Archive for July, 2010


July 28, 2010



Our Cottage

The Lodge

State Line Overlook

Pam and I left last Thursday morning for the Wright family reunion in Virginia.  I mentioned this reunion in an earlier post.  This was a reunion of her father’s family.  We drove 700 miles to Nashville on Thursday, spent the night, and picked up Lyndsey at the airport.  Then it was on to Breaks, Virginia, a distance of 360 miles.

I wanted to take a side trip off the interstate for lunch.  One of Pam’s uncles lives in Jonesborough, Tennessee and we had visited him a couple of times.  Johnson City is in the area and I thought we might find a good place to eat.  Pam and Lyndsey were charged with searching for a good restaurant with their cell phones.  They found a place to eat with the name of “Casbah.”  This was a “hole-in-the-wall” Italian restaurant.  When we found Casbah, it didn’t look like my definition of a restaurant, but it did look like a “hole-in-the-wall.”  MY KIND OF PLACE!!!  I ordered a lasagna and Pam and Lyndsey each ordered a dish I can’t remember nor pronounce the name.  But, the food was delicious.  If you have read my posts, you know that this side trip was what we call an “adventure.”  This is the fun in traveling, but some of our little adventures are often not fun….just different.

After lunch we headed to Breaks Interstate Park which is a real driving adventure.  After leaving the interstate highway, the distance is about 86 miles.  The highway is good for about 36 miles and the other 50 miles is crooked mountain roads….and narrow.  When we left the interstate, there was no cellphone reception and this also meant no GPS to talk me through the changes in highway every few miles.  I had downloaded maps from the internet and Lyndsey was assigned the task of keeping me on the right roads.  These roads will not allow the driver to read road maps while driving.

We arrived and checked into our cottage.  With no cellphone service, we are unable to contact any of the family.  Pam’s sisters did have a cottage next to ours.  After a short rest we went to the restaurant at the lodge and had dinner with many of the Wright family.

On Saturday we had registration, lunch, a time for entertainment, and visiting.  Part of the entertainment was singing hymns accompanied by piano, guitar, banjo, and mandolin.  Now for the “A Seed Planted” part of this story.  Pam’s Aunt Jack suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease and is also confined to a wheelchair.  She sat near the singing group.  I was visiting with Aunt Una and she told me Aunt Jack had sung every song and not missed a word.  Because of the Alzheimer’s, she couldn’t recall many things, but she knew the words of all the hymns.  I leaned over to Aunt Una and told her that what God planted, nothing could take away.  These “seeds” (hymns) had been planted since childhood and would forever live in her spirit.  When we take the time to look around us, we see the evidence of God’s Love and Grace.

We left on Sunday morning to get Lyndsey to the airport in Bristol, Tennessee.  She had a flight at 2:25 PM to a business meeting in Vail, Colorado.  Pam and I then drove to Meridian, Mississippi.  I had chosen Meridian to spend the night because there was a restaurant there that I wanted to eat lunch on Monday.  Pam and I had found Weidman’s Restaurant on one of our side adventures in 1982 and enjoyed it very much.

After lunch, we headed home.  I stopped for gas…Jackson, Mississippi I think.  Pam sighted the “Bee Hive Factory Outlet” and visited there while I got gas.  The “Bee Hive” was just their shipping location, but they told her to take the next exit for the main store.  So, we took the next exit for Pam to have a short adventure.  She found some rain boots and we were “on the road again.”

We made another detour at supper time.  During our evacuation from Hurricane Rita, we had found Rancho Grande in the small town of Timpson, Texas.  It has really good Mexican food and is operated by a Mexican family.  It was only about ten miles out of the way, so we made a little detour for supper.  We arrived home about 9:45 Monday night after driving about 2,400 miles.



July 27, 2010

Pam’s birthday lasts for at least one week each July.  Her “real” birthday is July 20th, but we started on the 15th this year…sorta.  Her birthday is really hard to forget and it’s not because it’s on the same date each year.  Years ago, she would sneak into my office and put reminders on my desk calendar beginning a couple of months before her birthday.  Now, in the age of cellphone texting, she just sends text messages at random times.

She works two days each week (Wednesday and Thursday).  We went out to eat shrimp on Thursday night, so I claim a birthday treat for that.  I planned a birthday celebration for Saturday.  We went to Beaumont for a movie and dinner afterward.

I like to plan ahead, so I looked on Chico’s website and found the newest arrivals.  I picked out a vest I thought she would like.  I surprised her on the way to Beaumont by telling her about our upcoming visit to Chico’s.  She just happened to have a Chico’s catalogue with her, so I asked her to see if she could guess what I had selected for her birthday present.  I thought after all these years of marriage she would immediately select the same item that I had picked.  Our minds to work alike quite often.  She picked, picked, and picked but still didn’t choose the one I did.  Now, I’m thinking I am in real trouble.

We found the item I had selected and it didn’t look the same as in the catalogue….and it didn’t fit just right anyway.  She sometimes has problems shopping for clothes because she is a size “0”…whatever that is.  But, all was not lost.  We found a lot of things that she liked.

Not changing the subject, but years ago I went to a weekend retreat for men only.  It was a ministry of Harold O’Chester, pastor of Great Hills Baptist Church in Austin.  While there I went to a breakout session to learn how to “speak woman.”  Women speak from emotion and men speak more from fact and action.  I mention this because when I think of buying Pam an article of clothing….I think of that one item.  From her emotional point of view, there are the blouses and other accessories needed to make the outfit complete.

This is not a complaint about the way she thinks.  It’s just a fact.  I won’t  tell everything we bought, but it was great!  And, I was able to sit in a comfortable seat and have everything modeled for me.  I felt like I was at a style show.  In fact, the manager at Chico’s asked Pam if she would consent to model for them.

After shopping, we went to see “Inception.”  If you haven’t seen this movie….don’t bother.  And, if you do see it and either enjoy it or understand it, don’t tell me because I will really feel WEIRD. 

After the movie I asked Pam where she wanted to have dinner.  She said she had first thought about eating at Carraba’s but then decided on Tokyo Steak House.  I told her when I woke up that morning I had thought about Carraba’s, but then I thought about Tokyo Steak House because it had been a long time since we had eaten at the  Japanese grill.  She said let’s got to Tokyo.  I told her “here’s your sign.”  (Blue Collar Comedy if you don’t understand).

Our meal was great and so was the entire birthday adventure.  Pam and I thrive on the little adventures we have when traveling.  Whatever makes her happy is what I enjoy most.  It keeps reminding me to remember that women think different.  Fact is, they are different and thank God for the difference.

God makes us all different and that is what makes life both challenging and exciting.  We think different and our individual Spiritual Gifts motivate us in how we approach life.  Understanding these differences makes life much easier to have relationships with one another.  We are to use these Spiritual Gifts to serve God and bring glory to His name.


July 2, 2010


This is a picture of my speedometer while I was parked in the driveway before going to work Thursday.

This is a picture of my speedometer when I arrived and stopped in the parking lot at the office.

A few days ago I noticed my speedometer read “0” as I drove to work.  When I stopped at the first traffic light, it was still reading “o,” but when I left the traffic light it worked fine.  It continued to do this early each morning, but worked fine later in the day.

It was doing the same thing when I left for Beaumont and the doctor visit on Wednesday, but it worked fine after a few minutes.  On my return trip home…everything okay.  Pam wanted to eat at Martin’s Mexican Restaurant on Wednesday night.  As I drove through downtown Jasper, I looked at the speedometer and it indicated I was traveling 120 MPH……..downtown!!!  I thought I was having a pretty smooth ride for that speed but was hoping I could stop for the next traffic light.  I checked my tachometer and it was normal….no red line situation.  So, I had faith I was not traveling as supersonic speed.

Yesterday morning as indicated by the above pictures, I was parked at 35 MPH and when stopped at the office parking lot I was still going 93 MPH.  It’s only three miles to work but I experienced an indicated speed of 140 MPH.   WOW AND WOW!!!!

I have an appointment with my mechanic this morning to remove the extra excitement of traveling.  It will also remove the mystery of wondering just how fast I am really driving.

So it is with life.  Sometimes we are traveling life’s road at the speed God intended when we discover that our measurement of speed is different than that of God.  The speed we are traveling is an indication of the effort we “think” we are putting into our relationship with God and our service to Him.  We must always take our eyes off our own speedometer and look at God’s tachometer to bring us back to His plan for us.

What I am trying to say, with great difficulty, is that our speedometer represents the world’s view and the tachometer represents the truth and God’s view.

Have a great July 4th and walk in God’s blessing.


July 1, 2010

Lyndsey told me to issue a warning about viewing these picturs…so you are warned!!!


These pictures were taken one week after surgery when Pam and I visited the doctor to get my first cast.  My arms really look like a mess now.   A few posts ago I had pictures showing the attack by my thorny shrub.  Those wounds were a lot less painful than the surgery.  My doctor told me a had major surgery…it is my neighbor who had minor surgery.  This is his way of being funny.  But, I guess what affects each of us is a lot more important than what affects others.

This is my new cast.  I had the first one removed yesterday.  I will have to wear this one ten days and then the doctor will remove it and the pin in my thumb.  Then I will have a time of physical therapy.

When I arrived at the doctor yesterday the nurse came in and picked up a miniature “skil” saw and asked me if I was ready.  I, of course, said yes.  When she began to saw the cast off, I suddenly wondered if she knew there was human meat under that cast.  If so, I wondered if she had a method of determining when the cast stopped and the meat started.  Well, everything went okay because she knew a lot more about her job than I did.

Using the left hand has really been an experience.  I have never heard of a left-handed (only) typist.

I guess the lesson today is learning to rely and trust in others.  First, we must learn to trust in God for everything.  It is Him who provides others for us to rely on.  My doctor is known as “the hand doctor.”  God provided him with the skills and talent to repair my hand.  The nurse who removed the cast didn’t just come in from the street…she was provided by God.

It is only when we learn to trust and rely on God through our relationship with Him that we are able to rely on others.  It is just like love.  Love comes only from God and we must learn to love others by loving Him.  God is love!

Sometimes we have a hard time relying on others to bless us by taking care of us.  By allowing others to care for us is a blessing.  It is also a blessing to them.  So, we must learn not only learn to receive and blessing, but to allow others to be blessed by their giving.