I met my folks at their house after church this past Sunday, and we flopped into their Ford Flex. Destination, Gustine, Texas. The City Café was on our radar.
This wasn’t a short drive to a leisurely lunch. It was to eat, but the proceeds were being contributed to a man whose family members were recently killed in a traffic accident near Gustine.
When we arrived we couldn’t get near the City Café. Lines of vehicles were parked outside. If any encouragement can be gleaned from such a somber incident as the deaths of family members, this was it.
The sight of all those folks gathering in support and encouragement for this man and his family made me realize that God is indeed at work in this world. How else do you explain such an outpouring of love?
We didn’t stop and eat there. Don’t worry we hadn’t forgotten our objective; donation and food for the physical body. One would be taken care of within hours, another the next day.
On to Comanche, Texas, were the new orders. Oh, I forgot to mention that Sadie, the dog was with us also.
Once in Comanche, I asked dad if he would go to the new Ace Hardware Store that just opened. He was cooperative with my request in this case as he was searching for a new heater to put in his greenhouse.
The fan in the heater that presently hung in the greenhouse had quit working. Being as this was January, a mean winter storm was headed toward Hamilton and a replacement heater was in demand. I was in search of a job.
We arrived at Ace Hardware and made our entry. Mom and Sadie, the dog, would stay outside in the Flex. We did leave the windows down just a crack for them. It was a cold day so that was just to circulate some air. (Although when we came back to the car I did notice that Mom was sticking her nose out the crack in the window.)
Once inside a lovely lady in black greeted us. We soon realized she didn’t work there, so we quit following her around, and stopped asking her questions about heaters and jobs.
On to the Ace Hardware employees. They were pretty much out of heaters, because as the weather channel had been warning us, it was about to get Alaska cold in Texas. I did acquire a job application, more on that later.
We returned to the Flex, and as this heater safari had increased our hunger we soon found the Harvest Restaurant on the square in Comanche. On Sundays it is buffet only at the Harvest Restaurant. We masked our disappointment at this and soldiered on, taking a table in the middle of the place.
We made do with mixed vegetables, thyme roasted potatoes, (I’ll spell potatoes how I want. It’s not like it’s nationwide newsworthy.), pork loin with honey Dijon mustard, sweet chili chicken, fried catfish, and a stand alone chili, with cheese and onions available. For desert, chocolate bread pudding.
I only took a small sample of each. As the pictures I’ve posted will show, Mom and Dad, well, I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
I don’t have a real sensitive palate. I either like it or I don’t. I liked everything they served on the buffet. Mom said the chili was too peppery. So, there ya’ go.
We met one of the owners of the restaurant, Sarimah Sanders. She was born in Singapore, and husband, Todd, met her on his travels. Todd is from Temecula, California and his love of hunting landed them in Comanche, Texas. Todd was in the back “chefin,” it up.
Since dad was raised in Lemon Grove, California, which is apparently on the opposite side of San Diego, from Temecula, they had a bit to talk about. I just sat there and listened to mom, dad, and Sarimah talking about that part of California, and ate my chocolate bread pudding, cake thing. I liked it.
Next stop, Tractor Supply, still searching for that elusive heater. We didn’t find the proper heater for the greenhouse, but we did manage to collect a large Tootsie Roll, some kind of chewy things, and a Mr. Pibb. Back to the car and Sadie, the dog. (By the way Sadie was being well fed and had plenty of water on the floorboard behind the driver’s seat.) Back to Hamilton.
Monday, still kinda’ cold. I filled out the application for the Ace Hardware Store in Comanche, so I would need to return it. Fast forward. Two fifteen pm on the way to Comanche, Texas. Dad came along for the ride. He was no longer searching for a heater. He had ordered exactly what he needed on Amazon. Wouldn’t it be cool if an Amazon drone dropped that heater into the bed of the Ford pickup we were in, on our way to Comanche.
After I filled out that application, I prayed over it, as I do with each application I have filled out lately. From my hands, to the hands of Colton, the manager, at Ace Hardware in Comanche. I didn’t tell him that was delivered with a prayer.
Colton was a likeable fellow in his thirties that said, “I’m putting my team together, I’ll let you know something soon.” With a handshake I was back to the pickup and dad. Now dad did have a purpose with his come along ride, which was to purchase a few groceries at Brookshire’s in Comanche.
It was at that time I realized I had left my iphone in the bathroom stall at Allsups just down the road from where we were. Do I need to explain more? No.
I borrowed dad’s phone and made a quick call to the affable Allsups employees. While talking to Allsups, my brother-in-law called on dad’s phone and I had to decline it. We found out later that apparently during all this going, dad’s phone had called my brother-inlaw and he had been enjoying the conversation between dad and I.
Allsups informed me that they had my phone and would gladly return it if I wanted to swing back by there. I did just that. From there dad and I finally returned to Hamilton, just in time to cozy ourselves into our homes as the temperatures fell far below freezing.
Hello Y’all. In my last post you read that 2017 was a terrible year for me. It was. It also was a year where I took advice from others all around me and applied it to my life. The only part of my life that worked well last year was the spiritual. God was with me. God will always be with me.
Yesterday, after I prayed in the morning, I had an urge to clean my home. You see, I’ve been ignoring daily cleaning duties in 2017. I had a pile of dishes, a pile of clothes, on Susie’s bed that grew and grew. I had also been quietly overtaken by an army of dust bunnies.
So I hit one room at a time. I’ve posted some pictures. Then I treated myself to some subway. Thanks to my sister and brother-in-law for the giftcard, on to the serious stuff that we must discuss.
Hold on on one, I do want to say that having a clean home gives me a more confident, “what’s next?” feeling, It also took some time and work to get there.
As for the mental, emotional, cognitive, physical part of my psyche, it was wrapped inside me for much of 2017. If you’ve ever seen a newly cut length of barbwire allowed to coil back on itself, that’s how it was.
How am I going to get it straightened out? That’s what I’m doing now; right this minute. With God’s help, (I always pray before I write something for a story, blog, etc.) He guides me along the way as the words start flowing. I’ll have a, “to far,” “not right for this story,” tap on my hand. Sometimes I’ll have a “leave it in there, folks need to now,” moment. I figure y’all get the idea.
Okay. So, 2017, I took advice and tried it. For the most part I didn’t make any comments, share any insights, answer many questions, I just pushed the green button that says, “Do you accept?” Then I’d go home and try to write. Emphasize try.
I was dealing with more than one traumatic experience in 2017, so I thought. “I’ve got all I can handle. I don’t need to spend any time on this or that issue. Who are you anyhow? You're just some guy from Texas that doesn’t have a clue as to what’s goin’ on in the rest of the world?” The advice of just keep your head down, fingers on the keyboard, and your thoughts only on the stories and your characters; that didn’t work out great.
So, this year, I’ll have questions and I might just pester one or two of you for the answers. I did that with an FBI agent in Bryan, Texas, and ended up in the “rubber room,” in Hamilton, Texas’ Hospital for four days. Really that's two separate stories but they connect at one point. Maybe I’ll try a different approach, or go back to Aggieland. They’re all nuts down there, so I fit in.
Here’s my first question for all. It’s not a hard one. When you go on a writer’s site, do you prefer the “personal donation,” buttons; or would you rather go to Amazon and download/order that writer’s story or book? Question number two. Who first named a glob of semi-floating dust, a dust bunnie?
I ask this as I’m really interested, and y’all are my resources for what works and what doesn’t. I’m just thankful to God that technology and a platform exists where I can pose such a question in this manner. Hope y'all's life is treating you well
I went over to the folks house for lunch. Steaming chicken pot pies were on the menu.
When I step through the gate to their backyard I hear my dad holler, "Hey Dave, ask your mom if I've trimmed this branch back enough?" I turned to see him standing near a tree with a steel bladed lopper in his hands.
Come on everbody knows what a lopper is. I've always said that when working with one. "Hand me that lopper please so I can cut this branch." Never have I said, "Hand me that long handled tree cuttin' thing."
Back to dad and his lopper. When I saw him I nearly teared up as the memory of a spiny little Christmas tree zipped through my brain. We were living in Kentucky, I might've been nine and my sister, Cecelia, around seven.
It was Christmastime, snow on the ground and some flakes softly falling as Cecelia and I joined our father in the hunt for our Christmas tree. Norman Rockwell couldn't have painted it better.
It didn't take to long and we had it in the Rambler station wagon and were headed home. Dad said he just needed to trim it a little and then it would be ready to decorate. After dad's tree trimming he proudly brought it into our small living room and presented it to be decorated.
It was then I heard a wailing sound that caused me to suddenly turn. It was my sister Cecelia. I could just make out the words, "Can we glue some of the branches back on?" One thing about dad. Over all these years he has remained consistent. That Christmas tree from years past resembled the trees in the photos I added to this post. This time I didn't cry.
It may be a Volkswagen, but it carries two other names which can be translated as fun and fast. This model of vehicle plays a role in my Aintright, Texas series.
I want to drive this car at top speed and straighten out some curves. I've always said the speed posted in yellow signs before a curve in the roadway is just a suggestion. Texas World Speedway near College, Station Texas was at one time allowing folks to drive their personal sports cars around the track.
When I was a Fed EX contractor, I would deliver auto parts to a man named Dante Pastorini. He made a name in football, and he did pretty well racing dragsters. Most of these parts were for vehicles he was working on. He loved to talk cars and when he mentioned the car in the photograph it was the first time I had heard of it, and it was built by Volkswagen. The two names after Volkswagen are Bugatti-Veyron.
Now here's what I'm asking. Please, will one of y'all, or group of y'all, set me up with this vehicle on that racetrack. I'm serious now, if someone can arrange it, I'd drive it around and around. Wouldn't you. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm waiting to hear the good news that arrangements have been made...
I couldn't sleep and I knew there was a whole world out there wide awake, and eager to answer the question I've posed. I don't know why I don't sleep well? Could be I was mulling the cell phone question around, could be I don't sleep well without anyone else snoring away beside me, or it could be the chili, into which I added some pickles. Anyhow on with the question.
My answer to my question is YES. There. Done. Good night. Well hold on. Since I woke you up I should at least ramble on a little so you can get back to sleep.
It seems, no, that's not right. It has become clear to me that if I want my cell phone to ring I just need to take a minute and stand in front of the toilet. I've even been awakened in the night, with the need to speed, so to speak; and the dad-gum phone rang. It was a number I didn't recognize so I didn't call them back.
Additionally, R, on the steering wheel of the vehicles I drive must stand for "ring." Because as soon as the gear shift clicks on R, that silly, little, necessary annoyance starts ringing.
I just wanted to share my middle of the night thoughts with those of you who are middle of the night thinkers. So good night. But wait, wait for it, hold on don't go to sleep yet. You know what's about to happen...
You may, or may not have noticed, that I renamed this blog, ("Blog," we need to come up with a different word. When I say "blog," It reminds me of the sound you make when you've had to run to the bathroom. Poor, "blog," it's an ugly word, we need a pretty word.)
This is now Dave's Place. DL Daily created the scene of a newspaperman rushing to get his story out. That nothing else mattered, but the story.
Dave's Place better suits my line of thinking. If I could, I would buy some land, put homes on it where family and friends could live. A place we can work, play and relax; always at the ready to help one another. A place to lay your burdens down and send your prayers up.
Over the past year I've been a chauffeur of sorts, driving, and/or accompanying many a person to this or that hospital or doctor. It's opened my eyes as to how much we already depend on each other. All of this going has been on my time and I'm glad I was able to do it.
I've gone not only with family, but with friends and acquaintances.
Each of these souls had a story to tell. I listened, I mean really listened, to each of them and could envision the life they had lived. None of them had walked through life without experiencing joy and sorrow, boredom and excitement. No one reaches the ice tea, porch swing phase without some broken tea glasses, and the porch swing chain breakin' a time or two.
I haven't written anything for several days. I thought I was good. Thinking can be a danger to your sanity. This past Friday, 01/05/2018 marked one year since my wife, Susie, died. 2017 was, for me, a terrible year. I knew if I sat down at the computer to write, I would either cry or push myself away.
That peace that passeth understanding wasn't anywhere to be found for much of 2017. There were days where I would just lay in bed and stare at the ceiling. Days where I would open my Bible, then put it away without reading a word. Days where my greatest hope was that no one would call or drop by.
I had no will to write, to work, to play. When I did do anything, I would have to talk myself toward doing it. Loudly saying, "David, turn on the light! Clean up! Get dressed! I just didn't care.
One morning I awoke, eyes on the same ceiling, and I just yelled out, "God, I'm tired of this crud! I want to get back into life!" No, I didn't jump out of bed with a smile on my face. I just laid there saying over and over, "I've got to get my life back."
By the end of that day I was writing again. A few days past that, an individual called me and offered to pay me to do some yard work around their place. So that's where I'm at on this tenth day of January, 2018. Oh, and now when my Bible is open I read the words.
That yard work job won't last forever, so yes, I'd be a happy man to see that my stories have been downloaded. If you want to share them with family, friends and others, I say go ahead, you should be allowed to do what you want. Just go to BOOKS/STORIES.
P.S. My wife Susie, used to take care of uploading my book covers to creatspace for my novella series. I've had a handful of folks say they want a book in their hands. I'd love to oblige them, but I'm having a bit of trouble getting the cover I submitted approved. Any of y'all familiar with gettin' covers approved. If you are and would be willing, comment, send me a message or email please.
Well what do y'all expect from me? I write, dig in the dirt, and yell at God.
I missed my daily blog yesterday. My apologies y'all. So here's two days worth. Yay! Aren't we all excited?
Upmost on my mind is my Mom. She had a go round with her heart and went into Afib. If you click on Afib in the last sentence the good doctors at Web MD will explain it quite well.
If you've just thought to yourself, "I'm the smartest person in the universe and I don't need those doctors telling me anything!" First of all I'm surprised you're readin' this on my site. Secondly, just keep on reading then smartybritches.
Mom had to go the the ER at Hamilton Hospital with this Afib. They did a fine job of treating her. Kept her overnight, and even treated her sinus congestion.
By the time Dad got her home it was afternoon, and I met them at their home in Hamilton. So, Dad and I ate a hamburger from the Sonic that's in my folks backyard. Mom settled in as the Hamilton Hospital fed her some of their delicious cuisine for lunch.
While at the Hamilton Hospital I noticed a couple of things. One is the artful handling of the nationwide bathroom dilemma by the Hamilton Hospital. They simply made their restrooms unisex. Do I need to explain that? Well I'm not.
What I am going to raise is the toilet seat, and I left it raised when I exited. It is possible that what once was a bathroom battle only in the privacy of our homes is now national. PUT THE SEAT DOWN! We shall see.
The other thing I noticed was the unique pattern shining off the pavement of the Hamilton Hospital parking lot, when I stepped out of the pickup I was driving. It was created by the parking lot lights reflecting off the wheels of the Cadillac Escalade, next to where I parked the Ford pickup.
I didn't workout on the day Mom came home from the hospital. Dad and I did catch a workout the next day.
That next day would be Thursday, today. After the workout I went to a meeting I attend every Thursday at five-thirty. It was a good meeting, I left there ready to wake up and live the next day. Friday, January Fifth, 2018.
Yesterday, I think it was yesterday, I posed a question to my Facebook Family about how to clean a tea pitcher. This tea pitcher has made several moves with me and held that tasty elixir for many a person that passed through my door. But, it was stained.
I'm happy to say that once again the tea pitcher is bright and holding that tasty tea. I must say though, I'm about two thirds through my first brewing and the taste is quite unique but familiar and good.
I'm using Luzianne family tea bags as always. But I'm getting this floating feeling. Maybe I have a magic tea pitcher.
If you're reading this and thinking, "Didn't he just write about this? It's a good bet I did. I, like most of y'all, I have days that blend together, thus I have blogs that blend together.
Hope y'all's day treats you well.
Hello y'all. My parents are rather sly folks. They managed to get me working out again, and I'm pretty pleased they did.
For a Christmas present they gave me a membership to Hamilton's Wellness Center, a workout facility. They knew I wouldn't waste their gift, but if I was paying for it, well you know.
Today was my first workout in quite some time. I started slow, so as not to overdo it. So slow that my dad kept telling me, "You know that treadmill goes faster than that." Yes dad I know.
I've never been self conscious or worried about what people think, but I did like it that there weren't a bunch of folks in there. Dr. Killian, one of the best ER doctors I've ever met, (and I've met a bunch), was there. He always did a great job with my late wife Susie, when we made a trip to the Hamilton, Texas, ER. Why do I tell you this? Read on and you'll find out why.
So dad and I finished our workout at the Wellness Center in around an hour. I eased into everything today, walking on a treadmill and then concentrating on upper body workout.
Dad did pretty much the same, well, after he finished running around the place and picking up a bunch of pennies that someone, as dad claims, "was just throwing them away in the locker room."
After the workout we drove through Brookshire Brother's Pharmacy and picked up my medication. Let me rephrase, as we didn't actually drive through the Pharmacy wall with the folk's Ford Flex. It is important to tell you that because if any of y'all have known us for a while, there's been a couple of incidents in our lives involving the creation of a large entryway into a building using a motor vehicle as a tool. I tell those stories from time to time, you'll hear them eventually.
I visited with the parents and Sadie, the dog, for just a bit and headed home. I thought I was settling in for your standard living your life evening. Then the phone rang.
Dad was taking my mom up to Hamilton ER as she was having heart problems. Now on DL Daily I don't go into a lot of detail. I do that intentionally. I am, however, always more than willing to have a long conversation with whoever wants. My entire family, and people are very precious too me. Okay, back to the ER.
The ER doctor on duty, Dr. Killian, from the Wellness Center earlier in this post. I was very thankful to my Lord, that it was him. Mom is doing well. The afib she experienced was treated and they are keeping her over night.
Here's a question. What are the odds that I would workout for the first time in years and Dr. Killian would be working out also at that Wellness Center? Then he would be the Dr. treating my mom later that evening?
I'm simply in awe when I think of this world, this universe, and us little people running around in it, yet God is guiding. Y'all have a good one.
Thank You Lord for a great New Year's Day, 2018. Dad and I enjoyed ourselves playing with bubbles today. (No, it wasn't the little baby from next door. We already got in trouble for that before y'all.) It was actual water and soap bubbles.
A good time was had by a growing boy, his bubble-master of a dad, and his window peeping mom. She, by the way made me wear that goofy thing on my head. I'm still a little upset about that. I'm smiling mother.
We had been inspired by watching a show-off up north somewhere, make freezing bubbles. They just gradually floated on frosty zephyr's, until falling to the ground and bursting in a slow motion cloud of crystal mist, I said mist. The other crystal stuff makes you think you're gradually floating away on a slow motion cloud. We were not able to achieve either effect. We later found out that's because we are not addicted to vaping.
After that it was off to the greenhouse that sits camouflaged off to one side of the backyard, for some needed repairs. I was very happy! I got to use my pocket knife cutting and poking holes in things...that dad later repaired. I did not wait around to see if he was happy.
The main event of the day followed soon there-after lovingly prepared by my window peeping mom that made me wear that goofy thing on my head. Y'all remember her, right?
We basked in the warmth of my folk's home while dining on the New Year's day ubiquitous servings of black eyed peas with bacon, along with red cabbage smothering sausage, served with cornbread. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, now that's some exciting deliciosity. On this ONE day of gaseous delights, it is fortunate that I live by myself...
Not long after we plopped down on easy chairs and couch, with pants unbuttoned. Weren't y'all's? The afternoon's entertainment, football. Note; I did not say American football, nor shall I ever, it's just football.
We enjoyed a politely thrilling game between the educationally oriented universities that graciously give residence to Oklahoma Sooners and Georgia Bulldogs. I'm not telling you who won or the final score. I'm sorry about that but you can work a remote just like the rest of us. Oh, I feel bad for saying that...okay, I'm over it now.
It was a fantastic start to a fresh dozen of months that God in His grace gives year after year. Let's not take that for granted. I am blessed to know such great folks as y'all. Have a good one.
It wasn't until a couple months back that I felt the first flicker of a new life somewhere deep within me. Just enough to bring some life back into my eyes and get me going again. When my wife, Susie, died in January, 2017, I figured as a writer that would be the story I would share. I'm not. Don't know if I ever will looking back on everything.
With that flicker came the desire to polish off my writing and get on with what I had started back when. So you won't hear any life answers from me but you will get some good stories to delve into.
A new addition to The Clan Donovan Novella's will digitally appear on the first day of each month in 2018. Now, to tide you over, an episode of the Aintright, Texas, series is gonna' surface every first & third Monday of the month throughout 2018.
These will be available on my website and Amazon. With readers like y'all it's going to be a good year. Every day I'll have a little something to say right here on DL Daily. That insane cat, Aggie, and daredevil of a dog Sadie are glad I'm finally talkin' to someone besides them.
Oh and I hope y'all like my picture. That's me a minute or two into the year 2018. Hopefully I'll get prettier as the year progresses. It's not like I fell asleep in my chair. Thanks much y'all, and a Happy New Year!