Published in the Rains County Leader on January 30, 2018:
It’s said that confession is good for the soul, but for a writer, it can also make a good story. Like all stories, though, this one is best told from the beginning.
Back during the holiday season, when the weather was just beginning to get cold, I stood in my closet one morning looking for a jacket. Finding a jacket was not the problem, but finding the right one was proving to be a challenge. I don’t remember exactly what I was wearing that day, but according to my rather limited sense of fashion, whatever it was required a black jacket. The only one I had was too light weight for the forecasted temperatures, so I had to settle for a wool work shirt from David’s Navy days. He outgrew it long before we met, but he kept it around for sentimental reasons. It fits me quite nicely if I roll up the cuffs, and it’s a dark enough navy color to pass for black, so I took it off the hanger while I hosted a mental pity party about my lack of heavy jackets. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on May 23, 2017:
The last couple of weeks have been a bit rough for the Brendles. Actually, David has been struggling with one thing or another for most of this year.
He caught an upper respiratory infection from me toward the end of December, and he didn’t begin to really feel normal again until the end of March. Because of that, the early spring weather, and all the rain, the weeds were way ahead of him by the time he felt well enough to do anything about it.
Finally, about two weeks ago, he hauled out the mower, donned a protective mask and hat, and went to work. He knocked out the front yard in nothing flat, and the back yard up close to the house went well, too. Then, he ventured back a bit further where he made a couple of circuits before I heard him cut the engine and begin walking toward the house. I knew there must be trouble. If he was taking a water break, he would have driven up closer. I stepped out on the porch. (more…)
Published in the Rains County Leader on May 3, 2016:
The last couple of weeks have been a time of counting blessings at the Brendle house. Nothing really big, but like dynamite, blessings often come in small packages. I’d like to tell you about three of ours.
The first was poke salad. Until we moved to Emory, all I knew about poke salad was that it was the subject of an Elvis song from the late sixties. Then, two years ago, someone brought some poke salad to the Senior Center. David and I checked it out and realized we had lots of it growing around our back yard. I had heard a lot of stories about the dangers of the green, so I did some on-line research and harvested some. Both of us enjoyed it, and neither of us suffered any ill effects, so I added it to my list of menu items. (more…)
I was raised in a Southern Baptist Church, and that meant every year as the end of the fiscal year approached, we had a pledge drive. Sermons focused on tithing, budgets were discussed and approved, and since any valid budget needs a fairly accurate estimate of income, pledge cards were passed out. Members of the church were asked to fill out a card promising to give a certain amount of money each week, month, or year, and on “Pledge Sunday” everyone placed their cards in the offering plate. The pledges were not binding. No one called or sent Luigi to your house if you fell behind, but I’m sure the hope was that by signing their names, members would feel somewhat spiritually bound and would be more faithful in their tithes and offerings.
When I was eight years old, I made a public profession of having accepted Jesus as my Savior and was baptized. This made me a full-fledged member of the church. I was a fairly serious child, and I apparently decided that membership carries with it not only privileges but also responsibilities. As Pledge Sunday approached, I got hold of a pledge card, probably from the pocket on the pew in front of me that held visitors cards, offering envelopes, and other pieces of necessary information. I carefully filled in my name and considered my financial situation. (more…)