks came from a small pile of leftover gravel from some past venture. GM3 really got into the spirit of the game and said that we could be the Americans and the stick “enemy” was the Yankees. I was greatly amused.

I introduced them to the rudiments of stone skipping but they were a little young to grasp the concept. We then decided to walk over to the spillway and on the way over we walked right up on a goose sitting on her nest. At her alarm sound, her mate flew quickly in from the upper pond to try to help out in this emergency. I hurried the boys on past, not wanting to disturb the geese too much.

The spillway is a series of split pipes placed on the ground in descending order to get the water from the upper pond to the lower. I was cleaning out some of the leaves and the boys were floating pinecones down the spillway chutes with sticks. During this operation, the little one slipped and sat down in the cold water. It was mostly just his pants that were wet but he was an upset and unhappy gruntmonkey. This necessitated a quick trip back inside to dry him off and get more clothes.

During this time YD went and picked up GM1 from school and she started on her homework. We rustled up some hotdogs for supper and YD and the two older boys went to church. GM1 continued on with her homework and the old guy in the household entertained GM6. When they got in from church, they stayed a while longer then gathered up and headed home. It did get quieter.

I’m glad that the grand ones still find what I show them interesting and entertaining. Children are a blessing from God – to parents and maybe to a greater degree, grandparents. ec

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Natasha (the recorder) and I have taken several walks together now. She seems to like this adventure very well and listens very intently when I talk to her and remembers it all. The Spice asked me why I named the recorder a woman’s name because when I write about it folks might get the wrong idea. She suggested the name “Spot” just to save confusion but I couldn’t do that because dogs can’t talk. This caused me massive amusement but the Spice didn’t necessarily share in this.

I did decide to shorten the name to N’sha, just to n’sha (ensure) that there was no misunderstanding. On recent walks with N’sha I have noticed that spring is starting to arrive in spite of some of the nights being on the chilly side. One of the signs is a small tree down near the pond in full bloom. It sprang up wild and I left it to grow just out of curiosity. It resembles a pear just a bit in its blooms and leaves but has some long thorn-like twigs. I will ask my friend at the nursery – when I think about it.

In other BBH spring news, the shrubs along the property line have been showing their bright yellow flowers for a couple of weeks now. The neighbor’s flowering pears are just now coming into full bloom and my little pear tree (that actually produces fruit) is just beginning to bloom. The blueberries are getting ready to bloom – one of the early varieties has partially flowered already.

Then suddenly it was a special new day and a strange thing reoccurred – when I have to set a clock, I usually wake up 20 to 30 minutes earlier than the set time. Is this some kind of retirement syndrome? This was in spite of the fact that I had stayed up too late and most times it’s hard to fly with the eagles in the morning if one stays up with the buzzards at night. I did finally get my mind and body in gear, started my day in the normal usual ways and headed out the door for a doc appointment.

This was an appointment that I wasn’t looking forward to because it involved the removal of part of me. But since that part was a skin growth on my arm that didn’t need to remain I went along with the program. The doc office seemed to be running a bit behind because I was there for about an hour before I was installed in the cutting room and all prepped for the surgery.

This was not a particularly painful process but the stitches are going to mess up my exercise program for a while – working out with weights and such. The deed was done and all stitched up when I mentioned a small place on my ear to her. Right away the ray gun came out and she gave that little spot frostbite. Then we were really done until it is time to take the stitches out – in 12 days.

This date just happens to be the Spice’s birthday so I went by to get her some flowers on the way home. Then espying a balloon, I had to get her one of those as well. The Spice was pleased and that is a good thing, which was and is one of my main goals after all. My number one goal is to please God and I strive to do that everyday – my hope is that you do as well. ec

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


On another day, at another time but on the same measured walking track – that doubles as a driveway for MIL – another walk was taking place. One of the highlights of the evening had already taken place – the leaving of the geese – and I really had nothing to turn my attention to but the smooth as glass surface of the pond and the leafless trees with the green pines in the background.

Since the trees were not creating noise and moving very little, the only thing to hear was the traffic down on the highway – I could see them move by occasionally between the trees. I can hear the footfalls of my feet but they sound so much alike that it’s hard to tell which sound comes from the right foot and which from the left. I guess I could always look but that would be too easy.

As mentioned in other writings, there are three security lights that somewhat illuminate my walking route after dark. One is at the beginning of the driveway, one on our side of the pond and one at MIL’s garage. As I walked, I waited with bated breath to see which of these lights would illumine first.

This expression about the breath has been misspelled ‘baited’ – as though one’s breath suddenly smelled like earthworms. This spelling has even been used in professional writings but is incorrect. Bate is a contraction of abate and means reduced, lessened or lowered in force. So bated breath refers to a state in which you almost stop breathing as a result of some strong emotion, such as terror or awe – to be in a state of suspenseful anticipation.

This was the state in which I found myself and as the walk progressed, the light down at the pond came on and I anxiously waited for the other two to light up – isn’t this exciting? One thing I don’t have to watch out for this time of year is the no-shouldered tubular type critters lying on the drive – that would really be exciting. Then the light at MIL’s garage started to glow just as I came by it on my next to last lap. The turn-around is just past there and by the time I came back by, it had lighted fully.

This excitement had me all atwitter – or as a certain Disney movie would say – twitter-pated. To top it off, as I was about to the halfway mark of the last lap, the light at the driveway/street added it’s light to the illumination. It was a marvelous evening and a wonder my heart would stand such wonderful stress. Can you tell that there is not a lot going on here or maybe that I have too much time on my hands – or possibly too much recorder in my hands?

It truly is a very exciting thing to be the friend of a God who loves me very much (John 15:15). And I wait with bated breath and am atwitter just thinking about what great things He is doing and will do in my life as I continue to trust His Word. ec

Sunday, March 09, 2008

grands and such

And then it was another day and on this day two of the gruntmonkeys played basketball at the local church gym. GM3 and GM4 are 4 and 5 years old and they are in the very early learning stages of the game but one has to start somewhere. The goals were lowered to about 6 feet and they had a great time running around, passing the ball and shooting for the basket. Two things didn’t happen very much – dribbling and scoring – but much fun was had and energy was expended.

We got back home and I finished up the b’fast that I had only just begun before we had to rush out the door. Then it was outside to continue the bramble eradication project – as well as any other weed that happened to present itself. I worked for about an hour until my back started spasms, whereupon I reentered the house and held down the floor with my body for a while until it settled down.

Then I observed the ceremony of lunch, relaxed a while and went back into the lower yard for some more pruning on the muscadines. Soon it will be time to till up the garden for planting, but I usually don’t plant until after Good Friday or else the Easter “cold snap” will freeze the little sprouts. I have waited as late as the first part of May and still had a good crop of veggies – hopefully not this year.

I quit the toil early enough to go on my walk before the sun went down but this left out two great events of the evening. The geese depart the pond area just after sundown and I may miss that all together – bummer! The second thing left out is the lighting of the security lights that come on just a short while after the geese leave. The leaving geese do not make the lights activate but the degree of darkness – just in case that brilliant observation had not occurred to you.

It took a while after the Texas trip to get back into the routine of the walking but I’m back into regularity now. It is so easy to get out of good habits and hard to get back into them. Conversely it is easy to get into bad habits and hard to get out of the bad ways. If it was as easy to get out of bad habits as it is to get out of good ones the world would be a wonderful place – maybe, but we still have a choice in the matter. And you know some would choose the bad just to be aggravating.

Speaking of Texas, I received a GM report from there. It seems that OD’s church had a motivational speaker for the awards ceremony of their youth basketball program. This was held in their main auditorium and while the speaker was motivating, GM5 (the 3 yr old) was squirming and making minor noises. His Mom told him, “you are going to have to be quiet, this is God’s house”. He sat still a minute, looked up front and with big eyes asked his Mom “Is that God up there?” I did laugh a lot.

A couple of mornings this last week, after his Dad had gone to work and his sister had left for school, GM5 looked up at his Mom and said, “Well, it’s just me and you again.” I do so much enjoy grands; didn’t God do ‘good’ when He made them? ec

Friday, March 07, 2008


The dawn broke on another morning of quiet desperation – actually it wasn’t all that quiet because the birds were chirping, the crows were cawing and the geese were honking their loudmouth little heads off. And it actually wasn’t all that desperate either, except I woke up and realized that sooner or later I was going to have to get out of bed – summing it all up, it was just morning.

The Spice had to get up to take MIL to her hair appointment and she was going to get us an egg McMuffin. When she arrived back home we had a romantic little tête-à-tête over McDonald’s fast food. Actually it wasn’t all that romantic, I find it difficult to be romantic before 11:59am and it wasn’t that time yet. After our meaningful soiree, I opened my spiritual day with some scripture – actually it wasn’t a soiree since it wasn’t evening yet but I did read some scripture.

After all this I charged outside to do some work in the garden – actually it was more of a slow walk but I did go to the garden. I gathered my weapon of warfare and the cart in which I haul off the dead plant carcasses and sallied forth to do battle with the brambles. Actually my ‘weapon’ was the shovel that I recently re-handled. I repeatedly stabbed the earth and ripped out these prickly invaders of the garden soil – actually I lifted the soil with the shovel and gently pulled them out to get all the roots.

My mind can still hear their screams as their roots bit the air and I tossed them into the cart of death. Actually it wasn’t that dramatic and I heard no voices – just my vivid imagination shouting at me. I finally wearied of the battle and went on to bigger and better things – this actually means that I went back inside to rest and actually took a nap while collapsed on the floor.

Later on I went back out, donned my battle gauntlets, holstered a new weapon, drew out the caisson to haul away the dead plant body parts and went forth to fight on a new front. That actually means that I put on my gloves, put my shears in my pocket, got the large plastic cart out and went down to the muscadine vines to do some more pruning. The pruning of these plants is necessary because if it is not done all the sap goes to the un-pruned vine growth and not to grapes – and I prefer grapes.

Why would the day of inspiration for these words seem so much like Friday when it was actually Thursday? So many mysteries with too many left unsolved. This is further complicated by the fact that they were actually written on Friday – hopefully this doesn’t cause a time warp.

Why is it that our enemies are thought to be those in human form when actually these perceived enemies are just tools being used against us by the enemy of our soul? Odd thought? Check out Ephesians 6:12. It is amazing how our problems and battles lessen when we fight on a spiritual plane while on our knees. This because we then allow God to fight our battles and He always wins. ec

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


A chance of rain had been predicted for Tuesday (Feb 26th) and we awoke to a dark and foreboding day. We had a couple of appointments for the day so after cranking up in the usual ways, we set forth to accomplish them. The first was a doc appointment for the Spice and the second was to meet with the senior’s group from church for lunch. These were on the same side of town so I went along and drove the Spice for the first and then we would go from there to the second.

It was a good thing I could drop her off at the door because it had started raining in a serious fashion by the time we arrived at the doc’s. After letting her out I just parked in the lot and had a fairly long discussion with my small recorder and also worked some crosswords while waiting. After a while, I picked her up again at the door and we headed to our luncheon appointment.

We were one of the first ones at the restaurant because her doc visit was shorter than we had thought. They gathered in, a fair sized group in number – 17 – and we had a good meal together with much conversation and fellowship. All too soon it was over and we departed to do whatever we all were going to do afterwards – and did it – I’m supposing. I was glad that the rain had stopped.

The rest of the day was a slow blur of unnamed miscellany. The week moved on and at a certain time period a scripture verse from Job came true for me. The verse says, “For the thing I had greatly feared has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me.”

This may sound dramatic but one very close to me for a number of years has died. Many folks get very attached to their dog, cat or even hamster but this was closer than that. The death wasn’t a result of a traumatic injury or a weird disease but we were just talking to each other and then it was over. I don’t remember the exact age of this dear one but for one so small it had reached old age.

We had many personal moments together and I could share anything with this one, from the sad to the silly and not be concerned about it being repeated to just anyone. This one was always there to listen and really hear what I had to say – and to remember it enough to repeat it back to me exactly, in case I forgot. And even though this one suffered though accidental abuse from me, it was faithful to the end and still did exactly what it was supposed to do.

This near and dear one to me was my small micro-cassette recorder that I have used for the last several years. And through the years of usage, I didn’t even think to name this little instrument. I did grieve for the loss, but not too long because I had grown accustomed to having one and so I purchased another to replace it. It was de-boxed, checked out and even taken on a walk.

The subject of a name for the new recorder came to my mind. After much thought – nearly a minute – I realized I had to name it Natasha, the name I wanted to use for one of our girls but the Spice didn’t like it – maybe because I got the name from a comic book. It then seemed that I should have some sort of ceremony on the occasion of the old recorder’s passing. I’m vacillating between an interment in a miniature coffin and just chunking it in the trash – sentimentality only goes so far.

Time and our electronic helpers do pass on and we just have to make the best of it. Still in all, God is good. ec

Sunday, March 02, 2008

another day

And then came Monday (Feb 25th) with its set of appointments and predicaments. After b’fast and scripture, my next place to be was the dentist’s office. This visit was to atone for some of my past dental sins, had I known which one back then, I would have left it undone. A couple of small fillings were required, although when he was grinding, they did not feel small at all.

After paying the price for the dental misdeeds, I had a short list of items to acquire down at Wal-Mart. I wandered about the place for just long enough to get them and headed out. On the way to the truck I looked about at the scenery, mostly parking lot but at the edges were some trees and such. I gazed in wonderment at the blueness of the sky since we have had clouds several days.

I did notice a lone crow at the south edge of the parking lot, on the very tip of the uppermost branch of a tree and it seemed to be calling to its mates. In the top of another tree at the north corner of the same lot were two crows calling back to the other. Not sure what the cawing was about but they all flew shortly so it must have been some sort of important message.

Then as I was driving out of the lot, I noticed another bird just standing in an unoccupied section of pavement. It looked to be a tern; it was just standing there and appeared to be thinking about something, maybe why it was there and not at the beach. Or it could have been to a beach bash the day before and just flew off course; it may have been making resolutions to cut back on the partying.

After arriving back home and stowing the goods, I thought about Mondays somewhat. The conclusion I reached was that Mondays are not really bad days, just very misunderstood. There they are, the first day of the workweek, trying their best to get folks working and producing again and having to listen to most everyone complaining about getting back to the slavery.

But it is not Monday’s fault, it’s the people, Monday is just a victim. If the week started on Tuesday or Wednesday, then they would be the bad days. I was just sitting around waiting for the numbness from the dentist to leave my face when YD called and needed my sitting services to watch two of the grunts while she took the other one to the doc. Naturally I said yes.

As she left them in our care, she mentioned that they both had to have a nap – not a good start to the visit. They did go down easily and things got quiet until the little one decided to get up and wake his bro. The Spice put on her gruff voice and promptly got them situated again. They had not been awake too long when their Mom returned and took them to their other home.

I put on my bummy clothes – a large part of my wardrobe – and went outside to work more in the garden and yard. By the time I came in, my back was totally shot and I just lay in the floor for a while. I finally managed to get up and went for the first walk since returning from Texas. Back inside, I went downstairs to exercise a bit, a few weights and such but mainly on the ab lounger. It may sound odd but this piece of equipment seems to do my back more good than anything else.

I finally wandered off to bed, realizing that whether I have an achy back or not, God is still good. ec