(from my 1990 journal)
Before I saw her dead and murdered, I enjoyed her yard and ate her mulberries.
For only the third time in my life, I walked by Miss Boshell’s house and stood in her yard the other day. This time it was Spring. The yard is rich in green and the daffodils are everywhere. Mom says those flowers are from the bulbs Miss Boshell herself planted. Since she’s been dead 39 years, that’s quite a record. Buttercups–aka jonquils–must be more formidable than they appear. The trees have been cut down so what was her house-place looks a lot like an open field.
The first time I came here was in late summer around 1950. I was 10. Mom and several of us stood around in her yard and on the porch visiting. The simple white frame house was shadowed on all sides by large trees. The most interesting to us children was the mulberry tree out close to the road. Its fruit was large and juicy and hung down within reach. Nearby her muscadine vines competed for our attention. It was good to be in Miss Boshell’s yard that day. If the children talked to her at all, I don’t recall. Mom did that. We had other business.
Continue reading “What this place is saying” »
The wonderful Ruth Bell Graham compiled an entire book from the notes and scraps she accumulated from her desks, table tops, old files, etc. “Legacy of a Pack Rat” is well worth the few bucks you will pay to purchase the book used. I recommend it highly.
Now, to my clutter.
Before tossing it in the trash–the clutter on this table demands I either file it, begin strip-mining operations on it, or discard it, and the latter wins the vote–I thought someone might appreciate these. Use if you are able.
HENRY KISSINGER once said of U. S. diplomat Richard Holbrook, “If Richard calls you and asks you for something, just say yes. If you say no, you’ll eventually get to yes, but the journey will be very painful.”
That reminds us of the foolishness of resisting the Holy Spirit. “It is hard to kick against the goads,” as the Lord told Saul of Tarsus.
Continue reading “Scraps and observations from my clutter” »
“You can’t trust everything you see on the internet these days.” –Abraham Lincoln.
You get the impression some people find a pithy saying and decide it would carry greater weight if attached to the name of someone important. So, they say Lincoln said it. Or Napoleon. Or Henry Ward Beecher. Or Pogo. Or Charlie Brown.
A magnet on my refrigerator has this one: “It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” –Abraham Lincoln.
I find myself doubting he said such a thing. It sounds too bumper-stickerish to have come from our esteemed sixteenth president.
So, with my laptop open, I typed in “Did Lincoln say that?” and got all the sources one could ever require confirming or denying various attributions to Mr. Lincoln.
Continue reading “Did Abraham Lincoln really say that?” »
I’ll be sketching a long line of people at a church dinner or community party, and in the course of an hour or two will hear it a dozen times.
“Don’t draw my wrinkles.”
Usually I laugh it off. “You don’t have any wrinkles.” Or I tease that “I take the wrinkles from the women and give them to the men.”
Sometimes I say, “Hey, they don’t call me ‘Botox Joe’ for nothing!”
Why do people hate facial wrinkles so much?
Some child called them “crinkles.”
Continue reading ““Don’t draw my wrinkles!”” »
The McKeever crest actually claims that as our family motto, going back to somewhere, Ireland or Scotland or both.
I used to laugh at the irony of that. I mean, what were our people, a bunch of boy scouts?
I’m not laughing any more. My dad taught me how it works.
Carl J. McKeever, the 6th generation descendant of Cornelius “Neil” McKeever who arrived from the old country on the east coast around 1803, was definitely an original. The first-born of an even dozen children, Dad started working inside the coal mines in 1926 when he was 14. His formal education ended with the seventh grade, but he never stopped growing and learning and being curious.
At the time this happened, I thought this was hilarious.
Continue reading “What my 90-year-old father taught me about life” »
I bought three cheap little rubber snakes at Walmart to drop into the tall grass in my front yard to give my grandson a start as he goes by with the mower.
The only one they scared was me.
Son Neil was videoing it as Grant pushed the mower ever closer to the serpents. Then, at the magic moment, when he saw the snakes, he never batted an eye—but started to push the mower over them, until Neil stopped him.
Later, after I’d taken the snakes into the house, Neil returned them to the front yard and laid them in the flower garden as decorations. So, next morning when I went to bring in the newspaper, my eye spots the snakes and my nerves jerk before my mind has time to signal that “it’s okay; they’re just rubber.”
I bought them to scare Grant, but the only person they startle is me.
Continue reading “Hoisted on one’s own petard. Whatever that means.” »
“You have covered the heavens with your majesty…. When I observe the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars which You set in place, what is man that You remember him…? Lord, our Lord, how magnificent is Your name throughout the earth!” (Psalm 8)
This has been quite a week for science lovers and everyone else.
The New Horizons spacecraft did a fly-by in the area of Pluto traveling at a comfortable 30,800 mph.
And sent back snapshots for our enjoyment.
Pluto is handsome and a little small for his age, but still quite the character. He’s definitely someone we wanted to know.
Continue reading “Pluto, Hubble, and why I believe in Heaven” »
“No one can believe for you any more than they can eat your food and make your love.” — Anonymous
As I type this, I’m getting ready for a day and then a full night of prep for my colonoscopy. I’ve laid in a supply of apple sauce and chicken broth and Sprite, the kind of non-threatening foods the gastro doctor says one can have the day before going through this gut check. (heh heh)
I’ve done this before. Twice, as a matter of fact. And it’s no fun. So…
I was wondering if any of my friends would like to volunteer to take this test for me. It wouldn’t be exactly cheating, like taking the SAT in someone else’s name.
Any takers? Any at all?
I didn’t think so.
Several friends messaged that they’d love to take my place. But Charles has promised his wife he’d take out the trash tomorrow morning. And Elsie has an appointment for a pedicure. And Mike says he will fast and pray about it. The problem is Mike’s fasts are always two-day affairs and the colonoscopy will be over by the time he gets divine guidance.
Fact is, having someone fill in for me wouldn’t work, would it? Some things you have to do for yourself.
Continue reading “Take my colonoscopy for me. Please!” »
You poor thing. Life has been boring for you lately, and you have been searching for a way to perk it up, to insert a little anxiety into your days and wakefulness into your nights. We have the answer for you. Eleven answers, in fact.
Here are Joe’s tried-and-proven techniques, all guaranteed to add frustration to your existence….
!. Buy a computer.
That’s all. Just get a computer. From the first, you will be frustrated just looking for the “start” or “on/off” switch. You will gnash your teeth trying to figure out how to get everything out of the box and set it up. You will learn the definition of words someone made up, like “modem” and “yahoo” and “google.” Then, after your 10-year-old puts it all together and makes everything work, you will tear your hair out on an average of at least once a week.
This is not an exaggeration. It’s why a large percentage of computer-users are bald. It’s why almost no old people are on the computer. They would have been, but the stress killed them before they got out of middle age.
The computer is perfect for people with insufficient frustration in their lives.
Continue reading “A fool-proof plan for those needing more frustration in their lives” »
“In the beginning, God created….” (Genesis 1:1)
Real creativity is a God thing.
When you sit down to write or draw or whatever, remember that your Muse (the Original Muse!) has read it all and seen it all and inspired much of it, so He is your greatest Resource.
Those who want to learn to write should surround themselves with good writing (i.e., excellent reading material) and inspired writers.
Those who want to think creatively should regularly plant themselves among off-the-wall thinkers, people whose minds push the boundaries in every direction. They will loosen you up.
And then, pull back and spend a lot of time alone, thinking.
Go to bed thinking about whatever is bugging you, inspiring you, burdening you, pestering you, charming you, or puzzling you. Your subconscious will keep at it while you recuperate.
If something occurs to you in the middle of the night, you absolutely must get up then and write it down. If you plead that you are sleep deprived and insist that “this is such a great insight, I’ll surely remember it in the morning,” the single thing I can guarantee is that you will not remember it when the night is over. Iron-clad promise.
You must get up when the idea occurs. Write it down.
Continue reading “What I have learned about the creative process” »