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9th of August

The Time Given


Last weekend offered something all of us pray for, whether it’s an audible, breathed prayer or not:

Time with people we love and care for and MISS as the clock pulls us forward

My hometown library hosted a book signing, and Lindsey S. Frantz (a childhood best friend) and I were able to attend, and sign, our newest works. That in itself was a great blessing. To be able to write and share our stories with others. But the best was still yet to come that day.

We had friends and family in attendance, when so many other things were happening in the lake community of Monticello. It meant so much that people chose to stop by and say, “Hello!”

We saw people we hadn’t seen since the days Monticello High School stood three stories high on Cave Street. And that in itself was also like walking into the wonderful past.

I saw teachers I respected and still talk to this day. Vicki York Davis. Carolyn Harris. Betty Hyden. Allyson Upchurch Tucker. Beth Brewerton. And family was there. And best friends. The library gave us a solid 2 hour window. And the reunion saw people staying well beyond that.

Then, the night held more reunions with best friends opening up their home in Somerset and allowing all of us to eat dinner together. And Sunday permitted my wife and I to see my grandparents, for the first time in many years. My brother, sister, and their families were also in town. I was able to see nine-month-old, Henry, for the first time.

Before we left, Mom packed up yellow and green tomatoes from her garden and put them in our car.

We were exhausted arriving in Chattanooga. But the time permitted us to see a microcosm of what I imagine heaven to be. It was worth it.

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22nd of September

Stranger Things at a Stop Light


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One of the most beautiful things I’ve seen occurred on my commute to work yesterday. Something I hadn’t seen before and the epitome of what many might call a Hallmark moment. But, for me it was something else. It didn’t come off as cheesy in the slightest.

It distracted my driving, but in a good way.

I was driving in the slow lane listening to Weezer, and the traffic was stop-and-go. And I was belting some lyrics from the white album, and I came to another red light and immediately looked in my mirrors to see if I’d been caught in any direction. Then I glanced left and the car next to me offered this aforementioned Hallmark moment.

It was a beat-up, rusted Buick with the front bumper held together by what looked like bungee cables.

Inside was a young couple who looked younger than my wife and I when we first got married (19 & 23). The young lady was in the passenger seat, and she was reading aloud from a book I couldn’t see too well – to her boyfriend, husband, fill-in-the-blank. (I’d like to say it was a Bible, but I couldn’t confirm the text.)

And what spoke volumes to me was their passion. She was reading and he was locked in with two hands on the wheel. (Imagine a young Johnny Cash with hair swiped to the side nodding and listening.) She would read, pause, and wait to see the man’s reaction. He, meanwhile, listened and encouraged.

The light turned and we all were set in motion again. As I turned Weezer down, in my rearview I saw the old Buick go left. I replayed the image in my mind, their passion-

It was 7am. The car wasn’t new. Their dress and style didn’t suggest wealth. And, they had what many call zest. I could see it all in that brief window of time stopped together.

[Imagine what an image of our grandparents joyriding around town might’ve looked like 50-60 years ago.]

This was something unexpected, and I got a better sense of what the word ‘contentment’ ought to mean.

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25th of February

Options.


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I have a hard time picking out anything. Just ask my lovely wife.

In a Kroger, I once took 45 mins. to pick out a Hot Pocket.

There were just too many options.

Netflix. Help me please. There are thousands of good, bad, and ugly options in every genre of film.

We bought a car last year, and well, you can imagine how that went. I was comparing makes, models within makes, and cross-referencing dealerships with Kelley Blue Book all at once. And making a decision on that… almost killed me.

Now, imagine my disdain when walking into the new building where I work and discovering that on the first floor there is a bathroom labeled ‘Women’ and one beside it labeled ‘Unisex’ with a man/woman shown on it.

Nature called one day, and I opened the door (cautiously) and walked into the Unisex.

Inside there was a big open space, 1 urinal, and 1 closed-door toilet.

I tried to lock the exterior restroom door–no dice.

I didn’t feel it appropriate to use option 1, and option 2 was the most nerve-wracking 30 seconds of my life.

Suffice it to say that a poor decision-making man shouldn’t tackle these fast-paced locales often.

Much to my chagrin, the world seems to be offering more options than ever before, and I know it sounds ungrateful (because we’ve been blessed with so much in this country), but the overwhelming gift of choice has almost brought my mind to a standstill in recent months.

Phone types, phone plans, Subway submarine sandwich toppings, single or combos, best meal deals, best deal for a cup of coffee, best fuel price, best fuel type 87, 89, 93, trustworthy places to get a car repaired, best neighborhoods to live in, and best and best and best. The options seem to be limitless, and while I love knowing pets can have chips implanted inside them to keep them safe from ever being lost, I can’t for the life of me answer questions like “Would I like to implant my pet?” on the spot when asked.

That is all. Have a great night and tomorrow!

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Sed ut perspiciatis unde omnis