Apr 032014

40 years ago this evening (it was a Wednesday) we were on our way to church.  We were listening to the radio in the car because there were severe storms in the area.  We were a couple of minutes late for church because we went down towards the Tennessee River, where we watched an ominous black cloud on the north side near the town of Athens.

When church concluded, two men who had been monitoring the radio during the service warned all of us of tornado activity in the area and cautioned us to be alert through the evening.

When we got home, Prince, our young German Shepherd, bolted into the house ahead of us, something he had not done before.  He then camped out by a set of glass patio doors with his nose sticking outside.

We watched the 10:00 news on WHNT-TV channel 19.  The weatherman, HD Bagley, was closely monitoring the storm system (and doing well without all of the high-tech gloss that they have now).  At about 10:15 he announced that there had been a tornado sighted in Flint, several miles southwest of our house.  Prince suddenly began whining with his ears perked up high.  Dad opened the glass doors, briefly stuck his head outside, then pulled back in and commanded all of us to get my brother and sisters and the dogs and get into the basement.

As we went down the basement stairs the power went out.  We scrambled into the concrete-lined room in the southwest corner of the house beneath my bedroom.  Suddenly our ears popped.  There was a loud crashing or crunching noise from outside, then all was deathly quiet.

I yelled, “That was it!!”  At least, I tried to yell.  I had recently had my braces removed and was wearing my thick rubber “positioner” in my mouth, which prevented anything coherent from coming out.  Spitting the positioner into my hand, I repeated myself.  Dad looked around the corner and saw a mangled patio roof and lots of branches and leaves.

The tornado actually passed over our house and landed across the street, destroying two houses.  Our house was unhurt except for a couple of broken windows.  Our grandparent’s house next door had a large oak tree lying against the roof.  Their motor home had been flipped onto its side.  Over 60 trees were destroyed in our yard, two of which were criss-crossed across the swimming pool.

We were without power for three days, and it took months for everything to get completely cleaned up.  I spent a lot of time that summer splitting firewood.

Three years ago we had a similar scare on April 27th.  At least none of those storms hurt the Decatur area, but many of us know people who had lots of damage and even lost loved ones to those storms.

Now that tornado season is upon us in full, please be aware of the weather and be prepared to find safe shelter somewhere.  Houses and property are just things.  Human lives and healthy, uninjured bodies are priceless.  Be careful!!

Feb 242014

A couple of weekends ago I was walking our beagle Rosie on a fine Sunday afternoon.  As we came up the street approximately one block from the house, we came to a driveway with a large oak tree beside it.  Sitting on the end of the concrete driveway were two gray squirrels chattering at one another.  They both kept shooting glances at the oncoming “predators” while getting slightly more agitated.

Suddenly, one of the squirrels jumped over onto the trunk of the oak tree and barked at his friend.  The other squirrel looked around wildly, looked at the dog, then zoomed across the street right in front of us, almost within grabbing distance.  Once across the street, the rodent took a huge leap up onto a telephone pole and looked quickly over its shoulder at us.

I can imagine the conversation that occurred:

“Look what’s coming!  A hunting dog and its, um, whatever that big thing is.”

“Yeah.  We’d better take cover.”eastern_gray_squirrel_73_by_easterngraysquirrel-d5wpwy0

“I dare you to run across the street in front of them!”

“Right. Sure. Go ahead.”

“What are you, chicken?”

“Well, no, but . . .”

“CHICKEN!!!”

“Wait! I . . .”

“Bwuck bwuck bwuck chicken!!!”

“NO! I just . .”

“Go on, do it!” [Squirrel #1 jumps up on the oak tree]

“But … but … I … but … but …

“Oh, POO!” [Squirrel #2 makes the mad dash]

“HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!” [Squirrel #1]

“Did I make it? Is the dog coming?”

Little did those two realize that the dog is mostly blind and didn’t see a thing – even though the squirrel ran just a few feet in front of her nose.

So, who tricked whom?

Feb 142014

Valentines Day 1960This is a photo taken by my father.  He and his younger brother sculpted this heart from the 17″ of snow that had dropped the night before.  The text was made from sticks gathered from under the snow and snapped to the proper length.  Dad says that people were stopping on the highway in front of the house and snapping pictures.

The little urchin there is me, 20 months old.

Here is proof that at one time I was somewhat cute.  My how things change.

The sentiment on the heart does not.  Dad still loves Mom, 54 years after making the heart.  And the grown-up little boy loves his mother and his wife of 34-1/2 years a lot too!!!

Feb 032014

Jon 2013You call this sweet?

Jon turns 16 today.

The world may never be the same!

We’re proud of our youngest son and we know that he’ll go far.

And we don’t necessarily mean “far away”.

Happy birthday, Jon!  We love you lots!!!

ThisWikipedia: This, in the English language, is the singular proximal demonstrative.

Jan 222014

Chris BunnyThe eldest child of our family is 31 now.

And he thinks *HE* feels old!

Happy birthday, Bunny Ears!

Dec 012013

auburn-logoThose were supposedly the last words of Apple Computer’s Steve Jobs.

There is speculation on what he was seeing when he voiced those words.

Want my opinion?

He was pre-watching the 2013 Iron Bowl.

Was that ever a game!  I have not a shred of fondness for the wretches that know only of toilet paper and laundry detergent as applied to elephants (I don’t know – you figure it out!).  But I must admit that the football game this year was an absolute classic.  Both teams played an exceptional game, and Bama’s overall performance, while not quite up to its usual standards, was still great.

Then came the ending:

As an Auburn fan, it’s hard to get enough of the screams of Rod Bramblett and Stan White on the radio in the aftermath of the play.

I will not offer my not-so-expert analysis of the game and the final moments thereof.  My opinions are my own and not always perfectly sane.  I will admit that I have not yelled like that over a football game in many, many years.

Maybe not since this one:

I just noticed that Bama’s quarterback in 1972 also wore the number 10.  Maybe this is a  number that they should avoid from now on.

Anyway . . .

WAR EAGLE!!!!!!!

 

 

 

Nov 282013

1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. . . .

8 The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. note

9 He will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever.

10 He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.

11 For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. note

12 As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

13 Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

14 For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust. . . .

17 But the mercy of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

18 To such as keep his covenant, and to those that remember his commandments to do them.

Psalm 103Wikipedia: Psalm 103 is the 103rd psalm from the Book of Psalms (Greek numbering: Psalm 102).

Sep 152013

Normally, we are all taught that the title of this post is untrue.

Whoever came up with that notion never paid any attention to NASCAR.

First, a little background that explains my personal take.

In the spring of 2004, and again in 2006, I was the guest of Rockwell Automation at the Nashville Speedway for the Busch (now Nationwide) series races in which they sponsored a car.  In ’06, Denny Hamlin was the driver and won the pole for the race.  I watched the 1st half of the race from the #1 pit box at the entrance of turn 1.  Talk about cool!

Anyway, our group all had pit and garage passes and were given the VIP tour, including introductions with the driver and crew chief (yes, I have an autographed cap).  Our host, named Adam, was the liaison between Rockwell and NASCAR.  While commenting on some of the rules in the garage area while we watched some of the pre-race inspections, he mentioned a couple of times that NASCAR is family-owned, and that the family has the right and the will to change or ignore rules at their whim.  And, he assured us, they do.

That is absolutely true.  Working in and owning a portion of a family business, I think that our family has the right to do as we please with our company.  The big difference is that we are not quite as public an outfit as NASCAR.  Our decisions are not seen by millions of people and broadcast all over the place on radio and TV.

Now we have the controversy surrounding the “Chase” for the NASCAR championship in 2013.  After the final race in Richmond, the field was set by the points earned by the drivers.  But there was the matter of supposed shenanigans by the Michael Waltrip racing team to change the outcome of the race.  NASCAR reacted by penalizing them enough that their driver was then ineligible for one of the 12 slots in the “Chase”.  That is understandable.  The evidence appears to be conclusive.  And, in the interest of fairness to all (except the poor drivers who knew nothing of the manipulative plans), it was probably the best decision.

What I do NOT understand is the action later in the week to whimsically add a 13th place to the 12-man roster just so Jeff Gordon could be in the championship, since he was only out of it by 1 point and someone had accused another team of manipulating track position at the close of the race to keep him out.  Cry me a bucket of motor oil!!

There is a certain race organization which seems to get away with multiple instances of rules-bending and tightrope-walking that earn other teams fines or points or both.  One driver and crew chief combination in this organization has won multiple championships, yet the crew chief has been suspended almost every year and cars have been impounded by NASCAR because of flagrant rules violations.  But those actions evidently do not merit the same type of punishment for favoring a driver or teammate on the track.  Another of his drivers has historically been a complainer about everything and everybody, especially when things aren’t going exactly in a way to please him or advance his points.  So why not reward his whining by changing rules in mid-game?

Well, as mentioned previously, NASCAR is family-owned, and the family can do whatever it pleases.

Including causing vomit-inducing disgust in someone who is rapidly becoming a former fan.

Sep 112013

September 11th is a day that most in the US will remember with anger and disgust.

In our family it’s slightly different.

Yes, we were all dismayed by the terrorist attacks by the pigs that hijacked the planes (I use the descriptive word on purpose,  Islamophile pigs).

But September 11th was special to our family for 9 years before that.

On that date, God blessed us with our third child, Benjamin.Ben in A330

This September 11th, he turns 21.

He is a senior (for the 1st time – it’s a long story) at Bob Jones University.  He is dating a very nice young lady who his parents have not yet met in person.  He has prospects for a wonderful future.

And he’s Ben.  And supposedly now an adult Ben.

Happy birthday, son.  We love you and can’t wait to see where God takes you from here!

Sep 022013

image

Someone had her 55th birthday last month ( on August 9th) and I neglected to post anything about it.

So here is a photo of her and her mother (can’t you tell?) with our daughter to the side.

Hope your 56th year continues to go well and healthy and happy!

Love you!!!

(Can I come inside now? This doghouse has fleas!)