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Sunday, May 22, 2016


            "Die wrinkle die!" Carol sang no noel over new hubby's favorite slacks.  Thru clenched teeth she sucked in steam from iron. "No matter," steam puffed out pink rose lips, "no matter how I press, push, grind and twist, that stupid wrinkle just will not give it up.  It is as if it's perma-pressed or something... Ooohhh no!" Carol cringed, for the wrinkle, the pant leg pleat, had given it up, charred black and unholy holey at the knee.  Carol tears extinguished flames of ire in blue Swede eyes.

            "Low altitude attitude has done me in again.  What is wrong with me?" Carol dabbed tears from cheek with soft light hair. "Why can I not just stop being negative?  I will never fly right." She whined a tad more, before the sound of driveway crash wrecked self-loathing, left ego smoldering...

            The wind of Will Hope blew in thru open door, stirred sad smoke into swirling wisps with teaspoon of optimism. "Your car needed a new bumper anyway." A somewhat less than pudgy hubby held out his arms to wife.

            "Ooohhh no," Carol lamented, fell into his arms gainst teddy bear chest, jarred his glasses askew on nose.

            "Or did I say wife gets a new car?" Will hugged her, felt on his cheek her tears in hair, kissed her ear.

            "Oh, it's not the car, it's..." Carol sniffled, reached for, then held forth homemaker failure, "I ruined your favorite slacks."

            "Well," Will plucked pants from her fingers, surveyed the damage, "What rankle hath wrinkle wrought?" He held pants up between them.  Thru burnt hole Will right eye stared straight into the left eye of Carol. "Wow, I see you burned completely thru both sides of the leg.  Not many bear such unwavering perseverance." He snickered, tossed pants aside, gave wife snug hug.

            Carol slide hands up chest, cradled his cheeks in her soft hands.  Blue eyes met brown. "Why are you not mad?"

            "Cause I'm mad about you." Will matter of facted.

            I'd be peeved, if you ironed a hole in my favorite dress." Carol stated, yet more questioned not hubby Will, but the will of self.

            "Actually, I am furious." Will turned dark. "We must honor charred pant remains with proper burial neath stone epitaph of enigma: Twas perseverance too well done; betrayed pants undone."

            "You are mocking me, because I am a professor of English Lit?" Carol narrowed those blue Swede eyes.

            Will set in. "To mock, yet to..."

            Carol gave both hubby love handles the stop and desist lobster pinch.

            "Yeee-ouchee!" Will pulled claws loose, quipped away, "To mock, yet to weep, alas poor pants, shall pant no more." He emoted nother ig-mo gem, while keeping lobster claws at bay.

            "Dust to dust yet to sweep; better not bitter for to sleep," Carol countered, punctuated with giggle.

            "Something burning?" Will sniffed non-fragrant air.

             "Duh! Charred pants!" Carol sang.

            "Is that smoke coming from the kitchen?" Will sort a wondered.

            "Ohhh no," Carol sung.

            Together they opened windows, aired out the house called home.  Together they dumped burnt pork chops and charred pants into trash receptacle near driveway, where Carol observed, "Your truck bumper sort a leapfrogged my car Lady Macduff''s bumper."

            "Alas, poor Lady Macduff, sad wife knew you well." Will Hope sighed.

            "Alas, poor husband new car buys," Carol gave sideways nod and rose lips smile.

            Strolling arm and arm back to home back door, Will reflected, "Ya know, in a way I sure am glad my precious wife burned a hole in my favorite slacks." He emphasized with wide open eyes."Maybe little mini disasters happen in sync for a reason."

            "Like saving your butt from the wrath of wife." Carol gave Will sly fox eyes and full tooth grin.

            "Like saving us from... I love that little fox eating fried chicken look of yours." He marveled at rare find fine wife.

            At his side, under his wing, Carol completed the distracted thought of Will, "Hard times always teach, sometimes save and at times even pull us together."

            As they re-entered kitchen thru back door, Carol's tummy growled, reminded, "Well, an evening meal might have saved us from starving."

            "Ah, but what is that I see covered in terry cloth atop yon stove?" Will found hope.

            "Great Grandma Olla's home-made rolls," Carol offered. "At least I think that's what it is.  The recipe card is the original and the title at top is for sure smudged with butter and probably milk."

            "Let's give her a look." Will peeled back terry cloth. "Zwieback!" Will pealed glee. "Your Swedish Grandma may have written skorpa on the recipe card, or like much of Europe adopted the name zwieback from the old German zwie - twice, and backen - to bake, twice baked. When I was a kid, my Mom shopped groceries at the local Lucky Seven and off the shelf bought boxed sweet zwieback for my teething baby sister. Thing is Mom usually bought two boxes at a time, because big brother loved chowing down on those tough little cookie-biscuits too."

            "I just hope it is edible." Carol feared nother oops. "Sure is hard."

            "Supposed to be hard." Will nodded. "Most cultures around the world bake it in one form or another, because twice baked to dry prevents spoilage.  I love how your Grandma's version of it looks like it has little knobs to pick it up by.  And I love that you took the time to cook this from scratch for us."

            Tummy to tummy they k-i-k-i-k-i-kissed, interrupted by hunger growl of Carol tummy and resulting giggles.

            "You know what goes with Zwieback?" Will more planned than asked.

            "Whatever it is needs to be quick." Her tummy growled agreement.

            "How does a salad sound, maybe seasoned with salt and pepper, a few dashes of mustard, a tad of minced garlic, two tads chopped parsley, all tossed with sweet malt vinegar and olive oil?" Will gave Carol his eyes wide open, head tilted sideways, why not look.

            "Kill the garlic, add some sides of salami, ham, cheese, maybe some butter, peach jelly and coffee... Oh yeah!" Carol headed for frig.

            And soon so it was as the house aired out, that thru open patio door... by candle light two sat at scarlet cloth covered table, shared hands, prayed thanksgiving, shared a sip of wine with the bread of better choice... a healthier meal made by them together and dubbed by Will, "Zwieback and Rescue Salad... just a swim in the sweet vinaigrette of life."

            "What a recipe... love is..." So did Carol sing.

            Jesus: "Love one another as I love you. Love one another, that your joy be full..." John 15:11&12.

                                                The Zwieback In This Story

            Dissolve tsp of sugar and 1/4 oz packet active dry yeast in 1/2 cup warm water. Then in a larger bowl combine the above with 3 cups flour, tbsp salt, 3/4 cup cooled melted butter, 2 cups cooled scalded milk... beat well... Next gradually add up to 3 more cups of flour to form a soft dough. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough bout 6 to 8 minutes til elastic and smooth. Put dough in a butter smeared bowl, cover with cloth, let rise until doubled (bout an hour or so). Pat down, Divide into 4 pieces, divide 3 of the pieces into 8 pieces each, hand roll into balls, place on butter coated baking sheets. Hand roll remaining 4th piece into 2 doz smaller balls, press onto tops of 2 doz larger balls. Cover with cloth, let rise a tad less than an hour. Remove cloth, bake til golden at 375 deg for about 30 minutes... and voila... Zwieback... great with soups, salads, gravies, cold cuts, cheese, butter, jelly, coffee or tea... and life and love...

            "I am the bread of life." Jesus said of himself in John 6:48. Why did Jesus do the miracle (John 6:1-12) of feeding over 5,000 people with 5 loaves of bread and 2 small fish (awesome)? He explains in John 6:48-51 (awesomer and the reason for the title "Twice Baked"). All have earthly temporary lives; but only those that eat of the bread of Jesus gain heavenly lives eternal, the fullness of joy.)  

            No coincidence that the baby Jesus was born in Bethlehem, a town whose very name means House of Bread. Bethlehem, a town of bread bakers amid rolling hills of grain.





Tuesday, April 5, 2016


Some will argue... there are no shortcuts to Forgotten...

            "The surgery will be canceled." Javan white knuckled steering wheel, pressed accelerator near floor.  As the dark road chariot of SUV sped down I-33, he lamented, "After fixing that flat tire, no matter how fast I drive, we are not getting to the hospital in time."

            "Sometimes," the slender neck of Svana DeGenade turned her eyes to face husband, "sometimes," she reached out, ran fingers thru his silver peppered hair, "sometimes, on the road... we meet more than expected."

            Even as worried as he was, even in the hurry of all his life, Javan calmed in what he had come to know as the 'Svana effect.' He let off accelerator a tad, reminisced, "I remember, remember not so long ago, our chance airplane seating, our first meeting.  There sat my Svana with skin like silk, the color of milk, and hair like eiderdown, pure as snow.  I had thought you an albino until that graceful neck of yours turned green emerald eyes to meet mine. Sometimes in the air we meet more than ever expected."

            "We shall see." Svana smiled. "Often does the way remind: before the shadow... shines the light."

            "Shortcut, Daddy." The wee voice of Epiphany DeGenade, Epi for short, spoke from dark leather rear seat. Wee and weak the voice came from one whose growth only grew more crooked her precious little body, til only wee and weak she could speak.

            "Yes," Javan grasped hope. "We can take Old Narrow Lane, the once main road to Forgotten lies near ahead."

            Soon Javan commanded the helm right, right on to Old Narrow Lane, passing under hanging moss of oak, passing over fallen down and faded sign: Road Closed.  Yet, on both sides of road beckoned the blue of forget-me-nots, wild flowers licked by inky swamp.  And lo that neglected lane forced Javan to go against his hie hurry grain, drive slow and punctuate with unsteady refrain, "Aptly named, this road, this Old Narrow Lane."

            And so on they drove, chasing from dry road perch more than one sliding gator, filthy claws ripping up by roots sad blue forget-me-nots, dragging flowers screaming neath dark waters swamp. Til before bayou bridge, the sign not fallen over read: Bridge Out.

            "Now what?" Javan bridged not frustration. "The road is way to narrow. I can not turn around."

            "Back up Daddy," Epi epiphanied again. "We won't be late.  We are right on time."

            Svana saw the tears well in Javan's eyes.  She placed hand upon his thigh, squeezed out assurance, "From the mouths of babes... remember what Jesus said."

            The Dad in Javan shifted gear to reverse.  He shifted in seat, turned head, saw so very far behind the sparkling sunlit reflections of vehicles as they passed by the head of the cross, where Old Narrow Lane met the outstretched arms of  I-33. He backed.  He backed up some more.  He backed up, but the intersection grew no closer.  He backed more, a whole lot more, then some more.  The further he backed, the further away I-33 seemed.  And yet, Javan backed the more.

            "Daddy," Epi labored to breathe..

            "Yes, sweetie," Javan answered.

            "Daddy be still; and know our Daddy," the wee weak voice of Epi whispered.

             Javan stopped SUV.

            On the shortcut to Forgotten, Javan was reminded to pray.  Daddy and Mommy reached into back seat, and held hands with precious daughter... And after prayer to Heavenly Father, asking in his son Jesus' precious name, Javan unbowed his head and beheld that Old Narrow Lane somehow seemed much broader now, even no longer a lane, but highway main.  He turned SUV around, soon passing under hanging moss of oak, passing over fallen down and faded sign at the head of the cross, where Old Narrow Lane joins the outstretched arms of I-33...

            ...The fallen lavender of crepe myrtles covered the concrete path from parking lot to the hospital.  Svana and Javan each held Epi hand... scarcely noticing that time right on time... scarcely noticing that healthy up and down of skipping between them, until child's strong voice road the wind of the near Forgotten... "I hope they got ice cream."

Some will argue, there are no shortcuts to Forgotten... less there be flat tire...

Not every life story ends in Epi miracle, but for those who love Jesus... even when this life ends... glorious life in heaven begins... Unbound... in the out bound lane...

To understand this little story please read and be blessed by the totally awesome Bible readings: Psalm 46:10 with John 14:6 with Isaiah 35:8 then all Isaiah 35:1-10... Jesus loves you...

What's in a name: Svana DeGenade - Svana is Icelandic for Swan; De in French & Spanish means 'from' or  'of', and Genade is Dutch for Grace. (Proverbs 3:19-22 & 4:22)

Only one path exists for our short comings to be forgotten... to be forgiven... Jesus

                               ...Grace unto thy neck... Life unto thy soul...


Tuesday, March 15, 2016


            Midst the vast west Texas desert the fingers of the Davis Mountains tickle the tummies of passing clouds, till they laugh, till they cry... that at buttes feet, the prairie grass grows twixt mountain toes...

            "Never thought I'd be sitting in a hunting stand, rifle in hand, eating Skeddadles, and stalking the elusive va'moose." A not so long ago petite Dafnie peeped semi-complaint, popped another Skeddadle past lips.

            "Pronghorn antelope, not va'mooses." While setting up camera on tripod, Shylee huffed, rolled one good eye, the one not glass. "Just keep your itchy trigger finger in check." He brushed errant strand of scraggly hair out of that one good eye, added, "That 30-30 carbine is here only to protect us from getting eaten."

            "Yeah, I am sort a allergic to mountain lions chawing on my innards." Her brunette ponytail swished as Dafnie giggled a tad too enthusiastically. "Crud, I think I peed myself."

            "Serves you right," Shylee smirked, gnawed off chunk of mesquite smoked garfish jerky. "Although," conscience gave Shylee gnaw of its own, "although, I might ought a be a smidge more empathetic to my precious little Daffodil." To utter pet name for wife Dafnie more often than not warmed his heart, brought smile to bewhiskered face. "How a pretty little thing like you ever got tangled up with the likes of me is blessed mystery."

            "Now don't you get all mushy on me, fat boy." Dafnie popped nother Skeddadle, elbowed Shylee in the ribs.

            "Just cause I ain't purdy don't mean I'm mean," Shylee took nother garfish jerky chaw, added, "nor insensitive, although maybe a tad dense at times."

            Dafnie opened box of WhaleAhoy chocolate balls, plowed into them like a truffle rooting pig.

            "You might ought a... save some for later," Shylee had nearly said... that awfully said, being distracted and all, while making final camera adjustments.

            "Well, now I'm out of Skeddadles and WhaleAhoys. Got any chocolate almonds, or better yet, chocolate chip almond cookies?"

            "What? You done plowed thru all that plus a family sized bag of BBQ potato chips, another of corn chips and two cans of jalapeno bean dip. Not to mention..."

            "Maybe some lemon pie, I can almost taste it, yum!" Dafnie near drooled.

            "Why are you stuck in whiney land and why are you eating like a hippo?" Shylee winced at that unwise whining of his own, shut his one good eye, let out under breath, "Oh-h-h, no."

            Dafnie's nose rabbit twitched a bit before sniffling. From her brown eyes only one wee tear fought to stay clear... of right cheek.

            "Sorry," Shylee understated the self-inflicted damage to his own heart; turned attention from camera to Dafnie.

            "Cause I'm getting fat..." Dafnie broke out in magpie cry. "Got any smores? I smell smores?" She blubbered some more.

            "Women and their mood swings." Shylee rolled good eye, the one not glass, then like most stupid men wished he had not said that too.

            Dafnie cut loose low moan whine, that gradually grew to full siren alert.

            "Otay, what's my little Daffodil's problem, besides me strolling down Jerk Lane?"

            "I'm whining cause," Dafnie dabbed at tears with back of denim shirt sleeve.

            "Yes," Shylee handed her hanky.

            "I'm moody cause," Dafnie dabbed and sniffled.

            "Yes," Shylee hugged her.

            "I'm eating cause," Dafnie snuggled gainst his chest.

            "Yes, my little Daffodil," he patted her back.

            "Got any chocolate pickles?" Dafnie sort a oozed into low moan, revving up to near repeat siren alert.

            Shylee hugged her closer to him, "Come on my little Daffodil," he kissed her forehead, "whatever it is, you can lay it on this old fart."

            "I'm," Dafnie snuggled angel face next his neck.

            "Yes," patient love filled Shylee chest.

            "I'm eating," her hands pulled him closer.

            "Yes," Shylee rolled that one good eye.

            "I'm eating for," Dafnie sighed.

            "Lord, please make her spit it out," Shylee pleaded.

            "I'm eating for four," Dafnie confessed.

            "But there is only one of you and one of me?" Shylee had no clue.

            "There's fixin' to be five," Dafnie kind a softly whined, yet smiled.

            "Of what?" Shylee questioned.

            "Of three little Daffodils, plus us." She snuggled closer into him.

            "There are no daffodils in whiney land," Shylee chuckled, nestled nose in her hair.

            "All baby girls," Dafnie closed her eyes.

            The pupil in Shylee's one good eye swelled to full iris, then shrunk to mere pinpoint. "A bouquet of little Dafnie Daffodils?"

            Dafnie's eyes opened. Her nose rabbit twitched, led her straight to Shylee shirt pocket. "I smell garfish jerky," She said, then pocket pilfered.

            "Daffodil blessings..." Shylee awwwed, then gulped, "and dirty diaper responsibilities."

            "Sometimes tha less purdy... are purdiest of all..." Dafnie cooed, gnawed off healthy garfish jerky chaw.

Sometimes the less pretty... are the most beautifully blessed of all...

With great blessings... come great responsibilities...

The more you got... the more you got to take care of...

Season sweet romance... with herb of reality...

Perhaps, well actually no doubt about it, Jesus said it best: To whom much is given... much is required...

The one good eye: Keep focus on Jesus and on his commandments to love God and love one another. An eye rolling out of focus just gets us in trouble. And if it does start to roll... pray... for people may not be perfect... but God is...

Paw Paw loves all you little Daffodils out there...

"May the LORD bless thee, and keep thee: The LORD make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee: The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace." Numbers 6:24-26 KJ.

And remember: JESUS LOVES YOU... John 3:16          



Thursday, February 25, 2016


            "Where the wild tapiocas grow, island life be kind a slow, swims in calm soothing flow; and for Thomas and I this change indeed be much needed," Lannie spoke into the light of sun rising from the sea. Sunbeams lit her auburn hair halo aglow.  Mini waves curled between her bronze toes; she dug them into warm white sand, reflected, "No more faceless neighbors, no more sidewalk myriads, not one towering edifice scraping scars into sunrise sky." Her brown eyes smiled, as gentle island breeze caressed bare shoulders, danced in the hem of floral sarong, hugging the curves of her Garden of Eden like body.  Her lips kissed sea salt air, "Please dear Lord above, in Jesus name I pray, help my Thomas to see the way."

            But there sat Thomas a doubting in desk lamp woe; crunching numbers that crunched his soul. Thomas worrying much, accomplishing little, seeing desk top, seeing not thru open window precious wife framed in seaside sunrise glow.  Fretting he was, fretting away that moment blessed on white sand shore; contemplating a move back to big city town and adding ad agency stress to relieve the stress of ill cash flow.  And thus this muttering did Thomas Batach sow, "Why can Lannie not see the evitable cut low?"

            Yet that later day noon in the kitchen, a yuca peeling Lannie and avocado preparing neighbor passed more than the time away... "Island delicacies are just too easy," a moppet haired Kim punctuated that said with a little grunt, as her baby bump bumped counter edge, thru avocado print T-shirt.  She grasped avocado, traced around its ovalness with knife, split it apart, laid seed side up on counter.

            "Your arms are barely long enough to reach that avocado," Lannied snickered.

            "But us avocado farmers are a hardy breed." Kim slammed knife edge into avocado seed, grasped avocado half in palm, gave knife a twist.  The seed stuck to blade.  Kim set it aside, reached for spoon. With it she traced around the inside of peel, dolloped out avocado half in one smooth piece.

            "You are one dangerous woman," Lannie smirked at her near poppin' pregnant pal, rendered her best Caribbean pirate imitation, "But I got carving of me own to do." She commenced yuca slicing for what she misnamed, "Avast yea tapioca fries."

            "You have no idea what avast means, do you?" Kim chuckled.

            "Not a clue," Lannie confessed, "but this captain of the kitchen be a saber welding pie-ratt and I'm a slicing me yuca asunder, then poking her to walk the plank into icy waters, to prevent discoloration of course.  And also about to," she slashed last slice, "to par boil this stuff afore I fries 'er up in peanut oil."

            "Poor yuca!  Boiled in water, then fried in oil. Ouch!" Kim came aboard Lannie land. "Sounds like sweet culinary plan."

            "Yeah, tasty plan, just pray Thomas finds one." Lannie's smile sagged a tad.

            "Yeah, my guacamole is gonna be tasty." Kim smiled, hugged Lannie, whispered in her dear friends ear... "Have faith; do not fear."

            And Lannie looked thru open window; saw two walking white sand shore... And Lannie smiled...

            "Dude," Kim's husband, Bob, had a way with words, "Dude," Bob repeated, "so you are a few clam shells short of a reef.  Wake up and smell the chowder."

            "More like soon to smell the big city smog," Thomas grumbled.

            "But Dude." Bob grabbed the arm of Thomas, half turned him to meet the half turn of his own.

            Face to face, Thomas confided, "We are going to miss you guys, but I just don't see a way to stay."

            "But Dude, have faith," Bob Bob-ismed, "like tapioca is like gold!"As he had spoken Bob's scraggly beach bleached hair and frayed straw hat had gone a floppin'.

            "Just what did you season that chowder with?" Thomas truly wondered.

            "Tapioca, its tapioca, tapioca is your answer." Bob nodded head like a dash board bobble head on country gravel road.

            "Tapioca is a dessert." Thomas doubted, yet sensed his friend meant well.

            "Tapioca pearls are made from what?" Bob struck mental match.

            "The processed yuca root of the cassava plant?" Thomas knew, but connected not tapioca pearls to cash flow dots.

            "Dude, when you moved here, you bought a neglected, dilapidated yuca farm.  Remember when you first moved here Lannie thought the roots were sweet taters and you thought the tops were weeds?" Bob reminded. then ismed, "Well you got yuca all over the place, can you dig? I mean like literally dig; as in harvesting."

            "There is money in tapioca?" Thomas ran hand thru short dark hair.

             "Dude, tapioca is like just one yuca product.  Sure you got your grocery shelf tapioca pearls in all sorts of tasty flavors, but there is also yuca flour for baking, yuca syrup for that baked, yuca industrial and pharmaceutical applications and even livestock feed. Dude, like yuca is like the giant peanut of the Caribbean." Bob ismed again.

            "The giant peanut of the Caribbean... Yuca-A-Mok-A!!" Thomas' ad agency brain ran amok.

            Like nine months like later... clad in island uniforms of frayed straw hats, yuca-avocado print T-shirts, and cut-off jeans... Dudes and Dude-ettes together on beach blankets sat.  There sat Thomas with wife Lannie with child soon to be a poppin'.  There sat Bob with wife Kim with baby Tim Bob cradled in arms. And Bob, well Bob ismed east out over the Caribbean waters into butterscotch Tapioca Sunrise, "Thank you LORD above in Jesus name for a keeping... our Christian hearts a beating... as one..."

The Miracle:
"Tapioca Sunrise" is itself a result of faith and prayer. But why was the name of the main character Lannie.  I had no clue.  In fact I tried most all the way thru writing the story to change the name from Lannie.  Every time, I drew a blank; til near story end I wondered why does God insist her name be Lannie.  So I looked it up on the internet.  There I saw why a short story named "Tapioca Sunrise" had to have the main character named Lannie.  Lannie is Hawaiian for... sky or heaven, or if you will sky of heaven.

Faith is trust... and when his children pray to The Creator of heaven and earth in his son's name, Jesus... well is anything too hard for God...  Jeremiah 32:17; Proverbs 30:5; Philippians 4:6-7 and of course doubting Thomas: John 20:24-29

Other name meanings:
Thomas: as doubting Thomas from the Holy Bible
Batach: pronounced bawtekh (Thomas' last name) from Hebrew: make to trust.
Kim (Kimberley) (Eng.): royal forest meadow
Bob: (Ger.) famed, bright and shining

"Tapioca Sunrise" is the sequel to "Just Another Avocado Sunrise"... Check it out by clicking on this blog's menu the arrows to: 2014 then November






Wednesday, January 20, 2016


            "Well, 'is' it official?" Thru dew of steam on bathroom mirror, Austin suburbanite Brooke Nineve searched reflection. With thumb and forefinger she parted wrinkles in left corner of eye, dared "Watch the crow's-feet run." She let go; wrinkles recoiled like a snake bent on striking youth itself. "Yep, my smile lines are now officially crow's-feet." An involuntary, "Hymmmph," escaped her lips, sort a trailed off in a downward spiral.

            Meanwhile back at the ranch, Kelby Tahl slapped warm water on whiskers and lathered up. As he opened medicine cabinet, his reflection slid to and off mirror edge. He retrieved the safety razor within, closed the mirror, began morning ritual. Third stroke in stopped short; razor in hand lowered. "Well, how bout that," Kelby sputtered thru foam on lips, spattered lather on mirror. He turned head a tad, wrought a too wide open right eye right up to mirror; pondered, "Just when 'did' that crow step foot in my corner of eye land?" Kelby smiled, the crow's-foot grew deeper. "Such is wisdom, paid for in the currency of youth." His eyes relaxed, yet smiled the wider.

            Brooke and Kelby had dated for a while, well longer than a while, more than a few years while. But one of the things they had never done together was a picnic, and Kelby never before had shared a certain hiding place on his hill country ranch. So this special morning was separate spent, a cookin' country picnic fare, signature entrees to later share. Secret entrees for neither told other what they did prepare, so kept surprise up in the air.

            A few hours later Brooke made the seventeen mile trip thru winding hills and lowland dales, till pulling up near ranch house front door step, where Kelby was a loading up his utility vehicle name of A-Lamb-A-Tote, as proclaimed on rear tail gate.

            "Never have I ever seen a man's four wheel drive toy covered in such an idyllic scene." Brooke drew breath, added, "Those deer by the stream under the cypress look like I could pet them." She asked, "Who painted it for you?"

            "Well," Kelby blushed just a little, confessed, "one day my left hand kind a asked right hand what's up?"

            "What kind of man are you, Kelby Tahl?" Brooke gave him a peck on cheek.

            His blush grew deeper, and he kept in his heart the thought, "Wait till she sees what's on the driver's side..."

            And so it was that no sooner than gear and an old guitar were stowed aboard the ol' A-Lamb-A-Tote, the trip to promised picnic land began. And so be it along the way, a pungent odor, escaping one particular picnic basket bay, tingled olfactory nerve stimulation, induced drooling mechanism, of one Brooke Nineve. "I have never smelled anything quite like the 'whatever' you have cooked up in that basket." She hugged Kelby's arm tight. "Maybe we could sample just a bite along the way?"

            Kelby smiled, "Am I the most blessed old cowhand in Texas or what? Got my pretty gal on my arm, and riding thru God's country to picnic heaven."

            "Kelby Tahl," Brooke cut loose a healthy, "Hymph," nipped his arm with pearly teeth, and with accusing eye rendered protest, "I have not forgotten your lips are a master of the old deflected by the reflected game." She squirmed a bit in seat, but did not let go his arm, did a little reflecting of her own. "But I did like that you said I'm pretty... and your gal." Her smile grew, but as it did the mirror of earlier morning gave the corner of her left eye a crow's-foot pinch, deflated that smile to near sniffle. "It was sweet of you to say, but the mirror tells me otherwise."

            The eyes of Kelby just smiled. He kept on a drivin', breathed, "You have no idea how beautiful you are, do you? You, dearest Brooke, who scents the breeze of my dreams with the flower of strawberry blonde hair, with freckles of marigold on nose that match the ones on the nape of your sweet neck, and those pink rose lips... But even if you had not these any at all, you'd still be beautiful to me."

            Brooke hugged his arm all the snugger, "And just why is that, Mr. Kelby? Tell me more." So returned pink rose smile.

            "Because the mirror of the face is temporary; but the mirror of the soul is forever. Because in due time the dew is as the dew of herbs, that wakes the dust... Whether old or whether dead in the dust, the dew from heaven wakes all to eternity, both the just and the unjust, to blessed place or to accursed other. Because at the crossroad of every life stands the cross. Because the cross is the crossroad of life. And you, little Brooke, have babbled many a dew time... the living water of Jesus."

            "Wow, ask a guy a question! You got all kinds a cowboy of the cosmos there for a minute." Brooke giggled, but confessed, "But I do love Jesus." She smiled.

            "Well, speaking of brooks, we are here and I'm about as hungry as you are." Kelby brought A-Lamb-A-Tote to a halt atop the rock over looking the brook. He fished, "Feel like getting your toes wet?"

            "You are such a kidder." Brooke giggled like a tickled little girl.

            "Well, there comes a time," Kelby put on his best sage, gray templed, cosmic look, repeated, "comes a time when all must pass over to the other side of the river, or brook as it be." He tried to stall the smile tugging at corner of lips.

            "So we really are crossing the water?" Brooke sighed, yet with hazel eyes of trust looked up into sage face.

            Boots off, jeans rolled up, guitar strapped to back, baskets dangling from left arm and hand, and Brooke hanging on to right arm, Kelby took first step into cool water. Brooke stepped in, giggled, "It tickles, feels so good after wearing those hot old boots." The clear ankle deep water rushed over smooth stone, and in between, "School girl toes!" She squeaked.

            "School girl toes?" Kelby smiled. He loved to hear Brooke's little squeak.

            "Yeah, in Austin after grade school during the summer, me and my best friend Bernie used to wade in the stream behind our house, let the minnows and baby bass nibble our toes. Ohh, what is that?" She squeaked again.

            "That little fellow inspecting your toes is your native rainbow trout. He is as colorful as he is right on cue, isn't he? One of God's little planned coincidences, no doubt. Thank you Lord above." And Kelby knew this to be a day of sweet reckoning.

            "Sunrise blue and pink with speckles, beautiful." Brooke admired the little swimmer.

            "Just don't get too distracted," Kelby gently warned. "The arch we are on top of is only about seven feet wide."

            "Arch?" Brooke puzzled.

            "Yep, we are crossing right in the middle of a limestone arch. Ankle deep here, but on both sides six feet deep. The water passes over and under it. So do not slip." The seriousness of his face betrayed the gentleness of his voice.

            If I go, we both go, Kelby Tahl." Brooke held tight to right arm.

            "Just a few more steps to the shade of that cypress." Kelby stood in water edge, made sure Brooke's first step on stream bank secure, then stepped up himself.

            Shortly the blanket was spread, the baskets and guitar laid out. two in love sat down, and the hunger astirred Brooke reached for Kelby's basket, reeking mystery aroma. His and hers hands met on basket handle.

            "Uh-aah, you open your basket first," Kelby teased.

            "No way," Brooke crinkled up freckles of nose and forehead. "That smell has been driving me crazy. I am so hungry, I almost gnawed off your arm on the way up here." She pulled basket to her and wrapped arms round it.

            "Give it up." Kelby tugged basket and the attached Brooke to him, planted full kiss on pink lips.

            Brooke's grasp loosened. Kelby gently picked up basket, sat it out of her reach. He gathered Brooke to his side, under arm. Her lips blushed, longed for more..." Open your basket first," He coaxed.

            Brooke fluttered lashes, narrowed hazel eyes, and through askew blushed lips muttered, "Deflected by the reflected 'again'! Kelby Tahl, you are a bad, bad almost ex-boyfriend." She tried sneak attack around his waist to snag that basket handle. Kelby scooted it just out of reach, to which Brooke registered a Richter Scale seismic, "Hymmmph!"

            "Your basket first," Like a flea in the fur, Kelby pestered away.

            "One of these days, Mr. Tahl." She scooted away, folded arms for a sec, then reached out and retrieved her picnic basket, sat it between them, fumed, "Since it means more to you than me, here." With the palm of her hand she tried to hide the smile cracking faux pas miffed mug. Her giggle revealed...

            "I love your natural born sweet marigold nature." Kelby kissed her temple, nuzzled nose in strawberry blonde hair.

            "Sweet distraction... again." Brooke leaned a tad closer.

            Kelby opened basket lid, "Let's see, fruit, nut and veggie salad," he took breath, "tossed in sweet raspberry vinaigrette, creamed peas, and your famous sour cream mashed tatters. Girl friend, done good!" Kelby bumped shoulder into hers.

            "Open your cotton pickin' basket!" Brooke fumed, like heat escaping lava.

            "Eh, what basket would that be?" Kelby treaded on volcanic ground.

            "The stinking picnic basket right behind you, stinky man." Brooke pouted.

            Kelby knew just how far to stretch Brooke's tolerance, before she stretched his neck, sat her basket away, replaced it with his.

            For a few seconds Brooke refused to budge folded arms, but her freckled nose began to twitch with waft of thick aroma. "Ohhh," she opened basket, opened tin foil, "buttermilk biscuits? Yummy, but that's not what I smell." She popped open foil covering ceramic dish, the smell rose up, tickled her nose, forced her to dive forefinger into, "Gravy?" She tasted, she grabbed a biscuit and dipped, she bit and she ate. She dipped biscuit again. "It's got a reddish tint?" She took nother scrumptious bite.

            "Red-eye gravy, an old southern recipe," Kelby volunteered.

            "Red-eye gravy, oh my," Brooke dipped biscuit, chewed anew. "Rich, smoky, salty and meaty delicious, but what kind of meat?" With mouth full, twixt chewing, she asked.

            "Critters," Kelby smiled.

            Red-eye gravy stop sign halted munching. "What kind of critters?" Brooke's munching cautiously resumed.

            "Well ya just sort a start with some wild boar smoked ham, fry it up in pan, take it out and add left over thick coffee to the drippins' and scrappins', and whisk in butter and bouillion cube." Kelby divulged recipe.

            "So the meat is ham?" Brooke took nother bite.

            "Naw, I ate that for breakfast, while I fried up the rabbit and squirrel."

            "So I am eating rodents," Brooke did not stop eating.

            "And duck and others of avian persuasion," Kelby nodded matter of factly.

           "Other persuasion?" Brooke was too food enraptured to care.

            "Yep, it's all fried, then thrown into the red-eye gravy, and the longer it simmers the tenderer it gets," Kelby basked in his culinary skills, then realized, "Hey, are you going to eat it all?"

            "It's," Brooke hugged basket to her, dipped second biscuit into red-eye gravy, "it's your own fault." She took healthy bite, with mouth full mumbled, "Starve a girl half to death in the middle of nowhere, trick her at every turn, like there is really rabbit and squirrel in this gravy; then ya stuff her with the gravy, make life interesting, and..." She dipped biscuit, brought it almost to her lips, but then redirected it dripping gravy to Kelby's mouth, "And you share your recipe of life with me." Love and tasty red-eye gravy had soothed away the crow's-feet from her blue-green eyes.

            And they supped... And Kelby burped, "Not bad manners, just good gravy." He laughed.

            "Yeah, like that joke never gets old." Brooke poked elbow in his ribs, let out a little burpette of her own, giggled.

            "You know what this means, don't you?" Kelby looked down into sweet blue-green eyes.

            "Fraid so," Brooke reached back, retrieved old guitar, plunked it down in her lap, strummed a bit til in tune with the dancing water of the brook, then in the voice of an angel began to sing:

                                       Drink of living water
                                       Fresh from the Lord above
                                       Blessed by the breath of the Dove      
                                       And filled with His love

                                       Drink of living water
                                       Panteth like the deer
                                       For streamlets cool and clear
                                       The dancing waters hear

            Brooke slowed the guitar pickin', let its song drift along with the water of the brook. And so did the deer appear, by the water so very near. And Brooke remembered the painting of the deer by the water, under the cypress decorating the passenger side of ol' A-Lamb-A-Tote. So her gaze ambled there to the other side of the stream, where upon the rock she now saw the other side of four wheel drive. The painting was the same except by the stream, under the cypress, on a picnic blanket sat a young woman playing a guitar in harmony with the living water of the brook. And beside her... kneeling on one knee was a man... And Brooke began to cry...

            And the crow's-foot in the corner of Kelby's eye land grew deep... as he relaxed, yet smiled the wider... on bended knee...

The dew of herbs: Deuteronomy 32:2-4  KJ

The dew of herbs and the dust: Genesis 2:7 KJ and "Isaiah 26:19 KJ" (All of Isaiah chapter 26)

The just and unjust: Matthew 5:45 Because God loves all, he sent the light and the rain from heaven, Jesus; and gives opportunity to accept his son Jesus as savior. So must we also love all and share Jesus.    

The Rock and His water: Deuteronomy 32:4 KJ; Numbers 20:8 KJ with 1st Corinthians 10:4 KJ and John 4:13-14 KJ

The deer by the brook: Psalm 42:1-2 KJ

Brooke Nineve... the brook and the lady of the lake

Marigold... flower of herb named in honor of Mary Mother of Jesus

Kelby Tahl... the place by the fountain spring and the dew

Sage... a medicinal herb mint... food flavoring... sound wisdom

Red-eye gravy: southern recipe embracing the gift of life...

Jesus... Son of God... our savior... the dew and the rain from heaven... the living water

Ezekiel 34:26 KJ... His season;  Numbers 20:8 KJ... His water

John 3:16 KJ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, '+that whosoever believeth in him+' should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Blessed place... or accursed other... eternity...









Friday, January 1, 2016


                "Good morning ma'am, thank you for shopping Edenland Grocery.  Did you find all you needed today?" Cashier Beth Ann smiled.

                "What kind of stupid question is that!" Peggy Pagon slung arrow of error, pierced Beth Ann heart.

                Standing behind Peggy in checkout line, Merci sighed; saw the hurt of arrow in Beth Ann eyes; wondered if the effort to be Peggy's friend was worth it and why had she gone shopping with such a dragon mouth.  Merci bit her tongue till in the scorching summer concrete parking lot, till seated on the hot leather seat of Peggy's SUV.  Before Peggy could turn the key to air conditioned heaven... "Ya know, Peggy," Merci took breath, "that chip on your shoulder ain't wood."

                "What?" Not quite at blast off mode, Peggy contemplated pushing the launch button. "Just exactly, what are you saying, Merci?"

                "It stinks..." Merci braved.

                "So..." Peggy's shoe tapped not lightly on floorboard. "So you are saying I have what on my shoulder?" Peggy seethed thru sow pursed lips.

                Merci folded arms, answered with a little mock floorboard toe tapping of her own. "I'm saying you have a thin hide, Peg." Merci did not flinch.

                Peg's eyes flared, mouth breathed fire, "Get out.  Get your butt out of this vehicle right now!  I hate you!"

                "Camouflaged lies," Merci looked Peg straight in the eyes.

                "What?" Peg blinked.

                "Thin hides and camouflaged lies," Merci shook head, softly continued, "do not hide what ails Peggy Pagon.  Like smoke to the eyes, so is the veil of self told lies."

                "Here we go again," Peg puffed that smoke, "burn me at the stake for non-conformity."

                "Just the opposite," Merci down cheek shed tear of living water, "to keep you from burning."

                Peg huffed an almost let it go, "You really believe that, don't you, Merci?" Peg teetered twixt bluster or muster. "I get the thin hide thing.  I admit that I am a grouch.  I just don't feel good and I take it out on innocent folks.  I admit it, regret it, makes me even grouchier; but what do you mean by camouflaged lies?"

                "Exhibit A: You just said you hate me, your best friend since seventh grade at Moody Jr. High.  So, do you?" Merci sighed.

                "Do I what?" Peg evaded.

                Do you hate me?" Merci trembled.

                Peg saw the tears well anew in the eyes of Merci. "Don't you cry, Merci Grace." Too late she repeated, "Don't you cry no more."

                "Jesus," Merci breathed, "Jesus hopes to be your friend too.  He loves you even more than I do.  Can you even imagine the tears He shed for you?" Tears danced down the cheeks of Merci.

                Transfixed, Peggy fell into the eyes of Merci.  She reached out, touched that living water on Merci's cheek.  And for a moment, a moment of eternity, Peg saw His eyes. "What is happening to me?" It was as if the tear she touched had entered her, now filled her eyes, cascaded, danced down her face as well... and Peg prayed, "Please, dear Jesus, never let this end."

                And it came to pass, Peg held the hand of Merci Grace as they walked across hot concrete parking lot, back into the cool air conditioning of Edenland Grocery and straight as a righted arrow to the checkout line of one Beth Ann...

                ...Beth Ann, who before Peg could apologize, opened her arms, said, "I see an answered prayer."

                Merci Grace sorta summed it up, "Everybody is going to checkout sometime... The paradise of cool air conditioning and warm hugs is a real good option..."

Note: This author kept wanting to change the name of Peggy Pagon.  Every effort to do so met the no of a still small voice.  And so it stayed, but I wondered why, as the parable progressed, I felt compelled to shorten the name to Peg.  Peg... as in the hands of Jesus.  For we have all pierced the hands of Jesus... yet He holds out his hands to us... and when we take His hand... we remain in His hand forever...                

Romans 3:23 KJ, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God... 6:23 And the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

John 10:28 KJ, "And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand." Also found in Isaiah 49:16.

The hands of Jesus are mercy and grace... so should we all be also...

Thursday, December 3, 2015


                High pitched horse whinny trailed off into truffle rooting pig snorts, pierced ears of cafe partisans, reined in all conversation, all sound, save for dropping ton of spoon in minestrone soup two tables over.

                "Melody, that is the most horrible giggle ever to shred an ear," Ana cut loose muffled giggle of her own, added, "and contagious." Giggle reflex unchained, finger tips to lips, Ana giggled again.

                Giggles spread across table tops from more than a few other patron lips; their ears tuned in to word given next.

                "Strange how that weird laugh verges on nuisance, yet infectiously draws folks to love you, Melody." Ana spoke from her heart.

                "Life is a melody," Melody smiled, "a breath of light, a taste of spirit, an aroma of love." Her amber eyes closed to join the flow.

                "What makes you this way, anyway?" Ana voiced what most eavesdropping cafe host nodded that they too wanted to know.

                "Well..." Melody twirled auburn curl twixt freckled fingers.

                "What? You don't want to share? Not the Melody I know." Ana propped elbows on table, intertwined fingers, laid chin in back of finger nest. "Lay it on me giggle lady." She pried.

                More than a few with sideways nods and others with eyes above wine glass rim wiggled an ear to hear.

                "Well... well, one early night lying abed, as prayers for loved ones drifted tween wake and sleep," Melody breathed, "the Lord past by..."

                The lady two tables over patted chest to keep wine from going down windpipe. Cafe wide, glasses found table top. Heads turned from sideways glances to head on straightway stares.

                "What!" Ana squeaked; worried silently, "Has my best friend lost it?"

                "Head on my pillow," soft lips of Melody parted, parted and began to flow, "head on my pillow, aroma and taste turned my face to the embrace of the Light...
                                                     Chiffon lime and lemon Light
                                                     flowing fluffy lovely Light
                                                     filling prayers softly in the night
                                                     not only with heavenly sight
                                                     even tasting waffing scent delight
                                                     precious Lord visits holy night
                                                     in His gentle breeze of Light
                                                     divine lime and lemon Light

                                                     Chiffon lime and lemon Light
                                                     dancing spirity lively Light
                                                     flowing thru silk curtains of night
                                                     proclaiming softly precious plight
                                                     our loved ones to God's delight
                                                     once lost sinners thru grace's might
                                                     welcoming Jesus as their Light
                                                     divine lime and lemon Light

                In the cafe many tasted the aroma of Light... yet some did not... and Melody prayed for them all...

                The song part of this story describes an actual night of visitation in the life of this author. Lays bare answer to prayer that loved ones would ask Jesus to be the light of their hearts and be baptized. It is also a beacon to all, that smell, taste, sight, hearing, touch, spirit and infinitely more are the ways our Creator communicates with us 'the way'... Jesus... the Light of the world...

The Light:
Genesis 1:1-3; 2nd Corinthians 4:6; Isaiah 60:1-5; John 1:1-14; John 8:12; and Revelation 21:22-24; Psalm 119:105

The Taste: Psalm 34:8; Exodus 16:31; Proverbs 24:13-14; Song of Solomon 5:1; Psalm 119:103

The Scent: Ephesians 5:1-2

The Melody: Isaiah 51:3 with Ephesians 5:19-20 and Psalm 100