Human Speech

A golden hourglass sitting on top of a blue floor.

Sometimes, you miss simple things.  In last week’s newsletter I was telling about an old Navajo Indian having to (two) wolves in his belly.  I always check for spelling errors (in addition to using Spell-check) and somehow I missed it.  The other day I was looking for something in the garage that was supposed to be on the workbench and I could not find it.  Jerilyn pointed it out to me and it was within 1 foot of where I was standing.  At times, I feel like I’m walking around in a fog, forgetting to do this or that and then wondering why things stick in my mind for a nanosecond and are gone.  Come to think of it, things probably are not sticking at all if they are gone in a nanosecond.    I have become quite adept at leaving myself notes.  Reminds me of a quote I heard long ago:  “A mental note is only as good as the mind it’s written onâ€.

I was leaving a cancer medical facility with my uncle last Thursday and observed a young woman, 35 or so, struggling to get a fold-up wheelchair into the trunk of a Lincoln.  Setting in the car appeared to be her grandparents.  I walked over and asked if I could lend a hand.  She happily stepped aside and I quickly placed it in the designated location.  Says she to me as I am doing so, “That’s about the only need I have of a man†then quickly adds “and mowing the grassâ€.   She slams the lid down, smiling all the time, and heads for the driver’s seat.  I walked away from the car perplexed and wondering about what she said.  I kinda thought I should have responded to her suggestions that all men could be so easily classified as having such a limited use.  I am reminded of a quote, by whom, I do not know:  Human speech is like a cracked kettle, on which we tap out tunes for bears to dance to, while we long to make music that will melt the starsâ€.   I wanted to say something to that young woman who had undoubtedly been badly treated by the men in her life.  But I know that I tap out tunes for bears to dance.

My first cousin, Jesse, arrived Tuesday for a visit.  He was recently diagnosed with cancer in his kidneys, lymph nodes, and throat.  He seems of good spirit.  As an adult, he has always been a Christian and depends on the Lord to see him through any crisis he encounters in life.   The battle he currently faces is no different for him.   I guess when the odds against you seem overwhelming is when your belief in The Redeemer is tested the most.  As a young boy growing up I was part of a gang called the 4 Musketeers.  The other 3 were my brother (Jerry), my uncle (KD) and Jesse.  All 3 are in a battle for their life.  I have not deserted them.   I am battling with them as I did when we were youngsters playing cowboy and Indians.  My life would never be the same without them in it.  My Lord understands that.  Jesse went back home today (Friday) to begin his battle.  He and I visited KD yesterday and as we prepared to leave, they hugged each other with tears in their eyes and KD says to Jesse, “this will probably be the last time I see youâ€.  Jesse replied, “If I don’t see you on this side, I’ll see you on the other sideâ€.    What a wonderful way to approach the coming battle.

Jerilyn and I went to a party the other night celebrating the retirement of a co-worker and friend (Skip).  We were, in fact, also celebrating the retirement of another co-worker and friend (Dale), who retired on the same date.    It is always a joy to be around people having a good reason to celebrate.   There are many reasons to celebrate, but perhaps, a retirement party is one of the most significant.  People come to celebrate that you have reached that point in your life where you no longer have to punch a clock, take orders from a boss, or, say things you don’t really mean (kissing butt?).  They worked hard to get to this point in their lives.  I wish them well.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer, or whatever season it is in your part of the world


“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.”