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New graphic for our domain

My son Jeremy created this graphic for me. He did a great job on this. Now i need to figure out how to use it on WordPress. 

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Good personal hygiene habits can reduce illness

In the last two months my son has come home sick from West Ashley High School.  I know that he got sick from school, because that is where he spends the majority of his time.  In a classroom full of other students that may or may not be sick.  From what we understand, the rules state that a child is not considered sick, until they are throwing up or running a fever.  If they are not showing those two symptoms then they have to be in a class room.  What if the child is not showing those symptoms?  Does that mean that they are not sick?  What if the child has visible signs of a cold such as a runny nose, constant coughing and an overall not feeling good?  What if the child has a Viral infection or bacterial infection?  How contagious are those?  I spent some time on the WAHS website and I see nothing that outlines what constitutes a sick child or when they are sent home to the parents.

I am no health expert but I have spent enough time in the medial field as an EMT and a ER tech to know the basics.  EVERYONE must practice good personal hygiene to prevent the catching of, and spreading of germs.  Germs/pathogens is what gets us sick.  I understand that our children must receive an education and that the public school systems have to implement rules that are for the good of everyone involved.  I also believe that rules should not be so iron clad that there is no room for common sense.

For instance, our son came down with Mono, and was sick beyond the allocated number of days that he was allowed to miss in one school year.  A doctors excuse was not good enough for school administrators.  We had to write a letter to the principal advising them that the doctors excuse was not fabricated, and that we did in fact see a medical physician that diagnosed him with mono.

Every single time my son comes home with an ugly cold, it circulates through our entire family which causes us all to make the trip to the doctor for shots, antibiotics, steroids and breathing treatments.  Initially, we wait and try all the over the counter drugs, like NyQuil, Dayquil. Sudafed, Benadryl, before we make the trek to HealthFirst in West Ashley.

I remember a time when a common cold would last me 48 hours to 72 hours, and then it would be gone.  In the last couple of years, I believe that the common cold virus has gotten progressively aggressive and uglier.  Maybe the over use, and abuse of antibiotics over the years, has allowed the virus strains to adapt and are more resistant to treatment.  If you are a medical expert or know more about how this is happening please weigh in on the comments section.

The bottom line is this.  We can help each other out, if we will just follow some common sense practices, with regards to personal hygiene.  I will list a couple below as a reminder.

  • cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze ALL THE TIME
  • wash your hands BEFORE you touch something in the kitchen
  • Use HOT water and SOAP when cleaning the dishes and pots and pans
  • wash your hands with SOAP and HOT water AFTER you use the restroom
  • do NOT shake hands or get close to other people if you KNOW you are sick
  • ENCOURAGE other people who ARE sick NOT to touch you or loved ones.  (do it in a loving but firm manner)
  • Do NOT share straws or drinking glasses with someone if they are sick
  • Do NOT put your hands up to your face after touching a door handle or elevator hand rail or elevator button.  If you can touch it IT can have germs that will possibly get you sick
  • keep hand sanitizer with you at work and use it OFTEN.  If you wind up touching office equipment that other people touch, USE the hand sanitizer, or wash your hands on a regular basis.  If others can touch it they can leave a nasty surprise for you.
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Stay faithful to what you believe

Thanks to the availability of Social Media portals such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and blogs anyone can say anything they want and reach a global audience.   

The quarterback of the Denver Broncos has garnered attention, because of his faith, and that has been linked to the season’s success that the Denver Broncos has enjoyed this season thus far.  The Denver Broncos suffered a loss in their last game and Bill Maher took it upon himself to use this as an opportunity to tweet something inflammatory. 

While I do not appreciate the comments that were  made, I also understand that I can expect that sort of behavior from this individual.  Bill Maher openly disregards, and makes fun of those, who profess faith in Jesus Christ.  There is nothing new about this, Bill Maher just happens to have the ear of the liberal media outlets, that give him a global audience in which to spout his garbage. 

I watched Pier Morgan of CNN interview Joel and Victoria Osteen last night.  Pier Morgan spent the duration of the interview, trying to pin Joel Osteen down and get him to take a definitive stand on several inflammatory social issues, such as abortion, capital punishment and homosexuality.  Joel Osteen did a good job of not getting pressured into making any type of statement, that would be construed as an official statement of Lakewood church or Christianity in general.   Joel Osteen is labeled as the pastor of a mega church in Houston Texas, and therefore is someone that has a lot of influence over a lot of people. 

Joel Osteen did reiterate his belief that homosexuality is a sin.  He did not back down or apologize for scripture.  He stated that he based his belief that homosexuality is a sin, because of what the scripture states.  What Joel Osteen failed to say was that God loves all people and despises ALL SIN.  Joel and Victoria Osteen stated that while they thought that homosexuality is a sin, that they would not have a problem attending a same sex wedding, IF the people involved were dear to their hearts.

I believe that the Bible says we are to love the person and hate the sin.  The bible also says that if someone is openly living in sin, and has no remorse, or does not show a repentant heart, that we are to break fellowship with them.  In other words, it is our duty to love them, and to show them what the bible says about their behavior.  If they repent of the sin, and turn away from it, then we can have fellowship with them.  If they do not repent and reject the counsel of God’s word then we are not to continue to be in fellowship with them. 

I realize that blogging about religion and politics is not going to make me a popular person.  Most folks shy away from those topics because they are so polarized and emotionally charged.  We believe what we believe, and some folks say that these topics are too personal and private to be discussed in an open forum.  I totally respect those people who tell me that they do not want to discuss these topics no matter what the reason is. 

What I take issue with is people who use social media portals in order to make fun of folks who have faith in Christ or mock God with their statements.  I also take issue with people of faith who use the same social media portals to openly attack people and wish them ill will or tell them that they do not deserve Jesus.  When people of faith make that kind of statement they are doing more damage to faith in Christ. 

Lets get this straight folks. None of us deserve Jesus.  What did Jesus bring to the world?  Jesus died on the cross for the sins of man for all time.  Grace is the gift that God gave to mankind through his son Jesus.  No one deserves that grace, but it was freely given for all.  Instead of attacking people who do not agree with our faith in Christ, we should agreeably disagree with their opinions, but respect the person.  If we are Christ followers, then we should act like Christ followers.  If we are Christ followers then we will show the fruit of the spirit that Galatians 5 speaks of. 

Please stop using social media to openly attack people who do not agree with your faith in Christ.  Use social media to engage those people in a mutually respectful manner, that will open up a dialog to discuss our faith in Christ.  No matter what be ready to agreeably disagree with those we chose not to believe in the way you believe. 

 

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How far should we go?

Our neighbor approached us yesterday afternoon and gave us some disturbing news.  His girlfriend was the victim of a kitchen fire in their home several months ago and as a result of that fire has to go to a burn unit in Georgia for skin grafts.  Because of her injuries the poor lady was given prescriptions for pain medication.  I have had several sun burns over the last 49 years and I know how badly they hurt.  I can not imagine how a 2nd or 3rd degree burn must feel. 

Our neighbor told us that his girlfriend noticed that some of her pain medicine was missing.  It came up missing after the lady we were helping, visited with his girlfriend on several occasions.  At the time they did not put two and two together but after they found out that we had to ask this lady to leave our home they realized what happened.  I find this news particularly disturbing especially since the person that supposedly did the theft was a guest in my home. 

This is not the first time that Katy and I have helped someone in our 21 years of marriage.  On several occasions we have allowed folks to stay with us.  People who were down on their luck and needed assistance.  I remember one woman that we gave shelter to.  At that time she was in an abusive relationship and her husband liked to beat on her when he drank.  He threw her out of a car going 50 mph.  It is a miracle of God this woman was not killed.  Katy and I extended a helping hand to her and let her stay in our home.  We wanted to help her and give her hope and provide her with a safe refuge.  In doing this we put some simple rules in place in order to provide her with some guidelines to living in our home.  One of the rules was to let us know when she is going to make a long distance phone call.  This was back when phone companies actually charged you for long distance.  We also asked that she not have any male friends at the house, not even her husband who had a history of abuse. 

I am not sure if I remember how long that lady stayed at our house, but before we knew it our phone bill was much higher than normal and we found out that her husband had been in our home on several occasions, despite our telling her that this was not allowed.  The same man who tried to kill her on several occasions. This same lady wound up moving back in with this man and continued the abusive relationship.

Fast forward to June and July of 2011.

Our neighbor dies and Katy was very close to this lady, and had become her care giver.  The massage therapist that had entered into our neighbor’s life towards the end needed help moving.  She needed help moving out of a half way house.  Katy decided that she liked this lady and wanted to help her.  Then the help to move turned into a need for a place to stay.  My first reaction was to say no. Not only no but heck no.  My reaction was borne from past experiencing of helping others and getting taken advantage of.  My answer in the morning was no, because I was fearful of having the same experience.  That afternoon my heart softened and after much introspection and prayerful thought, I allowed this lady to spend four days at our house.  I realized that if we did not open our home to this lady that she would be sleeping on the streets of Charleston.

One week later I realized that four days would not be enough.  I realized that this lady had things in her past that were going to handicap her from finding immediate employment.  I felt as if there were hope for her and that if we were patient and gave her some more time that she would make the necessary adjustments to her life and there would be a positive outcome.  Yes, that is the eternal optimist that I am.  I always want to believe that people are inherently good and not evil.   After spending 10 years in street ministry in Houston Texas and 12 years in law enforcement nothing surprises me.  I realized that our reaching out to this lady could wind up a failure. 

Why would we reach out to someone who struggles with drug addiction and alcohol addiction?  Why would we allow someone into our home that has a criminal record?  We do it because we love people.  We do it because we want to do more than just telling someone we will pray for them and that God will take care of them.  We do it because we feel like God uses people to reach out and touch the lives of others in a tangible way.  We do it because perhaps we may be the only Jesus that someone experiences in real life.  We do not do it because we want to pat ourselves on the back and expect a reward.

I too have been in some pretty bad situations thanks to poor life choices.  I have spent time behind bars as a young man who made a stupid decision.  I spent time in a street rescue mission, and I slept under a bridge with three plastic bags of belongings.  I know what it is like to have nothing and lose everything.  I know what it is like to have no one to turn to for help.  During those times in my life God used the church, and people, to reach out to me in tangible ways to help.  Because of those times in my life, I remember how God touched my heart, and changed me from the inside out.  Because of the grace and mercy of God I decided to change my life and make better decisions.  It is because of those things that Katy and I chose to invest in the lives of others.  We do it because we want to make a real difference. 

On July 4th we decided that our helping this lady was only enabling her to continue making bad decisions and that our helping her was not really helping her.  We realized that her past run with multiple addictions has left her in a place where she needs professional help.  This is the type of help that we are not equipped to provide nor do we want to provide that level of care in our home.  I know that if people do not want to change within themselves that no matter what you do to help them, they will continue down the road of destruction.  Katy and I know that we did what we could and that her being out on the streets is not our fault.  Luckily for her this lady did get her drivers license renewed and someone made a sweet deal on a car.  Now she is not on foot but has the ability to drive around.  I suppose that was one victory that happened while she stayed with us.  The fact that she stole pain medications from our neighbor really angered me.  Here she was in a place where she desperately needed someone to reach out to her and she chose to steal from our neighbor.  The fact that she did that leads me to the conclusion that she is a taker and an abuser that uses a smooth tongue and false words to make people believe she is a good person that just needs help. 

That leads me back to the question.  How far should we go with helping our neighbor?

 

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A tribute to my father

JHMoffitt

My father picked me up out of the bed in a German orphanage when I was one years old.  He had just learned from the nuns that his sister, who they just adopted, had a blood brother.  The nuns told my parents that they were not supposed to say anything, but that they wanted them to know anyway.  My father was wearing an Austrian hat of some sort and when he picked me up, the first thing I did was to take the hat and throw it across the room, and laugh at him.  At that moment, my father decided to adopt me as well, so that my sister and I could stay together.

My father was an drill instructor, stationed with the Army in Frankfurt Germany. He met my mother there at a bingo game, where they fell in love and got married. After several miscarriages they decided to adopt a girl.  That is when they made the trip to Aschaffenburg Germany, and visited the orphanage that my sister and I were in.  Our biological mother dropped us off as infants and the catholic nuns at the orphanage were taking care of us. 

As I understand it, life in a German Orphanage is no picnic.  My sister and I were given a huge gift, when we were adopted and brought to America.  We are both deeply grateful and indebted to our adoptive parents for doing this. 

Some of my fonder memories of my father are from Leesville Louisiana where he was stationed at Ft Polk.  We lived in a neighborhood fairly close to the base.  I remember raking pine cones and needles for hours on end.  I also remember my father and I watching the Dallas Cowboys play football on a 9” black and white T.V. I remember that when they would start to lose the game, we would drag out a checkerboard and play checkers.  Somehow it seemed that the checkerboard had magical powers, because our favorite team would always pull out a win in the end.  The term Cardiac Cowboys has a special meaning to me. 

In 1969 or 1970 my parents relocated to my father’s home town of Quinlan Texas. They bought a brick home for 30k and paid off the 30 year mortgage in 15 years.  We grew up in the brick home as children and teenagers.  We had a garden on the backside of those 3.5 lots the house sat on.  I remember how one day my father drove up to me on the yellow riding lawn mower we had.  We got into a conversation and he asked me if I knew what he allowed my mother to plant in the yard.  I said no and he said “she can plant anything she wants as long as she understands that I might run over it with the lawn mower.  At the time I thought he was being dead serious but then he smiled and I realized he was trying to be funny, so we laughed. 

I will never forget that my father told me “if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right the first time”.  In other words, he did not believe in doing something half heartedly.  He expected our very best all the time.  He also liked to say “ can’t never could do”.  He did not accept the answer “I can’t do it” when he gave us a task or chore.  My father was a disciplinarian and so was my mother.  When my father told me to do something he meant exactly what he said.  I learned at an early age that it was wise to “jump to” whatever it was he instructed us to do.

I remember that my father was a devoted husband and hard worker.  He went to work at Terrell State Hospital for many years after he retired from the army.  He was known as the TV Man.  That was back in the day when T.V.’s had external antennae’s and tubes.  They had a LOT of tubes.  I remember how my father built a good sized building on concrete blocks out in the back yard.  When he would get home from the hospital, he would eat supper and then go out to that building and work on T.V.’s as a side job.  What I did not realize, until much later in life, is that he probably did that so he could support his family and make ends meet.  My sister and I never did without food to eat, shelter or new clothes and school supplies during the year. 

I remember how my father and I would go out at night and on the weekends, and install TV antennae’s for his customers.  We would dig 4 foot square holes into the ground and put rebar steel in the ground and pour concrete and install towers for TV and CB antenna’s.  I think that it would have taken a direct hit from a tornado to rip the tower up but the base would have stayed where it was.  I remember helping to crawl through attics to run TV and coaxial cable for the TV installs.  I remember how my parents had one of the nicest CB base stations in town.  My aunts and uncles had one too and they would sit around and smoke cigarettes and talk  on the CB for all hours of the night. My father’s CB handle was TV Man and  my mother’s was Cactus Flower.  My CB handle was Skylark.  I do not remember what my sister’s CB handle was. 

I remember how my father went to East State Texas University at night after work for several years to get his college education.  I remember that he must have been a genius at math.  He took math courses and I am not sure what they were, but one problem would fit on a piece of poster board.  I only wish that some of that intelligence with regards to math would have rubbed off on me. 

I remember when I got the word that my father had lung cancer.  Come to find out he had asbestos poisoning, which is how he got lung cancer to begin with.  I do not remember how long he was sick but I know that the cancer destroyed the man I remembered as my father.  The strong strapping man that I knew as dad wasted away into a frail person that needed an oxygen tank at his side to breathe.  I went to visit with him several times in his last days here on earth and I never heard him complain once.  I will never forget the military funeral.  For years I was unable to watch a military funeral without losing it. 

I am proud to be called James C. Moffitt Jr.  My father was a noble man and was full of honor.  He loved his family and his country and served us all with loyalty until the day he died.  May you rest in peace dad, and thank you for all you have done for me and Tanya over the years. 

 

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Crisis of faith

May 21, 2011 came and went, and there were no catastrophic earthquakes, and the earth did not cease to exist.  The earth is still spinning on its axis, and life as usual continued to go on for most people.  For those folks who followed the teachings of Harold Camping and were loyal to his “end of times” prophecies, they are now experiencing a crisis of faith.

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No matter what you may say about Harold Camping, he has been loyal to the study of God’s word.  I do not know much about Harold Camping, and I probably only know about him, because of his failed attempts, at end time prophecies.  The Bible says that when you tell the world, “thus says the Lord”,and the event does not come to pass, you are a false prophet.   Those folks who were loyal to Harold Camping are now living on the other side of their crisis.  Their faith in what Harold Camping has been shaken and maybe their loyalty has waned.  

My pastor reminded us as a congregation that the folks who are suffering from a crisis of faith, are going to need the believers of Christ, the true church, to be there for them when they need us the most.  How many of the loyal followers of Harold Camping, liquidated all of their life savings, or gave away the money in their checking accounts, fully believing the end was near? What are they going to do now?  How will the church respond to their needs for compassion and mercy?  Will we laugh at them and mock them for following a false prophet or will we extend mercy and compassion? 

No matter how much we think we know about the bible, there is always more to be learned.  I believe that the bible, is the word of God, and that you could spend a life time of studying it, and still only scratch the surface.  I know that there are more folks in this world that are much deeper scholars of God’s word than I am.  Nevertheless I believe that I understand enough of the basics.  I believe that I am to love God, with all of my heart, mind, and soul and love my neighbor as myself.  I am not to judge my neighbor. I am to show my neighbor the love , compassion and mercy of Christ as much as it is within me.  I am to extend forgiveness and comfort to my neighbor, in their time of need.  Does that mean that I am to enter in to a life style of sin, or support bad life decisions?  No, I do not believe that at all. 

I also do not believe that I have a license as Christian to beat up people with Gods word.  My job is not to beat people up, they can do that by themselves.  My job as a Christian is to encourage them into reading the word of God for themselves and to pursue their own relationship with God.  The bible says that if I were to lead people to the cross that God can take care of the rest.  My pathetic attempts at changing people will only mess things up even worse.  God is in the business of changing people from the inside out.  God is in the business of redeeming souls.  God is in the business of bringing people out of sin and darkness and into his glorious light.  To God be the glory, forever and ever. 

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Happy Anniversary to the love of my life

Today we celebrate 21 years of marriage to one another.  I am happy to be able to say that we celebrate this occasion because there are a lot of reasons to celebrate.  In some ways 21 years seems like a long time, but I remember saying our wedding vows as if it were just yesterday. 

I remember during our marriage counseling, how we were told that our marriage would end up in failure, and that we were not equipped to handle the responsibilities of marriage.  I remember how shocked and horrified we were, when we left the marriage counselors home.  I am happy that despite all odds and all the hardships we have endured, that we have proven those people wrong.  Our love and faith in God individually, has helped to give us a strong foundation, in which to meet the adversities that has come into our lives, both as individuals and as marriage partners.  Our love and appreciation for one another has matured and deepened as time has passed.  I can not imagine living life without you by my side Katy.  

JamesKaty2008

I remember how we were just friends, because I was running like a scared bunny rabbit.  I remember the day that my son Jeremy invited you to go along with us on a trip to Galveston Texas.  I remember how we rode the Ferry boat in Galveston and it was late at night.  I remember that Jeremy slept in the back of the Mercury Montego while you and I stood at the front of the ferry with the wind in our faces.  I remember our spending a lot of time on the beach talking that night about our future.  I remember how you and the other singles at First Baptist Church always made sure there was  a seat next to you at the table, when we would go out to eat after church.   From the very beginning you knew that I was the one, and you were faithful to pursue me and capture my heart.   I remember telling you that because of a failed relationship in my past that I was done with marriage.  I told you that I would only marry you if I saw a burning bush in the middle of I-10 at noon time. 

I remember how you have been and still are the most selfless person I have ever met.  You have shown me how to love again and how to share things with you and the rest of our family.  You have shown me that I do not have to be afraid to love again and that my heart is in a safe place.  You have put faith in me and my abilities when no one else has.   You have put up with my many quirks and loved me in spite of them.   You are a virtuous woman and it has been an honor to share the life and love that we have for one another.   I am always and will forever will be your best friend and confidant.

I remember how you told me that your prayer was to find someone that would not be boring and predictable.  Over the last 21 years we have managed to keep the honeymoon alive.  I am thrilled that we can be playful, hold hands and still be affectionate, like we were when we first started dating.  My prayer is that I can continue to grow and mature and be the type of husband that can show his love for you in practical and tangible ways.  Thank you for being my wife and the mother of our children.  You are an immense blessing to all of us. 

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Hug your mom today if you can

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers!  If your mom is still alive spend some time with her today, and let her know how special she is.  Both of my parents are gone and even though I did not have the best relationship with them I wish that they were still here. 

As I look back I have several fond memories of my mom.  I remember my sister and I playing on the sidewalk in Terrell Texas in front of the house we lived in.  My dad was in Vietnam fighting in a war I knew nothing of.  My mom would always treat us kids to Graham crackers and milk.  I guess my sister and I were 6 or 7 years old at this time.  I remember watching the Sound of Music with my mother more than once.  This was one of her most favorite movies because she recognized the many hills that were in this movie.  My mother was born and raised in Austria and I guess this movie was made close to where she was raised. 

JHMoffitt

I remember how incredibly smart my mother was.  She spoke 12 languages and was an interpreter for the Austrian consulate as a young woman.  I remember that my mom impressed the importance of reading and education on my sister and I.  During the summer break my mom would take my sister and I to the Greenville Public Library.  All three of us would check out 20 books each.  My mother and I would read our stack of books within a week and then we would switch out our stacks and read them.  That means we would read 80 books a month or 240 books during the summer vacation. 

I am thankful that my parents loved my sister and I enough to rescue us from the German orphanage when we were just babies.  My father was stationed in Frankfurt Germany and met my adoptive mother at a bingo game.  They fell in love and were married and tried to have children.  After several miscarriages the decision to adopt was made and that is how my sister and I became naturalized citizens 8 years later. 

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Target shooting in Macedonia

Katy and I headed out to Macedonia SC today to visit with friends of ours from Grace Fellowship Church. It has been several years since we have visited with them at their home.  It was nice to get away from West Ashley and get out into the country. 

We had a nice cookout and ate some burgers and chips and topped that off with brownies and ice cream.  It just occurred to me, that I did not have the urge to take pictures of the food, and send them to twit pic.  I must be slipping. 

After the meal, Tommy and I grabbed the shooting gear, and headed off to the woods.  We set up a table, and laid everything out, in preparation to do some serious target practice.  Between the two of us we had six hand guns to shoot.  I had some terrorist targets to shoot at, but I forgot them at home.  I wound up going to Wal-Mart and getting some smaller targets, that Tommy stapled to a piece of plywood.

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Here is the table with all of our gear laid out.

 

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All of Tommy’s handguns are on the left side of the table. 

 

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The gun on the right is a single shot .32 caliber handgun and the six inch handgun is a .357 revolver.  The silver and black handled gun is a .22 caliber revolver. 

 

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This is Tommy standing by the table

 

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This is my gun case, with the Ruger 9mm, spare clips, practice and self defense rounds, flash light and a digital camera

 

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This is my Glock model 23C .40 caliber semi automatic with a 13 round clip. I also have a Pearce Grip extension added to the bottom of the clip for my small finger to grip when I am shooting. 

 

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This is Tommy shooting the Glock

 

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I managed to get a shot of the Glock with the slide coming back.  I am not sure if you have ever tried to take digital pictures of a weapon while it is moving, but it is not easy to catch it in its different stages.

 

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In this picture Tommy actually catches the smoke from the round as it exits the barrel on the Glock.

 

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This is Tommy holding and shooting the single action .32 revolver

 

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In this picture I catch the revolver recoil and the puff of smoke from the round exiting the barrel. 

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From across the fence a friendship arose

I am taking English Composition 101 online through Trident Technical College this semester.  I have to read stories and write about them.  I am not supposed to write a book report however I am supposed to find the theme from the story and write about how that theme resonates with me.  Today I read “Yellow Woman and A Beauty of The Spirit”.  That story stirred up some memories of my youth and this is what I wrote.  I figured I would share it here with my blog readers as well.

Yellow Woman and a Beauty of The Spirit

          This story reminds me of a neighbor, who lived next door to my parent’s house.  We moved from Leesville Louisiana sometime in 1969 or 1970 to Quinlan Texas.  My father retired from the Army at that time and his desire was to move his family back to his hometown where he was born and raised. We moved into a rental home next to the three lots that eventually had a brick home built in 1971. 

            Mrs. Harrell was the name of the older woman that lived next door to us.  When I would go out into the back yard, I could look to my right, and see her house sitting across the chained link fence.  The house was white with white siding.  I remember how Mrs. Harrell would always come out in the cool of the morning to work in her garden.  I am not sure how old this woman was, but I know that I remember being impressed at how agile, and physically fit she was. 

            When I was growing up as a teenager, there was no such thing as Internet, Facebook or Twitter to entertain me, or my sister.  My entertainment was a basketball goal that my father installed in the back yard next to the garden. I remember that one day while playing basketball Mrs. Harrell leaned up against the fence, during her garden duties and started to speak to me.  Before I knew it Mrs. Harrell and I became close friends.  My parents knew this woman well enough to trust her, and allowed me to go sit on her back porch.  I remember that I felt safe confiding in her.  We would drink lemonade and I would listen to her tell me stories of her family, and her youth.

            One of the things I remember about Mrs. Harrell is that she was proud of her heritage and loved to share stories with me.  It helped me to make a connection with her as a friend, and to understand her past and, where she came from.  It helped me to view her world, through her eyes.  It helped me to understand why her past was important to her, and how the values she learned as a child growing up, were important in shaping who she was as an adult.  Just as the woman in the story of “Yellow Woman and A Beauty of The Spirit”, Mrs. Harrell was also a soul who had a beautiful and resilient spirit.

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