Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 14, 2009
Sunday, December 06, 2009
The hardest words
I thought I knew the hardest words
When they told me my daughter was ill
The doctors did all they could, but to no avail
She grew weaker every day
I prepared my heart for the hard words
I never wanted to hear
Words surrounded me
Words of comfort and words of dread
Every new test brought words of optimism
Every new result brought the words of despair
The words came and went
But the hardest words still loomed ahead
I heard of a healer passing through the town
He and His followers were crowded by a mob
I heard He held healing in His very touch
I can’t recall now whether it was faith or desperation
That drove me down the streets
Drawing closer to the crowd and the healer in the midst
Words surrounded me as I drew close
The crying of the mob seeking his favor and attention
Everyone was trying to get closer
Just to touch even the hem of the garment He wore
Then suddenly I was standing before Him
And saying what I thought were the hardest words
“Lord, Come and heal my daughter
She lies at the point of death”
Even as I spoke the words
They tore through my heart
To speak them aloud seemed to give them strength
And they became the hardest words I had ever said
He healed others as we traveled
Time seemed to drag as we moved
Then came the messenger I never wanted to see
With the words I never wanted to hear
He held them in his mouth waiting to spill
The hardest words, “Your daughter is dead”
I never thought there could be harder words
Until Jesus turned to me and spoke
“Be not afraid, only believe”
For months, possibly even years
I watched my daughter slowly die
Every doctor’s words were harder than the last
As one by one they extinguished each word of hope
And every hard word became a brick
That built a wall around my heart
Now, the messenger, with the final brick
Brought me the words I thought I feared the most
I had built this dread in the silent place in my heart
Where the words dared not be whispered
Where, there way down deep, still lived a small hope
That was broken irrevocably by these few words
How can He say to me now
For years I have believed
And watched that belief stripped one layer at a time
For months, through the endless procession of physicians
Each taking a piece of my belief as they shook their heads
And now that the final piece has been swept away
He tells me to ‘only believe’
These are the hardest words I have ever heard
Today, as I watch my daughter playing with her friends
As I watch her comb and braid her doll’s hair
As I see her giggle at the glance of some boy in her direction
The hardest words still echo inside me
I give these words to you, today
In the middle of your trial
In the midst of your despair
Surrounded by all the other words
That seek to rob you of your faith
Hold on to the hardest words
Ron Simpson, Jr.
December 6, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Friday, August 21, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Everything changes on the face of it
Amazed at how one singular event can do that
Amazing more still is the commonality
And yet complexity of said event
It happens about four times every second of every day
It is a staggering statistic to view all at once
But to each individual involved in this statistic
It is a singularly significant event
Sometimes planned and sometimes not
Eagerly anticipated for months
Building to a physical and emotional crescendo
And topped with a miracle
I wonder if you listened from the inside
While we planned and discussed about you outside
I wonder if you felt the love that held you
Even before our hands and arms held you
I wonder if you fussed in there
When we invaded your privacy
When we took pictures with sound
And examined you up, down, and side to side
Did you feel some bit of understanding
As we touched and rubbed your temporary home
As we awaited your flutters and kicks
As we wanted to feel and be felt in return
Could you sense our impatience in there
As we wrestled with what we wanted the most
And what we knew was the best for you
And how we waited .. and waited .. and waited
Did you know the beautiful violence
That would move you from your warmth
To the warmth of our multiples of affection
And the tenderness of our loving gaze
Will you ever know the fullness of the love
That brought you here to us
Far above the love felt betwixt a man and woman
Until the day of your own singularly common miracle
A little hard labor
A couple pushes
And there you were, squirt
Kiera Jo Faith Bolton
August 10, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
We have one chair downstairs that is semi-comfortable. We will work on making it more so, so she can get back into the traffic areas of the house.
We shall see.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Monday, July 06, 2009
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Friday, July 03, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Thursday, June 25, 2009
However, as the heat finally arrived, (lights flickering here .. might lose power) people cried and bemoaned the heat.
I am not sure where everyone has been, but usually, there is a period of cold (we call it winter) followed by milder wetter weather, (we call it Spring) and then the heat arrives and fans and A/C's begin to overwork (we call it Summer.) It has happened this was for a long time.
Some of you must be new to the planet.
Welcome to Earth, third rock from the sun.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
Saturday, June 06, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
We had pizza and pasta from Pizza Hut. We had some old school games. We played Loaded Questions and Password. Chella was downstairs watching Bones while we finished eating. When we called her upstairs, Tj had coordinated a surprise. Once she was fully into the sitting room, adjoining our bedroom, she was attacked by three manics bearing cans of silly string. She had her own can and the war was on. There was string everywhere. It was a blast.
Then we cleaned up and settled down to play the games. We played until about 10 PM. We had fun. we laughed. We laughed. Then, we laughed some more. It was a great night.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
Monday, May 25, 2009
It has been well said that freedom is never free. It is easy sometimes, born into freedom, to consider it a birthright. We might lose sight of the price, being so far from it. I have never fought on any foreign shore. I have never spilled my blood defending this glorious nation. Far removed from the smoke of the battlefield, it is easy to lose the cries of freedoms battle.
The sound of freedom is not the big brass band. That is the celebration of freedom. The roar of the crowd is not the sound of freedom. That is the triumph of freedom. Summer dogs and burgers are not the taste of freedom. Sparklers and fireworks are not the fire of freedom. They are just the glitter.
The sound of freedom is the last gasp of a soldier. It is the soft sob of a mother clutching the folded flag. The taste of freedom is the acrid mix of gunpowder and blood. The fires of freedom burn in the hearts of men and women, not in the burning metal rods we wave. The band, the roar, the dogs and burgers, the sparklers and the fireworks, are all good if we don't lose sight of the price of freedom.
Sometime in the middle of your reverie, take time to remember. Take time see the flash of freedom. Take time to taste the coppery taste of freedom. Take time to hear the gasp and sob of real freedom. Find a way to feel free.
Friday, May 22, 2009
I did do this drawing recently. It is Dad. The lower right is him at 19 years old and in the US Air Force. The upper left is his 50th year wedding anniversary. I still miss him so.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
It has been a busy few days for me. There has been errands, and family, and driving, and drawing. Mom called me Sunday morning to let me know her brother-in-law (my uncle) Joe had passed away in Germany. I had to make arrangements for international calling on her cell phone as she was flying out on Monday. She was planning a trip to Germany in July. This moved her plans drastically.
I was in Church Sunday morning/afternoon in Flemingsburg (home church) which is 33 miles one way. When I got home, I had enough time to sit down and then drive to be in church with Mom in Lexington (42 miles one way.) So, it was a busy Sunday. While I was driving and churching (I am sure this should be a word. Active church going must be churching,) TJ and Kyle pulled up the carpet in the downstairs foyer. It is hardwood floors underneath. We will be sanding, varnishing, and shellacking. We intend to also remove the carpeting from Kyles room. there will be more sanding, varnishing and shellacking there.
Thursday, I dropped of the necessary metal for the welding shop to make my meter key. It was done on Friday. I now can turn of my water whenever I need to do so. I have several pending plumbing jobs to do. This gives me much more flexibility in doing them. We plan on replacing the stand alone pedestal sink in the bathroom. I am not sure if it came with the house when it was built about 100 years ago or not. However, it is old. It might be worth something once it is removed and cleaned up well.
We are also working on coming up with a workable plan to rework the bathtub faucets without having to put out the $1500 to $1700 estimates to replace it. I got some great ideas form the guy the runs the plumbing shop in Winchester when I was there looking for replacement parts (which seem not to exist.) We are looking to incorporate a shower of some sort into the deal.
About mom: She arrived safe and sound in Munich. She met Brother Horst Krauss, a missionary in Germany, at the airport. We have been in contact with him for some time. I spoke to him yesterday on the phone to let him know about mom's change of plans. He had intended to see her while she was in Germany in July. He had to be at the airport to meet a friend about the time mom was arriving. I spoke to mom after her arrival. She made contact at the airport.
TJ is still overdoing it routinely. However, she is recovering more quickly. trips still wear her out, but a shorter rest is required after each one. I will accept this as a good sign.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
I was driving on the interstate this morning driving to Lexington. A Nissan Xterra passed me at one point. I had my cruise set on 80mph, so he was going 85mph or better. About a minute after he passed me, I came upon the Xterra on it's hood against the median wall divider. I pulled over immediately and back up to see if there was anything I could do. Several others stopped as well. As I was backing up, the drivers door opened and the man driving crawled out. There was not a scratch on him.
He was passing on the three lane highway when someone cut over in front of him, cutting him off. He locked up the brakes and flipped. The cut man kept on going as the Xterra flipped in his rear view mirror. Tadpole. One of the guys that stopped told us what happened as it happened right in front of him. He is in the light blue jeans in the pic.
After making sure he was okay, I left to go on to town to run my errands. On my way back, about 2 hours later, the wreckers were just starting to try to get the Extera up.
Someone was watching out for that guy.
And for me.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Just over 2 years ago, TJ and I moved out of that sprawling, traffic infested, 24 hour-a-day city and to a small town called Mt Sterling. Our sprawling population is 5,876 according to the 2000 census. It is a small town. The old adage about rolling the streets up at 8 o'clock is nearly true here. We live inside the city. We are just about 3 blocks from the courthouse. It is 0.27 miles from our house to the main intersection of downtown. It is 0.25 miles from my house to the police station. It is 0.15 miles from my house to the water company, which brings me to my point.
Last night, around 11:15, I went to fill up a water bottle to put in the mini-fridge beside the bed. I noticed the floor was wet, but Chella had just taken a bath and I thought she had been a little messy and had not cleaned up after herself. However, this seemed to be more than it should be. Further investigation revealed that the connection of the waterline to the faucet was leaking. This presented a problem which would lead to other problems.
Problem #1: There is no water shut off at the sink. There is no water shut off anywhere in the house. The only water shut off is the main shut off at the street at the water meter. In spite of my best efforts, that shut off would not budge.
Problem #2: It was the upstairs bathroom. The water would leak through the floor, ruining the floor in the bathroom, through the ceiling below, ruining the ceiling, and on to the hardwood floors in the dining room, ruining them.
I called a guy I knew that was a plumber and had done work for me in the past. He said he could come by in the morning and turn off the water for me. WHAT ? In the morning ?? Hello ! Water leaking NOW !
I called the water company. They have no emergency number. If it is a water main break, you can call the water treatment facility, but anything short a a water main, and you are on your own. "Hello, insurance company, I need to report some water damage."
I went to the internet. I found three plumbing outfits listed for this town. I called number one. his response: "I cant come out there now at this time of night (it was now about 11:45.)" I called number two. It was a residence of a plumber and I got their recording. the recording included all kinds of helpful information, including cell phone numbers of every family member, but no way to get hold of anyone to turn off my water.
I gave TJ a number to call while I was trying another number. She woke up an older lady who woke up her husband, who agreed to come to turn the water off. He came within 30 minutes and turned our water off.
Here are the small town minuses:
NOTHING is available 24 hours a day.
There is a reason they roll up the streets. It is because everyone goes to bed at 8:30.
On call service simply means the phone rings at the house. If we are asleep, we are asleep.
Here is the small town plus:
He didn't charge me to come out at midnight to turn of my water in an emergency.
I talked to him about installing a shut off inside the house. There waterline passes through the basement, so there is access. He said his son could do that. He gave me his sons name and number and told me that if they did the work, he could just add the service call to that bill.
The shutoff addition I can do myself now that the water is off. With the shut off installed I can fix a few other problems as well. However, if I do the shut off myself, I will still call the son to settle up with our Sunday night midnight call.