Sunday, November 27, 2011


It has been a very fast but most enjoyable few days.  How appropriate it is that we gather our families close for a holiday called Thanksgiving.

As we gathered around our Thanksgiving table and joined hands, I couldn't even get the words out.  Emotion overcame me as I thought of how incredibly blessed I am by the people around that table. 


Blessings of the last week:

 -- Having Younger Son come home early in the week. I can't put into words how great it was to have him back at home for a few days.  To hear him stomping up the stairs and knocking around the house, having him hit me on the arm and give me a big bear hug -- all the things that make him the guy he is -- was pure joy. 

-- Running a 5K Thanksgiving morning with Daughter and Wife.  We didn't set any records but we had a lot of fun.  And of course by starting the day with exercise, we could give ourselves permission to eat whatever we wanted, all day long.

-- Seeing Older Son and DIL walk in the door Thanksgiving Day.  Hasn't even been that long but long enough.

--  Taking food to an inner city church Thanksgiving Day where they feed those who are hurting, down on their luck or whatever in their community.  The people in that church get what it means to love their neighbor. It was a privilege to help in a small way.

--  Seeing Daughter in the kitchen with Wife Thanksgiving Day, loving the preparation as much as her mom and adding her own special touch. 

--  Sitting on the sofa with Wife after everything quieted down and thinking about how blessed we are.


There was, of course, football over the long weekend. LSU looks headed to the BCS National Championship Game, continuing the dominance of the Southeast Conference.
And this time it's even better (or worse, depending on how you look at it) as they will very likely face another SEC foe in the title game -- Alabama, who handily defeated our beloved Auburn Tigers in the annual Iron Bowl classic on Saturday. 

The discussions about the unfairness and inefficiencies of the BCS will reach fever pitch over the next couple of weeks but it's the system we have.  We have to live with it.


Finally, I hope you'll indulge me as I toot the horns of two of my children and their respective blogs.  Younger Son aspires to be a sportswriter and recently started "The Whole Nine Yards" here where he will be pontificating on sports and other topics of interest to him. His wry wit comes through in every line.

Daughter continues to delight over at Delightfully Living and her most recent post brought tears to her dad's eyes. 

So just in case you don't get enough of my family here at my place, go see what these two young folks are writing about. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Great tunes

Daughter made a CD for me a few days ago.  As you know, I don't do the iPod thing. I'm old fashioned and still listen to CDs and probably will as long as they are still available.

Anyway, I had mentioned to Daughter some songs I like and asked her to make the CD for me. She did and there are 19 songs. She included the ones I asked for as well as some surprises.  She did a great job.

One of my current favorites, which is the lead-off song on the CD, is This is Home by Switchfoot. I heard it for the first time less than a year ago when my spin class instructor played it as our cool down song. As soon as class was over I asked him about it.  It's part of the sound track from Prince Caspian, from Disney's The Chronicles of Narnia series.   Now you know I don't know how to post a link from YouTube or anything like that but, if you haven't heard it, go find it somewhere and listen to it.  Great lyrics.

Another song on the CD is Blessings by Laura Story.  I will be honest: I don't always like contemporary Christian music.  Some of the songs we sing in my church just leave me cold.  But this one hits the mark, folks. This lady has a gorgeous voice and this song is beautiful, both the lyrics and melody. I did manage to find the lyrics for you:

We pray for blessings,
We pray for peace.

Comfort for family, protection while we sleep.
We pray for healing, for prosperity.
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering.
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love us way too much to give us lesser things.

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

We pray for wisdom,
Your voice to hear.
And we cry in anger when we cannot feel You near.
We doubt Your goodness, we doubt Your love.
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough.
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe.

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights
Are what it takes to know You’re near?
And what if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not, this is not our home
It's not our home.

'Cause what if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
And what if a thousand sleepless nights?
Are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy?

And what if trials of this life,
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise?

My favorite line:  What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?

So go find this one, too.  The words are incredible, as you can see, and when you hear them with the melody, you'll be moved. Trust me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Happy Fall, Y'all

Oh my gosh I do love the fall season.  We have had a few of those near perfect days where the air is so crisp I just want to breathe it in with my eyes closed, but then I would miss the beautiful fall foliage. 

I enjoyed the Veterans Days holiday immensely yesterday. I had driven to Memphis to work earlier in the week so Thursday night I drove two more hours to the west to Little Rock. I stayed with Wife's parents that night and had a great visit with them.

Got up early Friday morning and met one of my old friends, and a mentor of sorts, for breakfast.  I worked for him for three years, from late 1984 through 1987.  We had a unique opportunity to do a contract job together and not only did I learn a lot, but I gained a very close friend. It was great to catch up.

Later in the morning I drove out to a wonderful walking trail that meanders along the Arkansas River.  While walking, a lady about my age passed by me and after a second I realized it was my cousin. I called her name and identified myself.

Her dad and my mother were brother and sister. Her dad had a congenital heart defect and died when he was in his thirties. I was, of course, very young when it happened and I remember being outside playing and going inside and finding my mother crying. It was the first time I had ever seen her cry and I remember being amazed that a grownup would even have the capacity to weep.

He had a son and daughter (the one I saw yesterday) who corresponded in age roughly to my older brother and me.  Their mother never remarried. Through the years we would see them on occasion but really not very often, and I never got to know them very well.

So when I saw this cousin yesterday we hugged and exchanged pleasantries. Each of us filled in the other on our children and what they are doing. We talked a bit about our work.  Then we headed off in opposite directions.

We don't know each other very well and that's kind of sad but there is still that undeniable connection.  Her dad and my mom were brother and sister. And they would want us to at least stop and say hello.  I am glad we did.


I drove home yesterday afternoon. Two of Wife's dear friends are here spending the weekend. They were gone to dinner last night so Daughter, who has been a bit under the weather this week, and I went to get something to eat ourselves.

We went to one of those "fast casual" places that's a step up from true fast food. You order at a counter but the food's a little more like a restaurant. Anyway, we each ordered water to drink and were told we would find the cups over by the fountain that dispenses the drinks.

Only the cups were just slightly bigger than a shot glass or one of those paper cups they use at the dentist's office.  So in other words, they punish you for drinking water. 

Wife and I have noticed that in many restaurants now, when you order water, they bring it to you without ice. Now maybe that's a preference for some, but I like ice in my water. And yes, I will often order water to save money.

Note to food establishments:  serving water to me in cups, or without ice, or in any other fashion that is supposed to discourage me from only ordering water, is going to have the opposite effect. I'll just keep filling up those little cups until I'm satisfied or I'm going to ask you to bring me ice and if that annoys you, or violates company policy, so be it. If I want water, I want water. And I don't intend to pay for it either.


Older Son went and joined DIL in Dallas last week and all seems to be well. We miss them something awful but we're managing.  They will be here for Thanksgiving and Christmas and we're looking forward to that.

Younger Son will be home in about a week, as he is out of school the week of Thanksgiving.

It will be good to have everyone together.  I really enjoy this time of year.