Thursday, July 31, 2008

Ellen,She Never Knew. Written For Maddie

Ellen never knew why she was not liked.
She had no friends in school.She always walked alone.
It began has a stupid kid's prank.In grammar school.
Spread a rumor.Tell all she has very bad body odor.
Laugh,look at her tears.
Ellen was not very pretty,she wore ugly glasses.
Her mother once had a birthday party for her.
About 10 or 12 attended,It was another disaster for Ellen.
She was the joke,she was the ugly one who had bad body odor and wore those ugly glasses.
She could not fit in with the others.
Steal her money from her desk,tell others how she cried again.Laugh.
High school was worse for Ellen.How alone can one person be?
I never saw her walking with anyone.
I heard they stole her yearbook.
How alone she must have felt.
I never saw Ellen again.She has been on my mind all these years.
How could we make it up to her now,so many years later?

My dear Maddie,watch the kids in your class,in your neighborhood.
A kind word,a small word of encouragement might make all the difference in the world to a kid.
Maddie I see in a kindness an awareness of how others feel..I know you are a person of great worth to all of us.
You are really a special kid to me,imagine how special you are to our Jesus.
Written with much love for you.
Love Papa

Robert, Slowly

Robert always took his time.
His bowling partners wanted to shoot him as he took a full minute take take his turn.
When he was pitching for the church softball team he took almost 2 minutes to throw the ball.
His tennis partners would be psyched out because he took so long to serve.
When he read a book he could not go further until he had understood everything on the page perfectly.
He had few friends,few had enough patience to deal with such a slow person.
His employer was always on the verge of firing him but Robert was doing his job and doing it correctly like few of his fellow employers have done.
Robert developed the habit of slowness over the years.His wife found his slowness interminable,he would take an hour to eat,he would take an hour in the shower.Breakfast, he would rise at 5 every morning because he knew it would take him two full hours to get ready. She had no love for this man,his kids avoided him altogether.If he started a conversation with them they knew they were trapped for an hour.
Robert knew he had this problem of slowness but after long thoughts he decided he could not change.
He tried praying about it but he felt God was getting bored.Who prays for 2 hours about their life's problems?
When Robert found out he was dying he knew had had much longer than the doctors gave him to live.What do doctors know? He could stretch out six months to two years,maybe three.He lived another six.
When Robert did die,his wife had him buried the next day.
After 40 years of his slowness she was happy he was gone and could get on with her life.
Arriving in heaven,St.Peter asked Robert why he was so late? Robert replied he wanted to be sure of eternal life before he walked through the pearly gates.
After being in heaven for almost 2,000 years he thought..I have so much time now,I can worship God until the eternal clock ran down.
When Robert's wife arrived a few years after Robert,he took about 200 years to greet her.
God didn't mind any of Roberts slowness.He was pleased and smiled.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Michael Peters,Cubs Fan

I have been a baseball fan all my life.
The Cubs Won the Series in 1969,the Santo years.I am coming out,I am taking all the credit. I did it.It was me who helped the Cubs win.
The early years we could only catch a game on the radio.It was a challenge then because only a few had radio's in the depression years.
We suffered then,always hoping for the Series championship.1945 did not count I thought.All the good guys were still fighting WW II.
The 1940's were awful.But we always had some hope some miracle would happen.
In 1948 I saw the first television broadcast on a small 6 inch screen of a Cubs-White Sox exhibition game.
The Sox won,4 to 1.

I watched every game I could.It was my passion.My wife, my family liked the Cubs,but they did not understand my passion.I loved the Cubs.
It was in 1969 I thought the Cubs had a chance to go all the way.
At the end of the season I could see the hated Mets were taking away our chance.
The 6 inch tv I had seen the Cubs on first had been in my attic for many years.When I was up in the attic I would turn it on to see if it still came on.It did.
The Mets were running away with my season,my heart was breaking once again.
While in the last part of the season I would go into my attic,turn on that old box and watch the Cubs on channel 9.
I slept often during innings,by this time I was getting into my 60's and a nap always did me good.
While napping I would dream about the inning being played.In my mind I changed what Jack Brickhouse was broadcasting.
I woke,seeing what I dreamed has really come true.
Changing what was broadcast was becoming a thing I never thought possible.
It became easy,dreaming of home runs, dreaming of long runs of victories,
Dreaming of Ron Santo,hitting 6 grand slam home runs in the final games of that season.
Of course the Cubs won in 1969,everyone knows that.
I have never turned that tv on again,I wanted to see if they can win now on their own.
It is now 2008.and the Cubs have a lead in the national league.I am filled again with hope.
I may go up into the attic later in the season.Or,maybe not.


James,the senior janitor at one of the largest high rise buildings on Lake Shore Drive was amused,again.
His great pleasure in life was seeing the garbage people threw down their chutes.
It had become his life's passion.All the wonderful items people tossed,electronics of every sort,phones,computers that survived the fall,radios, alarm clocks and so much more.
He thought he could make a living selling this stuff.
His first day back after a weeks vacation was looked forward to with great anticipation. Monday, the best day to do some serious sorting.The weekend was when people seemed to throw out the best trash,he just loved it.
He tried to learn how not to smell the rotten food and avoid touching all the nasty object in the trash.
This Monday James found a round metal can,it looked to him to be the kind of can cookies came in.He was going to toss it when he heard the rattle of something inside.It sounded like metal he thought.He tried to pry it open but it seemed to be stuck.he got a screwdriver and tried again to lift the lid.
Frustrated he put it aside and decided to back to his regular sorting.This batch had 2 cell phones,one worked.He then found 2 lap tops,not working but he thought there might be hope.
He worked his shift and forgot about the cookie can until he woke late at night in his little apartment next to the boiler room.
He went back to the trash room,found his can and decided to try to drill some holes in the top.
After a few holes he heard something that sound like a voice.Scared as he was he could not resist drilling more holes.
The voice spoke again,James I am going to kill you.
Panicked now James put the can down.
He stepped back and tried to smash the can with his foot.
The top popped off.Out of the can came James's worst nightmare.
Peeling off it's metal shroud,the little man inside walked over to James.
James last thoughts were of little men who lived in cans should be left alone.These cans should never be opened.
The little man went back to his can.He waited.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Three Old Black Men

Three old black men, sitting by their fire on the shores of the Mississippi.
The year is 1865,a few months after the end of what some called the Civil War.
They don't need the fire to keep warm its still hot at early evening in the far south.They are glad for the fire to keep the mosquito's away and to cook the last of the nutria they had caught the day before.
John,32 being born near the spot where they were now eating did not feel at ease.Knowing they could be be looking for him made him aware of every sound from the woods.John had talked to a white woman in the city,she thought it was inappropriate and it might have been so.He did not have the sense of knowing his place,so they often told him on the farm.
He could out run just about anybody,but the dogs they used are to fast,and show no mercy.
Isa was older he thought he was maybe 45,but he didn't really know or care much.Surviving was the only thing,and he did it quite well.He also was aware of sounds from the woods,unconsciously perhaps,but very aware.His crimes were escaping,aiding and guiding others north.His health was now poor and he could no longer run so well.Infections did not heal with no medicines.
Martin was so old now he was amazed he was still alive.His friends thought he might be 70,a very old age for a black man in 1865.
His quick wits were what kept him around so long.Martin knew things,he knew enough about life to keep him from capture for many years.He had been caught twice,whipped,beaten and left in the cotton fields for dead.
He had been married in the slave tradition,had about 15 children with several women,10 of them sons.All would be raised on the plantation,7 survived into their 30's.3 had died in infancy,4 had been sold off.
He loved all his kids and missed them greatly.The times when they were young was the best.They needed to start picking the cotton at age 5,he taught them how to survive,how to become invisible to the masters.It was important never to be seen,never to be noticed,never cause trouble.
The three had come together in New Orleans,it was possible to find work on the docks for 10 cents a day,more money then any had ever had.The nights had to be spent away from the city,they were hunted then.Days they were mostly left alone,they were needed at the docks and the slavers learned a bribe from the dock owners was sometime more profitable then a reward for a run-away.
Plans were never made for any future,what plans could they make?There was only survival for the day.
Isa always liked to sing,they could if they were quiet.The others joined in old hymns they had learned by some older grandmother who had some understanding that music brought some peace,a small escape in the daily life.
Isa would sing to himself if no one joined but tonight was peaceful,not to hot and the others felt somewhat safe tonight.
Martin had an understanding of the Gospel,but never figured out what it did for others who had that peace.
John understood and had a deep reverence for God and was afraid of some of the old spirit witches,left over and kept secret from African days.Masters seldom knew of these witches and were congratulating themselves for teaching the ignorant about Christ's love.
All three had heard about the proclamation of freedom.They thought the masters had not heard,or didn't care about any ol Linkun.
Lincoln was dead now anyway,how could laws be enforced when he was gone.They knew little of President Johnson,but he had not talked to them anyway.
Of the three Isa had leaned his letters and could add a little,he had some kinder masters wives who had insisted the slaves be taught something.They could improve their lot in life by learning something.They could perhaps become foreman in the fields.They could learn to count bales,count people working in the close by areas and help keep track of who was working and who was slacking.
Isa had heard about the cities in the north where a man was treated as a man.Where freedom was understood to be for all.He understood little about the realities of the cities but wanted nothing more to leave the south.
He told his two companions of his plans to go up north,he told them a man could make a dollar a day for his labor.He told them women were waiting for them,it was like picking cotton,east pickens.He told them of the snow,the cold winters he had heard about.This was unimaginable to them and they did not really believe much of what he said.
He must have been convincing because the 2 looked up with fascination,this man knew something about a life far away from here.As he spoke they asked about life there,could they really live there? Could anyone go in the cities?
more to come

Part 2
Gradually over the next few days the danger from the slave catchers became more scary to the 3.
The bribes the slavers were to the point of not being worth the trouble to the dock foreman.
It was time to move,to leave the south quickly.
Another danger they became aware of was the Confederate soldiers returning home.Some took trains, a few stole horses and many just walked back.
These soldiers were in a desperate position,they had no compassion if they came across blacks or it was worse if they were runaways.
The soldiers released from Camp Douglass in Chicago were angry,frustrated,hungry and in no mood for any compassion.Over 6,000 of their brothers were buried there,in a mass grave.Later these soldiers were dug up and re-buried further south in another mass grave.Chicago was developing its lake front and needed the room,so they simply moved the bodies.
The mound can be seen at Oakwood Cemetery on the south side of the city.The Confederate grave site was basically unmarked for about 25 years until the 1890's when a group of former Confederates who lived in the Chicago area raised money to build a monument.
Isa had known a few abolitionists in his short time as a runaway.On his masters farm he had overheard conversations.The visits of the abolitionists to his masters plantations were rare but he knew who they were and what they wanted.
Most were there doing business with Master Thompson and need his cotton.They would also mention they wanted him to get away from the slave trade soon.
When Isa told his friends they need to make plans to go north they were ready to go as soon as they could.They had no life in the deep south.
Where to go,how to get there,or anywhere was the questions now.Little sleep for the next days as they packed what they could.Pooling their meager change they had about 3 dollars.
They could buy food along the way,steal what they could and hope they would not be caught.
Isa thought of cousins he had helped send to Springfield,Illinois.That might be the place to go.They could not just move,they knew little of the north.Little of the reality of the trip could be taken into consideration.Nothing could prepare them for traveling so far.Perhaps it was a thousand miles,perhaps ten thousand.They were no maps,no compasses for them to help them find the way.
Isa would be the leader,even with his crippled body,he was the only hope.Martin and John would have to trust him.
Only Isa had a vague idea where north was.He had been as far as Alexandria in Louisiana picking up other slaves with his master.
He had seen cities with thousands of people and he thought they could move through the cities with animinoty,The countryside was what worried him more.
The three began their journey on a very hot day in the middle of August.They had no idea what date it was,nor even the month.No education was a curse on the blacks in this time.
They only knew it was hot,and time to move on.
more to come

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Historian

Currently reading The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.
I am stretched.It is very interesting and I find this is a very good,if deep book.
I am looking for a redeeming value of the book as I am reading it.I find the exposure to different cultures fascinating.
It truly is a good feeling to get lost in a book.To go places in my mind that I know I will never visit saddens me,but I am so glad to read about them.
Right now I am in Budapest,who knows anything about that city?
It is amazing the politics of the past,the wars and the times of peace.
Off to work on some clocks,then back to my latest book.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

She Married

These are 2 kids I used to know.

She married a boy from an Asian country.
The parents frown but try to love.
The situation is bad,she married for someone she thought was exotic I suppose.
He wants go take her and the child back to his home land.His parents insist.
If she goes back,she knows somehow she will never come back.Not ever.
She tries figuring out Gods will now,a bit late I thought.

She comes to me asking what to do.
I ask is the marrige real,is it a maraige before God?
She says no.Not now,not anymore.
I ask about his homeland.She would be almost in bondage to her husband,his brothers and his father.
The mother in law's opinion is not valid.Women can not be expexted to make decisions of importance,they can only buy groceries.
I ask her about this life style,is this what God would want you to do?
She stays here,he goes to his homeland "for a while".
She fears for her life and remains hiding,under a diffrent name.

I posted this in the hope that some oter innocent girl will see through these things with eyes wide open.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Where There Is Peace

Me-reading on the patio,the dogs playing around,chewing sticks they always find.
Drinking coffee,the radio on softly in the background.
Lost in the book,I see her at the door coming out to join me.
She has her book and reads,we are both quiet and a bit tired.
She has put up with my hobby,today she drove me 50 miles to see some friends at a ham radio get together,a gathering of nerds.But we both enjoyed it a lot with the company of Mark,who recently became a ham radio operator.
She suggests ravioli for dinner,it is excellent.
We are back inside now both lost in our books,content.
A short visit from my Michelle, Rob and the 3 girls.
Today has been a simple day with lots of walking,my blood sugar level is actually normal today.
It has been a common day,no suprises,no emergencies,not much of anything happened.
Lesson learned again and again.Find pleasure in simple things.Un-complicate life as much as you can.
Live life in peace,there you can find God.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thinking Out Loud

Well not out loud but always thinking.

Keys to Happiness book really are awful.

I do not care what movie stars think,or what they do or what causes they support.

Baptists sure can take themselves seriously.This is not a bad thing,just an observation.

One of the stores I go to almost every day here in town has the parking lot flooded with Jehovah's Witnesses.They need a new territory.
They now know me by sight and seldom approach.Maybe because I tell Linda "RUN!" when the get near us.It is a kick.

You never see Catholics in parking lots preaching.Sometimes Baptists are out and about.

I am hunting for a cure for the Neuropathy I have.Some web sites and doctors say its hopeless.One doc says its a bear to treat.
I do know a Great Physician,and am asking Him for a cure.Ask with me,please.

Reading Craigslist rants and raves is awful.These people are sick in the head.

If you are a Cubs fan,this is a good year.If they win or lose at the end of the year,I am happy for the ride so far.

My customers ask me sometimes what will they do if I should die.Who will service their clocks?
I tell them I do not know what they will do.Why would I care? Sheeesh.

In 35 years in being in business,I have had less then 10 bad checks,probably about 5.I think (know)this is a blessing from God.

I am still happily married,isn't that one of God's best gifts?
I am great full for an understanding and forgiving wife.I seem to make a lot of mistake's.

I have a deep affection for my brother Bud.

more to come

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fishing Tips Life Tips Husband Tips

Always strip off about 2 feet of line after a fishing in a river full of rocks.
It will have become degraded and will not be good for fishing the next time out.Some fisherman change their line completely,this is ok too.

Always thank your wife for any meal she prepares,it is a lot of labor you know.

Spend as much time as you can with your kids and grandkids.You will learn about life.

Sign up for organ donations.They are not much good to you after you die.You don't need kidneys in heaven.

Today is July 4,let's remember out soldiers and sailors out doing our country a great honor.

Get a hobby so you can learn about stuff.I like ham radio,it has endless learning possibilities.

I am still experimenting with pain meds,I have not found the right combination yet.I am somewhat better bt I am praying for healing. Neuropathy
is wearysome.

more to come..