“What time is it in Texas?” and Other Words of Wisdom from a Great Man

The last post made here at this little blog was on December 5. It was the usual snarky snark, a quick cherry bomb lob about politics. Little did I know that almost four hours later, my father would be gone.

I’ve written this post at least a dozen times in my head the last week or so. If it rambles a bit, indulge me. There’s never enough to be said.

December started out as usual: the monumental lists of things to do/buy/wrap/bake/decorate/sing/eat/wear and the usual moaning of not enough time/money/elbow grease/cleaning supplies to get it all done.

All that came to a screeching halt that afternoon when my sister-in-law called. My dad had a heart attack at home and was being transported to the hospital. In just a few hours, despite the heroic efforts of the ER staff, he was gone.

The next weeks were a blur.

After the funeral, Christmas quietly came and went. Many say the first holiday is the hardest, and boy, this one was tough. The rawness of the empty chair at every gathering weighed bittersweet as we shared our favorite memories.

Over those days, many talked of Dad’s propensity for telling jokes. Not dirty or off-color stuff, just corny. He’d rework them to try to snag you again and again. One lady told of how he’d ask her almost every week at church, “What time is it in Texas?” She’d said she didn’t know and he’d always answer “10 to 9,” forever remembering the Bulldogs victory over Texas in the ’84 Cotton Bowl.

Image 1 In the mid-1950’s, a handsome young man finished his service in the USAF and returned home to Jonesboro. His parents had moved to Jonesboro from Grant Park. He was the youngest of twelve children. His older brothers served in WWII in Europe and the Pacific. One sister was a WAVE. The highlight of family reunions in the years to come was listening to the brothers share their war stories. And golf stories, lots of golf stories, but more about that later. He worked in communications and was stationed around the US, including Ft. Hood in Waco, TX. When it was time to re-up, his CO wanted to send him to flight school, but Daddy said, “No thanks, I’m done.”

Scan 80Not long after returning home, he met the whirlwind girl that would become his wife and my mother. They were married in August in the un-air-conditioned Methodist church in Jonesboro. Evidently it was the social event of the little town’s sweltering summer. The wedding pictures were lovely. Everyone glistened with happiness. Four years later I came along and after another four years, little brother (known around here as “Obi”) arrived. He was a quiet man. He parented by example more than words. He could be firm (in later years we called it stubborn). I thought he was the meanest man in the world when he wouldn’t take me to see The Beatles when they visited Atlanta in 1965. Never mind that I was only 7. Only when I became a parent myself did I understand that he was protecting me from being trampled by the riot of screaming teenage girls that descended on Atlanta that weekend.

As we grew up, he came to all our ball games, concerts and golf tournaments. He especially liked attending UGA games while me and little brother attended the university. There were bumps in the road, of course, anytime you raise rambunctious teenagers there are bumps, but he handled them more calmly than most.Scan 64 He even welcomed an impromptu rolling Redcoat Band party that descended on their little house, playing the perfect host to a hoard of rambunctious twenty-something’s.

As me and my brother met and married our spouses, we saw another side of Daddy. After a breaking-in period, he welcomed them to his family as his own son and daughter. As Father of the Bride and my brother’s Best Man, he outshone us both. Put a tuxedo on that man, and he looked like a movie star.

Scan 21Then the grandkids came along. He beamed with pride. He had a special way of making each feel special and loved. At the funeral, when my boy WeeHighlander TurnedCollegeFratBoy spoke, he started with, “I was the favorite grandchild.” Then Obi’s Eldest, RockStarInTraining, stood up and said, “No, I was the favorite.” Then Obi’s LeastUn, PrincessSoccerStar, piped up and said the same. Then my eldest, GradSchoolHornGirl, standing at the lectern for support of her brother, just shook her head with that look that said SHE was the favorite. Just like with us, he attended as many of their birthday parties, ballgames, concerts, tournaments as he could. He’d sit quietly in the midst of the bedlam and would tell corny jokes to whomever he could reel in.

Image 6He was the World’s Greatest Braves Fan; watching or listening to every game, every season, win or lose. Outside of Georgia, most of America doesn’t know about the long-running love-hate relationship with the Braves and their fans. But he was pulling for them, even when they were in the bottom of their division. And they were there alot, after the glory days of the early to mid-1990’s.

Scan 60Dad was an avid golfer. He attended many Masters Tournaments and other PGA tournaments in the Atlanta area. When he was a member of East Lake Country Club, he won his flight in a member’s tournament. The prize was a shiny all leather golf bag. After a day of play, he’d bring home his scorecard and recount shot by shot how he beat and/or took his buddy’s quarters on each hole. He was especially proud of shooting a ‘2’ on a hole and he’d brag on those. His devotion to golf, and the gentlemanly behavior that the sport strives to instill in its students brings to mind the scripture Obi read at the funeral. In Galatians, Paul speaks of running the good race. For Dad, it was always shooting for par. Then Paul goes on,

Galations 5 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control.

That was Dad. Quiet, loving, sometimes stern and firm, kind, generous. He loved America and expressed his concern repeated about the path the nation was on. His patriotism lives on in his family.

ImageLast August, I took Mom & Dad out for their 59th Anniversary. We talked about the grandkids, neighbors, the Braves, doctor’s appointments, Hub’s new church, schedules, and I tried to convince them to travel to NY with us in the spring for GradSchoolHornGirl’s Master Recital and possibly attending her commencement as well. Everybody has hindsight, and with me, knowing this was the last meal where I’d have them all to myself, I wish we’d talked of less mundane things.

Thinking over the fall months the last few weeks, I believe he knew something was up and his time was growing short. He was tidying up his life, saying small goodbyes here and there. Things we didn’t catch in the daily hoopla, but looking back, we see them. Longer hugs, quiet I Love You’s, stories you’d never heard before, the way you’d catch him looking at you from across the room. Small, unexpected gifts.

The Friday night after his death, I woke up from a startling dream. Some people don’t put much stock in dreams, but it comforted me and to this day it is as vivid as it was that night. Uncle Henry and Uncle Marvin were walking down a gentle hill in some beautiful place, lush green, trees, blue sky, the sun behind their backs. There was a noise in the background. At first I thought it was birds, but after thinking about it a good bit, I think it was the crunch of cleats on a golf course cart path. My uncles were younger, like when I was a young girl. There is a spring, an urgency, to their step. As they walk closer, you see them talking. They say, “We’ve got to find Jerry, Carol is here.” That’s when I woke, sitting straight up in my bed. Daddy was OK.

Goodbye, my sweet Daddy. While I will miss you the rest of my days, I know that I’ll see you again. Thank you for your life, your example, your quiet witness and your love.

Scan 10

Prayers for Hubby

As you read this, I’m taking Hubby to hospital for two days worth of heart monitoring, medication and another zap session.

Pray for him, and us.

Praying for Oklahoma

If you’ve been under a rock somewhere, or stuck in your bunker for days, Oklahoma continues to be ravaged by fierce storms. 

I will have more links later (posting this from my phone).  Our last week of a broken A/C unit seems trivial compared to the suffering of these families.

The people of Oklahoma deserve our most urgent prayers.

The Post Everyone Will Send Hate Mail About

Well, the hubs is on his flight home. GradSchoolGirl is re-esconced in the frozen hinterlands of the north, in a new situation that has heat but no bugs or rats or noisy housemates. WeeHighlander is back at his school as well, with multiple promises to keep this coming semester substantially less festive than the last.

Monday was MLK day. This week I had the same discussion with my son and a co-worker (at different times) about how Dr. King would probably be ashamed of how his dream had been implemented over the last decade or so. How not only the country, but the states, the cities and towns, and even the workplace seems so polarized by race. Did Dr. King mean it when said that a person should be judged by the content of their character, not the color of their skin? He wanted, at least in my feeble understanding, for all to be equal and share the fruits of that equality. Now, it seems that anything but that.

Then Gerard said it better, as he always does:

Reflecting on The Day … I have to say that I’m sticking with that rueful but passing smirk as I consider the distance we’ve come since King’s speech at the Lincoln Memorial 50 years ago in 1963. Then we struggled, with men like King, to come together as a people, to move beyond our past, to be one nation. Now, under the cynical manipulation and malicious policies of one who would cast himself as the inheritor of the King mantle, we find the current occupant of the White House doing his best, day after day, to drive the races apart once again.

How strange that someone who has attained the presidency in this day and age should not only hate citizens because of the color of their skin and the cut of their bitter and clinging class, but be lauded for it. Stranger still that he should be half-black and be inaugurated on the day set aside to honor Martin Luther King. Once I would have remembered and honored this day and felt we were at last getting beyond race hate in America. When exactly that was I now forget. I guess we’ve still a reckoning ahead of us.

RIP Dr. King. I sincerely hope you’re not spinning in your grave.

Merry Christmas Y’all

2012 has been a year of prime bandwidth suckage at our little praxeum, with the one happy exception of a certain girl getting into grad school.

Regardless, today I wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas. Our day was long, spent driving 6 hours in the driving rain, to Obi’s Sister’s Brother-in-Law’s house in the nether-reaches of southwest Georgia. There we celebrated our Savior’s birth with a groaning table of wonderful food and, when the rain broke, the shooting of shiny new armaments in the woods. Presents for the little ones, piles of paper in the floor and then surprise of surprise, a wedding.

Even when the future is dark, there is hope.

God bless us, every one.

Spiritual Warfare

I’ve added a new quote to the sidebar by G.K. Chesterton. These are dark days, indeed.

Advent brings out the worse in some of human kind. The events of this last week are evidence of such. Read Elizabeth’s post on the harassment of priests who are trying to help victim’s families.

Sick. Just sick.

Please pray for the victims, their families, their communities, their caregivers. Pray a hole through the sky.

If you want to do something in remembrance, try this if you’re the knitty/ crochety type.

knitters_for_newtown

Hell. Handbasket. In Progress.

As this past week staggered to its close, and my usual Christmas preparations still lay in their respective boxes thanks to a deeper than usual holiday funk swirling around yours truly, by Friday I decided I’d had enough.

First, prayers and solace go out to the families in Newtown, CT. The yammering heads on the news just need to SHUT UP. People, real people, including children, are dead. They deserve the utmost respect, not to be a political prop in your latest personal agenda.

Before the tragedy, some idiot commentator on ESPN decided a rookie NFL QB wasn’t BLACK enough for his tastes. Imagine the firestorm if a white commentator had uttered the same sentiments. They’d be fired, immediately. Sick of these double-standards? So I am.

Since the election, our government has spun out of control. Privacy is erased by secret fiat. Obamacare, DHS, the fiscal cliff, all manner of legislative largesse reversal and mass constituent hog-tying promise to obliterate what’s left of America.

As Bill Whittle says, “This is not a government. This is a tumor.”

Call for Prayer and Help

The internetz is an amazing thing. Before, prayer warriors only learned about needs through letters, prayer lists and phone calls. Now, with the push of the Publish button, thousands will take to their knees to pray for someone they’ve never met. I know. I’ve felt those prayers on more than one occasion. Now it’s our turn to care for another friend we haven’t met yet.

Amusing Bunni, a favorite commenter at many sites for years, has learned she has terminal liver cancer.

Please pray for her and her family. More details here.

Happy Thanksgiving

Best wishes to you and yours for a happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

If you haven’t already, read Erick’s Thanksgiving post.

Where in the World…

We arrived home Saturday night at almost midnight. RedState was a great success and soon, very soon, I’ll have thoughts and even pictures if I can only find the camera in this mess of boxes and bags and bikes.

In the meantime, for the next two weeks, blogging will be scarce to non-existent as we are packing and moving the younglings off to school.

NotSoWeeHighander returns to his college in Rome, at least what’s left of it. He’s easy to move. Sheets, clothes, game system, laptop, TV, gallon of milk and two boxes of Chips Ahoy Chocolate Chunk cookies. Everything fits into the back of an SUV. Done.

HornGirlWithoutAGig heads off to grad school in NY. Besides all the usual girlie stuff, too many clothes, shoes, makeup, jewelry, books, trinkets, and a drugstore’s worth of shower/hair products, we also have a bike, a horn, a stand, four crates of music, various electronics including a new MacBook and five boxes of YARN. Yes, YARN.

Insert into this swirling sirocco of bedlam our ailing and ancient dog. Last week, Elizabeth/The Anchoress lost her beloved Allie. Oh, how I wept when I read her post. Now we face the same grief as we watch our little Chance fade away. I had so hoped he would make it until the kids were gone and we could handle everything quietly. This morning I’m surprised he made it through the night. He may take his leave of us before the kids ship off, which will make our partings even more bittersweet.

Pray for us.

Birthdays, Solar Storms, Busted Gizmos and Grief

Over the weekend, my baby boy turned 20. I’m so proud of the young man he is becoming.

Today, just as we managed to run all the carpetbaggin’ politicians out of town, more trouble rolls in.

Beginning this evening, a strong solar storm will start bombarding the Earth with all sorts of magnetic happiness, sure to cause all the gizmos and gadgets we are addicted to … to misbehave. So tomorrow may be a very long day, especially for those so afflicted.

Don’t mistake it for an EMP (a type of tech attack America is woefully unprepared for), because according to our Dear Leader, no one wants to attack America. Riiiiight…

An EMP attack is a high-intensity burst of electromagnetic energy caused by the rapid acceleration of charged particles. These particles, if strong enough, cause a destruction of electrical circuits. This affects cell phones, computers, vehicles, airplanes, and even the power grid. In the case of a successful EMP attack, transportation systems would be halted, communications devices would be rendered useless, and grocery stores would be unable to preserve or restore food supplies. “The result would be starvation, disease, and lawlessness on a scale not experienced in modern times,” [Eric] Hannis says.

Wow. That sounds a lot like a plot from The Walking Dead. But without Dale. Poor Dale. Poor dead Dale. Or the current whiny GOP narrative.

And the grief? Well, I’m still awash in it, as each new day brings a different revelation. I covet your prayers.

Stunning News: Andrew Breitbart Died Last Night

Andrew Breitbart, 1969-2012

H/T Gateway Pundit.

From Big Hollywood:

With a terrible feeling of pain and loss we announce the passing of Andrew Breitbart.

Andrew passed away unexpectedly from natural causes shortly after midnight this morning in Los Angeles.

We have lost a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a dear friend, a patriot and a happy warrior.

Andrew lived boldly, so that we more timid souls would dare to live freely and fully, and fight for the fragile liberty he showed us how to love.

Andrew recently wrote a new conclusion to his book, Righteous Indignation:

I love my job. I love fighting for what I believe in. I love having fun while doing it. I love reporting stories that the Complex refuses to report. I love fighting back, I love finding allies, and—famously—I enjoy making enemies.

Three years ago, I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy who linked to stuff on a very popular website. I always wondered what it would be like to enter the public realm to fight for what I believe in. I’ve lost friends, perhaps dozens. But I’ve gained hundreds, thousands—who knows?—of allies. At the end of the day, I can look at myself in the mirror, and I sleep very well at night.

Andrew is at rest, yet the happy warrior lives on, in each of us.

Jeff Emanuel at RedState:

Andrew was larger than life in many ways. A huge man with an even bigger personality (and a still bigger family), he was kind and generous to a fault, and had a level of dedication and tenacity that few of us will ever be able to understand.

Though he was viewed by many on the left as the reincarnation of the Prince of Darkness himself – a persona he worked very hard to maintain – Andrew was a kind man who cared as passionately about for his fellow man as he did for the conservative cause.

Indeed. I met him only once, at CPAC 2011. He was charming and just as attentive to me, in our few minutes chatting, as he was to the BigBlogGuys.

Words fail. Please pray for the Breitbart family.

UPDATE: Ed has video of Andrew waxing his usual eloquence on the Pigford fiasco, along with new information that Andrew collapsed while walking outside his home around midnight. EMT’s were unable to revive him. So, so sad.

Erick says “a supernova has gone dark.” (Cross-posted at PeachPundit) What a perfect description of Andrew.

What I admired most about Andrew was his willingness to be the lightening rod despite criticism from both the left and the right. He was the lightening rod and when lightening struck, Andrew used the brilliant flash of light to direct everyone’s attention to precisely what he wanted them to see. He was a master at it. The attention he garnered was never about getting attention for himself, but using the attention to tell the story and share the news he wanted told and shared.

Almost As Fun As Holding a Porkchop Over a Piranha Tank

Well, this morning Peach Pundit (see here and here) stirred up the masses in daring to express a little sympathy for Karen Handel, former candidate for Georgia Governor and current VP for Public Policy at Susan G. Komen Foundation. Yes, that Susan G. Komen Foundation… the one that’s been in the news for daring to get out of lockstep with the Planned Parenthood crowd.

It was almost as fun as holding a porkchop over a piranha tank. The feeding frenzy began in earnest, with the usual suspects sniping back and forth over the intertubez, dredging up old campaign slog and muck. The KarenHandelHaters, the AbortionIsAGodGivenRight protestors, the LiberalEntitlementScamsters and the IJustDisagreeToBeDisagreeable lurkers all ganged up on the few who tried to make the point about how shameful is was that the liberal media immediately pointed out that Karen Handel, a (gasp!) Republican woman with strong value beliefs, was in a position of responsibility at the foundation and therefore had to be the prime instigator of the decision to end PP’s funding. The pixel ink was barely dry on the first post reporting the funding change when the witchhunt began in earnest. What an evil woman! She’s a witch! Burn her! Burn her!

One issue at hand is that PP’s umbrella of “women’s health” services includes breast cancers screenings, but they outsource the mammogram portion of the service. Gee, wouldn’t it make better sense for SGK to fund the mammogram providers, not PP? It’s their money, isn’t it?

It doesn’t have anything to do with research for breast cancer, saving lives, women’s health or even the money. The whole bruhaha boils down to deviating from the liberal narrative. If one dares stray, we now have the state-run press to act as Big Brother and blast over the Oceanian loudspeakers your name, rank and serial number.

One big, giant reeking bowl of Osso Buco slime.

But back to our Georgia friend. The biggest shame in this whole spectacle is that a fine woman of good character has been attacked and maligned, in an unwarranted and cruel fashion. She deserves our prayers to withstand the firestorm around her.

God help America. What have we become?

2011: Don’t Let the Screen Door Hit You on the Way Out

I don’t know about you, but 2011 was not a stellar year here at the little praxeum. So I’m not mourning the passing of this sad, disappointing year; neither am I looking at 2012 with hysterical dread like some.

(On a personal note: Dear MIL come home from hospital yesterday. Heartfelt thanks for the many prayers and words of encouragement during her illness. We spent the first few hours of her freedom celebrating the wonderful non-hospital food at OK Cafe. Also, if Piedmont would kindly forward the address of the manufacturer of the concrete hospital beds they use, I would like to, ahem, write them a letter.)

I had planned some sprucing up around the blog over the holidays, but since the black hole of hospitalling ate our Christmas whole, well, it just didn’t happen. Maybe by spring break. Charlie would not call that a SMART goal. Heh.

I have no resolutions. I have no predictions, except for maybe one. 2012 is going to be one helluva roller-coaster ride. I don’t even know where to begin.

SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act, H.R. 3261) will consume our entire bandwidth, if Obama doesn’t just kill the switch altogether. More here, here, and here. The OPEN Act is a more workable alternative, but here’s two bucks saying you’ll never hear about it through the state run media. In typical fashion, our overlords are trying to push this through while the general public is distracted by the holidays.

If only the GOP would stop bickering and focus on Obama’s multitude of failures, at least the presidential portion of this election would be a breeze. Across the pond, Obama is being compared to Hoover and considered a cog in the general decline of world stability. In fact, many historians are comparing the the last decade or so to the 1930’s. I did that back in 2006. I wish more than two people read this blog. Just think if I could use my Jedi prowess up in DC! Smitty thinks that technology enables us humans to see potential outcomes, and that some of us, at least, have learned our history lessons:

The big question for 2012 is whether technology can prevent a repeat of a collapse into fascism, as in 1932, and a vast war. I’ll boldly predict that technology drives the problem the other way. People communicate enough to realize that the social welfare state is the biggest clay-footed idol since Nebuchadnezzar. The tricky question is how you maneuver out from under the idol before it topples and crushes you, i.e. what is the transition plan toward liberty.

My only caveat for The Smittster is while people are able to communicate instantaneously these days, how many will be able to break free from the indoctrination from years of indentured servitude to the entitlement gods to see the true dangers that lay ahead? Liberty is never free, regardless of what that lobbyist just whispered in your ear.

To me, besides being first out of the chute, Iowa is no longer relevant. It is just another manufactured media opportunity to manipulate opinions in an election cycle. Another frenzoid moment, compliments of a decayed system.

Europe is dying, rotting from the soul outward. We can still stop this in America. Our forefathers shed both blood and treasure to fight the corruption of tyrants and reclaim the freedom bestowed by our Creator. Now we get to do it in our own backyards.

There’s much more, but it’s time for football and after this past week, we deserve some time to kick back and enjoy the final days of our favorite sport.

Go Utah. Beat the Bugs.

P.S. Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas to All!

And heartfelt thanks for the many prayers lifted up on my MIL’s behalf. She was sitting up today and showing improvement.

Merry Christmas!

« Older entries

%d bloggers like this: