Archive for December, 2006

11 years.

Saturday, December 30th, 2006
  • Baby sitter?  Done.
  • Shirt, slacks and boots ready?  Done.
  • Pick up cleaned?  Not done yet.
  • Reservations?  No bone in ribeye this year, she wants lobster.  I have to find a good place for lobster.
  • Humble attitude for putting up with me all these years?  So very done.

Other posts about my bride.

See you later.  I have work to do.

It was all I thought it would be.

Friday, December 29th, 2006

It was the first present he opened.  His big sisters asked what it was.  He read, “Rossi fire arms, A GUN!”

Later we made our way down to the creek.  The wind was fierce and cold so we found a place downwind from a bluff.  It was still and comfortable.  We shot plenty of holes in plenty of paper plates.

He really liked the .22 better but the .410 did make him far less scared of the shotgun.  He can change the barrels on his own.  He can’t wait to get out there again.

I think I might take him squirrel or rabbit hunting soon.  Learning to shoot is one thing.  Learning to kill, clean and cook is another.

I’m sure we will have many good hunting trips in the future.  I’m looking forward to them.

Above and Beyond

Thursday, December 28th, 2006

If you take a look around any neighborhood in any town in Texas, you will undoubtedly see something like this.

Some are steel.  Some like this one are copper.  It is not hard to realize that Texans love being Texan.  Even folks who move here from elsewhere make the transition.  It is a pride that only exists in a few places and this is one of them.

This being the case, folks make a lot of money selling things that appeal to that pride.  Every pick up making company from Chevrolet to Toyota makes a, “Special Texas Edition!”  There are products out there that are so far removed from anything authentically Texan that it becomes a real joke with us.

Echo and I both love a lot of this stuff.  We too want to give our décor a mesquite cooked flavor.  So when my mother asked about it I pointed out a line of lighting fixtures that feature lone stars.  I showed here a fixture for our dining room table and a nice inexpensive sconce light for our front walk.  When my folks went to purchase a Christmas/housewarming/anniversary gift for us, they acted in true Texas fashion.

These babies aint cheap.  This was the thing that was too expensive to ask for.  I couldn’t be more proud.  I think going above and beyond is the best characteristic of being a Texan.  My parents are like that.

I installed it yesterday.  It makes the room.

Some thoughts about Christmas

Saturday, December 23rd, 2006
  • God didn’t consider Divinity to be understandable. So he became a man.
  • He already knew about all of my troubles. He became a man so I could understand that He knew.
  • To be a man, He was a child.
  • He was beyond poor. He was born in a barn, wrapped in rags and laid in feeder.
  • He was the smartest one in the place. The place was the Temple. He was a boy.
  • He made yokes, wagon wheels and maybe even coffins for a living.
  • Joseph disappears from the story. Who made Joseph’s coffin?
  • He said there aint a greater love than to die for a friend. He died for me when we were still enemies.
  • I have sinned and deserve damnation. BUT, I get to go to Heaven because He made it so.
  • Christmas is about His arrival. The Gospel is about His death, burial and resurrection. Those things can’t be separated.


Merry Christmas my friends. Know the story. It can save your life.


Here are links to my previous posts on Christmas.

What about Santa?

A little Ghost from Chritmas past.

My Chrismas wish List

Just for Me



Mr. V

Monday, December 18th, 2006

My wife likes to read from the paper back home. She never misses the weddings, anniversaries or the obituaries. Occasionally, she will announce news we really needed to hear. So last week she told me one of my favorite teachers died.

This got me thinking about him and stories about him. He did make quite an impact on my political beliefs. He did do much to support the things that were right about my character and make me question the things that were wrong. He was quite a character himself.

Vernon Albert Vasbinder was a real character. He taught high school government when I was his student. He did a good job. Everybody learned. Everybody.

He spoke with a strange lisp because of some damage to his upper lip. I never asked what happened to it. I just figured it happened in the war. This combined with his confirmed bachelor status and slightly effeminate mannerisms made him subject to unceasing ridicule. His commanding presence and self assured nature overpowered the teasing. I don’t recall him quieting the class. He just started talking and we immediately started listening.

When he taught about the various ways to initiate a bill in congress, he compared them to using a door or a window. He would say, “We can enter and exit this room trough the door or those windows. We typically use the door.” My buddy Kevin exited the class via the window that day. Mr. Vasbinder did not even shake his head.

I also recall one particular quiz. It was hard quiz. One of the girls in my class got a copy of the answers from someone in an earlier period. He knew. The following Monday, he started class by saying only one person in the class was getting the lesson. Even I failed to get a perfect grade. But this one girl stood out among us. She blew it off like the ploy did not affect her at all. I don’t think she ever cheated again.

A few years later, I was working at Wal-Mart and going to school. Mr Vasbinder was picking up a few things when he saw me tucking my apron into my bookbag and walking out to go to class. He asked, “Class in-between shifts, boy?” Unable to stop and chat, I pointed at the end of my nose and we both nodded. He caught up with me on a different day and we talked as I stocked the shelves with eggs and butter. He had retired. He seemed very happy. He seemed very pleased that I was still a Goldwater/Reagan conservative. I told him about the girl who cheated and how she became a flight attendant. I asked him if he thought his praises actually heaped any coals on her head. He said, “Teachers just plant the seeds and water. We don’t worry about how big those weeds actually grow.” That was the last thing I heard him say.

Thanks for the memories Mr.V.

I hope she listened.

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Tonight my 16 year old daughter shared a dilemma with me.  She likes a boy.  He told her he is going to dump his girlfriend.  Of course, the girls are friends too.

She needed my guidance but her actions are her own.  So, I reverted back to same advice I was once given.  I wish I would have listened when it was given to me.  I couldn’t help from using that old axiom, “Honey, whatever he’ll do with you, he’ll do to you.”

So now the gauntlet is set.  Will she do the right thing or will she do what I did?  She doesn’t need that kind of heartache.  Neither did I.  Certain lessons can’t be taught.  Yet, I don’t want her to know some things.

See, I was a miserable teen.  I was constantly depressed by the consequences of my own actions.  I made my folks grey before their time.  The difficulty with teens is they have to make so many decisions on their own.  When they do that well, a parent swells with pride.  When they don’t, a parent can take it pretty hard.

I’m happy that she trusts me though.  She comes to me with these problems.  The worry comes from wondering if she is truly looking for advice or just seeking for affirmation of a bad decision.

I know the onus is on her.  But, I feel like my burden is greater than hers.

So, I’m going to pray away the worry.  I might benefit from a few of your prayers too.

Moving the Doghouse.

Friday, December 8th, 2006

“That thing is too big to move on a little pickup.  You better get something bigger.”

“How in the world are you going to move that monstrosity?”

Answer:  Imagination,  Determination and Persperation.