Etchings in the Sand…

Thoughts and Photos from the Desert…

The Kids are Sparkling…

Trips to the groomer are always relatively fun. We used to have an Airedale, Ginger, who would come home very pleased with herself. She would always trot up to the Christofferson’s and sit on their front porch until they came out and took her picture. After considerable praise, Ginger would come home all full of herself.

Today was that kind of day for Oliver and Amy. They were sporting ribbons to celebrate the event.



The other day Jo Ann wanted a bit more space in the frig for milk. She removed an almost empty gallon jug of milk and poured the remnant into a small, opaque water holder which I used for athletic moments and placed it into the now empty space.

Shortly thereafter, being thirsty for a slug of water I went to the frig, and pulled out my trusty water bottle. Expecting a refreshing icy slug of water, I took a generous swig.

The reaction was instantaneous, unfortunate and somewhat violent. I spewed the chalky liquid all over the kitchen floor, alarmed and nauseated at both the sight of white liquid coming from my mouth and the unexpected taste of milk.

You had to be there. Her case comes up Tuesday. Well, it SHOULD.

The Truth About Google+…

David Pogue of the New York Times is my favorite internet columnist. Here’s a fine example of why I admire him so!

Beans and Cornbread…

When I graduated from seminary, I was appointed founding pastor of a new church in northeast Oklahoma City. There were lots of people around, but no church. Six years later, when I moved to another church in New Mexico, it was a nice church that we left behind. St. Andrews United Methodist Church. It had been a wonderful time.

One of the strange things that emerged from our life together there was an annual beans and cornbread congregational dinner. It took me a long time to understand why folks would look forward to and so excitedly share a meal as humble as that. It gradually sunk into my yankee mind that the source was pure nostalgia. Oklahoma had been the center of the depression that plagued our land in the ’30s. Many of our church people were children of that catastrophe. They were reliving tragic moments from their history. But they did so with a deep memories and ironic joy. Parents, grandparents, neighbors and friends – many of them long gone –  had riden out those times with them. They remembered much that few would understand. Beans and cornbread.

Oddly, as the years have gone by, we have regularly celebrated good meals of beans and cornbread. Nostalgia, perhaps. History, yes. The basics, definitely. I cooked up a patch today. A sacramental visit to good times and fine people.

Here’s a memento:

This Is What You Shall Do…

“This is what you shall do”

by Walt Whitman

This is what you shall do.

Love the earth and sun and the animals,

despise riches,

give alms to every one that asks,

stand up for the stupid and crazy,

devote your income and labor to others,

hate tyrants,

argue not concerning God,

have patience and indulgence toward the people,

take off your hat to nothing known or unknown

or to any man or number of men,

go freely with powerful uneducated persons

and with the young and with the mothers of families,

read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life,

re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book,

dismiss whatever insults your own soul,

and your very flesh shall be a great poem

and have the richest fluency not only in its words

but in the silent lines of its lips and face

and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

“This is what you shall do…” by Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass. Public domain. (And thanks to Garrison Keillor for calling Whitman to my attention.)

Leonard Cohen…

We watched “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man” tonight. A cross between a reverent tribute and a documentary. There’s something about him that touches both of us at the deepest possible level. I f you have Netflix or some other passageway to films, this is for you, I think. I hope. Perhaps.

Listen. Hear. Grow.