Archive for June, 2013

“IF IT GOT ANY BETTER, I COULDN’T STAND IT!!!”

June 26, 2013

I received some really sad news on Monday morning.  Joe Metcalfe died on Sunday, June 23, at the age of 66 with stage 4 liver cancer.  He went to the doctor on Friday and died just two days later.

When Pam and I were living in College Station in the mid 70’s, we had the pleasure of meeting Joseph F. Metcalfe, III.  We worked at the Bank of A & M and one of the officers of  the bank married Joe.  ( We worked at the Bank of A & M, but we were still avid Longhorn fans.)

Joseph was fondly called “Little Joe” by his mother.  “Big Joe” was his dad.  To us he was just “Joe.”  We became good friends and  that friendship has lasted 40 years.  I have never met a person who was always upbeat regardless of the circumstances.  He was a most generous man and would never turn down the opportunity to help someone.  If you were down, he would lift you up.

Each time you saw him  and asked how things were going, his answer was always, “IF IT GOT ANY BETTER, I COULDN’T STAND IT!.”  We moved to Jasper in  1978, but this friendship continued.  I few years ago, he became a client and all the people at the office were amazed when they spoke to him.  It was always, “IF IT GOT ANY BETTER, I COULDN’T STAND IT.” 

I am sure there are a great many people who will always remember Joe as the generous and upbeat person he was.  His memory will always live on in our hearts.

Pam and I will be traveling to College Station today to meet with his family and friends and I am sure I will hear many times:  “IF IT GOT ANY BETTER, I COULDN’T STAND IT.”

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This the way it is with our relationship with God.  Regardless of the good times and the bad times in our lives, God is always with us and He  promises never to leave us.  With a loving relationship with God, I truly believe “IF IT GOT ANY BETTER, I COULDN’T STAND IT!!!

 

 

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“KEEPING AUSTIN WEIRD?”

June 25, 2013

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How would you like to being traveling at 80 mph on Toll Road 130 in Austin and see what looks like a huge 18-wheeler traveling ahead of you…in reverse!

The truck was really traveling about 75 mph and  was being towed by another truck.  When I first saw this, I couldn’t see the truck doing the towing.  We were in the  right lane, the truck was in the middle lane, and you can see the blue car in the  left lane.  It startled  me at first, but then I realized that the trucks were only doing  their part in “KEEPING AUSTIN WEIRD.”

I guess it would have really scared me if I thought the truck was coming toward me instead of traveling in the same direction.

Pam sometimes misses some of the sights we encounter as we travel.  She is often busy doing……

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her nails!!!

But, on this occasion, she was finished with the fingernail polishing, and was able to take  the picture on the toll road.

When we visit in Austin, we often  witness many people who are really doing their part in “keeping Austin weird.”  Quite often they don’t seem to know whether they are coming or going…just like the truck being towed.  In truth, I believe they have a general idea of  where they are going.  THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS  AS THEY SEEM!

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Sometimes, we are busy chasing fame and fortune and when we begin to achieve either or both, it seems we are successful.  IT MAY BE WEIRD, BUT THINGS ARE NOT ALWAYS AS THEY SEEM.  We focus our minds on all the things we achieve.  We have our hands full of the things fame and fortune can provide.  After all of our hard work to fill our life with “stuff,” we still feel empty and unsatisfied.  Will more “stuff” make us feel better?  No matter how hard we try we cannot fill the emptiness that still exists.  Why is this?  When God created us, he placed in us a “void.”  That void can only be filled with a relationship  with  Him.  Now, here is the “weird” part.  Our hands can only be filled with the important things when they have been emptied.  It is then that we are humbled and lift those empty hands toward heaven to be filled by a loving God who wants only the best for us.  GOD CANNOT FILL HANDS THAT ARE ALREADY FULL.

“BLUEBERRY FESTIVAL”

June 18, 2013

If you have ever read my blog, you will probably remember that Pam and I love the little adventures we take.  With us, it doesn’t take much for us  to consider it an adventure.  We seldom turn down an adventure…large or small.  In truth, every day is an adventure in some way.

I get a monthly magazine from the electric co-op and there is a section listing many of the festivals and events around the State of  Texas.  While I was looking  over these events, Pam told me there was a “Blueberry Festival” in Nacogdoches on June 8th.  We searched it out on the internet and it looked pretty interesting.  There was going to be a Blueberry Pancake Breakfast from 8:00 until 11:00, with the Kiwanis Club doing the cooking.  Now that is an adventure!!!

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Line to get fresh Blueberry pancakes

There were probably 100 people ahead of us  in the line to the pancake griddles.  They had two large grills and you could tell this was not their first rodeo.  One man was deposited batter on the griddle, followed by a woman dropping blueberries on top of the batter, and then a man flipping the  pancakes.  One block of the street was blocked off as a huge dining room (street).

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Blueberry Pancake Breakfast

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Pam eating pancakes

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Breakfast on the street

After eating a generous serving of blueberry pancakes, we walked to Main Street and visited some of the booths on the way to purchase some blueberries to take home.  We ran into friends, and after a short visit, continued to the location where the berries were being sold.  THEY WERE SOLD OUT!!!  So, we went to the  place where you could take a shuttle and pick your own berries.  They informed us the blueberries were not ripe yet.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

We wondered where all the blueberries came from for the pancake breakfast and the truckload that was sold by the  flat.  I am not complaining if  they had all the berries shipped in.  After eating my fill of  pancakes, I was content.  The blueberries were delicious and if they were from another area, that just fine  with me.

We walked the streets, visited a few antique stores, listened to some  of the entertainment, and  finally arrived at the Blueberry Hill Soda & Sweet Shoppe.  I had read they would be serving Blueberry Cobbler with ice cream.  Well, guess what?  They were out of  cobbler!  But, I am flexible.  I ate ice cream with Blueberry Glaze, topped with fresh berries.  I am content again!

After spending a little more time at the festival, we headed home.  We had planned on stopping at the Farmers Market in Lufkin and see if they had any watermelons.  As we neared Lufkin, I remembered Bryan’s BBQ that was featured on “Restaurant Impossible” a few weeks ago.  So, we thought it would be a real treat to buy some ribs to take home for Sunday lunch.  We did…and it was a real tasty treat on Sunday.

Then we stopped by the Farmers Market where all the sections advertised “home-grown” vegetables.  The watermelons were from either the Rio Grande valley or somewhere in West Texas.  The “valley-grown” tomatoes were nice and  large…the “home grown” tomatoes were small.  We did buy one “valley” melon and it turned out pretty good.  It was, however, not like an East Texas watermelon.  But, I am really not complaining.  When I was growing up on the farm, we raised watermelons and I know it is still early for watermelons.

BUT, SO WHAT!  WE WERE ON AN ADVENTURE AND ENJOYED EVERY MINUTE OF IT (EVEN WITHOUT BEING ABLE  TO BUY A FLAT OF BLUEBERRIES OR EAT BLUEBERRY COBBLER…WE DID GET “BLUE BELL ICE CREAM.”

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Speaking of having an adventure.  We were blessed with Blueberry Pancakes, Blue Bell Ice Cream with Blueberry glaze & fresh Blueberries, a rack of BBQ ribs, and a watermelon grown away from home…all of that in one adventurous day.  But, over the years, I have found a real-life adventure that can’t be surpassed.  When troubles coming at you from all sides, things don’t work out just as you planned them, and you have no idea what is coming your way next, a real-life adventure is forgetting your “Plan B” and relying on God’s “Plan A” and watch how He works out all things for good for those who love Him.  NOW THAT IS A REAL ADVENTURE..JUST GRAB GOD’S HAND AND HOLD ON FOR A GLORIOUS RIDE.  THE RIDE OF YOU LIFE!!!