Monday, April 26, 2010

Finding Jesus...

An old drunk stumbles across a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river.

He proceeds to walk into the water and stand next to the preacher. The minister notices the old drunk and says, "Mister, are you ready to find Jesus?"

The drunk looks back and says, "Yes, preacher, I sure am."

The minister dunks the fellow under the water and pulls him right back up.

"Have you found Jesus?" the preacher asks."Nooo, I didn't!" said the drunk.

The preacher then dunks him under for quite a bit longer, brings him up, and says, "Now, brother, have you found Jesus?"

"Noooo, I have not, Reverend."

The preacher, in disgust, holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time, brings him out of the water, and says in a harsh tone, "My God, man, have you found Jesus yet?"

The old drunk wipes his eyes and says to the preacher, "Are you sure this is where he fell in?"

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The End of the Journey for My Lady

We all have best friends. They are always with us to cheer us or comfort us. They never question or fault us. My best friend of nearly 14 years was that way. She couldn't speak as you or I can, but boy could she express herself! She had four legs instead of two, but to me she was just as human as any other member of my family. Sometimes I thought she had better since than they did.

But now she was old and tired. She had seen many things happen during her life's journey. I tried to convince her to hang on just a few more days. But that was not to be. Lady had walked many a mile on her short legs. I remember when the kids went to get her so that she could be a member of the family. I laughed when she nervously crawled into the arm of Traci's school jacket because she was scared of riding in the car. I still remember the day she chased one of Pat's friends down the hall because she did not like him. As it turned out she had the right opinion of him.

Somewhere there are pictures of her. I'll have to dig through boxes to find them. Traci, Annie, Pat and Amanda have all been caught by the camera with Lady. So many times they all looked guilty...even Lady. Now there are grandchildren who are forever preserved in time with her. Cheyanne was the first to be "pictured". And of course Brad, Aryn, Skylar and Michael did too. There is even a picture of one of Brad's friends asleep on the couch with his arm around Lady. Lady tolerated it all. Sometimes she seemed to say, "Not again!"

Lady learned to work the system. Just how many times did she beg to be picked up into the beds with the kids? And how many times did she wait for the kids to come home only to pee on the carpet, floor, or bed in excitment? She was always happy to see the kids and grandkids.

She was not really happy to welcome Daisy. Lady made sure Daisy knew who was in charge. "It ain't you, kid" she told Daisy many times. Lady was truly the Grand Dame of the house. Even when she was introduced to Rowdy who she though of as just another "subject".

But over the last few months Lady began to feel less and less like bothering with any of us. As long as she could stay in her chair covered by her blanket she was happy to be left alone. But I began to notice that time was short. She began to lose weight and became more and more listless. Then she quit eating. Dachshunds usually only live 10-15 years. My first, Peanut, lived to be 14. Daisy is now 5 and Rowdy 10. Lady was 13. As the days past, I began to wonder how much longer I would have Lady around. Would come home from work to find that she had died? I really didn't want that. Should I put her down? She wasn't in any pain or suffering. What to do?

I decided to keep her comfortable and wait. We came home Tuesday evening to find her lying on the floor. She did not want to move. I knew the end of the journey was near. I hurried with supper and dishes. Then I picked her up out of her chair,wrapped her in a blanket and held her in my arms. Her breathing and heart rate were erratic and she seemed to have drifted off into a coma. Her eyes were glazed over and I knew her time was near. Even Daisy and Rowdy seemed to know. Instead of bouncing round from chair to chair, they stayed quiet and watched over her. We went to bed a little after. We took Lady in her blanket with us and put her on the bed. Daisy and Rowdy stood guard. A little after mid-night Lady's journey ended peacefully.

Rest in peace little Lady. Thanks for being part of our family. Long live the Grand Dame. See you on the other side someday.

Monday, April 19, 2010

God, Please Send Me Money

Little Johnny wanted $100 for a new bike and prayed for two weeks, but nothing happened.

Then he decided to write God a letter asking for the money. When the local postmaster saw the letter addressed to “God, USA,” he decided to send it to the President of the United States.

The President was so impressed, touched, and amused that he instructed his secretary to send the little boy a $5 bill.

Little Johnny was delighted with the $5 and wrote a thank-you note to God. It read: “Dear God, thank you for sending the money. However, I noticed that for some reason you had to send it through Washington, D.C. As usual, those crooks deducted $95.”

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Walking Through a Mine Field

The other day as I tended to the care of Dylan and Jade, I walked into their bedroom to see what was going on. They had been playing in there a while. As usual there were toys every where. So I decided it was time to clean up the room. They were not interested in helping. Snacks were their primary concern. So we went to the kitchen to find suitable snacks for them. While they ate I went back into the bedroom to survey the damage.

As I stepped back into this room I was startled to hear a noise. The tv was on but that is not from where the noise came. Apparently in my quest to enter the lair of the children I had stepped on a toy. In the process it had decided to do what toys do best, make enough noise to really irritate any adult within ear-shot. That is when I thought "walking around in this room is like walking into a mine field". Toys littered the floor, the beds and spilled out of the toy box which was in the closet. There are all sorts of dolls, guns, cars and other toys which when prompted by some sort of activity make all sorts of noise. Usually these are in the hands of the small children when they do this. But sometimes they lie in wait for an unsuspecting adult to bump into, step on, or pick up. It is then that all Hell breaks loose. A "laser gun" will suddenly emit a red beam of light along with a "Star Wars" type of sound which makes me wonder what it would be like to use such a weapon in real life. Or a battery operated race car will take off running, or a least the wheels will spin wildly. Jimmy Johnson's car should have such power! Or worse yet an especially annoying doll will lament "I don't feel so good".

Of course when trying to clean up this room, the toys all have to start the noise at the same time. But finding the toys can be a problem. The floor is littered with toys. Toys spill out of the toy box at will or hang precariously at the edge. Every time a toy from the floor is tossed into the box another jumps out and poses a problem for any one near. Of course none of these toys seem to have an off switch either. At times, walking into or around the room really can be an assault on the ears, feet or ankles. There should be hazard labels on the door. "Caution, enter at your own risk". I don't know how many times I have tripped on some toy that was lying peacefully quiet until I stepped on it. And just wait till the kids decide to either look for a particular toy or start throwing toys at each other.

I think I may have to request "Hazardous Duty Pay". After all walking into a child's room or attempting to clean it is dangerous work. You just never know if an Iron-Man mask is going to start giving orders, or a remote controlled car makes a run for it.And don't forget the tiny metal cars that become missiles when launched by a four year old. Mine fields do exist, especially in kids' rooms.

A Place to Rest

I go by this place several times a week. There seems to be activity almost every day. Yet it seems to be quiet and peaceful almost every day. The grass is always green and the trees provide shade and a nice place for the birds to watch over every person who goes into the place. Sometimes during the day there is a large tent where many people gather to remember. Other days I will see a hole being dug or covered up with care. The ground is always clean and the grass is well manicured. Many flowers are brought there frequently by families. These flowers and other tributes are a constant reminder of someone who was loved.

Yes,it is a cemetery. All the headstones face the road traveled each day by hundreds of people, maybe even thousands. Do those that pass notice? Do they pay attention when they see people gathered as a loved one being buried? I don't know if anyone pays attention to what happens at this little place. But it does seem to be busy. Almost every day I see some kind of activity going on here. I guess you could use the old joke and say "people are dying to get in there", but there is much more to it.

If the headstones could talk, what would that say to each other? "Nice to meet you"? to a new addition? Or maybe "I've been here a while, you'll like it here"? Maybe even, "Hey, I like your design"? Or maybe they would just take note of all the traffic as it goes by every day. Would they wonder why nobody has come by to see them or put fresh flowers out for them?

I don't know how long this cemetery has been there. It seems to stretch far into the back. Some of it can barely be seen from the road. I've always been curious about cemeteries. Ghoulishly to some, I've always wondered how old a place like this it. What was the first grave there? How long ago? Who was that person? Is there a history there? Is someone important or famous laid to rest there?

I guess for most people a place like this is where they hope to be one day. I'm not much for that. I'd rather be cremated and save the land. But for others I'm sure there is a sense of security that they will ultimately find peace there in their own place to rest.