Saturday, August 30, 2008
family and friends gathered today
it seemed the only gloom in the room
came from the paid mourners
gave our last respects to her still form
we enjoyed each other's company
i overheard a pastor comment on the laughter among the lot
he said it was good to hear in a time like this
there was laughter
hugs and cheek kissing
life's collection of loved ones
coming by to say goodbye
to someone already gone
nothing remains but the remains
only the outer shell emptied
of a beautiful creature now gone
beyond the pale
later we carried the box to the hole
quietly praised our Creator for her life
we acknowledged eternity
we acknowledged salvation and death
death and salvation
as i peered down into the red clay depth
pondering this final cradle
two saints spoke
saying there is more
we do not do this for the dead
we do this for the living
we do this to give God glory
that there is more to all this
than mortal toil
there is more
more than breath
more than earth
but rather more beyond
i hope that when i die
that more people will come to laugh
over those that come to cry
i hope that when i die
i leave enough stories behind
for my collection of loved ones
to laugh and remember the time
and beyond all hope
that God is glorified
another soul leaving mortal bonds for glory
i know that there is more
that will live beyond the grassy hill
beyond that red clay cradle
Friday, August 29, 2008
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
Gina's letting me take my birthday off tomorrow. That's nice. Tuesday night I'm going to try to get someone to watch the kids while Gina and I use that Red Lobster card that Tommy and Prissy gave me. That's nice too.
A strange thing happened a few minutes ago. Gina and I were working up a deposit. I was entering the names, check number, and amounts into Quickbooks when I thought I made a mistake. I thought that I had entered a wrong check number,1199, for a client's payment. How did I do that? I looked at the check number of the previous check and it's number was 1199 too! Both checks were patient payments and came in the mail today. They were the only patient payments that I picked up today. What are the odds that they both had the same number?
Another funny thing about the checks. They were the same check design - no flowers or kittens mind you - just plain grey with a thin black line as a border. Strange little moment nevertheless.
My cherry banker's chair is on the floor at home. They sent me a cylinder to replace the faulty piece that came with it. I called the manufacturer and the guy instructed me to hit the bottom of the bottom faceplate with a very large hammer. Of course the faceplate got all beat to hell but I discovered the wooden seat bottom had been damaged in the process. After contacting the company again, the fellow said that he would send me any parts that I needed to repair the chair. He called me Friday and said that there were no parts in stock and that the chair was made in China. Guess what - the factory is closed due to the Olympics! Last Saturday night Paul Smith told me that the reason for this is because of the smog problem over there. Just another reason to not like the Olympics. I WANT MY CHAIR!!!!
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Doug shared with me a blog he wrote that is posted here. Whether you've met him or not, you find the post interesting. I don't know how long it will be posted there. Doug has a heart for missions as long as I have known him. For the past years he's focused on building a "tent-making ministry" to fund his missionary work. Doug's a bonafide entrepreneur with a heart for serving God. Keep him in your prayers.
He wrote me an email that I posted at the (now pop-up riddled) abandoned Christian Brother's site. You might like to read his testimony and about his years while living here in Gadsden among the strange Christian Brother's folk.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Friday, August 15, 2008
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
The big news is school is officially on. I accompanied Kelsey to her very first day of Kindergarten this morning. She has always wanted to go to school and unlike her father - anticipated this day. School for Kelsey only lasted an hour. She went in and found her cubby and her place at the table. It was a very exciting day. I had to kill an hour and a half after dropping Katie off at middle school. Kindergarten at Southside starts at 9:00 the first week. After dropping a nervous Katie off for her first day of 7th grade, Kelsey and I had breakfast at McDonald's. I let Kelsey spend about a good while playing in the big plastic intestines in the kids play ground area. She had a blast and the morning went on without a hitch.
I dropped the Mazda back off at Baker Tire for the forth time and this time they found the problem. They were great about fixing it and know that they had to be getting tired seeing me walking in the door. They found a leak in a line, they think was caused during the time they were replaced the master cylinder. I am just glad the problem was found and fixed. I have been driving around town for the past four weeks with my right hand on the emergency brakes. I had a few scary moments.
I picked up Katie around 3:00. She wasn't that nervous stomached child I walked in this morning. She got in the van going on about all the nice teachers and how well the day went. Yep, school is definitely on.
I picked up the Mazda MPV after I got back to the office with Katie. I've been doing a little of this and that today. It's been a very quick and busy day today. I am glad that the work day is almost over and can't wait to get home and take a cold shower. We'll probably stop on the way home and eat something or pick-up something.
By the way, Pas'ghetti's on Rainbow Drive has an incredible sandwich called the M-5. It is awesome - very filling too. The family ate there after church yesterday. They didn't have what I wanted on the lunch menu so I ordered a sandwich. Oh my - it's very good stuff.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
By the way, when I post family images, I post larger files so that kinfolk can double click on and retrieve larger files to print. So take this opportunity to download these photographs for your collection.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
Mom told me that she was sixteen at the time the above photo was taken. She told me that her aunt Esther had invited her down to Biloxi, MS to stay a few weeks with them. She ended up spending three weeks down there. Biloxi back then wasn't the gambling town that it is today, mother said it still was an tourist attraction and had a large Army Air Force base there. She said there wasn't much to do down there other than stroll the beach and go to the dances on base on the weekends. Her uncle was an NCO that served as a photographer on base. He took this photograph of her.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
I woke up to the girls getting ready. I found Gina was on the phone going through what credit card could be used. We've paid most of them off and closed them out. She said that she didn't have anything and that she needed to do school shopping this weekend. Everyone knows it's no tax day at all the stores this weekend. I was the only one with a card still in play and I told her that her name isn't on it. That only meant one thing - I was sucked into the shopping vortex all day yesterday.
We've been doing plenty of work at the office - constantly in motion but the money has only been trickling in from week to week. What we've made has gone toward rent and bills at the office. We look forward to paycheck soon - that is if somebody out there pays us what they owe. It's a funny thing about this business - we help regain a quality of life to folks that they had lost and many choose simply not to pay. I guess they think insurance pays us enough - but third party insurance only pays what they want to pay. You wonder what goes through peoples heads. It's obvious to the naked eye that Gina's scrubs are worn and faded, our cars are old and used, and it would seem obvious to most that we are not rich folk - just people trying to make a business work and eek out a living like everyone else...but I digress.
So yesterday I was sucked in to shopping because I was the keeper of the card - the card that ruled them all. Killing time two hours here and two hours there while the Gina and Katie decided carefully picked over blouses, pants, and shoes. We spent two hours in Acadamy. Now anyone that knows me know that I am not a sportsman- fishing - hunting - eating raw fresh killed meat beneath the full moon kind of guy. Throw me into the woods with a pocket knife and a poncho and you'll find me dead the second day. I am not interested in Alabama or Auburn - the logos sewn on hats and socks everywhere. That's Acadamy for you. Most guys wouldn't mind it but I'm a strange kind of fellow. I just don't like killing hours at a time in a store. I like to get what I need and make for the door.
We grew tired around seven o'clock and left the mall. Gina decided to head for home as the thunder was heard in the distance. The skies grew very dark and we could see the mountains fall beneath the shadow of Morador. We'll just have to hit WalMart tomorrow. The closer we drove to Southside, the darker the sky turned. Lightning was vicious and closer as we turned onto 77 from Rainbow Drive. It was pouring down rain by the time we hit the bridge and hail the size of moth balls began to pelt our car as we approached Green Valley Road. The traffic stopped and we saw blue lights on the hill. We sat there for ten minutes and the trees were bending and hail continued to hit the roof and windshield. Gina said, "Well this isn't safe". I told her to take a left and we navigated alternate ways back home. We drove around huge limbs and our way was blocked several times by fallen trees. It was as if out of a movie.
We finally found a clear way home amid the turmoil. Kelsey was frightened in the back and Katie had moved over to comfort her. The hail had ceased by the time we pulled into our driveway. The electricity was out but we were home. We slept by candlelight. The power stayed off through the entire night and we didn't get it back until 11:00 a.m. I thought I'd post a little before we go out again - back into the shopping vortex. WalMart isn't as bad as the Gadsden Mall or Academy - I just hope it's not for another two or three hours.
Friday, August 1, 2008
It's drive-in movie night. Irene and Robby have been wanting to hit the drive-in for quite sometime now. So have I. Irene called earlier in the week hoping that we could go. We couldn't find out what was showing until this afternoon. I believe we are all going to see The Mummy (3rd movie of the franchise) and Hellboy 2. I've got the old Skylight popcorn popper going right now and will be taking a BIG batch for tonight. I'm also going to grill a bunch of hot dogs for the evening as well. Irene's bringing the drinks and cookies. I think the Elrods are just as much into the drive-in as much as I am.
Jose' just left a few minutes ago. He's been here since this morning working on my basement as well as painting my huge cabinet. I had to run to Colours paint store to pick up a particular paint thinner that would enable Jose' to run the satin black acrylic through his airbrush. While I was out, he quickly installed most of the trim around the basement. He did a fast and professional job. We continued to clean and prep the cabinet to paint. The actually painting didn't take long at all. Jose' also hung some nice looking molding around the top of the cabinet. He's going to be coming over again to give the unit one more coat of paint. It already looks beautiful and I can't wait till it's in my office. Thanks Jose'!
The next semester of school will be more of a demand on my time. I'll be expected to do lab work as well as classes. I'm also expected to do lab on Saturdays too (for the rest of the year). Gina's taking on yet another therapy commitment at work in which she said she'll need even more my attention as well. It's going to be getting real busy real soon. I feel good that the basement and studio area is almost finished. It's peace of mind. For the longest time we had a large construction site in our basement. The last of the trim is off the floor.
Gina never cared for the basement. When we first started the project she remarked that it was my area and my stuff. I told her that I would get rid off stuff and we'd fix it up to be a place where she'd like to spend evenings. We did just that last Tuesday night on her birthday. She's coming down here a lot more now that it looks more like a home. We've still got work to do on the old bar area. That area is now hers for crafts and such. She'd like a nice piece of furniture down there to serve off of. She'd also like some counter space and cabinets. That day is coming.
Gina's been gone all day to a one day continuing education course down in Birmingham. She went with her friend Brandy. When you are a therapist, you have to have so many continuing educations credits every year. She likes hanging with Brandy and they took some time after the course to do girl stuff together. She called a little while ago saying she'll be back in time to go to the drive-in tonight.
I've got some hot dogs to grill. I'll close for now.