Football in Texas is kind of a big deal.  More specifically, small town Friday night high school football in Texas is kind of a big deal.  Especially in my area.   It seems the whole town gathers in a sea of green and gold to cheer on our home town boys, The Harvesters.  Yep, the Harvesters.  Not the Bears.  Not the Cougars.  Not anything that can shred you to bits with their teeth or their claws, but The Harvesters.  Don’t get me wrong, we carry a mean sickle let me tell you.  Or is it a scythe?  I certainly don’t know what that harvester is harvesting with.

This Friday night just so happens to be our homecoming game.  Which I would be false in assuming everyone understands.  It pretty much took all my life to be proved wrong.  It wasn’t until last year when my sister, who now lives in New Mexico, said “you know…..I think homecoming mums are a Texas thing.  No one around here does it.” 

I was caught a bit off guard.  If you don’t do homecoming mums, what do you do?  I just figured everyone did it the way we did.  Let me explain. 

Not only do the students deck themselves out in green and gold, spray paint their hair, and paint their faces, all in the name of school spirit, but for the homecoming game, shy boys awkwardly ask out nervous girls, and then buys a homecoming mum (the gawdier the better) to be pinned to their shirts.

  The girls return the favor by buying the boy a homecoming garter to wear on his arm.  A parade kicks off the festivities, and the next night the football stadium becomes a sea of  green and gold ribbons, bells, whistles, and even feathers.  Not only are there concession stands, but it is almost equivalent to a fair.  Booths are set up and the smells of  burgers, turkey legs, roasted corn on the cob, fajitas, and just about anything you can imagine wafts through the stadium.  At half time, a homecoming king and queen are crowned and everyone hopes the Harvesters pull off a win.

As if all this fun and frolic isn’t already giving you a headache, imagine how I feel knowing my sweet, little, tiny, innocent 7th grade niece actually has a date to this thing!  When did she grow up???  Now granted, my first homecoming date was in the 5th grade with a neighborhood boy named Ryan and I guess I turned out alright, but I really wasn’t expecting this so soon with Ash.  

That little girl who made Santa Claus beards with the bubbles in her bathtub now has a boy asking her to homecoming.  He bought her a mum, she bought him a garter, his parents are driving him over to pick her up, they’re going out to eat Mexican food before the game.  Oh my.  Oh my. 

My niece Ash doesn’t have the best table manners in the world, and J-Dub harps on her all the time.  I’ve even been the one to mention, “Ash, someday you’re going to have a date, and if you eat like a hog at the trough, that boy is never going to ask you on a second date.” 

I almost hope she eats like a hog at the trough.  
It’s a hard pill to swallow, this growing up stuff.

And then I think of this little bundle of pink who is busy growing toenails in my comfortable, safe womb, and a ripple of panic courses through my veins when I think that this day too will visit us.  One day, when we least expect it, she’s going to grow up and catch the eye of some boy who will ask her to an innocent homecoming football game.  We’ll blink our eyes, and before we know it J-Dub will be walking her down the aisle, giving her away to some stinky boy.

Whoever said “Time flies”  sure knew what he was talking about. 
I wish someone could figure out how to slow it down.

In Memory of My Dad #29

Whizbang Red was the luckiest fisherman I ever encountered on a golf course in my life. I’ll tell you why.

Whiz was trying to retrieve a lost golf ball that he had sent to a watery grave when he hooked a seven and a half pound bass, and actually landed the thing, much to the chagrin of Rick Archer, our resident pro fisherman at MapCo out in West Texas.

Whiz wasn’t a bad guy, he was just awfully hard to be around, what with all his bitchin’ and crying.  I think that Whiz would gripe if they were going to hang him with a new rope, or at least be opinionated enough about the whole mess that he would give you second thoughts about hanging him.  You’d just want to go home and relax with a tall glass, rather than go through with the hanging.

And the man was an awful cheap golfer.  He’d slice one out-of-bounds and then spend 15 or 20 minutes looking for the ball, cussin and slashing weeds and whatever greenery that was growing along the golf course.  One thing, Whiz found a lot of golf balls no matter if they were beaten, scuffed and worn.

I was playing with Red that beautiful April morning, I had him about three holes down with but one hole to play on the front nine of Huber Golf course over near Borger, Texas.  To say there were a few obstacles on the course would be an understatement.  You may have to dodge a well-servicing crew working on one of the four oilwells on the course, or you could lose your ball to an armadillo family rustling around the sand dunes where they like to burrow. 

Whiz and myself came to the ninth hole, a medium long-par four.  It’s one of the three holes on the course in which water comes into play.  The hole played easy if you could turn the ball over—there was a nice level place down by the water that we called the “sweet spot”.  If you landed there with your tee-ball, you had an easy flip wedge shot to get home.

I hit a good tee-ball, and had maybe a 75 yard shot to the green and Whiz cut his ball out to the right and 140 yards over some big willow trees.  He tightened up visibly on the shot and dumped his tee-shot, “ker-plunk,” right in the greenside pond that fronted the ninth hole.

I put my ball on the green and two putted for a routine par while Whiz went on one of his world famous cussing sprees.  “Blankety-blank #&$!*#(#@#$%$#%%^^!!@$%$”  This was why I hated to play with Whiz, he was an embarrassment to be with.

Whizbang was playing a fairly new orange ball of some kind, one that he had found on the eighth hole, when he had hooked his teeball wildly out-of-bounds.  I didn’t know when he’d pay me the buck that I had coming, so I just said Adios and went home.

Early the next morning I had a game with a long-knocker by the name of Cryer.  Longcryer was a lefty and was armed with a driver that had crippled more people than polio.  We were both on the driving range warming up when the Frito-Lay panel truck that Whiz drove came clamoring up and parked right next to me and Cryer’s pick-ups.  We had all had experience dealing with higher ups and we frequently hid our vehicles next to the honeysuckle vine hedges and the sunflowers over by where the clubhouse was separated from the clapboard building.  This was where old men drank beer and wiled away the hours playing moon for 25 cents a game and 25 cents a hickey.

Whiz immediately started in on the lost ball: “That was no ordinary ball.  It was a new Pro Staff—you can see that ball from anywhere on the course.  Everyone is trying to buy one, you can’t find them just anywhere.”

“So what’s that got to do with that fishing equipment?’ asked Cryer, sensing another pigeon.  I moved closer to add my two cents worth, since I’m not adverse to cutting someone up like a boarding house pie when it comes to a golf match, especially a lame like Whiz.

To say Whiz was not a fisherman, is like saying Mr. Ed is not a Kentucky Derby hopeful.  Whiz said that he broke the “twine” twice while tying on the huge orange rapella lure onto the rod.  Twine hasn’t been used in fishing since the invention of safety pins.

Orange ball, orange lure; a coincidence, who knows?  They were both orange and that was good enough for Whiz.

Whiz stalked over to the ninth hole like a man on a mission with me and Cryer tagging along still hoping that Whiz would give up on trying to snag the ball and come play a little golf for a quarter a hole.

Whiz lined up the flag stick with the aforementioned oilwell, and started to make cast after cast, pulling out great gobs of moss each time.

On about the ninth cast the plug stopped dead in the water.  “Shucks, (that’s about as strong a word that I can think of to use in a family publication), I’m hung up,”  Whiz exclaimed.

Just about then, the drag started to screech and the line started to smoke as the fish headed for deeper water.  Whiz, not knowing how to play a fish, just horsed that bass right out of the water.

Whiz wrestled the fish for awhile there on the ninth green with Cryer and myself not helping matters any by trying to get our hand on the fish.

It was a sure thing that no one at this Great Track that we called home had ever seen a fish like that come out of those waters. 

By the time we got the bass hogtied and loaded, we drove the thing up to the hi-way to Big Tom Little’s feed store where we weighed, measured it and took a photo with a Polaroid for a keepsake.  The fish weighed 7 and one half pounds.

Rick Archer, who had loaned Whiz the rod and reel that he caught the fish with, was so sick of Whiz’s good fortune, that he took a week off from the welding job he held.  Archer fished the water hazard for a week and never got a nibble.

Whiz fishes all the time now.  “I used to not like fishing, but now it’s my favorite sport,” he said.

Me and Longcryer lost a producer when Whiz traded vocations.  He did go back to Huber Golf Club once more.  He waded out and found the missing orange golf ball.  It was about twenty feet from where he’d been fishing.

50 Rules for Dads of Daughters

My friend Suzanne sent me a link.

Actually she sent it for me to share with J-Dub.

I shared it, and then I read it myself.

I loved it.  I cried.  But I’m a bit emotional these days with my little girl on the way.  I couldn’t help but think of her and her daddy. 

And then I can’t help but think of me and my own dad.

This was written by a fellow named Michael Mitchell who blogs at and stolen from a blog

There some great stuff out there, folks.  I hope you enjoy it.

1. Love her mom. Treat her mother with respect, honor, and a big heaping spoonful of public displays of affection. When she grows up, the odds are good she’ll fall in love with and marry someone who treats her much like you treated her mother. Good or bad, that’s just the way it is. I’d prefer good.

2. Always be there. Quality time doesn’t happen without quantity time. Hang out together for no other reason than just to be in each other’s presence. Be genuinely interested in the things that interest her. She needs her dad to be involved in her life at every stage. Don’t just sit idly by while she add years to her… add life to her years.

3. Save the day. She’ll grow up looking for a hero. It might as well be you. She’ll need you to come through for her over and over again throughout her life. Rise to the occasion. Red cape and blue tights optional.

4. Savor every moment you have together. Today she’s crawling around the house in diapers, tomorrow you’re handing her the keys to the car, and before you know it, you’re walking her down the aisle. Some day soon, hanging out with her old man won’t be the bees knees anymore. Life happens pretty fast. You better cherish it while you can.

5. Pray for her. Regularly. Passionately. Continually.

6. Buy her a glove and teach her to throw a baseball. Make her proud to throw like a girl… a girl with a wicked slider.

7. She will fight with her mother. Choose sides wisely.

8. Go ahead. Buy her those pearls.

9. Of course you look silly playing peek-a-boo. You should play anyway.

10. Enjoy the wonder of bath time.

11. There will come a day when she asks for a puppy. Don’t over think it. At least one time in her life, just say, “Yes.”

12. It’s never too early to start teaching her about money. She will still probably suck you dry as a teenager… and on her wedding day.

13. Make pancakes in the shape of her age for breakfast on her birthday. In a pinch, donuts with pink sprinkles and a candle will suffice.

14. Buy her a pair of Chucks as soon as she starts walking. She won’t always want to wear matching shoes with her old man.

15. Dance with her. Start when she’s a little girl or even when she’s a baby. Don’t wait ‘til her wedding day.

16. Take her fishing. She will probably squirm more than the worm on your hook. That’s OK.

17. Learn to say no. She may pitch a fit today, but someday you’ll both be glad you stuck to your guns.

18. Tell her she’s beautiful. Say it over and over again. Someday an animated movie or “beauty” magazine will try to convince her otherwise.

19. Teach her to change a flat. A tire without air need not be a major panic inducing event in her life. She’ll still call you crying the first time it happens.

20. Take her camping. Immerse her in the great outdoors. Watch her eyes fill with wonder the first time she sees the beauty of wide open spaces. Leave the iPod at home.

21. Let her hold the wheel. She will always remember when daddy let her drive.

22. She’s as smart as any boy. Make sure she knows that.

23. When she learns to give kisses, she will want to plant them all over your face. Encourage this practice.

24. Knowing how to eat sunflower seeds correctly will not help her get into a good college. Teach her anyway.

25. Letting her ride on your shoulders is pure magic. Do it now while you have a strong back and she’s still tiny.

26. It is in her nature to make music. It’s up to you to introduce her to the joy of socks on a wooden floor.

27. If there’s a splash park near your home, take her there often. She will be drawn to the water like a duck to a puddle.

28. She will eagerly await your return home from work in the evenings. Don’t be late.

29. If her mom enrolls her in swim lessons, make sure you get in the pool too. Don’t be intimidated if there are no other dads there. It’s their loss.

30. Never miss her birthday. In ten years she won’t remember the present you gave her. She will remember if you weren’t there.

31. Teach her to roller skate. Watch her confidence soar.

32. Let her roll around in the grass. It’s good for her soul. It’s not bad for yours either.

33. Take her swimsuit shopping. Don’t be afraid to veto some of her choices, but resist the urge to buy her full-body beach pajamas.

34. Somewhere between the time she turns three and her sixth birthday, the odds are good that she will ask you to marry her. Let her down gently.

35. She’ll probably want to crawl in bed with you after a nightmare. This is a good thing.

36. Few things in life are more comforting to a crying little girl than her father’s hand. Never forget this.

37. Introduce her to the swings at your local park. She’ll squeal for you to push her higher and faster. Her definition of “higher and faster” is probably not the same as yours. Keep that in mind.

38. When she’s a bit older, your definition of higher and faster will be a lot closer to hers. When that day comes, go ahead… give it all you’ve got.

39. Holding her upside down by the legs while she giggles and screams uncontrollably is great for your biceps. WARNING: She has no concept of muscle fatigue.

40. She might ask you to buy her a pony on her birthday. Unless you live on a farm, do not buy her a pony on her birthday. It’s OK to rent one though.

41. Take it easy on the presents for her birthday and Christmas. Instead, give her the gift of experiences you can share together.

42. Let her know she can always come home. No matter what.

43. Remember, just like a butterfly, she too will spread her wings and fly some day. Enjoy her caterpillar years.

44. Write her a handwritten letter every year on her birthday. Give them to her when she goes off to college, becomes a mother herself, or when you think she needs them most.

45. Learn to trust her. Gradually give her more freedom as she gets older. She will rise to the expectations you set for her.

46. When in doubt, trust your heart. She already does.

47. When your teenage daughter is upset, learning when to engage and when to back off will add years to YOUR life. If you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

48. Ice cream covers over a multitude of sins. Know her favorite flavor.

49. This day is coming soon. There’s nothing you can do to be ready for it. The sooner you accept this fact, the easier it will be.

50. Today she’s walking down the driveway to get on the school bus. Tomorrow she’s going off to college. Don’t blink.

My life. My thoughts. My faith. My family

Well today is Sunday, and those who may have been looking for it, might have missed my “in memory of my dad story” yesterday.  I’ve been a little busy, which is no excuse. 

I’ve been:

  • sleeping (today anyway)
  • trying to revive a dead front yard from a serious drought
  • cleaning out a junk room of boxes and inessentials to make room for a crib and diapers
  • scouring baby books and the internet for the perfect little girl name
  • guarding my red toenails from pecking chickens
  • gathering 5-6 fresh eggs a day
  • enjoying the beautiful fall days
  • teaching a class of 22 darling second graders
  • cleaning, washing, drying, sweeping, mopping
  • attempting to bring my husband back to reality from our recent visit to Colorado
  • Oh, and building a baby

I went to Lubbock, Texas this weekend to listen to one of my most beloved Bible teachers, Beth Moore.  Some church friends and I spent the day knee deep in the book of Luke and Acts and reveling in the reminder of how awesome our God is, and I wasn’t able to get to a computer to post my dad’s story and did not have the wherewithall to post earlier.  I’m sorry, but I’ll make it up shortly. 

  While my dad was living, he spent some time writing commentaries and sports for his hometown newspapers, The Tahlequah Times.   My sister brought me a basketful of old newspaper clippings, so each Saturday I post one. I will post them until I run out of stories or until I run out of Saturdays, whichever comes first.   I chose Saturday because that was the day he died.  A Saturday afternoon.  Just a normal, unsuspecting one.  Much like this day 10 years ago when our country was attacked.  Much like the day when Jesus will return.  Normal.  Unsuspecting.  

 I had spoken with him back and forth on his facebook wall that morning, and was planning a visit in July for a family reunion.  That afternoon, I was home alone standing in my kitchen with a cardboard box and newspaper pages scattered on the kitchen counters, wrapping drinking glasses in preparation for a move to a new place when my phone rang.  I almost didn’t answer it because the number was bizarre.  I’m glad I did.  It was my dad’s friend, Jane, on the other end tearfully explaining to me “we’ve lost your daddy.”   I had to call my sister, my mom, and my brother.  It was a difficult day, as is days that come and go still.  My dad has been gone a little over six months and my goodness, so much has happened in that short time.  I miss him, and I so wish he was here to share what is happening in my life now. 

When I first shared with my family that Jason and I would be having a baby, both my mom and my sister remarked how they wished my dad was here.  How he would have loved to know the baby.  And it made me sad for a split second.  But then I remembered something my friend had told me and I had an epiphany.  We all come from different backgrounds and beliefs and sometimes we get stuck thinking ours is “right” and everyone else is wrong. I have a very dear friend who, when speaking about babies, she would often mention “spirit children” in heaven waiting for a body in order to come to earth.  I had never heard of this from anyone before.  Although it was her belief, it was one I didn’t share.  I hadn’t been taught this idea, I hadn’t ever read about this idea, so I dismissed it, quite frankly, as cuckoo.  Until the day I needed desperately to believe that. 

 I believe that our spirits live forever.  When we die our spirits live on, either in heaven or in hell.  And it came to me clearly, if our spirits live forever after our earthly body is gone, then how narrow-minded of me to think our spirits only begin when our human bodies form in the womb.  Of course they exist before our earthly body and of course they exist after our earthly body.  Of course there are “spirit children”.  And of course my dad’s spirit, who lives in heaven, and my baby’s spirit who lived in heaven, have met one another.  My dad is not missing out on knowing my baby.   I believe they have met one another.  In the heavenly realm of which we know very little about, they’ve become acquainted.  They are well acquainted.

I let my imagination run wild with this idea.  Not only have they met, and shook hands, and said hello, I’m your grandpa, but perhaps they’ve played together.  Maybe he’s already given her horsey back rides and swung her around in his arms.  Could it be possible that he’s sat her in his lap, hugged her close, kissed her cheek and stroked her hair.  Have they’ve splashed in crystal seas digging for the perfect skipping rocks ?  Have they held hands and played ring around the rosey on a golden street? 
Is it unfathomable? 
Not to me.  
Is it cuckoo? 
Not to me.  Not anymore.

I enjoy Saturdays with my dad’s stories because I get to hear from him again.  I’ve  never read all his stories, there were only a select few that he mailed to me.  I’m so glad I have them, and I’m honored to share them.  Granted, some are better than others, as are all of mine as well.  But we live on with our words.  We can impact people years later with our writings.  Last week his story told about a blue and white seersucker jacket he had that served him well for both weddings and funerals.    My sister commented and said I should have posted this picture of him wearing that jacket. 

That’s us in 1993.  I’m the one with the big hair.  Take your hands off your gaping mouths.  Yes, that hair is real.  Yes, I left the house with hair that big.  Yes, that hair was sort-of in style.  And that’s my handsome dad standing proudly beside me.  He was always proud of me, and told me often. 

I thank God he was my dad.  I thank God for the time we had together.  I thank God He prepared a place for him.  And for me.  We will see him again.  And we will laugh.  And hug.  And he will give me his sloppy kisses as he always did.

He loved much, and is loved and sorely missed by many.

Pics from the Reveal Partay!

This past Friday, some friends and loved ones joined us for a gender reveal party. 

Some wore pink, thinking it would be a girl.  Some wore blue, thinking it would be a boy.

Some wore black, thinking it would be…….uh, nevermind, I guess they hadn’t had time to do their laundry.

J-Dub and I were both decked out in blue.  No doubt in my mind it was a boy.  No doubt.

There were more folks dressed in blue than pink. 

The survey from my blog predicted boy over girl.


We began with a little game of “What do the Old Wives Say?” where different old wives questions were thrown at us, and the majority of our answers revealed boy. 

Boy, Boy, Boy.

The contents of this box would reveal the truth.  Would it be blue or would it be pink?

The moment of truth arrived with hearts all a’flutter.   Anticipation hung heavy in the air. 


The florist was the one who received the sealed envelope.  He was the one who first saw the ultrasound picture.  He was the one who packaged the box.  We were the ones to open it with the ones we love.

Pink and white balloons drifted out, screams and cheers lifted up, and tears flowed down.  Happy tears of course.

It was a day of love, happiness, celebration.




 And smiles.

Lots and lots of smiles.

In Memory of My Dad #28

A greenish color tinged the edge of the low-hanging storm clouds, and thinking back to what my cowboy friends all said, I knew we were in for one kinghell hail storm.
I had just pulled into Clearwater, just over the Texas line, and decided to seek shelter from the storm. It was getting dark, and I almost didn’t see the one business that was open in town. So driving past, I pulled a u-turn and parked underneath the awning of a deserted D-X station. Lightning was beginning to flash now many miles to the west, and secoonds later the thunder rolled and grumbled like a drunken sergeant in his sleep as the storm made its way toward Oklahoma.

It was downright cold for the last week in May, and the light golf shirt that I had on didn’t do much to stop the wind as it swirled and eddied the wheat chaff and dust there on Main Street.

I was on my way to a wedding of one of the Durees’ twin daughters and the only thing that I had in the way of outer wear was a light blue seersucker jacket that serves me well—both weddings and funerals.

No one looked up at my entrance.  The room was overheated as most places where old men hang out are.  Ahead of me was a little short bar with three or four stools.  It was a typical beer bar with racks of potato chips and pretzels on top.  There were also big jars of beer sausage soaking in vinegar and pig’s feet and boiled eggs.

A couple of guys were sitting at the bar, working men from the cotton gin, I could tell from the little fluffs of lint that clung to their clothes.

Around the room were scattered a number of tables—some of them regular cafe tables and some the slate-topped kind that you see in domino halls.  They’re slate topped because the players like to keep score with chalk on the slate.  Hell, in my travels around the oilfields and with the pipeline I’d been in a hundred such places.  I could speak the language.

I sat down at the bar and the old boy down the row from me never paid the slightest attention, just went on sipping his Falstaff.  The bartender got up from a corner table where he had been entertaining a pair of aging snuff queens. 

“What’ll you have?” he asked. 
“Bud Light,” I answered, thinking that a beer bottle makes a fine weapon if needed.

The bartender was a big, beefy type, the kind you see every day swaggering, blustering, usually with a pack of Camels rolled in the sleeve of a T-shirt that must be the uniform of the day for this type.

“What’re they playing?” I asked the bartender.
“Moon,” he answered in a hurry to get back to the girls.  Dismissing the bartender as a lost cause, I drank my beer, halfway watching the game over my shoulder.  Finally I wandered over and sat at a table all by myself, but next to the moon players.

Two old men and a young guy were playing.  The old man that I sat beside was called Amos by the other two, and he wore a flannel shirt that was buttoned up to the collar, a grey sweater with a  windbreaker covering the whole affair.  Underneath it all I was sure that he had on long underwear.  He was old and weathered with a bristle of white covering his cheeks.  He had the cold butt of a cigar jammed in his mouth. 

They took no notice of me when I sat daown.  Finally I asked, “Are sweaters allowed if they keep their mouth shut?”
“Not if you do like you say,” said the old man giving me a gruff look.

“I can handle that.” I replied.

After watching the game for a half hour or so, the conversation turned to cable tool rigs.  It turned out Amos was a retired cable tool driller, and I’d worked around the rigs for most of my adult life.  So Amos and I became fast friends in the mode of the oil field.

Shortly after that, I had commenting rights, which I soon exercised when Amos went set on a five bid.

“If you’d have come little, led your deuce ace, you could have knocked down his calf and that throws him in a bind over his cow.  If he goes small you’ve got him.  If he holds you, you trump back in  and lead your trump double and knock out his cow.  Then all you’ve lost is your one trump and your off rock and you’ve made your five,” I said.

“You’re mighty late with that advice,” said Amos giving me a hard look.

“I thought I’d better wait until the hand was over,” I said.

They laughed.

I was enjoying myself.  Sitting in an overheated bar in  Clearwater, Texas sweating a two-bit moon game.  Life is full of strange propositions, indeed.

After a while the younger man left, saying he had to get home for supper, and they invited me into the game.  We played for two hours.  I won a little but was certain to give it back by buying the beer.  I didn’t do it in an overbearing manner, just casual like, a stranger glad for the company on a cold west Texs night.

I felt good.  I was a little drunk, but very mellow, perhaps I’d even feel better if I could have struck up a conversation with one of the snuff queens, but I doubt it.

So I just hung around digging the party. 

The beefy bartender was half drunk by now also, and the place had filled up considerably over the last two hours.  People were trying to two-step to Hank Jr. and Merle and having quite a time of it.  It was small town Friday night at its best.  The bartender was bellowing out ths manhood to anyone that would listen.

It was about that time that the stranger and the bartender started having a  heated discussion that I couldn’t quite make out.

The stranger was dressed in the style of the ’50s, black vest, shirt and jeans.  He wore black boots that had little silver tips on their pointy toes, and the vest was adorned with silver conchos on the back.

Without a word the stranger took three measured steps down the bar, turned and with a great hawking cough spat up a great gob of phlegm down the bar at a Coors ashtray about ten feet away.

The bartender called out, “That’s one” and cheerfully wiped the bar clean.  The cowboy tried to spit in the ashtray twice more brefore walking over to the bartender and handing him a ten-dollar bill and promptly leaving the saloon.

The bartender yelled out something about winning and teaching the cowboy not to bet with him and promptly bought the snuff queens another beer.

“Yeah, that’s right Harley.  You really taught him a lesson,” said the old man that had been playing moon with Amos and me. “The only trouble was that he bet me $25 that he could spit on your bar three times, and you’d smile while cleaning it up.”

Life is full of strange propositions indeed.

written by Bob Briggs


Good News!

I’m on top of the world.  I’m just on top of this beautiful, dadgum world.  It’s as if scales have fallen from my eyes and I see things in a new light. 

In case you haven’t been following my life, first off, I’m pregnant.  With my first child.  At age 36.  With this came a scary test that informed us that our baby was at an increased risk for Down’s Syndrome.  A 1:75 possibility.  I stewed and fretted and cried, then I prayed, and others prayed, and the Holy Spirit granted me a peace that passes all understanding. 

Today, we had a consultation and an ultrasound that looked for certain “markers” of Down Syndrome that the baby may display.  If any of  these markers were found, it increased the risk for the disorder, and if they weren’t noted, it decreased it.  Some markers they look for and measure are the thickness of the skin at the base of the neck, the length of the bones, the amount of fluid around the baby, the veins and arteries in the umbilical cord, certain spots in the heart, and others.

God is good, and if you don’t already know that, well, you need to.  There were not any markers found!  I praised Jesus  out loud right there lying on that table.  The absence of markers does not mean our baby does not have anything wrong with it, but it does mean that the chances went down 50%.  So now the odds are about 1:150.  And that sounds pretty dadgum good to me.  We were offered an amniocentisis to determine 100% for a yes or no answer, but we declined.  Our faith is in God, not in medicine.  You know I’ve never been the “one”.  I’ve never won the lottery, I’ve never been struck by lightening, and I know that I know that I know my baby is normal (as normal as can be expected with the parents it’s been given).

I am praising God to day for His goodness.  His mercy.  His grace.  His gifts.  He has given me something that I never dreamed I could ever need.  And I’m thrilled to become a mother. 

I’d like to believe that even if the test hadn’t turned out positively for us, I would still be praising God.  I’m just so thankful and relieved I am not experiencing the other end of the spectrum right now.  Praise the Lord with me today!

On a different note, during this ultrasound they were able to determine the sex of the child.   I have some wonderful, caring, loving people who are throwing a reveal party for me.  I had never heard of a reveal party before my principal approached me with the idea.  It can be done several different ways, but generally speaking it works like this:  the ultrasound technician puts the gender in an envelope keeping it a secret, even from the parents.  People are invited over, and in some way the sex of the child is revealed to everyone during the party, including the parents!!   Yes, you are reading that right.  We do not even know the sex of our baby.

Our baby was VERY uncooperative today.  It decided to stay sleep with it’s little legs crossed.  The technician was getting frustrated, but she perservered.  Finally she was able to get a good view.  She told us to turn our heads from the screen, while she took the picture.  It was then stuffed and sealed in an envelope and hand delivered to my principal by me.  It was much harder than I ever imagined it would be driving home with that envelope in the car!  But we didn’t peek.  I do admit I held it to the light, but still couldn’t see anything!

the envelope, please......

Tomorrow we will be finding out whether we need a blue nursery or a pink one.  I can hardly wait. 

I wish you all could be there, but since I feel like you are all experiencing this with me, please join me in spirit and cast your vote.

The result will be announced tomorrow!