Monday, July 14, 2014


                Knuckles kneading temples, Anida Knapp strained to squeeze out tears.  Her elbows ground into kitchen table.  Knuckle vise ratcheted tighter.  No tear welled, yet drop fell, crimson drop fell from nose, spattered table top. "Another nose bleed!  Why me?  Why?  Why?" Anida's voice cracked.

                Toting groceries, daughter Serena entered kitchen door, quickly assessed all too familiar Mom meltdown. "Take a chill pill, Mom." Serena sighed, set groceries down, plopped into seat next Mom. "And why the bloody Nile nose?  Could it be as usual, like Pharaoh of ancient Egypt, you just can't let go?"

                "Don't you start with that religious garbage!  I'm not in the mood!" Anida barked.

                "Just because you are not in the mood doesn't make it any less true.  And as for religious garbage, that was Pharaoh's worst flaw.  Except for the Jewish folk, who actually had a relationship with our Creator, Pharaoh and the Egyptians were drowning in a religious sea of animal, nature and stone idol worship.  Now what could possibly go wrong with worshiping the creation rather than the Creator?" Serena would have continued, but...

                "So they did their own thing!  It's got nothing to do with me!"  Gloss of table top mirrored Anida's bloody Nile nose nearing flood stage.

                Serena to the rescue got up, unrolled paper towel, moistened it under faucet, "Mom, tilt your head back." Serena applied cool wet towel to Mom's nose, instructed, "Hold this on your nose and gently pinch."

                "Oweee!" Anida yelped.

                "Gently, Mom, and keep your head tilted back," Serena cooed.

                "I gonna bled ta dead!" Anida dramatized.

                "Now Mom, you are not going to... Well yes, Mom, you are going to die," Serena changed tune.

                "Whad?" Anida squawked!

                "Yep, deader than a charioteer chasing God's chosen people through the collapsing walls of the parted Red Sea.   Because you can't let go..." Serena smiled.

                "Ooh ar obsessethed!" Mom accused.

                "Really?  And what, may I ask, set off my Mom's bloody nasal drip this fair morning?  Did Dad run away?  Did Muffins the cat die?  Home foreclosure?" Serena wondered with purpose.

                "Nud ud doods!" Nasal clog was setting in.  And with head tilted back Anida struggled even harder to enunciate, took deep breath through mouth, poured forth the morning's tragedy, "Da coffee maka brokeedid."

                "So, not only are you obsessed with trivial inconvenience... but possessed by a possession," Serena observed.

                "Bud ed mud coffee furfect!" Anida whined.

                "Mom, you suffer from the ever popular religion of possessions or O.P.D., obsessive possessive disorder, better know as... YOU JUST CAN'T LET GO..." Serena cast a one eyebrow arched stare.

                "Bud I doh wanna et go!!  I... I wad ta fix ed!" All too elusive tears began to flow down Mom's cheeks.

                With loving hand Serena wiped Mom's tears away, soothed, "As Pharaoh learned too late, when you just can't let go, the hardened heart beats destruction.  And Mom, as far as our lives go, there is no such thing as self cleaning... We all need Jesus..."

                                       ...Why be a Pharaoh of what not to be...

                                              Exodus: Chapters 1 through 15





Friday, June 6, 2014


            Twern't unusual at the Autumnville Country Store for the porch planks to squeak song neath the dueling rockers of tres amigos Fred, Ed and Ted.  By mid-morning the rocking chair jockey full gallop race to nowhere rounded last furlong.

            "How can you not see that fuddy-duddy Waffle must resign!"  Ed spittle sprayed air.  He cast faded cap to porch twixt hole-in-toe work boots.

            "Now Ed," said Fred, looped thumbs in suspenders, "don't get so riled.  You might just short circuit your pacemaker, spouting all that politically correct trash about Mayor Waffle."

            "Had waffles for breakfast," Ted yawned the innocent agenda of the well fed.

            Ed retrieved cap, pulled it down hard on his head.  "Waffle just shouldn't a said what he said.  Comparing Mrs. Baker's fudge to pothole tar!  And right in front of the whole PTA!"

            Fred corrected, "Mayor Waffle's exact words were: 'Best tasting pothole tar I ever ate.'  He said that between gobbling down his third and fourth piece of fudge."

            "Fudge?  The perfect dessert for after eating waffles."  Ted's eyes grew heavy, his rocking weaker.

            "Just the same, Waffle ought to make public apology, then resign!"  Ed demanded.

            "So says the mayors losing opponent in last years election."  Fred illuminated Ed bred motive.

            "That's got nothing to do with it."  Ed denied.

            "Sounds like the sour milk of disappointment to me." Fred observed.

            Ed spit over porch railing, insisted, "It is no trifle of annoyance that Waffle disrespected Mrs. Baker's fudge!"

            "Truffle trifles in fudge..."  Ted ceased rocking, as he nodded off, as he chased chocolate truffle trifles neath the caramel oaks of Fudge Land."

            "Well said, Ted."  Fred reflected, smiled.

            "Yep,"  Ed conceded, wondered at his buddy in awe, "How does he do it?  How does Ted seem to always sum up what needs summing up?"

            And lo, the unleashed dream of Ted poured forth from his sleeping lips: "Ye without sin cast the first stone; judge not lest ye be judged; forgive and ye shall be forgiven, but forgive not and ye shall not be forgiven; see first the log in your own eye, before you remove the twig that is in your brother's eye; love God, love one another... from the beginning... to the end... the way... Jesus..."

John 8:7; Matthew 7:1; Matthew 6:14-15; Luke 6:41-44; Matthew 22:37-40; Revelation 1:8 & 21:6; John 14:6

            Hope you enjoyed this prequel to Been There Done That in the September 2013              

Saturday, May 31, 2014


            "When one's only noteworthy trait is invisibility, who notices?  Sure, I might be indescript, but that also makes me undefinable, and undefinable equals unique.  So, I cope.  I cope a lot.  When alone, you cope; you pray in Jesus name... and then you are not alone.  And I am not complaining, because God takes care of me."  Milo frequently thought out loud on the elevator.

            "And you are telling me this why?"  Stern feminine voice asked, added, "I am complaining because I do not know you!"

            "Sorry," Milo had forgotten, he was not alone.  He had not meant to unease the grey dress suit clad lady beside him in the elevator.  "With my luck she is probably the new Dean of Science," he silently stressed to himself.  At least he thought he had said it silently; he stressed all the more.  He stared at the floor the rest of the trip up to third floor Theoretical Physics gig.

            In the hall Milo wondered, "Why is she following me?"  And follow him she did right into classroom and sat on mid front row facing him as he took laptop from tote to table top.  Milo looked around.  He was early.  No one else was there, just him and her, her and him.  He stared straight into her eyes.  Too long, he stared straight into her eyes.

            The lady stood.  Unblinking and staring right  back she strode up to and around his desk.  In eye to eye austerity she stated, "I am Dr. Kimberly J. Jacek, your new Dean of Science."

            "Oh no, sorry," was all Milo had.

            "You are sorry that I am the new Dean of Science?" Kimberley raised eyebrow.

            "Yes... no... sorry," Thru wire rimmed glasses the eyes of Milo found floor again.

            "You know what I think, Milo?  You are Professor Milo Merus, are you not?  Kimberly leaned threateningly forward over the shorter man.

            Milo winced, answered not a word; concentrated on becoming one with the unfeeling cold floor.

            Kimberly leaned closer. "Milo... Milo... I know you are in there, Milo."

            Milo could not speak.  He and floor neared oneness.

            "Milo," the lips of Kimberley whispered in his ear, "do you remember on the elevator I said: I am complaining because I do not know you.  Well, I meant it.  I want to know you, Milo.  You see, I have a thing for short bespectacled math nerds who talk to themselves on elevators... who are humble... and who pray..."

            "Sometimes fogged up spectacles are needed to see clearly the prayer answered," Milo extrapolated out loud.

                                     Psalm 37:11 + Matthew 5:5 = Philippians 4:13

            What is in a name?  Our characters take a bow: Milo Merus: mild & pure; Kimberley Jacek: a royal fortress of good report.



Tuesday, May 27, 2014


             "Too often seldom is life a self-cleaning oven," Ashley whined.

            With lashes a flutter the eyes of Pepa rolled to the back of her skull. "If I wasn't driving, I'd put fingers in both ears," she moaned in her mind, rolled eyes to road, said, "Oh Ashley, if your kitchen needs spiffing up, just say so.  I can help."  On the way back from the mall Pepa concentrated on not audibly grinding teeth after three non-stop whiney hours.

            "Not the point," Ashley groaned.

            "Oh, you mean like: how many dreams does it take to make a lifetime?" Pepa tried to upbeat metaphors, too late realizing the error of choice.

            "My life is no dream!" Ashley barked.

            "Why can you not just lighten up?" Pepa pleaded.

            "Go with the flow?" Ashley nasalfied reply, as only Ashley could.

            "At least flow," Pepa wasn't kidding.

            "Flow?  Flow!  I don't flow because too often seldom any dream I ever had ended up in anything but flames.  That's why I don't flow!" Ashley tiraded.

            "Ashley Anne Pule, you know that is not true!"  Pepa teetered on cheerleader gone rogue.

            "Nooo!"  Extreme nasalification had returned.  "Nooooooo!  Well I wish my brain was a computer, then you could just flip thru each file of failure."  The smug smile of the ungrateful ungraced the face of Ashley.

            "Surely some, at least one of your life dreams must have come true," Pepa took one more stab at pepper-upper, as she steered SUV into Ashley's driveway of doom.

            "Well, I must admit you got me there, Pepa.  Yes, some of my dreams have come true... if you count nightmares!"  A strange sense of self-satisfaction radiated from Ashley's face.

            Pepa laid head on hands on steering wheel.  Slowly her head rose.  Her wide teeth bearing grin and crazy eyes startled Ashley.

            "That's it!" Pepa seethed.

            "Pepa, you are frightening me." Ashley was not kidding.

            The fangs of Pepa spit venom, "You think you are the only one?  The only one who too often seldom rises any higher than a snakes belly in a wagon rut!"

            "Sorry," Ashley gasped, morphed to tears, then full blown sobbing.

            "Great," Pepa pounded forehead into the back of her hands on steering wheel, repeated, "just great!"

            Ashley sobbed.  She sobbed really good; sobbed like the pro she was, then sobbed some more; cranked up the volume along the way, managed to slobber out, "Too... too often seldom does anybody ever love me..."  Tears without levee flooded.

            Head on steering wheel, Pepa reached for and pulled door latch.  She slid feet out door onto that driveway of doom.  Round the SUV to passenger door, Pepa walked the fine line between strangulating or hugging Ashley.  Pepa opened the crying door, put hands round Ashley's throat, with thumbs under chin she tilted Ashley's face up to hers... and softly asked, "Everybody hates you?"

            "Yes," Ashley sobbed.

            "Nobody likes you?" Pepa asked.

            "No... nobody," Ashley bawled.

            "Only one thing to do," Pepa nodded.

            "Yes," Ashley slowed to mid weep, nodded too.

            "Only one thing we can do," the gentle fingers of Pepa wiped tears from the cheeks of Ashley.

            "Only one thing," Ashley punctuated too often seldom ray of hope with sniffle.

            "Come on," Pepa helped Ashley out of seat... "Come on Sweetie..." Pepa soothed.  Arms round friend she helped her to home's door... And over threshold into dark room they passed...

            The lights flashed... Joyful voices sang, "Nobody likes you, everybody hates you, your gonna eat some wor-er-erms... Big fat juicy ones, itsy bitsy squishy ones, see how they wiggle and squir-ir-irm..."

            The eyes of Ashley filled with an enormous chocolate cake in the shape of a bucket; and out of that open bucket forty gummy worms squirmed; and on its side in white frosting were iced the numbers 4 and 0... as well as the letters EAT WORMS ASHLEY...

            ...And the ashes of too often seldom... were washed away gone...

            Sometimes folks murmur in the wilderness for 40 years before they see the promised land... See they were loved all along... Be a friend... Lead someone to Jesus today... John 15:12-17





Monday, May 12, 2014


            "Likely as not a smidge of a tad is not a lot," Amy's lips sang next salted glass rim.

            "He is married!" Midge warned.

            "So, just a taste," Amy licked salted rim.

            "Kelsy is our host, our friend! How could you even think of hurting her?" Midge sighed.

            "See, George makes you breath heavy too.  That's it!  You want him too!" Amy teased.

            "Amy!" Midge just shook her head.

            "Amy wants," she purred, dark eyes following her prey across crowded room.  Her long red finger nails strummed, clinked margarita glass. "Let the pouncing begin."

            The elbow of Midge found the table.  The palm of her hand found her forehead.  "Dear Lord in the name of Jesus please give George the wisdom to handle this," Midge prayed.

            "Time wasted... is time gone..." Amy was gone... to the huddle...

            "My knee still kills me on rainy days," George half laughed to old teammates Les and Mike.

            Amy slid under George's arm, her left arm round his waste in back, right hand resting on his abs. "What cha doing, boys?" Amy cooed.

            "Temptation beckons," Mike grinned, took a sip of whatever from glass.

            "Purrrdee... done gone too far..." Les did not look away.

            George looked down at the flower in the shade of his arm.  From his face a smile of kindness glowed.  "Do we bear thorns, little rose?  Likely as not a smidge of a tad is not a lot... yet too much..."

            "How, how did you know I said that???" ...The heart of Amy stung... yet grew...

            Likely as not infidelity is more than a smidge of a tad stereo sin... The strange lips of adultery, the stray lips of idolatry are sweeter than honey comb, smoother than olive oil; but the end is bitter, the two edged sword sharp... Wisdom... Proverbs chapter 5...

            Stay close to your spouse... Stay closer to Jesus...


Saturday, April 26, 2014


            "Sometimes close enough is just too far away," Tony lamented in the ear of next valley over neighbor and best friend, Mel.

            Mel looked up to a too tall in the saddle Tony.  She crinkled freckled forehead.  "Yeah, chums too long, the cloak of closeness," through blue bandana, her lips lamented right along with him.  She silently added the thought, "Together we are indivisible, yet I'm invisible to you."

            "We're getting close," Tony squinted through the dust at the back of the herd.  Over the rise, the yet over a mile away cattle corral had finally come into view against the backdrop of the Horse Shoe Mountains.

            "Nowhere close enough," Mel lifted bottom of bandana and spit grit.  She reined her dapple roan close to the Brown Moose, as Tony called his horse.  She grabbed the reins of Moose and pulled back.  Moose halted.

            Tony looked down at her, said, "What's up, Mel?"

            Mel's jaw locked.  A tear fell from right eye, ran down the dust of her cheek, disappeared into blue bandana.

            Above his bandana the eyes of Tony grew concerned.  "Something bothering you, Mel?"

            Mel fought it, but the dam of cowgirl toughness burst.  She wept; threw in a few convulsions for lost hope measure; cried out, "The too far near... are too often alone." She wept some more.

            Tony pulled down his bandana.  The stone of his chiseled face melted away.  He reached over.  He pulled down that dusty tear washed rag from her freckled face.  He bent over.  His lips touched hers.

            No cattle got worked that day... but dust floated... floated away in the waters of a favorite nearby childhood swimming hole... of many years ago...
            Suggest you might want to read The Song of Solomon, a powerful book of love in the most powerful book of love ever written, the Holy Bible.  


Thursday, April 17, 2014


            "How often ones road ends at Sorrow Falls," Josh mused, tossed yet another rock into that not so swift water.  "Ends where it began.  Cathy carted off the kids a year ago today.  Today the divorce is final.  And this very rock I'm sitting on is where I proposed to her.  Talk about drowning in a sea of love."  Josh picked up a bit too large rock, stood and tossed.  The weight of that last rock was exactly what he needed, needed to pull Josh off balance into Sorrow Falls.

            What were the odds his skull would meet up with that same rock in the cold shallow water?  Not odd at all, even probable, Josh would have probably thought, if he were conscious.  But conscious he was not, as he floated down Sorrow Falls, more a long and winding down hill stream... full of rocks...

            ...In the firelight the nose of Josh twitched; breathed bacon cooking air; savored caramelizing brown sugar in cast iron pot of baked beans.  He felt almost toasty... "Where?" His brain fought the fog. "How," escaped his lips.  A gentle hand lifted between his shoulders; semi sat Josh up, while other hand pushed backpack under head and shoulders.

            "Names, Joy!" she huffed.

            Even in the dim fire light Josh focused on no angel.  His eyes traced each scar.  That split lip must have really hurt a while back.  So must that gash above left eye bled more than a bit.  And that straight line across right cheek surely must have required stitches.  Yet his warm yet fuzzy mind commanded his lips to repeat her name, "Joy, Joy, Joy..."

            "Yeah, Joy," she said, added, "stop ogling me before you fall in love."  She did not laugh.

            "Sorry," was all Josh had.

            In silence Joy spooned up a bowl of beans, poked a fork in it, and poked the bowl at him.  Josh just stared.  His head wobbled a bit.  Joy shuffled closer, forked up a bite to feed him.  The eyes of Josh followed that fork to the lips of Joy; and as she blew on the beans to cool them, Josh breathed in her sweet breath.  Josh touched her face...

            "You are a rose," floated from his lips.

            Joy looked into his eyes for more than a spell.  Spoke, "Yes, men desire me; and the scars, well the scars lead them to believe I'm attainable.  But the look on your face is something else."

            "You saved me," Josh almost cried.

            "Maybe, after all I did drag your soggy hide out of the water." Joy smiled. "You don't know who I am, do you?  I've sang and strummed the guitar in just about every dance hall, rodeo, county fair, saloon and shindig from Tulsa to Austin.  My last name is Rydell and you Mr. Joshua Keeler, Mr. real estate tycoon, floated down Sorrow Falls right onto my ranch.

            "How do you know me?" Josh wondered.

            "Your wallet and contents are drying out on that log by the fire.  Now eat these beans!" Joy explained, commanded.  Josh's mouth flew open.  Joy piled the beans in.  His mouth flooded with baked bean and bacon heaven.

            "After we get through playing momma and baby bird," Joy forked up another bite, cooled it with that sweet, sweet breath, fed it to Josh, "After we eat, I might just play you a tune."  Joy smiled, forked up a heap of beans to her own lips, forgetting to cool them off first.  Fast and furious she chewed while blowing to cool them too hot beans.

            Josh giggled at her mild dismay.  Joy punched him in the shoulder.  Still chewing and blowing, Joy barked, "Save your skinny butt, and now you laugh at me!" Joy giggled.  Momma and baby bird were getting along just fine.

            After a time of some serious munching, punctuated with giggles, both were full of beans. With the back of her shirt sleeve, Joy wiped stray baked bean juice from her chin, reached over and retrieved guitar. "You might a wondered why I'm out here campfire and all.  This place is my nest by the falls, where momma bird hatches most of her songs.  And, where in the last year or so, I have come to feel closest to the LORD above."

            Josh watched Joy tune up that beat up old guitar for a little more than a while, before ribbing, "Has the bird lost her song?"

            "Did I hear a discouraging peep, baby bird?  Save you from drowning, fill you full a beans, about to sing you a song... but yeah, am I stalling... or just employing pregnant pause?" Joy tuned a tad more, confessed, "The song is not finished and I'm supposed to sing it in the morning at Cowboy Church.  Here goes:
                        Sorrow falls away
                        No matter how reckless I've been
                        Your wings gather me in
                        And sorrow falls away
                        Healing my scars of growing
                        Because You love me
                        Because You love me
                        Like the rose buds above the thorn
                        Like the grass glistens in sunshine after rain
                        Risen above the storm
                        The light of the world
                        LORD, He is Your Son...
                        Thank You for the shower has come
                        Thank you for the living rain from above
                        LORD, He is your Son
                        Jesus loves me
                        Jesus loves me
                        Thank you Lord God Almighty
                        For Jesus' love
                        Thank you Lord God above
                        For Jesus' love
                        Holy, holy, holy
                        Lord God Father of Love
                       Sorrow falls away
                       No matter how reckless I've been
                       Your wings gather me in
                       And sorrow falls away

            ...And as Joy continued to sing, Josh thought, "How often ones road begins at Sorrow Falls...

Psalm 16:11; Isaiah 35:1; 2nd Samuel 23:4; Ezekiel 34:26; John 3:16; Psalm 17:8