Patience Rewarded

The smelly girly-girl stayed with a friend the other night. Winding my way through stops enroute to get her, I called the friend’s mom. They were having fun and headed to lunch. “Want to join us?” Hmmm….

Thought I would be better declining and so I did. Probably not wise for me to eat a $20 lunch about now when $3 gets me just as full. That doesn’t mean I can’t occasionally have a tiny splurge though. An e-vile plan incubated in my brain cell as I told her that I wouldn’t be joining them but that they should skip dessert because I would meet them when they finished. Hanging up I could feel the pain as the brain cell hopped around happily for what was to come.

Realizing what was coming got that cell settled real quick and just in time. Left turn across two lanes of busy road right at a blind curve, yummy. That’s actually the easy part! The parking lot is tiny and tight. Really tiny and really tight. It is tight for a subcompact so a truck the size of Grumpy is an act of wishful thinking most of the time. Got lucky this time, three open spaces right together! I took those up by nosing in on an angle. Not my normal but I would only be a minute right?

Hopped out and went in to continue my e-vile scheme. In was into a genuine, old fashioned bakery. This particular one does nothing but sweets. It’s been there for many decades and it looks it. Not in a bad way mind you. The concrete in front of the door is worn down, the door handle is worn down, it has the feel of a place where they have done one thing well for a mighty long time. Matter of fact, they have done one thing well for a mighty long time!

This place is always a bustle of locals in and out. Nodded at the owner as I walked in. Vietnam vet, nice guy. Stood back waiting my turn. In comes a little old man so we struck up a conversation as we waited. Others kept coming in and making theirselves at home between us and the counter. With age comes wisdom and patience I suppose because we just enjoyed the wait. Finally the last of ten or so folks who were “in a hurry” had been waited on and the owner greeted the gentleman beside me and joined into the conversation. An odd comment took things off topic though.

The gentleman asked the owner if he had ever revealed to him that he was diabetic. “Nope” “I am and I’m still going to have my usual doughnut!” We laughed a bit as he continued while stepping to the counter. He revealed that he was into his nineties and he just figured “why not”. His doctor had told him to enjoy life in moderation. Then he dropped the surprise.

“Did I ever tell you that I was in the military?” “No sir” replied the surprised owner. The gentleman went on to reveal that he had been drafted for the war. After training he had helped us with a little problem on Okinawa. By his way of figuring that was a good look at dying so he had tried to enjoy life from then on. He was going to enjoy his doughnut! The two of us enjoyed his surprise revelation and his reminisce on that monumental undertaking.

I walked out with my honeybuns ten minutes later and met the ladies right as they were leaving. Thought about it as they ate. Mighty glad I wasn’t in such a hurry at the bakery. Nothing there was worth acting badly for and my patience was most definitely rewarded richly.

(For those unaware, take a moment to read on Okinawa. I’m sure it’s on Wikipedia or something similar. The vast majority of those alive today have no comprehension of conflict on that scale. It makes our “wars” of recent years seem laughable. Yes, modern troops have MOMENTS of terror but things such as this are on a scale that most now can’t begin to understand. I highly encourage you to see your ignorance as a blessing and to clearly see the role he and others played in your good fortune.)











…just because. Everyone needs a goal to beat don’t they?



Now, the link shows for me but, if you don’t see it, search “AARP, 2011, longest married couple”.





Have to chuckle as I have it on good authority that only girls can giggle.

In the midst of a call when the bout hit. Couldn’t help it really. The lady on the phone was perplexed. I reckon most would only react that way to bad news if it overwhelmed their system (literally) and I know it wasn’t what she’s used to. I wasn’t overwhelmed, I just found the whole thing funny. Yet more unexpected, unforeseeable bad news. An “unknown unknown” for the lack of a better way to categorize it.

For going on five years I have watched the world I love being torn up by one bad actor after another. As with Job, the Devil runs out of easy targets after awhile and has to start working for his lunch. The happenings are all on the same track but he has to be more creative in his efforts to get you to compromise who and what you are. But you always have a choice and you can always pick how you want to be.

Me? This situation does not get to comprise me. My girl and I are closer than every. She loves me more and believes in me more. Still doesn’t hurt that she gives the world’s best “Floppy Hugs”! The rest is an attempt to distract. Yes, it is a strain. I’m curious if I’ll have a heart attack or stroke first. Strain does have it’s affects but I can face that too with my head up. The medical care hereabouts may stink but there are only two outcomes really, supper with God and more of her love. I like both options.

So why the chuckle? Simple. The whole news was so out of left field and so strange that I had to appreciate the irony and the humor. There is the knowledge that this alone wouldn’t kill me. That is accompanied by the knowledge that he must be going bonkers if this is all he can come up with at this point. I’ve long ago made my peace with who I am and what I wish to be. This bit of irony that had me on the phone is another annoyance without a doubt but it won’t change how I handle the world and who I am. It won’t change the me that I hope others see and find influence in. Now….

How did you face the trials and travails of today? I hope you found humor in them and inspired those watching your way. Maybe you even got a good laugh out of it!









The kid was in the library. The loud sucking sound was her vacuuming up another haul of books. (I kid her that it would be quicker to simply mark the ones she is leaving behind.) I was waiting patiently (like the kind, wonderful, long suffering Dad that I am) by the shelves of books on Virginia. (Shame she wasn’t here for that last sentence. That would have gotten her wound up!) These books are a motley collection of the common and the obscure. Civil War diaries, genealogy lists, marriage records and so on. Quite by accident my trick paid off!

While waiting for Her Royal Highness I’ll grab a couple of these and sit to peruse. It is the same there as it is in any antechamber, the more interesting the read, the shorter the wait. Go figure. This time I told her to cool HER heels because Daddy had a winner! I finished the bit I was on and went up to the desk as she fumed. My little breach of etiquette was a direct intrusion on her desire to get home, flop onto the bed and read until crosseyed but I have good news. She survived the breach.

The desk informed me that the book wasn’t available for check out but that they would try to get one from another library in the region. Took a bit but, sure enough, they did. That book has since kept me thinking. Some day I shall purchase a copy for myself but for now I’ll settle for sharing and then I’ll go back to reading.

The book is “The Vanishing Virginian” published in 1940. It was written by a lady born to central Virginia in the late 1800’s. Through a series of vignettes she tells the story of her family and the world they lived in. She covers from around 1900 to about 1930 in these tales and each is about a 5 minute read. It is well written to be sure and it makes a good read but there’s more to be said as always.

She writes of a relatively well to do upbringing. Lazy days with servants and trips to the country are interspersed with stories of local interactions. The lot of it admittedly holds a special sway for me. I know all of the places she writes of and I’m aware of most of the characters. Her way with words gives life to people who passed long before my birth. That same way shows an alternate possibility for those I knew growing up. They most definitely did not have servants and they were in the fields working. Their summer house in the country was also their winter house in the country. The ways that her brood found themselves to “modern” for were the rituals these folks clung to. Her mother addressed her father as “Mr. Yancey” and she found this old-fashioned. It’s a prime example of the differences.

Through it all, it remains a wonderful read that you should drop $15 (Amazon) on. The opening by Douglas Southall Freeman (look him up and read up) is worth it and it sums it up well. This book is a wonderful and very uncommon insight into that time. The South produced very, very few books of this type during that period of 75-80 years. Virginia was at a loss in particular as she was such a unique state for so long. Where the stories excel is in the view they give of the era. It gives the outside world a chance to see that period in it’s own voice. It is a chance to understand where we were post-War and how we got here. It bridges Reconstruction to Vietnam in many ways. Her unique social and geographic upbringing means that things both cutting edge and old fashioned appear side by side so that a tale shows what’s coming and what’s gone simultaneously.

None of this was her intent. She probably didn’t see them making a movie of it either or the 20 some reprints but life is full of surprises just as sure as this accidental find has surprised me. So, if you want a good read that helps you understand where the South was, how it changed and maybe, just maybe, a peek into my youth, get a copy and enjoy.

Spoiler: When they got a car, she was the driver. It was very common for the adults to NOT drive these new contraptions. Usually this chore went to a child not old enough to work but old enough to need to be out of Mother’s hair. Imagine getting a new car, not knowing how to drive and putting your 10yo in charge! All of this in a time when pavement was a thing of the future and flats were par for the course!









Went to a funeral. Way out by most standards. Go out to the edge of nowhere, take a left and it’s about 4 miles down on the right.

The deceased was a pillar of the church but it was mid-day on a weekday so the crowd was light. About fifty folks attended, most long retired. The service was a good one with lots of the good hymns. We proceeded to the graveside where it was done right. The few cars ambling along all pulled over and stopped when they saw us. The geriatric drivers waited till the last prayer before restarting their engines. Respect and selflessness still lives in a few.

Back in we went, walking slowly and commenting on family plots. The preacher got waylayed outside by a person who he hadn’t seen in years. They didn’t have time to stay for the meal but apparently they had twenty minutes to bend his ear!

Inside we waited. Not a finger would dare touch that spread without a prayer. Small talk started all around like wind in dry leaves. There were those voices again! I just sat and listened as the ladies fidgeted in the kitchen. The ladies of the church would not dare put on a funeral without a fitting meal. Such a rude act would forever taint their reputations. So they wiped the counters again and I listened.

Those lovely sounds surrounded me. Tails, introductions and reunions ran together. I had fun putting stores to voices. You see, each community had a store back then. There was a store about every five miles. You would answer “What area are you from?” with “Near Tomkins store, between there and Jenkins”. “Say, that’s around Mr. Dodds isn’t it?” “Oh yes, he was a good man, worked for him as a boy. Our place is about a mile past him on the left, just before the church.” It is a conversation that makes GPS pointless if you know every road in the surrounding counties.

I listened to them trying to see how often I could guess “their” store before they let on. It was all good fun until the preacher entered and blessed the food. That done, the line formed. Ten country ladies cooking for fifty guests is anything but a fair fight. The food was set out on each side of the table and the tables were inline. Six 8′ tables loaded down on both sides equals a buffet line 96′ long! Finish it, heck, we didn’t even dent it.

What a meal! Almost everything was homegrown. The fried chicken was suspect. Definitely think it was store bought. BUT, there were three batches of corn pudding, two pecan pies, two fruit cakes (not the type you know), cherry pudding and more beans than most folks can identify. Given that and my general distaste for fried chicken, I’ll let the store bought chicken slide. It would be mentioned at the association but I suppose they redeemed themselves by the other end of the table.

Sad to see the deceased go but the day was a good reminder. Figuring  that Heaven might have that kind of friendship, food and love, well, I’d best behave don’t you think?











Let’s see how my head does as I tell you a little story before bedtime. You get another peek at the method to my madness and I get data so let’s get started.

No big secret that my world could use some improving nowadays but that’s no reason not to keep improving the world around me is it? Did I tell you about the new name for an old game that I took the liberty of creating the other day? We’ll use tying those two together as our story.

Had a bit of free time the other day so I headed over to Girly-girl’s school early. They don’t have anyone for maintenance so I do it. Way I figure it, that act saves a whole lot more each year than the PTF takes in on fundraising and it means nobody has to attempt eating my cooking at a bakesale. Not donating my cooking is probably the compassionate thing to do. It’s really not that bad but when the dogs won’t eat the leftovers it sorta hurts my feelings.

Fixing most anything I can do. Budgets, marketing and business management I can do too so I do what I do well. That day it was replacing the photocell on one of the outdoor lights. Easy bit of wiring, just need the new eye, some basic tools from the box I keep there and a ladder. Got the first two needs covered and headed to the gym. Therein (literally) lies the extension ladder and so there I went.

Walked in and paused in horror. THEY were there and they called to me. Now this school holds manners in high esteem and I kinda sorta like the name I was inadvertently given by a beautiful little doe eyed six year old a few year’s back as she walked by me working in a hallway. She paused and looked up the ladder at me. With a shy smile, she waved and said “Hello Mr. Jenny’ Dad”. Well, she didn’t know my name but she knew my girl and so it was all she could think of. It spread, it stuck and, standing two steps in the gym, I heard it as a chorus.

There, right smack dab between me and that ladder, they were. A dozen little smiling Pre-K faces waving as they sat in a circle on the floor. The teacher was grinning and waiting for the inevitable tomfoolery.

“What are you doing Mr. Jenny’ Dad?”

“Well, I’m looking for my lost ladder. Do you see it?”

The little hoard looked disappointed that I was being, well, grown-up, for once. Most of them pointed out the ladders as I walked on by. Small voices were calling for me to join them as I picked up the tall extension ladder and headed back. That long suffering lady just sat there waiting patiently as I walked over and stopped.

“What are you doing Mr. Jenny’ Dad?”

“I’m practicing carrying a ladder, what are YOU doing?” Well, that lit the fire. Suddenly a dozen little voices wanted me to understand the rousing game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” and join in.

“Oh no, I don’t think so” I replied in a way that let the teacher know that the game was afoot and her wait over.

“Why not?”

“Never liked that version of the game atall.” Yep, that lit up the little question askers indeed. One quickly asked the question I wanted.

“What version do you like Mr. Jenny’ Dad?”

“Well you see, y’all are playing the beach version and I like the mountains.”


“Up in the woods we played Buck, Buck, Moose!”

Oh, I got those little monkeys good. When I left the gym they were still laughing to much to do anything. Later I was informed that all the little kids will now only play this new game called “Buck, Buck, Moose”.

Why does everyone assume any silliness there is linked to me? I’m but a humble volunteer. Now, go play before bedtime.


(Head did ok-ish for this. Definitely better. Not good mind you but better.)

























Sunday Funnies


The funnies are still fun and, yes, I still take the paper! This one struck me as particularly worthwhile given some of what I see here so I thought I would share. That, as always, is only part of the story.

First, the current act. Decided to do the post and had at it. Holy Cow! A whole different set up opened with far, far more options than previously. Took a bit of figuring to figure it out but my what a difference. Bravo (for once) WP.

As previously mentioned, life has been interesting for the last couple of years and that is still the best descriptor. The Christmas time frame is of particular interest here. Used my slow period to type. A lot. My head seemed better and, given the time, I was happy to do it. Then, after a few days, it started to degrade. Luckily I’m smart enough to ignore my body and sally onward. Yeah, I paid for that arrogance. This is my first venture back here in about a week due to being a bit pig headed. Oh well….

Reading is fine. (Love to be able to do a post regarding the book I finished last night while waiting on a call.) Talking on phone or in person has no adverse effects. Typing is a problem and my head slips quickly. This post is being done in small segments for that reason. So it appears that I might be in and out of here for awhile once again.  I might read (with no side-effects) but be very limited in commenting. This is no fault of the various hosts, it is the cost to me for my ill-fated choice.

So, as always, my phone will ring and I will enjoy the call but please forgive me if I’m a bit less visible here for a bit.

Hope everyone is having a good year so far.