Friday, July 5, 2024

Logged Another Year


As has become a custom, I guess, since I have been doing it since my 78th birthday, I am using a US Route sign to announce the completion of another trip around the sun during my lifetime. it is a blessing beyond measure that the Lord has granted me this many years here on Earth. I am further blessed in that my health is reasonably good, and I have been able to enjoy the vast majority of my days on this sojourn. Sorrows? Yes, of course, for no life well-lived does not encounter loss and heartbreak. It is the human condition. I once wrote, "Life consists of joys and disappointments. If at the end the ledger shows zero sum, count it as a pretty good life." This may be a bit of an oversimplification since much of life consists of the humdrum, but it is the joys and disappointments that fill our memory banks.

I am greatly blessed to be able still to access those files!

Thursday, May 16, 2024

Living on the Level #T

      I like to think that in the metaphorical sense I live my life on the level in my dealings with other people. But today I sat down to write some thoughts about living on the level in a literal sense. I am abundantly blessed in that 1) I have lived a long time, and 2) I am still mobile. I can get around and go places. But I am pretty sure that when the youngsters see me going down the steps, say at our local post office, two feet on each step, hand on the rail, they probably remark to one another, "Look at the old dude. He's on his last legs." And they would be right. I am on the only legs with which my Creator endowed me. They just don't function so smoothly, so quickly, as they did in my youth. 
     Alternatively, the youngster should reflect that, "There, but for a few short years, go I." As the Preacher said, "Time and chance happen to them all."  (Ecclesiastes 9:11) Well, the young are immortal in their own sight, and more joy and happiness to them, I say. But they do need to treasure and care for the body they have been given, for there may be a limited number of replacement parts, but there is no replacement for the body itself.
     If you have observed me stepping off a curb, you will have noticed that I turn my body 90 degrees, facing parallel to the curb before I step off.  And why is that? There is no banister! So, you might think, our city has thoughtfully provided ramps at the intersections to accommodate those in wheeled vehicles, such as mobility scooters, wheelchairs, or even the baby buggy.  (Wait! Have you actually seen a parent wheeling a baby in a buggy in the last half-century? I am old.) And you think, "Why doesn't he use that ramp?"  Because. It is more treacherous than steps! Watch me lurching down one of those sometime. It's a nose-threatener. 
     Okay, so I am grateful to be living in Tipton where the streets and sidewalks are quite nearly perfectly level, though I am sure that a topographical map would show you that the elevation at, say, the corner of Conde and Walnut is a tad higher than it is at the corner of Main and Madison. But that is a quibble.  The town is essentially flat, and I appreciate that.
     As I get around town, I often meet people, a few contemporaries, a host of people of a certain age who were students of mine in the past, and I am often asked how I am doing, and sometimes hear an expression by the acquaintance to the effect that they are glad to see me getting out and about.  And I appreciate that. The other day, one of these people, seeing me negotiate a series of steps, courthouse, I think, and knowing that I live in a two-story house, asked me if I slept downstairs.  "No," I replied, "I still sleep upstairs, but I make only one trip up and one trip down each day, and when I can no longer do that, the master bedroom is on the first floor, and I can move down there."
     Mostly, I live life on the level.

Saturday, April 20, 2024


 Went to our court house Thursday afternoon to pay the property taxes. I like to do this in person so I can personally thank the treasurer and the office staff for the services they provide to the community as I regard them as a sample of all the good workers in the public sector whom we support with our means. Fulfillment of a duty which I hope I do cheerfully.

Upon completion of the task I walked a few paces down the hall to the site of early voting. I usually take advantage of this service as one never knows what election day may hold either weather-wise or health-wise.  The room was occupied by two poll workers and two voters occupied in their civic duty.  I stopped at the doorway and noticed that the ballots were posted on the wall just to the left.  I read them carefully. And completely. Turned, smh, and walked to the stairway where I carefully lowered myself to the ground floor and exited the building.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Friday, December 15, 2023


1910, the first airplane flight by a U.S. President was taken in St. Louis, Missouri. Theodore Roosevelt, ex-president and not yet the Bull Moose candidate for another term, was taken aloft by pilot Arch Hoxsey in a Wright Brothers plane.

It is said that the Wrights, by whom Hoxsey was employed, were inclined to fire their pilot for having "endangered" a personage of such stature.

On New Year's Eve that same year, Hoxsey died in a crash in Los Angeles in which he was attempting to set a powered aircraft altitude record.

Archibald Hoxsey 1884 - 1910 RIP
Image: Wikipedia

Monday, October 2, 2023

Desert Pete

My sister read Sunday's post, then forwarded the story to me.

“Desert Pete”

Some years ago, a seldom used trail in the Amargosa Desert in California, there stood a rundown hut. Nearby was a well, the only source of water for miles around. Attached to the pump was a thin baking powder can with a message inside, written in pencil on a sheet of brown wrapping paper. This was the message...

This pump is all right as of June 1932. I put a new sucker washer into it and it ought to last five years. But, the washer dries out and the pump has got to be primed. Under the white rock I buried a bottle of water, out of the sun and the cork end up. There‘s enough water in it to prime this pump, but not if you drink some water first. Pour in about 1/4, and let her soak to wet the leather. Then pour in the rest medium fast, and begin to pump. You‘ll get water. The well never has run dry. Have faith. When you get watered up, fill the bottle, and put it back like you found it for the next feller. Signed, Desert Pete
Ps. don’t go drinking up all the water first! Prime the pump and you can get all the water you want.
Don’t be selfish. Deny yourself. Seek God’s kingdom first, and God will care for you.

Wednesday, July 5, 2023

In a Birthday Frame of Mind


Yep, that would be today.  I start my ninetieth year on this planet.
I have been blessed beyond measure, and way beyond anything I deserve.
God is Good.
God is Faithful.
Let everything that has breath praise The Lord.
Praise ye The Lord

Sunday, April 30, 2023

John 21 #T

Note: This is a work in progress; it may be amended and/or emended from time to time.

Here we have an episode involving seven of the disciples and the resurrected Christ. It is so chockablock with amazing things it has probably yet to be fully grasped by most followers of Christ. These men know at this point that Jesus has risen from the grave.  They know that He has told them they have a date to meet him at a certain place, but they do not know the time.  "Let's just sit around and wait until Jesus tells us what to do next."  This is definitely not what they were thinking.  "I'm going fishing," Peter says, and he headed to his boat. 

I have read some commentators who say that when Jesus called these people to follow Him, they dropped their tools of livelihood and did as bid, and now we see that with Jesus no longer among them they return to their old ways.  The implication that there is something amiss here is wrong.  Yes, Jesus left them temporarily to their own devices, but they know who He is, and they know He is alive. But rather than sit around waiting for marching orders, they take advantage of the time, they redeem the time, by engaging in useful activity. This, I think is what Christ expects of us, absent a mission assignment, that we engage in useful activity.

It's daybreak now.  The fishermen have toiled all night.  They spot someone standing near a low burning fire on the shore.  "Hey, fellas," the man hollers, "catch anything?"  "No," they reply.  "Then cast your nets on the other side of the boat. You'll catch something!" cheerily spoke the figure on the beach. "Why the heck not?" the men said to one another. "The hold is empty, and night is gone.  What do we have to lose?" so they shifted their nets and behold! the catch was so great they could not draw the net in, yet it did not hreak.  The disciples in the other boat came alongside and helped them drag the catch ashore.

John is the first to recognize Jesus. "It's the Master!" he exclaims. And what does Peter do? He grabbed his fisherman's cloak and put it on, belting it, for he had been working without his outerwear. naked, the scripture says, and I leave it to you to discern the meaning of that in this context.  At any rate, the man did not want to appear before the Master less than properly clothed. (Hint, hint.) Then he stepped into the water and rushed to shore to greet Jesus. Can you picutre this without recalling another instance in which Peter stepped out of a boat onto the water?

What a catch! And big fish, too!  153 great fish! Now that is interesting; they count the catch.  And why would they not?  They are businessmen.  Theologians and writers have puzzled over this and much has been written about the significance of the number 153, some of it quite convoluted. I lean to the position that they were doing that which was normal and logical in the plying of their vocation.

Now Jesus has this fine bed of coals, just right for broiling fish!  "Come and dine!" He says, if we read the King James, or any one of several others.  Many translations have Jesus saying, "Come, have some breakfast." I am not a scholar of the Greek, but I really wish I knew how John originally wrote this line.  As nearly as I can tell, much as I would like it to be the former, the oldest manuscripts seem to be better translated to the latter.  "Dine," to me, suggests a celebratory occasion, whereas an invitation to breakfast by a friend suggests a casual time of open fellowship.  Oh, perhaps the latter is the better; no need to rent a tuxedo here. At any rate, Jesus shares his fire and his bread, Peter, John, and the others share their catch, and for a time it seems a good time was had by all.

After they had eaten and wiped their hands, the conversation took a serious turn when Jesus asked Peter, "Do you love me?" And it turned out that Jesus asked him thrice, to the point that Peter was offended. (How many times did Peter deny knowing Jesus on that fateful night of the Master's arrest?) The upshot of the interchange was that Jesus finally told Peter, "Feed my sheep." (Reinstatement and commission.) Then Jesus foretold Peter's cruel death as a follower of Christ. So, then Peter, jerking his thumb at John, said, "What about him?" and Jesus's rejoinder was basically, "Not your concern; his fate is in my hands."

And so it is with us.  It is our task to chasten, to encourage, to work alongside our fellow Christians, but how God determines He wishes to use them is none of our business.

Cf. Luke 5 in which a similar yet different fishing event is recounted, an episode in which Jesus commandeers Peter's ship and calls his first followers to discipleship.