Published in the Rains County Leader on July 2, 2019:
This is a tale of two dogs – pun intended – and a tale of dreams. Both of the dogs live in my neighborhood, and both are dreamers. Culture encourages dreams – the bigger, the better. Whatever you can conceive, you can achieve. Just do it! One of the dogs in this tale has really big dreams while the other one is more conservative. One is happy, and one is not.
The first dog lives about a mile from us, and we pass his house on the way out to the highway. He’s a cute little thing – black with a white mask over one eye – but I don’t know his name. He’s pretty well trained, staying in his yard or at least close to it without need of a fence or leash. He does, however, have a thing for cars. When he first moved into the area, I worried that he was going to get run over. As a car approached, he would go to the edge of the road at the corner of his yard. He would stare at the car until it was a few feet away, then he’d wheel around and run as hard as he could until he was several yards past the other corner of his yard. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on October 10, 2017:
David and I went to Tyler on Saturday to do a little shopping. We generally prefer to make most of our purchases on-line, especially on a Saturday when the traffic is as thick as a bed of fire ants, but we went out for breakfast, and we didn’t have a lot on our to-do list. David wanted to go to Camping World, I wanted some black shoes, and any excuse will do when it involves driving the new car. In spite of the traffic, we enjoyed the afternoon. We had a chance to become more familiar with our new sound and GPS systems, and I had fun testing the many positions of the fully adjustable passenger seat.
We also enjoyed checking out the latest in camping accessories, but David didn’t find anything he hadn’t seen cheaper on the Internet. I had better luck. I found a pair of shoes that I really liked, and I had more than enough money in my clothing envelope to cover the cost. Several months ago, we went through Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University – a series of classes in which we learned Biblical principles for dealing with money. One suggestion was to use cash rather than plastic, not only because it saves any interest charges that might accrue but also because it makes spending more real when you see the actual bills and coins passing from your hand into a cash register. The total cost for my shoes after the tax was added was $43.29. I handed the sales clerk two twenties, three ones, a quarter, and a nickel, and he stared at the payment in confusion for several seconds before figuring out how much change he needed to give me. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on September 13, 2016:
Sunday was 1st Down and a Season to Go at my church this week. Pastor Jason is one of the coaches of the 5th and 6th Grade Rains County Wildcat Pee Wee Football Team, and he invited his players, coaches, and their families to come to Believers’ Baptist for a Continental breakfast before joining us in the morning worship service. In honor of the day, the boys wore their team jerseys, and everyone else who had a t-shirt from a favorite sports team wore it.
There was a festive air in the church along with lots of smiles as twenty plus young men filed in and took their places on the front rows of the section where our youth usually sit. Lots of proud parents and siblings filled seats around the sanctuary, and the ushers brought in extra chairs to accommodate the overflow crowd. The morning proceeded much as I had expected, but what I didn’t expected was to be totally impressed by the way the team members conducted themselves and by the obvious connection between the team and the coaching staff. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on August 2, 2016:
For you youngsters, this is Rosie the Riveter who represented the women who worked in the factories during WWII while the men went to war.
This past week, we have seen and heard a lot about strong women. Mothers have posted about how thrilled they are that, with Hillary Clinton having been nominated for the office of President of the United States by the Democratic Party, they now have a role model of a strong woman to hold up before their daughters. While we now have the opportunity to tell our girls as well as our boys that, if you are willing to work for it, the possibilities of what you can do with your life are virtually unlimited, we should make sure that our efforts to expand their horizons are not actually having the opposite effect. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on June 28, 2016:
Last Sunday afternoon, David and I were invited to a late lunch with friends in honor of Father’s Day. As often happens at this kind of event, the men gathered in the living room in front of a televised sports event, and the women gathered in the kitchen.
The hostess related a story about a friend who wasn’t present. It seems that he made a deal with his children. If they would address their elders as “Sir” and “Ma’am” for an entire month, they would receive a reward of some kind. He was delighted to pay up when they were successful. (more…)