"Language, as well as the faculty of speech, was the immediate gift of God." ~ Noah Webster

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Thank You - Thank You Very Much...

I was in a conversation a few days ago about the people I have seen in concert and it left me feeling like I wanted to write about it.

I have seen a number of concerts over the years. Certainly not as many as some people, but I have gone to enough and lived long enough, that I no longer even remember how many, or even all whom I have seen. Maybe I will list the ones I remember at the end of this post; not necessarily for the reader, but for my own benefit. Hopefully, that will jog a few of my memories.
One I do remember, however, is of course, Elvis Presley. I mean, come on!!  Who could forget that?
I will admit, though, there is much I don’t remember about the concert. I don’t remember, what is was that happened to get me there. I barely know who I went with, but I think I remember that. We probably picked up our tickets at P.M. Jacoys at the corner of Sprague and Washington in Spokane. As far as I know, that was the only place to get concert tickets at the time. There were no "Tickets West" outlets or anything of that nature as far as I can remember. And of course there was no "on-line". P.M. Jacoys – that was the place to get tickets. Jacoys was a cigar shop/drug store or something…I never paid enough attention to even see what I was walking into. I simply went to the counter and got tickets.  If anyone remembers, please comment. I would love to trigger a thought in my overly tired brain.
So though my memories are sparse of this concert with Elvis, the ones I do have are extremely vivid. “We do not remember days, we remember moments.” Let me share just a few of my memories, which basically will create the whole essence of this concert.
I believe it was 1976, just a year before he died. It was at the Spokane Coliseum which was upgraded, modernized and renamed the Spokane Veterans Arena. Now from what I remember, the location was the same as it is now; if not the very same location, at least it was the same general area. And I am not sure if the building was completely torn down, or simply remodeled. Help me out there, too, if anyone knows.
Anyway, our seats were just about the same location as they were when my son and I saw Alan Jackson 30 years later. But the seats at this time, were without the benefit of the big screens.  They didn’t have those way back then.  We had our binoculars and we used them!
I remember the anticipation of waiting to see “The King” as he was called. I guess that was "The King of Rock and Roll" - A title he deserved. I do not remember who warmed up for him, or even if anyone did.
I remember being so glad to be there and thinking about all I knew about Elvis.  He had long been my favorite, and I remember the first album I ever had was an Elvis Presley album given to me in 6th or 7th grade by my best friend “Honey Wheeler”.
“Well she is always talking about him”, my best friend told my mom as I blushed in total embarrassment. “I thought she should have an album”.  ARGGGGHH   I love you my friend, but I didn’t really want my mom to know that!  Mom simply smiled.
As I sat waiting for the concert to begin, I remember thinking how ridiculous the women and girls were that wanted one of those famous scarves that Elvis always gave away at his concerts. That certainly wouldn’t be me; but sitting back this far I would never have to worry about it.
And so we waited, anticipating the moment “The King” would walk out onto that stage. I wish I could say I remembered it vividly.  I don’t. I don’t remember if he walked, or if he ran out.  I think I remember he was in one of his white suits. But I can’t say that for sure. That might be simply because we later saw so many photos and video clips in suits of that nature. What I do remember, is when he appeared on stage, I had to catch my breath. There he is, I thought. “The King”. And the crowd stood in thunderous applause of appreciation. I was caught up in the moment too. But as I stood, my very next thought was:  This King I will stand for and greet with appreciation of his musical talent. But the Real King!  If it were the Real King, we would all be humbly bowing low at his feet, to worship Him.  I remember the deep impact with which that fact hit my heart. I remember coming to that poignant realization, more than any other moment of that concert.  For me that was really a lesson for life. We certainly do not make idols of these performers. We most certainly understand the difference. And it is ok to offer your applause and greeting to entertainers who are so very talented and bring us such a great show. I never forgot that moment, and to this day, I stand unashamedly each time to offer respect and appreciation that that kind of talent deserves.
I can’t tell you how many times over the years, I have remembered and appreciated that moment. No, Elvis is not the King. No one but One has that title. And I love that that thought is what I took away most from Elvis’s concert.  I believe Elvis would agree whole heartedly with me on that.
I do not remember any of the songs Elvis sang. I do remember him ending with a segment of Gospel. I can’t be positive, but I believe he ended his show with Amazing Grace.  I wish I remembered. I do remember he had a moment to honor the true King.
I remember him looking very sickly.  This was one of the last concerts he performed before he died.  I remember thinking, “He looks so yellow. He just doesn’t look well.” But I don’t believe his performance was affected.  It was August of 1977 when he passed. 
I remember when the moment came and he started passing out those famous scarves. DANG!!! I am too far away to ever get one!  Yeah!  Those silly girls didn’t look so silly anymore.  I would have taken one in a heartbeat.
That is all I remember. That’s my Elvis story. I am so glad I got to see him. I was 21. This wasn’t my first concert, but it is the only one I have any recollection of at all during my youth. I know that is due to the impact of seeing one so famous, and taking away from it a right heart attitude about how we should view these performers. We thank them for their performance. We appreciate their talent. We are satisfied with the show they have given. But we only worship one King.
I have a few fun memories of some of the concerts I have seen, but most memories fade away into that blue screen of death.  I just can’t reboot most of my memories.
Some of my most special memories still make me smile, though:
I do remember taking my niece when she was about nine to see her first concert. It was the Judds, and they were performing at what we then called “The Opera House”.  I almost got us kicked out of there for trying to take a photo of them so she would have a memory of her first concert. I can’t remember the band that warmed up for the Judds, but I remember the expression of one of their faces, when I let that first flash go off.
I remember taking my friend Shari to the same Opera House to see Bruce Hornsby. I barely knew who he was, but he was one of her favorites, so I took her to see him.
I remember going to John Prine with my brother at the Coliseum...again, I barely knew him; but my brother loved his music.
Bob Dylan with friends and family – at least twice. It might have been 3 times.
My sister’s band warmed up for Sawyer Brown; one of my favorite bands at the time.
Reba McIntire posed for a photo for me and told me I had a cute dog.  It was an outdoor concert and I had taken my pup.
B.J. Thomas offered me an album and I was too shy to stand up and take it! Good grief!  He had to give it to the man in front of me. Somebody shoot me, please.
I cried as a 60 year old at Herman Hermits…oh my!!  That is for another post; and it wasn’t for the reason it might seem.
Finally, I went to one of the contemporary Christian artists concerts with my family where several musicians/artists played. I was not familiar with any of them. I simply have never listened to that kind of music...Is it a sin, to say I don't like it? ;-) They all sound the same to me, and it is too close to rock and roll, in my mind...LOL!  Sorry. I am very glad they like it though. :-)
And now that list! From the most recent, down to the earliest concerts I have attended:
·         Roots and Boots - Daryl Worley, Aaron Tippen and Sammy Kershaw
·         Toby Keith
·         Blake Shelton
·         Tim McGraw warmed up by Cassidy Pope
·         Alan Jackson
·         Herman's Hermit
·         Don Williams
·         Neal McCoy
·         Alan Jackson with Miranda Lambert warming up Alan’s show
Ok, Alan was the first concert I had seen in about 20 -25 years , so my memory gets fuzzy here…not sure I have a correct order at this point. On a side note, my son bought me Alan Jackson tickets when he was 15 with his own money for my birthday present. Totally surprised me in every way. And this was probably my favorite concert effort…Yes!  It even topped Elvis. I’ll write about it soon, if I haven’t already.
·         Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
·         Sawyer Brown warmed up by Cat Daddy
·         The Judds warmed up by Garth Brooks (yes in that order!)
·         Bob Dylan at the Gorge
·         Asleep at the Wheel
·         Bruce Hornsby
·         John Prine
·         Charlie Daniels Band
·         Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton
·         Reba McIntire
·         Mel McDaniel
·          Bob Dylan at Tacoma Dome warmed up by Tom Petty
·          Oak Ridge Boys
·          Hank Williams Jr.  There were several that played together at the Tacoma Dome, Hank was not the one I went to see, but he was the last to play…Many in the audience were walking out, not happy with his show. He is the only one I remember seeing at this concert, but I believe the Judds were also there, and I think it was also Merle Haggard performing before Hank.
·          B. J. Thomas - I probably saw him about 3 times during this span of time
·          K.I.S.S.  LOL NO!  I did not go see them, on purpose. They were warming up for someone before anyone knew who they were. And NO! I do not remember who it was we went to see, but I obviously couldn’t forget K.I.S.S. Scared me to death! And no, I didn’t listen to their music…ever!!  LOL It was my older sister and I that went and I wish I could remember who it was that we went to see. If I had been older, I would have walked out to make a statement in opposition for what they stand.  I simply didn't know at the time, nor had I ever heard of them. There were only a few Rock and Roll bands I liked in my youth, always listening mostly to country.
·        Elvis - The King of Rock and Roll

OK! Well let's just say I appreciate most of them! "Thank you! Thank you very much!"


Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hungry for Heroes

The new movie American Sniper based on the life of Navy SEAL Chris Kyle grossed one hundred million dollars on its opening weekend. Selma the highly acclaimed movie (by the left) only reached a ten million dollar mark opening on the same weekend as American Sniper. Clearly American Sniper is a success.

My son and I having read Chris’s book when it came out, have anticipated this movie for a long time.  When we heard Bradley Cooper would be playing the part of Chief Chris Kyle, we were sick. We just couldn’t picture that “pretty boy” doing justice to our American hero. When we heard Clint Eastwood would be directing it, we were relieved and thrilled. We had been afraid if Hollywood got a hold of this story they would decimate it with the typical Hollywood leftist ideology.

I believe Chris’s story is one of the most important stories of our modern times. I simply do not want that messed up. So of course, I had to write. Here is my unprofessional, emotional, probably biased review.

For starters, I was wrong about Bradley Cooper not being able to capture the essence of Chris Kyle. I am not a big movie buff, but in every movie I have ever watched I have never seen an actor or actress portray anyone so accurately. Cooper nailed it! I was so thankful and respectful of the mannerisms, dialect, and personality he was able to perfect. Cooper even had the mouth positioning down in the way that Chris held his mouth at certain times – in reflection; listening; determination. I smiled to myself when I saw the first movie trailer, weeks before the movie came out. Cooper must have had to learn to chew tobacco, to get that mouth positioning down so perfectly. His voice and dialect could have been Chris. I don’t know how he did that! Bradley Cooper does NOT sound like that. The man can act! Because he gained 40 pounds to more accurately look like Chris is commendable. To me, that shows his concern to get the movie correct. He had the stature, the physical appearance; the dress; the accent; all of it just about as perfect as it could be. Alrighty then; not gonna worry about Bradley Cooper!

I cried each time I watched the trailer. It was accurate, it didn’t show too much, and because I had read the book, I knew what the message was in that scene. I couldn’t wait to see the movie.

The long awaited day came early.  The movie was expected to start showing Jan 16th, but my son called me on the 15th saying there was an early showing that evening at our local theatre. Our schedules worked perfectly; we got to go.

For starters, I want to say I am extremely happy this movie did so well. It broke records for opening weekend. That is saying something. And I believe I know what it is. America is hungry for heroes. America understands a lot more than the liberal media would have us believe. In the heart of America, there are a lot more people that “get it” than there are those who do not.

I have yet to hear any criticism for the movie from people on the right. I have heard a whole lot from people on the left. That tells us a great deal, too. It is a movie that needs to be seen. There are lessons that should be drawn from it. America needs more Chris Kyles.

With that said, I want to share my views.  I don’t want it to appear I am criticizing the movie, because I believe in the story; but I am a bit concerned about a few of the messages that some will have to consider as they watch the movie. Let me express what I view as inaccurate with a movie that if one had not read the book, one would not know. Instead, they will believe everything that happened in the movie is fact. It’s not.

Let me start with a quote from Charles Dickens. I love it. It shows Dickens’ guideline for how he wrote. It’s important, because in my opinion. Chris Kyle also understood this when he wrote…the movie did not.
"I saw no reason when I wrote this book, why the very dregs of life, so long as their speech did not offend the ear, should not serve the purpose of a moral, at least as well as its froth and cream.”
This quote gives us an idea of how authors wrote in the past. In my opinion, the movie shared more sexual content than Kyle forced us to read. And yes, the book was full of bad language, but the movie was over the top with “f-bombs”, that Kyle did not force us to endure in the book.

For me, the language and sexual content (though certainly not as bad as most R-rated movies) detracted from the movie. I just don’t like to see that in what I watch, so I normally don’t watch movies with more than a PG-13 rating. No, I am not na├»ve. I knew what to expect, when I saw the R-rating. I am just saying Kyle was a gentleman and he didn’t force us to read much of what we had to view in the movie. That’s all I am saying. Whether Chris had ever read Dickens or not, he understood the need to not say too much. He protected his readers as he protected his brothers in arms. He refused to tell all, even as he protected his wife from too many details about his war experiences. I believe that fact gives us valuable insight into who Chris really was.

Equally, Chris spared us too many details in the graphic violence he endured - the truth of war. For the most part, Chris protected us from that in his book. Letting us know they are savages, is almost “enough said”. I love that about Chris Kyle.

That said, I do believe this movie was not as bad in that regard as most R rated films. And like I said, I know I am a wimp when it comes to things like that. Most people would probably not let those things detract from the movie for them; for me it did.

Having read the book, I knew immediately this wasn’t going to be a perfect accounting of what happened. In the opening scene, the movie depicted Chris having to take out a young boy and his mom.  That didn’t happen.  He took out the mom as his first kill. She was going to blow up both herself and her child. It is my thought that the only reason they changed this fact, that as bad as it was that they use children to launch grenades, it is even worse that a mom would blow up her child. It seems the writers did not want to portray just that little extra bit of edge that is true in this “religion”.  This is just my best guess. I pondered why they changed these facts. I would have preferred the truth.

Later in the movie, they showed Chris basically “playing with a firearm”. They showed him pointing it at his wife, in fun; in some kind of playful nature. It is my opinion, Chris NEVER would have done this. “Never point a gun at someone” is a strict policy of gun education. One should not point a gun at anyone ever! Even if they know the gun isn’t loaded! This was a huge error by the film makers, in my opinion. And I don’t believe it really happened. And if it did, it should have been left out of the movie, instead of possibly pacifying a leftist agenda that would believe even professionals probably shouldn’t have guns. This scene showed that even professionals do things they shouldn’t with firearms. It just isn’t so. That sent a very bad message, and an opportunity for the left to attack the content.  After Chris and Taya were through “playing around”, the movie very purposefully showed Chris placing the gun on top of a bookshelf, out of reach for the children playing nearby - but barely. I think Chris would have locked up that pistol. I was very disheartened by this scene. Eastwood dropped the ball on that one. And it was an important point.

Next, Chris was a Christian. Though he may not have always walked like we think most Christians should, his faith was very real. He knew from Whom came his salvation. He knew where to turn in crisis. He knew and believed in the God of the Bible and unashamedly stated that at the end of his book:
“Honestly, I don’t know what will really happen on Judgment Day. But what I lean toward is that you know all of your sins, and God knows them all, and shame comes over you at the reality that He knows.  I believe the fact that I’ve accepted Jesus as my savior will be my salvation.”
Chris’s faith was extremely important to him. The movie showed him always carrying a little New Testament with him. This is true; he did. The movie also shows Mark Lee questioning Chris in regard to whether he ever read it. I worry that this left the viewer with the idea that Chris was questioning his faith. That simply isn’t true. The truth is Mark Lee led these men in prayer before every operation they did. These two men were Christians. I wish they would have depicted the reality of their commitment to their faith. I’m probably nit-picking, but this is important to me. That part of Chris is also what makes him such a great hero for our nation; especially our youth.

I am extremely thankful, they included in the movie that Chris said he had no regret for any shot he took. He was saving lives in doing so. This story is far greater about life than death. His story isn’t about killing like the left would have us believe. It is about saving lives. I hope people with take that away from the movie and fully understand it.

Chris continues in his book:
“But in that backroom or whatever it is when God confronts me with my sins, I do not believe any of the kills I had during the war will be among them. Everyone I shot was evil. I had good cause on every shot. They all deserved to die.”
I believe him.

He understands the evil of war. He knows the enemy. I simply want the truth about that war to be exposed. I want the truth if a story is going to be made into film. I wish they hadn’t changed Chris’s words. He knows. He lived them.

It is my sense, that this movie more accurately portrays Taya’s viewpoint that Chris’s. That is to be expected. She is a hero, too, for all that she had to endure. But I find myself wondering had Chris lived and been here to oversee the movie, what would have changed? And I do not mean for this to be criticism of Taya. Of course her view of the war would be different than Chris’s. She has always supported our heroes and still does.

One thing that I question about the movie is that it depicted his fellow soldiers being angry at him for bringing fire down on them when he took a shot that the movie portrayed as strictly as a means of revenge or vengeance for the death of Mark Lee and injury of Ryan Job. This supposed anger from his brothers was not written about in Chris’s book.* Neither did Chris ever come in contact with the enemy sniper, Mustafa. He stated that fact plainly and purposefully in his book on page 139.

Maybe the writers of the movie did gather that information from their sources; i.e. Chris and Taya’s email, interviews; records; whatever, about some anger from his brothers. But I doubt it. The important truth of the matter is, Chris didn’t put it in his book, so I question the accuracy. And if nothing else, if it is true, Chris did not want that information exposed or he would have included it in the book. I would have preferred the writers honor the book as closely as possible.  These are the reasons, I feel that – like me – family and friends are not as happy as we could have been with the movie.

Had Chris lived, I am confident, there would have been more about the heroism of his brothers-in-arms. I can be confident, because it’s what his book is about! His book isn’t about Chris Kyle as much as it is about the heroism of these warriors. Ryan Job, sitting in front of an American flag just to hear it flap in the breeze, even though he was blinded by battle wounds was extremely important to Chris. I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t have ended up on the cutting room floor. Mark Lee and his heroic effort to warn his brothers would have been emphasized.  I know they can’t tell everything in a two hour movie, and I am probably wrong to feel this way, but when I watched the movie, I would have liked to feel what Chris tried to tell in the book. And that is all of our soldiers are heroes. They love and sacrifice for this nation. They do it without reservation. They stand by one another. Americans need to stand behind each and every one of them. That’s what Chris would want to come from his story. I heard him say it in interviews. I think the movie dropped the ball on that one.  That wouldn’t have happened if Chris was still alive.

And I almost hate to say it because I have no knowledge of it, but I’m pretty sure the scene with his younger brother, wouldn’t have been included in the film. It wasn’t in the book. I didn’t like that they portrayed the younger brother on verge of breakdown, cursing the war. Perhaps that was true, I don’t know. But Chris didn’t put it in his book; why not respect that?

There were a couple more things that were a bit troubling for me that I wish would have been closer to the truth. In the movie, they showed Chris being released early from his service. He stated in the book that he finished his last tour to completion, he just didn’t reenlist when it was finished. That is an important fact for me.

Finally, the movie depicted Chris dropping his rifle at the end of the movie, leaving it in the dirt while trying to grab the hand that would save him from being left behind. Certainly, dropping a rifle might be expected if one was running for one’s life. But I don’t think that happened (according to the book).  After the movie had detailed in opening scenes that his father had taught him to never drop his rifle or leave it in the dirt, I didn’t like the correlation. It wasn’t necessary, in my opinion.

In the 1960’s this movie would have been viewed as ant-war, anti-gun. I listened over and over to my own father’s commentaries that we should watch for and protect truth. We should be discerning of subtle agendas in modern day movies. This movie wouldn’t have gone over well in my childhood home, though it is poignant and necessary for today.

I believe to some degree, the movie missed Chris’s heart. His belief in his country, his faith, his respect of the 2nd amendment and even the 1st amendment for which he fought were not highlighted enough to bring proper honor to this great American hero. I do believe the movie accurately portrayed his servant heart. And I believe it did not glorify war, but told of the evil of war, which Chris would have wanted.

Finally, after the movie had been released, I watched interviews with Chris’s dad and some of his friends. They were all perfect gentlemen, and very careful not to run down the movie. At the same time, I thought they were true to their core beliefs, being very careful not to throw their complete support behind the movie. If one is carefully discerning, one could see the lack of full support for what the movie portrayed in his friends' interviews and the ones with his dad. None would criticize; but neither would they be untrue to their core beliefs. They are better, than me. It is my suspicion they had the same problems with the movie that I did. That is probably very brass and bold of me to say that. I don’t know any of them. And I certainly should not argue with Taya, Chris’s wife. These are simply personal observations from watching interviews of Chris; reading the book; and reading the memorial edition with stories from his family and friends. That is the only information I have about Chris Kyle. 

Maybe none of my thoughts matter. Maybe I should be silent on my criticisms as those close to Chris have been.  If that is true, I am ok with that, please feel free to comment. One thing I know, the film needed to be made and it needs to be supported because our nation is in need of valiant heroes.

America is hungry for heroes. The box office numbers validate that. The lack of criticism for any part of this movie - other than people from the left - lets me know how badly we want Chris’s story told. America needs heroes. Heroes make us better. We emulate what we look up to and respect. We have neglected to honor our heroes for some time through media. We have gotten off track in who seems to make the list of national heroes: actors; athletes; musicians. Those are not real heroes. America gets that; and this movies shows our need, desire and acceptance of a real hero.

We have one in Chief Chris Kyle.
Enjoy the movie! Support the movie! Take hold of and respect this chance to honor a hero in such a wide-spread and magnanimous way; but as always - don't forget to read the book.
*Please take a moment to watch the video I have posted below. It shows the true humility of Chris Kyle and his fantastic sense of humor. I have posted it on my blog before, to demonstrate why I have such respect for Chris Kyle. I post it here with this post, because in this single video clip, he refutes a main narrative of the movie that is factually incorrect. The movie leads us to believe that because of that "revengeful" shot Chris took, his brothers were angry with him for bringing fire down on them.  The truth is, after any shot Chris and his team would then be exposed to the enemy, which would of course then bring fire down on them. That was the norm! They always knew that was to be expected, and they would have to be prepared. This is exactly why he took a team with him. The initial shot would begin the battle. No one was angry! A battle was expected to ensue! Please listen and learn; this truth is so very important. In the process you will also get some valuable insight into who Chris Kyle really was...and come away with a heartwarming chuckle from this great American hero. Let the truth be known.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"Cause I'm a Man!" ~ Spending Treasure

I watched a sweet video yesterday about little boys and their actions. I have posted it below; it is well-worth a view.

I think probably because of this little video, a cherished memory of my past came to mind. I woke in the night, feeling like I wanted to write about it.

This is a memory that took place when I was around 4 or 5, and it is a very fond memory of mine. It isn’t probably my fondest memory or even a favorite memory, but for some reason it is definitely one of the most vivid memories I have of that age. I’m not sure why. It involves my brother, his best friend and me. I will call this friend DB; I don’t want to give away identities without permission.

This little boy was about 6 at the time, I believe, as he was the same age as my brother who is a year older than me. DB’s mom was a good friend of my mom and dad, and his sister was my oldest sister’s best friend. Needless to say we were all close in the little town in which we lived. My folks rented a big, beautiful, two-story, turn of the century home from Mrs. B. during my dad’s crop-dusting years. We also inherited their beautiful cat, Snitch and their wonderful collie, Pete…better known as Petey.

But I had better get back to DB, because if I am not careful, I could ramble on about that time in my life for pages and pages. DB was the cutest little boy I had ever known in all of my 5 years. He had blond hair and sparkling blue eyes that I will never forget. He had a face that always seemed to be radiating from a heart that was laughing. From what a 5 year old can understand of a “crush”, I think I had the biggest CRUSH ever on my brother’s little friend, DB. - But then there was Rowdy Yates, too! (That was Clint Eastwood during his Rawhide years for those too young to know anything about Rowdy.) Again, I digress. For some reason I remember it all as clearly as if it were yesterday.

I played a lot with my brother and his friend. In their young 6 year old minds, they were probably stuck with the younger sis.
Now the memory I am about to speak of is only a memory of a moment. I have always found this simple quote to be so true: “We do not remember days; we remember moments.” For whatever reason, this is one of the clearest moments of my life.
It was a beautiful summer day, and the three of us, were out on the sidewalk under the shade of a big old maple tree. My brother and DB had undertaken the task of teaching me to roller skate. I remember the shiny, medal skates and the little key to make them fit. I remember the fun, anticipation, and excitement I felt because these two little guys were taking the time to teach me something.

But the very next thing I remember is that I was in tears. I don’t remember if I had fallen and gotten hurt, or if I had fallen and been embarrassed. Or maybe somehow I had my tender 5 year old feelings hurt, even without falling. I don’t know. I simply don’t remember that part. But the next thing I knew the two boys were trying to figure out what to do with this younger sibling and her tears. I think they tried for a bit without success to stop my crying. All of a sudden, I think DB had a great idea that would undoubtedly work.
No, this isn't me, but it IS kinda
how I remember feeling!
“Who’s your boyfriend, Jan?” he asked with his sparkling smile.

It only took me but a second to break out into a big smile that would soon turn to laughter.

“YOU!” I emphatically replied with uncontrolled glee that only could come from a child’s tender heart. I remember that so plainly. I remember the tears rolling down my face, and feeling hot and frustrated. I can visually see a small girl’s pudgy face as she suddenly broke into laughter when DB leaned down to look her in the eye as he asked that silly question. I can still hear the little girl’s giggle.

But I also remember DB’s reaction. I had totally caught him off guard. He was not expecting that! I smile now as I think of it. He twisted and contorted, jumping back from me as far as he could get, breaking out in laughter himself.

“Oh no!” he exclaimed, laughing. That is all I remember. I remember his kindness and then his kindness turned to surprise as he heard my unexpected response. I remember him laughing in embarrassment. I remember taking it all in. I remember and treasure the laughter.

I don’t remember if I learned to roller skate that day. But I certainly remember the kindness of the two little boys who were stuck with the younger sis.

Anyway, that’s my story; that’s my memory. I am thankful I was raised with little boys that always were kind to me. I feel bad for people that are taught to be distrustful of boys and men. I don’t believe that is what God intends for us. Yes, we should be wary in certain situations, where we could be taken advantage of, or abused. But that is not the norm. There is a definite movement today that seems to capitalize on the attack of our boys, men and fathers.

I’m thankful for the moments in my life that may have brought tears, are forever blotted out; and that I only remember the joy. Forgetting the bad allows me the freedom to trust until proven otherwise.

Sometimes in this modern day and age, I think men get a bad rap. I think the women’s lib movement has far blown everything out of context. I think none of it is Scriptural. Respect must go both ways. I don't think we always see that. I like that this charming video shows us the best of what our young boys have typically been taught to be...at least in a Judeo/Christian culture.
Enjoy the video*. I sure did!

(P.S. Note the unselfish "What do you wanna be when you grow up?" profession choices of these little boys.)

                                            No surprise for me.

*The video was originally posted by "Fanpage" - an Italian news organization - with the intent to show "how children react to the subject of violence against women.". I haven't checked out their further political affiliations. Please accept this caution and disclaimer. I tried to find out, but it's all in Italian! lol Due to that fact, I don't think anyone can get misled in anyway.  ;-) I definitely don't want to be seen as supporting something with which I disagree, but this was just too doggone cute, and I believe in the message I have presented in my post without regard to whatever else this news organization might represent.


By the way, one further note of interest in regard to the family in my post. My own family mostly lost contact with them once my dad quit crop-dusting. When I was a freshman in college, I was friends with a young man from Spokane. He had an interest in music and happened to mention DB's name in regard to that. I asked my college friend, what DB looked like. He responded with the exact description I have given of DB. I asked my college friend if the next time he saw DB he would ask him if he was the same DB that I knew in my childhood. And I related the story, to my college friend that I told in the post above.

A few days later, my college friend  came back with the answer, laughing as he told me.

"He's the same guy! And he told me the exact same story, remembering it in the exact same way that you told me!!"

Ahhhhh life! Too much fun!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

'14 Moves Into '15

2015! Here we are! I didn't wait up until midnight; I didn't celebrate; I didn't wish anyone a happy New Year. I slept, and then I slept some more. I was tired. Wiped out, really. It had been a stressful week and it was only Wednesday.

I had planned to stay up and watch television. Blake Shelton was going to make an appearance on a music special at ten o'clock, but I couldn't stay awake that long.

I knew there would be fireworks displays to watch from my window, but I didn't see them. According to the newspaper, there were actually three displays I could have seen.  The little town southwest of me had a display over the prairie at around seven. The bigger city south had a display at nine. And I am sure there were a multitude of private fireworks at midnight. I just couldn't seem to get interested. Sleep is what I wanted and so sleep is what I did.

I woke this morning almost with a Mr. Scrooge feeling...wondering what day it was. No, I didn't have three visitations during the night, but I dreamt enough about New Years Day during the night, that I wasn't sure if I had awoken to the day after New Years or the day of. Don't worry!!! It only took me a moment to figure it out.

Throughout the week, I've been reading lots of New Years quotes. I like quotes. Simply a sentence that hits your heart with such impact, that it stays with you for a lifetime. Several quotes about new beginnings relate to hope. I like those the best. A New Year should be about hope; but it should also be about getting things done; and striving to be better. There is nothing wrong in striving for something to make oneself better, in whatever means one find themselves able to accomplish that.

I remember many years ago reading a quote from Hal Lindsey. I won't get it right, and I will later take the time to look up the exact words. But it went something like this: "Man can live 40 days without food, 3 days without water; but merely a second without hope." Something similar to that - I'm sure I got the statistics wrong, but you get the idea.

So true, isn't it? Hope is what keeps us going. Hope enables us to see another day; another year come in. I always have lots of hope for the new year. But the older I get, I try not to think too much about it. I know there is going to be many events throughout the new year. Some I probably don't want to anticipate.

New Years Day really is just another day. But there is nothing wrong at taking hold of the opportunity to start something fresh; to make something better. To promise yourself you will try harder. Nothing wrong in having a little hope. That's what the New Year is - another day filled with hope.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” ~ Romans 15:13
All the best to you in the New Year!
Hold onto Hope!

Here are a few photos of events from 2014: Our Year in Review!


Navajo Princess

Our Beautiful Girl

Our Boss

Thoughtful Kindnesses

Lunch North

Photography at the Park!
Property Work

A favorite Restaraunt

Birthday Boy

The Birthday Girl
Mommies on Mom's Day

Montana Trip
Up Home
Love Up Home



Home in Style!!

Tail Gunner

Revisiting Memories




 Losses and Memorials

I Will

Reunions and Births

Visits North


Home Sweet Home

More Reunions

Meeting Long Time Heroes
The Most Trusted Profession

Momentary Reprieve

Doing What He Does Best


The Tour
The Fair and Rodeo!!

Thanksgiving with My Family

Christmas Morning for this Old Vet

And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.    Romans 5:5 (KJV)