My Road

life is pulling me
down a road I
don’t know

or do I

if it is the same
road as before
I believe

I missed my turn

or if it is a new
road I’m too
weary to tell

is that the wind

no it is the sound
of my breathing
my heartbeat

I must trust God

step by step the
road narrows a
single road sign

silhouetted in the
surrounding light
beckons me

the pole bears a
street sign with
a single name

my name

this is my road
a way only I
can go

Odds and Ends No. 54

I left my cravings where they were and
came here instead. The feelings were
so strong, nothing else would suffice.

I ran an errand to the post office. The
thought turned into a feeling, then a
stronger feeling. I thought of possible

substitutes on the way home. Donuts
wouldn’t fix this. A hike on my local
mountain trail would have been

helpful; but my feet weren’t up to the
task. After I got home, I sat down to
think. I couldn’t think so I killed a

million bubbles on my phone. The
thoughts returned. I know, some things
we can’t fix no matter how strong the

feelings, no matter how remote or
impossible it seems. Why do I keep on
trying to move mountains with a little

crowbar? Waiting is hard; real hard
when you don’t know what you are
waiting for. Waiting most of my life.

And I’m waiting again for the Lord who
said to Job, “Where were you when I
laid the earth’s foundation? Tell me,

if you understand.” Time to put down
the crowbar wielded by my impatient
mind and heart. Diffused for now.

Time to finish watching the movie
I started yesterday. Cup of tea, too.
No words for this last line, really.

Odds and Ends No. 37

I was thinking about what to write while
I was eating a Popsicle to freeze my throat.
I eat the flavor she doesn’t like. Grape.

Soothing. The temperature dropped thirty
degrees from last week to this. We’ve both
been sick. Most likely a virus with a cough.

She came home on Thursday with a horrible
cold and cough. I was already trying to get
rid of a cold no cough. Now I have a cough.

When you are married you share everything,
isn’t that true? We are getting to the end of
the big batch of soup I made over the

weekend. Using the biggest pot we have, I
started to sauté a bunch of celery, a few
onions while I chopped up five huge carrots.

When the veggies were cooked, I added five
boxes of chicken broth, then added the carrots
to the pot. While that was coming to a boil,

I opened a fresh pack of chicken breasts,
trimmed them well so she’d eat them, and cut
them into small pieces. Egg noodle water was

heating in the back; the big pot diagonal to
that one on the front, so they’d fit on the stove.
Now, what would fit on the front medium

burner for the chicken? Pans were too wide. Ah,
my wok will work. A touch of canola followed by
the sizzle of chicken. A few minutes later, into

the soup pot. I cleaned up the wok and put it
back in the oven where it belongs. When I do a
noodle soup, I cook and keep the egg noodles

separate from the soup. A few reasons. Firstly,
they won’t turn to mush and absorb all the soup
when it sits in the fridge for a few days. Secondly,

if you want a few noodles, take a few; if you want
more take more. Works better and tastes better.
I store the leftover noodles in a gallon plastic bag

in the fridge. Takes up less room; easy to get some
for the next day’s soup warm up. She wasn’t feeling
too hot today, so all she could handle was some of

the broth with a quarter cup of TVP. (Happy to make
it for her upon request; I might try TVP someday.
Not today.) When you are sick, everything you do

wears you out. If you could hear outside our house
right now, you’d be aware of an increase in day and
night training flights out of Luke AFB. They always

loop near our house. Chicken soup is all I can handle.
Flying a jet is not for me. I crewed aircraft for the Army
in Vietnam. That fulfilled any desire to fly or not to

fly on my part. Flying was the easy part; taking off was
the challenge. The planes were P2V-Neptunes and were
probably ten years old or so when I flew them in 1967.

Correction. I was crew. I worked equipment. Not a pilot
or crew chief. There for the dawn to dusk ride. It seemed
important at the time. The chicken soup seems more

important at the moment. The thought of bombing
another country with wave after wave of chicken soup
just came to mind. They’d appreciate it more. Diplomat,

I’m not. My soldier side is thinking many other things
better left unsaid. That is why Jesus loved humankind
but didn’t trust humankind; he knows what is in the

hearts and minds of Man (Meaning, and Woman). He
said there would be wars and rumors of wars not because
of him, but because he knows us. Without God, there is

a limit to what we can do for the good. Human nature
without God gets in the way. If you don’t believe that,
then it is highly probable what Jesus said is true and

something is getting in the way. Nothing like a good
hot bowl of chicken soup. It is good to continue to do
good, even so. Nothing like the truth to stir the pot.

Odds and Ends No. 36

I’m having one of my regular not-photo-worthy
lunches. And, I’m writing on a steno pad to my
left, sandwich in the middle, and thinking of

reading my lunchtime book, open on the right.
To slow the eating process down. When you are
too hungry, you eat too fast. Fast for me is no

doubt slow for you. Historically, I’ve always
been the last one to finish. To this day I can
still hear the tapping of my mother’s hard long

fingernails on the table giving me a look as I
was the last one to finish the salad so she
could serve the main course. I can’t tell you how

happy I was when I joined the Army to learn that
salad was an option, not mandatory. And, yes, I
found Army chow an improvement, a step up!

I’ve never enjoyed the taste of passive-aggressive
cooking. Hard to swallow. I was probably more
hungry for lunch because we had breakfast so

early today. A little after six. Her cold isn’t as bad
today. Mine is same-o, same-o. A cold means food
doesn’t taste. Well, not quite. It tastes, but not…

(Finished my lunch about here. Back at my desk
with three cookies and morning coffee from my
thermos, two sugars, three of creamer.)

…good, not right. Because your throat feels like a
waste bin. Turns everything to bland. Although,
bland is higher on my list than passive-aggressive

anything. I don’t believe there are any passive-
aggressive bartenders. Have you ever had a bad
Martini out? Of course not. If someone passive-

aggressive made a dry Martini, what would it taste
like? Pure lighter fluid, I imagine. Big heart burn.
(I know these things. I have the sick relationship

history to prove it.) Why did I remember that book
as being so great? I’ve read about first century
rabbis studying the law for weeks now! It is

getting old. The Law did us in then; does us in
now. Choking the life out of me (and the Church).
Worse? Present day Christians studying the Law

and living under the Law (who don’t know any
better that they are under Grace). Sad to think
when Jesus returns there will still be legalistic

preachers teaching series after series on the Ten
Commandments without a hint of Grace (or Jesus).
Holding their flocks in bondage when Jesus set us

free. (To clarify lest I’m misunderstood or have to
bleep a whole bunch of so-called Christian
comments—one can teach about the Ten

Commandments but from a Jesus, saved by Grace
point of view. Please do not make the same mistake
many preachers do. That is to separate “grace and

truth.” Grace and Truth are on the same side of the
seesaw; the Law is on the other side of the seesaw.
You can’t live under the Law and by Grace and Truth

at the same time. Like having one foot in the grave
and the other foot out of the grave. Just like
passive-aggressive food is never going to taste good.

It only looks the part. “For the law was given
through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus
Christ.” (John 1:17) The Apostle Paul proved that we

cannot fulfill or keep the Law. Hence, Jesus came to
fulfill the Law, completing the Law for us. If I can’t
keep the Law, I’m as good as dead. If I fail under

Grace, I’m forgiven and still alive by God’s Grace.
Well, cookies are long gone. Looks like I’ll be making
a run to Home Depot for my second replacement

smoke detector. Trying to replace them all, one a
month. I don’t want any more screaming eagles at
two in the morning! Smoke detectors only fail at

night; not during the day. There ought to be a law.
And we might stop at Dairy Queen for medicinal
purposes on the way back home.

Odds and Ends No. 18

My second cup of coffee was on
the edge of sweet and tan. Not
quite right, but I’m drinking it

anyway. Taste buds are off or
something. First cup was fine
with hazelnut, but this second

cup is blah. Or am I blah this
morning and the coffee is fine?
I’m thinking it isn’t the coffee.

I’ll need all the courage coffee
can muster as I have to call
Medicare about a denied claim

last May. It is too early in the
morning for a Medicare rant.
Let’s move on. Actually, the

day moved on without me
making that call. It will come.
and so did the next day. Today,

at the car repair again. Her car is
making a noise. Coffee still didn’t
taste right. So, I tried a cup black

sitting here waiting. Medications
have an impact on taste. If you
asked me the flavor of my coffee,

I’d say, “Metallic.” He called me
out to the shop to show me the
culprit. The noise was coming

from a bad bearing in the timing
belt pulley. AND, (big “and” here)
the timing belt is shot. Well, we

got 133,000 miles out of it. It is
time. Could have been worse; it
could have quit while driving.

Timing is everything. She called
as I was talking with him about
the belt. We agreed; got to get

it fixed. So, the shop owner gave
me a ride home. Lunch is past.
I had a hot cup of metallic tea.

Nothing tastes right. I looked up
the Blue Book value on her car.
Don’t ask! I thought as I got

older, I’d have fewer questions,
and life experience would bring
some answers to life’s hard

questions. Not so. It seems I have
more questions and fewer answers;
ask more and know less. Well,

tomorrow evening is my brain MRI.
Maybe I’ll know more. It is going on
four; I’m getting chilled. Coffee that

tastes like coffee would be good. Now
to get back to writing my book. I’ve
had enough car and coffee adventures

for today. True, things could be better.
But that doesn’t mean I stop hoping
or dreaming. God keeps his word and

his promises. Big dreams are good.
A little hazelnut and a little hope go a
long way. Lord, keep up the good work.