Archive | September, 2018

Some Things You Need To Know

22 Sep

Dear Child,

The words that follow are aimed at all born in the 18th year of the 21st century.  I don’t know what life will be like for you when look back from the observation deck of your mature years…is there still something called retirement?  But here’s what you missed by showing up late.

*I used to buy gasoline for 19 cents a gallon a the Fina Station where a guy would come out of the little office, wash my windshield and actually talk to me.  I couldn’t buy hotdogs or detergent there.  The A&P for detergent.  My kitchen at home for hotdogs.

*Places you could go watch a movie — pictures displayed on a big screen–where an organ would rise out of the stage floor and play Take Me Out To The Ballgame .  Like a karaoke group.  Karaoke.  Never mind.

*The little white frame building behind the record store on Greenville Avenue where you buy a hamburger…a real one…for 25 cents.  The place had only four counter stools…no booths or tables…but the burger was worth standing up for.  I smelled like the fried meat, onions and the wonderful place for about three days.

*You missed seeing my 1941 Chevy sedan, green, that I nicknamed “The Green Hornet”.  I’ll explain that some other day.  She had fender skirts on the back and a lowered rear end.  This is an automotive memory, not a personal one.  I couldn’t afford the necessary equipment to lower the back end, so I loaded the trunk with big rocks.  It worked.  I was cool.  Gas mileage was pretty bad.

*Jimmy the butcher used a big wooden block table and a fearful chopping tool to separate pieces of chicken or slabs of beef.  He never wore a net cap and he always flicked away his cigarette ashes before wrapping the ground meat.   There was sawdust on the floor of his work area, obviously as a sanitary precaution.  I think he changed it when it appeared a light shade of pink.

*I shook hands once with a man running for some city office.  He knocked on our door, came in, had a glass of water, and told us his story for a better future.  He was nice.  I think he stayed for maybe half an hour then shook our hands…mine, too…and said goodbye.  After he was gone my grandfather explained the difference between a statesman and a politician.  I understand now.  Grandfather was right.  When I get up most mornings now, I seem to always conclude that we need more of the first and far fewer of the second.

Well, I have other helpful revelations on my list but I must go for now.  My new ionic diffuser doesn’t seem to be connecting with the bluetooth setting and I may have go reboot the whole system.

Good luck.  Have fun.  Make memories.


Looking At Your Feet

15 Sep

SS Sept 15Where I live, exercise walking is a year-round invitation. Pleasant in winter.  Hot in summer.  Inviting all the time. But here in the Sonoran Desert, there is competition for the pathway, especially early in the morning, the only time to beat the summer heat.

Lots of critters go hunting for breakfast about the time folks put on their walking shoes and hit the pavement.  So when I walk early in the summer months, I spend a lot of time looking down.  Watching the path or trail.  I’m not anxious to walk upon a pack of hungry coyotes, or a rattlesnake on the prowl, or maybe a bobcat crouched and waiting for breakfast to hop by….rabbits everywhere.  I won’t go into detail about menus for mountain lions because those sightings are rare, unless you like to early morning hike up in the nearby mountains.

So, my point.  Many of us have grown accustomed to “watching our feet” as we navigate twists and turns on the trails…or to keep eyes down on shadowy sidewalks.  Some of us even go through the rest of the day looking down.

But, Oh, the things we miss above our heads.  Just this morning, two hawks raced low through the trees, did an after-burner climb straight up into blue sky and then performed an acrobatic spectacle that matched anything I’ve ever seen in the human world.  They turned to face each other, beaks almost touching, made complete acrobatic rolls more than once, fell freely toward the ground, then gracefully defied gravity and soared again.  After a few minutes they parted, one heading east, the other zooming low over my head.  I applauded, clapped my hands.  I’ll bet he understood as he disappeared in the distance.

And then there is the early morning art work in the sky.  The sun brings a delightful art display almost every morning.  Makes you want to sit down on a big rock and take it all in…but check behind the rock first before sitting.

Looking down is important, no doubt.  Important and necessary. But when possible, look up and see all you’re missing.  One beautiful surprise after another waits above your heard.

Your Day – Our Day

11 Sep


This is what today will look like.

No two are exactly alike, so don’t bother.

Today is not a contest to be figured out or won.

Today is a day to live with sacred creativity,
vibrant color, imagination and
splendid diversity.

Today is a day to be glad and grateful.


Singing Sunday

2 Sep

We woke this morning into a world of escalating dualism, the state of opposites, radical difference, us and them.  I’d like to go back to sleep and try this waking thing all over again.  A different location?  But we all know this world is the only one we have, or the only one that will tolerate us.

So, sometime today do something that will nourish a movement away from deadly dualism.  Do or say something that will counter critical separation.  Pray it, sing it, whistle it, draw a picture…lots of way.  But just do it.  Will your effort matter in the long run?  I don’t know but, wonder of wonders, maybe my song will harmonize with your song.  And then we will be singing our song.

Will any of this be the doorway out of dualism?

Only if we sing.

Tap Dancing

1 Sep


take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.”


One of the things that really excites Maggie in the early morning is her red leash.  She does a four legged tap dance all over the kitchen when I reach for it.  The leash means something special…in this case a walk, or a trip in the car, or a jaunt to pick up mail down the block.

She shames me because her joy is so apparent and mine is less so.  I don’t equate Maggie’s red leash with the one I choose to put on every day.  Mine is not a leash, but a yoke…which sounds unattractive.  But I remember that to be yoked is to be paired, and in the yoke I am invited to step into each morning, the strong force beside me is the Way of Jesus.  Everyday you and I choose a partner in the daily dance.  That partnering force can be fear or anger or despair.  They’re all waiting to sign you dance card.

Maggie wears her leash because I need to guide her around obstacles and potential harm that she does not recognize.  I teach her as we walk along together.  I guess you could say we’re yoked together.

You’ve heard the saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”.   Well, I’m living proof that the saying is wrong.  I learn something new every time I yoke up, every time I put on Christ as part of waking into the world for another day.  So tomorrow, somewhere around 5 a.m., if you feel the earth shake, don’t worry.  It’s just Maggie and me tap dancing as we hook up.

“take my yoke upon you, and learn from me.”

Matthew 11