When my sister and I are in the car driving around, we always consider it an adventure. We have on occasion taken an unknown road just to see where it leads. The fun comes in finding our way home without having to resort to a smartphone application to tell us the way (which I guess in some ways is cheating if we’re trying to enjoy the adventure of getting from there to here). And then there are the times when the adventure is in our own backyard.
Warning -- this is one of those "shooting from the hip" postings.
It's quite ironic that for all the scrambling for the latest in "smart phones", we are no smarter because of them.
In fact, I think it's just the opposite.
This morning at 5:30 AM I said goodbye to Happy, my beloved black Labrador of 10 years. I have written earlier about her weakening condition. Labradors are made of abundant dog fortitude. Happy never whined about the pain she was obviously having. She was strong and brave to the end.
On one of her last times outside, she walked slowly up the little hill on the west side of the house where she would sit for hours and look out across the wide backyard where she benevolently ruled for so many years. There she had chased many a rabbit. She and her brother sampled the latest cologne from a visiting skunk. She even argued with a ground hog once. From her vantage point she would monitor my grass mowing to be sure I didn’t miss anything. From time to time her buddy/brother Cody would join her and silently wait for something to chase or for a passerby to bark at. I remember times of calling her at dusk to come inside and she would look around at me from her post as if to say, “Just a little while longer…?”
But like all of us, time caught up with her. The emergency room Vet who examined her said that Happy had a large mass in her upper abdomen which was pressing up against her heart causing her labored breathing and sluggishness. The Vet also noticed some internal bleeding. Along with her incontinence, drooling, and sporadic eating the Vet said with tears in her eyes that my Happy was slowly dying. (She said that her own black lab had died of similar conditions.) I held Happy in my arms as the Vet administered the injections. She fell asleep and laid quietly at my feet.
Saying goodbye to such a companion is never easy. And yet, even as much as I could wish that she stay with me just a little while longer, such thoughts are selfish especially when such a beautiful animal is suffering. That moment of letting go is never easy. Yet, she has left me so many grand memories of her heart and her love. I had a decade of days with this wonderful dog, and she will not be forgotten.
I love hearing our national anthem. I love singing our national anthem. It has come under pretty intense attacks in the last few years, but as long as I'm around, I think it is a song worth singing. It is a song worthy of honoring our nation - its citizens, those who serve in defending our nation with their lives, and yes even the freedoms some would attempt to wreck with their protests.
I’m not sure what the issue is. She just had her annual checkup several days ago, and the vet who examined her said she appeared to be fine. Her eyes are cloudy and he said she is slowly going blind.
But she is no longer eating dry food and I have to coax her to eat breakfast. She seems to be losing weight and I have been trying to make her comfortable.
Zacharias, Ravi. Recapture the Wonder: Experiencing God's Amazing Promise of Childlike Joy . Thomas Nelson. Kindle Edition.
There's something about hearing how people have failed and yet deciding that their failures were not final - and to keep trying.
When days were lonely and long during my time at Dallas Theological Seminary, I remember sitting in my room and starting a list of "things I want to do" and "things I want to learn". The list was pretty long, but it soon became my go to method for pulling myself out of the doldrums.
This "good in every day" game is similar. I sometimes think about it when I am making an entry in my written journal - the one I keep of things not fit for print - and pretty soon I have more than enough thoughts to be jotted down. It's worth the time to do if for no other reason that to see value in every day.
The journey of Voyager has always fascinated me. I guess it's because it's one of those events - like the moon landing - that was particularly memorable. It has consistently been in the background of my life since 1977, when I was heading into my second year at Washington Bible College. There are other, better, and longer documentary about the construction and journey of this spacecraft, but this one gives a good short summary of the little spacecrafts that could.
I’ve joked with family that my birthday has become just another day to me. Sure it’s nice to be treated to a meal with family, but that is almost a weekly occurrence, and it’s always a special time. But a birthday? “Humbug,” as Scrooge would say.
“Yet man dies not whilst the world, at once his mother and his monument, remains. His name is lost, indeed, but the breath he breathed still stirs the pine-tops on the mountains, the sound of the words he spoke yet echoes on through space; the thoughts his brain gave birth to we have inherited to-day; his passions are our cause of life; the joys and sorrows that he knew are our familiar friends—the end from which he fled aghast will surely overtake us also!
"Truly the universe is full of ghosts, not sheeted churchyard spectres, but the inextinguishable elements of individual life, which having once been, can never die, though they blend and change, and change again forever.”
-H. Rider Haggard, King Solomon’s Mines
I thought about an interesting incident the other day and how we can still be tied to the ways of the past. I was driving around with my sister and niece and was telling them about an orange-breasted bird I had seen moving through the bushes in the back yard. At first I was thinking it was just a robin, but then I realized the bird’s breast seemed to be a bit more orange than a robin’s and I was also thinking that its body was more brown. It just didn’t appear to be a robin.
My sister said it was a Baltimore oriole and I hadn’t thought it might be a female.
And I responded with “I’ll look it up in my bird book when I get home.” My sister said she would look it up as well – and even my niece said she had a bird book, too.
Yes, I have been delinquent in posting to the blog. I was thinking about this the other day when I went to post something and realized that the days had escaped me since the last entry. I instantly felt guilty.
I think everyone is quicker to offer excuses than accept responsibility for their failings. I even cringe at the thought that I have been irresponsible when it comes to my online home. Like most, it’s easier to offer excuses than it is to accept responsibility.
It's found in conversations where someone is trying to explain something and they pepper the explanation with "...you know...". It seems to happen when their mouth gets ahead of their brain. They seem like they don't want to wait for their brain to catch up so they just insert a "you know" to get from one point to another.
It's an interesting story. It interested me so much I decided to link it to my blog. It's a tale of a boy who grew up thinking he was stupid and couldn't learn how to read. And throughout his life he found ways to escape his shortcoming - even to the point where he taught school for 17 years.
There are many lessons to be learned from the life of this man: things from believing we are what we believe ourselves to be, to trying to ignore the handicap we have to the point where we try and normalize life by devising ways to escape the ability to respond to the challenge our shortcoming places before us.
I'm going to leave this here for those who want to think about this.
After testimony of Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg before Congress this past week, I began to wonder if maybe I could do without this program.
Granted it does supply a good deal of information, but after reading this guy's article about getting rid of Facebook, I admit I'm thinking about giving the program the heave-ho.
I particularly like his observations about how Facebook has made us lazy in our relationships.
Fear is one of those emotions men never admit to having, yet they have it all the same from degrees of mild to total immobilization. I'm probably just a smidgen below the high side of total petrification.
What is? Changing jobs.
That's what is currently happening with me. After five months of working full time at home for a contractor, I decided it was time to find something else to do. A tip from a friend put me in touch with another contractor, and in a few days I'll be joining another group doing what I love to do - technical writing.