Monday, November 28, 2016

The Joys of Being Connected to the World

One of "those calls" of the sort you always get at mealtime.

     "David, I am callink about your computah which have a virus. Okay?"

     "No, it is not okay!"   CLICK

Well, the guy gave me the perfect setup for that one.

Not quite as slick as my "grandson" who was calling from The Dominican Republic where he was incarcerated, and could I help him with bail money?  

My oldest grandson.

There's a clue.  Doubt that young'n has ever so much as heard of The Dominican Republic.

Thursday, November 24, 2016


This bird has been wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving since 2008.  First he was too scrawny to eat, then eventually he was too old to eat.  Yet he is still around, freeloading and having a scratching, squawking good time.  He knows now, I think, that the axe is no longer 
a threat and that he will ultimately die a natural death. barring a possible coyote.  But he is pretty wily.  The bird, I mean.  The Coyote is Wiley.

May the blessings of the Lord abundantly fill your life.
Happy Thanksgiving


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Thanksgiving in another time, another place

 Thanksgiving in the Bowl

Did I tell you about the time we had but one bird and thirty-five people for Thanksgiving?  Well, your Aunt Grace decide we gonna be thankful whether we had anythin' or not.  She didn't miss hardly a fambly member, sayin' to 'em all, "We gonna have Thanksgiving over to our place this year.  Jep and me has been blessed, and we'd be disappointed you didn't join us."  Now in the manner of the times, I guess we had been blessed.  We was still alive, and we managed to scrape somethin' together each day to keep our souls connected to the bodies.

It was Dust Bowl days, doncha know, and nobody had much a nothin'.  We was much better off 'n many around us, 'cause we had saved a little coin which I had failed to put in the bank back in '29.  Always was a bit leery them suited guys with they green visors.  So anyway, we weren't total broke, and I gone up to Canon where I was able to get a few things, couple hunnert weight a cracked corn, hunnert pound a cornmeal, pinto beans, enough for the whole town.  So it looked like beans and cornbread for some time to come.  I'ma thinkin' you was maybe three, four years old at the time, 'cause your Mama and Daddy come on down for Thanksgivin'.

Anyways, when I left Canon to come on home, I stopped by Arly's over to Florence and wha'd'ye reckon?  Ol' Arly had hisself half-dozen turkeys he'd been nursin' along.  Scrawny they was, too, eatin' what they could scratch up.  Arly give me one a them birds, insisted I have it, so I tuk hit.  Well, I bring that bird home, and glory be! I have all that cracked corn and two months 'til Thanksgiving.  Well, son, I kept that bird pretty close, pen him up in the ol' tool shed.  Yessir.  Fed him good and give him more water than I tuk myself.  Well, talk about surprises!  When people start gatherin' in our house on that Thursday mornin', the aroma like to knock 'em down, hit smell so great.  Some a the fambly had had little enough, and then some, when it come to meat in Lord only knows when.

Well, your Aunt Grace had kept the winders sheeted over purty good, and the sugar and flour were kept wrapped tightly and inside half-gallon Mason jars.  Couldn't set out a sugar bowl, nor even keep it in a cabinet, 'cause even with a lid on hit, the dust would just natural get inside.  Gritty sugar ain't fit'n to use.  So Grace had been bustlin' around two days gettin' fixed for dinner on Thanksgivin'.  Now she only invited people to come, she never ask them to bring anything, but they all come with they hands full, and those ladies were bringin' the best they had.  Why Marcella Dean, you know Marcella, her'n Larry brought they six kids along, but Marcella make the best "apple" pie you can imagine from nothin' more'n pie crust, sody crackers, and vinegar and sugar.  I don't rightly know how she done it.

Anyway, the feast was on, and Grace would have it no other way but that she would make a little speech afore we et.  And she lay it on.  She said as how times had been bad for a long time, and some folk was gettin' discouraged.  Why the whole Palmer tribe, she says, done lit out for Cally-forny, and if we was all givin' up, wouldn't be nothin' here no more but tumble-down shacks and rattlesnakes.  And wouldn't you know, like right on cue in a stage play or somethin', Fred Baker speaks up and says, "Let the snakes have 'er.  She ain't no good no more no how."

And Grace let him have it.  "That," she says, "is just what I'ma talkin' 'bout.  This is Thanksgivin', and y'all need to be thankful.  Be thankful that we are still a makin' it.  Be thankful that we have loved ones who care about us and would give the shirt off'n they back to he'p ary one of us.  Y'all buckle in, keep the faith, he'p one another and pray, I mean pray like you believe the promises of God, and pray some more, day and night.  We will be okay.  Now Darryl, please to offer thanks to the Good Lord over these vittles, and we'll tuck into 'em!"

So right then and there the prayer meetin' start, but hit warn't so drawed out thet the food get cold!  No sir, we done justice to that spread, let me tell you.  And that bird with the fixin's fed them thirty-five people plum easy.  And the prayin' continue, and behole, the very next Fall the drought breaks and the rains come.  And then, well we are still here, hain't we?

© 2013 David W. Lacy

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Be Still

"And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on), but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God."
--I Samuel 9:27

In the previous study we saw Samuel in communion with the Lord, for the people were demanding a king to rule over them so that, "we might be as other nations."  The Lord told Samuel exactly what a king would do to the people (Chapter 8) but nevertheless, He said, they have rejected my rule over them.  Give them what  they want.  And thus ends theocratic rule and that not to be re-instituted for untold millennia.

Samuel in obedience searches the people for a king and finds Saul, handsome and taller than all the people, son of Kish of the tribe of Benjamin.  Samuel called Saul to dine with him,  But Saul was on a mission to find his father's donkeys.  Samuel said, Forget about the donkeys.   They walked together after dining. Now the scripture quoted above.

"Stand still," Samuel said, "that I may show you the word of God."

The word to Saul is the word of the day for us in this day and time.  We must learn to stand still and attend to the message that we may see the will of God.   The hustle and bustle, the pressures of life and living, the distractions of both needful things and the frivolous must all be set out of mind as we stop and listen.  Kish's donkeys were a distraction to Saul.  Samuel told him to put that away and tend to what was truly important.

"Be still," the Lord says, "and know that I am God." --Psalm 46:10

Friday, November 18, 2016

Walter Tell Retold

This from five years ago today, which makes this the 709th anniversary of the famous shot.

Turtle duck turtle duck turtle duck duck duck!

We all recognize instantly the phrase from The William Tell Overture. But this article is not about opera, or music, or Rossini.

Today, if our legends are to be trusted implicitly, is the 704th anniversary of the famous cross-bow shot in Switzerland by one William Tell. It is a story that casts William Tell as a larger-than-life hero. I am of the opinion, however, that the real hero to be memorialized on this date is Tell's son, Walter. In case you need to brush up on your fifth-grade lessons, Tell refused to salute the hat raised on a pole which represented the Habsburg authority in Altdorf. Gessler, Austrian ruler of the dorf, was a harsh and unforgiving despot. He had Tell arrested, and because of Tell's fame as an archer, he required that Tell shoot an apple from his son's head, or both would be executed.

My father never earned any medals for it, because he never entered any competitions. But he had a clear eye and a steady hand which enabled him to be a crack marksman with a rifle. Prior to hunting season each year, we would go to the range to "sight in" the rifles. I have seen him shoot, and he was good. And yet. And yet I think that to persuade me to stand before him with an apple on my head-- oh, no. No, thank you very much. And thus I nominate Walter Tell as the hero of the tale to this point.

At any rate, Tell's shot cleanly split the apple. This is pretty much the end of the school-child tale as I recall it from my ten-year old experience. But Gessler had noted that Tell had taken two bolts from his quiver prior to the shot, so he asked, Why the second bolt? Tell replied had he killed his son, he would have put the second bolt through Gessler himself. Irate, Gessler had Tell arrested. One might like to read the rest of the tale, for it ultimately cost Gessler his life, and forever immortalized William Tell as a Swiss Hero.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

God Will Allow a King

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 
 --I Samuel 8:5-7
 Sunday last I posted this scripture along with the admonition to study the Word.

From the time of Israel's release from bondage in Egypt and their subsequent occupation of the Promised Land up to the time of this account the people, unlike the nations around them, had existed without a king over them.  They had relied on a series of judges, men and women of God, prophets to communicate with God and with the people to maintain leadership and justice in the land.

Samuel's predecessor, Eli, was Israel's thirteenth judge and dispensed justice until the day a messenger brought the news that the military had suffered a serious defeat at the hands of the Philistines and the Philistines had taken The Ark of the Covenant.  Eli, at age ninety-eight and extremely corpulent heard this horrifying news, fell from his seat, broke his neck and died.

Now Samuel, Eli's protege, assumed the role of Israel's leader. He has served in his capacity as judge for forty years and is now himself an elderly man.  He places his sons, Abiah and Joel, in positions of judgeship.  But they are faithless and open their palms, ruling not justly but corruptly.  The people start their plaint,  "Give us a king that we might be even as other nations."

Samuel, distraught, lays this case before the Lord.  God now tells Samuel that the people are not rebelling against Samuel but against God Himself.  Further he says, Let them have what they want and here is what they will get.  For the detailed account of the Lord's word, read verses 11-18 of this chapter.

God's guidelines for living are clear and adequate.  Is it possible that we sometimes, like the Israelites of old, pester Him for something until He gives us what we want to our detriment?

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A King for the People

And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.
But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the Lord.
And the Lord said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them. 
 --I Samuel 8:5-7
And therein lies a tale.  Study the Word.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Slather and Mop

I was enjoying my supper this evening-- spaghetti with red chicken sauce.  It was good and it was satisfying.  Nicely buttered rye toast in the left hand.

And as I finished up, mopping the sauce with the bread, I had a flashback to the dinner table in my childhood home.  I realized that I had utilized one of my father's quirks, violated another.  I had slathered the entire slice of bread, plastered it, in Dad's parlance.  He was a stickler on the point holding that while plasterers had their place it was not at the dinner table.  One dabs a bit of butter onto the bread, consumes that portion, then he dabs a bit more, and so on.  I had violated this rule this evening.

Strangely, though Dad found it anathema to plaster the bread, he thought it not uncouth to mop his plate with the last morsel of bread.  "Waste not, want not," don't you know?  And this quirk I utilized.

Enjoyable meal and fun reminiscing about one of the most loved and most influential people in my life, my Daddy.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Abundantly Blessed

The love of stuff is the root of all clutter. --Problurbs 14:4

Tuesday, November 8, 2016


Election Day, and a pall has settled over the land. 
 Weather, too.  Rain, rain, rain.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

The Grass Withers

“All people are like grass,
    and all their faithfulness is like the flowers of the field.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    because the breath of the Lord blows on them.
    Surely the people are grass.
The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God endures forever.” 
--Isaiah 40:7,8  (KJV)

Image: Samsung DV15OF,
7:50 p.m
Tipton, Indiana

Friday, November 4, 2016

Decidedly Not Undecided

 I was recently taken to Task for stating that I did not see how in good conscience I could vote for either Trump or Clinton.  When we arrived in Task I was given a stern lecture basically centered around the notion that "a vote withheld is a vote for Hillary."

Yes, Task is a place where such silly notions comprise the basic logic of the residents. I submit that if it is my choice to eschew the ballot, mine is not a vote for either of the candidates but it is exactly what it is (depending, of course, on what the definition of "is" is, to crib a line).  It is a vote for neither of them.  To further the exercise in Taskian logic, it was pointed out to me that "If you don't vote you have no right to criticize what we get;" thereby abrogating my Constitutional right to free speech.  No, my silent protest of the idiotic slate put before us is not crying "fire" in a crowded theater.  It is a conscience-directed decision for which I alone am responsible.

It could be argued that each of the candidates is the choice of his/her party via the voice of the people.  This is true and quite clearly demonstrates the sad state of affairs in the hearts and minds of the people.  Having listened for months to the vituperation, the lies, the scandals, it has to be clear to any thinking person that the choice of "the lesser of two evils" is before us.  Moreover, it should be self-evident that the choice between them should be made by the folk who put them where they are. 

Does it affect me?  Of course it does, and mostly in all the bad ways that might be imagined.  Can I do anything about it?  No.  Should I vote, and that vote happened to be the one vote, improbable as it may be, that put one or the other in the White House, could I live with the guilt?  Should I not vote and find that that vote was the one that could have put the other contender in the White House could I live with that?  Oh, yes, much easier than I could live with the former.

Make up your own mind.  (You will, anyway.)

Note: The above was written weeks before the "October travesties" and placed in queue for publication on November 4.  The only way in which this has been edited in the interim is by way of the addition of this note.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

A Man and His Dog

Photo: Heide G. Prout
 That would be Spot and that would be a very long time ago.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

To A Fine Point

He told me of his early years when he worked in Connecticut, but, he said, he wanted to pursue “further” graduate work, so he returned to Missouri where he took his PhD at University of Missouri. I told him my sister had taken her PhD at Missouri and the conversation turned to areas of expertise. I asked what his field was and he replied, “poultry nutrition.” So now I fancy that I know a fellow who knows more about chicken feed than I do, notwithstanding that I raised a family on a paycheck that amounted to about that.

I have long believed that academia narrows fields of expertise to a fine point, and here is an excellent illustration of that fact. Someday, some university is going to narrow a study down to a vanishing-point, and the recipients of the degree offered will know everything about nothing!

This little snippet is extracted from a longer post from 2012. Oregon State University