Sunday, September 30, 2012

To Everything There is a Season

The purple ash tree is in our back yard.  This shot uses the neighbor's green tree as a contrast to the purple of this little gem.  While it is a lovely green color throughout the summer, when fall arrives it turns purple.  Very nice.   Yet soon, too soon, these leaves will be on the ground and require raking.  (At least the ones that don't blow over into the neighbor's yard.  What he does with them is up to him.)

Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

King James Version (KJV)
  To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

Friday, September 28, 2012

Luncheon Guest

Planet Earth, Friday, September 28 -- BBBH and I  were having lunch close to noon, she seated to my immediate left with a vacant chair opposite each of us, as is our wont.
For no particular reason, I turned my head to peer out the window to my right.  Yet I never really looked out the window, for there on the chair back was an unexpected guest.  I turned back to speak to The Spouse regarding this turn of events, and she simultaneously spotted the invader.  EEEK! GET THAT THING OUT OF HERE!

"I wonder," I said, "how it found its way in here.  I need a picture of that."  So I went to get the camera while BBBH reiterated her demand.  The excuse for the resulting picture is that the object was severely back-lighted, and the flash served mostly to fade the vivid green color of the visitor.

I put the camera down and went to lift the green interloper gently from the chair when, as my fingers approached the beastie I distinctly heard "Whoa!  What do you think you are doing?"  "I intend to place you outside the house where you belong."  "What do you know about where I belong?  You don't know who you are messing with."  "Then," I said, "pray tell, Insect."

"Insect, indeed.  I am Indroid from beyond the Galaxy Andromeda.  We are analyzing the premises for suitability for habitation.  The others will arrive soon."

"I think you will find,"  I stated, as my fingers gently grasped the creature, "that the environs on the other side of yonder wall will be much better suited to your needs."  I opened the screen door and released my grip on Indroid.  Yet it hesitated to depart.  "Scoot," I demanded.  "Go away."

"You have been gentle and kind," remarked the creature, "and I can see that this place is much better suited to our needs.  Thank you."  And without further ado, it hopped from my fingers to a green stem nearby where it immediately blended into its surroundings to the point that had I not known where it was, I would have overlooked it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mrs. C Goes to Pueblo

When I was a little boy, perhaps seven or eight years of age, our family was acquainted with a family who lived across town.  They occupied a fine old brick home not far from the river.  To my eye this was an elegant place, and it was beautifully decorated within as well with intricately crocheted antimacassars on the sofas and chairs, and tapestries on the walls.  Rich people, I thought.

 One day their household was bereft of the presence of its matriarch.  "She is away for a rest," it was explained to me.  Word, though, soon enough got around as kids whispered amongst themselves that Mrs. C was in Pueblo.  Now Pueblo in Southern Colorado was noted for two things: steel mills and the Colorado State Hospital, known as the Asylum for the Insane.  To say someone was "in Pueblo" was to say they were crazy, in the understanding of the children in the community.  "Is it true," I asked Mama, "that Mrs. C is crazy?"  "No!  Don't say that.  It is true that she is in Pueblo.  She had a nervous breakdown and she has gone there for treatment.  We are praying for her that she will get well soon."

Photo of Pueblo Asylum courtesy Denver Public Library

Several months passed.  One day the parents announced that Mrs. C was  home, and not long thereafter our family was invited to dinner in the C's home. I remember, little boy that I was, wondering what it would be like to be in the house with a crazy lady.  (See how kids think, or at least how this kid thought.)

Mrs. C was the gracious hostess.  She served us the dinner she had prepared and Mama's compliments on the china and crystal prompted the hostess to explain that they were heirlooms that had belonged to her grandmother.  After dinner, everyone sat in the drawing room and visited.  I recall seventy years later how Mrs. C unabashedly and without reticence related her experiences during her absence.  She recalled clearly the incidents leading up to the necessity for her visit to Pueblo as well as the treatment leading to recovery.  The hair tingled along the back of my neck.  Eerie.  How could someone go crazy, remember every detail, and come back home, seemingly normal, to tell about it?

You have to understand this tale from the perspective of a nine-year old, very naive kid.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fun Excursion

A little excursion on a lovely fall-like afternoon took us a few miles from home.  Driving through this small city, on impulse* we parked right in front of City Hall.  Yes, those are our vehicles.  And you want to know why BBBH and I would take an afternoon ride and drive separate cars?  Well, it was a pleasure trip, you know.

I walked a couple blocks to the east while BBBH prowled a pair of antique/used merchandise/junk stores.  There are some fine houses in this burg.  The bungalow has long been a favorite of mine, and this is a prime example.  Close to a spiritual resource center, too.

This one is gorgeous, but almost too much.  Imagine the pride of the owner at the turn of the twentieth century.  Imagine the pride of the current owner!

My architectural knowledge is limited, but I can almost picture in my mind's eye the bungalow that this once was.  The traditional porch has been completely enclosed and the entry hidden on the other side of the house.  The weird twin dormer effect is interesting, if not exactly California-style.

A block west of city hall we find the public library.  Jim Davis apparently got here ahead of us.  The mini-derrick is another clue as to location.

And finally on an old building right behind the location of our autos I spotted this old unmaintained, unrestored, and practically gone sign.  The camera actually picked up the lettering with greater clarity than did my eye.  Now you know where we spent the afternoon!

And yes, BBBH bought stuff.  But that's another story.

*Truth:  We knew the shops were directly across the street.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Rail Travel a Century Ago

Tipton, Indiana Train Wreck

September 24, 1910,

just three days after the interurban crash at Kingsland north of Bluffton which killed 42 people.
The Tipton collision, very similar in nature, occurred between Tipton and Jacksons, claiming six lives and injuring fifteen others.

I have long been interested in the era of interurban transportation.  Study of old newspapers and train schedules have made me aware of the fact that in Indiana one could get from almost anyplace to nearly any other place via this mode of transportation.  It is clear, though, as one sifts through rafts of information from those days that travel was not without its risks.  Accidents seemed to be more frequent than necessary, and most of the ones I have read about have had responsibility pinned directly on "human error."

These two collisions, happening as they did within the same calendar week and a mere eighty or so miles apart, certainly highlight the perils of rail travel in the day.  It was my intention when I started to prepare an account of the Tipton incident to give a rather detailed, if gory, account.  That, I have decided, is unnecessary.  It is not necessary because the press of the day did a thoroughly complete and bloody job of reporting*.  I garnered my information about the interurban lines directly from the Tipton County Library collection of the Tipton Tribune (now Tipton County Tribune) as recorded on microfilm.  Now, though, some years later, we are blessed to have had much of this sort of information recorded in digital format and posted on the internet, thanks largely to volunteer efforts of history buffs.

So for your entertainment and enlightenment I present these links.  Read about the bridegroom who was killed on the way to his nuptials; about the motorman who had recently stated he thought he would quit, and much, much more.

*Note, for example, in the Tipton account that police officers had to be stationed at the morgue to keep away the curious who wanted to see the mangled bodies of the victims.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Mighty Are Thy Works

    Over the Back Fence      

have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my handshave stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. Isaiah 45:12

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Autumnal Equinox

Everyone who knows me knows that I am pretty even-tempered, laid back, and not given to fits of anger. Yet there is one thing that always seems to enrage me, and it occurs annually right at the autumnal equinox.  It is the receipt of "Renewal Information" from the carrier of my Part D  Medicare insurance program.  For you youngsters, this is the drug insurance portion of the program.  Do not infer that I am unappreciative of any benefits that may depend from such a program.

The subtitle of this year's document is "Changes to Your Program for 2013."  The book is 154 pages in length and is printed on 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper slightly lower in quality than standard newsprint.  Apart from the aggravation and minor hissy fits I engaged in while attempting to understand the first half-dozen pages, as nearly as I can figure out the bottom line is that the premium will be increased by a mere 10.5%.  And that some of my meds may not necessarily be any longer on their formulary.*

Of course, I have the option of changing carriers.  This means I have the "opportunity" to explore and study some what? forty or more programs offered by twenty-some carriers.  Which multiplies the aggravation exponentially.

I think the designers' hopes are that everything is made so opaque and confusing that we oldsters will simply forget to or fail to comply with some jot or tittle in the program and thereby be eliminated.  Is that even remotely possible?  Nah, surely not.

*formulary: a made-up word meaning the list of stuff that will be covered.

Friday, September 21, 2012


Today is the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, more commonly known simply as The Hobbit.

This wonderful fantasy by J. R. R. Tolkien has led millions of young people as well as the young at heart on fearsome and fantastical adventures.  So immensely popular was the book that the publisher prevailed upon the author to provide a sequel which resulted in The Lord of the Rings.  Who among us has not read, or at least seen a screen version of these tales?

Having led a somewhat sheltered existence, I was first introduced to The Hobbit by a twelve-year old girl who was a student in my seventh-grade math class.  She was first amazed that I had not read the book, then adamant that I should do so.  I did.  That led me straight on into the trilogy known as the Lord of the Rings and I had some wonderful and exciting adventures in my reading that winter.

The Hobbit has never been out of print.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Sophia Loren  born 20 September 1934

Happy Birthday, Miss Loren!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Do you remember the Symbianese Liberation Army?  I recall that it was the topic of discussion in the teachers' lounge on certain cold, winter days in 1974.

The most-noted member of the group was poor little rich girl, Patty Hearst who was kidnapped by the group and later joined them in their criminal activities, including the robbing of a bank which was owned by the family of Patty's one-time best friend.

Following a year on the FBI most wanted list, Ms. Hearst was arrested on September 18, 1975.  Following her trial, she served 22 months in prison before the sentence was commuted by President Carter.  Her criminal record was expunged when President Clinton granted her a pardon.

Most any discussion of the case will eventually evoke the phrase "Stockholm Syndrome," and conversely discussions of Stockholm Syndrome will often evoke the name Patty Hearst.

Ms. Hearst has written memoirs, has pursued an erstwhile acting career and is currently a wife and mother of two children living in New York State.

Monday, September 17, 2012

And Why the Party?

The party was not about firefighting, or firefighters, or public safety.  It was the reunion of the high school class forty-five years after graduation.  No, it was not my graduating class, but rather a class which contained among others many students I had taught when they were in sixth grade.

Fifty-two years and one month ago, almost to the day, a freshly-washed bright-eyed bunch of children sat quietly at their desks wondering what they had gotten into as they studied the gangly young man standing before them.  Along with the excitement of a new school year, connecting again with friends and classmates, there may have been some trepidation in their little hearts.  Should it be mentioned that along with the confident manner in which the young teacher proceeded to open the shcool year for these youngsters, there may have been a tiny bit of trepidation in his heart as well?  He was well aware that he had been granted a rare privilege in being made responsible for the learning program for these kids over the next nine months.  He knew that it was not only privilege, but enormous responsibility as well.
Did the young instructor actually think all these thoughts at the time?  More likely he was focussed on getting on with the job.
Needless to say, but I'll say it anyway, I was immensely flattered and gratified that these former students sought me out and invited me to their celebration of their long-ago graduation.  We put it on our calendar months ago and waited in anticipation of the evening which finally arrived.  It was an hour's drive to the site of the party.  The firehouse was an excellent venue for the goings-on.  The schoolhouse, which is a mere handful of blocks away, is defunct and has not been used in years.

There was a vibrant and energetic trio, Trouble and Company, which put on a great three-hour performance.  Songs were mostly fifties and sixties material, which of course matched the theme of the evening.

There was dancing.

And lots of reminiscing.
These are my former students who were in attendance.,
Leah, Patty, Linda, Donna, Teach, Sherry, John, Jan, Dennis
Avanti!  We look to the future and move ahead; but it is a wonderful thing to carry our memories of the past along with us!

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Late post today; late night for this old couple.  We partied until it was after bedtime when we got home.  More later.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dusted and Displayed Anew

I have reached into the archive and pulled forth this document which I posted one year ago today.
I am rerunning it for reasons of my own.  The rerun makes it now post number 1326.

This is post number one thousand on String Too Short to Tie. It has been an interesting journey for me. Today we will look at life's journey, three trips, actually, pathways diverging.

The snapshot was taken in 1943 in Canon City, Colorado. The three of us, my sister Vee, our friend Donald, and I are standing in Mystic Avenue in front of Donald's house. We lived in the parsonage, perhaps sixty yards behind and to the left of the camera.

We are embarking this beautiful summer day on a hike, destination the top of the Hogback, Skyline Drive. It was another time, and in truth another world. We were six, eight and nine years of age. Our expedition was not sponsored by, nor was it accompanied by, an adult. It was just the three of us. Oh, the parents knew where we said we were going, but their input and their participation was limited to taking the picture and advising us to be careful and that supper would be at the usual time. A different world, indeed.

I have mentioned Donald a time or two on STSTT. Other than my sister, he was my first playmate, as the bleak and remote Nebraska outpost from which we had moved was sorely lacking in social opportunities for the little kid. I was five when we moved to Canon, and Donald and I found each other rather quickly. He was my best friend until we left that town five years later.

Donald was a precocious child and by the time he started school, he was telling folks he was going to be an ichthyologist when he grew up. I recall riding the bus from Colorado Springs to Canon City to visit with Donald. I was perhaps 12 or 13. It was the last time I saw him before he moved with his parents to California. I stopped briefly in Redding more than forty years ago and saw him for a few minutes.

Donald's career path took him to university professorship and to publication of numerous books. Botany and photography are particular interests. He and his wife Janice have written extensively on our natural wonders. They also write and publish devotional material. Donald was, as the saying goes, a friend for a season.

Though three years younger than I, Verla kept up, from the day of the hike, and ever afterward. We lived in a parsonage with a dedicated mother who, I think, decided that if she couldn't make a preacher of me, she could prepare Verla to be a preacher's wife. I think it entirely possible that, while she was receptive to instruction and learned her lessons well, Verla was less than enthused with the prospect of being a minister's wife. She has been happily married to a preacher for 55 years.

In addition to "stand(ing) by her man" in the parsonage, Verla gave birth to and raised four beautiful children, each of whom is a credit to his or her chosen profession. While nurturing these offspring, Verla earned her bachelors degree and started a teaching career. Her husband's work took them to Indianapolis, Monroe, Detroit, and Kansas City. Verla stayed by his side and continued her career. She earned her PhD and her last post before retirement was as university professor, department chair. She is a published novelist. Her first novel is released and will be in stores on November 8.

Vee is my sister, but more, she is my friend, "a friend for a lifetime." She now lives perhaps forty miles from where she stands in the picture, and I live more than a thousand. We see each other on average maybe once a year, talk on the phone possibly once a month, but we communicate in the blogosphere and by email several times a week.

David is the only one of the three tykes who started up that mountain that day in 1943 who has not held a professorship, who has not been published. Well, two out of three is not bad.

I jest, yet I say truth. I achieved my career goals; and perhaps I was wise in knowing my limitations, to set the bar where I could clear it. I fathered four children and appreciate watching them and their children in their accomplishments. I had a teaching career which was very satisfying, and when I aspired to move into administration, I accomplished that. Probably the most telling comment ever made to me was by the mother of four of my students, three of whom I taught in junior high school. She said, "It is too bad that they take the best teachers and move them from the classroom to the office." This is a two-edged sword, cuts both ways. I lapped up the compliment, her assessment that I was a "best teacher," but on the other hand, I have reflected on the underlying implication about my administrative work. Snicker-snee.

Every life's journey is unique. Our lives intersect, join together, separate. But I often think of the lines from "A Psalm of Life" penned by Longfellow:

Life is real! Life is earnest!

And the grave is not its goal;

Dust thou art, to dust returnest,

Was not spoken of the soul.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Yoghurt, Tractors, and Irritation

I understand pop-up ads.  I don't like them, but I understand them.  For the most part, they are fairly easy to dispose of, although the nerds who create them are getting trickier.  Starting with sneaking past the pop-up blockers.  Then there is the trick whereby clicking the traditional "x" in the upper right hand corner to close, or get rid of it, actually opens it instead.  Bad, but right-clicking on the face of the ad would then open the "Close" option which would work.

Now, though, they have come up with the co-opting of the desired web page by plastering the offending ad across the middle of the page.  And you can't get rid of it.  There is no "x" to click, right-clicking will not provide a "Close" option, and clicking on the page away from the ad does nothing by way of "disappearing" the offensive garbage.  The only way I have discovered to remove it is to close the entire page and start over.


Meanwhile, I am going to start a list of offenders, a "garbage list" if you will, and boycott the products advertised.  Like that's a big deal.  Chances are 99.99996% that I would never purchase the product anyway.  I mean, Yoplait, or Massey-Ferguson tractors?  Not likely.

And what I truly don't get is this:  Are there really people who buy stuff because of these ads?  Unbelievable.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Really, I'm Fine #T


 "Why are you so moody lately?" 

"I'm not moody, I am reflective," replied the old man.

Reflective is what the moon is; it has no light of its own.  Perfect.  That is much how he feels about himself,  not unhappy, dour, or unfit company.  No, just reflecting on the process of putting years behind himself.

We've all heard the "--- is the first to go."  There is no universal that fills the blank, for with all the senses, synapses, and skeletal bits and pieces, one man's weakness might be another's strength.  For example, the old man reflected, the knees, or at least one knee, started to go in the thirties as the result of a motorcycle ride on a trail in Oregon.  Of such adventures deterioration may set in.  Vision?  Going, and repaired numerous times by various surgeries, duly grateful for that.

The pharmaceuticals proclaim the benefits of their products, proposing the application of one pill or another for almost any weakness to which the flesh is heir.  As one insurance company says in its commercials, "Poppycock."   There is a natural progression from infancy to adolescence, from adolescence to adulthood, an adulthood in which the strengths of the body and mind are developed and put to the uses to which they are intended, or else not depending upon the inclination and discipline of the individual.

The process of dying, it is said, begins with conception.  This is no argument either for or against the proposition.  At some point one becomes aware of the process within his own being.  Various systems have closed down, or are closing down.  Creativity and the ability to process information and organize it into a pattern leading to a logical, or at least believable, conclusion, have waned. Some mornings one is blessed to remember his name.  The string seems to get shorter and shorter and may soon be no more than bits of lint.

This is less funny, or sad for that matter, than simply a state of the human condition.  One must admire those old relics who are in their late nineties and still seem alert and interested in life.  But no embellishment, hairdo, fine clothing, perky makeup, or even surgical procedure, can conceal the fact that they, too, are subject to the vagaries of disconnect from this earthly life.  We will all be gone soon enough.

Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them; 
 While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain:
  In the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened,
 And the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of musick shall be brought low;
 Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets:
 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern.

 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
Ecclesiastes 13

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Monday, September 10, 2012


 Darkness had settled, much too early by the clock, for we were sitting under a tornado watch and the clouds gathered ominously.  The wind picked up and the rains burst upon us, pelting the house as though tanks of water were being poured from the sky.  (Turgid prose free of extra charge today.)

Keeping watch on the Western sky, but with camera in hand, what to my wondering eye should appear but a Golden Space Ship attempting a landing 300 yards to the northwest.  Understand that the rain was being driven sideways in torrential sheets, then be amazed that we captured the scene!

Eventually, the storm passed; cool air overspread the earth and we retired for a very restful night's sleep.

The second picture was taken twenty-two hours later from about the same vantage point.  The "ship" seems to have anchored successfully atop a streetlight pole.

If you wonder why the pole is not perpendicular to the earth, you are not alone.  So do I.  Perhaps it is easier for the little green men to set their landing ramp and so on.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

What, or Who is the Antique Here?

Porky's Show and Shine Saturday morning in the park.  This is ostensibly an "antique" car show, and some very pretty vehicles there are, too.   The problem for me is the definition of  "antique."  At the time I first got interested in cars, I thought of antiques as vehicles which were built pretty much before I was born.  (Please understand that some of our friends and neighbors owned Model A Fords which were their principal drivers.  A nearby neighbor had a 1938 Dodge pickup truck which was practically a new vehicle.)

At any rate, as I cruised through the park I noted that most of the vehicles on show were straight from an era which represented the cars I was driving in my forties and fifties.  What?  Well, it seems that this state has long defined antique vehicles as those that are twenty-five or more years of age.  This would make the 1987 Buick Grand National, yep, an antique, and certainly all specimens from the seventies qualify.

I'm telling you, things just aren't what they used to be.

This I would consider "antique."  It was made the year I was born.

Saturday, September 8, 2012


A while back I wrote an abbreviated account of that time in her life when BBBH was the host of a television program.  In the course of the story, I stated that she had hosted "several" episodes.  At the time, she took me to task, averring that she had done more than several programs. 

I retorted that she had, indeed, aired "several" programs.  Her reply was that there were a lot more than three episodes.  I said, Yes, there were several.  No, she replied, Several means "three."  Now we are into it.  I insisted that if "several" means "three" then one of the words is a redundancy and unnecessary.  So let us count "one, two, several, four..."

But she was adamant that I had stated that she hosted three programs, and she was a bit miffed because people might think she had done fewer than she actually did.  I decided to drop the matter for very good reason, as you can clearly see.

Nor would I have revisited this, except that, all these weeks later, she brought it up again.  Several is still three.

I may or may not be a stubborn man, but I am not so easily swayed.

Witnesses:  What say you?

Friday, September 7, 2012

In the Pink

Beautiful, sunny morning, lovely fall-like temperature of 75o.  I am happily soaking it all in as I pedal more or less leisurely along Jefferson Street headed for the post office.  Then with no prompting, no recollection of anything that would have impelled me to remember this, I found my self singing:

Enjoy yourself while you're still in the pink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself It's later than you think.

You work and work for years and years
You're always on the go
Never take a minute off
Too busy makin' dough
Some day, you say, you'll have your fun
When you're a millionaire
Imagine all the fun you'll have In your old rockin' chair

Enjoy yourself it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself while you're still in the pink
The years go by as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself
It's later than you think.

This, along with two or three other verses, was recorded back in the Dark Ages by Guy Lombardo, and by Bing Crosby, and probably by others, if memory serves me correctly.  Why I remembered it?  I guess I just felt good and needed to remind myself that today is the day in which we may enjoy God's creation, enjoy our lives, for the morrow will come all too soon and with no more than the promise of the "rocking chair" at best.

You all know me well enough to know that I pay little attention to lyrics, and I have said many times that I know one verse of a thousand songs, but I don't know any songs in their entirety.

Enjoy yourself while you're still in the pink!
It's later than you think.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Everything's Plastic

 BBBH said, "I need to sort this stuff and get rid of some things."
 We have no shortage of plastic storage dishes for the wonderful L.Os.
The problem is not finding a container of the right size; the problem is finding a lid to fit the container!
We have so much fun around here!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Pig Fest

Something must be about to happen in town.  I mean, otherwise, why all the tents?

September 6 - 8
Tipton, Indiana

Obligatory complimentary advertisement for the good of the community.
Come and eat the pork.  That'll be good for you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

And Ninety More Boxes

I was walking across the yard when I paused to get the picture of the chipmunk.  But I was on a specific mission, so I did not linger too long on the grass.

A few days ago I mentioned to someone that we had boxes in our barn that hadn't been opened since we moved in here twelve years ago. Shameful, I know. Anyway, with camera in hand I was headed to the barn to check into one or two of those boxes to see just what it was that we own.

 Approached some of the shelving.

 Removed a lid and looked into a box.

 And into another box.

 Took a closer look at some of the items.

 Hmmm.  Someone must be an HO modeler.

That would be BBBH, although the "1776" bicentennial engine is mine.
Clearly we have done nothing with this "hobby" since our marriage.

Amazing.  I wonder what else we have in that barn.  And in the garage.  And in the attic.  Oh, my.  It boggles the mind.
How are we like the chipmunk in the drainpipe?  We all store stuff.

Monday, September 3, 2012


I was walking across the yard toward the barn when this little creature and I spotted each other.  He stopped just short of the downspout and posed for me.  It was as though he was saying, "Take a good look; you were wrong."  So I was, for I saw the animal zip into the downspout a few days ago and I thought it was a thirteen lined ground squirrel, for we have had them in the yard for some time.  Though sometimes referred to as a "ground squirrel," this one is an eastern chipmunk.
I snapped the picture, took one more step toward the barn door, and like a flash he was gone  up the drain.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Keep the Faith

In the forty-seventh chapter of Genesis, we see that Joseph has brought his father, Jacob, before the Pharaoh of Egypt to introduce him.

And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?

 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

Here is a man who was blessed with a dozen sons, who was endowed of God with wealth beyond his wildest imagination, who is the bearer of the promise given to his forebears, who reports, at the age of 130, that the days of his life have been "few and evil."

Yet with faith in the promise, Jacob, when dying, blessed both sons of Joseph, and worshipped God.

What hope, then do we have?  The days of our life are indeed few.  That they will be plagued with evil is a given.  In the blessings that God grants us, we have hope only in the greatest blessing of all, the gift of salvation through His grace in the redeeming blood of His only begotton Son.

Hebrews 12:1-3
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee

Walter Brown ("Brownie") McGhee (30 November  1915 - 16 February 1996) guitar

Saunders Terrell (“Sonny Terry”)  (24 October 1911 - 11 March 1986) harmonica