Thursday, December 21, 2017

Well, this is us for Christmas 2017. This has been a tough month. maybe some losses in life are more difficult than others simply because of the impact they have on our lives. Duh, could it be that I have an innate talent for stating the obvious? I'm getting through this period of time by practicing with my newly refurbished favorite guitar. It has been part of my life since 1980. I bought the guitar and had the owner of the music store put the matching numbered case on a shelf in the back until I could afford to buy it. His name was Alvin and he was the very first person to hire me to play music. That was 1965 and he was a forever friend. It seems like the world of music has provided me with a plethora of 'forever' friends. I guess you could say that Rodney is a new 'forever' friend. He's the guitar guru that brought new life to my old favorite. We have a lot of folks in common from our lives. Interesting how life works in circles or perhaps it's a part of my Creator's plan to put me back in touch for awhile with my roots. Merry Christmas to all of the folks alive and not. I do love y'all and you're in my prayers. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Sunday, December 03, 2017

Preparing to do another funeral. This time we'll be in Wisconsin. I don't know how others deal with the loss of their best friend but I'm struggling. Had I known when I agreed to do the funeral that I would feel like this I probably would have declined. I got to thinking about it as I lay in bed awhile ago. How long have I known Richard? I really can't remember when we met or how long ago it was. I remember that when we met I was happy when it happened. He was doing night security for the Crusaders encampment in Sturgis during the rally. I was camped there and working with the worship music team under the direction of Pastor Jerry Snowden. Mike Arnold was the Senior Pastor and I was in charge of my own congregation on the other side of South Dakota. I made the journey to Sturgis to do outreach to lost folks. I sort of fell into the piano player thing by God incident. I'd been doing the gig with the Crusaders since the 50th Anniversary of the Black Hills Motorcycle Rally. That was 1990, 27 years ago this last summer. Richard was taking a break during his walk about duties. Sitting by himself in the dark on top of a rock. There was another rock near by so I sat down and talked with him. Then I talked with him some more and we walked the camp together. That's how it began but I don't remember what year. I lived about half way between his home in Wisconsin and Sturgis. I told him to break his journey in half by staying with us the following year and he did. What followed was years of riding together, laughing about all sorts of stuff. Sharing meals was always a joy. Sardines from a can, T-Bones rare, venison, all enjoyed through the years with prayers of thanks for whatever we had to share. Holidays came and went, Birthdays too, always in touch every so often by phone or mail and then by E-Mail followed by Facebook as our lives unfolded before us. We grew older. We wrenched cycles together, built campfires, swapped stories and shared our lives. He was my 'go to' prayer partner and I was his. We were able to depend on each other for anything and I suppose that's why I'm doing his funeral. I am deeply honored by this one. I've done hundreds of funerals. This one is different. Perhaps it will be the last one I will ever do. I don't know. Only time will tell, but I know this for sure......I have never known the sadness of spirit that I feel tonight. It may dim with time but I doubt if it will ever go away. Maybe.....strike was part of my Creator's plan for us to be bonded as we were for this time on earth we shared. I had lessons to learn and a faith to grow into. We both learned and we kept on growing. I still am and I know that my BFF now has all the answers we talked about all those years. "Remember, and in remembering leave no regrets that what has past, though gone was good." that and "It's Never Too Late To Live Happily Ever After" - So I'm sitting here thinking about life and how it seems to make sense some times and other times not so much. In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

It's a laughing, smiling, happy sort of morning on my little patch of perfection - the "Great American Desert" is receiving enough rain to sustain life for at least another week - 60+ years ago I remember my paternal grandmother working in the kitchen baking bread for the weekend and preparing breakfast - she sang hymns as she worked - a scent of frying bacon would waft through the air long before the sun appeared over the horizon - her single slice toaster could be heard ticking away on the table(the toaster still works) - and the eggshell coffee would be boiling on the stove -this time of year was almost as magical as Christmas - her garden was in full production and on Saturday afternoons she would can vegetables - pantry in the root cellar was always stocked with enough provisions to last two winters - her peach pie and the baskets of peaches being prepared were a wonder - yup, I always ate too many - and the garden also produced raspberries and strawberries enough to fill the small wooden baskets that were always kept clean and ready - wooden bushel baskets and wooden peach crates were reused all the years that I could remember and I guess they had to be in really sad shape to ever do anything other than get stacked for the next season - life was so simple - it was good. Grandmother was born in 1889 in a sod home built on the prairie of South Dakota. That was the same year that this portion of the Great American Desert became a state. this morning's rain would have delighted her. I can almost hear the rain barrel overflowing at the back of the wash shed. That was where she would wash her hair. When questioned on the history she had witnessed her response to, "What is the greatest advancement mankind has made in your lifetime?" Some of us thought she might mention television or radio. The telephone had to rank up there at the top(she loved to talk on the phone)and the advent of automobiles and airplanes, not to mention man walking on the moon. Nope, none of those made it to the top of her personal list. Without skipping a beat she replied, "Indoor plumbing!" Her laughter was a wonder and her eyes would sparkle with it. She was in love so deeply with her husband Bill(they wed when she was 15)that she ever looked for another after his passing. She was quite happy as a widow. I think that we were all much happier people in those days. Nothing can ever compare to the life we thought normal. I give thanks this day for that home - and the love that filled my tummy, nose, ears, mouth, and heart - Thank You Lord for my ancestors - In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

>my mind began to turn over pages of the past for me this evening. Some of them flew by so quickly that there was barely time to see what year they may have covered. It seems that I've been drawn backwards to a time I once lived and now I'm living again. I enjoy the reminders of how things once were and how they seem to be again. In my heart of hearts I know it can't last much longer because some sort of spiritual rhythm is at work within me and I'm not supposed to be in the same place for too long. Growing up I was not ever in what some would refer to as a home. There were places that felt like home for a little while but they did not last. Oddly enough I didn't even come 'home' from the hospital with my mother. I was kept there for ten-twelve days after being born because of difficulties in survival. Obviously I did survive but there are so many questions concerning what it was I survived that is wrapped in the cloak of untruths shared with family members(most of them dead now)and the outright lies that were perpetrated by those closest to me. When I finally came 'home' from the hospital I was placed with an aunt. My mother's sister who was a school teacher with a 10 year old daughter. I know now from memories that I was with them for at least two years. I was walking about and trying to run when I was moved from the aunt's home to the home of my father and mother. Following that I was placed in the care of one grandmother or the other until I began school. Weird stuff went on during those years. The stuff that nightmares are made from including a one legged life size doll nearly three feet in height that lived in the closet of the room in which I was placed in my parent's house.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Life just gets better with each passing day. I'm happy with most of it. There are things I'd like to do more of than I have been. That's okay. The pix are from a recent journey to Las Vegas. So thankful for this life! In Christ's Love, Preacher.

Thursday, March 02, 2017

I slept very briefly this morning, an hour at most. I don't know what woke me but I do know that it was some sort of sound that I heard. When I arrived on the second floor I could hear the distant cry(more like a whimper)of Cocoa. She is the tiniest of our 6 fur kids. Why do we have 6 Chihuahuas? That is an amazing tale comprising a step daughter that has never been able to remain out of prison for very long. She is 45 now and has spent 25 years either in jail, on probation, in prison, or on parole; in other words her adult life has been supervised by the laws which govern the land. She just doesn't do well when left to her own devices. That being said we rushed off to Michigan a few years ago after the U.S. Marshals apprehended her in a failed attempt to avoid prosecution for felonies committed in South Dakota. Our task in driving 2,200 miles was to rescue her two dogs which were going to be put down. We gave her Twinkie to replace her need for a companion when she got out of prison several years ago. Twinkie is just a sweet lovable cross breed with some cocker and some poodle and maybe a smattering of something else for grins. When she fled South Dakota the kid took with her a puppy given her by a boy friend. That one's name is Ellie Mae and she is the mother of three of the little ones we raised after the daughter was imprisoned once again. Life has a way of being humorous even at the worst of times. Some times it does take longer to see the funny side, but it's always there if we look hard enough. God's presence in our lives is kind of like that also. The movement of God's Spirit on our hearts and the promptings that follow are all part of living in accordance with His will for our lives. I keep on enjoying life and praising the Lord for each new day. Even when the day begins too early like this one there is a reason I am up and moving. If for no other reason then to take care of one of our fur kids that needs attention. Deep yawns coming now and I know I am going to sleep peacefully. Maybe I'm getting nervous about the daughter getting off parole in a couple of years. She does not do well if she isn't supervised and her mother doesn't do well when she is worrying, which in turn means that there are going to be some sleepless nights at our house. Far too many times when we thought and prayed that things might be going well for her the phone has begun to ring bringing sad news. Then the journey through time begins once more. It's not just the miles, it's all the baggage that accompanies the life style choices. I worked in the South Dakota State Penitentiary for 8 very long years. I'm not suggesting that I understand the criminal mind, but I do have insight gained from experience. This night we shall all rest easy. My honey and I always slept better when the wayward daughter was incarcerated. Then we at least knew where she was and that there was not a lot of trouble likely to occur - Bwahahahahahaha - trouble just seems to plague some folks. Got a son like that too!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

I awoke the following morning in my drop dead gorgeous suite. Opening my eyes I lay there watching the fish swimming above me. What a novel idea, a fish tank surrounding the headboard of the bed, but then this is a dream and I can sleep anywhere I choose. Getting ready for the day took forever. I had brought what seemed to be a whole trunk of nothing but cameras. My 35mm Cannon 620 EOS was there, along with a pocket sized digital 14 mp. The weird thing(not all dreams are weird)about it was the array of antique cameras I had brought with me. I got the impression that what I was doing there was taking pictures of bygone days. Quite as though the age of the camera determined the period in history which I was photographing! But this was only a dream and none of that can really happen, yet.
I love sailing. I find it exciting and relaxing. Peaceful and challenging. So this is what I'm thinking about while the temperature drops to minus 15 and all of the water within several hundred miles is frozen solid. My grandfather told stories about his childhood when the folks in this neck of the woods would go out with horse drawn sleds and cut huge blocks of ice from the lakes for their ice houses(those are not houses built from ice)!!! Dug into the ground and built from stone these buildings would house the blocks of ice throughout the hot weather and provide cooling for food stuffs. About the only thing needed from town were the staples that could not be grown on the farm. Salt, sugar, coffee, tobacco, and several other items that were needed to make life on the "Great American Desert" possible. It always amazes me the lengths to which our pioneer ancestors would go to provide for their needs. On the other hand the natives lived here for thousands of years and needed nothing which the earth did not provide. Therein lies the paradox. When people are 'civilized' they depend on others to provide for them. When people are independent they need nothing from anyone else but to be left alone. I like sailing!