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And the Winner Is…

Here it is Christmas Eve eve and I’m a little bit sad because this is the first Christmas that we won’t all be together as a family on the big day. I know that children grow up, must incorporate their spouses family, and want to start their own family traditions. I must admit that I’m a sucker for tradition. I love that there are things that we do each year at this time.
Ty and Lauren hope you have a great Christmas and know that you are missed. Will and Mallory, be safe in your travels and know that we will have you in our hearts and prayers on Christmas day as you spend it with Will’s family.  Yeah I’m a big softie.  Last night when I was saying the prayer for my wife’s side of the family celebration, I got a little choked up thinking about those that have gone on to be with Jesus.  Mom, Dad, Barbara, and Norm will always be a part of us, especially at this time of year.

Ok, that’s enough sentimentality so I think I’ll write about some of the lighter Christmas memories.  One year, Mom got everyone year passes to Opryland.  John David was probably about 8 or 9 and when everyone opened the gift at the same time, he screamed out, “Alright, credit cards”  B was generous at Christmas, but not to that extent.  Mom and Dad had the tradition of giving all three of us boys the exact same gift to open at the same time. We received everything from identical adjustable wrenches to warm-up suits in an array of colors.  The selection usually depended on what bargains Dad discovered on his usually last minute shopping spree.  In the later years, Mom would have whoever happened to be at the house wrap presents so you had to be careful not to peek because you could be wrapping your own present. Probably the year we laugh at still the most is the one where she gave everyone the big puffy orange vests.  You know the ones that looked like life jackets or made you look like a day-glow Michelin tire men (Think Marty McFly in Back to the Future) .  When we went to the movies, we all wore our vests.  I’m sure we looked like a bunch of navy personnel on shore leave as we stood in line to get our tickets. There are lots of memories when our kids were little, like the FurReal Kitten year (still have nightmares) and the big kid bike that was hidden upstairs that Tyler was sure he had not gotten but I’ll relay about what happened last year.  When the kids were young and even into their teens, they always requested scavenger hunts for birthdays or special occasions so I decided to use this same technique in giving a special gift that Sherry found for all three of them.  My youngest is a fierce competitor and will give it her all to win whatever the contest.  Each clue led to the next clue ending in discovering a hidden gift.  To throw in a twist, the person who came in first could switch with either of the other two before the gifts were opened.  The contest began and as usual, my youngest went about it with a vengeance tearing through the house.  She finished first and became impatient so she aided her brother and sister in accomplishing their goals.  My baby was torn about which gift to take; she wanted hints about what each gift contained because she finished first.  It’s not fair was at least thought if not uttered.  We started with 3rd place opening first, then second, and finally 1st.  Each gift was identical, the same edition of  Cooking with the Pioneers Cookbook.  This may not seem like much of a big deal but this has been our go to cookbook at home with everyone’s favorite recipes.  Sherry scoured the internet to find three editions of this book.  Up to this point, I really believed that our kids would wait with baited breath when our wills were read to see who would inherit the treasured book.  I have to confess, I laughed so hard I almost wet myself and in the end, they were all quite pleased, even the youngest .  As busy as it gets during this time of year, I guess that’s enough strolling down Memory Lane.

Merry Christmas!  May the Joy of Jesus fill your hearts and homes this Christmas and into the New Year.

Luke 2:11-14

Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.” Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people He favors!

Life Will never Be the Same ( A FMF exercise on birth)

It’s the last Friday of the year for FiveMinuteFriday.com writing challenge where we’re given a prompt word to write about for five minutes. I haven’t made it all year so I don’t expect today to be any different with today’s word – birth.

There are not too many things that bring about more life changes than the birth of a baby. You can make plans and think you are completely prepared but you never really are. All three of our kids are grown now but I can easily recall each of their births. My wife’s womb must have been an absolutely fantastic place to hang out because all of our kids didn’t want to leave. Our first, a son, was a week overdo and both our girls were 10 days overdo. I placed myself, at great risk of bodily harm,between my wife and the unwitting fools who asked the foolish question, “Haven’t you had that baby yet?” When the day finally arrived, I was lucky enough to be able to share with my awesome bride the birth of each of our kids and each time it was a miracle. Our third child was a surprise baby because we thought we were done at two but God had other plans. As I said earlier, she was 10 days overdo so the doctor felt Sherry needed to be induced. My wife is a tough as can be having had the first two naturally. She was in labor all day and was completely worn out. The doctor finally gave her something to relax her after assuring us that it wouldn’t harm our baby. There was a complication in that the cord was wrapped around my daughter’s neck. I wasn’t too worried because the same thing had happened with our first. Remember when I said that no matter how prepared you think you are, you never really are. Well that proved to be the case because when they tried to untangle it, the cord snapped. I was so terrified. This baby had gone from someone we weren’t necessarily expecting to my baby girl that I loved the moment I saw her. My heart was breaking as I looked at her gray little body. One of her lungs collapsed and I was torn between wanting her to stay with us and wanting her transferred to Vanderbilt Neonatal Intensive care where she could get the best possible care. My daughter was a fighter, like she is to this day, and her lung re-inflated. Within 12 hours, she had bounced back to full health.  With that birth our life changed again.  We went from a family of four to one of five. To having to move away from the less expensive rooms at Disney to the more expensive ones to fit us.  Our parenting strategy went from man on man to a zone defense. Even with all those challenges and changes, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Which brings to mind, especially at this time of year,  another birth that changed life as we know it.  Rather than try to use my own words, I’ll defer to Faith Hill’s song that says it much better than I ever could.  Here are the lyrics and a link if you’ve never heard it.

A Baby Changes Everything
Teenage girl, much too young
Unprepared for what’s to come
A baby changes everything
Not a ring on her hand
All her dreams and all her plans
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything
The man she loves she’s never touched
How will she keep his trust?
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything
And she cries!
Ooh, she cries
Ooh, oh
She has to leave, go far away
Heaven knows she can’t stay
A baby changes everything
She can feel He’s coming soon
There’s no place, there’s no room
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything
And she cries!
And she cries!
Oh, she cries
gather ’round
(Up above the star shines down) star shines down
(A baby changes everything)
Choir of angels sing
Glory to the newborn King
A baby changes everything
A baby changes everything
Everything, everything, everything
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
My whole life has turned around
I was lost but now I’m found
A baby changes everything, yeah
A baby changes everything
I knew that there was no way I could keep it to five minutes when I’m writing about my kids.  The miracle of birth changes everything and because of that baby born in a manger, life will never be the same for all of us. I’ll take this opportunity to wish you Merry Christmas and a Joyous New Year.
But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:

Your Estimated Wait Time Is….

 


As a rule I try to stay positive in my posts but I need to vent a little after a recent online experience so I’ll just go ahead and ask for forgiveness, now.

First let me say that I have been a patron of this establishment for years and can probably trace that patronage back at least through my parents. At one point, every appliance in our home was purchased from here. On top of that, each Christmas the arrival of the Wish Book was awaited  with great anticipation.  Our middle child would drain multiple pens “rounding” items in said book while making out her wish list.  Sadly this company has suffered the fate of many other retailers and have scaled back including closing the brick and mortar store in our town.  I did have the opportunity in this Christmas gift buying season to once again patronize this company however it was a less than rewarding experience.

After exhaustive online research, I discovered the item we wanted on sale on the website of the aforementioned retailer.  On top of that, they offered a bonus $5 online coupon by ordering on cyber Monday.  I’m talking win, win.  I placed the order and felt the satisfaction of having bagged my quarry while saving a little coin.  The glow of that accomplishment would soon dim.

The package arrived (Luckily it was too heavy for our dog to play Package keep away) and my lovely wife pushed it into our bedroom on my side of the bed.  To avoid a future ER trip for a broken toe, I decided that it would be advisable to wrap the gift. It was in a nondescript brown box but the invoice was for the ordered item.  My wife asked if I had opened it to insure it was correct.  I began to say that I was sure it was right but feared the inevitable “I told you so” at Christmas if it was not so.  Imagine my surprise when I discovered the wrong item had been sent.  Although the item we received was of greater value than what we ordered, it was not one of the requested “rounded” items on anyone’s wish list.  Thus began my amazing Odyssey in the world of customer service.

Looking back, I made several wrong turns in my effort to correct their mistake.  First and foremost, I probably should have simply sealed the package and played dumb to have avoided all the confusion.  Next, after determining that the number of emails that would have been required to send the incorrect item back and reorder the desired one would have given War and Peace a run for its money, I decided to call customer service directly.  Mistake number 2.  Of course, I was put on hold for the next available representative.  I was informed that my wait time would likely be over 5 minutes.  If I was a betting man, I could have made a killing on the over.  After 45 minutes,  I began carrying on an animated conversation with the automated voice and may have even invited her to Christmas dinner.  When I finally was able to speak with a live person, I thought I may have been better off with the automated voice.  I will lay just about any amount that my representative’s real name was not Betty.  I explained the situation multiple times, only to be asked what the problem was.  The language barrier, while not completely broken, at least provided a pass through so the gist of my problem was understood.  She was very polite but not being fluent in her language, she may have been insulting my family tree back several generations.  I was to take the wrong item to the store for a refund and then I could reorder the correct one.  I informed her that I found that solution less than adequate since we no longer have a store in our town.  The next option was to take it to a UPS facility with a prepaid shipping label but wouldn’t receive my refund until it arrived at the warehouse that originally shipped the wrong product.   As you can imagine, I did not have much confidence of ever seeing that money.  I was less than pleased with this option but had no real choice.  Next came the ordering portion only to discover that the charge would be $15 more.  Worried that I might be listed on Interpol’s watch list if I expressed my thoughts on this price increase, I tempered my response to that wouldn’t do. I asked to speak with a supervisor before she adjusted the price by $10.  She went on to say that she could not give me the other $5 until after the new item was delivered and I would simply call back to receive the credit.   I expected anytime to be asked if my refrigerator was running or if I had Prince Albert in a can to complete the prank but it was not to be. To say I was livid would be a major understatement but again I really had no choice.  I gave her my credit information fearing that I might be underwriting some third world country’s economy.

I’m about to wrap this up I promise. The correct item arrived Friday and that should have been the end of the story.  Unfortunately, there is one more chapter.  I attempted to call on Saturday only to be told once again that they were experiencing higher than normal call volume.  With all this higher than normal traffic, it’s surprising the company is in such dire financial straits. After 45 minutes with the call volume not diminishing, I decided that I should cool off before starting a war with another nation.  My last mistake was not just letting it go and eating the $5 but pride, principle, and being George Thompson’s son would not allow me that option.  I first attempted an online chat but was cut off after waiting for 15 minutes because I couldn’t type my problem fast enough.  Like Don Quixote I vowed to defeat that windmill so I got online and called on my cell to see which modality would be the avenue for my salvation. The battle was fierce with each promising that my time would come. Eventually the online chat came in first by a nose.  I was a little tempted to let them speak to each other to eliminate the language problem but thought it might cost me in the long run.  The representative wanted to give me “points” that would be valid until next year but I said I would prefer a refund in real money.  He did eventually but I won’t believe that I haven’t purchased some small country until I see the refund on my bank statement.

Thinking back all my problems may have stemmed from being blacklisted because Mama, my Mom’s mother, once drove the car through a display window of the business I dealt with.  It’s at least biblical.  The sins of the father (or at least in the this case the grandmother) shall be visited on the children and the children’s children.

In the end persistence paid off which leads to today’s verse.

Luke 18

18 He then told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not become discouraged: “There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect man. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’

“For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect man, yet because this widow keeps pestering me,[a] I will give her justice, so she doesn’t wear me out[b] by her persistent coming.’”

Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to His elect who cry out to Him day and night? Will He delay to help them?[c] I tell you that He will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find that faith[d] on earth?”

 

Whistling in the Dark (a FMF exercise on darkness)

It’s Friday so that means it’s time for the FiveMinuteFriday.com challenge where I’m to write on a word prompt. Today’s word is darkness.

Darkness is something I’m keenly aware of since I have an artificial left eye due to an injury when I was a kid. In the Christmas classic A Christmas Story, Ralphie is constantly told that if he gets a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas that he would shoot his eye out. Even before I had my eye was removed, my parents would caution me to be careful to not let anything happen to my good eye.  I have always had the threat of perpetual darkness since the injury so I’m conscious of the fact that blindness is a possibility.  Since I’m blind in my left eye, that side is always in darkness.  Oh, I have compensated by learning to turn my head a little and my peripheral vision has become much stronger on the right side but the fact of the matter is that stuff happens on the left side that I totally miss, a fact that always brought amusement to my kids when they were younger. Often my wife will fuss at me when I’m driving about not waving to neighbors until I tell her that I never saw them.  I’ve learned to adjust, to compensate, if you will but sometimes there is a whole world that I’m completely unaware.

The same is true when you go into a dark room.  Eventually your eyes adjust to the darkness, and perhaps you can differentiate some shapes and see a little bit.  The longer you stay in the dark, the more accustomed you become to it and you can even convince yourself that the dark is not so bad.  A great example of this in nature is a species of fish that lives in Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.  The fish have lived so long in total darkness that they no longer develop eyes or any visual organs.  They completely accept the darkness.

The problem is that we were created to be children of light.  Ephesians 5:8 says:  For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.  Our world has become so accustomed to the darkness that it has convinced itself that it doesn’t even need the light.  In essence, it’s become quite proficient at whistling in the dark. By definition, it means that you are trying to remain brave and convince yourself that the situation is not as bad as it seems.  In John 12:35 Jesus reminds us that : The one who walks in darkness doesn’t know where he’s going.. When you’ve been in the dark for a prolonged period of time, the light may even hurt your eyes so often those who live in the dark are afraid of the pain the light might bring.  The amazing thing about darkness is that it only takes a little bit of light to chase it away.  God loved us enough that he did want us to just settle for living in the dark.  That is why He sent  Jesus who promised I am the light of the world. Anyone who follows Me will never walk in the darkness but will have the light of life.  

When my wife wants to get me to see something cool on my left side that I might have missed. she tells me to look that direction.  As believers, we don’t need to hoard the Light of Jesus.  I absolutely love candle light services during this time of year. The room starts out in total darkness  except for a single candle representing the Light of the World but then it is passed until the whole room is ablaze with candles so that the darkness is completely gone.  The reason why Christmas is called the Season of Light is because Jesus said:

John 12:46

46 I have come as a light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me would not remain in darkness.

Lord, Help me let Your Light shine into the darkness for anyone I come into contact.

Will the Real… Please Stand up.

At one time there was a game show called To Tell the Truth and with all the reboots of game shows, it may even be on again. For those unfamiliar with the premise of the show, three contestants would claim to be the same person with usually some unique or even strange profession. Four panelists would then ask questions to determine who was lying and who was telling the truth. You might be asking why in the world I would make such an obscure reference.  I was driving in the mall area and spotted multiple Santas within a couple of blocks and it reminded me of when our kids were little and they would ask how there were so many Santas and which one was the real one.

I always explained that since Santa had to take care of kids all over the world, he had lots of helpers.  We had the occasion to visit many different Santas while the kids were growing up. There was even one that we often saw  driving  around  Franklin a red convertible wearing a T-shirt and shorts that I had strong suspicions was the real one summering away from the North Pole.  Some Santas really look the part and some really act the part so it was always difficult to know if we were dealing with the real thing or not.  One Christmas season we were in Atlanta for a work conference.  We had heard that the “real Santa” was in a mall very close to the hotel where we were staying.  My wife got the kids all dressed up to have pictures made with the Jolly Old Elf himself.  When we arrived, I thought that perhaps the President or some other VIP must be close due to all the security personnel.  We waited in line in front of the door to the inner sanctum. After two or three background checks, providing finger prints and a DNA sample, we were allowed to get in line.  When we finally arrived at the door, I caught a glimpse of of Saint Nick when the door opened a little too wide.  Even I was quite excited to be that close to the “Man” only to be asked to see our reservation.  The guard at the door smiled and shook his head at our apparent naivete when I said that we didn’t have one.  If our kids had known that the hysterical laughter was aimed at us when I asked if we could get a reservation for later in the day, I’m sure they would be telling a therapist to this day how they were scarred by the humiliation they suffered that awful Christmas season.  We were informed that we would have made reservations upon conception if we had been good parents.  We could have waited in the standby line but I think I saw some adults whining to some gray haired,elderly parents. asking if this would be the year they finally  got to see Santa.  We turned about face and did the Walk of Shame past all the parents who had planned sufficiently.  We did go and visit the Santa in the mall that was attached to our hotel.  I couldn’t compare him the “supposedly” real Santa since we had in effect a restraining order filed against us and could not be within 5 city blocks.  Our Santa must have had connections to the Big Guy because the kids got everything they wanted for Christmas that year.

As I said earlier, we have had the opportunity to visit many different Santas during our kids journey through childhood with some more believable than others.  One year in particular sticks out as an experience that screams for better quality control for Santa’s helpers.  For the life of me, I can’t remember if we won last prize from a radio station or if it was a work Christmas party that was all wrong, but we were on a Christmas cruise on the Music City Queen, I think it was called.  I may not be recalling the experience accurately because it’s possible,I could be repressing some of the facts. Think the steerage class on the General Jackson and you have an inkling of how impressive it was.  The boat ride was actually OK until they brought out their version of Santa’s helper.  The North Pole Navy’s standards for the role must be quite low because “Santa” could not have weighed over 110.  Any kids who were not terrified of him found it easier to have Santa sit on their laps. I don’t know what animals had been nesting in his fake beard but it really didn’t matter because it stuck to his five o’clock shadow like Velcro.  He bore a striking resemblance to the deck hand I had seen moments before spit a wad of tobacco into the Cumberland that choked a large catfish. His chapter of elves needed to renegotiate their contract to include dental coverage so he could preserve at least two or three of the teeth he had remaining in his mouth. He attempted to give out candy canes that were definitely from the Ghost of Christmas Way Past.   Everyone on board as relieved when “Santa” disappeared and the deck hand came back.

Needless to say it would be so much better for the kids if the real Santa Claus would please stand up.  Thankfully that’s not what Christmas is all about.  There is no confusion about the real hope we have because of the gift that God sent in His Son, Jesus.

Luke 2

In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before[e] them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified.[f] 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people:[g] 11 Today a Savior, who is Messiah the Lord, was born for you in the city of David. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in cloth and lying in a feeding trough.”

13 Suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying:

14 Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and peace on earth to people He favors![h][i

Hurry Up and Have Fun! (a FMF exercise on rush)

On Fridays, I participate in the FiveMinuteFriday.com challenge to write for five minutes on a challenge word. I’ve pretty much given up on limiting my posts to five minutes so I’ll apologize on the front end if I get too wordy. Today’s word is rush.

I’ll just go ahead and confess that this is an area that I can sometimes be guilty of falling into, especially at this time of year. I love Christmas, always have and probably always will. I enjoy decorating the house and the tree. I would lay in bed Christmas morning until I heard our kids start to stir so that I could get up and enjoy their excitement and wonder. I love watching my loved ones open the gifts that I’ve picked out. There are many traditions that I love but the problem is that I tend rush from one to the next just to get all of them in.  It is too easy for me to fall into the trap of hurrying up to have fun.

Allow me to share a couple of short stories where I’ve let this happen.  The first is from awhile ago.  Our son was not quite 4 and our daughter was a couple of months old.  Our church was distributing Christmas baskets to those in need.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach our young son about the spirit of giving and sharing so we signed up to deliver a basket.  Our destination was literally on the other side of the railroad tracks in the poorer side of town.  We turned down the potholed dirt road beside the tracks past a row of run down shacks to the address of our delivery.  As a family, we knocked on the door.  We were greeted by a smiling elderly lady named Mrs Scruggs. She complimented our cute kids and kept thanking us.  After we left, I used the opportunity as a teaching tool for our son to explain the what and the why of doing this.  I was quite pleased that we had the chance to teach a lesson on sharing God’s love and blessings.  That is, until Christmas morning.  We already had our immediate family Christmas with just the four of us and had traveled to my parents.  I was unloading the gifts for my parents and my brother’s families when my son, in his sweet little, almost four year old voice, asked me, “I wonder what Mrs Scruggs is doing for Christmas, this morning?”   It stopped me because he taught me something.  I had been so caught up in the rush to “do good”, I forgot about her as a person the minute we crossed over the tracks.  Out of the mouths of babes.

Many years have passed.  Our kids are all grown now and I’m much older but apparently not all that much wiser because last night I had another reminder to not always be in such a rush.  Our Sunday School class hosted Room in the Inn, a ministry for the homeless in Nashville where we pick up 10 guys from the Mission, feed and house them at our church and then return them the next morning.   I had an earlier meeting at church and so didn’t get the opportunity to help much in the preparations.  We served the guys their meal and my wife and I were seated at a table with a couple of the gentlemen.  One of the fellows engaged my wife in conversation.  He shared lots of stories about his life on the streets.  I was listening but to be honest, I really didn’t hear him.  Since I didn’t get much of a chance to help in the preparations, I was thinking I needed to aid in the clean up before we headed home.  All of the other men had finished eating and left the fellowship hall.  I felt a little conspicuous for just sitting there not doing anything.  I was in a rush to “do good” but my wonderful wife was more concerned with the man at our table. Light bulb moment.  I stopped worrying so much about rushing to the next thing and began to really hear what our new friend was saying.  He wanted someone to sit and listen.  So we did.

Thank you, Kate and FMF, for the reminder about rush.  Even if I’m doing something that’s supposed to be good, I need to be more like Mary, who sat at Jesus’ feet to be in His presence and less like Martha who was busy.  I’ve used it before but there is much wisdom to be gained from the chorus of the Veggie Tales song, Busy, Busy:

I’m busy, busy, dreadfully busy
You’ve no idea what I have to do.
Busy, busy, shockingly busy
Much, much too busy for you.

I need my prayer to be to not always hurry up and have fun or be in such a rush to “do good”.  Life can be so busy, especially at this time of year.  Help me to be a Mary, sitting at the feet of Jesus and less like Martha, always worrying about doing the next thing.  Let me not be in such a rush ‘to do” Christmas, to stop and reflect on what it really means, and engage with those around me.  Help me heed the words of Jesus to Martha.

Luke 39

 39 She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s[n] feet and was listening to what He said.[o] 40 But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t You care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.”[p]

41 The Lord[q] answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice,[r] and it will not be taken away from her.”

For more blogs from a Christian perspective, check out  and maybe even join FiveMinuteFriday.com hosted by Kate Motaung.

Can’t Believe I Miss It

Thanksgiving’s is over and I’ve got mixed emotions about it. First, we had a really great time with everyone back home for the holiday. The house was full of laughter and warmth. We had an opportunity for a little male bonding as my son-in-law, my son, and myself repaired the folding door to the laundry closet on Thanksgiving morning.  We grunted a little ala Tim the Toolman Taylor, got to use some power tools, and even a little friendly persuasion with a hammer and a rubber mallet.  My son was apparently given the job of color commentary which mostly revolved around my age and the interesting sounds I made as I applied the aforementioned persuasion to removing the old and installing the new various parts for the door.  God gives us all different gifts but I’m not sure that sarcasm is one of those.   Wherever he got it, Ty uses that gift quite freely.  The amazing thing is, even though my age and difficulty kneeling on my injured left leg were the main topic around which the sarcasm revolved, I found that I have missed it, a little, strange as though it seems.

This blows me somewhat away because I can’t even count the amount of enamel I ground off my teeth through his teenage years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been known to use a little well placed sarcasm when appropriate so Ty probably came by his gift quite honestly.  The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree especially when it is well fertilized.  I guess it goes to prove the old adage of absence makes the heart go fonder.  As he has matured, the sarcasm has lost some of its bite and is much more good natured.   As an example, Thanksgiving morning I went out to pick up the special edition newspaper loaded with Black Friday ads.  It had been warm on Wednesday so I was barefoot but soon regretted that decision because the weather had turned much cooler.  I returned to the front door to find it locked.   There was absolutely no doubt in my mind who had done it but after Ty let me in, his fiancee said, “It wasn’t me.  It was your son.” Like I said, it was not really a surprise.  My loving son said he thought I might want to try out the new door bell we had installed a couple of days before.  I shared with him with as much “real” emotion as I could muster how much I missed hearing sarcasm at the drop of a hat.

It all tends to even out in the end though.  When he was younger, he would give me a hard time about my hair but now that I’ve got more than him, he wishes his hair were more like mine.  The other thing I can take consolation in is that many of the things he gives me a hard time about may be looming in his future because he’s got quite a few of my genes in his make up.  If he ever has children, you can be sure I will remind them of that often.  It was good to have everyone around us for Thanksgiving, sarcasm and all.

The mixed emotions come because it’s both his, his fiancee, as well as my daughter and new son-in-law’s year to spend Christmas at the other set of parent’s home.  I guess if it gets too bad I can always get a little long distance heckling and sarcasm.

For today’s verse I’ll share a little wisdom from Proverbs.

Proverbs 15

  1. A gentle answer turns away anger,
    but a harsh word stirs up wrath.

        2 The tongue of the wise makes knowledge attractive,
          but the mouth of fools blurts out foolishness.

        3 The eyes of the Lord are everywhere,
          observing the wicked and the good.

       4 The tongue that heals is a tree of life,
        but a devious tongue[a] breaks the spirit.

      5 A fool despises his father’s discipline,
       but a person who accepts correction is sensible.

      6 The house of the righteous has great wealth,
       but trouble accompanies the income of the wicked.

     7 The lips of the wise broadcast knowledge,
      but not so the heart of fools.