Friday, July 12, 2002

Your child's social life has officially begun when they get their first invitation to a friend's birthday party. Our kids have been to parties in the party room at fast food restaurants, at pizza places, homes with swimming pools. When our youngest son had his 16th birthday, we knew we'd have a hard time surprising him because he had watched us surprise his brother and his sister on their 16th. But I tricked him into going with me to check out a riding stable several days before his birthday - and that is where we surprised him. So his party was where the horses live. Lots of parties are often made special by the place where they're held.

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Wendy was my first real crush. I was 13, and she was beautiful. But I didn't know how to let her know my feelings toward her. So I saved up my allowances and went downtown and spent everything I had on this necklace. I put it in an envelope with a mushy note I wrote, and I nervously handed it to her in study hall. I was really swave, uh, suave at that age. Well, the next day in study hall she walked by my desk and handed me back a familiar looking envelope. Inside was the note and the necklace. I was crushed.

Monday, July 1, 2002

In the house where I grew up, we drank a lot of milk. In the house where my wife grew up, they tried to get her to drink a lot of milk. But there was one glass of milk she had when she was a little girl that sort of ruined milk for her from then on. It had this really bitter taste - and her parents, not knowing how it tasted, forced her to finish drinking it. Well, as Farm Girl explained it to City Boy here, their cows had apparently been eating something called bitterweed - which turns what they produce into something bitter. Just ask my wife.

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Our three-year-old grandson was talking with his grandmother on the phone. And all was well. Then he handed the phone over to his Mom and took off across the room to play. Suddenly, Grandma heard him crying in the background. He had tripped over something and actually he had fallen pretty hard. Nothing serious, but he was hurting. Well, he walked back over to Mom and he cried through his tears – “I want to rewind and talk to Grandma!”

Tuesday, May 28, 2002

We're speeding down the Interstate when suddenly we come upon this RV, pulling a small car behind him. It looked like the little car was actually pushing this big recreational vehicle, but, of course, I knew that couldn't be. The car's license plate was clearly visible - it said, "Me also." That didn't make any sense until I managed to get a glimpse of the license plate on the RV that was pulling that car. It said, "I'm happy." Cute.

Wednesday, April 24, 2002

In his Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis created a magical land called Narnia where the animals talked - and which he used to illustrate allegorically some important Biblical truths. The Christ-figure in the Chronicles is a majestic lion named Aslan. And, there's a little girl named Lucy, who's one of the children who discovers Narnia. Now, in the Narnia book, Prince Caspian, Lewis relates a reunion between Lucy and Aslan, whom she has not seen for some time. And, it's a tender reunion. What follows is a short, but very insightful, conversation. Lewis says that Lucy "gazed up into that large, wise face. 'Welcome, child,' he said. 'Aslan,' said Lucy, 'you're bigger.' 'That is because you are older, little one,' answered he. 'Oh, not because you are?' 'I am not. But every year you grow, you will find me bigger.'"

Tuesday, April 16, 2002

I'm glad they didn't tell me until it was over. It was my first time landing at LaGuardia Airport in New York City - an airport whose runways jut right out into Jamaica Bay. When I arrived, my friends told me that I had just landed on the garbage of New York City. Now, that is a very exciting thought. It turns out that much of the airport was actually built on landfill - yes, it was made from Big Apple garbage. That's not bad for piles of trash.

Wednesday, March 20, 2002

Our friends recently got a new horse - number five of the little herd they have in their barn and pasture. This one is the biggest of the lot - half Morgan, half Belgian, for those to whom that means anything. As soon as she was let out of her corral for the first time, it was interesting to watch the social interaction in the Pasture Club. The smallest horse - a strong-minded Arabian horse came up real close to the new girl on the block, pushing to see who would be in charge. The answer: a swift kick in the hindquarters. The next couple of hours was an equine soap opera as each horse asserted their claim to their turf and maneuvered for dominance - and to be sure who was the herd boss in this new arrangement.

Monday, March 4, 2002

Anniversaries can throw another log on the old romantic fire. Our kids watch the video of their wedding. They didn't have video in those primitive days when my wife and I were married, but we do have an audio tape of our wedding. And it's great to revisit the day that our marriage began and to hear what we promised each other, and to remember the passion of our first love.

Tuesday, February 19, 2002

It's one of those photos you never forget - like the picture of those American soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima. You've probably seen the photo of those three weary, dusty firefighters raising the American flag in the ruins of the World Trade Center. USA Today says "it may have been the blackest day's blackest hour" when that picture was taken. It was becoming apparent that there would be few survivors, and another tower - 7 World Trade Center - was about to fall. An evacuation order was issued to all the firefighters searching in the rubble. But one firefighter saw something on a docked boat - a debris-covered American flag on a broken pole. With the help of two other firefighters, he found a large metal flagpole jutting at a 45-degree angle from a ledge about twenty feet above the ground. They climbed up and rigged the flag to the pole - totally unaware that a photographer was watching - and capturing it for the world to see. A woman who taught nearby, summarized what that moment meant - "People were grasping for hope," she said, "and suddenly there it was."

            

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Harrison, AR 72602-0400

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