As I stood just beyond my door

In the very early morning

My not so brave little dog

Cautiously sniffed an inch of the darkness at a time


It reminded me of the roadrunners

That often venture through the neighborhood

Stopping frequently to check the surroundings

Then quickly sprinting to the next spot to repeat the routine


The strong breeze pushed against my face

Forcing the tiniest moisture drops to kiss my cheeks

As they disappeared into the black air

Escaping with giggles and gloating of their victorious mischief


I smile quietly now knowing it will be another beautiful day

Looking forward to the neighborhood roadrunner routine

And remembering the stolen morning kisses with my dog







Proverbs 12:14 (NIV) 

From the fruit of his lips a man is filled with good things as surely as the work of his hands rewards him.

On a cold snowy December afternoon, I got out of my car in the wide-open, windy, industrial area parking lot of the United Parcel Distributing Center, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.  The warehouse, designed to streamline the handling of increased seasonal bulk, had been set up with a conveyor belt and efficient wrap-around waiting line.  It was difficult and exhausting to make the hike from the car, laden with awkward and delicately balanced packages.  The thought of seeing this enormous task to completion gave me the additional energy needed.  Upon completion, I sighed with relief and practically skipped toward my car to return home.


While basking in joy, my eyes were captured and held hostage by an elderly woman wearing an outdated, mothball scented coat, balancing herself against the icy wind with a cane in one hand and holding her car door open with the other.  She was struggling with four huge packages that must have taken her days just to tape closed.  It was obvious she was attempting the impossible.  I rushed to help her. After her task had been completed and I had escorted her back to her car, she smiled and thanked me graciously.  We both went our ways never to see each other again.


The gift I had given her was much appreciated, but the gift she gave me was priceless.  She had added personal meaning to the seasonal frenzy of gift giving.  Her vivid image and the gratifying feelings I received from being able to help her at the perfect moment, had captured the essence of the season.  This nameless woman was given a place of honor in my Christmas treasure chest of precious memories.


Prayer:  Help me God, recognize the opportunities each day to act according to Your perfect example.

Thought for the Day

Unexpected fruits of our labors of love are by far the sweetest.

Prayer Focus

Unselfish motives

DAD’S LESSONS AND A TRAIL OF TREASURES (Papa Stub to the grandchildren)

Dad taught us many things

Through expeditions up mountains, along trails,

Sunday afternoon car rides

And picnicking at a scenic creek, mountain, or roadside park


Discipline, endurance, fun, and adventure

Stinging nettles, stink bugs, milkweeds and snakes

Digging in sand dunes, wading in a cool spring,

Skipping a rock across the water

All were lessons wrapped in fun


The pain of the hot mid-day July Texas sun

And the power of an unexpected rain shower on a hike

The feel of loblollies made at the edge of a stock tank

And the taste of frog legs deep-fried in granny’s old country kitchen


Moss grows on the north side of a tree

Don’t go spelunking without first telling dad

Catch a possum by the tail, chase an armadillo,

But never ever disturb a skunk


Prickly pears hurt, although they can be good to eat

It is fun to make a bow and arrow

From a limb of a nearby willow tree


There is no need to hurt or kill another living creature

Not daddy long leg spiders, ugly insects,

Nor even killer bees


Clear the rocks on many hot days from a lake lot,

Then dump truckloads of fill stones on top

Quickly teach new depths of gratitude

For cooling dips in the lake


Dad could play happy songs on a French harp

Or on his personally made electric guitar

He fashioned flute like whistles from cane grown beside a creek

And his drums were beautifully crafted from wood


He could walk on his hands from the front yard to the back

And easily throw us high in the air when we begged

He was loved and feared all in the same breath

And his lessons remain with us still today


His comfort in daily routine

And his lifelong passion for woodwork

Enabled the creating of daily objects of beauty

Marking his time spent in joyful productivity

And resulting in a trail of treasures for others to admire




I walk the earth with the dinosaurs

Divided only by time

Fossils scrapbook their journey

As the wind sings a same song


I share the sky with the *Archaeopteryx

When my eyes slice through the willowy clouds

And kindred winds tickle my skin

As I drink in the sun’s consoling warmth


For each new earthly wind,

Cloud, sunshine, and walk,

Offer exhilarating freshness

For the dinosaurs, me,

And all the creatures to follow



*Archaeopteryx – “one of a family of extinct reptile like birds of the Jurassic period”



The morning song heard through the cool open window

Is the rooster’s crow hidden deeply in the shadow of the moon

Laboriously, he hoists the sun

To once again close its journey circle


Anticipation for the day’s agenda

Already lays heavy on my brow

Testing personal expectations

And creating deficiency apprehensions


How I yearn for the simple days of youth

When life burdens did not strain weakened muscles

And pull relentlessly against the tendons

Toughened through experience


Then, the roosters just crowed

The sun simply came up

Expectations were routine

And I did not comprehend the lyrics


*(TMI) a current acronym used in some circles for “too much information”


An iPod in my ear

Brings me cheer

Drapes my thoughts with a cape

And lets me escape

An iPod in my ear

Takes away fear

Can correct a mood

And help my troubles to elude

An iPod in my ear

Can restart my daily gear

Put a bounce in my step

So the floors can be happily swept

An iPod in my ear

Increases surprises from the rear

But there it will surely stay

Because we all know an “Apple” keeps the doctor away


Two daughter-in laws

Individual and vastly different

As all the seasonal springs and falls


Special and unique,

With they’re perfected

Talents and technique


Sparkles from my son’s eyes dart

Directed only to his

Very own sweetheart


Choices and affections are easy to understand

For they too are as antipodal

As the daily ocean sand


How happy to know each has found

The perfect mate

To hold his feet on the ground


Honest, smart, and beautiful, to see

Good loving mothers

They have shown to be


The same?


They will never claim


But they are perfection

Each to their own

Love and direction


What is that loud sound?

No one should be around

Is someone at the door?


There it goes again

It was much louder then

I do not want to hear more


The gate is locked

No one should have knocked

I am frightened to the core


All my courage I seek

Tiptoeing to the door I peek

The horse is rubbing its butt against the door!


Smiling as I walked her back

To the waiting hay stack

Relieved that Fear was no longer knocking at my door




Following the path of age was long and treacherous

Mud balls of ideals and experiences

Carefully collected along the way

Stuck secure and heavy to my feet


Overflowing responsibilities

Carefully gathered, stuffed in a pack,

And securely strapped to my back

Simultaneously strengthened and weakened me


Priding myself with the treasures I obtained

And armed with undaunted focus on easy times to come

I forged forward, compelled and burdened

With dutiful determination griped on my face


Finally seeking to redeem earned treasures

Redemption had turned to a mirage

Always disappearing just as I reached to claim it

The unobtainable reward had simply been the journey itself


I hear the thunder of the approaching storm

Lightning decorates the predawn sky

Weathermen talking with an aura of alarm

Dangerous hail and floods threatening damage to the farm


The family is sleeping still

As I worry and sit by the window sill

My garden is barely ready for harvest

Will the hail destroy all the rest?


As the storm arrived

My concerns were of many deprived

Previous floods of a season of extremes

Already have accumulated to overflow the streams


Last year at this time we had no rain

Yet the news was still of the resulting pain

From unmade crops and suffering livestock

Nothing but worry done around the clock


Still I sit here in the comfort of my home

Safe, cool, dry, fed, and never alone

Helpless against the storms all around

Fearing what could fall next on the ground


Suddenly the storm is over

No hail fell on the garden or clover

The squirrels are out in such a scurry

No damage done here except for the worry


Words swirling through one’s head

Only to fall in a heap dead

A hurricane of thoughts circling aimlessly

Memories of which are cast aside unwillingly


Efforts are made of the words to catch

Scrambling for meanings to unlatch

Struggling to put in order

And neatly enclose with a border


Words heavy laden

With philosophical leaven

Overwhelmed with emotions

Desperate to share intellectual portions


So much is forgotten

And becomes rotten

In a huge grammatical collage

As unattainable as a mirage


Happy to gather a little bit

One meaning is a happy hit

One successful sentence out of so much to share

Makes all the confusion much easier to bear


A focus leak

Of which we so often speak

This likely may be

An infamous battle of Alzheimer or  *A.D.D.


*Attention Deficit Disorder